Thursday, April 28, 2016

Knock, Knock! Who's There?

Hey there guys and gals!
I said I was going to put some more varied content on Horizontal Stripes, and I think this one definitely counts.  I was wondering whether or not to write this post but think it merits a few words just as equally, if not more so than the other things I usually post for you. Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last few weeks, you know that Prince, one of the most versatile and talented musical artists and creative geniuses of our time, died last week at the age of 57. 
I promise this will not be another tribute post; I’m sure you’re sick to death of those by now, however it may be just as interesting to you. Many have contributed art in all forms, created social media posts, and many memes in memory and celebration of the artist. I’ve personally seen nails, tattoos, and even shrines to the Artist Formerly Known as Himself. Aside from those, some of the most striking to me have been many citing his ascendance to heaven and/or drawings or pictures of him next to Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson as angels. On a side note though, he really didn’t value MJ’s work as revolutionarily as most of us did, but I digress. I have always found American attitudes toward death fascinating, and in the same vein it’s always been interesting to me how celebrity deaths seem to feel so personal to people who have never truly known a person but feel melded to their persona.
 I’m usually indifferent to the mourning bandwagon, but I had to speak on this one. Though he was a wonderful artist and philanthropist, from what his protégés have been revealing, he was a human being like the rest of us.  This doesn’t mean I’m telling you, you aren’t allowed to feel a certain way: please don’t take that from this post. It’s just that, in addition to his music and giving, he was deeply spiritual and wouldn’t want what I’d almost consider, the idolization of his artistry and personage. He wanted his music to be his legacy, and I’m sure would be glad he’s touched so many lives. A little known fact to many of his fans is that:

Prince. Was. One. Of. Jehovah’s. Witnesses!

duh. Duh. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      This isn’t a total surprise to some people because Prince wasn’t shy about sharing his faith and engaged in the door to door ministry with the rest of his brothers and sister, which is a hallmark of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve been listening to interviews with people citing that he could or couldn’t, did or didn’t do this or that because he was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a lot of it has been inaccurate.  Anytime JWs are mentioned in the news, there is always some misinformation; so I figured what better time is there to clear up a few stereotypes and misconceptions, while everyone has their “Knock, Knock” jokes respectfully holstered. How do I know what I’m talking about? I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well, if you weren’t aware. Don’t think this is me trying to force feed you anything or that this post is a push for conversion. I don’t operate like that. But, if you don’t want to read on further about spiritual matters, you might want to stop right here. You might just learn something, though. Imagine that? :-D

This is not the definitive list of beliefs by any means, but commonly asked questions created from the objections most people hit us with when they think they’re doing a good job of insulting us off of their doorsteps. I tried to take good care to choose ones that Prince himself has addressed publically in interviews:
1.       What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe?

2.       You don’t believe in Jesus, right?

3.       Who is this Jehovah dude, you speak of and why do you call yourselves Jehovah’s Witnesses?

4.       What’s the big deal about celebrating birthdays?

5.       What happens when people die?

6.       Why don’t Witnesses give blood or get transfusions?

7.       Why do you knock on people’s doors?

8.       Why do you knock on the doors of those who already have a religion?

If you are curious about other beliefs, would like to explore some Bible based advice for teens, couples, kids, and adults, or ever need information for a project, there is a wealth of information that can be found at or you can ask a Witness yourself. Believe it or not, we don’t bite!

You don’t have to hide from us in your houses. If you don’t want to talk, we will leave if you tell us you’re disinterested, but please, don’t be rude.

We don’t believe Christians are perfect and acknowledge that we are all flawed human beings like everyone else. We also don’t expect you to be perfect, nor are we preaching perfection. We are not an angry mob coming to judge you at your door. I promise!

If you have questions, we will always try to answer you with a Scriptural reference, when possible. Our ministry is about glorifying Jehovah and loving our neighbors as ourselves, not about harassing you: truly.

I hope I shared some valuable information with you today, and while I can’t answer any questions from Prince’s perspective because he was his own person, I am always available to answer questions about Witnesses or Jehovah, without judgment. I recognize that everyone’s relationship to religion is different, and respectful adult conversations are always welcome!

Have a great day Stripers! Until next time!

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