The Challenge of Homosexuality

A recent research report out of Stockholm shows that the structure and function of homosexual brains is similar to that of the opposite sex. That is, a homosexual man’s brain is similar to that of a heterosexual woman’s brain. The study’s sample size was only 90 persons: 25 heterosexual women (HeW), 25 heterosexual men (HeM), 20 homosexual men (HoM), and 20 homosexual women (HoW).

Previous research had shown that men and women’s brains were “wired” differently. This research showed that there was a similar difference between sexual orientation. So finally we have scientific proof that women love to go shopping with their gay male friends.

Using PET and MRI scans which measured blood flow the study showed:

  • The brains of heterosexual men (HeM) and homosexual women (HoW) were similar in that the volumes of their two brain hemispheres were not symmetrical (rightward cerebral asymmetry).
  • The brains of homosexual men (HoM) and heterosexual women (HeW) were similar in that the volumes of their two brain hemispheres were symmetrical.
  • There were also opposite sex similarities between the gay and heterosexual participants in the way their amygdalae connected.

The authors of the study conclude: “The results cannot be primarily ascribed to learned effects, and they suggest a linkage to neurobiological entities”. You can read the report here. The next step is to find what exactly accounts for the difference and by what mechanism it is activated.

homosexuality-brain-scan-image

More and more science is taking baby steps towards an explanation of homosexuality that is anchored in biological rather than behavioral basis. That is, it may eventually offer conclusive proof that homosexuality arises from human genetic makeup. Some scientists are persuaded already by the present findings of this and other research but not all.

We are certainly not there yet but the trend from recent research reports points that way. If this is indeed realized at some time in the future, then I believe it will present the Baha’is with a severe challenge because most believe that homosexuality is an aberration from the “natural” and that, more importantly, it is a “spiritual affliction” which can be overcome by expressing a moral choice and through conscious effort (such as prayer).

Such views would become anachronistic if homosexuality is shown to be a genetic substrate wholly outside a person’s volition and choice.

Here is a thought provoking essay on “Sex and Values” from the late R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram.

  • Anonnymouz

    Baquia, I think you have twisted the Baha’i view of homosexuality here.
    There is a clear discussion about the causes of homosexuality and the physical and genetic roots of it. Although not comprehensive it does touch on several subjects.

    Our appetites and inclinations are strongly influenced by the condition of our physical makeup, and our bodies are in varying degrees of health, depending upon factors such as heredity, environment, nourishment and our own treatment of them. Genetic variations occur, producing conditions which can create problems for the individual. Some conditions are of an emotional or psychological nature, producing such imbalances as quickness to anger, recklessness, timorousness, and so forth; others involve purely physical characteristics, resulting not only in unusual capacities but also in handicaps or diseases of various kinds.

    Whether deficiencies are inborn or are acquired, our purpose in this life is to overcome them and to train ourselves in accordance with the pattern that is revealed to us in the divine Teachings.

    The view that homosexuality is a condition that is not amenable to change is to be questioned by Bah??’?s. There are, of course, many kinds and degrees of homosexuality, and overcoming extreme conditions is sure to be more difficult than overcoming others. Nevertheless, as noted earlier, the Guardian has stated that “through the advice and help of doctors, through a strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.”

  • Anonnymouz

    Baquia, I think you have twisted the Baha’i view of homosexuality here.
    There is a clear discussion about the causes of homosexuality and the physical and genetic roots of it. Although not comprehensive it does touch on several subjects.

    Our appetites and inclinations are strongly influenced by the condition of our physical makeup, and our bodies are in varying degrees of health, depending upon factors such as heredity, environment, nourishment and our own treatment of them. Genetic variations occur, producing conditions which can create problems for the individual. Some conditions are of an emotional or psychological nature, producing such imbalances as quickness to anger, recklessness, timorousness, and so forth; others involve purely physical characteristics, resulting not only in unusual capacities but also in handicaps or diseases of various kinds.

    Whether deficiencies are inborn or are acquired, our purpose in this life is to overcome them and to train ourselves in accordance with the pattern that is revealed to us in the divine Teachings.

    The view that homosexuality is a condition that is not amenable to change is to be questioned by Bah??’?s. There are, of course, many kinds and degrees of homosexuality, and overcoming extreme conditions is sure to be more difficult than overcoming others. Nevertheless, as noted earlier, the Guardian has stated that “through the advice and help of doctors, through a strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.”

  • Grover

    Groan, here we go again. After 5 years on this blog Anon, I would have thought you would have learnt something by now.

  • Grover

    Groan, here we go again. After 5 years on this blog Anon, I would have thought you would have learnt something by now.

  • Martin Bebow

    The whole point of any religion is to subdue our physical appetites and acquire spiritual qualities. If you believe that a religion is from God then you obey the rules of that religion regardless of how painful it may be. No Baha’i would blame a homosexual for having homosexual tendencies. Nor would a Baha’i blame a non-Baha’i homosexual from following those tendencies. But to be a Baha’i means to follow the laws of the Baha’i Faith. If that means giving up sex then so be it. But even in the case of a Baha’i homosexual following his/her homosexual tendencies, a Baha’i is never judgmental. However I don’t know what action a local assembly would take in the case of public display of homosexual behavior by a Baha’i.

  • Martin Bebow

    The whole point of any religion is to subdue our physical appetites and acquire spiritual qualities. If you believe that a religion is from God then you obey the rules of that religion regardless of how painful it may be. No Baha’i would blame a homosexual for having homosexual tendencies. Nor would a Baha’i blame a non-Baha’i homosexual from following those tendencies. But to be a Baha’i means to follow the laws of the Baha’i Faith. If that means giving up sex then so be it. But even in the case of a Baha’i homosexual following his/her homosexual tendencies, a Baha’i is never judgmental. However I don’t know what action a local assembly would take in the case of public display of homosexual behavior by a Baha’i.

  • Anonymouz

    5 years? Try a few months…By the way Craig, if you are reading, I am almost done with my responses…Nothing special, just my views 😉 I am tied with work and school and family…

  • Anonymouz

    5 years? Try a few months…By the way Craig, if you are reading, I am almost done with my responses…Nothing special, just my views 😉 I am tied with work and school and family…

  • Nur

    I think I recall reading part of a letter from the UHJ that admits the possibility of homosexual tendencies being biological, rather than environmental, but the stance of the Faith would still be the same regardless of what science finds. The thing is, even if the Faith recognizes that homosexuality could be the product of biology rather than environment, that is still a huge leap forward from the past 3,000 years in which religious institutions, almost unquestionably stated that it was simply a ‘perversion.’ The Faith won’t change its position, and it can’t be expected to, honestly. But just by accepting that homosexual tendencies could be ‘natural’ is a big step forward in religious history.

    It could certainly remove the stigma gay people have as a targeted group, and all people with natural inclinations would be thrown in together. It could also be kept in mind that Shoghi Effendi wrote these letters in the 1930’s and 40’s. That doesn’t ‘excuse’ his tones at times, but it could explain it somewhat. No man is above his era completely.

    I’m not ‘defending’ the Baha’i position. I still think it is an unnecessary teaching that doesn’t befit such a progressive Faith.

  • Nur

    I think I recall reading part of a letter from the UHJ that admits the possibility of homosexual tendencies being biological, rather than environmental, but the stance of the Faith would still be the same regardless of what science finds. The thing is, even if the Faith recognizes that homosexuality could be the product of biology rather than environment, that is still a huge leap forward from the past 3,000 years in which religious institutions, almost unquestionably stated that it was simply a ‘perversion.’ The Faith won’t change its position, and it can’t be expected to, honestly. But just by accepting that homosexual tendencies could be ‘natural’ is a big step forward in religious history.

    It could certainly remove the stigma gay people have as a targeted group, and all people with natural inclinations would be thrown in together. It could also be kept in mind that Shoghi Effendi wrote these letters in the 1930’s and 40’s. That doesn’t ‘excuse’ his tones at times, but it could explain it somewhat. No man is above his era completely.

    I’m not ‘defending’ the Baha’i position. I still think it is an unnecessary teaching that doesn’t befit such a progressive Faith.

  • P

    As generations Bahai, Persian-American and GAY, I thought I’d be dying to make a comment here. But you know what? Why bother? The UHJ and the typical conservative Bahais that post here are entrenched in their views. So nothing I say will make any difference. Keep thinking that I’m just not praying/trying hard enough. Keep throwing quotes from Shoghi Effendi at me. Blah blah blah. We’ve heard it all before. In the meantime, gays (and more importantly those who sympathize for justice) will continue to find a home outside of the Bahai community. We will build life affirming relationships that are spiritual and lead to families. We will fight for the right to adopt and have our own children- you will see us with our kids at PTA meetings, daycare centers, parks, churches and God-willing Bahai Feasts one day….

  • P

    As generations Bahai, Persian-American and GAY, I thought I’d be dying to make a comment here. But you know what? Why bother? The UHJ and the typical conservative Bahais that post here are entrenched in their views. So nothing I say will make any difference. Keep thinking that I’m just not praying/trying hard enough. Keep throwing quotes from Shoghi Effendi at me. Blah blah blah. We’ve heard it all before. In the meantime, gays (and more importantly those who sympathize for justice) will continue to find a home outside of the Bahai community. We will build life affirming relationships that are spiritual and lead to families. We will fight for the right to adopt and have our own children- you will see us with our kids at PTA meetings, daycare centers, parks, churches and God-willing Bahai Feasts one day….

  • I’ve often wondered to myself, what would happen if a same sex couple with kids approached an LSA and signed their declaration cards to officially join the Baha’i Faith? would their enrollment be accepted? would they be asked to divorce? what policy would the AO follow? has this happened already? anyone know? I’m simply curious.

  • I’ve often wondered to myself, what would happen if a same sex couple with kids approached an LSA and signed their declaration cards to officially join the Baha’i Faith? would their enrollment be accepted? would they be asked to divorce? what policy would the AO follow? has this happened already? anyone know? I’m simply curious.

  • P

    Hi Baquia. It really depends on the lcoal community. If a community is centered on the mystical/spiritual side of the Faith- then more than likely they would care less and welcome the couple fully. I’ve heard of very few instances of this (of course it was from people online so I can’t verify if true or not). But the majority of communities emphasize so much administration and rules- that more than likely they will make the couple so uncomfortable that they would leave on their own accord. As far as the UHJ, I don’t know what their official policy is. Maybe someone should ask. I’d venture to guess that they will pull out Shoghi Effendi quotes saying homosexuals are welcome but they have to overcome their homosexuality and that the family is centered around a man/woman. Which to me means- yeah they have to get a divorce and maybe even give up their kids. Don’t know.

  • P

    Hi Baquia. It really depends on the lcoal community. If a community is centered on the mystical/spiritual side of the Faith- then more than likely they would care less and welcome the couple fully. I’ve heard of very few instances of this (of course it was from people online so I can’t verify if true or not). But the majority of communities emphasize so much administration and rules- that more than likely they will make the couple so uncomfortable that they would leave on their own accord. As far as the UHJ, I don’t know what their official policy is. Maybe someone should ask. I’d venture to guess that they will pull out Shoghi Effendi quotes saying homosexuals are welcome but they have to overcome their homosexuality and that the family is centered around a man/woman. Which to me means- yeah they have to get a divorce and maybe even give up their kids. Don’t know.

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””]Hi Baquia. It really depends on the lcoal community. If a community is centered on the mystical/spiritual side of the Faith- then more than likely they would care less and welcome the couple fully. I’ve heard of very few instances of this (of course it was from people online so I can’t verify if true or not). But the majority of communities emphasize so much administration and rules- that more than likely they will make the couple so uncomfortable that they would leave on their own accord. As far as the UHJ, I don’t know what their official policy is. Maybe someone should ask. I’d venture to guess that they will pull out Shoghi Effendi quotes saying homosexuals are welcome but they have to overcome their homosexuality and that the family is centered around a man/woman. Which to me means- yeah they have to get a divorce and maybe even give up their kids. Don’t know.[/quote]

    I find this discussion fascinating. I remember 2 gay Baha’is in our community, both male. Both into the arts and very cool people. I think they were partners or something…I was a kid at the time and I didn’t pay attention too much. But now I reflect and look back I remember how our community was and there was no real tension or whispering going on. I think they just ignored it and focused on being part of the community. I remember going to firesides or feast at their place. I think the Assembly made it known once and then left it up to them. I dont think any of this would be an issue if there was just a realization that as long as its not so obvious, just like heterosexual couples getting all smoochy in front of people, people live and let live. Leave the rest to God. Unfortunately, both of them later died of AIDS.

  • Anonnymouz

    [quote comment=””]Hi Baquia. It really depends on the lcoal community. If a community is centered on the mystical/spiritual side of the Faith- then more than likely they would care less and welcome the couple fully. I’ve heard of very few instances of this (of course it was from people online so I can’t verify if true or not). But the majority of communities emphasize so much administration and rules- that more than likely they will make the couple so uncomfortable that they would leave on their own accord. As far as the UHJ, I don’t know what their official policy is. Maybe someone should ask. I’d venture to guess that they will pull out Shoghi Effendi quotes saying homosexuals are welcome but they have to overcome their homosexuality and that the family is centered around a man/woman. Which to me means- yeah they have to get a divorce and maybe even give up their kids. Don’t know.[/quote]

    I find this discussion fascinating. I remember 2 gay Baha’is in our community, both male. Both into the arts and very cool people. I think they were partners or something…I was a kid at the time and I didn’t pay attention too much. But now I reflect and look back I remember how our community was and there was no real tension or whispering going on. I think they just ignored it and focused on being part of the community. I remember going to firesides or feast at their place. I think the Assembly made it known once and then left it up to them. I dont think any of this would be an issue if there was just a realization that as long as its not so obvious, just like heterosexual couples getting all smoochy in front of people, people live and let live. Leave the rest to God. Unfortunately, both of them later died of AIDS.

  • P

    Wow anon. I finally agree with you! well somewhat…
    The problem to me is this is NOT the scenario I’m talking about- don’t ask don’t tell. Just a few decades ago, this is the best you could hope for in the Bahai community- and yes a lot of that was going on. But it’s a new generation. Will the Bahai community accept me when I walk in with my “partner” who I introduce as my partner- or maybe even husband? (some gays are starting to use that word; although I don’t care for it myself). I don’t think the majority of Bahai communities are ready for this. If you are closeted or just live under the radar, then you’ve always been accepted in the Bahai community. That’s just not gonna cut it anymore.

  • P

    Wow anon. I finally agree with you! well somewhat…
    The problem to me is this is NOT the scenario I’m talking about- don’t ask don’t tell. Just a few decades ago, this is the best you could hope for in the Bahai community- and yes a lot of that was going on. But it’s a new generation. Will the Bahai community accept me when I walk in with my “partner” who I introduce as my partner- or maybe even husband? (some gays are starting to use that word; although I don’t care for it myself). I don’t think the majority of Bahai communities are ready for this. If you are closeted or just live under the radar, then you’ve always been accepted in the Bahai community. That’s just not gonna cut it anymore.

  • This morning I heard on interesting podcast on what I understand to be a Swedish study on divergence between congenital twins. It seems that the causes of homosexual orientation are not, well, homogeneous:

    6/29/2008
    New study sheds light on genetic vs environmental contributions to sexuality.

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/5×5/index.asp

  • This morning I heard on interesting podcast on what I understand to be a Swedish study on divergence between congenital twins. It seems that the causes of homosexual orientation are not, well, homogeneous:

    6/29/2008
    New study sheds light on genetic vs environmental contributions to sexuality.

    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/5×5/index.asp

  • Anonnymouz

    P, I don’t think the guidelines will change, but only the implementation by the LSA and communities. All of this really makes me want to read more into it. I’m convinced its chemical or genetic ergo subject to scientific influence. But, at the same time I have know and read about environmentally and conscious decisions to become gay or take part in that behavior. That is rather strange to me. If someone is wired that way from the womb, then thats a different story. But, when someone is consciously choosing, although they have the right to, I don’t believe its moral or what God intended.

  • Anonnymouz

    P, I don’t think the guidelines will change, but only the implementation by the LSA and communities. All of this really makes me want to read more into it. I’m convinced its chemical or genetic ergo subject to scientific influence. But, at the same time I have know and read about environmentally and conscious decisions to become gay or take part in that behavior. That is rather strange to me. If someone is wired that way from the womb, then thats a different story. But, when someone is consciously choosing, although they have the right to, I don’t believe its moral or what God intended.

  • P

    Anon, you can answer your own questions. When were you wired to be with a woman (if you are straight)? Why don’t we spend scientific dollars to figure that out? Homosexuality exists among anmials- it is not uncommon. In fact it’s very natural.
    99% of gay men I know knew from the very start that they wanted to be with men. But because of society’s pressures (which includes religion) they push it back down until they finally have to come to terms with it. Yes there are some very sexual people that are open to many expierences, and there are a very few that actually have attraction to both sexes, but they are not the norm. The majority of gay men and women I know really want the same things that others do- the stability of a relationship. Unfortunately we have to figure out how to do this ourselves because we certanly don’t get any support from the majority of religions we were brought up. When you are told that it doesn’t really matter if you have one life partner that you are committed to or a different sexual partner every week- that it’s all immoral… well it doesn’t help gays build healthy relationships. I wonder if those two gentlemen in your community who died of AIDS, if they had been in a supportive community where they could openly serve, where their relationship would have been honored and they would have been encouraged to raise kids- I just wonder would the outcome have been different? Maybe they still would be with us today…

  • P

    Anon, you can answer your own questions. When were you wired to be with a woman (if you are straight)? Why don’t we spend scientific dollars to figure that out? Homosexuality exists among anmials- it is not uncommon. In fact it’s very natural.
    99% of gay men I know knew from the very start that they wanted to be with men. But because of society’s pressures (which includes religion) they push it back down until they finally have to come to terms with it. Yes there are some very sexual people that are open to many expierences, and there are a very few that actually have attraction to both sexes, but they are not the norm. The majority of gay men and women I know really want the same things that others do- the stability of a relationship. Unfortunately we have to figure out how to do this ourselves because we certanly don’t get any support from the majority of religions we were brought up. When you are told that it doesn’t really matter if you have one life partner that you are committed to or a different sexual partner every week- that it’s all immoral… well it doesn’t help gays build healthy relationships. I wonder if those two gentlemen in your community who died of AIDS, if they had been in a supportive community where they could openly serve, where their relationship would have been honored and they would have been encouraged to raise kids- I just wonder would the outcome have been different? Maybe they still would be with us today…

  • Anonnymouz

    I don’t know about those two, But I do remember some very good times.

