XJW: An important new film project, and how YOU can help.
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Issues surrounding the Jehovah’s Witness religion are getting increasing media exposure. Recently we have seen films, books, newspaper articles and documentaries, even video games. They have covered every topic imaginable from shunning, to the experience of growing up in the religion, to child abuse and more. Now, a team of filmmakers has a project underway that takes a new lens to an aspect of Jehovah’s Witness life that does not always get much of a spotlight, namely this:

How amazing life is once you leave.

The film is called XJW: Coming Out Of The Jehovah’s Witness Religion, and on the project’s crowdsourcing webpage the filmmakers describe the project as follows:

Ex-JW filmmakers and musicians have come together to capture the unique exit experiences of former members from around the world. Their stories focus on present life philosophies, personal growth and strength on the outside as they reflect on their past.

Director Scott Homan was able to set aside some time to chat with me about the origins and goals of the project, as well as his own journey out of the Witness faith.

From Need Greater To Film Maker

XJW Director Scott Homan

Scott grew up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He recounts that in many ways he actually had a very relaxed upbringing when compared to usual Witness standards, citing his parents as being fairly relaxed about the faith. He tells me that, for example, after the Revelation book study he and a few friends would get together for wine and beer, and chat about which parts of the study they did and didn’t believe.

As a result he became very comfortable talking about belief and disbelief, and was already eyeing the faith with a certain sceptical eye. However, he also started hearing the experiences of Witnesses who had travelled from the US to preach in much poorer parts of the world.

Listening to these “Need Greater’s” (a phrase Witnesses use for those who go to preach where the “need is greater” stoked his already burning desire for travel and adventure, especially since none of the other JW career paths such as Bethel or Circuit Work really appealed to him. He went out to Ecuador to be a part of the “Need Greater” work.

Yet far from strengthening his faith, the experience only intensified his doubts and concerns.

He relates how he found the attitudes of some of the other Need Greater’s towards the local population profoundly distasteful. For one thing, the Need Greater’s typically came from rich countries and lived very comfortable, fun lives in Ecuador with lots of toys and gadgets, and seemed to be basically on an extended holiday.

Meanwhile the local congregations were very poor, having to work very long hours simply to make ends meet and provide for their families, and had often sacrificed family and material prosperity to become Witnesses. Yet it was the Need Greater’s who got the prominent tasks in the congregations, and all of the privileges and leadership positions. The locals were not allowed to take the lead or ownership of their own faith.

Scott was disturbed at how many of his fellow Need Greater’s had a contemptuous view of the Ecuadorian Witnesses. He was very interested in other cultures, languages and foods, and says; “The whole point of going abroad is to immerse yourself in, and learn about, another culture. But many of the Need Greater’s looked down on the local Witnesses with contempt.”

The attitude seemed to be that the local culture needed to be overwritten by the Western culture of the Need Greater’s to better allow the locals to serve God. Additionally, Scott relates that the Need Greater’s would hide the alcohol they drank from the local population, for fear that the local Evangelical Christian Missionaries (who were teetotal) might use it against them, which Scott found profoundly hypocritical.

Scott returned from Ecuador, left the faith, and pursued his interest in film making.

During this time, the idea that led to the XJW project was conceived whilst speaking with his friend Soren. Soren is gay, and had also left his religion. As a result, he likes to say that he “came out twice.” This made Scott realise that in some ways, leaving the JW religion held similar risks and experiences to coming out as LGBT. ExJW’s can lose their family and friends, be thrown out of homes, even lose employment if their employers are Witnesses.

“It took a couple of years to capture the concept,” says Scott. “I didn’t want it to be about drama or the things Watchtower says or does – I don’t ever want to read another goddamn thing from Watchtower or the Bible. I wanted to frame it around a positive upbuilding concept – not a dark downbeat version. People who leave the religion are strong and I wanted to show that, to let people say YES, I’m one of those people!”

“ExJW’s leave the religion and then they make this this amazing impact in the world. They are so open and free spirited because they were oppressed for so long. Watchtower controlled how they danced, what movies they watched, what bars they went to, what drugs they took. They were forbidden from being intimate with people. Now they are no longer controlled and are exploring life. Most of all, I want to show how amazing life is. You don’t have to suffer and die under Watchtower control to get happiness in some far off paradise. You can find happiness right here and now.”

ExJW’s supporting XJW

Cassie is the film’s Dialogue Editor

Eric and Cindy of the band HighTV are providing musical composition and post production

Scott’s team are also ExJW’s and have a longstanding link with him.

His dialogue editor, Cassie, was in Scott’s old congregation and has known him since 2008. “She’s part of my chosen family,” says Scott. Cassie saw some of the early material Scott was working on, and was very enthusiastic about it. In the end, Scott and Cassie ended up working together throughout the Christmas week of 2017 to get the trailer for the project assembled.

Also in the team are Eric and Cindy, who are providing the music for the project. Again, Scott also met them during his JW days; when Eric was big in the local Witness music production scene, working with a group called Nuclear Gopher…

…which, as I can’t resist telling Scott, is possibly the best name for a music group I’ve ever heard!

Additional support for the project has come from various other activists and members of the exJW community.

Four separate online activists (EvelynDelOmbre@Evelyndelombre, Stephenie@Apostate Chick, Jennifer@Towersfall and Caleb&Sophia’sMom@jwmom1914) ran a Twitter take-over of the project’s Twitter account xjwdoc@xjwdoc.

The Brighter Light Podcast has also supported the project by contributing B-roll footage for an interview, and Brenton Wildman, another former JW from Scott’s days as a Witness, is also helping with location filming and will be gathering footage in his local area.

Additionally, Jennifer@towersfall is currently running a “Shunned” campaign on Instagram with the XJWdoc Instagram account, where people being shunned can submit a photograph of themselves and a bio of their experience.

But this project needs your help.

XJW: How YOU can help!

Firstly, there are a number of ways you can help for free.

You can follow the project on social media and share updates. The project has a Twitter account, an Instagram account and a Facebook page. Please follow and share them widely!

You can also follow the project on its funding page here. This requires no money on your part and takes only thirty seconds of your time. Simply go to the project’s funding page and click on the follow button, then enter your email address. If the project gets 1000 followers and also reaches 80% of it’s funding goal, it will be eligible for significant extra funding grants that will substantially increase the ability of the team to widen the scope and scale of the project.

The project is also looking for funding and has a crowdsource funding page here. The project needs $9000 total to proceed and needs to get 80% of that total before Friday 12th of April or it will not get any funding at all. At the time of writing it has 34% of its funding goal which is a great start but clearly more is needed.

There are some fantastic rewards for various levels of sponsorship, including access to the project’s musical soundtrack, a hilarious exJW themed card game inspired by the famous Cards Against Humanity (the cards are actually compatible with CAH so you can even give your CAH game an ExJW makeover if you want!). There is even a bit of a loophole in the rewards system, which Scott tells me about;

“If you support the project at the level that gets you either the soundtrack or the card game, those rewards are granted to you instantly. So even if we don’t hit our 80% funding goal you still get your reward, so you might end up getting those rewards for free!”

Personally, I think that Scott and his team have a wonderful vision for this film project; a way of showing a fantastic and positive message to all those who have left the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those who are thinking of leaving. It also helps those who were never JW’s to understand the strong spirit and yearning for freedom that many exJW’s possess, and to understand why so many leave the religion.

So please consider financially supporting this project if you are able to, and please take five minutes to follow the project on its funding page and on social media, which will cost you nothing.

The world needs more projects like this. Let’s make this one happen!

Follow me on Twitter @covertfade

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215 Responses to XJW: An important new film project, and how YOU can help.

  1. Garrett says:

    “Soren is gay, and had also left his religion. As a result, he likes to say that “he came out twice.”

    Is it possible please to ever have a dialogue or film or article where the gay agenda isn’t constantly being rubbed in our faces? I’d love to financially support the film but want to see the script first to make sure I’m not supporting the rainbow coalition .

    What this website consitantky fails to realize (and I am a supporter at the Anglo American level)
    Is that when you constantly push the gay lifestyle you lose a vast potential audience of witnesses who now simply would say : “See!… they only left the truth so they could live an immortal lifestyle”…… keep the gay out of your articles and you will find a greater impact on your witness audience… if you risk losing someone like me who is an ardent adherent and financial supporter then how much more your witness audience ?

    • Sana Rosas says:

      If you want the gay lifestyle out of your sight, I know a place where you can go.

    • Matías morant says:

      I agree with Garrett

    • Slow Burn says:

      I am not currently a financial supporter but am contemplating being one. However, I think that Garrett makes a really good point. Many doubting Witnesses that work up the courage to view the content will think ” the Org was right. These apostates only left to pursue their own “fleshlydesires”.

  2. tranquillo says:

    there are plenty of places…. pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran….. or else we could go back to middle age…. I do prefer here and now.
    I also really don’t understand what is the problem, “gay agenda is not constantly rubbed in our faces”, it is only that being gay AND being a JW is a big problem, so we are talking about that here.

  3. Peggy says:

    Thanks Covert for this article. My life is so much more meaningful,satisfying, and happy with my exit from crazy jw land. Life for me is amazing because I have possession of my own mind. This film will be refreshing and give many the confidence to get out of that crumbling tower.
    @ Garrett, Tolerance for those different from us is a virtue. Try to understand that there NEVER was a time in which we cognitively choose our sexual orientation. You did not wake up one morning and say to self “I am going to be heterosexual” It was just what you are. Others are just what they are. Life with diversity is BEAUTIFUL. I love this report. Ex Jw’s are beautiful human beings.

    • Garrett says:

      My point was simple… and I’m not intollerent ….. we heterosexuals are simply tired of having the gay agenda shoveled at us all the time… be what you want… we really don’t care … honestly… we don’t care….. so stop telling us about it and haveing parades and waving rainbow flags….
      It’s way over the top… you have your rights… please shut up and enjoy them…

      • Will says:

        Gay people would argue that the straight “lifestyle” is always pushed in their face–EVERYWHERE! Everyone wants to be acknowledged and represented. Gay people are only fighting for rights. Minorities in this country (USA) still have a long way to go to have equal rights. Discrimination alone is still a huge problem. People are still dying because of skin color and sexual orientation.

    • Michael says:

      Any “Diversity” is to be morally evaluated, judged, before being celebrated. For example, a sexual relationship with a family member, incest, is “Diverse” but should is it “beautiful?”

      • messenger says:

        One or two pedophiles in each congregation creates diversity. But with that limited number they’re kind of like the token Black.

        • Tranquillo says:

          Comparing pedophilia and homosexuality is copletely out of place. From a legal point of view one is a crime, the other absolutely not. From a moral point of view, may I remind you that according to the Bible homosexuality was always a crime deserving death sentence, while pedophilia was ok if in the context of a wedding between a mature man and a little girl?

          • messenger says:

            If you asked if you could remind me of something then why did you make your point before I gave my consent? Straight talk please.

            You cannot point to any Bible scripture to validate your point about God permissible pedophilia, because none exists, making your point nonsense. And since I do not wish to engage you in a debate over nonsense then may I remind you to have a nice day as long as your days last?

          • Tranquillo says:

            You are right there is no scripture to prove it but more important there is no scripture to prove the contrary, so although no proof, evidences point there. Unless you want to believe to the JW picture of gentle slave masters and loving husbands back then.
            Have a nice day you too, as long as your days last

          • Hi Tranquillo,

            Your comment about pedophilia in regards to female child brides made me stop and think. In regards to homosexuality merits death, most people think of Lev 20:13.

            After a fair bit of research and trying to remember, I’m not sure if there are any Bible verses that suggests an endorsement of female child brides. Where Adam says of Eve “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” the next verse mentions marriage (Gen 2:24). The context suggest Eve would be a fully mature female (i.e. a “suitable helper” — verse 20).

            One website cited Ezekiel 16, wherein a metaphor of God’s relationship with Israel is presented in a husband wife form. Verse 8 mentions “you were old enough for love.” The context suggests this would be at or past puberty (verse 7).

            In any regards when folks attempt a “slippery slope” argument against same-sex marriage by suggesting we’ll one day allow adult-child marriage, it is a non sequitur. Clearly they are vastly different things. A child is not able to give adult consent. And of course, the horrible aftermath of pedophilia is obvious to anyone willing to hear what victims report!

            Cheers,
            -Randy

          • Tranquillo says:

            Hi Randy, there is no endorsement but there is also no limit set. We could start by checking what the Talmud says on the subject because we are talking about customs and traditions of the Jews. What is still today the habit in that particular area?

          • messenger says:

            Michael’s subject, in his comment above mine, was diversity, not pedophilia, or homosexuality. Michael is who I addressed my comment to in that I replied to him. Therefore, the subject I replied to was about the existence of diversity in JW congregations.

            My comment didn’t compare anything to anything; except that I said a very limited number of pedophiles in each congregation could be compared to that idiom, “token Blacks.”

