Hi all, I’ve had enough people write to me about a particular passage in my book that I wanted to write a post about it, just so I can refer people to this as the emails come in.
When describing my mom and her unwavering faith (Mormon), I (briefly) contrast her lightheartedness with the relative grimness of the only Jehovah’s Witnesses I had ever known (maybe a dozen–people I met while serving as a missionary, and in discussions I’ve had with them since).
I’m paraphrasing, but I essentially say, “Even though my mom believed with all her heart, it wasn’t oppressive and life was joyful. She was the opposite of the Jehova’s Witnesses I had known.”
This was totally accurate when I wrote it, based on my admittedly limited experience with the JW religion. The JW’s I had met were bullies and they were mean and I don’t care if they believed what they were doing or not, their demeanor made it impossible for me to ever hear one word of their message.
Now that people from the JW faith are writing to me saying “That’s not accurate and that’s not how we are at all,” that’s fantastic. If it’s not accurate, then my opinions should change with new information, and I’m allowed to be wrong. I’m open to being called out and if I’m wrong I certainly don’t need to argue so I can feel secure.
So if you’re a JW and you’re a happy person trying to do good work, I’m thrilled that you have something you care so deeply about. I wish you well.
I’d have to care a whole lot more than I do to be anti-religion. Any religion.
Also, this isn’t an apology. I think most people are in way too big of a hurry to apologize for every little thing they say or do. But this is an acknowledgment that I don’t know everything and that what I write accurately reflects whatever my perceptions are. When my perceptions are based on false assumptions, I want to change that. So thanks to everyone who’s written to me on this matter.