How Do You Say “Baha’i” In Sign Language?

bahai-sign-languageAs far as I know, there is no official way to sign “Baha’i” in sign language.

Stephen Bedingfield offers the suggested sign – to the left – for the deaf and hard of hearing community to represent the word “Baha’i”. If I’m blessed enough to have any readers from that community, I’d appreciate their input.

This reminds me of a story: One day I was dining at an outdoor cafe with a Baha’i friend when we were approached by a deaf person who simply placed a small, well-worn card on our table and walked away to do the same to the other tables.

When I picked it up I read that he was asking for money and explaining that he was deaf. When he returned to our table, my friend surprised him by speaking to him in sign language. At first he was shocked because she was not deaf but had by choice learned sign language.

I sat there transfixed for a few minutes as a dizzying array of finger and hand gestures flew in front of my face. I was curious what they were talking about but obviously had no way to know. After he had left my friend told me that she was trying to convince him to see himself as someone who could achieve more in life and not to accept that this was all he could be.

It didn’t look like she convinced him but it did, once again, renew the question of whether Baha’is are allowed or supposed to give alms to needy persons.

According to the Baha’i Faith, begging and asceticism are forbidden. But can we help those in dire need? should we? We have the example of Abdu’l-Baha who regularly pressed coins into the hands of beggars. We also have Writings which make the Baha’i institutions, and especially the Universal House of Justice, responsible for the well-being of the poor, orphans and elderly.

If ye meet the abased or the down-trodden, turn not away disdainfully from them, for the King of Glory ever watcheth over them and surroundeth them with such tenderness as none can fathom except them that have suffered their wishes and desires to be merged in the Will of your Lord, the Gracious, the All-Wise. O ye rich ones of the earth! Flee not from the face of the poor that lieth in the dust, nay rather befriend him and suffer him to recount the tale of the woes with which God’s inscrutable Decree hath caused him to be afflicted. By the righteousness of God! Whilst ye consort with him, the Concourse on high will be looking upon you, will be interceding for you, will be extolling your names and glorifying your action.
Baha’u’llah

There is also this Hidden Word:

O MY SERVANT!
The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all words.
Baha’u’llah

What are you thoughts? Have you ever given money to a beggar? did you feel guilty as a Baha’i? or do you make it a policy to not give money to beggars?

  • Anonymouz

    Great subject.

    My view is give help and support, clothes, food, resources etc…but never money. I have caught “homeless” people in their scams so I am skeptical about handing out cash.

    For example…I was at a gas station once and I was approached by a someone “who had run out of gas”. He said all he needed was 5 dollars to get enough in his car to get to where he was going. Naturally being at the gas station, I offered to fill up his temporary jug. He said, “no no thats ok, I can do it, just give me the money”. I said “hey buddy, let me fill it up and I will give you a ride back to your car”. He got angry and glared at him and said, “no, just give me the cash.” Needless to say he was a crack head and I drove off. I caught him several times after that doing the same thing.

    When I was younger, some of us neighborhood kids stumbled upon a group of homeless people living in the woods near us. We got together socks, blankets, old shoes and so food and took it to them. They were very grateful and thanked us. Later on, I saw one of them pull out a huge wad of cash, at least $2,000. We were told that they were working together to get themselves out of the position and they were almost there…

    In America today, there are plenty of resources for homeless people and I see no need to give money. Services and good is fine.

    Craig,

    Its too bad you have such bad feelings about Haifa. I do not agree with your perceptions because my experience has been completely different and it is unfortunate that you feel burned. Many have come and gone before you that have not help such animosity, let it go man, and move on. Start a devotional gathering or a study course on a subject of the Faith…it doesn’t have to be Ruhi.

    Grover,
    You bring up good points and no doubt we should meet all and show forgiveness, but you must see the damage that can be caused if left unchecked. People need to know what the Baha’i Faith is not just as much as they need to know what it is. Mr. Glaysher’s attempts at schism are antithetical to Baha’u’llah’s teachings. Period.

    He knows well enough that he is welcome back into the community and we would hold no grudges, but I do not see that happening.

  • Anonymouz

    Great subject.

    My view is give help and support, clothes, food, resources etc…but never money. I have caught “homeless” people in their scams so I am skeptical about handing out cash.

    For example…I was at a gas station once and I was approached by a someone “who had run out of gas”. He said all he needed was 5 dollars to get enough in his car to get to where he was going. Naturally being at the gas station, I offered to fill up his temporary jug. He said, “no no thats ok, I can do it, just give me the money”. I said “hey buddy, let me fill it up and I will give you a ride back to your car”. He got angry and glared at him and said, “no, just give me the cash.” Needless to say he was a crack head and I drove off. I caught him several times after that doing the same thing.

    When I was younger, some of us neighborhood kids stumbled upon a group of homeless people living in the woods near us. We got together socks, blankets, old shoes and so food and took it to them. They were very grateful and thanked us. Later on, I saw one of them pull out a huge wad of cash, at least $2,000. We were told that they were working together to get themselves out of the position and they were almost there…

    In America today, there are plenty of resources for homeless people and I see no need to give money. Services and good is fine.

    Craig,

    Its too bad you have such bad feelings about Haifa. I do not agree with your perceptions because my experience has been completely different and it is unfortunate that you feel burned. Many have come and gone before you that have not help such animosity, let it go man, and move on. Start a devotional gathering or a study course on a subject of the Faith…it doesn’t have to be Ruhi.

    Grover,
    You bring up good points and no doubt we should meet all and show forgiveness, but you must see the damage that can be caused if left unchecked. People need to know what the Baha’i Faith is not just as much as they need to know what it is. Mr. Glaysher’s attempts at schism are antithetical to Baha’u’llah’s teachings. Period.

    He knows well enough that he is welcome back into the community and we would hold no grudges, but I do not see that happening.

  • Craig Parke

    Baquia wrote:

    “According to the Baha’i Faith, begging and asceticism are forbidden. But can we help those in dire need? should we? We have the example of Abdu’l-Baha who regularly pressed coins into the hands of beggars. We also have Writings which make the Baha’i institutions, and especially the Universal House of Justice, responsible for the well-being of the poor, orphans and elderly.”

    I would say in 2008 you can expand the question to this: Does the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith care about the well being of ANYONE ON EARTH * UNLESS * they are a PREDATORY MARK for potential conversion?

    When I was in Haifa on Pilgrimage in 1982 I was privileged to have a very, very long afternoon talk with Mr. Furatan. He and I apparently had a very great affinity in our thinking. He told me that in his view the great work of the Faith now that it was fully established on every Continent and in most nations and territories, was to stop the grievous bloodshed on Earth. This was my great motivation in the Faith for 32 years. Our mission was to stop the horrendous never ending bloodshed by spiritual means. This vision kept me going to meeting after meeting for decades.

    I always saw the mission of the Faith in “soldier archetype” terms since my Great Uncle was severely wounded in October 1918 in the Battle of the Argonne forest and suffered catastrophic brain damage. My Grandmother had to teach him to put his clothes on, tie his
    own shoes, and eat with a spoon. He could only talk in short sentences. Over the years he would say to her taking a slow, long rasping breath before every word “Life…hell…better…dead.” He spent all of his remaining life in VA hospitals. The family looked after him as best it could in the 1920′s, 1930′s, and 1940′s. He died in 1954. I met him as a small boy. It made a very great impression on me. He had the thickest, whitest hair I had ever seen. His head was permanently hung down in his wheel chair.

    I guess in my psyche Stanley Kubrick said it best for me in the famous 1957 film “Paths of Glory”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHp5HfA5hIA

    This is what someone on Youtube recently did with an audio remix of footage from this famous film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUeQUcLpRWo

    This is also what another person on Youtube recently did with an audio remix of footage from it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIoUCkvIkmQ&NR=1

    I wonder if any of our top guys inside the permanent arrogant and pompous never-heldaccountable-in-anything-ever-lifetime-incumbent-cult-bubble ever read Sebastien Japrisot’s 1993 electrifying novel “Un long dimanche de fian?ailles” (“A Very Long Engagement”) or ever saw the 2004 film?

    With the technical advances in film making in the last 50 years, this French film is probably one of the best recent treatments of WWI in cinema.

    Maybe the people currently at the top of the Baha’i Faith should get out of their “constant exhaustive efforting” Ruhiized mindset and at least study the cinematography of Bruno Delbonnel in this fine film and try to think on a much broader and much more connected scale with humanity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7h1oFU9kEs

    I say that only being connected with the human race to SEE other human beings as SOLELY PREDATORY MARKS FOR CONVERSION has completely destroyed us.

    In this New World Age we were to use ALL WORDS OF SPIRITUALITY AND INSIGHT FROM * EVERY * SPIRITUAL THOUGHT SYSTEM ON EARTH to connect our souls with the Grandeur and Majesty of the Universe and NOT with the top down “Plans” of petty and limited sociopathic top down apparatchik hacks.

