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Views & News Online Week of November 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004, John R. Taylor
Alternative News & Editorials

South Georgia 3rd Edition Page one

How They Can Steal the Presidency

By john R. Taylor

It is not likely and I pray it will never happen, but it is altogether possible that they could steal the presidency. Who are they? They are either of the political parties. The vehicle which they could use the Electoral College.

In the past I never would have even thought it in the realm of real possibilities, however in the past few years both major parities have shown that the survival and growth of the party is of paramount importance, even more important than the good of the nation. Political parties serve some good in our system. They help us to know where a particular candidate stands on issues and they have become part of the political system both inside government and out. However, George Washington warned us about the inherit dangers of political parties and he was not completely incorrect.

Neither of the major parities nor any of the minor ones have a corner on the market of the concept of party first, country second. They all are guilty, but it is the Democratic Party in which I am the most afraid of stealing the Presidency. The reason for this is that they have shown over the last dozen years or so that they would use almost any means to achieve their ends, even if those ends are obviously contrary to the will of the people. The filibustering of President Bush’s judicial nominees is a prime example. The people of this country elected President Bush and the senators to fulfill their joint responsibility to nominate and confirm federal judges, but because the nominees were not to the liking of a minority of the democrats they used the filibuster to stop the confirmation process. They would be the first to yell that they didn’t get to vote if the situation were reversed but they think nothing of denying their colleagues the right to vote on the conformations.

It was the many editorials and letters which were published just after the presidential election that made me worry. In many of them the theme was that the American people were too stupid to choose a president. Somehow everyone that did not agree with them had been hoodwinked and doped into a foolish vote. In some of the editorials the author plainly said that the voters were not smart enough to be allowed to elect the president. Will guess what, that is one of the major reasons that the Electoral College was dreamed up in the first place. The founding fathers were certainly elitists by today’s standards. Of course, in their world it was probably true that the average man how not the time, education nor intellectual experience to make wise political decisions. Because of this the Electoral College provided a buffer between the voters and the actual election of the President. In that way, if the voters made a horrible mistake in deciding the person to be President, the more enlighten electors could correct it by electing someone else.

That was one of the two reasons for the Electoral College. The other was to appease the large and small states. When there is debate about Electoral College today it is always about the disproportional representation of the small states that is debated. But it is the other reason we should most fear.

To explain this, let’s review the mechanics of the Electoral College. When we vote for a presidential candidate we actually vote for an elector who is pledged to that candidate. The elector is pledged to a candidate, but the elector does not legally have to vote for that candidate. For example, a little over 270 electors have been elected who are pledged to vote for President Bush on Dec. 13, 2004. He will not technically be the President Elect until after that. Now let use suppose that 270 of those electors decided to vote for someone else. Me, for instance, I am constitutional eligible. Would I be the President, even though no one voted for or few even heard of me? Yes I would be. But we don’t have to worry about that. The electors have no reason to vote for me. They have every reason to vote for President Bush to whom they are pledged. They are party loyalists. Getting him reelected is what they live for. But could there be a scenario where the electors would vote for someone other that the candidate to whom they are pledge? I can think of one, and it alarms me.

The democrats have for years tried to get a liberal into the White House. They got Clinton elected but after the Republican Revolution of the early 1990s his policies were fairly conservative. Michael Dukakis and John Kerry were roundly rejected. It is apparent, that for the foreseeable future, they can not win the south with a New England Liberal and they will not nominate a conservative or moderate, and they can not win without the south. Surly what I am about to suggest will never happed. But it would take only a conspiracy of 270 party loyalists to pull it off. 270 who think we are too dumb to elect the correct president. Less than three hundred who would do almost anything to have it their way.

Now this is how they could pull it off. At their convention, the demarcates nominate a moderate or even a conservative. Let’s say Sam Nunn. In the general election voters elect at least 270 electors pledged to Sam Nunn. However, the electors don’t cast their electoral votes for Nunn. They vote for Ted Kennedy. Who would be the President? Ted Kennedy. Now unless Nunn was in on it, and I think he is much too honorable to do such a thing, he would raise high heaven. The people would be up in arms, but there would be nothing that could be done. It is all constitutionally legal.

