Doubletalk on Hate

Norman Hovland

Sometimes the inconstancies and contradictions in the Watchtower literature seem almost unbelievable. The double standards of the Watchtower writers seems to be without limits.

One of the explanations for this is that some Watchtower articles deal with how Jehovah's Witnesses want to be perceived and how they want to be treated by society in general, and the contradictory articles deal with how the "faithful" and "loyal" Witnesses should regard their enemies and outsiders. Let's take a look at some examples of this highly contradictory tradition. In 1995 the June 15, issue of The Watchtower asked the question: "Will Hatred Ever End?" The magazine among other things made this statement:

"It was the oral tradition of the Jews that held that 'hating an enemy' was the right thing to do. Jesus, however, said we must love our enemy, not just our friend. This is difficult but not impossible." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 5)

When examining the Watchtower literature one finds this Jewish "oral tradition" alive and well, with the difference that in the Watchtower Society it is a written tradition. The Jews at the time of Jesus had a favorite hate object -- the Samaritans. Jehovah's Witnesses have a similar hate object, the "Christianity" and "apostates".

"So strong was anti-Samaritan sentiment that some Jews even cursed Samaritans publicly in the synagogues and prayed daily that the Samaritans would not be granted everlasting life." (The Watchtower, September 15, 1993, p. 4)

The Watchtower mentions this as an example of the horrible prejudice and discrimination that Jews showed towards the Samaritans. Of course no Jehovah's Witnesses would like to be met with such an attitude by others. But would Jehovah's Witnesses mind show exactly the same kind of attitude towards "apostates"? Let us find out:

"The obligation to hate lawlessness also applies to all activity by apostates. Our attitude toward apostates should be that of David, who declared: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." (Psalm 139:21, 22)" (The Watchtower, July 15, 1992, p. 12, §19)

As we can see the Jews' hate for the Samaritans is matched by the Jehovah's Witnesses' intense hate for "apostates". This hatred is as we can see an "obligation" for a loyal Jehovah's Witness. A rather strange thing is that this "obligation" includes "all activity by apostates". That will of course mean that when apostates drive a car, do laundry, wash dishes, shower, etc., the "faithful" Jehovah's Witness must apparently hate this "activity".

Usually the Watchtower literature is quick to point out that the object of hatred shouldn't be the person, but the person's deeds. But as we can see from the next quote this is not really the case. The Witnesses' obligation to hate goes beyond this. It also includes the person:

"Then there is the meaning of the word "hate" with which we are especially concerned here. It has the thought of having such an intense feeling of dislike for or strong aversion to someone or something that we avoid having anything to do with such a person or thing. In Psalm 139 this is spoken of as "a complete hatred." There David said: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." -- Psalm 139:21, 22." (The Watchtower, July 15, 1992, p. 9, §5)

As we can observe from this quote, the old Jewish tradition of hating anything not Jewish is alive and well among Jehovah's Witnesses. Their leaders in Brooklyn consider it an "obligation" to hate "apostates". Take a look at the next quote from the Watchtower and notice how well it fits the Watchtower Society:

"The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states: "We find, in N[ew] T[estament] times, the most extreme aversion, scorn and hatred. They [Gentiles] were regarded as unclean, with whom it was unlawful to have any friendly intercourse. They were the enemies of God and His people, to whom the knowledge of God was denied unless they became proselytes, and even then they could not, as in ancient times, be admitted to full fellowship. Jews were forbidden to counsel them, and if they asked about Divine things they were to be cursed."" (The Watchtower, September 15, 1993, p. 5)

Now take a look at the next quote and compare it to the one immediately above:

"We want to have the loyalty that King David evidenced when he said: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." (Psalm 139:21, 22) We do not want to fraternize with any willful sinners, for we have nothing in common with them. Would not loyalty to God keep us from socializing with any such enemies of Jehovah, whether in person or through the medium of television?" (The Watchtower, March 15, 1996, p. 16)

Of course no Watchtower would be complete if it didn't heap some scorn or condemnation on the "competition". Look at how evil the Catholics have been:

"Will Hatred Ever End?
Some religious leaders have gone beyond condoning hatred -- they have consecrated it. In 1936, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Pope Pius XI condemned the Republicans' 'truly satanic hatred of God' -- even though there were Catholic priests on the Republican side." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 4)

Of course the Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses would never engage in such an abominable activity. They would never be like those detestable religious leaders in "Babylon", right? They would never say about anyone that they have a "Satanic hatred of God" just because they held a different opinion from the Watchtower, would they? Well, lets take a look:

