Help needed: Written material regarding shunning of DF'd and DA'd individuals
Jehovah's Witnesses or former Jehovah's Witnesses who hold dissenting opinions and beliefs from the official teachings of the Governing Body are labelled False teachers" and "apostates", considered a threat, and must also be shunned.
"How can we protect ourselves against false teachers? The Bible’s counsel regarding how to deal with them is clear. (Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11) “Avoid them,” says God’s Word. Other translations render that phrase “turn away from them,” “keep away from them,” and “stay away from them!” There is nothing ambiguous about that inspired counsel. Suppose that a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who is infected with a contagious, deadly disease. You would know what the doctor means, and you would strictly heed his warning. Well, apostates are “mentally diseased,” and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. ( 1 Tim. 6:3, 4) Jehovah, the Great Physician, tells us to avoid contact with them. We know what he means, but are we determined to heed his warning in all respect. What is involved in avoiding false teachers? We do not receive them into our homes or greet them. We also refuse to read their literature, watch TV programs that feature them, examine their Web sites, or add our comments to their blogs." - The Watchtower, 2011 7/15, pp. 15-19
The United Nations’ Human Rights Committee defines “discrimination” in the following terms:
“any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference which is based on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, and which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons, on an equal footing, of all rights and freedoms” - General Comment N.18: Non-discrimination, Thirty-seventh session (1989), Para 7.
Under international law, discrimination has three distinct elements. There must be: a) unfavourable treatment; b) based on a prohibited ground; c) lacking reasonable and objective justification.
The unfavourable treatment must affect the enjoyment of a right by an individual or group of individuals. In practice, discrimination can occur in a variety of different ways:
• A distinction – for instance the targeting of young black men for police checks;
• An exclusion – for instance refusing identity documents to Roma and Travelers;
• A restriction – for instance limiting the freedom of assembly of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people;
• A preference – for instance favouring applications for public housing from white individuals;
• A segregation – for instance systematically sending Romani children to separate schools without regard for their abilities and needs;
• A denial of reasonable accommodation – for instance, failing to provide wheelchair access to public buildings.
In order for it to be discriminatory, the unfavourable treatment must be based on a prohibited ground such as: ethnicity, religion, national or social origin, language, physical appearance, descent, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or disability.
For there to be discrimination, the unfavourable treatment based on a prohibited ground must lack an objective and reasonable justification. In other words, if the unfavourable treatment pursues a legitimate aim (such as protecting public health or security) and is proportionate to that aim, there is no discrimination. This is generally the most controversial aspect of the determination of discrimination. In many cases, even if the unfavourable treatment pursues a legitimate aim, if there are alternative means for achieving the aim that do not have a negative impact on particular groups, then the unfavourable treatment will be found to be disproportionate thus discriminatory.
- Source: http://www.fightdiscrimination.eu
Now, compare the above definition of “discrimination” with the difference in treatment dispensed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to its former members who have been disfellowshipped or dissociated themselves, versus the treatment that non-Witnesses from other religions receive:
“Should true worshippers shun all contact with people who engage in false worship? Should we hold ourselves completely aloof from those who do not share our faith? The answer is no. [Comment: The answer is a resounding “yes” when it comes to disfellowshipped or dissociated Witnesses] The second of the two greatest commandments states: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”(Matthew 22:39) We certainly display love for our neighbors when we share with them the good news of the Kingdom. Our love for them is also shown when we study the Bible with them and make them aware of the need to keep clear of false worship. Although we preach the good news to our neighbors, as Jesus’ followers we are “no part of the world.” (John 15:19) The term “world” here refers to human society alienated from God. (Ephesians 4:17-19; 1 John 5:19) We are separate from the world in that we shun attitudes, speech, and conduct that offend Jehovah. [Comment: But when it comes to ex-Witnesses, they shun the people, even if their attitudes, speech and conduct aren’t in disharmony with the bible principles advocated by the Witnesses.] (1 John 2:15-17) Moreover, in harmony with the principle that “bad associations spoil useful habits,” we avoid intimacy with those who do not live by Christian standards. (1 Corinthians 15:33) [Comment: Interestingly, while holding close friendship with a “worldly” person may be discouraged, it’s not subject to any penalty. On the other hand, persisting in associating with a disfellowshipped or dissociated Witness despite counseling is grounds to the penalty of disfellowshippment to the impenitent “Witness”.] To be no part of the world is to remain “without spot from the world.” (James 1:27) Hence, being separate from the world does not mean that we physically withdraw from all contact with other people.[Comment: But a complete withrawal is demanded when it comes to ex-Witnesses] — John 17:15,16; 1 Corinthians 5:9, 10
