Why Serena Williams losing her #1 Spot is Gratification for an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness

Serena Williams, you’re one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen, period. But there’s another side to you, one that is especially exasperating to people who used to be members of Jehovah’s Witnesses: the one where you sadly symbolize the hypocrisy and bigotry of JW.org and the Watchtower Society. You know, that religious Cult whose God you say is your secret weapon.

And that makes it quite a bit gratifying that German athlete Angelique Kerber claimed the #1 spot in global Tennis, snatching it from a visibly distraught Serena. Serena Williams and her sister Venus are professed Jehovah’s Witnesses. Serena is said to participate in the proselytizing work, she is a regular visitor to the Kingdom Hall and she speaks openly about her faith:

As a Jehovah’s Witness, she explains, she doesn’t celebrate birthdays or Christmas, and is not allowed to vote.

Serena says they have kept to themselves for a number of reasons. “I think it was the race, the Jehovah’s Witness and just not joining in with other people. (Source)

In a 2002 interview with ASAP Sports, she put it like this: “I am Jehovah’s Witness. If you don’t believe in God — I think if you don’t believe in God, it’s going to be tough to live life because pretty much that’s the basis of life, it comes from God. And so being a Jehovah’s Witness, obviously we believe in God and the Bible. And without Him, I wouldn’t be here right now. I really thank Him for everything.” (Source)

During an interview following her July 11 Wimbledon victory, a radiant Serena Williams pointed to the sky and declared: “I have to give thanks to Jehovah God for today. I just really relied on His strength.”

Religion News Service (RNS) had anticipated her words in the July 10 article, “Serena Williams’ Secret Weapon: ‘Jehovah God.’” (Source)

So why is Serena Williams a source of frustration for former (and possibly: current) Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Because her way of life would get the rank and file into trouble:

Now, personally, I’m fine with all of that (minus the threatening bit, I guess). I really am. And it is not really about Serena either. It’s about the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. All of these things are no-gos for members of the organization.

You see, the above-mentioned conduct would warrant a sit-down with the Elders of any congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You’d be at least reprimanded, if not stripped of your privileges (like partaking in the proselytizing work). Going naked for a magazine cover (eg. “loose conduct”) would not get you disfellowshipped (eg. ex-communicated) per se but the community would most definitely distance itself from you. But if you were repeatedly seen partying at birthdays of friends, you would be disfellowshipped, meaning: your friends and family no longer would have any contact with you.

And yes, it makes no difference that Serena Williams and her sister reportedly aren’t baptized members. In a major change, JW.org has extended the shunning policy to include inactive members who have transgressed. But also unbaptized professed Jehovah’s Witnesses are subject to scrutiny and risk being labeled bad association, in effect a kind of shunning light, which would implicate any true Jehovah’s Witness avoiding you for fear of being reprimanded as well (yes, there is guilt by association among Jehovah’s Witnesses).

Just as a small amount of pollution can contaminate clean water, friendship with those who do not practice godly devotion can contaminate our spirituality and lead us into adopting worldly viewpoints, dress, speech, and conduct. – JW.org

Occasionally, there may be a situation in the congregation that calls for us to watch our association. Some individuals might engage in questionable conduct. […] Paul cautioned Timothy that even among fellow Christians, there might be some who do not act honorably. Timothy was told to keep clear of such ones, not making them his close associates. – JW.org

This is how the rank and file is dealt with. Serena Williams (or other prominent Witnesses) ? Not so much.

Am I being petty? Maybe. But as a Jehovah’s Witness, I experienced close friends being publicly shamed for far less. I profited off the double-standard among Jehovah’s Witnesses myself (I elaborated on this in a piece I wrote for JW Survey). That’s why this subject is one I take seriously.

Dear Serena, it’s nothing personal. I hope you live your life to full effect and I am sincerely happy about every Jehovah’s Witness that doesn’t give a f*ck about the batshit rules in place in the organization. But for me and many other former Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is frustrating to see how JW.org treats you differently than normal members. For a religious group that claims to be the only true religion, that claims to be directed by God himself, that prides itself on its honesty, its love, that prides itself on being the happiest people on earth, this is unacceptable.

So, Serena, I hope you understand that, despite being one of the greatest athletes alive, when I watch you play, I see a symbol of the bigotry and hypocrisy of a Cult. Plus, on a side note, your secret weapon Jehovah God somehow failed you. And that’s why it’s a bit gratifying to know Angelique Kerber has taken your spot for now. No offense.

7 thoughts on “Why Serena Williams losing her #1 Spot is Gratification for an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness

  1. I disagree with one of the statements made in the article; anybody other than a celebrity JW WOULD be disfellowshipped for having their nude photograph on a magazine cover. The WTS changed “loose conduct” to “brazen conduct” a few years ago, and it’s a disfellowshipping offense. I know, ‘cuz I was on a judicial committee where we DF’d somebody for that “offense.” (Not my proudest moment, and I left the cult shortly afterwards).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with @dgeek2016 I happen to know personally a Jehovahs Witness who posed for ‘ The Hustler’ magazine and was disfellowshipped and sunned immediately. There is absolutely no way any baptised witness would not be disfellowshipped for this or many other types of conduct on that list, including the celebrity parties ( bad association). The reason the Williams sisters get away with this behaviour is simply because they are not bapised Jehovahs Witnesses.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Have no respect for Serena and Venus Williams and the countless other celebrities who sing the praises of the Jehovah’s Witness organization and keep silent about the rampant child sex abuse within the JWorg Watchtower organization. Serena and Venus Williams are part of the Watchtower organization, which demands child victims of sexual abuse to produce 2 eye witnesses to the crime or else they command “leave it to Jehovah God to fix it.” In addition, Serena and Venus’ Williams beloved Jehovah organization keeps a Pedophile Database of approximately 27,000 child sex predators within their organization. Digusting

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Simply because Serena professes to be a Witness doesn’t mean she actually is. What is the GB going to do, come out and tell everyone she’s a liar? People can profess whatever they want and maybe she does believe in Jehovah, although it’s ridiculous as a “Witness” to claim that God is backing your tennis career (ha!). However, I completely agree with your double standard point, because regardless of the situation, celebs get away with far more than an avg Witness would…God’s organization…pfft! Prince was obviously in a similar situation, but he was far more active than either of the Williams’ sisters and his journey was documented and publicized. Yet the WBTS used his fame to their advantage and allowed him to do only God knows what…”Look who we’ve got, we must be the truth for Prince to change his life.” Bull. Shit.


  4. Its all B.S.
    These Celebrities incl. Jacksons and Prince all DO NOT FOLLOW THE PRINCIPLES OF ANYONE!
    Kathryn Jackson/Remy are the only remaining active in the Faith


  5. My younger sister and I were both unbaptized publishers in the early 90s. We were blindsided after the Sunday meeting and called into a judicial committee meeting. The reason was for being on the student council in our high school. We answered the questions honestly and were dismissed. The following Thursday night meeting, much to our surprise and our family, it was announced that we were officially disassociated and no longer considered JWs. For all the congregation knew, we were doing drugs, having sex, and who knows what else. We never had a chance to explain the reason because after that, no one speaks to you. So being unbaptized is not always an easy excuse to go unpunished for breaking the ridiculous rules they’ve set up. Maybe Serina donates generously?


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