Must watch: Australian reality TV captures the moment a Jehovah’s Witness mother abandons her son
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A gay ex-JW named Chris is snubbed on Australian TV when asking his JW mother to attend his wedding

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of reality television.

Even when the format was relatively fresh and new back in the nineties I found it extremely grating to see people’s lives being gratuitously spilled out on television, with even the most tedious details made the subject of exaggeration and melodrama.

That said, Australians have just been treated to a snippet of reality TV that everybody must watch, because it provides the rarest of glimpses into something that, by its very nature, is very hard to catch on camera: shunning.

In a series titled Bride and Prejudice on Channel 7, a gay couple are followed as they make preparations for their wedding in California. Chris, an Australian who proposed to his American partner of three years, Grant, is seen approaching his JW mother, Yvonne, to ask if she will be attending. The answer is predictable, but the spectacle is nonetheless shocking and heart-wrenching.

Yvonne confirms that, not only will she snub the invitation, she will also not be speaking to her son’s soon-to-be-husband Grant… ever.

“Well, Chris, um… you know I’ve got very strong beliefs on that situation. So, um, for us, that’s not an option,” Yvonne says.

Clearly shaken but controlling his feelings with remarkable dignity, Chris asks his non-JW father, Geoff, whether he will similarly be snubbing both the event and his life partner. Geoff, a traditionalist who is seen sniggering when his son first announces the wedding, confirms that he too will be snubbing his son but for “different reasons.”

Chris’ parents, Geoff and Yvonne, are unmoved by their son’s plea for reconciliation

 

As difficult as it is to behold the spectacle of a family literally disintegrating on television over a difference of religious beliefs, it is extremely important that as many people as possible are exposed to this footage. Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to enjoy a false reputation as a mainstream, family-oriented group – a reputation that is completely at odds with reality.

The wider public needs to understand that the beliefs that Witnesses have pummelled into them from childhood very often lead to otherwise decent, compassionate, intelligent people doing deeply inhumane things, such as ejecting a child they once cradled as a baby – a child they claim to “love” – over a mere difference of opinion.

In this instance the shunning is due, at least in part, to one couple’s homophobia. It is notable that the aversion to gay people who refuse to suppress their sexuality is shared even by a man thus far not indoctrinated by Watchtower.

It can certainly be said that Watchtower does not hold the monopoly when it comes to endorsing the Old Testament command that gay people are worthy of execution. (Leviticus 20:13) There are any number of Christian fundamentalist denominations who eagerly join Jehovah’s Witnesses in suggesting you deserve death if you are in a loving relationship with someone of the same gender.

But the truth is, the pain and heartache so clearly evident on Chris’ face is shared by countless individuals who find themselves at odds with their Jehovah’s Witness upbringing. You do not need to be gay or lesbian in order to experience the crippling devastation of having your mother or father turn their back on you, as I can personally attest.

All you need to do is stop being a Jehovah’s Witness.

I, for one, am extremely proud of Chris for allowing this extremely emotional exchange to be captured on camera and I applaud the bravery and dignity with which he handled the hammer-blow.

Let us hope that the pain and hurt he experienced will serve as a loud warning to anyone who had been previously duped into believing that Jehovah’s Witnesses are “pro-family.” Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are capable of tremendous love, but it is a love that must come with strings attached. Loyalty to a group of men in New York will always trump all other considerations.

 

Author of The Reluctant Apostate, now available from Amazon in hardcopy and on Kindle.

 

Further reading/viewing…

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178 Responses to Must watch: Australian reality TV captures the moment a Jehovah’s Witness mother abandons her son

  1. Ted says:

    Comment intended for Serena williams thread.

  2. Ted says:

    If the mother is a genuine, regular meeting attending JW
    I fail to understand what she was doing on that show,
    appearing as part of a dysfunctional family. There’s no
    way elders would have approved it especially after all the
    dirt about the org, uncovered by the A,R.C,

    She gives me the impression of someone on the fringe,
    maybe on some bro, or sis mag, route. Someone who has
    bought into the religion just by reading the literature.

    What she is standing up for is not any law of God, but for
    her own bigoted opinion. She seems to have her own law
    which is independent of “Gods org,”

  3. dee2 says:

    Messenger,

    I implore you:

    Please familiarize yourself with this website’s purpose and rules so that you are aware that:

    – this is an ex-JW website NOT a JW website

    – the purpose of this website also includes making points and counterpoints/debating arguments.

    As I previously stated: If you do not want your cherished beliefs to be questioned/challenged then you are in the wrong place. This forum is not for you.

    Best wishes.

