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The Serena Williams Child Doesn't Do Birthdays. This Gets Interestinger and Interestinger


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Few things cause more distress in the world of celebrities than a neglected birthday celebration. Yet Serena Williams presented them exactly that scenario with regard to her baby daughter, soon to turn one. “Serena and husband Alexis Ohanian won’t be throwing an over-the-top birthday bash for their baby girl…In fact, they won’t be throwing a party at all,” reported Caitlyn Hitt for the DailyMail. Why?

 

Serena says: ‘We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.’ She repeats the tactic that she took with President Obama, back when she was “excited to see Obama out there doing his thing….[but] I'm a Jehovah's Witness, so I don't get involved in politics. We stay neutral. We don't vote...so I'm not going to necessarily go out and vote for him. I would if it wasn't for my religion.'' Let me tell you that she took heat for it from people immersed in civic affairs, not to mention those who dislike Witnesses.

 

Notwithstanding that the support organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses encourages congregation members to give reasons for their stands and not just say “I do it because I’m a Jehovah’s Witness,” there are times when the latter response is exactly the thing to say. The actual reason takes a while to explain and people don’t necessarily want to hear it. You have to know your audience. I begin to like Serena Williams more and more. She doesn’t buckle under pressure, mumbling something incomprehensible. No. She says "We don’t do that.” She reminds me very much of a sister named Jackie who was ribbed at school for her modest way of dress. She threw it right back at them. “I set the style,” she told the would-be bullies. “If you want to be cool, you dress like me.”

 

Speaking of modest dress, Serena hasn’t exactly done that over the years on the tennis court. Even given that you want freedom of movement, every so often you will hear her criticized for that, primarily from people who think they can embarrass Jehovah’s Witnesses on that account. Outspokenly she has thanked Jehovah for her tennis victories, yet how does that work with the flag at the Olympics? Jehovah’s Witnesses are circumspect about the flag of any nation, declining to salute, not for any reason of protest, but because of the second of the Ten Commandments. And didn’t she cuss out that official at a certain match? Ah, well, athletes have been known to do that and people cut them slack. After all, if she was mild-mannered Clark Kent, she would find transition into Superwoman difficult.

 

So she has sent mixed signals over the years. Why would that be? Ah, here it is in the Caitlyn Hitt article: Last year she told Vogue, “Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.” Okay. She was brought up in the faith and has made part of it her own but not entirely. Apparently, she is not baptized, a big deal for Witnesses. Now, with the birth of a child, she means to change some things. The birth of a child will frequently trigger a shift in priorities. Likely, she is conscious of a spiritual need not completely attended to in her own case and she does not want the same for her daughter. Since Jehovah’s Witnesses call each other brother and sister and I am old enough to be her dad, I tweeted: ‘Knock it out of the park! You go, my daughter.' I’m sure she saw it out of the gazillion tweets she receives each day, many from JW detractors telling her that she is nuts.

 

Her outspokenness served her well in another instance. When the man she was dating wished her a ‘Happy Birthday’ and she responded as she now does for her daughter, the man admired the courage. He “saw this gesture as Serena stepping outside her comfort zone for him and decided immediately that he wanted to marry her.”

It only gets more interesting. He is Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. He is not a Jehovah’s Witness, and was not raised with any religion at all, but is reportedly okay with Serena’s faith. Now, it turns out that Reddit is a huge online discussion forum in which topics are hosted for everything under the sun. One of those groups, with thousands of participants, is dedicated to bringing down the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When Philadelphia Inquirer reporter David Gambacorta wrote (so far) four incendiary articles about Jehovah's Witnesses, he used this group as his source of information and between articles checked in with them, as though Trump playing to his base.

