Introduction

I’m a Baha’i (in good standing) who is nonetheless disillusioned with the current state of the Baha’i world community. My aim is not to persuade or convince anyone of any conclusion. I simply hope that by voicing these thoughts, I can come to grips with the spiritual challenges that I am wrestling with personally. This is a most selfish endeavor and you are free to disagree with me. In fact, I welcome differences of opinion, for without them, it would be difficult to arrive at the truth.

So first things first, what do I believe and what are my values?

First and foremost, I believe in God as the Creator, the Unknowable Essence, and the Architect of the universe; in Baha’u’llah, as God’s Manifestation for this age; in the legislative authority of the Universal House of Justice and in the institution of the Guardianship (last held by Shoghi Effendi).

Furthermore, I value unity in diversity, not conformity, nor uniformity. Sadly, in today’s Baha’i community anyone who voices an opinion that does not agree with that of the majority or the administration, is looked at suspiciously. Somehow, the mistaken idea that unity must equal conformity has gripped the Baha’i community and as a result, a sterile group think has replaced the vibrant, and dynamic exchange of clashing viewpoints.

I value decentralization, over centralization. Central planning and its proponents, assume that life is static, linear and mechanistic; that it can be categorized, numbered and therefore, understood and controlled. However, life is not like that. It is messy, chaotic and dynamic. Unfortunately, the now widely discarded 19th-century ideal of centralization permeates the Baha’i community. Nowhere is it better seen than in grandiose multi-year plans. These plans are largely ignored by the community because they are imposed top-down and therefore, fail to motivate individuals. Yet they keep coming. Another example of centralization in the current Baha’i community is the funneling of donations from localities to the World Centre where they are expended without any disclosure or explanation – in contrast these funds could be used at the level where they are generated to build better communities.

Related to the previous issue, I believe in the empowerment of the individual to take personal and independent initiative. There are uncountable potentialities within each and everyone of us. Baha’u’llah describes man as a mine rich in gems; the way to mine these riches is to empower the individual to go forward to do what their soul inspires them. Like a young child, they will stumble, and make mistakes, but that is the only way to grow and develop. Despite the mentions of this value in communiques from the UHJ, its opposite rules the community and impedes personal initiative. Most individual Baha’is are loath to start any service project or act on any idea, unless it is first reviewed and sanctioned by their LSA or NSA.

Among the spiritual instincts latent within everyone of us, the drive for knowledge, is perhaps the strongest. This is why I believe in scholarship and the unfettered investigation of truth. Sadly, many documents related to the Faith and its history as well as volumes and volumes of the Writings of Baha’u’llah and the Bab have not yet been translated or released publicly . Although translation of these documents may take time, there is no reason why scanned versions of them can not be made available to all through the internet. Why are we so behind the others in this regard? By controlling or limiting access to what is in essence, the heritage and right of humanity, not only is scholarship hamstrung, but all of mankind suffers.

Closely intertwined with the search for knowledge is the free expression of our perception of it. I believe that the practice of ‘review’ where the product of individual Baha’i’s talents and intelligence is filtered and in many instances censored, is in direct violation of justice. This temporary measure, enacted by Abdu’l-Baha as a way to protect the Faith in a time of confusion, has been extended to an age where information is readily available and its instantaneous exchange made possible by technology. The case for maintaining this anachronism is made by some that it serves to protect the Faith from misunderstandings by both Baha’is and non-Baha’is. This paternalistic attitude however, disregards the fact that both groups are perfectly able to shoulder their God given responsibility to investigate the truth. As well, the non-Baha’i world is also capable of distinguishing from the words and actions of individual Baha’is, imperfect as they may be, and the Baha’i Faith itself. They do this everyday with regards to other religions and their adherents.

Too much emphasis is place on quantification in the Baha’i community to the detriment of the qualitative aspects of the community, such as vibrancy, unity, diversity, happiness and maturity. A tremendous amount of energy within the Baha’i community is wasted to collect, analyse and disseminate a huge pile of numbers for: enrollments, travelling teachers, pioneers, Ruhi course participants, cluster numbers and levels, and figures for the various Baha’i funds. Yet, qualitative aspects not only matter more in the lives of individuals and communities alike, they are prerequisites for numerical growth and achievement.

I value the administration as a tool rather than as a substitute for the Faith. Unfortunately, it has substituted the mystical and spiritual life of communities with mundane, bureaucratic, paper-pushing. This may be a result of ignoring the repeated mentions and entreaties, in the Writings, to establish the institution of the Mashriqul’Adhkar in all localities.

Also troubling for me is the confusion surrounding the recognition of the station and authority of the twin institutions of the administrative order: the UHJ and the Guardianship. Too many Baha’is believe that the UHJ is “God on earth”, “God’s representative” or some other such nonsense. Usually, these same people also mistakenly believe that every word uttered by Shoghi Effendi and his secretaries is Baha’i law. This is perhaps one of the most damaging mistakes because it touches on so many aspects of our community. I believe deepening on the meaning and significance of infallibility – in the context of the language and culture that it was used – would go towards removing this confusion and its negative effects.

I believe in an open and transparent due process; secrecy and justice can not coexist side by side. This point has been demonstrated repeatedly through human history and needs no further arguments. I sincerely hope that the voices within the administration which advocate opacity (however it is excused) will remember that justice is the best beloved in His sight.

I am aware that such views and their open expression in a public forum, is not in keeping with current Baha’i culture. As Baha’is, we are asked to share our concerns, criticisms and feedback directly with the institutions of the Faith. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be working. It is a most human need to want to be heard and acknowledged. When Baha’is, like myself, do not feel that the institutions fulfill this need, they reluctantly seek other channels. This is not motivated by malice, but by extreme frustration and a hunger for justice.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there,

    I just found your blog through a reference on another website.

    You’ve said some very interesting things here. I’d be really curious to know more about who you are and your history as a Baha’i — e.g. did you grow up in the Faith? do you live in a large community? what country are you in? That would give me a better idea of where you’re coming from on certain subjects.

    For my part, I grew up as a Baha’i and in my late teens I really struggled with my own disillusionment in certain aspects of Baha’i culture (from my point of view). Essentially I needed to go on my own ‘independent investigation of truth’. I’m still on that quest, hope I never stop learning and discovering. :-)

    A couple of things have helped me along the way. One was reading a book by Justice St. Rain called “Falling Into Grace”. If you haven’t picked it up, I definitely recommend it; it’s really worth a read. The other thing that’s helped — believe it or not — is leaving my country to go pioneering. Being so far from home in a place with few Baha’is has shifted my focus to things like teaching, building, taking an active role in community development — a totally different ‘culture’ from that of my home community. Of course, that’s just my own experience (may not help others).

    It would be great to talk to you more, especially about what you believe ‘infallibility’ really means. I’m also slightly curious about your comment which says:

    “As Baha’is, we are asked to share our concerns, ciriticisms and feedback directly with the institutions of the Faith. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be working.”

    Which institutions are you talking about there? How did you approach them?

    Cheers and love,

    V

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/territory_gal

  • Anonymous

    Hi there,

    I just found your blog through a reference on another website.

    You’ve said some very interesting things here. I’d be really curious to know more about who you are and your history as a Baha’i — e.g. did you grow up in the Faith? do you live in a large community? what country are you in? That would give me a better idea of where you’re coming from on certain subjects.

    For my part, I grew up as a Baha’i and in my late teens I really struggled with my own disillusionment in certain aspects of Baha’i culture (from my point of view). Essentially I needed to go on my own ‘independent investigation of truth’. I’m still on that quest, hope I never stop learning and discovering. :-)

    A couple of things have helped me along the way. One was reading a book by Justice St. Rain called “Falling Into Grace”. If you haven’t picked it up, I definitely recommend it; it’s really worth a read. The other thing that’s helped — believe it or not — is leaving my country to go pioneering. Being so far from home in a place with few Baha’is has shifted my focus to things like teaching, building, taking an active role in community development — a totally different ‘culture’ from that of my home community. Of course, that’s just my own experience (may not help others).

    It would be great to talk to you more, especially about what you believe ‘infallibility’ really means. I’m also slightly curious about your comment which says:

    “As Baha’is, we are asked to share our concerns, ciriticisms and feedback directly with the institutions of the Faith. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be working.”

    Which institutions are you talking about there? How did you approach them?

    Cheers and love,

    V

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/territory_gal

  • Anonymous

    I have just been put onto your blog site and found it intelligently refreshing. I have been a Baha’i for many years, and am continually disillusioned with the same ol’ same ol’. Vibrancy , celebration, joy and true vision of service has gone . I am closer to God in a forest than ever within Bahai gatherings. In a world of huge inequities, alarming scientifically verified reports of predicted environmental collapse, the Baha’i administraition is like an ostrich whose long neck is stuck up the proverbial. Communities move to exclude and discriminate, and the healing message for humanity is being lost. Keep writing, and asking questions. I hang onto independent investigation of truth.
    Thanks from a kiwi girl.

  • Anonymous

    I have just been put onto your blog site and found it intelligently refreshing. I have been a Baha’i for many years, and am continually disillusioned with the same ol’ same ol’. Vibrancy , celebration, joy and true vision of service has gone . I am closer to God in a forest than ever within Bahai gatherings. In a world of huge inequities, alarming scientifically verified reports of predicted environmental collapse, the Baha’i administraition is like an ostrich whose long neck is stuck up the proverbial. Communities move to exclude and discriminate, and the healing message for humanity is being lost. Keep writing, and asking questions. I hang onto independent investigation of truth.
    Thanks from a kiwi girl.

  • reverb

    interesting commments. i agree with much of what you say, though i would argue that most of what is going on here is due to two factors:

    one, we as individual baha’is are very inexperienced, and much more immeresed in our own cultures than we are in a baha’i culture–something that we are in the process of creating, actually. and i would guess that you are part of the western culture, maybe even north american, considering you have a blog (most likely, statistically). i think much of what you struggle with in the baha’i community are actually features of our dominant culture, not really features of a baha’i culture.

    two: the institutions are still immature, and that includes all the institutions. we know that the uhj is infallible and other assemblies are not, even taking into account the immaturity of the institutions.

    so this learning process is painful and often slow, but necessary. i would say voices like yours are needed in the community, questioning, struggling, challenging. i don’t know how engaged you are in your local community, but i would encourage you to stay involved in the process. my experience of the five year plan has been that if communities give themselves over willingly to the process–which sounds cold and mechanistic–there is actually a mystical power released. it seems to me that any lack of results during the five year plan are due to lack of willingness to participate. i’ve seen the love, joy, unity, and enthusiasm in several communities increase as a result of this plan.

    finally, and please don’t take offense at this, something that has become clear to me in the recent past, mostly as a result of this plan, is that our grounding in the writings is not what it should be. i think we, particularly in the west, are in love with our own opinions (i’m as big a culprit as any). i say this not to put you down, but to simply say that the writings are the right place to find the answers you seek, as well as the most powerful thing to share with others. if you could base your arguments/concerns in the holy texts i think it would be a lot more meaningful and provide a more substantial basis for investigation. to me, this is perhaps the most important facet of the five year plan, when we are all learning and immersing ourselves in the same words of god, we have an unshakeable foundation for unity.

    good luck with your struggles and search.

    your baha’i brother.

  • reverb

    interesting commments. i agree with much of what you say, though i would argue that most of what is going on here is due to two factors:

    one, we as individual baha’is are very inexperienced, and much more immeresed in our own cultures than we are in a baha’i culture–something that we are in the process of creating, actually. and i would guess that you are part of the western culture, maybe even north american, considering you have a blog (most likely, statistically). i think much of what you struggle with in the baha’i community are actually features of our dominant culture, not really features of a baha’i culture.

    two: the institutions are still immature, and that includes all the institutions. we know that the uhj is infallible and other assemblies are not, even taking into account the immaturity of the institutions.

    so this learning process is painful and often slow, but necessary. i would say voices like yours are needed in the community, questioning, struggling, challenging. i don’t know how engaged you are in your local community, but i would encourage you to stay involved in the process. my experience of the five year plan has been that if communities give themselves over willingly to the process–which sounds cold and mechanistic–there is actually a mystical power released. it seems to me that any lack of results during the five year plan are due to lack of willingness to participate. i’ve seen the love, joy, unity, and enthusiasm in several communities increase as a result of this plan.

    finally, and please don’t take offense at this, something that has become clear to me in the recent past, mostly as a result of this plan, is that our grounding in the writings is not what it should be. i think we, particularly in the west, are in love with our own opinions (i’m as big a culprit as any). i say this not to put you down, but to simply say that the writings are the right place to find the answers you seek, as well as the most powerful thing to share with others. if you could base your arguments/concerns in the holy texts i think it would be a lot more meaningful and provide a more substantial basis for investigation. to me, this is perhaps the most important facet of the five year plan, when we are all learning and immersing ourselves in the same words of god, we have an unshakeable foundation for unity.

    good luck with your struggles and search.

    your baha’i brother.

  • http://river.unit-e.com reverb

    forgot to add my link.

  • http://river.unit-e.com reverb

    forgot to add my link.

  • Anonymous

    Hi,
    Personally, I have found the Baha’i Wrintings so immense and sometimes overwhelming with beautiful wisdom, that I can’t hold it all in my head and process it. What has helped me to process Baha’u’llah’s Revelation is a talk be Adib Taherzadeh in 1984 to the Alaska Baha’i Community “Drawing Nigh to Baha’u’llah”. He touches on some of the questions and concerns you have raised.
    Warmly,
    Meg

  • Anonymous

    Hi,
    Personally, I have found the Baha’i Wrintings so immense and sometimes overwhelming with beautiful wisdom, that I can’t hold it all in my head and process it. What has helped me to process Baha’u’llah’s Revelation is a talk be Adib Taherzadeh in 1984 to the Alaska Baha’i Community “Drawing Nigh to Baha’u’llah”. He touches on some of the questions and concerns you have raised.
    Warmly,
    Meg

  • Anonymous

    look to the last Hidden word where we are told to live our lives by our calling. This is the golden key to everything. Focus on that. Gillian

  • Anonymous

    look to the last Hidden word where we are told to live our lives by our calling. This is the golden key to everything. Focus on that. Gillian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16293404 ramiz maher

    Hello Everybody
    I am afraid there is either two Ramiz Mahers or sombody is using my name to say something that is not my view at all about Bahai institutions in constant growth towards maturity.I (Ramiz Maher)live in Chile as a pioneer for the last 25 years and see our beloved faith in perfect and normal conditions of growth and well protected for error by the Universal House of Justice.
    With loving greeting.
    Ramiz Maher
    Chile

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16293404 ramiz maher

    Hello Everybody
    I am afraid there is either two Ramiz Mahers or sombody is using my name to say something that is not my view at all about Bahai institutions in constant growth towards maturity.I (Ramiz Maher)live in Chile as a pioneer for the last 25 years and see our beloved faith in perfect and normal conditions of growth and well protected for error by the Universal House of Justice.
    With loving greeting.
    Ramiz Maher
    Chile

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Dear Ramiz,

    where is this supposed impostor’s comments? I haven’t found it on the blog.

    In any case, thanks for your alertness. No ABM for protection has a chance of sneaking up on you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Dear Ramiz,

    where is this supposed impostor’s comments? I haven’t found it on the blog.

    In any case, thanks for your alertness. No ABM for protection has a chance of sneaking up on you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    Hi there, I just stumbled upon your blog while surfing the net.

    I am a baha’i from Iceland. I find what you write very interesting and I would like to congratulate you for your courage. I have been in correspondance with several people living in the States and many of them have expressed what you have said here. Being an individual within the community can be very difficult.

    But I have to agree with V who posted the first comment on your blog. She recommended pioneering to other countries. The situation is not the same everywhere, fortunately. There are still young communities that have not taken this direction. They are in need of vibrant, diverse, happy and mature people.

    I am very happy to say that the Five year plan which is about to end has been a big help in my community. We are working hard on developing an A-cluster.

    I hope this will make at least some difference in your day,

    take good care,
    Hugrun.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    Hi there, I just stumbled upon your blog while surfing the net.

    I am a baha’i from Iceland. I find what you write very interesting and I would like to congratulate you for your courage. I have been in correspondance with several people living in the States and many of them have expressed what you have said here. Being an individual within the community can be very difficult.

    But I have to agree with V who posted the first comment on your blog. She recommended pioneering to other countries. The situation is not the same everywhere, fortunately. There are still young communities that have not taken this direction. They are in need of vibrant, diverse, happy and mature people.

    I am very happy to say that the Five year plan which is about to end has been a big help in my community. We are working hard on developing an A-cluster.

    I hope this will make at least some difference in your day,

    take good care,
    Hugrun.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    Hi, I just wanted to add my website.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    Hi, I just wanted to add my website.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    hmm…this does not seem to be working well…try to remove the / from the end of the url…then it should work…

    Sorry :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1427668 Hugrun

    hmm…this does not seem to be working well…try to remove the / from the end of the url…then it should work…

    Sorry :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hugrun, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate and agree with your sentiments… some countries are better than others.

    However, many issues like the unenrollment of sincere Baha’is, the pugilistic attitude towards academics, and the lack of due process, are constant whereever you may be. And it is these that are causing real harm to the Baha’i world community.

    No matter where you run to, you can not escape from them. Instead, as a Baha’i, I think it is our duty to confront these malevolent forces and to defeat them.

    And btw, the corrected link to your MySpace site is here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1082818 Baquia

    Hugrun, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate and agree with your sentiments… some countries are better than others.

    However, many issues like the unenrollment of sincere Baha’is, the pugilistic attitude towards academics, and the lack of due process, are constant whereever you may be. And it is these that are causing real harm to the Baha’i world community.

    No matter where you run to, you can not escape from them. Instead, as a Baha’i, I think it is our duty to confront these malevolent forces and to defeat them.

    And btw, the corrected link to your MySpace site is here.

  • http://www.masterofthejinn.com Irving Karchmar

    Salaam Alaikum Dear Friend:
    As a Baha’i and a spiritual writer, may I commend to you my book, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. I think you will like it. It has been translated and published in Russia, and will, later this year inshallah, be translated and published in Indonesia, into Bahasa, the national language.
    You can view the book and read an excerpt at http://www.masterofthejinn.com
    In the Name of the Merciful, 10% of all profits go to charity.

    Ya Haqq,

    Irving

  • http://www.masterofthejinn.com Irving Karchmar

    Salaam Alaikum Dear Friend:
    As a Baha’i and a spiritual writer, may I commend to you my book, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. I think you will like it. It has been translated and published in Russia, and will, later this year inshallah, be translated and published in Indonesia, into Bahasa, the national language.
    You can view the book and read an excerpt at http://www.masterofthejinn.com
    In the Name of the Merciful, 10% of all profits go to charity.

    Ya Haqq,

    Irving

  • Mark

    Thank you for this very interesting and informative site. As a non Bahai and student of your faith for the past 30 years I am very pleased to have come across your blog. I have grave concerns about the lack of freedom of thought in all fundamentalist organizations and I hope and pray that you and folks like you can have some influence against those who seek to impose orthodoxy above all else. Keep up your good work and I looking forward to more insight on yours blogs part.

    Thank you again from a universalist follower of Jesus of Nazareth, good luck and God bless all humanity who seek after peace with tolerance and compassion.
    Mark from Vallejo, CA

  • Mark

    Thank you for this very interesting and informative site. As a non Bahai and student of your faith for the past 30 years I am very pleased to have come across your blog. I have grave concerns about the lack of freedom of thought in all fundamentalist organizations and I hope and pray that you and folks like you can have some influence against those who seek to impose orthodoxy above all else. Keep up your good work and I looking forward to more insight on yours blogs part.

    Thank you again from a universalist follower of Jesus of Nazareth, good luck and God bless all humanity who seek after peace with tolerance and compassion.
    Mark from Vallejo, CA

  • Sheela

    Hi,

    As I chow down my pre-dawn oatmeal (Fast)I understand the angst that fuels this site. I do. Yet, and yet. As a Baha’i of 30+ years, I have truly seen it all. Hypocrisy, ignorance, abuse, ego-engineered attempts to rise up through an imagined hierarchy of Baha’i “celebrity.” I have seen Baha’is who attend every fireside, every Feast who then go home and flagrantly break some of the most cherished laws of this Dispensation.

    All I can tell you is that I am front and center at Baha’i activities because of Baha’u’llah, who gave us the Center of the Covenant. Not because of the perfections of the Baha’is, not because of the developing Administrative Order.

    As the Master taught, perfection is endless . . . this applies to the Baha’is more keenly than to any group I can think of. Even Shoghi Effendi said that the greatest challenge to the Bahs’is would be . . . the Baha’is. (And look what he had to put up with . . .)

    I found my peace in the Kitab-i-Iqan which informs the reader (sorry, I am not one of those believers who can club you over the head with a quotation) that the transformative power of the Creative Word is such that the lowest, losingest people are always the ones who embrace the new, revealed religion. As such, they are transformed into renewed beings who embrace the great new truths of the age. This transformation is in itself, nothing less than a proof of God, according to Baha’u’llah.

    No one has ever tried what we try.

    Other than our imperfect but earnest attempts to understand the Writings and to actively employ them, we are just like everyone else, fragile, weak and prone to whiny complaints and power struggle.

    That is until we remember Him, Then for a few fleeting moments we are what we are supposed to be. . . united Followers of the Light.

    Everything else, in the face of that fleeting moment is inconsequential. Perhaps we can learn to stretch those rare moments into sustained enlightenment.

    Baha’is will succeed because of Baha’u’llah, a Person who in 1848, in the town of Amal, went to settle strife aimed at the Babis . . .the authorities decided to punish them with bastinado, a brutal torture in which the soles of the feet are whipped to a bloody pulp. He would not consent to allowing the believers to suffer such abuse.

    So He offered Himself to the authorities and volunteered to take the bastinado. The authorities obliged Him. All this, BEFORE the experience in the Siyah Chal.

    Baha’u’llah is helping us to unlearn the things that hold the world back. Think about fewer and fewer childen starving in the world and carry on. Baha’u’llah did. ‘Abdul Baha did. So can you. The faster we get the job done, the quicker we get the world we want.

    HAPPY FAST!!

  • Sheela

    Hi,

    As I chow down my pre-dawn oatmeal (Fast)I understand the angst that fuels this site. I do. Yet, and yet. As a Baha’i of 30+ years, I have truly seen it all. Hypocrisy, ignorance, abuse, ego-engineered attempts to rise up through an imagined hierarchy of Baha’i “celebrity.” I have seen Baha’is who attend every fireside, every Feast who then go home and flagrantly break some of the most cherished laws of this Dispensation.

    All I can tell you is that I am front and center at Baha’i activities because of Baha’u’llah, who gave us the Center of the Covenant. Not because of the perfections of the Baha’is, not because of the developing Administrative Order.

    As the Master taught, perfection is endless . . . this applies to the Baha’is more keenly than to any group I can think of. Even Shoghi Effendi said that the greatest challenge to the Bahs’is would be . . . the Baha’is. (And look what he had to put up with . . .)

    I found my peace in the Kitab-i-Iqan which informs the reader (sorry, I am not one of those believers who can club you over the head with a quotation) that the transformative power of the Creative Word is such that the lowest, losingest people are always the ones who embrace the new, revealed religion. As such, they are transformed into renewed beings who embrace the great new truths of the age. This transformation is in itself, nothing less than a proof of God, according to Baha’u’llah.

    No one has ever tried what we try.

    Other than our imperfect but earnest attempts to understand the Writings and to actively employ them, we are just like everyone else, fragile, weak and prone to whiny complaints and power struggle.

    That is until we remember Him, Then for a few fleeting moments we are what we are supposed to be. . . united Followers of the Light.

    Everything else, in the face of that fleeting moment is inconsequential. Perhaps we can learn to stretch those rare moments into sustained enlightenment.

    Baha’is will succeed because of Baha’u’llah, a Person who in 1848, in the town of Amal, went to settle strife aimed at the Babis . . .the authorities decided to punish them with bastinado, a brutal torture in which the soles of the feet are whipped to a bloody pulp. He would not consent to allowing the believers to suffer such abuse.

    So He offered Himself to the authorities and volunteered to take the bastinado. The authorities obliged Him. All this, BEFORE the experience in the Siyah Chal.

    Baha’u’llah is helping us to unlearn the things that hold the world back. Think about fewer and fewer childen starving in the world and carry on. Baha’u’llah did. ‘Abdul Baha did. So can you. The faster we get the job done, the quicker we get the world we want.

    HAPPY FAST!!

  • http://www.rayanz.myphotoalbum.com rayanz

    Let me paraphrase a Shoghi Effendi quote.

    The biggest test once someone is a Bahai, are other Bahai’s.

    Very true.

    I’m 21 years old, born and raised Bahai. However only until my 19th year, can i truly say I could identify myself as a true beleiver. My reputation among the Bahai’s has not been squeeky clean. However, it wasn’t until I was accepted to go on a Youth Year of Service to the Tongan islands that i found myself, was able to grow without the push from anyone else – and began to truly realise my place in this amazing thing we have – which we all take for granted.

    Man, returning to Australia, I still struggle to remain awake at the Feasts, the boring same sh’t that revolves every 19 days – people so willing to make suggestions but hesitant to volunteer for action.

    Mate – the point is, I understand your frustrations. Going overseas amazed me, opened my eyes, made me aware of other frustrations that exist in other cultures, but also the power of this Faith to unify this shrinking world. But what one Tongan, new Bahai, ex-alcoholic said to me put it all in perspective. I was shocked at the use of corporate punishment, even among new Bahai families (very common in the Islands). He told me something like this:

    “The Faith here is like the sun rising. We can see the light, but the sun hasn’t risen yet. Its still dark, but soon the full light of day will be seen. We’re at our dawn.”

    Makes perfect sense. We’re at an early, infant stage. Bahai’s are imperfect, yet we expect so much more from them. LSA’s are imperfect, yet we always feel we can do better. The Faith is new – let it develop. Don’t get pissed off at your kid who can’t run on word “go”. He’ll learn. Let him trip up a few times, hurt his knee etc. He’ll get it.

    Sure, frustrations with the Faith are always gonna be there. Watch them now, see whats up, make changes when you’re in the position to in future.

    The Faith has saved my life – where would i be without it, … not here

    all the best buddy

    rayan

  • http://www.rayanz.myphotoalbum.com rayanz

    Let me paraphrase a Shoghi Effendi quote.

    The biggest test once someone is a Bahai, are other Bahai’s.

    Very true.

    I’m 21 years old, born and raised Bahai. However only until my 19th year, can i truly say I could identify myself as a true beleiver. My reputation among the Bahai’s has not been squeeky clean. However, it wasn’t until I was accepted to go on a Youth Year of Service to the Tongan islands that i found myself, was able to grow without the push from anyone else – and began to truly realise my place in this amazing thing we have – which we all take for granted.

    Man, returning to Australia, I still struggle to remain awake at the Feasts, the boring same sh’t that revolves every 19 days – people so willing to make suggestions but hesitant to volunteer for action.

    Mate – the point is, I understand your frustrations. Going overseas amazed me, opened my eyes, made me aware of other frustrations that exist in other cultures, but also the power of this Faith to unify this shrinking world. But what one Tongan, new Bahai, ex-alcoholic said to me put it all in perspective. I was shocked at the use of corporate punishment, even among new Bahai families (very common in the Islands). He told me something like this:

    “The Faith here is like the sun rising. We can see the light, but the sun hasn’t risen yet. Its still dark, but soon the full light of day will be seen. We’re at our dawn.”

    Makes perfect sense. We’re at an early, infant stage. Bahai’s are imperfect, yet we expect so much more from them. LSA’s are imperfect, yet we always feel we can do better. The Faith is new – let it develop. Don’t get pissed off at your kid who can’t run on word “go”. He’ll learn. Let him trip up a few times, hurt his knee etc. He’ll get it.

    Sure, frustrations with the Faith are always gonna be there. Watch them now, see whats up, make changes when you’re in the position to in future.

    The Faith has saved my life – where would i be without it, … not here

    all the best buddy

    rayan

  • http://www.globalimpulse.org Hans Ohman

    If a person has nine good qualities and one bad, look at the good one.
    …and even more difficult: if a person has nine bad qualities and one good, look at the good one. (it even feels good).
    And be certain of that this is the time when light shall not be followed by darkness.
    Encourage the good sides in all of us… many of us never experienced that while growing up.

    I am so happy to be …
    Hans from Sweden

  • http://www.globalimpulse.org Hans Ohman

    If a person has nine good qualities and one bad, look at the good one.
    …and even more difficult: if a person has nine bad qualities and one good, look at the good one. (it even feels good).
    And be certain of that this is the time when light shall not be followed by darkness.
    Encourage the good sides in all of us… many of us never experienced that while growing up.

    I am so happy to be …
    Hans from Sweden

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Your blog is well written and of interest. I’m glad to have found it. I wonder how you can be a Bahai in good standing — it makes me chuckle to think of it!

    I have believed for years that the writings of Bahaullah have been sanitized for western consumption. He wrote love poetry and was a Sufi with the religious excess (some for the good) that implies. If all His writings were made available most Bahais would not know what to make of them.

    Finally I have decided that while He was a great spiritual teacher, His claims are far too extreme even in their sanitized form. Yes there is a new heaven and a new earth — but its because of mankind’s growth and development, not because Bahaullah made it so. Of course that’s my opinion. I have decided to put my faith in mankind and Nature. I’m just sorry its taken me so long to do it.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Your blog is well written and of interest. I’m glad to have found it. I wonder how you can be a Bahai in good standing — it makes me chuckle to think of it!

    I have believed for years that the writings of Bahaullah have been sanitized for western consumption. He wrote love poetry and was a Sufi with the religious excess (some for the good) that implies. If all His writings were made available most Bahais would not know what to make of them.

    Finally I have decided that while He was a great spiritual teacher, His claims are far too extreme even in their sanitized form. Yes there is a new heaven and a new earth — but its because of mankind’s growth and development, not because Bahaullah made it so. Of course that’s my opinion. I have decided to put my faith in mankind and Nature. I’m just sorry its taken me so long to do it.

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  • Ally

    Dear friend:
    If I may say something to you out of a brotherly/sisterly love; you may have a couple valid points here but the right way to express your frustrations should have been to auxiliary board members or directly to the Universal House of Justice and definitely NOT through this blog. The whole purpose of this wonderful cause is to create unity amongst Mankind and you must agree that starting rage, doubt and discontentment is not the way to deal with your frustrations. Obviously you see beauty in the Faith and that’s why you are sticking around in your membership as a Bah??’i but this membership comes with a responsibility and commitment to protect it’s main principle of unity. Please don’t take this as an insult but deepening more in the Faith will surly give you then answers you need in your quest. The Faith is perfect but us humans will always be imperfect and these imperfect actions done in the spirit of unity will correct themselves eventually. That doesn’t mean that you should stop thinking as an individual but rather channel your frustrations to the right people for an advice. I recommend reading the first section of the annual report by the NSA of the US, which deals with many of your questions. At the end; I lovingly urge you to change the name of your blog too as it expresses negativity and that is also not a Bah??’i teaching. All our actions as Bah??’is need to reflect the principles that we committed ourselves to accept. You sound very intelligent and I have high hopes that your sincere prayers for guidance and steadfastness will illumine your inner being and help you radiate the wonderful teachings of our dear Faith.

    A

  • Ally

    Dear friend:
    If I may say something to you out of a brotherly/sisterly love; you may have a couple valid points here but the right way to express your frustrations should have been to auxiliary board members or directly to the Universal House of Justice and definitely NOT through this blog. The whole purpose of this wonderful cause is to create unity amongst Mankind and you must agree that starting rage, doubt and discontentment is not the way to deal with your frustrations. Obviously you see beauty in the Faith and that’s why you are sticking around in your membership as a Bah??’i but this membership comes with a responsibility and commitment to protect it’s main principle of unity. Please don’t take this as an insult but deepening more in the Faith will surly give you then answers you need in your quest. The Faith is perfect but us humans will always be imperfect and these imperfect actions done in the spirit of unity will correct themselves eventually. That doesn’t mean that you should stop thinking as an individual but rather channel your frustrations to the right people for an advice. I recommend reading the first section of the annual report by the NSA of the US, which deals with many of your questions. At the end; I lovingly urge you to change the name of your blog too as it expresses negativity and that is also not a Bah??’i teaching. All our actions as Bah??’is need to reflect the principles that we committed ourselves to accept. You sound very intelligent and I have high hopes that your sincere prayers for guidance and steadfastness will illumine your inner being and help you radiate the wonderful teachings of our dear Faith.

    A

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Ally,
    thanks for your comments.

    you may have a couple valid points here but the right way to express your frustrations should have been to auxiliary board members or directly to the Universal House of Justice and definitely NOT through this blog.

    Just a couple? ;-) But seriously, why exactly do you think what I’m doing is wrong?

    And aren’t you assuming that I haven’t already followed your advice?

    Finally, I’m curious. Which are the ‘valid points’ I make? and which are the nonvalid ones? And why?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Ally,
    thanks for your comments.

    you may have a couple valid points here but the right way to express your frustrations should have been to auxiliary board members or directly to the Universal House of Justice and definitely NOT through this blog.

    Just a couple? ;-) But seriously, why exactly do you think what I’m doing is wrong?

    And aren’t you assuming that I haven’t already followed your advice?

    Finally, I’m curious. Which are the ‘valid points’ I make? and which are the nonvalid ones? And why?

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Ally,

    You wrote to Baquia:

    “I recommend reading the first section of the annual report by the NSA of the US, which deals with many of your questions.”

    Baquia, of course, posted the entire first part HERE three weeks ago because it came to this Blog through the great unwashed of the rank and file if you would read this Blog a little more astutely.

    The entire free and open world can ONLY READ IT HERE ON-LINE!

    But it is no longer available to ANY rank and file Baha’i in the U.S. unless they somehow got it in the original mailing before it was officially deep sixed and completely repressed by the UHJ.

    As far as I can tell the entire 15 page excellent and prescient report has been completely taken down from the US NSA web site unless you can find it and post a link here for the Baha’is of the world. I hope it is there but I could not find it.

    Nor is it’s contents mentioned in any way in the latest “American Baha’i” just three weeks later!

    A report written and printed at great TIME and EXPENSE to the American Baha’i community is now treated like it never existed. Now COMPLETELY erased from the official record in an Orwellian orgy of shocking top down mind control.

    I have been a Baha’i for 36 years and I am fighting mad.

    Your Counselors and Axillary Board members whatever medications they are on had better double them. Because at some public meeting some time I am going to be in the front row and they are going to get an ear full in public. Sometimes unity comes from guts. Sometimes unity comes from a fist to the jaw upon unjust neurotic punks. Not from spineless passivity.

    Keep posting brother/sister Ally. We love you!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • Craig Parke

    Hi Ally,

    You wrote to Baquia:

    “I recommend reading the first section of the annual report by the NSA of the US, which deals with many of your questions.”

    Baquia, of course, posted the entire first part HERE three weeks ago because it came to this Blog through the great unwashed of the rank and file if you would read this Blog a little more astutely.

    The entire free and open world can ONLY READ IT HERE ON-LINE!

    But it is no longer available to ANY rank and file Baha’i in the U.S. unless they somehow got it in the original mailing before it was officially deep sixed and completely repressed by the UHJ.

    As far as I can tell the entire 15 page excellent and prescient report has been completely taken down from the US NSA web site unless you can find it and post a link here for the Baha’is of the world. I hope it is there but I could not find it.

    Nor is it’s contents mentioned in any way in the latest “American Baha’i” just three weeks later!

    A report written and printed at great TIME and EXPENSE to the American Baha’i community is now treated like it never existed. Now COMPLETELY erased from the official record in an Orwellian orgy of shocking top down mind control.

    I have been a Baha’i for 36 years and I am fighting mad.

    Your Counselors and Axillary Board members whatever medications they are on had better double them. Because at some public meeting some time I am going to be in the front row and they are going to get an ear full in public. Sometimes unity comes from guts. Sometimes unity comes from a fist to the jaw upon unjust neurotic punks. Not from spineless passivity.

    Keep posting brother/sister Ally. We love you!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • joe

    that’ s a valid point regarding the name of this blog…
    after all the attribute of Creator is “Questions” not “rants”

    nevertheless, wise and loving free expression that is free of ego is central to “consultation” and finding something that resembles truth, however relative that true might be etc

    thanks

  • joe

    that’ s a valid point regarding the name of this blog…
    after all the attribute of Creator is “Questions” not “rants”

    nevertheless, wise and loving free expression that is free of ego is central to “consultation” and finding something that resembles truth, however relative that true might be etc

    thanks

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  • Bird out of the Cage

    The only “final exchange” in an organics life Craig is death. In the meantime there is only life.

    I left the BF voluntarily because to stay would only deteriorate all the good it did give me. Moving forward to studying the concepts of Transcendentalist.

    Here’s a few pearls for you in a treasure chest beyond measure…

    Thoreau:

    ?I am sorry to think that you do not get a man’s most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.”

    ?I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

    “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

    “As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.”

  • Bird out of the Cage

    The only “final exchange” in an organics life Craig is death. In the meantime there is only life.

    I left the BF voluntarily because to stay would only deteriorate all the good it did give me. Moving forward to studying the concepts of Transcendentalist.

    Here’s a few pearls for you in a treasure chest beyond measure…

    Thoreau:

    ?I am sorry to think that you do not get a man’s most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.”

    ?I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

    “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

    “As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.”

  • farhan

    Baquia,
    I do appreciate your thirst for truth, and I would be happy to discuss some points with you. Questionning is an attribute of God and a virute to be valued.

    Many of the mishaps and flaws you point to seem valid to me, but at the same time I do believe that by looking at life “through a lens” you are missing much of the general picture.

    In a garden you have flowers, small shoots, budding shrubs and fruits. By concentrating your attentention on the compost you are getting a distorted vision of the garden.

    Unfortunately, my comments are being flagged, I am not sure whether it is for a technical reason or because of my opinions.

    I would be happy to correspond with you heer or on a private basis if you are open to discussion.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia,
    I do appreciate your thirst for truth, and I would be happy to discuss some points with you. Questionning is an attribute of God and a virute to be valued.

    Many of the mishaps and flaws you point to seem valid to me, but at the same time I do believe that by looking at life “through a lens” you are missing much of the general picture.

    In a garden you have flowers, small shoots, budding shrubs and fruits. By concentrating your attentention on the compost you are getting a distorted vision of the garden.

    Unfortunately, my comments are being flagged, I am not sure whether it is for a technical reason or because of my opinions.

    I would be happy to correspond with you heer or on a private basis if you are open to discussion.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45182"]Unfortunately, my comments are being flagged, I am not sure whether it is for a technical reason or because of my opinions.[/quote]

    Thanks for pointing this out. I just noticed that you were blacklisted for some strange reason by my spam filter. I’ve taken you off that and put you on the whitelist so hopefully everything will be as right as rain – as long as you write from the same IP address. Just to be clear, unlike some other Baha’i bloggers, I don’t censor comments that I may disagree with.

    Cheers :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45182"]Unfortunately, my comments are being flagged, I am not sure whether it is for a technical reason or because of my opinions.[/quote]

    Thanks for pointing this out. I just noticed that you were blacklisted for some strange reason by my spam filter. I’ve taken you off that and put you on the whitelist so hopefully everything will be as right as rain – as long as you write from the same IP address. Just to be clear, unlike some other Baha’i bloggers, I don’t censor comments that I may disagree with.

    Cheers :-)

  • farhan

    [quote comment="45245"]
    I just noticed that you were blacklisted for some strange reason by my spam filter. I’ve taken you off that and put you on the whitelist [/quote]

    Thanks Baquia for offering me the right to speak;

    Going through the posts here, I notice one outstanding caracteristic: the highly intellectual and well read authors are speaking from the present view-point of an over developped country, wheras the UHJ is speaking from the view-point of all humanity, in the perspectives of what is happening to our planet and will be happening for the next 500,000 years.

    Erudite authors are looking at life through a microscope, wheras the revelation of God and the UHJ are looking through a fisheye lens, with a satellite view of life on this planet.

    We need our microscopes and critical thoughts for acting locally, but we also need the general view to think globally. Joel De Rosnay calls this the “macroscope”. i warmly recommend his book that has been translated into English

    The Ruhi controverse is a typical example of our inability to adopt simultaneosly these complementary “analytic” and “synthetic” views. Intellectuals want to dissect the history of thhe Faith, the Supreme body is drawing our attention to the dire and urgent needs of humanity for now and the decades to come.

    The bare-foot doctor experience of China is to me a good comparison; in a response for human ressource shortage, China formed in a shor time millions of peasants in the fundamental sciences of health. working together with other peasants in the fields, they saved millions of lives by building millions of latrines, providing clean water, vaccinating, diagnosing and treating the common disorders. China was highly commended by the WHO at the Alma Ata conference for inventing primary health care.

    However, the doctors in the universities were wont to go out and help teach these bare-foot doctors more advanced medicine, and the bare-foot doctors ended up in saying that the scientific rich-man’s medicine in the universities was counter-revolutionnary and should be dismantled;

    Finally, in time, the primary heath system having borne it’s fruits, the bare-foot doctors took exams and became real doctors or just medical assistants, moving to the “two legged” medicine, combining traditionnal and primary health care with scientific medicine.

    Many of the apparent paradoxes in our Faith are due to a confusion between the teachings adressing the global vision and on their practical applications in a particular place at a particular time.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    [quote comment="45245"]
    I just noticed that you were blacklisted for some strange reason by my spam filter. I’ve taken you off that and put you on the whitelist [/quote]

    Thanks Baquia for offering me the right to speak;

    Going through the posts here, I notice one outstanding caracteristic: the highly intellectual and well read authors are speaking from the present view-point of an over developped country, wheras the UHJ is speaking from the view-point of all humanity, in the perspectives of what is happening to our planet and will be happening for the next 500,000 years.

    Erudite authors are looking at life through a microscope, wheras the revelation of God and the UHJ are looking through a fisheye lens, with a satellite view of life on this planet.

    We need our microscopes and critical thoughts for acting locally, but we also need the general view to think globally. Joel De Rosnay calls this the “macroscope”. i warmly recommend his book that has been translated into English

    The Ruhi controverse is a typical example of our inability to adopt simultaneosly these complementary “analytic” and “synthetic” views. Intellectuals want to dissect the history of thhe Faith, the Supreme body is drawing our attention to the dire and urgent needs of humanity for now and the decades to come.

    The bare-foot doctor experience of China is to me a good comparison; in a response for human ressource shortage, China formed in a shor time millions of peasants in the fundamental sciences of health. working together with other peasants in the fields, they saved millions of lives by building millions of latrines, providing clean water, vaccinating, diagnosing and treating the common disorders. China was highly commended by the WHO at the Alma Ata conference for inventing primary health care.

    However, the doctors in the universities were wont to go out and help teach these bare-foot doctors more advanced medicine, and the bare-foot doctors ended up in saying that the scientific rich-man’s medicine in the universities was counter-revolutionnary and should be dismantled;

    Finally, in time, the primary heath system having borne it’s fruits, the bare-foot doctors took exams and became real doctors or just medical assistants, moving to the “two legged” medicine, combining traditionnal and primary health care with scientific medicine.

    Many of the apparent paradoxes in our Faith are due to a confusion between the teachings adressing the global vision and on their practical applications in a particular place at a particular time.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Anonymous

    Baquia wrote,[quote post="4"]Just to be clear, unlike some other Baha’i bloggers, I don’t censor comments that I may disagree with.[/quote]
    For this alone, your victory is assured. You will be rewarded a great many blessed eternities in the worlds to come for encouraging thought. Yours is a rare and dying breed of open-minded Bah??’?s. And verily, you are the Last of the Mohicans.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Baquia wrote,[quote post="4"]Just to be clear, unlike some other Baha’i bloggers, I don’t censor comments that I may disagree with.[/quote]
    For this alone, your victory is assured. You will be rewarded a great many blessed eternities in the worlds to come for encouraging thought. Yours is a rare and dying breed of open-minded Bah??’?s. And verily, you are the Last of the Mohicans.

  • farhan

    Thanks for the technical help, Baquia,
    reading what you have to say, I would have been surprised and disappointed if you censured replies to your queries.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Thanks for the technical help, Baquia,
    reading what you have to say, I would have been surprised and disappointed if you censured replies to your queries.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    You say “the UHJ is speaking from the view-point of all humanity,”

    ummm…so women don’t have a viewpoint, or are not a part of “humanity?” They are 9 men. They do not speak from the viewpoint of women.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    You say “the UHJ is speaking from the view-point of all humanity,”

    ummm…so women don’t have a viewpoint, or are not a part of “humanity?” They are 9 men. They do not speak from the viewpoint of women.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

  • farhan

    Amanda,
    you write:
    so women don’t have a viewpoint, or are not a part <of “humanity?” They are 9 men. They do not speak from the viewpoint of women.

    Well this assumes that members elected on the UHj, on which was loaded a mandate they never volonteered for, go there to advance their own selfish interests and view-points according to national or racial origins and gender. This would not only suggest that they are deprived from Divine Guidance, but would be contrary to their explicit mandate which is being :

    “the Trustees of God among His servants”. (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 26)

    “…ensure the protection and safeguarding of men, women and children… the utmost regard for the interests of the people at all times and under all conditions…” (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 69)

    “fix their gaze upon … the training of peoples, the upbuilding of nations… the protection of man and the safeguarding of his honour… (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 125)

    “that they may enforce them according to the exigencies of the time and the dictates of wisdom. (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 134)

    The very fact that you imply that women are “deprived” of this “highest privilege” is a violation of the very purpose of the Baha’i administrative service which is a load of servitude, with no privilege, power or advantage.

    I believe that once we understand that service within the Baha’i administration for which we are not neither candidates nor volonteers but humble bearers, we will understand that it is a burden from which women have been exempted and not an honor from which they have been deprived.

    I have no reason to believe that the rank of Mother Theresa is inferiour to that of the Pope. I would in fact believe the contrary.

    If I were to cast a vote for the UHJ, I would be very embarassed to take into consideration whether the person I would like to vote for was or was not engaged in family duties.

    Again, if you consider membership in the UHJ as a privilege and an opportunity to advance personal motives, then you objection would be very much valid.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda,
    you write:
    so women don’t have a viewpoint, or are not a part <of “humanity?” They are 9 men. They do not speak from the viewpoint of women.

    Well this assumes that members elected on the UHj, on which was loaded a mandate they never volonteered for, go there to advance their own selfish interests and view-points according to national or racial origins and gender. This would not only suggest that they are deprived from Divine Guidance, but would be contrary to their explicit mandate which is being :

    “the Trustees of God among His servants”. (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 26)

    “…ensure the protection and safeguarding of men, women and children… the utmost regard for the interests of the people at all times and under all conditions…” (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 69)

    “fix their gaze upon … the training of peoples, the upbuilding of nations… the protection of man and the safeguarding of his honour… (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 125)

    “that they may enforce them according to the exigencies of the time and the dictates of wisdom. (Tab Baha’u’llah, p 134)

    The very fact that you imply that women are “deprived” of this “highest privilege” is a violation of the very purpose of the Baha’i administrative service which is a load of servitude, with no privilege, power or advantage.

    I believe that once we understand that service within the Baha’i administration for which we are not neither candidates nor volonteers but humble bearers, we will understand that it is a burden from which women have been exempted and not an honor from which they have been deprived.

    I have no reason to believe that the rank of Mother Theresa is inferiour to that of the Pope. I would in fact believe the contrary.

    If I were to cast a vote for the UHJ, I would be very embarassed to take into consideration whether the person I would like to vote for was or was not engaged in family duties.

    Again, if you consider membership in the UHJ as a privilege and an opportunity to advance personal motives, then you objection would be very much valid.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Now, Farhan, let’s be clear. You say, “Well this assumes that members elected on the UHj, on which was loaded a mandate they never volonteered for, go there to advance their own selfish interests and view-points according to national or racial origins and gender. This would not only suggest that they are deprived from Divine Guidance, but would be contrary to their explicit mandate which is being…”

    NO, by saying they do not speak FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF WOMEN assumes that they are NOT WOMEN. Do you follow? To speak FROM someone’s VIEWPOINT means you ARE that someone. They are 9 MEN, who do not have ANY authority to speak FROM the viewpoint of WOMEN. Such an authority would come from BEING WOMEN, which they are clearly not.

    As far as I am aware, they have never claimed to speak from the viewpoint of women. That is YOUR claim.

    You also say, “The very fact that you imply that women are ?deprived? of this ?highest privilege? is a violation of the very purpose of the Baha’i administrative service which is a load of servitude, with no privilege, power or advantage.”

    Nowhere did I say or imply that. That is entirely your creation.

    Having an equal voice in government is not a priviledge, it is a right. I do not wish to be sheltered from the “burden” of self-determination, leadership, or responsibility. Your argument is almost verbatim what came out of the mouths of people who did not want to see women get the secular vote. It’s astonishing.

    To accuse women who want to take full and equal responsibility for the well-being and leadership of the world of “personal motive” is perverse. Additionally, your argument that the maleness of your argument makes any sense is completely arbitrary and unfounded.

    You also say, “If I were to cast a vote for the UHJ, I would be very embarassed to take into consideration whether the person I would like to vote for was or was not engaged in family duties.”

    Farhan- I would be very embarassed for you as well. I AM very embarassed for you that you seem to imagine all women want children or that men do not have “family duties” equivalent to women. Is our place in the home, Farhan?

    Your position is utterly sexist and 100% consistent with the Baha’i writings.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Now, Farhan, let’s be clear. You say, “Well this assumes that members elected on the UHj, on which was loaded a mandate they never volonteered for, go there to advance their own selfish interests and view-points according to national or racial origins and gender. This would not only suggest that they are deprived from Divine Guidance, but would be contrary to their explicit mandate which is being…”

    NO, by saying they do not speak FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF WOMEN assumes that they are NOT WOMEN. Do you follow? To speak FROM someone’s VIEWPOINT means you ARE that someone. They are 9 MEN, who do not have ANY authority to speak FROM the viewpoint of WOMEN. Such an authority would come from BEING WOMEN, which they are clearly not.

    As far as I am aware, they have never claimed to speak from the viewpoint of women. That is YOUR claim.

    You also say, “The very fact that you imply that women are ?deprived? of this ?highest privilege? is a violation of the very purpose of the Baha’i administrative service which is a load of servitude, with no privilege, power or advantage.”

    Nowhere did I say or imply that. That is entirely your creation.

    Having an equal voice in government is not a priviledge, it is a right. I do not wish to be sheltered from the “burden” of self-determination, leadership, or responsibility. Your argument is almost verbatim what came out of the mouths of people who did not want to see women get the secular vote. It’s astonishing.

    To accuse women who want to take full and equal responsibility for the well-being and leadership of the world of “personal motive” is perverse. Additionally, your argument that the maleness of your argument makes any sense is completely arbitrary and unfounded.

    You also say, “If I were to cast a vote for the UHJ, I would be very embarassed to take into consideration whether the person I would like to vote for was or was not engaged in family duties.”

    Farhan- I would be very embarassed for you as well. I AM very embarassed for you that you seem to imagine all women want children or that men do not have “family duties” equivalent to women. Is our place in the home, Farhan?

    Your position is utterly sexist and 100% consistent with the Baha’i writings.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    LoL, I don’t know about that… I just put myself in the other person’s place and can’t in good conscience simply erase their words because I disagree with them. It doesn’t seem to be what Abdu’l-Baha would have done.

    Unfortunately, although I absolutely hate to erase comments, my hands are forced by those who are not here to contribute their thoughts but rather to disrupt the ongoing dialogue and/or pollute this blog with filth. As much as I hate it, I have to put on my janitor’s overalls and mop it up so others can have a nice place to meet.

    [quote comment="45265"]For this alone, your victory is assured. You will be rewarded a great many blessed eternities in the worlds to come for encouraging thought. Yours is a rare and dying breed of open-minded Bah??’?s. And verily, you are the Last of the Mohicans.[/quote]

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    LoL, I don’t know about that… I just put myself in the other person’s place and can’t in good conscience simply erase their words because I disagree with them. It doesn’t seem to be what Abdu’l-Baha would have done.

    Unfortunately, although I absolutely hate to erase comments, my hands are forced by those who are not here to contribute their thoughts but rather to disrupt the ongoing dialogue and/or pollute this blog with filth. As much as I hate it, I have to put on my janitor’s overalls and mop it up so others can have a nice place to meet.

    [quote comment="45265"]For this alone, your victory is assured. You will be rewarded a great many blessed eternities in the worlds to come for encouraging thought. Yours is a rare and dying breed of open-minded Bah??’?s. And verily, you are the Last of the Mohicans.[/quote]

  • farhan

    Amanda wrote :

    <by saying they do not speak FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF WOMEN assumes that they <are NOT WOMEN.

    Amanda, I believe you are sexist ; you openly discriminate between the two sexes. I see in Genesis, God creating men as male and female beings ; contrary to you I do not see humanity in two separate categories of males and females ; in the spiritual realms we are one, even if in the biological and social realms we are different and yet complementary. You consider humanity with a huge fracture between men and women ;

    This fracture has existed and should now be removed. I do not have my eyes fixed below people’s belts ; I see them as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into teh picture.

    <As far as I am aware, they have never claimed to speak from the viewpoint <of women. That is YOUR claim.
    They claim to speak in the name of all humanity, whether male or female, black or white.

    <Your position is utterly sexist and 100% consistent with the Baha’i <writings.

    Well Amanda, I am happy to hear you say this ;
    If my position was not 100% consistent with the Baha’i teachings, I would stop calling myself a Baha’i.

    If I did not believe that the UHJ was divinely guided and the continued presence of God amongst us as promised in John’s Revelation chapter 21, I would change religions, and find one that would bring guidance and benefit to my spiritual life.

    In any case I would not expect a religion which I believe is of God to follow my instructions. I adhere to a religion to derive guidance from it, not to establish myself as peers and equal to God and guide that religion towards my own concepts of life in this world.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda wrote :

    <by saying they do not speak FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF WOMEN assumes that they <are NOT WOMEN.

    Amanda, I believe you are sexist ; you openly discriminate between the two sexes. I see in Genesis, God creating men as male and female beings ; contrary to you I do not see humanity in two separate categories of males and females ; in the spiritual realms we are one, even if in the biological and social realms we are different and yet complementary. You consider humanity with a huge fracture between men and women ;

    This fracture has existed and should now be removed. I do not have my eyes fixed below people’s belts ; I see them as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into teh picture.

    <As far as I am aware, they have never claimed to speak from the viewpoint <of women. That is YOUR claim.
    They claim to speak in the name of all humanity, whether male or female, black or white.

    <Your position is utterly sexist and 100% consistent with the Baha’i <writings.

    Well Amanda, I am happy to hear you say this ;
    If my position was not 100% consistent with the Baha’i teachings, I would stop calling myself a Baha’i.

    If I did not believe that the UHJ was divinely guided and the continued presence of God amongst us as promised in John’s Revelation chapter 21, I would change religions, and find one that would bring guidance and benefit to my spiritual life.

    In any case I would not expect a religion which I believe is of God to follow my instructions. I adhere to a religion to derive guidance from it, not to establish myself as peers and equal to God and guide that religion towards my own concepts of life in this world.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    <As much as I hate it, I have to put on my janitor’s <overalls and mop it up so others can have a nice place to <meet.

    Thanks Baquia, and at the same time, I expect you inform those who misbehave why their messages are erased, so that they can avoid misbehaving in the future

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    <As much as I hate it, I have to put on my janitor’s <overalls and mop it up so others can have a nice place to <meet.

    Thanks Baquia, and at the same time, I expect you inform those who misbehave why their messages are erased, so that they can avoid misbehaving in the future

  • farhan

    Amanda, you write:

    <you seem to imagine all women want children or that men do <not have “family duties” equivalent to women. Is our <place in the home, Farhan?

    No Amanda, i did not say that the women’s place was at home, however, I do say that men and women do not always have identical roles, but have complemantary roles in some specific circumstances and at some particular times in life, especially involving the spiritual education of children. I see family life with a “variable geometry” and not with rigidly set roles throughout our lives.

    I developped this in detail in a publication in 1993, published under:
    LA DIMENSION SPIRITUELLE DES RELATIONS MERE-ENFANT
    par le Dr Farhan YAZDANI
    (Tir? ? part des actes de la VIIi?me journ?e d’?tude
    de l’Association M?dicale Baha’ie, Strasbourg, 1993
    Relation m?re-enfant, p 77 reproduite avec l’aimable permission © Harmattan 1999, ISBN 2-7384-7884-0)

    More recent comments on the subject are available at:

    DE LA PREVENTION,
    VERS L’ERADICATION DE LA VIOLENCE FAMILIALE par Farhan Yazdani …
    violencesconjugalesyazdaniajpf.blogspot.com/
    violencesconjugalesdebatajpf.blogspot.com/ 2007/06/evolution-de-la-
    socit.html

    I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda, you write:

    <you seem to imagine all women want children or that men do <not have “family duties” equivalent to women. Is our <place in the home, Farhan?

    No Amanda, i did not say that the women’s place was at home, however, I do say that men and women do not always have identical roles, but have complemantary roles in some specific circumstances and at some particular times in life, especially involving the spiritual education of children. I see family life with a “variable geometry” and not with rigidly set roles throughout our lives.

    I developped this in detail in a publication in 1993, published under:
    LA DIMENSION SPIRITUELLE DES RELATIONS MERE-ENFANT
    par le Dr Farhan YAZDANI
    (Tir? ? part des actes de la VIIi?me journ?e d’?tude
    de l’Association M?dicale Baha’ie, Strasbourg, 1993
    Relation m?re-enfant, p 77 reproduite avec l’aimable permission © Harmattan 1999, ISBN 2-7384-7884-0)

    More recent comments on the subject are available at:

    DE LA PREVENTION,
    VERS L’ERADICATION DE LA VIOLENCE FAMILIALE par Farhan Yazdani …
    violencesconjugalesyazdaniajpf.blogspot.com/
    violencesconjugalesdebatajpf.blogspot.com/ 2007/06/evolution-de-la-
    socit.html

    I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.

  • Andrew

    I too see humans as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into the picture, at which point I do not see humans as sexless angels, except when I see them as sexless angels.

    What would God think? Let’s ask God and see what God has to say on the subject:

    God, what do You think?

    God? Hello? God? Hello? God? HELLO? Could you speak up please? Hello?

    Hmmm … That’s funny. God isn’t much of a talker. His promo people seem to do all the talking for Him …

  • Andrew

    I too see humans as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into the picture, at which point I do not see humans as sexless angels, except when I see them as sexless angels.

