The Multiplicity of God

Regina Cano

Watchtower Magazine. Photo: scottkelum.flickr.com

They say discrimination is still something common in this day and age; but the moment you stumble upon it in a concrete form, a shiver runs up your back.

Strongly evident in the 1970’s was the separation established between the Cuban movement to build a socialist society and groups like the Abakuas (a secret Afro-Cuban sect that originated during slavery) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Each current ran along its own path.  At that time these religious associations were considered to be posed against the revolutionary aims that had united the Cuban people under a single ideology.

Rumors were spread that the Abakuas (or “ñáñigos”) abducted children, and pamphlets were circulated explaining the so-called prohibitions of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Such efforts rejected all the diverse forms of Cuban religion.  These days we take it for granted that religious believers receive much better treatment and that they can openly express their belief in God.  In fact, this actually does occur in the cases of most believers and with the more popular belief systems.

However, I just talked to a Jehovah’s Witness who I’ve known for years, having been neighbors.   He told me about what happens to his children at school.

These children —raised in the same neighborhood as others, playing the same games and going to the same elementary and junior high schools— are now they’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do in life as future professionals.

The 16-year-old was suspended in his last year of high school for not attending the class on national defense.  The fact is that he doesn’t approve of fomenting war.

Similarly, the 15-year-old was not accepted into the program to become a teacher, but nor was she allowed any other option.  This girl is seen to by a group that gives “special assistance to minors,” which means that she’s considered a teenager who is at-risk, risk of becoming involved in wrongful or illegal activities, mainly because of her behavior.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have more than a few detractors in the world, and Cuba is no exception.  The organization is often criticized for its door-to-door preaching, its low credibility (believing in the resurrection of its members with the coming of the Armageddon) and for not allowing blood transfusions, though this can mean the saving of a life – at least according to the way we see it.

They are considered insistent and unrelenting by the rest of the population and the government.  They do not embrace our national symbols or participate in elections (what person should decide on the lives of others?), and they are opposed to war.

But people!  The truth is that we don’t know what future road a social being will take as they grow, despite their moral or religious circumstances or background.  To impede their full development because they don’t think the same as us, or because they don’t hold our same assumptions about reality, I find atrocious.

It’s not astonishing to discover —in Cuba— people who are masters at judging the situations of others.  They impose their interpretation of the truth.  They determine that they have the right to decide on the fate of another person and perhaps even punish them for being different, or they treat them as inferior.

The parents of these two youth trust in the laws of God and not in human’s laws, and what about us?

Regina Cano

Regina Cano: I have lived my entire life in Havana, Cuba – the island from which I’ve still never left, and which I love. I was born on September 9, and my parents chose my name out of superstition, but my mother raised me outside the religion professed by her family. I studied accounting and finance at the University of Havana, a profession that I’m not engaged in for the time being, and that I substituted for doing crafts, some ceramics, and studying a little English and about painting. Ah! – concerning my picture: I identify with Rastafarian principles, but I am not one of them. I wear this cap from time to time, but I assure you I just didn't have a better picture.


36 thoughts on “The Multiplicity of God

  • April 17, 2011 at 8:42 am
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    How does the Cuban government treat conscientious objectors of military service?

  • April 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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    The Bible was written by man. Stories that were told and retold, written and rewritten often mistranslated and misinterpreted by man. Religions were designed by man. Some for empowerment, some for personal gain, some for the good of mankind. Regardless of your belief system, you should know inherently how to treat your fellow humans without judgment, but with loving kindness, compassion and caring. Any religion that denies you the right to explore other belief systems without the threat of harm is cult-like Jesus did not separate himself from thieves and prostitutes and criminal types but lived among them as an example. As should we all.

  • November 12, 2010 at 8:22 am
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    Blood transfusion to Jehovah Witness is like psychiatry to Scientologist

    (Mark 3:4) The Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” Jehovah’s Witnesses is a cult based on rules. God is about life and preserving it, because He is its author. This is just madness.