    • messenger says:

      @dee2
      Sounds like I got your goat. You don’t challenge my beliefs dee2. It would be impossible for you to do that. Do I challenge yours? And like you might be I am aware of this sites purpose and rules!

    • messenger says:

      @dee2
      I have included one of your statements which contains comments about some other peoples “core Values.” Your conclusion did not contain any factually support. If you feel it does my question is, what and where in that information do you have anything that supports your insinuation? Is your claim a flat fact or another assumption? Whose core values do you speak of? And what proof do you have that this story represents their “core values”? Do you have any evidence that these are the values of any people whatsoever except those spoken of in that story? Or, would you rather we accept your claim as a mere assumption? If so, we will. But it doesn’t make for good debating or teaching technique to present assumptions as facts. Isn’t that what WT does? And since you picked such a disgusting story why not define the values you speak of. Are you insinuating the home owners actions are sanctioned by some group?

      Also, you’ve stated as factual that people (past and present) who have lived/do live in various parts of the world which are predominantly non-Christian will NEVER be given the opportunity to know Christ. You spend quite a lot of time arguing that for that point. Are we also to take that as your assumption, or do you have evidence to back that claim up? If so I believe it warrants Bible evidence…since your statement centers on Bible teachings.

      Below is a prior post by dee2.-under the wine at Bethel article.

      “Here are some more “core values of their bible based faith”:

      – Judges 19:
      A Levite man is a guest in the house of a Benjamin resident. Some men of the city surround the house and demand that the owner send out the guest so they can have sex with him. The owner begs them not to do such a thing to a guest of his, and says, “Here are my virgin daughter and my guest’s concubine. I will send them out and you can abuse them and do to them whatever you like. But don’t do such a disgraceful thing to the man!” (Judges19:24)

      That last sentence nicely contrasts the value attached to a man compared to the lack of value of the women that is evident in the previous sentence.”

    • messenger says:

      @dee2

      Not good debating techniques dee2 to flip flop positions or speak with so much ambiguity. You wrote both these comments on this thread, the same date Feb 13th. In your first statement you claimed to have personal experience of God talking to people. I thought he spoke to you until I read further. Ambiguity and assumptions don’t make for good debating techniques.

      Following two posts by dee2 Feb 13 this thread.

      1st post:

      “How do you know that I am assuming and that I do not have any experience with whether or not God speaks to anyone? It is because of having lots, and I mean lots of personal experience of this in my own life ”

      2nd post:

      “I have never seen or spoken to or heard from God so how can I hate what I do not know?”

    • messenger says:

      @dees2

      As seen below some of your assertions are so outrageous, and contradictory of scriptural teachings that it becomes very difficult to know whether you are deceptive, or instead making wild ASSUMPTIONS in ignorance.

      After making the ridiculous claim below you admitted to knowing all protestant Christians believed the exact opposite of your claim. As a matter of fact every Christian (I’m aware of) believes the exact opposite of this claim. So, either you totally disregard the interpretations of Bible scholars and Christians, or you are deceptive. Which is it?

      So many ways to disprove this claim. I’m sure I addressed it in a prior comment, but no need to look that up. Here’s another counter argument to your statements.

      In your reference to the scripture in your comments you left out a critical word, BROTHERS.. Christ did not say people were saved merely because they helped other people, as you stated. He said they were saved or condemned based on whether or not they helped his brothers.

      When Jesus’ mother and fleshly brothers came to see him, and he has told of their arrival he said, “look whoever does the will of God this one is my mother, BROTHER…” (and don’t fault the wording-I look up very few scriptures I quote). So, the people that were helped were those Christ consider as his brothers or if female in a family relationship with him.

      Look up John 3:16 and see what that says. It’s one of the most famous scriptures in the Bible. Christ’s brothers are doing that (believing in him as their savior). But according to your belief his brothers believe in him for salvation, but people that help them don’t? John 3:16 states all who get saved do.

      Your assertion that one short Bible analogy defines every word and phrase in its content is fairly ridiculous. No one agrees to interpreting them like that (at least no one I’ve heard of , except you). Or can you point to a group of more than a few that support this argument of yours. If so, tell me who they are? I’d like to know of this unique group if one exists. But if a group of any size does not exist that supports your claim where are you getting these types of ideas from?

      Just one more reason I stated you make great and many assumptions….

      Below is your post on the article, It’s Okay To Say You Don’t Know.

      “In the sheep-goat parable (Matthew 25), why are the goats not entitled to the Kingdom?

      dee2 said,

      Matt.25:41-46:
      Jesus then turns to the group on his left, the “goats,” and curses them, telling them to “depart into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Why? Because “I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” These, though, are equally surprised, for they too have never seen this king of kings. But he then informs them, “Truly I say to you, insofar as you did not do it to the least of these, my brothers, neither did you do it to me.” And he then sends them “away into eternal punishment,” whereas the righteous enter “into eternal life”.