    The current mentality at the highest lifetime incumbent levels of the Baha’i Faith in their personal ideologies have apparently entirely written off the suffering soldiers of the nations.

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men
    in Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”

    - Glenford Mitchell
    Fomer Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i World Faith

    “LIBERTY is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…LIBERTY is the only object which BENEFITS ALL ALIKE, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS
    IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.”

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

    “These executions will be a perfect tonic for the entire division. There are few things more fundamentally encouraging and stimulating than seeing someone else die.”

    ~General George Broulard “The Paths of Glory”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2uKZdr9L5Y

    Yes. In the actual full film they PULL THE TRIGGER.

    In your mind in the famous film sequence substitute former UHJ member Glenford Mitchell for the Catholic Priest giving them Last Rights.

    The same old, same old.

    Remember the fate of the Bab before such men.

    The Bab is an archetype of humanity before unjust men.

    Judgment Day has now come upon these men.

    Baha’u’llah was no supporter of tyranny.

    Baha’u’llah gave us the PLANETARY VOTE in His system.

    With the rise of the Internet how power is given and how power is taken away on this planet in ALL electoral processes in ALL POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE is going to DRAMATICalLY CHANGE over the next 100 years.

    COMPLETE transparency and openness in all things is coming.

    COMPLETE and TOTAL accountability is coming.

    TERM LIMITS in ALL SYSTEMS are coming.

    God help people in their tiny incestuous cult bubbles that did not get the memo.

    The Promised Day Has Come in human affairs.

    Your vote is a bullet in which you shoot to kill.

    Use it wisely.

    Everyone keep posting 24/7/365/1000.

  • Craig Parke

    Baquia wrote:

    “According to the Baha’i Faith, begging and asceticism are forbidden. But can we help those in dire need? should we? We have the example of Abdu’l-Baha who regularly pressed coins into the hands of beggars. We also have Writings which make the Baha’i institutions, and especially the Universal House of Justice, responsible for the well-being of the poor, orphans and elderly.”

    I would say in 2008 you can expand the question to this: Does the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith care about the well being of ANYONE ON EARTH * UNLESS * they are a PREDATORY MARK for potential conversion?

    When I was in Haifa on Pilgrimage in 1982 I was privileged to have a very, very long afternoon talk with Mr. Furatan. He and I apparently had a very great affinity in our thinking. He told me that in his view the great work of the Faith now that it was fully established on every Continent and in most nations and territories, was to stop the grievous bloodshed on Earth. This was my great motivation in the Faith for 32 years. Our mission was to stop the horrendous never ending bloodshed by spiritual means. This vision kept me going to meeting after meeting for decades.

    I always saw the mission of the Faith in “soldier archetype” terms since my Great Uncle was severely wounded in October 1918 in the Battle of the Argonne forest and suffered catastrophic brain damage. My Grandmother had to teach him to put his clothes on, tie his
    own shoes, and eat with a spoon. He could only talk in short sentences. Over the years he would say to her taking a slow, long rasping breath before every word “Life…hell…better…dead.” He spent all of his remaining life in VA hospitals. The family looked after him as best it could in the 1920′s, 1930′s, and 1940′s. He died in 1954. I met him as a small boy. It made a very great impression on me. He had the thickest, whitest hair I had ever seen. His head was permanently hung down in his wheel chair.

    I guess in my psyche Stanley Kubrick said it best for me in the famous 1957 film “Paths of Glory”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHp5HfA5hIA

    This is what someone on Youtube recently did with an audio remix of footage from this famous film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUeQUcLpRWo

    This is also what another person on Youtube recently did with an audio remix of footage from it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIoUCkvIkmQ&NR=1

    I wonder if any of our top guys inside the permanent arrogant and pompous never-heldaccountable-in-anything-ever-lifetime-incumbent-cult-bubble ever read Sebastien Japrisot’s 1993 electrifying novel “Un long dimanche de fian?ailles” (“A Very Long Engagement”) or ever saw the 2004 film?

    With the technical advances in film making in the last 50 years, this French film is probably one of the best recent treatments of WWI in cinema.

    Maybe the people currently at the top of the Baha’i Faith should get out of their “constant exhaustive efforting” Ruhiized mindset and at least study the cinematography of Bruno Delbonnel in this fine film and try to think on a much broader and much more connected scale with humanity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7h1oFU9kEs

    I say that only being connected with the human race to SEE other human beings as SOLELY PREDATORY MARKS FOR CONVERSION has completely destroyed us.

    In this New World Age we were to use ALL WORDS OF SPIRITUALITY AND INSIGHT FROM * EVERY * SPIRITUAL THOUGHT SYSTEM ON EARTH to connect our souls with the Grandeur and Majesty of the Universe and NOT with the top down “Plans” of petty and limited sociopathic top down apparatchik hacks.

    The current mentality at the highest lifetime incumbent levels of the Baha’i Faith in their personal ideologies have apparently entirely written off the suffering soldiers of the nations.

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men
    in Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”

    - Glenford Mitchell
    Fomer Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i World Faith

    “LIBERTY is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end…LIBERTY is the only object which BENEFITS ALL ALIKE, and provokes no sincere opposition…The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. EVERY CLASS
    IS UNFIT TO GOVERN…POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.”

    - Lord Acton (1834-1902)

    “These executions will be a perfect tonic for the entire division. There are few things more fundamentally encouraging and stimulating than seeing someone else die.”

    ~General George Broulard “The Paths of Glory”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2uKZdr9L5Y

    Yes. In the actual full film they PULL THE TRIGGER.

    In your mind in the famous film sequence substitute former UHJ member Glenford Mitchell for the Catholic Priest giving them Last Rights.

    The same old, same old.

    Remember the fate of the Bab before such men.

    The Bab is an archetype of humanity before unjust men.

    Judgment Day has now come upon these men.

    Baha’u’llah was no supporter of tyranny.

    Baha’u’llah gave us the PLANETARY VOTE in His system.

    With the rise of the Internet how power is given and how power is taken away on this planet in ALL electoral processes in ALL POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE is going to DRAMATICalLY CHANGE over the next 100 years.

    COMPLETE transparency and openness in all things is coming.

    COMPLETE and TOTAL accountability is coming.

    TERM LIMITS in ALL SYSTEMS are coming.

    God help people in their tiny incestuous cult bubbles that did not get the memo.

    The Promised Day Has Come in human affairs.

    Your vote is a bullet in which you shoot to kill.

    Use it wisely.

    Everyone keep posting 24/7/365/1000.

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    Two things:

    1. My daughter is hard of hearing, and our family uses something known as pidgin signed English (PSE). It is ASL signs with English syntax. We sign Baha’i with the sign shown above, and now my daughter’s school and Baha’i community use it, too. I found it on the Internet, talked with our Deaf mentor about it, and she said it works with ASL because it’s iconic (that is to say the sign relates directly to the experience of the thing).

    Basically when I talk with people about Baha’i, I fingerspell it for them, then show them the sign. I have a ringstone symbol ring that I use to show them how the sign relates to Baha’i teachings.

    2. The issue of “deaf-mutes” is a big one in the Deaf world. I have read that many Deaf people feel the begging “deaf-mutes” perpetuate the myth that Deaf people are not capable of getting an education, working at jobs, owning a home, raising a family, and whatever else hearing people do, except hear.

    That said, as a Baha’i I definitely take to heart that “The poor in your midst are My trust. Guard ye my trust.” I do not like to give money because I know it can be used for drugs and in my neighborhood they are way too easy to get (and many people buying, sadly).

    So I keep food in my car. My alms of choice? Sardines with a pop-top. It’s got lots of calories, protein, calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids (great for the brain!), and they’re low on mercury because they’re low on the food chain. It’s practially the perfect survival food. They keep for ages, all you need is a fork to eat it, it’s soft for those who have bad teeth, requires no heating and a single serving is in each can; no refrigeration required. Even the can is recyclable, which is good for some homeless people who collect aluminum to redeem.

    Also, in the summer I try to keep a case of water bottles in the car.

    I do have more of a friendship with a couple of the homeless people who live near me, and when I see them I might offer them a ride to MacDonalds and buy them a meal, then a ride back to their post. I try to keep in mind that their feet can be in bad shape, so a ride is a blessing sometimes.

    For my homeless friends, I have learned to pretty much stay out of their business. They are adults and make their own choices. One of my friends told me his grown daughter keeps offering her home to him, but he doesn’t want to be a burden. He told me this on a day it was 20* below zero here in Chicago. I suggested he take his daughter up on her offer and felt his defenses rise. I guess this need he has to be independent is more important than having someplace safe and warm. His choice, not mine.

    I guess if I meet a deaf-mute beggar, I will treat him or her in the same way. If my daughter asks about it, I suppose I’ll say that anybody can be down on their luck: hearing, deaf, whatever. I hope my daughter has enough other deaf role models in her life that she won’t see the deaf-mute beggar as her future niche in society.