 

It therefore reminds – I mean, it is not a type/antitype kind of thing, but it sure does remind one of Jewish Queen Esther of long ago, married to the wealthy Persian King who had been maneuvered by enemies into decreeing that her people be destroyed, and the sentence surely would have been carried out but for Esther’s (putting her life at risk to do it) bold intervention. Yeah, why don't you go in there to Mr. Ohanian, you Reddit Witness haters, and tell him that his wife is crazy? That sounds like a brilliant plan to me. Tell him that Mr. Gambacorta is on your side. Just make sure that you read up on Haman before you do it. (See the entire short Book of Esther)

 

Look, it is not parallel in all respects. Nobody is literally threatening to kill anyone, but they are threatening to kill the Christian organization that supports and coordinates the worldwide work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do, just as like-minded ones are now doing in Russia. Moreover, Mr. Ohanian cannot be expected to pull the group’s Reddit credentials; he runs a website dedicated to free speech. There is also a pro-JW group on the site, as well as a squirrelly in-between one, supposedly supportive of Witness teachings but unsupportive of the human leadership. Such will always be the sticking point in the divine/human interface. It was even true with Judas. He and God were tight. There were no problems there. But that yoyo claiming to represent him was just too much, not at all what Judas wanted to see. And those bumpkins he was attracting! Don’t even go there.

 

No, it is possibly not history repeating itself. Mark Twain [allegedly} said that does not happen. History does not repeat, he said, but it does rhyme a little.

 

"I am stronger than you. I bless Heaven for it," said Miss Pross to the wicked foreign woman trying to destroy her Loved One, resisting her "with the vigorous tenacity of love, always so much stronger than hate." 

455px-Serena_Williams_at_2013_US_Open

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My fifty year old son never took to the truth. But, he has never celebrated holidays. Period. And, he was born on December 25! I worry. Those worldly around him may think he’s a Witness because of his stand. I suspect he my have a potty mouth! Plus, he tends to be radical. In many ways. 

But, he is a good son. Has a home, a job, and a good wife. If only....

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Thank you for your perspective. Prior to reading your thoughts, I had a different view of Serena’s comment.  Because she married after having a child, I felt that declining to celebrate her child’s birthday seemed to bring reproach, no to birthdays but yes to premarital sex. 

 

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If you are, “brought up around that truth”, it stays with you, in whatever detail. I just wonder if they will ever have the chance to say, “Yes it’s the truth, and I’m going with you”.  I pray for the moment. I have two still out there in Egypt. 

This son one time told me his nightmare is to wake up and find the churches nailed shut. Yet when his brother, a witness, faced the blood issue, it was another story. He did not want his brother to die, and it got really emotional. At the hospital, I remember saying, “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you hated me”. I was in tears. I got a huge hug from him. 

Then there is a sister, outside the pen, (inactive) for years. She had a major heart operation, and flat out refused blood. One of her sons is still mad at her for it. 

How Jehovah stays in some hearts is a curious thing. And, heartbreaking at the same time.  

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8 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Uh oh! Did I just witness a Freudian slip?

 

Whose potty mouth???  😬😬😬

My dear son! I saw that 36 minutes after I posted it...too late to fix it

Me? I may have glitches here and there, but saying bad words is not one of them. Even under extreme circumstances. I had a step-mother who did not like me, and was really good at beating me up, verbally. (Other ways, too) But I grew up hating ugly language. Hating it. 


Edited by Miss Bea
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4 minutes ago, Miss Bea said:

My dear son!

Yes, Miss Bea, and thank you.

 

It was a little dicey doing what I did, not knowing you and all. Apologees if it caused even the slightest bit discomfort.

 

Obviously, you meant 'he may have a potty mouth,' not 'he my have a potty mouth.' I just had to play.

 

I really ought to grow up.

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18 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Yes, Miss Bea, and thank you.

 

It was a little dicey doing what I did, not knowing you and all. Apologees if it caused even the slightest bit discomfort.

 

Obviously, you meant 'he may have a potty mouth,' not 'he my have a potty mouth.' I just had to play.

 

I really ought to grow up.

Not really. Grow up spiritually, but, not in your heart. Keep it youthful! You’ll never grow old that way! 

A brother told me to, “never grow old, Bea”. Good advice. I don’t want people to wonder what I’m up too, now, but, I don’t want them to think of me as an old lady! 

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My introduction to Reddit was when an online search landed me smack in the middle of one of those anti-JW discussion pages many years ago. I don't remember now what I was looking for. But I remember being on that page. Every since then, if I'm searching for any type of information online, and some of the results are in Reddit, I can't bear to look at what Reddit has to say about it.  It may have beneficial information, but I've been scarred and couldn't wash that off. 🚿

That's just my personal feeling. I'm not trying to start an anti-Reddit campaign. 

