Why Watchtower should be ashamed of its new homophobic child propaganda cartoon
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In the new cartoon, Sophia's mum teaches her how to be judgmental and bigoted

In the new cartoon, Sophia’s mum teaches her how to be judgmental and bigoted

It was in the summer 2012 that Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world were first introduced to Caleb and Sophia, the Governing Body’s new animated poster kids.

Their first cartoon adventures, which were distributed in DVDs at conventions and on the organization’s JW.org website, caused outrage even among many non-JWs. Watchtower’s blatant attempts to indoctrinate children using fear and paranoia created a wave of dismay that will have gone largely unnoticed by most ordinary JWs.

Since they first burst on to our screens, Caleb and Sophia have been taught by their troubled parents that Jehovah is pedantic enough to hate certain kinds of plastic action figures, that he wants kids to give their ice cream money to Watchtower, and that failing to pay sufficient attention at kingdom hall meetings can carry the death penalty.

But Watchtower apparently isn’t done with stripping JW kids of all innocence and individuality. Now the Governing Body wants them to challenge any classmates with gay or lesbian parents, and remind them that if mommy and mommy (or daddy and daddy) don’t change their ways they will lose their tickets to paradise.

It’s hard to know where to start in verbalizing one’s revulsion at the proud ignorance and homophobia on open display in this CGI monstrosity, but I will do my best.

Firstly, Sophia’s bewilderingly-orange mother manipulates her daughter with a metaphor that entirely misrepresents both homosexuality and Watchtower’s views regarding it. Sophia is asked to picture a man traveling with a bag, the contents of which trigger the airport security systems because he is carrying a prohibited item.

Homosexuality is explained as being the forbidden item the man must surrender before being allowed to travel on to his desired destination: paradise earth.

The video presents a misleading metaphor that misrepresents both homosexuality and Watchtower's teachings about what awaits homosexuals

The video presents a misleading metaphor that misrepresents both homosexuality and Watchtower’s teachings about what awaits homosexuals

 

Anybody remotely in tune with reality understands that homosexuality is not a “choice,” as so often portrayed by Christian fundamentalists. Straight people are born straight, and gay people are born gay. Just as it would be outrageous to ask a straight person to start being gay, it is impossible to expect a gay person to live a lie and stop being who they are. And yet this is what fanatics like Watchtower demand of them.

Secondly, the metaphor implies that if the traveler chooses against surrendering the forbidden item, the worst that will happen is that his ticket will be cancelled and he will be forced to browse the duty free before hailing a cab and making his way back to the hotel. But that is not how it works according to Jehovah’s Witness teachings.

If the metaphor were accurately and fully followed through, we would see the traveller being bundled away by security and thrown into a 1940s cattle cart, along with all others deemed undesirable by the Governing Body, before being dispatched to the great extermination camp of Armageddon.

This is not a case of “follow us, or don’t fly,” this is a case of “follow us, or die.”

But this doomsday aspect of Jehovah’s Witness theology is so repugnant to most ordinary people that Watchtower must do its best to obfuscate it wherever possible.

Even most JWs you may encounter on the street, if pressed on the matter, will deny that literally billions of people, including children, are in line for mass slaughter if their hopes and expectations come to fruition. Their continued state of subservience to their religion depends on them not thinking things through to their fullest, most grisly conclusion.

All that deception and mischaracterization aside, arguably the most repugnant and disturbing aspect of this vile cartoon is that it sets out to recruit JW children to impose the organization’s homophobic bigotry on any classmates who happen to have gay or lesbian parents.

When I was growing up as a JW I recall being indoctrinated into believing that homosexuality was to be condemned. But I don’t remember once being told to actively seek out homosexuals, or children of homosexuals, to badger them with my beliefs. All that, apparently, has now changed. Watchtower has thrown its hat in with all the other sickly Christian evangelicals whose crusade is to stamp out homosexuality wherever it surfaces.

If you want to see what the end game is of preaching hate in this way, you need only watch the documentary “God Loves Uganda,” which is currently running on Netflix. It shows how U.S. evangelicals have taken a loathsome message that has zero credibility in their homeland, and cynically flooded Uganda with it – a country whose populace have limited access to education and are therefore easy pickings for those who spew ignorance and bigotry.

And before I am accused of trying to persuade people towards atheism by making this film recommendation, I should point out that two heroes of the film are Reverend Kaoma and Bishop Senyonjo. By the end of the film, I wanted to reach into my screen and hug them both.

Despite being Christians they could plainly see the real danger posed by evangelical homophobic fanaticism, and were doing their best in the face of unspeakable brutality to urge love, respect and tolerance.

Now it seems Watchtower, having already embraced televangelism, are also now quite happy to count themselves among the small-minded homophobic hate-mongers who stain our society. And rather than lead the hateful charge themselves, the likes of Tony Morris and his Governing Body cronies are content to hide behind a newly-formed army of school-age foot-soldiers who will take the heat for them.

 

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386 Responses to Why Watchtower should be ashamed of its new homophobic child propaganda cartoon

  1. John says:

    being a committed AGNOSTIC with NO ties to the WT society nor to their understandings/biblical distortions : thanks to WTS for alarming the young ones against anal colon perversion and anal orientation – there MUST be limits, thanks thanks thanks from an EX JW

    • Ted says:

      John your prejudice leaked out and u didn’t even notice it. What u just described was a sex act that can be performed by heterosexuals, while may at the same time may not be practiced by homosexuals especially female homosexuals thereby making your bigoted comment dead on arrival. Ciao.

  2. Robert Fletcher says:

    I am so amazed that anyone could be as closed minded. You say that JW’s are bigoted. They don’t go round Bad mouthing. Everyone, person, organisation, company or whatever have good and bad points. Even you with your lies, exaggerations, and myths, must have some good in you. Although in your case I suppose there could be a one off. Like you SAID you were I really was bought up as a witness. I left because I couldn’t live up to their high standards. If anything they are to be admIred. Why do government officials go to the society for advice, on emergency aid work. They are usually the first on the scene in a disaster. I havent seen any comments about how much good they do. The government admire the lack of red tape & the love they show to non witnesses……. yes even gays where necessary. As regards medical matters you will find that they have been leaders in something else you might be bigoted and call them for. BLOODLESS SURGERY. Its common knowledge the witnesses have helped saved many lives where because you and people like you that have no morals cause and pass on diseases that kill. Try putting your brain in gear before driving off. Last point. Why don’t you follow the guidelines set out for making comments. Please read the bit about RELIGIOUS NEUTRALITY

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Robert Fletcher,
      Not sure who you are directing your comments to – the writer of the article or the commenters in general?

      Yes, the JWs do some good, but seemingly more harm than good. Yes, there are some dangers to blood transfusions and the medical community as a whole is much less eager to transfuse than they were in years past. A few lives have been saved by refusing blood transfusions. Many more have been lost. While you may have left the JW religion behind, it does not sound like you have left their propaganda behind.

      I had no problem living up their moral standards. I chose to leave based on reasons of conscience. I started to see through their mind control. I realized they had lied and told half truths about their early history. I realized that constantly changing doctrine and failed predictions were not indicators of religious truth. I realized that using emotional blackmail to keep members inline was unethical.

      I find that many members who could not live up to their moral standards carry around an excessive amount of guilt and thus feel the need to defend the JW creed as you have in your post. While you may have left physically and morally, it sounds like they may still have a hold on you emotionally.

      WS