Mon 27 Feb 2006
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Last Thursday the 23rd Abby and I went to go and visit the Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness center located a few miles from Dickinson College. We had decided to visit this particular religious site mostly because we didn’t know anything about their beliefs and practices. I knew that their faith was more orthodox than others under the Christian faith, but I tried to leave these mental prejudices behind. As we walked to the entrance o the building I first noticed that the parking lot was full and that the building, from the outside looked rather plain. It was a cement building with few windows and a large plain looking door as an entrance. After walking in however, I could see that the interior was warmly decorated, with carpets, chandeliers, and furniture. Walking in further I could see that the building mainly comprised of one large room where all the people congregated in front of a stage with a microphone stand on it. We sat down and were immediately given a bible in order to follow the passages being described during member presentations. Everyone was dressed very well, men in suits and women in skirts and dresses. The first group which went up was two women who sat in chairs facing each other. They went through a short skit dealing with communicating with the dead and how it was impossible based on Bible scriptures. Next, a Dickinson law student went to the front and discussed why violent video games are not for Christians, also based on the Bible. It is clear that these individuals had been assigned each of their topics. Next, two older males discussed how to successfully bring up faith, specifically that of the Jehovah witness, in everyday conversations. Partly it was to spread the idea of God around while the other was to possibly recruit new members. During this the audience members, consisting of people from all age groups and ethnicities, were asked to participate. I could see that every person in the room with the exception of two women had come with either, a spouse, friend or family. Some groups had entire extended families with them. This was obviously a close and personal group since the preacher called on individuals using the term “brother” or “sister” then the individual’s first name. After the interactive discussion of how to spread the Jehovah’s Witness belief, the session was over. As Abby and I were preparing to leave, we approached by every person in the congregation. Everyone was very cordial as they introduced themselves, asking us why we were here, where we were from and so on. However, it was clear that they were really interested in talking to us about the Jehovah’s Witness faith and if we wanted to became one. Although everyone was extremely pleasant and friendly, I felt slightly uncomfortable with the situation because of their persist questioning of our personal religious beliefs and their desire to impose their belief on us.