How many of you 'understand' american politics and vote? (this could be a key issue on getting WT looked at more closely)

by EndofMysteries 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • EndofMysteries

    Please answer even if you don't know anything about it and don't care or don't participate.

    Being a born in, never allowed to participate, throughout school whatever I learned was in one ear and out the other. I had forgotton almost everything.

    So if you were anything like me, when you got out, you probably didn't know too much. You may not even care because your whole life you hadn't cared and never learned much about it.

    I'm seeking a degree and to get it, I HAD to take an american government class. I thought I was going to hate it, but I've really enjoyed it. I now understand the whole process for how things work, and what it takes for a law or change to pass.

    The purpose of this thread is this.....I'm assuming most EX JW's, especially the older/later you get out, probably don't know much about the system and if they do vote may only be as far as president, if you haven't really learned how the system works.

    The government doesn't have a department that looks into each religion or each little thing looking for changes to make or if something wrong is being done. Here is the ONLY way to really get the government to look into possible law changes to prevent the WT from continuing the abuses it's able to do.......(some of you know this already, some this will be new)

    For a law or legislation to be passed or even entertained it begins in the House of Representatives.

    There are 435 representatives throughout the country that are all assigned to a district. You can write to the representative for your district. Now if all ex jw's were writing to their district representatives, they would take the complaints, and if it was seemingly a problem and frequent issue being brought up to many of them, they would send it to an appropriate committee to investigate the issue and at this point it's in the system and they may find they are abusing power and going beyond what freedom of religion gives, especially since children never had a choice to join and the hurtful effects they are causing.

    The whole point though is this, the WT gets everybody out of politics and born ins are never a part of it. The House of Representatives will never go over this issue unless the congressman are bringing it up, and the congressman will never know there is even a problem unless their constituents are notifying them of the problem, and no EX JW's will be notifying them of the problem if they remain politically ignorant.

    At the very least, if you locate the congressman for your district, send him a letter, and all EX JW's do this, then it may get the ball rolling for a real change.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    No Congressperson or Senator can introduce legislation inconsistent with the First Amendment's freedom of religion or the Establishment Clause. Your scenario would be overturned by a court immediately because you are focusing on the WT alone. I can't imagine any politician alienating religions. Other religions, such as the Roman Catholic Church and mainstream Protestants, will rush to the aid of the Witnesses because their own interest is threatened. The vast majority of legislators are lawyers. They know basic First Amendment law from law school. Freedom of religion is American. Our Founders were mostly religious dissidents.

    Americans are not stupid. We are not taught civics. There is a movement to teach it now as part of the 7th grade world history class. I majored in Political Science. I read a lot of biographies rather than history texts. Americans are taught unimportant and boring subjects. The real thing is interesting and even funny.

  • LisaRose

    I vote and I believe I do understand how our government works. Before I voted I looked at each candidate, I like to research. My husband is very well informed, he likes history and got his degree late in life, so he is a good resource. I actually like to focus on the smaller races, because I think it's more likely your vote will count. I live in a small town, before I moved here one of the city councilmen single handedly wrecked the city finances, we are still recovering from that. He used city funds to start a mixed commercial/retail property, while a company, supposedly owned by his twenty something daughters, was going to get the contract to manage it. The city ran out of money and it has sat half finished and empty for three years, we call it Tyvek Towers (brand of insulation that is all over the outside). After investing 35 million, they sold it to a developer for one million just to get it finished. I want to make sure that never happens again, so I research.

    There are sites on the internet that try to be neutral parties when it comes to candidates and issues, that's a good start.

  • EndofMysteries

    BOTR - freedom of religion has LIMITS. Hurting people, child abuse, and any other number of things if they were part of a religious belief would NOT be allowed and congress wouldn't say, 'well we gotta let them do it because of freedom of religion'.

    Some of the things may be overstepping the boundries of what freedom of religion allows.

    Another key point.....when lawsuits and things of a religion get to court, many things depend on the churches doctrine and teaching and if they violate what they themselves have said. Here is something that should have viable grounds for government intervention.........anybody with access to a computer can bring up tons of articles and FAQ's of the WT saying members who leave are not shunned, family is family no matter what, etc, then at the same time showing articles done at the same time or shortly before/after that say you must shun family and not even email them, etc. So it would be easy to show to the courts how the WT prints and teaches doctrine to new converts and interested ones, and has exact opposite doctrine that is enforced to members. A major bait and switch. Nobody has challenged this yet. Courts have said with churches they may have little power against the church doctrine but since the WT has everything in print, I can see how they would have power against the WT for having a double doctrine.

  • truth_b_known

    There are laws in many of the 50 United States of America that the policies and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses violate. In my state we have laws that make it a criminal offense to fail to report child abuse and felonies (sexual assault of a child being a felony). Sex offenders are required to register with local authorities by both federal and state laws. Failure to do so is a new felony offense. Often there are laws that prohibit some sex offenders from being around children our public places intended for children.