    What would God think? Let’s ask God and see what God has to say on the subject:

    God, what do You think?

    God? Hello? God? Hello? God? HELLO? Could you speak up please? Hello?

    Hmmm … That’s funny. God isn’t much of a talker. His promo people seem to do all the talking for Him …

  • farhan

    Andrew writes:
    I too see humans as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into the picture,

    Andrew, thanks for the humour.

    My point is that sexuality and gender differences is only part of our human functions and relations, albeit an important one.

    Beyond some minor physical differences, we do not need to continually stress on gender differences. We can consider each other as comrades and fellow humans, without constantly bringing up gender differences. We sometimes do as a an attempt to compensation for the centuries of discrimination in a world that was, and still is, however decreasingly, based of physical force.

    As spiritual values become prevalent, women might well do better than men.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Andrew writes:
    I too see humans as sexless angels, except when sexuality comes into the picture,

    Andrew, thanks for the humour.

    My point is that sexuality and gender differences is only part of our human functions and relations, albeit an important one.

    Beyond some minor physical differences, we do not need to continually stress on gender differences. We can consider each other as comrades and fellow humans, without constantly bringing up gender differences. We sometimes do as a an attempt to compensation for the centuries of discrimination in a world that was, and still is, however decreasingly, based of physical force.

    As spiritual values become prevalent, women might well do better than men.

  • Craig Parke

    Well, seeing humans as “sexless angels” might have been good advice for Governor Spitzer. Maybe even better advice for the parents of some of the people posting on this blog.

  • Craig Parke

    Well, seeing humans as “sexless angels” might have been good advice for Governor Spitzer. Maybe even better advice for the parents of some of the people posting on this blog.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew:
    “God? Hello? God? Hello? God? HELLO? Could you speak up please? Hello?

    Hmmm … That’s funny. God isn’t much of a talker. His promo people seem to do all the talking for Him …”

    I woke up to a really heart warming chuckle on that one.

    Thanks for the uplift!

    btw- I am going to deepen on Judaism, where “God” first appeared as “God”. For some reason I have skipped this study being born a Christian and moving to Bahai. Time for me to get back to the basics.

    Reaching for the stars… and in the world of angels, I am known as Robin

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Andrew:
    “God? Hello? God? Hello? God? HELLO? Could you speak up please? Hello?

    Hmmm … That’s funny. God isn’t much of a talker. His promo people seem to do all the talking for Him …”

    I woke up to a really heart warming chuckle on that one.

    Thanks for the uplift!

    btw- I am going to deepen on Judaism, where “God” first appeared as “God”. For some reason I have skipped this study being born a Christian and moving to Bahai. Time for me to get back to the basics.

    Reaching for the stars… and in the world of angels, I am known as Robin

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan, this cracked me up:

    “Amanda, I believe you are sexist ; you openly discriminate between the two sexes.”

    So you view ANY attention to gender as sexist? Are midwives sexist? Gynecologists?

    “This fracture has existed and should now be removed.”
    That’s all I’m saying, sir. Equal rights.

    “Discrimination” is an UNFAIR distinction that is not based on MERIT (like excluding women from the House of Justice.) Not POINTING out that women are NOT on the UHJ.

    HEY!!!! It just occured to me, that if you are “gender-blind,” and see all human beings as “sexless angels,” you must be FOR same sex marriage- right? Right??!?

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan, this cracked me up:

    “Amanda, I believe you are sexist ; you openly discriminate between the two sexes.”

    So you view ANY attention to gender as sexist? Are midwives sexist? Gynecologists?

    “This fracture has existed and should now be removed.”
    That’s all I’m saying, sir. Equal rights.

    “Discrimination” is an UNFAIR distinction that is not based on MERIT (like excluding women from the House of Justice.) Not POINTING out that women are NOT on the UHJ.

    HEY!!!! It just occured to me, that if you are “gender-blind,” and see all human beings as “sexless angels,” you must be FOR same sex marriage- right? Right??!?

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Amanda

    Farhan seems to be the micro example of most men, Bah?’? or not. And the UJH just make the discrimination easier by putting a flowery labeling in a “blessing” to women not to “have” to serve.

    Being a CEO of a multimillion dollar organization, I wonder what would happen to my organization without my compassion for justice and fairness or my strong leadership through the storms. Frankly, from what I have witnesses, men are scared sh-tless by women who know their place, which is anywhere.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Amanda

    Farhan seems to be the micro example of most men, Bah?’? or not. And the UJH just make the discrimination easier by putting a flowery labeling in a “blessing” to women not to “have” to serve.

    Being a CEO of a multimillion dollar organization, I wonder what would happen to my organization without my compassion for justice and fairness or my strong leadership through the storms. Frankly, from what I have witnesses, men are scared sh-tless by women who know their place, which is anywhere.

  • farhan

    After all, religious conservatives have been mocking and spreading lies about homosexuals and liberals for centuries: now it’s our turn to mock them! Enjoy!

  • Farhan Yazdani

    After all, religious conservatives have been mocking and spreading lies about homosexuals and liberals for centuries: now it’s our turn to mock them! Enjoy!

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan-

    “I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.”

    FYI- it is men like you who would keep them thinking they are of a “lower spiritual rank? destroying their souls and keeping them in the kitchen. All this does is perpetuate ignorance! With it in your hands and that of the AO, you will keep them there are long as you can. Exclude me too and my sons. –

    Warning, you can not keep me quiet. You can not take away my voice. This birds sings – Equal Opportunity. This statement does not make me a feminist, it makes me smart, fair and highly successful. I hire based on skills not gender, time the AO catches up!

    Shame on you for your disrespect to women, who without, you could not have been born, and no one would have been there to wipe your butt when you soiled yourself. Maybe you think that all we are good for is just that – wiping butts. NOT! I can wipe a butt and negotiate a contract. Look out buddy, more and more women are waking up knowing in their heart they are equal and because of that the world will change to a more compassionate atmosphere.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan-

    “I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.”

    FYI- it is men like you who would keep them thinking they are of a “lower spiritual rank? destroying their souls and keeping them in the kitchen. All this does is perpetuate ignorance! With it in your hands and that of the AO, you will keep them there are long as you can. Exclude me too and my sons. –

    Warning, you can not keep me quiet. You can not take away my voice. This birds sings – Equal Opportunity. This statement does not make me a feminist, it makes me smart, fair and highly successful. I hire based on skills not gender, time the AO catches up!

    Shame on you for your disrespect to women, who without, you could not have been born, and no one would have been there to wipe your butt when you soiled yourself. Maybe you think that all we are good for is just that – wiping butts. NOT! I can wipe a butt and negotiate a contract. Look out buddy, more and more women are waking up knowing in their heart they are equal and because of that the world will change to a more compassionate atmosphere.

  • farhan

    Bird, I dont know how you read my post, but your comments imply that I consider women of a lower rank, which is not what I said

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird, I dont know how you read my post, but your comments imply that I consider women of a lower rank, which is not what I said

  • farhan

    Amanda wrote:

    <So you view ANY attention to gender as sexist? Are <midwives sexist? Gynecologists?

    No, Amanda these are part of specific circumstances where there is a distinction between male and female human beings. In most other circumstances, ther is no difference.

    <”Discrimination” is an UNFAIR distinction that is not <based on MERIT (like excluding women from the House of <Justice.) Not POINTING out that women are NOT on the UHJ.

    So Amanda, you are implying that being called to serve on the UHJ is a “merit”? And that those who are not called upon to that function must feel that they do not deserve it? If a function is a means of exalting a person you would be right. Since a function is just one other form of service, ther is no idea of “merit” but of being in an adequate condition for this particular form of service. someone pioneering to a distant land is no more or less deserving than a person serving on an administration or a person lovingly caring for his neighbour. Our spiritual ranks and merits are unknown to all but God; our area of service is a matter of circumstance and of special talents.

    <It just occured to me, that if you are “gender-blind,” and <see all human beings as “sexless angels,” you must be FOR <same sex marriage- right? Right??!?[/quote]

    No Amanda, this is again a small part of our functions in this world where there is a difference between males and females; Since I believe that God’s revelation is in advance to our needs, I believe that if same-sex marriages were an asset to humanity, they would have been mentionned in God’s revelation.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda wrote:

    <So you view ANY attention to gender as sexist? Are <midwives sexist? Gynecologists?

    No, Amanda these are part of specific circumstances where there is a distinction between male and female human beings. In most other circumstances, ther is no difference.

    <”Discrimination” is an UNFAIR distinction that is not <based on MERIT (like excluding women from the House of <Justice.) Not POINTING out that women are NOT on the UHJ.

    So Amanda, you are implying that being called to serve on the UHJ is a “merit”? And that those who are not called upon to that function must feel that they do not deserve it? If a function is a means of exalting a person you would be right. Since a function is just one other form of service, ther is no idea of “merit” but of being in an adequate condition for this particular form of service. someone pioneering to a distant land is no more or less deserving than a person serving on an administration or a person lovingly caring for his neighbour. Our spiritual ranks and merits are unknown to all but God; our area of service is a matter of circumstance and of special talents.

    <It just occured to me, that if you are “gender-blind,” and <see all human beings as “sexless angels,” you must be FOR <same sex marriage- right? Right??!?[/quote]

    No Amanda, this is again a small part of our functions in this world where there is a difference between males and females; Since I believe that God’s revelation is in advance to our needs, I believe that if same-sex marriages were an asset to humanity, they would have been mentionned in God’s revelation.

  • Anonymous

    Farhan, please be honest:

    Do you think about what you write before you type it down? Or are you just copying-and-pasting from the book of prolix platitudes?

    I only ask because the profound irony of your own ideas seems entirely lost on you.

    Sincerely,
    Mavaddat

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Farhan, please be honest:

    Do you think about what you write before you type it down? Or are you just copying-and-pasting from the book of prolix platitudes?

    I only ask because the profound irony of your own ideas seems entirely lost on you.

    Sincerely,
    Mavaddat

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan-
    You wrote:
    “I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.”

    I assume you are using “excluding” correctly here and stating that I DO NOT think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true. It shouldn’t be either/or, though. I think the world would be better off with more mothers in charge. Even on the UHJ. The world would also be better off with more men being involved in the actual raising, or “spiritual education” of their children, as you say. But then you might have to “consider their family duties” when electing them to the UHJ, and you find that embarrassing.

    You say, “I do say that men and women do not always have identical roles, but have complemantary roles in some specific circumstances and at some particular times in life,”

    The “complementary roles” required by an all-male supreme body are: Men: In-Charge. Women: Following Orders.

    Bird-
    You’re awesome.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan-
    You wrote:
    “I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.”

    I assume you are using “excluding” correctly here and stating that I DO NOT think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true. It shouldn’t be either/or, though. I think the world would be better off with more mothers in charge. Even on the UHJ. The world would also be better off with more men being involved in the actual raising, or “spiritual education” of their children, as you say. But then you might have to “consider their family duties” when electing them to the UHJ, and you find that embarrassing.

    You say, “I do say that men and women do not always have identical roles, but have complemantary roles in some specific circumstances and at some particular times in life,”

    The “complementary roles” required by an all-male supreme body are: Men: In-Charge. Women: Following Orders.

    Bird-
    You’re awesome.

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="4"]Farhan-
    You wrote:
    [quote]I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.[/quote]

    I assume you are using ?excluding? correctly here and stating that I DO NOT think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true. It shouldn’t be either/or, though. [/quote]
    Hi Amanda,

    Actually, I’m pretty sure he meant “including”. I think Farhan is making the old “we need women to do other equally important work” argument here (if you can call any of his inane and sexist platitudes “arguments”, that is).

    The idea is that men and women have different “roles”, and that woman’s role (being a subservient mother to her children) is no less important than man’s role (being in charge of all the biggest decisions of the international Bah??’? community). See? Never mind, of course, that it is men who get to decide what women’s role will be. Wait! I said never mind!

    The idea in Farhan’s “Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses for Institutionalized Sexism” is that to object to women’s exclusion from the House of Justice is to implicitly suggest that you think women’s role is inferior to men’s role (“serving” on the House of Justice); since otherwise, why would you want equality of opportunity? Obviously you think that being solely a mother is inferior to being on the House of Justice. OBVIOUSLY.

    The problem here, of course, is that Farhan has mindlessly taken it for granted that serving on the House of Justice is indeed a role defined exclusively for men. Thus, he comes to the conclusion that to want women to take up a role that is defined for men is to want women to be men, which is to think that being a woman isn’t good enough.

    Welcome to Baha’i land! Where we serve you up our sexism with a smile!

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="4"]Farhan-
    You wrote:
    [quote]I do not believe that an attentive and devoted mother has a lower spiritual rank that a member of the UHJ, but many (excluding yourself apparently) seem to believe so.[/quote]

    I assume you are using ?excluding? correctly here and stating that I DO NOT think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true. It shouldn’t be either/or, though. [/quote]
    Hi Amanda,

    Actually, I’m pretty sure he meant “including”. I think Farhan is making the old “we need women to do other equally important work” argument here (if you can call any of his inane and sexist platitudes “arguments”, that is).

    The idea is that men and women have different “roles”, and that woman’s role (being a subservient mother to her children) is no less important than man’s role (being in charge of all the biggest decisions of the international Bah??’? community). See? Never mind, of course, that it is men who get to decide what women’s role will be. Wait! I said never mind!

    The idea in Farhan’s “Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses for Institutionalized Sexism” is that to object to women’s exclusion from the House of Justice is to implicitly suggest that you think women’s role is inferior to men’s role (“serving” on the House of Justice); since otherwise, why would you want equality of opportunity? Obviously you think that being solely a mother is inferior to being on the House of Justice. OBVIOUSLY.

    The problem here, of course, is that Farhan has mindlessly taken it for granted that serving on the House of Justice is indeed a role defined exclusively for men. Thus, he comes to the conclusion that to want women to take up a role that is defined for men is to want women to be men, which is to think that being a woman isn’t good enough.

    Welcome to Baha’i land! Where we serve you up our sexism with a smile!

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan-

    Here’s a short story for you about what women are capable in this day in age.

    About 7 years ago, when my middle son was about 3 months old, I got an emergency call to go out to a job site and investigate a serious injury. I had to take my baby with me, as I was a nursing mother, strapped closely to my chest. I fed him before I got there and expected to be there about one hour but found there was more to the investigation and also and ideal opportunity to train how the accident could have been prevented. (I am OSHA certified in safety) In a room w/ about 10 men, my baby started to get hungry and began crying. I said to the men, ?Gentlemen, I can go out to my car and feed him, or latch him on and keep going, I don’t want to make any of you uncomfortable, the choice is yours, he needs 10 to 15 minutes on each side?.

    The men, initially stunned with my suggestion (dropped jaws) opted to keep going in the interest of time management. I placed a blanket over my shoulder, latched him on and kept training with a calm and sincere demeanor. Not only did I obtain their full and undivided attention, I accomplished them really listening to the importance of safety, their responsibility to insure it and the value of life and limbs. I also accomplished my duties as a loving selfless mother by personally caring for my baby and nursing him with my healthy breast milk. Maybe you think I should have opted for formula and child care or more so, I had no business being there in the first place because construction is a male dominated industry?

    Surely you can’t be suggesting that I, female, am not qualified for any position of leadership because I am a nursing mother? That is only the first story of many subsequent that involve juggling both my professional and personal worlds. Name one story even remotely similar to the accomplishments of any man on the UJH or not and I will shut my mouth on what equality is.

    Amanda, as far as awesome is concerned, it takes one to know one

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan-

    Here’s a short story for you about what women are capable in this day in age.

    About 7 years ago, when my middle son was about 3 months old, I got an emergency call to go out to a job site and investigate a serious injury. I had to take my baby with me, as I was a nursing mother, strapped closely to my chest. I fed him before I got there and expected to be there about one hour but found there was more to the investigation and also and ideal opportunity to train how the accident could have been prevented. (I am OSHA certified in safety) In a room w/ about 10 men, my baby started to get hungry and began crying. I said to the men, ?Gentlemen, I can go out to my car and feed him, or latch him on and keep going, I don’t want to make any of you uncomfortable, the choice is yours, he needs 10 to 15 minutes on each side?.

    The men, initially stunned with my suggestion (dropped jaws) opted to keep going in the interest of time management. I placed a blanket over my shoulder, latched him on and kept training with a calm and sincere demeanor. Not only did I obtain their full and undivided attention, I accomplished them really listening to the importance of safety, their responsibility to insure it and the value of life and limbs. I also accomplished my duties as a loving selfless mother by personally caring for my baby and nursing him with my healthy breast milk. Maybe you think I should have opted for formula and child care or more so, I had no business being there in the first place because construction is a male dominated industry?

    Surely you can’t be suggesting that I, female, am not qualified for any position of leadership because I am a nursing mother? That is only the first story of many subsequent that involve juggling both my professional and personal worlds. Name one story even remotely similar to the accomplishments of any man on the UJH or not and I will shut my mouth on what equality is.

    Amanda, as far as awesome is concerned, it takes one to know one

  • farhan

    Mavaddat,

    I apologise; you are quite right it was a manipulation error; I wrote a long post to Amanda and with my low glucose blood level at the ending hours of the fast, i hit the V button instead of the C button and instead of copying my comment, i pasted a previous copy instead of my long message. I would never dream of jeering at, mocking or belittling opinions that are different from mine, especially other people’s religious beliefs.

    sincerely,

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mavaddat,

    I apologise; you are quite right it was a manipulation error; I wrote a long post to Amanda and with my low glucose blood level at the ending hours of the fast, i hit the V button instead of the C button and instead of copying my comment, i pasted a previous copy instead of my long message. I would never dream of jeering at, mocking or belittling opinions that are different from mine, especially other people’s religious beliefs.

    sincerely,

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Amanda wrote:

    <I assume you are using “excluding” correctly here and stating that I DO NOT <think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true.

    Reading Bird’s comment I wondered if my English is understandable.

    What I intended to say is that most people consider being a member of an instition as an honour and a position superior to that of a mother. From your last post where clearly you denied this, I understood that this was not your opinion, and we agree on this point. So I said most people (excluding) yourself…

    <I think the world would be better off with more mothers in charge.

    I agree; Abdu’l-Baha clearly states that mothers should be given special advantages in order to reconcile their family and professionnal lives. In most “dvaced” countries women are led to make an unfair choice. In many instances they are led to doing a full time job in the day and a full time home job at night. this is a handicap they have to overcome before being at equal position with men. Again, I see a difference with our professioal lives and our lives of spiritual service to humanity.

    <The world would also be better off with more men being involved in the actual <raising, or “spiritual education” of their children, as you say.

    Again I agree, but we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.

    <But then you might have to “consider their family duties” when electing them <to the UHJ, and you find that embarrassing.

    I agree that your point is well taken, but again I believe that there is a difference between the role of structural education imparted by men, and the affective and personnality role of the mother’s education. I am not competent in this field. The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with. Perhaps those well versed with Yin and Yang could comment that idea.

    <The “complementary roles” required by an all-male supreme body are: Men: In-<Charge. Women: Following Orders.

    This is not what i believe, say, write or practice. I remeber having seen that that women are more widely represented in the Baha’i administration than men. Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving orders.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Amanda wrote:

    <I assume you are using “excluding” correctly here and stating that I DO NOT <think mothers have a lower spiritual rank than UHJ members. Which is true.

    Reading Bird’s comment I wondered if my English is understandable.

    What I intended to say is that most people consider being a member of an instition as an honour and a position superior to that of a mother. From your last post where clearly you denied this, I understood that this was not your opinion, and we agree on this point. So I said most people (excluding) yourself…

    <I think the world would be better off with more mothers in charge.

    I agree; Abdu’l-Baha clearly states that mothers should be given special advantages in order to reconcile their family and professionnal lives. In most “dvaced” countries women are led to make an unfair choice. In many instances they are led to doing a full time job in the day and a full time home job at night. this is a handicap they have to overcome before being at equal position with men. Again, I see a difference with our professioal lives and our lives of spiritual service to humanity.

    <The world would also be better off with more men being involved in the actual <raising, or “spiritual education” of their children, as you say.

    Again I agree, but we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.

    <But then you might have to “consider their family duties” when electing them <to the UHJ, and you find that embarrassing.

    I agree that your point is well taken, but again I believe that there is a difference between the role of structural education imparted by men, and the affective and personnality role of the mother’s education. I am not competent in this field. The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with. Perhaps those well versed with Yin and Yang could comment that idea.

    <The “complementary roles” required by an all-male supreme body are: Men: In-<Charge. Women: Following Orders.

    This is not what i believe, say, write or practice. I remeber having seen that that women are more widely represented in the Baha’i administration than men. Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving orders.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Bird,
    you write:
    <Surely you can’t be suggesting that I, female, am not qualified for any position of <leadership because I am a nursing mother?

    No Bird, I am certainly not suggesting that being a mother excludes professionnal expertise and leadership. I am confident that as an intelligent mother you had taken precautions for the safety of your child. My opinion here is that our family duties change at different times in life. Sometimes the mother would do certain things, sometimes the father. What i am trying to say is that there is no reason to define set rules in a dualistic fashion. We need to adapt to each situation and in many instances the roles are interchangeable.

    That is only the first story of many subsequent that involve juggling both my professional and personal worlds. Name one story even remotely similar to the accomplishments of any man on the UJH or not and I will shut my mouth on what equality is.

    warmest

    Frahan

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Bird,
    you write:
    <Surely you can’t be suggesting that I, female, am not qualified for any position of <leadership because I am a nursing mother?

    No Bird, I am certainly not suggesting that being a mother excludes professionnal expertise and leadership. I am confident that as an intelligent mother you had taken precautions for the safety of your child. My opinion here is that our family duties change at different times in life. Sometimes the mother would do certain things, sometimes the father. What i am trying to say is that there is no reason to define set rules in a dualistic fashion. We need to adapt to each situation and in many instances the roles are interchangeable.

    That is only the first story of many subsequent that involve juggling both my professional and personal worlds. Name one story even remotely similar to the accomplishments of any man on the UJH or not and I will shut my mouth on what equality is.

    warmest

    Frahan

  • farhan

    Mavaddat,

    you write:

    <Actually, I’m pretty sure he meant “including”.

    No, i was referring to amanda’s post where she denied thinking that a social position was superiour to motherhood; however, in a later post she seemed to contradit by speaking of “merit”

    BTW, I never use adjectives such as “inane” and “platitudes” or “Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses” to describe other people’s opinions.

    <…to object to women’s exclusion from the House of Justice is to implicitly suggest that <you think women’s role is inferior to men’s role (“serving” on the House of Justice); since <otherwise, why would you want equality of opportunity? Obviously you think that being <solely a mother is inferior to being on the House of Justice. OBVIOUSLY.

    You are right, this is the point I was trying to make. saying that “excluding” women is discrimination is to imply that serving on the UHJ is an honnor and not a servitude. This is a major cause of miunderstanding in baha’i service. People exalting themselves, having themselves exalted, being offended at not being exalted. the qoute from Peter Khan confirms my understanding, ans sa he says, we will need many generations to get rid of this disease acquired through centuries of priestcraft.

    <Farhan has mindlessly taken it for granted that serving on the House of Justice is indeed a <role defined exclusively for men.

    I have thoughtfully arrived at the understanding that this is the age where those who humble themselves will be raised, and those who exalt themselves over others will be abased: the “great reversa” promised in scriptures.

    Thus, he comes to the conclusion that to want women to take up a role that is defined for men is to want women to be men, which is to think that being a woman isn’t good enough.

    You disagree with me and I respect your views with out jeering at you.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mavaddat,

    you write:

    <Actually, I’m pretty sure he meant “including”.

    No, i was referring to amanda’s post where she denied thinking that a social position was superiour to motherhood; however, in a later post she seemed to contradit by speaking of “merit”

    BTW, I never use adjectives such as “inane” and “platitudes” or “Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses” to describe other people’s opinions.

    <…to object to women’s exclusion from the House of Justice is to implicitly suggest that <you think women’s role is inferior to men’s role (“serving” on the House of Justice); since <otherwise, why would you want equality of opportunity? Obviously you think that being <solely a mother is inferior to being on the House of Justice. OBVIOUSLY.

    You are right, this is the point I was trying to make. saying that “excluding” women is discrimination is to imply that serving on the UHJ is an honnor and not a servitude. This is a major cause of miunderstanding in baha’i service. People exalting themselves, having themselves exalted, being offended at not being exalted. the qoute from Peter Khan confirms my understanding, ans sa he says, we will need many generations to get rid of this disease acquired through centuries of priestcraft.

    <Farhan has mindlessly taken it for granted that serving on the House of Justice is indeed a <role defined exclusively for men.

    I have thoughtfully arrived at the understanding that this is the age where those who humble themselves will be raised, and those who exalt themselves over others will be abased: the “great reversa” promised in scriptures.

    Thus, he comes to the conclusion that to want women to take up a role that is defined for men is to want women to be men, which is to think that being a woman isn’t good enough.

    You disagree with me and I respect your views with out jeering at you.

  • Andrew

    Amanda wrote: “I am going to deepen on Judaism, where ?God? first appeared as ?God?. For some reason I have skipped this study being born a Christian and moving to Bahai. Time for me to get back to the basics.”

    You might like this:

    http://whosoever.org/v12i5/spong.shtml

    “Instead of accepting Jesus as a theological construct of God in human flesh, Spong uses his book to reconstruct Jesus as a radical breaker of tribal boundaries, prejudices and religious dogma.”

    Sounds like Tahirih too …

  • Andrew

    Amanda wrote: “I am going to deepen on Judaism, where ?God? first appeared as ?God?. For some reason I have skipped this study being born a Christian and moving to Bahai. Time for me to get back to the basics.”

    You might like this:

    http://whosoever.org/v12i5/spong.shtml

    “Instead of accepting Jesus as a theological construct of God in human flesh, Spong uses his book to reconstruct Jesus as a radical breaker of tribal boundaries, prejudices and religious dogma.”

    Sounds like Tahirih too …

  • Andrew

    Sorry … I meant Bird, not Amanda … but Amanda might like it too!

  • Andrew

    Sorry … I meant Bird, not Amanda … but Amanda might like it too!

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    You write about the unfair double-shift that many women perform, working outside of the home and then returning to a full-days work inside the home: “this is a handicap they have to overcome before being at equal position with men. Again, I see a difference with our professioal lives and our lives of spiritual service to humanity.”

    Handicap? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The only “handicap” in that scenario is a mental-cultural-societal expectation that many men have to still be waited on hand and foot and not pull their weight with domestic chores and parenting. That is a “handicap” MEN have to overcome, my friend. Many men either already have or are working on it. Ask around.

    You wrote: “we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.”

    Oh, do we? “Evidence,” you say? Show me the “evidence,” Farhan. Because you are regurgitating the Baha’i writings here that say women have a special role before 5yrs of age. Guess what- what the writings say is not “evidence.” It’s not supported by anything. That’s what Mavaddat was talking about when he mentioned your platitudes (I’m guessing.) As a forensics expert, you are supposed to know the definition of “evidence.” Show me a single study in the social sciences backing up your claim about women and spiritual education. “Spiritual education” doesn’t quite sound like an area science has really studied, does it? Additionally, when you claim to have “researched” something, and that “research” is just research of what the writings say…that is not really what we mean by “research.” I would welcome the day that the “Research Department” actually broke out some safety goggles, research questions, and did some quantitative OR qualitative research using the scientific method. But let’s be clear, research of the writings-especially from an apologetics standpoint- is not “research.”

    You say: “there is a difference between the role of structural education imparted by men, and the affective and personnality role of the mother’s education. I am not competent in this field. The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with. Perhaps those well versed with Yin and Yang could comment that idea.”

    First of all, I aquired more “spiritual education” from my father than my mother. Wouldn’t it depend on the individual who HAPPENS TO BE the father or mother? Many men have a lot to offer in the realm of “affect,” as well. And secondly, I have a vast amount of “structural education” to offer my future children. I’m a woman. Name the time and place and you and I can have a little “face-off” balancing our checkbooks, changing a tire, and throwing a ball, if you like. It would provide us with ANECDOTAL evidence. ;) *wink!* See how that works? Your ideas are out-dated and reflect a time and place when women were literally not allowed out of the home, and therefore denied the opportunity to learn anything beyond the “spiritual” prerequisites of motherhood. And men were literally beaten to a pulp for crying or showing emotion. I vividly remember being a 17 year old girl, walking around my college campus my very first semester and feeling so profoundly unwelcome in the classes I was actually interested in. Then one day, I saw on the wall the portraits of previous graduating classes and realized women had only been ALLOWED to matriculate about 5 seconds ago historically. No wonder there was a chill in the air. How many male poets of emotion and “spiritual education” have had their spirits ground to fine powder trying to play out the masculine gender role instead of being home playing with their children and writing love letters to their wives? It’s a new era, Farhan. And men and women are BOTH served by not creating arbitrary limits on acceptable behavior and duties based on sex.

    To imagine that having a female body better equips one for “spiritual education” is ridiculous, just as it is ridiculous to imagine that having a male body better equips one for “structural education” or leadership-servitude. Do you read the comments on this blog? Mavaddat, Andrew, Frank, Craig, ETC have ALL demonstrated enough “spiritual education” to be FINE MOTHERS (by your definition) and it should be clear to you that Bird and I have no trouble with “structure.” Yes, when I do have children I will be the one producing the breastmilk. BUT, like Bird, I could nurse that baby in the middle of the House of Justice chambers if they would only let me in (and if I were so inclined, which I’m not) or I could pump that milk and let the baby’s father do the feeding while I’m off running a company with Bird. The stupid part, is as of today, we cannot go and run a religion. Too bad for the religion.

    You brought up Yin and Yang as a support for your gender ideas, and invited someone who is more “well versed” in it to fill in the blanks. I’ll volunteer for that duty. Yin and Yang are theoretical constructs made up by people, and as a philosophical and medical tool have been used to both control and empower women. It all depends on the AGENDA of the person or institution who is applying them. I am doing preliminary anthropological research on this as we speak. Here’s the URL to a paper I wrote that scratches the surface. I promise to post a link to more as it’s available:
    Gender, Culture and the Experience of Chinese Medicine
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg28dd59_4jqczz7ds

    You also say: “Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving orders.” Oh, yeah? What’s that?

    Finally, you wrote this in your letter to Mavaddat:

    “No, i was referring to amanda’s post where she denied thinking that a social position was superiour to motherhood; however, in a later post she seemed to contradit by speaking of ?merit?”

    That tells me you are not following my basic argument or the words I use. Please ask for clariication if you don’t understand something. You missed my point ENTIRELY.

    You also wrote to him:
    “BTW, I never use adjectives such as ?inane? and ?platitudes? or ?Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses? to describe other people’s opinions.

    I believe he is addressing your METHODS as much as anything else, Farhan. You don’t follow the argument and traffic in non-sequiturs and very aptly described “platitudes.” I am quite sure that Mavaddat (and myself) would be quite happy and RELIEVED to discuss your actual “opinions” in any kind of sensical, organized, or logical way.

    And if you bristle at his descriptions of what you have said here, or even find them offensive- consider this: No matter how thick the layer of sugar you coat your views in, and no matter how flowery the language you use, your VIEWS THEMSELVES are offensive. They are a slap in the face to women. You can write sexist language on a Valentine, but it is still sexist. Honest debate, and calling a spade a spade, is always preferable to disengenuous, patronizing misogyny and prejudice. Slave holders in the American South used to say they loved their slaves. They said they enslaved them because “Black” people could not bear the burden of self-determination. Sound familiar?

    And Mavaddat, thanks for your words and your honest assessment. It is ALWAYS nice to know “what a feminist looks like.”

    :)

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    You write about the unfair double-shift that many women perform, working outside of the home and then returning to a full-days work inside the home: “this is a handicap they have to overcome before being at equal position with men. Again, I see a difference with our professioal lives and our lives of spiritual service to humanity.”

    Handicap? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The only “handicap” in that scenario is a mental-cultural-societal expectation that many men have to still be waited on hand and foot and not pull their weight with domestic chores and parenting. That is a “handicap” MEN have to overcome, my friend. Many men either already have or are working on it. Ask around.

    You wrote: “we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.”

    Oh, do we? “Evidence,” you say? Show me the “evidence,” Farhan. Because you are regurgitating the Baha’i writings here that say women have a special role before 5yrs of age. Guess what- what the writings say is not “evidence.” It’s not supported by anything. That’s what Mavaddat was talking about when he mentioned your platitudes (I’m guessing.) As a forensics expert, you are supposed to know the definition of “evidence.” Show me a single study in the social sciences backing up your claim about women and spiritual education. “Spiritual education” doesn’t quite sound like an area science has really studied, does it? Additionally, when you claim to have “researched” something, and that “research” is just research of what the writings say…that is not really what we mean by “research.” I would welcome the day that the “Research Department” actually broke out some safety goggles, research questions, and did some quantitative OR qualitative research using the scientific method. But let’s be clear, research of the writings-especially from an apologetics standpoint- is not “research.”

    You say: “there is a difference between the role of structural education imparted by men, and the affective and personnality role of the mother’s education. I am not competent in this field. The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with. Perhaps those well versed with Yin and Yang could comment that idea.”

    First of all, I aquired more “spiritual education” from my father than my mother. Wouldn’t it depend on the individual who HAPPENS TO BE the father or mother? Many men have a lot to offer in the realm of “affect,” as well. And secondly, I have a vast amount of “structural education” to offer my future children. I’m a woman. Name the time and place and you and I can have a little “face-off” balancing our checkbooks, changing a tire, and throwing a ball, if you like. It would provide us with ANECDOTAL evidence. ;) *wink!* See how that works? Your ideas are out-dated and reflect a time and place when women were literally not allowed out of the home, and therefore denied the opportunity to learn anything beyond the “spiritual” prerequisites of motherhood. And men were literally beaten to a pulp for crying or showing emotion. I vividly remember being a 17 year old girl, walking around my college campus my very first semester and feeling so profoundly unwelcome in the classes I was actually interested in. Then one day, I saw on the wall the portraits of previous graduating classes and realized women had only been ALLOWED to matriculate about 5 seconds ago historically. No wonder there was a chill in the air. How many male poets of emotion and “spiritual education” have had their spirits ground to fine powder trying to play out the masculine gender role instead of being home playing with their children and writing love letters to their wives? It’s a new era, Farhan. And men and women are BOTH served by not creating arbitrary limits on acceptable behavior and duties based on sex.

    To imagine that having a female body better equips one for “spiritual education” is ridiculous, just as it is ridiculous to imagine that having a male body better equips one for “structural education” or leadership-servitude. Do you read the comments on this blog? Mavaddat, Andrew, Frank, Craig, ETC have ALL demonstrated enough “spiritual education” to be FINE MOTHERS (by your definition) and it should be clear to you that Bird and I have no trouble with “structure.” Yes, when I do have children I will be the one producing the breastmilk. BUT, like Bird, I could nurse that baby in the middle of the House of Justice chambers if they would only let me in (and if I were so inclined, which I’m not) or I could pump that milk and let the baby’s father do the feeding while I’m off running a company with Bird. The stupid part, is as of today, we cannot go and run a religion. Too bad for the religion.

    You brought up Yin and Yang as a support for your gender ideas, and invited someone who is more “well versed” in it to fill in the blanks. I’ll volunteer for that duty. Yin and Yang are theoretical constructs made up by people, and as a philosophical and medical tool have been used to both control and empower women. It all depends on the AGENDA of the person or institution who is applying them. I am doing preliminary anthropological research on this as we speak. Here’s the URL to a paper I wrote that scratches the surface. I promise to post a link to more as it’s available:
    Gender, Culture and the Experience of Chinese Medicine
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dg28dd59_4jqczz7ds

    You also say: “Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving orders.” Oh, yeah? What’s that?

    Finally, you wrote this in your letter to Mavaddat:

    “No, i was referring to amanda’s post where she denied thinking that a social position was superiour to motherhood; however, in a later post she seemed to contradit by speaking of ?merit?”

    That tells me you are not following my basic argument or the words I use. Please ask for clariication if you don’t understand something. You missed my point ENTIRELY.

    You also wrote to him:
    “BTW, I never use adjectives such as ?inane? and ?platitudes? or ?Madhouse of Vacuous Defenses? to describe other people’s opinions.

    I believe he is addressing your METHODS as much as anything else, Farhan. You don’t follow the argument and traffic in non-sequiturs and very aptly described “platitudes.” I am quite sure that Mavaddat (and myself) would be quite happy and RELIEVED to discuss your actual “opinions” in any kind of sensical, organized, or logical way.

    And if you bristle at his descriptions of what you have said here, or even find them offensive- consider this: No matter how thick the layer of sugar you coat your views in, and no matter how flowery the language you use, your VIEWS THEMSELVES are offensive. They are a slap in the face to women. You can write sexist language on a Valentine, but it is still sexist. Honest debate, and calling a spade a spade, is always preferable to disengenuous, patronizing misogyny and prejudice. Slave holders in the American South used to say they loved their slaves. They said they enslaved them because “Black” people could not bear the burden of self-determination. Sound familiar?

    And Mavaddat, thanks for your words and your honest assessment. It is ALWAYS nice to know “what a feminist looks like.”

    :)

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew-

    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

    Loved your dialogue with God, btw.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Andrew-

    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

    Loved your dialogue with God, btw.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan -

    Not to heat seek you like a missile, but your posts leave an open target for discussion. I must add that yes my baby was entirely safe the whole time & yes my male & female clients and employees knew I was not only pregnant (the growing bulge gave it away) when they contracted with me, they knew as CEO, I had granted myself permission to nurse the baby at work as well as other subsequent women in my employ. It’s called terms of service, accommodation and upfront disclosure.

    But Sir, and yes you may call me Madame, may I share, I did absolutely nothing extraordinary that day or any other day of the week or for that matter the ability of any woman, mother or not. For the last 100+ years mothers or childless women, young girls, in certain area’s of the world carry themselves and their babies through miles of male made explosive mine fields to get water for their family or their households. For 10’s of thousands of years they nurse through arduous hours of working in fields or textiles.

    I often wonder what an unobstructed candid conversation with Martha Root would be like on the subject of no women on the UHJ as a ?blessing? for women. A progressive religion with a room closed to women. Would she have attempted to force the door open? She was known to be bold and of great stamina. She certainly had earned the respect of the leaders of the Bah?’? Faith in her lifetime. With both the moxie and tenacity to at least try, would her failed attempt make her a Covenant Breaker or a dissident?

    Talk about a script and movie scene…. The two of us sitting on my couch, her putting her feet up to take a load off from all those extensive selfless yet fully fulfilling and gratifying and exceedingly successful years as an international ambassador of the Bah?’? Faith, largely at her own expense as a writer. I would ask her if she knew the UHJ would be all male someday when she globe trotted and pushed her way past men to get the word out about equality? Would the Queen of Romania bought that kind of pitch that only males were able to determine what is best for humanity of her Kingdom? I’d ask her what went through her mind when she went boldly went against Shoghi Effendi’s own recommendation to her not for her to travel to Iran and did it any way. Or even speculate what would Shoghi have to say on the subject himself if he ever experienced an only child, a daughter. But being that he left no daughters nor any words on the subject during his lifetime and Martha died before I was born so I guess I’ll won’t find out in this existence.

    nuff said…

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan -

    Not to heat seek you like a missile, but your posts leave an open target for discussion. I must add that yes my baby was entirely safe the whole time & yes my male & female clients and employees knew I was not only pregnant (the growing bulge gave it away) when they contracted with me, they knew as CEO, I had granted myself permission to nurse the baby at work as well as other subsequent women in my employ. It’s called terms of service, accommodation and upfront disclosure.

    But Sir, and yes you may call me Madame, may I share, I did absolutely nothing extraordinary that day or any other day of the week or for that matter the ability of any woman, mother or not. For the last 100+ years mothers or childless women, young girls, in certain area’s of the world carry themselves and their babies through miles of male made explosive mine fields to get water for their family or their households. For 10’s of thousands of years they nurse through arduous hours of working in fields or textiles.

    I often wonder what an unobstructed candid conversation with Martha Root would be like on the subject of no women on the UHJ as a ?blessing? for women. A progressive religion with a room closed to women. Would she have attempted to force the door open? She was known to be bold and of great stamina. She certainly had earned the respect of the leaders of the Bah?’? Faith in her lifetime. With both the moxie and tenacity to at least try, would her failed attempt make her a Covenant Breaker or a dissident?

    Talk about a script and movie scene…. The two of us sitting on my couch, her putting her feet up to take a load off from all those extensive selfless yet fully fulfilling and gratifying and exceedingly successful years as an international ambassador of the Bah?’? Faith, largely at her own expense as a writer. I would ask her if she knew the UHJ would be all male someday when she globe trotted and pushed her way past men to get the word out about equality? Would the Queen of Romania bought that kind of pitch that only males were able to determine what is best for humanity of her Kingdom? I’d ask her what went through her mind when she went boldly went against Shoghi Effendi’s own recommendation to her not for her to travel to Iran and did it any way. Or even speculate what would Shoghi have to say on the subject himself if he ever experienced an only child, a daughter. But being that he left no daughters nor any words on the subject during his lifetime and Martha died before I was born so I guess I’ll won’t find out in this existence.

    nuff said…

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    I forgot to mention that the best nugget of “spiritual education” I got from my dear, Baha’i mother was her absolute intolerance of racial prejudice and oppression. That has, in many ways, become the template for my own sense of justice and moral responsibility to unequivocally demand the complete human rights of ALL people. She put herself, and even our family, in harms way over and over again in the racist South of my upbringing because she had the knowledge, courage, and leadership ability to know that ultimately justice is worth fighting for. The Baha’i community should not be deprived of that kind of wisdom, moral clarity, and leadership at the highest levels of it’s organizational life.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    I forgot to mention that the best nugget of “spiritual education” I got from my dear, Baha’i mother was her absolute intolerance of racial prejudice and oppression. That has, in many ways, become the template for my own sense of justice and moral responsibility to unequivocally demand the complete human rights of ALL people. She put herself, and even our family, in harms way over and over again in the racist South of my upbringing because she had the knowledge, courage, and leadership ability to know that ultimately justice is worth fighting for. The Baha’i community should not be deprived of that kind of wisdom, moral clarity, and leadership at the highest levels of it’s organizational life.

  • Beth

    [quote comment=""][...]The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with.[...][/quote]

    Farhan – interesting idea – are men allowed in the ITC?

  • Beth

    [quote comment=""][...]The survey of documents I accopmlished in 1993 was specially on the spiritual role of mothers in education. I would be tempted to say that teh ITC would be playing the role of a mother and the UHJ the role of fathers, but this is just an idea I would muse with.[...][/quote]

    Farhan – interesting idea – are men allowed in the ITC?

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Beth-

    Touche

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Beth-

    Touche

  • Beth

    Farhan says…[quote comment=""][...] Sometimes the mother would do certain things, sometimes the father. What i am trying to say is that there is no reason to define set rules in a dualistic fashion. We need to adapt to each situation and in many instances the roles are interchangeable.[...][/quote]

    But by saying that men are suited for one role (UHJ service) and women another (motherhood), you are doing exactly that – setting up dualistic roles.

    I do understand that you truly believe that UHJ service should not be seen as a position of honor or power. But regardless of peoples feelings or opinions about it, any position that allows a person to translate, legislate, or interpret laws is an EXTREMELY powerful one. Limiting the pool of people who were allowed to represent the worlds population in such crucially important matters is obviously unjust to everyone with eyes to see. If instead of women, Baha’i Scripture said that Africans were not allowed to be on the UHJ, would you defend it so readily? Would that instance be more or less questionable?

  • Beth

    Farhan says…[quote comment=""][...] Sometimes the mother would do certain things, sometimes the father. What i am trying to say is that there is no reason to define set rules in a dualistic fashion. We need to adapt to each situation and in many instances the roles are interchangeable.[...][/quote]

    But by saying that men are suited for one role (UHJ service) and women another (motherhood), you are doing exactly that – setting up dualistic roles.

    I do understand that you truly believe that UHJ service should not be seen as a position of honor or power. But regardless of peoples feelings or opinions about it, any position that allows a person to translate, legislate, or interpret laws is an EXTREMELY powerful one. Limiting the pool of people who were allowed to represent the worlds population in such crucially important matters is obviously unjust to everyone with eyes to see. If instead of women, Baha’i Scripture said that Africans were not allowed to be on the UHJ, would you defend it so readily? Would that instance be more or less questionable?

  • farhan

    Amanda,
    You write :
    <Handicap? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you <think it means.

    LOL, Amanda, part of my work is to estimate handicaps ; in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps. Again, although I learn much here with you all, I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them » Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living….

    <You wrote: “we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is <specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially <up to the age of 5.”

    This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent. I am glad to hear that your mother made you a gift protecting you from prejudice. The concept of 5 or 6 years is current amongst psychologists; ex Fitzhugh Dodson, in the US. I have seen no Bah??’? writings on this; of course a milk bottle can replace breast-feeding, but it is not as good physically, and spiritually.

    Another point I find important is that when Baha’u’llah spoke, he spoke to those present and to those in future generations. I could readily believe that many laws in Aqdas were addressed for the use of those present, pending legislation by the UHJ. This is also true of some comments by Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.

    <Because you are regurgitating the Baha’i writings here that say women have <a special role before 5yrs of age.

    I am aware that you reject Bah??’? writings; I refer to them because you question Bah??’? laws, which happen to be in tune with them. (The word regurgitate applied to someone else’s beliefs is offensive; didn’t your mum say that?)

    Scientific evidence is abundant as to the forming of the personality before 5 or 6; The Bah??’? writings insist on the importance spiritual education at that age. As to literature and historical studies, the word research is an accepted one.

    <To imagine that having a female body better equips one for “spiritual <education”

    Perhaps hormones are the answer to your question. There are interesting studies on treatment of gender ambiguities at birth when a gender is attributed to the person and hormones are prescribed to confirm that gender. Depending on hormone intake, sexual orientation, taste for clothing, and gender behaviours change.

    If you wish to believe that men and women are identical, you are free to do so. I happen to express a different view from yours without belittling your view.

    <The stupid part, is as of today, we cannot go and run a religion. Too bad <for the religion.

    You gave me a long list of churches that are more advanced than the Baha’is in gender equality; why bother wanting to run a religion you have no consideration for?

    <You also say: “Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving <orders.” Oh, yeah? What’s that?

    I am not quite sure of your legislative structure in the US, but in all countries there is a difference between legislators and those applying the laws (police men, judges, lawyers, prison wardens…)

    <That tells me you are not following my basic argument or the words I use.

    Maybe you might wish to clarify: being elected to the UHJ, in your view is an honour, a privilege, a high merit, or servitude?

    <No matter how thick the layer of sugar you coat your views in, and no <matter how flowery the language you use, your VIEWS THEMSELVES are <offensive.

    Interesting that you should take offence in someone’s views. I accept views except when they convey hatred and conflict. I give my own views with respect and love, and I am ready to change views if necessary.

    <They are a slap in the face to women.

    What did you feel as a slap? The fact that I believe that we are equal, yet different? Complementary and yet able to function in harmony?

    <calling a spade a spade, is always preferable to disengenuous, patronizing <misogyny and prejudice. Slave holders in the American South used to say <they loved their slaves. They said they enslaved them because “Black” <people could not bear the burden of self-determination. Sound familiar?

    And you dug all that from my postings? Is that not prejudice?

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Amanda,
    You write :
    <Handicap? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you <think it means.

    LOL, Amanda, part of my work is to estimate handicaps ; in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps. Again, although I learn much here with you all, I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them » Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living….

    <You wrote: “we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is <specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially <up to the age of 5.”

    This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent. I am glad to hear that your mother made you a gift protecting you from prejudice. The concept of 5 or 6 years is current amongst psychologists; ex Fitzhugh Dodson, in the US. I have seen no Bah??’? writings on this; of course a milk bottle can replace breast-feeding, but it is not as good physically, and spiritually.

    Another point I find important is that when Baha’u’llah spoke, he spoke to those present and to those in future generations. I could readily believe that many laws in Aqdas were addressed for the use of those present, pending legislation by the UHJ. This is also true of some comments by Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.

    <Because you are regurgitating the Baha’i writings here that say women have <a special role before 5yrs of age.

    I am aware that you reject Bah??’? writings; I refer to them because you question Bah??’? laws, which happen to be in tune with them. (The word regurgitate applied to someone else’s beliefs is offensive; didn’t your mum say that?)

    Scientific evidence is abundant as to the forming of the personality before 5 or 6; The Bah??’? writings insist on the importance spiritual education at that age. As to literature and historical studies, the word research is an accepted one.

    <To imagine that having a female body better equips one for “spiritual <education”

    Perhaps hormones are the answer to your question. There are interesting studies on treatment of gender ambiguities at birth when a gender is attributed to the person and hormones are prescribed to confirm that gender. Depending on hormone intake, sexual orientation, taste for clothing, and gender behaviours change.

    If you wish to believe that men and women are identical, you are free to do so. I happen to express a different view from yours without belittling your view.

    <The stupid part, is as of today, we cannot go and run a religion. Too bad <for the religion.

    You gave me a long list of churches that are more advanced than the Baha’is in gender equality; why bother wanting to run a religion you have no consideration for?

    <You also say: “Ther is a big difference between legislating and giving <orders.” Oh, yeah? What’s that?

    I am not quite sure of your legislative structure in the US, but in all countries there is a difference between legislators and those applying the laws (police men, judges, lawyers, prison wardens…)

    <That tells me you are not following my basic argument or the words I use.

    Maybe you might wish to clarify: being elected to the UHJ, in your view is an honour, a privilege, a high merit, or servitude?

    <No matter how thick the layer of sugar you coat your views in, and no <matter how flowery the language you use, your VIEWS THEMSELVES are <offensive.

    Interesting that you should take offence in someone’s views. I accept views except when they convey hatred and conflict. I give my own views with respect and love, and I am ready to change views if necessary.

    <They are a slap in the face to women.

    What did you feel as a slap? The fact that I believe that we are equal, yet different? Complementary and yet able to function in harmony?

    <calling a spade a spade, is always preferable to disengenuous, patronizing <misogyny and prejudice. Slave holders in the American South used to say <they loved their slaves. They said they enslaved them because “Black” <people could not bear the burden of self-determination. Sound familiar?

    And you dug all that from my postings? Is that not prejudice?

  • farhan

    [quote comment="45457"][quote comment=""][...]
    Beth, you wrote:

    <Farhan – interesting idea – are men allowed in the ITC?[/quote]

    Beth, neither men nor women are “allowed” They can be invited to serve for a periods of time.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    [quote comment="45457"][quote comment=""][...]
    Beth, you wrote:

    <Farhan – interesting idea – are men allowed in the ITC?[/quote]

    Beth, neither men nor women are “allowed” They can be invited to serve for a periods of time.

  • farhan

    Beth wrote:
    <If instead of women, Baha’i Scripture said that Africans were not allowed to be on the UHJ, would you defend it so readily? Would that instance be more or less questionable?

    Again Beth i would not say allowed, but invited to serve;
    No, i would be shocked; but i am surprised that you consider men and women as a race apart. I consider a married couple as one new being who can underatke actions in harmony. I think we could ask the wives of the members of the UHJ tell us how they participated in the work of their husbands; yes that would be a useful study!

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Beth wrote:
    <If instead of women, Baha’i Scripture said that Africans were not allowed to be on the UHJ, would you defend it so readily? Would that instance be more or less questionable?

    Again Beth i would not say allowed, but invited to serve;
    No, i would be shocked; but i am surprised that you consider men and women as a race apart. I consider a married couple as one new being who can underatke actions in harmony. I think we could ask the wives of the members of the UHJ tell us how they participated in the work of their husbands; yes that would be a useful study!

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""][...] Yes, really. Its been three whole years (and a fraction more). This is what I wrote as my first foray into this uncharted territory: Introduction. [...][/quote]

  • Anonymous

    Please delete my last comment ( Mar 14th, 2008 at 5:34 am). It was a mistake.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote comment=""][...] Yes, really. Its been three whole years (and a fraction more). This is what I wrote as my first foray into this uncharted territory: Introduction. [...][/quote]

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Please delete my last comment ( Mar 14th, 2008 at 5:34 am). It was a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="4"]LOL, Amanda, part of my work is to estimate handicaps ; in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps.[/quote]
    Your work is not to estimate handicaps. It is to diagnose people who feel sick. That you apparently do not understand the difference is revealing, but let me explain it for you. People go to the doctor when they aren’t feeling well. They tell you they aren’t feeling well. Follow so far? Good. That’s what you do.

    What you don’t do is estimate handicaps. You don’t go around telling people who feel fine that they are sick. Or that they don’t feel well. You don’t do that, now do you? No. No, you don’t.

    See, Farhan? It’s really not that difficult to think before writing, is it? Yes, I’m being patronizing. Did you notice? I’m not going to respond to the rest of your post, because it doesn’t merit response. Nothing you write merits response, because it is all typed out as if by rote: without any critical thought or analysis, without ever engaging other people’s arguments, always floating at the level trite clich?s, superficialities and empty rhetoric, but never getting down to the bass tax. Am I being insulting? Yes, I am. Have you insulted us all and wasted our time with your long winded, unstructured, unthinking rants? Indeed you have. And as the old saying goes, one good turn deserves another.

    But please don’t let that discourage you. Do come back when you learn how to actually engage other people’s thoughts and want to entertain real conversation. Until then, you may expect more of this.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="4"]LOL, Amanda, part of my work is to estimate handicaps ; in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps.[/quote]
    Your work is not to estimate handicaps. It is to diagnose people who feel sick. That you apparently do not understand the difference is revealing, but let me explain it for you. People go to the doctor when they aren’t feeling well. They tell you they aren’t feeling well. Follow so far? Good. That’s what you do.

    What you don’t do is estimate handicaps. You don’t go around telling people who feel fine that they are sick. Or that they don’t feel well. You don’t do that, now do you? No. No, you don’t.

    See, Farhan? It’s really not that difficult to think before writing, is it? Yes, I’m being patronizing. Did you notice? I’m not going to respond to the rest of your post, because it doesn’t merit response. Nothing you write merits response, because it is all typed out as if by rote: without any critical thought or analysis, without ever engaging other people’s arguments, always floating at the level trite clich?s, superficialities and empty rhetoric, but never getting down to the bass tax. Am I being insulting? Yes, I am. Have you insulted us all and wasted our time with your long winded, unstructured, unthinking rants? Indeed you have. And as the old saying goes, one good turn deserves another.

    But please don’t let that discourage you. Do come back when you learn how to actually engage other people’s thoughts and want to entertain real conversation. Until then, you may expect more of this.

  • farhan

    Bird writes:
    <Not to heat seek you like a missile, but your posts leave <an open target for discussion.

    This is why I am here Bird

    You quote Martha Root whom I admire, my own mother and grandmother having been of the same fabric. I am not discussing here such heroines who fought to liberate women from outdated social laws;

    What I am trying to discuss here is a provision that Baha’is like myself believe as part of God’s plan. I understand that your views are different, and if a UHJ in the future made different provisions, I would gladly incline, as I do now unhesitatingly with the present decisions of the UHJ for our day and age. Thes decisions for the moment are only binding on Baha’is who believe that in time the world will turn to the UHJ for guidance, most others in the world do not believe that.

    This is a matter of Faith and of belief, and not a matter of reason.Although, Faith _must_ be in harmony and in complementarity with science reason, they do not replace one another. It would be against my Faith and reasoning to “discriminate”, but not against my Faith and reason to “dispence” someone with a specific duty. Without being in favour of restricting service on the UHJ to men, I do not find this as being “sexist”. I would consider it as such if serving on the UHJ was a privilege and a source of presonnal gratification or “power” as in a professional or social position.

    I am in now way offended that your view differ from mine, and in fact I am eager to hear you so as to better understand mine, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I thank you for the warm and respectful tone of your postings that are an asset to better exchange.

    My reasonning at present is that many meritorious spiritual paths of service are available to all and reserving some paths to certain persons is not to my understanding illogical, although I might not be aware of the specific spiritual reason for it now.

    I am not saying that if I had been asked to give my opinion, I would not have found it rationnal in view of the Baha’i teachings to put women on the UHJ. If I am saying that it is not a “discrimination”, it is in the sense that spiritual service is servitude and not a privilege; I am shocked at the many obstacles (handicaps) on the path of women here in France and elsewhere. I would be glad to see women (and Afro-Americans…) at the presidency of the US or of France.

    The Aqdas offers dispenses to women for spiritual acts, but Abdu’l-Baha says the greatest pilgrimage is to attend a sorrowing heart. True prayer is servitude of God’s creation (In Arabic doua : prayer and oboudiat : servitude are from the same ethymology) , prayer and meditation are a time of inspiration for that service. We do not pray, fast or give contributions to attain an honorable position, nor do we serve on institutions for that purpose.

    As I quoted Peter Khan above, it will take generations to get rid of our heritage of power issues and confrontations running our societies and replace them by concepts of service and collaboration.

    Differenciating « servitude » from « power », « merit » and « honours» is hence part of my understanding, which to me does not fully explain why there is a difference. Family making is a possible explanation, but knowing that Baha’is before us did not fully understand many teachings of our Faith that now seem obvious to us, I can presume that Baha’is in the future will better grasp things I am unable to understand now.

    You wrote of Martha Root:

    <I would ask her if she knew the UHJ would be all male <someday when she globe trotted and pushed her way past men <to get the word out about equality?

    I am not well aquainted with the history of the Faith in the US, but I believe that there was a progressive evolution into inviting women to serve on the first Baha’i councils in the US. I am not sure if Martha Root took part in that debate.

    In any case, if we are going through a period of men « versus » women now, it is the result of centuries of « powermongery » and I do hope that near future we will come to harmonious relations between men and women.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird writes:
    <Not to heat seek you like a missile, but your posts leave <an open target for discussion.

    This is why I am here Bird

    You quote Martha Root whom I admire, my own mother and grandmother having been of the same fabric. I am not discussing here such heroines who fought to liberate women from outdated social laws;

    What I am trying to discuss here is a provision that Baha’is like myself believe as part of God’s plan. I understand that your views are different, and if a UHJ in the future made different provisions, I would gladly incline, as I do now unhesitatingly with the present decisions of the UHJ for our day and age. Thes decisions for the moment are only binding on Baha’is who believe that in time the world will turn to the UHJ for guidance, most others in the world do not believe that.