            True, it’s not a terrific comparison, since token Blacks were included to appease the populace or challenge the status qou, whereas pedophiles in JW congregations don’t serve that purpose.

            But to the point that was under consideration, pedophiles do create diversity, as do liars, murderers and thieves. And all those types of people back up Michael’s accurate claim that diversity is not always good. And remember that homosexuality is good is just an opinion. It is not a fact.

          • tranquillo says:

            that homosexuality is good or bad can be an opinion. What is sure is that the Bible condemns homosexuals to death while pedophilia doesn’t deserve any attention.

  4. outandabout says:

    One day, Garrett, it will be as you wish but in the meantime we’re in a transition phase regarding being Gay. It’s about empowerment at the moment but one day being Gay will be ‘so what’, but we’re not there yet. Like you, I could do without the fuss but it will run it’s course eventually.

    • Garrett says:

      Thank you Out and about. I think that is a fair statement. Everyone should have equal rights and the right to love who they want. I know many lovely gay people… one who is slowly becoming a friend who works at a local store…

      My point was merely …do we have to always hear about it….. especially on a blog that should consider the audience of witnesses we are trying to appeal to…. I don’t think pro articles in why we should get tattoos or have bolts through the tongue would appeal to that crowd either if we are trying to win them over…

      My work is done here….
      Peace

  5. Doc Obvious says:

    Watchtower is a heartless hypocrite. And, now Watchtower is coming out as pillowsexual. Who would have known? Personally, I have to draw the line. I hope this new film will expose to everyone their madness.

    Trust is earned. Not given. Donations are earned. Not given.

  6. messenger says:

    “says Scott. “I didn’t want it to be about drama or the things Watchtower says or does – I don’t ever want to read another goddamn thing from Watchtower or the Bible.”

    If Scott sticks with that belief and feeling his film will characterize all ex-JWs as atheists, which is a misrepresentation. There is not a very large sample of commenters on this site. Yet we can see, even from this small sample of ex-JWs, that many ex-JWs still believe in God and the Bible. Scott’s movie will misrepresent that truth if he holds onto his belief and feelings about the Bible, unless he separates his feelings about reading it from hearing about it. Because never hearing from the Bible means not including Bible believers in his film, or at least muzzling those believers he might choose to included.

  7. Stella M says:

    Interesting, Garrett, that you use the JW phrase ‘gay lifestyle’ to describe being gay. Sexuality is not a lifestyle choice. You said: ‘I’m not intollerent (sic) we heterosexuals are simply tired of having the gay agenda shovelled (sic) at us all the time’. By ‘agenda’, do you mean the desire to be treated equally and not undermined by people who think they are ‘tolerant’, but are in fact full of contempt for gay people. Your other comment addressed to gay people: ‘you have your rights… please shut up and enjoy the them’ is full of the authoritarianism of Watchtower Org. Why must people who are different than you ‘shut up’? Has it occurred to you that homosexuals have had to stay silent for millennia (with pretty miserable consequences) and that they might actually want to speak up and wave rainbow flags at this point in history? Some people (both gay and straight) express their sexuality with joy and openness – get over it. And as for Michael’s comparison of incest and homosexuality, this is a homophobic trope that gay people have had to deal with for years. The difference (if you actually care) is that homosexual relations involve autonomous ADULTS (i.e those able to give CONSENT) and that incest involves the sexual exploitation of a CHILD.

  8. Resister says:

    I can understand how some people get annoyed with all that Rainbow stuff. It can sometimes feel like it’s “in your face” (no pun intended), and may not be something everyone wants to see or hear about. That having been said, let’s try and remember how the “gay community” got its start. Back in the 1970s, Anita Bryant (the orange juice lady), her husband, and some others, basically started a kind of “witch hunt” in California, USA, scaring the bejeezus out of the community with statements like, “OMG, do you really want homosexuals as teachers, interacting with your kids at school?” Like those poor kids were going to be molested by any and every teacher who happened to be gay. Basic fearmongering. Now, at the time, there was no such thing as a “gay community”. There was no such thing as a Rainbow Coalition. Homosexuals were happy to just live their lives quietly and unobtrusively hopefully without fear of being tarred and feathered or run out of town. Live and let live. Enter the Shi’ite Christian Zealots like Anita Bryant et al, running around in their white hoods, burning their torches at midnight (note the hyperbole), forcing the gays to “circle the wagons”, coalesce into a de facto “community”, and start a sociopolitical counter strategy of their own, eg Rainbow Coalition / Flag etc. Well folks, that’s exactly what happens when one decides to poke at the proverbial hornets’ nest. People, like hornets, possess a survival instinct. It’s evolutionary. They will unite to fight a common threat. They will develop new strategies to survive. If certain heterosexuals are annoyed by having the Rainbow Flag waved in their face once too often, I sympathize. I really do. But remember to place the blame squarely where it belongs – the homophobes of days gone by, who just couldn’t stand to leave well enough alone. Same principle with Watchturd. They lament over the superabundance of Apostate material – websites, books, films, etc. Well, Watchturd geniuses, why do you think these things exist. Do you really expect exJWs to lie back like doormats and take your abuse, lies, and persecution? You call exJWs “mentally diseased”. You brainwash their families against them. In certain cases, they are even persecuted and harassed by family and/or former JW associates. They have even been dismissed by their JW employers, losing their livelihood. You fools have been poking at this hornets’ nest for decades, and now you feel the sting.

  9. Peter the Digger says:

    Once, the JWs were determined to abjure Western materialism, consumptionism, hierarchy etc. But in the last few decades they have ambraced much of ‘Western-Corporate’ culture, which itself has roots in Victorian militarism. The business suit, now compulsory wear for all JW meetings (once it wasn’t) derives from Victorian military garb, when men wore more looser/elaborate/dressy clothes in informal or social settings. the corporate sales ‘force’ and military-type heirarchy finds close correspondence in the JW elders/ministerial servants system. And it seems just as the British Victorian military colonials looked down on ‘loose sloppy native clothes’ so do JW Western ‘colonists’ to poorer countries. Hmm…..

  10. Gibbs2012 says:

    If you know your sexual orientation, why do you feel so obliged to tell others and even want to change their view for or against it? Live your life silently. Personally I do not move around telling people I am a heterosexual,and would not want others to rub their bedroom matters in my face

  11. messenger says:

    Because many commenters on this site set their own standards of morality. Usually their standards are compatible with the liberal left. And like the liberal left most are compelled to preach it under a pretext of enlightenment. While some here admit their mission world change. Their new world, a paradise.

  12. ALAN B DUNLOP says:

    Life outside this cult is indeed wonderful (once you have got through the pain barrier) so a film with real life examples of this is a great idea

    As I recall when in we were always taught that people who have left are miserable and purposeless and the only reason they don’t “come back” is because they have sunk to a low life of sin and debauchery, or they are too proud or have taken offence! It could never be that they have woken up to the lies of the cult and have found a much better, more loving way of life!?

    Film-great idea

  13. Slow Burn says:

    What year was Scott Homan baptized?

  14. Slow Burn says:

    Hi Covert Fade,

    Please reply when you get this. Was Scott ever baptized? If not, he is not an ex-JW

    Thanks,
    Slow Burn

    • Hi Slow Burn,

      Hmm… the post doesn’t say if Scott Homan was baptized. But CF does say, “He went out to Ecuador to be a part of the “Need Greater” work.” I would be surprised if an unbaptized publisher would do that.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

      • Slow Burn says:

        Thanks for your reply Randy. I have discovered that Scott was never baptized. As far as the “need greater” thing in Equador, I have seen many baptized and unbaptized go to Equador.

        It has historically been known and continues to be known by JW’s in the US as a cheap place to party ( and occasionally do a little “witnessing”) as well. Never impressed me.

        My point in bringing up whether Scott was ever baptized should be obvious. He isn’t bound by the same rules as baptized JW’s, including being announced from the podium as “no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses” and therefore subject to intense shunning.

        Not that it matters much in his case, he said that his immediate family never took the “truth” very seriously anyway…….

  15. Kirk says:

    What the needs greaters did in Ecuador from the US is nothing compared to the English need greaters who came to Ireland. They looked down on all the Irish and still do. Even our assembly programs will have 90% British speakers today. We Irish are too stupid or not good enough for them.

  16. messenger says:

    Have you ever heard an elder use the term “bitter?” One of my acquaintances likes to frequent that term. If someone complains about some injustice must he or she be bitter or at least offended. A remedy for this fellow might be to tape his eyelids open and set him down in front of one of Lloyd’s videos to watch Lloyd smilingly shoot the breeze discussing WT or Tony Morris III.

    Who among you is bitter?

    The fellow I’m speaking of slyly puts the shoe of unrighteousness on the party bring to light unrighteousness by insinuating he or she is bitter or offended.

    Are you offended?

    To turn in a slime ball does one have to be bitter or offended does he?

    That’s a tactic some organizational big wigs use in attempting to put the little guy in his place, and keep him there. The tactic puts forth the idea that the big guy can accuse and the little guy and discipline him, but the little guy cannot accuse the big guy without being offended or maybe even being bitter first, before he makes the accusation. And of course the little guy has no way to discipline the big guy. It’s the same reasoning WT uses when claiming apostates are “mentally disease .” They must be bitter!!! They must be offended!!!

    This brings up another point. The stronger organizational unions, like the United States of America, tell the weaker unions, like North Korea, what to do, to the benefit of the stronger unions, which right now is us in the USA. If the weak ones don’t comply something is wrong with them. And that flaw in their reasoning is what gives us in these United States the green light to take action against those bitter and offended weaker unions.

    So, if you are not a citizens of this fine country you’d better elect officials in your country that will comply with our wishes. If God cannot help you, no one can. Opinions don’t matter; because stuff, the stuff that we want from you, is valued here much more than your opinions.

  17. Pat says:

    It’s all the lies that get to me. How they can cover up what bad elders do but they won’t protect the publishers

  18. Ricardo says:

    @Randy, the slippery slope is already sliding, man. What with three men getting married in Colombia on 14th June 2017, it is but a small hop for brothers to start getting married to each other, or sisters, an act that used to be called incest but which can now be allowed for the same reason as homosexual marriage.

    It seems a very noble thing to allow: the watering down of the definition of marriage to include homosexual union. What is not taken into account is the agenda that a certain corner of society has to not only destroy the meaning of marriage but to also promote relationships which most of us find abhorrent such as pedophilia and bestiality.

    Now that marriage can include 3 members, what limits can society put on these other abhorrent relationships? Should society put limits on? Who decides at what age love is true? Is love shown by someone who is 18 different from love shown by someone who is 17? 16? 15? 14? 13?

    Who says animals can’t display love?

    Where is the limit, Randy? Who should decide?

    The Western world is in a hurry to accept homosexual marriage. But in Asia homosexual acts lead to a prison sentence. But the West is putting all sorts of pressure on Asian and African countries to allow homosexuals marriage equality.

    In Islamic countries child marriage is allowed. Why should these countries not put pressure on the West to accept child marriage? Western kids are involved in sexual behaviour at an early age anyway. Who determines what is acceptable and what isn’t? Is it the society in which these relationships occur? If so, the West should bugger off and let the Islamic countries do what their societies find acceptable. The same can be said for any society which feels that bestiality is morally acceptable and people should be able to marry their dogs. Who determines where the limit is?

    This could all end badly. Especially if there is as the Bible says an evil force wanting to wreck the world’s morals.

    There may be plenty of good intentions now. But where will it lead? And how does society limit it? Can society limit it? Should society limit it?

  19. Hi Ricardo,

    You raise some great points. I’ll do my best to give thoughtful response. As with many of these things my views continue to evolve as come across new information. Thus none of my views are meant to be dogmatic.

    [What with three men getting married in Colombia on 14th June 2017]

    Such a marriage would be unlawful in both Canada and the USA. In both countries the recognition is marriage is a form of legal contract between adult couples. In the past such couples had to be opposite sex, but now both countries allow for same sex. This is a recognition that laws against same-sex marriage where based on religious views and not rooted in any specific harm in the wider secular society. In the USA the first amendment provides a guarantee of freedom of religion by specifically stating: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    Thus our laws must be rooted in secular concerns. They cannot simply codify religious edict, since that would run afoul of the establishment clause. Whereas the Catholic Church would oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, my faith (Unitarian Universalist) says just the opposite. Neither faith should get to have their religious views codified into secular law.

    A secular law allowing for same-sex marriage does not harm to the Catholic Church who can retain and practice a religious view that is opposed to same-sex marriage. On the other hand a gay UU couple who could not legally marry in our sanctuary had a legitimate claim of state-based interference in their exercise of freedom of religion. Thus it goes that freedom of religion must result in freedom for all religions, including none at all.