      Is this future judgment based on belief in Jesus, his death and resurrection? OR is it based on doing good things for those in need?

      Nothing in this passage hints at the need to believe in
      Jesus – THESE PEOPLE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HIM – hence their surprise:
      “When did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you…?”

      What matters is helping those in need.

      “This parable therefore shows that belief in Jesus is not necessary for salvation, so it wasn’t necessary for Jesus to come to earth to die for mankind to be saved – all you have to do is help those in need in order to be saved, belief in Jesus is not necessary”

    • messenger says:

      @dee2,

      As you like to keep going, so can I, reciting rebuttals to your points. Another great one of yours is that idea Christ was speaking of the generation in his day when he said, “This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.” Any evidence to back that claim? Or is it another assumption of yours? I don’t remember reading any evidence from you to support that, just the assumptions again. But in all honest, as I’ve previously stated, you usually write such long comments that I usually give them cursory readings, so I could have missed something there. Any proof of that claim, or at least do you have any sound arguments suggesting your belief is correct?

      You claimed WT should do a word for word analysis of some of the scriptures, which bear on the understanding of that statement. But why don’t you do it? Why are you claiming they should do it when you haven’t? Or have you? I have a Greek to English-The Interlinear Bible, and I will send that translation for a few of those scriptures if you’d like. But I don’t enjoy writing as much as you apparently do, so I’m not going to send translations of whole chapters as you believe WT should present.

  4. twistedsister69 says:

    @messenger

    ‘Why is WT so focused on sex, DF’ing so many on sex-related “charges”, when there are so many other sins?’ – Yes indeed, sins like RACISM (which violates Jesus’ 2nd Commandment!!!). It was my experience that there were many jws secretly harboring RACIST attitudes. And I heard it “straight from the horse’s mouth” on several occasions. There’s no point in naming names after all this time, but I guess those folks just figured it would never get out. Well, it’s getting out.

  5. ANTONINVS says:

    As you correctly point out JW’s are not unique in condemning sodomites. Most mainstream religions condemn them, right across the Christian spectrum from the Catholic church right through to virtually all evangelical churches. Therefore, singling out JW’s on this issue is not entirely fair.

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @ANTONINVS

      Ummmmm ….. This site IS called ‘JW’survey.
      “Anytime is coffee time.” 😉

      • ANTONINVS says:

        My point is, it’s pointless to single out JW’s on a belief that is shared by most Christian religions. Most hardcore Christians regardless of denomination condemn sodomites in the strongest possible way. JW’s are no different in this regard, so what’s the big deal?

        If one believes the bible to be inspired and inherent then one has no choice but to accept that sodomites are condemned therein. Most evangelical religions believe the bible to be inherent and inspired.

        • dee2 says:

          ANTONINVS,

          Obviously, you did not read the article. If you did, you would have noticed that the article stated:

          “It can certainly be said that Watchtower does not hold the monopoly when it comes to endorsing the Old Testament command that gay people are worthy of execution. (Leviticus 20:13) There are any number of Christian fundamentalist denominations who eagerly join Jehovah’s Witnesses in suggesting you deserve death if you are in a loving relationship with someone of the same gender.”

          That being said, apparently you are not aware that this is an ex-JW website not an ex-Evangelical website. The purpose if this site is to discuss the beliefs and practices of JWs not Evangelicals.

          If the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God as you claim, then why aren’t JWs and Evangelicals following the Bible’s command to kill homosexuals? Is the Bible no longer inerrant and inspired in this case?

          Leviticus 18:22, 29: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
          For whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from their people.”

          Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

        • twistedsister69 says:

          @ANTONINVS

          Ummmmm ….. This site IS called ‘JW’survey.
          Coffee is a wonderful thing. If you don’t like the taste, I believe over-the-counter caffeine pills are available at your local drug store. Unless there’s another problem, like your mother dropped you on your head yesterday, or something.

        • messenger says:

          The real point to this article was the issue of shunning. Many, or even most Christian denomination share the Bible’s view on homosexuality, true; but that is not why the article is here. It’s not why most are posting comments on it either.

          How many of those denominations shun their family members that are homosexual, because they’re following a policy they are required to by their church, a policy that places them in that position with the threat of punishment if they don’t follow it-you shun them or we’ll shun you?

          And how many of these other churches teach it is God’s requirement that they shun their relatives in those circumstances-shun or you are no longer a Christian and under Christ’s protective sacrificial covering. Shun or you WILL, not might, but you will eventually die for all eternity. But if you shun…. you’ll receive life everlasting, and have all our support and love. Give up your child, you have us.

