Civil Liberties

Man who burned Bible fined £666 for “racially aggravated assault”

A Devon man who burned his wife’s Bible in a row over Christmas has been fined £666 by Exeter magistrates. According to, Jason Mortimore “was upset with his wife Rachael because he feared her strict religious principles were going to stop their three children celebrating Christmas”.

Apparently, Mrs Mortimore had become a Jehovah’s Witness (or, rather, “returned to her faith of Jehovah Witness”), and JWs don’t celebrate Christmas. So, fearing his wife was about to play the Grinch (or the Sheriff of Nottingham), Mr Mortimore slapped his wife around a bit and burned her New World Bible along with sundry copies of the The Watchtower magazine in the garden incinerator.

Jason Mortimore admitted racially aggravated assault and criminal damage at Exeter magistrates court, and was fined £666, the number of the beast, which evidences a certain sense of humour on the part of the Magistrates.

But this is very odd.

Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t a race.

Nor, indeed, are Christians (let’s set aside for a moment JW cultic non-trinitarian beliefs and detachment from two millennia of Christian orthodoxy). It is a crime to beat one’s wife (unless, of course, one places the Qur’an and Hadith above UK law), and it is also a crime to destroy someone else’s property without their consent. It is a crime to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their religion in the workplace or in the provision of goods and services. But it is not a racist crime to beat one’s wife because she is a Jehovah’s Witness and is intent on cancelling Christmas. Assuming Rachael Mortimore to be of the same Caucasian stock as her husband, and knowing that they had been married for 12 years without ethnicity being an issue, it isn’t clear at all why Jason Mortimore pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault.

If Jehovah’s Witnesses are now a race, the implications are rather concerning, not least for the inevitable emergence of Jehovahphobia.

When they next come knocking at your door, be careful not to query their ditching of ‘testaments’ or to make any criticism of their decision to render Kyrios in the NT as ‘Jehovah’ to bolster their denominational identity, for this might now constitute a ‘hate crime’. And don’t disrespect their Grinchish anti-Christmas tendencies or their belief that Armageddon is imminent, for this would be racial bigotry. And don’t, whatever you do, denigrate their prophet and pastor Charles Taze Russell who founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society in the late 1870s, for this would manifest an irrational prejudice against Russellists whose distinct ethnicity must be held to be of equal worth and virtue as the races of all faiths.

The Jehovah’s Witness path of salvation is a plan of damnation, for it teaches not only the mortality of the soul and the nonexistence of hell, but the annihilation of the Lord Jesus Christ who was not God, was not physically resurrected and will not return to earth as a man. If death means the extinction of being, then Jesus became extinct at Calvary annihilated. And so the gulf between deity and humanity remains unbridged, redemption is a failure and salvation beyond the hope of fallen man.

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

Should you be offered a New World Bible or handed free copies of The Watchtower or Arise!, please burn them. You would be doing the world of truth and people’s souls an eternal service.