    Since marriage is a form of contract and results in rights and claims over property and children, etc, there is a legitimate state concern. Society also generally accepts the notion the marriage carries societal good. I support my wife and she supports me and we support our children. All this keeps the burden away from society at large. Thus society tends to acknowledge this by giving special legal rights to those who marry. I can speak for my wife and her for me, etc. All of this can apply to same-sex couples, other than natural childbirth is not possible. Thus same-sex couples could point to the 14th amendment. The last clause says, “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Same-sex couples asked the court to recognize such equal protection rights and SCOTUS agreed. Specifically that a legally married gay man had the right to have his name as spouse on the death certificate of his partner. It is hard to imagine why anyone would claim some harm comes to them when such a document exists — especially considering it reflects the truth of their situation.

    I’ll end this post here and respond in additional posts to each point you raised. I’ll next address why I think same-sex marriage should be legal but why polyamory relationships (i.e. three men) should not.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  20. Hi Ricardo,

    [Now that marriage can include 3 members, what limits can society put on these other abhorrent relationships? Should society put limits on?]

    The challenge of a free society is to allow for contrary views to co-exist. That is, some, even many or the majority, should not be censored if they view three males having an intimate relationship as abhorrent. In contrast we must acknowledge some will hold a positive view of polyamory relationships. In general the way society addresses this issue relates to boundaries and respect for privacy. Thus no one needs to be that concerned about how intimate relationships they are not party to function. Unless, of course, such relationships involve societal harm or harm to an individual that should benefit from state protection.

    This view of matters is quite different than many religious views that see no boundaries at all and feel free to regulate intimate matters of all sorts, even those between opposite-sex married couples.

    Since a free society will allow polyamory relationships to exist, should society go further and recognize it with legal status of marriage? I don’t think that is needed.

    Before same-sex couples were granted the privilege of legal marriage they faced certain challenges and only once they were met did legal recognition follow.

    It would be wonderful if rights and freedom just happened without a struggle, but that is not how the world works. If we want certain rights and freedoms we have to fight for it. At the same time opposing forces will fight in the opposite direction. As long as we allow for basic freedoms like free speech, free press, right to protest and democratic voting it seems over the long haul the correct progress is made. Certainly some will say such progress is bad, but in the end, it really does boil down to arguments won or lost legally or in the realm of public opinion of those who vote.

    Same-sex couples and those who supported them won these rights by such engagement. They got out there and protested, they wrote legislators. Scientists worked on basic questions, such as looking into DNA and twin studies. The psychiatric profession wrestled with questions of whether or not homosexuality was a mental disorder. As some countries embraced same-sex marriage and others continued to strongly oppose homosexuality it gave folks an opportunity to consider pro and con arguments.

    Where did all the truth of this land? For me, it was clear. Homosexuality is natural state of being for a certain percentage of the population. Ancient references to homosexuality indicate this has been the case for most of human history. Over time society began to see a difference between homosexual relationships vs homosexual sex. Although connected it is the former that gets legal protection whereas the latter remains largely a matter of privacy. Despite claims to the contrary legalization of same-sex marriage has not brought societal harm. To the contrary, by more strongly establishing equal legal rights we all benefit.

    In contrast polyamory has not met these burdens. It remains a highly unusual arrangement. As long as society continues to respect boundaries and privacy there is no need to go further. Society is not required to embrace every oddity with some legal basis. At the same time the polyamory have the right to fight for their cause. Free and democratic society will respond as it always has — legal rulings in the courts and creating of law by those voted into office.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  21. Hi Ricardo,

    [Who decides at what age love is true? Is love shown by someone who is 18 different from love shown by someone who is 17? 16? 15? 14? 13?]

    Within secular society the focus is on preventing harm. We craft property rights because a person is harmed by stealing. Direct theft is fairly easy to deal with. However it is also possible to be tricked. Thus much of our civil law relates to contracts between individuals and businesses. So the focus on a marriage contract will address the question of maturity required to give consent. One of the ways society has arrived at the various age values is simply by studying results. We can ask someone at 25 if they felt the consent they gave at 13 was reasonable.

    As per Wikipedia: “The age of marriage in the United States is 18, with the exception of Nebraska (19) and Mississippi (21). Every state allows exceptions to their age of marriage. Most states allow marriage at 16 and 17 with parental consent, and some states also make exceptions subject to judicial approval, or cases of pregnancy.”

    The question of age of consent has an interesting JW angle. JWs claim the right to publicly slander[1] any who leave the faith on the basis of the baptism contract. I was 16 in 1981 when I decided to get baptized. While I studied more than most my age, I now recognized I was not really mature enough to make that decision. I did not really appreciate the ramifications of the legal contract I was entering.

    Cheers,
    -Randy
    [1] The public announcement is simple: “So-and-so is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” However this is a coded-message for: “So-and-so is the moral equivalent of the sex-pervert of 1 Cor 5 and henceforth should be shunned. Any who object and decide not to shun, will themselves be subject to this same process.”

  22. Hi Ricardo,

    [Who says animals can’t display love? Where is the limit, Randy? Who should decide?]

    Bestiality relates to consent and animal abuse. There is an article on the legality of bestiality on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_bestiality_by_country_or_territory

    While I highly doubt human society will ever widely embrace bestiality as normal, I can see a number of complexities in regards to law enforcement in this area. We’re probably wise to avoid crafting too much law in this area. Is cuddling a small dog in the lap bestiality? Some folks at PETA feel the entire area of “pet ownership” is morally offensive. Rather than discuss much more, I’ll paste this paragraph from my ENH241 course assignment. This was dealing with a Navajo origin legend:

    Kideztizi is out hunting late and unable to reach home. Nastja, the owl, offered rebuke at the thought of masturbation. However, a second owl tells Kideztizi to do as he wishes. The audience is told Kideztizi follows the second suggestion and then falls asleep, thus leaving this aspect of human sexuality in a neutral light. Oral sex, specifically cunnilingus, is mentioned without condemnation, but rather as a way of explaining such behavior in other animals, such as dogs. Bestiality, though, receives negative treatment. Attempts to copulate with an antelope or mountain sheep results in nature offering a retribution in terms of death by lightning, rattlesnake bite or bear attack.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  23. Hi Richardo,

    [This could all end badly. Especially if there is as the Bible says an evil force wanting to wreck the world’s morals.]

    Understood. It can be unnerving to see society embrace change we are not comfortable with. Change that seems immoral. In reality though, much of how sex functions within human society has not changed. And attempts to change it, such as “free love” of the 1960s have failed. Humans are generally serially monogamous. If the theory of evolution is correct, and I believe that it is, it will naturally select for behaviors that promote survival. Humans survive in social groups wherein there are survival-enhancing roles for even those not directly involved in sexual reproduction.

    Human females, for example, survive far past the age of viable reproduction. As humans we get involved in cooperative breading and alloparenting, wherein knowledge transfer and care giving is provided by more than just our direct parents. It seems to me that homosexuality may be playing a role in this. Groups of humans that embraced a level of homosexuality in their group enhanced their survival.

    Many parts of the Bible are certainly concerned with moral behavior — that is concern for the principals of right and wrong. What though, if what is viewed as “moral” is actually flat out wrong — the opposite in fact of what is right and good? That is my view of Lev 20:13 and why I keep wishing to drag the discussion back to that verse. So much of same-sex marriage discussion in regards to the Bible seems to want to avoid a real discussion of the morality of this law. Was it ever a good and right thing to literally kill men who had gay sex? If we accept the nominal view then we would be believing that for over 1,500 years an untold number of gay men wound up dead due to this law and such was morally right.

    Unfortunately such views persist. Afghanistan, Brunei and Sudan all have such laws. From 1563 to 1861 the UK had such a law. So how are we to understand the evil force being referenced? Is the wrecking of morals EF did, good or bad? Would we say EF finally had success in 1861 in the UK, but has continued to fail in Afghanistan and few other places?

    Or is it something else entirely? That EF doesn’t really exist at all… all we have is humans doing their thing and that by embracing certain basic freedoms (freedom of speech and religion, redress under law and democratic processes) some societies have hit upon a better basis for morality. That is, liberty and justice for all, tied to secular questions of real harm or goodness and not rooted to superstitious thoughts about what may or may not please God? That the often heard “rotten old system” and “worsening world conditions” is actually out of touch with reality[1]?

    Cheers,
    -Randy
    [1] See “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker.

  24. Hi Ricardo,

    [for brothers to start getting married to each other, or sisters, an act that used to be called incest]

    Sorry, this is out of sequence — I meant to comment on this as the second post. Laws against incest marriage reflect a couple things. First, children that result from a close relative relationship can result in genetic problems of inbreeding. Second, cases of incest can also often be cases of sexual abuse.

    Ironically, in many places in the modern world, Abraham would not have been able to legally marry Sarah, since she was his half-sister (Gen 20:12). Other Biblical marriages were also close relatives or would otherwise run into legal problems in much of the modern world. Isaac married Rebekah, his cousin once removed. Jacob married his cousins Leah and Rachel. In many places polygamy is not legal for some good reasons[1].

    The point of all this is, secular society has generated a pretty good set of answers to all these various concerns. Sometimes this has aligned with concepts found in the Bible, but at other times, the better moral state has been achieved by going against what is suggested in some Bible verses.

    Cheers,
    -Randy
    [1] Modern polygamy in the USA has often resulted in the abuse of welfare systems, forced marriages (often of under-age brides), and expulsion of younger males.

    • outandabout says:

      and, Randy, I would ask a fundamentalist which situation they would prefer –

      (a) a daughter who comes out as a lesbian and marries another and lives happily ever after, or –

      (b) a daughter who is raped and then forced to marry her rapist as per Gods law.

      I suppose if she marries her rapist there will at least be grandchildren but unfortunately, every time she has sex with her ‘husband’, she’s being raped yet again.

      • Hi Outandabout,

        Agreed. In regards to (b), one apologetics site noted the father remained in control and so could apply the bride-price fine without allowing the marriage to go forward. The site also referenced the case of Tamar and Amnon. While this case does seem to have Tamar making reference to requirement to marry, it also shows a strong reaction by Absalom (Tamar’s brother) to the idea of rape. As the account goes, Absalom murders Amnon for this reason.

        The authors of Exodus and Deuteronomy, who expressed these laws, reflect their time and culture. Why would it be any other way? They would see rape of a virgin female as form of property damage, since the father is seen as owning his daughter. Wedding vows to this day that say “who gives this woman” echo that view.

        Those in the past struggled with ideas of justice and that continues. When we insist that certain ancient material is the Word of God and thus must remain forever perfect that we run into problems. Much of the Magna Carta has been discarded. Yet, some this document from the 1200s has influenced law and in a few places (3 clauses as per Wikipedia) the actual law remains. Where would we be if we insisted that the Magna Carta was holy writ and had to been accepted as such?

        There is no way ancient authors could have predicted the advance of women’s rights. The idea of equality between sexes to the extent that who to marry would be as much of a choice for the individual woman as the man.

        Cheers,
        -Randy

        • tranquillo says:

          Randy, the more I read you the more I like you…..
          straight to the point.

          • outandabout says:

            Randy’s ‘the man’ and he qualify’s to comment because he’s seen both sides. He might need to go into hiding alongside Salmon Rushdie if he’s not careful though.

    • Ricardo says:

      @Randy, so it is conceivable that if the pedophiles followed the pattern set by the homosexuals and put a good public relations spin to sexual relationships between adults and children, then in 20 years’ time relationships between adults and children could be publicly acceptable. More so if research finds little negative aspects to such relationships. And if the Muslims can get their act together and show that Western youths are having sexual relationships anyway, in increasing numbers and at a younger age, and that it could be beneficial to have such relationships legally binding in marriage as done in the Muslim countries, then it’s a done deal.

      Remembering how the homosexuals have suffered by being discriminated against for so long, it may be best for the West to accept relationships between adults and children, embrace pedophilia and stop causing those involved further suffering.

      20 years ago, homosexual relationships were viewed as repugnant, just as Western people view pedophiles today. I think it would be very easy for this view to change.

      So again, I ask, should society reject relationships which seem repugnant? Is the slippery slope inevitable?

      • Hi Ricardo,

        I don’t have any ability to predict the future, but so far I see the embrace of basic freedoms working towards the opposite direction.

        Pedophilia is fundamentally unjust and harmful towards the victims. What sort of system then will pursue liberty and justice for all? A system that draws power from moral commands tied to religious thoughts may have some power, but clearly it has not stopped this unjust and harmful behavior. Indeed, right within the religious communities, we see power structures working against justice for victims.

        In contrast, freedom of speech, religion, redress through the courts and the democratic process, where embraced, has empowered victims and their supporters to highlight the injustice and harm.

        On the other hand, homosexuality is a natural state of being for a certain percentage of human population[1]. Homosexual behaviors have also been observed among other animal life[2]. It is neither unjust or harmful, as long as, both parties are consenting adults.