    But about homosexuality being natural I would like to make a point. being natural in a sense it does happen, yes. There are documented cases of it happening in many species but if we are to rely on the assumption that the purpose of a species is to reproduce and have progeny, then it is a disadvantage in nature, biologically speaking because, naturally, they cannot not reproduce by themselves. Moreover, if we also acknowledge that mutation or disorders are also natural, that does not infer that they are natural in a sense that it is a normal or natural behavior, only that it happens. At this point I just would like to say I imagine that this may seem very insensitive or offensive and I apologize in advance, but I think the discussion is worth having so people can lift some of thier hurtful views. I have a ton of gay friends and co-workers and I have noticed my gay friends have always been different in a cooler way.

    In any case, homosexuality along with heterosexuality are simply behaviors we share with other species as part of our evolutionary culmination as a species. This has been a purely scientific discussion so far, but it does change significantly when we change gears into a spiritual discussion.

    I have no doubt that sincere love is felt between two individuals. No one doubts that. But if we detract the relationship with others, and focus on our relationship with God, there is the World that must be removed as the only obstacle from reunion with Him. Nothing but complete self annihilation on the part of the soul, meaning that it must be as pure as crystal water and free from every Earthly attachment and inclination. Nearly impossible in this World, but it is something that we have been exhorted to do by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Moreover, the whole concept of sex is also downplayed, and the only place where Baha’u’llah talks about sex and marriage is where he says we are to “bring forth servants”. Now, of course this begs the question, why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is? Isnt there a big reward in that–adoption and raising them a Baha’i? It is a very interesting question. In the big picture, homosexuality is categorized not as the terrible sins like “backbitting” or others…it is a condition that must be dealt with. With all of the other no no’s out there, I think there has been too much attention to the subject.

  • Anonnymouz

    I don’t know about those two, But I do remember some very good times.

    But about homosexuality being natural I would like to make a point. being natural in a sense it does happen, yes. There are documented cases of it happening in many species but if we are to rely on the assumption that the purpose of a species is to reproduce and have progeny, then it is a disadvantage in nature, biologically speaking because, naturally, they cannot not reproduce by themselves. Moreover, if we also acknowledge that mutation or disorders are also natural, that does not infer that they are natural in a sense that it is a normal or natural behavior, only that it happens. At this point I just would like to say I imagine that this may seem very insensitive or offensive and I apologize in advance, but I think the discussion is worth having so people can lift some of thier hurtful views. I have a ton of gay friends and co-workers and I have noticed my gay friends have always been different in a cooler way.

    In any case, homosexuality along with heterosexuality are simply behaviors we share with other species as part of our evolutionary culmination as a species. This has been a purely scientific discussion so far, but it does change significantly when we change gears into a spiritual discussion.

    I have no doubt that sincere love is felt between two individuals. No one doubts that. But if we detract the relationship with others, and focus on our relationship with God, there is the World that must be removed as the only obstacle from reunion with Him. Nothing but complete self annihilation on the part of the soul, meaning that it must be as pure as crystal water and free from every Earthly attachment and inclination. Nearly impossible in this World, but it is something that we have been exhorted to do by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Moreover, the whole concept of sex is also downplayed, and the only place where Baha’u’llah talks about sex and marriage is where he says we are to “bring forth servants”. Now, of course this begs the question, why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is? Isnt there a big reward in that–adoption and raising them a Baha’i? It is a very interesting question. In the big picture, homosexuality is categorized not as the terrible sins like “backbitting” or others…it is a condition that must be dealt with. With all of the other no no’s out there, I think there has been too much attention to the subject.

  • P

    then it is a disadvantage in nature, biologically speaking
    ——————-
    not really. In nature many times what happens is that it is the younger/weaker male that ends up with another young male because they can not get the female. This allows the stronger male to breed with the females. Also the act among the younger males upon each other may be teaching them to eventually mount the female.
    NOW all this is extremely funny when applied to human relations. But it’s just as funny to me when I read in the Bahai writings that I’m against nature. Heterosexual monogomy is against nature and it’s one of the worst ways to ensure that the species multiplies in nature.

    But back to the topic of homosexuality and sprituality. You said “but complete self annihilation on the part of the soul” is what we are put on earth for. I agree to some extent. I just don’t see how love expressed sexually is hurtful spiritually when two people are committed to each other and wish to raise a family. If what you say is true, then there is no need for Bahai marriage. Why are straight people allowed to express something as banal as sexual pleasure? It is no longer needed for procreation. A man and a woman can bring a child to this world without having sex. I also remember reading in youth classes a letter from a Abdul-Baha explaining to a Bahai woman that she needs to have relations with her husband- as this was very much a part of Bahai marriage. I don’t think sex is downplayed at all when Shoghi Effendi extols Bahai youth to marry while young and in possesion of their youtfhul vigor. What do you think he was talking about? Except when it comes to gays/lesbian Bahai youth, we are told how wonderful and spiritual enhancing celibacy can be. Sorry, but even Bahaullah didn’t have very kind words about celibacy- read his tablet to the monks.
    And finally you asked: “Now, of course this begs the question, why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is?”
    Hey, I’d love to. Be kind enough to write the Universal House of Justice and see if it’s cool with them. :o)

  • P

    then it is a disadvantage in nature, biologically speaking
    ——————-
    not really. In nature many times what happens is that it is the younger/weaker male that ends up with another young male because they can not get the female. This allows the stronger male to breed with the females. Also the act among the younger males upon each other may be teaching them to eventually mount the female.
    NOW all this is extremely funny when applied to human relations. But it’s just as funny to me when I read in the Bahai writings that I’m against nature. Heterosexual monogomy is against nature and it’s one of the worst ways to ensure that the species multiplies in nature.

    But back to the topic of homosexuality and sprituality. You said “but complete self annihilation on the part of the soul” is what we are put on earth for. I agree to some extent. I just don’t see how love expressed sexually is hurtful spiritually when two people are committed to each other and wish to raise a family. If what you say is true, then there is no need for Bahai marriage. Why are straight people allowed to express something as banal as sexual pleasure? It is no longer needed for procreation. A man and a woman can bring a child to this world without having sex. I also remember reading in youth classes a letter from a Abdul-Baha explaining to a Bahai woman that she needs to have relations with her husband- as this was very much a part of Bahai marriage. I don’t think sex is downplayed at all when Shoghi Effendi extols Bahai youth to marry while young and in possesion of their youtfhul vigor. What do you think he was talking about? Except when it comes to gays/lesbian Bahai youth, we are told how wonderful and spiritual enhancing celibacy can be. Sorry, but even Bahaullah didn’t have very kind words about celibacy- read his tablet to the monks.
    And finally you asked: “Now, of course this begs the question, why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is?”
    Hey, I’d love to. Be kind enough to write the Universal House of Justice and see if it’s cool with them. :o)

  • [quote comment=””]why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is?”
    Hey, I’d love to. Be kind enough to write the Universal House of Justice and see if it’s cool with them. :o)[/quote]

    P, you don’t need permission anymore than a straight couple does in order to adopt 🙂 But I guess you know that.

    I agree the time has past for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” stage and that Bahai communities need to be more welcoming of diversity. For me it is not an issue whether it’s nature or nurture, but an issue of equality. Though -if- the research B mentioned ends up being solid (the samples are v. small) that would help force Bahais to address how they go about welcoming gay couples as equals.

    and on a completely unrelated note:
    For my study on engagement in mixed reality art projects, I’ve made a questionnaire to test a hypothesis. I need many many many responses.
    So if you have a few minutes, go to: http://www.sonjavank.com/faces
    thanks!

  • [quote comment=””]why don’t gay couples adopt children and raise them as Baha’is?”
    Hey, I’d love to. Be kind enough to write the Universal House of Justice and see if it’s cool with them. :o)[/quote]

    P, you don’t need permission anymore than a straight couple does in order to adopt 🙂 But I guess you know that.

    I agree the time has past for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” stage and that Bahai communities need to be more welcoming of diversity. For me it is not an issue whether it’s nature or nurture, but an issue of equality. Though -if- the research B mentioned ends up being solid (the samples are v. small) that would help force Bahais to address how they go about welcoming gay couples as equals.

    and on a completely unrelated note:
    For my study on engagement in mixed reality art projects, I’ve made a questionnaire to test a hypothesis. I need many many many responses.
    So if you have a few minutes, go to: http://www.sonjavank.com/faces
    thanks!

  • Anonymouz

    Sonja I took your survey. I saw Mishkin Qalam in there…very cool. His grandson was in my community. He recently passed away but left a lot of the calligraphy his grandfather to the Faith.

    In any case, about the homosexuality. There will be more and more evidence and testing to come showing that the most dominant form of it, where the individual has no control over their attraction to the opposite sex, is in fact a physiological trait reinforced by psychological factors and environment. I am sure too that there will eventually be some trail blazing idealist who funds the research to cure homosexuality. I really do not want to offend people but lets use our brains for a moment. Lets examine the different degrees of the issue.

    1. Transexuality is a physical manifestation of the wrongly wired physiology. We have people sometimes born with part of or even both organs sometimes. However, they define themselves as one gender or another.

    2. Severe gender identity crisis applies to people who simply can’t tolerate living in the body they do. Extreme measure are taken to make the switch.

    3. a-typical homosexual who is attracted to the same sex but is not so intolerant of there identity as that sex. It should be noted that there is a wide spectrum of people who fall under this category and by no means is it comprehensive.

    4. bi-sexuals tend to be the gray area and indeed have attractions both emotional and intimate to both sexes. However, I have read that some simply choose the lifestyle for various preferential reasons. So it would appear that there is a gray area as well.

    5. Heterosexuals…

    Hormone treatment and surgery have all been used to date to alleviate the problems these people have to deal with. It would be naive to think that there are individuals who suffer from a great deal of pain as a result of their condition. It would also be naive to think that they wish they were not born that way. At this point I think it prudent to say that we all should be compassionate and understanding, informed and aware of the issues. No one should contribute to the pain or problem of another. On a personal note, my own reason for discussing this subject is to understand it better. I see some Baha’is who, according to their own understanding, without the knowledge of the written guidance, get really uncomfortable when you mention gay Baha’is. I see others very sympathetic. The UHJ is simply following the rules and in my opinion has really gone out of its way to ensure the validity and reality of the fact that there is indeed gay Baha’is and there is no reason why they should be treated any differently (yes i realize that the writings themselves say otherwise, but they are just applying the law).

    All in all the is much still to be understood and I think science is almost there.

  • Anonymouz

    Sonja I took your survey. I saw Mishkin Qalam in there…very cool. His grandson was in my community. He recently passed away but left a lot of the calligraphy his grandfather to the Faith.

    In any case, about the homosexuality. There will be more and more evidence and testing to come showing that the most dominant form of it, where the individual has no control over their attraction to the opposite sex, is in fact a physiological trait reinforced by psychological factors and environment. I am sure too that there will eventually be some trail blazing idealist who funds the research to cure homosexuality. I really do not want to offend people but lets use our brains for a moment. Lets examine the different degrees of the issue.

    1. Transexuality is a physical manifestation of the wrongly wired physiology. We have people sometimes born with part of or even both organs sometimes. However, they define themselves as one gender or another.

    2. Severe gender identity crisis applies to people who simply can’t tolerate living in the body they do. Extreme measure are taken to make the switch.

    3. a-typical homosexual who is attracted to the same sex but is not so intolerant of there identity as that sex. It should be noted that there is a wide spectrum of people who fall under this category and by no means is it comprehensive.

    4. bi-sexuals tend to be the gray area and indeed have attractions both emotional and intimate to both sexes. However, I have read that some simply choose the lifestyle for various preferential reasons. So it would appear that there is a gray area as well.

    5. Heterosexuals…

    Hormone treatment and surgery have all been used to date to alleviate the problems these people have to deal with. It would be naive to think that there are individuals who suffer from a great deal of pain as a result of their condition. It would also be naive to think that they wish they were not born that way. At this point I think it prudent to say that we all should be compassionate and understanding, informed and aware of the issues. No one should contribute to the pain or problem of another. On a personal note, my own reason for discussing this subject is to understand it better. I see some Baha’is who, according to their own understanding, without the knowledge of the written guidance, get really uncomfortable when you mention gay Baha’is. I see others very sympathetic. The UHJ is simply following the rules and in my opinion has really gone out of its way to ensure the validity and reality of the fact that there is indeed gay Baha’is and there is no reason why they should be treated any differently (yes i realize that the writings themselves say otherwise, but they are just applying the law).

    All in all the is much still to be understood and I think science is almost there.

  • Anonymouz

    I re-read and I should just clarify…

    It would be naive to think that there are not individuals who suffer a great deal of pain as a result of their condition. It would also be naive to think that they dont wish they were not born that way.
    The UHJ is simply following the rules and in my opinion has really gone out of its way to ensure the validity and reality of the fact that there is indeed gay Baha’is and there is no reason why they should be treated any differently (yes i realize that the writings themselves say that it is a *condition*, but they are just applying the law).

  • Anonymouz

    I re-read and I should just clarify…

    It would be naive to think that there are not individuals who suffer a great deal of pain as a result of their condition. It would also be naive to think that they dont wish they were not born that way.

    The UHJ is simply following the rules and in my opinion has really gone out of its way to ensure the validity and reality of the fact that there is indeed gay Baha’is and there is no reason why they should be treated any differently (yes i realize that the writings themselves say that it is a *condition*, but they are just applying the law).

  • p

    I really do not want to offend people but…
    ——————————
    You have. You have insulted me- a gay man who’s only time of depression was when he was trying to fit into the Bahai mold (I’m very happy now believe it or not). You’ve insulted my transgender friend who has seen most of her friends commit suicide because of society’s inability to understand (that includes your version of the Bahai Faith). I take it you also believe Shoghi Effendi when he says that UHJ will eventually have to decide how to punish all homosexuals? That will never change in your view either, right? When the UHJ says that maybe there will be a way to “fix” a fetus so it doesn’t come out homosexual (yes they put out a scary letter like this), then you just throw your head down and obey? Whitewash it all you want Anon- YOU CAN NOT veil what you say in words of ‘sensitivity’. It’s pure, hurtful bigotry. Fortunately I know enough Bahais that don’t think like you. Some day the UHJ will change the enforcement of this law and hopefully gays will be truly welcome into the Bahai community. Until then we see your words for what they are- insulting and hurtful.

  • p

    I really do not want to offend people but…
    ——————————
    You have. You have insulted me- a gay man who’s only time of depression was when he was trying to fit into the Bahai mold (I’m very happy now believe it or not). You’ve insulted my transgender friend who has seen most of her friends commit suicide because of society’s inability to understand (that includes your version of the Bahai Faith). I take it you also believe Shoghi Effendi when he says that UHJ will eventually have to decide how to punish all homosexuals? That will never change in your view either, right? When the UHJ says that maybe there will be a way to “fix” a fetus so it doesn’t come out homosexual (yes they put out a scary letter like this), then you just throw your head down and obey? Whitewash it all you want Anon- YOU CAN NOT veil what you say in words of ‘sensitivity’. It’s pure, hurtful bigotry. Fortunately I know enough Bahais that don’t think like you. Some day the UHJ will change the enforcement of this law and hopefully gays will be truly welcome into the Bahai community. Until then we see your words for what they are- insulting and hurtful.

  • p

    Does anyone else see Anon’s words (and similar words by other conservative Bahais) very similar to the antiquated pyschiatry of the turn of the century? you know where women were given lobotomies to keep them from being too ‘sexual’ (that was a disease too back then). Or were left handed kids were forced to use their right hands? It really is scary to me that Bahais like him share such views with souther baptists, shiite musmilms and other groups that wish to get rid of homosexuality.

  • p

    Does anyone else see Anon’s words (and similar words by other conservative Bahais) very similar to the antiquated pyschiatry of the turn of the century? you know where women were given lobotomies to keep them from being too ‘sexual’ (that was a disease too back then). Or were left handed kids were forced to use their right hands? It really is scary to me that Bahais like him share such views with souther baptists, shiite musmilms and other groups that wish to get rid of homosexuality.

  • p

    Some day the UHJ will change the enforcement of this law and hopefully gays will be truly welcome into the Bahai community.
    ————————-
    And by the way, I do believe it is a law. Not from Bahaullah, but from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation. As long as the UHJ wants to follow SE’s interpretations as law, then all we can hope for is loose enforcement of it. But I also pray for the day when the UHJ will wake up and realize it doesn’t have to follow every letter, phrase and utterance that SE made. I wish we had a real direct vote for the UHJ so that maybe, just maybe more open-minded men would get elected. Unfortunately, there is no true democracy. Everyone knows that the future members are hand-picked from the Teaching Centers by the incumbents- and the NSA’s just follow along in electing them. So we’ll just end up with the same ol’ same ol’ for the UHJ probably for a while unless the change the system.

