Some chauvinistic remarks made by Sam Herd during his time as a traveling overseer are circulating on YouTube
Some chauvinistic remarks made by Sam Herd during his time as a traveling overseer are circulating on YouTube

According to the current theology laid out in Watchtower publications, members of the Governing Body are individually appointed by Jesus to serve as part of his “faithful and discreet slave” – his earthly representatives charged with dispensing spiritual “food at the proper time.”

The trouble is, when you carefully scrutinize the words of these men from the platform and acquaint yourself with their idiosyncrasies, it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that either Jesus has NOT chosen these men, or he is a very poor judge of character.

Take for example the following misogynistic remarks made in a talk by Samuel Herd. The recordings in this playlist are believed to date back to 1971* (before Herd was appointed to the Governing Body) in a talk entitled “The Value of Our Theocratic Sisters.”

An unedited recording of the talk is downloadable on this link (be warned, the audio quality is very poor in parts).

If I were to walk up to a woman in the street and suggest to her that getting married and filling the needs of a man are among the primary reasons for her existence, that to do so was her desire from childhood, that she lacks the attributes to compete with men or that a man’s cranial capacity is bigger than hers~ I would both expect and deserve a firm slap in the face, whether the year was 1971 or 2014.

That a man who freely voiced such backwards, misogynistic opinions should be personally singled out by Jesus for a role in his ‘faithful slave’ is both laughable and insulting to Christians, because for Jesus to select and endorse such a person without requiring him to publicly recant this nonsense would make Jesus just as much a male chauvinist as Herd.

For those of you who suggest that Herd must surely have shed his disturbing eccentricities since this recording was made, this is not obvious in the following recording from 2005 in which Herd describes the plight of a Witness woman (who “has it in the right places”) being wooed by a worldly man…

If it were only Herd who has been caught making comments of a chauvinist nature that would be one thing, but sadly he is not the only Governing Body member with an appetite for making degrading remarks about women. Consider the following video in which Stephen Lett jokes about “women’s lip”…

Considering that recordings of talks given by Governing Body aren’t exactly a dime a dozen on the internet, one can only imagine what other sexist remarks have been uttered into the microphone by individual components of the “faithful slave” over the years without being caught on tape.

One thing is clear from the above, namely that the source of the humiliating treatment of women in the Witness organization requires little investigation.

It is one thing to invoke bible verses (mostly those of Paul) so that women are barred from taking on a teaching role in a congregation. It is quite another to insist that women should not be allowed to wear trousers, or should be barred from participating in some of the most menial tasks necessary within a kingdom hall, such as distributing literature or handling the sound equipment or microphones, unless no men are present.

Curiously if the microphone stand has the microphone removed from it, and a mop head is affixed in its place, suddenly a woman is miraculously allowed to make use of it.

It is remarkable enough that Watchtower indoctrination is able to convince so many women to put up with such demeaning treatment. But it is even more remarkable that Witnesses should venerate those responsible for it, who even voice their misogynist views from the platform, as hand-picked representatives of God and Christ on Earth.

 

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*I personally doubt that the recording dates as far back as 1971, because this would have meant Herd was only 36 when this talk was given. Such relative youthfulness isn’t obvious in Herd’s voice, but the date does correspond with when he was known to be involved in the traveling overseer work (between 1965 and 1997).

~Though studies have shown that there is a slight statistical increase in the cranial capacity of men compared with women, this does not make men smarter. Women generally have a thicker cerebral cortex and less “dead space” filled with cerebro-spinal fluid. For more information on the subject, click here.

72 thoughts on “Why would Jesus appoint male chauvanists to his ‘faithful and discreet slave’?

  • August 13, 2014 at 9:29 am
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    Who knows if Samuel Herd, once up on his heavenly throne, is not going to ask for a royal decree to be approved, forcing each woman on earth to walk forever outside of their house covered with a burka in the same color as his suspenders.

