Preacher Jimmy Swaggart and JW Lawyers

by waiting 99 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Friend
    Friend

    RedhorseWoman

    Now they are engaging in exactly the types of dealings that they have always criticized. Why should they be immune from criticism?

    That is an essential element yet determined. I have not heard the Society criticize other tax-exempt organizations—religious or not—for abiding by laws of the land. Unless you can show that the Society has broken laws of the land then that essential element in the complaint is moot. Also, I have not heard the Society criticize other tax-exempt organizations—religious or not—for utilizing laws of the land for legally arguing points of law as the system entitles. In that case, unless you can evidence that the Society circumvented the law then you have no valid complaint on that front.

    If today a law is interpreted by the judiciary as saying, “Tax-exemption is only valid for green books” and tomorrow that law is interpreted by the judiciary as saying, “Tax-exemption is only valid for greenish-blue books” then can we rightly criticize an entity for changing their green books to greenish-blue? Can we possible construe that as circumventing the law? To argue that such a change is circumventing the law would be absurd. In each case they were trying to abide by the law.

    Another essential element of this thread has to do with whether the Society aligned it itself with a false religious organization or defended it. Facts are clear that the Society did neither of those things.

    I don’t know what is left to legitimately support the complaint.

    Certainly I agree that any organization claiming to represent Jehovah’s interests in some way should be criticized when it acts hypocritically, including the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society or any of its associate organizations. There are valid criticisms against the Society, the JSM issue is just not one of them.

    If you imagine that I have been arguing the legal wisdom of the Society then you are mistaken. I have been arguing details relevant to whether, on this subject, the Society can be criticized for acting contrary to how they preach others should act.

    Friend

    Edited by - Friend on 9 June 2000 11:44:46

  • RedhorseWoman
    RedhorseWoman
    Also, I have not heard the Society criticize other tax-exempt organizations—religious or not—for utilizing laws of the land for legally arguing points of law as the system entitles

    Correct. My comments have never said this. My complaint has nothing to do with utilizing loopholes in tax laws or alignment with other religious organizations. My comments have referred to the criticism of other religious organizations by the Society for seeking wealth.

    The Society has frequently spoken out harshly against any wealthy religious organization....directly condemning them for having and seeking wealth.

    They have been doing exactly the same thing....seeking wealth by whatever means possible. THAT always has been and still is my point.

  • Friend
    Friend

    RedhorseWoman

    My comments have referred to the criticism of other religious organizations by the Society for seeking wealth.

    The Society has frequently spoken out harshly against any wealthy religious organization.... directly condemning them for having and seeking wealth.

    They have been doing exactly the same thing....seeking wealth by whatever means possible. THAT always has been and still is my point.

    Yes, I have realized that that was also a sticking point for you. Understandably if the Society condemns religion “X” for seeking wealth and thereafter does the same thing themselves then they should be ridiculed.

    The problem for my understanding that criticism of yours is that I do not understand what you mean by “seeking wealth.” Earlier I tried to elicit some details about that but it was to no avail. Perhaps I did not explain myself well enough. Please let me again seek clarification from you on that point. Afterward if you will please tolerate my desire to understand your view then I would ask for that clarification.

    In the context of our discussion,

    1. Do you equate “seeking wealth” with gaining money? Is it the gaining of material funds that you feel the Society criticizes in other religions?

    2. Do you equate “seeking wealth” with getting rich? If so, who is getting rich? Do you think the Society has criticized religions because of the size of their bank accounts, that they were somehow unnecessary? Do you think individuals working at Bethel offices are receiving this wealth as individuals? If so, what do you base that upon? (NOTE: I read some past comments about housing, food, travel, et cetera. If that is considered gaining wealth then are you saying the those expenses should not be afforded to those volunteering to do the work associated with their duties?)

    3. By “seeking wealth” do you mean something other than (1) and (2) above?

    Without some clarification of what you mean by “seeking wealth” I cannot make sense of your criticism here. From a financial perspective, to me the Society is just a tax-exempt organization that needs funds to operate just like any other tax-exempt. When they feel those funds encroached upon differently than they think the law allows then naturally they respond accordingly, which should be done within the law. I don’t know that such an action on the part of another religious organization has ever been criticized by the Society.

    Friend

    Edited by - Friend on 9 June 2000 14:51:12

  • RedhorseWoman
    RedhorseWoman
    1. Do you equate “seeking wealth” with gaining money? Is it the gaining of material funds that you feel the Society criticizes in other religions?

    Yes and yes.

    2. Do you equate “seeking wealth” with getting rich? If so, who is getting rich? Do you think the Society has criticized religions because of the size of their bank accounts, that they were somehow unnecessary? Do you think individuals working at Bethel offices are receiving this wealth as individuals? If so, what do you base that upon? (NOTE: I read some past comments about housing, food, travel, et cetera. If that is considered gaining wealth then are you saying the those expenses should not be afforded to those volunteering to do the work associated with their duties?)

