ultimatum stop the practice of shunning or lose your charity status.
Just curious what would Wt do if a government said reform your policy on shunning or you will lose your charity status. We will also be monitoring your reforms and there will be consequences if not brought up to our standards.
In Britain? They'd run to European bodies/courts screaming that their religious freedoms were being harmed. Much as they have been doing about Sweden refusing to give them funding as a religious order there. I couldn't see them changing policy in a meaningful sense - they'll fudge things to a point, but not to any meaningful change (eg blood transfusion = DA not a DF).
They would plead to the rank and file for their prayers as they battle it out in the world court. And if they lost, well, then, if you think they are digital now, boy, let me tell you, hey grandma and grandpa, get up to speed. It's time to buy an ipad. And I mean yesterday.
They would go all digital. I think they would stop printing the WT and Awake completely worldwide and tell all the JW's that they are still printing it, it's just digital now. And when you're in service you can place those magazines by telling them to go to JW.Org, and if they say they will, then you can count that as a placement.
I think everything would go that way, digital that is. They would completely, worldwide cease all printing. I think they would probably for nostalgic reasons and for some simply printing needs keep one of their paid-off printers running.
The cart witnessing would also cease. The GB would have a letter written that says effective immediately please place the rest of your inventory of your witnessing carts books and then we will have to wait and see what Jehovah has in store for the future. They would keep lamenting about how the preaching work is still moving forward now more than ever and that this may be an indication of Jehovah's direction because nobody really reads the newspaper or paperback much anymore. Everybody's digital.
And guess what? Yep, the JW's would eat it up like Thanksgiving dinner.
And I think if they did that, they might, just might keep afloat.
I would be asking why do they have a Charity Status in the first place ?
They do no Charity work for the general community at all ?
Any aid they claim to give is for there own members or family members or persons who they consider are prospective members .
They do no charity or Aid work for anybody else period.
How they have got away with this farce for so long anywhere in the world is beyond me.
I reckon they'd probably dump the shunning policy if this was the choice.
What if they were forced to accept gay marriages or lose their charity status?
The Charities Commission should take a long hard look at - and revise - the legal and operational qualifications which define "charity", and re-assess existing charities to see if they fulfill the requirements.
It will be interesting to see if the ARC push for female representation in judicial matters involving allegations of child sexual abuse, and the Watchtower reaction to that.
They already have made provision for saying that they do not have a Shunning Policy, by saying it is down to the conscience of the individual JW, as they do also with the Blood Doctrine, and of course individual JW's have the right to shun who they like and to take their own medical decisions.
Not much would need to be written and published to side-step any effort to get them to really change. They will do anything to retain their Tax Free/Charitable status. Telling porkies is no problem to them, and will fool the Charity Commission and similar bodies.
I think Slimboy's point about gay marriage may be harder for them to side-step if the issue came to a head, which it probably will not as, here in the U.K at least the will does not seem to be there to make them confront their Homophobia.
Let's face it, cults like the JW "religion" are slippery buggers.
They were meant to have functional child protection policy already, but is this the third time the Charity Commission are onto them about it?
They dissemble and doublespeak their way out of it. One of the big things which came out of ARC, for me, was outsiders who could penetrate through the hazy statements to how things were done and what needed to change.
Personally agree that the 'public good' test does need revision for charitable status. But I do feel slightly queasy about the thought of JWs doing cackhanded outreach work with vulnerable people, because that would seem a logical response to any changed requirements.
I'd argue that we're a lot closer now than, say, ten years ago.