Fædrelandsvennen (Norway), Saturday, June 16, 2018 – page 45
- Eksklusjon – please note that the original is behind a paywall
Hilde Langvann’s letter in Fædrelandsvennen, June 14, 2018: “An oversimplification of exclusion”, was a reply to my letter from the day before.
My letter could have been longer, but the space for letters to the editor is limited.
Langvann’s main concern is the challenges that result from leaving the community in one way or another. She uses expressions like: loneliness – pain – emptiness – anxiety. “Why do many return to the faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses after being excluded?” – she asks. This is at least an acknowledgment that many actually return. Is it not also a recognition of a fundamental failure in the modern society that obviously does not have the ability to integrate these citizens? Placing all blame on JWs is unreasonable. A personal experience is described as follows: “The loneliness I felt in the outside world at that time was extreme and intense… Out in the world, after cutting all ties, she felt lost and alone.”
A person who comes from an environment where faith and hope form the basis of life, of course, has difficulty adapting to an environment where the future prospect is to keep going for 80 years – if we avoid nuclear war! What is the main cause of loneliness and depression – the hope in the world of origin, or hopelessness in the world one came to?
JWs are a very outgoing religious community. We talk to people on the street, from house to house, at formal as well as informal occasions. More should take the time to chat with us.
In light of the last days debate, it will be healthy if the nuances associated with JW’s practice of exclusion are clear. On the website JW.org there is a column titled “Frequently Asked Questions”. Here is the following:
“Does Jehovah’s Witnesses Try to Avoid Past Members? What if a man is excluded while his wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties between him and the family change, but the family ties are the same. Marriage and family life continues as before.”
This quote provides answers to some questions, but not all. There is no specific mention of excluded family members who do not live in a nuclear family. It appears that the relationship between family members who do not live under the same roof is the most flammable issue in this debate. It will therefore be particularly helpful with a clarification of the practice in this area. Jehovah’s Witnesses have nothing to hide. I would recommend Hilde Langvann, and others who are affected by these challenges, to address a reasonable inquiry to the Jehovah’s Witnesses regional headquarters in Denmark or the headquarters in New York. They will be happy to clarify the question and clarify the individual details.
Bjørn Rune Holtan, Kristiansand
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