News Bulletin: Dutch reporter thrown out of District Convention
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Screenshot 2016-05-19 10.33.11Astonishing footage has recently emerged showing a Dutch reporter being thrown out of a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses simply for asking basic questions about the Witnesses stance on homosexuality.

You can view the video below, with English subtitles and an introduction from JW Survey founder and Senior Editor Lloyd Evans

The reporter, who works for Pow News News approaches a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the District Convention, and asks them a number of simple questions about how their faith views members of the LBGTQ community.

The Witnesses respond pretty much as you would expect, and give fairly honest, straightforward answers to this question: They don’t approve of homosexuality, they believe the bible condemns it, they believe that homosexuals can change or, at the very least, deny their sexual nature and still be happy. They also show that at least some of them are aware of the controversy generated by the latest Caleb and Sofia video.

It’s actually pretty tame stuff. The reporter is pretty direct and a little cheeky, but certainly not hostile or aggressive. One older brother gives a somewhat awkward description of sexual penetration, but it’s clear that none of the Witnesses feel harassed, and they are simply giving straightforward responses to straightforward questions. They are giving a defence of their faith, just as they have been taught to do, and as they might do every day on the door to door work, with co-workers or their classmates.

Indeed, these are exactly the kind of answers they would give to an “interested one” who attended the convention and asked about the very same issue.

No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong.

What happens next is extremely bizarre. Two men, clearly senior Watchtower officials, approach the journalist and simply demand that he leave, telling him that his “implied invitation has been revoked.” They are clearly not interested in discussing the matter any further.

As requested, the reporter leaves, admittedly playing up his despondent walk through the exit a little to drive home the point of what has just happened.

I find this surprising on a number of levels.

Firstly, the sheer incompetence in handling the media on display here is worth noting.

The smart thing to do in this situation would be to invite the journalist for a full interview with a senior JW and try to give the full media friendly PR spin on what is clearly a controversial issue in the Netherlands right now. Throwing him out simply for asking basic questions seems like a total PR disaster. It sends the message that reporters are only welcome if they promise to the kind of mindless promotional puff piece that recently disgraced Gazettes.com.

If any members of the public, media, or Government were already worried that the Witnesses were a high control cult pretending to be a loving religion (as increasingly seems to be the case given the reaction to Caleb and Sofia), this hostility toward the media will not have done anything to change that opinion

It also shows that the Organisation is actually incredibly confused about which face to show to the public. On the one hand it makes publicly available videos like the recent Caleb and Sofia episode, which showcase a pretty blatant message about how homosexuality is a choice, and how practicing gay people will be killed by God at Armageddon, but then gets upset when a journalist asks regular JW’s for those very same opinions on camera.

It’s clear that the Caleb and Sofia video was in large part the driving factor for this journalist to visit. Did Watchtower not expect the kind of reaction, and if not, why not? If it did expect it, why does it appear to be so woefully unprepared to deal with it? The organisation might claim not to care what Satan’s world thinks about it, but then why does it panic and go into full shutdown mode to try and stop a news report that they feel might show them in a bad light?

It seems right now that Watchtower throws its options out to the world, loud and proud, but then scurries away and hides when people actually take notice.

As Hermant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist commented on his site.

Asking JW’s about being gay is apparently worse than being gay.

This will be a controversial Convention season, with a talk dedicated to shunning on the program and an overall feel of Orwellian control to the material.

This might not be the last time Jehovah’s Witnesses get asked awkward questions on camera. Perhaps next time they might handle it a little better?

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59 Responses to News Bulletin: Dutch reporter thrown out of District Convention

  1. Joop Brinkman says:

    The reporter need sensation stories and was not professional in authority. The Newscanal which is mention is a small local and not on national level. Am from the Netherlands and a baptized JW who disagree with Brooklyn teachings and claims.

    • Covert Fade says:

      What was sensational about the questions he asked?