    • August 13, 2014 at 10:35 am
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      Interrogative, he’s just concerned for you women feeling uneasy with all those men looking at you all the time. *hides behind desk*

  • August 13, 2014 at 11:17 am
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    Gareth,

    Thank you Gareth for your quoting of “hides behind desk” . After typing these three words Google brought me to Bob Dylan Lyrics “Master of War”. Very interesting song. When this song was created in 1963 I was 20 years old but I was unable to understand the lyrics at that time as my English was less than basic. Now things have changed and I will listen carefully to this song, and surely other songs from Bob Dylan. A discovery for me. Thank you so much. All the best.

  • August 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm
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    Steven Hawkins only has an IQ of 160 whereas Judith Polgar has an IQ of 170. She was raised away from conventional classrooms in an experimental environment.
    The general societal placement and assumptions toward women have thwarted there developments and achievements, but in spite of that, women advance in fields of science, math, law, engineering and medicine. I was recently seen by a leading woman brain surgeon. The underlying premise of Herd’s appalling assessment of women, is disturbingly connected to the Nazi’s favorite bogus science, Eugenics. Eugenics was a system of measuring physical characteristics as indicators of who was inferior and who was superior. Galations 3:28 “there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ
    Jesus.” This “one on Christ” regardless of sex is glaringly absent in practice by Jehovah’s Witnesses, where are the female members of the Governing Body ? Coming from the USA with its history of 300 years of slavery and oppression of people of color, Herd’s inability to accept women as equals or promote them as equals is all the more astounding.

  • August 13, 2014 at 6:37 pm
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    These talks like Samuel Herd’s talks and Stephen Lett’s talks, remind me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. I don’t think anybody feels free to tell these men that their talks are offensive.

  • August 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm
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    I have noticed that my comment incorporating some text from the Urantia book has not been allowed on this site.

    This type of censoring is exposing this site’s moderator as being what I perceive to be negative towards wholesome information and is only concerned with criticizing the opponent who in this case is the Watchtower Society.

    What is so wrong with quoting from a non religious book that has been in circulation for nearly 60 years now and in the hands of many hundred thousands of people, all around the world and which supports the teaching of Jesus?

    I am not being abusive, nor am I supporting any any organized religion or cult here.

    Quite the opposite in fact as the Urantia book does not actually support any religion here on the earth at this time period, but it does support progressive understanding of truth and living our life in harmony with the source of all life here in this universe.

    In fact my comment was actually in support of your post here, but it does appear to me that because of your bias towards the information from the Urantia book, you have not allowed it here on this forum.

    If you do not allow this comment, or respond to it, I will understand of course as it is very negative to your censoring priviledges as this site’s administrator, in not allowing my comment here.

    • August 13, 2014 at 11:03 pm
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      Futureman, you are entitled to classify the book you describe (the subheading of which is “Revealing the Mysteries of God, the Universe, World History, Jesus and Ourselves”) as the one and only “truth” and therefore not a religious or evangelical book, but in doing so you make claims similar to any religious person regarding their faith and sacred texts. The posting guidelines for this website could not be more clear, and are applicable to everyone, yourself included. If you have a problem with them, the simple solution is for you to boycott the site in protest. What isn’t acceptable is the posting of links or comments that are evangelical towards any belief system, neither is it acceptable to question the decisions taken by moderators with silly remarks about “censoring.” If you don’t like the way we run our site, you know where the door is. No more comments on this subject please, or you will be blocked.

      • August 13, 2014 at 11:21 pm
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        Why don’t you post the original link here then, so that we can all determine whether it is of an evangelical nature?

        From your perspective here then, none of us can even quote from the Bible or any religious orientated book, is that what you are saying here?

        Look I do not care if you block me from this site, but I do care about the way people go censoring information, whether it is true or not. This is suppose to be a society of free speech is it not?

        I do know that there is limit to free speech of course, if it becomes downright abusive, but that is not the case with my posts is it?
        There is enough of that going on already from corporations and government etc.