    I suggest identifying sex offenders in local congregations via government run websites Intended for that purpose. Educate the public and local authorities on the policies and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses in concealing such crimes/persons.

  • Crazyguy

    I have never voted but this year I will you can count on it!!!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Freedom of religion has few limits in the US. My interest in the field started in high school. I worked for a Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution , the ACLU, and the NOW Legal Defense Fund. The WT is not remotely close to reaching any limit on the First Amendment. The smarter move is to discuss the religious with friends and neighbors. The law is the law. No one asks you to like it.

    No one is stating the WT is a great religion. There are other tools that would limit the WT. You need to take a detour. I doubt if anyone here would really want to live with the consequences of diminished liberty. Living a good life is one strategy. Casting the WT in a bad light is another strategy. Americans would not support taking down the WT. Threatening loss of WT rights is not going to win anyone over. Adults can walk away.

  • accidentalprometheus

    Congress can barely agree to continue funding the government...

  • Freedom77

    EoM, your concern for people who've been misled or abused by the JW's is commendable - but your idealism is not well grounded in the realities of American law and government. For one thing, there is no law that says a religious body cannot have contradictory teachings - or even that a religious outfit cannot say untrue things (like, for example, the earth is flat or only 6,000 years old). There's no law that says a religious body can't dictate how their members live - the Amish, for example, are forbidden to have electric lights, automobiles, or even if memory serves me right, buttons on their clothes! Freedom of religious belief or practice - good, bad, or whatever - is deeply rooted in the US Constitution and in US law.

    Of course, that's not a license to kill or injure, or steal or defraud, or rape or molest anyone: lots of religious leaders, many of them self-appointed, have gone to jail for doing such things, and even mainstream religious bodies have been severely fined or sued for allowing kids to be molested. So there is a limit to "freedom of religion" - it's not absolute. But it is an awfully big umbrella, and I encourage you to keep reading and learning where the courts have drawn the lines. If you haven't read the Wikipedia article on Freedom of Religion, it's a good place to start with lots of links to outside sources:

    The point of your OP is not entirely clear because you begin by asking us to "please answer" something, but never get around to a specific question. Instead, you end with urging us all to write our representatives. Certainly any American can write their senators and representatives on any issue, and lots of people do - it's really easy through the official website But you need to understand that's often not nearly enough to get Congress to take any action. In recent years, just to take one example, millions of people have written Congress about their concerns over school safety and gun control - but despite a number of horrific, widely-reported massacres of children and adults in schools, colleges, and elsewhere, Congress has taken no action on this issue at all. So even if every single "ex-JW" on this board, or in the whole United States sat down and wrote a plea to Congress tonight, there is absolutely no guarantee that anything at all would happen. Politics is a complex game that sometimes produces good results, sometimes poor results, sometimes no results - and that's just reality, in this or any other country.

    Plus, even if Congress were to pass some kind of law - your OP is not at all clear about exactly what you would like to see happen there - if any law oversteps the Constitutional boundaries between church and state, the courts can and probably will strike it down. So while I don't want to discourage you from seeking justice for victims of the Watchtower cult, I do hope you will read more, learn more, and think more clearly about just what it is you want to see happen, and how that can best be promoted under our system of government (and BTW, pretty much the same ideas and limitations would apply in every other modern, developed Western democracy).

    So - clarify your goals, learn more, and research the most effective strategies for change, as all other activists do. I hope this helps.

  • ABibleStudent

    Hi EndofMysteries, I vote and write to senators and representatives a couple of times a year on topics that interest me like increasing social requirements for organizations to qualify for tax exempt status (applies to the WTBTS and dangerous cults), increasing transparency of the Federal Reserve, etc.

    If you want to send comments to Senators click on and to Representatives click on When writing to them be polite, to the point, and concise. Do not expect them to respond to your email nor that their response is relevant to what you wrote them about.

    As you alluded to in your comments, it is important for many people to write to the same politician to get noticed. Also, the issue should be as general as possible with something that will benefit the politician. It is better to increase societal requirements for non-profit organizations than be against the Watchtower, and, if the politician wants to be viewed as fiscally responsible, to increase government revenue if non-profits do not comply.

    Best of Wishes for you writing to politicians. Think of ways to overcome your frustrations and increase your influence.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


    P.S. - BOTR is right about politicians would not overtly infringe on 1st Amendment rights, but I feel that non-profit tax laws can be changed that do not infringe on 1st Amendment rights and promote social responsibility like child protection, anti-discrimination, and prevent organizations from using undue influence to promote ostracizing members (i.e., shunning). If BOTR is right, then I would like her to explain how the IRS is able to declare that a religious charity no longer has tax exempt status for funding terrorizm?

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