  • p

    Some day the UHJ will change the enforcement of this law and hopefully gays will be truly welcome into the Bahai community.
    ————————-
    And by the way, I do believe it is a law. Not from Bahaullah, but from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation. As long as the UHJ wants to follow SE’s interpretations as law, then all we can hope for is loose enforcement of it. But I also pray for the day when the UHJ will wake up and realize it doesn’t have to follow every letter, phrase and utterance that SE made. I wish we had a real direct vote for the UHJ so that maybe, just maybe more open-minded men would get elected. Unfortunately, there is no true democracy. Everyone knows that the future members are hand-picked from the Teaching Centers by the incumbents- and the NSA’s just follow along in electing them. So we’ll just end up with the same ol’ same ol’ for the UHJ probably for a while unless the change the system.

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    I apologize again if I offended you but at least I am trying to understand the issues. You can’t deny that there is a physiological foundation for homosexuality. The science is showing that. In my view this is a big leap forward in understanding the dynamic and root of it.

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    I apologize again if I offended you but at least I am trying to understand the issues. You can’t deny that there is a physiological foundation for homosexuality. The science is showing that. In my view this is a big leap forward in understanding the dynamic and root of it.

  • p

    As their is a foundation for someone to develop straight, but we don’t try to fix that. As long as you see it as a disease that needs to be fixed (per Shoghi Effendi and the present UHJ), then anything you say is insulting. As it is insulting to a left-handed person being told he has a disease and should really try to use his right hand. Believe what you want to believe. But I feel for those kids (and some grown ups who are still in the community) beating themselves over the head because you represent the best understanding they can hope for inside the Bahai community.

  • p

    As their is a foundation for someone to develop straight, but we don’t try to fix that. As long as you see it as a disease that needs to be fixed (per Shoghi Effendi and the present UHJ), then anything you say is insulting. As it is insulting to a left-handed person being told he has a disease and should really try to use his right hand. Believe what you want to believe. But I feel for those kids (and some grown ups who are still in the community) beating themselves over the head because you represent the best understanding they can hope for inside the Bahai community.

  • p

    Oh btw Anon, when I do have kids, yes I plan to educate them in the Bahai Faith. But it’s not what you think. It will probably be in a loving/accepting place like the Unitarian church. And for sure my children will be taught to use their own brains and ask questions- not blind Faith as I was taught. And from what I’ve seen, kids being brought up by gay parents tend to be way more understanding and accepting of ALL of humanity than even Bahai kids. So mine will probably be super kids since they’ll get the best of both worlds! 🙂

  • p

    Oh btw Anon, when I do have kids, yes I plan to educate them in the Bahai Faith. But it’s not what you think. It will probably be in a loving/accepting place like the Unitarian church. And for sure my children will be taught to use their own brains and ask questions- not blind Faith as I was taught. And from what I’ve seen, kids being brought up by gay parents tend to be way more understanding and accepting of ALL of humanity than even Bahai kids. So mine will probably be super kids since they’ll get the best of both worlds! 🙂

  • Mooseus

    [quote comment=”53748″]
    And by the way, I do believe it is a law. Not from Bahaullah, but from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation. As long as the UHJ wants to follow SE’s interpretations as law, then all we can hope for is loose enforcement of it. But I also pray for the day when the UHJ will wake up and realize it doesn’t have to follow every letter, phrase and utterance that SE made. .[/quote]

    I’ve found what you’ve said to be very interesting, P. I myself am a Bahai and being a ballet dancer, I meet quite a few homosexual guys. What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi? Another question I had was are you still a registered Bahai? If so, how do you teach the faith to homosexuals? Whenever I do talk, it eventually runs into what is the Bahai position on homosexuality and well it sort of ends there.

  • Mooseus

    [quote comment=”53748″]
    And by the way, I do believe it is a law. Not from Bahaullah, but from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation. As long as the UHJ wants to follow SE’s interpretations as law, then all we can hope for is loose enforcement of it. But I also pray for the day when the UHJ will wake up and realize it doesn’t have to follow every letter, phrase and utterance that SE made. .[/quote]

    I’ve found what you’ve said to be very interesting, P. I myself am a Bahai and being a ballet dancer, I meet quite a few homosexual guys. What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi? Another question I had was are you still a registered Bahai? If so, how do you teach the faith to homosexuals? Whenever I do talk, it eventually runs into what is the Bahai position on homosexuality and well it sort of ends there.

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    The classification of homosexuality as a disease is kind of a little off if you ask me. That’s not what I said. A disease is something else…I think homosexuality is a condition, like people with other kinds of anomalies like extremely high IQs but are anti-social, or people who are artist genius but can’t look you in the eye…Let’s face the fact, if we simply unaware organisms the homosexuals would be unable to reproduce.

    Can you blame me for trying to understand it better? Its kind of tell tale to see you react so emotionally. I wan’t to have a dialog and approach it from a different angle to further my own reasoning. The way I see it, from an evolutionary standpoint and a reproductive standpoint, purely biological, it is something that would eventually be stamped out by nature as a part the darwinian model. Im sure you know, the theory is only the genes or traits that are useful or advantageous are inherited and passed on. This process takes thousands of years, if not millions.

    In no way shape or form should we shun or disavow our gay Baha’is. I do not make a distinction and I even wonder about some of my friends who have never had a girl friend…They are very active in the faith too. In any case, I highly doubt UHJ will change. It is calling on us to deny our physical inclination and arise spiritually…When we do this there is always the attachments to our own systems. I have trouble answering the call myself…we all do…But I don’t think the admonishment to arise will go away or change in character.

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    The classification of homosexuality as a disease is kind of a little off if you ask me. That’s not what I said. A disease is something else…I think homosexuality is a condition, like people with other kinds of anomalies like extremely high IQs but are anti-social, or people who are artist genius but can’t look you in the eye…Let’s face the fact, if we simply unaware organisms the homosexuals would be unable to reproduce.

    Can you blame me for trying to understand it better? Its kind of tell tale to see you react so emotionally. I wan’t to have a dialog and approach it from a different angle to further my own reasoning. The way I see it, from an evolutionary standpoint and a reproductive standpoint, purely biological, it is something that would eventually be stamped out by nature as a part the darwinian model. Im sure you know, the theory is only the genes or traits that are useful or advantageous are inherited and passed on. This process takes thousands of years, if not millions.

    In no way shape or form should we shun or disavow our gay Baha’is. I do not make a distinction and I even wonder about some of my friends who have never had a girl friend…They are very active in the faith too. In any case, I highly doubt UHJ will change. It is calling on us to deny our physical inclination and arise spiritually…When we do this there is always the attachments to our own systems. I have trouble answering the call myself…we all do…But I don’t think the admonishment to arise will go away or change in character.

  • Anonnymouz

    Mooseus,

    A lot of things came from Baha’u’llah that we have or have not done. Did you know that Iranian Baha’is in Iran have rules that we in the west do not. Homosexuality is derived from the Aqdas and the authority Shoghi Effendi had as interpreter has lead to the Baha’i position as it is today.

    Homosexuality in the Middle East, at that time was not what you think of. Even today, the idea of uniquely defined segments of gays is not part of the culture or lingo (see Ahmadinejad). Of course it happened and does happen and many people are indeed identifying themselves as gay today. But, in those days there is strong evidence to state that was not the case. Baha’u’llah condemned the social ill of pediastry because it was the closest thing to it and those who perpetrated it, although child abusers were most often married men with families. It was not as clearly defined culturally for different reasons. But, if we compare it to other places where Baha’u’llah talks about marriage between man and women this interpretation is consistent with the subject…

    This is simply my view and I know P will probably say im a fundamentalist or something…

  • Anonnymouz

    Mooseus,

    A lot of things came from Baha’u’llah that we have or have not done. Did you know that Iranian Baha’is in Iran have rules that we in the west do not. Homosexuality is derived from the Aqdas and the authority Shoghi Effendi had as interpreter has lead to the Baha’i position as it is today.

    Homosexuality in the Middle East, at that time was not what you think of. Even today, the idea of uniquely defined segments of gays is not part of the culture or lingo (see Ahmadinejad). Of course it happened and does happen and many people are indeed identifying themselves as gay today. But, in those days there is strong evidence to state that was not the case. Baha’u’llah condemned the social ill of pediastry because it was the closest thing to it and those who perpetrated it, although child abusers were most often married men with families. It was not as clearly defined culturally for different reasons. But, if we compare it to other places where Baha’u’llah talks about marriage between man and women this interpretation is consistent with the subject…

    This is simply my view and I know P will probably say im a fundamentalist or something…

  • p

    One thing Anon and I will end the conversation with you. When the Bahai Faith asks straights to NEVER have sex (you don’t need sex to procreate anymore), then at least I can say that the Faith is fair in how treats all its members. Otherwise, it’s discrimination. And it is considered a disability (maybe that’s the word I should have used, but it’s all the same to me); if you believe Shoghi Effendi, then I am handicapped with a disability. I find this pity utterly insulting, especially when I see people with true disabilities living in this world.

  • p

    One thing Anon and I will end the conversation with you. When the Bahai Faith asks straights to NEVER have sex (you don’t need sex to procreate anymore), then at least I can say that the Faith is fair in how treats all its members. Otherwise, it’s discrimination. And it is considered a disability (maybe that’s the word I should have used, but it’s all the same to me); if you believe Shoghi Effendi, then I am handicapped with a disability. I find this pity utterly insulting, especially when I see people with true disabilities living in this world.

  • p

    What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi?
    —————–
    Bahaullah condemned sex with a slave boy. And in another instance he forbade sodomy (which could be for men or women if we are striclty speaking of anal sex). However, there is great discussion on what exactly sodomy (and the story of sodom) means. So how do I explain the Faith to gay friends, just like I would explain any judeo-christian religion. There is a spiritual side to the Faith and a cultural side based on laws that were revealed in a certain social setting. To only accept the laws at face value without understanding the social norms in which He brought those laws is a true diservice to the Bahai Faith (we were not meant to be a religion of fundamentalism).
    My personal take is that the Universal House of Justice (if we were one day able to actually have a true voice in electing those 9 men) can move away from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation which condemns all forms of homosexuality (even kissing I would guess), but still remain loyal to Bahaullah’s law in the social context in which he revealed them. Also, since the idea of gay marriage is not spoken of in the Aqdas, then the UHJ could very well legislate some type of union allowed between gay Bahais. It’s all doable, but it depends on the leadership.

  • p

    What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi?
    —————–
    Bahaullah condemned sex with a slave boy. And in another instance he forbade sodomy (which could be for men or women if we are striclty speaking of anal sex). However, there is great discussion on what exactly sodomy (and the story of sodom) means. So how do I explain the Faith to gay friends, just like I would explain any judeo-christian religion. There is a spiritual side to the Faith and a cultural side based on laws that were revealed in a certain social setting. To only accept the laws at face value without understanding the social norms in which He brought those laws is a true diservice to the Bahai Faith (we were not meant to be a religion of fundamentalism).
    My personal take is that the Universal House of Justice (if we were one day able to actually have a true voice in electing those 9 men) can move away from Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation which condemns all forms of homosexuality (even kissing I would guess), but still remain loyal to Bahaullah’s law in the social context in which he revealed them. Also, since the idea of gay marriage is not spoken of in the Aqdas, then the UHJ could very well legislate some type of union allowed between gay Bahais. It’s all doable, but it depends on the leadership.

  • p

    And oh yes Mooseus, I am registered generations Bahai. But haven’t been active in years. I go to the Unitarian church every so often, where I can profess my Bahai beliefs without any judgement. Maybe the Bahai community will change in my life time, so I’ll feel comfortable enough to return. But I’m not holding my breath.
    So yep, I’m still a carded member; hmmm, although, I have no idea where my card is…. 🙂

  • p

    And oh yes Mooseus, I am registered generations Bahai. But haven’t been active in years. I go to the Unitarian church every so often, where I can profess my Bahai beliefs without any judgement. Maybe the Bahai community will change in my life time, so I’ll feel comfortable enough to return. But I’m not holding my breath.
    So yep, I’m still a carded member; hmmm, although, I have no idea where my card is…. 🙂

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    I really think you are being too touchy.

    You havn’t said much regarding my scientific approach, I admit I am a little dense regarding this issue, thats why I am trying to talk about it.

  • Anonnymouz

    P,

    I really think you are being too touchy.

    You havn’t said much regarding my scientific approach, I admit I am a little dense regarding this issue, thats why I am trying to talk about it.

  • p

    As I think you are being fundamentalist. You want to eradicate homosexuality with the use of science one day in the future. Yeah, I guess that makes me a bit ‘touchy’. Did u look up that letter from the UHJ talking about the possiblity of altering a fetus so it comes out straight, instead of just empahtically saying that would be wrong. Of course, maybe it’s not wrong in your eyes? Yeah, I’m very touchy when I confront evil…
    If you want it all to be fair, then stop having sex EVER. Are you married, have a spouse? If so, don’t EVER introduce them as your spouse, actually hide them and pretend they are just a friend. Live in seperate homes too, please.
    I wnat to stop writing to you, but geez I’m so hopeful that you will wake up one day. We need more progressive minded Bahais in the community for any change to happen.

  • p

    As I think you are being fundamentalist. You want to eradicate homosexuality with the use of science one day in the future. Yeah, I guess that makes me a bit ‘touchy’. Did u look up that letter from the UHJ talking about the possiblity of altering a fetus so it comes out straight, instead of just empahtically saying that would be wrong. Of course, maybe it’s not wrong in your eyes? Yeah, I’m very touchy when I confront evil…
    If you want it all to be fair, then stop having sex EVER. Are you married, have a spouse? If so, don’t EVER introduce them as your spouse, actually hide them and pretend they are just a friend. Live in seperate homes too, please.
    I wnat to stop writing to you, but geez I’m so hopeful that you will wake up one day. We need more progressive minded Bahais in the community for any change to happen.

  • p

    For anyone who is interested. Here is the letter from the UHJ regarding the possibility of ?treating? a fetus for the disability of homosexuality: http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file=uhj_homosexuality_biology&language=All

  • p

    For anyone who is interested. Here is the letter from the UHJ regarding the possibility of ?treating? a fetus for the disability of homosexuality: http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file=uhj_homosexuality_biology&language=All

  • [quote comment=””]What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi? Another question I had was are you still a registered Bahai? If so, how do you teach the faith to homosexuals?[/quote]

    P, said it all, but I’ve already stated this a number of times on Bahai Rants, that thousands of letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi by numerous (it would be interesting if some one could find who these were and for which periods) secretaries is not the same as something that is penned by Shoghi Effendi. Especially when you consider how articulate and how excellent his English was.

    He didn’t write a single word on the topic of sexuality, as far as I know.

    So I’d go a step further than P, and say that it would (I’ve love to say “will”, but I try as I might, I can’t see into the future) be great when the people (including Bahai Institutions) stop treating these letters as if they were scripture. They are not.

    P, I was born left-handed and was slapped with a ruler for a number of years. Then when I was around 8 or so, the nuns must have either decided that a left-handed child was better than one who couldn’t write or perhaps they convinced my parents it was better to allow me to follow my ‘nature’. Anyway all I know is that once I moved into the middle classroom I didn’t have to hide my lefthand, and I then started to write. If I’d been born with homosexual tendencies with the severity that I am left-handed, I’m not sure how I would handle being a Bahai. Other kids switched over to the other hand, I just couldn’t. I even play instruments left-handed.
    It is all very easy for a right-handed person to say, ah but it is not such a big deal, I mean I can do a lot of things with my right hand that a right-handed person can’t. Some people think I’m ambidextrous because I draw with both hands or use the mouse with either, but deep down, I am -lefthanded-. And though life is harder that way, that’s who I am and I shouldn’t have to hide this. Shouldn’t have to apologize, nor pretend to be right-handed.

    When you are in majority in a situation it is easy to overlook things. And easy to see things as right or wrong. Or that is it just an issue of a bit of abstainance. When in fact nature is so diverse. So I understand how a right-handed person might say, but you can abstain from using your left hand. See you are coping, and that’s not inequality. Not noticing that inside I’m hurting on hearing those words ((again) with oodles of good intention). Perhaps they’d even call me touchy.

    My question is what is the harm? What is wrong with being gay?
    How is being gay, in some way immoral? Any more or less moral than a heterosexual I mean. Please don’t get me started on trans-gender identity. Sexuality is like the nature of colour. We see divisions but there are none, just varying intensities of where we feel most comfortable. I have yet to meet a gay parent who was abusive (I am sure there are plenty around (gays being human and all that). I’ve met many abusive straight parents 🙂

    Anyway, Anonnymouz I found your posting offensive, not just to gays but to myself as a Bahai. I DO NOT share your views but I also found it odd that you thought what you wrote was scientific. But don’t worry, the future will make things clearer for us all 🙂

    and on the unrelated note: There were more Bahai faces inserted into that questionnaire, but the point of it was about ‘how we judge / look at faces’.
    In September I can say more about this if anyone asks. Then my paper will be written.
    And nice to hear about Mishkin Qalam, if there’s ever an opportunity to share some of that work with the world, ask the grandson to go to http://www.bahai-library.com/bafa and make contact.
    It would be nice to have a page on him one day.

    P the link you posted is a tricky one. I mean, yes, it is headed up as if it was a letter from the UHJ, but it is actually from the Research Department who seem to be giving advice, not making a law or statement of rule. I found the wording also odd in some places. But yes, the whole tone is very fundamentalist.