      • nullandvoidboy says:

        @Covert…

        Well I guess he acted “sensational” by asking questions on the same subject to all the “welcoming” people he met…..he sensationally gave them all a case of indigestion

      • Joop Brinkman says:

        A schoolboy who give some questions, nothing more. Nobody of national TV are interested in JWs Congresses i know. In the first century it was hot news, today it is no news the JW topic.

      • Frank says:

        They had enough sensation over being kicked out. PowNed is part of GeenStijl, a weblog that is the parent company of a sensationalist newspaper. Imagine if Gawker had reporters – that’s the quality of bullshit you get.

        The slogan of the weblog is “Biased, unfounded and needlessly hurtful”. Their whole raison d’être is to get clicks by creating a circlejerk.

    • John Walsh says:

      Hey Joop Brinkman – if that’s your real name, your busted, as soon as the GB get on to check out the latest exposure.

      • Covert Fade says:

        Hi John. Gentle reminder, Joop is fully entitled to state his opinion here as long as he does it respectfully, which he has.

      • Joop Brinkman says:

        Am from the Netherlands and fear nobody. The GB are the problem , not the members.

        • Covert Fade says:

          I certainly agree that there are many, many wonderful people who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, including many friends and family I personally know. I consider these ones to be victims of Watchtower’s leadership and of harmful doctrines such as shunning, and the controlling of information.

          • Imgonaburn says:

            I totally agree. It was the jw stance on homosexuality that ultimately caused me to leave around 5 years ago. Some of you may know that my own son is gay. After being led to believe by jw doctrine that homosexuality is a choice it was an awakening. I knew my son was gay and always had been. It was dreadful for him at that time. I was so sad because I thought he was going to die at Armageddon!! Then I realised he wasn’t making a choice! So I made a choice. I chose to ‘die’ with him so he wouldn’t be alone. Now after time has passed I realise that I actually chose ‘life’ . Thankfully, he was only 15 then and not baptised so couldn’t be disfellowshipped. His older siblings who remain jws are respectful towards him. They don’t hang out with him as they are too busy with their own lives but they still care about him and text him etc. My jw daughter has visited him at his Partners home. I know it could’ve been a lot worse for us.
            I watched video and noted that one older man said that some people are ‘born that way’ (wow!) but I did feel a bit sorry for them. Can you imagine how it must’ve sent them spinning? Lol rushing around trying to find the reporter so they could escort him off the premises.
            They are blinded by fear and are just trying to do what they think is ‘right in Jehovah’s eyes’. I think it’s hard for them. I know I struggled on a daily basis. They’re not horrible people- just misguided. Yes I know that the organisation has messed up a lot of lives. My own included for a while! I don’t want to come across as patronising or condescending but I feel sorry for them. Their struggle is real too and hopefully, if their life exerience teaches them to leave the religion, they will find themselves capable being happy on the outside.
            It used to be drummed into me as a jw that it was impossible to be truly happy if you leave the religion. Well, I prove to my family that that’s not the case. That’s the most powerful tool in my belt because if I say anything to undermine their beliefs or question the GB in any way re policies on paedophiles, finance or doctrine they always say the same thing. ‘Which (apostate) website did you read that on? Best to demonstrate to them that it’s possible to live a full, happy and fulfilled life whilst NOT belonging to the jws.

    • george says:

      Powned is small, however it can be viewed on national television.

  2. John Walsh says:

    They are fearful of any circumstance where they find themselves unprepared for…….well someone or more turning up in their face with an `implied invite’ who is prepared with the hard questions, lol. Yet of course J-dubs turn up uninvited all the time asking people to put aside beliefs and answer their J-dub questions, and listen to their speil.
    Yes, do unto others as you would have done to yourself!
    I hope they don’t get their noses out of joint when they get the short shift out preaching.

  3. Chiafade says:

    JWs are all about appearances. As such they make quick judgements based on how you look. I’m sure one look at the young reporter in his skinny jeans caused the convention chairman to take notice. Of course this would have been after a JW complaint to an attendant who would have went to the administration office or the chairmans office.

    The answers given by the witnesses were born of ignorance. They show a fundamental disregard for peoples nature. The attitudes on display would be at home in the 18th century. To say that they can “change” or that holy spirit can do that for you is utterly ridiculous.