    This is a matter of Faith and of belief, and not a matter of reason.Although, Faith _must_ be in harmony and in complementarity with science reason, they do not replace one another. It would be against my Faith and reasoning to “discriminate”, but not against my Faith and reason to “dispence” someone with a specific duty. Without being in favour of restricting service on the UHJ to men, I do not find this as being “sexist”. I would consider it as such if serving on the UHJ was a privilege and a source of presonnal gratification or “power” as in a professional or social position.

    I am in now way offended that your view differ from mine, and in fact I am eager to hear you so as to better understand mine, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I thank you for the warm and respectful tone of your postings that are an asset to better exchange.

    My reasonning at present is that many meritorious spiritual paths of service are available to all and reserving some paths to certain persons is not to my understanding illogical, although I might not be aware of the specific spiritual reason for it now.

    I am not saying that if I had been asked to give my opinion, I would not have found it rationnal in view of the Baha’i teachings to put women on the UHJ. If I am saying that it is not a “discrimination”, it is in the sense that spiritual service is servitude and not a privilege; I am shocked at the many obstacles (handicaps) on the path of women here in France and elsewhere. I would be glad to see women (and Afro-Americans…) at the presidency of the US or of France.

    The Aqdas offers dispenses to women for spiritual acts, but Abdu’l-Baha says the greatest pilgrimage is to attend a sorrowing heart. True prayer is servitude of God’s creation (In Arabic doua : prayer and oboudiat : servitude are from the same ethymology) , prayer and meditation are a time of inspiration for that service. We do not pray, fast or give contributions to attain an honorable position, nor do we serve on institutions for that purpose.

    As I quoted Peter Khan above, it will take generations to get rid of our heritage of power issues and confrontations running our societies and replace them by concepts of service and collaboration.

    Differenciating « servitude » from « power », « merit » and « honours» is hence part of my understanding, which to me does not fully explain why there is a difference. Family making is a possible explanation, but knowing that Baha’is before us did not fully understand many teachings of our Faith that now seem obvious to us, I can presume that Baha’is in the future will better grasp things I am unable to understand now.

    You wrote of Martha Root:

    <I would ask her if she knew the UHJ would be all male <someday when she globe trotted and pushed her way past men <to get the word out about equality?

    I am not well aquainted with the history of the Faith in the US, but I believe that there was a progressive evolution into inviting women to serve on the first Baha’i councils in the US. I am not sure if Martha Root took part in that debate.

    In any case, if we are going through a period of men « versus » women now, it is the result of centuries of « powermongery » and I do hope that near future we will come to harmonious relations between men and women.

  • farhan

    Mavaddat,
    you write:
    <Your work is not to estimate handicaps. It is to diagnose <people who feel sick.

    The WHO defines health as a global state of bio-psych-social welbeing. We can add spiritual welbeing as the capacity to intervene in our bio-psych-social lives.

    So once the physical diagnosis has been established, the expert has to estimate the impact of that injury on a specific person’s life.

    When an expert determines a handicap, for example after an accident, he has to take into consideration the persons psycho-social life; a lost finger is not evaluated in the same way on a surgeon as on a lawyer. A lost leg has different impact on a laboror than on a writer. Things might be even more difficult a handicap for a laboror who is of a different racial or national origine. A scar in the face has a different impact on the professional and social life of an old man than on a young woman. The invalidity rate accepted by the tribunal will not be the same (positive discrimination this time!Yes, we are all equal, but some are more equal than others…)

    Depending on the psychological structure, the same simple accident might have different issues on two persons; one can recover with a 2% invalidity, and the other develop post trauma neurosis with a 100% invalidity.

    Being a woman can be a handicap when you apply for certain jobs, especially if you firmly believe that working on the UHJ is the best enviable and well-paid job available with lots of power and honours in store in the most secure part of the world.

    Not being as smart as you, not mastering English as well as you do, and not mastering my new small laptop screen as well as you master your computer is a handicap to me.

    Thanks for allowing me to speak up all the same. I am sure Baquia will protect my right to express my views here.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Mavaddat,
    you write:
    <Your work is not to estimate handicaps. It is to diagnose <people who feel sick.

    The WHO defines health as a global state of bio-psych-social welbeing. We can add spiritual welbeing as the capacity to intervene in our bio-psych-social lives.

    So once the physical diagnosis has been established, the expert has to estimate the impact of that injury on a specific person’s life.

    When an expert determines a handicap, for example after an accident, he has to take into consideration the persons psycho-social life; a lost finger is not evaluated in the same way on a surgeon as on a lawyer. A lost leg has different impact on a laboror than on a writer. Things might be even more difficult a handicap for a laboror who is of a different racial or national origine. A scar in the face has a different impact on the professional and social life of an old man than on a young woman. The invalidity rate accepted by the tribunal will not be the same (positive discrimination this time!Yes, we are all equal, but some are more equal than others…)

    Depending on the psychological structure, the same simple accident might have different issues on two persons; one can recover with a 2% invalidity, and the other develop post trauma neurosis with a 100% invalidity.

    Being a woman can be a handicap when you apply for certain jobs, especially if you firmly believe that working on the UHJ is the best enviable and well-paid job available with lots of power and honours in store in the most secure part of the world.

    Not being as smart as you, not mastering English as well as you do, and not mastering my new small laptop screen as well as you master your computer is a handicap to me.

    Thanks for allowing me to speak up all the same. I am sure Baquia will protect my right to express my views here.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45358"]Thanks Baquia, and at the same time, I expect you inform those who misbehave why their messages are erased, so that they can avoid misbehaving in the future[/quote]

    I do in those cases when a valid email has been entered in the comment email field (such as your case). By the way, your comments are still being flagged for some reason!

    There is something specific about the way you are responding to comments, perhaps from an email notifying you of a follow up or some other means that is causing my spam filter to go nuts. Also I notice strange little < symbols showing up in your text which makes me believe it has been copied/pasted from an email. Could you please use the function and reply from the relevant post on the blog?

    I would really appreciate that since it would save me the hassle of manually approving your comments and it would help you since your comments would appear instantaneously.

    allahu’abha :-)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="45358"]Thanks Baquia, and at the same time, I expect you inform those who misbehave why their messages are erased, so that they can avoid misbehaving in the future[/quote]

    I do in those cases when a valid email has been entered in the comment email field (such as your case). By the way, your comments are still being flagged for some reason!

    There is something specific about the way you are responding to comments, perhaps from an email notifying you of a follow up or some other means that is causing my spam filter to go nuts. Also I notice strange little < symbols showing up in your text which makes me believe it has been copied/pasted from an email. Could you please use thequote function and reply from the relevant post on the blog?

    I would really appreciate that since it would save me the hassle of manually approving your comments and it would help you since your comments would appear instantaneously.

    allahu’abha :-)

  • farhan

    This is an amazing talk given by a brain scientist who suffered a stroke. She recounts how it felt from a very unique perspective. It lasts about 18 or 19 minutes but is well worth listening to.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229

    Interesting to see how we have to develop our right brain hemispheres if we want to tune into spirituality. Fascinating!

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    This is an amazing talk given by a brain scientist who suffered a stroke. She recounts how it felt from a very unique perspective. It lasts about 18 or 19 minutes but is well worth listening to.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229

    Interesting to see how we have to develop our right brain hemispheres if we want to tune into spirituality. Fascinating!

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan-

    As to your use of the term “handicap,” you say: “in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps.” Well, yes. Women face OBSTACLES that are put in their path arbitrarily by society that men do not face. But a HANDICAP indicates that the obstacle to be “overcome” or accomodated is WITHIN the individual, and this is clearly not the case with women. The obstacle is within SOCIETY and the prejudiced minds of those who have not let patriarchy go. Do you describe any human being who faces obstacles as “handicapped?” For example, would Hercules be called “handicapped?” Would Baha’u’llah in the Siyah Chal?

    You wrote, “I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them »”

    Yes, it must be very disapointing to have your ideas challenged. How shocking. I seem to recall ‘Abdu’l-Baha saying, “every member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and setteth forth his argument. Should any one oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions.”

    But what about this: “Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living…” Who is fabricating that division here? Nobody, that’s who. Disagreeing with your views (and being willing to articulate that disagreement) is not the same thing as reductionist us versus them thinking. Straw man much?

    Again, you previously wrote: ?we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.?

    When I challenged you on this “evidence,” you changed your tune: “This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent.”

    Well, then, if they are interchangable, this in no way supports your position that there is a “special” “spiritual” role for mothers exclusively during those years. It also calls into question why you brought up this “evidence” to support that view to begin with, as it doesn’t relate. Again, straw man?

    You also say, “Scientific evidence is abundant as to the forming of the personality before 5 or 6.” No one is arguing that with you. You’re shifting the focus here. We were talking about mothers roles speciically, not whether or not children develop extensively before they are 5. Is this extraneous, another straw man, or were you going somewhere with this?

    And as to those good old gender differences again, you wrote:
    “Perhaps hormones are the answer to your question. There are interesting studies on treatment of gender ambiguities at birth when a gender is attributed to the person and hormones are prescribed to confirm that gender. Depending on hormone intake, sexual orientation, taste for clothing, and gender behaviours change.”

    Yes, those studies are “interesting,” in that they have been completely discredited and are appalling:

    Anne Fausto-Sterling, 2000: “Of Gender and Genitals, The Use and Abuse of the Modern Intersexual.” Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. NY: Basic Books.

    You also wrote: “You gave me a long list of churches that are more advanced than the Baha’is in gender equality; why bother wanting to run a religion you have no consideration for?”

    I don’t want to “run” the Baha’i Faith, or any other religion. (I don’t “believe in” religion, as you may recall.) I want all people, including women, to be allowed any office for which their individual MERIT qualifies them. I know it confuses you when I advocate for other peoples rights when my own rights are not directly at stake, but here I am doing it again. Just like I advocate for same-sex marriage. I have seen Baha’i women break down and CRY over this issue. I believe that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    You wrote: “Maybe you might wish to clarify: being elected to the UHJ, in your view is an honour, a privilege, a high merit, or servitude?”

    You have inserted the word “merit” into this line of thought, when I used it elsewhere, so I will clarify. You said that I was discriminating based on gender by pointing out that women can’t be elected to the UHJ. I then responded by clarifying for you the definition of “discrimination,” that is, “to make an arbitrary and undue distinction NOT BASED ON MERIT.” That means one allows or disallows a person for something based on irrelevant criteria, rather than on the persons qualifications. For example, a black family not being allowed to join a public pool because of their skin color. (This was common where I grew up.) Not allowing women election to the UHJ is based on arbitrary, unfair criteria (their gender) and not the qualifications of the individual. That is discrimination. Please read the word “merit” as “qualifications.”

    I believe that the UHJ is the supreme GOVERNING body of the Baha’i Faith, and I believe women should be able to hold office at any level of any system of governance. It is not about “honor” or “privilege,” it is about simple justice.

    “Interesting that you should take offence in someone’s views. I accept views except when they convey hatred and conflict.”

    That you do not SEE the woman-hating, or woman-denigrating of your views and why this applies is the worst part of all of this.

    “What did you feel as a slap? The fact that I believe that we are equal, yet different? Complementary and yet able to function in harmony?”

    That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    “And you dug all that from my postings? Is that not prejudice?”

    No, it’s taking the available EVIDENCE, what you write here, and forming a judgement about it. Prejudice is a priori judgement. You follow?

    You wrote: “(The word regurgitate applied to someone else’s beliefs is offensive; didn’t your mum say that?)”

    The word “regurgitate” means to “1. to surge or rush back, as liquids, gases, undigested food, etc. 2. to cause to surge or rush back; vomit. 3. to give back or repeat, esp. something not fully understood or assimilated: to regurgitate the teacher’s lectures on the exam.”

    I was refering to your METHODS, not the content of your regurgitation. When you simply repeat something out of context it is regurgitation. It would be regurgitation if I did the same with scientific facts. The point is the PROCESS.

    And finally, Farhan, if we could agree to follow some generally accepted “rules of the road” conversationally, I think we can continue. But I am losing patience with your incessant use of straw men and non-sequiturs, with your parading your opinions as “research” and “evidence” incorrectly without any regard for what those terms mean, and without providing any back-up. It makes me question your good faith and it erodes the good will of people who ARE willing to engage with you. If this does not change, I am afraid this conversation will end.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan-

    As to your use of the term “handicap,” you say: “in the present context it is like in a race, and some run jumping over hurdles, and others run with no handicaps.” Well, yes. Women face OBSTACLES that are put in their path arbitrarily by society that men do not face. But a HANDICAP indicates that the obstacle to be “overcome” or accomodated is WITHIN the individual, and this is clearly not the case with women. The obstacle is within SOCIETY and the prejudiced minds of those who have not let patriarchy go. Do you describe any human being who faces obstacles as “handicapped?” For example, would Hercules be called “handicapped?” Would Baha’u’llah in the Siyah Chal?

    You wrote, “I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them »”

    Yes, it must be very disapointing to have your ideas challenged. How shocking. I seem to recall ‘Abdu’l-Baha saying, “every member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and setteth forth his argument. Should any one oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions.”

    But what about this: “Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living…” Who is fabricating that division here? Nobody, that’s who. Disagreeing with your views (and being willing to articulate that disagreement) is not the same thing as reductionist us versus them thinking. Straw man much?

    Again, you previously wrote: ?we have a lot of evidence saying that the role of mothers is specially important for the spiritual education of children is especially up to the age of 5.?

    When I challenged you on this “evidence,” you changed your tune: “This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent.”

    Well, then, if they are interchangable, this in no way supports your position that there is a “special” “spiritual” role for mothers exclusively during those years. It also calls into question why you brought up this “evidence” to support that view to begin with, as it doesn’t relate. Again, straw man?

    You also say, “Scientific evidence is abundant as to the forming of the personality before 5 or 6.” No one is arguing that with you. You’re shifting the focus here. We were talking about mothers roles speciically, not whether or not children develop extensively before they are 5. Is this extraneous, another straw man, or were you going somewhere with this?

    And as to those good old gender differences again, you wrote:
    “Perhaps hormones are the answer to your question. There are interesting studies on treatment of gender ambiguities at birth when a gender is attributed to the person and hormones are prescribed to confirm that gender. Depending on hormone intake, sexual orientation, taste for clothing, and gender behaviours change.”

    Yes, those studies are “interesting,” in that they have been completely discredited and are appalling:

    Anne Fausto-Sterling, 2000: “Of Gender and Genitals, The Use and Abuse of the Modern Intersexual.” Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. NY: Basic Books.

    You also wrote: “You gave me a long list of churches that are more advanced than the Baha’is in gender equality; why bother wanting to run a religion you have no consideration for?”

    I don’t want to “run” the Baha’i Faith, or any other religion. (I don’t “believe in” religion, as you may recall.) I want all people, including women, to be allowed any office for which their individual MERIT qualifies them. I know it confuses you when I advocate for other peoples rights when my own rights are not directly at stake, but here I am doing it again. Just like I advocate for same-sex marriage. I have seen Baha’i women break down and CRY over this issue. I believe that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    You wrote: “Maybe you might wish to clarify: being elected to the UHJ, in your view is an honour, a privilege, a high merit, or servitude?”

    You have inserted the word “merit” into this line of thought, when I used it elsewhere, so I will clarify. You said that I was discriminating based on gender by pointing out that women can’t be elected to the UHJ. I then responded by clarifying for you the definition of “discrimination,” that is, “to make an arbitrary and undue distinction NOT BASED ON MERIT.” That means one allows or disallows a person for something based on irrelevant criteria, rather than on the persons qualifications. For example, a black family not being allowed to join a public pool because of their skin color. (This was common where I grew up.) Not allowing women election to the UHJ is based on arbitrary, unfair criteria (their gender) and not the qualifications of the individual. That is discrimination. Please read the word “merit” as “qualifications.”

    I believe that the UHJ is the supreme GOVERNING body of the Baha’i Faith, and I believe women should be able to hold office at any level of any system of governance. It is not about “honor” or “privilege,” it is about simple justice.

    “Interesting that you should take offence in someone’s views. I accept views except when they convey hatred and conflict.”

    That you do not SEE the woman-hating, or woman-denigrating of your views and why this applies is the worst part of all of this.

    “What did you feel as a slap? The fact that I believe that we are equal, yet different? Complementary and yet able to function in harmony?”

    That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    “And you dug all that from my postings? Is that not prejudice?”

    No, it’s taking the available EVIDENCE, what you write here, and forming a judgement about it. Prejudice is a priori judgement. You follow?

    You wrote: “(The word regurgitate applied to someone else’s beliefs is offensive; didn’t your mum say that?)”

    The word “regurgitate” means to “1. to surge or rush back, as liquids, gases, undigested food, etc. 2. to cause to surge or rush back; vomit. 3. to give back or repeat, esp. something not fully understood or assimilated: to regurgitate the teacher’s lectures on the exam.”

    I was refering to your METHODS, not the content of your regurgitation. When you simply repeat something out of context it is regurgitation. It would be regurgitation if I did the same with scientific facts. The point is the PROCESS.

    And finally, Farhan, if we could agree to follow some generally accepted “rules of the road” conversationally, I think we can continue. But I am losing patience with your incessant use of straw men and non-sequiturs, with your parading your opinions as “research” and “evidence” incorrectly without any regard for what those terms mean, and without providing any back-up. It makes me question your good faith and it erodes the good will of people who ARE willing to engage with you. If this does not change, I am afraid this conversation will end.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan -

    Yes the dialog is interesting and I do believe we can agree to disagree. You could not possibly see the side of a woman because you are a man and by the sounds of it, I am assuming you are a multi-generation Bah?’?, Iranian (?). Mastering the English language and understanding Western society is a journey. Maybe if the tables were turned you might see a different point of view, such as men are not ? invited? to serve on the UHJ and you must sit back and adhere to the Divine reasoning in this with an all women UHJ in charge of whether they’ll decide to ?invite? you to join them someday.

    What ever comes of invitations to serve in the Bah?’? Faith is quite frankly none of my business as I left. I am only one person and I can not change the spiral I see in your religion in the advent of the internet, where one can ?key word? any phrase and read the entirety of what is published, approved or not, on just about any subject. Additionally I was raised in a western culture of thinking.

    America played a HUGE role in the AO. As so did American / Canadian/ British women like Martha and many more if you would like to discuss them. Not to be insulting and realizing your mother and grandmother worked tirelessly in the caring for their husbands and families and teaching of the BF, they did not come from a society such as Martha had come from, the same society that produces other women like her to this day. I would bet odds, without disrespecting what they did do, your mother and grandmother did not go out and earn their way to teach the Faith on the global level Martha did as a single childless unmarried woman. Did your mother or grandmother cold call a Queen, set a meeting and close the deal? Did they tell Shoghi Effendi, or your own father or grand father – No, I’m going anyway and take off? Martha also traveled solo on much or her journey with or without orders. She took difficult passages over oceans and lands via ship, trains, planes and automobiles without a husband. During the last years of her life she accomplished this with breast cancer. If is it your mother and grandmother served at this capacity in the early expansion, please share their names for my study. Perhaps you may ponder what Tahirah would have thought about an all male UHJ, who is certainly a comparable heroine in her own way to Martha but alas and again the shame is that they both have already fallen in their dedicated tracks long before the Kitab-i-Aqdas was revealed…

    Take it a step further and attempt to ponder what Bah?yyih Kh??num would have to say about the BF today, the elimination of the Guardian and all male UHJ. She is the only recorded only female who surpasses all females in the BF. “Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed.”

    Bah?yyih Kh??num factually ran the budding AO of the BF during Shoghi’s grief and made executive decisions on what was ?good for humanity? and translations of her fathers words. I’d love to see you tell that woman she is ?not invited? into any room.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Farhan -

    Yes the dialog is interesting and I do believe we can agree to disagree. You could not possibly see the side of a woman because you are a man and by the sounds of it, I am assuming you are a multi-generation Bah?’?, Iranian (?). Mastering the English language and understanding Western society is a journey. Maybe if the tables were turned you might see a different point of view, such as men are not ? invited? to serve on the UHJ and you must sit back and adhere to the Divine reasoning in this with an all women UHJ in charge of whether they’ll decide to ?invite? you to join them someday.

    What ever comes of invitations to serve in the Bah?’? Faith is quite frankly none of my business as I left. I am only one person and I can not change the spiral I see in your religion in the advent of the internet, where one can ?key word? any phrase and read the entirety of what is published, approved or not, on just about any subject. Additionally I was raised in a western culture of thinking.

    America played a HUGE role in the AO. As so did American / Canadian/ British women like Martha and many more if you would like to discuss them. Not to be insulting and realizing your mother and grandmother worked tirelessly in the caring for their husbands and families and teaching of the BF, they did not come from a society such as Martha had come from, the same society that produces other women like her to this day. I would bet odds, without disrespecting what they did do, your mother and grandmother did not go out and earn their way to teach the Faith on the global level Martha did as a single childless unmarried woman. Did your mother or grandmother cold call a Queen, set a meeting and close the deal? Did they tell Shoghi Effendi, or your own father or grand father – No, I’m going anyway and take off? Martha also traveled solo on much or her journey with or without orders. She took difficult passages over oceans and lands via ship, trains, planes and automobiles without a husband. During the last years of her life she accomplished this with breast cancer. If is it your mother and grandmother served at this capacity in the early expansion, please share their names for my study. Perhaps you may ponder what Tahirah would have thought about an all male UHJ, who is certainly a comparable heroine in her own way to Martha but alas and again the shame is that they both have already fallen in their dedicated tracks long before the Kitab-i-Aqdas was revealed…

    Take it a step further and attempt to ponder what Bah?yyih Kh??num would have to say about the BF today, the elimination of the Guardian and all male UHJ. She is the only recorded only female who surpasses all females in the BF. “Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed.”

    Bah?yyih Kh??num factually ran the budding AO of the BF during Shoghi’s grief and made executive decisions on what was ?good for humanity? and translations of her fathers words. I’d love to see you tell that woman she is ?not invited? into any room.

  • farhan

    Farhan-
    Amanda, you write :

    The obstacle is within SOCIETY and the prejudiced minds of those who have not let patriarchy go.

    Yes, obviously, a handicap can result from our own bio-psycho constitution, or be a result of a social dysfunction. In a society based on violence and force, men were advantaged and women disadvantaged. In a society where sensitivity and intelligence are now valued, women will be advantaged. In French Polynesia boys drop our of school and invest on their physical assets, girls develop intellectually. Then as married couples, the men realise that they were ?cheated? by a misleading social image of the genders. They become resentful violent and resort to alcohol and drugs.

    You wrote, “I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them »”
    Yes, it must be very disappointing to have your ideas challenged.

    I am accustomed to a constant confrontation of ideas; the ?us? vs ?them? in not a confrontation of concepts or ideas. It is an emotional attack on the other person with judgmental and prejudiced misconceptions that are projected from the writer’s own emotional dysfunctions. This explains jeering, cynical expressions, sarcasm, calling names, in a context of exchange on internet where it is tempting to project and relieve tension. Virtual punching balls!

    But what about this: “Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living…”

    I am again referring to emotional clashes and not the exposition of concepts and opinions. There is a fallacy, which supposes that if the ?goodies? oppose the ?baddies? we will arrive at a solution. This is not true. A solution will result from loving and honest exchanges. In some cases in fact, emotional disorders are an incitation to seek conflict and strife as an outlet, without addressing the emotional disorders themselves. When the intellectual covering is moved, the emotional disorders appear.

    When I challenged you on this “evidence,” you changed your tune: “This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent.”

    I am here to exchange ideas. I have nothing to prove and nothing to defend. When and if I find publications to offer I will do so. I don’t consider this exchange as a sort of a wrestling ring.

    this in no way supports your position that there is a “special” “spiritual” role for mothers exclusively during those years.

    I am giving you my experience, for whatever you might find it worth; if I find publications, I will share. You can research documentation yourself if you are seeking the truth. I am exchanging ideas, not writing a report to a court that will be dissected by the lawyers.

    Again, straw man?

    Is that an exchange or a judgmental expression?

    We were talking about mothers roles speciically, not whether or not children develop extensively before they are 5. Is this extraneous, another straw man, or were you going somewhere with this?

    What do you consider as a straw man?

    I advance the idea that election to the UHJ is a burden and not an enviable position, that women are dispensed and not disallowed. I point out to the fact that education between 0 and 6 is essential to the personality of a child. My opinion is that the mother’s role is essential for the spiritual and emotional structure of a child: (perhaps related to the right hemisphere of the brain). This might be a reason for dispensing women. If I find publications, I will share.

    Yes, those studies are “interesting,” in that they have been completely discredited and are appalling:

    Yes, that might be the opinion Anne Fausto-Sterling which I have not read, , but not that of transsexuals who apply for gender change, a treatment that the UHJ submits to scientific opinion.

    I want all people, including women, to be allowed any office for which their individual MERIT qualifies them.

    Again, serving on Baha’I institution is not a ?merit?, but a mission allocated on spiritual values, the list of which is defined by Shoghi Effendi for the electors casting ballots. The institutions call upon experts to help them in their decisions, amongs which we probably have more women than men.

    I know it confuses you when I advocate for other peoples rights when my own rights are not directly at stake, but here I am doing it again.

    I have been doing that all my life, including the defence of women’s rights; I am not at all confused, but vigilant when I see a cause of justice abused as a means of discrediting others instead of defending the victims.

    For example, a black family not being allowed to join a public pool because of their skin color.

    Again you use the concept of ?allowed? where I understand the concept of ?invited? into servitude. You are applying a concept of prejudice and discrimination that is present in our world to service within a Baha’I institution, which has a totally different purpose.

    That you do not SEE the woman-hating, or woman-denigrating of your views and why this applies is the worst part of all of this.

    This is your own arbitrary pre-judgment, and not that of people who know me.

    That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    What is the word ?slap? doing here? Your violence or violence you project on me?

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Farhan-
    Amanda, you write :

    The obstacle is within SOCIETY and the prejudiced minds of those who have not let patriarchy go.

    Yes, obviously, a handicap can result from our own bio-psycho constitution, or be a result of a social dysfunction. In a society based on violence and force, men were advantaged and women disadvantaged. In a society where sensitivity and intelligence are now valued, women will be advantaged. In French Polynesia boys drop our of school and invest on their physical assets, girls develop intellectually. Then as married couples, the men realise that they were ?cheated? by a misleading social image of the genders. They become resentful violent and resort to alcohol and drugs.

    You wrote, “I am disappointed that the tone is not one of mutual exchange and of offering ideas, but a dualistic « us » against « them »”
    Yes, it must be very disappointing to have your ideas challenged.

    I am accustomed to a constant confrontation of ideas; the ?us? vs ?them? in not a confrontation of concepts or ideas. It is an emotional attack on the other person with judgmental and prejudiced misconceptions that are projected from the writer’s own emotional dysfunctions. This explains jeering, cynical expressions, sarcasm, calling names, in a context of exchange on internet where it is tempting to project and relieve tension. Virtual punching balls!

    But what about this: “Cowboys vs Indians, feminists vs sexists, … the axis of evil?… what stressful lives you must all be living…”

    I am again referring to emotional clashes and not the exposition of concepts and opinions. There is a fallacy, which supposes that if the ?goodies? oppose the ?baddies? we will arrive at a solution. This is not true. A solution will result from loving and honest exchanges. In some cases in fact, emotional disorders are an incitation to seek conflict and strife as an outlet, without addressing the emotional disorders themselves. When the intellectual covering is moved, the emotional disorders appear.

    When I challenged you on this “evidence,” you changed your tune: “This is a general statement based on innumerable publications on the educational roles of fathers and mothers, which are obviously interchangeable to some extent.”

    I am here to exchange ideas. I have nothing to prove and nothing to defend. When and if I find publications to offer I will do so. I don’t consider this exchange as a sort of a wrestling ring.

    this in no way supports your position that there is a “special” “spiritual” role for mothers exclusively during those years.

    I am giving you my experience, for whatever you might find it worth; if I find publications, I will share. You can research documentation yourself if you are seeking the truth. I am exchanging ideas, not writing a report to a court that will be dissected by the lawyers.

    Again, straw man?

    Is that an exchange or a judgmental expression?

    We were talking about mothers roles speciically, not whether or not children develop extensively before they are 5. Is this extraneous, another straw man, or were you going somewhere with this?

    What do you consider as a straw man?

    I advance the idea that election to the UHJ is a burden and not an enviable position, that women are dispensed and not disallowed. I point out to the fact that education between 0 and 6 is essential to the personality of a child. My opinion is that the mother’s role is essential for the spiritual and emotional structure of a child: (perhaps related to the right hemisphere of the brain). This might be a reason for dispensing women. If I find publications, I will share.

    Yes, those studies are “interesting,” in that they have been completely discredited and are appalling:

    Yes, that might be the opinion Anne Fausto-Sterling which I have not read, , but not that of transsexuals who apply for gender change, a treatment that the UHJ submits to scientific opinion.

    I want all people, including women, to be allowed any office for which their individual MERIT qualifies them.

    Again, serving on Baha’I institution is not a ?merit?, but a mission allocated on spiritual values, the list of which is defined by Shoghi Effendi for the electors casting ballots. The institutions call upon experts to help them in their decisions, amongs which we probably have more women than men.

    I know it confuses you when I advocate for other peoples rights when my own rights are not directly at stake, but here I am doing it again.

    I have been doing that all my life, including the defence of women’s rights; I am not at all confused, but vigilant when I see a cause of justice abused as a means of discrediting others instead of defending the victims.

    For example, a black family not being allowed to join a public pool because of their skin color.

    Again you use the concept of ?allowed? where I understand the concept of ?invited? into servitude. You are applying a concept of prejudice and discrimination that is present in our world to service within a Baha’I institution, which has a totally different purpose.

    That you do not SEE the woman-hating, or woman-denigrating of your views and why this applies is the worst part of all of this.

    This is your own arbitrary pre-judgment, and not that of people who know me.

    That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    What is the word ?slap? doing here? Your violence or violence you project on me?

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    I am not going to repeat any points I have already made, but it is obvious you are literaly not understanding the English words and phrases I am using.

    You wrote:
    “Again, straw man?

    Is that an exchange or a judgmental expression?”

    A straw man argument is “an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” or “set up a straw man argument” is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent’s actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent (for example, deliberately overstating the opponent’s position). A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted.” (wikipedia)

    You wrote:
    “That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    What is the word ?slap? doing here? Your violence or violence you project on me?”

    Farhan, that was in answer to YOUR question, where is the “slap in the face to women” in your beliefs? Seriously. What in the world are you thinking seeing that as violence towards you?

    You also wrote:
    “Again, serving on Baha’I institution is not a ?merit?, but a mission allocated on spiritual values…”

    Please look up the word merit in an English dictionary. You are missing its meaning, and missing my meaning.

    You wrote:
    “Yes, that might be the opinion Anne Fausto-Sterling which I have not read, , but not that of transsexuals who apply for gender change, a treatment that the UHJ submits to scientific opinion.”

    BUT YOUR ARGUMENT was about INFANTS, not adults. You have changed your argument. This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is not a reasonable way to discuss anything.

    And finally,
    “It is an emotional attack on the other person with judgmental and prejudiced misconceptions that are projected from the writer’s own emotional dysfunctions. This explains jeering, cynical expressions, sarcasm, calling names, in a context of exchange on internet where it is tempting to project and relieve tension. Virtual punching balls! I am again referring to emotional clashes and not the exposition of concepts and opinions. There is a fallacy, which supposes that if the ?goodies? oppose the ?baddies? we will arrive at a solution. This is not true. A solution will result from loving and honest exchanges.”

    I have never called you names, “jeered you” or using you as a punching bag. I have disagreeed with your ideas, and in my last 2 responses questioned your motives and methods. I have also not treated anyone as “goodies” or “badies.” I have simply disagreed with you. The fact that you characterize that disagreement as attack is a fabrication. There is nothing unloving or dishonest in disagreement.

    “In some cases in fact, emotional disorders are an incitation to seek conflict and strife as an outlet, without addressing the emotional disorders themselves. When the intellectual covering is moved, the emotional disorders appear…I am not at all confused, but vigilant when I see a cause of justice abused as a means of discrediting others instead of defending the victims.”

    This is below the belt and unworthy of response. Ironically, it is exactly what you have accused me of doing.

    Enough.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    I am not going to repeat any points I have already made, but it is obvious you are literaly not understanding the English words and phrases I am using.

    You wrote:
    “Again, straw man?

    Is that an exchange or a judgmental expression?”

    A straw man argument is “an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “set up a straw man” or “set up a straw man argument” is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent’s actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent (for example, deliberately overstating the opponent’s position). A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent’s actual argument has not been refuted.” (wikipedia)

    You wrote:
    “That you would like to limit women’s access to every sphere of public life based simply on our gender. Slap.

    What is the word ?slap? doing here? Your violence or violence you project on me?”

    Farhan, that was in answer to YOUR question, where is the “slap in the face to women” in your beliefs? Seriously. What in the world are you thinking seeing that as violence towards you?

    You also wrote:
    “Again, serving on Baha’I institution is not a ?merit?, but a mission allocated on spiritual values…”

    Please look up the word merit in an English dictionary. You are missing its meaning, and missing my meaning.

    You wrote:
    “Yes, that might be the opinion Anne Fausto-Sterling which I have not read, , but not that of transsexuals who apply for gender change, a treatment that the UHJ submits to scientific opinion.”

    BUT YOUR ARGUMENT was about INFANTS, not adults. You have changed your argument. This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is not a reasonable way to discuss anything.

    And finally,
    “It is an emotional attack on the other person with judgmental and prejudiced misconceptions that are projected from the writer’s own emotional dysfunctions. This explains jeering, cynical expressions, sarcasm, calling names, in a context of exchange on internet where it is tempting to project and relieve tension. Virtual punching balls! I am again referring to emotional clashes and not the exposition of concepts and opinions. There is a fallacy, which supposes that if the ?goodies? oppose the ?baddies? we will arrive at a solution. This is not true. A solution will result from loving and honest exchanges.”

    I have never called you names, “jeered you” or using you as a punching bag. I have disagreeed with your ideas, and in my last 2 responses questioned your motives and methods. I have also not treated anyone as “goodies” or “badies.” I have simply disagreed with you. The fact that you characterize that disagreement as attack is a fabrication. There is nothing unloving or dishonest in disagreement.

    “In some cases in fact, emotional disorders are an incitation to seek conflict and strife as an outlet, without addressing the emotional disorders themselves. When the intellectual covering is moved, the emotional disorders appear…I am not at all confused, but vigilant when I see a cause of justice abused as a means of discrediting others instead of defending the victims.”

    This is below the belt and unworthy of response. Ironically, it is exactly what you have accused me of doing.

    Enough.

  • farhan

    Bird out of the Cage,

    you write:
    “Mastering the English language and understanding Western society is a journey. ”

    I have been under Western education for the last 56 years and would say that mastering Eastern minds is a journey to me.

    you write:
    “sit back and adhere to the Divine reasoning in this with an all women UHJ in charge of whether they’ll decide to ?invite? you to join them someday.”

    I fully understand and respect this view from a non-Baha’i. From the view point of a Baha’i who accepts that the UHJ is divinely ordained and guided, as I do, the point is not to see whether they are wrong or right, but to see what wisdom can be behind that decision.

    You write:
    “Not to be insulting and realizing your mother and grandmother worked tirelessly in the caring for their husbands and families and teaching of the BF, they did not come from a society such as Martha had come from,…”

    Bird, i am not offended at being contradicted ; what I am pointing out to is that elementary Internet ethics call for exchange of ideas without making presumptions and holding pre-judgments on people’s person. Saying I strongly disagree is fine ; saying that you are a « so and so » is not.

    Both my mother and grandmother were feminists, and in no way the type of the Eastern women you would imagine. My father had to learn what the new man’s role was, and i knew from childhood. One of my grandmother’s best friends was the minister of education in Iran and publicly hung for refusing to instate the law of Chador in schools. My wife enjoys a very high social position. I am fully concerned of the outcome of my three daughters and two grand daughters.

    you write:
    “…your mother and grandmother did not go out and earn their way to teach the Faith on the global level Martha did as a single childless unmarried woman.”

    You are right.

    You write:
    “Perhaps you may ponder what Tahirah would have thought about an all male UHJ, who is certainly a comparable heroine in her own way to Martha but alas and again the shame is that they both have already fallen in their dedicated tracks long before the Kitab-i-Aqdas was revealed…”

    Bird, i dont know what these heroines would have done ; did they accept the Faith because at that time it was far in advance on other religions as regards to women’s rights, or did they accept the new outlook on women’s rights because they accepted the Faith and this law was part of it ? What we do know is that millions of women consider the Charia as good for them, and even uphold genital mutilation. Opposing these practices in France in the 1980’s , we were confronted by women associations who were accusing us of racial and cultural discrimination for having criticized FGM.

    you write:
    “Take it a step further and attempt to ponder what Bah?yyih Kh??num would have to say about the BF today, the elimination of the Guardian and all male UHJ.”

    Well this would be an interesting path of research. Perhaps we could also invite all women involved in the AO to give their views about not being invited as members to serve on the UHJ.

    I would believe that Bahiyyih Khanum would say that we have to remain firm in the covenant and see what surprises God has in store for us. She would probably say that the guardianship was a temporary step pending the election of the UHJ which Abdu’l-baha had attempted to instate during his own life time. Ruhiyyih Khanum was revered by the members of the UHJ.

    You write:
    “She is the only recorded only female who surpasses all females in the BF. “Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed.”

    My guess would be that just like Abdu’l-baha She would say :

    “All must obey the Universal House of justice. Obedience to it is obedience to the Cause. Opposition to it is opposition to the Blessed Beauty. Denial of it is denial of God, the True One. Renouncing any word of the House of Justice is like unto the renunciation of a word from the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Observe, how important this matter is! The Blessed Beauty has ordained the House of justice as the law-maker. If the votes of the members are not unanimous and there are differences of views, then the vote of the majority is the vote of the Blessed Beauty.”

    “He then added: “Take this very moment. Should the Universal House of justice be operating, by the one True God, beside Whom there is no God, I would have been the first to obey its decree, even if it should be against me. It is true that that Body does not possess inherent infallibility, but it is under the shadow of the protection and shelter of the Blessed Beauty. Its command is the Blessed Command. Discuss this matter amongst yourselves, so that it may not be forgotten. Speak of it to one another; even, make a written note of it.”(…)

    One night, when He spoke on this subject again He said, “If the House of justice had been operating in this day and pronounced my death sentence, all would have to obey.”
    The late Muhammad Riday-i-Qannad was disturbed at this statement by the Master, and he asked, “Is the House of Justice of God, or is it not?” “Of course it is,” replied the Master. “How then is it possible for that which is of God to condemn He Who is of God?” asked he. “My object”, ‘Abdu’l-Baha replied, “is that you may know that on that day the House of justice is the true one of God, for the Blessed Beauty has ordained it to be the law-maker.” (Afroukhteh, Memoires of 9 years in Akka, p 169-172)

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird out of the Cage,

    you write:
    “Mastering the English language and understanding Western society is a journey. ”

    I have been under Western education for the last 56 years and would say that mastering Eastern minds is a journey to me.

    you write:
    “sit back and adhere to the Divine reasoning in this with an all women UHJ in charge of whether they’ll decide to ?invite? you to join them someday.”

    I fully understand and respect this view from a non-Baha’i. From the view point of a Baha’i who accepts that the UHJ is divinely ordained and guided, as I do, the point is not to see whether they are wrong or right, but to see what wisdom can be behind that decision.

    You write:
    “Not to be insulting and realizing your mother and grandmother worked tirelessly in the caring for their husbands and families and teaching of the BF, they did not come from a society such as Martha had come from,…”

    Bird, i am not offended at being contradicted ; what I am pointing out to is that elementary Internet ethics call for exchange of ideas without making presumptions and holding pre-judgments on people’s person. Saying I strongly disagree is fine ; saying that you are a « so and so » is not.

    Both my mother and grandmother were feminists, and in no way the type of the Eastern women you would imagine. My father had to learn what the new man’s role was, and i knew from childhood. One of my grandmother’s best friends was the minister of education in Iran and publicly hung for refusing to instate the law of Chador in schools. My wife enjoys a very high social position. I am fully concerned of the outcome of my three daughters and two grand daughters.

    you write:
    “…your mother and grandmother did not go out and earn their way to teach the Faith on the global level Martha did as a single childless unmarried woman.”

    You are right.

    You write:
    “Perhaps you may ponder what Tahirah would have thought about an all male UHJ, who is certainly a comparable heroine in her own way to Martha but alas and again the shame is that they both have already fallen in their dedicated tracks long before the Kitab-i-Aqdas was revealed…”

    Bird, i dont know what these heroines would have done ; did they accept the Faith because at that time it was far in advance on other religions as regards to women’s rights, or did they accept the new outlook on women’s rights because they accepted the Faith and this law was part of it ? What we do know is that millions of women consider the Charia as good for them, and even uphold genital mutilation. Opposing these practices in France in the 1980’s , we were confronted by women associations who were accusing us of racial and cultural discrimination for having criticized FGM.

    you write:
    “Take it a step further and attempt to ponder what Bah?yyih Kh??num would have to say about the BF today, the elimination of the Guardian and all male UHJ.”

    Well this would be an interesting path of research. Perhaps we could also invite all women involved in the AO to give their views about not being invited as members to serve on the UHJ.

    I would believe that Bahiyyih Khanum would say that we have to remain firm in the covenant and see what surprises God has in store for us. She would probably say that the guardianship was a temporary step pending the election of the UHJ which Abdu’l-baha had attempted to instate during his own life time. Ruhiyyih Khanum was revered by the members of the UHJ.

    You write:
    “She is the only recorded only female who surpasses all females in the BF. “Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed.”

    My guess would be that just like Abdu’l-baha She would say :

    “All must obey the Universal House of justice. Obedience to it is obedience to the Cause. Opposition to it is opposition to the Blessed Beauty. Denial of it is denial of God, the True One. Renouncing any word of the House of Justice is like unto the renunciation of a word from the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Observe, how important this matter is! The Blessed Beauty has ordained the House of justice as the law-maker. If the votes of the members are not unanimous and there are differences of views, then the vote of the majority is the vote of the Blessed Beauty.”

    “He then added: “Take this very moment. Should the Universal House of justice be operating, by the one True God, beside Whom there is no God, I would have been the first to obey its decree, even if it should be against me. It is true that that Body does not possess inherent infallibility, but it is under the shadow of the protection and shelter of the Blessed Beauty. Its command is the Blessed Command. Discuss this matter amongst yourselves, so that it may not be forgotten. Speak of it to one another; even, make a written note of it.”(…)

    One night, when He spoke on this subject again He said, “If the House of justice had been operating in this day and pronounced my death sentence, all would have to obey.”
    The late Muhammad Riday-i-Qannad was disturbed at this statement by the Master, and he asked, “Is the House of Justice of God, or is it not?” “Of course it is,” replied the Master. “How then is it possible for that which is of God to condemn He Who is of God?” asked he. “My object”, ‘Abdu’l-Baha replied, “is that you may know that on that day the House of justice is the true one of God, for the Blessed Beauty has ordained it to be the law-maker.” (Afroukhteh, Memoires of 9 years in Akka, p 169-172)

  • farhan

    Amanda wrote :
    « BUT YOUR ARGUMENT was about INFANTS, not adults. You have changed your argument. This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is not a reasonable way to discuss anything. »

    Amanda, I see that you are not getting my point.
    What I am trying to say is that what people claim as a right in a society is not always what is best for them. But who has the right to decide and on what basis ? To live together we need a common reference which does not always comply with everyones wishes.

    Baha’i s believe that the revelation of God provides standards or rules for all humanity, and that these rules change from age to age and can be updated by the UHJ, and that we have to offer these teachings and be patient in trying to change things, as it takes time for humanity to progressively advance towards the ideals set out in Baha’i teachings. Humanity can accept or reject these rules
    You reject the idea of revelation, and I fully respect your choice.

    What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ? Are you sure if we polled amongst Baha’i women there would be a majority wishing to be elected to serve on UHJ ?

    If you and I are appalled about gender discrimination, inceste and use of children as sex slaves, it is because we have been brought up in a cultural system that has abolished such practices on a moral basis.

    Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions. If you travel to some countries and actually discuss with the populations, you will be surprised to see that your opinions as a Westerner are not necessatily accepted as being the best for them. Some of the practices that shock us are traditional values that actually hold these societies together. Millions of women actually favorable to the charia laws and consider FGM as good for them, non excised Westerners being regarded as « impure ».

    In New Caledonia traditionnal societies systematically take away children from mothers and offers them as gifts to others. Women who refuse to offer their children are forced to flee. Do you think it is easy to oppose this practice by saying that it is against Western standards ? In Australia the Aborigial children died of disease and were not educated. Some argued that the native populations had to left to their « natural » traditions in reserves. The gvt thought that according to Western standards these children had to be taken away and adopted by Western families « for their own good ». This decision turned out to have other very serious outcomes.

    In the struggle towards women’s vote in Switzerland some women’s associations were actually active against women’s vote. On what basis can we intervene from outside and say the rules adopted by a social group are wrong ?

    On what basis do we have the right/duty to intervene in other communities and tell them what is good or bad for them ? As a Baha’i I say that we offer hem the spiritual laws and allow them to adapt and organise their societies at their own pace. What do you suggest ?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda wrote :
    « BUT YOUR ARGUMENT was about INFANTS, not adults. You have changed your argument. This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is not a reasonable way to discuss anything. »

    Amanda, I see that you are not getting my point.
    What I am trying to say is that what people claim as a right in a society is not always what is best for them. But who has the right to decide and on what basis ? To live together we need a common reference which does not always comply with everyones wishes.

    Baha’i s believe that the revelation of God provides standards or rules for all humanity, and that these rules change from age to age and can be updated by the UHJ, and that we have to offer these teachings and be patient in trying to change things, as it takes time for humanity to progressively advance towards the ideals set out in Baha’i teachings. Humanity can accept or reject these rules
    You reject the idea of revelation, and I fully respect your choice.

    What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ? Are you sure if we polled amongst Baha’i women there would be a majority wishing to be elected to serve on UHJ ?

    If you and I are appalled about gender discrimination, inceste and use of children as sex slaves, it is because we have been brought up in a cultural system that has abolished such practices on a moral basis.

    Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions. If you travel to some countries and actually discuss with the populations, you will be surprised to see that your opinions as a Westerner are not necessatily accepted as being the best for them. Some of the practices that shock us are traditional values that actually hold these societies together. Millions of women actually favorable to the charia laws and consider FGM as good for them, non excised Westerners being regarded as « impure ».

    In New Caledonia traditionnal societies systematically take away children from mothers and offers them as gifts to others. Women who refuse to offer their children are forced to flee. Do you think it is easy to oppose this practice by saying that it is against Western standards ? In Australia the Aborigial children died of disease and were not educated. Some argued that the native populations had to left to their « natural » traditions in reserves. The gvt thought that according to Western standards these children had to be taken away and adopted by Western families « for their own good ». This decision turned out to have other very serious outcomes.

    In the struggle towards women’s vote in Switzerland some women’s associations were actually active against women’s vote. On what basis can we intervene from outside and say the rules adopted by a social group are wrong ?

    On what basis do we have the right/duty to intervene in other communities and tell them what is good or bad for them ? As a Baha’i I say that we offer hem the spiritual laws and allow them to adapt and organise their societies at their own pace. What do you suggest ?

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    I’m only going to address one of your points because I think each of the others has been amply addressed already, and I’m not interested in just repeating the same thing over and over again.

    I will address the following question/statement:

    “What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ?…Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions.”

    I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an “outsider.” I think that’s ALL it is. I think it has NO SUBSTANCE as a claim or a question. 1) You assume alot about my ethnic heritage without knowing me. 2) What if I still had a valid Baha’i ID number…would my “Western-ness” still be cause to discredit my opinions about the Baha’i Faith? Or does that only come into play when I disagree with you? 3) I have spent the better part of my life as a Baha’i in the Baha’i community and still have a preponderance of friends and family who are Baha’is. My opinion IS an “insiders” opinion, whether you agree with it or not. I am speaking to the tradition I was raised in…it’s not “interference” in someone else’s tradition. 4) The UHJ has a charter to guide/lead ALL OF HUMANITY, including through the progressive application of LAWS. I am a member of that humanity, and therefore have every right to chafe at the injustices in a body that claims to be working on my behalf. 5) “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 6) I agree with Sam Harris that to morally identify only with a segment of humanity, rather than the whole of humanity is IMMORAL. 7) I am a woman, and citizenship to that group crosses all national, racial, political, and religious boundaries. 8) PERHAPS, as a MAN, you might consider how your “outsiders don’t have a right to an opinion” argument might reflect back on YOU as you advocate for maintaining the disenfranchisement of Baha’i WOMEN. If your argument made any sense, which it doesn’t, wouldn’t YOU have no right to an opinion on a matter impacting women?

    Thanks.
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Farhan,

    I’m only going to address one of your points because I think each of the others has been amply addressed already, and I’m not interested in just repeating the same thing over and over again.

    I will address the following question/statement:

    “What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ?…Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions.”

    I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an “outsider.” I think that’s ALL it is. I think it has NO SUBSTANCE as a claim or a question. 1) You assume alot about my ethnic heritage without knowing me. 2) What if I still had a valid Baha’i ID number…would my “Western-ness” still be cause to discredit my opinions about the Baha’i Faith? Or does that only come into play when I disagree with you? 3) I have spent the better part of my life as a Baha’i in the Baha’i community and still have a preponderance of friends and family who are Baha’is. My opinion IS an “insiders” opinion, whether you agree with it or not. I am speaking to the tradition I was raised in…it’s not “interference” in someone else’s tradition. 4) The UHJ has a charter to guide/lead ALL OF HUMANITY, including through the progressive application of LAWS. I am a member of that humanity, and therefore have every right to chafe at the injustices in a body that claims to be working on my behalf. 5) “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 6) I agree with Sam Harris that to morally identify only with a segment of humanity, rather than the whole of humanity is IMMORAL. 7) I am a woman, and citizenship to that group crosses all national, racial, political, and religious boundaries. 8) PERHAPS, as a MAN, you might consider how your “outsiders don’t have a right to an opinion” argument might reflect back on YOU as you advocate for maintaining the disenfranchisement of Baha’i WOMEN. If your argument made any sense, which it doesn’t, wouldn’t YOU have no right to an opinion on a matter impacting women?

    Thanks.
    Amanda

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="4"]I will address the following question/statement:

    ?What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ?…Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions.?

    I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an ?outsider.?[/quote]
    Hi Amanda,

    I actually interpret Farhan’s point differently. I think he is making the general argument from cultural relativism, rather than the specific argument that a non-Bah??’? should not criticize Bah??’? laws. That is, I think he is saying that people do not have a right to criticize across cultures, but only within their own culture, because cross culture criticism somehow smacks of cultural superiority. Who are we to say what is right for some other people? We don’t know their situation or their local exigences. What is right for you may not be right for another. That, I think, is the gist of his complaint.

    Of course, Farhan will no doubt readily contradict this maxim when it is convenient for him, for example, when he sees it fit to criticize America for its over-emphasis on sexuality, or Iran for its persecution of Bah??’?s, or China for its lack of spirituality, etc.

    He will contradict himself, not because he is a hypocrite, but because he does not subject his arguments to any kind of self-criticism. He doesn’t check to see if his beliefs are in agreement with each other — he just believes what the Bah??’? Faith teaches, and he will defend it with any argument that is available to him, irrespective of whether he contradicts his earlier argument with another newer argument. This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="4"]I will address the following question/statement:

    ?What I am trying to ask you, is on what basis do you feel that you can intervene in other communities and tell them that their laws are not good for them ?…Many populations actually resent the interference of Westerners in their traditions.?

    I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an ?outsider.?[/quote]
    Hi Amanda,

    I actually interpret Farhan’s point differently. I think he is making the general argument from cultural relativism, rather than the specific argument that a non-Bah??’? should not criticize Bah??’? laws. That is, I think he is saying that people do not have a right to criticize across cultures, but only within their own culture, because cross culture criticism somehow smacks of cultural superiority. Who are we to say what is right for some other people? We don’t know their situation or their local exigences. What is right for you may not be right for another. That, I think, is the gist of his complaint.

    Of course, Farhan will no doubt readily contradict this maxim when it is convenient for him, for example, when he sees it fit to criticize America for its over-emphasis on sexuality, or Iran for its persecution of Bah??’?s, or China for its lack of spirituality, etc.

    He will contradict himself, not because he is a hypocrite, but because he does not subject his arguments to any kind of self-criticism. He doesn’t check to see if his beliefs are in agreement with each other — he just believes what the Bah??’? Faith teaches, and he will defend it with any argument that is available to him, irrespective of whether he contradicts his earlier argument with another newer argument. This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, Mavaddat.

    You’re right.

    This part is especially clear:
    “he just believes what the Bah??’? Faith teaches, and he will defend it with any argument that is available to him, irrespective of whether he contradicts his earlier argument with another newer argument. This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…”

    It is especially frustrating to counter this particular “argument” of cultural relativism when the Baha’i Faith (and it’s institutions) claim to speak for, and provide for “all of humankind.” They can’t have it both ways.

    And of course, the next inconsistent spoke on the wheel of apologetics is to switch positions and assert that Baha’i institutions are “primarly responsible to that [Divine] will, not to the constituency which elected them.” So, they can do whatever they want, and no people on the earth have a right to disagree with or oppose them, outside or inside the Faith.

    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Amanda

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    Hello, Mavaddat.

    You’re right.

    This part is especially clear:
    “he just believes what the Bah??’? Faith teaches, and he will defend it with any argument that is available to him, irrespective of whether he contradicts his earlier argument with another newer argument. This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…”

    It is especially frustrating to counter this particular “argument” of cultural relativism when the Baha’i Faith (and it’s institutions) claim to speak for, and provide for “all of humankind.” They can’t have it both ways.

    And of course, the next inconsistent spoke on the wheel of apologetics is to switch positions and assert that Baha’i institutions are “primarly responsible to that [Divine] will, not to the constituency which elected them.” So, they can do whatever they want, and no people on the earth have a right to disagree with or oppose them, outside or inside the Faith.

    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Amanda

  • farhan

    Amanda,

    you write:
    “I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an “outsider.” I think that’s ALL it is.”

    I am sorry that you feel I am here just to persecute you. This is not the case. I have some 20 years of expeience exchanging on internet. Addressing opinions is enriching, presumtion on what people are, trying to judge what they want to do is abortive. Most often we are projecting our own emotions.

    As you see, I am interested in what people express and believe, what they live, and specially what handicaps they have weathered in their spiritual paths.

    This injunction of Shoghi Effendi is important to me:

    To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Baha’u’llah’s stupendous Revelation must … remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavour of each one of its loyal adherents.
    Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u’llah, p 100

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Amanda,

    you write:
    “I think this is yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an “outsider.” I think that’s ALL it is.”

    I am sorry that you feel I am here just to persecute you. This is not the case. I have some 20 years of expeience exchanging on internet. Addressing opinions is enriching, presumtion on what people are, trying to judge what they want to do is abortive. Most often we are projecting our own emotions.

    As you see, I am interested in what people express and believe, what they live, and specially what handicaps they have weathered in their spiritual paths.

    This injunction of Shoghi Effendi is important to me:

    To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Baha’u’llah’s stupendous Revelation must … remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavour of each one of its loyal adherents.
    Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u’llah, p 100

  • farhan

    Mavaddat,
    Thanks for explaining my point perfectly.

    This is a major question to me after having lived with populations in developping countries. You have correctly addressed my opinions.

    You also write:
    “This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…[/quote]”

    Well here I disagree with your diagnosis. In French we call that a “proc?s d’intention” You are wrongly presuming my sentiments and intentions here. You are again misjudging me, and this is a projection of your own sentiments and intents.

    I have nothing to prove to anyone here. Hearing what obstacles you have had to overcome in your spiritual experience, whether by the immature behaviours of fellow Baha’is or of imperfect institutions, your understanding of the writings you are well versed in is precious to me. I have no mandate to save your soul or to prove anything to any one here.

    The ideas I read here sometimes confirm mine, sometimes challenge them, obliging me to further research, and for this I am thankful to Baquia.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Mavaddat,
    Thanks for explaining my point perfectly.

    This is a major question to me after having lived with populations in developping countries. You have correctly addressed my opinions.

    You also write:
    “This is, in sum, the depth of intellectual dishonesty that we are supposed to deal with…[/quote]”

    Well here I disagree with your diagnosis. In French we call that a “proc?s d’intention” You are wrongly presuming my sentiments and intentions here. You are again misjudging me, and this is a projection of your own sentiments and intents.

    I have nothing to prove to anyone here. Hearing what obstacles you have had to overcome in your spiritual experience, whether by the immature behaviours of fellow Baha’is or of imperfect institutions, your understanding of the writings you are well versed in is precious to me. I have no mandate to save your soul or to prove anything to any one here.

    The ideas I read here sometimes confirm mine, sometimes challenge them, obliging me to further research, and for this I am thankful to Baquia.

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="4"]I am sorry that you feel I am here just to persecute you. This is not the case. I have some 20 years of expeience [sic] exchanging on internet.[/quote]
    What in the Valley of Wonderment are you talking about, Farhan?! Persecute? Who said anything about being persecuted? Did you even read what she wrote? Seriously man, take a second to think. Think! You told her she doesn’t have a right to comment on other people’s condemnation homosexuality. She is saying she does have a right. She never anywhere said she was being persecuted. Seriously, Farhan. How could you become a doctor without thinking? Is medicine really nothing more than memorization?

    And what’s this about 20 years on the Internet? Even if you had been around that long (the Internet did not have a public face until 1992 at the earliest), that doesn’t at all mean you have been communicating effectively. For all we know, you’ve been driving people insane with your inchoate meandering thoughts for almost two decades!

    It is clear, in any case, that you cannot keep a straight argument on this forum (or any other that I have seen you on). You never stay on topic, you always misinterpret, forget or ignore counter arguments, and you always repeat the same argument over-and-over again even after it has been killed, cooked, and served to you for dinner night after night.

    It’s getting old, Farhan. Time for you to retire, my man. “20 years on the Internet” was enough.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="4"]I am sorry that you feel I am here just to persecute you. This is not the case. I have some 20 years of expeience [sic] exchanging on internet.[/quote]
    What in the Valley of Wonderment are you talking about, Farhan?! Persecute? Who said anything about being persecuted? Did you even read what she wrote? Seriously man, take a second to think. Think! You told her she doesn’t have a right to comment on other people’s condemnation homosexuality. She is saying she does have a right. She never anywhere said she was being persecuted. Seriously, Farhan. How could you become a doctor without thinking? Is medicine really nothing more than memorization?