  • [quote comment=””]What proof do you have that the law prohibiting homosexuality is not one of Baha’ullah but rather of Shoghi Effendi? Another question I had was are you still a registered Bahai? If so, how do you teach the faith to homosexuals?[/quote]

    P, said it all, but I’ve already stated this a number of times on Bahai Rants, that thousands of letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi by numerous (it would be interesting if some one could find who these were and for which periods) secretaries is not the same as something that is penned by Shoghi Effendi. Especially when you consider how articulate and how excellent his English was.

    He didn’t write a single word on the topic of sexuality, as far as I know.

    So I’d go a step further than P, and say that it would (I’ve love to say “will”, but I try as I might, I can’t see into the future) be great when the people (including Bahai Institutions) stop treating these letters as if they were scripture. They are not.

    P, I was born left-handed and was slapped with a ruler for a number of years. Then when I was around 8 or so, the nuns must have either decided that a left-handed child was better than one who couldn’t write or perhaps they convinced my parents it was better to allow me to follow my ‘nature’. Anyway all I know is that once I moved into the middle classroom I didn’t have to hide my lefthand, and I then started to write. If I’d been born with homosexual tendencies with the severity that I am left-handed, I’m not sure how I would handle being a Bahai. Other kids switched over to the other hand, I just couldn’t. I even play instruments left-handed.
    It is all very easy for a right-handed person to say, ah but it is not such a big deal, I mean I can do a lot of things with my right hand that a right-handed person can’t. Some people think I’m ambidextrous because I draw with both hands or use the mouse with either, but deep down, I am -lefthanded-. And though life is harder that way, that’s who I am and I shouldn’t have to hide this. Shouldn’t have to apologize, nor pretend to be right-handed.

    When you are in majority in a situation it is easy to overlook things. And easy to see things as right or wrong. Or that is it just an issue of a bit of abstainance. When in fact nature is so diverse. So I understand how a right-handed person might say, but you can abstain from using your left hand. See you are coping, and that’s not inequality. Not noticing that inside I’m hurting on hearing those words ((again) with oodles of good intention). Perhaps they’d even call me touchy.

    My question is what is the harm? What is wrong with being gay?
    How is being gay, in some way immoral? Any more or less moral than a heterosexual I mean. Please don’t get me started on trans-gender identity. Sexuality is like the nature of colour. We see divisions but there are none, just varying intensities of where we feel most comfortable. I have yet to meet a gay parent who was abusive (I am sure there are plenty around (gays being human and all that). I’ve met many abusive straight parents 🙂

    Anyway, Anonnymouz I found your posting offensive, not just to gays but to myself as a Bahai. I DO NOT share your views but I also found it odd that you thought what you wrote was scientific. But don’t worry, the future will make things clearer for us all 🙂

    and on the unrelated note: There were more Bahai faces inserted into that questionnaire, but the point of it was about ‘how we judge / look at faces’.
    In September I can say more about this if anyone asks. Then my paper will be written.
    And nice to hear about Mishkin Qalam, if there’s ever an opportunity to share some of that work with the world, ask the grandson to go to http://www.bahai-library.com/bafa and make contact.
    It would be nice to have a page on him one day.

    P the link you posted is a tricky one. I mean, yes, it is headed up as if it was a letter from the UHJ, but it is actually from the Research Department who seem to be giving advice, not making a law or statement of rule. I found the wording also odd in some places. But yes, the whole tone is very fundamentalist.

  • Nur

    P,

    WOW….That letter is truly scary. It almost sounds like Nazi eugenics or something, but couched in much ‘nicer’ terms.

  • Nur

    P,

    WOW….That letter is truly scary. It almost sounds like Nazi eugenics or something, but couched in much ‘nicer’ terms.

  • Anonymouz

    If you found it offensive i’m sorry. And I don’t expect nor am I asking people to agree with me. I still would like to know more about the cause and reasons for homosexuality. I have said it before and I will say it again…I don’t discriminate and I have gay friends. Some of the nicest people I know…and the most stylish.

    Anyway…Sonja your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it. You may rebut with saying something like “all sorts of products and ergonomic factors hinder you” but if it wasn’t for the man-made obstacles your condition wouldn’t hinder you. They did the same thing to my mom in Iran because she was left handed. My sister and grandma too…

    Homosexuality has become a cultural and political issue which is highly debated. I am avoiding that if you haven’t noticed. You dismiss my analytical approach to different degrees and spectrum of sexuality, but I still do not see the issue you raise. If you call it unscientific and illogical, back it up. I gave evidence for my statements but you didn’t. Of course I am biased and I appear insensitive. But, perhaps I should apologize more or patronize. I am not trying to convince anyone of my views, I am simply trying to get to scientific grounds of the issue. How is this fundamentalist?

  • Anonymouz

    If you found it offensive i’m sorry. And I don’t expect nor am I asking people to agree with me. I still would like to know more about the cause and reasons for homosexuality. I have said it before and I will say it again…I don’t discriminate and I have gay friends. Some of the nicest people I know…and the most stylish.

    Anyway…Sonja your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it. You may rebut with saying something like “all sorts of products and ergonomic factors hinder you” but if it wasn’t for the man-made obstacles your condition wouldn’t hinder you. They did the same thing to my mom in Iran because she was left handed. My sister and grandma too…

    Homosexuality has become a cultural and political issue which is highly debated. I am avoiding that if you haven’t noticed. You dismiss my analytical approach to different degrees and spectrum of sexuality, but I still do not see the issue you raise. If you call it unscientific and illogical, back it up. I gave evidence for my statements but you didn’t. Of course I am biased and I appear insensitive. But, perhaps I should apologize more or patronize. I am not trying to convince anyone of my views, I am simply trying to get to scientific grounds of the issue. How is this fundamentalist?

  • p

    Anyway…Sonja your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.
    ———–
    there you go with the natural disadvantage stuff. What’s the natural advantage of monogomy? It certainly isn’t practiced by most animals. If the Bahai Faith truly cared about the propagation of species (if that is what you are so worried about), then polygamy is the way to go. Make sure women stay pregnant as much as possible and stay home to take care of the millions of kids; while men bring home the food. THAT is the natural way. We are spiritual beings and I know for a fact that gay couples are raising beatiful families that would put some Bahai families I have seen to shame. Conservative Bahais have nothing to stand on when arguing against this discramanatory law except “because Shoghi Effendi said so”.

  • p

    Anyway…Sonja your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.
    ———–
    there you go with the natural disadvantage stuff. What’s the natural advantage of monogomy? It certainly isn’t practiced by most animals. If the Bahai Faith truly cared about the propagation of species (if that is what you are so worried about), then polygamy is the way to go. Make sure women stay pregnant as much as possible and stay home to take care of the millions of kids; while men bring home the food. THAT is the natural way. We are spiritual beings and I know for a fact that gay couples are raising beatiful families that would put some Bahai families I have seen to shame. Conservative Bahais have nothing to stand on when arguing against this discramanatory law except “because Shoghi Effendi said so”.

  • p

    And thank you Sonja for understanding. AND really thank you for continuing to be a card-carrying Bahai- that’s what we need more of. I checked out the survey, but there was no category for HOT for Angelina. Oh no, are you turing me straight? Hey maybe that’s the magic pill the UHJ is looking for- pics of Angelina Jolie shown over and over again to a fetus before it’s born! 🙂

  • p

    And thank you Sonja for understanding. AND really thank you for continuing to be a card-carrying Bahai- that’s what we need more of. I checked out the survey, but there was no category for HOT for Angelina. Oh no, are you turing me straight? Hey maybe that’s the magic pill the UHJ is looking for- pics of Angelina Jolie shown over and over again to a fetus before it’s born! 🙂

  • Anonymouz

    P you are assuming that I am approaching this from a Baha’i view. Not really, I am from a scientific approach…perhaps I should look elsewhere for another point of view.

  • Anonymouz

    P you are assuming that I am approaching this from a Baha’i view. Not really, I am from a scientific approach…perhaps I should look elsewhere for another point of view.

  • Andrew

    Sonja: your observations and reflections embody the very essence of the Spirit of Baha. Your heartfelt sentiments convey the expression of authentic Baha’i principles of gender equality and the elimination of prejudice. There can be no better example of the ideals upon which the Baha’i Faith was founded. All else is rust and deformity and merits no further comment let alone refutation. Good luck with your paper and may God bless you in all your future endeavors. You are a true Baha’i.

    “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

  • Andrew

    Sonja: your observations and reflections embody the very essence of the Spirit of Baha. Your heartfelt sentiments convey the expression of authentic Baha’i principles of gender equality and the elimination of prejudice. There can be no better example of the ideals upon which the Baha’i Faith was founded. All else is rust and deformity and merits no further comment let alone refutation. Good luck with your paper and may God bless you in all your future endeavors. You are a true Baha’i.

    “Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53773″]And thank you Sonja for understanding. AND really thank you for continuing to be a card-carrying Bahai- that’s what we need more of. I checked out the survey, but there was no category for HOT for Angelina. Oh no, are you turing me straight? Hey maybe that’s the magic pill the UHJ is looking for- pics of Angelina Jolie shown over and over again to a fetus before it’s born! :)[/quote]

    I have heard that there really IS an as yet un-translated tablet on this method. This IS the magic pill and WILL be FULLY documented in the future. The effectiveness of the method will be as “plain as the Noon Day Sun”. It is TOTALLY scientific and will be fully proven in double blind studies. Only the photos are of Jennifer Aniston NOT Angelina! The official name is “The Tablet of What Was Brad Thinking?”

    http://www.jenaniston.net/gallery/

    Early research shows that looking at these photos causes ACTUAL CHANGES in the brain functioning of fetuses!

    http://www.jenaniston.net/gallery/

    Unfortunately this effect won’t last long in turning every man on Earth straight.

    There is ANOTHER tablet called “The Tablet of Pulling the Plug” where the UHJ will announce that no one on Earth is allowed to have sex EVER AGAIN. No exceptions. No appeal. No due process. Period. Neither heterosexual sex nor homosexual sex. Anyone who violates this will lose their voting rights. Because the Creator of Mankind has said in this revealed Tablet that based upon our behavior as human beings He/She/It is calling the entire human experiment off. We are no longer permitted to procreate. No sex ever. Period. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. The Creator says in explicit language that the human experiment failed and had major problems and has been terminated.

    It seems the entire world was completely straight for EXACTLY 24 hours until the other Tablet was announced. And then it was all over.

    No. Humans. Permitted. Ever. Again. Period.

    Within 90 years of the UHJ’s implementation of the Tablet we were COMPLETELY GONE as a species.

    Cats took over the planet as the highest life form. They really were from another Universe ALL ALONG (as many suspected) and were sent here as spies. The reports on us were not good. And we were terminated as a life form.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53773″]And thank you Sonja for understanding. AND really thank you for continuing to be a card-carrying Bahai- that’s what we need more of. I checked out the survey, but there was no category for HOT for Angelina. Oh no, are you turing me straight? Hey maybe that’s the magic pill the UHJ is looking for- pics of Angelina Jolie shown over and over again to a fetus before it’s born! :)[/quote]

    I have heard that there really IS an as yet un-translated tablet on this method. This IS the magic pill and WILL be FULLY documented in the future. The effectiveness of the method will be as “plain as the Noon Day Sun”. It is TOTALLY scientific and will be fully proven in double blind studies. Only the photos are of Jennifer Aniston NOT Angelina! The official name is “The Tablet of What Was Brad Thinking?”

    http://www.jenaniston.net/gallery/

    Early research shows that looking at these photos causes ACTUAL CHANGES in the brain functioning of fetuses!

    http://www.jenaniston.net/gallery/

    Unfortunately this effect won’t last long in turning every man on Earth straight.

    There is ANOTHER tablet called “The Tablet of Pulling the Plug” where the UHJ will announce that no one on Earth is allowed to have sex EVER AGAIN. No exceptions. No appeal. No due process. Period. Neither heterosexual sex nor homosexual sex. Anyone who violates this will lose their voting rights. Because the Creator of Mankind has said in this revealed Tablet that based upon our behavior as human beings He/She/It is calling the entire human experiment off. We are no longer permitted to procreate. No sex ever. Period. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. The Creator says in explicit language that the human experiment failed and had major problems and has been terminated.

    It seems the entire world was completely straight for EXACTLY 24 hours until the other Tablet was announced. And then it was all over.

    No. Humans. Permitted. Ever. Again. Period.

    Within 90 years of the UHJ’s implementation of the Tablet we were COMPLETELY GONE as a species.

    Cats took over the planet as the highest life form. They really were from another Universe ALL ALONG (as many suspected) and were sent here as spies. The reports on us were not good. And we were terminated as a life form.

  • Anonymouz

    Craig that was really funny and I am going to drop the homosexual subject for now because it appears to be causing too much pain.

    Hmmm…whats news…Israel and Iran may be going to war soon…ergo WWIII.

    Could it happen? Nah…too political, Obama is a shoe in and he is going to cool things off, im sure.

    In Persian “oo ba ma’eh” means “hes with us”

  • Anonymouz

    Craig that was really funny and I am going to drop the homosexual subject for now because it appears to be causing too much pain.

    Hmmm…whats news…Israel and Iran may be going to war soon…ergo WWIII.

    Could it happen? Nah…too political, Obama is a shoe in and he is going to cool things off, im sure.

    In Persian “oo ba ma’eh” means “hes with us”

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Craig that was really funny and I am going to drop the homosexual subject for now because it appears to be causing too much pain.
    [/quote]

    Anon,

    Thanks.

    Actually I toyed with this idea for a movie script. That in the future the entire human race decided to end it. That no one would have a child as a supreme spiritual act to the Universe to end the catastrophe of the human race. Perhaps some future religion taught this as the new Divine Morality and achieved a huge worldwide following. That it was time to voluntarily PULL THE PLUG on a species that did so much damage to the Universe and to themselves.

    I wonder what would happen? I wonder if the entire world would do it? It would be a good study. Perhaps a novel world be better as a vehicle for such a tale? Perhaps a family of time travelers came back to our time so they could have a child? Perhaps that is what would happen. That the human race could not go forward in time as a supreme spiritual act of penance to the Universe. But it caused people to colonize previous time so they could have a child? Hummm. I wonder what people would do? Maybe I can sell one of my movie scripts and start hanging out with a better class of people? Maybe that would cheer me up?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]Craig that was really funny and I am going to drop the homosexual subject for now because it appears to be causing too much pain.
    [/quote]

    Anon,

    Thanks.

    Actually I toyed with this idea for a movie script. That in the future the entire human race decided to end it. That no one would have a child as a supreme spiritual act to the Universe to end the catastrophe of the human race. Perhaps some future religion taught this as the new Divine Morality and achieved a huge worldwide following. That it was time to voluntarily PULL THE PLUG on a species that did so much damage to the Universe and to themselves.

    I wonder what would happen? I wonder if the entire world would do it? It would be a good study. Perhaps a novel world be better as a vehicle for such a tale? Perhaps a family of time travelers came back to our time so they could have a child? Perhaps that is what would happen. That the human race could not go forward in time as a supreme spiritual act of penance to the Universe. But it caused people to colonize previous time so they could have a child? Hummm. I wonder what people would do? Maybe I can sell one of my movie scripts and start hanging out with a better class of people? Maybe that would cheer me up?

  • anonymuz

    I think Einstien said time travel was impossible, so I like to imagine more plausible things in the future like planet colonization and more space exploration. Mars is completely doable.

    Back on earth I am trying to go organic with compost and riding my bike to work. Ever heard of the caveman diet?

  • anonymuz

    I think Einstien said time travel was impossible, so I like to imagine more plausible things in the future like planet colonization and more space exploration. Mars is completely doable.

    Back on earth I am trying to go organic with compost and riding my bike to work. Ever heard of the caveman diet?

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]I think Einstien said time travel was impossible, so I like to imagine more plausible things in the future like planet colonization and more space exploration. Mars is completely doable.
    [/quote]

    Einstein is so, well, 1955. He didn’t accept Quantum Mechanics either. Sorry. It explains alot.

    I like this site:
    http://everythingforever.com/st_order.htm

    BTW, have you ever heard of Ong’s Hat?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong's_Hat

    One of the great mysterious myths of the Internet about a whole town in New Jersey or something that time travelled to another dimension back in the 1940’s or 1950’s. I think time travelling out of New Jersey is a damn good idea. As long as you can take your Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi albums and Joe Piscopo footage doing Frank on SNL.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=k99h5aikc4g&feature=related

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=BDBUJB7j9-c

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=EVBCYZgvfnQ

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=””]I think Einstien said time travel was impossible, so I like to imagine more plausible things in the future like planet colonization and more space exploration. Mars is completely doable.
    [/quote]

    Einstein is so, well, 1955. He didn’t accept Quantum Mechanics either. Sorry. It explains alot.

    I like this site:
    http://everythingforever.com/st_order.htm

    BTW, have you ever heard of Ong’s Hat?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ong's_Hat

    One of the great mysterious myths of the Internet about a whole town in New Jersey or something that time travelled to another dimension back in the 1940’s or 1950’s. I think time travelling out of New Jersey is a damn good idea. As long as you can take your Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi albums and Joe Piscopo footage doing Frank on SNL.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=k99h5aikc4g&feature=related

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=BDBUJB7j9-c

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=EVBCYZgvfnQ

  • Grover

    Anon wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]You can’t deny that there is a physiological foundation for homosexuality. The science is showing that. In my view this is a big leap forward in understanding the dynamic and root of it.[/quote]

    A couple of points:

    1) We have to be careful here about what we are seeing in those results presented in Baquia’s article. Is it the cause of homosexuality or the effect of homosexuality? Is a person’s brain chemistry and activity predetermined at conception or is it a product of its environment? What if they were to scan the brains of heavily masculinised but heterosexual women, or feminized but heterosexual men?

