This page/user is by a public school educator who writes on psychology and children's issues. He is certified in Early Childhood education, Grade School, Middle School Science and High School Psychology. He is a member of the Society for Teaching of Psychology (STP) (external link) and a participating professional member of NAMI (external link), National Alliance on Mental Illness (Wikipedia link) in New York and has written on psychology and the media, its effects on children and teens, as well as on the subject of ADHD. He has also contributed articles for use on Psychology Today Extra.
He has a BA in Social Science from Thomas Edison State College. His other interests are oil and acyrlic painting, and does some semi-professional art work and poetry. His favorite poet is Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore from Calcutta and Bangladesh.
One of the reasons in editing for Wikipedia is in respect to the Jehovah's Witnesses page.The page should accurately reflect the current thinking of the religion. Natural has read widely, both Jehovah's Witness' literature, but also other literature about Jehovah's Witnesses, including sociological works, criticisms and critical works. He is not adverse to criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses, but is interested in presenting an honest and fair, balanced view of the religion in the Wikipedia article.
This is especially in view of the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses have experienced grueling persecution in Nazi Germany, alongside the Jews there, as well as in the former Soviet Union. At the present time, the religious freedom of minority religions is in jeopardy, again, in Russia, and Jehovah's Witnesses have experienced legal proscription of their literature in some parts of the country.
Because thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses have suffered as martyrs in the 20th Century, years of unjust imprisonment and torture, and because even at the present, there are many such issues, which organizations such as Amnesty International have brought to the fore with respect to Jehovah's Witnesses, it is important that the Wikipedia articles pertaining to Jehovah's Witnesses, which, while not fully authoritative, do carry considerable weight in terms of public knowledge, image and opinion on many topics, and as a primary Internet information source for many, be balanced, reasonably and accurately written, without any alterior motives, self-interest, or hidden agendas.
Additionally, because there are some former Jehovah's Witnesses, who out of self-interest have written works of questionable accuracy or credibility, as well as some editors who are apparently staunchly opposed and even express hatred and contempt for Jehovah's Witnesses, it is important to to discern which referenced sources are actually neutral in their point of view, when referring to them as references, and which sources are biased, and which are from parties who have no hidden agendas. Books that have been written on the subject of Jehovah's Witnesses which have as much to do with self-justification for leaving the organization as they have anything to do with fact, can form a foundation for criticisms rooted in self-defense rather than portraying an accurate picture of the religion. Oxford religious scholar and authority on non-mainstream religions Bryan Wilson, states that the testimony of apostates is seldom take seriously by sociologists. It is of note that a large percentage of references on the pages of Jehovah's Witnesses Criticisms are from Jehovah's Witness apostates, the term "apostate" used by sociologist Bryan Wilson to refer to defectors who express vehement opposition to their former religion. Therefore, while Wikipedia endeavors to maintain a neutral point of view, there needs to be more balanced and moderate views of Jehovah's Witnesses presented than might be the case on many of its pages to maintain a neutral point of view.
The purpose of all editors on the Wikipedia Jehovah's Witnesses project should be to establish a more credible page on Jehovah's Witnesses on Wikipedia, one that is fully in harmony with the Wikipedia guidelines, and to include all sides of controversial issues.
Jehovah's Witnesses are Christian, and with regards to Jesus Christ, this comment by Will Durant is of note, and is a conclusion that I personally came to before reading this quote and after reading Jesus teachings in the books of Matthew and Luke when I was in my early 20s.
"That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels." Jesus teachings such as to "love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you," which is something he himself practices, and his parables, which are so poignant and lofty in ethic, that it bears the mark of authenticity and of inspiration from a higher source. No other religious teacher or philosopher has taught such lofty, simple principles. Jesus, in his manner of life, was devoid of materialism. At the same time, he spoke out strongly against injustices among the religious leaders of his day, and showed remarkable mercy to his errant apostles and others, including blind beggars and prostitutes. Such a personality, with the details provided in the Gospels, whether you accept the full Gospel account, or the substance of it, would be very difficult to invent by clever fabricators after the fact.
It is similar with many of the Psalms. Some of the Psalms are so pure, so beautiful, so high-reaching, that they transcend poetry and positive thinking, they take you to the realm of God, from people who lived in a time period that was capable of greater purity than today. Psalms 23, 86, 91, 103, 139 are some examples. At the same time, both Jesus teachings and the Psalms were devoid of sentimentality, and both David, Moses and Jesus had no issues speaking and teaching about destroying the wicked.
These are some of the reasons I chose to remain one of Jehovah's Witnesses when I was in my 20s and I felt that, though Witnesses themselves certainly are not perfect as individuals or as an organization, they did, in my viewpoint, reflect the spirit of Jesus in their practice of Christianity, paralleling the religion of the early Christians in the first-century . Like the early Christians, who were misunderstood and even hated, and who practiced controversial methods of enforcing Biblical commandments such as shunning (see 1 Corinthians 5), Jehovah's Witnesses also attract opposers from all sides, including dissenters and apostates.
For those who might scoff at the Bible or look at it with skepticism or even disdain, the Apostle Peter's stated, "For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning. For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice..." 2 Peter 3:2-13. Peter then goes on to discuss the flood of Noah's day and God's destruction upon the wicked of that day. (The Flood of Noah's day has roots in hundreds of stories developed by diverse cultures, including that of China, American Indians and other indigenous peoples, in addition to the Bible account). Peter then goes on to develop the thought that God is similarly reserving destruction in this time period of the end in which we now live, and that we need to be awake with "deeds of godly devotion," awaiting the promised "new heavens and new earth in which righteousness will dwell."
God's eyes are upon all of our works. For some, religion is a secular institution rather than having anything to do with the divine. For those who are religiously-inclined, it is a means of communing with others who desire to reach out to the Creator deity and maintain a strong spiritual identity. There is certainly a need for sociological interpretation of religious bodies and groups, at the same time, religion is not a strictly secular entity, spirituality cannot be fully explained away in secular terms. Sociologists who recognize this fact, tend to present a more moderate view of non-mainstream religions. It is my hope that editors of Wikipedia will present a moderate and fair viewpoint of Jehovah's Witnesses that is balanced and truthful.
I have been currently working on two articles about the fight for the Florida Everglades, Joe Browder and Friends of the Everglades, both of which I initiated and was inspired by a children's book, Steck-Vaughn Stories of America: Student Reader Save the Everglades, Story Book by Judith Bauer Stamper - (external link). Natural (talk) 23:20, 5 November 2011 (UTC)Natural Natural (talk) 10:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)Natural Natural (talk) 17:22, 16 April 2011 (UTC)Natural