I’m not interested in witnessing to ya’all. I just want to have a legit discussion. There’s a flameoutgoing on down in the pit spurred by a thread about some Jehovah’s Witnesses being shot at. I’m done wasting my time in that thread, it’s thoroughly hijacked, and I’m partly to blame.
I’m going to copy/past a post I made there, because I’d like to have a separate discussion:
The discussion I’d like to have, and I believe will eventually become a debate (or argument, whatever) is: why? From whence does the uneven application of outrage stem? What are the actual motivations? I’ve underlined a part I think is worthy of a bit more consideration, if you are in fact interested in having this discussion honestly.
I don’t want to debate theology with you. If needed, I’ll discuss it with a goal of rectifying misconceptions that lead to some of this outrage, but this isn’t the place to say whether the JW’s, or any other faith for that matter, are “right” or “wrong”.
I’m not so sure there is any such hatred. Apart from some people who find it amusing to poke fun at Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’ve never encountered anyone who particularly disliked them at all. I’ve never encountered anyone who had more than a bit of annoyance at them, or who even gave them any thought whatsoever. I can’t imagine that anyone converted would earn anything more than eye rolls, at least as long as they didn’t preach constantly.
I don’t know that there is some sort of overwhelming hatred of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s more annoyance. But I think it’s a combination of, first, that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe some things that most Americans consider strange (like the no blood transfusions and the birthday stuff), and second, that JWs come to your door to proselytize. So you have the “weird cult” thing mixed with the “door to door salesman” thing, and that bothers people.
But I mean, as to your other things, if you have religious parents, they tend to get upset if you convert to another religion. So a Jew who converts to Catholicism or Hinduism or whatever probably is going to get a bad reaction from his parents too if they’re religious.
And, you know, if you say to your parents “I’m going to become a sham faith healer” or “a genocidal dictator”, they’re likely not going to respond well.
But if you’re asking why Americans tend to get more bothered by JWs than African genocide or whatever, it’s because Jehovah’s Witness’s witnessing affects them more directly. I mean, if African militias came to your door regularly to ask, “Hey, do you want to see us commit genocide?”, people would probably get annoyed by that too. I mean, you just put the baby down, Rachel Ray is on, and you’re missing the recipe for some delish nachos because some guy wants you to watch him kill some people. “I’m sorry, Death Squad Guy, but this is my personal time. Look, maybe you can come back later when my husband’s home. Genocide is more his thing.”
It’s against Jehovah’s Witnesses because they are infamous for proselytising. Similarly for Mormons (if JW’s get tarred and feathered more than Mormons, it seems to me that it is only because they proselytise more). I don’t believe the animosity has anything to do with JW’s per se, just that proselytising is a nuisance and JW’s take it to the extreme. If another denomination became infamous for proselytising as well, then the same animosity would develop.
My SO was raised JW, started getting fed up with them when her study group got on her case regarding celebrating birthdays and holidays. She finally cut ties with them when they wanted her to stop hanging with the heathens.
My hatred comes from my own personal experience. My uncle’s death in 1976 was a direct result of the failed end-of-the-world prediction for 1975. Every generation of my family has seen a nasty split between the siblings who stay and those who leave (we’re on generation 4 of this). The Witnesses’ social practices (shunning the disfellowshipped, tribunals) and ethics (Spiritual Warfare) are reprehensible in any civilized society.
In other words, I don’t hate them because they are wrong. I don’t hate them for witnessing. I don’t hate them for hypocrisy. I hate them for how they behave towards their families. I hate them for how they have behaved towards me, personally, since I was born to an ex-Witness. I hate them for what they did to my cousin, who grew up a witness but left in his early 20s. I hate them for what they did to my mother, and the collateral damage I endured as a child.
I don’t have a similar hatred for other faiths, even ones that other branches of my family belong to. The JWs have behaved exceptionally badly towards me and mine, even by their standards.
Captain Amazing, while hilarious, I’m not sure you’re privy to the facts. Lest you think that’s an isolated incident, just google “Jehovah’s Witness beaten” or “legal action against Jehovah’s Witnesses” or anything else really…
In America it’s outrage, NOW. But it wasn’t always so. Given the conduct towards the Japanese during WW2, you know how dickish Americans can be.
Not having experienced or seen something firsthand is not evidence of its nonexistence.
