Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jehovah Eats Blood

Above is a copy of an older version of the Jehovah's Witnesses medical alert card stating that they will not accept blood transfusions. Though the newer ones are quite a bit less dramatic and more lawfully worded, the end result is the same: "Don't give me any blood because of a few scriptures in the bible." They point to two specific passages most often: Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:10-14. Here they are, respectively:
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood. ... Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood. ... And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
Most of the members of my family have the updated version of the 'No Blood' card in the wallet. *Gag.* While the intricacies and specifics of what they can and cannot accept has changed over the years, a few things have remained the same. Most witnesses only understand that they are against transfusions because "blood is sacred" or "it belongs to Jehovah" or something equally ambiguous. In reality, the Governing Body translates these scriptures as meaning "don't eat blood." Instead of having strenuous diets like Orthodox Jews, they don't accept blood transfusions. A nice rare steak is up for grabs though. I have experienced the real world effects of these cards in two ways.

A couple that have been lifelong friends with my uncle are very indoctrinated in the religion. They have 3 children. The wife gave birth to 5. The last two children were twins born slightly premature but with several issues. As Jehovah's Witnesses, they refused blood transfusions for their newborns, believing that is what their all-loving god truly wanted. While they were praying their doctors were trying to get an injunction from the courts. While the hospital succeeded, it was too late and both babies died. To this day, you can see the pain and suffering etched in their faces. Their torment is eased only by the false hope that they will see their children alive and healthy on a paradise Earth sometime in the future.

Another couple, newly married and lightly involved in Witness activities also had twins. Ignoring the dogma that had plagued their lives, they accepted blood transfusions. Their twins are now five years old.

Anyone who believes the blood bullshit that is put forth by the Witnesses needs to seriously review their own dogma. I wrote this blog because I was reminded of the very important topic by an article that is linked to the title. I am now wondering if I received blood in either of my two childhood surgeries. The holder of this information is my newly refurbished JW mother. What an interesting conversation that will be, I'll update.