Best known for their door-to-door evangelism, Jehovah's Witnesses have come to town for an annual convention. Organizers say between 9,000 and 10,000 people are here for a weekend of worship and instruction.
I mentioned to the media contact that I know very little about the Witnesses and he was happy to fax me a fact sheet. I'm guessing that most of you know little about them outside of that kid in your elementary school class that couldn't participate in class holiday parties. So here's some of what they sent me about their beliefs, along with a little bit from Beliefnet.com:
* They view first century Christianity as their model.
* They see the Bible as infallible and inspired, but say that some pieces are symbolic.
* They believe Jesus is the son of God but not equal to God. They do not believe in the Trinity, which most Christians profess.
* While they don't physically separate themselves from society, they do avoid involvement in government, so service in the Military or saying the Pledge of Allegiance is considered wrong.
* They also try to avoid "being excessive" in worldly wealth or power.
* They see marriage as a lifelong commitment and only allow divorce in special circumstances. Re-marriage is only allowed in the case of adultery.
Plenty of folks have called the denomination a cult and set up websites to condemn it, but I thought I'd at least give you some of their own explanation of beliefs and you can decide for yourself what to make of it.