Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have a high opinion of the United Nations, even going so far so as to say that the UN fulfills bible prophecy in being the “wild beast” mentioned in the book of Revelation. The September 15, 1984, Watchtower said that this organization is “the visible political, commercial organization of ‘the god of this system of things,’ Satan the Devil. So the UN will soon be destroyed along with that beastly organization.”
This is due, in part, to their belief that the “kingdom” prayed for by Christians (“let thy kingdom come”) is actually a government established by god and ruled by Jesus Christ. So, any government on earth today is a type of rival to that government. Since the UN seeks to “unite” nations together, this would somehow make it a chief rival against that government and it’s self-declared earthly representatives, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or something like that.
I am no supporter of any political ideology myself, but I find it interesting that the UN has at least attempted to begin a dialogue about children’s rights, included in their Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This was written and adopted by its General Assembly in 1959 and it states, in part:
The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.
The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.
Obviously these words have not been enacted by all nations that belong to the UN and vast amounts of work still need to be done when it comes to protecting children and ensuring their rights. However, merely putting these words into print is much more than anything Jehovah’s Witnesses have done to protect children, as this religion has actually put the so-called “rights” of pedophiles above any rights children may have.
As was brought out in this post, Jehovah’s Witnesses will put known pedophiles in positions of authority over others in their congregations, and only in rare and extreme circumstances are parents warned of the past actions of these persons. An October, 2012, letter sent from their headquarters to all elders worldwide outright admitted that:
“Child sexual abuse reveals an unnatural fleshly weakness. Experience has shown that such an adult may well molest other children. True, not every child molester repeats the sin, but many do.”
Despite knowing that child molesters “may well” molest other children and that “many” repeat their actions, the safety of the children is not paramount to Jehovah’s Witnesses. These molesters are still protected by confidentiality and by forgiveness of this “sin” and they qualify for “privileges of service,” which translates to positions of authority. Meanwhile, children are not afforded the right to be protected from such ones even by way of a warning to their parents about the danger they pose.
To further demonstrate how little the rights of a child concern Jehovah’s Witnesses, note in this post how elders have asked child rape victims if they enjoyed the experience at all, as a way of fishing for reasons to excuse the actions of their abuser. In this post I note how a group of elders asked a child rape victim how far apart her legs were spread during her attack, in a meeting that included her rapist, so that he could argue that he was too rotund to have molested her in such a way. In this post, a man giving a public discourse at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses entertains the audience with a comedy routine about how people should leave JWs alone when it comes to claims of pedophilia, at least until they get their own religion. So much for the “dignity” of a child who has been raped and abused by an adult.
As the declaration brings out, children deserve and need “special protection” because they are the most vulnerable among us. Yet, for all their criticisms of the United Nations, Jehovah’s Witnesses fail miserably to understand this themselves. They see pedophilia as a “sin,” equal to having sex with an adult to whom you’re not married. As brought out in this post, they even equated a man fondling the breasts of his stepdaughter while she slept as a “minor uncleanness” and worth no more than a stern lecture! They speak very little of protecting children even in specific cases of abuse and molestation, and instead worry only about whether or not the incident has become known to outsiders. They also say nothing about children being raised in homes marked by domestic violence, instead encouraging women to stay in these homes in the hopes of converting their abusers.
November 20 is Universal Children’s Day, a day adopted by countries worldwide to show respect for the rights of children mentioned in that declaration. Yes, many nations still see routine abuses and neglect of children, but it’s interesting that the UN has a declaration and a full day dedicated to children and their rights while Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to see lawsuits against them for pedophilia pile up. This month alone, a $13.5 million default judgement was levied against the organization in one such suit because a member of their Governing Body refused to even show up for court. One firm in California has about a dozen or so pending civil suits, and more are being filed in other areas every single day.
So while the evil, evil UN at least declares that children have intrinsic rights and freedoms that should be protected, Jehovah’s Witnesses declare just the opposite, by their own words and actions. Jehovah’s Witnesses might as well come out and say that children do not have the right to be protected from molesters, but molesters have the right to “privileges” in the congregation, including authority over others. Children do not have the right to be warned of any very real danger in their midst, but molesters have the right to confidentiality. Children do not have the right to see their molesters and rapists be removed from congregations even after testimony is heard in courts of law, but child rapists have the right to question their victims without restraint.
I know that this declaration and this day are just words and gestures, but they’re more than anything I see from Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Governing Body in particular. The hypocrisy here is appalling, as is the JW’s own failings in this regard. Maybe instead of worrying about making declarations about the evil UN and what bible prophecies they think they fulfill, JWs should instead consider making some declarations about the innocent children in their religion who are being raped and molested. If not, I have a gesture of my own I’d like to make.
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