Bookmark and Share

Viewed 2405 times

Jehovah's Witnesses stance on serving in the military...

    garyneal posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 08:49:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 2232 of 3447
    Joined 9/5/2009

    My wife and I live in a military area so it is natural that we encounter a great number of people who have benefitted from it and are living fairly good lives. My wife and I talked about this some last week when it was found out that the unbelieving husband of the JW who babysits our daughter is retired Air Force. This would explain why they are living so well. In fact, I only recently learned that he was an unbelieving husband as I took for granted that he was a witness himself. Seems like there are a lot of us unbelieving husbands to witnesses in my wife's cong which, considering the area we live in, makes sense.

    This isn't to say that there aren't active witnesses who weren't also former military. My whole pet peeve with them is that they are quick to tell others not to join the military and yet they themselves aren't giving up their military benefits, especially that pension.

    My wife said that she had a love / hate relationship with the military. She cannot understand why some people who come out of the military do quite well while others come out as homeless former vets. Each situation is different and I'm sure PTSD may have a lot to do with it, particularly if an individual has seen combat.

    I told my wife about the time when the draft was still in place and how a lot of witnesses went to jail for refusing to serve in the military. These witnesses were offered a way out by serving in military hospitals, however they were not allowed to even serve there. Therefore these people went to prison. I asked my wife what did she think about that and why were these witnesses not allowed to serve in hospitals. Her cult mode kicked in immediately.

    "There's nothing wrong with serving in hospitals, just not military hospitals. I mean, would Jesus say, 'No, I do not wish to die and give my life as a ransom but I will serve in your hospitals and heal the sick.' I'm sure Jesus would be a real hit in the hospitals."

    That was basically the jist of her argument however I fired back by saying, "Perhaps Jesus wouldn't but the Watchtower did however change their stance and now allows for witnesses to serve in hospitals during times of war. Granted it is a moot point now since the draft is no longer in force and a witness today would not face that situation like a witness during the Vietnam era did."

    Her response, "Not a military hospital."

    My reply, "Yes, a military hospital. The Watchtower changed its stance on that. Now let me ask you something, how would you feel if you went to jail for refusing to serve in the military in any way because your religion said that you could not do so even if the government allowed you to serve in a hospital only to later find out that your religious leaders changed their position on this matter? Personally, I would feel rather slighted that my religious leaders had the gall to do such a thing. I went to jail and now have a criminal record when I could've avoided it by serving in a hospital, something that they now allow but did not allow when I was faced with that choice?"

    She got real silent then and started saying is a low tone, "You've got it all figured out, don't you? You've got it all figured out."

    Truth is, I am not totally cognizant of the whole stance of the Watchtower society on military involvement. I know that no active witness can volunteer for military service but what if there was a draft, what is the current light on this? Is what I said above correct?

    highdose posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:00:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 934 of 1125
    Joined 6/6/2009

    WHen 9/11 happened in my cong, the brothers were all talking about maybe we were going to war and perhaps they would be drafted? ( don't know why because Britian does have a perfectly good army(!) Anyway the talk was that they had to refuse to be drafted if such a thing happened. Wether that meant a spell in prison or not.

    I grew up thinking that the Military personal were mindless thugs who liked to kill people, i got this thinking from the JW's. Who even thought the old WW2 ventrans wearing their medals on V Day was disgusting "its like showing off about how many people they killed!"

    Now i work closely with the army and have nothing but total respect for them. A nicer bunch of chaps you would be hard pressed to find. Considerate, couregous and respectfull. The JW's could learn alot about how to treat people from them. These chaps deicate their lives to their work. Right now they are leaving their wives and children to go to a land that has nothing to do with their homeland. There they are helping to libarate innocent people that they don't know and will never know. They do this at great personal risk and everyday they watch as a few more of their comrades are killed or maimed. They know that any day now this could be them returning to the UK in a coffin. These people in my opinion do deserve respect and admiration. Never mind those pompus jack asses of elders, these are the people i show respect to now... although they would never ask for it.

    teel posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:30:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 917 of 946
    Joined 8/28/2009

    Yes Gary, what you said is correct (unless they changed it in the last few years, which is unlikely). 11 years ago military service was still obligatory in my country, and I was just the right age for that. The elders talked to me in details about alternate service, and how it's up to my conscience, although their view was still leaning to the old view of "it's for the military, so it's wrong".

    On a sidenote, the military was getting tired of being sued by JWs who didn't want to do any alternate service, so there were a few years, when the army just looked the other way when it came to JWs. Then we joined the EU, now JWs have it easy...

    F blondie posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:37:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 31706 of 37364
    Joined 5/28/2001

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/7733/1/WTS-Deception-on-Alternative-Military-Service

    This might prove interesting showing how the WTS changes doctrine one that led to the incarceration and deaths of jws.

    I find trying search first on JWN is helpful.

    M OnTheWayOut posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 12:55:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 13057 of 18239
    Joined 9/8/2006

    I'm not clear on the exact stand JW's take on options to military service. I think that's because they wind up taking all sides of an issue to be unclear.

    I do believe they allow "alternative" service now, as your post mentions they didn't used to do.

    Granted it is a moot point now since the draft is no longer in force and a witness today would not face that situation like a witness during the Vietnam era did.

    It's a worldwide organization and many people are still affected by their rules.

    Mad Sweeney posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:01:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 4242 of 6963
    Joined 11/2/2009

    I find trying search first on JWN is helpful.

    I don't. The search function on this site sucks. I rarely find what I'm looking for. It's why so many people end up "marking" threads, so they can scan through their own posts to find what they're interested in; the Search is horrible here.

