Exchange with the Jehovah's Witness

Monday, July 12
Well, after yesterday, things had to improve. I didn't want to awaken in the middle of an morning military exercise so I got up early and hit the road. On the way I was stopped by the Idaho National Guard MP's wanting to know what I was up to. Both young men were friendly and we talked for quite a while about the Constitution and the government. I told them where I had slept the night before and hoped they wouldn't have to remove my eyes or anything - they thought that was pretty funny. I gave them one of my cards and we parted as friends.
I took a longer and safer route to Mountain Home refusing to do Map Quest's suggested gravel road. A gravel road is hard work! Remember riding a bicycle in loose gravel? Well, it was the same for me with my cart. "Fool me once shame on Map Quest, fool me twice shame on me." Anyway, I eventually made it to a paved road again and had a brisk wind to my back.
As I walk along people stop and talk with me - too many to note them all but today I met a man worth mentioning - Griff, the Jehovah's Witness.
I was walking past a mobile home with several barking dogs when a middle aged man came lumbering out telling his dogs to hush. Like other people, he wondered what I was up to and listened attentively while I spoke. When I finally finished, he surprised me by stating that he was not interested in such matters for all government was corrupt and that God's New Kingdom will soon take its place. Since he had politely listened to me,  I figured I owed him the same favor in return. Standing there under the hot Idaho sun we had a great discussion and though we did not agree, we could agree to part as friends. I respect him for his beliefs and he said he respected me for mine. Isn't there a lesson here? I felt a bond of mutual respect had developed between us even though we had very different views. Before departing, he handed me some Watchtower publications and I gave him a copy of the Bill of Rights. Bidding farewell, I continued down the rural roadway musing over our sincere exchange of ideas. I had not gone far when Griff came driving up to deliver another parting gift - a very cold can of Pepsi and a bag containing 20 Power Bars! We thanked each other, shook hands, and departed with good feelings once again. Kidding him as I walked away, I suggested he might want to leave his power running while waiting for the New Kingdom. He thought that over for a moment, then chuckled.
I guess Jehovah's Witnesses too have a sense of humor.

I had wanted to make it to Mountain View but with 5 more miles at the end of another long day, I made camp outside of town.


  1. Mr Brown: As a lover of liberty, your chance encounter with a Jehovah's Witness (as I am) was fitting. As you are probably aware, this religious minority has done more to define and preserve our civil rights than any other group (see Wikipedia quote below). The U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed over 70 cases involving Jehovah’s Witnesses, two thirds of which were decided in their favor.

    Chris Scheck, Brooklyn NY

    Wikipedia says: "In the United States and several other countries, the legal struggles of the Jehovah's Witnesses have yielded some of the most important judicial decisions regarding freedom of religion, press and speech. The resulting litigation has helped to define civil liberties case law in the United States and in most Western societies.[1]

    Former Supreme Court Justice Harlan Stone jokingly suggested "The Jehovah's Witnesses ought to have an endowment in view of the aid which they give in solving the legal problems of civil liberties."[2]

    "Like it or not," observed American author and editor Irving Dilliard, "Jehovah's Witnesses have done more to help preserve our freedoms than any other religious group."

    Before the Jehovah's Witnesses brought several dozen cases before the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1930s and 1940s, the Court had handled few cases contesting laws that restricted freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Until then, the First Amendment had only been applied to acts of Congress and more broadly to acts of the federal government."'s_Witnesses_and_civil_liberties_in_the_United_States

  2. I would have liked to talk to him. Being a Christan (you know that), I thought it would have been cool to learn more about his religion. I always want to learn more about them from someone who is actually IN that religion.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Brown!

    -Margaret Hibdon

  3. Hello Mr. Brown,
    I just wanted to let you know that not only your students from 2010 are watching over you but all your classes are. I have never taken away lessons from school so much as memorized and forgotten them. You get a grade and move on. But as for you, you have shaped my life and given me something i can truly take with me, yes you branded into my brain the constitution, bill of rights, history in general but i took away so much more than that. I can look at you and see a man of passion and knowledge, you inspire every single person you meet to do better, be better. You bring out the good that we all should have, and you remind us that a single person can make such a huge difference. I hope all is well with you and that the strength of this earth can carry you on your journey.
    Remember this:
    " Not all that wander are lost"
    also, i would love to sit down and have a good,warm conversation about your adventures and ideas with when you return.

  4. Hey mr.brown i miss you so freakin much its insane! how are you? i really wish you were here i need your help and opinions. miss you and love you so much! your fave TANISHA WILLIAMSON