I have been thinking about how the WTB&T Society bullies all of its members into submission with the threats they use (by practice), i.e. “if you do this we will DF you and you will be shunned”. “If you DA yourself, we will make an announcement and your friends, relatives and family will abandon you”, etc. “Get in line and do what we say or else”. If you don’t like how they change doctrine and bible understandings constantly and want to just fade away, they will pursue you and throw you out with one of the above punishments following quickly.
I have had enough. I have been thinking about this and came up with the following legal basis to do something about it. I am employed a field which is related to law. I know and understand more than the average person on this subject so I developed the following.
The law in my state indicates that within the secular constitutional state, religious freedom cannot be recognized unconditionally, even within a religious community. This is because religious norms depend on voluntary compliance. If you don’t comply, the religion can’t force you (with sanctions) with the termination of your family or friend relationships, etc. The state’s monopoly of legitimate force does not allow compulsory means in the hands of religious communities. The religion can’t force you to do anything. Consequently, I believe that per the law, the state must prevent attempts by a religious community to enforce religious norms against an unwilling believer. Since freedom of religion includes the right not to join a religious community, the state must also guarantee the believer’s right to exit without punishment (sanctions).
We have, as US citizens certain fundamental rights. These rights do not only obligate the state to refrain from certain actions, but also require the state to actively protect constitutionally guaranteed liberties against intrusions by private actors such as a religion and its hierarchy. This duty to protect can be a duty by the state to protect a believer from his/her religious community.
The law in my state indicates that the secular constitutional state cannot tolerate a religiously required behavior even if the believer complies voluntarily with the commandments of that religion, if the behavior contradicts the very essentials of the constitutional order, i.e. the person’s rights under the constitution and at law. There is no obligation to sacrifice the identity of a civil society to religious demands. In other words, the believer does not and cannot surrender his/her constitutional rights because they become a member of a certain religion. The believer maintains all of his/her rights and if they exercise any of those rights, the religion cannot sanction or punish him/her for doing so. Some examples of this are: Voting, leaving the religion, birthday celebrations, etc.
So, I am going to do what I want to do, and if challenged or chased by the Elders, I am going to start an action for violations per the above. I am not telling or suggesting to others to do the same. I am discussing this with an attorney now and will be talking to several others. I want 2-3 opinions from attorneys on how to litigate this so when and if I am bothered by the Elders, I am starting an action against the WTB&TS and each individual Elder involved. I have had enough of their pushing people around.