  • November 11, 2010 at 8:04 pm
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    First of all, a most excellent article. Fidel Castro stated once that people needed consolation, which is why he allowed religion to function. Needless to say, there are many who simply hate the Witnesses, as is seen by some of the comments here. All have their own idea, yet miss the real point. The standard for all Christianity is the Bible and what it says and stands for. It is the God of the Bible that says `Avoid blood` not people. It is the God of the Bible that says `Do things my way and you will prosper` not people. Some look at the flaws of people to justify why the Witnesses should be avoided, rather than accept that what the Bible says which stands above any criticism that is aimed at people who are trying simply to live by the standards of their Creator.

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:34 pm
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    Shunning people for disagreements is NOT scriptural!

    Shunning people for walking away from the JW faith is NOT scriptural!

    This is a CONTROL mechanism. And it often works. It is a gross misapplication of scripture to keep the average JW towing the line.

    THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNITY AND FORCED UNIFORMITY.

    Jw’s are not allowed to even THINK differently.

    I WAS a JW, and an elder as well, until recently in 2006 when I walked away. I am very familiar with how they are actually WORSE than most other faiths today. I am shunned for walking away. People today and for the last 80 years have died, without reason, due to the WT medical policies forced on all JW’s.

    Each week is filled with a list of JW obligations that basically OWN YOU. You are told what you can read, what movies are acceptable, what association is acceptable, what facial hair is okay. What you can celebrate and cannot. What words you are allowed to use.

    What is allowed in your own bedroom with your wife. And too many other things to list here again. Before knowing all the facts and believing they were God’s True Channel, one can go a very long way to justify all of these things. Take away that one true faith belief and so falls the rest.

    I have been there and done all that.

    JW’s are told they cannot take blood transfusions in situations where they might need one (such as through accidents or complications with surgery, pregnancy or child birth).

    So, naturally, more JW’s will die.

    Just like this mother died unnecessarily!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7078455.stm

    And now her husband has no wife and her two new twins have no mother.

    And all for what?

    Or this teenager that also DIED: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/8690785.stm

    This is very simple. JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

    From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

    This is why I suggest to anybody thinking of becoming a JW … to READ READ AND READ UP ON THIS RELIGION FIRST!

    The proof will clearly stand out that the JW faith is not what they try to tell people they are!

    The facts are Irrefutable.

    Vinny

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:34 pm
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    The WT Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses are a MAN-originating, men-run, high controlling religious cult-like institution, rather than what they tell people they are (God’s appointed Channel/Organization/People nonsense).

    The facts prove without a doubt that God was never behind any of this:

    http://home.tiscali.nl/t661020/wtcitaten/part2.htm

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES AND PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    We got False End of the World Predictions all over the place, medical disasterous policies – FORCED on JW’s at risk of extreme shunning.

    We got flip flops, blinking lights, wacky science, historical failures, arrogance, judging other religions and people of those religions and LOADS of WT Society embarrassments and humiliations throughout their entire 100+ year history!

    God had nothing to do with all that nonsense that was called, “Food from God” by all JW’s even down to this day.

    It was WRONG when it first came off the presses!

    So why are some today opposed to Jehovah’s Witness and their policies?

    DEAD PEOPLE is why.

    RUINED LIVES is why.

    FALSE PROPHECIES is why.

    An arrogant, controlling Religious Institution is why.

    They are WRONG ON BLOOD TODAY (for 68 years now).

    They are WRONG ON SHUNNING those that simply walk away from the JW religion today. (nowhere in bible)

    They are WRONG 607 BCE and 1914.

    They were WRONG ABOUT FORBIDDING Vaccinations, Organ Transplants, Alternative Service and much more.

    They were wrong on ALL OF THEIR End of World Predictions in writing. Wrong on marital infidelity rules, rape rules, beards, 1935, Beth Sarim and too many things to bother listing here.

    Did ((( GOD ))) make all of these terrible decisions to force on all the JW’s as “food at the proper time”, and then change his mind later on?

    Or was is just a bunch of MEN, that make up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (sitting up in some Brooklyn office somewhere) making these poor decisions, FORCING them on all JW’s and then afterwards conveniently change their mind?

    Does God serve Bad Food like this?

    Perhaps He is not a very good cook?

  • November 10, 2010 at 5:45 am
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    Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses have to have a public charity when what they do now is already so well managed and affective at getting help to people when they really need it?