I don’t think this remotely likely; if I did I would never give them the idea. I hate nothing more than the so-called journalists who like to give terrorists ideas about how they can hurt us. My aim is only to warn as many as I can that this should not even be a constitutional legal possibility. If this did even happed we no doubt would be amending the Constitution the next day. Let’s not wait.

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Now We Know Everything!

The other day Cynthia Tucker wrote a column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled “Evolution a vital study; that’s a fact.”  It was not really any different than hundreds of others that are churned out everyday. Her main points are that Georgia’s children will stay in the “education cellar” if a disclaimer sticker is placed on text books which teach evolution and that many scientific theories are accepted as implicit facts. She gives gravity as an example.

As is typical of such works, her implications are more insulting and ridiculous than what she actually writes. Although she stops short of calling “creationists” and “biblical literalists” ignorant, stupid, uneducated and without intellectual merit, the implication is unmistakable. While not saying it, her view that evolution is the one and only scientific theory which can never be questioned and that anyone who wishes to have an open debate about it are religious fanatics and dumb country bumpkins, it is still very clear.

What has her, and those like her, up in arms is not that someone has proposed to stop teaching her beloved evolution. Nor is it that creationism is to be taught; it is not. This thing which they feel is sure to doom all our children to ignorance and backwardness is that a school in Georgia is going to place a sticker on textbooks, which are filled with evolutionary teaching, which simply states that evolution is a theory. It doesn’t say evolution is wrong. It does not teach or even mention creationism, or any other alternative to evolution. It contains only a dozen or so words. Evolutionary teaching inside the textbooks gets thousands of words.

Before I make my case against evolution on strictly logical grounds, I will preface that logical argument with these words. I know how my human progenitors came into being. God created Adam and Eve. I of course don’t know specifically how He did that, but I know he did. That He might have used evolution to create them does not necessarily run contrary to my faith in God; but I don’t believe He did. It is the illogicalness of evolution itself which makes me question it.

Evolution presents four problems in logic for anyone with an open and thoughtful mind. Firstly, as Robert L. DeHaan, in another column in the AJC trying to defend evolution, stated a theory is a hypothesis that makes testable predictions about natural events. If those predictions are confirmed, the theory is strengthened, but never proved. One negative result, however, is enough to disprove it.

As scientist try to confirm evolution with empirical experimentation they often use animals which have extremely short lives and breading cycles. This way they can study hundreds and in some cases thousands of generations. Fruit-flies and a species of small fish meet these criteria and are commonly used.

In one experiment a type of fruit-fly was raised in a very dark environment. After many generations, the fruit-flies began to have larger eyes. In another experiment a small type of fish was raised in a totally dark environment. After many generations the fish began to be born without eyes. Some will point to these and other experiments as conformations of evolution. However, let’s ponder these results. First of all, evolution is supposed to be an advancement. While a fish living in a totally dark world may not need eyes, it certainly could not be said that being blind is an advancement. As far as the fruit-fly’s eyes, it has never been argued that species do not adapt to their environment.

What these experiments show more than anything else is what they can’t do. The eyeless fish will not grow eyes when placed back into the light. If they could do that, that would be advancing to a higher state. The poor eyeless fish has no way of sensing light so even if it could grow eyes it would not know to. And at some point in the evolutionary chain an organism had no organs to sense light. How then can it sense light to know that it needs eyes. It can’t. So if evolution is correct, we, and no other life form, has eyes. They can’t make fruit-flies grow gills by placing them in an all water environment. As a matter of fact, they cannot make anything grow an organ which it did not already have.

This brings us to our second problem with evolution. What Cynthia Tucker failed in her column to say is that although one can find quotations where the theory gravity is mentioned, there are theories which have been confirmed so often as to now be called laws. A law of science is a basic, unchanging principle of nature; a scientifically observed phenomenon which has been subjected to very extensive measurements and experimentation and has repeatedly proved to be invariable throughout the known universe. The theory of evolution is not one of them. There is no law of evolution. There is a law of gravity.  There are the laws of motion. There are also laws of thermodynamics. Experimentation has always confirmed these laws. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that a system let to itself will degenerate. This is a simplification, be it is the essence of the law. How this applies to evolution is that a system, an organism, a planet or the universe, left to itself can not advance to a higher plane. It can degenerate, but not generate, retard but not advance. Biological and cosmic evolution defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

The third problem with evolution is that the fossil record has no transactional links. There has been much writer about this and there are some good arguments on both sides of the issue. That in itself adds questions to the evolution problem.

