Dogma Alert

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Jehovah's Witnesses - Who are they and what do they believe?

Unlike in the case of Christians who are persecuted in other lands for talking about Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses are largely persecuted for following the teachings of their corporate headquarters.

The deadbeat Watchtower corporation pays no municipal taxes on their buildings, without even one charity to compensate the community.

Jehovah's Witnesses at your door -- who are they?

The Watchtower is Big money, being one of the top 40 New York City Corporations making nearly one billion dollars a year. That's just from one of their many corporations.

Jehovah's Witnesses follow the teachings begun during the second presidency of the Watchtower, when Joseph F. Rutherford took over in a corporate flap and began changing doctrines quickly in the Watchtower belief system. He claimed that angels directly conveyed "truth" to some of those in leadership. He coined the name "Jehovah's Witnesses" to make them stand out from being witnesses of Jesus, a typical evangelical expression (and a Biblical one).

Rutherford dumped holidays, birthdays and the 1874 date for the invisible return on Christ, and invented an "earthly class" of Witnesses, since only 144,000 can go to heaven according to their teaching. The rest, meaning all 99.9% of Witnesses still alive, will live forever on a cleansed earth, under the rule of the Watchtower corporate headquarter leaders in heaven, who will keep them in line by local elders known as "princes."

If you have been "witnessed to" by Jehovah's Witnesses and you reject their message, you will likely die "shortly" at Armageddon with all the other non-Witnesses, since theirs is the only true religion, and (if they can live up to all the rules) they are the only ones to inhabit this "new earth." If you believe Witnesses seem rigid now, any non-conformist during the future "cleansed earth" will be directly destroyed by their god. Even now a Witness will be disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for any one of many gaffs, such as smoking, taking a blood transfusion, or even voting.

To even vocally question the teachings of the Jehovah's Witness organization will result in complete cutting off, with family and friends usually being forbidden to talk to them. The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world, in a time when Orwellian societies are nearly obsolete.

In his "Adams Versus God," Melbourne broadcaster Phillip Adams said in 1985 that, according to US studies, "Jehovah's Witnesses are more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals than the general population".

"According to an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry," he said, "they are three times more likely to be diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and four times more likely to be paranoid schizophrenics.

"As a writer in the American journal Free Inquiry puts it: 'Either the Jehovah's Witness sect tends to attract an excess of pre-psychotic individuals who may then break down, or else being a Jehovah's Witness is itself a stress that may precipitate psychosis. "'Possibly both of these factors operate together ...'"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Televangelist breached guidelines: TV standards council

Last Updated Tue, 14 Jun 2005 19:00:44 EDT
CBC Arts

When televangelist Jimmy Swaggart said he would kill a homosexual who looked at him romantically, he violated the ethics code of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, an industry panel has ruled.

Swaggart made the remarks during a discussion of same-sex marriage on a Sept. 12 broadcast that was carried by the Toronto station Omni 1.

"I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died," Swaggart said.

Swaggart also said that politicians who are undecided on the issue of same-sex marriage "all oughta have to marry a pig and live with him forever."

The comments prompted a complaint that was filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, the arm of the CAB that deals with viewer feedback.

A few days later, Swaggart backtracked, saying the expression was a figurative one. He said he has used the expression "killing someone and telling God he died" in jest thousands of times.

"If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology,"
he told the Associated Press.

The council ruled that Omni 1 was entitled to broadcast Swaggart's views opposing same-sex marriage, as well as his criticism of politicians who take no stand.

But it added that the station breached the CAB's human rights and religious programming clauses "on the basis of Swaggart's suggestion that killing someone would be the proper way for one to respond to homosexuality."

The panel said the debate over same-sex marriage is "more than legitimate" and "democratically essential" but said Swaggart's "negativity" was "visceral."

"The problem of Swaggart's language is, in a sense, exacerbated by the fact that he, as a religious figure, can be presumed to set an example for his community. It would, therefore, be easy for someone to infer that this might be the proper way for a Christian of this sect (or possibly of any sect) to respond to homosexuality," the ruling added.

Omni 1 issued an on-air apology shortly after the broadcast, so it is not required to broadcast the council's decision.

Both the CAB and CBSC are non-governmental organizations.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Christian conspiracy of the north!