  • August 14, 2014 at 2:49 am
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    Futureman,

    Your freedom of speech and belief have not been compromised. Cedars has not told you that you cannot read this book, has he? You are free to read any book you choose. However, John has worked hard to create a site that does not promote any one philosophy or religion. He is not interested in that. His goal (and mine) is to tell the truth about the WTBTS and help to bring justice to its many victims.

    This Urantia book makes very big claims and I do not believe that ANY book has ALL the answers. We have all been sorely harmed by believing that!

    Please, no more rants about U -rant-ia!!!!

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • August 14, 2014 at 5:57 am
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    @anonymous,

    You have a great analogy with the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ story. You are exactly right. Problem is, anyone who dares to say that ‘the emperor has no clothes.’ would be immediately chastised or expelled. I also remember that you don’t dare question anything these evil clowns say. I remember the watchtower study artical meetings, where the only people asking questions was the GB themselves through the quiz questions at the end of the paragraphs. My opinion is these questions were designed to indoctrinate and to allow the elders to bully those who did not tow the line. OK, I digress.

  • August 14, 2014 at 7:37 am
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    Helloe fellow jdubs! I hope you’re all enjoying your new “sister proof”™ Bible! Now distorting the truth about Christ in an easy to read format!

  • August 14, 2014 at 10:56 am
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    @ searcher: Exactly right about the “questions.”
    The same thing goes for the rhetorical questions that only have one answer at assembly talks: “Yes.”
    “Brothers and sisters, isn’t it a fine thing to be here at another day of grand theocratic assembly???”
    (Followed by reluctant, forced clapping)
    About that: Do some of you remember the LONG clapping sessions at assemblies and conventions following the fall of the Iron Curtain? These days (meaning, the last time I went to one), you can TASTE the lack of enthusiasm at conventions.

  • August 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm
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    I remember years ago, when Sam was a District Overseer, he was talking about sisters who had fell in love with men who were not in the ‘Lie’ ( I mean their truth) and said , ” But, my heart burns for him.” Then he turned to Proverbs 28:26 and read: ” He that is trusting his own heart is stupid.” ( NWT)
    It always ceased to amaze me how many double standards were set in that organization. If a younger man, or even ‘just’ a ministerial servant, would have dared to say that from the platform, the elders would ambush him after the meeting , and put some kind of restriction or punishment on him for using free speech and opinion. But, an older man, with some kind of ‘high position’ could say just about anything, and get away with it – regardless of how presumptuous or haughty it would come across. There was never equality in that organization! Men were greater than women, Traveling Overseers were greater than locals, elders were greater than ministerial servants,pioneers were greater than publishers, people who had been ‘in the truth’ for years were greater than new ones. Bethel speakers or missionaries were worshiped. “Big Dogs” in the organization , who had the authority to give certain privileges in the Circuit and District , were wined and dined, and bought. I saw more politics in the local Kingdom Hall, then I did on CNN or Fox News! Sad! How Jesus, must shake his head to such hypocrisy!
    For the many Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting this site, secretly, or in fear, take Sam Herd’s advice. Quit trusting your heart! Your heart tells you to stay, your heart tells you you can not live without certain family or friends, your heart tells you could never tell others your doubts or concerns , stop listening to your heart! If you have a doubt, inquire …., satisfy your curiosity, study something else. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the matter to you….You will soon find comfort and fulfillment in the emptiness you are now feeling. After 30 years, I finally knew the meaning of John 8:32…..and the REAL truth, does set you free!

  • August 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm
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    J-Sac –
    As another 30 year JW, finally free, I do so agree with you!
    I too saw the hypocrisy. The ‘shining lights’ in the congregations, practically worshipped by the ordinary brothers and sisters. The fear of displeasing the CO on his visit, the adoration of the DO when he came to call.
    All a load of rubbish. They are just MEN, as are the GB. They do not have super powers (Unlike Wonder woman).
    I just wish she could magic them away for us – tee, hee!

