Kender du én, der kommer til at sidde alene juleaften – så gør noget

Alle kan komme ud for livsændringer og sidde alene juleaften.

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Do you know someone who will spend Christmas alone – then do something about it

Everyone can face life changes and end up spending Christmas Eve by themselves.

There is something special about celebrating Christmas – at least if you have a family you can celebrate with.

Maybe you just got divorced, maybe you moved to to a new country or state in December, maybe you have made some life choices that make your family no longer want to be around you.

When we think of someone spending Christmas alone, we often think about older people. But many other age groups spend the night alone, a night that is supposed to be about love.

Even though I am now in a place in my life where I love the Christmas month, Christmas is still filled with a great sadness that always shows up at some point during the Christmas preparations. A sadness that is multilayered. Because, I have a family that is well and alive who wanders around the streets and alleys of Denmark, but with whom I will never celebrate Christmas.

Last night I dreamed that I lived in a studio apartment and was making ends meet cleaning a steakehouse called Niels Ebbesens Bøfhus in the Danish town of Randers. In my dream, I had left Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it was Christmas Eve. I suddenly found myself outside a church, where author and pastor Kristian Ditlev Jensen gave a sermon. To my great astonishment, I had trouble finding the Bible scriptures my fingers used to be able to automatically find.

Kristian Ditlev Jensen stood behind his pulpit and spoke of love and inclusion with a warmth that made me envy his audience. Once in a while he broke out in song, and he sometimes even joked with his congregation. I didn´t understand why the church was only halfway filled. The atmosphere was with its atmosphere in stark contrast to the Kingdom Hall, which has made me sunburnt towards all religion.

But here I stood, still in my dream. Neither inside nor outside the church. It does not exactly require a degree in psychology to understand what my dream was about.

If I lift my gaze from the perspective of my own belly button, I think what I experienced in my dream is how many who are spending Christmas alone see their situation. To be between two points physically or mentally. To be in transition, on the way from one place to another in life. And that situation is filled with loneliness, especially on Christmas Eve.

Many years ago, I made a choice that resulted in me spending Christmas eve alone. Simply put, I had insisted on the right to think freely — and for that, I was punished. That kind of independent thinking, Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot accept.

My choice meant a social deprivation. The interpretation of love in the sect is that when one steps out of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief system, the consequence is that a ubiquitous exclusion will make that person realize that he or she did something wrong. The method works. Many come crawling, broken and destroyed back to the fold.

On Christmas Eve, I am reminded that I do not have an extended family and that I will never have one. We never set the table for my children’s grandmother or for my sisters and their children. Not a single one of the presents under the Christmas is from my side of the family.

Christmas is also difficult when you do not have a family network behind you. Therefore, loneliness can be felt twice when celebrating with a family that is not one’s own.

Many others experience similar feelings. Some have lost family members. Losses of one kind or another leaves a mark. Life forces us to learn to live with difficult emotions.

But Christmas is also difficult when you do not have a family network behind you, because Christmas Eve is the most untouchable of all evenings in Denmark. Therefore, loneliness can be felt twice when celebrating with a family that is not one’s own. It is an evening where many do things in a very special way and are not willing to change family traditions. Although a family situation is dynamic and changing, traditions are not.

Therefore, I am calling on all Danes. If you are aware that someone is spending Christmas alone, then do something about it. Maybe it’s too big a step for you to invite that person to your home on Christmas Eve. But you could write a Christmas card, bring them cookies, invite them for a glass of wine, or just let the person know you see him or her.

I was once invited home to a college friend on Christmas Eve. But I declined the invitation. That is how deep the feeling of Christmas as something very close to the family relationship was. I simply did not, as an outsider felt I had the right to a seat at the table.

I will never lose the inherent loneliness and a feeling of not quite belonging that I carry with me. But I do not think, I am the only one carrying that burden. Especially, on Christmas Eve the feeling can be overwhelming.

Therefore, everyone who can should act and not just shrug and turn away to rejoice with their families. Reach out, give a little of yourself – maybe someday you will need the same charity.

Hvorfor accepterer vi pædofili?

