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any Jehovah's Witnesses about?

(49 Posts)
lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 09:59:20

I have a bit of a weird question
I hope it doesn't offend anyone and please bear with me as I don't talk about religion at all really so I am not sure what kind of ground I am on IYSWIM.

I work with two lovely lovely JWs. They never talk about their faith so I have no way of knowing if this is linked and of course I get that not everyone does their religion the same way etc.

one of them recently cried laughing when we had a conversation about "marriage for practical reasons". I was the one who used the term - someone was talking about all the legalities etc. I asked her why she found this so funny and she said "well it's ridiculous - marriage is about love - no one gets married for practical reasons". then as I continued to look flummoxed, she apologised and said "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, it's just such a funny thing to say".

This same person also gives me a vibe that she thinks I'm the 40 year old virgin on account of the fact that I'm single. I sensed that a while ago and the incident with the marriage chat made me wonder even more.

I'm wondering if either of those things are connected to her religion - the other one doesn't give me that vibe at all so I just wondered. I appreciate it may be totally irrelevant and the other one doesn't give me that vibe at all.

I know you can go online and find endless lists of who believes what, but I have no idea if they are accurate. Are JWs against sex before marriage? Do they have any particular beliefs regarding marriage that would mean it "should" be for love?


Lessstressedhemum Thu 19-Nov-15 11:40:02

Completely against sex before marriage, even against dating, unless there's an intention to marry. Unmarried couples should not be alone together, so meeting in groups/public places or being chaperoned.

Assume marriage for practical reasons applies mainly to couples living together? This would not apply to jws because of the above.

howtorebuild Thu 19-Nov-15 11:43:17

How much of your post is about her and how much is about you?

Weird reaction to laugh at you from her.

swooosh Thu 19-Nov-15 11:50:06

Can I jump on your thread and also ask a question?

I work in emergency operating theatre. We had a young Jehovahs Witness patient who urgently needed a blood transfusion. At first it was refused but they changed their mind and accepted the blood.

We took them into surgery and their parent arrived to 'wish them well' before the surgery which we was unsure how the outcome would be (it went well) and I was told by the anaesthetist to hide the blood bag so the parent wouldn't see it.

Would this person be 'disowned' from the religion for accepting blood? The blood was hidden from the family member before it was given (presumably as they were not aware that the patient had accepted the blood)

I can see why he chose to accept it. I'm not really sure what my question is really, just wanted opinions.

Lessstressedhemum Thu 19-Nov-15 11:58:00

I haven't been a witness for nearly 2 decades, but you would most certainly have been shunned for taking blood in the o!den days. It used to be a disfellowshipping offence. There were certain things that you could do if your conscience allowed, like having plasma transfusions but not whole blood. It was all quite confusing tbh, at least for me.
I think the stance has changed a little but transfusions still not allowed.

specialsubject Thu 19-Nov-15 14:09:36

you get rude and airheaded buggers in any religion. I don't think her being a JW is relevant - if she works she must have some exposure to the outside world. However if she thinks a marriage certificate is a guarantee against either spouse 'transgressing' she is also on a different planet.

most religions disapprove of shagging before signing- it comes from the primitive need to know who a baby's father is.

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 14:18:02

specialsubject "I don't think her being a JW is relevant - if she works she must have some exposure to the outside world."

yes, it might not have any relevance at all. But in terms of the outside world, she doesn't do news - the Paris attacks opened up a whole planet for her so she's been asking us a lot of questions. I have a feeling that her friends outside work may all be JWs. Someone once asked how she met her husband - she looked at the person as if they had 2 heads and said, in quite a horrified tone "well how do you think? He is a Witness".

We don't have a work socialising culture. She didn't grow up in the UK and only recently found out what being gay meant.

I think she's lovely but that particular thing about marriage really threw me, I couldn't figure out what she was laughing at and she very much seemed to be laughing at me for having said it. The "40 year old virgin" thing made that seem more significant I suppose.

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 14:23:07

howtorebuild "How much of your post is about her and how much is about you?"

oh it's absolutely about me. I was really flummoxed to have someone say "oh how funny you are" and laugh at me as if I was a 4 year old who had contributed something hilarious by accident.

specialsubject Thu 19-Nov-15 14:37:06

poor woman. Be grateful you weren't born into this lot!

but 'doesn't do news' - what, never passes a newstand? Never watches telly? Never listens to radio? Presumably no internet.

that takes some doing if you live in a town or city. I didn't know about the Paris attacks until Sat morning when I bought a paper; had been avoiding TV as it was children in need night so just watching movies, and turned the laptop off. But that only works because I'm in a village.

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 15:16:09

swoosh - just realised you might be interested that both my colleagues wear medical bracelets stating "no blood transfusion" or something like that.

special - oh she has internet, she's my first port of call for internet shopping advice grin

but you know what, it is entirely possible to walk around ignoring the things you don't want to see. For instance, if a football related headline pops up when I'm browsing, I don't look at it or register it. If your default setting is "no news" then you won't absorb it really, unless it is something like Paris. She's not the only person I know who doesn't do news and that's nothing to do with religion, they just don't do news (in fairness I can see why!)

I have no judgement on that, I was just answering another poster who was wondering about her level of awareness of the world, so to speak. I know she hates modern TV, doesn't have a TV because she says it's not worth the licence fee.

