This may be a good time to correct the injustices committed by God. It has been done before to benefit women, children, slaves, unbelievers. Let's continue until we wipe out all His injustices
This may be a good time to correct the injustices committed by God. It has been done before to benefit women, children, slaves, unbelievers. Let's continue until we wipe out all His injustices
God speed to you EdenOne. I agree that the road would be difficult and many have tried before, but I also feel that no other long-standing tolerance of bad group/human/social behaviour changed overnight. They all had to start somewhere and gain momentum.I have very limited knowledge of US or European law. Nevertheless if a case were to be presented I have a gut feel that it would hang on some other unrelated precedent that is already undergoing change. One that might be closely related is protection of individuals rights against bullying. This has thankfully received a lot of attention in recent times as social media has elevated the act of bullying beyond something that it used to be e.g. physical and verbal abuse in the privacy of a school play area. It seems to me that the law is recognizing the reach of “group-think” to result in a damaging act. And ultimately that is what is at stake here.
The problem is that nobody can force person A to talk to person B. That would be a violation of person A's rights. Therefore nobody can stop any individual from shunning someone else and try to bring the legal system to bear on it. I believe that is the reason that no claims against shunning policies by any religions will succeed in the ways that they have been previously presented.
Only if a serious libel suit can be established will the person win (e.g. Olin Moyle). But that is a libel issue and does not set any precedent for ruling against the shunning process itself.
If however a case could be built upon the idea that shunning is a form of bullying – not by those who actually shun – but by those who encourage it to happen against an individual on a group basis – I could see some different dynamics coming into play.
For example if a person posts something defamatory on Facebook which results in people who have no first hand knowledge of the facts treating the victim in such a way as to hurt them, then I reckon that there would be some grounds against the poster.
Why is JW DF'ing different? They argue that they have the right to expel from their membership, and this is true (and a huge hurdle). But if that expulsion is based upon the actions of the bully (the three men in the JC) and the remaining participants in the bullying (all other JWs) are only acting on hearsay, and it is damaging to the individual, then what is the difference between that and the FB bully?
It's just a thought process that has come to mind, and maybe others have tried to legally tread this path before. I don't know. But it's all I can contribute for now.
I don't challenge the right that Jehovah's Witnesses' congregations have to terminate fellowship with an individual based on clear violations of clearly stated moral conduct, for example. What I don't find clear is that someone might be unilaterally disfellowshipped by holding contrary doctrinal opinions to the Governing Body, because that violates the freedom of thought and of opinion, which are protected by the European law.
In any case, it's the shunning that I challenge. And, while any individual may choose to shun another, i challenge the policy of an institution who instructs and requests that its members practice discrimination upon former members. And why is it discrimination? Because they instruct active JW's to not even say hello to an ex-JW (they say hello to the population at large), to not engage in any sort of conversation with an ex-JW (they talk with the population at large), to not have business with an ex-JW (they conduct business with the population at large) and to not have conversations about spiritual matters with ex-JW's (they will have conversations about faith, the Bible, spiritual matters, with the population at large, even going to great lengths to contact people with their message). JW parents will stop their children to see ex-JW relatives (but they won't stop them from having contact with the population at large). JW's will stop having contact with ex-JW'relatives who don't live under the same roof (but they won't stop contact with other relatives that aren't ex-JWs). In my view, yes THIS CONSTITUTES DISCRIMINATION, and therefore, it's unlawful and must stop.
Someone once told me: "But, if we don't shun the disfellowshipped person, the penalty of disfellowshipping loses its meaning and effectiveness!". Ah, yes, good point! But that's not MY problem, you see. That's the problem of a high control cult who needs to resort to these unlawful actions to keep the rank and file in line. Surely, if they trusted the strength of faith of their members, they would think of other ways to "terminate fellowship". But they can't, because they need it to control their members.
Separation of church and state definition
Resorting to name calling EdenOne? Because of a different point of view, how beneath you. I see you didn’t bother to mention Article 2
The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion. Many view separation of church and state as required by the First Amendment. The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion.
Note: The relationship between church and state has been extremely controversial since the first settlers arrived in America to escape religious persecution in Europe, and many cases involving the issue have reached the Supreme Court.
The separation of church and state is implied in the 1st amendment with "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This means that the state cannot force children to go to a public school or have a state based church. This is to protect everyone's religious views to the extent it does not harm another.