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1 hour ago, carlos said:

Serena Williams is not one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Her lifestyle, her clothing style, the way she speaks, her life choices, her associations, her priorities in life, everything about her shouts she's not one of Jehovah's Witnesses. We don't do that.

 

Now if she still values some things her mother taught her, that's fine, but she needs a lot more than that if she really wants to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses one day.

 

I don't think Serena does Jehovah God or his people any favor every time she presents herself as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, which she is not. And I find the comparison with queen Esther disgusting to say the least. But to each his own.

These are my thoughts exactly, which is why I cringe whenever there is an article when she talks about being a JW. 

 

I do not understand this at all. It's very confusing. Celebrate her boyfriend's birthday, get pregnant, all kinds of questionable behavior, gets married, has a baby, talks about Jehovah before, after, and probably in between. 

 

My question is why this would even come up. Why was it necessary to mention anything about JW to begin with? Surely someone has informed her by now that she is not doing Jehovah or his worshippers any favors. 

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Of all the press stories about JW's, this is not one I lose sleep over.

 

Micheal Jackson was born a witness. Nobody looked to him for spiritual guidance. Not even his most diehard fans. Madonna claims to be a practitioner of Kabbalah, Tom Cruise is front-and-centre to Scientology, but nobody looks to these people for an understanding of their religions. To the world in general, Serena and Venus Williams are the same.

 

The question, is how does her faith affect her? John Travolta got half his film and TV roles by joining Scientology, in exchange for setting up new recruitment centers. When Prince became a JW, he famously set up a swear jar in his recording studio and stopped with explicit lyrics. But he still kept his career going, released more music, and gave a witness whenever the subject came up in interviews. See the difference?

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2 hours ago, Saffron said:

These are my thoughts exactly, which is why I cringe whenever there is an article when she talks about being a JW. 

 

Ordinarily, yes. But in this case, not necessarily. People love celebrities and will usually concede that they live in a world of their own, facing unique pressures.

 

For better or for worse, nobody makes a big deal of sex before marraige anymore. I don't even think the newswriter thought to mention it, and I had forgotten it, if I ever knew in the first place. That people do not make a big deal of it is 'for worse,' usually, but in this case it is 'for better.'

 

Totally without evidence, based only upon a feel for the way people are, I think her vehement critics are Witness critics, who spot the disparity of conduct and want to slam us with it, and some of us ourselves, who also spot it. Few others care.

 

Has she lived up to it in the past? She says very openly that she has not. Now she reaches a point where she says she will. I think it is a very good thing.

 

Okay, okay, so she is no Queen Esther. Call her the Samaritan woman by the well, a women who did worse than Selena ever did, yet lived to be a powerful witness for the Lord.

 

Do we have a woman who is a mixed bag, having done things good and bad, and who now wants to make them all good? I'll take it every time. it is in the spirit of Jesus, I think, who came to save persons ill who had become aware of their spiritual need.


Edited by TrueTomHarley
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1 hour ago, Thomas Walker said:

Of all the press stories about JW's, this is not one I lose sleep over.

 

Micheal Jackson was born a witness. Nobody looked to him for spiritual guidance. Not even his most diehard fans. Madonna claims to be a practitioner of Kabbalah, Tom Cruise is front-and-centre to Scientology, but nobody looks to these people for an understanding of their religions. To the world in general, Serena and Venus Williams are the same.

 

The question, is how does her faith affect her? John Travolta got half his film and TV roles by joining Scientology, in exchange for setting up new recruitment centers. When Prince became a JW, he famously set up a swear jar in his recording studio and stopped with explicit lyrics. But he still kept his career going, released more music, and gave a witness whenever the subject came up in interviews. See the difference?

 

 

To be honest, I wouldn't use other celebrities religion as a comparison. Jehovahs Witnesses are much more in the spotlight for their behaviour than any other religion because we are known for our "strict" views. There are more people coming into contact with us than any of these other "celebrity" religions purely and simply because of our house to house work. 

 

I remember classmates using the Michael Jackson example of how messed up JW families apparently are. 

