Tuesday marks the election day and many people across the United States still feel in limbo about the presidential-elect decision they most make.
Interesting enough under the Biblical text and belief system set by Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), the need to decide between the candidates in the 2016 election is not necessary. The Christian sect calls on all members to maintain “political neutrality” which means staying out of public affairs at all cost.
The official Jehovah’s Witnesses website explains that the religious ethos which calls on all affiliates to abstain from lobbying, voting for political parties/candidates, running for office or any action that changes the government is a decision made possible through the example of Jesus.
According to JW, Jesus was the son of God that “refused to accept political office.”
A former Jehovah’s Witnesses, who is not identified due to JW family ties told Faithwire, “Basically it’s because they believe in an interpretation of Mark 12:(13-17) or Luke 20:25 that they are to obey the laws of the land but ultimately they are a part of gods kingdom so they stay neutral in political affairs.”
Adding that, “Anyone that stayed an active member of the church does not participate in voting.”
The decision to partake in political discourse, means a person is out of the faith. The source explained that engaging in politics outweighed their JW religious rules and caused an “independent streak.”
“I would say personally starting at 16 years old I found myself becoming very interested in politics. By the time I was 18 I had developed my independent streak when it came to religious and political views so I decided to vote.”
“My parents certainly would have preferred me not to, but I was an adult and that was my decision to make.”
“I was their child so they still loved me and that wasn’t going to change.”
But, “to this day while I maintain an interest in politics, since they remain neutral in political affairs it is just not a topic of conversation between us.”
According to a Pew Research report released this past spring titled: “A closer look at Jehovah’s Witnesses living in the U.S.” it noted that almost 1 percent of the American population identify themselves as JW members.
The chart above issued in the study provides statistical evidence behind the 1 percent which translates to about 3 million Americans who choose to abstain from voting on religious grounds.
Out of that number, 18 percent lean towards Democratic tendencies while about 75 percent consider themselves independents.
So in terms of this year’s election those that identify with the faith will not have a decision to make between democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and republican presidential candidate Donald Trump like the majority of Americans are prepared to make at the voting polls today.
Faithwire did request an interview with Jehovah’s Witnesses but they declined.