Can I Get a Witness? (Part 1)

Jehovah's Witnesses. The steampunkers of the christian world. They try to live according to rules actually found in the New Testament, without the interpolations and traditions that grew up around it.

So whereas the catholics have to retcon 2000 years of contradiction into an enormous wobbly heap of handwaving, the JWs have only the first century of contradiction to worry about.

They don't believe in a spiritual afterlife, but that after the end of the world, you get a new perfect body on a new perfect earth forever - unless you were evil, in which case you just cease to exist. Because that's what Paul wrote, before Hades got imported from Hellenistic religions and conflated with Tartarus.

They don't accept blood transfusions, because Leviticus says we mustn't eat blood. Even though (1) transfusion isn't eating (2) they ignore pretty much everything else in Leviticus, and (3) blood transfusions are a jolly good idea.

Which only leaves the question: Surely you'd drink blood?

They don't celebrate Christmas, because it's the Roman Festival of Saturn, and therefore pagan. They don't celebrate Easter, because symbolic rabbits and eggs come from fertility cults, and are therefore pagan.

They don't perform the Eucharist, because eating metaphorical god-flesh and drinking (eating?) metaphorical god-blood is the festival of Dyonisus - god of grain and therefore what you make from grain. So it's pagan.

What they do instead is...once a year take a sip of wine (representing blood) and a bite of bread (representing flesh) to commemorate the death of Jesus.

So what's the difference? The difference is: They don't call it the Eucharist. So when they do it, it's not pagan.

They are also the nicest nutjobs I've ever met. I've chatted and debated with dozens of flavours of christian over the years, and the JWs are the only ones who've never threatened me, lied to me, or assumed I must be an idiot because I didn't agree with them.

Well, tonight they've invited me to their not-Eucharist. So I'm going, and coming up in Part 2, my impressions.

1 comment:

  1. They are the nicest, non pushy versions of Xians out there, followed by Mormons...

    I actually left my church because of Jehovah's Witnesses. True story: It was a Saturday, I was a 14 year old doing chores, so engrossed in scrubbing clean the windows that I totally missed out the signs that the JWs were coming: Neighbors run inside, lock their doors, close the blinds & hide as if they've run out of Halloween candy so it's best for visitors to move on; eerie quiet as radios are turned off & children's laughter & cries are silenced; & even the road is deserted & neighborhood absent of people, like a ghost town, abandoned & emptied of all human life...except for stupid me, so intent on scrubbing those windows clean & shiny that I didn't know they had come til one said hello & pulled me out of my engaging task.

    I was confused at first, thinking they were lost, then I saw their literature--the mags, The Watchtower & Awake--& realized the neighbors had gone into hiding, so then I figured out these were JWs.

    Long story short: I was polite & courteous because that's how I was raised. Had a short friendly conversation. I wished them luck & a good day & they left me some literature. I went back to cleaning the windows & by the end of they day, I did an awesome job, those windows sparkled in the afternoon sun.

    That would've been the end of it, except some neighborhood rat tattled me out to my pastor, who drove over that evening & interrogated & berated me for talking to "Satan", his words, not mine.

    I was shocked to be treated like an idiot who had done some terrible deed. But I was also pissed off that this mofo had the gall to attack me & make horrible accusations about people he has never even met! But most of all, I was sad to see my mother, looking at me, & realizing in that instant, that the church, her church that she & my father founded, now headed by this bigot, that church, my church, had lost me forever.

    That was my last dealing with the pastor & never went back to church again. I was all ready questioning the idiotic & ridiculously offensive customs & beliefs in the church, & that showdown with the pastor was the spark that lit me to go out & explore other faiths, beliefs, & philosophies, & culture, all with encouragement of my Mom. And high school was a wonderful time where I visited & studied a vast diversity of religions & cultures & ideologies & faiths, & it made me a better, more aware, & a bit wiser person.

    Please do share your experiences with us!