Child Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses

I recently joined my son’s class in time to catch a birthday celebration of one of the students.  Good times to say the least.  There was ice cream and cupcakes and students smiling and having a generally good time.  The teacher was relaxed and students were giving her high fives.  The atmosphere was celebratory.

One student almost ruined it for me.  His eyes were lifeless as he stared at me without looking away.  So, I looked away (Yeah, he took my heart!  So?!).  I looked back at him, and his judging eyes were sad, and his demeanor suggested that he was being abused.  Now, keep in mind that I couldn’t look directly at him.  His gaze was like the sun–powerful and captivating and dangerous.  He wasn’t eating ice cream.  He wasn’t eating a cupcake.  He wasn’t smiling.  

Because I was afraid of him, I finally decided to ask the teacher why that kid was staring at me and why he wasn’t having a cupcake or ice cream or fun or happiness or a good time or conversations with other students.  She told me that “he’s fine,” and that “he’s a Jehovah’s Witness.”  Apparently, they don’t believe in celebrating birthdays or having a good time or something or another.  I won’t pretend that I looked into the JW belief system.  Everything I know about the religion I learned during this experience.

Let me just say that I what I saw was child abuse.  I tried to sneak him some ice cream, but apparently, having witnessed Jehovah makes you strong enough to resist the normal temptations that come with childhood.  That kid had more integrity than most adults, but damn!  Can’t the kids get some ice cream?!  He almost ruined my celebratory mood–almost.  I pushed through his integrity and stayed strong in my own convictions.  I gleefully ate a couple of cupcakes and ice cream in front him.  Good times.

6 thoughts on “Child Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Eh. I grew up not celebrating birthdays or other holidays. it really wasn’t bad at all. I still got cake and presents, it’s just that receiving them wasn’t tied down to certain dates of the year. To be honest, I’ve heard more people say that they wish they didn’t celebrate all these birthdays and holidays because of the stress involved. So maybe celebrating them is abusive? Lol.

    • Well, I certainly can tell say that the costs associated with celebrating birthdays and holidays can be outlandish! That said, I did (at first) feel sorry for the little boy. He just seemed so empty. Oh well.

  2. Well, since you claim not to know, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to salute the flag of any nation, recite the pledge of allegiance, stand for or sing the national anthem, run for public office, vote, or serve in the armed forces. They are not allowed to accept blood transfusions for themselves or their children, believing that this is the same as eating blood and is forbidden by the Bible. The elder Jehovah’s Witnesses decide who deserves God’s grace and who does not, disfellowshipping witnesses who they deem are not deserving of Jehovah’s “underserved kindness” (contradictory?)….Wow.
    They are not allowed to celebrate Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays, claiming they all have pagan roots. I knew a couple of Witnesses in elementary and high school. They couldn’t associate with non-Witnesses outside of school, which meant no sleepovers, no dances…no fun. I hate to sound judgmental, but I do consider that torture, especially for kids…but of course, to each his own.

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