Interracial Marriage

by Quendi 68 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • NewChapter

    Yes Mary---because society does things differently today and the org has no problem calling it depraved and wrong TODAY. Why didn't the good old holy spirit give them such wisdom back then?? They are supposed to be special.

    Still Thinking: I get no credit for that. Check out It's all there. and there is a LOT more.


  • BluesBrother

    Well said Mary .....

    One of thebetter things of the WTS is the lack of prejudice and nationalism among its followers.. Certainly in the really old days they had an attitude that can only be called, at best, patronising, but that was the times they lived in. I would guess that the example in the original post from Alabama (we do not know when) could have been a practical move, given the local attitudes?

    With Sam Herd on the G/Body I guess they are integrated now.

  • paulnotsaul

    It was illegal in the state of Virginia up till the early 1970's. peace All paulnotsaul

  • Quendi

    I appreciate your answer, Mary, because even though that was the prevailing view of the time, it certainly wasn't one a true Christian would espouse. The Society is fond of quoting Peter at Acts 10:34, 35: "For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him." The WTS says this indicates that it has always been a color-blind organization, but that clearly is not true. Those words are more than nineteen hundred years old, so there's really no excuse for either Russell or Rutherford to be racists. Still thinking, I bet both of us are glad that we have 'tossed' these people into the garbage bin they belong.

    And Snoozy, you're right to say this was the attitude still back in the 1960s, long after Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks had made their points about the injustice of racism. Yet the Society still had segregated circuits in the American South and did not encourage interracial marriages among its followers. As soon as I can get some real information about whether interracial couples were disfellowshipped, I'll let you all know.


  • NewChapter

    In the south, segregating the congregations was a matter of law. I'm not defending them---they probably didn't protest much. We had a CO that told us he worked in the south during those years. They even needed black CO's for the black congregations and white CO's for the white congregations. He was there when the civil rights battles were in full swing. He had many uncomfortable moments being a northern black man, wearing a tie, carrying a brief case, and knocking on doors. He had a few close brushes too.

    Still---the org would be the first to criticize another religion for this behavior. Maybe I should reword my last protest and simply say: I hate religion. Period. Oppression would not have a chance without it.


  • Quendi


    I personally knew the Alabama couple who was denied a ceremony and use of the Kingdom Hall. That was back in the late 1970s when they had this problem. Ironically enough, they went to Mississippi of all places (not far from their home in west Alabama) where a justice of the peace did the honors. The local brothers had no reason to deny this couple a ceremony. Even if they didn't want the Kingdom Hall to be used, the ceremony could have been held elsewhere, even a private home, to accommodate them. The refusal to perform the ceremony or allow the Hall to be used was due to simple racism.


    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all bans against interracial marriages in the United States were unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia. That decision was handed down in 1967.


  • mrsjones5

    Back in the early 80's an elder once told my mother (and I know this happened because I was sitting at the kitchen table with the elder and my mother, we were having a short lived study) that the society had never officially condoned interracial marriage, it is something that was tolerated. My mother was not happy with this little gem of knowledge the elder laid on her.

    I don't know how high up the elder's contacts were or if he was the CO of the congregation (I never paid attention to all that) but most of his sons went to Bethel and he seemed well connected so I really didn't doubt what he said but my mother had a hard time with it.

    I'm not even sure why the subject came up. Maybe it had something to do with the book we were studying. Geez I don't even remember what the book was, the only thing that stood out was the elder's comment.

  • Quendi


    You're right to say that the law mandated segregated circuits and congregations in the American South, but those laws were ruled unconstitutional in a series of SCOTUS rulings. And long after they had been struck from the books, segregation prevailed in the organization in that part of the country. When I started studying with the Witnesses in Tuscaloosa, Alabama back in 1974, the congregations and circuits had only recently desegregated, and that happened only when Brooklyn ordered the local brothers to do so. The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 had effectively nullified segregation, but nearly ten years later Witnesses in the American South had done little or nothing to comply with its spirit. Real Christians wouldn't have had to wait on orders, but would have done so at the first opportunity which presented itself.


  • james_woods

    If Russell hated agricultural "crossing" so much, then why was he so hot on the miracle wheat?

    I can tell you from actual experience that in the 1960s, probably into the 1970s, inter-racial dating (and marriage) was privately shunned by most of the witness local leadership. They even had de-facto segregated congregations (while outwardly preaching equality of the races). At least that was the way things were in Oklahoma in those days.

  • CuriousButterfly

    I do not know if this the WTS rules....... I heard (from various sources) that the they will not appoint CO/DO who are in an interracial marriage. All my life I have never seen an interracial CO/DO. Is this just in the areas I lived or has a CO/DO served that was in an interracial marriage?

Share this