Recent events have indicated the existence and influence of a historical revisionism movement designed to marginalize and deny the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. Through the works of evangelists such as David Barton and his "Wall builders" organization, books, movies, and seminars are used to present a highly selective and biased account of the founding period of this country. The purpose is to mislead the public into believing that government and religion were intended from the beginning to be mixed, and that an evil cabal of politicians and judges have somehow cheated us out of a "Christian nation" to which we must return. Designed to be impressive-sounding to a public otherwise unfamiliar with early American history, this misleading information is used as "sound-bites" in publicity campaigns and public arguments in favor of increased religious intrusion into government affairs.
The truth, however uncomfortable it may be to those whose religious faith needs government support, is different. It is true that the debate over the relationship between state and church was heated, and this was a major issue which motivated many to oppose the ratification of our country's Constitution. History, however, clearly records the prevailing philosophy, and it was determined that our government must not only be separate and isolated from religious faith and practice, but that this arrangement was a necessary component of true religious freedom.
This is the view of credible historians, academics, legal commentators, judges, and the Founding Fathers themselves. However important, and to what degree these people held their own personal religious beliefs, they agree that such practices are a private affair, and that one cannot be free to hold and practice their own religion, unless they are free from having someone else's beliefs imposed upon them. This is the essence of the separation of church and state: freedom *from* government-imposed religion. It is this principle, and not the doctrines of any particular faith, that form the basis for the peace that America has enjoyed from the spiritual tyrannies and violence that plague other parts of the world to this day.
When the general welfare or common good of the society is jeopardized by a practice, as legislators claimed about polygamy when writing this law, then that practice is not protected by the Free Exercise Clause. This general principle was refined in a 1940 case involving religious evangelism by members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination known for its door-to-door proselytization. The town of New Haven, Connecticut had passed a law requiring that all religious groups register with the town before soliciting residents at their homes. Jesse Cantwell and his son were arrested
For disturbing the peace by soliciting without a permit, and they challenged the law. The
Supreme Court ruled that the registration requirements were unconstitutional because they unfairly disadvantaged religious believers, and because they required government officials to determine which messages were religious and which were not. This case,
Cantwell v. Connecticut
The first time the Court used the First and Fourteenth Amendments together to invalidate a state law; thanks to the Court’s reliance on precedent, the federal Free Exercise Clause would henceforth apply to all state laws. The Supreme Court set an important new accommodationist standard for evaluating free exercise cases in 1963, when it upheld the right of Adeil Sherbet, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, to refuse to work on Saturday, the Sabbath Day of her faith. The state of South Carolina offered unemployment benefits only to persons who actively seek employment, and since she would not work on Saturdays the state did not consider her to be actively looking for work. In ruling for Ms. Sherbet, the Supreme Court announced a new test it would apply to future such cases: if a law creates a “substantial burden” upon a person’s religious practice, it must be justified by a “compelling state interest” in applying the law with equal force. Absent such interest, the state must accommodate the religious practice by exempting it from the law in question.
Reference: Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements
This week and next we have an opportunity to see how Pope Francis’ representatives around the world behave. As the world’s leaders gather in New York at the United Nations General Assembly, Francis’ diplomats will be among them. This is vitally important because the Vatican, as the Holy See, has a special status at the UN, above that of any other religion. This status and its implications for public policy are addressed in a new three-minute movie that shows exactly what happens when the lines between religion and public policy are blurred.
I did not intend to bring up scripture, however, since you claim shunning to be a religious unsubstantiated act, and serves no purpose, then it is necessary to show your readers how incorrect that actually is. 2 Corinthians 6:14, Ephesians 5:11, Proverbs 22:24, 1 Corinthians 15:33, James 4:4, James 1:22-25, etc.
6:11-18 it is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked.
For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? This, with what is said in the following verse, and in the beginning of the next to that, contain reasons or arguments engaging believers to attend to the exhortation given not to keep company with unbelievers. By "righteousness" is meant righteous persons, who are made the righteousness of God in Christ, to whom Christ is made righteousness, or to whom the righteousness of Christ is imputed for justification; and who also have principles of grace and holiness in their hearts, or have the kingdom of God in them, which consists of righteousness, peace.
Now, is this exclusive to JW’s, not in the least. Many other religions follow the examples set forth by scripture. Is it exclusive to Christians? No.
Mentioned in the Quran:
Qur'an (5:51) - "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."
Qur'an (5:80) - "You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide." Those Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.
Qur'an (3:28) - "Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them..."
Qur'an (3:118) - "O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people, they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand."