Så længe vi accepterer, at religioner foretager selvjustits inden for lukkede døre, kommer børn til at betale prisen for samfundets manglende mod.

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Why don´t we stop pedophiles in religious communities?

If we keep accepting that religious communities deal with pedophiles within their own ranks, children will pay the price for society’s lack of courage.

Children cannot always take care of themselves. They have adults for that job. Or so it should be. The problem is that somethimes, we trust the wrong adults. Children who are exposed to pedophiles pay an outrageously high price for that. All too often, religions and sects function as places where sick souls have free range.

We know this all too well, have heard it so often. Things happen on inside of the confessional booth and behind closed church doors that should never happen between adults and children.

The latest scandal is about the Catholic Church in France, where at least 3,000 Catholic priests from 1950 onward till present day have raped and sexually assaulted more than 10,000 children. The report is based on church, trial and police reports as well as interviews with the victims.

Again and again we hear stories of children who have been sexually exploited. We read the structures that allow the abuse to happen. We know about how religions internally have their own mechanisms to avoid getting into the spotlight of the public eye and the media. And the fact that we know it makes us as a society complicit if we do nothing.

The religious systems protect their own, sometimes reprimanding the perpetrators behind closed doors, other times sending the pedophiles around to new churches where they can abuse new victims. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes within Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, who keep such cases closed and order the parties involved not to share their experiences with anyone – neither with family and friends within the sect nor with authorities, law enforcement or psychologists outside.

Why do we as a society do nothing? Why do we just watch from the sidelines? Yes, yes, of course we are disgusted by what we read and hear, but then we apparently shrug before moving on to reading the next newspaper article. There is such a huge fear of meddling when it comes to stepping into the holy halls, when it comes to questioning what is going on within various denominations. Why do we have a notion that when something happens within closed religious groups, then we can not touch it?

Only cowards do not dare to react to injustices. Power is closely linked to fear, and the fear that the victims of pedophiles experience both during and after the assaults is reinforced when we as a society maintain taboos. We have a duty to not shy away but face this head on and confront the organizations and structures that repeatedly exploit the leeway of these religions.

Politicians have a responsibility to act and enact harsh legislation in relation to what religious practices look like when it comes to dealing with pedophiles behind their closes doors. But instead, out of fear of not respecting various groups’ religious autonomy and freedoms, they turn their backs and hearts to children’s suffering.

(partly Google Translate)

Selvfølgelig skal den 13-årige dreng i IS-fangelejren ikke til Danmark alene eller med sin familie

– han skal i afradikaliseringslejr hos kurderne på afstand af sin familie.

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Of course, the 13-year-old boy in the IS prison camp should not go to Denmark alone or with his family

– he should go to a radicalization camp with the Kurds away from his family.

The association Repatriate The Children takes the Danish state to court. The association believes that Denmark is violating the European Convention on Human Rights when the government does not want to bring Danish children home in Syrian prison camps. That’s what lawyer Knud Foldschack says .

The case is specifically about a 13-year-old boy who lives in the al- Roj camp in northeastern Syria. The boy stands to be removed from his mother for being de-radicalized by the Kurds. The matter is not simple, as children always pay the price when parents make terrible decisions.

A total of 19 Danish children are in the Syrian prison camps. When the children turn 13, they end up in one of the Kurds’ radicalization camps , where they have no contact with parents or siblings. It is the association Repatriate The Children against.

According to their website, the association that fights to get the children to Denmark is also against separating the children from their parents. So if the association succeeds with their goals, the children’s mothers – and later probably also their IS fighter fathers, a child has the right to be with both his parents, – will be included in the package, where they can place themselves like ticking bombs around in the Danish country.

The boy in the al- Roj camp has nightmares, screams at night and is “crushed in health.” To my ears, it clearly sounds like a boy who is not feeling well in the family he lives in and should not be with them – neither in an IS prison camp nor in Denmark.

Maybe it’s just because he lives with his radicalized family that he has nightmares? If so, he must precisely removed from the family, protected and assisted to any of that dangerous nonsense, every day he gets fed with coming out of the system so he hopefully as an adult can see the idea of part of a community , where values ​​such as freedom of expression, equality between the sexes and how important it is to be able to think independently.