    2) Tampering with fetuses to repair “mistakes” or “disorders” is an ethical minefield. How do we know that it isn’t what God or nature intended?

    Firstly you’d have to be able to identify which fetuses were prone to developing homosexuality, which would mean identifying some kind of definitive genetic marker, which they haven’t got yet because homosexuality isn’t just genetic in origin, its a combination of factors including environment, personality, and random chance. If it was genetic, then you could test the genetics of the parents sperm and ova to test what combinations would produce a homosexual person.

    Supposing you could identify the gene or genes that contribute to homosexuality it could not be easily changed because current techniques in genetics are not precise enough to safely modify genes in cells without killing some of the cells, because sometimes essential DNA is broken, making the cells non-viable.

    To modify the DNA of a fetus would require a viral treatment that would target either all the cells, or specifically cells in the brain, a very difficult or impossible task.

    Are you prepared for the possibility of killing a potential human being, a living functioning organism with a soul attached (according to the Writings), to “fix” what nature might have intended? Pro-life movements would stand against that.

    Supposing it is possible, where will the tampering stop? Will we end up having designer babies to “fix” everything from short people, fat people, weak people, and aggressive people?

  • Grover

    Anon wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]You can’t deny that there is a physiological foundation for homosexuality. The science is showing that. In my view this is a big leap forward in understanding the dynamic and root of it.[/quote]

    A couple of points:

    1) We have to be careful here about what we are seeing in those results presented in Baquia’s article. Is it the cause of homosexuality or the effect of homosexuality? Is a person’s brain chemistry and activity predetermined at conception or is it a product of its environment? What if they were to scan the brains of heavily masculinised but heterosexual women, or feminized but heterosexual men?

    2) Tampering with fetuses to repair “mistakes” or “disorders” is an ethical minefield. How do we know that it isn’t what God or nature intended?

    Firstly you’d have to be able to identify which fetuses were prone to developing homosexuality, which would mean identifying some kind of definitive genetic marker, which they haven’t got yet because homosexuality isn’t just genetic in origin, its a combination of factors including environment, personality, and random chance. If it was genetic, then you could test the genetics of the parents sperm and ova to test what combinations would produce a homosexual person.

    Supposing you could identify the gene or genes that contribute to homosexuality it could not be easily changed because current techniques in genetics are not precise enough to safely modify genes in cells without killing some of the cells, because sometimes essential DNA is broken, making the cells non-viable.

    To modify the DNA of a fetus would require a viral treatment that would target either all the cells, or specifically cells in the brain, a very difficult or impossible task.

    Are you prepared for the possibility of killing a potential human being, a living functioning organism with a soul attached (according to the Writings), to “fix” what nature might have intended? Pro-life movements would stand against that.

    Supposing it is possible, where will the tampering stop? Will we end up having designer babies to “fix” everything from short people, fat people, weak people, and aggressive people?

  • Anonymouz

    Hi grover,

    I read your points and you raise some issues. Frankly im not qualified to talk about it and when I try to, I only end up offending people so I have chosen to drop it in good faith.

    I hope you understand.

  • Anonymouz

    Hi grover,

    I read your points and you raise some issues. Frankly im not qualified to talk about it and when I try to, I only end up offending people so I have chosen to drop it in good faith.

    I hope you understand.

  • Anonymouz, although I found your categories of sexually offensive, that doens’t mean you should stop expressing your views. Afterall, in hearing them then it is possible to confront or respond to them, but of course, I not saying you have to continue either.

    [quote comment=””]your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.[/quote]

    It was a great {{natural}} disadvantage for my first two years of school. I was not allowed to write with my left-hand.

    Imagine the psychological damage 🙂 – luckily I’m stubborn and having 2 years of struggling with my right hand and not getting anywhere hasn’t been really been damaging but to a more sensitive soul it might have damaged their ability to write for life.

    Now imagine a similiar situation for a decade or more, when it comes to developing an adult loving relationship, or even friendship, for friendship usually comes before love.

    I can understand your dismissing my left-handed story because around you, you see left-handed people and you only see the physical restrictions as minor things. Although, I do think not being allowing to write is a major thing. The real damage done to me as kid, was pyschological.
    Even though, I did catch up in writing with the kids in my class, I always knew I had the “devils” hand, was wrong in some way. Did the kids pick on me because I was left-handed or for some other reason. I’ll never know. But I was the kid in the primary school that was the outcast (I’ll stop that story there:).

    You might consider this irrelevant but I assure you, it was a pain and suffering that could have been avoided if people’s ideas about what is normal nature had not been so persistent.

    Now although I’m talking about some kid who did manage to overcome a lot of stuff by the age of about 13 or so. However, my understanding that all that stuff about left-handed being wrong was nonsense, was because the society around me had this view. So ‘outing’ as a lefty at high school, was such a non-issue that it became a sign of distinctiveness -of diversity.
    How would I feel if as a teenager I had to continue to hide my ‘deviant’ nature. (here I”m being ironic, my argument is that no nature is deviant – we are all flowers of the same garden). Or as an adult in my Bahai commmunity? Because somehow my identity as a left-handed would be associated with ideas of immorality, or worse people would be wondering if as a left-handed would I being having sex or not. Insulting and irrelevant you would say. Yes I would agree.

    My argument is not really about finding ways of fitting into a right-handed world, but about being allowed to be left-handed in the world of culture so that society can benefit from the other perspectives of life I may have as a result of this.

    The Bahai community, in general (I add this because I know there are some Bahais who are not persecuted for being openly married and gay) is missing out on the wonderful perspectives and strengths of gays on equal terms with heterosexuals. I’d take it a step further, given such a loving environment, Bahai communities could show the world that sexuality is really as much of a non-issue as being left-handed is with our beautifully diverse communities.

    I can imagine that in say 100 years from now, some Bahai might say, ‘well, the homosexuality analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.’

  • Anonymouz, although I found your categories of sexually offensive, that doens’t mean you should stop expressing your views. Afterall, in hearing them then it is possible to confront or respond to them, but of course, I not saying you have to continue either.

    [quote comment=””]your left hand analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.[/quote]

    It was a great {{natural}} disadvantage for my first two years of school. I was not allowed to write with my left-hand.

    Imagine the psychological damage 🙂 – luckily I’m stubborn and having 2 years of struggling with my right hand and not getting anywhere hasn’t been really been damaging but to a more sensitive soul it might have damaged their ability to write for life.

    Now imagine a similiar situation for a decade or more, when it comes to developing an adult loving relationship, or even friendship, for friendship usually comes before love.

    I can understand your dismissing my left-handed story because around you, you see left-handed people and you only see the physical restrictions as minor things. Although, I do think not being allowing to write is a major thing. The real damage done to me as kid, was pyschological.
    Even though, I did catch up in writing with the kids in my class, I always knew I had the “devils” hand, was wrong in some way. Did the kids pick on me because I was left-handed or for some other reason. I’ll never know. But I was the kid in the primary school that was the outcast (I’ll stop that story there:).

    You might consider this irrelevant but I assure you, it was a pain and suffering that could have been avoided if people’s ideas about what is normal nature had not been so persistent.

    Now although I’m talking about some kid who did manage to overcome a lot of stuff by the age of about 13 or so. However, my understanding that all that stuff about left-handed being wrong was nonsense, was because the society around me had this view. So ‘outing’ as a lefty at high school, was such a non-issue that it became a sign of distinctiveness -of diversity.
    How would I feel if as a teenager I had to continue to hide my ‘deviant’ nature. (here I”m being ironic, my argument is that no nature is deviant – we are all flowers of the same garden). Or as an adult in my Bahai commmunity? Because somehow my identity as a left-handed would be associated with ideas of immorality, or worse people would be wondering if as a left-handed would I being having sex or not. Insulting and irrelevant you would say. Yes I would agree.

    My argument is not really about finding ways of fitting into a right-handed world, but about being allowed to be left-handed in the world of culture so that society can benefit from the other perspectives of life I may have as a result of this.

    The Bahai community, in general (I add this because I know there are some Bahais who are not persecuted for being openly married and gay) is missing out on the wonderful perspectives and strengths of gays on equal terms with heterosexuals. I’d take it a step further, given such a loving environment, Bahai communities could show the world that sexuality is really as much of a non-issue as being left-handed is with our beautifully diverse communities.

    I can imagine that in say 100 years from now, some Bahai might say, ‘well, the homosexuality analogy was not really applicable given there is no natural disadvantage to it.’

  • anonymuz

    Sonja,

    Thank you for your response and I sympathise with your experience. Although I can’t speak as a lefty or a homosexual, I can speak as someone who has experienced discrimination based on nationality or religion (some pockets of the US are simply backward).

    I am still having trouble obtaining the scientific and evolutionary evidence necessary for me to understand how homosexuality is not natural. The act of sodomy as no biological function. On the other hand, I recognize and realize the love that exists between individuals, mm ff or mf. But, when it takes a sexual form outside of marriage between a man and a women, or any other combination per Abdul’Baha, it is displeasing to God. This is the purest form of my reasoning and it would be as well the culmination of pages and pages of proofs, citations reasoning and logic–both spiritual and scientific. Some people call this discriminatory or prejudicial, but I am not making the rules.

    Here is a little FYI

    If it were up to me, I could care less. But, since as Baha’is we are called upon to deny the physical and ephemeral and embrace the spiritual and follow the directions given in the text pertaining to the way we live and conduct our marital and administrative affairs, this position will not change–if it does its breaking away from what Baha’u’llah said.

    It is rather jarring being so cut and dry and of course people do not accept it this way–that is between them and God–not me–I am a friend to all–gay and strait alike.

  • anonymuz

    Sonja,

    Thank you for your response and I sympathise with your experience. Although I can’t speak as a lefty or a homosexual, I can speak as someone who has experienced discrimination based on nationality or religion (some pockets of the US are simply backward).

    I am still having trouble obtaining the scientific and evolutionary evidence necessary for me to understand how homosexuality is not natural. The act of sodomy as no biological function. On the other hand, I recognize and realize the love that exists between individuals, mm ff or mf. But, when it takes a sexual form outside of marriage between a man and a women, or any other combination per Abdul’Baha, it is displeasing to God. This is the purest form of my reasoning and it would be as well the culmination of pages and pages of proofs, citations reasoning and logic–both spiritual and scientific. Some people call this discriminatory or prejudicial, but I am not making the rules.

    Here is a little FYI

    If it were up to me, I could care less. But, since as Baha’is we are called upon to deny the physical and ephemeral and embrace the spiritual and follow the directions given in the text pertaining to the way we live and conduct our marital and administrative affairs, this position will not change–if it does its breaking away from what Baha’u’llah said.

    It is rather jarring being so cut and dry and of course people do not accept it this way–that is between them and God–not me–I am a friend to all–gay and strait alike.

  • p

    Ok Anon you win. So change me. How do you propose that I change? Are the Bahais going to start a group like Exodus to help train Bahai youth to become heteros? What? You can’t just throw a black/white opinion out and offer no solution. The UHJ in a letter states that “The statistics which indicate that homosexuality is incurable are undoubtedly distorted by the fact that many of those who overcome the problem never speak about it in public, and others solve their problems without even consulting professional counselors…”
    So you would think if there were sooo many Bahais who have succesfully overcome this disability, then they would spearhead a group to help those of us who haven’t. There are Bahai groups to help with alcoholism, sex addiction, drug use, you name- so where is one that will give a step by step plan to show LGBT gays how to overcome? I’m waiting, so please find the answer as soon ASAP, because according to you I am in direct oppostion to Bahaullah. I need help!

  • p

    Ok Anon you win. So change me. How do you propose that I change? Are the Bahais going to start a group like Exodus to help train Bahai youth to become heteros? What? You can’t just throw a black/white opinion out and offer no solution. The UHJ in a letter states that “The statistics which indicate that homosexuality is incurable are undoubtedly distorted by the fact that many of those who overcome the problem never speak about it in public, and others solve their problems without even consulting professional counselors…”
    So you would think if there were sooo many Bahais who have succesfully overcome this disability, then they would spearhead a group to help those of us who haven’t. There are Bahai groups to help with alcoholism, sex addiction, drug use, you name- so where is one that will give a step by step plan to show LGBT gays how to overcome? I’m waiting, so please find the answer as soon ASAP, because according to you I am in direct oppostion to Bahaullah. I need help!

  • p

    I am still having trouble obtaining the scientific and evolutionary evidence …
    ————-
    Here Anon, start with this book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard it pretty fascinating in explaining the myths in regard to homosexuality being a human phenomenon:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=031225377X/scottbidstrupshoA/
    It exists in nature with no detriment to the survival of the species.

  • p

    I am still having trouble obtaining the scientific and evolutionary evidence …
    ————-
    Here Anon, start with this book. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard it pretty fascinating in explaining the myths in regard to homosexuality being a human phenomenon:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=031225377X/scottbidstrupshoA/
    It exists in nature with no detriment to the survival of the species.

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]Ok Anon you win. So change me. How do you propose that I change? Are the Bahais going to start a group like Exodus to help train Bahai youth to become heteros? What? You can’t just throw a black/white opinion out and offer no solution. The UHJ in a letter states that “The statistics which indicate that homosexuality is incurable are undoubtedly distorted by the fact that many of those who overcome the problem never speak about it in public, and others solve their problems without even consulting professional counselors…”
    So you would think if there were sooo many Bahais who have succesfully overcome this disability, then they would spearhead a group to help those of us who haven’t. There are Bahai groups to help with alcoholism, sex addiction, drug use, you name- so where is one that will give a step by step plan to show LGBT gays how to overcome? I’m waiting, so please find the answer as soon ASAP, because according to you I am in direct oppostion to Bahaullah. I need help![/quote]

    Dear P,

    Im not sure how to answer this because I know you are being sarcastic. But, some people who may be reading may truly want to know so here goes…I think this all comes down to how the individuals feels and how willing they are to take the directions clearly laid out in the text. Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him? Only you know this.

    Secondly, I think those statistics the UHJ sites are from broader samples, not necessarily Baha’i populations. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a group of people spiritually willing.

    As I said, I do not think the consequences of homosexuality are particularly harmful–as opposed to backbiting or covenant breaking. You are responsible to no one except God, and He never turns away those who pursue Him.

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]Ok Anon you win. So change me. How do you propose that I change? Are the Bahais going to start a group like Exodus to help train Bahai youth to become heteros? What? You can’t just throw a black/white opinion out and offer no solution. The UHJ in a letter states that “The statistics which indicate that homosexuality is incurable are undoubtedly distorted by the fact that many of those who overcome the problem never speak about it in public, and others solve their problems without even consulting professional counselors…”
    So you would think if there were sooo many Bahais who have succesfully overcome this disability, then they would spearhead a group to help those of us who haven’t. There are Bahai groups to help with alcoholism, sex addiction, drug use, you name- so where is one that will give a step by step plan to show LGBT gays how to overcome? I’m waiting, so please find the answer as soon ASAP, because according to you I am in direct oppostion to Bahaullah. I need help![/quote]

    Dear P,

    Im not sure how to answer this because I know you are being sarcastic. But, some people who may be reading may truly want to know so here goes…I think this all comes down to how the individuals feels and how willing they are to take the directions clearly laid out in the text. Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him? Only you know this.

    Secondly, I think those statistics the UHJ sites are from broader samples, not necessarily Baha’i populations. Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a group of people spiritually willing.

    As I said, I do not think the consequences of homosexuality are particularly harmful–as opposed to backbiting or covenant breaking. You are responsible to no one except God, and He never turns away those who pursue Him.

  • p

    No anon. You can’t get out of it that easily. You are right, I am being sarcastic. But one day your own son may come to you with this “disability”, what will you tell him? You will look in his eyes and honestly tell him that ‘Bahaullah loves you, BUT you are not pleasing Him” and send him off to do what?
    Hopefully by that day, if it occurss, the Bahai Faith will be more like what Sonja hopes to see and less of what you propose as the truth.

  • p

    No anon. You can’t get out of it that easily. You are right, I am being sarcastic. But one day your own son may come to you with this “disability”, what will you tell him? You will look in his eyes and honestly tell him that ‘Bahaullah loves you, BUT you are not pleasing Him” and send him off to do what?
    Hopefully by that day, if it occurss, the Bahai Faith will be more like what Sonja hopes to see and less of what you propose as the truth.

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]No anon. You can’t get out of it that easily. You are right, I am being sarcastic. But one day your own son may come to you with this “disability”, what will you tell him? You will look in his eyes and honestly tell him that ‘Bahaullah loves you, BUT you are not pleasing Him” and send him off to do what?
    Hopefully by that day, if it occurss, the Bahai Faith will be more like what Sonja hopes to see and less of what you propose as the truth.[/quote]

    P,

    I am married and I do have a son and the thought had crossed my mind. I was confused at a young age myself and I even thought I was gay. But then later that day I figured out that no, i wasn’t attracted to the same sex, I just wasn’t attracted to sex period. I have always been kind of a dreamer…thinking about different levels of heaven and so forth. May not seem like it I know, but to dwell on this particular point is especially constraining because as souls, so much more defines us. Sexuality in general is a blip on the scale of experience between worlds.

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]No anon. You can’t get out of it that easily. You are right, I am being sarcastic. But one day your own son may come to you with this “disability”, what will you tell him? You will look in his eyes and honestly tell him that ‘Bahaullah loves you, BUT you are not pleasing Him” and send him off to do what?
    Hopefully by that day, if it occurss, the Bahai Faith will be more like what Sonja hopes to see and less of what you propose as the truth.[/quote]

    P,

    I am married and I do have a son and the thought had crossed my mind. I was confused at a young age myself and I even thought I was gay. But then later that day I figured out that no, i wasn’t attracted to the same sex, I just wasn’t attracted to sex period. I have always been kind of a dreamer…thinking about different levels of heaven and so forth. May not seem like it I know, but to dwell on this particular point is especially constraining because as souls, so much more defines us. Sexuality in general is a blip on the scale of experience between worlds.