There is a massive difference between Jehovahs people and any other religion (which most likely doesn't really highlight moral conduct anyway). So for better or for worse, these people can put Jehovahs name in either a good or a bad light. We know personally that a lot of these celebrities are deeply troubled individuals sometimes and I do have a level of empathy as they often had very troubled childhoods, but the world doesn't always see it that way. They don't know if those celebrities are active JW's in good standing in their home congregation or just people who might have attended meetings when they were younger. So if they say "I'm a JW" they will take their word for it and probably see the double standards. 

 

Of course, at the end of the day a right hearted individual can see through all of this. It doesn't change the fact though that it does make many brothers and sisters cringe when they see these reports in the news because we want Jehovahs name to be viewed in an examplary context. 


Edited by thegreenjudy
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As far as I can see, Serena Williams is hedging her bets, trying to have a foot in each camp and not even doing a halfway reasonable job of that!!! When she stops talking about being a witness and actually does something ... like having a bible study and showing spiritual progress, I'll take some notice of her. 

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34 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Totally without evidence, based only upon a feel for the way people are, I think her vehement critics are Witness critics, who spot the disparity of conduct and want to slam us with it, and some of us ourselves, who also spot it. Few others care.

I hope you are right about this. I would hate for anyone on the fence to see her behavior and think we are like every other organization out there. 

 

My spouse cheated on me and left with a devout Catholic. Think her church cared? If you guessed no, you would be correct.  She would attend service on Sunday, sleep with my husband on Monday, all the while talking about her faith and God. My husband got religious too around that time, attending a different place of worship where he sometimes took his mistress. Nobody cared there either.. I would never want Jehovah's clean organization to be grouped in with the rest of these kinds of places where anything goes.

 

If she actually turns it around and becomes a witness, behaving like one on a regular basis, then good for her. There would be nothing to concern ourselves with. 


Edited by Saffron

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5 hours ago, ElizaJane said:

That's just my personal feeling. I'm not trying to start an anti-Reddit campaign. 

It is well to keep away if you want accurate JW information. Two groups there intensely dislike Witnesses, for different reasons. A third group is much like the one here. I had to pass a test to enter, as I did here. Lately I have set up my own group of one to post some info for those guys, since journalists have been known to hang out there and if they have some accurate info to draw on it can only be a good thing.

 

As much as I like the idea of a loyal online JW forum and appreciate the efforts of those who told me how sneaky apostates are trying to get in, it is perfectly possible to fool them. For example, if a criticism of Witnesses is that they are crazy wacko imbalanced, it certainly is possible for an apostate to pass the screening here and thereafter act crazy wacko unbalanced, just to confirm the criticism. It would take a very determined individual with a lot of time on their hands, but there are apostates who meet both qualifications.

 

In the final analysis, it is the Be Social Network Smart suggestion to friend only those you know personally that offers the most protection.

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10 minutes ago, Saffron said:

I hope you are right about this. I would hate for anyone on the fence to see her behavior and think we are like every other organization out there. 

 

Yes. I have not have the same experiences as you, and experience plays a huge role in making us what we are. You are right, of course.

 

In the case of Selena, love hopes all things and believes all things. Sometimes it is wrong. But it keeps hoping and believing.

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Any one can say they are a witness. I’d rather have worldly people bumble along, on the edge, perhaps. There is still time. And lives are at stake. Most of us have loved ones in that category. 

We can not control other people’s mouths, or even their actions. Personally, i  think someone who thinks less of us because of people like this are looking to find fault. Let them have their day. It will be short lived. 

Ones who personally know us, or have the right heart condition will see past the nonesense. And see the truth for what it is pure and clean. 

Its this side of the fence I’m most concerned with! 

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2 hours ago, thegreenjudy said:

They don't know if those celebrities are active JW's in good standing in their home congregation or just people who might have attended meetings when they were younger. So if they say "I'm a JW" they will take their word for it and probably see the double standards. 

 

Granted, but my point is, most of the people who hear her say it aren't going to care that much, unless they've already formed an opinion about us.

 

We have that same double standard, because if she said 'I'm Jewish' or 'I'm Catholic', we wouldn't much care. We get annoyed or worried, because it's us.

