joel, what is the real reason for all this?
Come on, you know that the JW's do not have the 'truth'.
You know that you will be forced to agree in silence with doctrines that not only you have personal disagrement with for personal reasons, but have strong objections to for clear, substansive, more objective reasons. What did you say? "I believe in total honesty as a core value to my being".
Not only would you have to agree in silence, you might even have to say things that you do not agree with with. What did you say? "I believe in total honesty as a core value to my being".
You know your homosexuality is not something to 'struggle against' as a celibate, but is part of you, not some decision you can reverse, not a tattoo you got when you were drunk you can have lasered away. You know that god knows perfectly well it is part of the spectrum of behaviour, as any decent Biology undergraduate could tell you, and not an evil act. What did you say? "I believe in total honesty as a core value to my being".
I also have to echo the comments about the unlikilhood of a Body of Elders accepting back a celibate gay living with his formerly physical now platonic non-JW lover. Pigs will fly, and I doubt if you could sit through the number of meetings you'd have to sit through to get back in good standing before you realise that you're making a big mistake.
I think that you lack a degree of psychological toughness that allows you to view the dissent and arguement here in the correct light. You long for unity and concordance with all... yet the price for that is your soul, not some mystical thing that survives death, but the giving up of your freewill and self-worth. You lacking this toughness is a fact, not a fault, okay?
I think it is unbalanced to expect a discussion board to be a place of unity and concordance just because this is a particulary attractive part of the 'package' you were sold when you were younger that you still long for. Everyone is different, something the JW's find hard to accept, not even accepting an individual's conscience, putting instead in its place the Organisation's interpretation, which is often subordinate to the Organisation's interests rather than any interpretation of 'faith'.
This means that the unity is in fact a sham, and that many Witnesses carry on much as we do, accept they wear false little masks most of the time, keeping those thoughts private or whispered to a select few. You KNOW that that is true, but you want to go back? Let's find a scripture to suit THAT...
It would be better for you to get counceling so you do not over react to such discussions, or to learn to avoid unpleasent discussions if it provokes such a response in you, or not to come here. Each of these choices is better than giving up your soul (literally sacrificing it to false religion). You say you see "posters that I care about becoming more negative over time", For fucks sake man, care about yourself a little more, and less about others!
Do not seek to impose your beliefs ("I have always believed that the harsh words exchanged here between people are inappropriate for the seriousness of the discussion") on us, or 'disfellowship' us when we don't agree. You know both actions would be wrong.
As for "I do not believe that Jehovah's Witnesses should be mocked for their beliefs" - well, fine, don't do it. But don't set yourself up as a judge my friend, that way lies folly, even if you are right. People coming out of the Dubs NEED to laugh at the ridiculous nature of their former beliefs... it's a way of getting BETTER, and you wouldn't deny them health, would you?
I agree that sometimes sweeping statements are made that are ridiculous. Sometimes maybe victims are used as ammunition by some rather than considered first as victims. I agree sometimes people do let animosity cloud their thinking, and that this does reduce the effectiveness of their points, as it shows when they make their points, and validates the Witness expectation of people who have left. But these people are victims of a high-control group. I think we should give them a break.
But even given the occasional inacurate sweeping statement, does that REDUCE the truth of many specific statements that are made? Does that invalidate the beneficial FACT that the pressure exerted on the Organisation due to child abuse cases has probably lead to a reduction in the frequency of such things happening again?
If a public discussion board is not the place to make accusations or for victims to seek assistance, please tell me, where is such a place? In which town, on what street is this place where assitance is offered, how do they pay for people who don't live in that town to go there, what is this places 'phone number? There is no such place, and please realise by suggesting the ONLY places the victims get the listening ear they need and deserve are inappropriate, you are suggesting they stay silent, as there is no alternative. Is your nausea more important than their freedom to say what happened, maybe for the first time?
You say our animosity towards the Witnesses clouds our thinking about what is indeed true. Look at the phrasing and psychology of that sentence of yours. It is vauge, motivated purely by your internal desires for something 'to make it all better', not based in any way on any fact of doctrine of the JW's. Thus I ask, again, joel, what is the real reason for all this? I don't believe your reasons man, sorry to be hard, but I feel I would NOT be to you as I would have you be to me if I didn't say clearly;
I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING EVEN IF YOU DO, WHAT'S THE REAL REASON???
I think the root of the problem is that you have never accepted that the JW's are a high-control group. They're a stinking cult joel, if you'd ever understood or accepted that you'd cut your own tounge out for saying you're gonna go back.
Because of this, when people say negative things about Witnesses, you only see the persons, the individuals that fall under the description of 'Witness'. You don't see the cultists they are actually talking about.
You see, every JW you know is actually TWO people. The wonderful unique human being, and the cultist. You have the heart and compassion to see the real person under the cultist. Don't waste that heart and compassion by refusing to distinguish between the human being you can see and the cultist you know is there.
Example; my parents are warm, intelligent, truely wonderful human beings. However, under certain stimulus they would treat me like mindless, unreasonaing cultists, as they have been conditioned to react to certain stimulus in that way.
I don't rail against how unfair it is people say mean things about cultists who are really lovely people. I realise the cultist and the lovely person ARE TWO ASPECTS OF THE SAME PERSONALITY. It's almost like a psychiatric disorder.
So, quit the drama and the passionate posturing. Maybe the root cause is something YOU have to do something about. Maybe YOUR thinking need adjusting. Maybe you need to realise that the JW's are a high-control group. Maybe you have to let go of that elusive little vision JW's sell, that everything will be okay.
Like fuck it will. Life is awkward, unpleasent, difficult and nobody really knows what is going. It's turning it from this into something approaching a life that is important, finding the wonder and joy in it all, making it all worthwhile, that's what you should be doing, not getting stuck in the same space or going round in loops, or pointing the finger at others.
I hope you realise the day you appear on a platform at an assembly as an example of how someone can get out of the badness of the world, even though they were once (shocked voice) a "practising homosexual" (by now I'd think you would be quite good at it), is the day you do something you will NEVER be able to forgive yourself for, and that is the way you're heading.
Yes, all this is highly dramatic, but I am more than a little worried about and more than a little pissed off that you can sit there and type stuff I am damn sure you don't believe yourself, not really. You deal drama, well, reap it.
I might not agree with you all the time, but I've taken a liking to you, you have heart and a gentleness (even under severe provocation) that is admirable. As far as I am concerned, liking you means I get to bust your chops if I think you're being daft (and you have the same right in return). If I didn't care I wouldn't say anything.
Of course, you might really believe;
"There is a core truth there that cannot be denied. I sense it. I must reexamine it. I don't think anyone here can honestly dismiss it"
In a way you are right. It's a mind-sucking hiogh-control group that can blight peoples lives YEARS after they leave, as it has such a powerful influence on them. THAT'S a core truth, and YOU had better not dismiss it.
People living in glass paradigms shouldn't throw stones...