Nowadays in America it’s more along the lines of internet champions who lambast witnesses with few facts, but much outrage. The people I speak to, when reacting negatively, do so vehemently. And I’m not talking about door to door. I mean people I work with. They get so ridiculously angry that we don’t celebrate Christmas. “How could you be so cruel to the children?” Never mind the fact that our kids gets presents all throughout the year…just ask my daughter. People I meet who don’t realize I’m a JW. Man, the attitudes are simply ridiculous. When I started telling people I was studying with the witnesses, (like 9 years ago), the reaction was intensely negative. And there was never any real specific reason…just spewing some random negative “fact” (read, opinion) and frothing about the mouth.
I’m aware that my own faith recognizes the negative reaction as fulfillment of biblical prophecy regarding persecution - but I’m curious as to what’s happening in the minds of the people acting so.
I don’t care what they believe, as long as they keep it to themselves. At the point where they knock on my door early in the morning, I get pissed off. But I’m fair about it. All early morning door knockers earn my wrath.
I am more bothered by commercial telemarketers than by door-to-door proselytizers because I encounter the former far more frequently. And JW do appear at my door periodically.
I don’t think I hate JWs. I do have a problem with those who refuse blood transfusions for their kids, but I trust that not all or even most JWs are sticklers for every belief of their church.
I don’t concern myself with serial killers enough to hate them: they are beneath my contempt - I let the authorities handle them. I do sometimes get angry with wrongdoers put in a position of trust and whom really should know better. Breaking an explicit or implicit contract with me is more likely to prompt a visceral response, since I don’t have expansive expectations of the average Joe, never mind those at the tail end of the depravity distribution.
I see that for Dr. Drake though, it’s personal. That I understand.
I think it’s mostly the internet’s herd mentality, anonymity, and ability to gather together utter dolts. Each dolt has a story of JWs interrupting a hangover or a nap, and each has to outdo his fellows in obnoxiousness and false bravado. And crazy drunks in Arkansas.
As for the theology, well, all you Protestants look the same to me ;), but the Witnesses seem to only want to prepare us for the eschaton, not immanentize it, unlike the Falwell types.
You see hatred because you are taught to see it as such - it helps prove to you that you are in the ‘right sect’ - in reality - it is much more an annoyance and is similarly felt toward sects of all kinds - JWs just invite it - just like you invited it in that thread and in opening this one.
And yes - I dislike the watchtower and its deceptive practices - but I do not “hate” them - when pressed - I will show where and what they do that they claim not to - that is not hatred - that is setting the matter straight.
And its nice that you bailed in the other thread - since you clearly can’t (or wont, or are afraid to face what they really mean) respond to some of the facts in it - regardelss of some of the ‘trite’ comments - you bail because you don’t want to respond - what makes you think you’ll fair better here?
Respond to a youtube video? to what end? there are millions of people that don’t give a rats ass to your little group - that some ‘go off the deep end’ is not a sigh of ‘hatred from all’ - just like you would say that the "JW dude that killed his family last year’ is not representative of all JW.
As for condescending tone - have you read your own posts? Your piss gets blown back into your own face because you were the one that made bullshit comments that were easily disproved.
My motivations are irrelevant - your sect has been shown to be a high control cult - when you come on this board and claim things that are obviously false, you will get called on it.
Alright simster, if that’s how you want to comport yourself, go right ahead. But it’s not the intent of this thread. If you’ve got something to add along the vein of the OP, or in the vein of one of the tangents that will inevitably be raised, great. If not, do you mind squatting in another thread?
I’m just asking nicely, because I genuinely appreciate the insights that people might give along the lines of Dr. Drake’s post above.
That’s Bulgaria. I thought you were talking generally about attitudes about JW in the US, so I restricted my comments to there. In Bulgaria it’s because nationalist groups, associated with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, see religions other than Bulgarian Orthodoxy as “non-Bulgarian”, and see non-Orthodox groups that proselytize, like the JW, the Mormons, Scientologists, various evangelical Christian groups, etc., as cultural imperialists trying to corrupt Bulgarians with foreign faiths, and that it’s their duty to stand up for the Bulgarian way of life.
In other places, Jehovah’s Witnesses have suffered persecution because they’re pacifists who wouldn’t participate in national conscription, or they wouldn’t salute state symbols when that was seen as a symbol of loyalty, or wouldn’t join political parties when that was mandatory, or whatever. It’s less “we’re persecuting you because you’re JW”, and more, “We’re persecuting you because loyal citizens do X (when X is saluting the flag, or joining the army or whatever), and you’re not doing X”.
I gave you my insights - just because you don’t like them do not mean they are invalid.
And I could care less if you appreciate them - there are more people here than just you - if you want a ‘pat on the back kinda thread’ - slink on back to the Kingdom Hall and talk about how oppressed you are.