  • November 9, 2010 at 8:01 am
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses have NO Public Charity once in a while like in hurricane Katrina they will send out a few crews to rebuild members homes (and collect the insurance money).Then they exaggerate it 10X to uses as propaganda.
    Where is the JW charity? No hospitals.food pantries,missions for poor nothing at all.
    The fact that the Watchtower society has Shills who systematically post false propaganda is a testimony to their calculated deceit.

  • November 9, 2010 at 7:45 am
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses DO refuse blood transfusions.

    But the Watchtower Society (who run the Jehovah’s Witness religion) ALLOWS blood transfusions.
    Confused? You will be! So are most Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Such is the Watchtower Society’s grip on their members’ thinking that it convinces them they can both “abstain … from blood” (Acts 15:28, 29) at the same time as they are permitted to accept blood transfusions. The doctrine both disallows transfusions of whole blood and allows the use of whole blood in fractioned form. The Watchtower Society has two mutually exclusive doctrines on the use of blood.
    The Watchtower Society pulls off this stunt using the sleight-of-hand reasoning that if blood is ‘fractionated,’ it no longer counts as ‘blood’ and they will permit their members to accept all such ‘fractions’ without reprisal.

    For example, red blood cells are forbidden and any Jehovah’s Witness accepting them personally — or for their child — would be ‘disassociated’ and shunned by every Witness, including close family members. (This often results in family break-ups.) But the Watchtower Society’s Hospital Liaison Committee (‘HLC’) members encourage Witnesses to accept hemoglobin (known commercially as ‘hemopure’ or ‘polyheme’) which comprises 97% of red blood cells.

    Another example: the Watchtower Society forbids Jehovah’s Witnesses from accepting blood plasma, but allows Witnesses to have a transfusion of every single ‘fraction’ of plasma.

    This is about as sensible as forbidding lemonade while at the same time permitting the lemon juice, water and sugar to be drunk, all of which are extracted from the ‘sinful’ lemonade.

    Additionally, the manufacture of these permitted ‘fractions’ requires that thousands of units of whole blood are collected from donors and stored and processed, in direct contravention of the Watchtower Society’s rules that all blood that leaves the body has to be returned to the dust of the ground (based on Leviticus 17:13, 14). If blood is to be poured out on the ground, no derivative fractions should be allowed for use. If it is not to be poured out on the ground, why can’t all of it be used to sustain life?

    Is it not hypocrisy on the one hand to permit the use of ‘fractions’ made from other people’s donated blood, but to forbid a Witness to deposit (“pre-donate”) their own blood in advance of an elective procedure, to be available to be transfused back into them during surgery, if needed?

    Is it not hypocrisy to allow Witnesses to accept ‘fractions’ made from other people’s donated blood, but to prohibit Witnesses from donating blood back into the common ‘pool’? It’s not only hypocritical, it’s downright selfish.

    Is it not hypocrisy to say you “abstain … from blood” but in reality to allow transfusions of every blood ‘fraction’ ever made?

    So, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not really “abstain” from blood transfusions. They are pure hypocrits.

  • November 9, 2010 at 12:41 am
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    However, exaggeration’s and misimpression’s are wishes.

  • November 9, 2010 at 12:38 am
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    We have all the characteristics of the original Christian Congregation. (Poor Apostle Paul was persecuted without and within this fold.)

    Judge the integrity of a tree by its ‘own’ leaves. Examine the pages of ‘our own’ publications. Regards.

  • November 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm
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    Here are a few answers for the commentors.
    Kathy Cares – We have been under attack in Russia for breaking up families. They did a study and found that Witness families are stronger and more stable than non-Witness families.
    Dera – Not true. The factory lobby was completely filled with people. We did everything we could to offer support and comfort.
    Jack – Danny is likened to the evil slave that beats his fellow slaves. He apparently committed a serious sin and was disfellowshipped. He has reacted by attacking his former brothers.
    Roberta – Where did you get your statistics? To have 150k die in 55 years would take about 7 a day. Since the media is hyperactive in reporting our Bible based stand on blood, there is no way that many could happen without it being plastered in the headlines. If you are going to lie, at least make it believable. There are 16M transfusions worldwide (approximately). The CDC estimates that one in 6,000 ends up in death. That is 2700 per year or 7 per day. The actual death rate is actually higher since this figure does not include delayed death in cases like AIDS or Hepatitis.
    To address the apostate’s comments regarding freedom of speech. Yes, we do take advantage of Ceasar’s laws, just like the Apostle Paul. If someone becomes inactive, we continue to encourage them and try to help them. So, yes, we do talk with them. However, when someone’s conduct goes directly against Bible direction, we do what the Bible says. We don’t even say a greeting to such a man. And, especially if they begin to beat their fellow slaves. People like that made their decsion. It makes a person wonder what serious sin these people committed. Obviously they reacted badly and did not accept Bible based counsel and turned from their God dishonoring ways. Were they ashamed that they got caught? Were they too proud to admit they were wrong? Makes a reader wonder.