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    Two things:

    1. My daughter is hard of hearing, and our family uses something known as pidgin signed English (PSE). It is ASL signs with English syntax. We sign Baha’i with the sign shown above, and now my daughter’s school and Baha’i community use it, too. I found it on the Internet, talked with our Deaf mentor about it, and she said it works with ASL because it’s iconic (that is to say the sign relates directly to the experience of the thing).

    Basically when I talk with people about Baha’i, I fingerspell it for them, then show them the sign. I have a ringstone symbol ring that I use to show them how the sign relates to Baha’i teachings.

    2. The issue of “deaf-mutes” is a big one in the Deaf world. I have read that many Deaf people feel the begging “deaf-mutes” perpetuate the myth that Deaf people are not capable of getting an education, working at jobs, owning a home, raising a family, and whatever else hearing people do, except hear.

    That said, as a Baha’i I definitely take to heart that “The poor in your midst are My trust. Guard ye my trust.” I do not like to give money because I know it can be used for drugs and in my neighborhood they are way too easy to get (and many people buying, sadly).

    So I keep food in my car. My alms of choice? Sardines with a pop-top. It’s got lots of calories, protein, calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids (great for the brain!), and they’re low on mercury because they’re low on the food chain. It’s practially the perfect survival food. They keep for ages, all you need is a fork to eat it, it’s soft for those who have bad teeth, requires no heating and a single serving is in each can; no refrigeration required. Even the can is recyclable, which is good for some homeless people who collect aluminum to redeem.

    Also, in the summer I try to keep a case of water bottles in the car.

    I do have more of a friendship with a couple of the homeless people who live near me, and when I see them I might offer them a ride to MacDonalds and buy them a meal, then a ride back to their post. I try to keep in mind that their feet can be in bad shape, so a ride is a blessing sometimes.

    For my homeless friends, I have learned to pretty much stay out of their business. They are adults and make their own choices. One of my friends told me his grown daughter keeps offering her home to him, but he doesn’t want to be a burden. He told me this on a day it was 20* below zero here in Chicago. I suggested he take his daughter up on her offer and felt his defenses rise. I guess this need he has to be independent is more important than having someplace safe and warm. His choice, not mine.

    I guess if I meet a deaf-mute beggar, I will treat him or her in the same way. If my daughter asks about it, I suppose I’ll say that anybody can be down on their luck: hearing, deaf, whatever. I hope my daughter has enough other deaf role models in her life that she won’t see the deaf-mute beggar as her future niche in society.

  • Bird

    I used to speak sign language and worked with death teenagers and young adults through the United Way in the early 90’s into jobs. I looked up the sign, (more labels :( ), I would have rather made a U in a circle and laid it over my heart. Universal Unity… However tip top subject Baquia and an interesting symbol.

    It’s not easy for the deaf and especially deaf and mute to get a job because of the required accommodations to fit them into a hearing and speaking work place. It is the unique who really succeed in the world from what I saw. In many cases a company will have to pay 10’s of thousands to bring an environment up to code with lighting, interpreters and involve management in sign language classes, re-written materials in ASL and emersion training to even hire one deaf employee. That deaf person must have a tremendous amount of self confidence to not be able to become insecure not being able to hear what their co workers are saying and laughing about unless someone in there to interpret and include them in on the joke. The real world is not always so pretty. Some jobs are much easier to accommodate with a mobile text vibrating pager these days but the attitudes of many employers are still much the same today as they were 20 years ago, they require convincing.

    ASL and other sign languages is not like speaking in words it is a language all in it’s own…. It is a body expression, symbols, feeling and thought connections. Hearing people use too many words to make a point, lol, according to the deaf….

    And ya know, if those people begging for money are on drugs or alcohol what’s the problem with it? Are you going to open your home for them and in some cases force them to bathe and sober up? How about attend their funeral? Without a job, without a home, without love, without hope, why not be drugged all the time? From what I have learned, through what I have seen, I would submit that all human dignity is thrown out the door when one is force to plead or beg for survival or support a life succumbing addiction. What greater sign would one need to see for act of divine mercy in any form, money, food, or housing with those who obviously suffer?

  • Bird

    I used to speak sign language and worked with death teenagers and young adults through the United Way in the early 90’s into jobs. I looked up the sign, (more labels :( ), I would have rather made a U in a circle and laid it over my heart. Universal Unity… However tip top subject Baquia and an interesting symbol.

    It’s not easy for the deaf and especially deaf and mute to get a job because of the required accommodations to fit them into a hearing and speaking work place. It is the unique who really succeed in the world from what I saw. In many cases a company will have to pay 10’s of thousands to bring an environment up to code with lighting, interpreters and involve management in sign language classes, re-written materials in ASL and emersion training to even hire one deaf employee. That deaf person must have a tremendous amount of self confidence to not be able to become insecure not being able to hear what their co workers are saying and laughing about unless someone in there to interpret and include them in on the joke. The real world is not always so pretty. Some jobs are much easier to accommodate with a mobile text vibrating pager these days but the attitudes of many employers are still much the same today as they were 20 years ago, they require convincing.

    ASL and other sign languages is not like speaking in words it is a language all in it’s own…. It is a body expression, symbols, feeling and thought connections. Hearing people use too many words to make a point, lol, according to the deaf….

    And ya know, if those people begging for money are on drugs or alcohol what’s the problem with it? Are you going to open your home for them and in some cases force them to bathe and sober up? How about attend their funeral? Without a job, without a home, without love, without hope, why not be drugged all the time? From what I have learned, through what I have seen, I would submit that all human dignity is thrown out the door when one is force to plead or beg for survival or support a life succumbing addiction. What greater sign would one need to see for act of divine mercy in any form, money, food, or housing with those who obviously suffer?

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    [quote comment=""]I used to speak sign language and worked with death teenagers and young adults through the United Way in the early 90’s into jobs. I looked up the sign, (more labels :( ), I would have rather made a U in a circle and laid it over my heart. Universal Unity… However tip top subject Baquia and an interesting symbol.

    It’s not easy for the deaf and especially deaf and mute to get a job because of the required accommodations to fit them into a hearing and speaking work place. It is the unique who really succeed in the world from what I saw.[/quote]

    I like that Universal Unity sign. Beautiful.

    Yes, I’ve seen a lot of young Deaf people in menial jobs or relying on their disability check. Fortunately my daughter’s school is kind of a nexus for the Deaf community here in Chicago. She gets to interact with educated Deaf professionals on a regular basis. I do think it matters having those role models; regardless of the communication mode, deafness is a very isolating condition. Not seeing people who are like you and successful gives many deaf and hoh children bleak prospects for life.

    I don’t know what happens with many deaf kids, why they don’t seem to make it past high school. I suppose I’ll find out when that time comes for my daughter and I see first-hand what the struggles are. But of course I still believe she can overcome those hurdles. Nothing worth having or doing in life is easy, no matter who you are.

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    [quote comment=""]I used to speak sign language and worked with death teenagers and young adults through the United Way in the early 90’s into jobs. I looked up the sign, (more labels :( ), I would have rather made a U in a circle and laid it over my heart. Universal Unity… However tip top subject Baquia and an interesting symbol.

    It’s not easy for the deaf and especially deaf and mute to get a job because of the required accommodations to fit them into a hearing and speaking work place. It is the unique who really succeed in the world from what I saw.[/quote]

    I like that Universal Unity sign. Beautiful.

    Yes, I’ve seen a lot of young Deaf people in menial jobs or relying on their disability check. Fortunately my daughter’s school is kind of a nexus for the Deaf community here in Chicago. She gets to interact with educated Deaf professionals on a regular basis. I do think it matters having those role models; regardless of the communication mode, deafness is a very isolating condition. Not seeing people who are like you and successful gives many deaf and hoh children bleak prospects for life.

    I don’t know what happens with many deaf kids, why they don’t seem to make it past high school. I suppose I’ll find out when that time comes for my daughter and I see first-hand what the struggles are. But of course I still believe she can overcome those hurdles. Nothing worth having or doing in life is easy, no matter who you are.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks for your comments. I suppose it is the convenience. Certainly easier to hand over some coins that to lug around water, sardines, etc.

    I’m delighted that I have readers who may be deaf or have friends who are. I continue to underestimate how far reaching this series of connected tubes is and how well it brings us together.

    Juliet, is your daughter attending a special school for the deaf? do you have any idea how new words get integrated into the official ASL?
    :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks for your comments. I suppose it is the convenience. Certainly easier to hand over some coins that to lug around water, sardines, etc.

    I’m delighted that I have readers who may be deaf or have friends who are. I continue to underestimate how far reaching this series of connected tubes is and how well it brings us together.