    I know many jws who simply could not hide their true nature. It’s not that they were overly effeminate nor overly masculine. It was their attraction to the same sex that made it obvious. It also made their lives miserable. There are also MANY of them at bethel.

    The ignorance on display is also a clear sign that the witnesses are disconnected from reality. If they believe that a person can simply will their same sex feelings away. Then they also feel that a child molester can be changed in much the same way. “Jehovahs hand is never too short” they say with a glimmer in their eye. Their Jehovah genie is always there to grant the wish of those who ask and beg enough. If they don’t change its because of the individuals lack of faith.

    The JWs get no sympathy from me for being asked these uncomfortable questions.

    • Big B says:

      @Chiafade;

      Firstly, great coverage Covert Fade.

      Chiafade, I agree with you 100%. Bethel, like its monastic counterpart of the Middle Ages, attracts those who are attracted to the same sex. At least two Governing Body members (Ewart C. Chitty and Leo Greenless) were removed years ago for homosexual activities previously, then “outed” while serving as members. http://www.nairaland.com/1421303/two-gb-members-jehovah-witnesses

      Makes you wonder where Jehovah’s Holy Spirit was during their appointment process? Maybe the Holy Spirit was asleep or blind or deaf or… 🙂

      I known of at least one brother personally who went to Bethel after high school and stayed many years. He actually married while there and was, of course, asked to leave. As he is seventy years of age I can’t imagine what kind of living he and his wife managed to eek out before retiring. But they couldn’t have much of a retirement or Social Security. Sad, another life ruined by the WTBTS.

      Let all JW’s be put on notice: if you think these questions and concerns being asked now are tough; they ain’t seen nothing yet!

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Chiafade:
      I like this point you made: “if they don’t change its because of the individuals lack of faith”

      It sounds on par with faith healing practiced by many fundamentalist / evangelical churches. If God doesn’t heal a person’s cancer, for example, despite fervent prayers and/or other nonsensical actions, it is because the person didn’t have enough faith, or the family was doubtful, or the congregation didn’t put forth enough effort, etc.

      Point is that JWs are just like other fundamentalist groups, only the minor details vary (I have also heard of “straight camps” sponsored by certain fundamentalist groups).

      WS

    • Imgonaburn says:

      They used to say about my gay son…it’s ok for him to be homosexual…just as long as he doesn’t act upon those desires!! I would try to reason with them by saying what if it were heterosexual desires that were condemned in the bible ( I know it’s lame lol) and ask how they think they’d cope with that? How would they deal with a life without any intimacy or the physical comfort experienced when you share your life with a person that you love deeply? How can you believe that it’s ok to condemn someone to being ‘forever alone’ when you wouldn’t be able to accept that burden yourself. Holy Spirit! Pfft!

  4. Gary says:

    You may not believe the danger is real and Iam not advocating leave, however consideration of your circumstances is a necessity.
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=run+like+hell+the+wall+live&view=detail&mid=C8A8BCC23E2478689B94C8A8BCC23E2478689B94&FORM=VRRTAP

  5. Gary says:

    Well that encapsulates madness.

  6. Doc Obvious says:

    Here is a link to the news article on the POW web site: Jehova’s Reageren Op Anti-Homofilmpje

  7. WideAwake says:

    This is perhaps wishful thinking, but it would be so gratifying if the LBGTQ community could get a class action lawsuit filed against JW.ORG.
    Targeting children with their sickening video and poisoning young minds by teaching intolerance is reprehensible.
    The hypocrisy of this “religion” ie: CULT is boundless.
    The fact that the GB cannot tolerate any probing questions by a reporter showcases how fearful they are of criticism.
    Sadly, the Watchtower and GB can hide behind ‘religious freedom’.
    However, cults by their nature, aren’t free and the people trapped in them are slaves.
    These conventions are all about power, control and MONEY….and all of it tax free.