  • p

    I agree Anon. SO it’s unfortunate that religious conservatives are so adamant about their black/white understanding of sexuality and not in the least bit open to the possibility of changes in the future. Sexuality really should not be something to dwell on, but unfortunately when I hear of Bahais who suffer in bad marriages until they finally wake up and leave, or that lonely youth that kills him/herself and everyone is hush hush about why, etc. etc.- those are the things that make dwell on it. Btw, I know you aren’t trying to sound condescending, BUT your line “Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him?” is full of it. How many times have you heard a Christian look at you with pitiful eyes and say “Jesus loves, but…” because you are a Bahai. How does that make you feel? That’s how you made me feel.

  • p

    I agree Anon. SO it’s unfortunate that religious conservatives are so adamant about their black/white understanding of sexuality and not in the least bit open to the possibility of changes in the future. Sexuality really should not be something to dwell on, but unfortunately when I hear of Bahais who suffer in bad marriages until they finally wake up and leave, or that lonely youth that kills him/herself and everyone is hush hush about why, etc. etc.- those are the things that make dwell on it. Btw, I know you aren’t trying to sound condescending, BUT your line “Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him?” is full of it. How many times have you heard a Christian look at you with pitiful eyes and say “Jesus loves, but…” because you are a Bahai. How does that make you feel? That’s how you made me feel.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53811″]

    Anon wrote:

    P,

    I am married and I do have a son and the thought had crossed my mind. I was confused at a young age myself and I even thought I was gay. But then later that day I figured out that no, i wasn’t attracted to the same sex, I just wasn’t attracted to sex period. I have always been kind of a dreamer…thinking about different levels of heaven and so forth. May not seem like it I know, but to dwell on this particular point is especially constraining because as souls, so much more defines us. Sexuality in general is a blip on the scale of experience between worlds.[/quote]

    Anon,

    As you can tell I have toned down. My last post about New Jersey was, of course, a joke. I’m going back to playing my electric guitar as my therapy after four years of ranting in cyber space. My neighbors may start to hate me depending on their taste in obscure blues artists. Only time will tell. But, then again, I might just stay acoustic. Right now I’m working on John Mayer’s version of “Free Falling”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFOCvuii96w

    But then again, maybe I will go with an electric version from my front porch and get arrested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkIyYH7IVvo

    I feel the fate of the BAO is sealed for whatever reason evolutionary biology has in mind. I don’t think SE not appointing a Living Guardian like he was both commanded and required to do can ever be overcome. I have tried and tried to find a way for it to work. The only thing that could save his bacon is if the voices of 7 billion people on the Internet itself becomes the Living Guardian of the Faith over the next 850 years. The technology could make this possible. Absolutely no one on Earth would ever “officially” join the Baha’i Faith, but everyone would live out the highest ideals of the World Age channeled into this plane of consciousness by Baha’u’llah. So I think I will just try to find simple common ground with people.

    P’s point about your son has also crossed my mind about your support for Glenford Mitchell’s attitude toward the sacrifice of American soldiers slain in battle and the monstrous psychological indifference of the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith to the entire history of the 20th Century. The only time this very strange disconnected attitude seemed to have been broken was in the great passion in the streets in the 1960’s and 1970’s which seemed to have even affected for a very, very brief time the very BAO! But, alas, control was eventually gained again by the forces of self identity for some people through lifetime incumbency in the system.

    I work with a guy who I have known since he was a single young man of 21 back in 1995. I love this guy very much as a fellow software engineer/programmer who is a professional joy to work with even though he is as rabid right wing as anyone could ever get! He is all for the use of American military power at the drop of a hat even though he, himself, has never served in the Armed Forces of the United States. It is now 13 years later and he is 34 years old and is married with 5 beautiful little boys! They are all about a year apart in age. So it crosses my mind when he is strident in his views. Silent tears well up in my eyes on the inside. Because he does now know. He does not know the terrible, terrible price of war. Yes, as EP said, I know that sometimes was is necessary. But it is never to be taken lightly. And people do take it lightly now
    because there is no draft and they, themselves, do not have to serve. But the price of war is eventually one’s own sons. People should be very careful for what they wish for. Divine Judgment is always at the doors. What goes around, comes around. People these days do not seem to have this level of Cosmic insight. Didn’t someone once say “The Universe is perfect justice did ye but know?”

    I think Jesus said it best when He said “Judge not lest ye be judged, by the same measure ye judge others, so shall ye be judged.”

    Walking in someone else’s shoes may be what the next world is all about 24/7.

    Just a thought.

    Everyone have a nice weekend! Life is good! The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the NEW YORK YANKEES last night in a cross league game in a 7th inning 2 run homer here in my beloved city where Martha Root started out. Many people from where I work were at the game and had a great time with their families!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=”53811″]

    Anon wrote:

    P,

    I am married and I do have a son and the thought had crossed my mind. I was confused at a young age myself and I even thought I was gay. But then later that day I figured out that no, i wasn’t attracted to the same sex, I just wasn’t attracted to sex period. I have always been kind of a dreamer…thinking about different levels of heaven and so forth. May not seem like it I know, but to dwell on this particular point is especially constraining because as souls, so much more defines us. Sexuality in general is a blip on the scale of experience between worlds.[/quote]

    Anon,

    As you can tell I have toned down. My last post about New Jersey was, of course, a joke. I’m going back to playing my electric guitar as my therapy after four years of ranting in cyber space. My neighbors may start to hate me depending on their taste in obscure blues artists. Only time will tell. But, then again, I might just stay acoustic. Right now I’m working on John Mayer’s version of “Free Falling”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFOCvuii96w

    But then again, maybe I will go with an electric version from my front porch and get arrested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkIyYH7IVvo

    I feel the fate of the BAO is sealed for whatever reason evolutionary biology has in mind. I don’t think SE not appointing a Living Guardian like he was both commanded and required to do can ever be overcome. I have tried and tried to find a way for it to work. The only thing that could save his bacon is if the voices of 7 billion people on the Internet itself becomes the Living Guardian of the Faith over the next 850 years. The technology could make this possible. Absolutely no one on Earth would ever “officially” join the Baha’i Faith, but everyone would live out the highest ideals of the World Age channeled into this plane of consciousness by Baha’u’llah. So I think I will just try to find simple common ground with people.

    P’s point about your son has also crossed my mind about your support for Glenford Mitchell’s attitude toward the sacrifice of American soldiers slain in battle and the monstrous psychological indifference of the Administrative Order of the Baha’i Faith to the entire history of the 20th Century. The only time this very strange disconnected attitude seemed to have been broken was in the great passion in the streets in the 1960’s and 1970’s which seemed to have even affected for a very, very brief time the very BAO! But, alas, control was eventually gained again by the forces of self identity for some people through lifetime incumbency in the system.

    I work with a guy who I have known since he was a single young man of 21 back in 1995. I love this guy very much as a fellow software engineer/programmer who is a professional joy to work with even though he is as rabid right wing as anyone could ever get! He is all for the use of American military power at the drop of a hat even though he, himself, has never served in the Armed Forces of the United States. It is now 13 years later and he is 34 years old and is married with 5 beautiful little boys! They are all about a year apart in age. So it crosses my mind when he is strident in his views. Silent tears well up in my eyes on the inside. Because he does now know. He does not know the terrible, terrible price of war. Yes, as EP said, I know that sometimes was is necessary. But it is never to be taken lightly. And people do take it lightly now
    because there is no draft and they, themselves, do not have to serve. But the price of war is eventually one’s own sons. People should be very careful for what they wish for. Divine Judgment is always at the doors. What goes around, comes around. People these days do not seem to have this level of Cosmic insight. Didn’t someone once say “The Universe is perfect justice did ye but know?”

    I think Jesus said it best when He said “Judge not lest ye be judged, by the same measure ye judge others, so shall ye be judged.”

    Walking in someone else’s shoes may be what the next world is all about 24/7.

    Just a thought.

    Everyone have a nice weekend! Life is good! The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the NEW YORK YANKEES last night in a cross league game in a 7th inning 2 run homer here in my beloved city where Martha Root started out. Many people from where I work were at the game and had a great time with their families!

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]I agree Anon. SO it’s unfortunate that religious conservatives are so adamant about their black/white understanding of sexuality and not in the least bit open to the possibility of changes in the future. Sexuality really should not be something to dwell on, but unfortunately when I hear of Bahais who suffer in bad marriages until they finally wake up and leave, or that lonely youth that kills him/herself and everyone is hush hush about why, etc. etc.- those are the things that make dwell on it. Btw, I know you aren’t trying to sound condescending, BUT your line “Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him?” is full of it. How many times have you heard a Christian look at you with pitiful eyes and say “Jesus loves, but…” because you are a Bahai. How does that make you feel? That’s how you made me feel.[/quote]

    religious conservatism is something that applies maybe to all other religions…except the Baha’i faith. It strikes a perfect balance. global and ideal in its principles, strict and rigorous in its laws. This ensures moderation, guidance and obedience to the laws of God which are clear as day in the Aqdas. If you think about it, the authority of the Faith has always been in step with its application…From Baha’u’llah to the UHJ.

    There is no precedent where a law has been superseded or ignored for convenience sake or to accommodate a certain segment of the community. Some laws have not been applied due to cultural or timing factors. For example, for a time in Iran there were distinct communities of Muslim Baha’is, Jewish Baha’is, Christian Baha’is, Zoroastrian Baha’is, who, due to their previous customs, met separately. This was eventually phased out and the Baha’is were integrated.

    All the guidance and text is clear. its up to the individual and their conscious to accept them or not. if you don’t, that is your decision–but if you try to change them, and say to everyone that they should be changed, not only are you advocating God bend to your will as opposed you bend to His, but you are also creating disunity–opposed to the central principle of the Baha’i Faith, unity. This is where one begins to run in circles. Taking away your administrative rights is it. Its between you and God. The difference is, these laws are spiritual in nature and there is no way to enforce it, nor anyway to change it. Of course you can say that it should be this way or that way, but then you have taken it to say you speak on behalf of God. That is also in the Aqdas–“lying impostor” is the words I believe.

  • anonymuz

    [quote comment=””]I agree Anon. SO it’s unfortunate that religious conservatives are so adamant about their black/white understanding of sexuality and not in the least bit open to the possibility of changes in the future. Sexuality really should not be something to dwell on, but unfortunately when I hear of Bahais who suffer in bad marriages until they finally wake up and leave, or that lonely youth that kills him/herself and everyone is hush hush about why, etc. etc.- those are the things that make dwell on it. Btw, I know you aren’t trying to sound condescending, BUT your line “Baha’u’llah will always love you, but how eager are you to please him?” is full of it. How many times have you heard a Christian look at you with pitiful eyes and say “Jesus loves, but…” because you are a Bahai. How does that make you feel? That’s how you made me feel.[/quote]

    religious conservatism is something that applies maybe to all other religions…except the Baha’i faith. It strikes a perfect balance. global and ideal in its principles, strict and rigorous in its laws. This ensures moderation, guidance and obedience to the laws of God which are clear as day in the Aqdas. If you think about it, the authority of the Faith has always been in step with its application…From Baha’u’llah to the UHJ.

    There is no precedent where a law has been superseded or ignored for convenience sake or to accommodate a certain segment of the community. Some laws have not been applied due to cultural or timing factors. For example, for a time in Iran there were distinct communities of Muslim Baha’is, Jewish Baha’is, Christian Baha’is, Zoroastrian Baha’is, who, due to their previous customs, met separately. This was eventually phased out and the Baha’is were integrated.

    All the guidance and text is clear. its up to the individual and their conscious to accept them or not. if you don’t, that is your decision–but if you try to change them, and say to everyone that they should be changed, not only are you advocating God bend to your will as opposed you bend to His, but you are also creating disunity–opposed to the central principle of the Baha’i Faith, unity. This is where one begins to run in circles. Taking away your administrative rights is it. Its between you and God. The difference is, these laws are spiritual in nature and there is no way to enforce it, nor anyway to change it. Of course you can say that it should be this way or that way, but then you have taken it to say you speak on behalf of God. That is also in the Aqdas–“lying impostor” is the words I believe.

  • anonymuz

    Craig,

    War is terrible. Make peace indeed.

    All this talking has gotten me stressed out…I am going to go to the dentist then camping.

    See you all later.

    Get out and enjoy life P. Forget about me and my views…that is all they are…

    Allah’u’Abha!

  • anonymuz

    Craig,

    War is terrible. Make peace indeed.

    All this talking has gotten me stressed out…I am going to go to the dentist then camping.

    See you all later.

    Get out and enjoy life P. Forget about me and my views…that is all they are…

    Allah’u’Abha!

  • p

    [religious conservatism is something that applies maybe to all other religions…except the Baha’i faith.
    ————
    Not the Bahai Faith. I was speaking about Bahais; I wzs speaking about YOU. The rest of your post only confirms that. No more need to comment.

  • p

    [religious conservatism is something that applies maybe to all other religions…except the Baha’i faith.
    ————
    Not the Bahai Faith. I was speaking about Bahais; I wzs speaking about YOU. The rest of your post only confirms that. No more need to comment.

  • Jess

    make awkward adances towards women, not war

  • Jess

    make awkward adances towards women, not war

  • Craig Parke

    A lesson to the Baha’is of the world:

    THIS is what bottom up individual initiative can do, NOT top down micro managed paralyzing group think.

    Get out of the endless Admin-O-Centric meetings, and start actually DOING something. Having taken all the Ruhi Coloring Books won’t help you on Judgment Day for your soul.

    This man would have been hampered by all the time wasted in Baha’i Admin-O-Centric energy drains.

    Deeds not words. Thinks like this is what the Baha’is were SUPPOSED to have been doing for over a hundred years now! Duh!

    This is where my money is going now after 36 years.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/14/untouchable.models/index.html

    http://www.sulabhinternational.org/

    http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/profile.htm

    Can someone build a time machine and go back and get Shoghi Effendi to initiate some kind of “sister city” program among the Baha’i communities of the world? Maybe this would really help in World War II? It would be really great to have that in place now. Again, duh!

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    Thank you.

  • Craig Parke

    A lesson to the Baha’is of the world:

    THIS is what bottom up individual initiative can do, NOT top down micro managed paralyzing group think.

    Get out of the endless Admin-O-Centric meetings, and start actually DOING something. Having taken all the Ruhi Coloring Books won’t help you on Judgment Day for your soul.

    This man would have been hampered by all the time wasted in Baha’i Admin-O-Centric energy drains.

    Deeds not words. Thinks like this is what the Baha’is were SUPPOSED to have been doing for over a hundred years now! Duh!

    This is where my money is going now after 36 years.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/14/untouchable.models/index.html

    http://www.sulabhinternational.org/

    http://www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org/profile.htm

    Can someone build a time machine and go back and get Shoghi Effendi to initiate some kind of “sister city” program among the Baha’i communities of the world? Maybe this would really help in World War II? It would be really great to have that in place now. Again, duh!

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    Thank you.

  • Grover

    Hey, anyone see this on Baha’is Online:

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1869&Itemid=1

    by Juan Cole way back in 1979 about Baha’u’llah getting the history wrong regarding Pythagorus etc in the Tablet of Wisdom. Apparently Baha’u’llah copied writings of several Muslim scholars in certain places (without citing them) and they had their dates wrong compared to accepted history. Juan then goes into apologetic mode (which he probably doesn’t do anymore with regards to the Baha’i Faith) and explains the mistake away as being symbolically infallible.

    The questions are:

    1) was Baha’u’llah truly infallible?
    2) if Baha’u’llah knew it all, what on earth was he doing copying writings from Muslim scholars, almost word for word?
    3) what does it mean for the Baha’i Faith?

  • Grover

    Hey, anyone see this on Baha’is Online:

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1869&Itemid=1

    by Juan Cole way back in 1979 about Baha’u’llah getting the history wrong regarding Pythagorus etc in the Tablet of Wisdom. Apparently Baha’u’llah copied writings of several Muslim scholars in certain places (without citing them) and they had their dates wrong compared to accepted history. Juan then goes into apologetic mode (which he probably doesn’t do anymore with regards to the Baha’i Faith) and explains the mistake away as being symbolically infallible.

    The questions are:

    1) was Baha’u’llah truly infallible?
    2) if Baha’u’llah knew it all, what on earth was he doing copying writings from Muslim scholars, almost word for word?
    3) what does it mean for the Baha’i Faith?

  • anonymuz

    This is the kind of nit picking that prevents people from understanding anything, just more tail chasing questions. I really could care less about this, or for example the Bab’s Arabic grammar or Abdul’Baha getting lost while on a solo walk in the States. What about Shoghi Effendi’s minor citation inconsistencies? If you want to find faults you will no doubt.

    I think that this type of stuff only entertains skeptics who define infallibility as some type of behavior or direction that is air-tight and accepted by all as correct or true in every angle or facet. I don’t think so. Infallibility is in my opinion more about faith and obeying.

    But, some people do think this stuff is a big deal and they need some kind of reason. Question these things are helpful but only if they are done in a good spirit. I don’t know grover, why do you think there are these issues?

    Craig, check out these projects in India…run by Baha’is.

    http://monafoundation.org/barli/barli.htm
    http://monafoundation.org/dsh/dsh.htm

  • anonymuz

    This is the kind of nit picking that prevents people from understanding anything, just more tail chasing questions. I really could care less about this, or for example the Bab’s Arabic grammar or Abdul’Baha getting lost while on a solo walk in the States. What about Shoghi Effendi’s minor citation inconsistencies? If you want to find faults you will no doubt.