To your first point: Separation of State and Church. It's funny that the issue of separation of State and Church is so promptly brought up by religious apologists such as yourself when there's even as much as a suggestion that judicial and legislative powers may force churches to simply comply with the law; all the while churches attempt to influence lawmakers and local authorities to grant them tax exemptions, introduce creationism into the teaching system, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage laws, etc etc. The hypocrisy of it if appalling. You really should stop being so American-centered, because there's a world out there. I'm discussing the laws of Europe, which, in case you haven't noticed, it's also located on planet Earth. If you look in the world map, it's to the East of the US. Shouldn't take you long to find it. Alas, for apologists such as yourself, the First Amendment seems to be another loving provision of Jehovah against the hordes of Satan. How ironic!
Religious organizations such as the Watchtower and the Jehovah's Witnesses thrive by exploiting the liberties warranted by Western Democracies. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, except when religions demand to be shielded from the full effect of the law alleging violation of "freedom of religion". Legislators in Europe aren't as condescending with religious lobbies as lawmakers in the U.S., you see. So, instead to derailing this thread with comments based on the American Constitution, I won't dignify you with an answer unless you're prepared to speak about european legislation.
On your second point: Congratulations, you can copy and paste from biblehub.com ! Regarding the Scriptures you mentioned, after being a baptized Jehovah's Witness for nearly 30 years and an ex-Elder, you can be sure I've heard them all and every argument put forth by the Governing Body to back up their theology of disfellowshipping. Let me stress this out: The issue here is not the termination of fellowship. It's the shunning that follows, which should be ruled as unlawful and illegal. Therefore, why don't you go read with a keen eye on 2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15 - "If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
How can you 'stop associating with' and at the same time 'admonish' (which involves communication) and keep considering such person as a 'brother'? In Watchtowerism this text is used to support the practice of "marking" someone in the congregation, and it is usually stressed that it doesn't apply to disfellowshipping. This is a peculiarity of the Jehovah's Witnesses, because any Bible commentator will tell you that Paul is discussing the very same thing here as in Romans 16:17 or 1 Corinthians 5:11.
Have you read the work of Alikin? Because if you had, you would know that "stop associating with" and "not even eating with" had to do with the way the Christian gatherings were organized in the Early church, namely the table fellowship that took place during the eucharistia portion of the Gatherings, where only the iniciated (baptized in good standing) could participate in the body and blood of Christ through table fellowship. And as for the "greeting" that John mentions, it had to do with a blessing extended as a greeting (such as "Godspeed") to a false teacher who might take advantage of the hospitality of a Christian, which John argues that might implicate the greeter as partaking in the false teachings of the false teacher. It had nothing to do with disfellowshipping for immorality, for example. Your interpretation of Scripture is skewed by your Watchtowerism. Cultivate yourself with History - read the work of Alikin that I suggested - and you'll see all the important points about the early Christian gatherings that the Organization omits, and would be very important to know.
As for Islam, it's not my concern, as it's neither the Amish, the Mormons, Scientology ... If any of them is shunned and feels his human rights violated, he should file a complaint. At least here in Europe...on planet Earth.
I thought I was speaking about European law when mentioning United Nations International Law. I believe the entire world has a charter. However since you continue to belittle me with your remarks, then I shall stoop to your level. You argue European laws and stipulate the WT hides behind America’s Laws. Thank you for not being American. While your ignorance continues to evade the U.N. laws I stated earlier? You didn’t bother to mention to your audience about article 2. The biggest influential religion in Europe is the Catholic faith. What would you tell a U.N. tribunal that the Catholic Church is mistaken when it comes to excommunicate its members? So just like you wouldn’t accept American laws, then what makes you think, European laws would be acceptable. Is you race better than the World?
You have a personal problem with the
WT. That’s fine, but don’t make it mine. Then you have become they very same
thing you so despise. It’s like a homosexual telling me I must be their friend
just because the government told me I had to, or suffer the consequences. How
are you any different, and since you are Hate centric, why would any JW want to
befriend you, to listen to your nonsense, please grow up. That’s what St Paul
was referring to, If an unbeliever wishes to accept God through Christ, then
welcome that person in, but if that person has known God through Christ and
doesn’t repent, then stay away from that unbeliever, why for the same reason
your making this argument that has nothing to do with laws, but your personal vendetta’s.
That’s what a grad student would argue and most likely win.The result of 15 years of not being challenged in this forum.
Since you don't adress the issues in discussion and you're merely attempting to obscure and derail the thread with trolling tactics, you don't merit any further reply. Better count your hours for the monthly report at the expense of someone else.