        If polled about the matter should one support same-sex marriage? What if they find the thought of gay sex repugnant? What if they know of Biblical verses that condemn homosexuality? Even with all that in play, if they are a lover of freedom and justice they should. Because freedom for one minority group is freedom for all. When JWs pursue freedom of religion in court, they are drawing on the same principals that resulted in legalization of same-sex marriage. Rights and freedoms applied broadly work that way. In contrast, countries that are willing to kill homosexuals are also often places where JWs are not free to practice their religion.

        Cheers,
        -Randy
        [1] See “The Language of God” by Francis Collins. Near the end of the book he discusses the likely role of DNA in regards to homosexuality.
        [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

  25. Markie says:

    Do you think this project will have some pretty lesbians in it? At least the brothers did! That yelling redhead was hot……

  26. Garrett says:

    I think all these posts highlight the reason to keep “gay” “LGBT” and other such topics off this site….
    I originally found this site because of its analysis of religious issues relating to the Watchtower Society…..Sadly, it has migrated into becomeing a forum for the above…and if you look at all the comments above, it divides people and has no place in a religious blog.

    My own mother has actually watched a number of Lloyd’s Videos….She is 87 and has been a witness for 71 years and as active and dedicated as one can imagine…
    yet she says of Lloyd ” I just love that man”…and has no problems with me showing her Lloyds videos and me waking her up……..BUT……how can I show her videos or articles where they promote homosexuality???…..I cant……Soooo….others pushing their selfish agenda mean they alienate the rank and file witnesses…and in doing so will never wake them up……

    Like I said before…..keep it to yourselves…..we really dont care and dont care to see your flags and parades and rainbow colors……

    • outandabout says:

      not sure if any gay agenda is actually being pushed, Garrett. Being talked about, sure, but at the end of the day society is self regulating and thats how we developed our morals. What doesn’t suit gets rejected, just like the free love of the 60’s as Randy pointed out.
      The only constant is change, though. Of that you can be sure.
      ‘Every great truth had begun as a heresy’, as pointed out by Thomas Henry Huxley, and that was from the mid 1800’s. Even the theory of gravity was initially resisted by religion.
      Religion hates change. It can’t rule by punishing unbelievers anymore so truth is being allowed to bubble freely to the surface and people now have a choice. The people will work it out.

    • Doc Obvious says:

      Governing Body member, Anthony Morris III, believes that homosexuality is caused by masturbation. The nutty people of Watchtower believe this. In addition, there are several articles that do not touch on sexual orientation. The commentary on these topics are interesting.

    • Hi Garrett,

      That is wonderful to hear how your mother respond to Lloyd’s videos. Of course your mom could go to jw.org, however, while the videos there may have fairly decent production quality, the message is going to be fairly bland and predictable. Certainly no honest exploration of issues that are part of the faith.

      The main content on the site is up to Lloyd and his fellow editors. It is also true that the comment section is moderated.

      I know when I left the faith it was a bit of a shock to see how discussions on Ex-JW sites went. I was mostly interested in science and the Bible and wanted to discuss how plausible the story of Noah’s Flood could be.

      My own views on homosexuality evolved over time. However, there was one case that particularly hit home. One of the individuals I carpooled with is a homosexual man and Ex-Mormon. I asked him if he would like to speak at our “Shun Run” events (a yearly event I organized when I was part of an Ex-JW meetup group here in Phoenix). He related being in San Francisco during an earthquake as one of the scariest events of his life. I also believe it was shortly after he had come out to his family. Some of his Mormon family and friends suggested to him that he and other homosexuals were the reason for the earthquake! Of course that is nuts! But as he went on to explain the emotions of it, he broke down and had to pause before he could continue. When I saw him handing out hugs after the meetup, including some Ex-JW homosexuals in our group, I could not deny the connection between religious views and how homosexuals have been treated.

      As long as JWs continue to hold strong anti-homosexual views and express such in their literature it will be a topic that comes up.

      Cheers,
      -Randy

      • tranquillo says:

        Indeed Randy, I happen to know personally a few JW homosexual and theirs is indeed a sad situation.
        I also see some similarity in our outing as dissociated and the outing done by homosexual. We understand the social stigma they bear.

  27. Whip It says:

    Hey off topic here, i hadn’t been to a mid week meeting in a couple of months, mainly due to complete disdain for the whole thing, but last nite Wifey put the pressure on so off we go, local needs was announced & the subject was finance, my pet hate with WT, as we all know, a few years back the WT took all the money from the congregations around the world under this new way of doing thinks, & when your local congregation needs something then you can dip into the pool, we had saved $50,000 Aus for our refirb, i gave nothing as i had smelt a rat years ago, anyway last nite the push was on for more funds, 1st point was that we are not covering our expenses, 2nd point was we need new air con & new display monitors, as the WT is moving forward with Technology, ow & guess what the Branch won’t pay so we have to come up with the funds ourselves again, i will say though that the brother who gave the part was a bit sheepish, so soon we will again have some resolutions to agree.not agree on what we are going to pledge, ow & another guess what, we have to buy the new equipment through the branch, now the sinic in me is really getting angry, lets say that multiple congo’s have to buy new equipment through the branch at their price instead of using local suppliers to get the best price, how to make a profit without anyone knowing, people are just dumb.

    • Ricardo says:

      My friend Jimmy who got d’fed a year ago says that Jehovah is allowing the org to go astray in order to see who loves him and his principles, and who loves the Governing Body more than him. The GB have become like a golden calf. Jimmy is listening to a guy named Robert King who has some nifty YouTube videos.

      I don’t know if Jehovah is actually doing that, but it sounds like a great way of sifting out who really is genuine.

      The elders who are blindly giving total allegiance to the golden calf are thoroughly fooled.

      • Hi Ricardo,

        New religious movements often start as a sect of an existing faith. I don’t think this has happened a lot with JWs in recent times.

        However, one could argue that JWs are simply the largest sect of the International Bible Students, since some groups like the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement and Free Bible Students still exist. These groups would contend that JWs are apostates in that they’ve left the original teachings of Russell.

        I believe around the time that it came to light JWs had been an NGO within the United Nations, Robert King started up his group. There was also a website from a group or individual that originally followed him, but then rejected his views and returned to JWs.

        Greg Stafford, of Elihu Books, is another example. He originally started by writing apologetics in regards to various JW beliefs. He eventually left to form a new group: Christian Witness of Jah.

        I attend the memorial each year. I do so as a token of respect towards my mother-in-law and another dear older friend. Since I left the faith, Kingdom Halls, now have the square blue JW org icon. While I don’t think this is exactly like the cross on Christian Churches is sure strikes me as similar. An icon that represents an entity, in this case the Watchtower Organization.

        Cheers,
        -Randy

      • Big B says:

        @ Ricardo;

        The elders are not the only ones “throughly fooled”. Anyone who still believes this sincerely insincere organization to be God’s earthly organization is heading for the biggest disaster of their faith yet and what’s worse is they are to blinded to see it coming.

        Your friend “Jimmy” is totally and completely wrong. He is still, like so many others, hoping that this cult that he has invested so much time with, will pull out of its free fall into irrelevancy. That Jehovah will remove this wicked evil slave from his current position of authority is wishful, pie in the sky, thinking. Only when the master returns will the evil slave be removed and not one minute before!

        Firstly, Jehovah does not test men’s faith, according to scripture, and what’s more he has never backed this evil slave inspired, man made nonsense with his holy spirit period. Everything about this cult “stinks on ice” like a rotten fish; from the head down!

        Secondly, this is not Jehovah’s (m.o.) method of operation. Surely the destruction of two temples and the casting off of the Jewish nation should give you a clue of how He operates. Screw up and refuse to straighten up and you will go belly up (die). It’s as simple as that. No room for error or compromise when you have his written word, is there? Especially so since the Watchtower Society is as guilty as the rest of Christendom as being a part of Babylon the Great with their ten year involvement with the U.N. And eighteen years latter the friends still don’t know!

        Thirdly, the elders receive their marching orders from the evil slave running this abomination. If they have any thoughts of their own of independent thinking they would be removed by the Circuit Overseer on his upcoming visit, if not sooner. Anyone bucking the establishment will be removed from their positions or removed from the congregation as apostates. Some sifting work that is! Loyalty to the organization (read: Faithful and Discreet Slave) is what matters! It’s obvious now, nothing hidden “Listen, obey and be blessed” OR ELSE!

        Finally, those that are truly “genuine” have already sifted themselves out of this cult and have followed the angel in mid heavens exhortation to get out of Babylon the Great! “Jimmy” just may be in a better position than most Jehovah’s Witnesses; he knows what the score is and is finally out. The rest of the ignorant losers (read: sheeple) in the congregation are still hanging on in their belief that Jehovah will continue to bless this ministry, His Organization and will straighten matters out in His own due time. Yeah, sure He will. To those that believe that wishful thinking, purple haze nonsense I say, “when pigs fly”.

        Take care buddy,

        Big B

        • Ricardo says:

          @Big B, I am seeing more and more rot in this org. With the amount of victims, I am surprised there is any increase at all.

          The elders have left me alone now. They didn’t call to invite me to the Memorial and they haven’t informed me that my cards are with them.

          This leaves me in the enviable position, when I leave here and return to Australia, of easily fading if I wish to.

          A group of brothers here have gone to the immigration dept and religious dept to complain about this extreme group and its foreign elders, but nothing has happened yet. Maybe it will. Maybe not. Almost 20 of us have stopped attending meetings- I think the elders are happy to see the end of us.

          Big B, why did the elders come and visit you the other week?

          • Big B says:

            @ Ricardo:

            I believe that their visit was a yearly visit as they do when someone at the door asks Jehovah’s Witnesses not to call on them. The elders are supposed to make a yearly visit to see if (1) the non-interested person still lives at that address and (2) if the non-interested person still wishes to continue on the “do not call” list.

            I, personally have no problem with any visiting brothers or elders as I have told them that my family and I will never return to the Kingdom Hall or their CULT, period. Even if Armageddon were imminent the last place I would seek refuge would be at the Kingdom Hall! I have made that as plain as day, therefore if they call at my home, unannounced, as they always do, they do so at their own risk.

            They sure did not want to hear about the ten year U.N. involvement nor did they want any information that I had printed out on the subject from the internet. I guess even the U.N. information site is considered “apostate”!

            http://ask.un.org/faq/14501

            But in fairness I told them, when offered, that I would not accept the 3 times a year Watchtower magazine as I didn’t allow Babylon the Great cultist literature in my home. Any Watchtower literature I had I’ve either thrown away, given away, burned in my fireplace or boxed away and is not displayed inside my home. It has been discarded as the nonsense that it truly is. I’ve outgrown it like the Mother Goose and Grimm Brothers fairy tales that it truly is.

            Their visit ended on a friendly note and I did give them an open invitation to return however, that I had absolutely no interest in discussing lies masquerading as “Truth” especially since they were not receptive to what I had found out about their U.N. involvement.

            Hopefully they saw by my friendly, Christian manner that I was truly care free, healthy and happy not a depressed, fearful, bitter, individual. Yes, there is true happiness in being free. Jesus’ load is indeed light and easy to bare.

            Big B

          • Ricardo says:

            @Big B, it must be great to have elders who are so concerned about you.

            I think the elders here think I have left the country. Which suits me fine.

  28. Ricardo says:

    Why are my comments awaiting moderation? Has my name been targeted?

    • Covert Fade says:

      No targeting, the spam filter keeps blocking things. It’s an ongoing pain in the butt we’re trying to fix it. 🙂

      • Holy Connoli says:

        I have been having issues getting any of my comments published? Seems like there is an issue with the site.

        • Katherine Fisher says:

          Might have something to do with the reaaaaaaly long and continual argements going on among the same group of people. I spend most of my time scrolling down past them looking for the comments of the less vociferous ones on here.

    • Hi Ricardo,

      I’ve tried to understand why some of my comments hit the moderation trap and some don’t. Is it content? Is it length? Is it the number of comments? I have no idea, the pattern seems random. So now I just say “oh well” and wait. In fact my reply to your comments about Jimmy has been waiting…

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      April 5, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Cheers,
      -Randy

  29. outandabout says:

    Hi Ricardo….you mention a slippery slope of moral decline. Imagine a scenario where fundamentalists manage to seize power and control the world and start enforcing strict biblical law. Is that what you’d like to see? Do you want to stone people to death for uttering gods name? Do you want to see the emergence of religious police spying into peoples bedrooms and dragging them out to be stoned, because thats what would happen. We’d be on a slippery slope back to barbarism.The bible is either the inerrant word of god in it’s entirety, or it’s not. Which one is it? We can’t have it both ways here. Are you suggesting that a perfect god made mistakes in the bible? Okay, then, which parts of gods word is abhorrent? Which do you reject and which do you keep and who says so? Who appointed them as gods spokesperson then? Where’s the proof of that?
    Gods supposed word has had more than a decent suck of the Savlon and it doesn’t work, Ricardo. Two thousand years of trying and most of it by people more devout than you’ll ever be. Just look at the mess you’re in now because of it. Are you happy?