    I think that this type of stuff only entertains skeptics who define infallibility as some type of behavior or direction that is air-tight and accepted by all as correct or true in every angle or facet. I don’t think so. Infallibility is in my opinion more about faith and obeying.

    But, some people do think this stuff is a big deal and they need some kind of reason. Question these things are helpful but only if they are done in a good spirit. I don’t know grover, why do you think there are these issues?

    Craig, check out these projects in India…run by Baha’is.

    http://monafoundation.org/barli/barli.htm
    http://monafoundation.org/dsh/dsh.htm

  • Grover

    Well, if you think about it logically, it points to several problems with our understanding of who or what Baha’u’llah is. Questions like these can’t avoided by just calling it nit picking.

  • Grover

    Well, if you think about it logically, it points to several problems with our understanding of who or what Baha’u’llah is. Questions like these can’t avoided by just calling it nit picking.

  • Craig Parke

    I suggest that if you see Baha’u’llah as a mere human person to be worshiped as an idol (the same old, same old) you will get just another barren top down stilted depth psychology “parental projection” religion. Just people trying to work out some deep seated issues from childhood with the new Super Mommy or Super Daddy psychology projected onto a person.

    The real arch sign of this mentality in the Baha’i Faith, however, is when people can’t even handle that much more elegant idolatry, but instead, make Shoghi Effendi the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age. That is a much easier psychological path for the creation of Super Mommy or Super Daddy and seems to have been the core psychological pattern for most of the 20th Century just past.

    And the people that cannot even handle that, have the new 21st Century one-stop-shopping psychology of making the AO ITSELF the projection of Uber Mommy or Uber Daddy.

    If they can’t get that going, then THE PLAN itself is to be made into the instrument of worship and idolatry.

    Fill out all the blanks in all the Ruhi Books and get a pat on the head and get those serotonin levels up without a prescription. It’s the same old, same old in human history, but it sells. Go door-to-door for the Faith with no real thought as to if you are really helping someone or just using them for the advancement of your own soul, and get a Golden Eagle Party Badge. Maybe someday, even a nice little uniform to match your nice little psychological uniform.

    But if you see Baha’u’llah as a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS to encounter and study – a state of consciousness that is to merely open doors in your OWN state of consciousness in the Universe/Multiverse – then you get a completely DIFFERENT religion. You get liberation into the Archetypal Powers of the Universe. You get Cosmic understanding and insight and how to read the book of what comes to you each day in life.

    But that takes developing individual spiritual insight that cannot be controlled by any external organization. It is when you see that the Kingdom of heaven is WITHIN YOU!

    But if you can find spiritual liberation, THIS is how each day becomes:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY

    You are FREE to find the dance of your own soul, and anyone who tries to control the dance of your own soul can just go to hell!

  • Craig Parke

    I suggest that if you see Baha’u’llah as a mere human person to be worshiped as an idol (the same old, same old) you will get just another barren top down stilted depth psychology “parental projection” religion. Just people trying to work out some deep seated issues from childhood with the new Super Mommy or Super Daddy psychology projected onto a person.

    The real arch sign of this mentality in the Baha’i Faith, however, is when people can’t even handle that much more elegant idolatry, but instead, make Shoghi Effendi the Supreme Manifestation of God for this World Age. That is a much easier psychological path for the creation of Super Mommy or Super Daddy and seems to have been the core psychological pattern for most of the 20th Century just past.

    And the people that cannot even handle that, have the new 21st Century one-stop-shopping psychology of making the AO ITSELF the projection of Uber Mommy or Uber Daddy.

    If they can’t get that going, then THE PLAN itself is to be made into the instrument of worship and idolatry.

    Fill out all the blanks in all the Ruhi Books and get a pat on the head and get those serotonin levels up without a prescription. It’s the same old, same old in human history, but it sells. Go door-to-door for the Faith with no real thought as to if you are really helping someone or just using them for the advancement of your own soul, and get a Golden Eagle Party Badge. Maybe someday, even a nice little uniform to match your nice little psychological uniform.

    But if you see Baha’u’llah as a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS to encounter and study – a state of consciousness that is to merely open doors in your OWN state of consciousness in the Universe/Multiverse – then you get a completely DIFFERENT religion. You get liberation into the Archetypal Powers of the Universe. You get Cosmic understanding and insight and how to read the book of what comes to you each day in life.

    But that takes developing individual spiritual insight that cannot be controlled by any external organization. It is when you see that the Kingdom of heaven is WITHIN YOU!

    But if you can find spiritual liberation, THIS is how each day becomes:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY

    You are FREE to find the dance of your own soul, and anyone who tries to control the dance of your own soul can just go to hell!

  • Anonymouz

    Call me old fashion but it doesn’t present any problem for me. Now, that is an interesting statement isn’t it? Two people whose opinions and perceptions are different on a given subject. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting Cole’s observations or findings. It could be factually accurate. But, what I think about when I read this is this: Does it change the content or overall message Baha’u’llah is sending?

    These are passages from the same Tablet of Wisdom…

    That which hath been in existence had existed before, but not in the form thou seest today. The world of existence came into being through the heat generated from the interaction between the active force and that which is its recipient. These two are the same, yet they are different. Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious structure.

    See atomic physics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_physics

    Pretty interesting for the time, wouldn’t you say and also rather unique in the writings.

    Know thou, moreover, that the Word of God—exalted be His glory—is higher and far superior to that which the senses can perceive, for it is sanctified from any property or substance. It transcendeth the limitations of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized substances. It became manifest without any syllable or sound and is none but the Command of God which pervadeth all created things. It hath never been withheld from the world of being. It is God’s all-pervasive grace, from which all grace doth emanate. It is an entity far removed above all that hath been and shall be.

    This is also very interesting but not unique in the Writings. We are advised and encouraged to search for truth with our intellect and our minds. We are promised that a seeker (see Seven Valleys) will ultimately find his beloved if his search is taken under the right conditions. We are given an ocean of spiritual guidance and sustainance, volumes of weighty wisdom and moreover the freedom of soul and mind to use in the process. But what does it mean when he says that ultimately the Word of God is above any perception or any senses? What’s the point then? If you run with this–which I will not here–you will ultimately come full circle back to Faith.

    Getting hung up on dates, dates which are not concrete in the first place, is pretty hindering if you ask me. This approach is counterproductive and only serves a tainted pursuit of “truth”.

    I have a theory about truth. Ultimately, without writing 60 pages, I will say this: its relative and subjective, changes from person to person and is ultimately a poor tool to use when trying to convince someone of something. of course, before you gasp in horror, facts and scientific observation fall under a different but also related category. But truth, what the mind and perceptions and senses concludes on, is never the same with two people–it gets pretty close when you bring the soul into it, but if its the mind only–you have points of debate, contention, discord and disunity.

    Anyway..I just got back from the gym and I am going to bed. Read you in the AM.

  • Anonymouz

    Call me old fashion but it doesn’t present any problem for me. Now, that is an interesting statement isn’t it? Two people whose opinions and perceptions are different on a given subject. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting Cole’s observations or findings. It could be factually accurate. But, what I think about when I read this is this: Does it change the content or overall message Baha’u’llah is sending?

    These are passages from the same Tablet of Wisdom…

    That which hath been in existence had existed before, but not in the form thou seest today. The world of existence came into being through the heat generated from the interaction between the active force and that which is its recipient. These two are the same, yet they are different. Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious structure.

    See atomic physics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_physics

    Pretty interesting for the time, wouldn’t you say and also rather unique in the writings.

    Know thou, moreover, that the Word of God—exalted be His glory—is higher and far superior to that which the senses can perceive, for it is sanctified from any property or substance. It transcendeth the limitations of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized substances. It became manifest without any syllable or sound and is none but the Command of God which pervadeth all created things. It hath never been withheld from the world of being. It is God’s all-pervasive grace, from which all grace doth emanate. It is an entity far removed above all that hath been and shall be.

    This is also very interesting but not unique in the Writings. We are advised and encouraged to search for truth with our intellect and our minds. We are promised that a seeker (see Seven Valleys) will ultimately find his beloved if his search is taken under the right conditions. We are given an ocean of spiritual guidance and sustainance, volumes of weighty wisdom and moreover the freedom of soul and mind to use in the process. But what does it mean when he says that ultimately the Word of God is above any perception or any senses? What’s the point then? If you run with this–which I will not here–you will ultimately come full circle back to Faith.

    Getting hung up on dates, dates which are not concrete in the first place, is pretty hindering if you ask me. This approach is counterproductive and only serves a tainted pursuit of “truth”.

    I have a theory about truth. Ultimately, without writing 60 pages, I will say this: its relative and subjective, changes from person to person and is ultimately a poor tool to use when trying to convince someone of something. of course, before you gasp in horror, facts and scientific observation fall under a different but also related category. But truth, what the mind and perceptions and senses concludes on, is never the same with two people–it gets pretty close when you bring the soul into it, but if its the mind only–you have points of debate, contention, discord and disunity.

    Anyway..I just got back from the gym and I am going to bed. Read you in the AM.

  • Grover

    Craig wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]But if you see Baha’u’llah as a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS to encounter and study – a state of consciousness that is to merely open doors in your OWN state of consciousness in the Universe/Multiverse – then you get a completely DIFFERENT religion. You get liberation into the Archetypal Powers of the Universe. You get Cosmic understanding and insight and how to read the book of what comes to you each day in life.[/quote]

    Thats pretty much how I approach things now, but I see Baha’u’llah as one of many “states of consciousness” that can be studied, although Buddhism is looking more attractive these days. Maybe its the grass is greener on the other side of the fence approach born of ignorance, but Buddhism does appear to have some interesting ideas that I’m keen to explore.

    Anon wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]I have a theory about truth. Ultimately, without writing 60 pages, I will say this: its relative and subjective, changes from person to person and is ultimately a poor tool to use when trying to convince someone of something. of course, before you gasp in horror, facts and scientific observation fall under a different but also related category. But truth, what the mind and perceptions and senses concludes on, is never the same with two people[/quote]

    Absolutely! But provided everyone realises that their understanding isn’t the be-all and end-all you can still have a juicy and amicable debate.

    I would argue that there is “one truth”, but to have that truth requires infinite knowledge, so seeing as we only have a small amount of knowledge each, coloured by our upbringing, education, etc, each of us only sees a small facit of that “one truth”, hence as you say, it is relative and subjective. We can expand our understanding of that truth by incorporating as many world views and perspectives from other people, religions, etc, as possible, provided we’re ready to expand our perception from our own comfortable world view. This is probably why so much debate and contention occurs, because we so comfortable with our own world view that we’re not prepared to accept other possibilities until something occurs that shakes or shatters our original world view.

  • Grover

    Craig wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]But if you see Baha’u’llah as a STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS to encounter and study – a state of consciousness that is to merely open doors in your OWN state of consciousness in the Universe/Multiverse – then you get a completely DIFFERENT religion. You get liberation into the Archetypal Powers of the Universe. You get Cosmic understanding and insight and how to read the book of what comes to you each day in life.[/quote]

    Thats pretty much how I approach things now, but I see Baha’u’llah as one of many “states of consciousness” that can be studied, although Buddhism is looking more attractive these days. Maybe its the grass is greener on the other side of the fence approach born of ignorance, but Buddhism does appear to have some interesting ideas that I’m keen to explore.

    Anon wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]I have a theory about truth. Ultimately, without writing 60 pages, I will say this: its relative and subjective, changes from person to person and is ultimately a poor tool to use when trying to convince someone of something. of course, before you gasp in horror, facts and scientific observation fall under a different but also related category. But truth, what the mind and perceptions and senses concludes on, is never the same with two people[/quote]

    Absolutely! But provided everyone realises that their understanding isn’t the be-all and end-all you can still have a juicy and amicable debate.

    I would argue that there is “one truth”, but to have that truth requires infinite knowledge, so seeing as we only have a small amount of knowledge each, coloured by our upbringing, education, etc, each of us only sees a small facit of that “one truth”, hence as you say, it is relative and subjective. We can expand our understanding of that truth by incorporating as many world views and perspectives from other people, religions, etc, as possible, provided we’re ready to expand our perception from our own comfortable world view. This is probably why so much debate and contention occurs, because we so comfortable with our own world view that we’re not prepared to accept other possibilities until something occurs that shakes or shatters our original world view.

  • anonymuz

    Grover,

    The grass is always green on the otherside. I approach Buddhism with profound respect and there is much to learn from it. It can be used to help bridge the gap between some of the very profound inner realities that the Baha’i Faith talks about, but is hard for some to grasp. There are some interesting “how to” books with Buddhist methods. But, Buddhism is very personal and its teachings are meant to work on this insides–not the outside–meaning its not a complete belief system. Therefore, what never ceases to amaze me is the scope of the Baha’i teachings. Our interpretations of it vary and some of us like to push one aspect or another, but the reality is we can only wait and see, and in the mean time work on ourselves.

    The one truth statement is true indeed…although some may not agree…HA! I have had a few transcendental experiences during prayer and I can’t really describe with it words. But here goes…My body felt hot and I started it cry a little, I was alone physically but surrounded by souls and angels. I felt singing and as I looked around my room it appeared to me that all the physical things were not actually there in a true sense. What was true was beyond this plane and above what I perceived with my sense. Very similar to what Baha’u’llah was explaining…

    Anyway…I have always used this experience and a few others to measure how close I feel to God when praying or otherwise. Most of the time I am not there due to my own mind and its distractions. Only when completely detached and removed from everything I know or have experienced do I feel like I am getting at anything real or true. Nirvana? Maybe…Im not the only one and it would be interesting to get some more of these types of accounts from people.

  • anonymuz

    Grover,

    The grass is always green on the otherside. I approach Buddhism with profound respect and there is much to learn from it. It can be used to help bridge the gap between some of the very profound inner realities that the Baha’i Faith talks about, but is hard for some to grasp. There are some interesting “how to” books with Buddhist methods. But, Buddhism is very personal and its teachings are meant to work on this insides–not the outside–meaning its not a complete belief system. Therefore, what never ceases to amaze me is the scope of the Baha’i teachings. Our interpretations of it vary and some of us like to push one aspect or another, but the reality is we can only wait and see, and in the mean time work on ourselves.

    The one truth statement is true indeed…although some may not agree…HA! I have had a few transcendental experiences during prayer and I can’t really describe with it words. But here goes…My body felt hot and I started it cry a little, I was alone physically but surrounded by souls and angels. I felt singing and as I looked around my room it appeared to me that all the physical things were not actually there in a true sense. What was true was beyond this plane and above what I perceived with my sense. Very similar to what Baha’u’llah was explaining…

    Anyway…I have always used this experience and a few others to measure how close I feel to God when praying or otherwise. Most of the time I am not there due to my own mind and its distractions. Only when completely detached and removed from everything I know or have experienced do I feel like I am getting at anything real or true. Nirvana? Maybe…Im not the only one and it would be interesting to get some more of these types of accounts from people.

  • Andrew

    Mavaddat (if he still visits this site) may appreciate this (I certainly do):

    ?It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ?needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions’ … It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own … The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ?American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students … When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank… You have to be educated in order to be … a participant in our conversation … So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours … I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents … I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der St??rmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause.?

    – ?Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-2.

  • Andrew

    Mavaddat (if he still visits this site) may appreciate this (I certainly do):

    ?It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ?needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions’ … It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own … The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ?American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students … When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank… You have to be educated in order to be … a participant in our conversation … So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours … I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents … I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der St??rmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause.?

    – ?Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-2.

  • Grover

    OMG, that is so true! Even I think like that, lol.

  • Grover

    OMG, that is so true! Even I think like that, lol.

  • p

    I was just inspired by an episode of South Park. It made me start thinking again about the gay issue and Bahai law. According to the Writings- alcohol is forbidden. But the Writings also state that if sick, we should consult competent physicians. So if a competent physician perscribes a medicine with alcohol in it, then the Bahai should take it. Right? Ok so work with me. Homosexuality is a disease. I go to a competent physician that tells me that the best recourse for me is to accept who I am, fall in love with someone and have a fulfilling relationship with that person in ALL it’s aspects- which includes having sex. Do I take the advise? Would I be breaking Bahai law? AND what if I follow the doctor’s advise and my depression and suicidal thoughts go away. I find happiness and feel fulfilled. So my question- why is the consumption of alcohol ok when it is prescribed by a doctor, but acceptance of one’s homosexuality is not? Cultural bias maybe?

  • p

    I was just inspired by an episode of South Park. It made me start thinking again about the gay issue and Bahai law. According to the Writings- alcohol is forbidden. But the Writings also state that if sick, we should consult competent physicians. So if a competent physician perscribes a medicine with alcohol in it, then the Bahai should take it. Right? Ok so work with me. Homosexuality is a disease. I go to a competent physician that tells me that the best recourse for me is to accept who I am, fall in love with someone and have a fulfilling relationship with that person in ALL it’s aspects- which includes having sex. Do I take the advise? Would I be breaking Bahai law? AND what if I follow the doctor’s advise and my depression and suicidal thoughts go away. I find happiness and feel fulfilled. So my question- why is the consumption of alcohol ok when it is prescribed by a doctor, but acceptance of one’s homosexuality is not? Cultural bias maybe?

  • Anonymuz

    P,

    that is a very interesting question and I will pray for you. Please don’t ever, ever think of ending it all. Rise above it all, do what makes you happy and your reasoning is entirely within, well, reason.
    If I was gay and I had talked to a doctor and that is what he said, I would go on living my life. This is essentially only one aspect of your life. If it becomes a cause of pain and spiritual sadness, focus on something else. Be who you are…

    I must seem like a total jackass, but I do sincerely sympathize with you.

