Homosexuals – Young People Ask Worksheet
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Explaining Your Beliefs About Homosexuality [1] is a 2016 worksheet to assist young Jehovah’s Witnesses explain what they believe about this topic. This document trains Jehovah’s Witnesses on how to present Watchtower’s offensive viewpoint on homosexuality in the most politically correct way possible. The worksheet appears to be a great teaching aid, but on inspection is filled with rhetorical fallacies.

Bible is out-of-date

The first area tackled is how to respond when a person says they do not follow the Bible view on homosexuality because “Bible Standards are out-of-date!” It recommends considering two points, both blatant rhetorical fallacies. 

Image attribution: Explaining Your Beliefs About Homosexuality jw.org 

The first comment suggests, “what they really mean is that its standards differs from theirs.” Claiming a person suggests the Bible as out-of-date just because they don’t want to follow its standards is an ad hominem attack. Areas of the Bible are out-of-date:

  • Stoning disobedient children to death
  • Encouraging war crimes, such as killing all men in a village, but keeping female virgins as the spoils of war
  • Slavery

When a person says the Bible is out-of-date, they mean they won’t automatically accept homosexuality is wrong on the basis the Bible might say so, just as they don’t accept slavery as right despite it being promoted in the Bible. This is valid reasoning, and belittling the person’s motives is a pitiful way to dismiss their viewpoint.

The second comment asks, do they feel “all Bible standards are outdated-including its prohibition of theft, adultery and murder?” This terribly simplistic retort is black-and-white thinking. Of course they don’t think all Bible standards are out of date. Even the most evil dictators promote some acceptable rules, and almost universally religious and legal systems claim murder is wrong. To say the Bible is out-of-date doesn’t mean every single word must be wrong. If just some morals are out-of-date, that gives a person the right to question its stance on homosexuality.

Born That Way

Image attribution: Explaining Your Beliefs About Homosexuality jw.org 

The workbook recommends avoiding the topic of whether homosexuality is inherited or set from birth.

“The Bible doesn’t say whether homosexual desires are inherited or not. So instead of debating the cause of homosexuality, focus on the conduct.”

This is an interesting comment, as other Watchtower publications have described homosexuality as a choice or “learned behaviour” [2] and that “In many cases, same-sex attraction is nothing more than a passing phase.”[3]

The following response is suggested:

“… some people are “prone to anger” and “disposed to rage.” …  Must we always act on the urges that we feel?” 

In short, homosexuality is categorised as a flaw to be controlled. Homosexuals must deny their sexual preference and feelings in order to be acceptable to Jehovah, regardless of whether inherited or not. They have no hope of ever experiencing the loving relationships they naturally desire. 

Change your View

Image attribution: Explaining Your Beliefs About Homosexuality jw.org 

This section raises a fair question, “Are others being tolerant if they expect you to change your view to match theirs?” It is acceptable and normal for people to have differing viewpoints. The hypocritical irony is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to have their own viewpoint on this topic. Many gay Jehovah’s Witness youth do not agree with what Watchtower forces them to believe on this topic, because they know they were not born with a choice. Yet all Jehovah’s Witnesses must outwardly accept Watchtower interpretation and viewpoint on homosexuality. To vocally disagree labels a person as an apostate and to live a homosexual lifestyle is fornication, both that will be treated with zero tolerance and result in the strict sanction of being disfellowshipped and shunned.   

These Watchtower worksheets are well presented and appear to teach good reasoning skills. It is sad upon review that it resorts to rhetorical fallacies to prevent Jehovah’s Witnesses developing critical thinking skills. This is particularly tragic when Watchtower’s viewpoint on this topic has such devastating consequences for its homosexual youth.   


[1] Explaining Your Beliefs About Homosexuality as of 14 Nov 2019

[2] Your Youth, Getting the Best Out of It p.39

[3]Teenagers Ask : I’m Attracted to the Same Sex—Does That Mean I’m Gay? (2012-06-26)