Watchtower Cashing In on Real Estate
In Brooklyn, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower Bible & Tract Co. of New York sold a building at 89 Hicks St. to Brooklyn Law School. A few months ago it sold a 48-unit elevator apartment building for $14 million.
(Non-JW!) College Students Ban the Pledge
I still don’t salute the flag or do the pledge of loyalty to the piece of cloth. I stand in solidarity with the small group of undergraduate politicians at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa that voted to ban the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at their student government meetings.
There was a predictable reaction to this rather insignificant decision: hysteria. One fellow student “became so distraught by the announcement of the ban that she immediately began reciting the pledge” – like starting in with “Hail Mary” or crossing yourself? Has the pledge started to function as a protective talisman? A ward against evil? Oh, dear.
Another accused the student leaders of ‘anti-Americanism’ – yeah, right, uh-huh. The story was posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network website within the week.
Kudos to Andrew Cohen, CBS News’ chief legal analyst. Although he pokes fun at the students, he also points out a few little things that rarely appear in mainstream media:
Because these students obviously have a little extra time on their hands, and with their holiday break coming up, I recommend that they all read Richard J. Ellis’ book, “To the Flag,” an excellent and little-known work that also ought to be required reading for every grown-up politician who might be tempted to finger-point in the debate over the pledge. “The words of the pledge,” Ellis writes, “have inspired millions, but they have also been used to coerce and intimidate; to compel conformity and to silence dissent.” …
It is a mistake for anyone to place the pledge on a par with the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution or even the national anthem when it comes to hymns that bring us together in voice and spirit. But people have long misunderstood and misapplied the pledge.
The dispute at Orange Coast College is mainly about loyalty to government and not the controversial words “under God” in the pledge — the dispute that most recently has drawn our legal and political attention. But it doesn’t matter. Even before those words were added in the 1950s as a bulwark against communism, Americans were hurting each other — literally — in the name of the pledge.
In Pennsylvania in the 1930s, Ellis notes in his book, officials didn’t just expel students from school for not reciting the pledge, they whipped and choked and beat them too. School officials would report these students to government authorities, who then got court orders to separate the parents from their children, sometimes for years. Mobs of citizens persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who refused to recite the pledge. It took a 1943 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which declared that people had a 1st Amendment right not to be forced by the government into reciting the pledge, to stop the physical violence. But divisions over the pledge clearly remain.
So the rabble-rousing students at Orange Coast College are merely doing what their predecessor protesters have done for more than a century. And the folks who are criticizing them have a long history as well.
Never mind Ellis’ must-read book. Listen to what then-Minnesota Gov. Jesse “The Body” Ventura had to say when he vetoed a measure requiring public school students to recite the pledge at least once a week: “There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting a pledge or raising a flag.”
Kicked out for Boxing
20-year-old boxer Mary McGee was raised by her grandma, who took her from her mother when she was just two weeks old. Her mother wasn’t there for her — or her brothers. Both brothers have served jail time. One is out, while the other is serving out his sentence on a robbery charge in Colorado (where he has lived since grandma shipped him off to boys’ camp).
Turns out, those nights Mary and her grandfather watched boxing on television were illicit under the strict doctrines of Witnesses. So too was training at the P.A.L. gym, and shadow boxing, for hours at a time, in the back yard.
Mary had just won the Chicago Golden Gloves, one of the premier amateur boxing contests in the country, and members of the congregation read about it in the local papers.
Participating in boxing or another martial art is grounds for the Witnesses’ version of excommunication, called disfellowship. Mary had to quit boxing or move out. She cried and she yelled. She agreed to quit.
But she was 17, and she did what teenagers do when they want to do what they want to do.
She trained in secret, and told her grandmother she was staying late at school. In secret she went with the P.A.L. team to a fight in Indianapolis.
“My auntie lived down there and she saw me on TV and called my grandma. She didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be fighting,” Mary said. “When I got home, I was out.”