    And what’s this about 20 years on the Internet? Even if you had been around that long (the Internet did not have a public face until 1992 at the earliest), that doesn’t at all mean you have been communicating effectively. For all we know, you’ve been driving people insane with your inchoate meandering thoughts for almost two decades!

    It is clear, in any case, that you cannot keep a straight argument on this forum (or any other that I have seen you on). You never stay on topic, you always misinterpret, forget or ignore counter arguments, and you always repeat the same argument over-and-over again even after it has been killed, cooked, and served to you for dinner night after night.

    It’s getting old, Farhan. Time for you to retire, my man. “20 years on the Internet” was enough.

  • farhan

    Amanda,
    you quote Mavaddat saying:
    “It is especially frustrating to counter this particular “argument” of cultural relativism when the Baha’i Faith (and it’s institutions) claim to speak for, and provide for “all of humankind.” They can’t have it both ways.”

    “They” cant have it both ways defines a clash between two groups, and nt between opinions.

    As a Baha’i I offer whatever I sincerely feel is precious to humanity. It is up to the hearer to accept or to reject. If they accept we will work together, if not, they do things their way and I my way and in time we will compare results and see who had the best idea.

    There is no “us” vs “them” issue. The Baha’is offer a concept of spiritual life that guides the physical one. This idea appeals to a minority of people who are attempting to put it into practice. If it works, others will be tempted to adopt these ideas, ans perhaps in a few centuries, even states will adopt the ideas. If not these ideas will disappear and whatever suggestions others are putting forth will prevail. This is Pascal’s bet.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Amanda,
    you quote Mavaddat saying:
    “It is especially frustrating to counter this particular “argument” of cultural relativism when the Baha’i Faith (and it’s institutions) claim to speak for, and provide for “all of humankind.” They can’t have it both ways.”

    “They” cant have it both ways defines a clash between two groups, and nt between opinions.

    As a Baha’i I offer whatever I sincerely feel is precious to humanity. It is up to the hearer to accept or to reject. If they accept we will work together, if not, they do things their way and I my way and in time we will compare results and see who had the best idea.

    There is no “us” vs “them” issue. The Baha’is offer a concept of spiritual life that guides the physical one. This idea appeals to a minority of people who are attempting to put it into practice. If it works, others will be tempted to adopt these ideas, ans perhaps in a few centuries, even states will adopt the ideas. If not these ideas will disappear and whatever suggestions others are putting forth will prevail. This is Pascal’s bet.

  • Bird out of the Cage

    I wonder if you folks sleep? I think we need a new topic. This one is ready for bed. LOL

    Bird

  • Bird out of the Cage

    I wonder if you folks sleep? I think we need a new topic. This one is ready for bed. LOL

    Bird

  • Anonymous

    [quote post="4"]Mavaddat,
    Thanks for explaining my point perfectly.[/quote]
    *Smacks forehead*

    Hey Farhan, I found this video of you as a Black Knight on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    [quote post="4"]Mavaddat,
    Thanks for explaining my point perfectly.[/quote]
    *Smacks forehead*

    Hey Farhan, I found this video of you as a Black Knight on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Mavaddat-

    Pretty funny and so appropriate for the topic…

  • Bird out of the Cage

    Mavaddat-

    Pretty funny and so appropriate for the topic…

  • farhan

    On gender violence in Tahiti, here is a new book by a collegue of mine on how a traditionally gender violent society has been labelled as a matriarchal society:

    Dr Patrick Cerf
    “La domination des femmes ? Tahiti.
    Des violences envers les femmes au discours du matriarcat”
    editor: Au Vent des ?les

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    On gender violence in Tahiti, here is a new book by a collegue of mine on how a traditionally gender violent society has been labelled as a matriarchal society:

    Dr Patrick Cerf
    “La domination des femmes ? Tahiti.
    Des violences envers les femmes au discours du matriarcat”
    editor: Au Vent des ?les

  • farhan

    Mavaddat, when Amanda feels that my comments only aim at: ? yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an ?outsider.? I think that’s ALL it is.?

    This means that she feels my presence here only to “discredit her ideas and label her as an outcast”. I call this feeling persecuted by me. My aim was to discuss on what basis a society decides what is right or wrong: on what people want, or on the basis of “what is good for them”, and in that case, who can decide what is good for us? I didnt see the issue of homosexuality anywhere in the debate.

    You write:
    “(the Internet did not have a public face until 1992 at the earliest)”

    I started E Mail on Compuserve in 1987 or 1988 and listserver discussions in Ethics around 1990, before the WWW started.

    I am pointing out to the fact that useful exchanges are on ideas and not on how we judge people who hold those ideas. Calling each other names or presuming what people might be is often unfounded and a simple projection of our own emotions, as very often we know little about our correspondants.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Mavaddat, when Amanda feels that my comments only aim at: ? yet another way to try to discredit my opinion by labeling me as an ?outsider.? I think that’s ALL it is.?

    This means that she feels my presence here only to “discredit her ideas and label her as an outcast”. I call this feeling persecuted by me. My aim was to discuss on what basis a society decides what is right or wrong: on what people want, or on the basis of “what is good for them”, and in that case, who can decide what is good for us? I didnt see the issue of homosexuality anywhere in the debate.

    You write:
    “(the Internet did not have a public face until 1992 at the earliest)”

    I started E Mail on Compuserve in 1987 or 1988 and listserver discussions in Ethics around 1990, before the WWW started.

    I am pointing out to the fact that useful exchanges are on ideas and not on how we judge people who hold those ideas. Calling each other names or presuming what people might be is often unfounded and a simple projection of our own emotions, as very often we know little about our correspondants.

  • Michael Zargarov

    Remember Mildred Mottahedeh…a famed baha’i from New York?
    She was a great friend of mine.
    When I “came out” to her in the early 1990s, she confided something precious to me.
    She had been a witness at the wedding of Shoghi Rabbani and Mary Maxwell. She remained a close friend of the first Guardian’s widow til her death.
    Mildred wanted me to know that I was not struggling alone: That Shoghi Effendi was also a Homosexual, as was Ruhiyyih. They married so that they wouldn’t act out their real feelings. They NEVER consummated the marriage. That’s why they had no children, even though ‘Abdul Baha’s Will made it imperative that the first Guardian appoint the second.

    Because Shoghi was himself homosexual, and hated himself for it, he wrote so strongly against it, even though Baha’u’llah never mentioned homosexuality. (He DID mention Paederasty!)

  • Michael Zargarov

    Remember Mildred Mottahedeh…a famed baha’i from New York?
    She was a great friend of mine.
    When I “came out” to her in the early 1990s, she confided something precious to me.
    She had been a witness at the wedding of Shoghi Rabbani and Mary Maxwell. She remained a close friend of the first Guardian’s widow til her death.
    Mildred wanted me to know that I was not struggling alone: That Shoghi Effendi was also a Homosexual, as was Ruhiyyih. They married so that they wouldn’t act out their real feelings. They NEVER consummated the marriage. That’s why they had no children, even though ‘Abdul Baha’s Will made it imperative that the first Guardian appoint the second.

    Because Shoghi was himself homosexual, and hated himself for it, he wrote so strongly against it, even though Baha’u’llah never mentioned homosexuality. (He DID mention Paederasty!)

  • anonymouz

    That is slanderous hearsay.

  • anonymouz

    That is slanderous hearsay.

  • Beth

    [quote comment=""][...] That is slanderous hearsay. [...][/quote]

    It may be hearsay, but it is only slanderous if you consider homosexuality a bad thing, which i personally don’t.

    I have heard this many times, from many places – all supposedly originating from the Mottahedeh family. I personally believe it. It makes complete sense why someone as supposedly intelligent as Shoghi Effendi would make such an admittedly bizarre mistranslation. He himself acknowledges (in the associated notes in the Aqdas) that the word he translated to mean “homosexuality” was actually “pederasty” a term for the sexual slavery of young boys. Since there is obviously a perfectly acceptable english word to use, why expand this term for pedophilia against boys to mean all homosexual acts instead of expanding it, more accurately, to mean all pedophilia?

    Only one reason makes sense to me…

  • Beth

    [quote comment=""][...] That is slanderous hearsay. [...][/quote]

    It may be hearsay, but it is only slanderous if you consider homosexuality a bad thing, which i personally don’t.

    I have heard this many times, from many places – all supposedly originating from the Mottahedeh family. I personally believe it. It makes complete sense why someone as supposedly intelligent as Shoghi Effendi would make such an admittedly bizarre mistranslation. He himself acknowledges (in the associated notes in the Aqdas) that the word he translated to mean “homosexuality” was actually “pederasty” a term for the sexual slavery of young boys. Since there is obviously a perfectly acceptable english word to use, why expand this term for pedophilia against boys to mean all homosexual acts instead of expanding it, more accurately, to mean all pedophilia?

    Only one reason makes sense to me…

  • Anonymouz

    I do not have any qualm with homosexuals or homosexuality, but to say the Guardian was one is pushing it. What proof is there? And please, I cant just accept the words of some person, or the fact that he didn’t have any kids. I read that either she or he were infertile or sterile…not because they were gay. I also read that their intimacy was strained due to his burden. Moreover, if one never manifests their homosexual impulses, nor ever refers to their attractions, then technically the only way to ever make the assumption is to make an assumption.

  • Anonymouz

    I do not have any qualm with homosexuals or homosexuality, but to say the Guardian was one is pushing it. What proof is there? And please, I cant just accept the words of some person, or the fact that he didn’t have any kids. I read that either she or he were infertile or sterile…not because they were gay. I also read that their intimacy was strained due to his burden. Moreover, if one never manifests their homosexual impulses, nor ever refers to their attractions, then technically the only way to ever make the assumption is to make an assumption.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    For me there are several issues here:

    1) The insulting references to homosexuality were not written by Shoghi Effendi, but were letters written on his behalf. It is an important difference and I know in the notes in the Adqas the authors (the UHJ, I guess) do not make this distinction but it doesn’t mean I have to accept this. I can read for myself and see that a letter “written on behalf of” is not the same as “a letter by”. When Shoghi Effendi had something to say, he wrote it, often as a book. He was very articulate so if he wanted to express any view on homosexuality he could have if he wanted to. He didn’t.

    Many many many letters were sent with questions and various secretaries over the years answered these letters. These are the letters referred to as “written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi”. There is a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi which states that there is no age of consent for marriage in the Bahai Writings, for example.

    2) Shoghi Effendi in his behaviour showed no signs of homophobia, as far as I know. I can only relate this to stories I’ve been told of his close friendship with the gay Bahai and artist, Mark Tobey. Mark Tobey lived with his friend for many years and was a member of the LSA of Basel. There is no correspondence to suggest that Shoghi Effendi ever disapproved of Mark Tobey’s lifestyle. So this does not match with the opinions expressed in those letters “written on behalf of…”

    3) Those letters date from a time when people commonly thought that homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing and so I see them as a reflectin of the times and because I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    For me there are several issues here:

    1) The insulting references to homosexuality were not written by Shoghi Effendi, but were letters written on his behalf. It is an important difference and I know in the notes in the Adqas the authors (the UHJ, I guess) do not make this distinction but it doesn’t mean I have to accept this. I can read for myself and see that a letter “written on behalf of” is not the same as “a letter by”. When Shoghi Effendi had something to say, he wrote it, often as a book. He was very articulate so if he wanted to express any view on homosexuality he could have if he wanted to. He didn’t.

    Many many many letters were sent with questions and various secretaries over the years answered these letters. These are the letters referred to as “written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi”. There is a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi which states that there is no age of consent for marriage in the Bahai Writings, for example.

    2) Shoghi Effendi in his behaviour showed no signs of homophobia, as far as I know. I can only relate this to stories I’ve been told of his close friendship with the gay Bahai and artist, Mark Tobey. Mark Tobey lived with his friend for many years and was a member of the LSA of Basel. There is no correspondence to suggest that Shoghi Effendi ever disapproved of Mark Tobey’s lifestyle. So this does not match with the opinions expressed in those letters “written on behalf of…”

    3) Those letters date from a time when people commonly thought that homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing and so I see them as a reflectin of the times and because I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.

  • Andrew

    To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States

    Dear Baha’i friends,

    The Universal House of Justice has considered your letters of August 27, 1993, and September 19, 1994, in which you describe the impact of the changing sexual mores and the public debate on homosexuality of some of the members of the American Baha’i community who are homosexuals.

    We are instructed to provide the following guidance in response to the National Spiritual Assembly’s requests for a clarification of the Baha’i law on homosexual practices and for assistance in guiding the believers.

    It is important to understand that there is a difference between the
    Baha’i attitude toward, on the one hand, the condition of homosexuality and those who are affected by it and, on the other, the practice of homosexual relations by members of the Baha’i community.

    As you know, the Baha’i Faith strongly condemns all blatant acts of
    immorality, and it includes among them the expression of sexual love
    between individuals of the same sex. With regard to homosexual
    practices, Baha’u’llah, in the _Kitab-i-Aqdas_, paragraph 107, and
    Questions and Answers, number 49, forbids paederasty and sodomy. The
    following extract from one of His Tablets reveals the strength of His
    condemnation:

    “Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful. By the righteousness of God! Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth satanic deeds, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue.”

    In a letter dated March 26, 1950, written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi, the authorized interpreter of the Baha’i Teachings, further explicates the Baha’i attitude toward homosexuality. It should be noted that the Guardian’s interpretation of this subject is based on his infallible understanding of the Texts. It represents both a statement of moral principle and unerring guidance to Baha’is who are homosexuals. The letter states:

    “No matter how devoted and fine the love may be between people of the
    same sex, to let it find expression in sexual acts is wrong. To say that it is ideal is no excuse. Immorality of every sort is really forbidden by Baha’u’llah, and homosexual relationships He look upon as such, besides being against nature.

    “To be afflicted this way is a great burden to a conscientious soul. But through the advice and help of doctors, through a strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.”

    It is evident, therefore, that the prohibition against Baha’is engaging in homosexual behavior is an explicit teaching of the Cause. The Universal House of Justice is authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as conditions change, thus providing Baha’i law with an essential element of flexibility, but it cannot abrogate or change any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred Texts. It follows, then, that the House of Justice has no authority to change this clear teaching on homosexual practice.

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    The Universal House of Justice
    Department of the Secretariat
    September 11, 1995

    Sonja wrote:

    “I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.”

    My understanding (please correct me if I am mistaken about this) is that the House of Justice is the highest (and *final*) legitimate authority in the faith community of which you are a member. You may not see these letters as having the same status as scripture, but the House of Justice apparently does. Whether or not Shoghi Effendi was infallible or inerrant on matters of science seems beside the point.

    “Baha’u’llah says that all Baha’is must obey the Universal House of Justice because anything they decide is the Will of God.” (Peter Simple, Kolstoe, Baha’i Teachings, Light for All Regions [Wilmette, IL: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1970], pp. 17-18.)

    “In brief it is sufficient to know that there is a Baha’i Administration which Baha’is must obey.” (http://www.warble.com/Bahai/BasicFacts/basictext.html)

    I don’t see how you can parse the differences, so to speak. The letter is used authoritatively by the House of Justice. Since it is used authoritatively, one must presume that it holds authority.

  • Andrew

    To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States

    Dear Baha’i friends,

    The Universal House of Justice has considered your letters of August 27, 1993, and September 19, 1994, in which you describe the impact of the changing sexual mores and the public debate on homosexuality of some of the members of the American Baha’i community who are homosexuals.

    We are instructed to provide the following guidance in response to the National Spiritual Assembly’s requests for a clarification of the Baha’i law on homosexual practices and for assistance in guiding the believers.

    It is important to understand that there is a difference between the
    Baha’i attitude toward, on the one hand, the condition of homosexuality and those who are affected by it and, on the other, the practice of homosexual relations by members of the Baha’i community.

    As you know, the Baha’i Faith strongly condemns all blatant acts of
    immorality, and it includes among them the expression of sexual love
    between individuals of the same sex. With regard to homosexual
    practices, Baha’u’llah, in the _Kitab-i-Aqdas_, paragraph 107, and
    Questions and Answers, number 49, forbids paederasty and sodomy. The
    following extract from one of His Tablets reveals the strength of His
    condemnation:

    “Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful. By the righteousness of God! Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth satanic deeds, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue.”

    In a letter dated March 26, 1950, written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi, the authorized interpreter of the Baha’i Teachings, further explicates the Baha’i attitude toward homosexuality. It should be noted that the Guardian’s interpretation of this subject is based on his infallible understanding of the Texts. It represents both a statement of moral principle and unerring guidance to Baha’is who are homosexuals. The letter states:

    “No matter how devoted and fine the love may be between people of the
    same sex, to let it find expression in sexual acts is wrong. To say that it is ideal is no excuse. Immorality of every sort is really forbidden by Baha’u’llah, and homosexual relationships He look upon as such, besides being against nature.

    “To be afflicted this way is a great burden to a conscientious soul. But through the advice and help of doctors, through a strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.”

    It is evident, therefore, that the prohibition against Baha’is engaging in homosexual behavior is an explicit teaching of the Cause. The Universal House of Justice is authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as conditions change, thus providing Baha’i law with an essential element of flexibility, but it cannot abrogate or change any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred Texts. It follows, then, that the House of Justice has no authority to change this clear teaching on homosexual practice.

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    The Universal House of Justice
    Department of the Secretariat
    September 11, 1995

    Sonja wrote:

    “I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.”

    My understanding (please correct me if I am mistaken about this) is that the House of Justice is the highest (and *final*) legitimate authority in the faith community of which you are a member. You may not see these letters as having the same status as scripture, but the House of Justice apparently does. Whether or not Shoghi Effendi was infallible or inerrant on matters of science seems beside the point.

    “Baha’u’llah says that all Baha’is must obey the Universal House of Justice because anything they decide is the Will of God.” (Peter Simple, Kolstoe, Baha’i Teachings, Light for All Regions [Wilmette, IL: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1970], pp. 17-18.)

    “In brief it is sufficient to know that there is a Baha’i Administration which Baha’is must obey.” (http://www.warble.com/Bahai/BasicFacts/basictext.html)

    I don’t see how you can parse the differences, so to speak. The letter is used authoritatively by the House of Justice. Since it is used authoritatively, one must presume that it holds authority.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote:
    “Those letters date from a time when people commonly thought that homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing and so I see them as a reflectin of the times and because I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.”

    Sonja, your idea of Shoghi Effendi’s position being in accordance to the needs of His specific time is interesting to me. Pending the election of the UHJ, whose function is to adapt legislation to the needs of each day and age, I also believe that some of Shoghi Effendi’s stands could be perhaps considered as provisional legislation and hence subject to reconsideration by the UHJ.

    This is the case for abortion: to one question Shoghi Effendi replies that abortion is condemned, and to a later question He replies that it is a subject to be considered by the UHJ.

    However, when you say speak about “homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing”, I would like to point out that as a doctor I consider that a person is not held legally or spiritually responsible for a disease, but for a deliberate bad behaviour.

    For example, a person apprehended for exhibitionisme is legally responsible and liable to punishment, but if it is established that this behaviour is due to surgery or medication for parkinson’s disease, that are known to modify secxual behaviour, the person is released and of course submitted to medical attention.

    Andrew wrote:
    ?I don’t see how you can parse the differences, so to speak. The letter is used authoritatively by the House of Justice. Since it is used authoritatively, one must presume that it holds authority.?

    Andrew, this makes sense to me.
    Shoghi effendi interprets the writings, and the UHJ legislates through ?elucidation? for the needs of a given time and age.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sonja wrote:
    “Those letters date from a time when people commonly thought that homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing and so I see them as a reflectin of the times and because I do not see them as having the same status as scripture, I don’t accept them as the final word.”

    Sonja, your idea of Shoghi Effendi’s position being in accordance to the needs of His specific time is interesting to me. Pending the election of the UHJ, whose function is to adapt legislation to the needs of each day and age, I also believe that some of Shoghi Effendi’s stands could be perhaps considered as provisional legislation and hence subject to reconsideration by the UHJ.

    This is the case for abortion: to one question Shoghi Effendi replies that abortion is condemned, and to a later question He replies that it is a subject to be considered by the UHJ.

    However, when you say speak about “homozexuality was an illness or a bad thing”, I would like to point out that as a doctor I consider that a person is not held legally or spiritually responsible for a disease, but for a deliberate bad behaviour.

    For example, a person apprehended for exhibitionisme is legally responsible and liable to punishment, but if it is established that this behaviour is due to surgery or medication for parkinson’s disease, that are known to modify secxual behaviour, the person is released and of course submitted to medical attention.

    Andrew wrote:
    ?I don’t see how you can parse the differences, so to speak. The letter is used authoritatively by the House of Justice. Since it is used authoritatively, one must presume that it holds authority.?

    Andrew, this makes sense to me.
    Shoghi effendi interprets the writings, and the UHJ legislates through ?elucidation? for the needs of a given time and age.

  • Grover

    Oh no, here we go again…..

    Farhan wrote in relation to homosexuality:

    [quote post="4"]that a person is not held legally or spiritually responsible for a disease, but for a deliberate bad behaviour[/quote]

    Well if thats your stance, and the letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi say homosexuality is a disease, therefore homosexuals are not held legally or spiritually responsible for their actions, so whats the big fuss?

    Science and reason come into play here, (Bless old ‘Abdu’l Baha). Not in conformity with science and reason = superstition!

    A disease implies a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms. A homosexual’s biological function is not impaired, they are physically capable of reproducing, they’d just prefer not to mate with the opposite sex.

    From Wikipedia: The American Psychiatric Association has stated that, “to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality. Similarly, no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse.” i.e. not a disease.

    The people I know who are homosexual are no different from anyone else, in some cases, they are more spiritual that heterosexuals. Its just the same as someone liking blondes and another liking brunettes. Explain the cause for that!

    Current Baha’i stance on homosexuality = superstition. There is no scientific or rational evidence that supports it. The UHJ, if its worth its salt, has to take scientific evidence into account.

    Homosexuality happens. Get over it, stop making a fuss! Shall we start saying people who love blondes have a disease? Oh dear, I must be chronically ill!

  • Grover

    Oh no, here we go again…..

    Farhan wrote in relation to homosexuality:

    [quote post="4"]that a person is not held legally or spiritually responsible for a disease, but for a deliberate bad behaviour[/quote]

    Well if thats your stance, and the letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi say homosexuality is a disease, therefore homosexuals are not held legally or spiritually responsible for their actions, so whats the big fuss?

    Science and reason come into play here, (Bless old ‘Abdu’l Baha). Not in conformity with science and reason = superstition!

    A disease implies a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms. A homosexual’s biological function is not impaired, they are physically capable of reproducing, they’d just prefer not to mate with the opposite sex.

    From Wikipedia: The American Psychiatric Association has stated that, “to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality. Similarly, no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse.” i.e. not a disease.

    The people I know who are homosexual are no different from anyone else, in some cases, they are more spiritual that heterosexuals. Its just the same as someone liking blondes and another liking brunettes. Explain the cause for that!

    Current Baha’i stance on homosexuality = superstition. There is no scientific or rational evidence that supports it. The UHJ, if its worth its salt, has to take scientific evidence into account.

    Homosexuality happens. Get over it, stop making a fuss! Shall we start saying people who love blondes have a disease? Oh dear, I must be chronically ill!

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “Well if thats your stance, and the letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi say homosexuality is a disease, therefore homosexuals are not held legally or spiritually responsible for their actions, so whats the big fuss?”

    Grover, I see no fuss, but I am well aware that others are suffering and need to express themselves.

    As I see things today, a disease is an impairment in the expression of the soul in the body, and not an impairment of the soul itself, so for one, homosexuality is not a spiritual disease.

    The causes and manifestations of homosexuality are to me diverse (genetic, biological, acquired, occasionnal, circumstances…), and I see little in common between G and L on one side, and B, T, Q … ,except that they can involve same sex relations. I see no reason why the laws of chastity applying to non gay relations should not apply to gay, and hence unless and untill gay marriages are accepted in the Baha’i Faith, which is rare amongst churches and states, so I can see no change in the Baha’i attitude in the near future, nor will I ever question a decision by the UHJ, whatever the circumstances.

    Besides, what a community is responsible for, is to defend a behaviour that is favorable to it’s wellbeing and development; both excess in restraint and in liberty can harm a community.

    And finally, what goes on in private lives is a matter between that individual and God, and no one’s business as long as it does not have an impact on social life. He alone knows the love for Him in a wounded heart as compared to a proud bigot.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    “Well if thats your stance, and the letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi say homosexuality is a disease, therefore homosexuals are not held legally or spiritually responsible for their actions, so whats the big fuss?”

    Grover, I see no fuss, but I am well aware that others are suffering and need to express themselves.

    As I see things today, a disease is an impairment in the expression of the soul in the body, and not an impairment of the soul itself, so for one, homosexuality is not a spiritual disease.

    The causes and manifestations of homosexuality are to me diverse (genetic, biological, acquired, occasionnal, circumstances…), and I see little in common between G and L on one side, and B, T, Q … ,except that they can involve same sex relations. I see no reason why the laws of chastity applying to non gay relations should not apply to gay, and hence unless and untill gay marriages are accepted in the Baha’i Faith, which is rare amongst churches and states, so I can see no change in the Baha’i attitude in the near future, nor will I ever question a decision by the UHJ, whatever the circumstances.

    Besides, what a community is responsible for, is to defend a behaviour that is favorable to it’s wellbeing and development; both excess in restraint and in liberty can harm a community.

    And finally, what goes on in private lives is a matter between that individual and God, and no one’s business as long as it does not have an impact on social life. He alone knows the love for Him in a wounded heart as compared to a proud bigot.

  • Andrew

    Grover wrote:

    “Current Baha’i stance on homosexuality = superstition. There is no scientific or rational evidence that supports it. The UHJ, if it’s worth its salt, has to take scientific evidence into account.”

    Grover, I really appreciate your ironic sense of humor! This is just too funny!

    “With respect to the Baha’i sense of self and other … as with any religious tradition, there are problems here. Foremost among these are the tradition’s struggle to free its remarkable understandings of revelation and religious progress from lingering gender and sexual discrimination, to embrace fully the findings of science (particularly in its evolutionary modes), and to recognize that intellectual freedom is not a human good that can be surrendered to any religious authority, including Baha’i religious authority.” (Jeffrey Kripal)

    “The ability of future Baha’i leadership to manifest such wisdom will likely determine its future growth both in the United States and worldwide.” (William Garlington)

  • Andrew

    Grover wrote:

    “Current Baha’i stance on homosexuality = superstition. There is no scientific or rational evidence that supports it. The UHJ, if it’s worth its salt, has to take scientific evidence into account.”

    Grover, I really appreciate your ironic sense of humor! This is just too funny!

    “With respect to the Baha’i sense of self and other … as with any religious tradition, there are problems here. Foremost among these are the tradition’s struggle to free its remarkable understandings of revelation and religious progress from lingering gender and sexual discrimination, to embrace fully the findings of science (particularly in its evolutionary modes), and to recognize that intellectual freedom is not a human good that can be surrendered to any religious authority, including Baha’i religious authority.” (Jeffrey Kripal)

    “The ability of future Baha’i leadership to manifest such wisdom will likely determine its future growth both in the United States and worldwide.” (William Garlington)

  • farhan

    Andrew quoted:

    “The ability of future Baha’i leadership to manifest such wisdom will likely determine its future growth both in the United States and worldwide.” (William Garlington)”

    “The ability of the planet to survive it’s programmed auto-destruction depends on its wisdom to turn in time to the prescriptions provided by a loving creator through His Manifestation, Baha’u’llah.” (Farhan Yazdani, 18 June 2008)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Andrew quoted:

    “The ability of future Baha’i leadership to manifest such wisdom will likely determine its future growth both in the United States and worldwide.” (William Garlington)”

    “The ability of the planet to survive it’s programmed auto-destruction depends on its wisdom to turn in time to the prescriptions provided by a loving creator through His Manifestation, Baha’u’llah.” (Farhan Yazdani, 18 June 2008)

  • Andrew

    William Garlington, author of “The Baha’i Faith in America.”

    farhanyazdani, author of “If Only Those People Would Shut the F*** Up and Just Obey: Diary of a Mad Spacemonkey.”

  • Andrew

    William Garlington, author of “The Baha’i Faith in America.”

    farhanyazdani, author of “If Only Those People Would Shut the F*** Up and Just Obey: Diary of a Mad Spacemonkey.”

  • Grover

    This is all too silly Farhan.

    Heres are long list of things that aren’t permitted and current unofficial Baha’i attitude towards them

    Masturbation – no worries
    Heterosexual couples holding hands – don’t bat an eyelid
    Heterosexual couples kissing – no problems
    Heterosexuals having sex – bit racey but ah well
    Baha’is getting pregnant outside of marriage – as long as the kids are raised Bahai

    But the moment a homosexual couple start giving each other calf-eyes, shock horror! Out with the rack! Rampant quotation citing! Outraged Baha’is romping around the place rattling the cages and throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, wisdom of UHJ = prejudices of old men, half of which grew up in a Muslim country well known for its official intolerance to homosexuals.

  • Grover

    This is all too silly Farhan.

    Heres are long list of things that aren’t permitted and current unofficial Baha’i attitude towards them

    Masturbation – no worries
    Heterosexual couples holding hands – don’t bat an eyelid
    Heterosexual couples kissing – no problems
    Heterosexuals having sex – bit racey but ah well
    Baha’is getting pregnant outside of marriage – as long as the kids are raised Bahai

    But the moment a homosexual couple start giving each other calf-eyes, shock horror! Out with the rack! Rampant quotation citing! Outraged Baha’is romping around the place rattling the cages and throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, wisdom of UHJ = prejudices of old men, half of which grew up in a Muslim country well known for its official intolerance to homosexuals.

  • anonymouz

    grover,

    Each one of your statements is incorrect. Would you like me to show you the official guidance?

  • anonymouz

    grover,

    Each one of your statements is incorrect. Would you like me to show you the official guidance?

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    “Heres are long list of things that aren’t permitted and current unofficial Baha’i attitude towards them…”

    Grover, I can well believe that the list you are describing might exist in some communities, but not in the ones I have been in contact with, and in any case, I dont share those values and in my inner being, I consider those holding such values as being less meritorious in the eyes of God than the people they are misjudging.

    But who cares what others think of us? Surely not God who I am sure does not appreciate smug people! We read in Gleanings CXII something that makes us envy the sinners, they for whom God manifests His love :

    “My God, my God! If none be found to stray from Thy path, how, then, can the ensign of Thy mercy be unfurled, or the banner of Thy bountiful favor be hoisted? And if iniquity be not committed, what is it that can proclaim Thee to be the Concealer of men’s sins, the Ever-Forgiving, the Omniscient, the All-Wise? May my soul be a sacrifice to the trespasses of them that trespass against Thee, for upon such trespasses are wafted the sweet savors of the tender mercies of Thy Name, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful. May my life be laid down for the transgressions of such as transgress against Thee, for through them the breath of Thy grace and the fragrance of Thy loving-kindness are made known and diffused amongst men. May my inmost being be offered up for the sins of them that have sinned against Thee, for it is as a result of such sins that the Day Star of Thy manifold favors revealeth itself above the horizon of Thy bounty, and the clouds of Thy never-failing providence rain down their gifts upon the realities of all created things.”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    “Heres are long list of things that aren’t permitted and current unofficial Baha’i attitude towards them…”

    Grover, I can well believe that the list you are describing might exist in some communities, but not in the ones I have been in contact with, and in any case, I dont share those values and in my inner being, I consider those holding such values as being less meritorious in the eyes of God than the people they are misjudging.

    But who cares what others think of us? Surely not God who I am sure does not appreciate smug people! We read in Gleanings CXII something that makes us envy the sinners, they for whom God manifests His love :

    “My God, my God! If none be found to stray from Thy path, how, then, can the ensign of Thy mercy be unfurled, or the banner of Thy bountiful favor be hoisted? And if iniquity be not committed, what is it that can proclaim Thee to be the Concealer of men’s sins, the Ever-Forgiving, the Omniscient, the All-Wise? May my soul be a sacrifice to the trespasses of them that trespass against Thee, for upon such trespasses are wafted the sweet savors of the tender mercies of Thy Name, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful. May my life be laid down for the transgressions of such as transgress against Thee, for through them the breath of Thy grace and the fragrance of Thy loving-kindness are made known and diffused amongst men. May my inmost being be offered up for the sins of them that have sinned against Thee, for it is as a result of such sins that the Day Star of Thy manifold favors revealeth itself above the horizon of Thy bounty, and the clouds of Thy never-failing providence rain down their gifts upon the realities of all created things.”

  • Andrew

    Please ignore the previous comment erroneously attributed to me.

    It was written on my behalf by one of my secretaries: a highly intelligent Bonobo chimpanzee named Bonzo Bahai. It was sent without my approval and does not carry any scriptural authority whatsoever.

    Bonobo males frequently engage in various forms of male-male genital sex. This should not be misconstrued to imply that such activities carry any sort of divine sanction. Bonobes are essentially ethereal creatures for whom any kind of allegedly homosexual activity is simply an expression of their desire to transcend the acts they routinely engage in. Bonzo Bahai is particularly adept at such acts of transgressive transcendence. He also likes to eat bananas and grapes.

    Again, my apologies for any misunderstandings.

  • Andrew

    Please ignore the previous comment erroneously attributed to me.

    It was written on my behalf by one of my secretaries: a highly intelligent Bonobo chimpanzee named Bonzo Bahai. It was sent without my approval and does not carry any scriptural authority whatsoever.

    Bonobo males frequently engage in various forms of male-male genital sex. This should not be misconstrued to imply that such activities carry any sort of divine sanction. Bonobes are essentially ethereal creatures for whom any kind of allegedly homosexual activity is simply an expression of their desire to transcend the acts they routinely engage in. Bonzo Bahai is particularly adept at such acts of transgressive transcendence. He also likes to eat bananas and grapes.

    Again, my apologies for any misunderstandings.

  • Grover

    Good grief Anonymouz and Farhan, I don’t know what planet you guys live on. Sounds ideal.

    Regarding my statements being incorrect Anonymouz, did you read what I said?

    [quote post="4"]Heres are long list of things that AREN’T permitted[/quote]

    I think you must be only 13 years old. Didn’t you notice the AREN’T? I know you have great difficulty with basic comprehension and reading simple sentences, hence the reason why you love Ruhi.

    I know full well the writings regarding all those fun activities naughty Baha’is love to engage in outside of wedlock (read Chaste and Holy Life, a compilation by the UHJ; Lights of Guidance). I’d happily ram that guidance up your rear end if you were to present it to me, but thats sodomy, and seeing as you are only 13 years old, pedastry as well. Tarnation! Thats something else I’d better confess to when I bring myself to account tonight. I’ll never get any sleep. Oh its a hard life being a Baha’i!

  • Grover

    Good grief Anonymouz and Farhan, I don’t know what planet you guys live on. Sounds ideal.

    Regarding my statements being incorrect Anonymouz, did you read what I said?

    [quote post="4"]Heres are long list of things that AREN’T permitted[/quote]

    I think you must be only 13 years old. Didn’t you notice the AREN’T? I know you have great difficulty with basic comprehension and reading simple sentences, hence the reason why you love Ruhi.

    I know full well the writings regarding all those fun activities naughty Baha’is love to engage in outside of wedlock (read Chaste and Holy Life, a compilation by the UHJ; Lights of Guidance). I’d happily ram that guidance up your rear end if you were to present it to me, but thats sodomy, and seeing as you are only 13 years old, pedastry as well. Tarnation! Thats something else I’d better confess to when I bring myself to account tonight. I’ll never get any sleep. Oh its a hard life being a Baha’i!

  • Anonymouz

    Get grover an award for sarcasm.

    Hey try this. Admit you don’t know everything and maybe you are wrong about some of the things you say.

    Here I go…You’re right, I miss-read.

  • Anonymouz

    Get grover an award for sarcasm.

    Hey try this. Admit you don’t know everything and maybe you are wrong about some of the things you say.

    Here I go…You’re right, I miss-read.

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]Get grover an award for sarcasm.[/quote]

    Well I must confess Anonymouz, you and Farhan do provide a lot of inspiration, so I can’t claim all the credit.

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]Get grover an award for sarcasm.[/quote]

    Well I must confess Anonymouz, you and Farhan do provide a lot of inspiration, so I can’t claim all the credit.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Response to Andrew’s post from June 17th

    My understanding (please correct me if I am mistaken about this) is that the House of Justice is the highest (and *final*) legitimate authority in the faith community of which you are a member.

    There are 2 issues here:
    the how “final” is interpreted and what “obedience” means in relation to the Bahai Admin.

    in the letter Andrew quoted from the UHJ from 1995, they state:

    The Universal House of Justice is authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as conditions change, thus providing Baha’i law with an essential element of flexibility,

    That’s my position and what I meant when I wrote that as I see it the views in those letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi are not the final word on Bahais who are Gay. I stated this in my posting that I’m using the Bahai principle of independent investigation, and applying my understanding based on this, even if, as the letter continues:

    but it cannot abrogate or change any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred Texts. It follows, then, that the House of Justice has no authority to change this clear teaching on homosexual practice.

    It seems from the letter that the position of the UHJ at the time and most likely still in 2008 is that they interprete this as being an interpretation from the Bahai Writings, basing their argumentation on letters written by a secretary on behalf of Shoghi Effendi.
    Perhaps there is something somewhere penned by Baha’u’llah or Abdu’l-Baha that confirms this. Perhaps there is something somewhere penned by Shoghi Effendi himself?
    I think this is unlikely otherwise their reasoning would not be based on letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. As I see it, there is room for a future UHJ to rule on this. And because a past or present one doesn’t, doesn’t imply that I as a Bahai, need to put on blinkers when it comes to examining the Bahai Writings. I can still obey and question. Still obey and debate. Still obey and agitate for change. If not, how is change to occur?
    If I don’t, then it means I do not have the faith to believe that the Bahai Writings are really for all. Really are revelation. Really can handle any question anyone might have.

    Now this word “obey”.

    ?Baha’u’llah says that all Baha’is must obey the Universal House of Justice because anything they decide is the Will of God.? Quoted as being written by Peter Semple

    The above is a paraphasing (and narrowing in interpreation in my view) of the Will and Testament by Abdul-Baha, which Shoghi Effendi in his role as authorative interpretator wrote a long letter (“The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah”) elaborating on this to illustrate that obedience (my interpretation, here) involves engagement akin to the engagement we expect in society at large, not blindness nor an absence of civil discourse.

    Here I quote from Shoghi Effendi:
    “It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Bah??’u’ll??h should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that
    divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is
    equipped with its own attendant institutions — instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, **within the limitations imposed upon it,** its powers, its authority, its rights and prerogatives.

    (in Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 147)

    So it is a bit like a constitutional system. We all are obliged to obey our governments but we can still question, still disagree and still be loyal.
    Because the Guardian, not the UHJ, is responsible for the area of doctrine and the interpretation of the teachings, the rules which the UHJ lays down at a particular time are not “Bahai teachings.” They are just the rules for the present. They may even be against the Bahai teachings, because the Guardian writes:

    “the Guardian of the Faith … can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s revealed utterances.”

    So there is no guarantee that what the UHJ decides will be in accordance with the meaning and spirit of the Scriptures. It has to make its rulings in the light of what it thinks Baha’u’llah intended, but it may be wrong about this. Nevertheless, its rulings must be obeyed, even if wrong. If the Guardian could not overrule a majority vote by the UHJ that *he* felt was wrong, then nobody else does either. We can still say that it is wrong, and hope that it will be
    changed.

    And finally, if anyone is -still- reading this and still thinks that what the UHJ writes is scripture.

    “The divinely inspired legislation of the House of Justice does not attempt to say what the revealed Word means — it **states what must be done** in cases where the revealed Text or its authoritative interpretation is not explicit. It is, therefore, on quite a different level from the sacred Text, and the Universal House of Justice is empowered to abrogate or amend its own legislation whenever it judges the conditions make this desirable.”
    (The Universal House of Justice, 1994 Dec 15, Elucidations of the House of
    Justice)

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Response to Andrew’s post from June 17th

    My understanding (please correct me if I am mistaken about this) is that the House of Justice is the highest (and *final*) legitimate authority in the faith community of which you are a member.

    There are 2 issues here:
    the how “final” is interpreted and what “obedience” means in relation to the Bahai Admin.

    in the letter Andrew quoted from the UHJ from 1995, they state:

    The Universal House of Justice is authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as conditions change, thus providing Baha’i law with an essential element of flexibility,

    That’s my position and what I meant when I wrote that as I see it the views in those letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi are not the final word on Bahais who are Gay. I stated this in my posting that I’m using the Bahai principle of independent investigation, and applying my understanding based on this, even if, as the letter continues:

    but it cannot abrogate or change any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred Texts. It follows, then, that the House of Justice has no authority to change this clear teaching on homosexual practice.

    It seems from the letter that the position of the UHJ at the time and most likely still in 2008 is that they interprete this as being an interpretation from the Bahai Writings, basing their argumentation on letters written by a secretary on behalf of Shoghi Effendi.
    Perhaps there is something somewhere penned by Baha’u’llah or Abdu’l-Baha that confirms this. Perhaps there is something somewhere penned by Shoghi Effendi himself?
    I think this is unlikely otherwise their reasoning would not be based on letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. As I see it, there is room for a future UHJ to rule on this. And because a past or present one doesn’t, doesn’t imply that I as a Bahai, need to put on blinkers when it comes to examining the Bahai Writings. I can still obey and question. Still obey and debate. Still obey and agitate for change. If not, how is change to occur?
    If I don’t, then it means I do not have the faith to believe that the Bahai Writings are really for all. Really are revelation. Really can handle any question anyone might have.

    Now this word “obey”.

    ?Baha’u’llah says that all Baha’is must obey the Universal House of Justice because anything they decide is the Will of God.? Quoted as being written by Peter Semple

    The above is a paraphasing (and narrowing in interpreation in my view) of the Will and Testament by Abdul-Baha, which Shoghi Effendi in his role as authorative interpretator wrote a long letter (“The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah”) elaborating on this to illustrate that obedience (my interpretation, here) involves engagement akin to the engagement we expect in society at large, not blindness nor an absence of civil discourse.

    Here I quote from Shoghi Effendi:
    “It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Bah??’u’ll??h should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that
    divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is
    equipped with its own attendant institutions — instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, **within the limitations imposed upon it,** its powers, its authority, its rights and prerogatives.

    (in Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 147)

    So it is a bit like a constitutional system. We all are obliged to obey our governments but we can still question, still disagree and still be loyal.
    Because the Guardian, not the UHJ, is responsible for the area of doctrine and the interpretation of the teachings, the rules which the UHJ lays down at a particular time are not “Bahai teachings.” They are just the rules for the present. They may even be against the Bahai teachings, because the Guardian writes:

    “the Guardian of the Faith … can never, even temporarily, assume the right of exclusive legislation. He cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members, but is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s revealed utterances.”

    So there is no guarantee that what the UHJ decides will be in accordance with the meaning and spirit of the Scriptures. It has to make its rulings in the light of what it thinks Baha’u’llah intended, but it may be wrong about this. Nevertheless, its rulings must be obeyed, even if wrong. If the Guardian could not overrule a majority vote by the UHJ that *he* felt was wrong, then nobody else does either. We can still say that it is wrong, and hope that it will be
    changed.

    And finally, if anyone is -still- reading this and still thinks that what the UHJ writes is scripture.

    “The divinely inspired legislation of the House of Justice does not attempt to say what the revealed Word means — it **states what must be done** in cases where the revealed Text or its authoritative interpretation is not explicit. It is, therefore, on quite a different level from the sacred Text, and the Universal House of Justice is empowered to abrogate or amend its own legislation whenever it judges the conditions make this desirable.”
    (The Universal House of Justice, 1994 Dec 15, Elucidations of the House of
    Justice)

  • Andrew

    Thank you, Sonja, for your reasoned and lucid response.

    I particularly like your interpretation of obedience as *engagement* (just as I prefer the interpretation of fear of God as *respect for* God). Unfortunately it seems as if many (if not most?) Baha’i do not appear to share your latitudinarian views.

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which….has been invariably upheld by the Law of God…Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.” (S.E.)

    Mutilated, deprived, imperiled, endangered, completely lacking, and totally withdrawn. Now, where are the Baha’i literalists when one needs them? Apparently more concerned over the literal interpretation of Shoghi Effendi’s writings on homosexuality than over the literal interpretation of his writings on the Guardianship. Another triumph for selection bias.

  • Andrew

    Thank you, Sonja, for your reasoned and lucid response.

    I particularly like your interpretation of obedience as *engagement* (just as I prefer the interpretation of fear of God as *respect for* God). Unfortunately it seems as if many (if not most?) Baha’i do not appear to share your latitudinarian views.

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which….has been invariably upheld by the Law of God…Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.” (S.E.)

    Mutilated, deprived, imperiled, endangered, completely lacking, and totally withdrawn. Now, where are the Baha’i literalists when one needs them? Apparently more concerned over the literal interpretation of Shoghi Effendi’s writings on homosexuality than over the literal interpretation of his writings on the Guardianship. Another triumph for selection bias.

  • Andrew

    The World is an Unkind Place for Gay Refugees

    by Hossein Alizadeh

    Just two years ago, Arash and Javad (not their real names), two young Iranian men were building their future together. Arash was pursuing a successful career in Iran’s financial sector and Javad was a university student in Tehran. Now the men live in abject poverty in a remote area of Turkey. They have no income and are frequently forced to scavenge for food in their neighbors’ trashcans. Javad, a diabetic, needs regular monitoring and medication, which he cannot afford. His health has deteriorated to the point where he regularly suffers diabetic comas.

    How did two young, upwardly mobile Iranians end up in such dire circumstances? The answer to this question is simple. Arash and Javad are gay men forced to flee their country as refugees. According to the Iranian penal code, homosexual conduct is a crime that is punishable by death.

    Arash and Javad met in 2005 and conducted their relationship in secrecy for over a year. But late in 2006, Javad’s father caught them in an intimate act. Incensed at being dishonored, the ultra-religious man locked his son and his partner in the bedroom and rushed to the kitchen to get a knife, intending to kill them on the spot. Arash and Javad managed to escape through a window but knew that if they stayed in Iran either the mob or the morality police would soon catch up with them. Left with no choice, they fled to neighboring Turkey and applied for refugee status.

    According to UN statistics, there are currently over 21,000 refugees in Turkey, 2,500 of whom are from Iran. Turkey is the preferred destination for many Iranian refugees because they do not have to get entry visas. However, once gay refugees arrive in Turkey, the situation is bleak. Due to the volume of applications, it normally takes up to two years for them to be reassigned to a country willing to accept them. During the transitional period, gay refugees are only allowed to live in small towns, without the right to work or pursue education. While the UN Refugee Agency may provide some financial aid, the amount is nominal and before they are eligible they must be recognized as “genuine” refugees. This is a process with results that are not guaranteed.

    Arash and Javad have been interviewed twice by the UN Refugee Agency since their arrival in Turkey in December 2006. So far they have not been recognized as refugees, and therefore they are not eligible for any financial or medical aid.

    This can lead to destitution for gay refugees, like Arash and Javad, who are forced to leave their country to escape persecution and death. Unlike other refugees, who travel in groups and enjoy various degrees of support from their family, church, or party members, gay and lesbian refugees are often disowned by their family members, have no support network, and in most cases do not have enough resources to survive the resettlement process.

    The situation of gay refugees is complicated because the Turkish public and law enforcement agents are very hostile to sexual minorities, despite the fact that homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey. In recent years, many gay and lesbian refugees have been subject to verbal and physical attacks. As a consequence, they are often forced to remain indoors during the day for their own safety, and venture outside only at night, under cover of dark, when they are less likely to be recognized as foreign and can more readily hide their sexual orientation.

    Tragically, there is no organization that attends to the needs of gay and lesbian refugees worldwide. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, along with a few human rights and resettlement agencies, tries to respond to the refugee crisis but the overwhelming volume of cases makes it impossible to do without large-scale intervention. The US government currently spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to resettle religious and ethnic minorities who are persecuted in their home countries. Isn’t it time for our government to show some interest in protecting this vulnerable population, too?

    Hossein Alizadeh, a gay Iranian who won asylum in the United States, is Communications Coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

    The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is a leading human rights organization solely devoted to improving the rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment, abuse or death because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status. IGLHRC addresses human rights violations by partnering with and supporting activists in countries around the world, monitoring and documenting human rights abuses, engaging offending governments, and educating international human rights officials. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, IGLHRC is based in New York, with offices in Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Visit http://www.iglhrc.org for more information

  • Andrew

    The World is an Unkind Place for Gay Refugees

    by Hossein Alizadeh

    Just two years ago, Arash and Javad (not their real names), two young Iranian men were building their future together. Arash was pursuing a successful career in Iran’s financial sector and Javad was a university student in Tehran. Now the men live in abject poverty in a remote area of Turkey. They have no income and are frequently forced to scavenge for food in their neighbors’ trashcans. Javad, a diabetic, needs regular monitoring and medication, which he cannot afford. His health has deteriorated to the point where he regularly suffers diabetic comas.

    How did two young, upwardly mobile Iranians end up in such dire circumstances? The answer to this question is simple. Arash and Javad are gay men forced to flee their country as refugees. According to the Iranian penal code, homosexual conduct is a crime that is punishable by death.

    Arash and Javad met in 2005 and conducted their relationship in secrecy for over a year. But late in 2006, Javad’s father caught them in an intimate act. Incensed at being dishonored, the ultra-religious man locked his son and his partner in the bedroom and rushed to the kitchen to get a knife, intending to kill them on the spot. Arash and Javad managed to escape through a window but knew that if they stayed in Iran either the mob or the morality police would soon catch up with them. Left with no choice, they fled to neighboring Turkey and applied for refugee status.

    According to UN statistics, there are currently over 21,000 refugees in Turkey, 2,500 of whom are from Iran. Turkey is the preferred destination for many Iranian refugees because they do not have to get entry visas. However, once gay refugees arrive in Turkey, the situation is bleak. Due to the volume of applications, it normally takes up to two years for them to be reassigned to a country willing to accept them. During the transitional period, gay refugees are only allowed to live in small towns, without the right to work or pursue education. While the UN Refugee Agency may provide some financial aid, the amount is nominal and before they are eligible they must be recognized as “genuine” refugees. This is a process with results that are not guaranteed.

    Arash and Javad have been interviewed twice by the UN Refugee Agency since their arrival in Turkey in December 2006. So far they have not been recognized as refugees, and therefore they are not eligible for any financial or medical aid.

    This can lead to destitution for gay refugees, like Arash and Javad, who are forced to leave their country to escape persecution and death. Unlike other refugees, who travel in groups and enjoy various degrees of support from their family, church, or party members, gay and lesbian refugees are often disowned by their family members, have no support network, and in most cases do not have enough resources to survive the resettlement process.

    The situation of gay refugees is complicated because the Turkish public and law enforcement agents are very hostile to sexual minorities, despite the fact that homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey. In recent years, many gay and lesbian refugees have been subject to verbal and physical attacks. As a consequence, they are often forced to remain indoors during the day for their own safety, and venture outside only at night, under cover of dark, when they are less likely to be recognized as foreign and can more readily hide their sexual orientation.

    Tragically, there is no organization that attends to the needs of gay and lesbian refugees worldwide. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, along with a few human rights and resettlement agencies, tries to respond to the refugee crisis but the overwhelming volume of cases makes it impossible to do without large-scale intervention. The US government currently spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to resettle religious and ethnic minorities who are persecuted in their home countries. Isn’t it time for our government to show some interest in protecting this vulnerable population, too?

    Hossein Alizadeh, a gay Iranian who won asylum in the United States, is Communications Coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

    The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is a leading human rights organization solely devoted to improving the rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment, abuse or death because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status. IGLHRC addresses human rights violations by partnering with and supporting activists in countries around the world, monitoring and documenting human rights abuses, engaging offending governments, and educating international human rights officials. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, IGLHRC is based in New York, with offices in Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Visit http://www.iglhrc.org for more information

  • farhan

    Andrew wrote:
    « I particularly like your interpretation of obedience as *engagement* (just as I prefer the interpretation of fear of God as *respect for* God). »

    Andrew, I agree with your understanding but with some reserve: obedience and engagement go together in Faith, just as obedience to a doctor depends on your trust for him and only concern those who seek his guidance, unless medical data becomes part of adopted laws such as vaccination, declaring contagious diseases, etc.

    Hence, love, respect and fear all join in our spiritual engagement. There is a fear of losing we love, and also the fear of the consequences of our acts.

    Someone questioned SE on the strong words Baha’u’llah sometimes uses, and SE showed surprise as to how the person could ever imagine those words applying to His loved ones. Those strong words address tyrants and not the humble loving believers.

    It is obvious that we should all follow God’s laws out of love, but we have to be conscious that many perverse or immature individuals will only behave if they are subjected to fear of punishment. We start learning music fearing the teacher; we should end up doing music out of love.

    As to your much quoted passage on the guardianship, we can consider the institution being established, the process of interpretation having now ended but the results of which provide stability and guidance for the UHJ with an uninterrupted view over a series of generations; the elucidations of the UHJ use those interpretations in order to legislate with elasticity according to the needs of each day and age.

    I understand this ?elucidation? as the practical applications of laws that are registered in law-books, the laws themselves being much more permanent than the elucidations or enactments in specific circumstances.

    It also seems obvious to me that if the interpretations of SE were considered as unfailing, a future guardian would not have been able to alter those interpretations but only provide interpretations on un-interpreted writings. At most, a guardian could request that the UHJ reconsider a decision. We could not imagine a guardian changing His interpretation so as to put pressure on the UHJ in order to change its elucidation and legislation.

    No guardian could have, IMHO, modified the interpretations of SE on the revealed word concerning sexuality, but the UHJ can ?elucidate? and change its own legislation on the attitude that should be adopted towards sexual acts within the community. This is the immutable part of the revelation explained by SE in the WOB p 23:

    « Such is the immutability of His revealed Word. Such is the elasticity which characterizes the functions of His appointed ministers. The first preserves the identity of His Faith, and guards the integrity of His law. The second enables it, even as a living organism, to expand and adapt itself to the needs and requirements of an ever-changing society. »

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Andrew wrote:
    « I particularly like your interpretation of obedience as *engagement* (just as I prefer the interpretation of fear of God as *respect for* God). »

    Andrew, I agree with your understanding but with some reserve: obedience and engagement go together in Faith, just as obedience to a doctor depends on your trust for him and only concern those who seek his guidance, unless medical data becomes part of adopted laws such as vaccination, declaring contagious diseases, etc.

    Hence, love, respect and fear all join in our spiritual engagement. There is a fear of losing we love, and also the fear of the consequences of our acts.

    Someone questioned SE on the strong words Baha’u’llah sometimes uses, and SE showed surprise as to how the person could ever imagine those words applying to His loved ones. Those strong words address tyrants and not the humble loving believers.

    It is obvious that we should all follow God’s laws out of love, but we have to be conscious that many perverse or immature individuals will only behave if they are subjected to fear of punishment. We start learning music fearing the teacher; we should end up doing music out of love.

    As to your much quoted passage on the guardianship, we can consider the institution being established, the process of interpretation having now ended but the results of which provide stability and guidance for the UHJ with an uninterrupted view over a series of generations; the elucidations of the UHJ use those interpretations in order to legislate with elasticity according to the needs of each day and age.

    I understand this ?elucidation? as the practical applications of laws that are registered in law-books, the laws themselves being much more permanent than the elucidations or enactments in specific circumstances.

    It also seems obvious to me that if the interpretations of SE were considered as unfailing, a future guardian would not have been able to alter those interpretations but only provide interpretations on un-interpreted writings. At most, a guardian could request that the UHJ reconsider a decision. We could not imagine a guardian changing His interpretation so as to put pressure on the UHJ in order to change its elucidation and legislation.

    No guardian could have, IMHO, modified the interpretations of SE on the revealed word concerning sexuality, but the UHJ can ?elucidate? and change its own legislation on the attitude that should be adopted towards sexual acts within the community. This is the immutable part of the revelation explained by SE in the WOB p 23:

    « Such is the immutability of His revealed Word. Such is the elasticity which characterizes the functions of His appointed ministers. The first preserves the identity of His Faith, and guards the integrity of His law. The second enables it, even as a living organism, to expand and adapt itself to the needs and requirements of an ever-changing society. »

  • Grover

    Nice, Sonja and Andrew, and Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]?Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which….has been invariably upheld by the Law of God…Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.? (S.E.)[/quote]

    Michael wrote:

    [quote post="4"]That Shoghi Effendi was also a Homosexual, as was Ruhiyyih. They married so that they wouldn’t act out their real feelings. They NEVER consummated the marriage. That’s why they had no children, even though ?Abdul Baha’s Will made it imperative that the first Guardian appoint the second.[/quote]

    You know, surely if Shoghi Effendi was homosexual, given what he wrote above, he would have got Ruhiyyih Khanum pregnant anyway to produce a heir? I know of plenty of homosexuals that have children.

    Infertility must have been the cause for lack of children, but if Ruhiyyih was infertile, would Shoghi Effendi have been within his rights to take a second wife?

    If Shoghi Effendi was infertile, which one can easily test for, wouldn’t he have made it a priority to appoint a future Guardian?

    Even if most of his relatives were CBs, for apparently trivial things as one blogger wrote, and the pool of potential candidates wasn’t large, would Shoghi Effendi have been within his rights to override the Kitab’i’Aqdas and appoint someone who was not a descendent of Baha’u’llah?

    Thats what I find interesting about this whole thing. Why was there no heir? Even if it was as Michael said, surely Shoghi Effendi would have taken one for the team?

  • Grover

    Nice, Sonja and Andrew, and Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]?Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which….has been invariably upheld by the Law of God…Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.? (S.E.)[/quote]

    Michael wrote:

    [quote post="4"]That Shoghi Effendi was also a Homosexual, as was Ruhiyyih. They married so that they wouldn’t act out their real feelings. They NEVER consummated the marriage. That’s why they had no children, even though ?Abdul Baha’s Will made it imperative that the first Guardian appoint the second.[/quote]

    You know, surely if Shoghi Effendi was homosexual, given what he wrote above, he would have got Ruhiyyih Khanum pregnant anyway to produce a heir? I know of plenty of homosexuals that have children.

