Well, would you look here. A new blog. Haven’t done one of those in awhile. At any rate, we have business we need to get down to, so stop goofing around.

I was browsing through the internet, as I’m given to do, when I stumbled across a list of “101 strange beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” I’m not exactly crazy about the jay dubya, might even say that they exhibit certain cult like behavior, but I don’t particularly not like them either. At any rate, this is a list compiled by a couple who were formerly JW, and now Evangelical Christian. So, from one kind of crazy to another. This list was too much that I couldn’t not comment. This post (series of) might even be viewed as petty and small minded, but I’m willing to accept that as a valid criticism. But you might agree with me. Or not. On with the show.

A final note is that I’ll be viewing this from an un-church view. I’m not antagonistic (towards either side really), but I’m certainly not viewing the alleged strangeness of this list with religious eyes.

1. God is not a Trinity; the doctrine is inspired by the Devil.
This one is something that Jews, Muslims, and many Christians worldwide might even agree upon. I wouldn’t go as far as to say devil inspired, but I do think it’s a misguided theology.

2. Jesus is not to be worshiped or prayed to-he is only an angel (a.k.a. Michael the archangel).
I wouldn’t necessarily call this weird. No more weird than saying that a man is God, or God incarnate.

3. Jesus Christ is a “created being,” who at one time did not exist.
I actually have to agree here.

4. The Holy Spirit is not a person but is “God’s active force” i.e. gravity, electricity etc.
Makes sense.

5. Heaven is hope only for select Jehovah’s Witnesses. The majority of JWs hope to live on “paradise earth.”
What a strange and mind bending thing to hope for.

6. Heaven is limited only to 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses.There are only 9,105 alive today (2006 figures).
First off, pretty much every religion (or most) believe that heaven is reserved only for their particular followers. Once you accept, or deny, that, whatever sentence follows is pretty irrelevant. Either way you or aren’t getting in.

7. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only “true Christians.” All churches and denominations are considered “false religion.”
Pretty sure I know Christians that believe their doctrine denomination is, on the generous end, most correct, and on the sever end the “true” version. Also, Catholics are going to hell.

8. There is no Hell or eternal judgment (“Hell” is simply the grave).
Since none of use currently living have experienced hell, we can’t really say one way or another, can we? Once again, if you accept the premise, then you’ll accept the conclusion. I’ve seen good intentioned and intelligent Christians argue (and very convincingly) against the concept of hell as a place for eternal punishment.

9. There is no life after death except for the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This isn’t crazy, per se, but it does sort of conflict with the other JW’s that hope to live in “paradise on earth” up there in number five. I guess you could argue it’s crazy, or at least self delusional, to hope for something that you’ll obviously not experience in your lifetime knowing full well it’s unlikely to happen. It also seems like a huge detractor to have to be fastidiously moral and wear funny undergarments if you’re only going to cease existing once you kick the bucket. Seems kind of a lot pointless.

10. Salvation is earned only by being a loyal Jehovah’s Witness.
Most religions believe this. This is like number 7. Of course the only way to get into heaven is by being a good (insert religion). Any religion that encouraged otherwise is sabotaging itself.

This is the first ten. I plan on going through the whole list, and you guys can tell me what you think. Or not. I don’t want to be unsympathetic to these people. After all, they did write a book called “They Wanted Our Baby to Die!” which I scanned through. Essentially, their daughter needed a blood transfusion, which is a no no as we’ll see later, so they left the JW (government stepped in and legally forced the transfusion), and some other Christian church stepped in and provided food and whatnot. Moved by the friendliness of the Christian church, they decided to jump on board. Presented with a similar decision, I would have acted similarly. The JW elder did say that he hoped the kid got hepatitis to prove it was wrong. That is a pretty big asshole move. And this list was compiled in February of 09, so it’s very recent.

I guess the reason for this list is to look at how Christians fall into the same logic, or share similar beliefs as things they call cults. Really, I should specify “Christians.” I could just say people, but in this particular instance, the contrast is between JW and Christian. I wanted to stress that when I cite crazy on either side, it’s not because I hate/love one over the other, but because each side is equally susceptible to crazy and favoritism.

Next, part 2.