  • November 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm
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    (“”Bryan R. Wilson, Ph.D., University of Oxford … wrote extensively about New Religious Movements and apostates (ex-members who become openly critical of the group they were once a member of).

    ———-

    NOTICE to all JW and others… the post below by *Atticus* is an exact cut and paste repeat rant from Scientology shills.AMAZING that the Watchtower cult shills are so much like, and will even quote from Scientology for support

    ( Steve Klemetti get a life stop counting your field time trolling and REVILING)

  • November 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm
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    jehovahs witnesses are a killjoy self righteous religion which ruins peoples lives and tears apart families.

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm
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    If Jehovah’s Witnesses are always first on site when a disaster hits…………why did they shut and lock the door at Brooklyn Bethel during 911?
    They wanted to keep the masses out of their building, and reserve their own food for themselves. Their doors were LOCKED to the public…………

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm
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    WOW! Who is ‘Danny Haszard” (first poster) that the same sock-puppets trash him over and over?
    Why do you fear him so much if you JW have God’s backing and are the truth?
    Sounds a lot like cult paranoia to get upset over a dissenter,

    Hypocrites??

  • November 8, 2010 at 11:05 am
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    Many have died from refusal of *whole* blood transfusions.

    Within the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine on blood there are major inconsistencies. For instance, a Witness cannot except red blood cells but they can except hemoglobin which constitutes 97% of a red blood cell.
    They cannot except a minor blood component like platelets, which constitutes .17% of blood volume, but can except albumin, which constitutes a larger 2.2% of blood volume. I challenge any of Jehovah’s Witness to show me from the Bible why accepting platelets is a sin against God but taking albumin is acceptable for a Christian. If you cannot show this from the Bible you have to admit that you are not following the Bible but rather the shifting opinion of men, namely the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Estimates range from 150,000-250,000 men,women,children have perished since blood ban inception year 1945.

  • November 8, 2010 at 8:14 am
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    The Jehovah’s Witnesses on one hand fill their books and lectures with details about how evil and corrupt every other religion is, but then when theirs is exposed as corrupt they fall back on how it’s “voluntary” to be a member, and how it’s not nice to say nasty things about them, and how they’re being “persecuted.”

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are unpopular for many reasons, none of which matched the early church except for non-political involvement, which is not exclusive to them at all. They are like carnival hucksters preaching the need to become a Jehovah’s Witness or die at Armageddon.

    They say they promote good family life? Only until you disagree with the leadership in Brooklyn on the slightest of points, and then they completely divide and destroy the family. Then they write hypocritical articles like the new July 2009 Awake! “The Bible’s Viewpoint – Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?” and make themselves look open-minded and progressive, but practice the most destructive forms of shunning of all religions if you disobey the leadership’s ever-changing doctrines, dates and rules.

    Anyone can be persecuted, which proves nothing if you are a religion invented in the late 1800s by a man who was into pyramidology, numerology, and who stood on the top of a building with a white sheet waiting to be raptured. 130 years later, they are still awaiting a false hope. –
    *
    Carlos Miami Florida

  • November 8, 2010 at 7:46 am
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    Jesus said his disciples would be hated, just as he was. Why! because we are no part of the world—John 17,16: They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.

    True Christians are sometimes mistrusted by secular powers because they can’t be manipulated into doing something that God would not aprove of, such as involvement in poltical conflict and war. As the apostles explained—Acts 5,29: We must obey God as ruler rather than men.

    The comments made by some that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not respect the rights of individuals who leave the faith, or have been expelled because of disciplinary measures, is unfounded.