Lastly, and most importantly of all, the theory of cosmic evolution has a fundamental flaw. While biological evolution is hard to separate from natural adaptation with in a species, cosmic evolution, the grandfather of biological evolution, is easier to simplify. And if cosmic evolution is false then biological evolution is equally false. To see the flaw in this theory we must go back to the beginning.  Go back before the big bang. Before what was before that. And then on back before that. And when you have went as far back as you can go, the evolutionist, regardless of the number of letters they may have after their name, is left with two possibilities. One possibility: back in the unimaginable past something appeared out of the void. Matter or energy spontaneously came into being out of nothingness. They themselves reject that this could have happened. The other possibility: All matter and all energy has existed perpetually in a steady state. Now at first they assert that there is a third option: matter and energy have continually evolved. But were that the case, everything evolving though time would de-evolve as you go back though time, and then you are left with possibility one.

Have you ever noticed that throughout human history we humans have arrogantly and haughtily thought that at the present exact time we knew everything. At any point in our history, we have thought nothing of looking back to our past and viewing the minds of the past as backward and foolish. And the past is, by definition, backward; the trouble is that today is tomorrow’s past. Why can we not see the backwardness and foolishness of our time?

While not presenting a logical impossibility there is another paradox to evolution, or at least to the attitudes of those who believe in it. You see on the one hand they see humans as simply another animal, different from but certainly not superior to other animals. They never miss an opportunity to express our human faults, both real and imagined. Likewise they never miss an opportunity to rave about other animals, how they live in concert with the environment while terrible old man lives contrary to the environment. I don’t know at the times I have heard the expression, only man does this or only man does that, and this or that always being a negative thing. Now the paradox is this. They give to that same man the ability to be omniscient. That same animal that is no better and in most cases far worst than the other animals of the world knows all. There is nothing beyond man’s grasp. We know all the answers right now. Perhaps in their minds they can reconcile these lines of reason, but for me they are mutually exclusive.

In the coming weeks we will argument this argument, but first we wish someone to respond and enlighten us on the points thus far put forth.

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Hunters, Watch out.

By John .R. Taylor


I have not done much hunting of late, but many years ago we had a big time hunting wild hogs. Hog hunting is a bit different than most any other hunting you are apt to do. Hogs aren’t considered game, they say they are escaped domestic animals. So you can hunt them at night, and this is when most folks do it.

Hogs are hunted with dogs and you don’t shot the hog when the dogs catch him. We carried roped to lasso the hog but in most cases the hog will not cooperate and get out in the open so that you can through a rope on him. When this happened there is nothing to do but go in there and grab him by hand. That old crocodile hunter was not the first one dumb enough to jump on a wild dangerous animal, we did it all the time.

My cousin James use to hunt bear  with a Zippo lighter. He needed the lighter because although he was real swift of foot, he could not quite outrun a bear. Every time he would tussle a bear, when he would start to get the best of the bear he would just run off and cousin James couldn’t catch him. What he would take to doing is take his Zippo lighter and sneak up on the unsuspecting bear and set some of the hair on the bear’s backside afire. No this would scare the dickens out of the bear and he would run like nobody’s business. Well, cousin James wasn’t as fast as a bear but he was long winded. He would just trout after the bare and by the time he caught him the bear would be so tired out he couldn’t run away. Now James didn’t kill the bear, he would just wrestle him down till the bear said uncle or he pinned him. Most times the bear didn’t say uncle, so he’d have to pin him.

James did dear hunt when he was young. He didn’t see much sport in it. And today he would think it even less sporting, with all the high powered scoped rifles, scent blockers, camouflaged cloths, GPS tracking, night vision goggles, robot doe with built-in pheromone sprayers and all the rest. He said the only sporting way to kill a dear was to strip off all your cloths and run him down and chock the dear to death. Even if the dear didn’t have a fighting chance at least you would get some briar cuts on your naked legs.

But you know, my other cousin, Elisabeth Tucker, she’s not my first cousin, she is my first cousin once removed in-law, was out in the woods the other day and saw something that might make dear hunting real sporting.  She didn’t have a camera on her, but Elizabeth is real artistic, so she just whipped out a pencil and make a drawing of what she saw.