 

2 hours ago, thegreenjudy said:

Of course, at the end of the day a right hearted individual can see through all of this. It doesn't change the fact though that it does make many brothers and sisters cringe when they see these reports in the news because we want Jehovahs name to be viewed in an examplary context. 

 

Exactly.

 

Every single medical show I've ever seen has at least one episode where a Patient is a JW, refusing a blood transfusion. Without exception, they're way off base. Same with the news, the courts, documentaries... This world will never have a clear picture of us, because of who's running this world. I'm just saying that when it comes to that list, an athlete who's gone 'inactive' as her career takes off is low on the list of what I personally worry about.

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There are many like Serena(admittingly not in the public eye) who were raised around the truth but never made the truth their own. Yet they take a stand on different issues.

Let's be happy when they do this and hope that one day they can fully embrace serving Jehovah in a complete way.

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It is to be noted that there are other threads on this site where concerned witnesses wonder ( hope) that their children, relatives, friends or workmates will be allowed to survive the end of this world because they show “some”  interest in God’s way.

 

Then, when it comes to a famous person in at least the same minimal situation ( or more closely affiliated) there seems to be less tolerance expressed.  Serena is someone’s daughter, sister, friend or workmate also.

 

We must wait to see her development and the justice and mercy of the Christ in judgement.

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10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Do we have a woman who is a mixed bag, having done things good and bad, and who now wants to make them all good? I'll take it every time. it is in the spirit of Jesus, I think, who came to save persons ill who had become aware of their spiritual need.

I agree. I'm sure we all would be more than happy to welcome Serena Williams, or anyone else, who leaves their worldly ways and come to Jehovah's people. Even in heaven great joy arises among the angels when a sinner repents.

 

But that's quite different from the approach in the first post of this thread. That woman who was raised in the Truth but is famous for her bad language and her fits of anger, finds a minute to thank Jehovah for giving her a tennis victory between drunk party and drunk party, posing nude for magazines and committing immorality with her wordly boyfriends, and we write an ode praising her, even comparing her to queen Esther who was a devout and courageus worshipper of Jehovah who risked her life to save His people. :shrugs:

 

Michael Jackson was one of JWs and then was disfellowshipped. He lived the kind of life he wanted and never again identified himself as one of us. I respect that. Or Prince. He was lingering around the Truth for many years until he found the strength to make all the changes he knew he had to make. And then, when he did become a Christian, he gave a good witness. Yes, he always special and extravagant, but his change of conduct sent a clear message that gave praise to Jehovah. But Serena? Has she suddenly become our hero because she didn't celebrate a birthday? If that means she's now taking the Truth seriously, blessed be Jehovah. I wish her all the best and I'll be happy to call her my sister when the time comes. But please allow me not to be too enthused until I see some real change.

 

10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

As much as I like the idea of a loyal online JW forum and appreciate the efforts of those who told me how sneaky apostates are trying to get in, it is perfectly possible to fool them. For example, if a criticism of Witnesses is that they are crazy wacko imbalanced, it certainly is possible for an apostate to pass the screening here and thereafter act crazy wacko unbalanced, just to confirm the criticism. It would take a very determined individual with a lot of time on their hands, but there are apostates who meet both qualifications. 

This is very true. As Bob (the owner of this site) uses to say, we cannot control membership 100 percent but we can control content. Occasionally some apostate passes through the filters and lurks here for a while. As long as they don't speak we have no way of recognizing them. Now when they do, they are quickly removed. They think they speak the pure language fluently but they can't hide their strong accent. Then they will complain that they were removed for disagreeing on a small detail or for asking a question because they don't realize how much they stink.

 

Now as for crazy wackos, well, there are all kind of people in the congregation. Most Witnesses I know are reasonable and sound, but there are also the wackos, the fanatics, the unbalanced. Jehovah doesn't especially call the mentally healthy or the reasonable or the smart, but those with a good disposition of heart. Jehovah loves those friends so we bear with them and love them too. :)

 

10 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

In the final analysis, it is the Be Social Network Smart suggestion to friend only those you know personally that offers the most protection.

:thumbsup:

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