  8. Sharon Christensen says:

    A perfect opportunity to direct peoples attention to Jehovah and Jesus, and the extent of their love for humans. But no treat a person like this…sad. This reporter perhaps had too many things going against him…firstly…young, secondly…tight pants? By the way…was he sipping on a cup of Tim Hortons coffee? :)). My brother was asked to not bring his cup of …into convention! know, next thing…Coffee can only be…JW.org approved! Surprisingly they did not approve of my brother comming into the convention with his cup of “Timmys”..yet..when on noon break or after sessions over try and get to Tim Hortons here in Selkirk, Mb Canada,..Jws lined up down street! They are too presumptious…give them a bit of authority…man made not from God…eho you know not you what you know…and a pair of baggy poly slax drawed up and twisted…and they could give God orders! :))

  9. WideAwake says:

    wow! I knew they were controlling, but the edict you can’t bring in your own coffee is ridiculous!
    Obviously their JW.ORG coffee must be a real money maker.
    You have to be very naïve, also blind, deaf and dumb to submit to this kind of control.
    Don’t you wish these passive, submissive ‘sheeple’ would “wake up and smell the coffee?”

    • Tara says:

      I’m in Canada also and we cannot bring any food item or beverage into the convention if it comes in a Timmy’s or Starbucks cup or any item that advertises. The reason they gave us was that the convention sites usually have their own vendors and they are not required at the arena’s as JW’s bring their own food. Lunchtimes are a stampede of people going to outlets with their own ‘to go’ cups and having them filled. Lol it’s a bit like the old brown bag thing…. hide the bottle in a paper bag and no one knows.

      I’m not going this year 🙂 I had an invite stuck in my door, as did my daughter. Both with the identical message asking for us to contact the brother as they would like to chat to us….. dream on.

  10. KaKaJones says:

    WideAwake, we bring our own coffee. We’ve never been told not to. I never miss an assembly. I go to the Cow Palace and to Santa Clara for the assemblies. I used to be Free Will Baptist. They teach the same homophobic stuff. A lot of religions do. In other countries a homosexual gets killed along with someone who has a baby out of wedlock. I felt the reporter missed the point. A lot of religious people who go to church hate homosexuality. ‘Worldly’ people understand that. The point the reporter should have focused on is how shameful it is to brainwash children in order to stop them from being tolerant. Intolerance is taught from an early age no matter what the religion. That should have been the focus. Any religious church going person will say “The bible teaches gays wont make it.” Noone is shocked about that. The shocking part is how they encourage their kids to hate.

    • Imgonaburn says:

      I agree. My question to you is this. If a person accepts the bible as the word of God where do you go from there? If the Bible condemns homosexuality how can I persuade someone who has faith in it to believe that homosexuals have an equal chance of finding favour with God? I personally think that unless they have someone close to them who is gay then you hit a brick wall. I love my gay son more than I love the bible and that’s how I broke free.

  11. Sharon Christensen says:

    :)). No kiddin eh! …But sadly…no Jw.org coffee company in Canada as of yet…so the members can still hit Tim Hortons…just DO NOT enter the convention site sippin on one…swig it down …BEFORE you enter the convention site parking….cuz you know the attendants who assign your parking spot… may see you sucking down those last few drops, to help you stay awake thru the aft. session…and let the attendants know that meet and greet…:// at the doors.. before you know it,fingers are pointed…and you are being escorted to the back room…://. to recieve a chewin match…suspected of developing…”substance” abuse! There you sit…holding your head, thinkin you should have trusted your inner desire to be a rebel and go Value Village/ Thrift store shopping instead! :))).

  12. Sharon Christensen says:

    You can bring your own coffee…just not in a cup promoting a certain Company here…in a thermos, unmarked. Who are we to judge…Jehovah knows the formation of us…even before we were born…we are all imperfect. Why judge others and their ways…only Jehovah knows….it truly is sad that people treat others badly or worse, without the God given right to do anything. Just because one practices a certain religion, makes them feel they are totally approved of God and can condemn another person. Not so.