    Infertility must have been the cause for lack of children, but if Ruhiyyih was infertile, would Shoghi Effendi have been within his rights to take a second wife?

    If Shoghi Effendi was infertile, which one can easily test for, wouldn’t he have made it a priority to appoint a future Guardian?

    Even if most of his relatives were CBs, for apparently trivial things as one blogger wrote, and the pool of potential candidates wasn’t large, would Shoghi Effendi have been within his rights to override the Kitab’i’Aqdas and appoint someone who was not a descendent of Baha’u’llah?

    Thats what I find interesting about this whole thing. Why was there no heir? Even if it was as Michael said, surely Shoghi Effendi would have taken one for the team?

  • Andrew

    Too funny ! The Baha’i are expected to adhere to the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi on homosexuality (not that he ever claimed to be infallible or inerrant on medical or scientific matters) but his “revealed word” on the institution of the Guardianship is subject to interpretation … oh, but of course! :-)

    S.E. on homosexuality: Wrong. Immoral. Against nature. An affliction. A burden. A handicap.

    These constitute the “revealed word” which must be strictly adhered to.

    S.E. on the World Order divorced from the Guardianship: Mutilated. Deprived. Imperiled. Endangered. Completely lacking. Totally withdrawn.

    These constitute the “revealed word” which do not need to be adhered to (strictly or otherwise). After all, that wouldn’t be convenient, would it? And those Baha’i sects that do adhere to the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi on the Guardianship are, well … Covenant breakers, of course!

    Completely unhinged.

    Well, this is enough hilarity for one day. I’m sure others will respond to the effect that, of course, one has misunderstood or misinterpreted the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi about the Guardianship, unlike the clear meaning of his “revealed word” on homosexuality. Which, unlike his “revealed word” on the Guardianship, is not subject to interpretation or obfuscation.

    Blind faith admits of no debate, because it demands an unquestioning, non-evidence-based approach to understanding of the world. Arguments based on reason and evidence are of no avail against such certainty. Despite its claim to promote the harmony of religion and science, Baha’ism is no different in this regard than the Southern Baptists or the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Bonzo Bahai (one of my simian secretaries) says it is all actually quite simple: there are those who view religion as a guide to know God and find kinship in social justice and humanitarian efforts, and there are those who view religion as the manifestation of God’s divine commandments for a wayward world, programmed to auto-destruct.

    Such wisdom. This is why I have appointed Bonzo Bahai as one of the Chimps of the Cause, to be served by the Hands of the Chumps, who will turn over the contents of their hands (and their pockets) to serve the World Order of Bono’baha, the primordial Prophet of the Primates. Those who fail to serve the Chimps of the Cause will be declared Coconut Breakers!

  • Andrew

    Too funny ! The Baha’i are expected to adhere to the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi on homosexuality (not that he ever claimed to be infallible or inerrant on medical or scientific matters) but his “revealed word” on the institution of the Guardianship is subject to interpretation … oh, but of course! :-)

    S.E. on homosexuality: Wrong. Immoral. Against nature. An affliction. A burden. A handicap.

    These constitute the “revealed word” which must be strictly adhered to.

    S.E. on the World Order divorced from the Guardianship: Mutilated. Deprived. Imperiled. Endangered. Completely lacking. Totally withdrawn.

    These constitute the “revealed word” which do not need to be adhered to (strictly or otherwise). After all, that wouldn’t be convenient, would it? And those Baha’i sects that do adhere to the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi on the Guardianship are, well … Covenant breakers, of course!

    Completely unhinged.

    Well, this is enough hilarity for one day. I’m sure others will respond to the effect that, of course, one has misunderstood or misinterpreted the “revealed word” of Shoghi Effendi about the Guardianship, unlike the clear meaning of his “revealed word” on homosexuality. Which, unlike his “revealed word” on the Guardianship, is not subject to interpretation or obfuscation.

    Blind faith admits of no debate, because it demands an unquestioning, non-evidence-based approach to understanding of the world. Arguments based on reason and evidence are of no avail against such certainty. Despite its claim to promote the harmony of religion and science, Baha’ism is no different in this regard than the Southern Baptists or the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Bonzo Bahai (one of my simian secretaries) says it is all actually quite simple: there are those who view religion as a guide to know God and find kinship in social justice and humanitarian efforts, and there are those who view religion as the manifestation of God’s divine commandments for a wayward world, programmed to auto-destruct.

    Such wisdom. This is why I have appointed Bonzo Bahai as one of the Chimps of the Cause, to be served by the Hands of the Chumps, who will turn over the contents of their hands (and their pockets) to serve the World Order of Bono’baha, the primordial Prophet of the Primates. Those who fail to serve the Chimps of the Cause will be declared Coconut Breakers!

  • farhan

    Andrew wrote:
    “Blind faith admits of no debate, because it demands an unquestioning, non-evidence-based approach to understanding of the world. Arguments based on reason and evidence are of no avail against such certainty. ”

    Andrew, Claude Bernard, an outstanding French physiologist whi founded the basis of experimental medicine(1813-1878) wrote about the interactions between science and philosophy; one of his ideas was that science was to seek the path of the unknown, bringing invisible knowledge (inspiration) into reality, and not the other way round.

    We have some objective data which cannot and should not be rejected, but we need belief and inspiration as the premises for this objective data. Faith and debate lead us to the truth, and in seeking this truth we learn more and more and become united in our views.

    Pending this consensus, we have to keep our minds open, but this does not mean that instead of moving into action we have to spend all our time in futile polemics, but only some of our time ;-)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Andrew wrote:
    “Blind faith admits of no debate, because it demands an unquestioning, non-evidence-based approach to understanding of the world. Arguments based on reason and evidence are of no avail against such certainty. ”

    Andrew, Claude Bernard, an outstanding French physiologist whi founded the basis of experimental medicine(1813-1878) wrote about the interactions between science and philosophy; one of his ideas was that science was to seek the path of the unknown, bringing invisible knowledge (inspiration) into reality, and not the other way round.

    We have some objective data which cannot and should not be rejected, but we need belief and inspiration as the premises for this objective data. Faith and debate lead us to the truth, and in seeking this truth we learn more and more and become united in our views.

    Pending this consensus, we have to keep our minds open, but this does not mean that instead of moving into action we have to spend all our time in futile polemics, but only some of our time ;-)

  • Grover

    Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]These constitute the ?revealed word? which do not need to be adhered to (strictly or otherwise). After all, that wouldn’t be convenient, would it? And those Baha’i sects that do adhere to the ?revealed word? of Shoghi Effendi on the Guardianship are, well … Covenant breakers, of course!

    Completely unhinged.[/quote]

    Yes it is all very amusing when you take a step back and think seriously about it all (very dangerous for the faithful to do). I imagine in the future they could make a bloody good drama based on all the antics, contradictions, etc within the Faith.

    The UHJ argues that the institution of the Guardian still continues because S.E. left behind all his commentary, books, etc, which the UHJ refers to for guidance, a virtual Guardianship. My question is how long is that guidance valid for? The world and social conditions are changing and the majority of S.E’s books etc were given in the context of the 1920s to the 1960s. It may be a virtual Guardianship, but it is by no means perpetual. Eventually, S.E.s books will pass their use-by-date so what will the UHJ then do for a “Guardianship”?

  • Grover

    Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]These constitute the ?revealed word? which do not need to be adhered to (strictly or otherwise). After all, that wouldn’t be convenient, would it? And those Baha’i sects that do adhere to the ?revealed word? of Shoghi Effendi on the Guardianship are, well … Covenant breakers, of course!

    Completely unhinged.[/quote]

    Yes it is all very amusing when you take a step back and think seriously about it all (very dangerous for the faithful to do). I imagine in the future they could make a bloody good drama based on all the antics, contradictions, etc within the Faith.

    The UHJ argues that the institution of the Guardian still continues because S.E. left behind all his commentary, books, etc, which the UHJ refers to for guidance, a virtual Guardianship. My question is how long is that guidance valid for? The world and social conditions are changing and the majority of S.E’s books etc were given in the context of the 1920s to the 1960s. It may be a virtual Guardianship, but it is by no means perpetual. Eventually, S.E.s books will pass their use-by-date so what will the UHJ then do for a “Guardianship”?

  • Anonymouz

    Grover,

    Shoghi Effendi left volumes of un-published works…Have you read into any of that?

  • Anonymouz

    Grover,

    Shoghi Effendi left volumes of un-published works…Have you read into any of that?

  • Grover

    Hi Anonymouz, its a bit difficult getting access to unpublished work. Whats your point?

  • Grover

    Hi Anonymouz, its a bit difficult getting access to unpublished work. Whats your point?

  • Anonymouz

    How can we make such statements without having access to all the information….

  • Anonymouz

    How can we make such statements without having access to all the information….

  • Bird

    Grover @ the time frame the Bah?’?’s have used to translate or “approve” publishing of it’s writings, what little is authenticated by non-Bah?’? and is available so far, we will all be dead before anyone one really knows anything.

    In the meantime, happy guessing! ;)

    Much love – Bird

  • Bird

    Grover @ the time frame the Bah?’?’s have used to translate or “approve” publishing of it’s writings, what little is authenticated by non-Bah?’? and is available so far, we will all be dead before anyone one really knows anything.

    In the meantime, happy guessing! ;)

    Much love – Bird

  • Grover

    Haha, yeah Bird, always fun to speculate :)

    “Examinations doth trial the soul for the world’s greatest fool can always ask more than the world’s wisest man can answer.”

  • Grover

    Haha, yeah Bird, always fun to speculate :)

    “Examinations doth trial the soul for the world’s greatest fool can always ask more than the world’s wisest man can answer.”

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Yes, Andrew, you are correct regarding the exchanges of postings here as far as I am concerned.

    I find it very odd, that Shoghi Effendi’s own authorative writing on the grave implications on not having a Guardian are glossed over while views on homosexuality, written by secretaries, not SE himself (to repeat the point ad infinitum), have been claimed as “interpretations of the revealed word” in the same sentence as stating that this can’t be changed.

    Thanks for the article by Hossein Alizadeh.

    Well, I guess, I’m one of those Bahais who sees that, yes it is a great tragedy that there is no Guardianship anymore, but this is what we have and we have to do the best we can, AND do the best we can as individuals to try and not turn Shoghi Effendi’s own writing into SET IN STONE law, something he wrote strongly against. And equally important not to treat letters written on his behalf as if these were authorative interpretations of Bahai Scripture. There’s a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, somewhere in the thousands of these letters, that states Bahais should not use contraception, but i’m too busy to go looking for it.
    For the literalists, if they really want to treat letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as if this is part of Bahai Scripture they, then, have to accept every single one as such. In fact it was coming across some of these letters after being told as a newly wed 2 decades ago by a Bahai that I shouldn’t use contraception that inspired me to dig deeper. I dug, not because I had doubt but on the contrary I had faith that I would find out why, or at least find an answer that help me to understand.

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    Yes, Andrew, you are correct regarding the exchanges of postings here as far as I am concerned.

    I find it very odd, that Shoghi Effendi’s own authorative writing on the grave implications on not having a Guardian are glossed over while views on homosexuality, written by secretaries, not SE himself (to repeat the point ad infinitum), have been claimed as “interpretations of the revealed word” in the same sentence as stating that this can’t be changed.

    Thanks for the article by Hossein Alizadeh.

    Well, I guess, I’m one of those Bahais who sees that, yes it is a great tragedy that there is no Guardianship anymore, but this is what we have and we have to do the best we can, AND do the best we can as individuals to try and not turn Shoghi Effendi’s own writing into SET IN STONE law, something he wrote strongly against. And equally important not to treat letters written on his behalf as if these were authorative interpretations of Bahai Scripture. There’s a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, somewhere in the thousands of these letters, that states Bahais should not use contraception, but i’m too busy to go looking for it.
    For the literalists, if they really want to treat letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as if this is part of Bahai Scripture they, then, have to accept every single one as such. In fact it was coming across some of these letters after being told as a newly wed 2 decades ago by a Bahai that I shouldn’t use contraception that inspired me to dig deeper. I dug, not because I had doubt but on the contrary I had faith that I would find out why, or at least find an answer that help me to understand.

  • Andrew

    Sonja … good luck! If only all members of the Baha’i Faith (Haifan or otherwise) were as dedicated and courageous!

    Grover wrote:

    “The UHJ argues that the institution of the Guardian still continues because S.E. left behind all his commentary, books, etc, which the UHJ refers to for guidance, a virtual Guardianship.”

    That may be their argument but I doubt if that is what the Guardian himself had in mind! If the Writings were sufficient to provide a form of Guardianship … there would hardly have been any need for a living Guardian in the first place!

    I recall having attended a religious ceremony at a Sikh gurdwara in which their holy book (the Guru Granth Sahib) was literally put to bed … escorted into its bedroom. The Sikh holy book travels in specially appointed luxury buses and aircraft. When several copies from Amritsar came to Canada in 2004, each volume had its own linen-covered seat and was transported in and out on cushions carried upon the heads of individuals observing ritual purity. In 2000, the Indian Supreme Court declared the Guru Granth Sahib a juristic person, and as a legal person it holds thousands of acres of real estate in Punjab.

    At least the Sikhs are consistent in their application of the idea of a virtual Guru! Will we see the writings of the Guardian given similar treatment?

  • Andrew

    Sonja … good luck! If only all members of the Baha’i Faith (Haifan or otherwise) were as dedicated and courageous!

    Grover wrote:

    “The UHJ argues that the institution of the Guardian still continues because S.E. left behind all his commentary, books, etc, which the UHJ refers to for guidance, a virtual Guardianship.”

    That may be their argument but I doubt if that is what the Guardian himself had in mind! If the Writings were sufficient to provide a form of Guardianship … there would hardly have been any need for a living Guardian in the first place!

    I recall having attended a religious ceremony at a Sikh gurdwara in which their holy book (the Guru Granth Sahib) was literally put to bed … escorted into its bedroom. The Sikh holy book travels in specially appointed luxury buses and aircraft. When several copies from Amritsar came to Canada in 2004, each volume had its own linen-covered seat and was transported in and out on cushions carried upon the heads of individuals observing ritual purity. In 2000, the Indian Supreme Court declared the Guru Granth Sahib a juristic person, and as a legal person it holds thousands of acres of real estate in Punjab.

    At least the Sikhs are consistent in their application of the idea of a virtual Guru! Will we see the writings of the Guardian given similar treatment?

  • Andrew

    There is a science fiction (?) film called “Franklyn” soon to be released: the movie tagline is “Reality Hasn’t A Prayer.”

    In Meanwhile City, a metropolis in a parallel universe, a masked vigilante cop called Jonathan Preest (played by Ryan Phillipe) kidnaps people from cults and works to undermine the government — a theocracy run by a religious group called “The Ministry.” Preest, it seems, is the only atheist in a world of religious zealots.

    Some of the religious cults in Meanwhile City include “The Seventh Day Manicurists” and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.

    Of course, “The Seventh Day Manicurists” are Nail Breakers: the True Religion is really “The Seventh Day Pedicurists (of Exquisite Distinction).” Since anything that talks about “The Seventh Day Manicurists” must be shunned, you shouldn’t see this film.

  • Andrew

    There is a science fiction (?) film called “Franklyn” soon to be released: the movie tagline is “Reality Hasn’t A Prayer.”

    In Meanwhile City, a metropolis in a parallel universe, a masked vigilante cop called Jonathan Preest (played by Ryan Phillipe) kidnaps people from cults and works to undermine the government — a theocracy run by a religious group called “The Ministry.” Preest, it seems, is the only atheist in a world of religious zealots.

    Some of the religious cults in Meanwhile City include “The Seventh Day Manicurists” and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.

    Of course, “The Seventh Day Manicurists” are Nail Breakers: the True Religion is really “The Seventh Day Pedicurists (of Exquisite Distinction).” Since anything that talks about “The Seventh Day Manicurists” must be shunned, you shouldn’t see this film.

  • farhan

    Bird wrote:
    “the time frame the Bah?’?’s have used to translate or ?approve? publishing of it’s writings, what little is authenticated by non-Bah?’? and is available so far, we will all be dead before anyone one really knows anything.”

    Bird, trying to compare ethical stands between different religions, we realised that it is virtually impossible to have an authenticated view of a church on an issue. Even the Catholic church, amongst the most structured, has several schools of thought as far as ethical stands go; only the Baha’i Faith has clear official teachings on various subjects, and only the Baha’i Faith has a legislation that can be authoritively adapted to the needs of each day and age.

    Even if the views and teachings are “set in stone”, the practical applications are subjet to change.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Bird wrote:
    “the time frame the Bah?’?’s have used to translate or ?approve? publishing of it’s writings, what little is authenticated by non-Bah?’? and is available so far, we will all be dead before anyone one really knows anything.”

    Bird, trying to compare ethical stands between different religions, we realised that it is virtually impossible to have an authenticated view of a church on an issue. Even the Catholic church, amongst the most structured, has several schools of thought as far as ethical stands go; only the Baha’i Faith has clear official teachings on various subjects, and only the Baha’i Faith has a legislation that can be authoritively adapted to the needs of each day and age.

    Even if the views and teachings are “set in stone”, the practical applications are subjet to change.

  • Bird

    Farhan-

    The ?views and teachings? are “set it stone” huh? Which version? The ones revealed, written and translated during the life of the central figures or the ones amended or revealed since they died?

    Nothing set in stone becomes anything more or less then stone itself. Worshipping rocks now are we? Personally lately I have been worshipping rainbows myself.

    Much love

    Bird

  • Bird

    Farhan-

    The ?views and teachings? are “set it stone” huh? Which version? The ones revealed, written and translated during the life of the central figures or the ones amended or revealed since they died?

    Nothing set in stone becomes anything more or less then stone itself. Worshipping rocks now are we? Personally lately I have been worshipping rainbows myself.

    Much love

    Bird

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment="53138"]…and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.[/quote]

    No need for a parallel universe, Andrew. We’ve got that religion already – The beautiful things.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment="53138"]…and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.[/quote]

    No need for a parallel universe, Andrew. We’ve got that religion already – The beautiful things.

  • Anonymouz

    Bird,

    Im curious can you elaborate on the ones you say have been reversed? That is a very bold thing to say and frankly I think you talking from your rear.

  • Anonymouz

    Bird,

    Im curious can you elaborate on the ones you say have been reversed? That is a very bold thing to say and frankly I think you talking from your rear.

  • Grover

    Lol Anonymouz, she said revealed or amended, not reversed.

  • Grover

    Lol Anonymouz, she said revealed or amended, not reversed.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53150"]Lol Anonymouz, she said revealed or amended, not reversed.[/quote]

    But just in case the AnonMAN wants to stay with that thought, I’ll answer it. Go back through my posts on WAR and the on-going discussions on the personal termination of the GUARDIANSHIP by Shoghi Effendi (A VERY BIG CHANGE INDEED from the specific sacred duties set out in the original Writings) and the current in vogue down town dogma of THEOCRACY.

    The Founders taught the benefits of establishing perpetual Peace. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach the benefits of endless War.

    The Founders taught the ABSOLUTE Divine sacredness of individual personal human conscience in all progress in human endeavors and improving governance and the entire human condition. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach turning your individual personal human consciences over to the leadership of an organization (them) just like the criminal totalitarian political movements of the just past century of rivers of blood and the criminal totalitarian religious irresponsible group think organizations of rivers of blood of the Middle Ages.

    The Founders taught a bottom up Spiritual Kingdom of Hearts united by individual inner spiritual insight, individual inner spiritual awareness, and individual inner spiritual sentiment put into practice FROM WITHIN in daily life. From THAT individual self empowered Kingdom of spiritual practice and individual inner spiritual sovereignty then comes the commonwealth and common wheel of the good of all across the planet for this new World Age of human spiritual empowerment and individual competence originated from the sphere of individual initiative and effort. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach a top down micromanaged THEOCRACY OF DUNCES to run everything worldwide forever and ever where nine people (them) do all the thinking for a planet of automatons who take their orders in all things in life from them.

    Throw in that Shoghi Effendi in his mind bending hapless dysfunctional family and personal irresponsibility torpedoed any checks and balances on any of it for the entire human race for the next 850 years and counting if you accept the 1000 year constraint caveat as most Baha’is do. That in itself is about as big a change written into stone as anyone could ever achieve.

    Your defense in your posts to counter what I post is basically that the UHJ members are “merely” giving their “personal opinions” in their endless lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches to captive Baha’i audiences and it should not be taken “seriously” by people like me. I say baloney. If you are in a high position in anything and you give your opinion to audiences in your organization it carries great weight and has consequences in the reactions and thinking of every card carrying person in that organization. If these people are not even aware of that, that is even another incredibly damning reason why they should not be in these high positions of influence in the first place.

    But thanks for the link to your post to me. Yes. I had missed seeing it. Thanks for your pep talk. I appreciate it. But I’m done. I was never upset by any local ABM or AABM. They are all harmless Persians living their lives here as refugees from their own “lovely” “enlightened” “wonderful” “free thinking” country thanks to the mind of Thomas Jefferson and the blood of American soldiers in two World Wars and numerous “police actions”. As a veteran they are here in safety to give their views ON MY DIME. They can have their endless meetings and get those neurotransmitter serotonin levels up by filling out the spiritual coloring books of their UHJ father/mother psychological projection. Whatever floats their boat. Whatever they say is harmless even though to some the UHJ IS the literal “Voice of God on Earth” as one said to me. (She actually would look quite nice in a nice little tailored German Afrika Korps uniform of WWII vintage replete with SS lightning bolts on the sleeves. That kind of nifty front button cap would look good on her too. Quite fetching with her Persian looks in a kind of “police state chic”.)

    No. What upsets me is not the small fry. What upsest me is the big fry at the top. The usurpers and party hacks of the new Comintern Politburo Faith in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches that have truly reversed everything of revolutionary spiritual importance in the original teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

    As I always say, the only meetings Peter Khan should be going to are Weight Watchers and the only program he should be concerned with worldwide in human affairs is Jenny Craig. These people are pompous blow hards that should get off the stage of history before they disgrace their family names any further with each passing day.

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/2001/tests95.htm

    I’ve had enough of these people and I am buying none of it. Baha’u’llah taught that we are to see through our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. Especially when the others could not run a shift on a drive through at McDonalds.

    As to your school project in Brazil, I truly wish you well, but I’m already committed to my oldest sister’s school effort in Afghanistan. She has a good track record. She was Big Time. She got medical help to 9 MILLION PEOPLE. I hope you do as well.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53150"]Lol Anonymouz, she said revealed or amended, not reversed.[/quote]

    But just in case the AnonMAN wants to stay with that thought, I’ll answer it. Go back through my posts on WAR and the on-going discussions on the personal termination of the GUARDIANSHIP by Shoghi Effendi (A VERY BIG CHANGE INDEED from the specific sacred duties set out in the original Writings) and the current in vogue down town dogma of THEOCRACY.

    The Founders taught the benefits of establishing perpetual Peace. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach the benefits of endless War.

    The Founders taught the ABSOLUTE Divine sacredness of individual personal human conscience in all progress in human endeavors and improving governance and the entire human condition. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach turning your individual personal human consciences over to the leadership of an organization (them) just like the criminal totalitarian political movements of the just past century of rivers of blood and the criminal totalitarian religious irresponsible group think organizations of rivers of blood of the Middle Ages.

    The Founders taught a bottom up Spiritual Kingdom of Hearts united by individual inner spiritual insight, individual inner spiritual awareness, and individual inner spiritual sentiment put into practice FROM WITHIN in daily life. From THAT individual self empowered Kingdom of spiritual practice and individual inner spiritual sovereignty then comes the commonwealth and common wheel of the good of all across the planet for this new World Age of human spiritual empowerment and individual competence originated from the sphere of individual initiative and effort. The current members of the UHJ in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches teach a top down micromanaged THEOCRACY OF DUNCES to run everything worldwide forever and ever where nine people (them) do all the thinking for a planet of automatons who take their orders in all things in life from them.

    Throw in that Shoghi Effendi in his mind bending hapless dysfunctional family and personal irresponsibility torpedoed any checks and balances on any of it for the entire human race for the next 850 years and counting if you accept the 1000 year constraint caveat as most Baha’is do. That in itself is about as big a change written into stone as anyone could ever achieve.

    Your defense in your posts to counter what I post is basically that the UHJ members are “merely” giving their “personal opinions” in their endless lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches to captive Baha’i audiences and it should not be taken “seriously” by people like me. I say baloney. If you are in a high position in anything and you give your opinion to audiences in your organization it carries great weight and has consequences in the reactions and thinking of every card carrying person in that organization. If these people are not even aware of that, that is even another incredibly damning reason why they should not be in these high positions of influence in the first place.

    But thanks for the link to your post to me. Yes. I had missed seeing it. Thanks for your pep talk. I appreciate it. But I’m done. I was never upset by any local ABM or AABM. They are all harmless Persians living their lives here as refugees from their own “lovely” “enlightened” “wonderful” “free thinking” country thanks to the mind of Thomas Jefferson and the blood of American soldiers in two World Wars and numerous “police actions”. As a veteran they are here in safety to give their views ON MY DIME. They can have their endless meetings and get those neurotransmitter serotonin levels up by filling out the spiritual coloring books of their UHJ father/mother psychological projection. Whatever floats their boat. Whatever they say is harmless even though to some the UHJ IS the literal “Voice of God on Earth” as one said to me. (She actually would look quite nice in a nice little tailored German Afrika Korps uniform of WWII vintage replete with SS lightning bolts on the sleeves. That kind of nifty front button cap would look good on her too. Quite fetching with her Persian looks in a kind of “police state chic”.)

    No. What upsets me is not the small fry. What upsest me is the big fry at the top. The usurpers and party hacks of the new Comintern Politburo Faith in their lifetime incumbent never held accountable for anything speeches that have truly reversed everything of revolutionary spiritual importance in the original teachings of the Baha’i Faith.

    As I always say, the only meetings Peter Khan should be going to are Weight Watchers and the only program he should be concerned with worldwide in human affairs is Jenny Craig. These people are pompous blow hards that should get off the stage of history before they disgrace their family names any further with each passing day.

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/2001/tests95.htm

    I’ve had enough of these people and I am buying none of it. Baha’u’llah taught that we are to see through our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. Especially when the others could not run a shift on a drive through at McDonalds.

    As to your school project in Brazil, I truly wish you well, but I’m already committed to my oldest sister’s school effort in Afghanistan. She has a good track record. She was Big Time. She got medical help to 9 MILLION PEOPLE. I hope you do as well.

  • anonymouz

    This hatred and unfounded animosity is really detrimental toward spiritual progress Craig…I will pray for you.

  • anonymouz

    This hatred and unfounded animosity is really detrimental toward spiritual progress Craig…I will pray for you.

  • farhan

    Bird wrote:
    “The ?views and teachings? are “set it stone” huh? Which version? The ones revealed, written and translated during the life of the central figures or the ones amended or revealed since they died?”

    Bird, I was just taking on the expression of Sonja; if we admit that after SE there is no more interpretation, but only elucidations i.e. practical incidence of the law in everyday life, we will have to wait the next revelation to have further interpretations of the writings.

    We still have people elucidating the Old Testament and amking valid applications for our lves today; so the 10 commandments set in stone are still valid. In fact as Hillel, contemporary of Jesus wrote, the first two commandments : loving God, and our neighbour as ourselves are the basis of everything, all the rest is commentry… so why need generations of Guardians to further interpret the Word when we have an elected body that can elucidate the necessary applications?

    warmest love

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird wrote:
    “The ?views and teachings? are “set it stone” huh? Which version? The ones revealed, written and translated during the life of the central figures or the ones amended or revealed since they died?”

    Bird, I was just taking on the expression of Sonja; if we admit that after SE there is no more interpretation, but only elucidations i.e. practical incidence of the law in everyday life, we will have to wait the next revelation to have further interpretations of the writings.

    We still have people elucidating the Old Testament and amking valid applications for our lves today; so the 10 commandments set in stone are still valid. In fact as Hillel, contemporary of Jesus wrote, the first two commandments : loving God, and our neighbour as ourselves are the basis of everything, all the rest is commentry… so why need generations of Guardians to further interpret the Word when we have an elected body that can elucidate the necessary applications?

    warmest love

    Farhan

  • Andrew

    “Why need generations of Guardians to further interpret the Word when we have an elected body that can elucidate the necessary applications?”

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God … Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.” (Shoghi Effendi)

    This bears repeating:

    “The necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.”

    This bears repeating:

    “Would be totally withdrawn.”

    Totally withdraw, i.e., as in withdrawn, totally; not partially, but totally.

    “Baha’i answers to the problem of the end of the Guardianship have ranged from the Shi’ite concept of bada — that God had changed his mind — to the argument that while Shoghi Effendi passed away, the institution of the Guardianship still survives in the form of his writings. The former is now rarely expressed, while the latter seemingly fails to take into account that on several occasions Shoghi Effendi referred to future guardians. For example:

    ‘To the integrity of this cardinal principle of our Faith the words, the deeds of its present and future Guardians must abundantly testify.’”

    (William Garlington, “The Baha’i Faith in America”)

  • Andrew

    “Why need generations of Guardians to further interpret the Word when we have an elected body that can elucidate the necessary applications?”

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God … Without such an institution the integrity of the faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.” (Shoghi Effendi)

    This bears repeating:

    “The necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives [UHJ] would be totally withdrawn.”

    This bears repeating:

    “Would be totally withdrawn.”

    Totally withdraw, i.e., as in withdrawn, totally; not partially, but totally.

    “Baha’i answers to the problem of the end of the Guardianship have ranged from the Shi’ite concept of bada — that God had changed his mind — to the argument that while Shoghi Effendi passed away, the institution of the Guardianship still survives in the form of his writings. The former is now rarely expressed, while the latter seemingly fails to take into account that on several occasions Shoghi Effendi referred to future guardians. For example:

    ‘To the integrity of this cardinal principle of our Faith the words, the deeds of its present and future Guardians must abundantly testify.’”

    (William Garlington, “The Baha’i Faith in America”)

  • anonymouz

    According to this way of thinking and reasoning, also the method of selective quoting, we should all still be Azali-Babis.

    Old news.

    Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.

  • anonymouz

    According to this way of thinking and reasoning, also the method of selective quoting, we should all still be Azali-Babis.

    Old news.

    Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “According to this way of thinking and reasoning, also the method of selective quoting, we should all still be Azali-Babis.”

    The words of the Guardian speak for themselves. They are not selective quotes: they constitute his express views on the matter.

    “Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.”

    Oh, that’s rich! Is that the best put-down you can come up with?

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “According to this way of thinking and reasoning, also the method of selective quoting, we should all still be Azali-Babis.”

    The words of the Guardian speak for themselves. They are not selective quotes: they constitute his express views on the matter.

    “Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.”

    Oh, that’s rich! Is that the best put-down you can come up with?

  • anonymouz

    Its not rich, its just the truth. I don’t you or Garlington are actually interested in the mission of the Baha’i faith…You are displaying Remeyite covenant breaker positions and beliefs and appear to be seriously antagonistic of the efforts of the majority.

    “If they agree upon a subject, even though it be wrong, it is better than to disagree and be in the right, for this difference will produce the demolition of the divine foundation. Though one of the parties may be in the right and they disagree that will be the cause of a thousand wrongs, but if they agree and both parties are in the wrong, as it is in unity the truth will be revealed and the wrong made right.” -Abdul’Baha

    PS-It wasn’t a put down.

  • anonymouz

    Its not rich, its just the truth. I don’t you or Garlington are actually interested in the mission of the Baha’i faith…You are displaying Remeyite covenant breaker positions and beliefs and appear to be seriously antagonistic of the efforts of the majority.

    “If they agree upon a subject, even though it be wrong, it is better than to disagree and be in the right, for this difference will produce the demolition of the divine foundation. Though one of the parties may be in the right and they disagree that will be the cause of a thousand wrongs, but if they agree and both parties are in the wrong, as it is in unity the truth will be revealed and the wrong made right.” -Abdul’Baha

    PS-It wasn’t a put down.

  • Andrew

    “Its not rich, its just the truth.”

    It’s your *opinion* that Garlington’s book is “void of any spiritual insight* but your *opinion* does not make it so. Do you believe that because you have decreed a thing to be thus, that it must be so? Is this the kind of thinking your faith encourages? Little wonder, then.

    If, for example, I were to state that “Anonymouz’s posts are void of any coherent analysis or logical reasoning and clearly delusional in content,” would that make it so? In this case, it would, because it’s true.

    “I don’t you or Garlington are actually interested in the mission of the Baha’i faith.”

    This is incoherent. Not surprisingly.

    “You are displaying Remeyite covenant breaker positions and beliefs and appear to be seriously antagonistic of the efforts of the majority.”

    No doubt that’s why you post here, to avoid any contact with coconut breakers. ;-)

  • Andrew

    “Its not rich, its just the truth.”

    It’s your *opinion* that Garlington’s book is “void of any spiritual insight* but your *opinion* does not make it so. Do you believe that because you have decreed a thing to be thus, that it must be so? Is this the kind of thinking your faith encourages? Little wonder, then.

    If, for example, I were to state that “Anonymouz’s posts are void of any coherent analysis or logical reasoning and clearly delusional in content,” would that make it so? In this case, it would, because it’s true.

    “I don’t you or Garlington are actually interested in the mission of the Baha’i faith.”

    This is incoherent. Not surprisingly.

    “You are displaying Remeyite covenant breaker positions and beliefs and appear to be seriously antagonistic of the efforts of the majority.”

    No doubt that’s why you post here, to avoid any contact with coconut breakers. ;-)

  • anonymouz

    My *opinion* is Abdul’Baha’s. You can apply your “coherent analysis or logical reasoning” comment to Center of The Covenant.

  • anonymouz

    My *opinion* is Abdul’Baha’s. You can apply your “coherent analysis or logical reasoning” comment to Center of The Covenant.

  • Andrew

    Anonymous wrote:

    “My *opinion* is Abdul’Baha’s.”

    Ah! My mistake! I had no idea that ‘Abdu’l-Baha had read and reviewed Garlington’s book! Now where did he publish his opinion that the contents of Garlington’s book are “void of any spiritual insight”? Or are you simply channeling him?

    A member of the American National Spiritual Assembly stated in a speech given in Los Angeles in 1988:

    “It is something else when whispering campaigns or petitions are sent around for signatures objecting to the activities of the institutions. That also may be something which is countenanced by American democracy but has nothing to do with the Baha’i Faith.”

    To which I would append these remarks:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” (C. S. Lewis)

    “In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself … Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.” (Mohandas Gandhi)

    “Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.” (Rosa Luxemburg)

    “The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.” (John F. Kennedy)

    “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” (William Douglas)

    “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” (Thomas Jefferson)

    And finally (my favorite):

    “There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.

    “The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.

    “This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies.” (Rabbi Sherwin Wine)

  • Andrew

    Anonymous wrote:

    “My *opinion* is Abdul’Baha’s.”

    Ah! My mistake! I had no idea that ‘Abdu’l-Baha had read and reviewed Garlington’s book! Now where did he publish his opinion that the contents of Garlington’s book are “void of any spiritual insight”? Or are you simply channeling him?

    A member of the American National Spiritual Assembly stated in a speech given in Los Angeles in 1988:

    “It is something else when whispering campaigns or petitions are sent around for signatures objecting to the activities of the institutions. That also may be something which is countenanced by American democracy but has nothing to do with the Baha’i Faith.”

    To which I would append these remarks:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” (C. S. Lewis)

    “In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself … Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.” (Mohandas Gandhi)

    “Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.” (Rosa Luxemburg)

    “The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.” (John F. Kennedy)

    “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” (William Douglas)

    “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” (Thomas Jefferson)

    And finally (my favorite):

    “There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.

    “The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.

    “This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies.” (Rabbi Sherwin Wine)

  • Andrew

    Bonzo Bahai informs me that Shoghi Effendi explicitly stated that only the Guardian can declare someone a covenant breaker (similar to a coconut breaker, but even messier). Since Bonzo Bahai is merely a chimpansy, he may be mistaken: although he is infallible, he is not inerrant.

  • Andrew

    Bonzo Bahai informs me that Shoghi Effendi explicitly stated that only the Guardian can declare someone a covenant breaker (similar to a coconut breaker, but even messier). Since Bonzo Bahai is merely a chimpansy, he may be mistaken: although he is infallible, he is not inerrant.

  • Craig Parke

    Some more quotes to think about. Who are the real “Covenant Breakers”? Who will the Ages Judge in the passage of time of the World Age? Who?

    “Politics, worldwide, is like a parlor game, a sideshow of sorts. We all know that it is often like a dog and pony show. Baha’is respect the democratic system because, while far from perfect, is represents the sole protection to the sense of order that the world knows
    at this time. However, we do not deceive ourselves that the present form of democracy evident in the world today represents, in any manner, the future model of the world body politic. Unfortunately, political action groups worldwide tend to act in a form of the
    ‘theatre of the absurd.’”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    “The passion for dissent which is such a prominent part of this culture is an icon of American mythology that must be understood in the light of the Teachings, specifically, the law of obedience to a government.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be MUTILATED…without such an institution the INTEGRITY of the Faith would be imperiled, and the STABILITY of the ENTIRE FABRIC would be gravely endangered…the NECESSARY GUIDANCE to *DEFINE THE SPHERE* of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be TOTALLY WITHDRAWN.”

    - Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    “They DESIRED to ascend to a STATION that God ordained to be ABOVE THEIR RANKS, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the KINGDOM OF HIS PRESENCE.”

    - Tablet of the Holy Mariner Revealed by Baha’u’llah

    “Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know THE TRUTH, and consider that the Blessed Beauty hath FULLY FORETOLD FUTURE EVENTS. LET THEM WHO PERCEIVE, TAKE WARNING!”

    -Abdu’l-Baha

    “These are effectual and sufficient proofs that THE CONSCIENCE OF MAN IS SACRED and to be respected; and that LIBERTY THEREOF produces widening of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of the secrets of creation, and manifestation of the hidden verities of the contingent world.”

    -Abdu’l-Baha, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 91

    “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)

  • Craig Parke

    Some more quotes to think about. Who are the real “Covenant Breakers”? Who will the Ages Judge in the passage of time of the World Age? Who?

    “Politics, worldwide, is like a parlor game, a sideshow of sorts. We all know that it is often like a dog and pony show. Baha’is respect the democratic system because, while far from perfect, is represents the sole protection to the sense of order that the world knows
    at this time. However, we do not deceive ourselves that the present form of democracy evident in the world today represents, in any manner, the future model of the world body politic. Unfortunately, political action groups worldwide tend to act in a form of the
    ‘theatre of the absurd.’”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    “The passion for dissent which is such a prominent part of this culture is an icon of American mythology that must be understood in the light of the Teachings, specifically, the law of obedience to a government.”

    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    “Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be MUTILATED…without such an institution the INTEGRITY of the Faith would be imperiled, and the STABILITY of the ENTIRE FABRIC would be gravely endangered…the NECESSARY GUIDANCE to *DEFINE THE SPHERE* of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be TOTALLY WITHDRAWN.”

    - Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 148

    “They DESIRED to ascend to a STATION that God ordained to be ABOVE THEIR RANKS, when the luminous comet expelled them from among the inhabitants of the KINGDOM OF HIS PRESENCE.”

    - Tablet of the Holy Mariner Revealed by Baha’u’llah

    “Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know THE TRUTH, and consider that the Blessed Beauty hath FULLY FORETOLD FUTURE EVENTS. LET THEM WHO PERCEIVE, TAKE WARNING!”

    -Abdu’l-Baha

    “These are effectual and sufficient proofs that THE CONSCIENCE OF MAN IS SACRED and to be respected; and that LIBERTY THEREOF produces widening of ideas, amendment of morals, improvement of conduct, disclosure of the secrets of creation, and manifestation of the hidden verities of the contingent world.”

    -Abdu’l-Baha, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 91

    “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)

  • Anonymouz

    Funny you can’t quote any Baha’i writings from say Baha’u’llah Himself regard the “divinity” of human intellect.

    Let me let you in on a little secret…maybe you have not read these quotes from Baha’u’llah, the messenger of God.

    “Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 96)”

    “Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favorably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men… (clearly…)

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 216)”

    “If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 260)”

    And finally:

    We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance.

    Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing.”

  • Anonymouz

    Funny you can’t quote any Baha’i writings from say Baha’u’llah Himself regard the “divinity” of human intellect.

    Let me let you in on a little secret…maybe you have not read these quotes from Baha’u’llah, the messenger of God.

    “Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 96)”

    “Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favorably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men… (clearly…)

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 216)”

    “If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 260)”

    And finally:

    We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance.

    Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing.”

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.[/quote]

    You know, I really hate the term “spiritual insight”. Baha’is use it all the time now in Feast, Ruhi, deepenings, whatever. “Lets sit down and read a quote and share our spiritual insights” and everyone swoons with bright happy smiles upon their faces. Its a fluffy bunny term to describe someone spouting a load of shit.

    Great quotes Andrew! I particularly liked:

    [quote post="4"]One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom. [/quote]

    It aptly describes the current state of the Baha’i Faith.

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]Garlington’s book is void of any spiritual insight.[/quote]

    You know, I really hate the term “spiritual insight”. Baha’is use it all the time now in Feast, Ruhi, deepenings, whatever. “Lets sit down and read a quote and share our spiritual insights” and everyone swoons with bright happy smiles upon their faces. Its a fluffy bunny term to describe someone spouting a load of shit.

    Great quotes Andrew! I particularly liked:

    [quote post="4"]One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom. [/quote]

    It aptly describes the current state of the Baha’i Faith.

  • Anonymouz

    Grover, Freedom is a wonderful thing and I will be the first to tell you I am grateful for it, both the secular kind and the belief kind…But in the end as Baha’u’llah says, real freedom is freedom from ourselves and reunion with something Higher. No one can take away your belief. However, “freedom” in a legal or secular sense can be taken away. So, this begs the question, what is real? Something that others may take away, or that which they cannot?

    Im sorry you have such a sour experience at Feast, but did you ever stop to think that there are those who don’t? Why is that? And please don’t tell me or respond with some real BS about “they are brainwashed” or they are “naive”. Maybe time for a little introspection.

  • Anonymouz

    Grover, Freedom is a wonderful thing and I will be the first to tell you I am grateful for it, both the secular kind and the belief kind…But in the end as Baha’u’llah says, real freedom is freedom from ourselves and reunion with something Higher. No one can take away your belief. However, “freedom” in a legal or secular sense can be taken away. So, this begs the question, what is real? Something that others may take away, or that which they cannot?

    Im sorry you have such a sour experience at Feast, but did you ever stop to think that there are those who don’t? Why is that? And please don’t tell me or respond with some real BS about “they are brainwashed” or they are “naive”. Maybe time for a little introspection.

  • Grover

    True freedom, my dear boy, is being able to live your life and believe and think as you see fit without the religious, government, marketing or social groups telling you what to think or do (on the proviso it doesn’t cause physical, mental or emotional harm or inconvenience to others).

    True freedom is reaching your potential as a person and helping others to reach theirs.

    True freedom is when you give someone a small moment of happiness.

    True freedom is when you enjoy an intimate moment with a friend or partner.

    True freedom is when you are alone in the wilderness, temple or shrine, away from the hype and buzz of society.

    True freedom is when you are grateful for all the opportunities and gifts that have been given to you.

    Why do some people like “spiritual insights” and I don’t? Well, why do some people like steak and kidney pie when others don’t? Why are some people homosexual and other aren’t? Why do some like blondes and other brunettes? Who knows? It just is.

  • Grover

    True freedom, my dear boy, is being able to live your life and believe and think as you see fit without the religious, government, marketing or social groups telling you what to think or do (on the proviso it doesn’t cause physical, mental or emotional harm or inconvenience to others).

    True freedom is reaching your potential as a person and helping others to reach theirs.

    True freedom is when you give someone a small moment of happiness.

    True freedom is when you enjoy an intimate moment with a friend or partner.

    True freedom is when you are alone in the wilderness, temple or shrine, away from the hype and buzz of society.

    True freedom is when you are grateful for all the opportunities and gifts that have been given to you.

    Why do some people like “spiritual insights” and I don’t? Well, why do some people like steak and kidney pie when others don’t? Why are some people homosexual and other aren’t? Why do some like blondes and other brunettes? Who knows? It just is.

  • anonymouz

    Grover,

    I value all of those things and more. Freedom, the way I see it, in its truest sense, is freedom from self. This is what all the great sages and philosophers, poets, mystics, and prophets of God have said. I have felt it too. Only a few times though, the rest of the time I am entangled in other things…I have a theory that I plan to write about on my blog, that what Buddhism has taught about enlightenment and how it is so sought after, is easily attainable in this Revelation.

    I also think there is a miss-conception that the Baha’i Faith is here to come and steal your free will or tell you what to think or punish you if you express your opinion. God knows that’s not true and I do too. The way I see it, someone is free to do, think, feel and believe whatever they want, but when these individuals feel it is important to push their views or justify themselves or call the other methods wrong, then, essentially their is an infringement of my spiritual rights. It goes both ways…There is a very mystical side to this Faith and the Institute process is humbly trying provide an avenue to it because a lot of people who may have been Baha’i in name, may have never found it. At the same time, it is a consolidation process. Some people feel bitter and it may be Baha’u’llah’s way of testing your mettle and see how committed you really are to His Cause. This directive is coming from the House of Justice, so as a Baha’i, well…you know where I am going…

    No one can infringe on your freedoms however, when people start spouting their unyielding and ultimately egotistical opinions in the name of spiritual truth or faithful inquiry, there is an obligation by the Institutions, made by Baha’u’llah, to ASK that they tone it down and not be so vocal in their criticism, because as it is in the end, only their opinion…This attempt at making the AO a big bully is really unfounded. Its is always managed through emails and letters, sincere consultation and pure intentions. There is nothing tyrannical or oppressive about it…You cold war babies watch too many movies.

    It will never be more than words that defend this Faith. So lets try to honestly stay away from the misleading slander of calling the Administrative institutions tyrannical or despotic…Freedom is always there and is praised in the writings, but in the end it is simply a vehicle that will ultimately be left behind…by you on your own free will. Baha’u’llah desires it.

    O SON OF MAN!
    If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.

  • anonymouz

    Grover,

    I value all of those things and more. Freedom, the way I see it, in its truest sense, is freedom from self. This is what all the great sages and philosophers, poets, mystics, and prophets of God have said. I have felt it too. Only a few times though, the rest of the time I am entangled in other things…I have a theory that I plan to write about on my blog, that what Buddhism has taught about enlightenment and how it is so sought after, is easily attainable in this Revelation.

    I also think there is a miss-conception that the Baha’i Faith is here to come and steal your free will or tell you what to think or punish you if you express your opinion. God knows that’s not true and I do too. The way I see it, someone is free to do, think, feel and believe whatever they want, but when these individuals feel it is important to push their views or justify themselves or call the other methods wrong, then, essentially their is an infringement of my spiritual rights. It goes both ways…There is a very mystical side to this Faith and the Institute process is humbly trying provide an avenue to it because a lot of people who may have been Baha’i in name, may have never found it. At the same time, it is a consolidation process. Some people feel bitter and it may be Baha’u’llah’s way of testing your mettle and see how committed you really are to His Cause. This directive is coming from the House of Justice, so as a Baha’i, well…you know where I am going…

    No one can infringe on your freedoms however, when people start spouting their unyielding and ultimately egotistical opinions in the name of spiritual truth or faithful inquiry, there is an obligation by the Institutions, made by Baha’u’llah, to ASK that they tone it down and not be so vocal in their criticism, because as it is in the end, only their opinion…This attempt at making the AO a big bully is really unfounded. Its is always managed through emails and letters, sincere consultation and pure intentions. There is nothing tyrannical or oppressive about it…You cold war babies watch too many movies.

    It will never be more than words that defend this Faith. So lets try to honestly stay away from the misleading slander of calling the Administrative institutions tyrannical or despotic…Freedom is always there and is praised in the writings, but in the end it is simply a vehicle that will ultimately be left behind…by you on your own free will. Baha’u’llah desires it.

    O SON OF MAN!
    If thou lovest Me, turn away from thyself; and if thou seekest My pleasure, regard not thine own; that thou mayest die in Me and I may eternally live in thee.

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz wrote: Funny you can’t quote any Baha’i writings from say Baha’u’llah Himself regard the ?divinity? of human intellect.

    Consider the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man…this rational faculty, which should be regarded as a sign of the revelation of Him Who is the sovereign Lord of all.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163)

    This light of the intellect is the highest light that exists, for it is born of the Light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 68)

    To man is given the special gift of the intellect by which he is able to receive a larger share of the light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 25)

    God’s greatest gift to man is that of intellect, or understanding.The understanding is the power by which man acquires his knowledge of the several kingdoms of creation, and of various stages of existence, as well as of much which is invisible.Possessing this gift, he is, in himself, the sum of earlier creations — he is able to get into touch with those kingdoms; and by this gift, he can frequently, through his scientific knowledge, reach out with prophetic vision. Intellect is, in truth, the most precious gift bestowed upon man by the Divine Bounty . Man alone, among created beings, has this wonderful power.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 41)

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz wrote: Funny you can’t quote any Baha’i writings from say Baha’u’llah Himself regard the ?divinity? of human intellect.

    Consider the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man…this rational faculty, which should be regarded as a sign of the revelation of Him Who is the sovereign Lord of all.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163)

    This light of the intellect is the highest light that exists, for it is born of the Light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 68)

    To man is given the special gift of the intellect by which he is able to receive a larger share of the light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 25)

    God’s greatest gift to man is that of intellect, or understanding.The understanding is the power by which man acquires his knowledge of the several kingdoms of creation, and of various stages of existence, as well as of much which is invisible.Possessing this gift, he is, in himself, the sum of earlier creations — he is able to get into touch with those kingdoms; and by this gift, he can frequently, through his scientific knowledge, reach out with prophetic vision. Intellect is, in truth, the most precious gift bestowed upon man by the Divine Bounty . Man alone, among created beings, has this wonderful power.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 41)

  • anonymouz

    You still dont get it CoL. All of thsoe quotes are valid, but try to use the intellect God gave and see the meaning in them!

    The intellect is the greatest gift from God and no where in the writings does it say that the intellect is something low. It is the vehicle by which we come to know God…However, you and a few others still don’t seem to grasp this.

    It is amazing to me that you use these very same quotes and position to try and justify the idea that the intellect is in and of itself the reason why we are here. Like I said before, the writings are clear in a sense that it is to be used to know God. But, foolish people exercise it, obviously, to want to only know themselves. Let me quote the same quote and I beg you, in the name of truth to read it differently than your humanist approach.

    Consider the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man…this rational faculty, which should be regarded as a sign of the revelation of Him Who is the sovereign Lord of all.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163)

    …a sign of the revelation of Him…this does not mean, “look at yourself to see how smart you are because you are so smart”

    To man is given the special gift of the intellect by which he is able to receive a larger share of the light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 25)

    We are to use this intellect to gain divine insights not to set our sights on the intellect itself.

    The gift of the intellect is a tool, a means to an end, a vehicle toward recognizing that true understanding, true faith, true knowledge, true understand is not something that is attainable by simply wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.

  • anonymouz

    You still dont get it CoL. All of thsoe quotes are valid, but try to use the intellect God gave and see the meaning in them!

    The intellect is the greatest gift from God and no where in the writings does it say that the intellect is something low. It is the vehicle by which we come to know God…However, you and a few others still don’t seem to grasp this.

    It is amazing to me that you use these very same quotes and position to try and justify the idea that the intellect is in and of itself the reason why we are here. Like I said before, the writings are clear in a sense that it is to be used to know God. But, foolish people exercise it, obviously, to want to only know themselves. Let me quote the same quote and I beg you, in the name of truth to read it differently than your humanist approach.

    Consider the rational faculty with which God hath endowed the essence of man…this rational faculty, which should be regarded as a sign of the revelation of Him Who is the sovereign Lord of all.

    (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163)

    …a sign of the revelation of Him…this does not mean, “look at yourself to see how smart you are because you are so smart”

    To man is given the special gift of the intellect by which he is able to receive a larger share of the light Divine.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 25)

    We are to use this intellect to gain divine insights not to set our sights on the intellect itself.

    The gift of the intellect is a tool, a means to an end, a vehicle toward recognizing that true understanding, true faith, true knowledge, true understand is not something that is attainable by simply wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.

  • Andrew

    “The perfect pair of shoes is an illusion … but keep searching anyway.”

    (Baha’u’llah, The Tablet of ‘Advi’l, p. 19)

  • Andrew

    “The perfect pair of shoes is an illusion … but keep searching anyway.”

    (Baha’u’llah, The Tablet of ‘Advi’l, p. 19)

  • anonymouz

    You have a lot of nerve associating Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake passage.

  • anonymouz

    You have a lot of nerve associating Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake passage.

  • Andrew

    You have a lot of nerve trying to breath and type at the same time.

    It’s a good thing you don’t wallow in your sense of intellectual self! ;-)

  • Andrew

    You have a lot of nerve trying to breath and type at the same time.

    It’s a good thing you don’t wallow in your sense of intellectual self! ;-)

  • anonymouz

    It’s a good thing you don’t wallow in your sense of intellectual self!

    Indeed. But, as I am sure you know its a life long process, and this discussion despite its spotty merits, is conducive to introspection, if one is sincere in their pursuit of The Beloved. No human can claim complete detachment from their ego or sense of self, only, hopefully, an ever-increasing degree from it. I can only pray that the souls here share this sentiment.

  • anonymouz

    It’s a good thing you don’t wallow in your sense of intellectual self!

    Indeed. But, as I am sure you know its a life long process, and this discussion despite its spotty merits, is conducive to introspection, if one is sincere in their pursuit of The Beloved. No human can claim complete detachment from their ego or sense of self, only, hopefully, an ever-increasing degree from it. I can only pray that the souls here share this sentiment.

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]You still dont get it CoL. All of thsoe quotes are valid, but try to use the intellect God gave and see the meaning in them![/quote]

    I think CoL does get it, but you’re expecting us to interpret them as you interpret them. While conformity of interpretation is perfectly acceptable and fully encouraged in Ruhi, you are never going to get that with a bunch of free thinkers.

    The intellect isn’t just solely for knowing God, an impossible feat according to the Faith because God is ultimately unknowable. Its for understanding all of creation, to create things that never existed previously, to figure out how and why things work, and to determine whether something makes sense or not.

    You wrote:

    [quote post="4"]The gift of the intellect is a tool, a means to an end, a vehicle toward recognizing that true understanding, true faith, true knowledge, true understand is not something that is attainable by simply wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.[/quote]

    We can never attain a “true” understanding, “true” faith or “true” knowledge because for everyone it will be different and it will depend on people’s frame of reference, which is dependent on their upbringing, education, religious beliefs, etc etc etc. We’re all going to see it differently. It is an illusion.

    Hence Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]?The perfect pair of shoes is an illusion … but keep searching anyway.?[/quote]

  • Grover

    Anonymouz wrote:

    [quote post="4"]You still dont get it CoL. All of thsoe quotes are valid, but try to use the intellect God gave and see the meaning in them![/quote]

    I think CoL does get it, but you’re expecting us to interpret them as you interpret them. While conformity of interpretation is perfectly acceptable and fully encouraged in Ruhi, you are never going to get that with a bunch of free thinkers.

    The intellect isn’t just solely for knowing God, an impossible feat according to the Faith because God is ultimately unknowable. Its for understanding all of creation, to create things that never existed previously, to figure out how and why things work, and to determine whether something makes sense or not.

    You wrote:

    [quote post="4"]The gift of the intellect is a tool, a means to an end, a vehicle toward recognizing that true understanding, true faith, true knowledge, true understand is not something that is attainable by simply wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.[/quote]

    We can never attain a “true” understanding, “true” faith or “true” knowledge because for everyone it will be different and it will depend on people’s frame of reference, which is dependent on their upbringing, education, religious beliefs, etc etc etc. We’re all going to see it differently. It is an illusion.

    Hence Andrew wrote:

    [quote post="4"]?The perfect pair of shoes is an illusion … but keep searching anyway.?[/quote]

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz,

    Who are you addressing? Certainly not me, since I never claimed any of the things you supposed I claimed. You made an untrue statement about how the intellect is regarded in the writings, and I merely listed a series of quotes that refuted your statement that the intellect is not considered divine.

    But I do love your whole approach of labelling people who disagree with you as “wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.”

    It’s the same ol’ same ol’ religious sophistry: if they don’t agree with you, call’em names.

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz,

    Who are you addressing? Certainly not me, since I never claimed any of the things you supposed I claimed. You made an untrue statement about how the intellect is regarded in the writings, and I merely listed a series of quotes that refuted your statement that the intellect is not considered divine.

    But I do love your whole approach of labelling people who disagree with you as “wallowing in your sense of intellectual self.”

    It’s the same ol’ same ol’ religious sophistry: if they don’t agree with you, call’em names.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Its for understanding all of creation, to create things that never existed previously, to figure out how and why things work, and to determine whether something makes sense or not.[...][/quote]

    Read this article Entitled “The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete”

    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory

    This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers. You are putting Faith in your own ability and your own reasoning, your own interpretation and your own opinion. These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction?

    “Expounding the theme of liberty, Baha’u’llah asserted that “the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal”; that “liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station”; that “true liberty consisteth in man’s submission unto My commandments”. “We approve of liberty in certain circumstances,” He declared, “and refuse to sanction it in others.” But He gave the assurance that, “Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty.” And again He said: “Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty.”

    I would be really interested if you agree with this Grover and Andrew. I am addressing you directly. What do feel about this last paragraph? Come now…out with it!

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Its for understanding all of creation, to create things that never existed previously, to figure out how and why things work, and to determine whether something makes sense or not.[...][/quote]

    Read this article Entitled “The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete”

    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory

    This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers. You are putting Faith in your own ability and your own reasoning, your own interpretation and your own opinion. These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction?

    “Expounding the theme of liberty, Baha’u’llah asserted that “the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal”; that “liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station”; that “true liberty consisteth in man’s submission unto My commandments”. “We approve of liberty in certain circumstances,” He declared, “and refuse to sanction it in others.” But He gave the assurance that, “Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty.” And again He said: “Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty.”

    I would be really interested if you agree with this Grover and Andrew. I am addressing you directly. What do feel about this last paragraph? Come now…out with it!

  • Grover

    Regarding the article, I’d say true and not true.