    JustHuman14 posted Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:17:00 GMT(3/4/2011)

    Post 439 of 733
    Joined 3/24/2009

    My personal experience with the WT was the "conscious issue" serving the Army. Back in the mid 80's then in my country they told us that when the time comes to join the Army, we will say that, "due to our trained Christian Conscious, we cannot join the Army". I recall that the "elders"they used to give guide lines for those who had the "neutrality issue". One of their basic guidelines for us was: NEVER SAY TO THE AUTHORITIES THAT THE WATCHTOWER IS TELLING YOU NOT TO JOIN THE ARMY. YOU MUST SAY THAT THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL DECISION BASED UPON YOUR CHRISTIAN CONSCIOUS...

    So with this statement WT was saving their ass! The blame it was upon the brothers and the decision was theirs!!! Plus the Goverment couldn't blame legally WT that it is promoting an anti-army policy.

    The most shameful part of the WT, was that in some countries they accepted ALTERNATIVE Service, while in my country they just didn't accept it. Many brothers suffered in prison for 3-5 years due to that policy. Then(as usual) WT came after few years and ACCEPTED Alternative Service for the brothers.

    I recall when I had a discussion with a former JW on this matter. He said that were lucky because we are living in European Country. Imagine if we were living in an African regime. We would have been killed for sure!!! So just like the story of the Malawi Brothers, not many JW's recall that event. or what was happening in other countries on this issue. The GB those twisted old fools, they just follow the pattern that Booze Jo left as legacy for the WT. They find mechanisms to triger persecutions and blame it to the Devil(as usual)and that they are "God's chosen people"that they are suffering for the sake of the truth..."

    F blondie posted Sun, 06 Mar 2011 18:47:00 GMT(3/6/2011)

    Post 31720 of 37364
    Joined 5/28/2001

    Mad S, how do you search? I found this with my first search, 3rd entry.

    Scott77 posted Sun, 06 Mar 2011 21:56:00 GMT(3/6/2011)

    Post 1512 of 3429
    Joined 4/3/2009

    Great thread.-:) I recall reading about the WTS policy on military during Mexico scandal. Compared to Malawian brother's horrible, cruel and degrading ill treatment I think, it was the mother of all hypocrisy on the part of the WTS to make exemption in this regard.

    Scott77

    M Invetigator74 posted Sun, 06 Mar 2011 22:12:00 GMT(3/6/2011)

    Post 347 of 388
    Joined 10/9/2003

    The reason I was DAed was because I joined the Military, and I won't ever regret the decision I made! Even though I stay for a short period ,not collecting a pension, I reaped the rewards of buying my home with a VA loan and my education,paid for by Uncle Sam!

    garyneal posted Mon, 07 Mar 2011 06:48:00 GMT(3/7/2011)

    Post 2237 of 3447
    Joined 9/5/2009

    Thanks for the responses, everyone. I've been out of town and unable to connect to the Internet so that is why my responses were delayed.

    I find trying search first on JWN is helpful.

    I suppose I should've tried it first but I also wanted to share this story with you all too.

    It's a worldwide organization and many people are still affected by their rules.

    Yes, silly me for being the typical American who cannot see past our own borders.

    Even though I stay for a short period ,not collecting a pension, I reaped the rewards of buying my home with a VA loan and my education,paid for by Uncle Sam!

    Good for you, now at least you will not find yourself later in life wishing you hadn't listen to the Society. Bettering oneself is always a plus in my opinion.

    Compared to Malawian brother's horrible, cruel and degrading ill treatment I think, it was the mother of all hypocrisy on the part of the WTS to make exemption in this regard.

    I thought about this too. Hypcritical indeed.

    highdose: I have family members who are military and I have respect for the sacrifices they make.

    J. Hofer posted Mon, 07 Mar 2011 07:31:00 GMT(3/7/2011)

    Post 69 of 1277
    Joined 1/28/2011

    in my country we still have obligatory military service (might change soon though), or optional civil service (working in an elderly home, the red cross, a kindergarden, concentration camp memorial service or similar). JWs were not allowed to join either some 15 years ago.

    2 of my friends went to jail because they had to refuse civil service, although they didn't really understand the reasoning behind it. they served their time in jail and right after it the stance was changed and suddenly it was allowed to do civil service. i served one year in an elderly home.

    PublishingCult posted Mon, 07 Mar 2011 07:54:00 GMT(3/7/2011)

    Post 134 of 943
    Joined 3/17/2010

    "My whole pet peeve with them is that they are quick to tell others not to join the military and yet they themselves aren't giving up their military benefits, especially that pension."

    I know exactly what you mean. My aunt was married to Navy cook when she came into the org back in the mid 60's. She was a ranting fanatical old witch who was always in your business, proclaiming this pop song demonized, and that shirt satanic. She once nearly got violent with my grandmother, a devout JW herself, over having some plastic roses tacked to her livingroom wall that vaguely resembled a crucifix if you really tried hard to see it. She always criticized my mother for being married to a worldly man, yet here she was, married to a military man, worldly also, but it was better, it was OK since he would hit up a meeting with her from time to time just to get her to shut her damn mouth, and finally succumbed to the pressure to study and get baptized in the 70's. But I do not recall that man ever having a share in the field service activity or answering at meetings, or studying a single paragraph from the Watchtower with his kids. The crazy old bat gladly made the weekly trip to the commissary to buy groceries with him. Today, she is still living on the dead man's money . . . military benefits and health care.

      Close

      Confirm ...