"At Which Table Are You Feeding?
The Watch Tower of October 1, 1909, said: "All who cut loose from the Society and its work, instead of prospering themselves or upbuilding others in the faith and in the graces of the spirit, seemingly do the reverse -- attempt injury to the Cause they once served, and, with more or less noise, gradually sink into oblivion, harming only themselves and others possessed of a similarly contentious spirit.... They seem inoculated with madness, Satanic hydrophobia [rabies]. Some of them smite us and then claim that we did the smiting. They are ready to say and write contemptible falsities and to stoop to do meanness."" (The Watchtower, July 1, 1994, p. 12)

"Search Through Me, O God"
"Regarding them, the psalmist said: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, and do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies." (Psalm 139:21, 22) It was because they intensely hated Jehovah that David looked on them with abhorrence. Apostates are included among those who show their hatred of Jehovah by revolting against him. Apostasy is, in reality, a rebellion against Jehovah. Some apostates profess to know and serve God, but they reject teachings or requirements set out in his Word. Others claim to believe the Bible, but they reject Jehovah's organization and actively try to hinder its work. When they deliberately choose such badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of their makeup, then a Christian must hate (in the Biblical sense of the word) those who have inseparably attached themselves to the badness. True Christians share Jehovah's feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they "feel a loathing" toward those who have made themselves God's enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance." (The Watchtower, October 1, 1993, p. 19, §15)

Can't you just feel the vitriolic hate flowing from every word in those Watchtowers?

So now we know that the Watchtower Society leaders are also among those "religious leaders have gone beyond condoning hatred -- they have consecrated it."

We all know how the Watchtower Society always holds out the example of the "early Christians". Like any fundamentalist sect, they would dearly love to "freeze" society exactly as it was in those days. Take a look at this:

"An End to Hatred Worldwide
Despite being objects of hatred, early Christians resisted the temptation to avenge the injustice. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ said: "You heard that it was said, 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you." -- Matthew 5:43, 44." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 5)

As documented it is crystal clear that the Watchtower Society prefers the pre-Christian attitude of hate when it comes to "enemies" like "apostates". As documented, they always quote the Jewish king David, which of course was following the Jewish tradition, which was alive and well in Jesus' days. Why does the Watchtower bother to quote Jesus' words then? Well, they quote it when they find it opportune; because that's the way they want everybody else to treat them, Jehovah's Witnesses! When they print their rabid hate articles about "apostates", you never find any reference to Jesus words, then it is only David's words and attitude what counts. When it comes to how Jehovah's Witnesses want to be viewed and treated by others it sounds like this:

"What a fine outcome because Jesus was not fettered by the prevailing attitude of his Jewish contemporaries! -- John 4:4-42." (The Watchtower, September 15, 1993, p. 5)

"The Greek word found in Matthew's account is derived from a·ga'pe, which describes a love that acts in harmony with principle. The person who manifests a·ga'pe, principled love, does good even to an enemy who hates and mistreats him. Why? Because it is the way to imitate Christ, and it is the way to conquer hatred." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 5)

As documented the Watchtower Society is indeed "fettered by the prevailing attitude" of Jesus' Jewish contemporaries. They are still "frozen" in the pre-Christian attitude towards "gentiles". They are still adhering to the old Jewish custom: 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' They leave it up to everyone else to follow the example of Jesus, and expect everyone else to "love" Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Watchtower Society really lives up to the following:

"Will Hatred Ever End?
Over two centuries ago, English author Jonathan Swift observed: "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."" (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 4)

This very obvious hypocritical attitude becomes even clearer when we read the next statement from the Watchtower:

"In other words, the banishing of hatred requires the creation of a society in which people learn to love by helping one another, a society where people forget all the animosity caused by prejudice, nationalism, racism, and tribalism. Does such a society exist?" (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 7)

Yes, whom do you think this Watchtower is going to name as the society that has banished hatred? You guessed right! Look here:

"Yes, the international society of Jehovah's Witnesses is living proof that hatred can be abolished. Whatever their background, the Witnesses are striving to replace prejudice with mutual respect and to eliminate any vestige of tribalism, racism, or nationalism. One basis for their success is their determination to imitate Jesus Christ in displaying love guided by principle." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1995, p. 8)

Yeah right. As documented, Jehovah's Witnesses prefer to imitate David, not Jesus. They prefer to imitate the Jewish attitude that prevailed among Jesus' contemporaries. Just take a look at the next statement from the Watchtower and feel the "love" that flows so richly from it:

"At Which Table Are You Feeding?
Shortly, the great tribulation will suddenly break out, moving quickly to a climax in "the war of the great day of God the Almighty." (Revelation 16:14, 16) It will reach a crescendo as Jehovah destroys this system of things and the figurative table at which the world's nations have been feeding. Jehovah will also overthrow the entire invisible organization of Satan the Devil with its hordes of demons. Those who have continued to feed at Satan's spiritual table, the table of demons, will be forced to attend a literal meal, no, not as partakers, but as the main course -- to their destruction! -- See Ezekiel 39:4; Revelation 19:17, 18." (The Watchtower, July 1, 1994, p. 13, §16)