    Theories are bloody useful if you are trying to describe phenomena and you are trying to use mathematical models to simulate what is going on. I can see where that guy is going, but its a classic case in science, such as evolution, genetics, etc, of not having enough information to understand why it is occuring, particularly when you are dealing with complex biological systems. You can make correlations, i.e., when something happens, something else occurs, and make a link between the two. You can then put an equation to it. Increasingly, with more powerful computers and the abundance of data, they’re using neural networks to figure out what the key influences are in complex systems, and then model it using statistical or empirical equations, or attack it from first principles.

    Theories are essential to the scientific method and no scientist worth their salt is going to argue differently. Scientists automatically develop theories anyway when they’re trying to understand what is going on. Those theories are either proven, disproven, refined or shown only to apply in certain circumstances.

    In the bad old days, we used to say it happened because God made it so when we didn’t understand the underlying mechanisms.

    I’m thinking you cited the article because you have absolutely no understanding how science works. Science in a way is more infallible than the UHJ, etc. and religious scripture. Sure it gets it wrong from time to time, but it admits this, and is self correcting, self testing, and anyone can check it out for themselves if they can be bothered learning all the theories and methods needed to test the theories. I have more faith in what science produces than what appears in religious scripture or what the UHJ proclaims to be true.

    [quote post="4"]This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers. You are putting Faith in your own ability and your own reasoning, your own interpretation and your own opinion. These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction?[/quote]

    This is pretty stupid to say. All we have are our own opinions, interpretations and positions. There are some underlying assumptions here that cannot be tested:

    1) God exists
    2) God talks to humanity
    3) God talks to us through messengers
    4) What those messengers say are true and correct
    5) Translations of what those messengers have said are true and correct

    How do you know that these assumptions are valid? Honestly, how do you know? You don’t. No one does. We can form some opinions based on evidence, prior experience, or logic, but no more than opinions. So I find it a bit rich when you say:

    [quote post="4"]These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction? [/quote]

    Its pretty ironic when the Faith tells us to use our intellect etc to determine truth from error and superstition, and you’re busy saying its no good if it isn’t grounded in God’s word or according to God’s guidance, when we need our intellect to determine if all 5 points above are valid to decide if it is indeed God’s word.

    You don’t like it because we are drawing different conclusions to you or the Baha’i party line, and like a fanatic or fundamentalist, you’re busy trying to convince us your opinion is correct by saying it is based on God’s word. Its even more ironic because one of the defining traits of a covenant breaker is someone who rigidly insists that their opinion is correct and authoritative, which you have done several times.

    Regarding the last bunch of quotes, I’m not even going to bother commenting, save its all well and good if you assume apriori that it is God’s word.

  • Grover

    Regarding the article, I’d say true and not true.

    Theories are bloody useful if you are trying to describe phenomena and you are trying to use mathematical models to simulate what is going on. I can see where that guy is going, but its a classic case in science, such as evolution, genetics, etc, of not having enough information to understand why it is occuring, particularly when you are dealing with complex biological systems. You can make correlations, i.e., when something happens, something else occurs, and make a link between the two. You can then put an equation to it. Increasingly, with more powerful computers and the abundance of data, they’re using neural networks to figure out what the key influences are in complex systems, and then model it using statistical or empirical equations, or attack it from first principles.

    Theories are essential to the scientific method and no scientist worth their salt is going to argue differently. Scientists automatically develop theories anyway when they’re trying to understand what is going on. Those theories are either proven, disproven, refined or shown only to apply in certain circumstances.

    In the bad old days, we used to say it happened because God made it so when we didn’t understand the underlying mechanisms.

    I’m thinking you cited the article because you have absolutely no understanding how science works. Science in a way is more infallible than the UHJ, etc. and religious scripture. Sure it gets it wrong from time to time, but it admits this, and is self correcting, self testing, and anyone can check it out for themselves if they can be bothered learning all the theories and methods needed to test the theories. I have more faith in what science produces than what appears in religious scripture or what the UHJ proclaims to be true.

    [quote post="4"]This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers. You are putting Faith in your own ability and your own reasoning, your own interpretation and your own opinion. These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction?[/quote]

    This is pretty stupid to say. All we have are our own opinions, interpretations and positions. There are some underlying assumptions here that cannot be tested:

    1) God exists
    2) God talks to humanity
    3) God talks to us through messengers
    4) What those messengers say are true and correct
    5) Translations of what those messengers have said are true and correct

    How do you know that these assumptions are valid? Honestly, how do you know? You don’t. No one does. We can form some opinions based on evidence, prior experience, or logic, but no more than opinions. So I find it a bit rich when you say:

    [quote post="4"]These opinions, positions, criticisms are only healthy and productive if the essence of your opinions, positions, criticisms are grounded in inspirations from something that is not your own, but it Gods.

    Liberty and concsious are only truly noble if they are exercised in accordance with guidance of God. Who better to give direction? [/quote]

    Its pretty ironic when the Faith tells us to use our intellect etc to determine truth from error and superstition, and you’re busy saying its no good if it isn’t grounded in God’s word or according to God’s guidance, when we need our intellect to determine if all 5 points above are valid to decide if it is indeed God’s word.

    You don’t like it because we are drawing different conclusions to you or the Baha’i party line, and like a fanatic or fundamentalist, you’re busy trying to convince us your opinion is correct by saying it is based on God’s word. Its even more ironic because one of the defining traits of a covenant breaker is someone who rigidly insists that their opinion is correct and authoritative, which you have done several times.

    Regarding the last bunch of quotes, I’m not even going to bother commenting, save its all well and good if you assume apriori that it is God’s word.

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Regarding the last bunch of quotes, I’m not even going to bother commenting, save its all well and good if you assume apriori that it is God’s word. [...][/quote]

    That’s too bad.

    I had a reason to think you would make fun of me for sharing that article. I was testing a theory ;-)

    Im going to Feast…ciao.

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Regarding the last bunch of quotes, I’m not even going to bother commenting, save its all well and good if you assume apriori that it is God’s word. [...][/quote]

    That’s too bad.

    I had a reason to think you would make fun of me for sharing that article. I was testing a theory ;-)

    Im going to Feast…ciao.

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers.”

    You bunch of freeish thinkers!
    You bunch of lousy preverts!
    What a bunch of lousy creeps!
    What a bunch of stinkin’ jerks!

    Honey, where’s my sheet?
    Honey, where’s my hood?
    I gotta go do sumpin’
    about them uppity jerks
    and I gotta do it good!

    “I am addressing you directly.”

    Oh, art thou?

    I think these gleanings from Baha’u’llah are far more harmonious in their complexity than they are apt to be given credit for, especially by Baha’is (of a mystical bent or otherwise). If I find myself unable to believe that, then I must conclude that Baha’u’llah was a lunatic.

    However, I think his words are addressed to different situations, in different contexts, at different levels of understanding. Otherwise some “mystical” Baha’i will write that A must imply B because B must imply A while also implying the falsity of C and D. Or some such nonsense.

    Of course, I could test the waters and gauge the responses by just provocatively asserting that Baha’u’llah was a lunatic, and then watch all the glazed-eyed prima donnas churn out foam-flecked rants on their blogs … oh, but that would be too cruel … wouldn’t it?

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “This is exactly what I am talking about you bunch of free thinkers.”

    You bunch of freeish thinkers!
    You bunch of lousy preverts!
    What a bunch of lousy creeps!
    What a bunch of stinkin’ jerks!

    Honey, where’s my sheet?
    Honey, where’s my hood?
    I gotta go do sumpin’
    about them uppity jerks
    and I gotta do it good!

    “I am addressing you directly.”

    Oh, art thou?

    I think these gleanings from Baha’u’llah are far more harmonious in their complexity than they are apt to be given credit for, especially by Baha’is (of a mystical bent or otherwise). If I find myself unable to believe that, then I must conclude that Baha’u’llah was a lunatic.

    However, I think his words are addressed to different situations, in different contexts, at different levels of understanding. Otherwise some “mystical” Baha’i will write that A must imply B because B must imply A while also implying the falsity of C and D. Or some such nonsense.

    Of course, I could test the waters and gauge the responses by just provocatively asserting that Baha’u’llah was a lunatic, and then watch all the glazed-eyed prima donnas churn out foam-flecked rants on their blogs … oh, but that would be too cruel … wouldn’t it?

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz,

    Your reply to Grover’s incredibly cogent, lucid and insightful response betrays your disinterest in real dialogue, as well as your level of intelligence and overall shallowness.

    And as Grover points out, your ignorance of the philosophy of science is illustrated by the fact that you think that that article subverts reason when in fact it confirms science by highlighting the self-correcting nature and cumulative success of evidence-based inquiry.

    Grover, thanks for your breakdown of 1 to 5. Really helpful!

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymouz,

    Your reply to Grover’s incredibly cogent, lucid and insightful response betrays your disinterest in real dialogue, as well as your level of intelligence and overall shallowness.

    And as Grover points out, your ignorance of the philosophy of science is illustrated by the fact that you think that that article subverts reason when in fact it confirms science by highlighting the self-correcting nature and cumulative success of evidence-based inquiry.

    Grover, thanks for your breakdown of 1 to 5. Really helpful!

  • Anonymouz

    Grover, Andrew, and CoL…

    I wish I had enough energy to discuss this with you more but my argument still stands and you have just simply shown me how weak yours is. That’s is just simply the way I see it…

    All we have are our own opinions, interpretations and positions.

    Not the way I see it…The difference is your put so much value in yours. Too much in my opinion. Grover, you have seen here on the Rant, I have admitted when and where I was mistaken or wrong. I have also yielded some of my views in consideration of yours. But what just simply proves my theory is your continuous and stubborn unwillingness to admit that your little opinion is not correct, and maybe, just maybe, you should consider the veracity of Baha’u’llah’s quotes that I post. Someone here has a serious issue with simple principles of active listening…Hey i’ll be the first one to admit, openly, that I have a lot to learn and my views are from perfect. But your continued arrogance, hostility, ego and being simply mean has really dampend my spirits.

    Andrew, You have attached Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake quote and passively entertained insulting Baha’u’llah to see what kind of response you get. No, it isnt cruel, its childish. Can you discuss anything that may make someone to grow spiritually?

    Since you all seem to detest Baha’u’llah’s writings because it doesn’t fit your opinions I will quote someone else…

    Regarding your continuous attempts to exalt your intellect without the guidance of religion…

    “True religion is found in one thing–knowing the law that is above all human laws”

    and regarding your attempts to mangle the Baha’i Faith into some intellectual exercise…

    “A person changes or perverts religion by thinking that after he makes a sacrifice and prays, God will follow his will and serve him. According to true faith, a righteous person knows what God wants him to do–follow His will–and then prays that he can do this, and serve Him.”

    All in all, I have a premonition that we are talking about something we have differences in…But since we all say we are Baha’is…Why don’t we agree on something as simple as putting God first? This is what it all comes down to for me. And this is why I am so amazed.

  • Anonymouz

    Grover, Andrew, and CoL…

    I wish I had enough energy to discuss this with you more but my argument still stands and you have just simply shown me how weak yours is. That’s is just simply the way I see it…

    All we have are our own opinions, interpretations and positions.

    Not the way I see it…The difference is your put so much value in yours. Too much in my opinion. Grover, you have seen here on the Rant, I have admitted when and where I was mistaken or wrong. I have also yielded some of my views in consideration of yours. But what just simply proves my theory is your continuous and stubborn unwillingness to admit that your little opinion is not correct, and maybe, just maybe, you should consider the veracity of Baha’u’llah’s quotes that I post. Someone here has a serious issue with simple principles of active listening…Hey i’ll be the first one to admit, openly, that I have a lot to learn and my views are from perfect. But your continued arrogance, hostility, ego and being simply mean has really dampend my spirits.

    Andrew, You have attached Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake quote and passively entertained insulting Baha’u’llah to see what kind of response you get. No, it isnt cruel, its childish. Can you discuss anything that may make someone to grow spiritually?

    Since you all seem to detest Baha’u’llah’s writings because it doesn’t fit your opinions I will quote someone else…

    Regarding your continuous attempts to exalt your intellect without the guidance of religion…

    “True religion is found in one thing–knowing the law that is above all human laws”

    and regarding your attempts to mangle the Baha’i Faith into some intellectual exercise…

    “A person changes or perverts religion by thinking that after he makes a sacrifice and prays, God will follow his will and serve him. According to true faith, a righteous person knows what God wants him to do–follow His will–and then prays that he can do this, and serve Him.”

    All in all, I have a premonition that we are talking about something we have differences in…But since we all say we are Baha’is…Why don’t we agree on something as simple as putting God first? This is what it all comes down to for me. And this is why I am so amazed.

  • Anonymouz

    Tolstoy by the way.

  • Anonymouz

    Tolstoy by the way.

  • Grover

    I’m sorry Anonymouz, if you could make a convincing argument I’d be the first one to agree, but you’re behaving like a fundamentalist Christian stuck in the middle of a bunch of evolutionary scientists and wondering why you’re not making any headway when throwing biblical quotes around.

    [quote post="4"]But what just simply proves my theory is your continuous and stubborn unwillingness to admit that your little opinion is not correct [/quote]

    I haven’t argued that my opinion is correct. Unlike you I’m never so arrogant as to assume that it is when it is merely one viewpoint amongst so many. You’re just annoyed that I haven’t found your views and selective quoting convincing.

    [quote post="4"]Andrew, You have attached Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake quote and passively entertained insulting Baha’u’llah to see what kind of response you get. No, it isnt cruel, its childish.[/quote]

    I thought Andrew was quite witty. All he is doing is demonstrating how attached you are.

    [quote post="4"]…Why don’t we agree on something as simple as putting God first? This is what it all comes down to for me. And this is why I am so amazed.
    [/quote]

    You’ve pretty much ignored what I said previously regarding your 5 assumptions. If you can answer those in your own words in a lucid and intelligent manner, without resorting to quoting, and demonstrate that you have a sound understanding of your belief, I’m happy to listen.

  • Grover

    I’m sorry Anonymouz, if you could make a convincing argument I’d be the first one to agree, but you’re behaving like a fundamentalist Christian stuck in the middle of a bunch of evolutionary scientists and wondering why you’re not making any headway when throwing biblical quotes around.

    [quote post="4"]But what just simply proves my theory is your continuous and stubborn unwillingness to admit that your little opinion is not correct [/quote]

    I haven’t argued that my opinion is correct. Unlike you I’m never so arrogant as to assume that it is when it is merely one viewpoint amongst so many. You’re just annoyed that I haven’t found your views and selective quoting convincing.

    [quote post="4"]Andrew, You have attached Baha’u’llah’s name to a fake quote and passively entertained insulting Baha’u’llah to see what kind of response you get. No, it isnt cruel, its childish.[/quote]

    I thought Andrew was quite witty. All he is doing is demonstrating how attached you are.

    [quote post="4"]…Why don’t we agree on something as simple as putting God first? This is what it all comes down to for me. And this is why I am so amazed.
    [/quote]

    You’ve pretty much ignored what I said previously regarding your 5 assumptions. If you can answer those in your own words in a lucid and intelligent manner, without resorting to quoting, and demonstrate that you have a sound understanding of your belief, I’m happy to listen.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] If you can answer those in your own words in a lucid and intelligent manner, without resorting to quoting, and demonstrate that you have a sound understanding of your belief, I’m happy to listen. [...][/quote]

    Grover, I thought about this a lot last night and I have come to the conclusion that the crux of the matter is this: We really don’t disagree as much as we think. You, through experience, environment interpretation and observation have come to a conclusion that is different than mine. From what I gather, you place great emphasis on the human intellect, scientific process, critical thinking, debate, freedom of conscious and liberty.

    Your 5 points

    1) God exists
    2) God talks to humanity
    3) God talks to us through messengers
    4) What those messengers say are true and correct
    5) Translations of what those messengers have said are true and correct

    Your first point, about God existing, you are trying to justify through the above mention principles I gathered from discussion with you. In other words, if I understand you correctly, we are to arrive to the best of our ability, at this conclusion through those principles. Indeed, some people do “prove” God exists through logic, reasoning, deduction, observation and so on. However, it would be also correct to say that people regularly disbelieve in God through those same principles. So, if we are to dig to the root of the reasons to believe, or not to believe, after all the analytical prowess, reasoned logic, unbiased conclusions, etc…We will all still come to different conclusions.

    So, if we are to at least retain a shred of optimism in this mess, in the end, after applying the layers of logic you so arduously cling to, we all still come to different conclusions that simply says to me, that God will essentially be unattainable through such means. Given, some people rest with their reasoning after a while and just simply give up in trying to prove or disapprove. The way I see it, there must be an admission or yield on our part, as humans to acknowledge and to have faith, that God exists. Nothing else is suitable or lasting if one is to move forward as a soul. As soon as we admit that in the end, after all the tedious and mind-numbing math to try and prove God, we can’t, and the only way to fruitfully move forward if we want to believe, is to admit that yes, there is God, and He is above the containment of the human mind.

    Your second point about God talking to humanity also needs a bit of discussion. Since you won’t let me quote from the sacred text, I’ll use my own reasoning. This point as you mentioned relies on the first one, so I will move forward under the assumption that the faith bit is the foundation. God talking to humanity or expressing His will toward man, has been the age old motivation of religions. However, these religions, in the end, are propounded on by men. Men that say they were talked to, showed, come to in a dream, etc…In most cases, these men have sacrificed a great deal of worldly things in the name of what they say they are bringing.

    Despite their different backgrounds, upbringings, environments, time differences, cultures etc…Their message has been consistently the same throughout the ages. This in and of itself is a phenomenon. But, since we will avoid phenomenon due to your dislike of things you can’t explain, we will observe something more tangible. The fact that these “messengers” have always attributed thier message to God. This consistent theme of bringing a message that they themselves as men are not responsible for is very peculiar if one is a sidelined observer. What, psychologically, motivates such animated men to give up the credit consistently, to something that we can’t see, hear, talk to directly, feel our touch? The only motivation that comes to mind is what these fellows believe is the truth.

    Without getting into the intellectual nature of truth, which is subjective and inconclusively after thorough analysis, my reasoning, as demonstrated comes back to the first brick in the castle of a belief system, called faith. My point is, that no matter how much you use your mind, your head, your reasoning, your logic, your intellect, your freedom of conscious, in the end, while they are all the supreme faculties and amazing features of our species, in order for your faith to be unshakable despite all the temptation of fallible conscious, you must yield. This is how I view it.

    God created man with free will > man knows he has a free will > God expresses His will and asks man to use his mind to know His will > man makes a choice to have faith or not.

    In the end our journeys all lead back to the realization that in order to experience true happiness and a true reality, we must look away from ourselves…

    I am at work right now and my post is a bit of a ramble so lets see where we go…

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] If you can answer those in your own words in a lucid and intelligent manner, without resorting to quoting, and demonstrate that you have a sound understanding of your belief, I’m happy to listen. [...][/quote]

    Grover, I thought about this a lot last night and I have come to the conclusion that the crux of the matter is this: We really don’t disagree as much as we think. You, through experience, environment interpretation and observation have come to a conclusion that is different than mine. From what I gather, you place great emphasis on the human intellect, scientific process, critical thinking, debate, freedom of conscious and liberty.

    Your 5 points

    1) God exists
    2) God talks to humanity
    3) God talks to us through messengers
    4) What those messengers say are true and correct
    5) Translations of what those messengers have said are true and correct

    Your first point, about God existing, you are trying to justify through the above mention principles I gathered from discussion with you. In other words, if I understand you correctly, we are to arrive to the best of our ability, at this conclusion through those principles. Indeed, some people do “prove” God exists through logic, reasoning, deduction, observation and so on. However, it would be also correct to say that people regularly disbelieve in God through those same principles. So, if we are to dig to the root of the reasons to believe, or not to believe, after all the analytical prowess, reasoned logic, unbiased conclusions, etc…We will all still come to different conclusions.

    So, if we are to at least retain a shred of optimism in this mess, in the end, after applying the layers of logic you so arduously cling to, we all still come to different conclusions that simply says to me, that God will essentially be unattainable through such means. Given, some people rest with their reasoning after a while and just simply give up in trying to prove or disapprove. The way I see it, there must be an admission or yield on our part, as humans to acknowledge and to have faith, that God exists. Nothing else is suitable or lasting if one is to move forward as a soul. As soon as we admit that in the end, after all the tedious and mind-numbing math to try and prove God, we can’t, and the only way to fruitfully move forward if we want to believe, is to admit that yes, there is God, and He is above the containment of the human mind.

    Your second point about God talking to humanity also needs a bit of discussion. Since you won’t let me quote from the sacred text, I’ll use my own reasoning. This point as you mentioned relies on the first one, so I will move forward under the assumption that the faith bit is the foundation. God talking to humanity or expressing His will toward man, has been the age old motivation of religions. However, these religions, in the end, are propounded on by men. Men that say they were talked to, showed, come to in a dream, etc…In most cases, these men have sacrificed a great deal of worldly things in the name of what they say they are bringing.

    Despite their different backgrounds, upbringings, environments, time differences, cultures etc…Their message has been consistently the same throughout the ages. This in and of itself is a phenomenon. But, since we will avoid phenomenon due to your dislike of things you can’t explain, we will observe something more tangible. The fact that these “messengers” have always attributed thier message to God. This consistent theme of bringing a message that they themselves as men are not responsible for is very peculiar if one is a sidelined observer. What, psychologically, motivates such animated men to give up the credit consistently, to something that we can’t see, hear, talk to directly, feel our touch? The only motivation that comes to mind is what these fellows believe is the truth.

    Without getting into the intellectual nature of truth, which is subjective and inconclusively after thorough analysis, my reasoning, as demonstrated comes back to the first brick in the castle of a belief system, called faith. My point is, that no matter how much you use your mind, your head, your reasoning, your logic, your intellect, your freedom of conscious, in the end, while they are all the supreme faculties and amazing features of our species, in order for your faith to be unshakable despite all the temptation of fallible conscious, you must yield. This is how I view it.

    God created man with free will > man knows he has a free will > God expresses His will and asks man to use his mind to know His will > man makes a choice to have faith or not.

    In the end our journeys all lead back to the realization that in order to experience true happiness and a true reality, we must look away from ourselves…

    I am at work right now and my post is a bit of a ramble so lets see where we go…

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “No, it isnt cruel, its childish.”

    Well, you would know! ;-)

    It’s also a marvellous way to gauge the veracity of someone’s claim to be a “mystic,” because an authentic “mystic” would never react in a childish manner to a mischievous provocation. In fact, a genuine mystic wouldn’t react at all. He or she would completely ignore it.

    “Can you discuss anything that may make someone to grow spiritually?”

    Yes: Abandon your delusions, which are evident in abundance here.

    Beyond that, I have nothing to discuss that you would profit by.

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “No, it isnt cruel, its childish.”

    Well, you would know! ;-)

    It’s also a marvellous way to gauge the veracity of someone’s claim to be a “mystic,” because an authentic “mystic” would never react in a childish manner to a mischievous provocation. In fact, a genuine mystic wouldn’t react at all. He or she would completely ignore it.

    “Can you discuss anything that may make someone to grow spiritually?”

    Yes: Abandon your delusions, which are evident in abundance here.

    Beyond that, I have nothing to discuss that you would profit by.

  • Grover

    Congrats Anonymouz, you’ve made an excellent argument!

    [quote post="4"]Given, some people rest with their reasoning after a while and just simply give up in trying to prove or disapprove. The way I see it, there must be an admission or yield on our part, as humans to acknowledge and to have faith, that God exists. Nothing else is suitable or lasting if one is to move forward as a soul. As soon as we admit that in the end, after all the tedious and mind-numbing math to try and prove God, we can’t, and the only way to fruitfully move forward if we want to believe, is to admit that yes, there is God, and He is above the containment of the human mind.[/quote]

    Exactly. Thats the conclusion I’ve reached too. People have asked me what made me believe in God after being an athiest and, honestly speaking, there was no rational argument or logic involved, it was a choice. And funnily enough, when I told an athiest that, he rather liked it.

  • Grover

    Congrats Anonymouz, you’ve made an excellent argument!

    [quote post="4"]Given, some people rest with their reasoning after a while and just simply give up in trying to prove or disapprove. The way I see it, there must be an admission or yield on our part, as humans to acknowledge and to have faith, that God exists. Nothing else is suitable or lasting if one is to move forward as a soul. As soon as we admit that in the end, after all the tedious and mind-numbing math to try and prove God, we can’t, and the only way to fruitfully move forward if we want to believe, is to admit that yes, there is God, and He is above the containment of the human mind.[/quote]

    Exactly. Thats the conclusion I’ve reached too. People have asked me what made me believe in God after being an athiest and, honestly speaking, there was no rational argument or logic involved, it was a choice. And funnily enough, when I told an athiest that, he rather liked it.

  • Andrew

    Grover wrote:

    “People have asked me what made me believe in God after being an athiest and, honestly speaking, there was no rational argument or logic involved, it was a choice.”

    A God Hypothesis:

    http://oakridgefrs.net/oakridgefrs/Page.asp?id=17

    Descartes says that he will only pretend that all his beliefs are false just so he can find an indubitable truth …

    http://www.calresco.org/lucas/will.htm

    “We see ‘religion’ perverted into a form of ‘control-freakery’ with no freedom of belief, of thought, of possible progress, a denial even of knowledge and science itself. This strangulation of religious thought, this total rejection of evolution or change in any form, destroys free-will, that supposed ‘special’ gift of God to humans. It thus rejects God in itself, whilst pretending otherwise. Thus it wasn’t Nietzsche who killed God, but the fundamentalists, who rejected (and still do) the beauty of His creation – the world-in-itself. It is if we have presented to us a ‘mystery play’, which is repeated, endlessly, without the slightest variation or emotion by the most wooden of actors – who could possibly love that?”

  • Andrew

    Grover wrote:

    “People have asked me what made me believe in God after being an athiest and, honestly speaking, there was no rational argument or logic involved, it was a choice.”

    A God Hypothesis:

    http://oakridgefrs.net/oakridgefrs/Page.asp?id=17

    Descartes says that he will only pretend that all his beliefs are false just so he can find an indubitable truth …

    http://www.calresco.org/lucas/will.htm

    “We see ‘religion’ perverted into a form of ‘control-freakery’ with no freedom of belief, of thought, of possible progress, a denial even of knowledge and science itself. This strangulation of religious thought, this total rejection of evolution or change in any form, destroys free-will, that supposed ‘special’ gift of God to humans. It thus rejects God in itself, whilst pretending otherwise. Thus it wasn’t Nietzsche who killed God, but the fundamentalists, who rejected (and still do) the beauty of His creation – the world-in-itself. It is if we have presented to us a ‘mystery play’, which is repeated, endlessly, without the slightest variation or emotion by the most wooden of actors – who could possibly love that?”

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] ?We see ?religion’ perverted into a form of ?control-freakery’ with no freedom of belief, of thought, of possible progress, a denial even of knowledge and science itself. This strangulation of religious thought, this total rejection of evolution or change in any form, destroys free-will, that supposed ’special’ gift of God to humans. It thus rejects God in itself, whilst pretending otherwise. Thus it wasn’t Nietzsche who killed God, but the fundamentalists, who rejected (and still do) the beauty of His creation – the world-in-itself. It is if we have presented to us a ?mystery play’, which is repeated, endlessly, without the slightest variation or emotion by the most wooden of actors – who could possibly love that??[...][/quote]

    If we read between the lines here, the assumption is that your free will of belief is subject to the control of others. You make the conditional assumption that they have the ability to warp or harm your relationship with God. This is true, only if you believe it to be true. I admit our external experiences often test our faith, but in the end, its an internal and ultimately self willed choice to make your faith unconditional.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] ?We see ?religion’ perverted into a form of ?control-freakery’ with no freedom of belief, of thought, of possible progress, a denial even of knowledge and science itself. This strangulation of religious thought, this total rejection of evolution or change in any form, destroys free-will, that supposed ’special’ gift of God to humans. It thus rejects God in itself, whilst pretending otherwise. Thus it wasn’t Nietzsche who killed God, but the fundamentalists, who rejected (and still do) the beauty of His creation – the world-in-itself. It is if we have presented to us a ?mystery play’, which is repeated, endlessly, without the slightest variation or emotion by the most wooden of actors – who could possibly love that??[...][/quote]

    If we read between the lines here, the assumption is that your free will of belief is subject to the control of others. You make the conditional assumption that they have the ability to warp or harm your relationship with God. This is true, only if you believe it to be true. I admit our external experiences often test our faith, but in the end, its an internal and ultimately self willed choice to make your faith unconditional.

  • anonymouz

    BTW

    It would be a laugh and a half if you think that quote applies to the Baha’i Faith.

    The only time when the individual and the institution are in conflict is when the individual displays animosity and an unwillingness to mediate the concerns at hand. All the beligerant covenant breakers go and cry wolf of the big bad Baha’i inquisition. BS and everyone knows it.

    The Baha’i administration is about emails and letters, kind suggestions and reminding us of what the Baha’i writings say in such situations. Never has there been a trace of what that scary quote says happens…Maybe in other religions but not this one.

  • anonymouz

    BTW

    It would be a laugh and a half if you think that quote applies to the Baha’i Faith.

    The only time when the individual and the institution are in conflict is when the individual displays animosity and an unwillingness to mediate the concerns at hand. All the beligerant covenant breakers go and cry wolf of the big bad Baha’i inquisition. BS and everyone knows it.

    The Baha’i administration is about emails and letters, kind suggestions and reminding us of what the Baha’i writings say in such situations. Never has there been a trace of what that scary quote says happens…Maybe in other religions but not this one.

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “Never has there been a trace of what that scary quote says happens…Maybe in other religions but not this one.”

    No, never! BS and everyone knows it, especially here!

    Oh, anonymouz, unless you’re a comedian in a lunatic asylum for the religiously insane (or a Baha’i video blogger on YouTube), you’ve missed your calling in life!

    You too funny!!!

  • Andrew

    Anonymouz wrote:

    “Never has there been a trace of what that scary quote says happens…Maybe in other religions but not this one.”

    No, never! BS and everyone knows it, especially here!

    Oh, anonymouz, unless you’re a comedian in a lunatic asylum for the religiously insane (or a Baha’i video blogger on YouTube), you’ve missed your calling in life!

    You too funny!!!

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Oh, anonymouz, unless you’re a comedian in a lunatic asylum for the religiously insane (or a Baha’i video blogger on YouTube), you’ve missed your calling in life! You too funny!!! [...][/quote]

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] Oh, anonymouz, unless you’re a comedian in a lunatic asylum for the religiously insane (or a Baha’i video blogger on YouTube), you’ve missed your calling in life! You too funny!!! [...][/quote]

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?

  • Andrew

    I could, but since Baha’i apologetics give you an opportunity to spin the facts in a way such that they can sound radically different (usually better) than they actually are, I won’t.

    As I am sure you can appreciate, apologists present only the nicest results, the shiniest figures, etc.; they have to market the data such that it achieves the greatest impact factor.

    Keep those laughs coming — it makes my day!!!

  • Andrew

    I could, but since Baha’i apologetics give you an opportunity to spin the facts in a way such that they can sound radically different (usually better) than they actually are, I won’t.

    As I am sure you can appreciate, apologists present only the nicest results, the shiniest figures, etc.; they have to market the data such that it achieves the greatest impact factor.

    Keep those laughs coming — it makes my day!!!

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] I could, but since Baha’i apologetics give you an opportunity to spin the facts [...][/quote]

    I am dying to hear some…Don’t be shy, if this is to be an investigation of truth, lets go for it. If you don’t mind that is to discuss the facts. If you don’t want to then I understand.

    its just me here and i’m anonymous. So please, humor me.

  • Anonymouz

    [quote comment=""][...] I could, but since Baha’i apologetics give you an opportunity to spin the facts [...][/quote]

    I am dying to hear some…Don’t be shy, if this is to be an investigation of truth, lets go for it. If you don’t mind that is to discuss the facts. If you don’t want to then I understand.

    its just me here and i’m anonymous. So please, humor me.

  • P

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?
    —————
    Hmmm, let’s see dropping people off the roles because ‘they don’t meet the requirements’, I’d say overstep the nice little picture that you paint. They are essentially closing the community to individuals (most of whom) have been very active in the Bahai community and making them out to be ‘enemies’ of the Faith. In other words, creating a new set of covenant breakers without calling them CB’s (because of course the UHJ has no authority to call someone a CB). Yeah there are a number of things the administration from local LSA’s up to the UHJ has done that go beyond what you say.

  • P

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?
    —————
    Hmmm, let’s see dropping people off the roles because ‘they don’t meet the requirements’, I’d say overstep the nice little picture that you paint. They are essentially closing the community to individuals (most of whom) have been very active in the Bahai community and making them out to be ‘enemies’ of the Faith. In other words, creating a new set of covenant breakers without calling them CB’s (because of course the UHJ has no authority to call someone a CB). Yeah there are a number of things the administration from local LSA’s up to the UHJ has done that go beyond what you say.

  • P

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?
    —————
    Hmmm, let’s see dropping people off the roles because ‘they don’t meet the requirements’, I’d say overstep the nice little picture that you paint. They are essentially closing the community to individuals (most of whom) have been very active in the Bahai community and making them out to be ‘enemies’ of the Faith. In other words, creating a new set of covenant breakers without calling them CB’s (because of course the UHJ has no authority to call someone a CB). Yeah there are a number of things the administration from local LSA’s up to the UHJ has done that go beyond what you say.

  • P

    Care to cite any examples where the Baha’i Administration has used anything but words to admonish the believers to higher standards and a call to unity?
    —————
    Hmmm, let’s see dropping people off the roles because ‘they don’t meet the requirements’, I’d say overstep the nice little picture that you paint. They are essentially closing the community to individuals (most of whom) have been very active in the Bahai community and making them out to be ‘enemies’ of the Faith. In other words, creating a new set of covenant breakers without calling them CB’s (because of course the UHJ has no authority to call someone a CB). Yeah there are a number of things the administration from local LSA’s up to the UHJ has done that go beyond what you say.

  • Bird

    Ano

    Your under so much mind control you are unaware of it because you think you are one of the ?pure? ones with ?eyes to see and ears to hear?… What a marketing pitch! Please keep sending your money for the marble floors.

    I would say declaring the entire bloodline of Baha’u’llah CB’s and making statements such as ?there are no descendants? is beyond ?words? that can fit into an instructional or guidance email for a “call to unity” or “higher standards”. How about sending out an email to tell people to not buy books at a certain place because they diversify in their offerings and not everything they sell is approved. Seems if we asked Kalimat how much of a tangible financial blow they took with those call to unity or higher standards ?words? we’d learn it goes into rent, overhead, vender accounts, mortgage payments and food on the table, yep pretty tangible indeed… Lest we not forget what their hearts felt that fatal day the email was sent…. Probably pretty fricken sad and blown away, a spiritual hand grenade in the form of an email, the humiliation incalculable … It is also soooo BS to think you are an infallible human being when you sit in a gilded room with your ?co-workers? to even deliberate such supreme ?words? to be used to attempt to ?crush? someone who doesn’t do as you ask or conform to what you say. Wow, and only men are qualify to be invited into infallibility, another attractive ?marketing pitch? since men are so renown to be emotional caregivers and have executed such compassion over the ages to one another.

    You wont find all the making of nasty bloodshed using swords, machetes or guns in the BF, but you will find the gory details of murder of the souls, many not even born yet, in the words used by those who think and are revered, by people like you, they are the closest living thing to the actual presence of God…. Yep and all the actual bloodline descendants are dead before they are even born. That appears to be an ?action? beyond ?words?. Imagine being born a spiritual bastard, chard black for life…. How obtuse.

  • Bird

    Ano

    Your under so much mind control you are unaware of it because you think you are one of the ?pure? ones with ?eyes to see and ears to hear?… What a marketing pitch! Please keep sending your money for the marble floors.

    I would say declaring the entire bloodline of Baha’u’llah CB’s and making statements such as ?there are no descendants? is beyond ?words? that can fit into an instructional or guidance email for a “call to unity” or “higher standards”. How about sending out an email to tell people to not buy books at a certain place because they diversify in their offerings and not everything they sell is approved. Seems if we asked Kalimat how much of a tangible financial blow they took with those call to unity or higher standards ?words? we’d learn it goes into rent, overhead, vender accounts, mortgage payments and food on the table, yep pretty tangible indeed… Lest we not forget what their hearts felt that fatal day the email was sent…. Probably pretty fricken sad and blown away, a spiritual hand grenade in the form of an email, the humiliation incalculable … It is also soooo BS to think you are an infallible human being when you sit in a gilded room with your ?co-workers? to even deliberate such supreme ?words? to be used to attempt to ?crush? someone who doesn’t do as you ask or conform to what you say. Wow, and only men are qualify to be invited into infallibility, another attractive ?marketing pitch? since men are so renown to be emotional caregivers and have executed such compassion over the ages to one another.

    You wont find all the making of nasty bloodshed using swords, machetes or guns in the BF, but you will find the gory details of murder of the souls, many not even born yet, in the words used by those who think and are revered, by people like you, they are the closest living thing to the actual presence of God…. Yep and all the actual bloodline descendants are dead before they are even born. That appears to be an ?action? beyond ?words?. Imagine being born a spiritual bastard, chard black for life…. How obtuse.

  • Anonymouz

    P,

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words. No doubt, they hurt, but ask yourself, would it have gotten to that point if the individual didn’t put themselves and their ego before their spiritual well being? This all revolves around how the individual responds and reacts to the admonishments of the Institution. You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.

    Bird,

    Where did I ever say I was infallible? Where did I ever belittle or rip into you? Its your attitude and words I have a problem with and, with respect, I will continue to say what I think the problem is…The false idea of the sanctity of the individual over the community is what still seems to be the problem. I still buy books from Kalimat, and I have faith in the guidelines of the holy text to be able to discern what is worthy and what is not…I agree that the words used to dis-enroll people and the following feelings they must have are painful. But, how painful do you think it is for me, and others who try to reason, explain, justify and relate to those who simply don’t get it? We say we believe in Baha’u’llah yet some out there still hold thier egos and opinions in such high regard that when it clashes with that of the Baha’i Faith, they cry and groan, kick and scream, for what?

    This is not an intellectual competition and you are mistaken to think I feel higher or better than anyone. On the contrary, I feel your pain and the pain of those you have been reminded to release themselves from themselves. I will never say I have accomplished this but I will say that its the greatest challenge toward coming to terms with spiritual reality, selflessness and detachment.

    “If a person is true to himself, he will never be satisfied. He needs to be united with others and will pursue this his entire life, and from this will come spiritual growth”

    -Leo Tolstoy

  • Anonymouz

    P,

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words. No doubt, they hurt, but ask yourself, would it have gotten to that point if the individual didn’t put themselves and their ego before their spiritual well being? This all revolves around how the individual responds and reacts to the admonishments of the Institution. You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.

    Bird,

    Where did I ever say I was infallible? Where did I ever belittle or rip into you? Its your attitude and words I have a problem with and, with respect, I will continue to say what I think the problem is…The false idea of the sanctity of the individual over the community is what still seems to be the problem. I still buy books from Kalimat, and I have faith in the guidelines of the holy text to be able to discern what is worthy and what is not…I agree that the words used to dis-enroll people and the following feelings they must have are painful. But, how painful do you think it is for me, and others who try to reason, explain, justify and relate to those who simply don’t get it? We say we believe in Baha’u’llah yet some out there still hold thier egos and opinions in such high regard that when it clashes with that of the Baha’i Faith, they cry and groan, kick and scream, for what?

    This is not an intellectual competition and you are mistaken to think I feel higher or better than anyone. On the contrary, I feel your pain and the pain of those you have been reminded to release themselves from themselves. I will never say I have accomplished this but I will say that its the greatest challenge toward coming to terms with spiritual reality, selflessness and detachment.

    “If a person is true to himself, he will never be satisfied. He needs to be united with others and will pursue this his entire life, and from this will come spiritual growth”

    -Leo Tolstoy

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53433"]

    AMAN wrote:

    P,

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words. No doubt, they hurt, but ask yourself, would it have gotten to that point if the individual didn’t put themselves and their ego before their spiritual well being? This all revolves around how the individual responds and reacts to the admonishments of the Institution. You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.

    Bird,

    …I think the problem is…The false idea of the sanctity of the individual over the community is what still seems to be the problem. I still buy books from Kalimat, and I have faith in the guidelines of the holy text to be able to discern what is worthy and what is not…I agree that the words used to dis-enroll people and the following feelings they must have are painful. But, how painful do you think it is for me, and others who try to reason, explain, justify and relate to those who simply don’t get it? We say we believe in Baha’u’llah yet some out there still hold thier egos and opinions in such high regard that when it clashes with that of the Baha’i Faith, they cry and groan, kick and scream, for what?
    [/quote]

    AMAN,

    Again, I find your GROUP THINK mentality fascinating. Where do you get the idea that Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, or Shoghi Effendi ever taught that an individual is supposed to turn their soul over to a group of self appointed experts on any matter in life OTHER than a ruling of JUSTICE in human society on behalf of the rights of all?

    Where am I as a Baha’i supposed to accept the directives in the Ruhi Courses written by self-appointed “educators” as the Supreme Word of God? I say it actually is complete glaring arrogance that any person on Earth aggrandized to themselves the right to even write these books. I say the people who wrote them are in reality a Spiritual Archetype that is now going to be judged very, very harshly by events under the NEW LAW of the NEW WORLD AGE. Baha’u’llah’s Primary Cosmic Teaching in this Day is for human souls to see through their OWN eyes and NOT through the eyes of OTHERS for the safety and progress of the human race. I say your mentality as expressed here, therefore, is, IN FACT, in direct violation of the Primary Teaching of the Message from The Cosmic Divine in this World Age.

    I am NOT turning my soul over to any organization to do my thinking for me on ANYTHING. Period. The conversation is between my self and the Holy Avatars and accomplished thinkers of all of human history. Not nine men in Haifa who have managed to game the system to get themselves elected to these lifetime incumbent positions where they are not held accountable to anyone on Earth.

    I am not held accountable to them at all. I am held accountable to the Creator of the Universe. Not to any human organization that purports to say they are to do my thinking for me.

    The people that have written these books have disgraced themselves in World Spiritual History. Talk about self and ego! They have aggrandized to themselves a station in the human soul that does NOT belong to them AT ALL! The Divine Judgment upon them is not going to be pretty. I would not want to be in their shoes. Not at all.

    Just watch as this all plays out over the next 100 years. But in the meantime, please explain where the Writings say we are supposed to turn our thinking over to OTHER people to be a Baha’i?

    I say the Faith teaches just the opposite. The thinking, responsible, developed conscience of the individual comes first. The moral responsibility to the progress of the collective from that individual conscience comes second and not the other way around.

    The bloody history of the 20th Century was the Great Lesson of what happens when this moral responsibility is reversed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21xGjMIs2wc

    http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DNg77mV-2Gw0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6uiIwPigq4

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    Not me, brother. I’m not turning my sacred conscience over to ANY ORGANIZATION to tell me what I am supposed to think. And no where in the Baha’i Writings do I see where we are supposed to do this as Baha’is.

    Anyone who tries to take over possession of my sacred conscience as an individual can go to hell. It starts as some asinine remark in some little crappy “workbook” sanctioned by the “leadership” of some organization and ends with human beings in crematorium ovens. No way am I supporting these materials. No one in the Baha’i Faith had the right to create them at all. Period.

    History will judge both them and the souls who created them.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53433"]

    AMAN wrote:

    P,

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words. No doubt, they hurt, but ask yourself, would it have gotten to that point if the individual didn’t put themselves and their ego before their spiritual well being? This all revolves around how the individual responds and reacts to the admonishments of the Institution. You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.

    Bird,

    …I think the problem is…The false idea of the sanctity of the individual over the community is what still seems to be the problem. I still buy books from Kalimat, and I have faith in the guidelines of the holy text to be able to discern what is worthy and what is not…I agree that the words used to dis-enroll people and the following feelings they must have are painful. But, how painful do you think it is for me, and others who try to reason, explain, justify and relate to those who simply don’t get it? We say we believe in Baha’u’llah yet some out there still hold thier egos and opinions in such high regard that when it clashes with that of the Baha’i Faith, they cry and groan, kick and scream, for what?
    [/quote]

    AMAN,

    Again, I find your GROUP THINK mentality fascinating. Where do you get the idea that Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, or Shoghi Effendi ever taught that an individual is supposed to turn their soul over to a group of self appointed experts on any matter in life OTHER than a ruling of JUSTICE in human society on behalf of the rights of all?

    Where am I as a Baha’i supposed to accept the directives in the Ruhi Courses written by self-appointed “educators” as the Supreme Word of God? I say it actually is complete glaring arrogance that any person on Earth aggrandized to themselves the right to even write these books. I say the people who wrote them are in reality a Spiritual Archetype that is now going to be judged very, very harshly by events under the NEW LAW of the NEW WORLD AGE. Baha’u’llah’s Primary Cosmic Teaching in this Day is for human souls to see through their OWN eyes and NOT through the eyes of OTHERS for the safety and progress of the human race. I say your mentality as expressed here, therefore, is, IN FACT, in direct violation of the Primary Teaching of the Message from The Cosmic Divine in this World Age.

    I am NOT turning my soul over to any organization to do my thinking for me on ANYTHING. Period. The conversation is between my self and the Holy Avatars and accomplished thinkers of all of human history. Not nine men in Haifa who have managed to game the system to get themselves elected to these lifetime incumbent positions where they are not held accountable to anyone on Earth.

    I am not held accountable to them at all. I am held accountable to the Creator of the Universe. Not to any human organization that purports to say they are to do my thinking for me.

    The people that have written these books have disgraced themselves in World Spiritual History. Talk about self and ego! They have aggrandized to themselves a station in the human soul that does NOT belong to them AT ALL! The Divine Judgment upon them is not going to be pretty. I would not want to be in their shoes. Not at all.

    Just watch as this all plays out over the next 100 years. But in the meantime, please explain where the Writings say we are supposed to turn our thinking over to OTHER people to be a Baha’i?

    I say the Faith teaches just the opposite. The thinking, responsible, developed conscience of the individual comes first. The moral responsibility to the progress of the collective from that individual conscience comes second and not the other way around.

    The bloody history of the 20th Century was the Great Lesson of what happens when this moral responsibility is reversed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21xGjMIs2wc

    http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DNg77mV-2Gw0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6uiIwPigq4

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    Not me, brother. I’m not turning my sacred conscience over to ANY ORGANIZATION to tell me what I am supposed to think. And no where in the Baha’i Writings do I see where we are supposed to do this as Baha’is.

    Anyone who tries to take over possession of my sacred conscience as an individual can go to hell. It starts as some asinine remark in some little crappy “workbook” sanctioned by the “leadership” of some organization and ends with human beings in crematorium ovens. No way am I supporting these materials. No one in the Baha’i Faith had the right to create them at all. Period.

    History will judge both them and the souls who created them.

  • P

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words.
    ————
    Ahhh, I see. So in this new world order, religious oppression has to be with machete and guns according to you. Sounds a lot like the old world order. We can’t complain until maybe a finger has been cut off or I’ve been thrown in jail. I’d venture to guess that by that time, it might be a little too late to complain.
    This reminds me of this kid who was arguing to me that openly gay people can’t be Bahais and that the Faith does not discriminate against gays. As he put it, “the administration isn’t coming after gays with pitchforks”, so what’s to complain about. The pyschological damage, the hurt of growing up gay in a community that thinks you are sick, none of that means anything. Just like here, the spiritual damage done on souls who have dedicated their lives to the community, means absolutely nothing. ALL that matters is that the AO doesn’t physically hurt someone. Kind of backwards way of thinking.

  • P

    You still haven’t given any examples of anything other that words.
    ————
    Ahhh, I see. So in this new world order, religious oppression has to be with machete and guns according to you. Sounds a lot like the old world order. We can’t complain until maybe a finger has been cut off or I’ve been thrown in jail. I’d venture to guess that by that time, it might be a little too late to complain.
    This reminds me of this kid who was arguing to me that openly gay people can’t be Bahais and that the Faith does not discriminate against gays. As he put it, “the administration isn’t coming after gays with pitchforks”, so what’s to complain about. The pyschological damage, the hurt of growing up gay in a community that thinks you are sick, none of that means anything. Just like here, the spiritual damage done on souls who have dedicated their lives to the community, means absolutely nothing. ALL that matters is that the AO doesn’t physically hurt someone. Kind of backwards way of thinking.

  • Bird

    Ano

    What part of the all descendants are born spiritually dead did you not get? This is beyond words….

    I don’t think you are infallible nor any other human being.

    “To thine own self be true”

    I’m a big Ayn Rand fan.

    Not WE567826 but rather I0098765

  • Bird

    Ano

    What part of the all descendants are born spiritually dead did you not get? This is beyond words….

    I don’t think you are infallible nor any other human being.

    “To thine own self be true”

    I’m a big Ayn Rand fan.

    Not WE567826 but rather I0098765

  • Anonnymouz

    Craig,

    Just like my scout leader…repeating yourself like a broken record. You have a real issue with interpretation so I will try to make a crude diagram. Thinking and judging for yourself is essential. Your intellect and mind are the methods in which you decide to move closer to God. However, when you hold your own opinion as divine and say everyone else is going to be punished, like you are doing, you isolate, alienate and quite frankly embarrass yourself. You do not appear to be rational when you say such things.

    All I am saying is that your view does not appear to be from the soul, but from your hard head. I read over the Ruhi intro again last night to see if anything stuck out. I admit its not for everyone, but its not supposed to be.

    So… Mind>>will>>choose>>God
    or… Mind>>will>>choose>>Mind

    P, I really do sympathize with the gay Baha’is. I can’t imagine the pain some of them go through. I am encouraged however by the fact that I know gay Baha’is who are very active in the community and simply live life. You appear to be dwelling on the fact, don’t. The condition of homosexuality is up to you how you plan to deal with it. If you feel that making it the central characteristic that defines yourself, as opposed to something else, say for example, Baha’i, then that’s a problem.

    Bird,

    I don’t understand when you say their descendants are spiritually dead. Whose descendants? Covenant breakers? if thats what you meant thats not true either. There are documented cases of Baha’u’llah’s descendants who were cast out by Abdul’Baha or Shoghi Effendi and their descendants realizing the ancestors faults, then requested enrollment and on their way to a new life. Every soul has a choice to make and some souls choices are harder than others, but I think it all balances out somehow.

    Be true to yourself is applicable in some situations, but not all. What if your wrong?

  • Anonnymouz

    Craig,

    Just like my scout leader…repeating yourself like a broken record. You have a real issue with interpretation so I will try to make a crude diagram. Thinking and judging for yourself is essential. Your intellect and mind are the methods in which you decide to move closer to God. However, when you hold your own opinion as divine and say everyone else is going to be punished, like you are doing, you isolate, alienate and quite frankly embarrass yourself. You do not appear to be rational when you say such things.

    All I am saying is that your view does not appear to be from the soul, but from your hard head. I read over the Ruhi intro again last night to see if anything stuck out. I admit its not for everyone, but its not supposed to be.

    So… Mind>>will>>choose>>God
    or… Mind>>will>>choose>>Mind

    P, I really do sympathize with the gay Baha’is. I can’t imagine the pain some of them go through. I am encouraged however by the fact that I know gay Baha’is who are very active in the community and simply live life. You appear to be dwelling on the fact, don’t. The condition of homosexuality is up to you how you plan to deal with it. If you feel that making it the central characteristic that defines yourself, as opposed to something else, say for example, Baha’i, then that’s a problem.

    Bird,

    I don’t understand when you say their descendants are spiritually dead. Whose descendants? Covenant breakers? if thats what you meant thats not true either. There are documented cases of Baha’u’llah’s descendants who were cast out by Abdul’Baha or Shoghi Effendi and their descendants realizing the ancestors faults, then requested enrollment and on their way to a new life. Every soul has a choice to make and some souls choices are harder than others, but I think it all balances out somehow.

    Be true to yourself is applicable in some situations, but not all. What if your wrong?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53454"]

    AMAN wrote:

    Craig,

    Just like my scout leader…repeating yourself like a broken record. You have a real issue with interpretation so I will try to make a crude diagram. Thinking and judging for yourself is essential. Your intellect and mind are the methods in which you decide to move closer to God. However, when you hold your own opinion as divine and say everyone else is going to be punished, like you are doing, you isolate, alienate and quite frankly embarrass yourself. You do not appear to be rational when you say such things.

    All I am saying is that your view does not appear to be from the soul, but from your hard head. I read over the Ruhi intro again last night to see if anything stuck out. I admit its not for everyone, but its not supposed to be.

    So… Mind>>will>>choose>>God
    or… Mind>>will>>choose>>Mind
    [/quote]

    Thanks for the admonishment, but I say both you and them have gone against Divine Law not me. This is not from my mind. I’m going with both Jesus Christ and Baha’u’llah on this one: “Woe unto you ye Scribes and Pharisees”.

    These people have arrogantly given to themselves a station that they do not have in the NEW LAW of this NEW WORLD AGE. The Divne Judgment is Archetypal. God is no respector of persons. It is archetypes that are judged. This is the through line of the picture story movie of the Holy Books. Do NOT be the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees and the END of one World Age and the BEGINNING of Another.

    You can think for yourself. But don’t arrogantly assign to yourself the task of thinking for others. This is what these peopole have done. It is against the NEW LAW. It will bring judgment like sticking a fork into an electrical outlet. But appearnetly none of these people understand about stations and spheres of authority under the NEW LAW.

    Clergy is so over. We don’t need it. Everyone is in charge of their own soul. No human being on Earth has the right to write the “TO THE COLLABORATORS” preface to Ruhi Book One. It is idolatry. It is arrogance. And it is immoral because it is against Divine Law.

    So you were both in the military and the Boy Scouts. So was I. Good. Another thing we have in common!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53454"]

    AMAN wrote:

    Craig,

    Just like my scout leader…repeating yourself like a broken record. You have a real issue with interpretation so I will try to make a crude diagram. Thinking and judging for yourself is essential. Your intellect and mind are the methods in which you decide to move closer to God. However, when you hold your own opinion as divine and say everyone else is going to be punished, like you are doing, you isolate, alienate and quite frankly embarrass yourself. You do not appear to be rational when you say such things.

    All I am saying is that your view does not appear to be from the soul, but from your hard head. I read over the Ruhi intro again last night to see if anything stuck out. I admit its not for everyone, but its not supposed to be.

    So… Mind>>will>>choose>>God
    or… Mind>>will>>choose>>Mind
    [/quote]

    Thanks for the admonishment, but I say both you and them have gone against Divine Law not me. This is not from my mind. I’m going with both Jesus Christ and Baha’u’llah on this one: “Woe unto you ye Scribes and Pharisees”.

    These people have arrogantly given to themselves a station that they do not have in the NEW LAW of this NEW WORLD AGE. The Divne Judgment is Archetypal. God is no respector of persons. It is archetypes that are judged. This is the through line of the picture story movie of the Holy Books. Do NOT be the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees and the END of one World Age and the BEGINNING of Another.

    You can think for yourself. But don’t arrogantly assign to yourself the task of thinking for others. This is what these peopole have done. It is against the NEW LAW. It will bring judgment like sticking a fork into an electrical outlet. But appearnetly none of these people understand about stations and spheres of authority under the NEW LAW.

    Clergy is so over. We don’t need it. Everyone is in charge of their own soul. No human being on Earth has the right to write the “TO THE COLLABORATORS” preface to Ruhi Book One. It is idolatry. It is arrogance. And it is immoral because it is against Divine Law.

    So you were both in the military and the Boy Scouts. So was I. Good. Another thing we have in common!

  • Anonnymouz

    See you keep contorting these things into a distorted, twisted and scary view that is unattractive to anyone. The reality is the opposite. People the world over see the simplicity of acknowledging simple spiritual truths and they then incorporate these beliefs into action and service. You are trying to make it like this big bad imposition.

    But, let me ask you this, is there anything in Ruhi that you disagree with? Or is it simply the method?

    No one is telling anyone what to think and Ruhi is not some madrassa where we sit around and repeat things. It simply underlines what we believe as Baha’is and clarifies it.

  • Anonnymouz

    See you keep contorting these things into a distorted, twisted and scary view that is unattractive to anyone. The reality is the opposite. People the world over see the simplicity of acknowledging simple spiritual truths and they then incorporate these beliefs into action and service. You are trying to make it like this big bad imposition.

    But, let me ask you this, is there anything in Ruhi that you disagree with? Or is it simply the method?

    No one is telling anyone what to think and Ruhi is not some madrassa where we sit around and repeat things. It simply underlines what we believe as Baha’is and clarifies it.

  • Andrew

    “You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.”

    Ah! Their *ordained* function. ORDAINED, indeed.

    The real truth revealed in a psycho-linguistic slip.

    Which presiding bishop conducted these ordinations?

  • Andrew

    “You clearly have no respect for them and discount their validity and belittle their ordained function.”

    Ah! Their *ordained* function. ORDAINED, indeed.

    The real truth revealed in a psycho-linguistic slip.

    Which presiding bishop conducted these ordinations?

  • Anonnymouz

    Check the Kitab-Aqdas…the Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.

  • Anonnymouz

    Check the Kitab-Aqdas…the Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.

  • P

    The condition of homosexuality is up to you how you plan to deal with it. If you feel that making it the central characteristic that defines yourself, as opposed to something else, say for example, Baha’i, then that’s a problem.
    ————-
    Oh brother, yet another conservative Bahai pretending like he understands. Got news for you anon- they can BOTH be central to my existance. But of course if you are talking about your fundamentalist interpretations that I’ve seen here….oh well I’ll leave that up to you and God. You’ll eventually have to answer to Him.

  • P

    The condition of homosexuality is up to you how you plan to deal with it. If you feel that making it the central characteristic that defines yourself, as opposed to something else, say for example, Baha’i, then that’s a problem.
    ————-
    Oh brother, yet another conservative Bahai pretending like he understands. Got news for you anon- they can BOTH be central to my existance. But of course if you are talking about your fundamentalist interpretations that I’ve seen here….oh well I’ll leave that up to you and God. You’ll eventually have to answer to Him.

  • Anonnymouz

    I still don’t see the point in defining your existence by a ultimately worldly condition. Homosexuality is a physical and psychological condition, just like heterosexuality. I thought this whole faith thing was based on the afterlife, where such things are not a factor. If you insist on being gay, thats fine, but my own interpretation is trying to make ripples and produce effects that carry into the next world–not just this one.

