You’ve seen them roaming the streets. You’ve heard them knock on your door. And if you never answer to people who you don't know, then you probably aren't aware that they will most likely share with you a copy of their literature, such as The Watchtower or Awake.
They call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jehovah being one of the seven proper names of the God of Israel and the particular designation that they must vocalize during worship if they want to praise Him properly. Saying “God” just doesn’t cut it. You’ve gotta say “Jehovah.” It’s kinda like uttering “Open Sesame” to get into the Cave of Wonders.
The topic of this particular list stems from the doctrines that are established by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York. More than 8.3 million Witnesses participate in evangelism to spread the Governing Body's doctrines and an annual Memorial attendance of 20 million-plus more adhere to their word. Here's a list of some of the things that these million upon millions of adherents follow.
15 What Dane Cook Said About Sneezing Is True — Kinda
Yes, there’s actually a reason why we mentioned Dane Cook in the title and, no, he’s not a Jehovah’s Witness. Bear with us. In one of Dane’s better skits, the comic goes on a tirade about how he doesn’t feel like he has the right to say “Bless you” when someone sneezes. The reason: it implies that he is blessing the person whose body just forced them to expel air (and hopefully nothing else) from the nostrils. The only way in which Dane says he could ever do so is if he becomes somebody holy like the Pope. Instead, Dane says “God bless you” because it’s something that God can actually do.
Anyway, Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t say either “Bless you” or “God bless you” because it originated from the pagan belief that when you sneezed, the soul left the body. Saying “bless you” was a way to protect that person from demon invasion. While a nice gesture, it’s unchristian.
14 Throwing Rice Is Like Throwing Magic
One of the possible entries for this list was that Jehovah’s are not allowed to believe in or partake in behaviors that are in direct response to superstitious nonsense. But, for obvious reasons, we decided to elaborate on the more bizarre social truncations rather than the whole, such as the act of throwing rice at a wedding.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses' reasoning is based on the correlation between said custom with the invocation of “luck” people initiate when they throw salt over the shoulder. (Its origins spawn from superstition, so it should not be practiced.) But, that’s only half of it. What makes it a tabooed pastime to indulge in is that it was a tradition started by pagans. Throwing rice was a way to get pagan newlyweds pregnant.
But why stop at rice? Tossing sugared almonds after a wedding is another way someone can dabble in the dark arts. While not a pagan ritual, it’s an act fuelled by superstition, a custom usually shared in Italian households. Their tradition originates from the belief that sugared almonds are a symbol of fertility. Confetti is also bad. It’s linked to the pagan tradition of throwing grain, which is also meant to induce fertility.
13 No Trendy Yoga For You
While this writer doesn’t have any sort of affinity for yoga and believes there are a vast number of different ways to exercise that don't involve contorting yourself in strange and rather absurd positions, he doesn’t care what you do. What you do on your mat is between you and the poor souls behind you who are forced to look as you take unappealing positions. That’s not the case for a Jehovah’s Witness.
Many people aren’t aware of this, but yoga is actually a religious practice. To be more precise, it’s a Hindu custom, whereby the ultimate goal is to merge with some great spirit (an act called moksha). During this act of agglomerating yourself with this spirit, the mind is meant to stop. In other words, it keeps your mind from racing.
These happenings, however, conflict with many of the interpretations Jehovah’s draw from their sacred text. There’s a passage in Romans 12:1-2 that talks about presenting your body to God in a manner that keeps your power of reason intact so you may fully prove to yourself the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Turning your “mind off” doesn’t allow this and is therefore impermissible. Plus, the whole “merging” with another entity that’s not Jehovah is blasphemy and sinful. The fact that the only other “higher power” is the Devil means you’re basically fusing with the antichrist.
12 Shave For The Redemption Of Others!
It’s one thing to stay groomed so you don’t look like a caveman, but it’s a whole other issue when you’re required to do so because, if you don’t, it might “stumble” the consciences of others.
While the concept of a “stumbling conscience” may seem foreign to you, the real focus here is that failing to take care of how you look can negatively affect the morality of your fellow Witness and that this is more important than your unkempt, disheveled visage making your neighbors sick to their stomach.
Some personal grooming styles Jehovah’s condemn are beards and long hair. Men who wear earrings can also mess up other people’s state of goodness. Slu*ty outfits have this effect as well (but this counts more so towards women). But the latter is not too surprising, seeing as many religions speak out against inappropriate attire.
