Reading the WT response was really difficult in many ways. I feel a bit conflicted. On one hand, trying to be fair and unbiased, I understand their need to "fight for their rights" and use/take advantage of whatever leverage the law provides them and allows them to have in regards to their legal right to fight for their religious freedom. Like they stated in their rebuttal, there is a difference between what the law "permits" and what the law "forbids", and they have a right to do everything they want, as long as the law doesn't "forbid" it. But that right there is the problem this commission has brought to light. I agree with WT that governments must pass laws to make them do more than what they are doing, since that seems to be the only way we will ever get mandatory reporting.
However, on the flip side, most of what I read from the rebuttal seems to go against the principals that JW's are told to live by. In other words, it's just more double-speak from WT. So even though I am totally with them on the whole "religious freedom" argument, I just can't help but feel that them trying to even make that argument betrays the principles they are supposed to be live by. As one poster previously commented, if they really did try and live by Christ's example, they wouldn't focus on what the law allows them to do or not do, but instead would be guided by the principle of true "justice". Their responses to the allegations mostly come accross as pharasiacal, and in many places, just lack empathy and understanding.
None of this is surprising, of course. As someone who pretty much lost all faith in religion thanks to WT, I would love to see a world in which rationality, reasonableness and human kindness based on empirical evidence and scientific findings and not religious belief was the norm. But I also believe in the law and taking advantage of what the law allows, and for now, the law allows religion and its crazy reasonings. So good on you WT for fighting for what you believe. But I still think your policies and beliefs are crap, and that they prohibit you and your adherents from being the very people you purport and actually strive to be, and that to me is just amazing. But again, that's religion for you.