Monday, October 02, 2006

Jehovah's Witnesses and Broadcast Radio History

You may be familiar with the people who come to your door with bible in hand. Along with the Bible they have copies of their publications, primary of which is a magazine titled The Watchtower.

The publisher of this bi-monthly journal is The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society which has worldwide headquarters established in Brooklyn, New York City and which has been at that location in Brooklyn Heights since the late nineteenth century.

The group originally formed as a small bible study group in Allegany (later Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) at the direction of the groups first President Charles Taze Russel. In the early days of radio Jehovah’s Witnesses utilized a number of ways in which to evangelize.

At one time they owned and operated radio station W.B.B.R which is for point of interest currently Bloomberg Radio a financial news format owned and operated by none other than Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City. That fact makes this group interesting to The Snake Oil Sam Radio Review. So having already established their location of operation, let’s take a little look into some of their beliefs.

These are people who practice their faith in a living way. It is the belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as they call themselves, that each individual Christian is a witness to the fact that God, who’s name they find in the bible, will soon establish upon earth, under the authority of his son Jesus Christ, his kingdom which will reign for one thousand years in which all mankind will be perfected as it was originally intended before the fall of the first man, Adam, from grace.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not participate in political controversy and refrain from things such as voting for political candidates, holding political office or pledging allegiance to the flag or government of any nation.

These things have landed them on the wrong side of the fence with many governments bringing considerable persecution against them. During World War 2 the government of Adolph Hitler sent them to concentration camps in an effort to break them. In most cases the effort failed as most maintained their stand of complete neutrality in the face of certain death. For the record, some were executed.

In modern times Jehovah’s Witnesses have faced severe persecution in places where neutrality is not considered an acceptable way of doing things. Currently these Christians are subject to beatings by mobs and arrest in former Soviet Republics especially in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. This activity appears to be lead by zealots of an intolerant Russian Orthodox Church which views any influence from western church’s to be a threat to their authority.

Another belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses which has caused a great deal of controversy for these people is their belief that it is not acceptable for them to accept a transfusion of blood in an effort to preserve their life. They base their contention on certain biblical passages referring to abstaining from blood.

At times legal authorities have been brought into a situation in which the person in need of blood is a minor child. Though that is not always the case and appears to be based more on the politics of the doctors in charge of the case.

Though some have died for their stand on the issue of refusing blood transfusions not all cases are fatal. In fact the medical community has come to the self determination that the ability to perform even the most serious of operations without the use of donor blood is actually a preferred method as it offers many post surgical benefits.

Many progressive hospitals in the United States and in Europe have established “bloodless surgery centers” as is the case in Englewood, New Jersey (U.S.A.) where successful operations are performed on a regular basis with great success.

One of the benefits advertised by Englewood Hospital is improved recovery time resulting in a shorter than usual hospital stay. Of course the obvious benefit is the fact that the patient does not have to assume the risk of contracting any of a number of blood borne pathogens such as Hepatitis C or H.I.V. which is always a risk when accepting donor blood.

This article is simply a brief overview of some of the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses and who they are. Likely you will come into contact with them at some point in your workday as they like all other people work to support themselves and their families.

One of the tenants of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they are responsible before God for maintaining an orderly household. This includes wives and children in subjection to husband and father though the head of household is expected to use that authority based on scripture in a loving and non domineering way.

So that is the review of the people who knock at your door, known worldwide as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Radio did not seem to be the way for them but still it is interesting that the people who knock on your door were at one time pioneers in bible centered radio. And that is a little known fact of New York Radio history.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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