What is the Jehovah's Witnesses view of Higher Education and trying to have a decent life in this system?
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
At one of their recent symposiums, this issue was addressed.
[Fast-forward the video to 6 minutes and 16 seconds for the relevant segment.]
Anyway, a young man named “Manny,” was approaching the JW elders to get direction about whether he should accept a scholarship to attend university. The elder told him, “The price a student pays is a life engrossed in advancing the present system. Is this what Christian parents want for their children?” And Manny’s mother replied, “No. Definitely not!”
Listening to this video, I was confused. I thought the JWs had lightened up about higher education. Has the Watchtower taken another step backwards? What’s going on here?
This 2008 article has a bulleted list of “temptations” that JW youth face. Within that list are pornography, tobacco use, illegal drugs, and so on. What is important to note is that another “temptation” is listed as:
A well-intentioned teacher urges you to pursue higher education at a university.
Clearly, higher education is being portrayed in a negative light. The strange thing is that in many American high schools, negative peer pressure exists to a greater extent.
Here are some WT quotes:
"No Jehovah's Witness should want to go to college. Rather, work in the Watchtower Organization! Watchtower,9/1/75, p.543; Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock", 1977, p. 105..
"Do not pursue higher education. There is very little time left! Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service, your goal.WT 3/15/1969, p. 171
What about professional careers? The position has not changed. If you are a young person thinking about a career-forget it. The end will be "in a few years". Do you remember expecting the end by the mid-1970's. Awake!", 5/22/69, p. 15.
"Professional people, doctors and lawyers are often "inconsiderate of others" due to their undesirable higher education. Awake!, 918168, p.1 0. It is foolish to want to be a doctor or a lawyer". Watchtower, 8/1/75, p.451.
According to the Pew Report, 65 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States have family incomes that would put them well below middle-class standards. Less than six percent of them have graduated from a college or university – and most of those completed their degree prior to becoming a witness. That’s because education beyond high school is viewed as Satanic “temptations,” listed alongside smoking cigarettes, using illegal drugs, and watching immoral movies:
Anyway, most young JWs do have work experience distributing magazines for the Watchtower Corporation and trying to convince strangers to have a NWT Bible study with them. The question is whether this kind of experience would be useful in finding a good job in the real world. After all, some kinds of work-experience (like weapons maintenance in the military) may not have an obvious civilian equivalent.
So let’s say that the typical Jehovah’s Witness young man or young lady is a high school graduate only and has spent the majority of his/her free-time engaged in direct-marketing of Watchtower Magazines. Now this person is getting older and looking for a stable job that would pay enough to survive on and hopefully have health insurance benefits.
I’m thinking one line of work would be in telemarketing or perhaps selling merchandise like Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door.
But how does this play out in real life? When you get to be in your mid-twenties and realize that (50 hours a month of) “Kingdom ministry” isn’t going to put food on the table for the kids, what do you do about that? Are a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses choosing to go to trade schools in their mid-twenties? I’m guessing that would be the most logical path (since telemarketing and door-to-door sales are not really solid careers).
Coincidently, many JWs who are collecting welfare, continue to distribute Watchtower literature. So instead of working, they act as "social parasites" upon the productive tax payers. Actually, there are a few such JWs online on Y/A. How can they spend 20-30 hours per week knocking on doors, when they should get a job and stop living off other people's hard-earned tax dollars.
- HadesLv 69 years ago
As an organisation, they tend to consider higher education unnecessary, and advise young people to get basic jobs and make more of an effort in the religion. On a more local level, however, they're not likely to object if someone does decide to go down that route. And of course, they're perfectly happy to accept interested students.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Those zombie cultists put everything that isn't religious nonsense on a lower level of importance.