    Juliet, is your daughter attending a special school for the deaf? do you have any idea how new words get integrated into the official ASL?
    :-)

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    [quote comment=""]Juliet, is your daughter attending a special school for the deaf? do you have any idea how new words get integrated into the official ASL?[/quote]

    Yes, my daughter attends a school with a deaf/hoh program. It is a mainstream Catholic school with a long-standing deaf program within it. I’m proud to say our principal is a child of Deaf adults and an educator of the deaf. It is a small and friendly school in which many hearing students and teachers take the opportunity to learn sign. We love it.

    ASL is like any other living language in that it has regional variations, slang, and new lingo that originates in a sub-group before spreading to the larger culture. I think the arbiters of “official” ASL are in the linguistics department at Gallaudet University (http://www.gallaudet.edu/), the university for the Deaf. How do they make those decisions? No idea. But here on the ground, as long as the signers I have contact with all agree that a certain sign has a certain meaning, then that’s the meaning. I know people in the Pacific Northwest who call an end table a commode. To me, a commode is a toilet. But they all agree that when you say commode, you mean end table. Anyway, you see how these things work. :)

  • http://julietma.livejournal.com Juliet

    [quote comment=""]Juliet, is your daughter attending a special school for the deaf? do you have any idea how new words get integrated into the official ASL?[/quote]

    Yes, my daughter attends a school with a deaf/hoh program. It is a mainstream Catholic school with a long-standing deaf program within it. I’m proud to say our principal is a child of Deaf adults and an educator of the deaf. It is a small and friendly school in which many hearing students and teachers take the opportunity to learn sign. We love it.

    ASL is like any other living language in that it has regional variations, slang, and new lingo that originates in a sub-group before spreading to the larger culture. I think the arbiters of “official” ASL are in the linguistics department at Gallaudet University (http://www.gallaudet.edu/), the university for the Deaf. How do they make those decisions? No idea. But here on the ground, as long as the signers I have contact with all agree that a certain sign has a certain meaning, then that’s the meaning. I know people in the Pacific Northwest who call an end table a commode. To me, a commode is a toilet. But they all agree that when you say commode, you mean end table. Anyway, you see how these things work. :)

  • http://badhras.livejournal.com Badhras

    I have given money to beggars, prior to being a Baha’i. I don’t anymore, and I don’t feel any qualms about it because of the inherent risk that they might use it for drugs or alcohol. Yes, it does mean I am being judgmental, but there has been at least one occasion where a beggar refused my assistance, prefering cash instead.

    I have given food and beverage to a handful of beggars. One in particular was a poor wretch of a man, with deformed legs and the unmistakable stench of homelessness, who but prostrated himself at a train station in Hong Kong. During one summer, I found myself buying him lunch and drink on numerous occasions. We never spoke and I but dropped the meal at his side and kept walking.

    Thinking back, I probably could have done more… at least got his name or told him mine, even if I didn’t speak chinese. Still, I saw him eat and it brought some joy to see that I might have alleviated his hunger for but one meal. My motive was pure… I acknowledge that I could have been more effective at putting the money spent on that meal to helping more people who might have been eating at a charitable institution… still, it’s not like I knew of any charities, nor did I try to find any. Again, I could have acted better…

    I have paid for useless trinkets offered by a beggar, but I did so only because I sensed a genuine sincerity in their actions. Yes, I am being judgmental, but I act according to conscience in this matter. I generally don’t make a habit out of it.

    The bigger criticism that I have of myself is that I might be too judgmental in my heart of beggars and while I might do nothing, that I do nothing for the right reasons and any judgments I have are tempered by compassion and mercy. In my current area of residence, there are a lot of people running around with signs, claiming to be veterans, offering to do work for food or money, etc. I generally have a certain unhealthy contempt for them. I often think – WALK YOUR ASS TO SOUP KITCHEN. They do exist around here, but that existence of such resources doesn’t permit a tone of moral superiority. Maybe I ought to start handing out slips of paper with maps to such resources?

    So, in a broader sense… I have no problems helping out the unfortunate, if I’m convinced that I really would be helping out.

    Regarding the predatory mark comments… I do my best to not wear my religion on my sleeve. It’s not that I’m not proud to be a Baha’i – I just think most people around me would find it annoying. I bring up the Baha’i Faith in context, when appropriate with as much humility as possible. Then again, I’m not taking directions from Haifa, but I’m not opposed to their efforts.

    As an outsider to the more Administratively-driven practices of the Faith, I don’t hold any negative judgements of what I’ve seen or read so far. I innately sense and trust that the need for the Baha’i Faith to become more known, perhaps more codified in basic understandings. Yeah, it might mean that there might be some qualitative aspects that are not as good as prior styles of practice, but I sense the trade-off and I think it’s fine.

    Regarding giving to beggars…

    I don’t make a habit of giving money, as there is too much of a risk of it going to alcohol or drugs. I’ll buy somebody food and beverage, but I acknowledge that I ought to be donating more to institutions that seek to provide services – that my donated money is more efficiently spent, even by charities with high overhead, instead of lining the coffers of a fast-food joint or convenience store.

    There are a lot of people that stand by high onramps/offramps in my fair city. Many carry signs. Will work for food. Disabled vet. Family of four in need. The diversity is quite endless, but it all feels the same. For these people I do nothing, but I have an unhealthy contempt for them. I often think ?walk your ass to a soup kitchen?… the essence of the thought is fine, but the tone of moral superiority is truly uncalled for.

    So perhaps, instead of feeling enmity, maybe I ought to print up a dozen maps to soup kitchen or similar resource and see how many are willing to take those. Heck, maybe I might be brave enough to offer them a lift to such a place? (… uhh, probably not.)

    Honestly though, if I made it a priority to help the poor, I’d be volunteering my lazy ass at a soup kitchen or donating to their efforts. In whatever path we are on towards God, it’s my sincere belief that it’s our obligation to strive towards maximizing results, maximizing purity of motive (which includes compassion and mercy). It’s important to have both… without purity of motive, maximizing results will come off as arrogant, self-righteous, and self-serving even if the net result in the material world is positive. Without trying maximizing results, the potential of your deeds is somewhat stunted.

  • http://badhras.livejournal.com Badhras

    I have given money to beggars, prior to being a Baha’i. I don’t anymore, and I don’t feel any qualms about it because of the inherent risk that they might use it for drugs or alcohol. Yes, it does mean I am being judgmental, but there has been at least one occasion where a beggar refused my assistance, prefering cash instead.

    I have given food and beverage to a handful of beggars. One in particular was a poor wretch of a man, with deformed legs and the unmistakable stench of homelessness, who but prostrated himself at a train station in Hong Kong. During one summer, I found myself buying him lunch and drink on numerous occasions. We never spoke and I but dropped the meal at his side and kept walking.

    Thinking back, I probably could have done more… at least got his name or told him mine, even if I didn’t speak chinese. Still, I saw him eat and it brought some joy to see that I might have alleviated his hunger for but one meal. My motive was pure… I acknowledge that I could have been more effective at putting the money spent on that meal to helping more people who might have been eating at a charitable institution… still, it’s not like I knew of any charities, nor did I try to find any. Again, I could have acted better…

    I have paid for useless trinkets offered by a beggar, but I did so only because I sensed a genuine sincerity in their actions. Yes, I am being judgmental, but I act according to conscience in this matter. I generally don’t make a habit out of it.

    The bigger criticism that I have of myself is that I might be too judgmental in my heart of beggars and while I might do nothing, that I do nothing for the right reasons and any judgments I have are tempered by compassion and mercy. In my current area of residence, there are a lot of people running around with signs, claiming to be veterans, offering to do work for food or money, etc. I generally have a certain unhealthy contempt for them. I often think – WALK YOUR ASS TO SOUP KITCHEN. They do exist around here, but that existence of such resources doesn’t permit a tone of moral superiority. Maybe I ought to start handing out slips of paper with maps to such resources?

    So, in a broader sense… I have no problems helping out the unfortunate, if I’m convinced that I really would be helping out.

    Regarding the predatory mark comments… I do my best to not wear my religion on my sleeve. It’s not that I’m not proud to be a Baha’i – I just think most people around me would find it annoying. I bring up the Baha’i Faith in context, when appropriate with as much humility as possible. Then again, I’m not taking directions from Haifa, but I’m not opposed to their efforts.

    As an outsider to the more Administratively-driven practices of the Faith, I don’t hold any negative judgements of what I’ve seen or read so far. I innately sense and trust that the need for the Baha’i Faith to become more known, perhaps more codified in basic understandings. Yeah, it might mean that there might be some qualitative aspects that are not as good as prior styles of practice, but I sense the trade-off and I think it’s fine.

    Regarding giving to beggars…

    I don’t make a habit of giving money, as there is too much of a risk of it going to alcohol or drugs. I’ll buy somebody food and beverage, but I acknowledge that I ought to be donating more to institutions that seek to provide services – that my donated money is more efficiently spent, even by charities with high overhead, instead of lining the coffers of a fast-food joint or convenience store.

