POLICE in Hampshire have been asked to investigate the Jehovah’s Witnesses, following complaints that the cult’s grisly little rag, The Watchtower, could be in breach of Britain’s religious hatred laws for describing those who ditch the organisation as “mentally diseased”.
According to this report, an article published in July’s edition of The Watchtower warns followers to stay clear of “false teachers” who are branded as “mentally diseased” apostates who should be avoided at all costs. The article said:
Suppose that a doctor told you to avoid contact with someone who is infected with a contagious, deadly disease. You would know what the doctor means, and you would strictly heed his warning. Well, apostates are ‘mentally diseased’, and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings.
A growing number of former and current Witnesses have begun to argue that the church’s use of the word “mentally diseased” to describe defectors might be in breach of Britain’s religious hatred laws. A group of former Witnesses in Portsmouth have now made an official complaint to Hampshire Police about the article and police are currently investigating.
Angus Robertson, a former Witness “elder” from Hampshire, who was present at the meeting with police officers, said:
The way scripture is being used to bully people must be challenged. If a religion was preaching that blacks or gays were mentally diseased there would understandable outrage.
Critics are also considering whether to complain to the Charity Commission. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, which prints the cult’s propaganda in the UK, is a registered charity.
Shunning apostates is the worst the Witlesses can do these days, but if they had their way they would â€˜exterminate’ those who escape their clutches.
Commenting on the Independent‘s report, “Mad Sweeney” points out that the November 15, 1952, edition of The Watchtower lamented the fact that laws in the West stood in the way of JWs doing what they would most like to do – stone apostates. The magazine said:
Â We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. â€˜Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, .Â .Â . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee’. -Deut. 13:6-11, AS.
Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshiped from his congregation, and this despite the fact that the law of the land in which we live requires us under some natural obligation to live with and have dealings with such apostates under the same roof.
Â Hat tip: Angela K and David 76