I have no doubt that the Kurds have more experience and knowledge on how to deal with members of IS and potential terrorists. I am very grateful that they are willing to work with the young people and thus hopefully make us all more secure in the future – one less radicalized terrorist in this world is, in my opinion, a good thing.

As a former Jehovah’s Witness, I can attest that the family has a tremendous influence on how one acts and acts, what one says and does – especially outwardly. The power and manipulation is enormous, the possibility of having a free space to think independently is non-existent . I imagine it is the same in the radicalized IS societies.

Therefore, it makes sense to separate family members and, before the indoctrination is almost impossible to reverse, get the young people away from the influence they suffer from.

If the young boy, his mother and any other siblings came to Denmark and were installed in an apartment, I am not sure that the radicalization would be as effective.

On the other hand, I have greater confidence that the project will succeed if the boy is set free by his family – in the Kurds’ camp.

There is no doubt that the boy is feeling bad. Let us hope that the Kurds’ de-radicalization camp can help him get better – at a distance from his family and Denmark.

(Google translate)

I år bliver julen lettere for os, der har det svært med familiesammenkomster

Mange har det svært med julen og dens sociale forventninger. I år behøver vi, der tilhører denne gruppe, ikke føle os kejtede, akavede og til overs.

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This year, Christmas will be easier for those of us who have a hard time with family gatherings

Many people have a hard time with Christmas and its social expectations. This year, we who belong to this group do not have to feel awkward, awkward and left out.

After a mildly tumultuous, anxiety-provoking year, many are longing to be with their families at Christmas. This blog is not aimed at them, but at all of us who every year have a hard time with Christmas and all its expectations of traditions and how the togetherness with the family “should” feel.

Many families choose this year to celebrate Christmas alone or with fewer family members and without the characteristic family Christmas lunches during the Christmas days to avoid crossing bacilli from one branch of the family to another.

But as my matter-of-fact grandmother would say, “Nothing is so bad, it’s not good for anything.”

I am always challenged when the Christmas season begins. I did not grow up in a family that celebrated Christmas – I never learned to bake Christmas cookies or to make a Christmas decoration at school. We children of Jehovah’s Witnesses simply did not have to. I do not have a bag full of traditions that I can pull off when I try to make fun.

I love the idea of ​​Christmas. The heat from the oven, where the cookies have just lain and now fills the kitchen with its spicy scent, the decorated wood with the gifts underneath, the joy in the kids’ eyes, endless days of mulled wine and apple slices, cut-and-paste experiences around the table with peppercorns. This is how reality never shapes itself, but the idea is beautiful.

When I met my husband and he invited me to his parents’ house to celebrate Christmas, I was elated. Now I finally had to celebrate family Christmas, exactly as I had dreamed of since my last Christmas as an eight-year-old.

That, of course, was not the case. I felt completely wrong, had a hard time finding my place in the family puzzle. I felt awkward, the conversations were foreign, and the dynamics established through generations. I ended up running up to the room my boyfriend and I shared, and roaring. Meanwhile, the family sat gaping on the couch and did not understand why I reacted as I did.

Christmas is hard; we would like to, but all sorts of old luggage comes in, which makes it difficult.

Like me, many this year can do things exactly as they see fit without stress and pressure. It might be a little difficult at first; it’s all beginning. But when one breaks with consensus, then a feeling of freedom arises.

Even though the Danes have not themselves chosen the situation that many families are in this Christmas, it may lead to a form of freedom. Suddenly there are no expectations, no “right” way to do anything that has to do with Christmas.

Christmas is filled with great emotions at each end of the social spectrum. To some extent, some people need to see the family and be with loved ones who know and embrace them. Some have lost a husband, a child or a close family member. Some have divorced and now need to figure out what Christmas should look like in the future. Some live far away from what they grew up with and need to feel a sense of belonging in a familiar, safe, family environment.

Others have a hard time with all the socializing and really want to have fun with their partner and any children without going and flying around to families on one side of the family. Some people have a hard time with Christmas for completely different reasons.

But we are not talking about it. There must be something wrong with one, if one of all the holidays can not enjoy Christmas and being with the family. Still, I would argue that many feel wronged and lonely right there in the middle of the in-laws’ lap around the coffee table with brownies.