    • tranquillo says:

      I do certainly prefer those who love in a “wrong” way that those that hate in a “holy” way!
      I fear more fundamentalism as any other disease in our society.

    • Ricardo says:

      @outandabout and @Randy,
      Randy, you paint a lovely picture of how society looks after those who have been unjustly treated, in this case homosexuals, and how these are now being treated properly. The way you explain it, who could disagree.

      But what if it is not quite as lovely as it seems to you? What if there are those groups, and I am sure there is, who are supporting the gay movement for equality for their own agenda? They know that the Bible’s standards were the big barrier they needed to overcome, and with that out the way they can more easily advance their goal. They know change must happen slowly or else society will reject it- thus the rejection of the free love movement; it happened too fast. Slowly, slowly they are working away at society’s standards. If they can make the marriage meaningless then it aids their agenda. Thus, with marriage now meaning two men getting together, or even three men getting together, how long until marriage includes multiple members of either gender ( or multiple genders as taught in some schools in Australia)?

      Outandabout, of course we can go to extremes, in which case we won’t be happy. In a world progressing down the slippery slope, we would be looking at incest, polygamy, pedophilia and bestiality being approved. Will we be happy to live there? Be it extremes in how the Bible is understood, or extremes of lack of morals, unhappiness will surely result.

      My point being: where does it stop? Who decides the limit?

      Neither Randy or myself know the future or whether the slippery slope will actually happen. I can’t see why it couldn’t. Randy has confidence society will only allow what is best to happen. I believe there is an invisible evil force making sure the world’s morals are corrupted, Randy thinks not. Rather, he sees similar to outandabout that religion has caused a lot of suffering.

      Given that never before in the history of the West has homosexual marriage been lawful, this is a phenomenal change. Let’s see what happens next.

      We won’t be able to say ‘I told you so’. But we can continue to observe.

      • outandabout says:

        Ricardo….society is self regulating. Society (people) decide what is acceptable. Isn’t that whats being shown all along? How much of the bible have we already thrown out, or, if you prefer, pretend is not in the bible because it doesn’t suit the picture we want. The bible is either true in it’s entirety having been written by a perfect god who doesn’t make mistakes, or it’s not. Which one is it?
        What?????….religion HASN’T caused a lot of suffering?????. So this site exists so that cheerful JW’s can gush about their wonderful lives at the hands of an organisation trying to interpret gods word? The crusades didn’t happen because of religion?
        Messenger…..just because the bible doesn’t say gays should actually be stoned ……so what? God hates them and wants to kill them. The end result is the same.

      • Hi Ricardo,

        It really appreciate your response here. I wish more folks could see how individuals with differing beliefs can discuss points of views. The truth is we both agree on an important point — that is, pedophilia is repugnant and neither of us would like to see society embrace such behavior as normal.

        Cheers,
        -Randy

    • Ricardo says:

      My reply is being moderated.

    • messenger says:

      Looks like someone doesn’t know what the Bible laws are. Get educated outandabout. Randy might not help you; he’ll teach you things like the intent of Gen 3:15 was to teach men would fear snakes, and snakes being low to the ground would fear men; or that the Bible teaches its readers should only admire Christ’s qualities without following him-until he’s called on such misrepresentations, and then being the clever sneak he is admits the true intent of scripture but claims the truthful meaning is coupled with his false misrepresentations. Really?

      But outandabout you pay your money (price) and you take your choice. You’ve admitted those type of false ones are the teachings you choose. Above Outandabout teaches the Bible instructs Christians to stone homosexuals? Really? The most disgusting things about your posts are not your beliefs but your false claims about what the Bible teaches. You two, like others that have commented on this site previously, will have to answer for that more than WT will. (Rev 22:18,19) WT teachings at least inform people of Christ’s message. You two misinform readers of the true intent of scriptures on almost every important point, on every occasion you can see to do so. I don’t believe it’s because you’re stupid. I believe you intentionally do that to fulfill your agenda which is in part a fulfillment of Gen 3:15. Or, “the dog has returned to its vomit. “Those scriptures sound quite blunt don’t they? Do you acknowledge why that’s so, according to the Bible not your own slanted view?

      The Bible is a big book and maybe you haven’t finished read the whole thing. Is it just a few hundred pages or less you’ve read outandabout? Or have you read it all? If so are you really that dull? Randy having read it appears manipulative, because he doesn’t come off as being that ignorant (or stupid), yet stupid in another way, a rebellious one. Many of the things Randy teaches about scriptural meanings, no one believes but himself, and the few fools who follow those misrepresentations like the lady who also use to argue for days that the Bible teaches Believing in and following Christ is not necessary for salvation, just doing good works according to Christ is. At least after a false teaching Randy will admit the obvious when confronted, and then add on it’s not either or, both teachings are true. Really? That only works on the ill informed, and the ill informed are not chosen.

      Or could I be wrong about you two, and we are witnessing a fulfillment of all those scriptures speaking of the Devil blinding the eyes so ones cannot see, and their hearts blinding their own understanding? What we are viewing here is a manifestation (that being a word WT likes to use) of the anti-Christ. That is part of the fulfillment of one prophecy I referred you to in the past, Gen 3:15. It has nothing to do with men being afraid of snakes and snakes being afraid of men. Those words are metaphors, symbols for ideas way beyond what Randy teaches.

      Some went out from among us, to show us what they are and help us to understand why a world run according to their beliefs could not last. God is not attempting to prove anything to us as WT claims. He’s teaching us. That’s what our existence in this world is about.

      • outandabout says:

        messenger…..why does reading the fine print of a contract, being sure of all things, daring to question, etc, get viewed by you as hateful, disgusting, manipulating, the fulfillment of scripture, misrepresentable, sneaky, slanted, ill informed, ignorant, stupid, rebellious, uneducated and foolish?
        Those don’t sound like the words a true messenger of a god would use to describe someone with a differing view, but it does sound like somebody with a fair amount of spite within. Someone who has been indoctrinated all their lives into a hideous view of the world and so see’s that hideousness everywhere.
        One minute Randy was the nicest guy on this site to you, now, just because he has shown he can now see both sides of a belief system, he has rectangular pupils.

        Find out where they live and go to that town

        Slice every living thing to pieces including the animals

        Take every non living thing to the centre of the town and burn it to the ground

        Make sure nobody lives there again…..

        .Gods instructions if anybody discusses him. What part am I taking out of context? What part of me doesn’t want to accept this? Why do I ‘hate’ god and Christians for not accepting this? Why won’t you drink that bleach? Why won’t you teach the genesis account of how animals got their spots and stripes?

        • messenger says:

          ” Who is the liar if not the one that denies Jesus is the Christ.” 1John 2:22

          Outandabout if you understood the scriptures you would understand the words above apply to both you and Randy. Those words are part of the message from God. Those did not originate from me as one of God’s many messengers. Here are more of those: ” How great your works are. O Jehovah! Very deep your thoughts are. No UNREASONING man can know [them] and no one STUPID can understand this.” Pslams 92: 5,6 (my words or God’s outandabout?); “Understand, you are UNREASONING among the people: And as for you STUPID ones you will have NO INSIGHT” Psalm 94:8.

          The two of you are the ones picking and choosing Bible words in order to falsely interpret scriptures as did(do) those people described in those scriptures above and many other scriptures that speak of the “sneaky, slanted, ill informed, ignorant, stupid, rebellious, uneducated and foolish.”

          And as far as that hatred which is displayed between God’s followers and Satan’s followers described at Gen 3:15 (“I shall but enmity…between your seed and her seed”) , we’ll let the readers from this site decide which side reveals their contempt for the other side more often and more severely on this web site. To me the answer is obvious. I’ve read you folks puking all over this comment page by directing insulting opinions about believers on a regular basis.

          But the most effect team member, the one who most accurately follows the first and most effective Satanic attack on the ignorant and those with a disposition to rebel against God is Randy. “Is that really so,” he asks, “I think the word of God says something different.” And then he includes any misinterpretation to mislead a reader. (e.g. when I directed him to see part of the fulfillment of the prophecy at Gen 3:15 by viewing behaviors and reactions to each other’s comments on this site he misinterpreted that scripture as claiming it means men will be afraid of snakes, and snakes will be afraid of men-notice how far he reached since that scripture does not even list a snake or a man in it). Slick Willie, or just ignorant? And does the reason for his actions matter to Christ? “Wisdom is proved righteous….” (Christ) by what, actions or intentions? After Randy’s obvious misrepresentations are pointed out he claims, “ah yes, but both thoughts (mine and yours) apply to that text. Those meanings are not to be taken as meaning either or, says Randy.” Really Randy? Good job Randy in applying an effective way to mislead the ill informed. And yet you are not the author of that approach. “…Is it really so…” recorded at Gen 3:1 is the first recorded deception by a man’s hand.

          Outandabout taking an objective approach to Bible interpretations requires applying Bible scriptures that speak of you and Randy as “hateful (as shown in Gen 3:15), disgusting, manipulating, misrepresenting scripture, sneaky, slanted, ill informed, ignorant, stupid, rebellious, uneducated and foolish.” . There are so many scriptures that sync your actions and teachings with people labeled that way in scripture. I could have looked up one or more scriptures for every one of those characterizations and then showed how those Bible words mirror your behaviors. However, I’ve just touched on a few of those scriptures. The Bible is full of those type of comments that apply to your behaviors. No doubt that’s a contributory reason that many on your side hate the Bible’s message and express your hatred towards those delivering it. As a messenger of God I deliver his message, and any commenter’s expressed personality on this site is not what controls my delivery. Commenter’s messages here are what shapes my responses not their personalities or intentions.

          Since calling someone stupid, ill informed, ignorant, hateful, or manipulative will probably not contribute to them changing those behaviors why does God’s word do that? In contemplating an answer consider why those characterizations label Satan that way. Was he labeled that way in God’s word to compel a change in him or for another reason?

          • Hi Messenger,

            You are reading into things that are not there. There is no sophisticated attempt to ask sly questions, deceive, etc. Take for example 1 John 2:22

            “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.”

            I have no issue with this verse. Indeed I deny Jesus is “the Christ.” If I thought Jesus was the Christ I would be a Christian, which I am not.

            What seems to bother believers is I also have no problem pointing out these words of John are authored by a mere human. He has no special power or insight beyond anyone else. In fact, forming an argument around name calling (antichrist) is weak (i.e. ad hominem).

            What I ask believers in anything, whether it be the theory of evolution, The Bible, Quran or The Book of Mormon to do is show me the evidence. When an argument veers off into name calling and imputing bad motive I begin to suspect the argument itself is not well founded.

            Yet again, it is how we act that is important. It is how you decided to treat a gay JW should meet one. It is the fact that you’re willing to teach kids to sing or willing to question JW doctrine — that is the important thing. When I tell folks I’m an atheist, the scripture that is often cited is Psalms 14:1:

            The foolish one says in his heart: “There is no Jehovah.” (NWT)

            But look at what the Psalmist emphasizes — how one acts 🙂

            Their actions are corrupt, and their dealings are detestable;No one is doing good.

            And I agree! If decides to pursue corrupt, detestable things, then it doesn’t matter what they believe. In this I see most religious folks, including JWs, are religious because they want to do good. For me, part of that is being honest about my lack of belief in God itself.

            Cheers,
            -Randy
            ps. I think I’ll stop responding for awhile. Messenger, if you’ve found my posts upsetting I really don’t intend for that. I admire each and every JW and Ex-JW who find the courage to openly discuss and question their beliefs. Time, if we’re patient enough, will tell the true story.

          • messenger says:

            Randy states, “What seems to bother believers is I also have no problem pointing out these words of John are authored by a mere human. He has no special power or insight beyond anyone else. In fact, forming an argument around name calling (antichrist) is weak (i.e. ad hominem).”

            You are the one claiming what the opinions and feelings of others are while you are incorrect in that assessment, the claim you made above. It does not matter to me what you believe, as it probably makes no difference to anyone except yourself. My comments center on what you teach not your personal beliefs, because by “author of the book of John being human,” I take it you put forth the idea you have definitive proof there is no God. Because if you do not that is a belief, and one not one taught in scripture, though you pronounce it with the air of a person teaching the idea like it is taught in scripture. You do claim to be teaching what the Bible means, don’t you? I’ve read countless representations from you making that claim.

            I’ve read several of your comments and way of teaching what you claim the Bible means. Those comments included responses to other commenters. You are either very slow intellectually, or you think I am; or maybe that you believe I will not expose what you do for the sake of what you consider being polite, your intellectual version of tact- a sham.

            Cut the pretense. I’ve cited two examples of that foolish approach, your comments on Gen 3:15 and that belief of yours that getting inspiration from Christ’s life is enough. Enough for what? The fact that you didn’t admit that the idea was just enough for you, that it is not what’s taught in the Bible until I called you on it is enough for me to say you are a willful fraud as a Bible teacher, intentionally claiming your own beliefs and desires are Bible teachings with an agenda to deceive others. Because if you didn’t have that agenda to do so, why would you do that?

