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Ever Wondered Why Jehovah's Witnesses Don't Vote?

Ever Wondered Why Jehovah's Witnesses Don't Vote?

I'm not so much a sportsy-follower and admit that I didn't know that Serena Williams is a Jehovah's Witness until she started talking about Barack Obama in this Slate piece, but I'm glad she did — this is fascinating stuff. Do you know why Jehovah's Witnesses tend not to vote? Passages like John 17:14 where Jesus says of those who follow him: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." This other-worldliness is what Jehovah's Witnesses have interpreted as a directive to remain above terrestrial concerns like the election and neutral in all political matters.

Though voting isn't completely prohibited it's cautioned against — the Watchtower, the official publication of the Jehovah's Witnesses has suggested that whether to stop into the voting booth was one of personal conscience. Not limited to voting, Witnesses also don't serve in the military, pledge allegiance to the flag, or run for office.

The cautioning against politics does work — only 13 percent are registered to vote, and though they're the biggest religious group that opts out of voting, there are others, like the Amish and the Rastafarians (though even their attitudes have altered the last few years.) Is God a big reason to stay vote-free? In the US about 2 percent of people who don't register to vote cite religion as the reason.


Join The Conversation
jw18301 jw18301 5 years
How many of you really read and undersstand the bible? Its wonderful to be a witness for Jehovah. No not to many people understand what Jehovah Witness really believe because its easier to be misguided by what others think they know.. As with all religions we are made up of unperfect people so their is good in bad in all. But our faith is in the bilble Jehovah Gods Word!. Unlike a lot of reglions we do not change doctrines to make you feel good or to grow our membership.Do your research people this is truly satans world he puts alot of things out there to distract you from the truth. With all the world govermnets have things really gotten any better. Speak to a Witness with an open mind we are not a cult we live, work and go to scholl with you. Our Kingdom Halls are open and we welcome you to visit.
Micah1 Micah1 7 years
As a 20yr old one of Jehovah's Witnesses, i can tell u we are not nuts.. Ask a Witness all of these questions when they come to your door. Blood Transfusions.. Jury Duty.. Voting.. And anything else your curious about. And make sure they use the Bible, I'm sure they will, But just to keep them on there toes! Witness can be picked apart by half truths or people that dislike there family.. But the fact is we love our neighbor, we don't get up early on Saturday and other days throughout the week (We work and are tired to ha ha) and drive to your door to argue(i know i don't).. were there looking for people like u, that look around and see the injustice and the suffering that man puts upon itself. (no matter who is elected). And wants to know the BIBLES hope and GODS purpose for mankind's future. O and another place to look for info is
dncinpanda dncinpanda 8 years
I realize that this conversation was a couple of days ago but I found a couple of the questions very interesting. MartiniLush... If you would like more info on the reasons that Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions try their official website at There are lots of avenues for research there and it comes straight for them. Jennicharm... Here is a quote directly from one of the publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. "If someone has employment that involves carrying a weapon for use against other humans, or if he is required to be trained in the martial arts, such as judo and karate, what should he do? In making his personal decision he must bear in mind that a follower of Jesus is to pursue peace. (Romans 12:17, 18) In view of what is stated at Isaiah 2:4, most of Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid such employment. Even though the employment may be for the purpose of protecting the public (or property) in harmony with Romans 13:4, experience has shown that there is always the danger of incurring bloodguilt by taking life with the weapon, with harm to the individual’s conscience, as well as there being a danger of injury or death to oneself due to retaliation. (Psalm 51:14; compare Numbers 35:11, 12, 22-25.) Certainly it is best to avoid such dangers by selecting employment where they do not arise." Sorry if thats to long but it is not a question that can be answered in few words.
jennicharm jennicharm 8 years
Here is my question....can they serve as law enforcement officers?
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
grrlyrebel, ok, I see what you're getting've given me some info to help me...gonna do some research and see what I can find out! For some reason this issue just really fascinates me!
Pinkolives Pinkolives 8 years
Voting is a conscience matter for Jehovah's Witnesses. I can't speak for others but only myself. There is no doubt that it is important to contribute to our community and make a difference and many people feel that they do their part when they vote. Every action we take has a consequence and voting is an action that can not be taken back. In many cases, if you vote someone into power, they are in power for sometime. It is rare that the people can turn out their newly elected official. The only anomaly to this is Governor Gray Davis in California. Voting is not a task we should take lightly. The choices made by the elected official were put in place by my own vote. If they make choices that don't agree with my Christian conscience, I would be partly to blame. I can't put my faith in politicians who are known to turn on a dime according the whim of their constituents. I alone have to live with my conscience and I do not want to bear responsibility for someone else's actions.