  13. Pirlo says:

    I would thrown him out too! If someone Come to my party asking everybody “do you accept incesters, why don’t you like incesters…etc.” I would call the police 🙂

    • Winston Smith says:

      @Pirlo
      But I doubt any party you throw would be open to the general public. The convention is open to the public and typically they welcome news media coverage. However, they seem to only want positive coverage that conforms to their idealized PR image. Now if this reporter was causing a disturbance during the session or becoming overly aggressive with those he was interviewing, you could see just cause to throw him out. But this does not seem to be the case.

      WS

      • Pirlo says:

        Obviously, it’s open to public and the watchower don’t want to be exposed! But I think this reporter did a favour to watchtower because they show respect to him even if he deliberately came to disturb ( at least a little bit)! No one have to agree with homosexuality! Neither must we agree with incest or pedophilia, hopefully! Because there are already pedophiles saying that it’s not their fault if they like kids ( they are born like this!!!???) I agree and beleive that everybody fails but must fight against bad habits! And not just say “I born this way”! So for me this reporter did nothing that could lower watchtower’s credibility. Quite the inverse!

        • Covert Fade says:

          You do understand that there is quite a difference between homosexuality (two consenting adults having sex) and pedophilia (a non consenting child being raped), right?

          • Pirlo says:

            Of course, I understand that! But even a 13 years old can consent having sex with 80 y.o. (Some say)! Or a daughter consent it with her father…

          • Covert Fade says:

            Actually, a child is not capable of giving informed consent under any circumstances. Even if she were to say “yes” neither the law nor child phycologists consider that to be meaningful consent.

          • Pirlo says:

            It’s just a matter of who make the rules! If pedophiles say that 10 or 14 years old Know what they do and that they should be allowed to make with who they want, then their opinion is equaly valid than the one who claims that incest is normal or zoophilia or homosexuality or anything else!

          • Winston Smith says:

            What we have is an agreed upon set of ethics that society subscribes to. And society is constantly evolving. And I think it is evolving for the better. We are now looking at practices both with an open mind and with the critical eye of sociological and psychological science and determining the practices that result in the largest benefit to the human family. Years ago (e.g. in Bible times) a child bride was not unheard of. Young maidens were just that: young girls 12 or 14 years old. But as society has evolved we have come to understand that a person of that age is not benefited by such an arrangement. We have grown and continue to grow. 50 or 60 years ago homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder. Now we understand that it is a mostly inborn inclination and not harmful between two consenting adults.

            WS

          • dee2 says:

            Pirlo,

            “It’s just a matter of who make the rules!”

            God impregnated Mary with his son Jesus, when she was 12/13 years old. This would be deemed pedophilia and child abuse according to the standards of most modern societies.

            Incest is condemned in the Bible, but is nevertheless part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve’s and Noah’s families, and Abraham was rewarded for it.
            Abraham married his half-sister sister. He was one of the most holy men of the Old Testament. God rewarded them for it: “And God said unto Abraham, as for Sara thy wife…I bless her, and give thee a son also of her…” (Genesis 17:15-16, Genesis 20:11-12).

            There were other instances of incest in Abraham’s family:
            Abraham’s brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of Haran, Abraham’s other brother.
            Isaac, Abraham’s son, married Rebekah, the granddaughter of his father’s brother Nahor and niece Milcah (i.e., his first cousin-once-removed). And their children Esau and Jacob continued to marry into their own family.

            Lot fathered children with his own daughters after they took turns to seduce him while he was drunk. Lot is considered favourably by God, was saved by God’s angels (Genesis 19:11-13, 15-17,19) and is described as just and righteous in 2 Peter 2:6-8.

            Most modern societies have laws banning incest since inbreeding causes countless genetic problems in families, which get worse per occurrence and leave detectable dents in the genetic makeup of species.

            Societies try to develop laws which protect its citizens from harm. The question is what harm does pedophilia, incest, zoophilia or homosexuality do to members of the society. What considerations should be made when societies ban or do not ban sexual practices which some persons consider to be normal?