You dear hunters better mind what your doing in the woods now.

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Win $100!!!

Be one of the first ten to respond with the correct answers to this week’s Our Country & Our Government and win a $10 gift certificate from Fox’s Pizza. The first 3 correct responders will also win a $100 Coupon from Southern Storage Solutions.

Email your answers to: viewsandnews@ucan.us

Or you can drop them off at Southern Storage Solutions at the corner of River St. and St. Augustine in Valdosta, Georgia.


Our Country & Our Government

·         There have been five sets of presidents with the same last name. Can you name the five last names?

·         Put the correct first names to the last names form question one.
John, George W., John Quincy, George H. W., William, Franklin D., Benjamin, Lyndon B., Theodore and Andrew.

·         Of the five sets, which set(s) were related?

·         Which set(s) were father, son?

·         Which set’s administration was wider apart, (in years)?

·         Which set’s administration was closest together, (in years)?

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Time of Possession Means Nothing?

When I hear the talking heads on television talk about time of possession and keeping the ball away form the other teams high powered offence, I want ask them just how stupid can they get. As anyone who knows anything about a football game knows, the timing  of the game is inconsistent. The clock is stopped on an incomplete pass but not on a run, unless the runner runs out of bounds. There are clock stoppages for penalties and some teams “work” faster than others.

The bottom line is that with these and all the other variables which come into play, time of possession is at best just a rough judgment of who is controlling the game. As an example, the Atlanta Falcons are not at the top of the league in time of possession, but neither are they at the bottom- but they are at the absolute bottom in number of offensive plays ran. And number of offensive plays ran is a much better judge of who is controlling the game than is time of possession. If a team, such as Atlanta, runs the ball often they will eat up clock time, because the clock is not stopped on a run, but they will not necessarily run more plays. Also if a team is typically slow to snap the ball their time of possession will be higher that a team which works faster and has the same number of plays. In other words, if a team normally gets the ball snapped with four or five seconds on the play clock their time of possession will be disproportionably more than a team which normally snaps the ball with ten or fifteen seconds on the game clock.

Because of this the talking heads should talk about number of offensive plays ran, not time of possession.

The other thing, about “keeping the other team’s offence off the field,” is even more stupid. I hate to say its stupid, but its stupid. Whether a drive takes ten minutes or ten seconds is far less important than how the drive ends. A long drive which ends in a turnover or a punt does a team no good, while a very short drive which ends in a touchdown does the team a world of good.

I often remember setting watching the Atlanta Falcons of the 1980s. For much of that decade they had a very good running game but no passing attack and a pass defense that could not stop Valdosta High. Invariable, they would “win” the time of possession battle but lose the game. They would keep Joe Montana off the field for a lot of the game clock time, but when the 49ers, or whoever did get their offense on the field they would score a touchdown in a minute or two and kickoff back to Atlanta.

If the Falcons had scored a touchdown  every time, or in reality, simply most of the time, they would have won most of the games. But they didn’t. They would “control the ball” for several minutes of the game clock timer, then they would punt, or fumble, or throw the ball to the guy with the wrong color shirt, or sometimes even get to kick a field goal.

The great Bear Bryant would have said that winning a football game is simply. Score every time you get the ball and never let them score with they get the ball. And I say, da!

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Division IA College Football Playoff

by John R. Taylor


The following table shows a possible Division I college football playoff.

The format of the playoff uses a 16 team grid. The major conferences which have a Championship game, the SEC, ACC and Big 12, will use their championship game as the first round of the playoff. (Okay the ACC will not have a championship game until next year, but there will be no playoff this year anyway.) The top ten ranked teams that are not in one of these three games will play a single elimination first round. The current BCS ranking system can be used. Any undefeated team not ranked high enough to make the playoff would bump the lowest ranked team that is not undefeated. Teams will be seeded by their ranking. In the first round teams not playing in a conference championship game will play the highest seed against the lowest and the second highest seed against the second lowest and so on.

Each round of the playoff would continue in the same fashion, highest remaining seed against lowest remaining seed until all are eliminated but the one true champion.

