And it was great. Last-minute decision to go into the city and hear Don Kennedy Albert talk about his experience as an elder with the JW's, and the way they go about recruiting people. He also talked about how he eventually stopped believing.

It was a nice brunch followed by some info from the president of the NYC Atheists, and then the lecture and a Q&A. He's a talented speaker if you ever have a chance to hear him, and quite entertaining.

What made it even nicer was that my husband came with me- didn't think he'd be interested, but the more he learns about how to discuss atheism with religious people, the more he can relate. Engineers aren't usually interested in philosophical discourse.

The other attendees were very cool and fun, many with stories of their own. One guy said he lost his elderly mother, a JW who refused a critically-needed blood transfusion. After the talk, I told him how sorry I was, and how I've been thinking about the importance of literally saving THEM when they knock on our doors. He said that even at the funeral, his father was telling him how he needs to come back to the JW's. Talk about insanity.

Albert is also involved with the Godless Revival, a splinter group of the Sunday Revival. Apparently, the Sunday Revival was becoming more of a Unitarian-type group that didn't want to affiliate themselves with "atheists" so much as simply gather people together of all faiths.

The Godless Revival doesn't believe it's a good idea to shy away from the "atheist" label, and is for those who are comfortable with the term, rather than softening the language as a way to bring newbies into the fold. Interesting how even atheists can end up with different "denominations!" But hey, there's a choice, and I can understand the reasons for each.

It was definitely worth the price of admission, and even the parking ticket (expired inspection- D'OH!!)

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Sounds like a good event. I would attend lectures around here if I could find one. St. Louis may be the closest.

The reason the JW's try so hard to get that man back into their fold is that they are the only correct religion in their own reasoning. Everyone else proclaiming to be religious is just a part of that Babylon the Great of book of Revelation fame, which is the great harlot. At least the JW is honest with this belief.

When I was in the church world every denomination around said that they knew other denominations would "make it" to heaven or be "saved." They went out of their way to claim this, but deep down nobody really believes it. This is like saying the whole world is crazy except me. The JW's think this way and secretly so does the rest of the church world, even though they deny it.

Outside of there not being any evidence for god, all of the above is what is wrong with religion.

Christine, thanks for sharing your great experience!

What a concept: "I've been thinking about the importance of literally saving THEM when they knock on our doors."

That's a brilliant and ingenious thought. Totally stealing it :)

I'm pretty recent as far as actually evaluating the atheist/ humanist side of things. I never believed, but less than a year ago I finally went out and met like minded people. It was great to finally had a sense of community that was really only available to church goers.

 

One guy said he lost his elderly mother, a JW who refused a critically-needed blood transfusion.

Folks who refuse medical care are choosing a fast route to their hereafter, wherever (or if) it is.

Can they or anyone be more rational than that?

...a Unitarian-type group that didn't want to affiliate themselves with "atheists" so much as simply gather people together of all faiths.

That sounds like the Unitarians I've known. Not quite 40 years ago I went to a discussion group before the service at a UU church for a couple of years. One day a church member said the minister had said Unitarianism is for people who haven't kicked the church-going habit.

For a short intro to the different kinds of atheism, search cyberspace for "six kinds of atheists". It reports on a Univ. of Tennessee study. I spoke on the study to a Toastmasters club, most of whose members are xians. They all know I'm an atheist. They looked interested and I saw no sign that anyone took offense. One member said it was one of the best talks I've given.

Folks who refuse medical care are choosing a fast route to their hereafter, wherever (or if) it is.

Can they or anyone be more rational than that?

When I thought more about this afterward, I figured it's better to have some control over one's death than to lose more and more bodily function and independence. It was her choice to die this way, and she may not have had much time left. Though I don't know all the details.

But it would've been easier on the loved ones to say, "It's not going to help much anyway, I'd rather somebody more needy get the blood," or something along those lines, than, "The bible says don't do it."

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has "non-tracts" available- I bought two sample boxes of non-tracts. Won't dare bring them to work, but I'm eager to read them, maybe mix them in with the Chick Tracts at my MIL's house so the kids can see them! Meh, not sure if I'm that ballsy, would just discuss the Chick Tracts with the kids, or find the parodies and print those out.....

So you can easily get the JWs to stop knocking, but I think it's more important that we ask them questions that get them reconsidering their choice of religion. It truly would be saving lives.

Strange also Christine that the bible says "you shall not eat blood" and the JW's apply this to a life saving transfusion. You would think they might go after Germans and blood pudding, but no, it was transfusions. Now that HIV and AIDS has become such a big health issue they use this as well to strengthen their position against transfusions. It's a very weird belief.

People eat blood every time they eat meat.

The opposition of JWs and others to life saving medical care isn't so weird.

If they die, they get to where they want to go sooner.

In the Catholic schools my dad sent his kids to, nuns and priests spoke of celebrating their deaths. They were after all going to their chosen afterlife.

If they die, they get to where they want to go sooner.

Cultural evolution would select against this religious belief.  The Heaven's Gate cult did kill themselves.  There are still Heaven's Gate cultists around.  But apparently they interpret the beliefs metaphorically or something :) 

The Heaven's Gate people who truly believed it are gone now. 

Luara, it is true that you eat blood every time you eat meat. I don't think the JW's thught of that because they are still meat eaters.

It also bothers me that christians are not hiring people to kill them, or otherwise doing stupidly dangerous things. That way they might get there quicker.

If you ask them about things like this they say "are you crazy?" Yet, they keep claiming about being "caught up to heaven" that it could happen any day. I think they are very good liars.

Very good liars, indeed ... and the ones they lie to the most are themselves, in the long haul.

It sounds like a terrific time all around! 

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