            Do you really take me as so stupid to believe when I repeatedly suggested you notice fulfilled prophecy of Gen 3:15 taking place during all the name calling from Donald and Resister, and your response was Gen 3:15 just means snakes were afraid of people that I could not see your obvious motive to divert other people here from obvious truth? All deceptive tactics are lies, even when one just attempts to divert from truth. And there outandabout are a couple examples of the lies that exist in this world that your eyes are too scaled to notice. And willful blindness is stupidity.

            As far as the ad hominem statements you know those are names the scriptures call you because of your beliefs and actions. And you know according to scriptures what your personal feelings, like your expression, ” And I agree! If decides to pursue corrupt, detestable things, then it doesn’t matter what they believe” (Randy) does not matter when defining what the scriptures mean. The scriptures claim you are an antichrist, foolish, rebellious, and stupid for turning against Bible teachings on God and Christ, and even going further by misrepresenting some of the most important Bible messages to others, such as the necessity to believe in Christ for salvation-that he is the savior, not just a good example for morality’s sake.

            To return to my main point. I don’t care what you believe or how you act. Christ judges you on that I don’t. My comments are about your misrepresentations of what the scriptures mean, and how scriptures classify you because of peddling your heresy. I don’t comment to change your minds. I don’t comment to say, “here little Johnny let’s sit down and have a nice discussion.” I comment to warn others not to fall for your nonsense.
            That, and to share some truths about God’ purpose is the only reason I’m here. I don’t concentrate on WT because to me, God, Christ, and all God’s messengers WT is just a side issue, a pimple on an elephants butt. WT is not the most important earthly concern to God.

      • Hi Messenger,

        [Randy might not help you; he’ll teach you things like the intent of Gen 3:15 was to teach men would fear snakes, and snakes being low to the ground would fear men;]

        Just a quick reply — I haven’t yet read your full message. For what it is worth, I believe the author of Genesis sees the serpent in supernatural terms. His audience would know in the natural world serpent do not utter speech with the intent to deceive. What I was wishing to illustrate was the minimal view possible — i.e. that of the relationship between humans and serpents. While on the other hand stating the Christian interpretation is not really possible when one restricts themselves just to the text of Genesis and the historical and cultural context of its author. Simply because the Genesis material was written many years before the Christian era. Thus when folks identify the serpent with Satan and the bruising with the death of Jesus, what they are doing is going far beyond what the text itself allows. The author of Genesis has no knowledge of such characters as “Satan” and “Jesus.”

        I was also wishing to point out that when we paint over such material with Christian thought, we obscure how the ancient author likely viewed the world. The world he lived in included venomous snakes, slithering through the grass that occasionally would strike out at humans. Seeing these animals as having supernatural evil-inclined powers would be natural conclusion to reach,

        Cheers,
        -Randy

      • Hi Messenger,

        Wow! I’m not sure how to respond to all that. All I can say I guess is to repeat what I’ve said before. What is in my posts represent a fairly simple view of who I am and what I believe. If you see the world in terms of a cosmic battle between good and evil, please understand I don’t believe that anymore. Yet, at the same time, I remain willing to listen to arguments that posit another view.

        My views are rooted in the assumption that Jehovah and Satan do not exist beyond the imagination of humans. I believe that a real historical person named Jesus probably existed. Yet, I also believe the shock of his sudden demise at the hands of the Romans likely led to an expansion of his character in NT writings. The character expansion continued post NT writing period, until finally, Jesus became God and part of the Trinity in mainline Christian thought.

        If my view is correct, then it would be impossible for any passage of scripture to make specific prediction about the future. In other words, prophesy should be impossible. You offered Gen 3:15 as an example. But there is nothing date or item specific in this verse. It only becomes “prophesy,” once one adds Christian interpretation, and even at that remains a rather vague cosmic battle sort of thing.

        While many who lose their faith in God and become atheists have in the process ceased being interested in the Bible, that hasn’t happened to me. Actually just the opposite. Reading the Bible through the eyes of an atheist is fascinating and in my case more enjoyable. I see within the pages the struggle for wisdom, the concerns about pleasing God, the importance of belief among people, and yes sometimes some horrible ideas such as male gay sex should result in a death sentence.

        For example, you mention Rev 22:18, 19, which reads:

        18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. (NIV).

        It is not difficult to see what the author of Revelation is concerned about — i.e. folks adding or deleting material from the scroll. The integrity of this material had to remain. Perhaps even in cases where it was being read — keeping in mind not everyone was literate in those days. But this comment is also a reminder that attempts to add material to the Bible did happen and the author may have been aware of that too. You’ll note the new NWT has completely removed John 8:1-7 for this reason.

        I know it is odd for a non-believer to also have a love of scripture. But even if we don’t agree on certain things, I still maintain that actions are the important thing. And at times some Bible verses, such as Micah 6:8, will call out to me as much as I’m sure it does a believer.

        He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
        And what does the Lord require of you?
        To act justly and to love mercy
        and to walk humbly[a] with your God. (NIV).

        Take care Messenger,
        -Randy

        ps. There was a comment about reading the Bible, which got me thinking about my own experience. The first time I read any book cover-to-cover I was 24 (The Greatest Man Book). I didn’t read the Bible cover-to-cover until I started riding the bus to work (age 34). Since then I’ve become a holy-book reading maniac. Quran was next, then the Bible again, then the Dead Seas Scrolls Bible, then The Book of Mormon, the Bible again, the Lego Bible, Bhagavad Gita. And currently the Bible (NIV) for our family Bible reading (up to 2 Kings now) and Apocrypha. I now recommend to everyone, no matter how old you are, consider reading the Bible cover-to-cover. It is a worthwhile experience.

  30. tranquillo says:

    than… I fear more than… not as

  31. messenger says:

    I read a few books on the reasons for, and philosophy of atheism. I read not because I was so interested in that subject, but because I chose to write a term paper about it for a college class that was teaching philosophy.

    It’s true, the pick or choice of subject matter was mine. But if I continually repeated a belief that one of those books on atheism was my favorite book to read and to teach to others, and that every week I study it with my child, then is anyone out there going to believe my statement, “that book on atheism is my favorite book?” I’m speaking to those of you that know I’m a Christian, and that I claim to be born again? And suppose that book on atheism claimed I was stupid for being a Christian after having read the book on atheism? Is anyone out there going to believe my story that the book on atheism is one of my favorite books and though it calls me stupid I study it with my child religiously?

    With that idea, and the wiggling tactics around scriptural truths I’ve cited above, not to mention similar tactics in pasts posts, such as your statement that Lot’s actions with his daughters you believe can represent Christian morality and also God’s standards for morality, I rest my case Randy on evidence pointing to a provable motive for your teaching false doctrines. Is someone going to teach what the Bible says, when the book itself claims in your condition accurate teaching of it from you is impossible? Will your teaching include those statements? Is anyone going to love a book that calls them a fool? Would I love a book on atheism while being Christian?

    The woman was deceived, but Adam was not.
    Outandabout, I think you drunk the poison, with a consequence much more severe than the bleach you keep suggesting I drink!

    • messenger says:

      In the few scriptural conversation we see the Devil participated in (except for the one he had with God) Satan’s topic of choice was God’s word. And yet seeing how he represented it did not suggest he loves God’s word. Instead his intention when not speaking to God was always to get a following.

  32. Resister says:

    I take exception to the opinion posted by some, that without the bible’s rules, society will eventually legalize things like bestiality, pedophilia, and incest. I’m sorry, but that viewpoint is just ridiculous. And to throw homosexuality into the same basket as bestiality, pedophilia, and incest, is just moronic. Again, it’s the old bible-thumping attitude, “If you don’t abide by the bible / quran / torah / insert-your-holy-book-of-choice, then you must be a degenerate Cro-Magnon with absolutely no moral compass.” Again, ridiculous. By that “logic, 99% of “unbelievers” would also approve of things like rape, murder, and stealing. And note that many incidences of pedophilia and incest are perpetrated by “God-fearing”, religious people. Has our society been inundated by disgusting acts like bestiality, incest, pedophilia, rape, and murder? You bet. But that has nothing to do with who follows a “holy book” and who doesn’t. It is a pattern that has been repeated over and over again throughout history. The moral deterioration of empires that have reached their zenith. We live in a society populated significantly by spoiled brats. Folks who have never known hardship. Folks who have never been held to a reasonably high standard. Sad, but true. We live in a time when the Leader of the Free World is a Casino Magnate who cavorts with porn stars behind his pregnant wife’s back. And he claims to be, and is fanatically supported by, zealous christians!!!
    Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    • Ricardo says:

      @Resister, let us appreciate the fact that you can take exception, that our culture and that of this website allows for a variety of opinions. We can agree to disagree.

      Of course, I disagree with you. I attended meetings and read the Watchtower for the moral guidance it provides based on the Bible. Unfortunately, in my religion I am not allowed to state I disagree with anything; there is no ability to agree to disagree.

      After living in Asia for more than 20 years where I have seen a variety of beliefs and cultures based on those beliefs, I have come to highly appreciate the Bible’s standards. I see that it produces a kindness, a concern for others.

      If you wish to see a contrast, I believe China is the country to visit, a country which for decades spent so much effort to get rid of religion. The Chinese people are voting with their feet: leaving atheism in droves so as to be Christians. There must be some reason for this. Maybe they too can see a kindness and concern for others produced in the personality of Christians around them, qualities sadly lacking from the times of the Communist purges.

      • outandabout says:

        After years of oppression by the communists I’m not surprised the Chinese turn to Christianity to purge their past and connect with the West. The Chinese government however puts limits on religious activities stating that “no one may use religious activities to disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the education system of the state”. So there goes fundamentalism and the Chinese are on the ground floor to stop it. That won’t stop the WT from greasing around like snakes though.

        But, Ricardo…I thought Satan was taking over the world and sowing evil everywhere but here we have the Chinese turning to God. And it looks like the Catholics with their acceptance of Evolution are going to get the lions share from the forward thinking Chinese looking for a modern religion. Didn’t I suggest earlier that forward thinking Catholicism could emerge with a new kinder more gentle God by accepting Evolution? The days of wrath and plaque are coming to an end. The reason we don’t see biblical miracles anymore is because we’re not as dumb and gullible as we used to be. Our intellectual universe has changed. This is the Age of Reason.

        • Ricardo says:

          @outandabout, I am not sure how many Chinese are becoming Catholics, but I tend not to get as excited as you even if there were many. Professor Niall Ferguson has written a book and made a documentary called: Civilization ; Is the West history? In the documentary he is very excited about the number of Chinese becoming Christians, especially in the Shanghai area. He states that their honesty and work ethic is what attracts other Chinese to Christianity. You would find his thoughts interesting, as one of the things which he identifies as putting the West in an advanced position is the Protestant work ethic. He says because Europe is losing its Christian identity, and so losing its work ethic and economic standing. But in the USA Christianity is still powering along strongly, and the Protestant work ethic is keeping America ahead. As China is becoming more and more Christian, it too is advancing.

          I don’t know what more people becoming Christians has got to do with Satan making the world worse. I know Watchtower wants us to believe the waters are drying up, but I have always thought that was BS because here in Asia religion is very strong.

          Interestingly, it can be observed in the area where I am that the tribes more prone to violence and quick temper have become Muslim, while the placid tribes have almost all gravitated to Christianity.

          Whatever your position, you must admire Jesus, a man who came and taught fine principles, giving a fine example of helping others. I have noticed that this spirit of giving is part of the culture in Australia, where charities and volunteers flourish. Church charities are doing an outstanding job there. I wish there were more charities in the Muslim country I am living in, but for the Muslims everything is the will of Allah, so if Allah wants you to suffer, who are we to argue with Allah?

          Just some observations I wanted to share with you.

    • outandabout says:

      Hi Resister,,,,,I reckon a guy like you would be interested in the utube series ‘why people laugh a creationists’ I’m not really the laughing sort myself but more the shake my head in wonder type, but the content is interesting. Also, have you found the site ‘Our World in Data’. There you’ll find the markers that WT use to say we’re in the last days are in reality, the opposite of what they tell you. An eye opener.

  33. Resister says:

    On June 30 of 2015, governor Jerry Brown of the great state of California, USA, signed a bill into law – California Senate Bill 277 – SB277. This new law REMOVES the Personal Belief Exemption for children’s vaccinations that are a requirement for enrolment in any private or public elementary or high school or day care center in the state of California. Well now, isn’t that SOMETHING? With literally the stroke of a pen, lawmakers circumvented Freedom of Religion relating to a particular issue. It’s just that easy, after much deliberation and expert counsel, of course. My point is, when the secular lawmakers WANT to do something like that, they not only find a way, they CREATE a way. It would be just as easy, just as do-able, to save JW lives by creating a law that negates the right to refuse a blood transfusion. It would be just as do-able to circumvent the religious freedom that allows fundamentalist mormons in Utah to marry underage girls who belong in school, instead of in some sick pervert’s bed. It would be just as do-able to send the FBI to the front door of Watchturd Headquarters in New York State, and forcibly seize that database of 30,000+ pedophiles lurking within the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m sorry, but this just demonstrates to me, who our so-called “leaders” really are, and whom they really work for.