In our example some of the seeds are wrong because we were not sure who would play in the Big 12 Championship game and we made some last minute changes. And of course next year probably none of these teams will be rated the same anyway. What we wanted to show is number of games a team might have to play.

The bowls would be included in the playoff system in much the same way as in the current BCS system. The four or perhaps five major bowels would alternate the Championship between them. Each the two games played in the “final four” would be two of these big bowls. In most years the big bowls would get the Championship game or one of the final four games. Teams not in the playoff could be invited to the other bowels.

This system would add no more than two games to the schedule of a team which played in a conference championship game and no more than three to a team that did not. Of course these additional games for only the last two teams. Others would of course play less. A team losing in round three would have played one or two additional games, assuming the team would have played in a bowl anyway.

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Know Religion

While many of the humanists and atheists would have us believe that religion is outdated and irrelevant in today’s world, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of the world’s inhabitants have very strong religious views. Most of the good actions, and sadly, many of the bad, are done for religious reason. In this country we as a nation have strayed far from our religious roots. Views & News will present an essay on a different religion each week.

We will be as subjective, opened minded, factual, and fair as possible. Nothing in any essay is in anyway intended as an endorsement of any particular religion. If you would like to dispute, correct, or add to anything presented, please submit these to us. Christian and non-Christian religions will both be covered and we will select their order by what we deem as relevant and interesting at the present time. Religions that are very well known, will be presented after those we know little of as a matter of course.

Jehovah's Witnesses part 1

The worldwide [Jehovah's Witnesses] organization is directed by an unpaid governing body serving at the international offices in Brooklyn, New York. It uses the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania....to publish literature, supervise global evangelizing, and organize conventions and schools for the ministry of Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses derive their name from: Jehovah, an English translation of the name for God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Witnesses which is taken from the passage in Isaiah 43:10 (and similar passages): "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord..."

They are a high intensity faith group which expects a major commitment from its membership, and it has been my experance that the overwhelming majority of their members are very committed.

As of mid-2004, they have about 6.4 million publishers and pioneers in over 75,000 congregations in more than 200 countries. In excess of 14 million people (pioneers, publishers, adherents and potential members) attended the "Lord's Evening Meal" service at the time of Passover in 1999.  There are almost 1 million witnesses in the U.S., about 111,000 in Canada.

The WTS traces their origin to Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916). After periods of being a Presbyterian, Congregationalist, skeptic, and Adventist, he organized a Bible study group in Pennsylvania in 1870. The group's intense examination of the Bible caused them to reject traditional Christian teachings on the nature of deity, and the immortality of the soul.

One of the most curious doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses is their belief in two distinct classes of people, the Anointed Class 144,000 and the Jonadab Class or the great crowd. The Anointed class are the only ones who get to go to heaven and its ranks are already filled. The vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses fall into the great crowd category, which is also called the 'other sheep.' They have traditionally been excluded from upper-level leadership and decision making because the Watchtower teaches that they have spiritual handicaps. The Watchtower teaches that the great crowd have no hope of heaven, but instead have an earthly hope. Their goal is to survive Armageddon and live forever on a paradise earth. More importantly, they are also taught that they are not anointed with the Holy Spirit, nor does God communicate directly with them.

The Watchtower insists that only the anointed are "born again," and that, technically, Jesus is the mediator for that small group alone. They teach that the great crowd cannot look to Jesus as their mediator (Watchtower, 1 April 1979, p. 31). Instead, the average Jehovah's Witness believes that he must "come to Jehovah's organization for salvation" (Watchtower, 15 November 1981, p. 21).

As best as I can tell those who joined before 1935 were admitted to the Anointed Class. After that those that joined were put in the Jonadab class or as it is sometimes called the great crowd. In 1935 the second president Joseph Franklin Rutherford introduced— the "great multitude" or "great crowd". These are Jehovah's Witnesses who get eternal life on Earth. The "harvest" of the remnant ended in 1935, except to replace a few unfaithful ones. Then began the gathering of the "great crowd":
  …it was not until
May 31, 1935, at Washington (D.C.) convention, that the "great multitude", as such, was identified and made known to the anointed class. (Salvation 1939 p. 107)

As discussed in the book Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, pages 147 to 151, evidence indicates that by 1934 God’s attention turned to developing the "great crowd" of persons who will survive the coming "great tribulation" to enter into an earthly New Order and that by that time the number of those called to the heavenly kingdom had reached its full number 144,000. (Rev. 7:9-14; 14:1-3) Hence, it would be expected that thenceforth only as a result of an anointed one’s proving unfaithful would there be occasion for another person to be called as a replacement.  (The Watchtower 1975 February 15 p. 108)

Because we have been unable to ascertain for sure just how some gets to be in the Anointed Class we will have a part two nest week. If any of you have authoritative knowledge on the subject please write or email us.