11 “Ma, I’m Not Going to College!” “Good”
If the world were going to blow up any day, would you go to school and try to get as many degrees as possible? Probably not. That’s why Jehovah’s Witnesses discourage the pursuit of higher education or any type of “secular advancement.” Why waste your time doing worldly things when that world is going to blow up? There’s actually some sense in that.
But how about in this? Another reason why going to college is a no-no is because a college-goer will more likely succumb to “worldly thinking” and lose their humility or involvement in morality. Since the end is nigh, it’s rare to find a Witness who has an education beyond a higher school diploma.
10 You Can’t Celebrate Your Mother
Okay. This title was a little misleading on purpose. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses perpetually preach the importance of the parent unit and command their followers to respect and obey mothers and fathers in more ways than one.
No, what we mean is that the actual Mother’s Day holiday is what they cannot celebrate. One reason is because it’s ostensibly linked to pagan gods. Another is that bestowing this special honor is equivocal to “creature worship” and could very well be the tipping point that turns people away from God. If you’re praising your mother, what will stop you from praising the devil?
In addition to Mother’s Day, Jehovah’s Witnesses also shun May Day, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, due to their pagan origins. And, yes, they don’t celebrate Father’s Day either. We made sure to check.
9 Pioneers Of The Great (Out)Doors
This is probably the one fact everyone knows about Jehovah’s Witnesses. The people who walk around from door to door are Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you didn’t know these people were Witnesses, well, now you know. But did you know this? Witnesses are rated on some sort of hierarchal scale where everyone strives to be a certain kind of “pioneer.” There are different “stages” that they can achieve based on the amount of hours they “evangelize.” The lowest ranking “pioneer” is an auxiliary pioneer. These Witnesses must commit 50 hours of their lives for one month (or spread them out over the course of consecutive months).
The sad thing is that the name of the higher ranking pioneer is pretty lame. After going from door to door for 840 hours per year — which is basically 70 hours per month and a little more than two hours per day — you finally become a “regular” pioneer. Great. How can I ever hope to achieve such an honor? When can I start? If you’re unable to “pioneer,” you can, at least, have the “pioneer spirit” if you spend as much time as possible preaching and supporting the efforts of the actual pioneers.
8 Let’s Celebrate Christ’s Death!
As you’ve probably noticed, Witnesses don’t party too much. But one of the few times they “get down” is when the anniversary of Christ’s death rolls around. When it does, it’s time for the memorial day celebration! But just because they can partake in the festivities doesn’t mean they can do so during communion. You may observe out of respect, but you can’t drink the wine or eat the bread unless you’re special.
What makes you special enough to join in communion? It’s only those who have the hope of going to heaven. You can only get this hope when God’s holy spirit doesn’t just say you can, but “convinces” you. But there’s a limit. Only 144,000 people — also called “the 144,000 spiritual Israelites ” — have this incredible honor.
But that doesn’t mean everyone else is damned. Since The Garden of Eden was meant to be a paradise for mankind before Adam and Eve ruined it for everybody, Witnesses believe that Jehovah will bring back a new Eden after Armageddon to have humans live on Earth as He originally intended.
7 It’s Never Your Birthday, So You Might As Well Cry If You Want To
Yes, Witnesses do not celebrate their own birthdays. But they also don’t celebrate birthdays, period, not even the birthdays of others. They won’t even sign a birthday card for a co-worker or just congratulate them as a nice gesture.
The reason why they hate on birthdays so hard is because of the Bible (surprise, surprise), but not because there’s yet another one of those “condemning” verses about how it’s evil. It’s a sin by omission (pun intended). Birthdays aren’t mentioned. Since there’s no record of Jesus or his posse celebrating the day of their birth, it therefore obviously indicates that Jehovah doesn’t want us to celebrate the day we were born.
Plus, the only celebrations of this kind that were explicitly mentioned in the Holy Book are those of an unnamed Pharaoh and Herod Antipas. This is a bad thing because both were associated with executions and the celebrants weren’t servants of God. So the only mentions of birthdays were those shared by non-Christians who executed people. Okay. Makes sense.
6 Good Luck If A Bad Guy Has A Gun
Many liberals would probably be fine with this particular unbreakable rule because to them, it’s guns that kill, not people, apparently. To Jehovah’s Witnesses, they cannot use a gun for protection – that is, so long as they need protection against a fellow human. If it’s a bear, fire away.
