Monday, 8 December 2008
Childhood Friends: Jay Dub
One year at school, local evangelists gave everyone in my class a little New Testament Bible (a practice now quite rightly prohibited for reasons that would never have occurred to anyone forty years ago). Anyway, the first couple of pages contained a picture of our then-still-new Canadian flag and the words to our national anthem. My friend Jay Dub very carefully ripped those pages out of her copy. Jay Dub was a quiet girl who kept pretty much to herself. She and I chummed around at recess, but her mom didn't let her bring friends home to play after school, she said.
Of course I asked Jay Dub why she ripped out those two pages. She explained that Jehovah's Witnesses recognize only God, not the State, as the controlling authority in their lives. So it was blasphemous to have the flag and national anthem in the Bible. I was completely gob-smacked by this information. If not for Jay Dub, it would never have occurred to me in a million years to question the presence of patriotic material in a Bible. Although I still did not agree with ripping out the pages, I did understand why someone else might want to. This was my first exposure to the idea that there could be different opinions about Christianity. I see this now as a very spiritually significant event in my life. Thank you, Jay Dub, wherever you are today!