Huffington Post: When Is A Religion 'Extremist'? [Food for thought!]

by AndersonsInfo 66 Replies latest jw friends

  • steve2
    steve2

    so what if one day they decide they have "new light" - Jehovah no longer requires they outsource vengeance to Him, he is asking them to exact vengeance themselves, in His behalf, with His authorisation. Would they all wake up at that point?

    This has come up time and time again. "What if?...." It is a tad desperate to be reduced to speculative scenarios to bolster your point.

    Stick to what they actually do - not what you think they might do if a major teaching changed.

  • steve2
    steve2

    When one considers that, in obedience to the Watchtwer's teachings, most Jehovah's Witnesses treat ex-members as though they are dead men walking, waiting to be destroyed in the Armageddon, I would argue that such BEHAVIOR is worthy of being classified as "extremist". They "kill" family members and friends by cutting them from their lives and treating them as if they were dead. That behavior is psychological violence.

    Again, I could agree that JW shunning of family members is extreme - but to carry that further and speak of it being tantamount to "kill[ing]" family members and calling it "psychological violence" is to completely distort the meaning of words. If you must go down this route, wouldn't it also be "psychological violence" to force JWs not to shun you? If you must apply literal language to communication processes, remember it works both ways.

    To be clear: I do not agree with institutionalized shunning - but I agree members' have a right to do so.

  • pbrow
    pbrow

    I think on some level you have to think about "what if's" If I take my point alone I could argue about what would happen if the US banned a religion, what could they ban next? Its human nature to question. At the end of the day though you have to deal with the reality that we live in.

    I would agree that you need to punish actions. You cannot ban ideas no matter how extreme because at the end of the day what are you really banning? People are still going to think about crazy shit. Its a lot better to allow jdubs to prance around from door to door or sit at a corner stand selling flowers so that they can be questioned and have their crazy ideas out in the open.

  • EdenOne
    EdenOne

    Steve, if ONE JW would shun me genuinely out of their own volition, and not influenced by what is dictated to them by the Watchtower, I wouldn't protest.

    You and I know, however, that's not what happens.

  • EdenOne
    EdenOne

    Bad ideas *can* and *should* be banned, if they are spread with the intent of becoming dangerous behaviors via others. For example, influencing youngsters to commit suicide. It's merely implanting an idea on someone else's mind. Should it be stopped from happening? I believe it should.

  • steve2
    steve2

    Bad ideas *can* and *should* be banned, if they are spread with the intent of becoming dangerous behaviors via others.

    JW organization would agree with you. But the ultimate stand very much depends on your perspective.

    Steve, if ONE JW would shun me genuinely out of their own volition, and not influenced by what is dictated to them by the Watchtower, I wouldn't protest.

    You and I know, however, that's not what happens.

    A fair enough supposition. But it is a bit patronizing to tell JWs that they would talk to you if they really could and they are only following orders. You could say this about any religious believers: For example, "you're only doing this - or not doing this as the case may be - because you're scared of the consequences if you refuse." This argument holds absolutely no weight in legal circles


  • biblexaminer
    biblexaminer

    One local elder here has an openly homosexual son with whom he and his wife communicate regularly.

    If I were to talk to this elder and show them proofs that the WT associated with the UN behind their backs, he would shun me completely.

    Now, explain the term "extremism"...

  • Simon
    Simon
    Now, explain the term "extremism"...

    Well, someone needs to because that isn't it ...

    Is it because the word does double duty that some people get confused?

    For example, you could say that someone is extremely religious but that doesn't mean that they are automatically an extremist as most people would understand it (they might be, but it's a different use / meaning).

    You can be extremely [anything] without necessarily being an extremist.

    For me an extremist is someone who's willing to harm others for their cause.

    Now I know people will argue that JWs do that, but do they ... really? To the same degree that real extremists do?

    It's like lumping physical assault in with verbal assault and then claiming that someone saying something mean therefore physically attacked you. I don't think most people would believe they did.

    he would shun me completely

    That is an assumption you are making. You can only say what he has done, not what you think he will, when using someone as an example.

  • biblexaminer
    biblexaminer
    We still have friends and family that shun us for the sole crime of leaving the religion while many who commit real "sins" are welcome to attend and congregate.

    So, I was reflecting what your own story says. So, I guess you will correct it.

  • Simon
    Simon
    So, I guess you will correct it.

    No, why? That is a fact but I don't think it makes them "extremists" as most people understand the expression. I think they have a seriously flawed belief system and put their trust in the wrong people who are misleading them (or they are choosing to be misled), but that's about it.