Renowned author Ian McEwan has launched a scathing attack on Watchtower’s blood policy, calling it “utterly perverse and inhumane.”
McEwan was quoted in The Times yesterday explaining his motivation for writing his forthcoming novella, The Children’s Act – a story of Catholic parents who refuse to allow the separation of their conjoined twins, even though both would die as a result.
According to The Times, McEwan “had been inspired to write it after a family friend, a judge, told him of a case about the death from leukemia of a Jehovah’s Witness teenager whose parents refused to sanction a blood transfusion.”
“I found that religion was distinctly unhelpful in making compassionate and reasoned judgments about people’s lives,” said McEwan. “On the whole, the secular mind seems far superior in its reach and judgment especially in the Jehovah’s Witness case where parents would allow their children to die because of some theological line invented in 1945 in Brooklyn by some committee at their watchtower seems utterly perverse and inhumane.”
It is extremely rare for public figures to speak out against the teachings and practices of the Watch Tower Society. Many either know too little about what goes on inside the religion, or are anxious not to offend any religious minorities.
That a respected figure such as McEwan should condemn Watchtower’s blood policy so openly, even showing some level of research by pinpointing the year it was introduced, shows that a tipping point is being reached. Watchtower cannot bank on public ignorance and passivity indefinitely.
By John Cedars