Well said WTW.
Well said WTW.
If this hateful speech escalates or results in violence or other unlawful or intimidating actions, then it would be easier to make a case that a certain group of people (the governing body) actually conspired to interfere with the basic human rights of its members. This would especially be true if they persist in their actions despite worldwide media coverage and possible prosecutions in other countries. They won't be able to claim that they couldn't have predicted the results of their actions.
I hate to say it, but certain Witness "types" are the prime profile for degrading to violence. It's the one's the have developed a codependent relationship with the Watchtower and it's doctrine. They use the Watchtower like piglets use their mother's teats. As the Watchtower's fantasy degrades down many people will find themselves frightened and completely void of world view.
I've said similar things before, and have been criticized for it too. I honestly feel that for some JWs, it wouldn't take too much of a "suggestion" or "hint" from the WTS for them to switch from Waiting On Jehovah™ to destroy Apostates™ to being happy to do Jehovah's killing on His behalf. They've never retracted this statement from the November 15, 1952 Watchtower:
*** Nov 15, 1952 Watchtower ***
We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. "Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee."-Deut. 13:6-11, AS.
Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God's law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship.
Translation: The WTS would love for individual JWs to execute God's Judgement™ on Apostates™ who are "members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship", if it weren't for that pesky "law of the land".
If you want to be really edgy, why not also bring up the WT's published anti-gay statements. That is always an easy button to push and very Politically Correct!
Where there could be consequences in the US pertains to religious discrimination. Supposing a very influential and well-to-do brother hires only JWs. (He is already discriminating on the basis of religion by NOT hiring anyone of other religions). Suppose one of the formerly zealous JDub employees gets DFd. Are all the other faithful JDubs going to continue working in his presence? Will Brother Big Shot terminate the employment of the newly DFd (non)witness? THAT would be religious discrimination. Brother Big Shot is up for a lawsuit up the wazzoo.
Hasn't there been some dispute over whether Bethelites are employees? Consider loyal Bethel "employee" who is DFd because of differing religious beliefs (apostacy)...... Much of his/her earnings are room/board etc. When "fired" because of his/her new religious beliefs, is this not religious discrimination? Is he/she entitled to financial compensation for loss of "earnings"?
Just thinking out loud......
Personally... I think there is a line somewhere between 'speaking out against those that are offensive' and 'having a vendetta'.
The WT said something offensive... Those who were offended spoke up, and were clearly heard. It is good that some folks brought this to the attention of national news orgs., and that they picked up the story and brought it to public light. No-doubt there were curious people out there who found the hurtful teachings of the WT shocking, and perhaps some isolated exJW's could feel a little less alone in a post-JW life.
I'm content to leave it at that. The world has bigger problems. Knowledge is the first defense, and I'd rather serve it one sip at a time and be heard, than shout so loudly and frequently that people tune us out. Let this settle into people's minds, and lurk in Internet search results. I think trying to escalate this further and further - in some vain hope to 'punish' the WT or GB... just makes ex-JW's look petty and vindictive. It isn't realistic, and it won't be productive. Like others have pointed out - there are free-speech laws, and realistically little more can come from this.
I don't think we don't need to destroy the organization. We can leave that to the GB. They are the ones that have to answer to their gradual accumulation of lies, errors, and cover-ups. A little patience goes a long way, and as others have said - a sucker is born every minute. We can't help the sucker - but we can help the wiser.
I think, for the sake of people, we should focus on keeping our own house clean: Maintaining a welcoming, honest community for those who want to break free... Providing a truthful, accurate, non-hateful accounting of the real-world JW mentality and lifestyle... etc.
Personally, I think we could clean our own house a little better before getting too ambitious.
The First Amendment protects speech. The ACLU has gone to court to defend the rights of the KKK to burn crosses on their own property as free speech. Statutes are meaingless compared to the First Amendment.
Thank you for your comments. Any prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in the United Sates could be very difficult. I'm not saying it shouldn't be tried, but I know that I'm not volunteering. However, things could change very quickly. I say it pays to be prepared and consider possible legal strategies before they are needed. It's probably a wast of time to attack Watchtower hate speech in the United States, but if that hate speech incites violence or results in other illegal activity, then the situation might be different. Another possibility is if documents related to the deliberations of the governing body are leaked or a member defects then there might be a basis for prosecution if it can be shown that their actions are intended to deprive their members of their constitional rights.
In any case, if all this thread does is make the Bethel spies a little bit nervous, then I think it's well worth it.
Frankly, any WT lawyer would find this thread comical. Hate crimes are statutes. Statutes are only valid if they are const'l. The First Amendment is vibrant and I am glad.
We live in a country that grants religions great freedom. I don't see that as bad. Cults can be combatted by knowledge. Law is not a place to change society. Public opinion is a great place. Rather than say religious speech is hate crime, it makes more sense to focus on neutral cult prevention.
In your opinion B.O.R was the First Amendment adopted to protect only religious and other institutions, or to protect individuals as well ?
I think it should be tried. I just don't think it will be very successful.