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Subject:  Re: Political OT: Church v. State Date:  7/1/2002  1:56 PM
Author:  tconi Number:  132366 of 312189

The question I was trying to ask, however feebly, is that if you make a Big Deal out of not swearing allegiance to a government, then should you take the benefits said government offers? Is one okay, but not the other? I'm just trying to understand.

This has been somewhat answered. But I will elaborate a little.
It is against the beliefs of Witnesses to pledge allegiance to anyone/anything except for Jehovah (God). This is why there is also a problem with serving in the military, they cannot pledge their loyalty to the military(as I believe is required for service - feel free to correct me if I am wrong).

Witnesses do pay taxes (of all types) just as everyone else does, and they are not necessarily anti-government, they just refuse to put their government before their religion. As far as the children, there are practices which the older witnesses do not wish to become habits (and the children may not yet understand) , so there are restrictions on their participations. What most Christians consider "Holidays" Witnesses view as just ordinary days or pagan celebrations (this includes Christmas and Easter see the LBYM board for some lively discussion on these holidays), Halloween, of course, is right out. Included though, with these holidays are anything related- so that means even a kindergarten child could not color a picture of a bunny or chick around Easter, or hand out Valentine cards.
Birthdays are not celebrated because, humans are assumed to be born with original sin. So the view is - why would anyone celebrate the anniversary of the day when you were brought into this world as a sinner?
And, as with every religion, there are those who follow their tenets to the letter and others who do not. So this most recent experience might just be with a non-stellar example of Witnesses.

But, back to the original point (without getting started on the further off topic subject of people continuing to have children beyond their means...), if they pay into the system, there is no problem with using it as a temporary assistance.
I think also that there are plenty of us who feel a strong allegiance to our country but not necessarily to the government...
peace & witnesses

The Church gives us rules, but God gives us common sense.
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