    Ex-witnesses can come and go, speak out, or do what ever they like, but just as they are free to exercise their rights so am I if I choose not to socialize with someone whose company I do not wish to keep. For good reason the Apostle Paul saw how this would at times be necessary—1Corinthians 5,11: But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses do not insulate themselves from the community in general, but in time of disaster are often the first ones mobilized and on the scene to help with the physical needs of everybody, not just other Witnesses

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:18 am
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    I made a mistake in numbering Danny Haszard and Brice Repolt. My apologies for that.

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:16 am
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    Professional opposers, such as #1 & 3, stalk positive comments about Jehovah’s Witnesses because of deep felt grudges, never providing any evidence for their claims, and often disagreeing with the positive reports about which their commenting. Again we see this in these negative posts against a well balanced article where the Witnesses are shown in other than a negative light.

    “But people! The truth is that we don’t know what future road a social being will take as they grow, despite their moral or religious circumstances or background.”

    This quote from the above article is beyond these opposed ones ability to cope with, so they foment lies and bias against a peace loving people. Fortunately, it is not within their power to do more than spout their blather. History has already judged these faithful Christians as to whether they are “wicked” or “good”. God has provided them with the faith to face the most extreme behavior directed at them even though their works are “good”. “By their fruits you will know them.” Galatians 5:22-23 is the code we live by. Next time a Jehovah’s Witness comes to your door, find out what they are really all about. Or go to http://www.jw-media.org. Learn for yourselves. Don’t be dissuaded by professional haters.

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:13 am
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    Regina, nice article unlike some of the comments from Apostates of Jehova’s Witnesses above. You are completely correct, that persons should be given the right to refuse things that dipleases the Almighty, like going to war, etc. I was raised in the Irish republic and various church entities sowed terroristic thoughts into us young students, it was the catholic way in an Ireland that had ready participants who were ready to take up arms to shirk off tyrranical implants in the North. Well many got sucked in, I almost did but could not come to terms with a Loving God encouraging such a thing. It was through various studies and searching (I even had many a chat with very knowledgeable Rastafarians too. These boys had a great respect for the name of Jehovah (Jah in short), and how and why Jesus actually died. Anyway, my point is I found the people of Jehovah, called by his name, and fulfilling Matthew 24 verse 14 ‘who are preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom throughout the Earth’ – the Bible is the biggest available book on the earth while the Watchtower is now officially the bigges distributed magazine on the earth today. While the catholic church is floundering in my former country, yes they have been found out, and people like the above apostates exist, all of this is only a fulfillment of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. No, I did not take up arms and I thank Jehavah for that, I took up the Bible instead and along with my 7 million plus Brothers & Sisters from Cuba, Africa, The USA, Australia, Ireland, etc etc etc we look forward to the end of a system that is constantly taking away the rights of people who wish NOT TO KILL EACH OTHER and to please the True God and our Neighbours. Praise Jah!! Nice article friend.

  • November 8, 2010 at 1:11 am
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    Mr. Haszard evangelizes HIMSELF against the truth of the Bible. “Jehovah’s Witness for 33 years and 3rd Generation”?! You are no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, if you ever were. You claim to know alot but in being so distant from the truth and the light, Satan has blinded you, if you ever did get the Truth.
    Whether you want to admit it or not, somewhere inside of yourself in just the way you write, and I have seen it often since I have google alerts for Jehovah, as must you apparently, you still doubt your decision to leave the family. You chose to leave or choose to persecute and yet you punish Almighty Jehovah!?
    Moving on…
    Jesus said, at (John 15:19-24) . . .. 20 Bear in mind the word I said to YOU, A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute YOU also; if they have observed my word, they will observe YOURS also. 21 But they will do all these things against YOU on account of my name, because they do not know him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He that hates me hates also my Father…
    Where else is there to go Mr. Haszard? Do you have the sayings of everlasting life? Saul persecuted Christians as a Jew and when he learned about Jesus Christ in becoming a Christian, must have felt so terrible for persecuting those who were his brothers.
    Do you ever fear the True God while laying in your bed at night?
    On the other hand, WE obey God as ruler, follow the Christ and are no part of this world’s decision’s to kill the unborn and the innnocent. We don’t celebrate the things Christ Himself didn’t celebrate but we do love each other, have loyalty and unlike Christ Jesus, are unable to be perfect. If you are a True Christian, here is a newsflash: Someone is bound to hurt your feelings but do you not reconcile with your brother and cling to Jehovah or do YOU persecute us for keeping the congregation spiritually and morally clean?
    What is your story…. really?
    (Hebrews 6:1-6) 6 For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, 2 the teaching on baptisms and the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God indeed permits. 4 For it is impossible as regards those who have once for all been enlightened, and who have tasted the heavenly free gift, and who have become partakers of holy spirit, 5 and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things, 6 but who have fallen away, to revive them again to repentance, because they impale the Son of God afresh for themselves and expose him to public shame.
    You call yourself a witness, though you must mean former if ever, and you impale the Son of God afresh every time you comment. Anger and rage are a worldly man’s anger’s best friends but a real brother is born for a day in distress. Did you ever TRY to go to a brother or BE one?

