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Old 09-09-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Arizona
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One of my daughters good friends at school is a Jehovah Witness. My daughter found this out because the girl told her. My daughter wants to ask her over to our house one day to hang out and swim. They are in the 4th grade.

I found the below on a Jehovah Witness site. Does this mean that this girl can not play with my daughter? I'm not here to judge I just want to be able to explain to my daughter why she isn't allowed to play if that is the case.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to associate with non-Witnesses including family. Exceptions are made if the non-Witness family member is living in the same household.

Thanks for you help.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Don't let your child's friendship be ruined over a silly arbitrary rule. I'm sure JWs are just like most sects... there are many different interpretations and levels of devotion among their followers.

Me thinks a JW would have a hard time existing in the world without socializing with non-JWs, though.

From my experience, I'd be more worried about the friend and family trying to indoctrinate your daughter...
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Oh, I won't let it ruin the friendship. This girl seems to be very nice to my daughter and they have a lot in common. I just don't want my daughter to feel bad because they play at school but may not be able to hang out outside of school. I do know that not all people of any religion follow all the rules, but after reading the JW site, it seemed that socializing with non JW's was really looked down upon.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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JW have their own very strict interpretation of scripture, they believe that religious segragation is mandated by God Jesus. Some Jesus believers follow this canonical rule and others don't. It would likely be best to see if the girl and her family deny the invitation, before explaining to your daughter the sad truths about why it was probably denied. There is a chance that she might be allowed.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
JW have their own very strict interpretation of scripture, they believe that religious segragation is mandated by God Jesus. Some Jesus believers follow this canonical rule and others don't. It would likely be best to see if the girl and her family deny the invitation, before explaining to your daughter the sad truths about why it was probably denied. There is a chance that she might be allowed.
This is exactly what I was thinking
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:45 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,226,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Don't let your child's friendship be ruined over a silly arbitrary rule. I'm sure JWs are just like most sects... there are many different interpretations and levels of devotion among their followers.
I studied with the JW's for about two years and was actually kind of shocked at how little variety there was in interpretation and devotion. In fact, I would say that JW's are the least varied in those aspects of all the sects of Christianity I have come into contact with. Of course there is a bit of a range, but it's small. Lol. The Watchtower and Awake basically not only tell you what to believe, but they pretty much walk you through why the Governing Body interprets the Bible the way they do and tells you why they are right and often times why other interpretations are wrong. In other words, between meetings, Bible studies, and reading Bible-related literature, you're pretty much spoon-fed what to believe. You're even spoon-fed what you're allowed to make your own mind up about (gray areas) and what is set in stone (black-and-white areas). Most areas are black-and-white. Even though JW's put on a facade about being open to discussion and asking your opinion (and I think a lot of them genuinely believe they are being genuine), generally actually thinking for yourself and disagreeing is a big no-no. Basically, the way they see it, the Governing Body channels Jehovah God, so disagreeing with any of their publications and meetings is pretty much challenging God. JW's also take pride in the fact that every single Kingdom Hall in the whole world goes over the same content week-to-week and they criticize other churches for being out-of-sync. In other words, like-mindedness is high up on the values list.

Quote:
Me thinks a JW would have a hard time existing in the world without socializing with non-JWs, though.
They're allowed to associate with non-JW's if there is another purpose. For example, obviously you need to be able to talk to your doctor and banker. But JW's really do discourage socializing with non-JW's for the mere purpose of socializing. When I was with the JW's, it was pretty much understood that if someone wasn't JW or studying the Bible, they weren't invited. Of course, they wouldn't be rude or mean, but they wouldn't go out of their way to invite a non-JW to their barbecue or whatever. Whenever we hung out, it was always always all JW's/bible students. It's actually quite easy to do this by scheduling social events right after Kingdom Hall meetings and Bible studies. That's when we would do most of our socializing, so it was often just go to the Kingdom Hall, go home and change, then meet somewhere else. It's easy to weave out non-JW's/non-Bible students cause a non-JW/non-Bible student isn't going to want to go to the KH/attend a Bible study. There's generally a period of time before they will start hanging out too. For example, in the first few months when you study with the JW's, it will be strictly Bible study, the end. It took about 9 months before I really started getting invited to events. But then after awhile they will start asking you if you want to join them for lunch or do something else social after the Bible study. Careful though--if you start flaking out on the Bible studies, you can count on not being invited anymore.

Quote:
From my experience, I'd be more worried about the friend and family trying to indoctrinate your daughter...
In my experience, JW's don't do this. The JW's I know are all very good about respecting parents' wishes. Contrary to popular belief, most of them aren't pushy and are extremely polite. I've met hundreds of JW's and I can count on one hand the number of them that were actually pushy. There is a ton of scripture about respecting authority and parents are seen as authorities over children. They'll offer to have a Bible study with a child...but will request parental permission before they go through with anything. Of course individual JW's may be different but "going after your kids" is not the overall vibe I got from the JW community.

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 09-09-2011 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:08 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,226,978 times
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I thought I should also add that there's no use in inviting your daughter's friend over for a birthday or other "worldly" celebration. You may want to explain to your daughter that her friend won't participate in some school events (Thanksgiving potluck, Christmas assembly, Passover Luncheon, etc). JW's don't celebrate holidays. They make one exception, Memorial Day. It's not the same as the American government holiday. (I think that's what it's called. I studied with the JW's in American Sign Language so I don't always know what the English terms are.) They don't celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving or other typical holidays either so spare yourself the awkwardness by not inviting their daughter over for any of those holidays. (Don't be under the impression that JW's live a completely austere and ascetic lifestyle, though. The JW's I know love to party. They just don't do it in celebration of a specific holiday or birthday.) They do give and accept gifts that are not in celebration of a holiday. For example, a Christmas gift is a no-no, but a gift because you thought of someone is fine. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I thought I should also add that there's no use in inviting your daughter's friend over for a birthday or other "worldly" celebration. You may want to explain to your daughter that her friend won't participate in some school events (Thanksgiving potluck, Christmas assembly, Passover Luncheon, etc). JW's don't celebrate holidays. They make one exception, Memorial Day. It's not the same as the American government holiday. (I think that's what it's called. I studied with the JW's in American Sign Language so I don't always know what the English terms are.) They don't celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving or other typical holidays either so spare yourself the awkwardness by not inviting their daughter over for any of those holidays. (Don't be under the impression that JW's live a completely austere and ascetic lifestyle, though. The JW's I know love to party. They just don't do it in celebration of a specific holiday or birthday.) They do give and accept gifts that are not in celebration of a holiday. For example, a Christmas gift is a no-no, but a gift because you thought of someone is fine. Hope that helps.
Thank you for your reply. I do know that JW's don't celebrate holidays or b-days and my daughter also knows this because she had a boy in her class last year that was a JW and that is why her class could not have any holiday parties.

On Friday, I drove her friend and friends sister home and spoke with the Step-Dad and we exchanged phone numbers, so that is encouraging I will call next week and see if we can invite her over to swim.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:50 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,226,978 times
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Clearing it with the parents sounds like a good idea. I was never around JW's as a child so I don't really know how they deal with the whole school/young children hanging out scenario.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:44 PM
 
330 posts, read 477,731 times
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just ask and see what happens...
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