          • Winston Smith says:

            Good points dee2. Often people who want to condemn homosexuals focus on the verses in the NT that disparage the practice. They argue that those who do not join them in condemning homosexuals are ‘picking and choosing’ what parts of scripture to accept. But they are forgetting all the references to incest and pedophilia in the OT which apparently were acceptable to God. Who’s ‘picking and choosing’ now?

            WS

        • Imgonaburn says:

          Are you for real??? That’s the most homophobic comment I’ve ever read on here!

          • Imgonaburn says:

            That was meant for pirlo not winston or Dee whose comments were balanced and interesting.

    • Imgonaburn says:

      Incest is NOT the same as homosexuality!!

  14. BEE CEE says:

    This is utter rubbish piece of an article.

  15. QuietObserver says:

    Just as an observation, if the reporter had worn a suit and tie, I don’t think he would have gotten to talk to as many as he did. Security would have been immediately on him. My feeling as I watched was, that his body language said he didn’t appear really serious about what he was doing, but trying to get the sensationalism going. At the same time, I noticed he did not focus on the indoctrination of children and that is what keeps this org going now. 1.5% growth rate means they are really only baptizing their own children and not bringing in new converts. So they are indoctrinating their own children using fear and threats and shunning. I do hope that this “video” the org has put out gets them in trouble with the UNHRC. To me, the issue here is not homosexuality so much as the indoctrination of children. There are so many things that children of JDubs are told, many of which are false. My family started studying when I was 6 years old, so guess that qualifies me as a “born” in. I remember the horrible pictures and the constant threat of “don’t do that, it will make Jehovah unhappy”.

  16. John Merriman says:

    Let’s face it….. Jesus at 33 and never married or had a girlfriend? Always hung around with 12 guys ? One even kissed him just to identify him.What would the Watchtower make of it today?

  17. PaxRomana says:

    I remember as a Witness the thought of someone in the media trying to talk to us was very uncomfortable. But it’s deeper than that. JWs are programmed to control the conversation. We choose the time, place, and pace of the conversation. If someone walks away from us or slams the door, cool. But we are in control.

    It’s a very different story when you are approached unexpectedly and asked difficult questions. That lack of control isn’t really what was in the theocratic ministry school training. And tough questions like LGBT, which always lead to a discussion about shunning, is a nightmare for most.

    Just pointing out the irony here. They have no problem telling people they are wrong in their own way, but when challenged unexpectedly, they look afraid and startled. I have a sense of compassion here. Most want to do the right thing and fear looking like they are wavering in their faith. It’s all quite sad really.

  18. John says:

    I am out of the JW cult more that 30 years and never regretted that; however I still stick to values and I still firmly thina homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. So I would never fraternize with any gay “apostates” and still prefer to keep away from these people who want to marry and to adopt children !! What a shame.

  19. John says:

    and again : I do not overlook the crimes of Christian churches – but my deepest respects still go out to the Catholic church who so far does not to follow the Zeitgeist; well, protestants in Germany even marry gays in their churches ( and more often than not tgheir üriest are married gays themselves) and if Zeitgeist asks for that they will also marry men with their dogs/goats simply because love exceeds ALL, you know that … and bible rules are tied to their time and thus MUST be obsolete

  20. John says:

    sorry for mistypes :

    and again : I do not overlook the crimes of Christian churches – but my deepest respects still go out to the Catholic church who so far does not to follow the Zeitgeist; well, protestants in Germany even marry gays in their churches ( and more often than not their priests are married gays themselves) and if Zeitgeist asks for that they will also marry men with their dogs/goats simply because love exceeds ALL, you know that … and bible rules are tied to their time and thus MUST be obsolete and do not apply anymore

    • dee2 says:

      @John:

      “…….bible rules are tied to their time and thus MUST be obsolete and do not apply anymore”.

      If we were to apply the Bible’s rules regarding homosexuality we would be putting homosexuals to death:

      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.”

      Do you agree with this? Would you kill a homosexual? Just so that you know, under western society’s current standards of morality and ethics, if you were to kill a homosexual, you would be charged with murder.