  • August 15, 2014 at 2:15 am
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    From a Watchtower magazine (w07 12/1 p.3) you can read “…Anything that divides people can spawn hostility, and religion is one of the strongest dividers,” writes journalist James A. Haught. “Despite the universal belief that religion makes people ‘good,’ it’s obvious that it makes some people commit heinous acts.” Author Steven Weinberg holds a similar view. “For good people to do evil,” he writes, “that takes religion.”

    From what comes from him, Herd must be an evil man and I can’t now tell how much his religion (WTS) has contributed!!

  • August 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm
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    @ J-Sac

    You just told it like it is.

    And LOL @ “I saw more politics in the local Kingdom Hall, then I did on CNN or Fox News!”

    Right on, brother.

  • August 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm
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    Lett, paraphrased Eph,5/22. Let wives be in subjection to
    their husbands as to Jehovah.- This is the same Jehovah
    who allowed Moses, to slaughter little boys and women
    who were not virgins, but those who were virgins keep
    for yourselves. and use how you will, Numbers 31/17.

    Ripping up pregnant women is also something indulged
    in with seeming enthusiasm. No wonder Lett and co,
    are selective in their use of scripture.

    Such cruelty toward women and children is pure evil and
    cannot be rationalised away. Any advice coming from men
    who follow a God like that needs to be viewed with
    skepticism.

  • August 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm
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    I am reading the April 1, 2009 Watchtower articles “Born Again, What Does it mean? on pages 3-12. On page 7, it shows a picture of Jesus Christ on his throne and behind him a group of fellow rulers chosen from mankind who make up God’s Kingdom. All of the fellow rulers are pictured as white men with white beards. I read very carefully all the articles, and I didn’t see any references to any women being chosen as rulers who would be taken to heaven to serve as kings with Jesus. It refers to “individuals” being taken from the earth and “persons” etc. and men but I can’t see any references that indicate any women would be with Jesus ruling over the earth. I remember in times past, different places where I had read that women would be chosen from the earth to serve with Jesus so it would show that women are just as valued as men, right? If the Society believes that only men would be ruling over the earth as kings with Jesus, that would explain that picture with just men being with Jesus in Heaven. But what about all those women who were in those congregations that the Apostle Paul served in the 1st century? Wouldn’t they also have been of the 144,000? What about all the early Bible Student women and the women Witnesses under Rutherford? Weren’t they of the 144,000? I wonder if anybody has questioned the Society about that picture on page 7 of the April 1, 2009 Watchtower? I wonder if it galls the Governing Body so much to have a woman tell them anything (even in heaven) that they can’t even bring themselves to picture a woman sitting on one of those thrones.

  • August 16, 2014 at 4:59 am
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    anonymous,

    I dimly recall reading that the “anointed” will be transformed into sexless spirit beings. There are no male or female entities in Heaven. As they don’t breed using sexual reproduction, there is no requirement to have sex organs which designate male and female.

    The bad trip on mushrooms that is the book of Revelation has a vision where the 144,000 are all men in Heaven. This is the illustration that they are depicting.

    As you can discern from my comments, I do NOT believe that the book of Revelation should be in the bible at all. It was almost left out of the cannon, when it was laid down at some council or other, I can’t remember where or when.

    It is BONKERS! Interestingly, the bread that folks were eating back then had a type of fungus infecting it. It caused people to hallucinate. These so called visions were just one long, bad trip!

    Also, how did a fisherman from Israel in the first century live so long? Weren’t the entire Roman army after this guy? Remember, this book was allegedly written in 98CE!

    The apostle John was born around the same time as Jesus, I suppose, which was around 2 or 3 BC. So John was over a hundred years old when he supposedly wrote this book? I don’t believe that!