  • November 8, 2010 at 1:01 am
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    I agree with Sean that open and truthful exchanges of ideas is a good thing whereas a distortion of the facts is not. If a governmental or religious organization is to be scutinized in any discussion forum, whether of a positive or negative light, it should be based on facts. This is critical to fairness, avoids prejudicial opinions which are oftentimes false, misconceived, at best, presents a distorted view of the reality.
    JW’s focus all their energies, thoughts, worship, prayers, glorifications etc on our heavenly Father, Jehovah, while at the same time basically ignoring, for all practical purposes, Jesus Christ, our reigning King. Oh yes, he gets mentioned at the conclusion of all JW prayers but that’s about it. This explains why JW’s have designated themselves to be “Jehovah’s Witnesses” (based on Isaiah 42:10), a pronouncement that was specifically and uniquely applicaple to ancient israel only, and not to the followers of Christ who were to simply be known as Christians. It is for this reason (among others) that some claim that JW’s are not actually Christian.
    Whether this is true or not, I cannot say with any certainty. What is true, however, is that JW’s put very little import into Jesus’ own words at Acts 1:8 where he stated ” …. and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth”, the same ones referred to in Rev 12;17 who “have the work of bearing witness to Jesus”. As Mr. Haszard correctly points out, todays Christians should be properly called “Christ’s Witnesses” or “Witnesses of Jesus”, in full harmony with Scripture as well as the very specific responsibilities placed on his followers by Jesus Christ himself.
    The above comments, of course, have deviated from the original subject matter and for which I wish to apologize. There are occasions, on the other hand, requiring forthrightness in responding to posts not supporting the original discussion, prompting this reply.

    Sincerely,
    Brice Repolt, ex-JW of 25 years

  • November 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm
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    One of the great achievements of the anti-feudal revolution was and is “freedom of religious conscience.” When the state monopoly concept of socialism was imported into the socialist movement in 1848, one of the things it did was to spit on religion and religious belief. This alienated, and has alienated a majority of every nation on earth for over a century and a half.

    Most of us understand that many religious sects are money-making operations based on strange concepts of the supernatural. This however is not the point–with regard to the socialist transformation of society.

    The point is that socialism should never have tried to deprive people of the right of religious conscience. What is needed now is to understand that state monopoly ideology was brought into socialism in order to destroy it from within.

    Those who still cling to state monopolism are as “strange” as Jehovah’s Witnesses and any other members of strange religious cults.

  • November 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm
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    I am not a great fan of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnessess. When I was younger I had many discussions with some of their members. They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

    However, what puzzles me with regards Cuba is what happens when they are old enough to do military service. In Nazi-Germany many Jehovah’s Witnesses were prepared to die rather than join the military.

    I would be interested to find out more about conscientious objectors (to military service) in Cuba. Do they exist? How many? Are there only religious ones? How does the state respond?

  • November 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm
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    The point of the article and the discussion is whether any government or its representatives have the right to punish someone just because they do not accept thier religious activities. This is nothing but outright discrimination by classification as the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an orginization hasn’t broken any laws, and as the two cases reported on show, as individuals they are not deserving the placement nor descisions made by the people who have power over thier future.