Condemning Religions that… What? Ok, is it Hypocrisy or Irony?
You get kicked out for boxing, but.. sexual predators can be JW elders for years.
“The End of False Religion is Near” – the recently distributed tract known as KN37 (Kingdom News 37) – focused on several “traits” manifested by “false” religion. The end of false religion is near… because just about everyone is about to be destroyed at Armageddon? Because JWs are suddenly going to be wildly successful as the “true religion”? Already it’s a weird message. Clearly the reader is not expected to put together exactly how “false religion” will end, but only to go through some fearful checkmarks to make sure that they align themselves with the “true religion.”
We’ll focus on just one aspect of the tract today, because it’s the part that is most astounding – requiring a gargantuan amount of self-righteousness, hypocrisy, blindness, and sheer nerve. Next to a photo of a man wearing a priest’s collar, it says:
In Western lands church groups ordain gay and lesbian members of the clergy and urge governments to recognize same-sex marriages. Even churches that condemn immorality have tolerated religious leaders who have sexually abused children.
… Do you know of religions that condone immoral sex?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are internationally known to be second only to the Catholic Church with regard to the publicity of their child abuse scandal. The expose dates back to the NBC Dateline program that aired in May of 2002. Since that program aired over twenty different programs in eight different countries have offered the testimony of countless children victimized by the policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the sexual abuse of children. Key areas were highlighted that were unlike any religion in dealing with these issues. To name a few;
- Two-eye witnesses required before a child’s accusation would be accepted as valid in the face of the molesters’ denial.
- Molesters required participation in the door to door canvassing work of Jehovah’s Witnesses to study with prospective members.
- Re-appointing pedophiles to positions of authority after twenty years of no further two eye- witness accusations.
- Disfellowshipping victims and advocates when they attempted to go public with the child abuse problem in the religion.
- Encouraging members to testify as character witnesses on behalf of convicted pedophiles at sentencing hearings.
- Advocating the violation of federal laws in reporting child abuse by stating to church leadership that if parents chose to not report abuse it was a personal decision.
- Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars using donated Worldwide Work monies to defend the “religious right” of pedophiles to prevent arrest and convictions for child rape.
- Maintaining a database of over 23,000 sex offenders within the church most of which have not been revealed to members or law enforcement.
While members were actively denouncing “false” religion for allowing the sexual abuse of children during October and November, here’s what’s been going on…
Rick Mclean a former pioneer and Ministerial Servant is currently listed on the U.S. Marshalls’ most wanted list for assaulting numerous JW children in California. A civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of his victims for elders’ negligence in covering up the abuse.
Rex Peterson a long serving elder in Australia was arrested for molesting two little boys. Peterson was well known for providing herbal treatments for cancer in the JW’s.
Claude Martin an elder in Canada was arrested for molesting a ten year old girl while attending the door to door canvassing work of JW’s. He inserted his finger in her vagina while standing at the door of a home they were visiting.
Nestor Jesus Cabada at the threat of local elders in Utah, USA turned himself in for rape of a child, sodomy on a child and aggravated sex abuse of a child with regard to two little Jehovah’s Witness girls.
Enrique Bahena Robles an elder located in Cancun Mexico was charged with aggravated rape of a minor for his assault on a ten year old girl while participating in door to door canvassing work with her.
Most of these multiple offenders were serving in appointed capacity within their congregations in the USA, Australia, Canada and Mexico.
How many current Catholic reports of sexual abuse have been reported in the last thirty days? There are close to one billion Catholics worldwide but just under seven million Jehovah’s Witnesses. Based on those numbers does this appear to be a high amount of bizarre pedophile stories being reported to media from such a small religious group? …
Jehovah’s Witnesses should have a moment of silence for the children their religion has hurt by policies they openly support. They should hang their collective heads in shame for their self-righteous denunciation of other religions on the epidemic problem areas they ignore within their own faith.
How ironic that the Watchtower Society’s protection of sexual predators, child abusers, and pedophiles is condemned in their own tract.