      • John says:

        dee2 – what do you want to say ?? That in the reverse it must be GOOD and should be approved ???
        Not sure that this was practised in reality, nevertheless it means that colon sex is an abonimable atrocity; and it is no argument it is GOOD only because I would not kill such a perverse guy; what about sodomy and pedophily ?? Is it GOOD ONLY because I would not kill such a perverse and sick human ???

        • dee2 says:

          @John:

          “Not sure that this was practised in reality”

          The instruction to kill homosexuals was not optional, it was the law.

          Whether or not you view homosexuality as good, the fact of the matter is that a percentage of the population will be inclined that way.

          Whether or not these persons should be allowed to practice homosexuality cannot be argued on Biblical grounds since the Bible commands that homosexuals should be put to death, something which is clearly against the law in the western world.

          Also, when it comes to sexual practices such as paedophilia and incest, the Bible also falls short in these areas.

          God impregnated Mary with his son Jesus, when she was 12/13 years old:
          https://www.quora.com/How-old-was-Mary-mother-of-Jesus-when-she-gave-birth-to-Jesus

          This would be deemed peadophilia and child abuse according to the standards of most modern societies.

          By the way, when God impregnated Mary she was betrothed to another man (Joseph). God thereby broke two of his own 10 commandments: 1. committing adultery and 2. coveting another man’s wife.

          Incest is condemned in the Bible, but is nevertheless part of God’s plan for Adam and Eve’s and Noah’s families, and Abraham was rewarded for it.
          Abraham married his half-sister. He was one of the most holy men of the Old Testament. God rewarded them for it: “And God said unto Abraham, as for Sara thy wife…I bless her, and give thee a son also of her…” (Genesis 17:15-16, Genesis 20:11-12).

          There were other instances of incest in Abraham’s family:
          Abraham’s brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of Haran, Abraham’s other brother (Genesis 11:26-29). So Nahor (Abraham’s brother) married Milcah (his niece).

          Isaac, Abraham’s son, married Rebekah, the granddaughter of his father’s brother Nahor and niece Milcah (i.e., his first cousin-once-removed). And their children Esau and Jacob continued to marry into their own family.

          Lot fathered children with his own daughters, with no word of opposition from the Bible, after they took turns to seduce him while he was drunk. Lot is considered favourably by God, was saved by God’s angels (Genesis 19:11-13, 15-17,19) and is described as just and righteous in 2 Peter 2:6-8.

          Most modern societies have laws banning incest since inbreeding causes countless genetic problems in families, which get worse per occurrence and leave detectable dents in the genetic makeup of species.

          Societies try to develop laws which protect citizens from harm. The question is: what harm does pedophilia, incest or homosexuality do to members of the society. What considerations should be made when societies ban or do not ban sexual practices which some persons consider to be normal?

        • dee2 says:

          @John:

          Some other points worth noting : God requires a rape victim to marry her rapist according to Deuteronomy 22: 28-29 and (Exodus 22:16-17).
          No where in the scriptures is the woman defended. No one ever thinks to ask the woman how she feels about it. The woman has to go along with the marriage, she is not allowed to divorce. As long as the father of the rape victim got the ransom (50 shekels of silver, is that all the daughter is worth?) which the rapist must pay the father he didn’t care. He is essentially saying “she’s all yours, thank you for your business.” Rape is a crime under the current standards of morality and ethics in the western world. A father is required to report the rapist, not sell his daughter for 50 shekels and force her to marry her rapist:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/05/father-forced-14-year-old-daughter-to-marry-her-rapist/

          A rape victim was to be put to death for the crime of not screaming for help (Deuteronomy 22: 23-24). A woman who has just gone through what is possibly the most horrific event in her life should be put to death. The bible does not give us any details as to whether the rapist held his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming or if the rapist told her that he would kill her if she screamed.

          Bottom line: The Bible is not the best source for morality. The Bible cannot be used as the basis on which sexual practices are banned or not banned by a society. You are, however, entitled to your personal views.

          • Outandabout says:

            Dee 2….are you intimating that the bible is nothing more than a great big steaming pile of horseshit? I myself would never say such a thing though. I would never be so rude!