This is so difficult to talk about because there is an implicit distance to those you should have the most fun with. How do you put it into words without hurting and without expressing your feelings in a way that makes you appear like the strangest antisocial fish?

It is not the fault of others, and certainly not my in-laws, that I get weird when the family gathers, and there is everything in the air that I can not figure out to decode.

At the same time, I refuse to be her the weird one, simply because I dare put into words what I from countless conversations with friends and acquaintances know are feelings I am not alone in having.

This year I think there are many, whether they dare say it out loud or not, who feel some relief over not having to spend most of two weeks tying themselves up, danger and whistling around to one family party after another and sitting at a Christmas-covered table and not knowing how to fit into the company while the exhaustion, irritation and feeling of inadequacy sets in.

(Google translate)

ISIS-krigere og deres børn: har velfærdsdanmark spillet fallit?

At forlade trygge velfærdsdanmark for at tilslutte sig ISIS gør det svært at tro på, at selvsamme mennesker vil dele værdier med det velfærdssamfund, de vendte ryggen.

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ISIS fighters and their children: has the welfare state in Denmark failed?

Leaving safe welfare Denmark to join ISIS makes it hard to believe that the same people will share values ​​with the welfare society they turned their backs on.

Currently, especially the children of ISIS fighters and their mothers are again up for debate. The mothers are in the two camps of al-Hol and al- Roj , the conditions are terrible, the children are unhappy and have trauma.

Should Denmark bring the children home? Will they pose a threat when they get older if they come to Denmark? Do the mothers? What about the fathers’ right to be reunited with their families?

There is no doubt that the little pods pay a completely heartbreaking price for their parents’ completely and utterly irresponsible behavior.

If Mette Frederiksen is “the children’s minister”, as she proclaimed in her New Year’s speech, and if we as a society must dare to make difficult choices (forced removal) and avoid taboos (of a religious nature), as the Prime Minister spent a large part of his speaking time to plead, then I think it is natural to ask why the parents who have shown that they are completely unfit for the parental role are not deprived of custody so that the children can grow up in families that can give them a upbringing in a safe environment, far from acclaimed stone desert values?

Young children are not dangerous, but they can be – especially if they grow up with a radicalized mother or older siblings. If the parents truly loved their children, they set them free and allowed them to grow up in a safe environment, leaving them with the childhood that all children deserve. If they are not willing to do so, it shows precisely that they still believe they are the best parent for their children, something their life circumstances and choices should clearly show is blatantly unrealistic.

How can it be that Denmark per. per capita is the country in the world from which most Syrian fighters have left, when we are at the same time one of the absolute most developed welfare societies?

I once spoke to a person who worked at a torture center in Denmark. He said that a PhD study showed that one family in Aarhus had 13 employees attached. 13! That’s what a welfare state does – it’s good. I am sure that school psychologists, social workers, family psychologists, etc. helped the family, and it will ultimately benefit everyone if the welfare society helps the weakest, so that the children and the family generally thrive better and maybe even one day be able to contribute to society.

Do not say that Denmark does not spend endless resources on helping. But how can I believe that people who were born and raised in Denmark, and who have had the resources of the whole of welfare Denmark behind them and yet have been radicalized and taken down to fight for values ​​far from those we boast of here country, can return and become tax-paying citizens and not pose a threat to the surrounding society?

When I was in the process of leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses at the time, yes, it takes time and does not go on from one day to the next, I knew very well that most people who leave the sect end up joining it again. Why do they do that? They do so because it is so difficult to build a life in a world that is so different from the one one has been indoctrinated to be able to navigate. Even though they have lived in a mental prison and been subject to a myriad of rules and restrictions, then it’s easier to fall back and continue that lifestyle – because it’s so familiar and the expectations are so clear. And because the world outside, which most Danes are in, is so foreign and difficult to decode and navigate.

If the children we see running around in the desert camp grow up with mothers who have made an active choice and supported a government that opposes equal rights for the sexes, homosexuality, education, free thought but for beheading, rape, the death penalty for infidels, etc., etc., then they become radicalized – whether they live in a tent camp in a windswept desert or in an apartment in rainy Aarhus.

