Blood Or Shunning - Which Bugs You More?

by Englishman 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • Englishman

    I'm curious about this. It would appear that active JW's who have reservations about the societies teachings, are usually doubtful about the prohibition of accepting a blood transfusion. Oddly, few seem to have any qualms about the shunning policy whilst they are still associating. It is mainly ex-JW's who are incandescent with fury about shunning.

    How do you feel? Is it possible that there is a "martyr" aspect to refusing blood? Do those who are affected by the blood issue number far less than those who are affected by shunning? Is it possible that WTBTS hangs on to the blood ban as a sort of camouflage to obfuscate the issue of shunning?

    Also, I would very much like to hear what Yadirf has to say on this following his post in which he appeared to be non-supportive of blood refusal.


    Bring on the dancing girls!

  • Pathofthorns

    I think the shunning policy makes many JWs uncomfortable when put in a situation where they are supposed to shun someone. It is not a very natural thing to do.

    I don't know very many active Witnesses that think accepting blood is a good thing. Many uniformed disfellowshipped ones will also continue to refuse blood. Most feel it is dangerous and will kill them and many feel 'naked' and are paranoid if their blood card is not on their person.

    The Society has their members very much under their spell with regard to these two policies. If anything, it is the shunning policy which is weaker, since there are loopholes with regard to family members. As well, the huge number of teens who don't abide by it, or follow a code of silence to prevent friends from getting disfellowshipped has weakened it hugely as well.

    Fewer people these days have to face life and death decisions over blood because of medical technology and the Society's relaxing their own policy.


  • teenyuck

    For myself, the shunning is more harmful to more people. It causes psychological and emotional damage. It really bothers me that JW's use the "bad associations...." excuse for this. I have personally seen the hurt and pain it has caused numerous members of my family.

    On the blood issue-I do agree with you that there is a martyr aspect to it. They are so vehemently opposed to it, it is beyond all reason. However, if you deny a doctor the opportunity to give you blood and die, you are similar to Bin Ladin's folk's. You will wake up in paradise! What more could a soul (not that we have one ) want?

    All of your relatives and friends can say you died for the greater good and Jehovah will take care of you. Then they forget about you.

    With shunning, it goes on and on. They do not forget and will continually bring up the transgression that led to the shunning.

    "I used to be Snow White, then I drifted." Mae West

  • Xena

    Well the shunning bugs me more NOW since I am the object of the shunning but I feel the blood issue has more dire consequences of course.

    I remember when Tim was in the hospital for his burns and having to endure being scrubbed down twice a day because they couldn't do the grafting they needed to do due to the blood issue. I told him he was suffering for his faith and that Jehovah would reward him for it...hhhmm bet that made him feel a lot better huh? I think refusing blood for the "cause" makes JW's feel noble...yes like martyrs...part of the "great cloud of Witnesses" mentioned in the Bible.

  • dungbeetle

    I considered myself an 'informed' disfellowshiiped person, and I then and now will not allow a blood transfusion, even to save my life. I would rather go fast than slow from an AIDS or a Hepatitis C type of thing.

    And no one's been able to show that cancer or Alzheimer's disease cannot be transmitted through blood transfusions. Blood transfusions are so doggone common, that there's no way really of tracking a relationship thre. Working as a nurse, I've seen so many deaths from these diseases/conditions, that given a choice between blunt force trauma and a slow, lingering,agonizing death; I'll take the 18-wheeler, than you.

    I don't consider this stand leftover from the JW's; I just know what I see with my own eyes. Blood gets abused a lot as well; there are a lot of elderly people walking around with Hepatitis C because they were transfused with blood just to get their red blood cell count up and be transferred to a different facility. My mother-in-law was one of them. <groan> Hospitals really need a more responsible policy on this.

    Personally, I think everybody should carry a blood card; 'Yes I want it', or 'No I don't'.

    Children I can't say; I would let my child have one, but only to save life.

    Shunning someone because their value system or lifestyle is different is intolerable, and I never did it as a Witness (tho I was discreet about it) is intolerable. It is speeding up my JW exit, believe me.

    You can disagree with the Society about the blood transfusion and still stay a Witness, because it's a secret thing (even if confronted medically with it, that is SUPPOSED to be secret too.) Shunning is something JW's are confronted with a lot, with 40,000 disfellowshippings and God knows how many dissasociations per year.

    which brings up the interesting question? DA or DF or fadeaway? IF a person does the fadeaway, we protect our loved ones from confronting these doctrines and making these choices. Doing the DA or DF forces our loved ones to make hard choices. Some would say that is the more loving thing to do.