    Those who volunteer to work at Bethel are not getting rich. The Organization itself, however, is extremely rich.

    Those who travel for the Society (such as members of the GB) travel in limousines, fly first class, and stay at 5-star hotels. Nice perks, but not necessary.

    The Patterson complex is by no means a simple, utilitarian building.

    The Society has vast holdings throughout the world, including many business ventures.

    The profit from literature is by no means small. When the printing costs for a magazine or a book are less than a penny each, and the "donation" for that literature is many times that, the profit margin is pretty healthy.

    These were all points that have been explicitly pointed out by the WTBTS over the years as reasons for criticizing other religious groups.

    If they want to engage in these activities, that's fine. They should, however, be careful about criticizing other religions for these things when they are just as guilty.

    Let them be upfront about it and let the publishers know exactly what is going on.

    Edited by - RedhorseWoman on 9 June 2000 15:10:29

  • Friend
    Friend

    RedhorseWoman

    Since you equate “seeking wealth” with “gaining money” then I see little point is discussing the subject at hand any further with you. However, I do appreciate you answering my question.

    Characterizations in the latter portion of your reply reveal less than complete knowledge about some things. For example, while it is true that the Patterson complex is not strictly utilitarian it is also true that living quarters there are pretty Spartan on a comparative basis. In fact, when Brooklyn Bethelites were first informed about being transferred to Patterson many resisted because of the smallness of those living quarters. Also, those who travel extensively, as I have in the past, know that oftentimes limousine service is no more expensive than a regular taxi and sometimes less expensive. I see no need in pursuing this portion of your reply between us either. But again, I appreciate you sharing your view.

    Friend

  • waiting
    waiting

    Go Big Red!!!!!!

    And this has nothing to do with anything, but to make you chuckle......

    "I once got a Christmas job in a department store as Santa Claus. A little girl rushed up to me and said, "Hello, Father Christmas." I replied "Bugger off, I'm not on duty until eleven."
    W. C. Fields

    You have succeeded well in debating Friend - congratulations!!!

  • Pathofthorns
    Pathofthorns

    LOL I think Friend was only saying is that while the WTBS has said and done many things which one could and perhaps should be concerned about, this instance is not one of those things.

    From my perspective, Friend has done an excellent job in dispelling misconceptions regarding this case which are easy to have if one lacks all the facts.

    It is extremely important when examining your faith to hold to the main issues that actually are issues. Areas of serious concern deserve consideration and dwelling on these side issues will appear to some to be simply grasping at straws.

    Pathofthorns

  • waiting
    waiting

    Dear Path,

    Friend has put forth a good argument on taxation. So has Red Horse and yourself, Frenchy and myself and others. We all have opinions - they are all valid, are they not?

    This is a sticky situation - not because of the taxation laws - but because of the religious ethics touched upon. We all agreed, from the very beginning, that no laws were broken by WTBTS and the other religious organizations filing the Friends of the Court brief. Everyone was looking out for their own tax benefits - legally.

    In my opinion, whenever a lawyer touches religion, and whenever a religion touches law - ramifications occurr.

    Not everyone agrees with the ramifications. Even lawyers don't agree - and they, presumably, know the laws. Why should we have to agree? No laws were broken. We all agree. Ethics, they're opinions, aren't they? And everyone has one.

    Perhaps that's the answer. We just agree to disagree - being civil.

    Edited by - waiting on 10 June 2000 7:20:42

  • Friend
    Friend

    waiting

    Friend has put forth a good argument on taxation. So has Red Horse and yourself, Frenchy and myself and others. We all have opinions - they are all valid, are they not?

    All opinions are valid as what they are, opinions. However, I’m sure you agree that having an opinion does not make that opinion right.

    As for arguments, I take it that you’re referring to sound reasoning (i.e., good arguments)? In that case, all arguments are not valid. The validity of an argument must be determined by supporting premises. To validate the conclusion of an argument supporting premises must be evidenced as correct.

    Then there is the fallacy. Oftentimes fallacies are offered as sound reasoning, but they are not. Learning to spot fallacious arguments is good because it enables a person to better decide on issues that could be crucial. Fallacy is an invalid form of argument, it is not sound reasoning.

    On this thread there is a mixture of sound reasoning, opinion and fallacy. The reader must determine which is which.

    Friend

    Edited by - Friend on 10 June 2000 16:37:7

  • Scorpion
    Scorpion

    Friend,

    The last post of yours makes sense. Actually it is one of your best posts thus far.

    You said: Having an opinion does not make that opinion right.

    I agree, the WT as with all religions are full of opinions just like ourselves. We (ALL) make mistakes and are wrong at times. The religions or individuals claiming to speak for God or claiming to be Gods channel should be looked at with suspicion.

    As far as arguments go, many sound arguments with details and evidence are sometimes overlooked because of bias as to what a person wishes to believe or has been programmed to think.

    Fallacy can be accepted as truth by an individual that is uninformed or ignorant of the facts. I agree with you that learning to spot fallacious arguments helps us to better decide on issues that could be crucial.

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