Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Think They Have More Freedom Than You Do

smug cat
If only this cat knew that rats are WAY cooler pets.
Smug little bastard…

People who are not Jehovah's Witnesses are free to make choices. We can go to church, become atheists (like yours truly), or celebrate any holiday we choose. We can read whatever we like, listen to any music we like, or watch any movie we like. All without fear that an Elder will tap us on the shoulder and haul us before a judicial committee. We can even use our own judgment without consulting a Watchtower Magazine for the Governing Body's take on every major decision we make. Jehovah's Witnesses can't claim any of that with a straight face. Not that it matters. Because they think they have more freedom than you do. Seriously. And they think they're the only ones capable of exercising that freedom fully. How can that be?

It's simple. To Jehovah's Witnesses, the rest of us have made the only choice can make: death. Most of us don't even know we've made that choice. But it's the only option we'll allow ourselves to have. Meanwhile, the Witnesses–bless their little hearts–keep knocking on our doors in an attempt to keep us informed about the alternative. Very few of us are willing to listen, so our choices remain limited to just one: death.

Well, that's how they see it at least. But I digress…

Witnesses have two choices because they're better informed than we are. (At least they think so.) They can choose 1) death, or 2) life everlasting in paradise. In their minds, that's twice as many choices as everyone else. So while pitiful old "worldly people" like you and I can do whatever we'd like with our brief lives, those choices are meaningless because they're only short term. Our lives are finite. Their lives will go on forever and they'll be in paradise too! They've chosen to make that happen by going to meetings, knocking on doors, and obeying the Governing Body. They reaffirm this decision every time they do any of these things instead of something they'd rather do. These are all daily sacrifices, and every sacrifice only increases a Witness's commitment to the Watchtower Society. Every sacrifice is an investment.

So when worldly people accuse them of being a cult or complain that the Watchtower Society is doing all their thinking for them, most Jehovah's Witnesses are happy to just chuckle and deflect our comments with something like: "We can do anything you can do…so long as it isn't wrong." You know the drill. That's the part where they elbow the Witness next to them in the ribs and wink knowingly.

"Man," they say with that wink, "being right sure is awesome. Glad I'm not this poor dope. Aren't you?"

Of course, I can't agree with their view. Anyone else have an opinion worth sharing?

Let's hear it.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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4 Responses to Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Think They Have More Freedom Than You Do

  1. vikki says:

    yes were controled, we have to give gifts on december 25, we have to give gifts for mother on mothers day and dad on dads day, turkey on thanksgiving, gifts for our lovers on feb. 15, dress u[p on the oct.25 , green on saint patricks day and search for decorated eggs on easter… wait thats you

    • Actually, I’m no longer a JW (I stopped attending meetings like 14 years ago) but I don’t do any of the things you mentioned either. Why? I simply choose not to bother with any of it. There are no laws which say I must do any of these things. Nor am I bound by any doctrines which say I must do these things.

      I also don’t have to attend 5 weekly meetings, study the WT literature week after week, or log hours in field service, or answer to the whims of Elders, the Governing Body, attend the Memorial Of Christ’s Death or the conventions, consult the organization’s opinion about the music I listen to, the books I read, the movies I watch, etc. I could go on.

      If our obligations are how you measure control, I’m pretty sure I would win. Luckily, that’s not how I see things.

      You could search through the other articles I’ve written to get a more complete picture of where I’m coming from and offer something better than this angry commentary. (Yes, even if you disagree with me.) That would be something of value. Something interesting to read and respond to.

      Or you could continue to drop angry commentaries throughout the site (and others like it) based on what seems like a knee jerk reaction to a single article that wasn’t even aimed at you. Which do you think will earn you the most respect from me and others who read this site? What impression do you think you’ve made so far?

      If you are easily offended by opinions that contradict your own or the Society’s, you should really stick to reading approved sites that support that point of view. Not ones that dissent with the organization. Knee jerk reactions will only get you flamed or ignored everywhere else. They certainly don’t make practicing JWs look any better to XJWs like myself.

      If you are calm and reasonable, with a genuine interest in having a conversation or communicating ideas–even criticisms–then you are welcome to contribute. And I will try to respond in kind. But please don’t bother with the angry knee jerk reaction stuff. It gets tedious very quickly. You’ll get a lot more from pretty much everybody if you do.

    • B.W. says:

      Vikki,

      No one has to give gifts on December 25th, they don’t have to give gifts to their parents on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, they don’t have to eat Turkey on Thanksgiving, giving gifts to their lovers of February 15th, they don have to dress up on October 25th , wear green on Saint Patricks’ or search for decorated eggs on Easter. People can do all or some of these things and it is not your place to judge.

      Nobody is ‘controlled’ to do these things. Your denomination of Christianity prefers not to because of these holidays non-Christian origins but you have no right at all to make fun of those who do celebrate birthdays or holidays. That is not a very nice thing to do. Furthermore, if you do not care for the opinions of ex-members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses whether non-religious, spiritual-but-not-religious or religious than why are you on these websites which you are not even supposed to be on in the first place?

      Does that not make you a hypocrite? I think it does. There are plenty of JW websites for you to visit, there is no need for you to bash on those who celebrate holidays and birthdays. If you want respect , Vikki, you have to earn it. Y

  2. melissa says:

    I am a teacher. Here is a discussion that my JW student started with the rest of the class (who are not JW’s) . ” No, I didn’s get this for christmas, I dont celebrate christmas. You shouldnt celebrate holidays or else jahova will kill you and you will not be one of the chosen ones to live in paradise.” mind you……she is only 4

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