“I had heard on the grapevine that question 2 of the baptism questions was changed, and then this weekend at our convention this rumour was confirmed. Question number 2 no longer includes the phrase "......God's spirit directed organization"
Does anyone know why?”
It is probably for the same reason that nobody is ‘disfellsowshipped’ in the Kingdom Hall anymore. Instead, we hear from time to time that so-and-so is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is probably because legalistic enemies find something in the wording that they can beat us over the head with, as they did with disfellowshipping, and so the organization says, ‘Okay, we’ll change the wording so as to defuse the point.’
It is like when a misstep of mine provoked a huge overreaction and charges of meddling in someone else’s blog, and to illustrate the point, the blogger came after me in successive posts, demanding that I change a word in my ‘About’ page.
Look, it is just an ‘About’ page, I said at last. ‘Change it if it will make her happy:’
“Sometimes while blogging, as I was engaging in dignified search of peers on whose blogs I might leave a comment – not despicably trolling as the sickos do – but conducting honorable perusal of internet resources so as to find fatheads that I could set straight, my stumbling about would inadvertently trigger an avalanche. This was especially possible if I visited someone writing on a hot-button topic, such as blood transfusion or pedophilia, for you can never really know just where they have been or what they have been through – or, for that matter, how stable they are. Once I stepped in to say a kind word for Joe Paterno, falsely vilified, in my view, in the Penn State pedophilia scandal. To be sure, it was only a sub-point to her own post. She appeared not to understand the point, and at this late date, I forget just what it was. I rephrased it. WOW! did I ever live to regret it! I mean -you talk about stepping in it! She came after me in a successive post I wrote that had nothing to do with that topic:
She: “In your ‘About’ section you used the word ‘imbecile.’ Are you aware that the medical definition of the word is, ‘A person of moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally being capable of some degree of communication and performance of simple tasks under supervision. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive?’ Or that it is generally applied to a person with an IQ between 26 and 50, while the average American has an IQ between 70 and 130? Where are references to Dr. Henry Goddard, the American psychologist of the 1920s generally credited with/blamed for developing these now outdated and discredited classifications? Have you ever once stopped to think of how your word choice might impact those with intellectual challenges who may visit icerocket and then troll sites like yours, scouring your posts for the casual reference that put you in the search engine's sites? What’s that? You don’t want to discuss intelligence quotients on your blog? How can that be? You mentioned it slightly only once while writing about something else entirely? Clearly that is an open invitation for people like me to blather on about it! If you don’t want your blog shang hai’d with discussions of the comparative merits of IQ classifications and political correctness, rewrite your ‘About’ section and change your settings. No offense intended, of course. Sorry for the intrusion. It won’t happen again. (Get it now?)”
Tom: “I’ve not given the thought you suggest I should to use of that term. I’ve never had anyone take it in the strict medical sense. Many words have multiple meanings. A house dictionary for general usage lists your definition as the third. The first definition is ‘a stupid or silly person.’ That’s how I expect people will take it, just an example of self-deprecatory humor. Self-deprecation is a fine literary device, breaking tension, indicating one doesn’t take oneself too seriously. Thank you for your comment. However, I respectfully disagree.
“For whatever it’s worth, I worked for several years with people who had developmental disabilities. The I-word you mention is so outdated that it never came up, in either serious use or colloquial. There is an R-word, however, that is used quite frequently in general conversation, that is considered offensive to those with developmental disabilities. That word I have never used anywhere in my blog.”
She: I suspect you are being purposely obtuse about my point. But just in case I give you too much credit, let’s try this: You also mention the color ‘blue’ in your ‘About’ section. Which shade of blue? Can it be matched in the Pantone palette? Why no mention of the derivation of the popular CMYK system used in printing and desktop publishing? Why, the casual way you touched upon the color ‘blue,’ it’s almost as if you don’t consider the color blue to be the centerpiece of your posts! There isn’t even a whisper of the important statistic that a full nine percent of American cars are blue! If you aren't willing to discuss, compare and contrast the various features and benefits of periwinkle vs. cobalt ad nauseum, why then you should rewrite your ‘About’ section and change your blog settings. That’s merely “part of the blogging process,” you know.
“Shame on you for disregarding the point of my original blog post, and my wishes, just so you could once again cut and paste your opinions about how poor old Joe recalls (as do you) more innocent times. I also suggest that, as one who is qualified to drive and vote, you truly did understand the point I was trying to make above. Are you really this desperate to attract traffic to your blog or for someone to talk to? [I was, and I am] Now I hope we can agree to leave one another alone for all cyber eternity.”
[Hell, it’s only an ‘About’ page. Change it if it will make her happy]
Tom: “To show that I did understand your original point, I’ve thought it over and decided you are correct. ‘Imbecile’ risks being needlessly offensive. I’ve changed my ‘About’ page to read ‘dope.’ Thank you for your contribution on that point.”
Months later I began to miss ‘imbecile.’ When the coast was clear, I changed it back.”
[edit....It still reads ‘dope.’ Apparently I never got around to changing it back. It was just a statement of intention. Too bad—I actually like imbecile better and I may yet change it back someday.]
Sometimes we overthink things. It is just beating the rascals at their own game, most likely.
It probably plays somehow into the scheming of enemies to portray an US vs THEM scenario, with the evil THEM “manipulating” the US—whereas in reality the US is THEM, simply in organized form.
The reason that you organize anything is to enable that anything to be done more expansively and more unitedly. The reason you attempt to dismantle an organization is to thwart those goals. Usually, it is no more complicated than that.
So here we have people positioning themselves as ‘People’s Protector’—as though taking the high road—when mostly what they are trying to do is take out the means to magnify a work and a message that goes against the grain of contemporary thinking and that they therefore don’t like. They may love Paul’s analogy of the congregation as a human body with all members harmoniously interacting together. But if they see it in reality, they holler about manipulation, bullying, and mind-control.
photo: RCC Baptism Celebration, by River City Church
My blog exchange re the ‘About’ page is found in ‘No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash.’