    There are a lot of people that stand by high onramps/offramps in my fair city. Many carry signs. Will work for food. Disabled vet. Family of four in need. The diversity is quite endless, but it all feels the same. For these people I do nothing, but I have an unhealthy contempt for them. I often think ?walk your ass to a soup kitchen?… the essence of the thought is fine, but the tone of moral superiority is truly uncalled for.

    So perhaps, instead of feeling enmity, maybe I ought to print up a dozen maps to soup kitchen or similar resource and see how many are willing to take those. Heck, maybe I might be brave enough to offer them a lift to such a place? (… uhh, probably not.)

    Honestly though, if I made it a priority to help the poor, I’d be volunteering my lazy ass at a soup kitchen or donating to their efforts. In whatever path we are on towards God, it’s my sincere belief that it’s our obligation to strive towards maximizing results, maximizing purity of motive (which includes compassion and mercy). It’s important to have both… without purity of motive, maximizing results will come off as arrogant, self-righteous, and self-serving even if the net result in the material world is positive. Without trying maximizing results, the potential of your deeds is somewhat stunted.

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    It’s interesting you ask this, as it’s one of my earliest memories when I left the faith – that I no longer felt guilty to give alms or donate to non-Baha’i charities.

    I think there is a big disconnect between the sentiments expressed by Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdul-Baha (after all, Baha’is are supposed to pay zakat according to the KA and as you say ‘Abdu’l-Baha was renown for giving to the poor) and the instructions of the administrative bodies, which is all about funneling money to Baha’i administration.

    Even Shoghi Effendi, administrator that he was, wrote:

    “They [Spiritual Assemblies] must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed.” (Ref)

    How many local or national spiritual assemblies have that as a core function, instead of an obsession with trying to make converts.

    As for giving money to the poor, even if you think they might use it for drugs or alcohol – I look at it this way. Much petty theft and crime is committed because poor souls addicted to drugs need money to get a fix. If I give someone some money, perhaps I am preventing them committing a crime, knocking down some poor old granny, to get the money for their fix. Perhaps through that act of kindness, they might see hope and seek help, wa-Allahu ‘alim (and God knows). So I give even if I suspect that the money might be used for drugs.

  • http://www.maryams.net/dervish Umm Yasmin

    It’s interesting you ask this, as it’s one of my earliest memories when I left the faith – that I no longer felt guilty to give alms or donate to non-Baha’i charities.

    I think there is a big disconnect between the sentiments expressed by Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdul-Baha (after all, Baha’is are supposed to pay zakat according to the KA and as you say ‘Abdu’l-Baha was renown for giving to the poor) and the instructions of the administrative bodies, which is all about funneling money to Baha’i administration.

    Even Shoghi Effendi, administrator that he was, wrote:

    “They [Spiritual Assemblies] must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed.” (Ref)

    How many local or national spiritual assemblies have that as a core function, instead of an obsession with trying to make converts.

    As for giving money to the poor, even if you think they might use it for drugs or alcohol – I look at it this way. Much petty theft and crime is committed because poor souls addicted to drugs need money to get a fix. If I give someone some money, perhaps I am preventing them committing a crime, knocking down some poor old granny, to get the money for their fix. Perhaps through that act of kindness, they might see hope and seek help, wa-Allahu ‘alim (and God knows). So I give even if I suspect that the money might be used for drugs.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Umm Yasmin, thanks for reminding us of that. The start of the quote makes it even more relevant:

    The matter of Teaching, its direction, its ways and means, its extension, its consolidation, essential as they are to the interests of the Cause, constitute by no means the only issue which should receive the full attention of these Assemblies. A careful study of Baha’u’llah’s and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Tablets will reveal that other duties, no less vital to the interests of the Cause, devolve upon the elected representatives of the friends in every locality. … They must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed. They must promote by every means in their power the material as well as the spiritual enlightenment of youth, the means for the education of children, institute, whenever possible, Baha’i educational institutions, organize and supervise their work and provide the best means for their progress and development.

    The irony is that putting service to manking in its proper place would make the Baha’i community infinitely more attractive to seekers.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Umm Yasmin, thanks for reminding us of that. The start of the quote makes it even more relevant:

    The matter of Teaching, its direction, its ways and means, its extension, its consolidation, essential as they are to the interests of the Cause, constitute by no means the only issue which should receive the full attention of these Assemblies. A careful study of Baha’u’llah’s and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Tablets will reveal that other duties, no less vital to the interests of the Cause, devolve upon the elected representatives of the friends in every locality. … They must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed. They must promote by every means in their power the material as well as the spiritual enlightenment of youth, the means for the education of children, institute, whenever possible, Baha’i educational institutions, organize and supervise their work and provide the best means for their progress and development.

    The irony is that putting service to manking in its proper place would make the Baha’i community infinitely more attractive to seekers.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="52977"]

    Umm Yasmin wrote:

    Even Shoghi Effendi, administrator that he was, wrote:

    “They [Spiritual Assemblies] must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed.” (Ref)

    How many local or national spiritual assemblies have that as a core function, instead of an obsession with trying to make converts.
    [/quote]

    AMEN. The obsession with trying to make converts has completely destroyed the Baha’i Faith. Posting a quote about Spiritual Assemblies and their “spiritual duties” is rather quaint now! Spiritual Assemblies have been completely bypassed now in the Faith. The center of everything now is the ruthless obsession with conversion from the appointed side only. Power and the local initiative of elected Spiritual Assemblies are OLDTHINK. Top down Continental Counsellors, ABM’s, and AABM’s and their plans and iron fisted “encouragements” in the “Corpse Activities” and total Ruhiization process are the NEWTHINK.

    Yes. Even mentioning Spiritual Assemblies regarding anything AT ALL is down right nostalgic! Thanks for the memories!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="52977"]

    Umm Yasmin wrote:

    Even Shoghi Effendi, administrator that he was, wrote:

    “They [Spiritual Assemblies] must do their utmost to extend at all times the helping hand to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the orphan, the widow, irrespective of colour, caste and creed.” (Ref)

    How many local or national spiritual assemblies have that as a core function, instead of an obsession with trying to make converts.
    [/quote]

    AMEN. The obsession with trying to make converts has completely destroyed the Baha’i Faith. Posting a quote about Spiritual Assemblies and their “spiritual duties” is rather quaint now! Spiritual Assemblies have been completely bypassed now in the Faith. The center of everything now is the ruthless obsession with conversion from the appointed side only. Power and the local initiative of elected Spiritual Assemblies are OLDTHINK. Top down Continental Counsellors, ABM’s, and AABM’s and their plans and iron fisted “encouragements” in the “Corpse Activities” and total Ruhiization process are the NEWTHINK.

    Yes. Even mentioning Spiritual Assemblies regarding anything AT ALL is down right nostalgic! Thanks for the memories!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • anonymouz

    It doesnt suprize me anymore that Craig parrots himself with groupthink oldthink newthink…Come on dude.

    I can personally say that my LSA is involved in soup kitchens, charity drives, homeless shelter volunteering to name a few. It is really getting old how you harp on something you have clearly so much animosity towards, not to mention the amount of miss-information this blog pushes.

    How many times do I have to say it? It depends on the location, capacity, resources and community members themselves on how involved a particular LSA or community is involved. LSAs are given guidance on national and international initiatives and then pretty much given free reign. Let me include excerpts from a recent letter sent out by my LSA about our upcoming reflection and direction meeting…

    Your Assembly has been working to establish goals for the upcoming year. To that end, we have studied the most recent letter from the Universal House of Justice…each of us (members of the community) will select which of the goals we find the most interesting and divide into 5 groups for about 30 to 40 minutes of consultation on implementation. We’ll get back together to report on what each group recommends, have a short time for questions and answers, have a closing prayer…

    Does this look like a top down authoritative charade? This is embodiment of team work and consultation, the model of community involvement and goal reaching…

    Craig please wake up.

  • anonymouz

    It doesnt suprize me anymore that Craig parrots himself with groupthink oldthink newthink…Come on dude.

    I can personally say that my LSA is involved in soup kitchens, charity drives, homeless shelter volunteering to name a few. It is really getting old how you harp on something you have clearly so much animosity towards, not to mention the amount of miss-information this blog pushes.

    How many times do I have to say it? It depends on the location, capacity, resources and community members themselves on how involved a particular LSA or community is involved. LSAs are given guidance on national and international initiatives and then pretty much given free reign. Let me include excerpts from a recent letter sent out by my LSA about our upcoming reflection and direction meeting…

    Your Assembly has been working to establish goals for the upcoming year. To that end, we have studied the most recent letter from the Universal House of Justice…each of us (members of the community) will select which of the goals we find the most interesting and divide into 5 groups for about 30 to 40 minutes of consultation on implementation. We’ll get back together to report on what each group recommends, have a short time for questions and answers, have a closing prayer…

    Does this look like a top down authoritative charade? This is embodiment of team work and consultation, the model of community involvement and goal reaching…

    Craig please wake up.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]It doesnt suprize me anymore that Craig parrots himself with groupthink oldthink newthink…Come on dude…

    …Craig please wake up.[/quote]

    anonymouz,

    (1) How many Baha’is are in your community?

