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World News 

Jehovah’s Witnesses swap Bible bags for tool bags.

WHEN it comes to preparing Qualcomm Stadium for the ’98 Super Bowl, San Diego’s city leaders are enlisting a little spiritual aid. 

In an innovative contract, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have agreed to renovate stadium offices and repair locker and lunch rooms to the tune of $383,000 before the game.

The bulk of their payment — $329,000 worth — won’t be in cash but in stadium rent credits for their future annual conventions.

It turns out, that for three years the religious denomination has been making repairs and helping maintain the stadium as a trade-off for rental fees.

This brings new meaning to one NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s favourite oxymoronic descriptions of the Super Bowl as: “The most sacred secular event.”

From the “San Diego Union Tribune” of Thursday, Nov. 13, 1997.

Dad chooses wife’s health over religion.

A NEW father in Melbourne believes he has given his life to save his wife.

Yesterday he chose the life of his wife over his Jehovah’s Witness religion ,which forbids blood transfusions.

The man’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child last Friday, but refused a blood transfusion before lapsing into unconsciousness after losing litres of blood.

The 21-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, suffered complications after the birth and continued to bleed until most of her blood was lost.

Soon after the birth, she was transferred from the Mercy Hospital for Woman to the intensive care unit of another hospital.

She has not regained consciousness since then. Her distraught husband has been keeping a bedside vigil, but yesterday gave his wife a chance at life by turning his back on his religious beliefs.

A relative of the couple who also does not wish to be named, said the father had agonised for days because he feared being ostracised by his church.

“He said he wanted to save his wife’s life but he lost himself, because he is not going to go to heaven,” he said.

Yesterday morning he gained an emergency order allowing doctors to administer a vital blood transfusion.

The distressed husband yesterday said the most important thing to him was that his wife recovered.

“She is getting better now,” he said tearfully.

The husband said it was the most difficult decision of his life.

The father and his relatives collected his healthy new son from the Mercy Hospital yesterday.

The couple was baptised in the religion last year and signed over their medical power of attorney to the local pastor.

A relative said members of the church had attended the hospital, telling the father not to weaken from his original decision not to start legal proceedings.

“He is scared they might retaliate against him,” he said.

A spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Melbourne said he was not aware of the case and was reluctant to comment, but said: “We do not ostracise anybody.”

The spokesman said the edict against blood transfusions was not something decided by the Jehovah’s Witness religion: “It’s in the bible.

February 25, 1998 – Brisbane Australia by Carolyn Alexander – Courier Mail, page 2.


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