Something tells me that it will also be infinitely difficult for the women and children who may one day be invited back to Denmark, or who simply one day stand on the border, to change and jump out as ordinary tax-paying rye bread dancers.

(Google translate)

Socialisering foregår i skolen. Uden den bliver næste generation uvidende og ignorante og demokratiet udvandes

Den demokratiske fane skal holdes højt. Men det skal ske gennem lovgivning, ikke individuel heltedåd.

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Socialization takes place in school. Without it, the next generation becomes ignorant and ignorant and democracy is diluted

The democratic flag must be held high. But it must be done through legislation, not individual heroic deeds.

When I went to school, I was exempt from what was then called Christian Studies. My family were Witnesses of Johova , and their faith was apparently so weak that we little pods at any cost had to be screened for alternative ways of relating to religion.

Right now, France in particular is under pressure. But across Europe, peoples and politicians are struggling to deal with the hatred and insanity that blind religious sectarianism can be a hotbed of.

Even many years after I left the sect, I had a hard time understanding what people outside (Jehovah’s Witnesses) thought about Christianity and religion, for I had never been exposed to what different thinking people thought. If at that time in the 1980s I had been allowed to sit in the classroom at Ulstrup School, it may be that I would have understood that there are many ways to be spiritual. Perhaps the same can be said of today’s youth if they are exposed to different ways of looking at the world, religiously, ideologically and culturally?

When we hear in the news about both with immigrants, about camps filled with mud after the slightest rainstorm, about children cutting themselves because they can not endure living, then I understand well, one dreams of a better life in a Europe flowing with milk and honey.

I’m divided. On one side is my notion of who it is that is seeking Europe. I myself have gone to the USA to get adventures and better opportunities than I had in Denmark. I can easily understand that you look for where you think the possibilities for a better life lie.

On the other hand, I struggle with an anger at the indifference and contempt for the values ​​and societies that provide space and screens – obviously also those that will destroy our democracies from within.

When I hear about a high school teacher who wants to promote the debate and have his students think independently but ends up being beheaded in the open street when I read that a migrant who arrived in one of the aforementioned boats a month ago goes into a church and liquidate 3 innocent churchgoers, when I hear about a Belgian teacher being fired because he has shown a prophetic drawing, I am filled with resentment.

For how can one come and want the benefits without accepting the premises of the way of life that is precisely the basis for the continent to have the standard it has?

I am afraid that the rights that my generation enjoyed and the manners we did not even question are slowly being eroded. When I think back to my school days, I can not imagine at all that there were topics we were not allowed to discuss. Not so anymore.

The United States has a huge fear of being touched in terms of daring to talk about the problems the country has with race and religion. Many universities have banned topics and literature that until recently have been part of the general education and used in the education of critical thinking young people. Ignorance and ignorance, not to mention intolerance, are not conducive to anyone, either here in the United States or in Europe.

When we give in, we give both right-wing extremist Christians in the United States and Islamists a victory – the problem is that they never get enough. Once they have one victory, they move on to the next item on their agenda. A democracy is only as strong as its citizens, and it can be strong if we stand firm on fundamental principles and do not shy away from misunderstood considerations.

If there is one thing the last 4 years in the United States have taught me, it is that one cannot take democracy and civil rights for granted. If you do, the population can quickly lose ballroom rights. Perhaps Europe is realizing the same thing.

If the people of Europe are scared and politicians do not dare to show where they stand in terms of legislation, then the next generation of young people will not only become ignorant and ignorant , they will also accept living in a society that has degraded democracy.

Right now, it seems as if dark forces are succeeding in terrorizing the majority population to a cowed bend in the neck and a red pen on the newspaper editorials and in the teachers’ annual plans.

It should not be up to individual brave teachers to take it upon themselves to teach students freedom of speech and general human rights, no matter how brave and honorable it may be. Individually, we are not achieving anything, it is in unison, and with the support of legislation, that we must fight for the values ​​we say we tax, which are the foundation of our secular democracies.