    (2) How many human beings are in the surrounding community?

    (3) How many years have you been a Baha’i?

    You said in a recent post that I did not have time to address, that you have served in the military. I fully believe you. But I find it hard to believe you have the “let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway” attitude toward brother soldiers. But I guess that is NEWTHINK in the MVA these days. Since I was once going to meet up with Ron Kovic (See the film “Born on the 4th of July” – Oliver Stone 1986) I guess I am still in OLDTHINK.

    Abdu’l-Baha said to oppose every thought of war with a thought of peace. But that is OLDTHINK. Glenford Mitchell says “Be quiet and let God do His work”. You say “They are volunteers, who cares? They can go AWOL if it gets too tough on their 6th tour in Iraq”. All NEWTHINK in the button down Brooks Brothers suit yuppie Baha’i Faith.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=a-P8TF8J-4w

    The Baha’is have failed all mankind for 164 years and counting.

    Your Assembly can take their endless meetings and their endless “break down in groups goal consultations” and jam them where the sun don’t shine.

    The entore hapless AO can do so all the way up the line to Haifa.

    I did it for 32 straight years and I have sat in the road for 4 years now in silence weeping.

    I am done.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]It doesnt suprize me anymore that Craig parrots himself with groupthink oldthink newthink…Come on dude…

    …Craig please wake up.[/quote]

    anonymouz,

    (1) How many Baha’is are in your community?

    (2) How many human beings are in the surrounding community?

    (3) How many years have you been a Baha’i?

    You said in a recent post that I did not have time to address, that you have served in the military. I fully believe you. But I find it hard to believe you have the “let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway” attitude toward brother soldiers. But I guess that is NEWTHINK in the MVA these days. Since I was once going to meet up with Ron Kovic (See the film “Born on the 4th of July” – Oliver Stone 1986) I guess I am still in OLDTHINK.

    Abdu’l-Baha said to oppose every thought of war with a thought of peace. But that is OLDTHINK. Glenford Mitchell says “Be quiet and let God do His work”. You say “They are volunteers, who cares? They can go AWOL if it gets too tough on their 6th tour in Iraq”. All NEWTHINK in the button down Brooks Brothers suit yuppie Baha’i Faith.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=a-P8TF8J-4w

    The Baha’is have failed all mankind for 164 years and counting.

    Your Assembly can take their endless meetings and their endless “break down in groups goal consultations” and jam them where the sun don’t shine.

    The entore hapless AO can do so all the way up the line to Haifa.

    I did it for 32 straight years and I have sat in the road for 4 years now in silence weeping.

    I am done.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Craig,

    You are quoting me where I never said those things you quote. Please dont do that.

    ?let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway? I never said that. I said it is a volunteer force, and if it was that bad they could go AWOL. The fact of the matter is, the men and women in uniform are being used to pursue a goal which only history will judge as successful or not, Baha’i view or not. Last time I checked, the Baha’i places in Iraq are still controlled by Shia. My experience in the military was a positive one and I value the discipline and hard work that I learned. I enjoyed the comradery and friends I made. I also had more opportunities teaching the Faith while enlisted then any other presented to far. Did you know that the Air force presents a very respectable slide show about the Baha’i Faith to 300 recruits a week at Basic training in Lackland? In any case…to dwell on the military is to dwell on the un-controllable. Move on.

    I live in an A cluster so do the math. I have been a Baha’i all my life and have lived and traveled to and in all sized Baha’i communities, all as varied as the people that make them up. I can assure there are a broad range of souls varying in degrees and understandings, yet with one underlying common factor, a devotion and love of Baha’u’llah.

    Conversing with you is depressing. Meeting with my fellow Bahais and taking part in the process is not.

    Good day sir.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Craig,

    You are quoting me where I never said those things you quote. Please dont do that.

    ?let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway? I never said that. I said it is a volunteer force, and if it was that bad they could go AWOL. The fact of the matter is, the men and women in uniform are being used to pursue a goal which only history will judge as successful or not, Baha’i view or not. Last time I checked, the Baha’i places in Iraq are still controlled by Shia. My experience in the military was a positive one and I value the discipline and hard work that I learned. I enjoyed the comradery and friends I made. I also had more opportunities teaching the Faith while enlisted then any other presented to far. Did you know that the Air force presents a very respectable slide show about the Baha’i Faith to 300 recruits a week at Basic training in Lackland? In any case…to dwell on the military is to dwell on the un-controllable. Move on.

    I live in an A cluster so do the math. I have been a Baha’i all my life and have lived and traveled to and in all sized Baha’i communities, all as varied as the people that make them up. I can assure there are a broad range of souls varying in degrees and understandings, yet with one underlying common factor, a devotion and love of Baha’u’llah.

    Conversing with you is depressing. Meeting with my fellow Bahais and taking part in the process is not.

    Good day sir.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]

    anonymouz wrote:

    You are quoting me where I never said those things you quote. Please dont do that.

    ?let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway? I never said that. I said it is a volunteer force, and if it was that bad they could go AWOL. The fact of the matter is, the men and women in uniform are being used to pursue a goal which only history will judge as successful or not, Baha’i view or not…

    In any case…to dwell on the military is to dwell on the un-controllable. Move on.[/quote]

    I was merely attempting to portray your seeming mentality. But I guess our differences in seeing the various consequences and responsibility of war is generational. As you say “move on”. Yep. “Nothing to see here. Move along now.”

    Back in the 1960′s and 1970′s tons of people became Baha’is in the military and among veterans. I totally agree with you that the military and among veterans is the absolute best place to teach the Faith to get a hearing. Dealing with death concentrates the mind. In those days people stayed in the Faith for 7-10 years giving it everything they had before they started to drift away from the Admin-o-Centric herb tea “do nothing” Faith before the vital problems of the world.

    Once again, like the carnage of the entire 20th Century before it, people will be dealing with the present situation and it’s consequences for a very long time to come while the Baha’is have their endless closed meetings and effete inward spiritual coloring book culture. The Baha’i Faith is more insular than ever with the current lock step Ruhiized and “Core Activities” orientation despite what anyone says as PR.

    I’m glad you had fun in the military and it seems to have been a good self identity bonding experience for you. I didn’t find it that way. But I am glad for you. The Faith seems to be working for you too. You’re on a roll. But let’s see how it looks 40 years from now amid another war when the Baha’is have still accomplished nothing but lifetime incumbency for a very tiny group of people amid lost opportunity after lost opportiunity in the real world just like in the past century with it’s ocean of blood.

    Yep. It is depressing. I agree. But it is the “ground truth”.

    Semper fi.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]

    anonymouz wrote:

    You are quoting me where I never said those things you quote. Please dont do that.

    ?let them all die or be maimed, they are volunteers anyway? I never said that. I said it is a volunteer force, and if it was that bad they could go AWOL. The fact of the matter is, the men and women in uniform are being used to pursue a goal which only history will judge as successful or not, Baha’i view or not…

    In any case…to dwell on the military is to dwell on the un-controllable. Move on.[/quote]

    I was merely attempting to portray your seeming mentality. But I guess our differences in seeing the various consequences and responsibility of war is generational. As you say “move on”. Yep. “Nothing to see here. Move along now.”

    Back in the 1960′s and 1970′s tons of people became Baha’is in the military and among veterans. I totally agree with you that the military and among veterans is the absolute best place to teach the Faith to get a hearing. Dealing with death concentrates the mind. In those days people stayed in the Faith for 7-10 years giving it everything they had before they started to drift away from the Admin-o-Centric herb tea “do nothing” Faith before the vital problems of the world.

    Once again, like the carnage of the entire 20th Century before it, people will be dealing with the present situation and it’s consequences for a very long time to come while the Baha’is have their endless closed meetings and effete inward spiritual coloring book culture. The Baha’i Faith is more insular than ever with the current lock step Ruhiized and “Core Activities” orientation despite what anyone says as PR.

    I’m glad you had fun in the military and it seems to have been a good self identity bonding experience for you. I didn’t find it that way. But I am glad for you. The Faith seems to be working for you too. You’re on a roll. But let’s see how it looks 40 years from now amid another war when the Baha’is have still accomplished nothing but lifetime incumbency for a very tiny group of people amid lost opportunity after lost opportiunity in the real world just like in the past century with it’s ocean of blood.

    Yep. It is depressing. I agree. But it is the “ground truth”.

    Semper fi.

