USA Case Law & Shunning - Good and Bad

by Amazing 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    The following is an article I found in my files this morning while I was looking for something else. It is short and pointed:

    Examiner News Services, Friday June 12, 1987, Pg. A-3

    The Jehovah’s Witness practice of “shunning” applied recently to singer Michael Jackson, was upheld Wednesday by a federal appeals court as an exercise of religious freedom.

    The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the emotional harm suffered by one who is ostracized by friends and family must be tolerated under the Constitution “as a price well worth paying to safeguard the right of religious difference that all citizens enjoy.”

    The court said the principle of religious freedom required dismissal of a suit in Washington state by an Alaska women against the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses for ordering members to have nothing to do with former members.

    The sect considers “shunning” to be required by biblical language on casting out apostates from the Christian community. It is also practiced by the Amish and Mennonites, the court said.

    Under the practice, Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden, under pain of being ousted and shunned themselves, from having contact with a member; family members are allowed an exemption for necessary family business.

    There are two issues here:

    1. For those thinking about bringing suit regarding being shunned, separating them from family love and affection will have to get past this ruling. It is not impossible, but does represent a matter of case law to tackle. Perhaps, if the DF person was wrongfully DF’d, they may be able to argue slander and seek compensation (compensatory and/or punative damages) for the emotional damage caused due to wrongful shunning treatment. This is something for lawyers to ferret out.

    2. The Governing Body, having defended itself in this case, is inextricably the major component to and directs the practice of all Disfellowshipping and Shunning. The Watchtower organization and its Governing Body can never claim that this is the sole responsibly of the local JW Elders.

    Following Bible principles, we will avoid trying to live - or demand others to live - by an extensive and rigid set of dos and don'ts that go beyond the teachings of the Bible. The Watchtower, 4-15-02, pg 22, pp 15

  • happy man
    happy man

    Hello Amaizing
    why do you have the flagg from Us as a mark under your name.
    can you acept to obeyd the goverment and go away to for exampel irak and putt down bombs who kill inoccent man and woman.
    When you was a JW i think you was as myself happy to be outside this mess we see today,and have hope that jehova take care of this things when his time come,who do you feel now when you not longer have this faith.

  • Dutchie

    Happy Man, I am sure that Amazing can speak for himself, but just because he is flying an American flag should not lead one to the conclusion that he condones war and the bombing of innocent people. That's is something that is reserved for all JW's who long to see people die horrible deaths at Armegeddon.

  • Amazing

    Hi Happyman:


    "why do you have the flagg from Us as a mark under your name.
    For fun. Also, I believe that the USA is a good nation, most of the time.

    "can you acept to obeyd the goverment and go away to for exampel irak and putt down bombs who kill inoccent man and woman."
    I would serve in the military as did Cornelius, a Roman Army Officer who converted to Christianity ... and who was never required to leave the military, nor is there in record that he left the Roman Army.

    I would not try to kill innocent people. I would aim at the enemy soldiers who are there to kill me and everyone else.

    I am not in favor of fighting in any war, unless I see the cause is just. During the Viet Nam war, I took a stand of neutrality, and was put on trial. I won the case and stayed out of the military.

    "When you was a JW i think you was as myself happy to be outside this mess we see today, and have hope that jehova take care of this things when his time come, who do you feel now when you not longer have this faith."
    When I was a child, I was very happy when I got gifts at Christmas from Santa Clause. My happiness was based on a fantasy, and as long as I believed it, it felt good. One day I asked my Mom if Santa Clause really existed, and she confessed that he is a pure fantasy for fun.

    Jehovah's Witnesses are not to be faulted for their paradise fantasies or for believing that somehow they are outside this world as neutral observers ... but it is nonetheless a fantasy created by a man called Charles Russell, and propagated since then.

    I believe in God, but I am at a point in my life where I am closer to being a Chirstian - Diest. If the Bible is accurate, then I find it troubling that a loving God would order the extermination of innocent women, children and babies under the banner that Israel was to take the land from local inhabitants.

    I am equally disheartened by the way that Jehovah's Witnesses are depicted in their publications at being happy while billions of people earth-wide are destroyed at Armageddon ... likely again, many billions will be innocent people who never got their message.

    My life now is much happier precisely because I have abandoned these religious fantasies ... and take life with its hard reality as it comes ... and do what I can to make it happy now for myself, my family, and friends.

    I believe that a loving God will have to someday intervene in earth's affairs to the benefit of the human race. But, I am not going to hold my breath waiting for it, living a daily fantasy that it must be soon. Millions of people throughout the centuries since the time of Christ have waited for the 'soon to be realized day of the Lord (Jehovah)' and have obviously lived in vain. Facing this hard reality is very liberating, refreshing, and is where much happiness is found ... because one faces 'truth' as it is, and not as we wish it to be.

    I do not judge or fault individual Jehovah's Witnesses ... for many are very sincere and feel very content with their fantasy ... but I strongly believe and can prove that they have been misled ... and therefore, Jehovah God cannot be using their organization as his exclusive channel of communication.

  • dungbeetle

    And let's not forget 26 faces of children on the cover of an AWAKE!...a religion that calls for the sacrifice of children deliberately.

    UADNA-US (Unseen Apostate Directorate of North America-United States)


    I DO NOT MIND IT A BIT BEING SHUNNED -IT AINT SO BAD -- quiet is nice - I know how to read and underline wordsss and all that crap..and fantacies W O W I got a good one--DAN HALL of REVEAL MINISTRIES asking me to get married in our OLD AGE !!!! HAHAHA HA

  • voltaire

    Organizations clearly have the legal right to disfellowship, we aren't going to change that. We CAN win in the court of public opinion, however. When enough people understand what JW's are all about before they get involved, they'll have to change. Face it, they pull a bait and switch. Their message to householders is very benign, even positive. They only reveal the more controversial aspects little-by-little. Unfortunately, religious organizations have the right to use techniques that are unscrupulous, because the government is so reluctant to interfere with religious practice. I think everything is going great. People are going to get more and opportunity to know what they're getting into beforehand. If they know what it's all about and they still want to be a witness, that's their business.

  • Amazing

    Hi Voltaire: You are correct. I think that if a JW was ever DF'd wrongly, this is where they could push a case, win a settlement, and add to the tide of public opinion you cite, as well as force some more rapid changes.

    A good exmaple may be one of two possible cases: a) The DF person is accused of say 'theft' when in fact they did not commit this offense. They sue for slander, and for the resulting harm caused by the wrongful shunning ... b) Where a JW is DF'd for an act not explicitely prohibited by Watchtower policy found in the OR book or Elder manual ...

    If a case like one of these was to make it through the courts for a victory for the DF'd person, then the 'shunning' rule would be weakened by case law, and with any large financial award, the Society might feel forced to modify its 'shunning' policy, and maybe reduce the basis for DFing in the first place, by either requiring better evidence and examination, or by eliminating rules.

    In the interim, I believe what you promote for increasing education and information is our first and best line of defense and offense. [8D}

  • MrMoe

    Thanks for the great post. Interesting reading.

    Interesting, the government and it's laws, the very thing the Watchtower HATES -- is what it hides behind.


    UADNA - FL
    Unseen Apostate Directorate of North America - Florida Division

  • seedy3

    I don't know what it is about your threads Amazing, but you always seem to amaze me.


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