Younger Witnesses less fanatical or fundamental
Yeah, I think anyone who has continued to be isolated through home school, being in rural congregations, etc could still be really fundamental. Although the internet helps keep people informed to some degree. I don't think this more laid back attitude has to do anything with the Witnesses specifically. It's a much larger macro culture thing. 200 years ago everyone lived or died by the church. Over the years people have generally become more progressive, secular, or less believing/fearful of the church and it's power. You see evidence of this across every brand of Christianity. 50 years ago no one would have thought we would see the cultural changes today of the acceptance of the LGBT community or gender or racial equality. Granted these are still issues, but especially people under 20 seem to be the most accepting of these things. There will always be the regressive parts of society but it seems more often than not the larger population slowly progresses even if there are pauses in that progression or reversals at times. Even all of the nationalist rhetoric you see in Europe and the US still represents a minority of those populations.
Anyways, all this to say is I don't think most younger witnesses are really even conscious of the more relaxed attitudes. They've just been raised in a different society and along with that I don't notice as much fire and brimstone from the platform. I think the day to day teachings have softened as well even if the main tenants are still very fundamental. So I think for some younger witnesses the social aspect is important, they believe it's the truth, but they don't get all judgemental or extreme on the smaller things like alcohol, entertainment, beards, etc. Hopefully, if some of these progress and become elders themselves perhaps we'll slowly see a shift towards those attitudes and becoming a bit more of a moderate religion. We'll see I guess.
I think there's a groundswell toward a distinctly more moderate, tolerant trend at the rank-and-file level, albeit within limits. I also think the higher echelon senses this and is disquieted.... hence the ratcheting up of the pressure to moderate/control the flock's behavior and attitudes, enforced by invoking the threat of shunning.
optimisticskeptic - "Younger Witnesses less fanatical or fundamental..."
I assume you meant "fundamentalist". Or "judgmental". But hey, that works, too... "funda-mental".
But yes, you're right.
In the wake of "This Old System" still stubbornly refusing to be destroyed no matter how hard the Lifer-Loyalists want it to, and the almost daily reams of new evidence that the Org is increasingly and hilariously wrong, how can they not?
No wonder the GB seem to be quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) losing their collective minds.
The problem with being in a cult and not taking it seriously is that you don’t see the cracks. It’s the fundamental teachings that ruin family structure.
Likewise, I find that younger ones in the organization, say 40 and under, also seem to be more rational and reasonable.
Not really. Here we go again with people trying to convince that the younger generation is more this, less that. Nonsense. FACTS: brainwashing is still brainwashing at any age. Spiritual abuse is still spiritual abuse at any age, shunning is still shunning at any age. The WT has not changes their lust for exercising power over other people since day one up until today.
There are CULTURAL differences in the younger generation; that's all, nothing more, nothing less.
I think JW youth may be less as fanatical but they're still fundamental - they believe in literal creation and a literal flood.
The problem here is that young people don't lead the org, they follow.
And the people doing the leading - the gb - are just as fanatical, fundamental and obsessive as ever, perhaps more so.
With religious sects / cults ( such as JWs , Mormons etc ) it's a kind of "law of diminishing returns" - each successive generation is generally less committed than the originals who joined up.
In many congregations , the young JWs are 3rd , 4th or even more generation and it really is for them basically just a social club ( apart from a very few zealots ). In particular , the freedoms they now have with social media etc means they have perfected the "double life" so they can pretty much do all the "worldly stuff" they want without any attention from the elders and then pull on a suit or nice dress & be uber spiritual at the Kingdom Hall or do a bit of nominal ministry , like hanging around a literature cart for an hour or so. It's just a game really , for most of them , and they have no real knowledge or convictions.
I agree with Chook, Those who easily live the double life, they don't see the cracks of the dangerous dogma, ( until something personally dramatic happens, then they are surprised). I feel there are many out there who are just following along mindlessly, insulated, and believe they can acceptably do what they want as long as they are good at the double life. I feel this is what caused my husband to stay pomi for nearly 30 years. He had no inclination, no motivation, no personal reason, to find out what the borg was really all about. A dangerous spot to be in when dramatic life things happen, and the desire to go back to what was familiar , comfortable or not, in your youth, is strong.
I'm very thankful that , even though I shoved the "troof" down my children's throats, they never got too involved! Thankfully, I was a lousy teacher!
They go alone for the social aspect only.
Since younger people in the JW religion were raised with a different world around them, I would expect them to be less “fundamental” than somebody born fifty years earlier in a different society.
Older people saw different things and had different values and you can’t compare the two.