Voting a conscience matter??

by Cynisister 31 Replies latest jw experiences

  • leavingwt

    By the way, here is the WT reasoning on the matter. . .

    1. Jesus was no part of this world.

    2. His followers are no part of the world.

    3. Satan controls the political system.

    4. Christians are to remain political neutral.

    5. Participating in an election is a willful violation of Christian neutrality.


    Stop press – The following change of policy has now been introduced. Under the heading “Questions from Readers” in a recent Watchtower, the Society stated:

    As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovahs Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and the state…There may be people who are stumbled when they observe that during an election in their country, some Witnesses of Jehovah go to the polling booth and others do not. They may say that Jehovah Witnesses are not consistent. People should recognize, though, that in matters of individual conscience such as this, each Christian has to make his own decision before Jehovah God (Watchtower 1st November 1999 Pages 27,28)

    This sudden change of policy came as a surprise to the membership. Over the years the Society have quoted scripture to support their ban on voting. Does this mean that Jehovah ’ s Witnesses will now as a group vote at elections? How can they now disregard the “ scriptural proof ” that was used for many decades to support their ruling? If this issue is a matter of conscience, why was it made into law and enforced for so long? Could this be another attempt by the Society to conform to The Human Rights Act, as it is fundamentally against the law to deny people the right to vote in a democracy?

    What of the many who left or refused to become Witnesses because ofthe original ruling? By saying that voting is now a matter of conscience there is no conflict with the law of the land. In some countries it is against the law to abstain from voting and this has caused many difficulties for members. In some countries, such as Malawi members lost their lives at the hands of the authorities because they refused to vote.

    Is this really a genuine change of direction or will it continue to be made clear that a properly trained Christian conscience will stop one from voting? The Watchtower article, just quoted from, made it clear that members should stay separate from the world and listed five “ factors ” to be considered when making what is now a personal decision.

    It appears that although voting is now officially allowed, the practice of voting will continue to be frowned upon, and Jehovah ’ s Witnesses as a group will continue to avoid voting, as a matter of conscience. There are a lot of question marks above, which sums up the present position that Witnesses find themselves in. The Society claim that truth is a bright light that is getting brighter and brighter but as in this case, and the position with regard to the use of blood fractions (dealt with in chapter 13) the light or guidance seems to be getting dimmer.

    The above is taken from a book called: Opening the Door to Jehovah's Witnesses - by Trevor Willis. A free download is available. If you are interested, go to and type or paste into the search box the number 5456415 ........... You will be able to read the about the book before downloading it.

  • leavingwt

    Seriously, folks, ask any current elder if voting is a "conscience matter" and see what he says.

    An example of an actual conscience matter is attending a wedding in a Baptist Church. You will NEVER be DF'd for this.

    Publicly voting in an election will get you DF'd.

    Ignore what they SAY, watch what they DO.

  • Bonnie_Clyde

    Clyde and I just discovered "absentee" voting, and that's what we did at the last election. We can vote by mail if we are over age 60, out of town, or (I believe) have a religious reason. Don't know if this info would help anybody. Clyde and I are trying to stay out of the radar.


  • Cynisister

    Thanks for such quick responses from everyone. (BTW, I have tried to take my photo off as my avatar on this site, but it's impossible. I put it up when I was very new to this situation and new to my separation from the WTS. I see now that may have been unwise.)

    Boyzone, I have a huge family of witnesses, but the only ones I'm concerned about "hurting" is my husband's parents, who are very elderly now. I've been trying to keep "under the radar" as you say only for their sakes. I've been baptized since 1961, am now 62 years old and have fully abandoned this religion for about 3 years now, although it was an ongoing withdrawal since about 2001.

    So, I guess if I meet with these elders or not, either way, I'm going to be officially out. That in itself will be a relief, except for the two people that I know it would deeply hurt. However, I'm way past the point on putting on any kind of "front". Let the chips fall.


  • watson

    Have "true" Christians always been neutral as far as voting is concerned.

  • Sayswho

    Looked this article up on the Wt-CdRom and it says nothing about Dfing someone who votes...Yea RIGHT...No really...but I could read between the lines

    • I mentioned this to an elder a while back and he said wellllll...WE are NOT allowed to vote and YOU would be disassociating yourself.


  • blondie

    Perhaps you could send a pm to Lady Lee or Scully and have your picture removed....

    Also, as to the conscience matter, it is more for the benefit of governments to give them the illusion that it is a personal choice. In some countries, all qualified people must vote...I think that is the case in Australia. jws there have ways though to get excused from voting. In other cases, jws do vote but put in "Jehovah's kingdom" or "Jesus Christ" as a write in. If this clears up in your favor, I would do what is suggested, absentee voting...where I live there are no restrictions or special status required, just a desire to do so.

    The WTS approach is similar to having a blood transfusion...for the public consumption, the WTS says it is a personal choice but anyone who was ever a jw knows that it is not true behind the scenes. A personal choice maybe, but a choice to disassociate yourself.

    There have been many excellent discussions on this on JWN.

  • Cynisister

    Thank you, Blondie! I'll check those out. But knowing as I do the way JW's think, having been a very active member for almost 60 years, I am sure of the inevitible outcome of all this.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    How dishonest and tricky they are!

    The upshot is still a violation of our human rights.

    It's illegal to punish a "right."

    I'd take it straight to the papers if I didn't care what anyone thought (JW family).

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