    Simon put up a poll a ways back about the reasons for unhappiness with the org. shunning or blood were the least responsible cause listed; hypocrisy I think was the biggest bone of contention.

    Poll! Poll! Poll!

    Good topic.

    In 1975 a crack team of publishers was sentenced to death by a judicial commiteee. They promptly escaped from the cult and now live life on the run. If you have a problem ... and if you can find them ... maybe you can contact the A--postate Team"

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    I've dealt with both issues in my family. The blood policy claimed a member of our family and like most JWs, we've had disfellowshiped family members and close friends. Additionally, my views and activities put me at risk of being disfellowshiped myself.

    I think comparing the two issues is difficult in many respects. For one thing, the disfellowshiping issue impacts more individuals than the blood issue. It puts a severe crimp on family relationships and flat out destroys most friendships.

    On the upside, there is potential to mitigate the damage and repair relationships. With the blood issue, this is not always the case. As in my family, once a family member is dead its too late to try and undo the damage caused by the WTS' foolish policy.

    When it involves a child or teenager it is especially tragic since these kids never really had a chance to learn both sides of the argument and make an informed autonomous decision. Sadly many of these
    kids would have grown up and been disfellowshiped or left the WTS anyway.

    So from my perspective its a matter of relative damage. Disfellowshiping caused more widepsread damage but the blood policy usually causes more intense irreparable damage - especially to children.

    As for those who have brought us such senseless policies - they couldn't be any dumber if we cut their heads off.


  • flower


    You wrote: "It would appear that active JW's who have reservations about the societies teachings, are usually doubtful about the prohibition of accepting a blood transfusion. Oddly, few seem to have any qualms about the shunning policy whilst they are still associating. It is mainly ex-JW's who are incandescent with fury about shunning"

    i have to disagree. in my experience with the congregations i've been in and with my family the opposite is true. my family would NEVER even think about taking blood or questioning the blood issue but they talk to me and other disfellowshiped relatives on a semi-regular basis. they dont hang out socially with us but they do talk to us. i'm sure they have a lot of problems with the shunning issue because they see everyday that we are good people and not 'apostates' or 'wicked'. they dont openly question it of course. but with the blood issue to them its just the way it is. i've never heard any of them (family or congregation) mention anything that would even make me think they were having problems with that issue. now, i have to admit that we havent had to deal much with the blood issue in our family or congregation so that may be why.


  • Englishman


    I as refering more to persons like Yadirf, who although considered as JW's, tend to be labelled as 'difficult' witnesses, rather similar to 'Memorial Saints' who quietly operate to their own agenda.
    Incidently, I keep asking the JW's here to say how they feel about shunning but they seem to be nervous about commenting.


    Bring on the dancing girls!

  • Adonai438

    When? Now or as a JW?
    Now, They both bug me because neither are scriptural.
    Shunning is not showing God's love and is just an excuse to keep JW's isolated from anyone who can think for themselves. You see, thinking is the Watchtowers worst enemy. They have to keep their people isolated.
    The blood issue is a little more involved and at least I can see how the mistake is made. The Bible does say not to eat blood. The new Testament also says that although that is a reasonable and good rule to follow it is what comes out of a mans mouth (ie words) not what goes in that makes him unclean. And what was the punishment in the OT for eating blood? JW's would have people think it's everlasting cutting off. Cutting off from what? God, them, life? The OT passage actually says that people who have eaten blood must stay outside the camp for a specified amount of time- of the top of my head I can't recall the number but it's not long. The same amount of time for woman who have had babies or menstruated or other non sinning events. It's a means of getting clean before comming back, not a everlasting punishment like JWs teach. Now I shall try not to eat any blood because - yuck - but which is a greater sin- having a blood transfusion or letting your child die?
    As a witness I never had to shun anyone so the blood issue would have bugged me more.

  • rekless

    I refused to shunn anyone. If I saw them matter of a fact I would go out of my way to walk over and say Hi, how are you doing.Make small talk. Just thought that it would bring them back because they would think, "at lease someone cares."

    I didn't go along with alot of things as I got older and that is while I was an elder.

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