Text Box: The Watchtower teaches that the great crowd have no hope of heaven, but instead have an earthly hope.
By 1880, 30 congregations had been formed in 7 states. Zion's Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was incorporated in 1884. In 1896, it dropped Zion from its name. After Russell's death in 1916, the WTS's lawyer, Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford took over the presidency. Under Rutherford's leadership, the Society became more centrally controlled. Perhaps his best known phrase was "Millions now living will never die”.

Prior to World War I, the Society had recommended that Witnesses abstain from entering the armed forces. If compelled to enter the army, they should go, but work in a non-combative role (as in medical service).  A group of members called Steadfasters opposed all support of World War I. Later, the Society adopted the stance of the Steadfasters.

A split occurred in 1917 over the direction and leadership of the Watchtower organization. One of the largest break off groups was known as The Dawn Bible Students Association of East Rutherford NJ.

In 1931, the organization became known as Jehovah's Witnesses. One reason was to avoid confusion with other Bible Student groups. The main reason was that they felt led by the Holy Spirit to adopt a name that emphasized to the public their belief in Jehovah. After Rutherford's death in 1942, Nathan Homer Knorr was elected president. Under his leadership, the WTS greatly increased its publication efforts and published their a new translation of the Bible that is used mainly by Jehovah's Witnesses. Succeeding Knorr was Frederick W. Franz (Knorr's vice-president).

Their refusal to salute the flag, to assist the war effort, to vote etc. caused them to be very unpopular in some countries. Witnesses in North American and Europe were heavily persecuted during World War II, because of their non-involvement in the armed forces and war industries. Data about their fate in Nazi Germany is sketchy and unreliable. One source states that over 90% of German WTS members were exterminated during the Nazi Holocaust. Other sources state that as many as 10,000 were imprisoned of whom 2,500 died. Their religion was banned in Canada in 1940 (one year following Canada's entry into the war). Children were expelled from school; other children were placed in foster homes; members were jailed; men who refused to enter the army were sent to work camps. They remain banned in some countries and heavily persecuted in many others.

They revere the Bible as the infallible, revealed word of God. In 1961, they published their own English version called New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. It is currently available (wholly or in part) in over a dozen languages, and will shortly be seen in 30. The translation was made by an anonymous group who donated their work to the WTS. Some Biblical scholars and other Christians who are not Jehovah's Witnesses have criticized the translation, implying that the original Hebrew and Greek texts have been distorted during translation to more suitably reflect WTS theology.

Their associated group, the Watch Tower Society publishes two semi-monthly magazines for public distribution. One is the WATCHTOWER which has a circulation in excess of 22 million world-wide, in 129 languages. They also distribute the non-theologically based periodical Awake with a circulation of almost 20 million, in 81 languages. Kingdom Ministry is a monthly publication for use within the organization. They publish many anonymously-written booklets and a few videos, such as: Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, which addresses criticism of their failed predictions Should you Believe in the Trinity (1989) which denies the traditional Christian concept of the Trinity. Jehovah's Witnesses, The Organization Behind the Name (1990), a video tape depicting life inside of Bethel, their head office.

The Jehovah's Witnesses has its headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. It is organized into: Governing Body: This is a group of anointed volunteers -- all men -- in the Brooklyn NY head office. It currently consists of 11 members. Publishers and Pioneers. These are members of both genders and all ages who actively go from door to door, attempting to share the Bible with the public in their communities. Those who are dedicated, full-time preachers are given the title Regular Pioneer. They commit to preach for 840 hours per year. Auxiliary Pioneers do 50 hours a month for one or more consecutive months. Special Pioneers are selected from among the Regular Pioneers and are sent to go wherever the need is greatest. Publishers typically go door-to-door once per week, often on Saturdays. If a publisher does not turn in her/his time for six months in a row, they are considered inactive. The congregation elders give all members "shepherding calls" to encourage them in their spirituality and assist them in their ministry. Congregations: Appointed members, called Overseers or Elders are each given a specific role. For example, the Presiding Overseer leads the elder meetings. The Service Overseer handles ministry issues within the congregation. Ministerial Servants handle administrative duties and assist the Elders.  