  • Anonymouz

    I am beginning to see what happened Craig. You are really bitter because some AO experience[s] really estranged you or some auxiliary board member or whatever, said something that rubbed you the wrong way. This seed of doubt, hypocrisy or whatever began to grow. Slowly, your view begins to change. You begin seeing things that you didn’t before, you rationalize differently when it comes to why Baha’is did this or that. You begin to view your position in the Faith as a “me” vs “the rest” and of course “they” are seriously mistaken. Your world view begins to take hold of your soul. Bitterness and anger.

    You feel like you have been cheated, sold out, lied to, manipulated. You begin then only to see the faults, mistakes, errors of everything that you are no against. Then begins the justification, the explanation, the reasons. You revert back to what you know, you begin to pull up those sub-conscious humanistic conceptions formed by a life time of exposure to godlessness in the West. Screw the World.

    This is all normal for someone who is going through a break up. I wonder, are you divorced too? Forgive me if I venture to guess.

    The fact is this. It really is too bad you have cut and run. The Faith needs strong souls and leaders. A smart, experienced and knowledgeable soul like you has no time to loose pouting on the sidelines. Get back in the game, buck up and know this: There are no grudges in the Baha’i Faith. Don’t pay any attention to anyone who brings you down, trust in God and obey His laws. Never in the history of humanity have they been so clear. Never in the history of humanity has there been such a Faith as this. Never, never, has their been such a task thrust upon the believers of so Mighty and Awe Inspiring Vision. There is no time for bitterness, pointless questions, and endless debate. My whole being is always on edge and constantly anxious to serve, to teach, to practice virtue (kinda hard online). You all know as well as I do, and God too, that this is something we must aspire to if it is to be done right. Not one prayer, not one act counts for more than a mustard seed if done in the wrong spirit or mind set.

    To say that we have done our share, done our part, know our role, know how it should be, is complete forfeiture of any action or word done in the name of God. All “debate” “dialog” or “discussion” about why things are wrong, or how messed up things are is complete reliance on the notion that we actually know how things are going to end up in the long run. What arrogance!

    When we each conscientiously accepted Baha’u’llah as the messenger of God for this day we are given a map and our journey then, and only then actually begins. We are all really still looking, seeking, searching and most of the time half heartedly trying our best…But, how often does it happen where we think we have it all figured out. Then we make the cardinal mistake of going about telling people how it is and what to do.

    Baha’u’llah says…

    That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison.

    So, jarhead ;-) why don’t we cut this non-sense out and put something together. My blog that I talked about is up, under my real name, waiting for collaborators to plan a school in Brazil.

  • Anonymouz

    I am beginning to see what happened Craig. You are really bitter because some AO experience[s] really estranged you or some auxiliary board member or whatever, said something that rubbed you the wrong way. This seed of doubt, hypocrisy or whatever began to grow. Slowly, your view begins to change. You begin seeing things that you didn’t before, you rationalize differently when it comes to why Baha’is did this or that. You begin to view your position in the Faith as a “me” vs “the rest” and of course “they” are seriously mistaken. Your world view begins to take hold of your soul. Bitterness and anger.

    You feel like you have been cheated, sold out, lied to, manipulated. You begin then only to see the faults, mistakes, errors of everything that you are no against. Then begins the justification, the explanation, the reasons. You revert back to what you know, you begin to pull up those sub-conscious humanistic conceptions formed by a life time of exposure to godlessness in the West. Screw the World.

    This is all normal for someone who is going through a break up. I wonder, are you divorced too? Forgive me if I venture to guess.

    The fact is this. It really is too bad you have cut and run. The Faith needs strong souls and leaders. A smart, experienced and knowledgeable soul like you has no time to loose pouting on the sidelines. Get back in the game, buck up and know this: There are no grudges in the Baha’i Faith. Don’t pay any attention to anyone who brings you down, trust in God and obey His laws. Never in the history of humanity have they been so clear. Never in the history of humanity has there been such a Faith as this. Never, never, has their been such a task thrust upon the believers of so Mighty and Awe Inspiring Vision. There is no time for bitterness, pointless questions, and endless debate. My whole being is always on edge and constantly anxious to serve, to teach, to practice virtue (kinda hard online). You all know as well as I do, and God too, that this is something we must aspire to if it is to be done right. Not one prayer, not one act counts for more than a mustard seed if done in the wrong spirit or mind set.

    To say that we have done our share, done our part, know our role, know how it should be, is complete forfeiture of any action or word done in the name of God. All “debate” “dialog” or “discussion” about why things are wrong, or how messed up things are is complete reliance on the notion that we actually know how things are going to end up in the long run. What arrogance!

    When we each conscientiously accepted Baha’u’llah as the messenger of God for this day we are given a map and our journey then, and only then actually begins. We are all really still looking, seeking, searching and most of the time half heartedly trying our best…But, how often does it happen where we think we have it all figured out. Then we make the cardinal mistake of going about telling people how it is and what to do.

    Baha’u’llah says…

    That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison.

    So, jarhead ;-) why don’t we cut this non-sense out and put something together. My blog that I talked about is up, under my real name, waiting for collaborators to plan a school in Brazil.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “The irony is that putting service to manking in its proper place would make the Baha’i community infinitely more attractive to seekers.”

    I agree, Baquia.

    Now that you know this, you can help others understand it.

    I started my medical studies wanting to become a good doctor, and I realized that many of those around me studied medicine to get their diploma as soon as possible. It took me a little longer than them to get my diploma, I never became as rich as they did, but I now see that I got much more fun out of my professional experience than they will ever get.

    This is all about the artist working for the love of his art, never becoming famous during his life-time, and the artist working to become a famous artist.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “The irony is that putting service to manking in its proper place would make the Baha’i community infinitely more attractive to seekers.”

    I agree, Baquia.

    Now that you know this, you can help others understand it.

    I started my medical studies wanting to become a good doctor, and I realized that many of those around me studied medicine to get their diploma as soon as possible. It took me a little longer than them to get my diploma, I never became as rich as they did, but I now see that I got much more fun out of my professional experience than they will ever get.

    This is all about the artist working for the love of his art, never becoming famous during his life-time, and the artist working to become a famous artist.

  • Bird

    Interesting in how a simple blog can go. Begging. Disadvantaged in need and the giving from those who have plenty. Right or wrong? Even ?begging ? is a label, just like “Bah?’?”, to an action and a way of life.

    Is not all humans disadvantaged with a mind that desires to understand the unknowable creator with so many paths that all lead to the same place of who and where that is is by invite only, no peepers, to the ultimate truth one locates at that last breath…(death) It’s the journey right…

    I beg that all organized religions are self banished from the earth and that the hearts of the ardent lovers of God unite under a core and real message of the same parents. When asked what faith are you, use a U meaning Under One Creator, not the word but the reality. DNA says we call came from one female, one male…I herald the myth of Lilith, the first wife of Adam, made the same day with the same clay…Funny how they make her a screeching owl… Look what happens when you take out of the best bits of a book…

    There is no right and wrong in love for your brother or sister, no matter what color, creed, advantage or disadvantage they have. They are therefore they are.

    Baquia I would be interested in seeing you dig up attempts of global unity. In fact as a result of the composition this blog I picked the name of my new venture, a global, multi language non-profit, it was unbelievable to me the .com address was untaken and I am RTG!. Ready to go with the seed $$$… so there will be more to come from me for sure. Gosh Baquia, who’d of thought the idea, the actual business plan would come from this blog. I, soon to be we, when I form the 1st board, am going to need an excellent webmaster.

  • Bird

    Interesting in how a simple blog can go. Begging. Disadvantaged in need and the giving from those who have plenty. Right or wrong? Even ?begging ? is a label, just like “Bah?’?”, to an action and a way of life.

    Is not all humans disadvantaged with a mind that desires to understand the unknowable creator with so many paths that all lead to the same place of who and where that is is by invite only, no peepers, to the ultimate truth one locates at that last breath…(death) It’s the journey right…

    I beg that all organized religions are self banished from the earth and that the hearts of the ardent lovers of God unite under a core and real message of the same parents. When asked what faith are you, use a U meaning Under One Creator, not the word but the reality. DNA says we call came from one female, one male…I herald the myth of Lilith, the first wife of Adam, made the same day with the same clay…Funny how they make her a screeching owl… Look what happens when you take out of the best bits of a book…

    There is no right and wrong in love for your brother or sister, no matter what color, creed, advantage or disadvantage they have. They are therefore they are.

    Baquia I would be interested in seeing you dig up attempts of global unity. In fact as a result of the composition this blog I picked the name of my new venture, a global, multi language non-profit, it was unbelievable to me the .com address was untaken and I am RTG!. Ready to go with the seed $$$… so there will be more to come from me for sure. Gosh Baquia, who’d of thought the idea, the actual business plan would come from this blog. I, soon to be we, when I form the 1st board, am going to need an excellent webmaster.