So, even if a man or woman has a gun and is shooting at you, attacking your family or committing another act of violence and there’s a gun nearby, you can’t do anything with that gun if the purpose is to use it against that violent and dangerous person. Instead, you’ll have to use something else to protect yourself. Good luck!
5 Shunning That Makes The Amish Look Like Saints
Witnesses practice a particular custom that’s very similar to the Amish when they shun members of their community who decide to embrace technology and other evil things. Those who leave the Jehovah’s Witness community (called apostates) are treated far worse. Conversely, when a member leaves the Amish, existing members may no longer eat with them, do business with them, ride in a car them or receive anything from them. They can, however, give things to help the one who’s departed.
But those who terminate their membership with the Jehovah’s are regarded as abandoning God’s organization and, in turn, entering into the world of Satan and becoming part of the antichrist. These sinful individuals are defined as being “more reprehensible than those in the world.”
Other words to describe apostates and their actions are “poisonous, “distorted,” ungrateful” and “mentally diseased.” These people, they say, also fall victim to “drunken bouts, loose conduct and fornication.”
Here are some other tidbits about apostates. In the event that a Jehovah’s Witness leaves and says something, that thing they said is a lie — no matter what. You are not allowed to believe what that former Jehovah’s uttered, regardless of whether or not it is factual.
To Witnesses, the number one goal of an apostate is to deceive them. Therefore, they are only capable of saying half-truths, twisted things and outright lies. Why? Because that’s what Jesus said. He described them as “wolves that eat the sheep.”
Be wary! These sheep-eating wolves are very clever and bring their “counterfeit” words “quietly” into the congregation. Christ’s Disciple Peter also said that apostates like twisting the Scriptures, explaining passages in the wrong way. And falling for their lies means you will “leave the road to everlasting life.”
3 Anti-Vampire — Or Discrimination Of The Vampiric Race
Vampires cannot join the Jehovah’s Witness community. Well, they technically can. It would just be insanely difficult for them to be devout and… live in the pursuit thereof. That’s because Witnesses of Jehovah are prohibited to consume, store and transfuse blood. Sure, maybe teaching children that drinking blood is bad is probably a good idea because doing so can get you sick. But storing? And no transfusions? Where did they get an idea like that? The Bible, of course! In Leviticus 17:10-12, it says “I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood.” And in Acts 15:29, it commands the reader to “abstain from […] blood.”
The problem with this particular rule is that sometimes blood transfusions are necessary… if you don’t want to die. At least there’s a medical procedure called “bloodless surgery,” which doesn’t include blood, as the name implies. Because many Witnesses could die as a result of not getting a blood transfusion, the Jehovah’s provide education and ensure the facilitation of these bloodless surgeries at hospitals. Luckily, there are some within this religious community who do not endorse this doctrine of abstaining from blood.
2 No Pledging Allegiance To Your Flag
Remaining “separate from the world” is undoubtedly one of the more difficult things a Jehovah’s Witness must do. They accomplish this by avoiding involvement in social controversies and remaining politically neutral. They are, however, admitted to vote, so long as they don’t break neutrality. (We’re guessing that means not voting Republican or Democrat, but voting with third parties?) This may seem a little cruel (especially to Americans), but remaining neutral isn’t one of the worst things that can be forced upon you. That said, they are not allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance nor may they salute the flag.
1 Santa Is The Work Of The Devil!
While there are many people who condemn Christianity, lavishing in the pastime that is pointing out its many faults, these same people still have the audacity to say they have a right to celebrate Christmas. It’s irony at its finest. But that’s neither here nor there. The reason why we bring this up is because one of the great “rewards” of believing in God is celebrating religious holidays such as Christmas. But the Jehovah’s don’t.
Again, their reasons are based from passages found in the Bible. They believe Christmas doesn’t have Jehovah’s stamp of approval because it comes from pagan customs and rites as told in 2 Corinthians 6:17. Plus, in Luke 22:19-20, Jesus apparently commanded his followers to commemorate his death and not his birth. And like the good Jesus followers they were, the apostles and early disciples did just that. It was only after the last of the apostles had been dead for a century that the Nativity feast was instituted in 243 C.E. Plus, there’s no proof that Jesus was born on December 25, so why even recognize it?