Today my husband was on his way to meet a friend. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to have a bill introduced into Congress, which would require non-profit institutions to report child abuse to the authorities. The penalty for not reporting would be a fine.
One of the motives behind this effort, is to raise awareness about child sex abuse. My husband decided to test this out by stopping at three different Jehovah’s Witness carts while using public transportation. He found that six witnesses agreed that non-profit institutions that DON’T report child sex abuse to authorities should be fined.
The last cart location allowed my husband to spend more time discussing the issues, and he talked to two men for the first time. When asked if ‘institutions should report child sex abuse to the authorities?’ he said, “No comment.”
I said, “Oh, well I was trying to get some feedback on how to word the bill to gain support. I did talk to one person who believed they could not support the bill because she believed that it was prophesied in the bible that Christians would be persecuted, and this bill would be the beginning of that persecution. Is that how you feel?” and that got the conversation going again.
The man opened up, and said he ‘used to be a Catholic.’ He said that he knew that ‘they have a problem with child abuse, and not reporting it,’ my husband agreed, and recommended that the man watch the movie, “Spotlight” for the reason that it told a story of how The Boston Globe reported on the cover up. Then my husband added, “it was the leadership of the Catholic Church that covered up the abuse.”
After the witness attending the cart agreed that the decisions came from the ‘leadership,’ my husband asked if the man knew about King Manasseh in the bible. The witness confirmed he did, so my husband continued, “Here is the moral issue: Manasseh was the leader of God’s organization, and was asking the nation to sacrifice their infant children to the god, Molech. What would you do when faced with that decision, would you follow King Manasseh, or spare your child?”
As the moment became very awkward, my husband spoke, “The question is rhetorical, it illustrates a moral problem when people would have to go against their religious leaders in order to please god.”
The conversation ended with a friendly handshake between the two, and the “brother” saying, “it was nice talking to you” and my husband replied, “this is the way conversations should take place when discussing serious issues.”
Great way to “cart witness” hmm?