This is How Jehovah’s Witness Elders Are Taught to Minister to People with Suicidal Thoughts

Suppose you’re religious and your husband dies. And you’re depressed, even a year later. The depression is so bad, in fact, that you’re thinking about committing suicide (by “turning the car on in the garage and just going to sleep inside”) so you can be reunited with him in the afterlife.

So you ask some elders at your church for guidance.

They don’t suggest seeking out professional help.

Instead, they first meet in private to find just the right Bible verses to preach at you. Then they visit your home to tell you how you’re just like Job and how you ought to be an “integrity keeper.” Then they tell you to treat your thoughts of suicide much like you treat thoughts of immorality: by rejecting them entirely (as if it’s just that easy). Then they tell you to repeat the words, “I am an integrity keeper” and memorize some Bible verses to cope with your grief. (“Please find Jeremiah Chapter 29, Verses 11 and 12… will you agree to memorize those two verses?”)

This is what Jehovah’s Witness elders are actually taught to do according to a just-leaked video from the “Watchtower-approved” Kingdom Ministry School. It was sent to blogger John Cedars at JWsurvey, who has posted the video (and a couple of other ones) online:

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Now I Know How Mormon Prophets Work

Jake Frost offers an insightful take on how prophets operate within Mormonism:



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A Confusing Alabama House Bill Will Allow Public Display of the Ten Commandments… Maybe

New legislation filed by Alabama State Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R, of course) will allow for the public display of the Ten Commandments… as long as it’s legal, which is always up in the air.

House Bill 45 amends the state Constitution as follows:

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Atheists’ Lawsuit Against Churches That Deprived Public Schools of $5,600,000 Finally Results in Partial Recovery

Back in August, atheist activist Mitch Kahle, along with his partner Holly Huber, filed a lawsuit against a group of churches in Hawaii.

The problem was not that the five churches rented out worship space at public schools — that’s perfectly legal — but that there was evidence that the churches had not paid fair rental price for about six years, thereby shortchanging those schools up to $5,600,000. (One of the schools that was owed more than $3,000,000 could’ve used that money after it had a roof collapse.)

If all of that wasn’t shady enough, it turned out Hawaii’s Board of Education chair Don Horner was also a pastor in the New Hope church system, one of the churches implicated by Kahle and Huber…

It’s also worth noting that this was a qui tam lawsuit, meaning that Kahle and Huber didn’t have to have standing or prove they were personally affected by the churches’ deception in order to bring about the lawsuit. They (along with their lawyer) did the research, they were helping the government recover lost fees, and a victory meant that they stood to gain anywhere from 15-30% of the money recovered.

There’s finally a little bit of good news to report. One of the churches has decided to settle the case instead of dragging it out in court (you can read the settlement decision here):

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If Aesop Were an Atheist…

A lot of kids are taught morals at Sunday School or through watered-down biblical stories, but Matthew Brackney thinks there’s a way to elucidate a lot of those values without religion. It’s kind of like Aesop’s stories, but with a non-religious theme. He’s calling it “The Freethinker’s Book of Fables“:



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