The religious group is chose was Jehovah’s Witnesses. I did some online research and also asked my children’s Foster Mother, Regina Metzger the questions. I wanted to see what the differences of what I found online and what she said the beliefs were. So this is a mixture of what I got from my online sources and what she said.
Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from other religious groups because they believe that their entire bible is the inspired word of god, and instead of adhering to a creed based on human tradition, they hold to their bible as the standard for all their beliefs. Based on their bible, they believe that Jesus Christ is son of god, the first of god’s creations, that he had a pre-human existence and that his life was transformed from heaven to the womb of a virgin.
They believe that god’s kingdom is the only hope for mankind. They are many different nationalities. They have no prejudices against any race or color. Their worship is through prayer, meetings and telling others about their bible. They believe that their bible is the inspired word of God, and instead of adhering to a creed based on human tradition, they hold their bible as the standard. The experience of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that other religious groups do not share is that they are viewed with moral standards that coincide with their bible.
They are law abiding citizens that respect authority. They show, what they believe is, genuine Christian love to their neighbors. For example, let’s say there are two girls. One of which is a Jehovah Witness and one that is not. They both were asked to spit on the American Flag. In this situation, the Jehovah’s Witness won’t and the other would. One might ask “Why don’t you spit on the flag even though you don’t solute it?” The answer from the Johana’s Witness would be simply, “I don’t pledge my allegiance to the flag, but I wouldn’t disrespect it either.” They are neutral.
Jehovah’s Witnesses contribute to the American Culture because they feel they are the advocates of their God’s kingdom. They are not of the political, economic, or social system of any nation of the old world. They did have their modern day start in the United States. They do pay taxes, which means they work regular jobs just like any other person.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not interfere with what others do about sharing in patriotic ceremonies. Like, sharing in the armed forces and joining a political party or even voting. They worship their god only. They believe that if Christians under one nation go to war against another nation they would be fighting against fellow believers.
They believe that fighting against the same people who prayed for help to the same god is wrong. That is why they won’t go to war and will serve time in jail or prison to avoid killing their Christian brothers and sisters. However they are not afraid to die for their faith. If they are threatened with death or to renounce their faith, they will die for what they believe in.
I know that before my children went into foster care I had limited information on what Jehovah’s Witnesses were all about. I was under the impression that they only went house to house on Saturdays knocking on doors. I thought they were annoying. Feeling like everywhere I went I was approached by one saying that they are the only true word of God, when I thought my god was. I learned quickly that everyone has a different idea of what their God was. Jehovah’s witnesses have been known to not celebrate holidays like birthdays, Christmas, or thanksgiving.
I would use their religion as a type of threat toward my children saying “If you don’t knock it off we will become Jehovah’s Witness and then you won’t get presents during birthdays or holidays.” Since, my children are in a home with this as the main religion and belief system, I feel like I should apologize to them because I must have sounded like a bigot. I think that the discrimination and stereotyping that Jehovah’s Witnesses experience comes from a lack of understanding by anyone of a different belief.
I think that what I have learned about this religious group did help me understand it. It helped me to realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses, like any other religion, just want to show everyone that what they believe is not bad. They want to show what their religion means. They want the same as others do, the belief that you can be saved by a god.
The racial/ethnic group that I chose is the Pacific Islanders. I chose this group because I don’t know nothing about it. I think getting information on this group will be extremely interesting. Pacific Islanders are from many different places. American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Mariana Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, and the Independent State of Western Samoa. (http://www.pica-org.org/websurf/websurf.html).
In 2011 there were approximately 1,371,564 Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders who live within the United States. They significantly reside in California, Washington, Utah, Texas, New York, Texas, and Florida. They make up about .4% of the U.S. Population (http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=71)
On May 29, 2013 President Obama spoke about AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/aapi/blog) I thought that was very interesting. He talked about his Pacific Islander ethnic background. He said:
“We value these voices because from the very beginning, ours has been a nation of immigrants; a nation challenged and shaped and push ever forward by diverse perspectives and fresh thinking. And in order to keep our edge and stay ahead in the global race, we need to figure out a way to fix our broken immigration system-to welcome that infusion of newness, while still maintaining the enduring strength of our laws. And the service and the leadership of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have proved that point in time and again.”
Listening to him give a speech about the greatness of Pacific Islanders made me appreciate that ethnic group even more. Pacific Islanders speak over 100 different languages and come from more than 56 ethnic groups. (http://www.cdc.gov/features/aapiheritagemonth/). They are parts of many different religions. Like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Growing up in my church there were many Pacific Islanders members of our church. I can remember many of them having big families with many children.
The Pacific Islanders do many things to contribute to American Culture. They contribute by working jobs. 7.4 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are employed in the United States.
They make up 5.3% of the total workforce in the United States. About 300,000 workers are Pacific Islanders. (http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/diversity-and-change July 2011, Hye Jin Rho, John Schmitt, Nicole Woo, Lucia Lin and Kent Wong) Like many other cultures, they bring their delicious foods. They have a multitude of food from different countries. They bring that all to the table here in the United States. Although some of them have changed their diets to a more of an American way of eating, some still eat the foods of their lands.
Throughout history, there has been many instances of racism and sexism toward Pacific Islanders in the United States Pacific Islanders continue to face oppression, racism, and discrimination in the United States. Since Pacific Islanders have a higher rate of diabetes they were charged higher rates for health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act Will be a very good change for Pacific Islanders. They are known to suffer from higher rates of all types of circular diseases like, stroke, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. They also have the highest rates of obesity. The Affordable Care Act will change it so that it will be easier to get health care for them. Some states have had an English-only type of initiative. They seem to be for people who only speak English.
I had no idea they were even allowed by law. It seems as though that people find ways to discriminate even with the laws that have been put in place. Just because some people cannot speak any other language, besides English. For them everything needs to be in English and no other language. About a century before, European-Americans did not allow people who didn’t speak English to learn English because they were afraid that they would become a minority. They were afraid of being “out-smarted” by others.
They didn’t want to have to compete for fear of losing. I don’t believe this is fair. That is why I am glad there are some many laws coming into effect as well as more to come to make this country an even better place. (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/ACA&AsianAmericans&PacificIslanders/rb.shtml)
Most European Americans have discriminated against Pacific Islanders because they didn’t know English. The European Americans were afraid that if the Pacific Islanders learned English they would exceed them in many ways. They would become the minority. Many of the European Americans were believed to be threatened by this.
I think I now have a better understanding of what it is like to be a Pacific Islander. The discrimination they have faced has seemed to make them a stronger people. I am happy to have them as part of my country.
In conclusion, both Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Pacific Islander, people have experienced a discrimination that seems to have happened because of people who do not understand what they go through daily. They both seem to succeed in their lives because of the discrimination they have experienced. The Jehovah’s Witnesses hold up to their beliefs like the Pacific Islanders stand strong with their ethnic background.
They are different because one is a religion and one is an ethnic group. An ethnic group is a group of people who have the same customs or origin. A religion is a belief in a god or a group of gods. I think that both the Pacific Islanders and the Jehovah’s Witnesses get discriminated against because of a lack of understanding.