(Google translate)

Jo mere divers den danske befolkning bliver, jo mindre taler vi sammen

Med spørgsmål og udveksling skal demokratier bestå

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The more diverse the Danish population becomes, the less we talk to each other

With questions and exchanges, democracies must survive

When I was a teenager, I threw myself into as many discussions with my family as I could possibly get to. My mother often looked at me angrily as she said, “Not everything is a discussion, everything is not to be debated!” “This is how you say when you do not have enough arguments”, I thought and continued my questions and arguments.

My mother was and still is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so was I, as a teenager living at home. There was just the problem that the older I got, the more critical questions I started asking.

“Why not have an abortion if you have become pregnant after a rape?” “Why is it the husband who is the head of the family, if it is the wife who is the wisest?” “Why not have sex before marriage?” “Why is the only permissible cause of divorce that one party is unfaithful?” “Why not love the one you love if you share the same sex?” – yes, to my mother’s great despair I had many questions.

My mother gave up, called the congregation elder who came and tried to knock some scriptures into my head.

At school I was called Ask Jørgen. I was hugely curious and inquisitive, I still am.

Exchange of views enriches

I live in the United States, just outside Seattle in the state of Washington. Fortunately for me, the vast majority of Americans are open and accommodating and like to share their thoughts on most things.

Living in the United States is a paradise for a curious soul. Here live people from vastly different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. There are many reasons why people think, believe and think the way they do – and I love hearing about them.

Today I had a conversation with a man about being the only Trump supporter for a baby show in Seattle, where the rest of the guests were Bident supporters.

I ask and ask. When I meet Trump supporters, I ask them what it is that appeals to them by him. When I meet African Americans, I ask how they experience the system in terms of race and equal opportunities. When I meet people who belong to LGBTQ, we talk about prejudice and acceptance.

We like to exchange views – just not when it comes to religion

But when it comes to religion, the situation is different. The only ones who bother to talk to me about that subject are the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses who occasionally knock on my door.

Jehovah’s Witnesses like to talk about their religion – on their terms. They have rehearsed answers to most things. I know, because even as a big kid, I practiced with the adults before knocking on people’s doors.

But if you start asking Jehovah’s Witnesses questions that they have not practiced, then the ground is shaking under their feet. Maybe that’s why they operate in pairs?

In Denmark, Jehovah’s Witnesses have always been looked down upon when they came in their suits with their Watchtower and Awake! Some have felt sorry for the poor children who are being dragged around Saturday morning and have offered them a cup of coffee. Others have suggested that if one simply spoke reason to them, then perhaps they would change some of their archaic attitudes.

Diversity closes the conversation, it is not good for democracy

In school we learned that if you have an attitude, then you must be able to argue for it – with words or pen and paper. Not in the form of pants water or a blood spout in the recess. No one should be afraid to say their opinion – or whether it would be settled in cash after school if they said something the bully of the class did not like.

Talking together and listening to each other and being critical is one of the crucial pillars of democracy, it is socialized into our pods from day one. It is through questions that we get to know each other – and perhaps dots for seats and customs that need a post-check.

If one cannot answer questions but has to resort to scriptures or hand out a spout of blood, then one’s attitudes are not strong enough. Questions can be difficult, they can be strong and powerful – they can make even the toughest nut to crack when he can not answer for himself. That’s why we taught young people in Jehovah’s Witnesses not to ask too many questions;

Democracy is in danger when anxiety stops for questions

Because it is i.a. that a secularized Western democracy can. Ask questions, be critical, engage in dialogue without regard to God, King and Fatherland. Or so it has been in the past.

As Denmark’s population composition has become more diverse , we should be able to have more enriching, interesting, exchanging conversations.

But it seems to me that the more diverse the population group in Denmark, yes in Europe, becomes, the fewer exchanging conversations we have with those who do not think, believe and think the same as us – for fear of being exposed to what is worse than trouser water and a blood spout.

(Google translate)

Omskæringsdebatten handler ikke om børnenes tarv, men om politisk berøringsangst

Det er hykleri, når omskæring accepteres, men man forarges over, at Jehovas Vidners børn ikke må få blodtransfusioner

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The circumcision debate is not about the best interests of the children, but rather about political corrections and fear of addressing sensitive issues

It is hypocrisy when circumcision is accepted, but one is outraged that the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to receive blood transfusions.