          • dee2 says:

            ******Exodus 22:16-17:
            “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride price for virgins.”

            Apparently, there could be a difference in the outcome for the unbethothed daughter if she was raped versus if she was seduced – the father could refuse to give his daughter as a bride to the seducer.

            The seducer nevertheless had to pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins. He would have to do this because her father would otherwise lose out on a dowry for her. It is the woman’s father who is viewed as the injured party, and he is due compensation for the devaluation of his daughter since women were treated as property at that time.

  21. John says:

    @dee2
    thanks for this summary, in fact IMHO (I am an agnostic anyway) the bible is not the word of God, therefor it reflects human thinking in old times – much of Israelite life and thinking has been revived and survives in Islam. Nevertheless these people may have been right in detesting and condemning perverse behaviour, I see no reason to approve everything now which has been condemned in old days – unaesthetic and unnatural as it may be. I have been spared gays in our family and have none in my circle of friends and hope this will not change in my lifetime.

    • dee2 says:

      @John:

      “………unnatural as it may be”.

      You are totally entitled to your views. Like you, I at one time viewed homosexuality as unnatural and an abomination, even when I became an ex-JW. I have, however, over time, considered the weight of the evidence. This is what I have observed:

      There are heterosexuals who for some reason engage in homosexual acts. There are also men in prison who get drawn into practicing homosexuality.
      Then there is the genuine gay person whose natural urges are toward the same sex only and
      in whom the preference is hard wired, and who remains that way
      throughout their life.

      Admittedly, no gay gene has been identified to date, the following documentary however explores the science of homosexuality and provides some interesting insights as to whether homosexuality is a choice:
      http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/m/episodes/survival-of-the-fabulous

      Also, according to reports, some homosexuals have tried fighting their inclination/tendency using conversion therapy, prayer, faith and repentance. This approach has, however, not worked for everyone – for example, according to
      http://m.huffpost.com/us/news/exodus-international-closes:

      “Exodus International, a Christian ministry that long promoted gay conversion therapy, is shutting its doors and apologizing to the gay community for “years of undue judgment.” ”

      I also reflected on my knowledge of the discipline of probability and statistics from which I deduced that there is a probability/expectation/chance occurrence for every and any thing. I have concluded that a percentage of the human race will be homosexuals.

      Regards.

      • dee2 says:

        To illustrate that there is a probability/expectation/chance occurrence for every and any thing which makes it possible for humans to exhibit a range of conditions which may be considered as natural or unnatural, I have given consideration to things such as genetic mutations (e.g. blue eyes) and the amazing cases of individuals who appear female at birth and who grow up as girls but who later develop a penis and testes during puberty as reported in the Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea – this is a natural gender transformation in the human population:

        http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34290981

        https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~issues/articles/13.1_Kelley_E_The_Guevedoces.html

        As I stated above, no gay gene has been identified to date, but based on these occurrences I have concluded that humans will exhibit a range of conditions which may be considered as natural or unnatural.

  22. John says:

    @dee2

    thanks I agree; of course I have learnt we have to live with this fact and I also have learnt to accept there are gay people around and we will NOT change them; I never considered it my duty to convert them but I kept apart, I tolerated that like I accepted handicapped or crook-backed people (from a great distance) and we lived in different worlds. That’s OK; what disturbs me nowadays is that gays are aiming to change the world; they want to be “equal” in any conceivable sense, not only tax-wise, child-adoption-wise but also in terms of churches’ sacraments and whatsoever, what I would call a kick into the teeth of “normal” heterosexual couples. As Nietzsche said – admittedly in another context, but it would apply IMHO: oh disgust, oh disgust, oh disgust.

    Just another example : a few European countries are imposing “female quotas” (proportion of women in the management of large companies) in the industry; I understand the reasoning behind that, but I am afraid this is just the beginning; we may have a gay quota as well in not too far a future. This would mean large companies would have to map/reproduce the composition of the society around and I am afraid we may need later a sodomite quota, a pederast quota and whatsoever simply for a mis-understood non-discrimination.

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