        • messenger says:

          @ A,
          Christ said his coming would divide families, true. But go to his stories that describe that. He (Jesus, and Peter) spoke about the unbeliever leaving, turning the believer over to officials for faith-based reasons, or in some other way turning against the believer, even when the two of them are relatives. With JW family shunning those roles are reversed, the believer leaves the unbeliever.

  6. s says:

    I dunno, im kind of with the parents on this. The mom even told her son she loved him. The homosexual son should realize that the parents cant celebrate the fact their son gets tooled in the anus.

    • Ricardo says:

      @s,
      It is interesting terminology like that that gets Jado started up. We’re trying to keep him quiet.

      How did that get past the censors?

      • Winston Smith says:

        @Ricardo
        I believe it is software that monitors the site comments and i believe the way it works is based on looking for particular buzz words and frequency. So separately “tooled” and “anus” are not ones it catches.

        In reply to “s” I will mention that there is no need for the parents to dwell on the mechanics of their son’s sexuality. Scripture indicates putting the interests of others ahead one’s own. I think that includes trying see things from someone else’s perspective. As a heterosexual male, the thought of sex with another man gives you the creeps. But for a homosexual man, sex with a woman may give him the creeps. In most cases it is innate and unchangeable.

        WS

  7. jay says:

    As much as i do not agree with many jw teachings, i still strongly hold that gays should be considerate to society as well. it cannot be about how they feel and expect acceptance. Most of humanity have leanings we put aside for society to develop or the problems of the world will be getting unnecessarily bigger

    • twistedsister69 says:

      @jay

      Just curious, what societal problems have gays caused? Or is it possible they are just used as a scapegoat for society’s personal frustrations, like, say, the Syrian refugees have been scapegoated. I personally have never heard of a Syrian terrorist. Most 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, a coupla others from Yemen & UAE or something. So what do Syrian refugees have to do with terrorism? So what do gays have to do with the “problems of the world”? Not judging. Don’t know what your personal experience is. Maybe you were assaulted, raped, or molested by a gay person. It’s possible. I’ve known / worked with gay folks, never had any issues. If gays are such a threat, please enlighten me. I would consider that Need-to-Know information. Unless there’s something else going on. 😉

      • messenger says:

        @TS,
        Did you notice how after that terrorist mass-killing in Orlando Florida that for days commentators put the theory out that the killer must have been a closet homosexual, so that’s what made him kill all those people. Sadly, if I remember correct, even a newsman (Mr. D. Lemon) that claimed to be homosexual, was also floating that proposal.

        When people have a belief they will at times go to great length to make it believable. Let’s sctreeetch the facts to make them fit our ideas or theories, because, and only because, our ideas or the ideal ones.

        • messenger says:

          Should we include the pun with the spelling as ‘or,’ or should we spell the badges like we really mean it (are)?

          Our ideas ARE the ideal ones,
          Which is better?

      • messenger says:

        @ TS
        Hey, don’t you think that might be a good slogan to put on those arm badges, ‘Our ideas or the ideal ones.’

        • twistedsister69 says:

          ha ha ha That’s perfect. Kinda like “My way or the highway” or “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way” lol.
          BTW I knew what the cause of the Orlando shooting was, the moment I heard the report. Not ISIS. Not homosexuality. BAD PARENTING. His parents are SH**HEADS. He himself (the shooter) had been a bully all thru school, his parents were notified on several occasions, and did NOTHING. His dad apparently is a Taliban sympathizer who wants to run for President of Afghanistan. lol BAD PARENTING.

  8. Me says:

    I think that this woman even being catholic, atheist, or spaghetti’s follower would still refuse to accept his son’s sexuality.

    In this case, bigotry doesn’t apply just to Jehovah’s witnesses.

    I’m not defending “the organization”. I’m against their beliefs and stupidity. However, I see the title of this article too click bait.

    I’m trying to strategically fade, but cannot left completely without losing family relationship ties with my mother (Hence, my daughter losing her grandma). – I know this last paragraph is out of context, but needed to write it freely. I’m pretty sure you’ll understand.

    To all the writers of this blog: thank you for yours efforts. And to Lloyd: looking forward to read your book

  9. Fernando Martinez Martinez says:

    I think that she has to abide by her principles, he wants her to respect him, he also has to respect her. It goes both ways. Personally, I believe that she should go to his wedding, but this guy KNOWS his mom’s beliefs system. WHY would he go ahead and do this to himself if he knows this? I think he was asking for it and quite boneheaded for Chris to that.

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