  • regrettably Anon

    One thing I have noticed from reading this blog is that commentators are either totally within the faith, usually too close to the trees to critically observe the forest (our Baquia and some others are luminous exceptions), or hostile to the faith based on their own unique experiences. I am neither, which is why I think my input may be valuable.

    I am attracted to so many things about the Baha’i faith… but I am not a seeker, and being ‘labeled’ as such is among the things that I’ve discovered to be personally repellent. In fact, the zealous mission for converts (I know that’s the ‘wrong’ word, since semantics are _everything_) has thoroughly repulsed me from the faith because I have come to view this Truly Beautiful ideology as impatient with religious pluralism and even aspiring to spiritual totalitarianism. I can now hear those of you in the forest sighing and murmuring – I must have a bone to pick or an Agenda… if I do have an Agenda here, it is to enlighten members of this enlightened faith… All the faiths have suffered at times from ‘infallible leadership.’ All Humanity has suffered from chauvinism. These are terrible elements of the Faith today.

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad…

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.

  • regrettably Anon

    One thing I have noticed from reading this blog is that commentators are either totally within the faith, usually too close to the trees to critically observe the forest (our Baquia and some others are luminous exceptions), or hostile to the faith based on their own unique experiences. I am neither, which is why I think my input may be valuable.

    I am attracted to so many things about the Baha’i faith… but I am not a seeker, and being ‘labeled’ as such is among the things that I’ve discovered to be personally repellent. In fact, the zealous mission for converts (I know that’s the ‘wrong’ word, since semantics are _everything_) has thoroughly repulsed me from the faith because I have come to view this Truly Beautiful ideology as impatient with religious pluralism and even aspiring to spiritual totalitarianism. I can now hear those of you in the forest sighing and murmuring – I must have a bone to pick or an Agenda… if I do have an Agenda here, it is to enlighten members of this enlightened faith… All the faiths have suffered at times from ‘infallible leadership.’ All Humanity has suffered from chauvinism. These are terrible elements of the Faith today.

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad…

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]One thing I have noticed from reading this blog is that commentators are either totally within the faith, usually too close to the trees to critically observe the forest (our Baquia and some others are luminous exceptions), or hostile to the faith based on their own unique experiences. I am neither, which is why I think my input may be valuable.

    I am attracted to so many things about the Baha’i faith… but I am not a seeker, and being ‘labeled’ as such is among the things that I’ve discovered to be personally repellent. In fact, the zealous mission for converts (I know that’s the ‘wrong’ word, since semantics are _everything_) has thoroughly repulsed me from the faith because I have come to view this Truly Beautiful ideology as impatient with religious pluralism and even aspiring to spiritual totalitarianism. I can now hear those of you in the forest sighing and murmuring – I must have a bone to pick or an Agenda… if I do have an Agenda here, it is to enlighten members of this enlightened faith… All the faiths have suffered at times from ‘infallible leadership.’ All Humanity has suffered from chauvinism. These are terrible elements of the Faith today.

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad…

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.[/quote]

    RA,

    Very insightful post. You are proof that everyone’s innate spiritual consciousness and general life acumen is increasing just from the street as the New World Age progresses. All one has to do is just keep breathing in and breathing out.

    When I read the Kitab-I-Iqan in Paris in 1971 I was absolutely electrified. Because I had been studying Sufism, Baha’u’llah’s central teaching about the Eternal Return of Spiritiual Archetypes really clicked with me. It explained everything I had experienced in life up until then (and still everything until now too!). It was like smoking all of one’s books by C.G. Jung at one sitting while litening to Iron Butterfly on the best stereo system available at the time. Just an amazingly Cosmic “one stop shopping” insight as a teaching.

    I, therefore, sought out the Baha’is in my travels, walked in the door when I found some and said “Wow! How can I help this?” I joined and up until 4 years ago spent 32 straight years doing everything I could to help it.

    But now one has to sadly come to the terrible realization that it just cannot be helped anymore. This religion has now gone into the hands of one of the most impaired communities of human beings on the planet in the history of the world for the reasons that you have mentioned in your post.

    It is truly a wonder and a prodigy that this has happened. But it has. I, myself, feel the Faith will eventually straighten out entirely of itself over the next 300-500 years if several generations of people will come into it that have great personal courage and seize the right of the vote that Baha’u’llah gave to the rank and file. The planetary Internet will be a factor as this all unfolds.

    But for now it is truly perplexing. It is now a zero sum game of witch hunts and Grand Inquisitors in the top down enforcement of ruthless hyper litmus test doctrinal purity implemented by the ABM and AABM thought police.

    It never had to go this way. The Baha’is really had an honest chance to try something new in human history. But it turned into the same old, same old right brain, left brain organizational war. The Faith has now killed all innovation, bottom up energy, individual spiritual initiative, and individual spiritual discovery in the very processes of life. It is now, therefore, being passed by many other more vital and energized spiritual movements. It all came to this terrible, terrible tragedy because it never instituted basic term limits in it’s “Institutions” and the rest is history.

    The people running the Baha’i Faith for the last 20 years to a man and to a woman will be cursed by all the people of the future. There is not much more anyone can say now, but try to move on spiritually. There is nothing anyone can do now but accept the decision by the infallible “Institutions” that the Faith is to be destroyed in every land by the current methods of organizational coercion. We must all accept it. I know I feel better now since I realized from the recent quotes someone posted here that I must accept destruction in obediance to the Covenant.

    So it goes.

    Again, thank you for you insightful post.

    Everyone have a nice weekend!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]One thing I have noticed from reading this blog is that commentators are either totally within the faith, usually too close to the trees to critically observe the forest (our Baquia and some others are luminous exceptions), or hostile to the faith based on their own unique experiences. I am neither, which is why I think my input may be valuable.

    I am attracted to so many things about the Baha’i faith… but I am not a seeker, and being ‘labeled’ as such is among the things that I’ve discovered to be personally repellent. In fact, the zealous mission for converts (I know that’s the ‘wrong’ word, since semantics are _everything_) has thoroughly repulsed me from the faith because I have come to view this Truly Beautiful ideology as impatient with religious pluralism and even aspiring to spiritual totalitarianism. I can now hear those of you in the forest sighing and murmuring – I must have a bone to pick or an Agenda… if I do have an Agenda here, it is to enlighten members of this enlightened faith… All the faiths have suffered at times from ‘infallible leadership.’ All Humanity has suffered from chauvinism. These are terrible elements of the Faith today.

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad…

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.[/quote]

    RA,

    Very insightful post. You are proof that everyone’s innate spiritual consciousness and general life acumen is increasing just from the street as the New World Age progresses. All one has to do is just keep breathing in and breathing out.

    When I read the Kitab-I-Iqan in Paris in 1971 I was absolutely electrified. Because I had been studying Sufism, Baha’u’llah’s central teaching about the Eternal Return of Spiritiual Archetypes really clicked with me. It explained everything I had experienced in life up until then (and still everything until now too!). It was like smoking all of one’s books by C.G. Jung at one sitting while litening to Iron Butterfly on the best stereo system available at the time. Just an amazingly Cosmic “one stop shopping” insight as a teaching.

    I, therefore, sought out the Baha’is in my travels, walked in the door when I found some and said “Wow! How can I help this?” I joined and up until 4 years ago spent 32 straight years doing everything I could to help it.

    But now one has to sadly come to the terrible realization that it just cannot be helped anymore. This religion has now gone into the hands of one of the most impaired communities of human beings on the planet in the history of the world for the reasons that you have mentioned in your post.

    It is truly a wonder and a prodigy that this has happened. But it has. I, myself, feel the Faith will eventually straighten out entirely of itself over the next 300-500 years if several generations of people will come into it that have great personal courage and seize the right of the vote that Baha’u’llah gave to the rank and file. The planetary Internet will be a factor as this all unfolds.

    But for now it is truly perplexing. It is now a zero sum game of witch hunts and Grand Inquisitors in the top down enforcement of ruthless hyper litmus test doctrinal purity implemented by the ABM and AABM thought police.

    It never had to go this way. The Baha’is really had an honest chance to try something new in human history. But it turned into the same old, same old right brain, left brain organizational war. The Faith has now killed all innovation, bottom up energy, individual spiritual initiative, and individual spiritual discovery in the very processes of life. It is now, therefore, being passed by many other more vital and energized spiritual movements. It all came to this terrible, terrible tragedy because it never instituted basic term limits in it’s “Institutions” and the rest is history.

    The people running the Baha’i Faith for the last 20 years to a man and to a woman will be cursed by all the people of the future. There is not much more anyone can say now, but try to move on spiritually. There is nothing anyone can do now but accept the decision by the infallible “Institutions” that the Faith is to be destroyed in every land by the current methods of organizational coercion. We must all accept it. I know I feel better now since I realized from the recent quotes someone posted here that I must accept destruction in obediance to the Covenant.

    So it goes.

    Again, thank you for you insightful post.

    Everyone have a nice weekend!