    I hope this helps explain their bonkers ideas. Officially, many of the 144,000 are women. They would have been selected in the first Century along with their male associates. They would also have been selected from the early JWs as well.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • August 16, 2014 at 8:02 am
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    Hi Excelsior. That was the explanation that my husband gave to me also is that all the 144,000 were to be sexless once they get to heaven but I still think that the Governing Body’s chauvinism against women and bigotry against other races than the white race, shows through in depicting the 144,000 as all white men with white beards. A better picture would be to have their faces blurred out but it still doesn’t explain that article in never referring to any women being called to serve with Jesus. I looked up a few more articles and in the Reasoning book about the 144,000 and I couldn’t find anything specific about women being called in those articles that I found, only individuals and persons etc. I think it’s entirely possible that the Governing Body has decided that only men would be called to heaven but they can’t come right out and say it directly because of all the women they’d be calling crazy then. If you can find anything that specifically says that women would be called to heaven, I’d like to know where it is. I remember it in book studies quite some time ago but can’t remember it lately.

    One question that I always had about the last supper with Jesus’ disciples was why did the bread have to be unleavened when wine is leavened? If it was wine, then it had to have “spoiled”, so to speak, and that can only happen with leavening in that you have to put yeast into the juice to make it ferment. It can ferment without yeast but then it’s the bacteria that’s in the air that makes it ferment and turn into wine. You can make bread without adding yeast and it will still rise. All you have to do is let the flour/water mixture sit for a day and it foams right up and makes the same kind of bread as if you had added yeast because the air is full of bacteria and in 1 day, the flour/water will make it’s own yeast.

    I also personally feel that the book of Revelation might just be the ramblings of a person on drugs. I feel that that book is probably no different than Nostradamus’ predictions. People can predict all kinds of happenings and then when something they predicted comes true, they can say “see I predicted that” but what about all the stuff that didn’t come true? The problem with the Watchtower and the book of Revelation is that Watchtower takes everything in that book to say it’s prophetic in that everything good in it is pointing to the Watchtower and it’s publications. This beast means this and that beast means that etc. and the flying creatures mean this or that. For years, I took it to be a fact. Now I see it as presumptuous and a tool to scare the Witnesses and only that. I don’t know how I could have been so fooled, but then we are dealing with some very clever, devilish men in New York, aren’t we?

    • August 16, 2014 at 10:37 am
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      wt10 12/1 pg31: “Part of the sacred secret is that others will be with the resurrected Jesus in heaven, both men and women. They will rule with Jesus in heaven!”

      Funny this, I yesterday found what the “sacred secret” really is (I always wondered in the watchtower literature they talk about, but don’t really say it, you know?) …. anyway, the secret is that “Christ” is Jesus + the 144.000 anointed! It blew my mind! But it makes sense, the anointed are also “Christ”; that’s what Christ means: anointed. This watchtower hints at it by saying: “You and I must take in ‘knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ.'”

      Interesting point about the wine! I guess it means that a little uncleanliness in the blood is okay? I think the intent must have been to say: don’t worry about blood transfusions…. :-P

    • July 3, 2015 at 10:16 am
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      Hi!

      Great points you made. This passage from Galatians mentions the diversity of those called to be in union with Christ as joint heirs, aka: the 144,000. It’s Galatians 3:26-28:

      “[26] For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. [27] For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.…”

      So, nationality or gender or social status do not matter; it’s the heart. The Society seems to forget that Jehovah and Jesus have been calling women as part of the anointed class since the first century.

      Hope this helps!

  • August 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm
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    Thanks Gareth for finding that article. I looked it up and found it interesting too.

    An article in the Watchtower, year 2009, June 15th article page 23, paragraph 15 would explain why the Governing Body members can give such stupid talks as Lett’s and Herds, is explained in that article in paragraph 15 where it says “However, Christians who have truly received this anointing do not demand special attention. They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the “great crowd” may have.(Rev. 7:9) They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the “other sheep” have. (John 10:16).

    So, according to the Watchtower’s own words, the Governing Body members do not any more special insight than anybody in the rank and file. Do they receive special treatment? I would have to say a big yes!!! So, than have they been genuinely anointed by God? I’d say a big NO!!!

