Decades ago, one of our children came up to me and flatly declared, “I will never eat honey again. It is nothing more than bee barf!” My jaw dropped. I was dumbfounded. I almost wanted to laugh at the absurdity and vulgarity, but I could see the child was 100% sincere. I also wanted to counter the claim, but at the time I didn’t really know how honey was made. I concluded two things: 1) Even if the child never did eat honey for the rest of her life, it was not a health hazard nor was it a moral wrong. A person could go through their whole life not eating honey and not be adversely affected. 2) Children make black and white decisions all the time. It doesn’t mean that next week or next month the viewpoint will be completely forgotten. With that, I decided not to make a big deal of it.
I cite the parenting experience now because, although hilarious, I see the same black-and-white reasoning play out all the time regarding the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This especially came to the fore when reading one of the Ministry of Justice’s comments regarding blood transfusions. Here was an otherwise intelligent adult making such disjointed conclusions that somehow combined extremism with refusal of blood transfusions. This time, I did break out laughing. Of course, the implied accusation is that we illogically choose death. We don’t. We try to seek any and all viable alternatives to blood. We cherish life. We want to live. Just as resolutely, we want to obey God. Yes, life is precious, but just as Jesus stated, keeping our priorities straight is of paramount importance.
Really the Russian authorities come across like a clique in middle school that invent reasons to exclude others. No matter how illogical those reasons are, they are enforced with unyielding determination. There is no reasoning with them. There is strength in numbers and “Might makes Right,” and the clique of governmental authoritarians will do as they please no matter how ignorant or cruel it seems to others.