U.S. Witnesses can make the difference in the 2004 Election
Most Witnesses do not vote, and have not done so for many years, although strictly speaking current Watchtower policy does not forbid voting in a political election, but rather leaves it as a matter of conscience. So, it is up to each Witness to decide for themselves if it is OK to vote or not. It is to the non-voting brothers and sisters that this posting is addressed.
When I looked into the issue of Witnesses and voting, I was surprised to find out that several of our local elders were in fact registered to vote and actually had participated in several elections over the years, in spite of WT policy, that in the past had led members to believe that it was taboo to support the political process. Some might call this hypocritical. Others might consider it merely practical.
In fact, during the 2000 Presidential election, my wife and I did NOT vote (I had even zealously UNREGISTERED to vote, a challenging process in our county, which is not really set up for such a thing.) So, in my state (Florida), the Presidential election was lost over a mere 537 votes. Had my wife and I voted, this would have been a 535 vote margin. Had other Witnesses of similar viewpoint voted, we would not be in a war in Iraq now. Think about it.
Again this year, we are faced with a similar "dead heat" situation in the Presidential election. Our family has now registered to vote, and we have even "early voted" for the non-war-mongering candidate of our choice.
I encourage the non-voting readers to think long and hard about the importance of participating in the election process this time. Lives depend on who becomes our next president, and we are currently entangled in a bloody quagmire in Babylon that has no exit strategy. I assert that 1 million US Jehovah's Witnesses can make the difference in this upcoming election, if they will merely look beyond the prior voting restrictions put upon them by the governing body in the past, that have since been lifted and left to each individual as a matter of conscience. Yes, it is time to exercise that conscience and do the right thing. It is time to get past the restrictions of the past.
Put another way, if you do not vote out the incumbent, you may be blood guilty for allowing this bloody war in Iraq to continue, harming untold innocents and civilians and killing and wounding thousands of American, British and Polish soldiers, among others.
It's time to take a stand against the currenty tyranny in charge of our US government. Please exercise your constitutional right to vote. Your elders do, so you can, too. In doing so, you can make a difference in your own life, as well as that of others. Health care, minimum wage standards, and education do affect you, your brothers and sisters, and millions of others. Make a difference this year - vote for the candidate of your choice. Let your conscience be your guide.
If the witnesses in Florida had voted Bush would not have got in and there would not have been the war in Iraq" ?
That has got to be the brilliant statement of the day. Gore would have been the president and he would have seen or had access to the same information that Bush had (which you obviously have not had access to) and you say he would have come to a different conclusion. You are obviously living in the land of "20-20" hindsight.
I think your assumption that if JWs voted, a democrat would be elected president is flawed. Most high-control fundamentalist christians vote Republican as evidenced by the Mormons, AoG and other groups like that. Why would JWs be any different?
Are you trying to advise certain people that they should vote a certain way? If so, there's a lesson to be learnt from the UK Guardian newspaper's attempt to do just that in Clark County, Ohio.
I noticed that the reply I made has a "spyware notice on it. What on earth is spyware?
Not knowing what it is may be the reason you have it !
It is "malware", that is, malicious software that you really do not want running. It can be doing things you don't realise (in this case trying to include links to itself when you post for other people to click on).
Have a look for "AdAware" and "Spybot Search and Destroy" to clean your system (www.download.com)
Sorry Simon it is spelled "spyware"
Heh - I can't wait until some candidate runs on a platform promising to close the deficit by taxing the hell outta religions.
Watch and be amazed as mysterious, wonderful 'New Light' tells the WT that witnesses can vote in good conscience, as long as they're voting to protect the cult's dollars.
Once upon a time, I would've never believed such a thing possible. Once upon a time I was quite stupid.
Had other Witnesses of similar viewpoint voted, we would not be in a war in Iraq now. Think about it.
I thought about it, and I'm glad you didn't vote.
I picked up this choice writing whick I would like to share with you Canadians.
And now that another Rememberance Day has passed, most of my idle moments will be spent contemplating Canada's place in world affairs, in particular our response to the United States current involvement in the Iraqi/Afghan turmoil.
It doesn't take a political scientist to figure out that the platform for launching WW3 is the middle east. Nor does it take any exceptional intelligence to realize that there's no turning back or, more specifically, turning a blind eye on where Canada's alliance must lie. There's no room for neutrality in the impending war.
As a first generation Canadian who served three-and-a-half years at sea during WW2, I want to express my personal views on where I think my country's loyalties belong.
To begin with, I firmly believe that you can't make deals with those who justify their violence on their religious beliefs. Tolerance is a virtue, but there are limits. My limit was reached when religious fanatacism, in the name of God, motivated fanatics to strap bombs on children and chopping the heads off non-combatants (or anybody's head for that matter) all the while screaming "God Is Great !!!"
I see no difference between Hitler's rationale in the planned extermination of millions of people and this Islamic rationale in exterminating anyone who doesn't share their belief ALL IN THE NAME OF GOD. And it's only the beginning.
True Muslims insist that this is not Islamic law at work. I can accept this, but then, what are the true Muslims doing about this aberration of their religion? This extremism guised in religious fundamentalism has gone way beyond civilized behaviour. So far, the attack on the world trade centre is the only grim reminder that we are targets here in our well insulated society.
How many of you who read this are familiar, even vaguely, with the measures taken by Britain and France to appease the militaristic menace that Germany didn't bother to hide in the early thirties and the inevitable outcome ,WW2.
Let me divert for a moment.
Each morning I awake in my cosy, clean warm bed. I rise to a comfortable well furnished apartment that's heated by energy long taken for granted. I go to my refridgerator and take out fresh milk, eggs, and any one of a selection of breakfast goodies. I make coffee in a modern coffee maker. I turn on a radio or TV for early morning news giving out constant reminders of the mayhem and destruction in other parts of the world. News of the starving millions in Africa. I go grocery shopping later in the day in modern fully stocked food markets. If I wanted to, I could have a car to drive there and back (and bitch about the price of gas) refined from petroleum from other parts of the world. I live in an environment that has well equipped hospitals and schools and hundreds of stores to buy the luxuries always in stock, as far as my income can afford and bitch about not being able to get things I can't afford.
If I want to I can plan a holiday in some part of the country I have never seen. I can celebrate Christmas, New Year's, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's day or any holiday of other ethnic communities. I have a computer that allows me to communicate with whoever whenever I want.. At the end of the day I can enjoy the luxury of reading whatever I want (and turning off the TV when the Ads have sickened me).
I could go on and on but I'm sure the reader can see what I'm getting at. The bottom line is that I will not blame George W. Bush for whatever threat there is to my lifestyle. He's just another capitalist like me only he's got more. I wouldn't want his job for any amount of money or a more plentiful lifestyle. If the anti Bush multitudes don't open their collective eyes pretty soon the 5 years of death, destruction and misery of WW2 will fade in comparison to the impending conflict that has already started.
Bob Sauberli :A Canadian