Sunday, November 19, 2006

If it's embarrasing, maybe they shouldn't have published it in the first place.

Entry for Tuesday, 13 September, 2005


I had to laugh today, when I read FARK this evening and followed this link:

http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/11/98096/1.ashx

Apparently, the Jehovah's Witnesses have compiled all of the free literature they used to give out door to door and by mail to anyone who asked. They published this compilation on a CD-Rom, which they made available to their members - and, I presume, anyone else who asked.

Some enterprising person then read through their copy of the CD, and posted quotes from it on a webpage.

So, of course, Jehovah's Witnesses are suing the website owner for, get this:

"34. As a result of his activities, the Plaintiffs (Watchtower) have suffered and will continue to suffer damages, including but not limited to loss of reputation and goodwill."

"You can't display what we print! It will destroy our reputation!" says one of the message board replies.

All of the free literature has been available to the public for how long? Since the 1890's or something? I can't recall, actually, but I'm sure it's been a long time. Someone I knew several years ago was a Jehovah's Witness, and never ceased plying me with publications and documents published by the Watchtower Society. I probably have a good percentage of the material posted on the website. Needless to say, also, I never became a Jehovah's Witness.

I find it terribly amusing that they are complaining the content of their publications is embarrassing to them and causes them a loss of reputation. Naturally, I agree that some of what they write is embarrassing - speaking as someone who has studied linguistics and translational issues concerning both the Tanakh (the "old" testament) and the Greek writings (the early church fathers and the "new" testament). However, to say that no one would have noticed this if not for the website is laughable in the extreme.

It must be assumed that in addition to myself, other educated people who are extremely familiar with the Bible have received these materials and noticed some of the glaring inconsistencies in their "translations" and theology.

But if they are embarrassed by their own materials, what does that say to us?

And if they are ashamed that people interpret their writings in a way that they don't like, maybe they need to employ better writers - or better yet, post some logical, linguistic and/or academic peer-reviewed justifications for their theology and "translations." If they're right and the rest of us are wrong, they should be willing to demonstrate this to an academic's satisfaction.

And if they're just power-mongering, well, then they deserve all the embarrassment they get.

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