    • Resister says:

      Randall “Duke” Cunningham – U.S. Congressman & Vietnam war vet – Convicted of receiving some (hefty) bribes from a defense contractor – Served 7 years in prison.
      Wesley Snipes – Hollwood actor – Convicted of tax fraud – Served almost 3 years, mostly in prison, some under house arrest.
      Jeffrey Epstein – Wall Street money man – Convicted of soliciting under-age females for prostitution, not to mention other charges and lawsuits, including operating an under-age prostitution ring, kidnapping, statutory rape,…… – Served 13 MONTHS in prison. Now, ironically, lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
      Just shows you where the priorities are in the good ol’ U.$.A., and the rest of the world, for that matter. Have sex with minors, rape kids, force under-age girls to be prostitutes – Tisk Tisk – naughty boy. But heaven forbid you should cheat on your taxes!
      Hate to say it folks, but the world is run by pervs right now.

  34. Hi Messenger,

    [Cut the pretense. I’ve cited two examples of that foolish approach, your comments on Gen 3:15 and that belief of yours that getting inspiration from Christ’s life is enough.]

    I was busy yesterday working on my ENH241 – American Literature Prior to 1860. However, I did drop by JWSurvey a few times and saw your responses. The good news is I got my “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe draft essay in prior to the midnight deadline.

    In a number of posts you’ve raised a number of objections and questions and made suggestions as to motivation regarding myself and Outandabout. In a series of posts I’ll do my best to give a thoughtful answer to each objection. As I mentioned to Ricardo, my views continue to evolve as new information comes along. Ultimately though I am interested in knowing, to the best of my ability to determine, what is the truth about our world.

    I begin with a plea for patience. My approach is not typical. A Bible-loving-quoting-atheist is not something one runs into every day. As my dear wife often tells me, “not everyone gets you.”

    In my next post I’ll deal with the basics. I’ll explain my approach to logic and knowledge and understanding the Bible and other holy books. But before I do that, here is basics of my background:

    Born in 1964, I was baptized in 1981 at age 16. I was an active JW all my life until one day after service in fall of 2007 I left the faith. I served as Ministerial Servant in Canada and the USA. I then served as an Elder until I resigned in 2005 after confessing to my fellow elders that I had doubts about the existence of God and had a more charitable view of the theory of evolution than JW Elder should.

    In the fall of 2013 I began attending Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I became a member in 2015 and now serve VUU as the chair of LPCA (Lay Pastoral Care Associate). I’m an atheist — I enjoy telling folks that — since it was something I had to suppress for many years. But it doesn’t mean I want others to become atheists. To quote the 3rd and 4th principals of UUism: “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;” and “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;”

    Although I’m currently taking college courses, I hold no degree beyond high school. In my work life I’m a software engineer (C on Unix and GNU/Linux, often working low-level functions used by other developers).

    And finally, I’m a pretty happy Ex-JW. I recognize how profoundly fortunate I am that my wife and four daughters left the faith with me. My life as a JW, especially the early years, was enjoyable. Several JWs in my past were extraordinarily kind to me, even taking me in when I had nowhere else to say.

    If anyone wants to know what I look and sound like, I have posted one video to Youtube. This was part of my ENG102 course. The subject matter is Quantum Computing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kaKOwmGh-0&t=875s

    Cheers,
    -Randy

    • messenger says:

      You were once an elder; before that a ministerial servant; before that and continuing during those periods you spoke on stage in the theocratic ministry school. Besides going door to door and getting up on the stage at the Kingdom Halls teaching people you conducted private studies, congregational book studies, and your family’s private studies. You admit that you still conduct a family study with your kid about the Bible.

      Considering all the teaching you’ve done, and still do (the teaching on this site included) if your motive is not to influence people to your way of thinking then WHY DO YOU DO IT?
      Did you get up on all those stages in Kingdom Halls just to have people look at you because you have an ego that screams, “look at me, and see what I can do.” Or did you get up there to teach people what you believe, sway some to your way of thinking while keeping those who already agreed with you agreeing? You did and do that for one or both of those reasons or something is very wrong with your life. No one spends that much time and effort teaching others for free without having a motive to effect their lives, just because they love a book, a book that makes statements they believe are fraudulent statements.

      Didn’t you claim you told the elders you didn’t want to be an elder any more because you no longer believed there was a God. Evidently your conscience didn’t allow you to attempt to sway others to something you thought untrue, or you didn’t want to waste your time. But you continue to teach the Bible here and elsewhere for a reason. Is it to been seen, feed the ego, “look what I can do?” Or is it for a more pragmatic reason, one to accomplish something beyond feeding your ego, a reason to influence the beliefs of other people? Based on your actions and teachings I believe and claim it is the latter. I believe your stated reason, that you do not want to influence others is a con. And if you need psych help having left the JWs because of WT teachings about apostasy then maybe the con is not only directed towards others but also your own mind.

      Considering the actions, persistence, and success the Bible’s Devil has had in gaining a following to his side of the issue, a rebellion against God, we can surmise some things about him: That he is not stupid; that he sincerely believes he is right; that he works to teach others his ideas for the purpose of converting them to his beliefs. Are you claiming on this site that unlike Resister, Outandabout, Donald, messenger, Ricardo, Big B, Ted, Covert Fade, John Redwood, Lloyd, and many others here who comment on a regular basis that you only comment because you have a love for the Bible, a book that you believe is full of fraudulent material? Would that be the same reason you took to the Kingdom Hall stages? I don’t believe it! I personally believe your claim that you do not want to change another’s faith is fraudulent manipulation.

      • messenger says:

        I don’t know why I do what I did, but I do what I did and I don’t know why!!!

        Very clever.

        • tranquillo says:

          I wonder Messenger if you are reading what Randy is writing. To my simple ears he sounds as one of the most sincere persons I’ve met. He has been telling us the path that led him where he is now. The reasons behind all he is writing and thinking. Very little deception, very much human being. You keep attribute bad motivations, but that’s just a way to not accept what he is telling.
          If you want to see Satan behind any action you will find him.
          And nobody can prove the contrary, as Randy explained, because it may be impossible to prove the non existence of someone or something.

    • messenger says:

      Hello Randy

      I intend to lighten up on criticizing your comments. I don’t want to be instrumental in causing you to stop commenting here.

      I looked at the video you posted about quantum computers. Great job on your presentation. And it was nice to see you teaching in your video. Best wishes in completing your schooling. I know if you have time to continue you’ll do well.

      Cheers!

      messenger

  35. Resister says:

    Outandabout, some good stuff on those sites! “Hydrogen cannot turn into another element.” LMAO Then what’s all the fuss about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program??? LOL
    Another great Youtuber is NonStampCollector. “Ode to Yahweh” almost killed me.
    As long as we’re on the subject, I recently viewed a documentary on smilodon fatalis, the saber-tooth cat. There’s no denying it existed, as there are thousands of fossils of smilodon among the millions of other fossils recovered from the famous La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California, USA. So, tell me, creationists, what were those 6″-12″ fangs used for? Digging up turnips? Ha! … Wouldn’t work anyway. The skull/jaw/fang angles are all wrong. I don’t know about you guys, but if I found myself prancing around naked in the Garden of Eden, I would NOT feel comfortable with even ONE of those things creeping around! Now, creationists will likely say that, due to Original Sin, “all creation was subjected to futility”, whatever the hell that means – it actually sounds to me like a lame, last-minute attempt by the bible’s writer(s) to explain why many animals are wont to tear each other apart. I still have no satisfactory biblical explanation as to why some animals eat others, or fight over territory and mating privileges, or even make war. Chimpanzee troops have been known to conduct military-style raids on other troops, even cannibalizing some of their victims. How does any of that relate to Adam and Eve disobeying Yahweh? Anyway, assuming the biblical story that “all creation was subjected to futility”, the creationist will likely say something like, “So each animal adapted to survive in its new ‘role’, such as that of a predator.” To that, I say, Number 1: As soon as you invoke adaptation, you lend credence to evolution, since adaptation is a cornerstone of evolution. I mean, you can’t have it both ways. Living things either adapt or they don’t. If they do, which they do, then that supports evolution, NOT creation. Sorry. … And Number 2: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT 12″ FANGS FCS !!!

  36. Hi Messenger,

    [I take it you put forth the idea you have definitive proof there is no God.]

    This of course is the key point of difference. Much of what I said would make no sense if I believed in God as you do. Likewise if you didn’t believe in God your use of the phrase “God’s word” would make no sense.

    In a later post I will address this question directly and why I think the most logical conclusion we can reach is that a God, like Jehovah, does not exist other than in one special way I’ll explain later.

    Rather than jump into a response to the existence/non-existence of God, let me propose a more general question: How can we know anything at all? Along with, what strategies have proven effective in our search for knowledge?

    Rather than begin with the position that God does not exist, lets start with the opposite. Lets assume God exists, is all powerful, is able to act according to his own purpose and is not constrained by the laws of nature. If such a God existed and had reason to deceive us what could we be certain of? How much of what we think is real could be doubted?

    You’ll notice the God we encounter in the Bible does at times act like that. Water normally behaves according to the laws of physics, but when Israel is fleeing from Egypt the waters of the Red Sea stand up like walls. Normally a person cannot walk on water, but Jesus, on occasion, is able to violate such natural laws. In one case even getting a direct message from God is reported as case of purposeful deception (2 Chron 18:21, 22).

    Of course it doesn’t have to be a super-being intent on deceiving us, it could be our senses or even how mechanics of nature work or the natural limits of human cognition.

    When Rene Descartes runs this thought experiment he concludes nearly everything that we sense can be doubted. The only thing that one cannot doubt is their own existence. This is so, because we must exist in order to doubt. There really is no logical way not to exist, yet be tricked into believe that we do.

    Although Descartes “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) represents the extreme case of how much can be doubted (i.e. everything but our own existence) you’ll notice a fundamental difference here with religious thought.

    In religious thought, the emphasis is on belief — just believe and be saved (Acts 16:31). Doubt on the other hand is heresy (James 1:6). On the other hand Descartes and science in general sees value in doubting. For it is within the doubt that questions are formed that increase our knowledge. If Einstein never doubted Newton he would never have hit upon relativity. Yet how can we escape the extremes in this? How can we avoid just believing everything we’re told and thus be completely gullible compared to cynically doubting everything until we not sure of anything?

    Incidentally when I left the faith a few well meaning friends suggested I had succumbed to the machinations of the Devil. Logically though, if the Devil is capable of deceiving me and I cannot detect such, there is no logical reason to conclude he isn’t doing the same or worse with the JW leadership. Citing Rev 12:9 doesn’t really help, because there is no definitive way to determine who is in the “misled” group and who is not. Taken to a literal extreme, Rev 12:9 would suggest no one on earth escapes this Devil-inspired misleading.

    In the next post I’ll highlight the way forward I have taken and the reasons why.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

    • messenger says:

      The way you interpret the word “believe” is not what is meant when used in the scriptures you reference. “Believe” in those scriptures means to trust. The difference between me and outandabout, Resister, and yourself involves trust in God. I trust him, you folks don’t. And because you don’t he allows you to doubt everything he says and does, to your own peril. Anyone attempting to take over his universe is a rebel and lawbreaker by anyone’s definition if there is a God. Proof of his existence you will not see because God will not allow rebels to see it for his own reasons. One of those reasons being it would not cause you to follow him believing his ways are best for all concerned. You’ve nearly admitted to that attitude in your conference reference to Lev. So has outandabout and Resister. And yet you ask, “show me proof of God’s existence.”

      What you call good he calls sin because God doesn’t allow you and ones like you to take over his universe and make rules that circumvent his rules. The question Ricardo kept asking you and your response says it all. Not once did you claim if God exists that he should set moral standards. Your response each time was people do that to their benefit, even though when you were a professed Christian you were taught otherwise as Ricardo and I have been. You knew the truth of who should have the right to set standards, but you do not trust God enough to accept it.

      The reason why you people concentrate on Bible issues that don’t center on salvation is because you do not trust God. For instance, for a while you centered on Lot and his daughters. Lot was only declared righteous because of his trust in God not because he was righteous. And yet you having once known the truth couldn’t admit that. Not believing in God now you cannot trust him. You cannot trust the decisions he made in the past concerning homosexuals. You cannot trust any decision he’s made.