The whole hall applauds the family. They resisted to the last, refusing to let the hospital give their newborn boy the blood transfusion they with their religious ideology were willing to sacrifice their son to stand by. They are considered by the congregation as heroes, they have proven how dedicated in the faith they are. Even under strong pressure from the surrounding established health care system and with the emotions involved in seeing their newborn baby suffer, they were true to the religious principles they have been taught to be willing to die for – or sacrifice their minor children for.

It ended with the state taking over custody and giving the little boy the blood transfusion that saved his life. Afterwards, the parents regained custody.

From the age of nine, I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and the example above was taken directly from a meeting in the Kingdom Hall. I distinctly remember how the family was highlighted as a fine example of godliness while the rest of the congregation clapped and sent appreciative glances in the direction of the family. Within the sect, a virtue is made out of the fact that the members must dare to stand up for the principles of the faith, both when it comes to standing out in contexts that feel uncomfortable or embarrassing, and when it comes to larger life-threatening situations.

Examples of this are, for example, when Dannebrog is carried in at various sporting events and the members of Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to stand up for the flag. In other contexts, the children stand out when they are not at school helping to bake Christmas cookies, not attending children’s birthdays, etc. These are embarrassing, awkward and uncomfortable situations for the children – but they are not life-threatening.

In more life-threatening contexts, it is about the members’ attitude to blood transfusions in traffic accidents and in other medical contexts where life is in danger, or a blood transfusion will help to recover faster – parents in these contexts make the decision not to receive blood on their children behalf.

Jehovah’s Witnesses will at all times argue that the reason they do not want to receive a blood transfusion is religiously based. They will easily be able to throw a few scriptures into the debate that substantiate their argument. Let me just note in parentheses that I left the sect when I came of age.

Children’s rights should take precedence over religious dogmas and traditions

When it comes to arguing for circumcision, I hear proponents talk about traditions, culture and religion. To remove focus from religion, some spice up the argument that half of the American population is circumcised.

So far, I do not care if you argue for circumcision because of Yahweh or Allah or claim that circumcision is based on hygiene and tradition.

What exactly happened to the argument about the best interests of the child? About us standing up for those who do not have a voice? When did it become okay to sacrifice children’s rights on the altar where the needs, culture and dogmas of adults weigh heaviest? How hypocritical can it get?

The hands of public Denmark are being twisted, and the arguments for not wanting to legislate against circumcision are in line.

Today I heard e.g. on the “Debate” on P1 parish priest and parliamentary candidate for the Conservative People’s Party Marie Høgh say: “Circumcision is not something that can not be reconciled with Danish culture.” In other words, circumcision does not mean anything for integration.

What nonsense though. The boy and later the man are reminded several times a day of the mark on his body, which says that he stands out and is not part of the usual way the Danes handle their boy children.

Another approach in defense of circumcision is the one that highlights one social science report after another. Here, the purpose is to appear scientific and honest. These reports are usually tasked with arguing medically why it is not harmful to circumcise his boy children. One could argue that it is a somewhat backwards method to argue why something is not harmful, but now let it lie. Proponents of the medical arguments like to point out that there is no increased risk of infections, that the ability to perform sexual performance later in life is not affected, and so on.

And then, of course, there is the cultural and religious angle, which does not really argue, but simply states that it may well be that the Danes do not understand, but that circumcision is culturally and religiously based. And then the Holy Grail is apparently well kept, and all debate shut down.

May I be free! How about taking the individual seriously and letting him decide for himself when he is of age? Is your beliefs, your religion and your culture really so weak that you have to force it through before the child can say no?

Coercion is abuse

And yes, I know we as parents are constantly making choices on behalf of our children. We do this in relation to school choices, leisure activities, etc.

But we should not do it at an abuse level where the children risk losing their lives because they do not get a blood transfusion.

Nor should we do so by cutting into their bodies and making decisions on their behalf that they will never again be able to reverse.

So what is the difference between Jehovah’s Witnesses who, for religious reasons, make choices on behalf of their children, and those families who, for religious reasons as well, force a circumcision on their boys?

(Google translate)