    I’m not a witness by here is something to think about: Mr. Hazard makes claims of being a witness for 33 years (abount as old as he looks in his pictures) but take a look at his website pictures and ask yourself if you have ever seen any witness that looks like him! As for his claim that they break freedom of speach for thier punishment of those who without remorse continue to violate bible moral principles……the Holy Bible does tell ones to do this. And other religions have a form of this…Cathilics, LDS just to name two. as for the rest of his points….just ask a witness for a book they call Proclaimers for an accurate history of thier religion and judge for yourself. I did and found it interesting.

  • November 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm
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    Anti-witness posts by opposers and apostates (like Bryce and Danny) are both unreliable and distorted. Consider this observation by non-Witness professor of religious studies, Bryan R. Wilson, Ph.D.:

    “Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of law can readily regard the apostate as a creditable or reliable source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader. As various instances have indicated, he is likely to be suggestible and ready to enlarge or embellish his grievances to satisfy that species of journalist whose interest is more in sensational copy than in a objective statement of the truth.”

    Bryan R. Wilson, Ph.D., University of Oxford (1926 – 2004), Emeritus Professor at All Souls College, one of the most well known British scholars of religion and wrote extensively about New Religious Movements and apostates (ex-members who become openly critical of the group they were once a member of).

  • November 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm
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    The Watchtower organization, self proclaimed to be God’s direct channel on earth, is an insular religion whereby its members are strongly discorouged from having any friends or personal relationships with anyone outside their group. Furthermore, this religion prevents its members from participating in activities that would be beneficial, in a productive way, to the “common good” of their neighbors, their city or their country. In other words, beyond hawking their literature and questionable teachings door-to-door, JW’s have absolutely no concerns nor any interest with those outside their own JW circles. As the previous contributor indicated indicated, such non-JW;s will die at Armaggedon anyway so, why bother?
    The issues raised by Regina Cano are the direct result of a religious group, who by personal & collective choice, have embarked on a path to insulate itself, for the most part, from society in general. Thus, as a result, it should come as no surprise that the political, social or educational entities of Cuban society may possibly ignore the secular, career-path desires that young JW’s may strive for. It is also highly hypocritical to teach that society, in general, is deserving of death at the hands of God (at Armaggedon) while, on the other hand, attempt, on a personal level, to take advantage of that same system for “professional” reasons. I understand that children are involved here and it is unfair but, at the same time, they are “reaping what they have sown”, if only by association.

    Brice Repolt, a former 25-yr JW

  • November 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm
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    I always enjoy thought-provoking posts, especially when they are factual.Cuba is not alone in judging what they do not understand as the first two posts responses from the same person in the U.S. show. There are plenty of people willing to discredit and misrepresent the truth. It is often a useful tool to government, as well, However, sincere people see through the distortion and wonder how war and conflict can ever produce peace. Jehovah’s Witnesses obey the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9)and “seek war no more” . (Isaiah 2:2-4) 2 And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all the nations must stream. 3 And many peoples will certainly go and say: “Come, YOU people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. 4 And he will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore”
    Cuba cannot end human conflict. Neither can the U.S. or even the U.N. Only Almighty God has the wisdom and power to do so.
    Thank you for being open-minded and encouraging thoughtful discourse. How refreshing!.

  • November 7, 2010 at 8:59 am
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses restrict freedom for their own dissident members..
    They have won 37 of their 46 US Supreme court cases assuring us all of freedom of speech and assembly and equal protection under the law.

    The sad irony is that the Watchtower Society *daily* abuses the human rights of thousands of its members. It denies current members the right of free speech by forbidding them to speak to former members, even close family members.
    And it denies former members their right of freedom of worship by refusing to allow them to leave the religion with dignity, should they come to disagree with Watchtower’s practices or doctrines.

    Danny Haszard JW dissident

  • November 7, 2010 at 8:48 am
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    WHO ARE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES?

    The central core doctrine of the Watchtower,the reason they came into existence was to proclaim Jesus Christ second coming in 1914.They will now deny that they ever made this claim,that’s called *bait & switch*

    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.They pay no municipal taxes on their buildings,without even one charity to compensate the community.
    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 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 in 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 leaders in heaven, who will keep them in line by local elders known as *Princes.*
    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.*
    To even vocally question the teachings of the Watchtower 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.
    ————-
    Danny Haszard Jehovah’s Witness for 33 years and 3rd generation.

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