  • August 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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    If the Most High has chosen men like this (the GB) to rule over us in the future, what ‘glorious freedom’ the female sex will have!
    The world will be populated by male chauvinists and the meek women will be at their beck and call day and night forever! Help!
    Thankfully, these men are no more ‘anointed’ than my big toe!
    The Christ loved women and respected them. The ones chosen to rule with Him will reflect those ideals.

  • October 12, 2014 at 3:24 pm
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    I just spewed my beer reading this comment. Lol

  • February 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm
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    I found an article in the 1954 Watchtower Sept. 1 issue on page 532 in the article: “The Divine Origin of Marriage” and I thought it was kind of funny. Evidently, the role of women is to have eggs that the man fertilizes with his sperm so as to make children and the only reason for sex is to produce offspring.

    ….paragraph 21…..about half way through the paragraph, it picks up with “The woman, and no lower animal female, was a satisfying match for Adam and so was a complement for him, especially as she had the bodily organs by which she could become the mother of his children. (Lev. 18:23) She could produce the eggs that would provide the bodies of his children, but only he as the head of the married couple could pass on the life sperm that would start life in her eggs……A helper takes orders and works with the one that takes on this help. The woman could now furnish the necessary help to Adam in carrying out God’s command to them to become many and fill all the earth with a perfect human family……”

    paragraph 22 “When Jehovah God brought this perfect woman to the awakened man in Eden and pronounced his blessing upon them and set their joint duties before them their marriage was consummated. It did not require any physical sexual union between them first to consummate their marriage. If that sexual connection were first necessary to make the marriage a real, valid, binding one, then Adam and his woman were never married in Eden. It is first after this couple found themselves outside of Eden some time later that, we read, “now Adam had intercourse with Eve his wife and she became pregnant. In time she gave birth to Cain.” (Gen. 4:1, NW) Adam and Eve knew that the purpose of the sexual connection was to bring forth children. So in their perfection and with perfect self-control and without shame at their nakedness and without feeling passion at the sight of each other’s unclothed body they refrained from having sexual union and conceiving children while in Eden.”

    I wonder how the Watchtower would know that Adam and Eve never had sex in the Garden of Eden???? Evidently they know that Adam didn’t feel any passion for his wife and they only had sex to produce offspring.

    I can see it now: Eve to Adam “I took my temperature and I am ovulating so you had better get some passion for me because if we are to populate the earth, it’s your job to take your sperm and fertilize my egg.”

  • February 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm
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    oops, I made a mistake. It’s the 1956 Watchtower article, not 1954. I should have read my comment first before hitting post.

  • February 24, 2015 at 12:52 am
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    Its no wonder why the more recent (prior to jw.org) “CD-rom” conveniently stopped including information from the 50’s….

  • July 3, 2015 at 10:02 am
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    If the size of the brain was directly proportional to intelligence, then all of the players in the NFL would be geniuses…and we know that’s not even remotely true. I used to think the apostle Paul was an extreme chauvinist, but then I took the time to do a close reading of his Bible books. He really liked a lot of the sisters from the various congregations, worked shoulder to shoulder with them in the ministry, and came to respect them. So how could he say such demeaning things about women? I think he knew that MEN are the weaker sex–weaker emotionally and with more fragile egos–and he was teaching the women how to humor those men (much as one would do the criminally insane), in order to allow the men to maintain their fallacy of superiority–and also to spare the women mistreatment at the hands of the emotionally weaker but physically stronger men. If you re-read his writings with that thought in mind, it is as if he is sharing an inside joke with the women in the congregations to whom he writes. I now really like Paul and believe he was an early “Women’s Lipper.” :-)

  • July 3, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    Here is an interesting article, one of hundreds, on the fact that female students in America are outperforming their male counterparts. Now, it’s not due to women’s being superior to men but, rather, males have not kept pace with the concept that women CAN and WILL compete effectively, take your place at college and then take your place at work. Male recognition is slow to respond to the competition created by a more level playing field. It is now possible for more women to live up to their God-given potential. Isn’t that outcome the true basis for our becoming “helpers” to men as the “complements”?

    http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1087&context=colleagues

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