Ah, you gotta love Ted Byfield! This fanatical right-wing intolerant X-tian fundamentalist zealot used to publish a ridiculously biased rag called the "Alberta Report", which masquesraded for a while as "real news for the west" in Canada. It's no wonder that Alberta, with it's preponderance of cattle and oil wells, regularly pilfered by American multinational corporations, is known as "little Texas".

There's not much one can say about "poor Ted" with a straight face, as he hasn't changed his rigid and narrow views at all since his magazine died. However, he does still show up once in a while in the mainstream press, this time unsurprisingly on WorldNetDaily, whereby he proudly complains of an anti-Christian conspiracy at the Globe and Mail, to which I say, "Thank God for That!" ;-)

The rest pretty much speaks for itself.

Caution, take what follows with a humongous grain of salt!


Posted: June 4, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Ted Byfield

The anti-Christian bias of the Globe and Mail, Canada's self-proclaimed "national" newspaper, grows ever less subtle, and last week it broke all bounds when its lead story on the front page implied a Christian conspiracy to take over the Conservative Party.

"Christian activists capturing Tory races," shouted the headline. (The "races" were Conservative nomination contests.) A sub-headline elaborated: "Some in party worry new riding nominees will reinforce notion of 'hidden agenda.'"

This "hidden" Christian "agenda," the chief authority for which is the Globe and Mail itself, is the ostensible conspiracy of a coterie of religious "zealots" to first gain office, then work to repeal all the "advances" made under the Liberals – such as abortion on demand, or the prohibition under the human-rights code of any public criticism of homosexual practice on medical, moral or biblical grounds.

What particularly alarmed the Globe was the emergence of this "Christian activism" outside Canada's three prairie provinces. In the past, the Globe has portrayed it as the residual survival of an old and withering culture in the rustic region of the West. The Globe's writers customarily assigned to it the most contemptuous descriptive term they knew. It was "rural."

The Globe's concept of "rural" is, of course, as ill-informed as its concept of "Christian." The fact that a prairie farm now represents at a minimum a $2 million to $3 million investment, a working knowledge of biochemistry, crop genetics, computer-controlled mechanics, meteorology and cost accounting, plus a constant watch on the Internet for grain and livestock prices, and agricultural supply and demand all over the world, has not yet reached the Globe's editorial office. "Rural" to the Globe still suggests people in straw hats carrying pitchforks and standing in cow manure.

Similarly, its concept of Christian implies ignorance, superstition, gullibility, illiteracy, intolerance and sexual repression. It assumes that faith (as somebody once said) consists in resolutely shutting your eyes to scientific fact. So that was the story. Ignorant bigots are trying to take over Canada.

But they are no longer "rural." These Christians are turning up all over the place, cried the Globe. Four Conservative nominations in metro Vancouver went to avowed Christian activists last month. So did one in Halifax, and another in metro Toronto. Alarmingly, these people did not look at all rustic. So the conspiracy is no longer absurd. It has been raised to the status of sinister.

Which, unhappily for the Globe editors, could soon require them to confront the implications of their anti-Christian campaign. Retiring Conservative MP John Reynolds, who runs the party's nomination process, raised one implication. Suppose, he told reporters, that they had written such a story with the word "Jew" in the place of the word "Christian." Would the Globe have run it? He thought not.

There were further problems. About five years ago, a British Columbia judge, thinking like the Globe's editors, ruled that a Vancouver suburban school board had violated the provincial School Act by hearing Christian, Jewish and Muslim arguments against some gay textbooks being proposed for the public schools. Because the board had allowed itself to be influenced by "religious" arguments, said the judge, it had violated the act, which forbad the teaching of religion in a public school.

This of course raises an interesting question. The business of elected legislative bodies is to legislate, i.e., to pass laws, and every law at some level represents the imposition of a moral principle or value. The criminal law is an anthology of "Thou shalt not's Ö" The income-tax laws impose the moral principle that the rich should pay proportionately more. The building codes impose a moral duty on builders to assure public safety.

Now for Christians, Muslims and religious Jews, the source of all morality is religious. God is the only moral authority they know. Therefore, if they are prohibited from allowing their religion to influence their view of the laws they are called upon to pass, then they are – according to this judge and the Globe – unfit to hold public office. And since some 90 percent of Canadians avow belief in God, this would restrict public office to about 10 percent of the population.

In the meantime, how exactly the Globe would have the Conservative Party meet this ominous "Christian" peril, it did not say. Will candidates for nomination be formally questioned under oath: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a Christian?" Canada is not there yet, of course. But we're progressing.