      But, if God exists and can see the future as many people have told you then why do you claim any decision you make is more moral than God as one who could see the outcome of all decisions? And if God sees the future why do you think he would support the acquisition of knowledge by rebels. Since you’re a rebel you are an enemy. And yet you ask Christians to show you proof of God’s existence. Why should God allow that? Logically he shouldn’t. You also know in scriptures it’s written he won’t allow that.

  37. Hi Messenger,

    In summary, to posit the existence of a super-being like God or Satan who can deceive us is a serious affront to any attempt to gain knowledge. The Twilight Zone series covered this premise in “A Small Talent for War.” In the episode humans achieve world peace only to discover our creator was looking for the opposite.

    To gain knowledge we need something that is reliable and consistent.

    [I take it you put forth the idea you have definitive proof there is no God.]

    No, I do not put forth such an idea. Proving the non-existence of something may be logically impossible. The burden of proof rests with the person making the claim. The more extraordinary the claim the greater the demand we should make for evidence.

    On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first powered aircraft at Kitty Hawk. If someone claimed John and Jack Smith flew a powered aircraft in July of 1830, how should we respond to such a claim? If one said, I don’t believe in the 1830 flight claim, would it make sense to insist the 1830 claim should be accepted until definitive proof could be produced it didn’t happen?

    If we propose the existence of God beyond our ability to detect, then existence always remains possible. Deism posits a creator God exists but no longer interact with the natural world. I see no way to logically refute such a position. On the other hand, that is not at all how Jehovah’s Witnesses and most Christian groups define God. They posit the existence of an interactive God with much evidence in the natural world.

    Here is 2014 Watchtower:

    [Similarly, you can use your physical senses to examine the world around you and to perceive the unseen God who created it. “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.”​—Romans 1:20.

    For example, think about our home. Earth is uniquely designed for us not merely to eke out an existence but to enjoy life. When we feel a gentle breeze, bask in the warmth of the sun, taste a succulent fruit, or hear the soothing song of birds, we are delighted. Do these gifts not reveal our Creator’s thoughtfulness, tenderness, and generosity?]

    My position is Paul’s words to the Romans are understandable, but ultimately rest on flawed logic. Likewise when the Watchtower author asks us to reflect on a gentle breeze, warmth from the sun, etc, and then asks if these gifts reveal a creator. My response is “No, not that I can see.” What I see in these views is classic human ego-centric thinking. Prior to verse 20, verse 18 Paul says God’s wrath is revealed against the “unrighteousness of men.”

    What Paul and the Watchtower author are doing is conflating human activity and emotion with systems in the natural world. As if they are alike, when just a bit of deeper reflection shows they are not. Because humans make things, Paul assumes a human-like super-being must have made the world. The next step is for the human-like super-being to have the same moral concerns. Since humans like to do nice things for others, the Watchtower author paints a picture of a creator of the natural world creating things that are nice for humans (gentle breeze, succulent fruit, etc).

    In truth the natural world is pretty harsh and repeatedly shows no intrinsic concern for the fate of human existence or any other life form. Life forms that have naturally come into existence and persisted for millions of years have gone extinct. The evidence we have shows this has been true for 99% of all species that have ever existed. If one were to accept the Watchtower’s position they would have to try and understand why Jehovah created “succulent fruit” for us to enjoy, while at the same time allow many children die from starvation. As per Wikipedia, “undernutrition is a contributory factor in the death of 3.1 million children under five every year.” How do we square enjoying the “warmth from the sun” with the fact that 3,000 per year in the USA die from skin cancer?

    My argument here is: If we marshal all he facts we have and compare the natural world to two models, the atheistic model fits better than the theistic one. In the atheistic model the sun operates under the laws of physics and life on earth survives under the laws that govern the theory of evolution. The atheist model has no intrinsic direction, purpose or morals. Fruit exists the way it does because of co-evolutionary symbiotic relationship between the fruit tree and the animal life that eats and spreads the seeds. The warmth we feel from the sun is a form of radiation and as such life uses this source of energy to sustain life. Ultimately though, life doesn’t “know” or “care” about this and if some spill over effect is basal cell carcinoma, so be it. As long as over all survival continues the system is working. Eventually, in far off future, the sun will expand into a red giant with the orbit of earth actually inside the surface of the sun. Then life as we know it won’t exist on earth.

    Alas, Romans and the Watchtower comments are hard to pin down in a testable way. Fortunately some claims about the existence of God do embrace testable things. God, as imagined by JWs, is very involved in our world past and present. Supernatural claims are made based on this idea. And it is here that I can make an extraordinary claim.

    My claim is this: There is no supernatural claim made by JWs or anyone else that can withstand scrutiny. The cosmos operates consistent with natural laws and nothing else. For example, JWs claim the Bible “records history written in advance.” In my view such is impossible. Since the cosmos is built up from a quantum layer that embraces fundamental randomness it is impossible to predict future events in the way “prophesy” claims. For example the June 22, 2014 Awake! said:

    [The Bible contains a great deal of evidence that it was inspired by a superhuman intelligence. For example, it contains many prophecies, or history written in advance. Some of these describe the very conditions of our modern world! (Matthew 24:3, 6, 7; Luke 21:10, 11; 2 Timothy 3:1-5) Humans cannot reliably foretell the future. Who but God could do such a thing?]

    A close examination of such claims reveals this is not so. Those cited verses for example are general enough they can and have been applied to different time periods. All 2 Tim 3 mentions is “last days” as a period. At what point since those words were written would one claim that “disobedient to parents” is unique to a certain time period? And how does one measure that? The one thing we can say is as JWs repeatedly make such claims the claim itself will slip into the past. In this case it has been 4 years since this “last days” claim and of course it is not difficult to find references to 2 Tim 3 in JW literature going back many years. The International Bible Students pointed to 1874, which is a 144 years in the past now. That was then updated to 1914, which is 104 years ago. 1975 was said to be significant, which is 43 years ago. “Reasoning from the Scriptures” was released in 1986. What are we to make of its reference to earthquake data? If such really did suggest the Armageddon event was close, we now know it was no closer than 32 years. Imagine suggesting such to a JW in 1988?

    Or consider this comment from 2011 Awake!

    [So some wonder if a hidden power is behind the occult. Others might experiment with a Ouija board or read a horoscope to see if what it says comes true.]

    My claim is no objective test of the “Ouija board” or a “horoscope” will reveal a “hidden power.” We are fortunate in that we personally don’t have to do such tests. The James Randi Education Foundation has expressed a willingness to do that for us. Offering a $1 million dollar prize for anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal claim. If you want a more immediate demonstration, see the videos posted under the “Penn & Teller Bullsh*t!” series where they test the veracity of the Ouija board.

    I don’t believe Jehovah, Satan or the resurrected Jesus exist, not because, I can prove their non-existence. Rather, because I do not see any evidence to suggest such super-beings exist. When I ask for such evidence all I ever get is something vague or suggestions that I must just believe attached to vague threats of some future consequence for my lack of faith.

    Seeing the world as devoid of any divine influence isn’t satisfying in the way a promise of paradise earth or heavenly bliss might be, but so far I have not run across any evidence to show such a view is incorrect. Seeing the world in this way has allowed me to hold myself accountable for my actions. There is no “devil made me do it” or “I was blessed in this miraculous way” in my world. I’ve also noticed such claims about the existence of God are often more just academic philosophy. Often such claims are tied to a claim of special knowledge about God curiously tied to some self-serving purpose of the claimant.

    In the next post I’ll address some the comments about “teaching” the Bible and my approach to this material, what I believe about it, etc.

    Cheers,
    -Randy

  38. messenger says:

    “The reason we don’t see biblical miracles anymore is because we’re not as dumb and gullible as we used to be.Hi Resister,,,,,I reckon a guy like you would be interested in the utube series ‘why people laugh a creationists’ ” outandabout

    See Outy, you can only comment so long without validating my point about Gen 3:15 (the enmity shown by you and others towards Christians and their enmity towards you).

    Miracles do occur to accomplish things God wants accomplished. But your thought should be why would God show a miracle to you, considering what you now know about Gen 3:15 and the comments you make against the Bible and Christians.

    And you should consider does this line of reasoning make sense that was offered by Randy:

    1.Daniel could not have been written before its included prophecies, because no one can predict the future. Because no one can predict the future Daniel could not have done that. Therefore Daniel had to be written after its fulfilled prophecies.

    2. God could not exist because you have seen no miracles. Since God doesn’t exist Bible miracles cannot be true accounts. I don’t believe in the Bible because of the accounts of miracles, and I don’t believe in those people, Bible writers and others, who claim to have witnessed miracles. They must not be true because miracles cannot exist. Miracles cannot exist because God doesn’t exist.

    And yet Outy, you see no flaw in that reasoning, because you are not dumb but smart enough to see the logic in it.

    “Ring-a-round the rosie,
    A pocket full of posies,
    Ashes! Ashes!
    We all fall down”

    Also Outy. Since there should be no derogatory connotation to the word gay anymore, then is it okay to ask, are you gay? I do so because of your name outandabout.

  39. messenger says:

    After Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, the man told his leaders about it but they kept asking him, “tell us what did that man do to you.” The man with his eyes opened said, “I told you already, but you did not listen” (they didn’t believe) John 9:27.

    Later when the Jewish leaders were with Christ they asked to see miracles like the one shown the blind man, but Christ’s answer was no.

    Randy, I’ve told you, and others (Bible writers) have told you miracles by God exist. Why would Christ show one to you when you don’t accept who he is the same as those disbelieving Jews? The idea that he would goes against scriptural teachings.

  40. messenger says:

    Randy

    “The burden of proof rests with the person making the claim.”Randy
    Randy if you really live by that statement then the burden of proof rests with you, since you are the one making your claim, God does not exist. I didn’t make it, you did. I merely said or either asked if that’s what you are claiming, that God doesn’t exist in your assertion the Bible book of John was authored by a human, not inspired by God.

    However, when speaking about the existence of the Biblical God-which you were there- yours is an incorrect claim that the burden of proving God’s existence rests with the one proclaiming it, and your requests when asking Christians to show you the proof is scripturally a request that will not be answered for reasons taught in scripture, reasons you’ve read if you’ve read the scriptures.

    Also, referring to well-known assertions from others is no way to refute biblical truth or scriptural teachings. It doesn’t work. To someone who knows the Bible and understands you’ve taught it and presently teach it seeing you referring to famous quotes or famous people so often to prove a biblical teachings sounds stupid because it appears pretentious, like one claiming to have knowledge that he does not. What relevance does a philosopher have next to God? You just asked readers to admire the thoughts of someone that admits he doesn’t know anything except that he exists. That doesn’t carry your argument far. It just reveals you like to drop names, implying you’ve read about a famous person. “I think so I am,” “but that’s all I can be sure of knowing,” from your philosopher doesn’t tell us much except the philosopher was either lying or cannot retain information. Keep that fellow away from hot flames. I think my philosophical saying, “be a thinker not a stinker,” will carry individuals a lot further. But I have no intention of publishing mine in a book or scholastic paper.

    You know as a present and past Bible educator that according to scripture the burden of proof to find God lies with every individual. That idea is taught throughout scripture. You must remember what WT taught you, some of WT’s often repeated scriptures stating that thought such as Proverbs chapter two the first six verses. Those scriptures don’t state the burden of proof for one finding God rests with the book’s author God, but that finding proof of God rests with each individual looking for him. The burden of proof rests not with the individuals making a claim God exists, according to scripture. According to scripture God is not required to reveal himself for the sake of helping people know he exists. And so he has a choice to do so or not to do so, as you have a choice to look for him or not, and to believe in him or not. There is no burden of proof on my part or God’s as you falsely claim because God and I say God exists.

    Also, I can make any claim I want, true or false, even without biblical thought or morality backing up the statement. I have no “burden” to prove anything to you. This is no courtroom with a consequence to me if I don’t prove it. We are in a moral courtroom so to speak, to be judged by Christ. But the adverse consequences come to ones that don’t learn, not to teachers and proclaimers about God and Christ. There will be no allowances because of claiming, “It’s not my fault, I didn’t know because messenger or my daddy or mommy, or WT didn’t prove God exists to my satisfaction.” What’s more I’ve already stated what you believe is not my concern, only what you teach, that is whether what you teach about scripture should be exposed as misleading, fraudulent, or with a deceptive motive (Gen 3:15).

    I’ve read a lot of comments on this site. Most of the comments by commenter’s that do not directly address WT policies are not provable truths but beliefs, like your belief the Bible’s god could not exist. Here is another for instance to reiterate that point. I asked every one of you to come up with evidence that Daniel was not written at the time the Bible states it was. Your response did not prove it was written latter. I paraphrased that response in another comment on this post so no need to duplicate it here. Your belief in that response is not based on facts but is hypothetical, and though you might not admit it, it is a religious belief. And yet you claim, “The burden of proof rests with the person making the claim.” Well, you didn’t reach that burden Randy. If you get tired of carrying it lay it down. You’ll never be able to reach that burden. Because what is false cannot be proven true.

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