grrlyrebel grrlyrebel 8 years
Good question, Martinilush! Though I'm not sure of exact Biblical passages, I'm pretty sure their reasoning on blood transfusions are based on Old Testament scriptures..."Blood is sacred", "Do not consume blood", etc. Ok, obviously I'm paraphrasing on that second one, but from what I can remember this is pretty much the jist. The question then is: whether transfusion=consumption. For most of us, it probably isn't. For Witnesses, it is in many situations. There have been numerous court cases about this very thing, where, for instance a JW wants to refuse a blood transfusion for him/herself or his/her child, but a health care provider is arguing that such life-saving procedures are "mandatory". Another thing that I remember about the blood transfusion thing: my mom (who, again, is a JW) carries with her id/license a card that is issued by the Kingdom Hall that basically states "As a believer of Jehovah's word, I demand that blood not be put into my body in any shape or form" with her signature. Again, that's not verbatim but you get the idea. I apologize if this is going outside the scope of this particular forum...and I apologize my answer is pretty abstract, but just like the voting issue it can get pretty complicated depending on the situation.
CTR CTR 8 years
This can't be the tribulation, most days I get a nice nap! But that's the reason they don't vote- Christ returned in 1914 invisibly. Satan got cast down to earth invisibly. He runs all governments, religions, United Nations etc If you vote your part of this evil system of things. Their exact words. How can it do any good to vote???
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
You learn something new everyday
marcella marcella 8 years
I worked with (and still have a great friendship) with a Witness, and she has served on jury duty, but doesn't vote. I respect her belief system enough not to ask her why she would do one and not the other.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 8 years
This is a really interesting post. Grrl nice comments btw.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
They are "not of this world" okay, so now i dont feel so bad about pretending i am not home when they knock on my door.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
grrlyrebel, thanks for the extra info - this is really interesting! I am curious about the blood transfusion thing - whey would they not take one if they need it/it could save their life? Do you know which scripture they base that decision on?
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
They don't celebrate birthdays either because some lady historically asked for decapitated heads as a gift. At least that's what a Jehovah's Witness told me. I wouldn't quote me on it...I was 12 when that story was passed my way. I just hope none of them have any complaints on anything that happens politically. I say if you don't exercise your right to vote, you don't have the right to make comments about what you do and don't like about the government, since you could have done something to change it, but opted not to. ...nothing against their beliefs though.
hartsfull hartsfull 8 years
Well I was going to talk about what I knew. My sister is a Witness. But, :shrug: grrlyrebel said it all. Oh well. Nevermind.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Don't get me wrong I'm all for spiritual exercise and expression for change on a spiritual level. However, in my opinion to consciously stay hands off terrestrial governence and not be instrumental in bringing your gifts in the choosing of the most powerful, far reaching, manipulative government that will dictate change in people's lives on a global level for at least the next century or more is (in my opinion) misguided. I believe we were giving certain gifts by creation to effect change in this world. By choosing to consciously not participate in the power that directs humanity on earth the expression is ineffective unless you happen to be a Jehovah’s Witness.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 8 years
I had no idea they didn't vote.
grrlyrebel grrlyrebel 8 years
Hypnoticmix, with all due respect, I really don't think that they feel as if they are sitting on the sidelines or just waiting for something to happen. They are usually very active in what they perceive to be as turning our world into a better place (going door-to-door, participating in the religious process and recruiting others to be active as well, publishing the Watchtower/Awake, etc.) ...They just go about it in a different way than you or I.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well I have always been of the opinion that I am spirit first but I have also been of the opinion that (God/Creation) helps those who help themselves. I don't believe that you can get anywhere by simply clasping your hands in prayer and waiting for something to happen. The one and we are here to be the instruments of our own change for good or ill. I believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in us, that all people are incarnations of the one Spirit and that we use it to the degree that they become conscious of it. I do understand the goal of emancipation from the discord of civilization but it is the very discord of mans world which is the spirits testing ground for enlightenment. A drop of God is in each one of us to recognize and I don't believe that we are here to simply sit idol with such magnificent gifts to be expressed. Amen.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
i thought you could get out of jury duty citing religious reasons?
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