  • Anonnymouz

    I still don’t see the point in defining your existence by a ultimately worldly condition. Homosexuality is a physical and psychological condition, just like heterosexuality. I thought this whole faith thing was based on the afterlife, where such things are not a factor. If you insist on being gay, thats fine, but my own interpretation is trying to make ripples and produce effects that carry into the next world–not just this one.

  • P

    Isn’t judging others and self-righteousness a worldy condition too? I’m glad I’m gay. It’s brought me closer to God. It has caused me to question many of the things that were fed to me by conservative Bahais. Besides, isn’t one of the attributes of God Masa´il? Last I checked, one of the attributes wasn’t mindless fundamentalism.

  • P

    Isn’t judging others and self-righteousness a worldy condition too? I’m glad I’m gay. It’s brought me closer to God. It has caused me to question many of the things that were fed to me by conservative Bahais. Besides, isn’t one of the attributes of God Masa´il? Last I checked, one of the attributes wasn’t mindless fundamentalism.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53461"]See you keep contorting these things into a distorted, twisted and scary view that is unattractive to anyone. The reality is the opposite. People the world over see the simplicity of acknowledging simple spiritual truths and they then incorporate these beliefs into action and service. You are trying to make it like this big bad imposition.

    But, let me ask you this, is there anything in Ruhi that you disagree with? Or is it simply the method?

    No one is telling anyone what to think and Ruhi is not some madrassa where we sit around and repeat things. It simply underlines what we believe as Baha’is and clarifies it.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    The part on truthfulness was quite good. But the Lutheran Catechism I went through at 13 was much better. It was based on the Ten Commandments. Of course, the Lutherans have had 500 years to work on it and the Jews 3,000 years to get some good Midrash commentary going in their books.

    The Ruhi material, despite what Peter Khan says in his wishful thinking speeches, is NOT based upon Baha’u’llah’s Writings AT ALL. I just about fell over on some of the quotes that are treated like Sacred Scripture. They were actualy Pilgim’s notes! Any deepened Baha’i would gag on some of this material as I did. I literally turned white and my blood pressure went through the roof. But I did not say what I felt or argue. I kept quiet and was pleasant. But I just could not believe what I was reading and hearing. The material is a scandal it is so poorly done. But still that did not upset me so much. In a normal deepening where people could speak freely, the conversation from people that had actually ever read Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi would have helped clarify things with more context and historical background. But that kind of discourse was strictly forbidden. You read the quote, filled out the blank in rote manner, and moved on to the next rote repetitive “learning” frame. It sent ice water up my spine. All I could think of was the infamous Milgram experiemnt combined with these books worldwide. Where could it all lead?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    The Ruhi material is 95% the mere personal opinions of the people that wrote the material. Presenting it in rote methods with no discussion or further context could turn the “beliefs” of the “Baha’i Teachings” into anything the Administrative Order wants it to be using these methods. I found it one of the most chilling experiences of my life. I would never send another human soul into such a system of rote indoctrination. To me that would be criminal and is against my conscience. I know the Baha’i Faith does not teach the worth of human conscience anymore, but to me it is a core belief. So Ruhi was the end of the road for me after all these years of very real and very active service in the Faith. I can never support a religion taught this way. It is just not me. I would absolutely never bring a person into such a system of mental and emotional brutal coercian. All Baha’is now must recruit to feed these top down systems of ruthless indoctrination and merciless group think. I just can’t take part in something so predatory. To me it is absolutely godless and it is going to bring down the Judgment of Heaven. It is going to hurt when the marble Temple falls on the souls that have created this.

    The irony is that the excellent part on truthfulness in the material actually spiritually condems the very people that wrote these materials! The Ruhi lesson for the first several pages is that if you are a liar you cannot progress in the Universe. The people that wrote these materials that think they are going to wrok in the long run to foster entry-by-troops are lying to themselves. PEOPLE WHO LIE TO THEMSELVES ARE LIARS. I think that is in the actual lesson too! It had a nice Shirley MacLaine touch. Kind of New Agey in karmic terms. I liked that presentation very much. From there on it went all down hill into North Korean Communist Party group think using Pilgrim’s notes. And not even the better Pilgrim’s notes either.

    The method was horrible, the material marginal at best. But put all toegther, it does all fit pretty much into the top down micromanaged times we are living in with the dumbing down of the entire world. But I did like the North Korean vibe in this film which has tied in nicely with the memory of the experience.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=apyB93-1FHk

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=LCJF74V6jVY

    As I said, your community spending a FULL six months on Ruhi Book One is in blatant direct violation of the specific iron fisted top down guidelines. To discuss things for THAT long in terms of the specific text of “TO THE COLLABORATORS” is Covenant Breaking. I’d be very, very careful in telling anyone you did this.

    Everyone have a pleasant Monday evening.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53461"]See you keep contorting these things into a distorted, twisted and scary view that is unattractive to anyone. The reality is the opposite. People the world over see the simplicity of acknowledging simple spiritual truths and they then incorporate these beliefs into action and service. You are trying to make it like this big bad imposition.

    But, let me ask you this, is there anything in Ruhi that you disagree with? Or is it simply the method?

    No one is telling anyone what to think and Ruhi is not some madrassa where we sit around and repeat things. It simply underlines what we believe as Baha’is and clarifies it.[/quote]

    AMAN,

    The part on truthfulness was quite good. But the Lutheran Catechism I went through at 13 was much better. It was based on the Ten Commandments. Of course, the Lutherans have had 500 years to work on it and the Jews 3,000 years to get some good Midrash commentary going in their books.

    The Ruhi material, despite what Peter Khan says in his wishful thinking speeches, is NOT based upon Baha’u’llah’s Writings AT ALL. I just about fell over on some of the quotes that are treated like Sacred Scripture. They were actualy Pilgim’s notes! Any deepened Baha’i would gag on some of this material as I did. I literally turned white and my blood pressure went through the roof. But I did not say what I felt or argue. I kept quiet and was pleasant. But I just could not believe what I was reading and hearing. The material is a scandal it is so poorly done. But still that did not upset me so much. In a normal deepening where people could speak freely, the conversation from people that had actually ever read Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, and Shoghi Effendi would have helped clarify things with more context and historical background. But that kind of discourse was strictly forbidden. You read the quote, filled out the blank in rote manner, and moved on to the next rote repetitive “learning” frame. It sent ice water up my spine. All I could think of was the infamous Milgram experiemnt combined with these books worldwide. Where could it all lead?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    The Ruhi material is 95% the mere personal opinions of the people that wrote the material. Presenting it in rote methods with no discussion or further context could turn the “beliefs” of the “Baha’i Teachings” into anything the Administrative Order wants it to be using these methods. I found it one of the most chilling experiences of my life. I would never send another human soul into such a system of rote indoctrination. To me that would be criminal and is against my conscience. I know the Baha’i Faith does not teach the worth of human conscience anymore, but to me it is a core belief. So Ruhi was the end of the road for me after all these years of very real and very active service in the Faith. I can never support a religion taught this way. It is just not me. I would absolutely never bring a person into such a system of mental and emotional brutal coercian. All Baha’is now must recruit to feed these top down systems of ruthless indoctrination and merciless group think. I just can’t take part in something so predatory. To me it is absolutely godless and it is going to bring down the Judgment of Heaven. It is going to hurt when the marble Temple falls on the souls that have created this.

    The irony is that the excellent part on truthfulness in the material actually spiritually condems the very people that wrote these materials! The Ruhi lesson for the first several pages is that if you are a liar you cannot progress in the Universe. The people that wrote these materials that think they are going to wrok in the long run to foster entry-by-troops are lying to themselves. PEOPLE WHO LIE TO THEMSELVES ARE LIARS. I think that is in the actual lesson too! It had a nice Shirley MacLaine touch. Kind of New Agey in karmic terms. I liked that presentation very much. From there on it went all down hill into North Korean Communist Party group think using Pilgrim’s notes. And not even the better Pilgrim’s notes either.

    The method was horrible, the material marginal at best. But put all toegther, it does all fit pretty much into the top down micromanaged times we are living in with the dumbing down of the entire world. But I did like the North Korean vibe in this film which has tied in nicely with the memory of the experience.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=apyB93-1FHk

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=LCJF74V6jVY

    As I said, your community spending a FULL six months on Ruhi Book One is in blatant direct violation of the specific iron fisted top down guidelines. To discuss things for THAT long in terms of the specific text of “TO THE COLLABORATORS” is Covenant Breaking. I’d be very, very careful in telling anyone you did this.

    Everyone have a pleasant Monday evening.

  • Anonymouz

    Remember what I said about being a little off your rocker and a little delusional? We’ll Im still convinced. 3 assembly members and a couple other Baha’is who had administrative functions were in the study circle too. Yes there are guidelines and basic directions, but some communities adapt and move forward fluidly. That is what is so cool about the Baha’i Faith. Individual communities differ and vary as much as the flowers of a garden. Each has its own little unique way. This is encouraged in the writings actually and re-enforced by the UHJ. Your idea of what all this is about is simply untrue and a miss-characterization based off of a troubled mind.

    Heavy handed,…ha!

    Ruhi is based off the writings and I have not seen references to pilgrims notes. Care to provide some evidence?

  • Anonymouz

    Remember what I said about being a little off your rocker and a little delusional? We’ll Im still convinced. 3 assembly members and a couple other Baha’is who had administrative functions were in the study circle too. Yes there are guidelines and basic directions, but some communities adapt and move forward fluidly. That is what is so cool about the Baha’i Faith. Individual communities differ and vary as much as the flowers of a garden. Each has its own little unique way. This is encouraged in the writings actually and re-enforced by the UHJ. Your idea of what all this is about is simply untrue and a miss-characterization based off of a troubled mind.

    Heavy handed,…ha!

    Ruhi is based off the writings and I have not seen references to pilgrims notes. Care to provide some evidence?

  • Anonymouz

    You perceive me being unsympathetic or cruel in my reasoning, I do apologize if that’s what you think. Nothing else is farther from the truth though. If you sincerely have moved closer to God then great! Who am I to say what you should or should not do. All I am saying is what the writings say. But, as I am sure you know, the writings say so much.

  • Anonymouz

    You perceive me being unsympathetic or cruel in my reasoning, I do apologize if that’s what you think. Nothing else is farther from the truth though. If you sincerely have moved closer to God then great! Who am I to say what you should or should not do. All I am saying is what the writings say. But, as I am sure you know, the writings say so much.

  • Andrew

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.”

    It’s a setup alright.

    The headless Haifan House of Justice claims its authority from Baha’ullah’s Tablet of Ishraqat, but it was not actually “set up” until its election in 1963. It claims to have the right to “elucidate” upon questions or problems, but the difference between elucidation and interpretation is a distinction without a difference, if not completely irrelevant (as Garlington has noted) since the headless House is seen as the final point of authority on all matters. It is in fact similar (if not strictly identical) to Islamic judicial reasoning (ijtihad) as practiced by Shi’ite ayatollahs. No, the BF of the UHJ doesn’t have bishops, but it does have a clerical caste, de jure if not de facto; thus my comment on your reference to “their ordained function.” Ordained, indeed.

    ?Elucidation” (n.) is a clarifying *interpretation* or elimination (by interpretation) of ambiguity. (?Elucidate? is the verb form.)

  • Andrew

    “The Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.”

    It’s a setup alright.

    The headless Haifan House of Justice claims its authority from Baha’ullah’s Tablet of Ishraqat, but it was not actually “set up” until its election in 1963. It claims to have the right to “elucidate” upon questions or problems, but the difference between elucidation and interpretation is a distinction without a difference, if not completely irrelevant (as Garlington has noted) since the headless House is seen as the final point of authority on all matters. It is in fact similar (if not strictly identical) to Islamic judicial reasoning (ijtihad) as practiced by Shi’ite ayatollahs. No, the BF of the UHJ doesn’t have bishops, but it does have a clerical caste, de jure if not de facto; thus my comment on your reference to “their ordained function.” Ordained, indeed.

    ?Elucidation” (n.) is a clarifying *interpretation* or elimination (by interpretation) of ambiguity. (?Elucidate? is the verb form.)

  • Anonymouz

    Here we go again with this Remeyism non-sense. Despite your conclusions or opinions, its the most legitimate leadership out there. Period.

  • Anonymouz

    Here we go again with this Remeyism non-sense. Despite your conclusions or opinions, its the most legitimate leadership out there. Period.

  • Andrew

    You’re right: it’s the most legitimate leadership out there. Way, way out there. And entirely legitimate, criminally speaking. There is honor among thieves, and opportunity makes the thief.

  • Andrew

    You’re right: it’s the most legitimate leadership out there. Way, way out there. And entirely legitimate, criminally speaking. There is honor among thieves, and opportunity makes the thief.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53468"]
    AMAN wrote:

    Check the Kitab-Aqdas…the Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.[/quote]

    AMAN according to the Will and Testament of Abdu’l_Baha the Bahai’i Universal House of Justice is to be elected by the Baha’is of the entire world and serve the entire people of the world in every useful way possible.

    I read it that if it functions in this Spirit of Free and Open Sacred Purity on behalf of all of the people of the world it will then receive Divine Guidance in the SPIRITUAL NEW LAW of the NEW WORLD AGE. This is what I thought it was all about when I joined the Faith in 1971. I thought the vision was breath taking.

    But now 37 long years later, my assessment is that the current Universal House of Justice does not serve the interests of humanity at all, but only serves the interests of it’s own organization and the tiny clique that runs it. It is completely inward in orientation. I believe it is more inward than ever despite what the people at the top say. These people have not been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years on their Mt. Olympus. How do they truly know anything at all about what is going on among either the rank and file Baha’is of the world and/or the rank and file people of the world?

    Secondly, the current version of the Universal House of Justice is NOT elected by the rank and file of the Baha’is of the world AT ALL. They began to change HOW it is elected in 1983. It is now elected from a closed list of tightly controlled candidates that are the personal friends and colleagues of the current sitting members of the Universal House of Justice who have been in waiting as members of the International Teaching Center which is now essentially the closed loop ideological think tank system of the elite of the Baha’i Faith. Is this what Baha’u’llah had in mind? Or Abdu’l-Baha? Or Shoghi Effendi? Or The ancient Hebrew Prophets who spoke about Mt. Carmel? If you can explain it so I can accept this change in how it is elected as being of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, I will. I will keep an open mind. But I just don’t see that this process is either of the Letter or the Spirit of what we are supposed to have for this World Age. It is top down at the dictate of a very, very tiny handful of very pompous and arrogant people living in a bubble of their own friends and own colleagues with no term limits who answer essentially to no electorate ever. Once elected they will never be voted out of office by the worldwide NSA’s who will hold no one accountable for anything ever. The record so far speaks for itself. It is essentially lifetime incumbency for a tiny group of people who reinforce each others ideas. If you can explain that this is what we are supposed to have, make the case. I will listen. But after all my years in reading and studying the Writings of the Faith I just don’t see that this is what we are supposed to have. There is no living sitting Guardian so who is going to perform the function of asking the Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision if the living sitting Guardian thinks it is against the Spirit of the Teachings? This was one of the most important functions of a living sitting Guardian in Shoghi Effendi’s writings. How is this going to work now? Who is going to hold them accountable to the Writings as an equal? I do acknowledge you are intelligent and sincere. I will listen. And I will not write back anything this week. Tell me your vision of the future as to how this current set up is going to help the human race? To my observation the current situation is essentially that a tiny closed group of people who answer to no one will run the Faith in sets of 9 for 40 years at a time. That means essentially 9 sets of men times 21 (40) year intervals over the next 850 more years equals. This equals 189 total people ever in these positions who answer to absolutely no one – not even their own personal conscience – will tell the entire world what to do on every matter facing 7 billion people in every sphere of human endeavor for the next 850 years. Shoghi Effendi said they must answer to their own conscience (you can find the quote in Ocean) but now according to both Douglas Martin and Peter Khan in the deepening materials they wrote for the Canadian Baha’i Community back in the 1970′s, conscience is not a factor in the Baha’i Faith like it is in Christianity as Douglas Martin expressed again more recently in that quote after 9/11. So if they are supposed to be accountable to their own conscience in conducting the affairs of the Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions but conscience is now not a factor in anyone’s conduct, how is this going to work?

    I will respectfully stay off BR for the next two weeks so you can take the time to think this all out and explain how the current system is what the Central Figures and Ancient Prophets of Israel hand in mind and what the world needs right now to skillfully solve the problems facing the planet.

    Please set me right and I will respectfully keep an open mind on what you have to say. Explain your vision of how this is all going to work after every person on Earth has faithfully taken the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses and filled in every blank with no discussion as asked by the founders of the Ruhi Institute everywhere across the entire world in every land and every person on Earth is now going door to door doing home visits and Core Activity acts of service and checking on everyone that all is well and waiting on every instruction in their own personal lives, and every elucidation on everything in life that they must do from 189 total people ever.

    I will not post for two weeks on BR for you to think this out and reply at your leisure over time as you are so inspired.

    I am serious. Let’s hear your vision as you see it. Explain it to me. I will be respectful and wait in silence for your explanation.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53468"]
    AMAN wrote:

    Check the Kitab-Aqdas…the Baha’i Faith doesn’t have bishops, but the UHJ was setup by Baha’u’llah.[/quote]

    AMAN according to the Will and Testament of Abdu’l_Baha the Bahai’i Universal House of Justice is to be elected by the Baha’is of the entire world and serve the entire people of the world in every useful way possible.

    I read it that if it functions in this Spirit of Free and Open Sacred Purity on behalf of all of the people of the world it will then receive Divine Guidance in the SPIRITUAL NEW LAW of the NEW WORLD AGE. This is what I thought it was all about when I joined the Faith in 1971. I thought the vision was breath taking.

    But now 37 long years later, my assessment is that the current Universal House of Justice does not serve the interests of humanity at all, but only serves the interests of it’s own organization and the tiny clique that runs it. It is completely inward in orientation. I believe it is more inward than ever despite what the people at the top say. These people have not been out for dinner and a movie for 40 years on their Mt. Olympus. How do they truly know anything at all about what is going on among either the rank and file Baha’is of the world and/or the rank and file people of the world?

    Secondly, the current version of the Universal House of Justice is NOT elected by the rank and file of the Baha’is of the world AT ALL. They began to change HOW it is elected in 1983. It is now elected from a closed list of tightly controlled candidates that are the personal friends and colleagues of the current sitting members of the Universal House of Justice who have been in waiting as members of the International Teaching Center which is now essentially the closed loop ideological think tank system of the elite of the Baha’i Faith. Is this what Baha’u’llah had in mind? Or Abdu’l-Baha? Or Shoghi Effendi? Or The ancient Hebrew Prophets who spoke about Mt. Carmel? If you can explain it so I can accept this change in how it is elected as being of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, I will. I will keep an open mind. But I just don’t see that this process is either of the Letter or the Spirit of what we are supposed to have for this World Age. It is top down at the dictate of a very, very tiny handful of very pompous and arrogant people living in a bubble of their own friends and own colleagues with no term limits who answer essentially to no electorate ever. Once elected they will never be voted out of office by the worldwide NSA’s who will hold no one accountable for anything ever. The record so far speaks for itself. It is essentially lifetime incumbency for a tiny group of people who reinforce each others ideas. If you can explain that this is what we are supposed to have, make the case. I will listen. But after all my years in reading and studying the Writings of the Faith I just don’t see that this is what we are supposed to have. There is no living sitting Guardian so who is going to perform the function of asking the Universal House of Justice to reconsider a decision if the living sitting Guardian thinks it is against the Spirit of the Teachings? This was one of the most important functions of a living sitting Guardian in Shoghi Effendi’s writings. How is this going to work now? Who is going to hold them accountable to the Writings as an equal? I do acknowledge you are intelligent and sincere. I will listen. And I will not write back anything this week. Tell me your vision of the future as to how this current set up is going to help the human race? To my observation the current situation is essentially that a tiny closed group of people who answer to no one will run the Faith in sets of 9 for 40 years at a time. That means essentially 9 sets of men times 21 (40) year intervals over the next 850 more years equals. This equals 189 total people ever in these positions who answer to absolutely no one – not even their own personal conscience – will tell the entire world what to do on every matter facing 7 billion people in every sphere of human endeavor for the next 850 years. Shoghi Effendi said they must answer to their own conscience (you can find the quote in Ocean) but now according to both Douglas Martin and Peter Khan in the deepening materials they wrote for the Canadian Baha’i Community back in the 1970′s, conscience is not a factor in the Baha’i Faith like it is in Christianity as Douglas Martin expressed again more recently in that quote after 9/11. So if they are supposed to be accountable to their own conscience in conducting the affairs of the Faith in their lifetime incumbent positions but conscience is now not a factor in anyone’s conduct, how is this going to work?

    I will respectfully stay off BR for the next two weeks so you can take the time to think this all out and explain how the current system is what the Central Figures and Ancient Prophets of Israel hand in mind and what the world needs right now to skillfully solve the problems facing the planet.

    Please set me right and I will respectfully keep an open mind on what you have to say. Explain your vision of how this is all going to work after every person on Earth has faithfully taken the Ruhi Full Sequence of Courses and filled in every blank with no discussion as asked by the founders of the Ruhi Institute everywhere across the entire world in every land and every person on Earth is now going door to door doing home visits and Core Activity acts of service and checking on everyone that all is well and waiting on every instruction in their own personal lives, and every elucidation on everything in life that they must do from 189 total people ever.

    I will not post for two weeks on BR for you to think this out and reply at your leisure over time as you are so inspired.

    I am serious. Let’s hear your vision as you see it. Explain it to me. I will be respectful and wait in silence for your explanation.

  • Anonymouz

    You got it buddy. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Anonymouz

    You got it buddy. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Anonymouz

    Andrew you must be practicing transference. The whole thief thing actually applies to Mason Remey and his stooge Marangella. Look over the writings of Shoghi Effendi and see how many times he uses the word “I” and compare that with the delusional rantings of Remey and the rest of the covenant breakers. The pronoun “I” appears exponentially more times and in much greater proportion. This is a simple sign to tell a villian. Go ahead do the comparison. The wieght of thier egos tipped the scale and completely drown thier souls in the sea of self.

    And let me guess, they taught you how to think or question? They taught you how to “use your mind” and doubt. Those two characters have done nothing but talk for 50 years.

  • Anonymouz

    Andrew you must be practicing transference. The whole thief thing actually applies to Mason Remey and his stooge Marangella. Look over the writings of Shoghi Effendi and see how many times he uses the word “I” and compare that with the delusional rantings of Remey and the rest of the covenant breakers. The pronoun “I” appears exponentially more times and in much greater proportion. This is a simple sign to tell a villian. Go ahead do the comparison. The wieght of thier egos tipped the scale and completely drown thier souls in the sea of self.

    And let me guess, they taught you how to think or question? They taught you how to “use your mind” and doubt. Those two characters have done nothing but talk for 50 years.

  • Bird

    Ano

    You are such a perfect present day Bah?’?. You should be praised! You are a male, maybe you will aspire to that highest seat someday. Take all the books and keep up the story. Make you’re $$$ for the marble flooring of your future office…

    I will not debate the born guilty by birth of being a CB unless one repents of the actual grandchildren of Abdul Baha … ALL BS

    But thank you for you thought provoking blogs.

  • Bird

    Ano

    You are such a perfect present day Bah?’?. You should be praised! You are a male, maybe you will aspire to that highest seat someday. Take all the books and keep up the story. Make you’re $$$ for the marble flooring of your future office…

    I will not debate the born guilty by birth of being a CB unless one repents of the actual grandchildren of Abdul Baha … ALL BS

    But thank you for you thought provoking blogs.

  • http://www.firealtar.org/ Lobo Siete Truenos

    Baquia,

    I just wanted to say thank you.

    Many Blessings,
    Lobo Siete Truenos

  • http://www.firealtar.org/ Lobo Siete Truenos

    Baquia,

    I just wanted to say thank you.

    Many Blessings,
    Lobo Siete Truenos

  • ep

    They are obviously coconut breakers. everyone knows that if you put a coconut into a washing machine, that it will break both.

    [quote comment="53138"]
    Some of the religious cults in Meanwhile City include “The Seventh Day Manicurists” and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.
    [/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] This is what I wrote as my first foray into this uncharted territory: Introduction. [...][/quote]

  • ep

    They are obviously coconut breakers. everyone knows that if you put a coconut into a washing machine, that it will break both.

    [quote comment="53138"]
    Some of the religious cults in Meanwhile City include “The Seventh Day Manicurists” and a washing machine religion whose doctrines and beliefs come from a washing machine instruction manual.
    [/quote]
    [quote comment=""][...] This is what I wrote as my first foray into this uncharted territory: Introduction. [...][/quote]

  • Lisa

    Baquia,

    I do understand your frusterations, and until recently I had some similar feelings. I went on Pilgrimage, and honestly, it changed my life. Before I had left, I was unsure what I thought about organized religion, and one of the best ways to see where the faith fits into the equation, is to study past religions, and see the beauty of progression. From what I’ve come to understand, It had to start somewhere… and it has evolved. (Starting with Abrahamic religions)..It started with Abraham proclaiming one Creator, Moses establishing laws as spiritual beings , Christ in loving others, Muhammad solidifying the family, and finally Baha’u’llah unifying the world. Each were divine educators, helping to educate us with what feeble concept our human minds could grasp in that point in time. They were also physicians, with remedies to attain a progressive goal at hand. Because of this, we are different today. Their teachings fit a specific purpose, humans are infalliable, and we inevitably messed up, which caused him to renew His word, thus transforming the world once again.

    Fast forward to present day… being in an infancy stage, there is a lot of struggle on our self identities versus what the writings say. In the future, it will be much more clear. To be a Baha’i is to work together for the good of the world, not the individual. What is good for the world is also good for the individual. It leads to peace. There have been two components to this Faith that have literally floored me after much contemplation… the first is that there is not one concentration in the world. It is the second most widespread religion in the world… and it benefits people of all creeds, races, religious backgrounds, economic standings, and cultures. Each one, no matter how different, finds truth. The second component is the centralization, which I know you struggle with. When you look at other religions, they have inevitiably broken up into sects… yet ours is still in tact. There is a greater good, a greater purpose. Baha’is are NOT perfect… nor will they ever be. Yet, when we understand we are all working towards the same goal, we put our gripes on a shelf and realize there is a greater good. Some of the components that you gripe about centralization may seem tedious, but they are the seeds which will inevitably cultivate a unified future.

    I love the story in the seven valleys, of the lover searching for his beloved. He complained in the beginning as to what he thought was bad, but praised it when the end result was revealed to him. The line where it says those who look to the end see peace in war, and friendliness in anger really hits home with me. There is so much love and wisdom that is yet unknown to us, that is our challange, yet our reward. The Iqan and Epistle to the Son of the Wolf were two books that really put things into perspective for me.

    To recognize Baha’u’llah is to have faith in his word and his plan. We carry it out the best of our abilities, and love those who are trying to do the same.

    Take care

  • Lisa

    Baquia,

    I do understand your frusterations, and until recently I had some similar feelings. I went on Pilgrimage, and honestly, it changed my life. Before I had left, I was unsure what I thought about organized religion, and one of the best ways to see where the faith fits into the equation, is to study past religions, and see the beauty of progression. From what I’ve come to understand, It had to start somewhere… and it has evolved. (Starting with Abrahamic religions)..It started with Abraham proclaiming one Creator, Moses establishing laws as spiritual beings , Christ in loving others, Muhammad solidifying the family, and finally Baha’u’llah unifying the world. Each were divine educators, helping to educate us with what feeble concept our human minds could grasp in that point in time. They were also physicians, with remedies to attain a progressive goal at hand. Because of this, we are different today. Their teachings fit a specific purpose, humans are infalliable, and we inevitably messed up, which caused him to renew His word, thus transforming the world once again.

    Fast forward to present day… being in an infancy stage, there is a lot of struggle on our self identities versus what the writings say. In the future, it will be much more clear. To be a Baha’i is to work together for the good of the world, not the individual. What is good for the world is also good for the individual. It leads to peace. There have been two components to this Faith that have literally floored me after much contemplation… the first is that there is not one concentration in the world. It is the second most widespread religion in the world… and it benefits people of all creeds, races, religious backgrounds, economic standings, and cultures. Each one, no matter how different, finds truth. The second component is the centralization, which I know you struggle with. When you look at other religions, they have inevitiably broken up into sects… yet ours is still in tact. There is a greater good, a greater purpose. Baha’is are NOT perfect… nor will they ever be. Yet, when we understand we are all working towards the same goal, we put our gripes on a shelf and realize there is a greater good. Some of the components that you gripe about centralization may seem tedious, but they are the seeds which will inevitably cultivate a unified future.

    I love the story in the seven valleys, of the lover searching for his beloved. He complained in the beginning as to what he thought was bad, but praised it when the end result was revealed to him. The line where it says those who look to the end see peace in war, and friendliness in anger really hits home with me. There is so much love and wisdom that is yet unknown to us, that is our challange, yet our reward. The Iqan and Epistle to the Son of the Wolf were two books that really put things into perspective for me.

    To recognize Baha’u’llah is to have faith in his word and his plan. We carry it out the best of our abilities, and love those who are trying to do the same.

    Take care

  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=2 Amil Imani
  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=2 Amil Imani
  • farhan

    Amil wrote: We all need scapegoats. .. So, we take the good old easy way out of the mess by shifting our focus to the outside world for targets to blame.

    Well said, Amil. This is the whole point of the abundant writings of St Augustine in repy to the Manicheans, and stressed by Abdu’l-Baha in SAQ, that qualify evil as an absence of good, a void in creation. It much is easier to trouble-shoot than to elaborate a peaceful city from it’s basis. It is easier to identify and to try and cut out disease, than to define, promulgate and live a healthy life.

    It is so much easier to identify and condemn by word, anger and by action whatever people are doing wrongly, than to help them improve. Neutralising hatred which is the void in all the love showered by God is a divine attribute which needs to be fostered and not a natural trend pre-existing in human nature.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Amil wrote: We all need scapegoats. .. So, we take the good old easy way out of the mess by shifting our focus to the outside world for targets to blame.

    Well said, Amil. This is the whole point of the abundant writings of St Augustine in repy to the Manicheans, and stressed by Abdu’l-Baha in SAQ, that qualify evil as an absence of good, a void in creation. It much is easier to trouble-shoot than to elaborate a peaceful city from it’s basis. It is easier to identify and to try and cut out disease, than to define, promulgate and live a healthy life.

    It is so much easier to identify and condemn by word, anger and by action whatever people are doing wrongly, than to help them improve. Neutralising hatred which is the void in all the love showered by God is a divine attribute which needs to be fostered and not a natural trend pre-existing in human nature.

  • ep

    | “No one or group is immune from practicing scapegoating. Yet, some
    | individuals and cultures seem to nurture this disposition to an
    | art form, while others resort to it more sparingly.
    |
    | The magnitude of blaming others correlates with the degree of
    | frustration and failure. As frustration or failures surge, so does
    | the defense mechanism of blame.”

    This is of course inherent in how the bahai power structure maintains itself in spite of massive failures – caused by its dysfunctional organizational cluture.

  • ep

    | “No one or group is immune from practicing scapegoating. Yet, some
    | individuals and cultures seem to nurture this disposition to an
    | art form, while others resort to it more sparingly.
    |
    | The magnitude of blaming others correlates with the degree of
    | frustration and failure. As frustration or failures surge, so does
    | the defense mechanism of blame.”

    This is of course inherent in how the bahai power structure maintains itself in spite of massive failures – caused by its dysfunctional organizational cluture.

  • http://islam-watch.org/AmilImani/Bahais.htm Amil Imani
  • http://islam-watch.org/AmilImani/Bahais.htm Amil Imani
  • ep

    From my 30+ years experience in bahai, very few of the so called “principles” cited in contrast to Islam are actually practiced with any consistency, honesty or integrity. most are undermined by shameless opportunists to promote more groupthink and ethical corruption and conformity.

    dissidents, progressives and reformers have been marginalized in the bahai community, and bahai organizational culture has become mostly dysfunctional and bloated with bureacracy. there is a stunning lack of accountability, openness, transparency.

    bahai is run by exploiters, it is dehumanizing.

    (sound familiar?)

    in the USA, the NSA attacks on Louis Gregory are the most flagrant example of the rise to power of elitists and bureaucrats.

    in Iran, the attacks by the NSA, as allowed by Shoghi Effendi, on historian Mazandarani, are the most flagrant example of the rise of fundamentalists, elitists and bureacurats.

    there are many other examples of how the organizational culture of bahai has declined, and become anything but progressive or forward looking. bahai administration is a pile of band-aids put on top of band-aids for so many decades that it simply can’t function most of the time, except to keep a self-selecting group in power. thought police intimidate anyone that questions the status quo.

    the “opposition” is largely dysfunctional, and either enthralled by 60s style “culture wars” pc/left ideology, which is ineffective, or has been pushed out, and has little or no real internal influence. the few internal critics have to contort their ideas to fit into such bizarre theological constructs that no one with any common sense will see how they can actually change anything on a pragmatic level.

    there are many other groups in the world that have far surpassed bahais in everyone of the priciples stated.

    to use the problems of bahais in iran to cover up the enormous failures of the bahai faith overall is yet another example of the problem.

    if the only way to make bahai look good it to contrast it to islamist fundamentalist terrorism, then a new level of depravity has been reached.

    beyond “PR spin” and propaganda, there isn’t much evidence that bahai is modern, progressive in actual practice.

    in most cases, the good bahais could make a far bigger difference in other movements.

    one simple question: why isn’t this blog run by someone that is “in the open”?

    answer: because of the bahai administration’s thought police.

    to the propagandists:

    the appalling behavior of the iranian government stands on its own, please do not muddy the waters by trying to whitewash the real problem in bahai.

  • ep

    From my 30+ years experience in bahai, very few of the so called “principles” cited in contrast to Islam are actually practiced with any consistency, honesty or integrity. most are undermined by shameless opportunists to promote more groupthink and ethical corruption and conformity.

    dissidents, progressives and reformers have been marginalized in the bahai community, and bahai organizational culture has become mostly dysfunctional and bloated with bureacracy. there is a stunning lack of accountability, openness, transparency.

    bahai is run by exploiters, it is dehumanizing.

    (sound familiar?)

    in the USA, the NSA attacks on Louis Gregory are the most flagrant example of the rise to power of elitists and bureaucrats.

    in Iran, the attacks by the NSA, as allowed by Shoghi Effendi, on historian Mazandarani, are the most flagrant example of the rise of fundamentalists, elitists and bureacurats.

    there are many other examples of how the organizational culture of bahai has declined, and become anything but progressive or forward looking. bahai administration is a pile of band-aids put on top of band-aids for so many decades that it simply can’t function most of the time, except to keep a self-selecting group in power. thought police intimidate anyone that questions the status quo.

    the “opposition” is largely dysfunctional, and either enthralled by 60s style “culture wars” pc/left ideology, which is ineffective, or has been pushed out, and has little or no real internal influence. the few internal critics have to contort their ideas to fit into such bizarre theological constructs that no one with any common sense will see how they can actually change anything on a pragmatic level.

    there are many other groups in the world that have far surpassed bahais in everyone of the priciples stated.

    to use the problems of bahais in iran to cover up the enormous failures of the bahai faith overall is yet another example of the problem.

    if the only way to make bahai look good it to contrast it to islamist fundamentalist terrorism, then a new level of depravity has been reached.

    beyond “PR spin” and propaganda, there isn’t much evidence that bahai is modern, progressive in actual practice.

    in most cases, the good bahais could make a far bigger difference in other movements.

    one simple question: why isn’t this blog run by someone that is “in the open”?

    answer: because of the bahai administration’s thought police.

    to the propagandists:

    the appalling behavior of the iranian government stands on its own, please do not muddy the waters by trying to whitewash the real problem in bahai.

  • ep

    Says it all:

    http://www.amilimani.com

    Quote:

    “Your Contribution is needed…”

  • ep

    Says it all:

    http://www.amilimani.com

    Quote:

    “Your Contribution is needed…”

  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=83&Itemid=2 Amil Imani

    “The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the Baha’is is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the religion, but even to erase all traces of its existence in the country of its birth,” says the statement, which took the form of a paid advertisement in the New York Times. Such has been the plight of one of the greatest segments of the Iranian population.

    In 1993, in Tehran alone, under the orders of the Islamic authorities, more than 1500 graves were bulldozed on the pretext of constructing a municipal center. In a similar fashion, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which holds in great contempt any non-Islamic belief or heritage, has embarked on destroying the archaeological sites of Pasargad, Persepolis and the tomb of Cyrus the Great as well, also on another pretext of building a dam.

    As early as last month, and with the direct order of villainous, handpicked President Ahmadinejad who is notorious for his anti-Baha’i sentiments , the bulldozing began of Baha’i cemeteries across Iran. That is the latest series of incidents in an Islamic government-led campaign of hatred against Baha’is. The destruction of the cemetery by using large and heavy equipment occurred between September 9th and September 10th near Najafabad, on the outskirts of Esfahan. What happened there is an almost total replica of what happened in July in Yazd, where another Baha’is’ cemetery was savagely damaged by earth-moving equipment.

    The House of the B??b in Shiraz, one of the most holy sites in the Bah??’? world, was destroyed by Revolutionary Guardsmen in 1979 and later razed by the government. Also, the residence of Baha’u’llah in Takur, where the Founder of the Baha’i Faith spent his childhood, was also demolished soon after the radical Islamic revolution, and the site was offered for sale to the public. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baha’is are forbidden to live peacefully in this life and rest in the next.

    Iran’s largest religious minority continues to be singled out for persecution based on their religious beliefs. Also in April 1994, in a speech at the dedication of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, President Clinton cited Iran’s “abusive treatment” of Bah??’?s, along with “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia, as a critical human rights concern.?

    The slaveholder, Islam, finds the Baha’i faith a threat to its very existence, since many of the Baha’i teachings are anathema to that of Islamofascism—the favorite version of Islam.

    ?Baha’i students in primary and secondary schools throughout Iran are increasingly being harassed, vilified, and held up to abuse, according to recent reports from inside the country.? “These new reports that the most vulnerable members of the Iranian Baha’i community–children and junior youth–are being harassed degraded, and, in at least one case, blindfolded and beaten, is an extremely disturbing development,” said Ms. Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

    The devastating situation of the Baha’is in the Islamic Republic is reminiscent of prosecution of ?Falun Gong in China’. July 20 marks the anniversary of China’s crackdown on the Falungong movement.

    It is the modus operandi of radical Muslims to write graffiti on the walls of synagogues, churches, cemeteries and other holy places of non-Muslims. The plights of Baha’is are no exception. Here are some examples of graffiti in Abadeh, a small town in Iran: ‘Death to Baha’is, the mercenaries of America and England,’ ‘Hezbollah despises the Baha’is,’ ‘Baha’is – mercenaries of Israel’ and ‘Baha’is are unclean’ – phrases that relate directly to government propaganda that has been disseminated in the Islamic Republic news media in recent years,” said Ms. Diane Ala’i, who represents the Baha’i International Community to the UN in Geneva.

    With more than six million members in more than 180 countries worldwide, the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion that promotes such teachings as the oneness of humanity, the underlying unity of the religions, the equality of women and men, and the need to eliminate prejudice.

    In recognition of the importance of independent thinking, no one is born Baha’i. Once one is born to a Muslim, he is considered Muslim for life. If he decides to leave Islam, he is labeled apostate, and apostates are automatically condemned to death. The slaveholders are intent on keeping all their slaves as well as their issues. By contrast, every child born in a Baha’i family is required to make his own independent decision regarding whether or not he wishes to be a Baha’i. Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of Muslims.

    Islam is now out of its own cage. It has declared war on the dead as well as the living. Islam plans to kill, destroy and eradicate anything and everything in its path to world domination. Secretly, most Muslims endorse suicide bombings and the underpinnings of bin Laden’s assault. For as long as there are bigoted, self-serving clergy and their collaborators with first exclusive access to the blank slate, the problem of supplying wave after wave of Islamofascists will persist. Do we have to have a bloodbath of monumental scale before we in the West see anything near peace again? Isn’t it time to stop this madness and think judiciously?

    All free people must feel for the long-suffering Baha’is in Iran. They have been savagely brutalized for over a century and a half through the demonic machinations of the despicable mullahs. They continue to pay dearly for their audacity to believe in human dignity.

  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=83&Itemid=2 Amil Imani

    “The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the Baha’is is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the religion, but even to erase all traces of its existence in the country of its birth,” says the statement, which took the form of a paid advertisement in the New York Times. Such has been the plight of one of the greatest segments of the Iranian population.

    In 1993, in Tehran alone, under the orders of the Islamic authorities, more than 1500 graves were bulldozed on the pretext of constructing a municipal center. In a similar fashion, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which holds in great contempt any non-Islamic belief or heritage, has embarked on destroying the archaeological sites of Pasargad, Persepolis and the tomb of Cyrus the Great as well, also on another pretext of building a dam.

    As early as last month, and with the direct order of villainous, handpicked President Ahmadinejad who is notorious for his anti-Baha’i sentiments , the bulldozing began of Baha’i cemeteries across Iran. That is the latest series of incidents in an Islamic government-led campaign of hatred against Baha’is. The destruction of the cemetery by using large and heavy equipment occurred between September 9th and September 10th near Najafabad, on the outskirts of Esfahan. What happened there is an almost total replica of what happened in July in Yazd, where another Baha’is’ cemetery was savagely damaged by earth-moving equipment.

    The House of the B??b in Shiraz, one of the most holy sites in the Bah??’? world, was destroyed by Revolutionary Guardsmen in 1979 and later razed by the government. Also, the residence of Baha’u’llah in Takur, where the Founder of the Baha’i Faith spent his childhood, was also demolished soon after the radical Islamic revolution, and the site was offered for sale to the public. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baha’is are forbidden to live peacefully in this life and rest in the next.

    Iran’s largest religious minority continues to be singled out for persecution based on their religious beliefs. Also in April 1994, in a speech at the dedication of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, President Clinton cited Iran’s “abusive treatment” of Bah??’?s, along with “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia, as a critical human rights concern.?

    The slaveholder, Islam, finds the Baha’i faith a threat to its very existence, since many of the Baha’i teachings are anathema to that of Islamofascism—the favorite version of Islam.

    ?Baha’i students in primary and secondary schools throughout Iran are increasingly being harassed, vilified, and held up to abuse, according to recent reports from inside the country.? “These new reports that the most vulnerable members of the Iranian Baha’i community–children and junior youth–are being harassed degraded, and, in at least one case, blindfolded and beaten, is an extremely disturbing development,” said Ms. Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

    The devastating situation of the Baha’is in the Islamic Republic is reminiscent of prosecution of ?Falun Gong in China’. July 20 marks the anniversary of China’s crackdown on the Falungong movement.

    It is the modus operandi of radical Muslims to write graffiti on the walls of synagogues, churches, cemeteries and other holy places of non-Muslims. The plights of Baha’is are no exception. Here are some examples of graffiti in Abadeh, a small town in Iran: ‘Death to Baha’is, the mercenaries of America and England,’ ‘Hezbollah despises the Baha’is,’ ‘Baha’is – mercenaries of Israel’ and ‘Baha’is are unclean’ – phrases that relate directly to government propaganda that has been disseminated in the Islamic Republic news media in recent years,” said Ms. Diane Ala’i, who represents the Baha’i International Community to the UN in Geneva.

    With more than six million members in more than 180 countries worldwide, the Baha’i Faith is an independent religion that promotes such teachings as the oneness of humanity, the underlying unity of the religions, the equality of women and men, and the need to eliminate prejudice.

    In recognition of the importance of independent thinking, no one is born Baha’i. Once one is born to a Muslim, he is considered Muslim for life. If he decides to leave Islam, he is labeled apostate, and apostates are automatically condemned to death. The slaveholders are intent on keeping all their slaves as well as their issues. By contrast, every child born in a Baha’i family is required to make his own independent decision regarding whether or not he wishes to be a Baha’i. Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of Muslims.

    Islam is now out of its own cage. It has declared war on the dead as well as the living. Islam plans to kill, destroy and eradicate anything and everything in its path to world domination. Secretly, most Muslims endorse suicide bombings and the underpinnings of bin Laden’s assault. For as long as there are bigoted, self-serving clergy and their collaborators with first exclusive access to the blank slate, the problem of supplying wave after wave of Islamofascists will persist. Do we have to have a bloodbath of monumental scale before we in the West see anything near peace again? Isn’t it time to stop this madness and think judiciously?

    All free people must feel for the long-suffering Baha’is in Iran. They have been savagely brutalized for over a century and a half through the demonic machinations of the despicable mullahs. They continue to pay dearly for their audacity to believe in human dignity.

  • ep

    “Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of Muslims.”

    bahai is conformist. it has internal thought police that track dissidents, non-conformists and critics, and marginalize anyone that can’t be made to conform.

    the bahairants blog was brought into being because the internal mechanisms within bahai that are supposed to be self-correcting are dysfunctional.

    bahai is no longer the utopian, progressive, liberal movement that many people used to think it was.

    it look to me like “www.amilimani.com” is exploiting the conditions of iranian bahais:

    http://www.amilimani.com

    Quote from the avove web site:

    ?Your Contribution is needed…?

  • ep

    “Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of Muslims.”

    bahai is conformist. it has internal thought police that track dissidents, non-conformists and critics, and marginalize anyone that can’t be made to conform.

    the bahairants blog was brought into being because the internal mechanisms within bahai that are supposed to be self-correcting are dysfunctional.

    bahai is no longer the utopian, progressive, liberal movement that many people used to think it was.

    it look to me like “www.amilimani.com” is exploiting the conditions of iranian bahais:

    http://www.amilimani.com

    Quote from the avove web site:

    ?Your Contribution is needed…?

  • Anja

    Thanks for the insight you’ve expressed on what you see happening in the Bahai community. This type of voice is necessary for growth to take place. If we become to idealistic instead of compassionate, we can get stuck. I have not declared as a Bahai but read the primary books of the faith and my daughter has declared Bahai. I have some Bahai friends but I keep no religious affiliations and never intend to. My pursuit is truth and to grow in being a loving person. Believing in God is not like the believing we do in the corporeal world, where we think believing is a force we should wield. It’s more like just silently knowing that indeed there is a Divine force that connects all things, and having the humility to realize our own limitations in trying to understand God. I see a great tendency to anthropomorphize, and also complicate, the things of God, which is essentially making God palitable to our Almighty Me-ness. We seem preoccupied with the concept of perfection. We must face living in the world we have and see that Baha’u’llah wasn’t talking about living in a Utopian community. I think this is a man made concept that we cling to, so that we don’t have to be responsible for the world we live in presently. Other monotheistic religions lead us into this same trap and it is now a matter of seeing it for what it is and not accepting it. We can never predict how standing up will play out, but Ghandi didn’t worry about it. I think he just kept peacefully speaking the truth, without violence or hype. His intentions were clear and loving. He was a great modern day example of what one person with love in their heart can accomplish. Baha’u’llah spoke out clearly and wasn’t afraid to say what needed to be said to the corrupt leaders he addressed (The proclamation of Baha’u’llah published in English 1967). Jesus had clear words for the religious leaders in his day and, from what we read, expressed outrage because of the complete irreverence people had for the things of God. We somehow think believing in God equates to appearing nice all the time, appearing in control (or in the know), appearing successful because somehow that equates us with evidence God is blessing us and therefor on our side. And conversely if we suffer, well it’s because we are suffering for God. The human ego is dispropotionately blinding us. God doesn’t have sides. People suffer every day that didn’t do anything accept wake up in the morning to face another day of starvation, because we don’t know how to take care of each other, like Baha’u’llah and Jesus and Muhammad and many others asked us to. It has nothing to do with God, it has everything to do with us. Continue seeking truth and be encouraged by the writings Baha’u’llah gave us. The Kingdom of God is not outside ourselves dwelling at the Universal House of Justice, nor at any other shrines around the world. These are simply representations of our values and dearest beliefs. The Kingdom of God is within you and manifests in what you did today that exemplified your love of God.

    My concern with the Bahai community, especially the governing bodies that are in place to oversee, to some extent the matters of the community, seeming ignorant to the world we live in presently. Religion has asked us to lay down and be stupid, and Baha’u’llah is asking us to stand up and not follow others at all, but to think for ourselves and understand not through the eyes of others. We live in a very very corrupt world and the Bahai community appears idealistic and in my own opinion, and somewhat naive. We are clearly moving into the final fruition of a fascist state. The cult of personality is all the rage. Four of the Nine elected members this April 2008, to the Universal House of Justice, worked in Columbia in the 1970 through the early 80′s, something I am researching further. One was a representative for the Rockefeller foundation and all were working with Fundaec. Coincadence? I don’t know yet. I have to keep researching. I would encourage everyone to do research and yes to fully scrutinize things. The time we live in demands that we do. Something I don’t understand is why women are not allowed to serve in the Universal House of Justice. I thought men and women were equal, and that this is a core tenant of the Bahai faith. This seeming contradiction is not something I will accept based on a promise. If you’re not aware of what we are facing as a human race, there is plenty of info online referencing a New World Order. There’s a video on google entitled ‘Esoteric Agenda’ that is a crash course in world and human affairs. I would also recommend watching Jordan Maxwell’s videos on Google. This is not meant to spook anyone, but we have to wake up.

    One last thought. I was so glad to read that you had made the distinction between unity and conformity. It was something that has often been on my mind concerning not only the Bahai community but other groups also. I think too that we easily slide over to conformity as human beings and that maybe it’s partly conditioned. Pray ernestly, especially for innocent people in Iraq and indeed for all oppressed and suffering peoples. We can afford the time to pray for them if we don’t have the means individually to assist in terms of giving food and medicine. Instead of further debating and arguing amongst ourselves, about what we perceive is happening, we can act. Forgive, forgive and continue to choose love so that the virus of hatred is extinguished completely, and make this your own personal goal. Keep you eyes open through research.

    Peace to you
    and thanks for the really great blog

  • Anja

    Thanks for the insight you’ve expressed on what you see happening in the Bahai community. This type of voice is necessary for growth to take place. If we become to idealistic instead of compassionate, we can get stuck. I have not declared as a Bahai but read the primary books of the faith and my daughter has declared Bahai. I have some Bahai friends but I keep no religious affiliations and never intend to. My pursuit is truth and to grow in being a loving person. Believing in God is not like the believing we do in the corporeal world, where we think believing is a force we should wield. It’s more like just silently knowing that indeed there is a Divine force that connects all things, and having the humility to realize our own limitations in trying to understand God. I see a great tendency to anthropomorphize, and also complicate, the things of God, which is essentially making God palitable to our Almighty Me-ness. We seem preoccupied with the concept of perfection. We must face living in the world we have and see that Baha’u’llah wasn’t talking about living in a Utopian community. I think this is a man made concept that we cling to, so that we don’t have to be responsible for the world we live in presently. Other monotheistic religions lead us into this same trap and it is now a matter of seeing it for what it is and not accepting it. We can never predict how standing up will play out, but Ghandi didn’t worry about it. I think he just kept peacefully speaking the truth, without violence or hype. His intentions were clear and loving. He was a great modern day example of what one person with love in their heart can accomplish. Baha’u’llah spoke out clearly and wasn’t afraid to say what needed to be said to the corrupt leaders he addressed (The proclamation of Baha’u’llah published in English 1967). Jesus had clear words for the religious leaders in his day and, from what we read, expressed outrage because of the complete irreverence people had for the things of God. We somehow think believing in God equates to appearing nice all the time, appearing in control (or in the know), appearing successful because somehow that equates us with evidence God is blessing us and therefor on our side. And conversely if we suffer, well it’s because we are suffering for God. The human ego is dispropotionately blinding us. God doesn’t have sides. People suffer every day that didn’t do anything accept wake up in the morning to face another day of starvation, because we don’t know how to take care of each other, like Baha’u’llah and Jesus and Muhammad and many others asked us to. It has nothing to do with God, it has everything to do with us. Continue seeking truth and be encouraged by the writings Baha’u’llah gave us. The Kingdom of God is not outside ourselves dwelling at the Universal House of Justice, nor at any other shrines around the world. These are simply representations of our values and dearest beliefs. The Kingdom of God is within you and manifests in what you did today that exemplified your love of God.

    My concern with the Bahai community, especially the governing bodies that are in place to oversee, to some extent the matters of the community, seeming ignorant to the world we live in presently. Religion has asked us to lay down and be stupid, and Baha’u’llah is asking us to stand up and not follow others at all, but to think for ourselves and understand not through the eyes of others. We live in a very very corrupt world and the Bahai community appears idealistic and in my own opinion, and somewhat naive. We are clearly moving into the final fruition of a fascist state. The cult of personality is all the rage. Four of the Nine elected members this April 2008, to the Universal House of Justice, worked in Columbia in the 1970 through the early 80′s, something I am researching further. One was a representative for the Rockefeller foundation and all were working with Fundaec. Coincadence? I don’t know yet. I have to keep researching. I would encourage everyone to do research and yes to fully scrutinize things. The time we live in demands that we do. Something I don’t understand is why women are not allowed to serve in the Universal House of Justice. I thought men and women were equal, and that this is a core tenant of the Bahai faith. This seeming contradiction is not something I will accept based on a promise. If you’re not aware of what we are facing as a human race, there is plenty of info online referencing a New World Order. There’s a video on google entitled ‘Esoteric Agenda’ that is a crash course in world and human affairs. I would also recommend watching Jordan Maxwell’s videos on Google. This is not meant to spook anyone, but we have to wake up.

    One last thought. I was so glad to read that you had made the distinction between unity and conformity. It was something that has often been on my mind concerning not only the Bahai community but other groups also. I think too that we easily slide over to conformity as human beings and that maybe it’s partly conditioned. Pray ernestly, especially for innocent people in Iraq and indeed for all oppressed and suffering peoples. We can afford the time to pray for them if we don’t have the means individually to assist in terms of giving food and medicine. Instead of further debating and arguing amongst ourselves, about what we perceive is happening, we can act. Forgive, forgive and continue to choose love so that the virus of hatred is extinguished completely, and make this your own personal goal. Keep you eyes open through research.

    Peace to you
    and thanks for the really great blog

  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php Amil

    Dear friends,

    As a non-Baha’i, everything I have written has been my opinion only. Baha’is are extremely peaceful people and they believe that Prophet Muhammad was a messenger of God as oppose to me. I am not a Bahai, but an ex-Muslim and free thinker. I will defend the rights of all suffering people, including my Baha’i compatriots in Iran as well as the Jews, Zoroasterians and people with no faith at all.

    Again, Baha’is respect and believe in all messengers of God.

    Best regards,
    Amil

  • http://www.amilimani.com/index.php Amil

    Dear friends,

    As a non-Baha’i, everything I have written has been my opinion only. Baha’is are extremely peaceful people and they believe that Prophet Muhammad was a messenger of God as oppose to me. I am not a Bahai, but an ex-Muslim and free thinker. I will defend the rights of all suffering people, including my Baha’i compatriots in Iran as well as the Jews, Zoroasterians and people with no faith at all.

    Again, Baha’is respect and believe in all messengers of God.

    Best regards,
    Amil

  • Mona

    LOL! I know how frustrated you may feel about a lot of that community stuff! Haha, that's all totally stuff that you get in a community that hasn't experienced growth in a while.

    But d-dang yo, you should see what's down in Minneapolis. Really lots of positive signs now! The Assembly has changed membership a lot more lately, including lots of young people in their 20's and 30's.

    We're trying new things a lot, like having different teams of people get together and plan and host Feast. You know, it's fun. AND we do a lot to support individual initiative, definitely encouraging ideas for how to have good times at the Baha'i Center and make Holy Day celebrations, etc. that we want to invite our friends to. And our friends get to meet each other. I mean, it's a sweet, vibrant community, and I really love it.

    And Ruhi, man, I had a rough start with my first study circle, but my second one actually went really well! The simple exercises help with memorizing the quotes. It's not bad if you take it at a sprightly pace. And the necessity of doing the practices, where the facilitators accompany the participants, really helps you form bonds of finding ways to serve together and apply the Writings to the vitalization of the community and the world.

    This is all first-hand experience from me. I haven't gotten to do junior youth groups because I don't have the time, but my best friend says hers is really amazing, and I've talked to one of her junior youth about it. It really amazes me how the young people today are getting much better at integrating their Baha'i life with the rest of their reality and becoming a real source of moral leadership among their peers! Also, you should check the newest newsreel about junior youth groups. It's inspiring.

    I guess you could say that all these great things I'm experiencing really makes me confident that the awesomeness of people, and the ideas and excitement that they bring to a swiftly-growing community will help heal all those problems in the community even faster now. And the Faith is just awesome. People at my university are finding the Faith and are stymied at how they didn't know about it before.

    I just have to say, the Plans may be centralized, but their execution is really based on individual initiative. And I can see that, in myself, and in those around me. And the reports that they get from the Auxiliary Board Members and their assistants really come from the ground up. They travel and share specific stories and personal experiences that help our community's learning tremendously!

    I agree with you that criticism shouldn't be censored, hence, good luck with your blog. But I will say with full confidence that encouragement is worth infinitely more. All I can back that with is the full force of my life experiences.

    Hope you get to witness a stellar and vibrant Baha'i community!

    -Mona

  • Mona

    LOL! I know how frustrated you may feel about a lot of that community stuff! Haha, that's all totally stuff that you get in a community that hasn't experienced growth in a while.

    But d-dang yo, you should see what's down in Minneapolis. Really lots of positive signs now! The Assembly has changed membership a lot more lately, including lots of young people in their 20's and 30's.

    We're trying new things a lot, like having different teams of people get together and plan and host Feast. You know, it's fun. AND we do a lot to support individual initiative, definitely encouraging ideas for how to have good times at the Baha'i Center and make Holy Day celebrations, etc. that we want to invite our friends to. And our friends get to meet each other. I mean, it's a sweet, vibrant community, and I really love it.

    And Ruhi, man, I had a rough start with my first study circle, but my second one actually went really well! The simple exercises help with memorizing the quotes. It's not bad if you take it at a sprightly pace. And the necessity of doing the practices, where the facilitators accompany the participants, really helps you form bonds of finding ways to serve together and apply the Writings to the vitalization of the community and the world.

    This is all first-hand experience from me. I haven't gotten to do junior youth groups because I don't have the time, but my best friend says hers is really amazing, and I've talked to one of her junior youth about it. It really amazes me how the young people today are getting much better at integrating their Baha'i life with the rest of their reality and becoming a real source of moral leadership among their peers! Also, you should check the newest newsreel about junior youth groups. It's inspiring.

