I am new to the boards, so a little background info may be a good idea? Also, I'm not quite sure which sub-forum to post this to...
I am a non-believer. I have a typical religious background for my country; grew up with Lutheran Christianity (which was our state religion up until 2012; we now have a secular constitution). My involvement with religion was also quite typical for my country; you may go to Sunday school as kid, up until the age of about 10, and after that religion only lingers in the background, unless you actively seek it out One would typically only go to church for weddings or funerals. In my immediate family I had/have (some have died) Lutheran priests, so I guess our family was a bit more involved than most, but religion still has not been a big part of my life.
Religion has however been an interest of mine for a number of years, so much so that I have a university degree in what most English speakers would recognize as “religious studies”. This basically means that I have knowledge on an introductory level of most main world religions. Once I got passed the introductory courses, my main focus has been older Judaism, and the religion(s) of ancient Mesopotamia – but I’ve also taken an interest in American Evangelicals, specifically the Young Earth Creationists.
Some months ago, a (married) JW couple knocked on my door. I explained my background, and agreed to “study” with them, making it clear that my interest would be academic, not “spiritual”. I also made it clear that I would be looking up information about their organization outside of what they would be telling me.
Since them I’ve met with them once a week, for a 4-5 hour “study” – or as they call it, a “discussion”.
When I initially sat down to write this post, I was going to lump everything I’ve observed into this one post, but I think perhaps I will split it into several topics, as I do not know what/how many feedback I will receive.
So, here goes the first one:
I discussed with this JW couple the hearing in Australia, on the handling of child sexual abuse. I listened/watched the entire 8-day hearing twice, and of course had some questions afterwards. I was told that in the congregation that this particular couple belongs to, they would ALWAYS report suspected sexual abuse to the police. Always, no exceptions. In fact, ANY crime would be reported to the police, they assured me.
About two weeks later, we were discussing murder. I was told that they would NOT report a murder to the police, even if they witnessed it themselves. The rational, as I understood it, was that the murderer should (and would) be encouraged to go to the police, but that if the murderer himself would not talk to the police, they would not pursue the matter further.
You may understand my confusion… they will ALWAYS report crimes to the police, but they will not report a murder…? I do not understand the logic behind that. Something clearly does not add up. “Cognitive dissonance” came to mind…
I would very much appreciate any thoughts, comments, and feedback on this. Thanks in advance!