I’ve posted a few blogs about Mormonism and politics, due to Mitt Romney’s influence, but I have yet to write about Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs)and politics. The reason for that is pretty simple. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTB&TS) does not allow their members to vote or hold any political office.
The WTB&TS’s official web site states,
“In advocating God’s Kingdom, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not mix in politics or
foment rebellion against secular governments, even in lands where the Witnesses
are banned or persecuted. (Titus 3:1) Instead, they try to make a positive, spiritual, nonpolitical contribution in the way that Jesus and his first-century disciples did. The Witnesses strive to help righteously disposed people in their various communities to adopt wholesome Biblical values, such as familial love, honesty, moral cleanness, and a good work ethic. Primarily, they endeavor to teach them how to follow Bible principles and to look to God’s Kingdom as mankind’s real hope.”
Notice the false dichotomy. JWs are faced with seemingly only two choices. You can either participate in politics or you can advocate God’s Kingdom by making a positive, spiritual, nonpolitical impact on the world. Obviously JWs want to promote God’s kingdom so refraining from political involvement is a no-brainer. The reason JWs never think to entertain a third possible option is because of their belief that all of the World’s governments are controlled by Satan, hence another false dichotomy; either stay out of politics or be controlled by Satan. To the JW, the choice is obvious.
In June of 2008, Tennis star Serena Williams told reporters at Wimbeldon that although she was excited about Barak Obama, she would not vote for him because she is a Jehovah’s Witness. She went on to explain that JWs “don’t get involved in politics.” Her sister, Venus, would not even make a comment on the issue. I find it interesting that Serena would make a comment about Obama at all. If he, as a politician, is controlled by Satan, why be excited about his chances of becoming the next President of the United States?
There is a question about this WTB&TS policy that I would love to have answered. As we get closer to the Presidential election in November, I will add this to my Youtube video collection of Quick Questions For Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why are JWs forbidden from participating in politics when we have Scriptural examples of faithful heroes of the faith who actually held public office in secular, pagan Nations? Joseph was second only to Pharaoh in Egypt, Daniel was an advisor to the Kings of Babylon and let’s not forget Ester who became the Queen of Persia!
With godly examples of Old Testament saints heavily involved in politics, why can’t Jehovah’s Witnesses escape the horns of the false dilemna? Isn’t it possible to be a faithful Christian, yet support your country with such a simple thing as a vote?