    I guess you could say that all these great things I'm experiencing really makes me confident that the awesomeness of people, and the ideas and excitement that they bring to a swiftly-growing community will help heal all those problems in the community even faster now. And the Faith is just awesome. People at my university are finding the Faith and are stymied at how they didn't know about it before.

    I just have to say, the Plans may be centralized, but their execution is really based on individual initiative. And I can see that, in myself, and in those around me. And the reports that they get from the Auxiliary Board Members and their assistants really come from the ground up. They travel and share specific stories and personal experiences that help our community's learning tremendously!

    I agree with you that criticism shouldn't be censored, hence, good luck with your blog. But I will say with full confidence that encouragement is worth infinitely more. All I can back that with is the full force of my life experiences.

    Hope you get to witness a stellar and vibrant Baha'i community!

    -Mona

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Badhras Badhras

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this question, but I wasn't sure how and where else to ask it. I noticed that some people have long comments. When I try to post, I get a pop-up saying my comment is too long and that I try to divide things up into multiple comments. How do I post a long comment?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Badhras Badhras

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this question, but I wasn't sure how and where else to ask it. I noticed that some people have long comments. When I try to post, I get a pop-up saying my comment is too long and that I try to divide things up into multiple comments. How do I post a long comment?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Badhras, not sure what could be causing this problem since I've never had an issue and no one else has mentioned anything about this. Commenting is as easy as hitting reply and then typing. If the problem persists, can you get a screengrab by hitting the PrtScn button on your keyboard and sending it to baquia9 at gmail dot com.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Badhras, not sure what could be causing this problem since I've never had an issue and no one else has mentioned anything about this. Commenting is as easy as hitting reply and then typing. If the problem persists, can you get a screengrab by hitting the PrtScn button on your keyboard and sending it to baquia9 at gmail dot com.

  • Bird

    I've had the same thing happen Baquia just to let you know, maybe I must sign in first?

    Bird

  • Bird

    I've had the same thing happen Baquia just to let you know, maybe I must sign in first?

    Bird

  • Marcello

    Excellent blog. It's refreshing to see someone within the Baha'i Faith asking the questions that those of us outside of the faith are asking.

    I am greatly attracted to the teachings of Baha'u'llah and most of the principles of the Baha'i Faith. But the UHJ makes me want to run screaming in the opposite direction! A free and open conversation is necessary to the ongoing vitality of any faith. The reason that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other faiths have lasted for centuries is precisely because there has been an ongoing debate about the meanings of their holy teachings. It's a debate that I don't see happening in the Baha'i Faith.

    I'm afraid that the UHJ's insistence on "unity" (and their own claimed "infallibility") is effectively slamming the door on any opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth. Sometimes I wonder if the Baha'i Faith already has one foot in the grave. If so, the UHJ will be nine nails in the coffin.

  • Marcello

    Excellent blog. It's refreshing to see someone within the Baha'i Faith asking the questions that those of us outside of the faith are asking.

    I am greatly attracted to the teachings of Baha'u'llah and most of the principles of the Baha'i Faith. But the UHJ makes me want to run screaming in the opposite direction! A free and open conversation is necessary to the ongoing vitality of any faith. The reason that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other faiths have lasted for centuries is precisely because there has been an ongoing debate about the meanings of their holy teachings. It's a debate that I don't see happening in the Baha'i Faith.

    I'm afraid that the UHJ's insistence on "unity" (and their own claimed "infallibility") is effectively slamming the door on any opportunities for spiritual and intellectual growth. Sometimes I wonder if the Baha'i Faith already has one foot in the grave. If so, the UHJ will be nine nails in the coffin.

  • Trimpers Breadley

    Tonight is the Ascension of Baha'u'llah. That God-Man whom most of us on this site have been inspired by. On such a night, when we feel the vibrating power pulsing out through the velvety dark from an unseen Spiritual Centre, let us look to and celebrate the Great Peace which exists, below the turbulent surface which so magnetizes our attention. There are imperfections everywhere, but let us look to Beauty and Patience and Compassion and focus on what we can do to change the world. It is easy to criticize, but hard to change ourselves, much less others. The tongue is to speak well of others. It doesn't mean we should blind ourselves or refuse to see the failings all around. But, isn't it the essence of the Baha'i way of life to create change through love and example, to give up the burdens of disappointment, and forever mount the steed of faith? Let each, if they must, express their views, their hurts, their perception of injustice, their analysis, but in proportion so that in no wise the Truth, the Glory and Greatness of God's Cause is not veiled.

  • Trimpers Breadley

    Tonight is the Ascension of Baha'u'llah. That God-Man whom most of us on this site have been inspired by. On such a night, when we feel the vibrating power pulsing out through the velvety dark from an unseen Spiritual Centre, let us look to and celebrate the Great Peace which exists, below the turbulent surface which so magnetizes our attention. There are imperfections everywhere, but let us look to Beauty and Patience and Compassion and focus on what we can do to change the world. It is easy to criticize, but hard to change ourselves, much less others. The tongue is to speak well of others. It doesn't mean we should blind ourselves or refuse to see the failings all around. But, isn't it the essence of the Baha'i way of life to create change through love and example, to give up the burdens of disappointment, and forever mount the steed of faith? Let each, if they must, express their views, their hurts, their perception of injustice, their analysis, but in proportion so that in no wise the Truth, the Glory and Greatness of God's Cause is not veiled.

  • bahaullah

    Dear you need to read and understand (difficult) the Quran first
    to achieve this goal you have to stitch it to the ahadith and ibn-ishaq siratulrasullullah
    then you decide if it is the truth and not the garbage so you can go ahead and see what is shiah shaikhi babi bahai

    you are arguing the validity of the elections ofthe bahai faith

    for me it is really funny if you discover that islam was false fake garbage

    or maybe you do not need to do so

    just tomorro morning read your newspapers

    today they killed in Yemen german tourists (their god was Arrahman and in mecca first muhammad adopted Rahman as his god)

    quran is a hate book 60% bad copy of bible rest pagan quraish belief and rest of it telling the arabs why he killed and why is good why he burned the trees of bani qurayza and it is ok why he desiered Zainab and married and is ok why he raided in Rajab the caravan of his fellow tribe and why killing meccan was ok ……

    have a nice time you need lots of time instead of blogging on gay bahais women in universal house of justice the will of Shoghi why franco ceccherini is a good national assembly secretary thief… bla bla bla bal

  • NOFAITH

    islam is a lie
    the you are talking about imperfection??

    just tell me : could you define the word “future” in the writings of bab bahaullah abdulbaha shoghi??
    bahaullah in aqdas : very soon we will define Zakat!

    and when will arrive this future for the univ hou justice??

    good night

  • here

    this is secondary if you investigate quran and bahai claim

    if Quran is garbage so you will argue about UHJ ???

  • beyond Bahai

    Great stuff! I grew up in Eastern Germany, I experienced how a regime could be overthrown without anyone being harmed or killed, and it had a lot to do with he engagement of Christians which impressed friend and enemy with their moralic stance taken. I had some hope that Bahai could play a similar role in the Islamic world and in Iran in particular, that they could give people hope that there is more to life than just the obligation to follow some centuries-old rules. It is now years ago I heard about the Bahai faith first, I got interested, I tried to learn more about it, I even took part in a Ruhi course, and I must say: The more I learned the more boring and senseles it became. What at the first glance was a movement to change the world for the better turned out to be bunch of people prefering to stand at the sideline of history watching things passing. There are great people in the Bahai faith, but somehow everything is wasted there. And the letter of the Guardian Council, pardon, the UHJ regarding refraining from any partisan acivity in Iran really gave me the rest. So I am happy to see now that not all Bahais are just blind followers. Take care everybody, and let there come a change in Iran soon.

  • TheMuslimAgorist

    Greetings, I'm trying to reach Baquia, but I'm not sure if this is the way to do it.

    Here's the scoop… I'm a Muslim with a Bahai Stepdad and 2 years ago I posted a rant about my frustrations about unanswered questions about the Bahai Faith. Well, unknown to me that post got picked up by Bahaisonline.net, which I discovered just a month ago. So, I submitted to them a replacement article which expanded upon my questions, but removed any personal data about my family. Steve Marshall from Bahaisonline suggested that I send the article over to you. If you think it's worth the discussion, maybe you'll cross post it. Tell me what you think…

    http://ijtihad-alkitab.livejournal.com/26972.html

  • Craig Parke

    TMA,

    I read you article. This is not how I see spirituality at all. I see it as much more mystical in the Sufi traditions and other systems of Middle Eastern Mysticism that pre-date Islam.

    I like these people very much:

    http://www.abwoon.com/shop/

    I pretty much live by this book now among many other systems of mysticism.

    http://tinyurl.com/pzfd4o

    But I certainly wish you well on your path.

    My take after having lived this long is that there IS a Source Creator God revealed in the limitless Cosmos (Allah or whatever!) but our present human life form on this planet is utterly incapable of understanding anything whatsoever about this Cosmic Source Power and won’t be able to for at least another 10,000 years. But I am hopeful we will eventually get there. But just look around you. It ain’t happening anywhere on this planet at the present time.

    So being the “Seal of the Prophets” or not being the “Seal of the Prophets” is totally irrelevant because they all to a man utterly failed and their grade is FD!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/18/canadian-university-intro_n_262636.html

    Nice try for all you folks from the Middle East but the Abrahamic religions were a complete bust. It’s back to the drawing board. At this stage the big problem on the planet is mental illness. And no religion has been able to solve it yet. This has been the 3,000 year lesson.

    But, again, I wish you well on your path. Just try not to get too fundamentalist and end up at the control of a Boeing 767 knowing how to take off but not how to land.

    So it goes.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be contemplating this:

    http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/and2disk.jpg

    And this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

    Does all “organized religion” collapse the individual quantum wave of spirituality?

    Hummm…..

  • Baquia

    Salaam, if you'd like to contact me there is a tab at the top for that.

    It seems you are interested in two questions: Where did Muhammad foretell the coming of Bahaullah? and two, the infamous 'seal' conundrum. For the second I found this. For the second again, google is your friend. I found this but I'm sure there is more floating around.

    You may also wish to consult with Sen who knows more about Islam and the Quran than I do.

  • Grover

    Hi, in your article you wanted to know where in the Quran it mentioned Baha'u'llah. I do not think there is anything there is anything specific in the Quran that could be used, hence the mucking around you got. All the allegories that could be interpreted as referring to Baha'u'llah and the Bab seem to be in various muslim traditions. There is a reference by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Iqan to several muslim traditions click here page 241 (hopefully the hyperlink works):

    “In the “Av??lim,” an authoritative and well-known book, it is recorded: “A Youth from Ban?-H??shim shall be made manifest, Who will reveal a new Book and promulgate a new law;” then follow these words: “Most of His enemies will be the divines.” In another passage, it is related of S??diq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke the following: “There shall appear a Youth from Ban?-H??shim, Who will bid the people plight fealty unto Him. His Book will be a new Book, unto which He shall summon the people to pledge their faith. Stern is His Revelation unto the Arab. If ye hear about Him, hasten unto Him.” How well have they followed the directions of the Im??ms of the Faith and Lamps of certitude! Although it is clearly stated: “Were ye to hear that a Youth from Ban?-H??shim hath appeared, summoning the people unto a new and Divine Book, and to new and Divine laws, hasten unto Him,” yet have they all declared that Lord of being an infidel, and pronounced Him a heretic. They hastened not unto that H??shimite Light, that divine Manifestation, except with drawn swords, and hearts filled with malice.”

    Another muslim I met had asked the exact same question you did and he seemed satisfied with that response. There are also other references in the Dawn Breakers to muslim traditions that can be used to give dates of when the Bab and Baha'u'llah would appear. I don't know the exact locations in the book as its been a while since I've read Dawn Breakers.

    It may or may not satisfy you – but as with any prophecy, they always vague, can be interpreted in many ways, and its only after the event had happened that you go “aha this means that particular event”. It all depends on what you belong to – if you belong to another religion you may think its not terribly convincing and a bit of a stretch.

  • Craig Parke

    TMA,

    I read you article. This is not how I see spirituality at all. To me your viewpoint is too legalistic and formal like filling out a form to get a driver's license at the official taxpayer supported State DMV. But as a free soul you are entitled to your viewpoint on human spiritual consciousness. I see it as much more mystical in the Sufi traditions and other systems of Middle Eastern and Indigenous Mysticism that actually predate Islam.

    I like these people very much:

    http://www.abwoon.com/shop/

    I pretty much live by this book now among many other systems of mysticism.

    http://tinyurl.com/pzfd4o

    But I certainly wish you well on your path.

    My take after having lived this long is that there IS a Source Creator Power revealed in the limitless cosmos (“Allah” or “God” or whatever!) but our present human life form on this planet is utterly incapable of understanding anything whatsoever about this cosmic Source Creator Power and won't be able to do so for AT LEAST another 10,000 years. But I am hopeful we will eventually get there. But just look around you! It ain't happening in a sustained manner ANYWHERE on this planet at the present time. The rise in consciousness is one step forward 10,000 steps back. But the Internet has increased the odds for actual atom by atom ascent in consciousness a bit indeed.

    So being the “Seal of the Prophets” or not being the “Seal of the Prophets” is totally irrelevant because the “Prophets” to a man at ALL grades and stations utterly failed and their grade is a big fat F!

    Nice try for all you folks here from the cultures of the Middle East, but the Abrahamic religions were a complete bust. The Middle Eastern chain store franchise on “organized religion” is over. It's back to the drawing board now for thousands of more years. At this stage the big problem on the planet is both individual and mass mental illness. And no religion anyone has ever seen has been able to solve it yet. This has been the 3,000 year lesson of the sorry recorded history of civilizations. Human beings are often completely nuts and they are often at their absolute total worst in matters of “religion”.

    But, again, I wish you well on your path. Just try not to get too fundamentalist and end up at the control of a Boeing 767 knowing how to take off but not how to land. Please be sure to know how to land!

    So it goes.

  • Name

    Hi Friend,
    about the opinion that “that unity must equal conformity ” in the current Baha'i community is, to my mind, an indication of where we are as a community. Baha'u'llah spoke of unity and a new world order, whichis what we are working towards. As you see very clearly, we are so not there yet. What Baha'u'llah teaches is 'where we're going' and 'how to get there'. It's my understanding of human history that we won't achieve the vision of the manifestation of God until we hammer out, practice, try, fail, try again. Long story short, I see our current, somewhat disfunctional present to be nothing more than a trying stepping stone to the promise of the future.

  • Baquia

    I agree. Do you think an unvarnished dialogue regarding this is helpful?

  • Anonymous

    And I suppose YOU have found the 'Truth'? Wow, 6 billion people and only one knows 'it'. Congratulations.

  • Craig Parke

    Anonymous,

    To repeat…

    “But, again, I wish you well on your path. Just try not to get too fundamentalist and end up at the control of a Boeing 767 knowing how to take off but not how to land. Please be sure to know how to land!”

    From your many posts here in the past, I rest my case. You surely don't want to end up wearing a dress for the Patron Saint of Lock Step Brain Chemistry Fundamentalists – Boeing 767 Pilot Mohammad Atta – sharing a concrete cell for all of eternity do you? I suggest studying the Sufis. Rumi is a good one. So was Baha'u'llah before his grandson failed to seek treatment for depression.

  • Anonymous

    And I suppose YOU have found the 'Truth'? Wow, 6 billion people and only one knows 'it'. Congratulations.

  • Craig Parke

    Anonymous,

    To repeat…

    “But, again, I wish you well on your path. Just try not to get too fundamentalist and end up at the control of a Boeing 767 knowing how to take off but not how to land. Please be sure to know how to land!”

    From your many posts here in the past, I rest my case. You surely don't want to end up wearing a dress for the Patron Saint of Lock Step Brain Chemistry Fundamentalists – Boeing 767 Pilot Mohammad Atta – sharing a concrete cell for all of eternity do you? I suggest studying the Sufis. Rumi is a good one. So was Baha'u'llah before his grandson failed to seek treatment for depression.

  • Justice

    Harassed and punished for non-Baha'i marriage

    :

    In November of 2003, I met a wonderful man. I learned that he was a Bahai. Of course I had heard of the religion and found a lot of similarity between his beliefs and that of Islam, which is what my family practices and what my culture is influenced by. I myself am not religious and don't regard myself as belonging to any religion. Honestly, as spiritual as I am, I don't believe in God in the traditional sense. Anyhow, this information will help explain the problems that I faced later on.

    Soon after I met this wonderful man, he proposed to me and I brought him home to meet my family, as is customary. My family welcomed him openly and were intrigued by the similarities of Islam and Bahai and they looked forward to meeting his family.

    I was told that we needed to gain consent of all living parents. Well, my family gave it freely, though not required. But his father withheld his consent. It was based on the fact that I came from a Muslim family. He asked me in various ways if I would not only support my husband as a Bahai, but also understand that I would have to open my house to them while not being allowed to take part since I am not a Bahai. He made sure to also tell me that it would be important for our children to know about the Bahai religion. Each time, I told him that it would be left to the parents and that as much as I appreciate the influence of both my family and his, that at the end, it would be a private matter and one that I would not decide on now. And I told him that if the Bahai events infringed on my family life, that I would not want it in my home. But that I would never dictate what my husband should believe or follow. Before I forget, he also mentioned that he was worried that his son would be marrying a Muslim because in his experience, he has seen how a Bahai who marries a Muslim usually is not as engaged in the Bahai religion as before.

    Anyhow, obviously he was not satisfied with my answers. And he never gave us consent. After pleading with him for 10 months, we married without consent. it was a painful experience and I could not believe the bigotry that was enforced by a ridiculous rule of consent. His sister even threatened ending her relationship with him if he did not undo the engagement, when we first got engaged. It made no sense to me because the parents did not have to justify their decision to not give consent. What kind of religion condones and protects people like my husband's father who based his decision on prejudice?

    At any rate, my husband and I have not had a good relationship with his family. And we were rebuked by the Bahai community. His Bahai friends would not even congratulate us on our marriage and had the nerve to criticize my husband for marrying me without consent.

    The local spiritual assembly started sending threatening letters to my husband telling him that they would give him one month to gain consent. And if not, that he would have to divorce me and go through a process of repentance with the assembly. And even if we got consent, that it was not good enough that we had a civil marriage. So he would have to divorce me and remarry me in a Bahai ceremony.

    We ignored all of their threats. And as a result, they revoked his voting rights and told him to send in his ID card. Honestly, I don't think he ever had an ID card.

    Since then, we have completely ignored the assembly. We don't attend any of their functions. We have ended our relationship with all of his Bahai friends who were disrespectful of us.

    And as far as his family is concerned, we kept our distance from them until they recently started making an effort to make peace with us. Obviously I will never forget what they did to us and that will have a lasting effect on how much I will allow them to interact with my future children.

    We have also started planning our wedding, which we didn't have when we got married. Our decision was made without any plans to have his family there. But for us, it would be an important and memorable event. Surprisingly, the parents and siblings will be attending. And each one of the family members has now come forth to let me know that I am “accepted” and that I will receive support from them. I'm not sure what support means, but it certainly does not mean an after-the-fact consent. We know that their efforts to rekindle some sort of civil relationship is based on the fact that they could not force their son to leave me and that he was willing to leave them before he ended our relationship. Out of fear of losing their son, they are nicer to me.

    I find this whole experience very strange. I will never say a nice thing about the Bahai religion. The extremism, prejudice, mind-control and censorship and inappropriate level of interference by the assemblies is truly unbelievable. And if there is any goodness in this religion, the Bahai administration and the flock of blind followers are corrupting it.

    The only thing that I am still sad about is that my husband is still struggling to make sense of what is left in his belief and what the belief is. People tend to search for some structure for their beliefs. Usually that comes in the form of religion. He was disappointed by the Bahai religion. And now he feels that he's left with nothing. For me, I am helping him free himself from all religious bonds so he can concentrate more on living a happy life full of service to humanity, not the rules of religion.

    Sincerely,
    Sina

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonjavank

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry that the Bahais gave you such a difficult time. Hopefully any Bahai reading this will act with more wisdom should they find themselves in a similiar situation in the future.

    Yes, I think these actions that you described seem to be from those who feel they need to follow rules and it seems from what you have written the LSA went further, in taking the step to require a divorce: very odd if you ask me. I can understand Bahais wishing not to be hypocritical about the marriage law requiring parental permission but from what you are writing the problem was in the way you were treated by people, not that people were trying to be honest about a Bahai law.
    It seems Bahais do fall into the trap of treating Bahai law like a big stick to hit people over the head with rather trying to see what is the principle involved (in your case, family unity) and work on that to find the best resolution for all concerned. Threats are never a good way to deal with others.
    It is one thing to be honest and another to be mean or judgemental. Religion, 'Adul-Baha said (somewhere, sorry no time to look it up) is a tool – a means.
    And a tool is only as good as the person uses it. So Bahais need to think about how we apply the Bahai laws and why we have them. And if it still came to the LSA removing your husband's voting rights but in a spirit of compassion and openess, I am sure that you wouldn't be a hurt as you are now. In fact you could be participating in some aspects of the Bahai community, in openess as the spouse of someone without voting rights, but instead you feel excluded more than ever because of these actions. I hope your husband can find peace in serving humanity.

  • Concerned

    What a sad site… I hope you all find peace.

  • peyamb

    Sounds like you haven't. Maybe you need to start on the 7 valleys. Good luck!

  • Concerned

    Thank you. A Bah??'? is never finished exploring his religion. What I find sad about this site is the deliberate skewing of known Bah??'? principles.

    I trust we will all continue on our journeys, pray God that He leads us to the straight path.

    All??h'u'Abh??

  • peyamb

    Do you mean principles such as the independent investigation of truth? I find that principle is skewed more inside the Bahai community and held in the highest regard on this site. But to each his own. And thank you, God has led me to the the queerly forward path.

  • Gabi

    Hello.

    I accidentally stumbled upon your blog while surfing the net. Your comments have made me think a lot on the things that I've been experiencing in the past year or two…

    One thing that I have come to recognize is that we are usually not aware of the full implications of things, sometimes even of our own beliefs. What does it mean that Bah??'u'll??h is the Manifestation of God – the Creator, the Unknowable Essence, the Architect of the Universe – for our time? What does it mean that His Writings are the Word of God? These thoughts have helped me greatly on my spiritual path. Maybe it is also something that could help you on your search for truth.

    As far as the twin Institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, Ruhi 8 is very helpful. It is about the Covenant and focuses on exactly such themes as the stations of 'Abdu'l-Bah?? and the twin institutions and also deepens on the topic of infallibility.

    As a final thought, what I am now beginning to understand in this breathtaking process of helping to build a new world order is the role of the UHJ in it. The House “translates” the Word of God to us through its plans; with these plans we can put Bah??'u'll??hs Teachings effectively into practice. Understanding that has been of great importance to my own spiritual development.

    I hope these thoughts have been of some assistance and I hope you find what you seek and that this blog is of use in doing so.

    With loving greetings,
    G

  • childintime

    Just a couple of thoughts:

    The first duty prescribed by God for His servants isthe recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who
    representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are
    inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.
    (Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 19)

    Almost all Baha’is honestly admit that they do not fulfill this paragraph, and for most it is the second duty that is the problem. But the purpose of life is to quietly and patiently struggle to achieve it. Then there are those who feel it is their job to go on the internet and broadcast far and wide their discontent with whatever goes against their own likes or ideas. I believe Baha’u’llah referred to these as “idle thoughts and vain imaginings”.

    We have all had experiences where the Administration, the community, or other Baha’is have done things that we judge to be unjust, unthoughtful, uncaring, or just plain old wrong. What to do? Well, if we are trying to satisfy those twin duties, we will look within the Writings to find the right way. I can say, with absolute certainty, that there is nothing there to justify what you are doing with this website.

    Yes, you say you are searching for the truth and expressing your own opinions. Yet you are a very long way from the spirit of truth-seeking and consultation that is embodied in the Writings. Did you not read what ‘Abdu’l-Baha said about criticism and complaining? Did you not read what Baha’u’llah said about the conditions of truth-seeking? What, in fact, do you know about any of the situations where you attacked the institutions? Since much of it is confidential, and everything else is second-hand, you cannot say that you know the truth, and yet you have judged anyway.

    We are encouraged to see with God’s eyes and not with our own. The US Constitution has no bearing on the Cause of God. The UN Charter of Human Rights doesn’t either. The search for truth is important in our faith because it is a spiritual imperative that guides us to unity. We resolve things by working together for the benefit of all, and not by agitating and insisting on personal desires.

    It wouldn’t even be so bad if what you were doing could be called constructive criticism. But you don’t apply rational and authoritative arguments to suggest a better way for the Administrative Order, you just apply common sarcasm to belittle what others do.

    You cite evidence that interest in the Faith is waning on the internet. I suggest to you that it has more to do with the kind of malicious detraction served up by yourself and others who come into the Faith with old-world baggage that prompts you to sling mud at those who have been duly invested with the authority by which they act. Such behaviour is clearly forbidden in the Writings even when it is aimed at secular authority, let alone when it targets the Divine Institutions created by the Pen of Baha’u’llah himself.

    So you claim to be a Baha’i, a follower of Baha’u’llah. Actions speak far louder than words.

  • Anonymous

    Child… if you believe that blind obedience to authority is what the Bahai Faith is about.. then my friend, you are SO not a Bahai. Many of us thank God for a site like this. If the Bahai community actually allowed more open discussions, maybe more of us would be active in it. Maybe your community is growing, but I’ve watched my family trying to establish an LSA in this growing city in the Southern US for the last 20 some years! Nothing.

  • Barbruthw

    Right on target, Peyam – as I have said before, this site is a great help to faith for me, definitely not a hindrance. If open discussion were encouraged and TRUSTED among the Baha’is, the Faith would be vibrant and alive, a living stream rather than the stagnant pool which it so often seems to be in local communities.

    Barb

  • fubar

    re: “Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray”

    Thanks for pointing out the basic cultural imperialism at the root of bahai theology.

    This explains why haifan bahaism is a backward, oppressive, conformist religion that is intolerant of criticism and dissent, and substitutes real spirituality with worship of boring, dysfunctional bureaucracy.

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2289

    “Unless spirituality can pass through the gate of science, then of liberalism, it will never be a significant force in the modern world, but will remain merely as the organizing power for the prerational levels of development around the world.”

  • Pricklypear

    Has anyone ever mentioned what a condescending prat you are? The writer will not be listened to if he goes through the ‘official Baha’i channels’.

  • Peyamb

    Oh really? The proper channels, huh? I used the “proper” channels by communicating with the Secretariat Office of the UHJ. I proposed an idea that may allow homosexuals more acceptance inside the Bahai community instead of being forced to lie about who they are in order to be accepted as equals. INSTEAD of at least having my voice heard, instead of at least considering what I have to say- I just got a terse reply from their secretary basically saying “sorry you had a hard time, but this is the law and we can’t do anything about it. Are you sure you are a real Bahai?” So I at least decline to use your “proper” channels any more to get our voices heard. Our voices are outside their consulation radar. Cheers!

  • Ronprice9

    I posted an introduction to the paradigmatic shift in the Baha’i community, the new culture of learning and growth that is at the heart of this paradigm, three years ago. I did this posting at several internet sites and have revised that post many times in these last three years as developments in the paradigm have come about, as new messages from Bah??’? institutions have been published and as many individuals have commented verbally and in print on this new Baha’i culture. It seemed like a good idea to give readers some specific steps on how to access this now revised article, what is now a book of 180,000 words and nearly 400 pages and is found at Baha’i Library Online(BLO).

    With the publication at Ridvan of 2010 of an 8,000 word message from the Universal House of Justice–one of the longest messages of the Formative Age since a charismatic Force in the Person of Baha’u’llah was institutionalized in the Person of Abdul-Baha and then in the Guardianship and, in 1963, effloresced in that apex of Baha’i administration—the Universal House of Justice, there has been much added to this book.

    In the time this book has been on the internet there have been many thousand views of this analysis, this statement on the new paradigm at the few sites where it has been posted. In addition to googling ?Baha’i Culture of Learning and Growth? and accessing this article in the process at several internet sites, readers can find this piece of writing at BLO by clicking on the following:

    bahai-library.org/file.php?file=price_culture_learning_paradigm

    Readers can also access the latest edition of this article at BLO by taking the following steps: (i) type Baha’i Library Online or Baha’i Academics Resource Library into your search engine; (ii) click on the small box ?By author? at the top of the access page at BLO; (iii) type ?Price? into the small box that then appears and click on the word ?Go;? and then (iv) scroll down to article/document item #44 and (v) click on that item and read to your heart’s content. When your eyes and your mind start to glaze over, stop reading. The article can be downloaded free and you will then have access to this book, this context for all this new paradigmatic terminology that has come into the Baha’i community in the last 15 years and especially, as I say, with an integration of relevant passages from the latest House message.

    My statement, my book, is a personal one, does not assume an adversarial attitude, attempts to give birth of as fine an etiquette of expression as I can muster and, I like to think, possesses both candour and critical thought on the one hand and praise and delight at the many interrelated processes involved in the execution of this paradigm on the other. I invite readers to what I also like to think is ?a context on which relevant fundamental questions? regarding this new paradigm may be discussed within the Baha’i community. But, in the end, my writing, my words and all of the quotations I place in contexts to illustrate what I want to illustrate–amount to my take on this new Baha’i paradigm after a decade and a half of its implementation. My book possesses no authority. Indeed, such a remark hardly needs saying.

    One of the advantages of the BLO site is the freedom it gives to a writer to update his or her article or book right on the site in an ongoing process as new insights from major thinkers in the Baha’i community and information from the elected and appointed institutions of the Cause comes to hand. If time and the inclination permit, check it out. No worries, no obligation, just if it interests you. You may find the piece of writing too long as I’m sure many readers do. It is certainly a view from the inside, but it is just one person’s view building as it does on the ideas and writings of others: Bah??’? institutions and individuals. We each have a different experience on the inside of this paradigm, on the inside of this Faith or, indeed, living on the inside of our global society. You may find this book too personal due to the fact that I attempt to answer the questions: ?where do I fit into this new paradigm?? ?what have I done?? and ?where am I going in my service to the wider community and in the exercise of my spiritual obligation to teach the Cause. After a few paragraphs of reading, you will get the flavour of the exercise. Just keep reading if your mind and spirit are enjoying the process.

  • Anonymous

    Thank You It helps to understand what I’m feeling at times

  • L.R.

    Baquia,

    I was a “Potential Bahai” for a few years, but alas could not sign the card because, like you, I wrestled with the same issues and drew similar conclusions. You are clearly a thoughtful, intelligent person.

  • WishICouldTellYou

    THANK YOU for your courage in speaking the truth. I tried, so hard, for 20 years to stay but in the end I could not reconcile so many contradictions. I will always love Baha’u’llah, but safely afar from the institutions that perpetrate often questionable acts in His Name.

  • Lorenzo

    Thanks for starting this site. Not all Bahai’s leave the faith because they lose faith. Bahaullah left the faith of the Babis. No one is accusing Him of losing faith. He was driven out of the faith through the disunity of His presence. 

    This is still a problem today. There is a sense of political correctness lead by the ‘prominent’ members. Because of their ‘prominence’ their political views are seen as infallible. So, all who disagree with the ‘prominent’ ones are driven out of the faith. Not by the political ‘power’ of the ‘prominent’ ones, but by the persecuted one’s sense of not wanting to be a cause of disunity. 

    In Bahaullah’s time, Mirza Yaya, held the reigns of political power. God allowed Mirza Yaya to mislead the faithful. 

    Now the Bahai faith is infested with thousands of Mirza Yayas who drive out, in disgrace, all who disagree with them. The UHJ is doing nothing about it. Assuming that the UHJ is infallible, this is according to God’s Divine plan. Why? Who knows. It is just the way it is. Perhaps there is a Divine lesson to be learned? 

    To all who think the administrators of the faith are ‘living the life’, think again. It is taught that the fortunes of the faith hinge upon the faithful ‘living the life’. The fortunes of the faith have stagnated and declined. Of this, there is no doubt in my mind. The Bahais remain largely ignored by the masses. Only the rare politician will be seen in the shadows quietly patting their backs to get votes. 

    As, to the OP’s assertion of the administration’s obsession with numbers… I agree. They see the numbers as the objective and goal. The numbers are only a measuring stick for those qualities that cannot be measured. Those qualities, like ‘living the life’, are the real goal, but cannot be measured except by the Father himself. The numbers show stagnation and perhaps decline.

    Where are the Mashriqu’l-Adhk??rs? No where. Are there plans: nope. Why not? Hmmm. I guess it’s not important. There are other things more important. What, I have no clue. 

    This is a curious state of affairs, since we were promised that the completion of the Arc would create a new momentum and power. I have to ask myself… The power was not to cause entry of troops. So, there must be some other power yet to be comprehended. We will find out in the years to come. 

    Another thing that is interesting. As a seeker, I was showered with something that seemed like love (it wasn’t love). Throughout my term of membership I was seen as a threat. To what? I can only assume to their political power and ambitions. It is really laughable that members of such a small organization with virtually no power over anything is so obsessed with the accumulation of power. 

    Yes, I am one of those driven from the Faith and labeled a covenant breaker because, as the treasurer, I questioned the financial manipulations of the Bahai fund by a ‘prominent’ Bahai. Before I was elected treasurer the ‘manipulations’ were kept secret from the community. Even though the ‘manipulations’ were supposedly legal and ethical they were kept secret. If the ‘manipulations’ were so legitimate, why was not the whole community allowed and encouraged to partake in the financial gold mine as well? Even after I brought up the issue the community was kept in the dark about what happened. It seems that only the ‘prominent’ Bahais are allowed to manipulate the funds for financial gains. 

    When I demanded the NSA send in a Continental Counselor to mediate they refused, saying my issue was too petty. I am being accused of covenant breaking and that apparently is too petty. When I demanded the NSA refund my contributions to the funds over the years because they breached their contract. They refused. Their money was too precious to them. They would rather keep the tainted money. 

    I am not bitter about it. It is all part of God’s plan. The ‘prominent’ Bahais are not the enemy, they are the test. I left them with their misery and continued my spiritual journey. And, I will not come back until the time is right; until, they can learn to disagree with others without causing disunity. Until they feel that their financial dealings with the Funds can be brought out in the open. And, until then no one will pay a bit of attention to them.

  • Desir0101

    Excerpt from the Will And Testament of Abdulbaha,

    ”’The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of
    God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and
    established, are both under the care and protection of the Abh?? Beauty, under
    the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up
    for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not,
    neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and
    against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God;
    whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him
    hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth
    in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth
    aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from
    God. May the wrath, the fierce
    indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! The mighty stronghold
    shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian
    of the Cause of God. It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice,
    upon all the Aghs??n, the Afn??n, the Hands of the Cause of God to show
    their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the Guardian of the
    Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him. He that opposeth him
    hath opposed the True One, will make a breach in the Cause of God, will subvert
    His Word and will become a manifestation of the Center of
    Sedition.””

    How can an institution and a man without any claimed of Divine revelation can be invested with such infallible power.?????

    ”’should they show their enmity be friendly towards them,
    should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound
    upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere!
    Such are the attributes of the truthful.”’

    What contrast. If you disagree with them you will face the vengeance of God, because they are God’s reflection.
    On the other hand if people inflicted you with so much harm show kindness to them.

    How can a  so call prophet (Divine revelation) name a person to be His successor where the latter has no Divine claim.

    And lest a Guardian.

  • Sarmad

    Human ingenuity is capable of the most extraordinary achievements.  This site presents another demonstration of the endless ability of people to come up with the most sophisticated means of furthering their agenda.  You could almost be congratulated for the way you have portrayed this site as somehow designed with good intentions towards the Baha’i Faith.  Let there be no misunderstanding: this website is a deeply damaging and hurtful assault on the religion.  I am sure that if I had been considering joining the Faith and had come upon this site that you would have succeeded in turning me away.  Because this kind of writing is a poison.  How glad I am that I became a believer long before the age of the internet.  I am also amazed to see that your frame of reference is the same as a well known group of ex-Baha’is who have spent apparently 1000s of hours on the internet attempting to spread your insinuation.  Are you by any chance fighting the ‘next generation’s’ battles already?  Your list of concerns reads like a list from other documents in the past.  In fact, I have a good idea who you actually are and if I am correct I am absolutely bewildered.  I apologise in advance for this, and I hope I have got it wrong.  But if I have guessed who you are then Janus would be a better psuedonym than Baquia!  (My means of guessing is based on a fairly cursory analysis of prose-style and content of multiple sources on the internet.  The claim that you are a Baha’i “in good standing” is also telling.)  And for the rest of you: how many of you are commenting using multiple pseudonyms?  Such a small circle!  Such brave radicals!  (I know that my sarcasm and ire have taken me well beyond the standards of courtesy and decency required of me as a Baha’i.  I’ll regret allowing myself to get so upset, but as I type I really am losing it.  This will also explain any weaknesses in my prose as I continue.)  Such well-educated, polyglot minds!  Such academic liberal objectivity!  You probably pride yourselves on hastening the decline of the Faith, as you see it, and in fact you are certainly helping to prove true the predictions made in the past about the kinds of ‘tests’ that would face believers in the West.  But you need to remember the following: either the Faith is from God or it is not.  If it is not then you are wasting your time!  Simply let those stupid believers, as you see it, fall into their foolishness and why don’t you go and enjoy yourself?  If this Faith is so broken, why are you so obsessed with it?  Go and get some new hobbies and you might feel better!  But if this Faith is from God, and the Truths that it proclaims are all Divine in origin, then you are ALSO WASTING YOUR TIME.  Yes, you may be able to turn away from seekers.  Yes, you may hasten the departure of a certain number of believers.  But you will not be able to alter the future outcome.  Who knows what may happen before ‘the divine standard is unfurled?’  The number of Baha’is in the world could shrink to 20 and still the victory may come!  Oh Lord, my God, I recently found some apparent predictions (in a pilgrim’s note) by Shoghi Effendi a little far-fetched.  He, for instance, is supposed to described a decline in the US Baha’i community, to the point where the US Baha’is end up merely as spectators.  A website like this is actually helping to create the impression that this prediction has come true!  Your attempt to spread a cancerous mentality is almost laughable, were it not so chilling.  You have made me very sad, but you have not altered by beliefs.  I am only writing in this manner because you have made your ideas so public.  I feel that I should simply ignore your site, but, on the other hand I really would like to stress that I do not recognise your portrait of the Baha’i Institutions as some kind of Orwellian construction.  My liberty has never been impinged, my thoughts have never been questioned, my conscience has never been challenged, my words have never been attacked, my input has never been ridiculed.  And this is not to say I don’t experience tests of my own.  (The discovery of your website is one such test.)  May I add a little from my own experience that may help to explain a different interpretation of why you claim to have experienced such a malaise?  (I use the word ‘claim’ because I wouldn’t be surprised if you are actually a website funded by the Iranian govt.!)  Anyway, I have actually in the past had some regrettable experiences in my relationships with other Baha’is.  For instance, I knew one who boasted about committing a fraud.  This then caused a new believer, stunned by the hyprocrisy, to leave the Faith.  In my view both people were wrong.  The fraudster was blatantly flouting the teachings of the Faith, but the person who left the Faith should have realised that a single person’s error does not reflect on the essential verity of a religion.  I could describe a few other situations.  In each case the foolishness of certain Baha’is has tests the faith of other believers.  But how many times has that test been caused by the stupidity, or inexperience, or naivety of another individual?  Every time!  And how many times has it been caused by systemic corruption in the Institutions that you claim to perceive?  Never!  I really must stress that even if all the members of all the worlds NSAs were hysterical control freaks (again, you are implying this, it seems), this does not in anyway invalidate the truth of the Faith.  It simply means we need to vote more intelligently.  Anyone of intelligence and a drop of objectivity and justice can readily discern that our votes could change the direction of the Faith in limitless ways.  Similarly, no one of intelligence could fail to discern that you are a classic example of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing that was addressed in the Hidden Words.  “Ye are even as the star, which riseth ere the dawn, and which, though it seem radiant and luminous, leadeth the wayfarers of My city astray into the paths of perdition.”  Finally, I must return to my earlier point.  If this Faith is not divine in origin then we have a man-made system populated by dupes, about whom you ought not to care so much.  If, indeed, this Faith has stemmed from a Divine source, and Baha’u’llah was infused with the Holy Spirit, then the best you can hope for with this insidious attack is a temporary dent in the fortunes of the Faith.  And if you manage to precipitate a crisis within the religion please don’t be too proud of yourself too quickly.  Because a true religion will bounce back from such a crisis, in the fullness of time, stronger than before.  

    I am sorry for writing in such stentorian terms, but if you wish to attempt publicly to unravel the tenets of this religion I feel that I must respond.   

  • Fubar

     Sar-Mad,

    Your ideas are irrational and silly, and a perfect reflection of the
    brainwashing and groupthink that has “infected” haifan bahaism and made
    it a dysfunctional religion full of empty promises.

    haifan bahaism is culturally imperialistic and exploits the people that are converted to it.

  • forthelove

    Wow. You are brave and I admire your candid response. I am a Bahai in officially good standing but perhaps I should not be – so I do not associate or speak of myself as a Bahai publicly as to protect the Faith from my waywardness. LOL – but it’s true.  I fell away from the daily practice and community involvement for many of the reasons you stated plus many of my own. It’s been a struggle of faith for me for a very long time. I don’t quite know what to believe anymore but if there is a religion from the Creator, I do believe it’s the Bahai Faith and I stand by that. And I love Baha’u’llah – enough not to try to represent his teachings. But I pray, I talk to Him, I teach my child prayers and see the world through the eyes of Unity in Diversity. I used to be the staunchest of believers and now I stand on the fence with favor and the utmost respect and love for the Faith. I really found your courage inspiring – it’s part of what I became a Bahai for in the first place – a freedom that spoke to my heart. Thank you for representing the marginal folks. I guess God still loves us too.

  • Ramin

    Grover, 

    As we all know scientific theory is always based on empirical evidence, and always remains subject to falsification. Science can never claim finality. The assumption when it comes to religious faith, and specifically to the issue of homosexuality, is that religion, in its most recent form (the Baha’i Faith) is ahead of science. Of course, this is an assumption one willingly makes, one that I make, the truth of which, I believe, will one day become apparent to the world.
    I want to talk a little bit about assumptions, which I believe are at the heart of our differing points of view. Under your assumption, there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, and you are of course entitled to your opinion. Our differing assumptions will no doubt motivate us to pursue divergent paths that will ultimately lead us to apprehend what is true and what is false – reality, is after all one. Speaking for myself, I can never assume I know more than the Manifestation of God for today, Baha’u’llah. Religion does not sway to the whims of mankind, but directs us to pursue a path, which we do out of our own volition and love towards God. 

  • Baquia

    Ramin, the problem with what you just argued is that science once held true the assertion that homosexuality was an “illness” to be overcome – which is where exactly Shoghi Effendi got his information from and even vocabulary to opine about this matter. However, since then science has used empirical evidence and the scientific method coupled with observation to say that this previous school of thought was erroneous. You see, science marches forward, not backwards.
    What you are suggesting is not that science will “catch up” but that it will revert to a previously held position where it had less data, less evidence and less insight about physiology, neurology, psychology, etc. That is just as likely to happen as reverting back to believing that the earth is flat or that disease is caused by “evil spirits”.
    Finally, I’m troubled by your mangling of the Baha’i Faith’s views on science. As Baha’is we have tremendous respect for science going so far as equating it with Revelation. To denigrate it this way is a facile attempt at reconciling a troubling dichotomy that it presents.
    Another reconciliation attempt which does not violate the sanctity of science within Baha’i theology is to recognize that the Baha’i Faith’s views on this matter are far from clear. They are in fact very poorly understood and can be summarized by the parroting of the words of the Guardian without any further inclination towards true understanding.
    My own imperfect attempts at beginning a true process of understanding of this topic can be found here in case anyone is interested: “Baha’u’llah and the Subject of Boys”
    This is but a crude beginning and will be supplemented by further posts as the subject is explored in depth.

  • Ramin

    Hi Baquia,
    Wether or not homosexuality will become remedicalized remains to be seen. As yet, science does not understand the origins of sexual orientation (you can look this up in the North American Journal of Psychology). Remedicalizing homosexuality is not tantamount to reverting to the belief that the earth is flat, especially when one considers the extent to which the politicization of homosexual conduct was fundamental to its demedicalization. 

    Underlying our conversation is the belief in the creative Word and consequently the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, through which the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority flows from the Source of our Faith to Shoghi Effendi, and now to the Universal House of Justice. I believe, here in lies the departure of our opinions. 

    Baquia, we have to face the fact that there can no reconciling of our view points if this underlying premis is not shared. I rely on Shoghi Effendi for the unerring interpretation of what has become the source of our disagreement. If I have made the wrong decision, I will find out when the path that I have chosen to take, if it pleases God, leads me to where my sincerity and devotion will be assayed. 

  • Baquia

    Ramin, I’m not sure what you mean by “remedicalized” – I assume you mean reverting to the previous position that homosexuality is an illness and that people so “afflicted” can change their sexual orientation. If that is what you mean to say, then it is a done deal. Similar to other contentious issues, for example, climate change, science has spoken with an emphatic voice. All major international and national health organizations reject the classification of homosexuality as an illness and even go further to say that attempts at conversion are harmful. Whether we choose to ignore this or listen is another matter.

    That is the matter as far as science is concerned.

    As you say the main theological issue is this, what does the Baha’i Faith say, exactly, about homosexuality?

    It is here that we may differ in our understandings. It is possible that we are both wrong, or that one of us is wrong and the other correct. My suggestion is this, rather than using the covenant as a cudgel (a heinous abuse of such a beautiful concept I’m sure you’ll agree), why don’t we actually investigate the truth of the matter and see what the Baha’i Faith actually says?

    It is towards this intention that this blog exists and as stated previously, hopefully soon more will be posted. Thank you for your visit and comment. Please watch this space for more upcoming posts.

  • Ramin

    At this juncture Baquia, I think there is nothing more that can be said. I cannot budge from my understanding of the Covenant. It is implicit in my faith in Baha’u’llah. 

    As far as what the international health organizations state about homosexuality, I think peer-reviewed literature is a far more accurate source of information. The fact remains that science does not understand the origins of sexual orientation, the extent to which it is affected by our genetic make-up interacting with society, or a myriad other causes. Either way, there is more that we do not know than what we do. 
    I appreciate your feedback. 

  • Baquia

    “I cannot budge from my understanding of the Covenant.”
    Did someone ask you to? if so, please point out where.

    “As far as what the international health organizations state about homosexuality, I think peer-reviewed literature is a far more accurate source of information.”

    What do you think such organizations base their policy upon if not exactly such sources? It is you who is ignoring peer-reviewed literature in suggesting that sexual orientation is an “illness” to be overcome.

    “The fact remains that science does not understand the origins of sexual orientation, the extent to which it is affected by our genetic make-up interacting with society, or a myriad other causes.”

    True, however, perfect understanding of any physiological issue is a red-herring because it is impossible. In that sense it can be compared to its twin in the spiritual realm, irfan.

    Even today scientists are pushing the boundaries of our understanding in such well established fields like “germ theory” which has branched off into microbiology, antibiotics, etc. What we know today far far outreaches what we knew in the past and what we will know in the future will equally outshine what we know today. That is the very nature of scientific progress: every advancing.

    To imply that because we don’t have a perfect understanding of sexual orientation, then there is a possibility that everything we do know up to now is false is ludicrous. It betrays a lack of familiarity with the manner in which science moves forward, each step building upon known facts established previously.

  • Forrestpoppy

    Hi,I’m a Baha’i – third generation iranian Baha’i in fact and while I agree with a lot of what you do say, you must remember that the Baha’i community is in its infacy stages and has a long way to go in order to fully mature. Consider a parent, when they see their child learning to walk, would that parent yell at their child for stumbling or would they enjoy both the mistakes, challenges and finally the triumph the child experiences in learning to walk? You need to view this from a wholistic perspective. If we only see the negatives, then we are only hurting ourselves. If we see things from the perspective that no one is perfect and that we are all the creatures of the all knowing, all wise creator, and if we realise the need to acquire the virtues of patiences, steadfastness, perseverence, love, compassion, and sin covering eyes, we might actually start to change the very things we complain about in our Baha’i communities. Arise and serve and put your doubts aside for only through prayers, meditation on the writings and service can we free of ourselves of these worries that you seem to be troubled by. Anyways, this is just my thoughts – I hope they will help you.

  • Shirley

    You might want to read Mere Christianity. Then the Bible. Absolute truth will set you free from confusion.

  • Catsie

    I was once curious about the Bahai Faith, but rejected it. It was just not compatible with my critical thinking skills.

    Baquia, your intellectual potential and curiosity is clearly being stifled by the constraints of your faith. In my individual search for the Truth, I found that all religions are plagued with logical inconsistencies. And how ironic that my search for God ended in my realization that there is no god, at least in the religious sense. After 14 years wanting to believe, I am now happily atheist.

    Good luck in your quest to reconcile what is clearly a painful battle waring within. There is a spiritual life outside of Faith, and I can tell you that it’s LIBERATING. Logic, reason and good common sense, when applied to everything you do, without some religious institution hovering over, makes for a better world. I feel a greater connectedness with my fellow humans now that I don’t believe in god or religion.

    I suppose it’s hard to leave a community behind when that is all you have ever known, so I have no advice in this arena and can only sympathize. My life turned around when I discovered “The Thinking Atheist”, founded by an ex-minister turned non believer. You might want to have a peek at what the guy has to say.

    I never thought I’d be a non believer, but here I am…..and finally… I have peace of mind!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ali.rohi.96 Ali Rohi

    i see a lot of “brain” but not “heart” in Baquia statements …

  • Baquia

    Thank you Ali. Your compliment means a lot to me.

  • Pingback: A Simple Suggestion to Improve Bahai Funds | Baha'i Rants

  • Ali Rohi

    you found my statment as a “compliment” … i am sure readers know what i mean by “brain” and “heart” …also i would like to ask what happened to Dr. Danesh blog ? self-censorship or you relized that it is immoral and illigal to say baseless things about a person which never been convicted of any wrong doings at any court of law …

  • Baquia

    Ali, your question about “Danesh blog” and censorship are not coherent and as such no lucid response can be offered.
    Everything I said about Danesh is true to anyone who cares to verify it. I never wrote that Danesh was convicted.

  • Ali Rohi

    “true” according to you and your sourses but not in the eyes of law and even medical associations of Canada. If there were serious misconducts or any crime by him, the law would never compromise … again why the blog is disappered ?

  • Baquia

    again, I don’t know what you mean by “why the blog is disappered (sic)”.

  • Ali Rohi

    i was right … SELF-CENSORSHIP

  • Baquia

    Ali, as it is impossible to have a dialogue with someone who is incoherent, this is my final reply. Have a nice day.

  • Ali Rohi

    READERS WILL JUDGE …

  • Ali Rohi

    why censored my reply ? … let the readers judge … people and readers will decide that i am incoherent or not. my question and comments are clear, but you do not want to see it. you had dr. denesh under one of your categories now is not visable and disapered, why ? you chalenge bahai faith and i want to chalenge you … are you able to take critisim or not ? you are like a person who through a stone in darkness and hides

  • Baquia

    Ali, I didn’t censor your reply. I still don’t know what you are talking about. What category are you referring to? The only reaction you’ve received is honest bafflement and confusion in the face of total incoherence and multiple patient attempts to understand your confused ramblings.

  • Ali Rohi

    it took three days to reply … its unusual … yes you had intention to hold my comments, hoping that i will go away … now that i wrote my comments on other bahai discution blogs, about you, forced to reply … you know what i am talking about … what happened to the comments i send you few hours ago …

  • Eric Pierce

    for the love of god, just take up a collection and get his prescriptions re-filled already. put a rush on the one for mental constipation.

  • Baquia

    Ali, all comments are held in a moderation queue and only appear once they are approved.

  • Ali Rohi

    what happened to ” free expression ” ? ” once they are approved ” means : CENSORSHIP by not holding my comments you are doing a big favor to yourself … those comments is better to appear in one blog rather than others …. be brave man ….

  • Ali Rohi

    Baquia, congratulations for creating a blog that people freely insult other people and their comments gets approvel …. credibility of your blog is under question … you prefer your blog to attract people who seek truth or bunch of ” insulters” like this person …

  • Ali Rohi

    “for the love of god” …. your face and words you chose like “constipation” are really proves that you are full of love of god ….

  • Ali Rohi

    Baquia, in this blog, you started personal attacks defamation (about Dr. Danesh), i and others has right to comment on this issue. It is not fair to hold my comments about defending Dr. Danesh … this is against “free expression” that you crying about …let the readers to decide who is right … is not too late to admit you did mistake and be really good standing Bahai … deeds speak not words … my english is poor and i may not able to explain clearly my mind, but every reader will get my points … english is my forth language … my mother tongue is Azeri, then i learned persian, arabic and then english … i hope your forth languege is better than my english …

  • Ali Rohi

    you are obligated morally and by conscience, not to hold my comments. Your silence, clearly proves that you are holding the comments i made about ” allegations” “truth” ” legal facts” ….. I will not let this issue to go away … I will publish with more explanations, my comments on other blogs …

  • Jennifer A. Temple

    Read the Writings, pray deeply and sincerely. BE THE BAHA’I YOU THINK WE SHOULD BE! Yes, I believe what the UHJ says is law for me. Shoghi Effendi and the UHJ were appointed by Abd’l-Baha. They may at any time change their stance on anything. DO NOT BASH THE INSTITUTIONS! Work with them. That is what protects the faith and prevents the degradation of the faith. Be the Baha’i the writings advocate, be a Baha’i. Be the Baha’i you think you should be. Demonstrate the faith, that is teaching in its purest form!

  • Eric Pierce

    Ali,

    Sorry for the late response, I was cleaning up my old email and came across your predictably silly responses.

    —> Please note that your comprehension of the following is not necessary, it is intended to be a statement to other readers that might be interested in why people find your form of religious “belief” inadequate and unsatisfactory.

    The reason I insulted you is because you are an ignorant person that is attempting to defend backward, failed ideas that are completely discredited by rational thought. You actually discredit the few valid aspects of your religion by attempting to demand mindless conformity to everything in the religion on the basis of purity myths, such as infallibility and prophetology.

    You, like most people gripped by dogmatic thought, are incapable of recognizing, much less taking responsibility for, the horrible results of your beliefs as they impact other human beings. The Danesh story is a perfect example of how people likek you are willing to disregard even the most basic sense of human decency and compassion if necessary to uphold institutional religion’s ability to demand rigid conformity of a sheep-like herd of followers.

    —short version—

    Your religion, like all others, frequently lacks human decency. It fetishizes morality and decency by making them instruments of social control for a corrupt, abusive, authoritarian social construct.

    —long version—

    Religion is a social construct. The idea of God is a social construct that limits the experience of Transcendent Spirit within a specific social construct and concrete historical conditions. Authoritarian social control and role specialization were enforced via a culturally specific religious paradigm due to specific, material conditions that challenged older (tribal) social constructs, political and economic forms, and so forth.

    No “god” is needed to understand the sociological development of current institutional religious paradigm beginning 3,000 years ago. Indeed, much of religious tradition OBSCURES “the truth” of what actually happened under deep layers of outmoded myth and social construction.

    1. Human beings evolved as a social species for over 1,000,000 years. Prestige markers and punishment for social non-cooperation were necessary parts of the social behavior patterns that allowed clans and small tribes of human being to survive and evolve as a successful species. Social bonding and shared learning were crucial behaviors enabling the survival of the human species, and they depend on a fragile system of imperfect cooperation and a dynamic equilibrium of innovation and fixed patterns based on old solutions.

    Evolutionary theorists currently think there is evidence (based on artifacts, mathematical models and observation of primate behavior) that a delicate balance between individual freedom and punishment of social non-cooperation was typical through most of human evolution.

    2. 11,000 years ago the ice ages ended, with the result that there was a massive increase in atmospheric CO2 which caused plant life to flourish. Large scale agriculture became possible, and dense urban populations followed the spread of such farming.

    3. conflicts between tribes INTENSIFIED as a result of the increased urban wealth that was produced by agriculture, new metals technologies, weapons and trade. The forms of nature worship that had been the foundation of spiritual practice during the era of a hunting/gathering economy (previous 100,000+ years) could not generate the necessary “moral” structures to allow for large scale social controls and military organization needed to stop such appalling violence. Read the beginning of the bible for recorded examples of such widespread, uncontrollable, tribal/nomadic violence.

    4. hierarchical and patriarchal institutional structures were invented. including Greek rationalism, Judeo monotheism, Zoroastrianism, the Dharma traditions (Hinduism), etc.

    A warrior-priest class was at the apex of such patriarchal hierarchies.

    An “strict daddy” protector image of transcendent spirit developed to justify the harsh authoritarianism that was necessary to control violence and enforce hierarchical role specialization.

    Such a controlling, patriarchal, authoritarian structure was PURE INVENTION and construction.

    The construct of a punishing, controlling, authoritarian god was maintained by PURITY MYTHS.

    Such PURITY MYTHS include the “usual suspects” that “liberal” people tend to find objectionable: rigid orthodoxy, frequent social dysfunction caused by the rise of sociopaths into leadership positions, corruption, abuse of power by greedy people, and so forth.

    the new, heavy distortions of the prestige marking systems and punishment of non-cooperation that came about 1,000,000 earlier in human evolution were a double edged sword. they allowed urban culture to continue to develop and spread where conditions were suitable, but they also resulted in extremely fragile, complex institutional structures that were susceptible to catastrophic failure and collapse in a scale never seen during the earlier paradigm of hunting/gathering economy.

    5. so additional problem exist because of the proverbial “rise and fall of civilizations”:

    people wonder how could the “god” of such civilizations allow for such social collapses, corruption and abuse of authority and the resulting human suffering.

    the answers are frequently convoluted and involve lies and distortions of fact that are intended NOT to further human evolution and the liberation of minds and souls from decrepit social constructs and dysfunctional institutional structures, but to defend the indefensible: the continuation of such things “just because” the people defending them are locked into a fear-based, backward way of thinking.

    the ultimate hypocrisy of your position is evident in the vicious attack that your religious “system” makes on all of the non-monotheistic (pagan, “nature worship”, tantric) religions that existed for 1,000,000 years before farming began.

    you demand respect for your religion, while having no respect for the beliefs (or lack of belief) of people that do not conform to your system of culture.

    as such, you are, like most people of your cultural frame of reference, an exemplar of ignorance, lies, distortions and intolerance.