How, then, are we to treat those who are not acquainted with Bible truths? To the congregation in Colossae, Paul wrote: “Go on walking in wisdom toward those on the outside, buying out the opportune time for yourselves. Let your utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt, so as to know how you ought to give an answer to each one.” (Colossians 4:5, 6) The apostle Peter wrote: “Sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.” (1 Peter 3:15) Paul counseled Christians “to speak injuriously of no one, not to be belligerent, to be reasonable, exhibiting all mildness toward all men.” (Titus 3:2) As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we avoid being harsh or arrogant toward others. We certainly do not use derogatory terms to describe people of other religions. [Comment: There’s no “walking in wisdom” with ex-Witnesses, especially those who openly disagree with doctrines or practices advocated by the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Witnesses are strongly admonished to never engage in a conversation with an “apostate”, ex-Witness, not even to defend their beliefs. And the publications of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have plenty of derogatory names to call to those who left the Witnesses, especially dissenters, calling them “mentally diseased” and wishing them death.] Instead, we are tactful, even if the householder, neighbor, or workmate is unkind or uses abusive terms”. – The Watchtower 2006, 3/15, pp. 27-31 “Keep Clear Of False Worship”
Clearly, there's a discrimination in the way Jehovah's Witnesses treat non-believers (non-members) and former members who have been disfellowshipped or dissociated themselves.
"Generally speaking, it would be desirable for us to have no contact with disfellowshiped persons, either in business, or in social and spiritual ways." - The Watchtower, 1952, Dec. 1st pp. 735
After characterizing dissenters from the Organization as "haters of Jehovah", the Watchtower instructed the Jehovah's Witnesses:
“Haters of God and his people are to be hated (...) We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest. Surely any haters of God are not fit to live in this beautiful earth. (...) What do you do with anything loathsome or repugnant that you detest or abhor? The answer is simple. You get away from it or remove it from your presence. You do not want to have anything at all to do with it. This must be exactly our attitude towards the haters of Jehovah.” – The Watchtower, October 1, 1952, pp. 599
Hate is thus regarded as a desirable quality among Jehovah's Witnesses:
“You have seen the benefit of godly love, but do you know how to hate? The bible psalmist did, and said: “O you lovers of Jehovah, hate what is bad”. Also, he said: “Do I not hate those who are intensly hating you, O Jehovah, and do i not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become my real enemies” (Ps. 97:10; 139:21, 22) These very strong words are an expression of godly hate, and you too must have this quality to be pleasing to God. Hate causes a feeling of disgust to well up inside you. You loathe, abhor, despise the object of your hatred. (...) Godly hatred never has as its object our Christian brothers, no matter how imperfect.” – The Watchtower, July 15, 1974, pp. 442
“We do not have spiritual or social fellowship with disfellowshipped ones. (...) Is strict avoidance really necessary? Yes, for several reasons. First, it is a matter of loyalty to God and his Word. We obey Jehovah not only when is convenient but also when doing so presents real challenges. (...) Second, withdrawing from an unrepentant wrongdoer protects us and the rest of the congregation from spiritual and moral contamination (...)” – “Keep Yourself In God’s Love” (Appendix) pp. 207
The discourse of the Jehovah's Witnesses leadership, as published in the authoritative publications of the Watchtower Society can correctly be characterized as "hate speech".
What is "hate speech"?
From Wiki: "Hate speech is, outside the law, speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group."
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law".
The European Court of Human Rights is deeply concerned with hate speech.
“... [T]olerance and respect for the equal dignity of all human beings constitute the foundations of a democratic, pluralistic society. That being so, as a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance ..., provided that any ‘formalities’, ‘conditions’, ‘restrictions’ or ‘penalties’ imposed are proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.” (Erbakan v. Turkey judgment of 6 July 2006, § 56). - European Court of Human Rights
"12. The Assembly reaffirms that hate speech against persons, whether on religious grounds or otherwise, should be penalised by law in accordance with General Policy Recommendation No. 7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination produced by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). For speech to qualify as hate speech in this sense, it is necessary that it be directed against a person or a specific group of persons. National law should penalise statements that call for a person or a group of persons to be subjected to hatred, discrimination or violence on grounds of their religion." - Extracted from Recommendation 1805 (2007) from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
Edenone, you might find this interesting, at least some of the wording. I recommend that you sign it anyway.
Very interesting, thank you. Although it relates primarily to American Law, not european.