LucyMouse Thu 19-Nov-15 15:22:31

Perhaps she just hasn't considered that unmarried couples are sometimes at a legal disadvantage? If she isn't really thinking that this type of relationship exists then she may not have thought through the implications upon inheritance, pensions etc?
I presume that's what you mean by getting married for practical reasons? Rather than marrying a friend for security etc?

Lessstressedhemum Thu 19-Nov-15 15:46:46

JWs are usually quite up on the news, especially the bad stuff. It's used as proof that the end is nigh and that the time to repent and accept the Truth is getting short. Remember that they are an apocalyptic sect and their entire belif system is based around the end of this system of things and the arrival of god's kingdom as a literal government.

Yes, I used to carry a no blood card at all times. If you get a transfusion that you are unaware of ( if you are unconscious and don't have your no blood tag, for instance) you can still be disfellowshipping, although then its couched in terms of you having disassociated yourself by your actions. End result is the same though - losing your family, friends, lifestyle and support network.

OP, your colleague will most likely not have friends outside of witnesses. It is v. much frowned upon to have outsider friends. You are even supposed to limit contact with non jw family members. Bad associations spoil useful habits is a favourite verse.

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 16:06:14

Lessstressed - thanks. My knowledge of any religion is very minimal so the thing about apocalypse etc wasn't something I knew.

I agree with Lucy that she might not have understood what I was saying but any misinterpretation I can think of doesn't seem to me to be hilarious confused

P1nkP0ppy Thu 19-Nov-15 16:15:21

We had some JW friends, they were definitely not allowed to be seen dating unless marriage is agreed, absolutely no sex either. Re blood transfusions it is automatic exclusion, not just from the church but family, friends etc., effectively cast out.
My friend 's sister died following a car crash where her liver was ruptured. She refused surgery because that would have meant transfusion so died aged 41.

swooosh Thu 19-Nov-15 16:21:51

So that's why we were asked to hide the blood? So the patients parent wouldn't see it. I just find it so incredibly sad sad my patient has survived as a result of receiving blood products and will get to see their newborn child grow up (my patient was gushing and showing me pictures of their DC prior to anaesthesia) but will now likely be disowned by family when they arrived at ITU with the blood transfusions ongoing.

P1nkP0ppy Thu 19-Nov-15 16:28:50

Not only that but husband, children, parents, all friends, acquaintances, colleagues etc, etc. and it's horribly strict and final, you're viewed as having committed an ultimate sin, no redemption, religious burial etc.
The baby could be viewed the same or removed to be raised by believers.

WimpyArseWanks Thu 19-Nov-15 16:37:24

Yes she would be disowned for taking the blood. My inlaws are JW. Very strange beliefs but me XH lived together before we got married but MIL was mortified when our joint address was read out in the Registry Office.

Lessstressedhemum Thu 19-Nov-15 16:54:14

Pink is abso!utely right. It's very harsh. You lose everything and everyone. I was lucky. I was the only one in my family who was jw, so I still had them. Lost all my friends etc. and it took years to get over the fear of armageddon, especially the idea that I was condemning my children to being destroyed.
There is no mercy injw faith.

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 17:02:27

the thing is, I also have a former colleague whose Dad is a JW but his wife and children aren't....though I have no way of knowing if he's been shunned by other JWs.

swooosh Thu 19-Nov-15 17:18:15

It sounds awful, sorry to hijack your thread Lorelei.

And if the person was to die? They would rather them die than accept the blood then obviously? What a thought. sad I just can't imagine how something so simple and natural (yes it's not their blood but it's not drugs) and life saving can be shunned in favour of death and 'doing the right thing' by your religion.

chelle792 Thu 19-Nov-15 17:24:31

DH was very worried about telling his JW parents that I was pregnant a few months before our wedding. Despite living together, his parents thought we shared separate rooms blush even though DH isn't a witness

As next of kin DH wouldn't hypothetically give permission for his parents to have a blood transfusion even if they were to die because it would be against their wishes. That's a bitter pill for him to swallow because he personally disagrees

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 17:25:47

tbh the blood thing would be the least of my concerns if some of what I saw online is true. You're not supposed to vote?! No wonder I saw her face change when we were talking about how much we (some of us) enjoyed Suffragette!

then again, some people would say that my parents' religion has xyz rule and they would be all "er, no".

Lessstressedhemum Thu 19-Nov-15 21:31:28

No, no voting, no involvement with any kind of politics. They have to beno part of this world, just like Jesus's kingdom.

Yes, they would rather someone die than have blood.

If your colleague's dad converted after marriage and children, that would be ok because you shouldn't leave your spouse if they won't convert but should quietly work away being an example to inspire them to turn by your behaviour. Marrying outside, however, would be very, very frowned upon. Not a disfellowshipping crime though, more a kind of push you to the fringes of the congregation sort of one.

ragged Thu 19-Nov-15 22:04:19

Here's a Q: can you become a JW if you previously had a blood transfusion?

lorelei9 Thu 19-Nov-15 23:04:30

Lessstressed, they see Jesus as being separate from the world? That is interesting, she's queried my charity work in a way that puzzled me..also my involvement with local politics, with a real "what have these issues to do with you" tone.

The first time she commented, it was "you're an atheist, why do you want to do xyz" and I was more flummoxed by the link to atheism than anything else...I felt like she was saying "you don't have religion, therefore where does your sense of charity come from" (one of the most common and annoying questions for atheists, I find) but then she told me that she never does anythi g for charity.

That also confused me but work places can be odd with people chatting out of boredom etc.

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