Vic Vomodog’s face got redder and redder. His blood pressure shot to the sky—they had to call NASA.
I began to worry for him—just like I should have worried for the small-town judge Victor V Blackwell stood up to. Victor had been representing draft-age Witnesses in the volatile WWII years and the petty tyrant would barely allow him to open his mouth. “Another word out of you and I will jail you for contempt!” he roared.
“I looked around and saw lawyers, reporters, and professionals—I knew I wasn’t going to jail,” Brother Blackwell related years later at a Niagara Falls assembly. He told the judge: “Your Honor, if we have reached the place in this country where a lawyer can’t speak for his client, or present his defenses, I may as well be in jail with him.”
From his book, O’er the Ramparts They Watched: “Hot anger blazed from the “judge’s” face. His countenance flushed redder than a beet. The veins in his neck protruded like the swelling in the throat of a chameleon. Everyone in the courtroom waited for him to burst asunder....After some little time, gaining a small measure of composure, he told me and my client to stand up in front of him. We did. Then came the sentence:
“I sentence you to serve five years in a federal prison to be approved by the Attorney General. My only regret, you yellow coward, is that I cannot give your twenty-five years.”
Don’t think neutrality is an easy sell when nationalistic fever runs hot.
The judge died several days later. Townspeople said he had never cooled off from his fit of anger. When Victor next visited that town, the locals told him, “You killed our judge.” “I’m sorry,” he responded, but he later allowed at the Niagara Falls assembly that the bullying fellow had brought it on himself.
Every once in a while Vic Vomodog gets worked up like that. He fires out accusations as with a Gatling gun and I begin to worry that if I answer them it will be detrimental to his health.
Ah, well—if he dies, he dies.
“You Jehovah Witnesses are a cult!”
It used to be that if you fell under the spell of a charismatic leader, withdrew from society, dressed oddly, did strange things—you just might be a member of a cult. Nowadays just thinking outside the box is enough to trigger the C-word.
“Um, did the early Christians falsely declare the Great Day of Almighty God?”
Yes. “While they were listening to these things, he told another illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear instantly.” (Luke 19:11)
“Did they pretend to be the ‘faithful and discreet slave’?”
Yes. “As they traveled on through the cities, they would deliver to them for observance the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and the elders who were in Jerusalem.” (Acts 16:4)
“Ban Jehovah's Witnesses they prefer seeing people dying than receiving a blood transfusion and this is enough to ban them.”
It is controversial to be sure, but since they do not smoke, do not do illicit drugs, do not drink to excess, do not war, they on balance save far more lives than they cost. Even their stand on blood has sparked development of bloodless techniques and these have probably saved more lives than transfusion refusal has cost.
“They’ll use their ban in Russia to feed their persecution complex!”
Probably. This is because of the many verses such as Matthew 5:11: “Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and be overjoyed...for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.”
“As an organisation they have keep silence about abuse amongst their members and the wall of silence regarding child abuse is unforgivable.”
Alas, there is no sizable group on earth, religious or not, that has successfully purged all child abuse from its midst. Still, with JWs, it is almost always members’ abuse that leaders are accused of ‘covering up.’ Not good, but better than the pattern elsewhere where leaders are the ones committing the abuse and there is not even a mechanism for discovering abuse among members.
“You didn’t sign on to the Australian redress plan. What’s wrong with you?”
When a child abuser is nabbed, unless he is a person in authority, is his religious affiliation ever even mentioned? With Jehovah’s Witnesses, abuse committed by leaders is rare. With the other signees, be they religious or not, it is the pattern. Witness cases that have come to attention are nearly always among rank and file members, something the other signees haven’t even a mechanism to track.
Other signees have structure in which children are systemically separated from parents, such as Sunday School or youth groups. If you sponsor such a program, it stands to reason that you ought be held accountable to provide for their safety. JWs do not have such programs.
The differences are significant enough that JWs have not signe on to a “one size fits all” program, but instead handle cases that arise on an individual basis. Next thing you know, Hyundai will be supposed responsible for abuse situations that arise among its customers.
No one has apostates as dedicated to their crusade as do Jehovah's Witnesses. One could say they validate us. Since they were a huge concern in the first century—no NT writer not dealing with them—if they were not a huge concern today, would one not have to wonder why?
“If only the were banned here, like Russia. The only way to make sure they won't come back here is to open the door naked.”
This does not work. A friend of mine, a registered nurse, said to one such person: “You don’t have anything that I haven’t seen before.”