A Kingdom Hall is a building where one or more congregations hold meetings. Circuits are groups of about 20 congregations, served by a Circuit Overseer. The "CO" periodically visits each congregation twice annually for a one week period. Circuits also organize two day conventions for their congregations, which are held twice a year. Districts are made up from many circuits; there are 22 districts in the United States. The District Overseer (DO) runs the district conventions which are held once a year. He also attends the circuit conventions. A number of districts form a Branch A number of branches form a Zone

Many Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs, (e.g. inerrancy of the Bible, the Virgin Birth, Jesus giving his life as a ransom for past and future humanity, opposition to divorce, homosexuality, pre-marital sex and abortion, the power of Satan, the validity of the Genesis creation story and rejection of the theory of evolution etc.) are similar to those of Fundamentalist Christianity.

Exceptions are: They do not believe in the Trinity. Instead, they follow a strict monotheism, in which: Jehovah is the Supreme Being; Jesus is the son of God, the first created being, who is separate from Jehovah. Christ is believed to have originally existed in a pre-human state as the Archangel Michael. He later took human form as a man like any other person, except that he was sinless at birth and remained so through life. After the crucifixion, Christ died and was resurrected as an invisible, non-material, glorious spirit creature. He was enthroned by Jehovah as King and ruler over all creation, and "given all authority in heaven and on earth." The Holy Ghost is not a separate entity, but is an energy or force -- the method by which God interacts with the world.

Text Box: Humans do not have an immortal soul that continues on after death. When they die, they cease to exist.
The Heavenly Kingdom took effect in 1914 with the invisible enthronement of Christ as King. It is currently occupied by a little flock or Anointed Class of about 144,000 people who were selected by God after Christ's ascension into heaven at Pentecost 33 AD and during subsequent centuries. Some 8,500 are still living on earth; this number is declining due to deaths among the group. They reject the traditional symbol of Christianity, the cross, as being of pre-Christian, pagan origin. They accept an alternate translation of the Greek word "stauros," rendering it as "torture stake." They believe that Jesus was crucified on a single upright wooden stake with no cross beam. Christ's Second Coming was not a physical return to earth. It was an invisible event in 1914 in which Satan and Christ engaged in a heavenly battle. Afterwards, Christ began to the rule the Heavenly Kingdom as King of Kings. Satan was expelled to Earth. World War I was a visible sign of Satan's ousting from Heaven and earthly imprisonment. This event marked the beginning of the woes that would accompany the "last days of this system of things. In the very near future, the battle of Har-Magedon (Armageddon) will begin. Jesus, under Jehovah's divine rage, will execute vengeance upon the rest of Christendom and followers of those other religious traditions which ignore the Bible or follow interpretations of the Bible that do not agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. The Witnesses refer to those religions as "Babylon the Great," or the "world empire of false religion" (Revelation 17). After much suffering, massive human extermination, and many upheavals, the world will be purified. The world will be returned to a peaceful, cleansed state ruled by Jesus Christ and populated by a "great crowd" who accept his rule and God's sovereignty. "God's Kingdom," a theocracy, will be established on earth and operate for 1000 years. This is known as the millennium or the "New System" of things. The "other sheep" (those who survive Armageddon), will live in peace in the newly created paradise. At this point "there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15). The faithful will be granted eternal life. Others will be given a second chance to accept God's rule. Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs on this near universal resurrection are often misunderstood or misrepresented by critics of the WTS. After the 1000 years of God's Kingdom, Satan and his demons will be released for a short time. They, and their human followers, will then be destroyed. Humans do not have an immortal soul that continues on after death. When they die, they cease to exist. At the time of resurrection, God creates a new body for the resurrected one, similar to their former body, which for most had long since decomposed. The new body is mentally and physically healthy, with the original personality and memories intact. They totally deny the existence of the traditional Christian view of Hell. Satan is regarded as having created the concept of Hellfire in order to turn people against God. They believe that hell is the "common grave of mankind" where people go when they die. They are not conscious there. Unbelievers simply cease to exist at death; they are annihilated. The requirements for salvation are very similar to those found in other conservative Protestant groups. It requires "taking in knowledge" of God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3), repentance of sins, acceptance of the sacrificial atonement of Jesus, and conforming, as much as humanly possible, to the teachings of the Christ as stated in the Bible. Good works are an expected evidence of the member's prior salvation but are not the source of salvation. The over one thousand conservative Protestant faith groups in North America, including the WTS, have always held different interpretations of key biblical passages and of Jesus' teachings.

