*I sometimes see Jehovah's Witnesses going from door to door in my neighborhood. When they come to my apartment I either don't answer the door, or answer it and just quickly say that I'm not interested. I have no desire to get into any theological discussion with any off those people. I hate that religion and disagree with the majority of the beliefs. But, I think that the practicers of the religion are basically good people who got swept up with an all consuming faith that completely took over their lives. In their hearts they feel they are doing the right thing because they are told over and over that they are, and I can't fault them for that. Nor can I try to change their minds about it all. Although I want to. I so want to. But you can't argue with people about faith/religion/god. Well, you can. But unless someone wants to hear what you have to say, it's futile.
*I sometimes find myself humming songs we used to sing at The Kingdom Hall (the JW church). I find this irritating because none of their songs are particularly pretty or well written. There's one called Let's Watch How We Walk and it's all about watching what you do and say because people of 'the world' are always looking to judge you and the religion and if they see it in a negative light, then they won't convert and have eternal life. And if they don't gain eternal life, then you're essentially blood guilty, and who wants that? But yeah, I hate that those songs are in my head taking up valuable brain space.
*I wish that I could talk to my dad about all this. But he's still an active member of the church and anything I say to him would be seen as completely sacrilegious. He may even go so far as to assume that my thoughts and words aren't my own, but that I'm under the influence of the devil. In recent years our relationship has gotten better but I know that we'll never be close while he's one of Jehovah's Witnesses because there is a whole portion of my life that I can't share with him for fear of offending his completely irrational belief system. I can't send him pictures of the girl dressed for Halloween or pictures of the kids faces on Christmas morning. When my dad and I do talk, there is a whole host of topics we both just sort of mutually avoid. After we talk about Jay's work and the kids, we usually end up discussing real estate or politics. Is that a normal father/daughter conversation? I don't know, it feels like something is missing.
*Random fact: There was a study done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and it found that "Jehovah's Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition. Only 37% of those who say they were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses still identify themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses." (The full report can be seen here.)
*As far as my childhood goes, it wasn't an awful one and I never want to give the impression that I was abused. I was loved. I had everything I needed. But I was sheltered to the point where I think it stifled my development in many ways. I was always shy to begin with, but the fact that I had this viewpoint that the entire world was evil except for those who served Jehovah, made it even worse. Plus, I was an only child. There are times I remember being painfully lonely. I see my own kids now and they have so many friends and such active social lives. I didn't have that as a kid. Mostly, I think I've gotten beyond that now. I'll always be an introvert because I think that's just my personality, but I consider myself normal. More or less.
*I regret hanging around the Witnesses as long as I did, mainly because it caused my son to miss out on so much in his early childhood. He sees the girl going to birthday parties and trick or treating and he makes comments that he wishes he could have done those things. It makes me sad because I know he can't get those years back. But there really isn't anything I can do about it now, I can only try to make the rest of his childhood as normal as possible, and I think Jay and I are doing a pretty good job of that.
Anyway....I guess that's all I have to say about this right now until the time when it bubbles up once again. As always, please feel free to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments section and I'll try to respond to them in the best way I know how.