They recognize only one day of celebration: the Memorial of Christ's Death at the time of Passover. Although they estimate that Jesus was born sometime during October, this date is not celebrated. Members who are found celebrating "worldly" or "Pagan" holidays, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Canada Day, Halloween, etc.) may be disfellowshipped excommunicated). Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate their own birthdays, because it is considered a glorification of the individual rather than the Creator. Certain practices are forbidden: the use of images during worship, cooperating with non-Witnesses in interfaith movements, and involvement with spiritism. They do not have a Sabbath; they regard all days as holy. There are five meetings each week: Public Talk usually each Sunday, when an Elder (or rarely a Ministerial Servant) will deliver a talk about a specific topic. Watchtower Study usually follows the public talk; it is a lesson based on a study article in the current Watchtower. Theocratic Ministry School usually occurs on a weekday evening. Speakers practice giving talks and witnessing. Service Meeting usually follows the Theocratic Ministry School. This includes training for various ministry activities. At times, elders will address specific items and concerns for the congregation. Book Study held sometime during the week where a portion of a Watchtower publication is studied in depth. There is a great deal of misinformation about limitations on members' access to the Bible. In reality, they are free to use Bible translations, commentaries, and dictionaries etc. which are produced by non-Watchtower publishers. They are encouraged to read the Bible. Each Witness is given a goal of reading of the entire Bible in one year. They encourage Bible study through using of WTS publications as guides.

They only observe two sacraments: Baptism: this is done by full immersion of an believer who has reached the age of responsibility, has accepted the faith, has repented of their sins, and has dedicated their life to God. Lord's Supper: this is done once a year at the Memorial of Christ's death. Only the approximately 8600 Jehovah's Witnesses who are part of the 144,000 Anointed Class actually partake in the meal; the general membership, (formerly called the Jonadab Class and now called the Great Crowd) are present and observe. They regard the world and its governments as being under the control of Satan. For this reason they do not run for public office, salute the flag, join the Armed Forces, or vote in elections. They are taught to be absolutely free of racism and xenophobia. The WTS has consistently and strongly promoted a lack of bigotry based on race and national origin. However, this Kingdom Halls in some localities appear to have deviated from this policy in the past, particularly decades ago in the Southern U.S. towards Afro-Americans. Like many conservative faith groups, they do not give equal opportunity for women to lead, either within the organization or the family; they teach a complete separation of responsibilities and duties by gender. The husband is expected to play the leadership role in the family; wives are expected to be submissive to their husband. Women are excluded from leadership in the WTS at all levels. They regard these policies as biblical, and non-sexist. They are dedicated to the principle of religious freedom and have pursued dozens of cases of religious discrimination and persecution to the United States Supreme Court and through the court systems of other countries. In doing so, they have made it easier for their own group to proselytize, and have contributed massively to religious freedom for persons of all faiths.

A variety of methods of enforcing membership discipline are used. Members may be reproved in private during a meeting with the elders. A public announcement may be later made to the congregation that they had been reproved and found to be repentant. Members who are found guilty of serious violations of teachings and practices, and who refuse to repent are disfellowshipped. Fellow members are then required to shun him/her completely, having no contact. If the disfellowshipped person is a family member, the group's official position is that they are to be treated normally within the family. However, they are made to understand that their actions are disapproved of. There is no discussion about WTS matters in their presence. Many families do not follow the official policy and totally shun the disfellowshipped member. Disfellowshipping can have a devastating effect on a person whose entire religious, family and social life is grounded in the Society. In rare instances, it has led to profound depression and even suicide.

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