    –Your brother

  • Anonymuz

    P,

    that is a very interesting question and I will pray for you. Please don’t ever, ever think of ending it all. Rise above it all, do what makes you happy and your reasoning is entirely within, well, reason.
    If I was gay and I had talked to a doctor and that is what he said, I would go on living my life. This is essentially only one aspect of your life. If it becomes a cause of pain and spiritual sadness, focus on something else. Be who you are…

    I must seem like a total jackass, but I do sincerely sympathize with you.

    –Your brother

  • p

    Thanks Anon. But don’t worry about me. Those thoughts all went away when I stopped being active in the Bahai community. And hey I did it without an expensive shrink! Worry about that quiet 17 year old Iranian kid in your community that maybe is never dating or showing interest in the opposite sex and is expected to one day marry and be a good hetero in the community. For as long as the Bahai community continues the same old same old that I saw growing up, then the chance is there. I haven’t been active for years in the community that I live in, but I heard about this one teenage girl who committed suicide a couple of years ago. She was seen as a model Bahai teenager, artistic, sweet and then gone. Why? No one asks to protect the privacy of the family. I guess we’ll never know. But knowing the statistics that it is LGBT youth that have higher risk of committing suicide…I have to wonder.

  • p

    Thanks Anon. But don’t worry about me. Those thoughts all went away when I stopped being active in the Bahai community. And hey I did it without an expensive shrink! Worry about that quiet 17 year old Iranian kid in your community that maybe is never dating or showing interest in the opposite sex and is expected to one day marry and be a good hetero in the community. For as long as the Bahai community continues the same old same old that I saw growing up, then the chance is there. I haven’t been active for years in the community that I live in, but I heard about this one teenage girl who committed suicide a couple of years ago. She was seen as a model Bahai teenager, artistic, sweet and then gone. Why? No one asks to protect the privacy of the family. I guess we’ll never know. But knowing the statistics that it is LGBT youth that have higher risk of committing suicide…I have to wonder.

  • Grover

    P wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]I was just inspired by an episode of South Park. It made me start thinking again about the gay issue and Bahai law. According to the Writings- alcohol is forbidden. But the Writings also state that if sick, we should consult competent physicians. So if a competent physician perscribes a medicine with alcohol in it, then the Bahai should take it. Right? Ok so work with me. Homosexuality is a disease. I go to a competent physician that tells me that the best recourse for me is to accept who I am, fall in love with someone and have a fulfilling relationship with that person in ALL it’s aspects- which includes having sex. Do I take the advise? Would I be breaking Bahai law? AND what if I follow the doctor’s advise and my depression and suicidal thoughts go away. I find happiness and feel fulfilled.[/quote]

    Brilliant, P! That is the solution to all the wrangling about homosexuality, send them to a doctor or qualified counsellor to get reassurance they’re perfectly normal. So simple!

    Would the UHJ argue with the opinion of a qualified expert? Only if they regarded the quotes from SE about homosexuality as more important than the quotes about going to see a qualified doctor for diseases etc… Then it just boils down to what peoples biases are as to whether or not the doctor’s opinion is accepted.

    But the quiet 17 year old Iranian kid has to be brave enough to visit the doctor and be open about stuff he or she has kept inside for so long.

    In honesty, the Baha’i community is such a mess of predjudices and biases and smart and stupid people ranging from liberal to fundamental persuasion that the community as a whole could never cope well with someone coming out (with or without a doctor’s cert) without the gossip, backbiting, etc. Eventually any gay person would leave the community to find friendlier pastures.

    But its got to start somewhere and there has to be someone brave and tough enough to stand up against the masses and suffer the ridicule, backbiting and gossip so eventually (if ever) homosexuals are accepted in the community.

  • Grover

    P wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]I was just inspired by an episode of South Park. It made me start thinking again about the gay issue and Bahai law. According to the Writings- alcohol is forbidden. But the Writings also state that if sick, we should consult competent physicians. So if a competent physician perscribes a medicine with alcohol in it, then the Bahai should take it. Right? Ok so work with me. Homosexuality is a disease. I go to a competent physician that tells me that the best recourse for me is to accept who I am, fall in love with someone and have a fulfilling relationship with that person in ALL it’s aspects- which includes having sex. Do I take the advise? Would I be breaking Bahai law? AND what if I follow the doctor’s advise and my depression and suicidal thoughts go away. I find happiness and feel fulfilled.[/quote]

    Brilliant, P! That is the solution to all the wrangling about homosexuality, send them to a doctor or qualified counsellor to get reassurance they’re perfectly normal. So simple!

    Would the UHJ argue with the opinion of a qualified expert? Only if they regarded the quotes from SE about homosexuality as more important than the quotes about going to see a qualified doctor for diseases etc… Then it just boils down to what peoples biases are as to whether or not the doctor’s opinion is accepted.

    But the quiet 17 year old Iranian kid has to be brave enough to visit the doctor and be open about stuff he or she has kept inside for so long.

    In honesty, the Baha’i community is such a mess of predjudices and biases and smart and stupid people ranging from liberal to fundamental persuasion that the community as a whole could never cope well with someone coming out (with or without a doctor’s cert) without the gossip, backbiting, etc. Eventually any gay person would leave the community to find friendlier pastures.

    But its got to start somewhere and there has to be someone brave and tough enough to stand up against the masses and suffer the ridicule, backbiting and gossip so eventually (if ever) homosexuals are accepted in the community.

  • grant

    [quote comment=””]Anonnymouz wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]The way I see it, from an evolutionary standpoint and a reproductive standpoint, purely biological, it is something that would eventually be stamped out by nature as a part the darwinian model. Im sure you know, the theory is only the genes or traits that are useful or advantageous are inherited and passed on. This process takes thousands of years, if not millions.[/quote]

    hmm, as a hetero male i still think this way of thinking is flawed. what about hetero women who suffer from conditions such as ovarian dropsy, which is hereditary, leaving the afflicated barren? what about the numerous other conditions which are passed down genetically or not that leaves hetero women unable to have children? these conditions are, in fact, naturally occuring. so, are barren hetero women who participate in intercourse still displeasing God?

  • grant

    [quote comment=””]Anonnymouz wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]The way I see it, from an evolutionary standpoint and a reproductive standpoint, purely biological, it is something that would eventually be stamped out by nature as a part the darwinian model. Im sure you know, the theory is only the genes or traits that are useful or advantageous are inherited and passed on. This process takes thousands of years, if not millions.[/quote]

    hmm, as a hetero male i still think this way of thinking is flawed. what about hetero women who suffer from conditions such as ovarian dropsy, which is hereditary, leaving the afflicated barren? what about the numerous other conditions which are passed down genetically or not that leaves hetero women unable to have children? these conditions are, in fact, naturally occuring. so, are barren hetero women who participate in intercourse still displeasing God?

  • farhan

    Grant wrote:
    hmm, as a hetero male i still think this way of thinking is flawed. what about hetero women who suffer from conditions such as ovarian dropsy, which is hereditary, leaving the afflicated barren?

    Grant, I get your point, but still retain that of Anon: medicine intervenes in natural selection: we keep diabetes patients alive and help them pass on the gene to their descendants, where as naturally, they would have disappeared. Introducing Mc Donald’s and sweet drinks to developing countries, where they have not been selected for such food introduces high rates of obesity and diabetes…

    We can also admit that those with genes for diabetes or mental disease have other talents and gifts to impart to humanity, one of them being in helping us acquire the capacity for loving and caring which is essential for our collective survival.

    Besides all this, I believe that genetics is only a small part of the causes of homosexuality.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grant wrote:
    hmm, as a hetero male i still think this way of thinking is flawed. what about hetero women who suffer from conditions such as ovarian dropsy, which is hereditary, leaving the afflicated barren?

    Grant, I get your point, but still retain that of Anon: medicine intervenes in natural selection: we keep diabetes patients alive and help them pass on the gene to their descendants, where as naturally, they would have disappeared. Introducing Mc Donald’s and sweet drinks to developing countries, where they have not been selected for such food introduces high rates of obesity and diabetes…

    We can also admit that those with genes for diabetes or mental disease have other talents and gifts to impart to humanity, one of them being in helping us acquire the capacity for loving and caring which is essential for our collective survival.

    Besides all this, I believe that genetics is only a small part of the causes of homosexuality.

  • P

    Besides all this, I believe that genetics is only a small part of the causes of homosexuality.
    —————–
    Do tell Farhan. I’m curious to know what you think may be the other causes. I come from a Persian family, raised by both mother and father that taught me the Faith from the time of conception. They both took active roles in my upbringing. I NEVER saw or heard, or let alone understood what homosexuality was until like around the age of 11. My role models were as straight as you can get (Persian culture as you know has very set norms for what women do and what men do). So how could it have happened to me? But regardless, one thing I know is that it has caused me to be a way better person. It took a long time, but I thank God now that he made me the way he did. I guess I’ll always be a sore thumb in the side of conservative Bahaidom, but oh well….

  • P

    Besides all this, I believe that genetics is only a small part of the causes of homosexuality.
    —————–
    Do tell Farhan. I’m curious to know what you think may be the other causes. I come from a Persian family, raised by both mother and father that taught me the Faith from the time of conception. They both took active roles in my upbringing. I NEVER saw or heard, or let alone understood what homosexuality was until like around the age of 11. My role models were as straight as you can get (Persian culture as you know has very set norms for what women do and what men do). So how could it have happened to me? But regardless, one thing I know is that it has caused me to be a way better person. It took a long time, but I thank God now that he made me the way he did. I guess I’ll always be a sore thumb in the side of conservative Bahaidom, but oh well….

  • regrettably Anon

    I posted this comment elsewhere, but since I am interested in a discussion, I am reporting it with some modifications. And because the Problem With Homosexuality is among what I find troubling in the Faith, I think my commenting here is not out of place.

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

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

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad… Or for that matter, that a Baha’i homosexual can’t actually be a Baha’i… come on people… you became Baha’is (or your predecessors became Baha’is) because you _were_ progressive. The attitudes towards homosexuals belong with the notions of infallible, mortal leadership: _Antiquity_.

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

  • regrettably Anon

    I posted this comment elsewhere, but since I am interested in a discussion, I am reporting it with some modifications. And because the Problem With Homosexuality is among what I find troubling in the Faith, I think my commenting here is not out of place.

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

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

    When I hear a Baha’i say another believer is not really a Baha’i if not card carrying, or occasionally having a beer, or doesn’t recognize the infallibility of the mortals to who so many millions have abdicated their own critical thinking… I feel sick to my stomach. When I hear that the conflict in the Middle East requires a spiritual solution, and understand that to mean everyone there needs to be Baha’i, I feel so sad… Or for that matter, that a Baha’i homosexual can’t actually be a Baha’i… come on people… you became Baha’is (or your predecessors became Baha’is) because you _were_ progressive. The attitudes towards homosexuals belong with the notions of infallible, mortal leadership: _Antiquity_.

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

  • Greetings All,

    I’m just back from travels in the UK and am very busy working on my paper for my graduation due in the next few days. Thanks to all who did the questionnaire, I had 347 who did it. So that’s wonderful for my thesis.

    A friend (a married gay Bahai) sent me this link and was wondering if there is any truth in the allegation that Bahais in Uganda were as the Guardian article states, part of an anti-homo campaign.
    If any of you have Ugandan Bahai acquaintances, please ask them, as just because a newspaper runs such a story, that doesn’t mean that it is true.
    And more importantly have a look at this petition and sign it if you wish.
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-gay-discrimination

  • Greetings All,

    I’m just back from travels in the UK and am very busy working on my paper for my graduation due in the next few days. Thanks to all who did the questionnaire, I had 347 who did it. So that’s wonderful for my thesis.

    A friend (a married gay Bahai) sent me this link and was wondering if there is any truth in the allegation that Bahais in Uganda were as the Guardian article states, part of an anti-homo campaign.
    If any of you have Ugandan Bahai acquaintances, please ask them, as just because a newspaper runs such a story, that doesn’t mean that it is true.
    And more importantly have a look at this petition and sign it if you wish.
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-gay-discrimination

  • I asked friends who were in Uganda at the time. One had grown up there, so was familiar with the culture. Here’s what she said;

    “Re the Uganda gay rights controversy. While we were on safari we got no news. When we were back in NZ people asked how we had fared in the Uganda floods but as we had heard nothing about these either I looked up Google and while reading about the deluge I think I saw a piece on gay rights but I’m sorry to not be more informative.”

    But I don’t doubt that the incident happened. The stories seemed to be coming from a variety of Ugandan sources, and consistently mentioned the involvement of the Baha’is:

    Red Pepper, Uganda.

    Associated Press Uganda
    LifeSiteNews.com

    It was deeply ironic that the Christian, Baha’i and Islamic (and I use those terms loosely) interfaith coalition that banded together in mutual homophobia was named the “Interfaith Rainbow Coalition”!

  • I asked friends who were in Uganda at the time. One had grown up there, so was familiar with the culture. Here’s what she said;

    “Re the Uganda gay rights controversy. While we were on safari we got no news. When we were back in NZ people asked how we had fared in the Uganda floods but as we had heard nothing about these either I looked up Google and while reading about the deluge I think I saw a piece on gay rights but I’m sorry to not be more informative.”

    But I don’t doubt that the incident happened. The stories seemed to be coming from a variety of Ugandan sources, and consistently mentioned the involvement of the Baha’is:

    Red Pepper, Uganda.

    Associated Press Uganda

    LifeSiteNews.com

    It was deeply ironic that the Christian, Baha’i and Islamic (and I use those terms loosely) interfaith coalition that banded together in mutual homophobia was named the “Interfaith Rainbow Coalition”!

  • P

    Why should this come as a surprise? When it comes to controversial issues, the Bahai community mimicks the majority or stays inside its cocoon. Look at the civil rights movement in the 60’s. The Bahahis were not in the forefront for fear of seeming political. In regards to the gay issue, there was a piece by the UK NSA in the 90’s deploring the teaching of homosexuality in schools. http://bahai-library.com/nsa/homosexuality.uk.html
    Basically the UK NSA (similar I’m sure to conservative christian groups in the country) wanted schools to continue to teach children that homosexuality was a disease. Did they stop to think of the psychological damage on a gay teenager being taught this? Of course not, because this type of brain washing happens every day to gay Bahai teens inside the community.

  • P

    Why should this come as a surprise? When it comes to controversial issues, the Bahai community mimicks the majority or stays inside its cocoon. Look at the civil rights movement in the 60’s. The Bahahis were not in the forefront for fear of seeming political. In regards to the gay issue, there was a piece by the UK NSA in the 90’s deploring the teaching of homosexuality in schools. http://bahai-library.com/nsa/homosexuality.uk.html
    Basically the UK NSA (similar I’m sure to conservative christian groups in the country) wanted schools to continue to teach children that homosexuality was a disease. Did they stop to think of the psychological damage on a gay teenager being taught this? Of course not, because this type of brain washing happens every day to gay Bahai teens inside the community.

  • I missed one: The Kampala Daily Monitor.

    It seems pretty clear to me that gay-bashing is an interfaith activity in those parts, with the UK NSA not far behind.

  • I missed one: The Kampala Daily Monitor.

    It seems pretty clear to me that gay-bashing is an interfaith activity in those parts, with the UK NSA not far behind.

  • Werdna the Wizard

    Steve Marshall wrote:

    “I missed one.”

    Try this instead:

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-from-summer-of-love.html

    Unleash the hounds of hell (i.e., the tedious blowhard windbags of the BF).

  • Werdna the Wizard

    Steve Marshall wrote:

    “I missed one.”

    Try this instead:

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-from-summer-of-love.html

    Unleash the hounds of hell (i.e., the tedious blowhard windbags of the BF).

  • Andrew

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/09/24/2996

    From Professor Michael King (University College London):

    “Evidence from around the world identifies the main stressors leading to mental distress in gay and lesbian people as discrimination, prejudice, bullying in schools and colleges, and the consequent need for many LGB people to keep their homosexual identity secret, even from their families.

    “Our review did not examine links between mental disorder and homosexual ?behaviour? or ?lifestyle?. Our work reviewed studies of the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and sadly, those studies showed that it is people (not behaviour) that are discriminated against, and not least by religious groups and organisations.

    “Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is even more devastating than other forms of discrimination such as racism, as it reaches right into families and leaves no refuge for its victims.

    “There is now abundant evidence that homosexuality is not itself a mental disorder and that it is compatible with a healthy lifestyle. We shall only begin to see a reduction in mental distress and deliberate self harm in LGB people when all sectors of society welcome them as equal and valuable citizens.”

    Obscure cult-like fundamentalist religious cultures notwithstanding. 😉

  • Andrew

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/09/24/2996

    From Professor Michael King (University College London):

    “Evidence from around the world identifies the main stressors leading to mental distress in gay and lesbian people as discrimination, prejudice, bullying in schools and colleges, and the consequent need for many LGB people to keep their homosexual identity secret, even from their families.

    “Our review did not examine links between mental disorder and homosexual ?behaviour? or ?lifestyle?. Our work reviewed studies of the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and sadly, those studies showed that it is people (not behaviour) that are discriminated against, and not least by religious groups and organisations.

    “Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is even more devastating than other forms of discrimination such as racism, as it reaches right into families and leaves no refuge for its victims.

    “There is now abundant evidence that homosexuality is not itself a mental disorder and that it is compatible with a healthy lifestyle. We shall only begin to see a reduction in mental distress and deliberate self harm in LGB people when all sectors of society welcome them as equal and valuable citizens.”

    Obscure cult-like fundamentalist religious cultures notwithstanding. 😉

  • Andrew

    “London to host Muslim LGBT conference”

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1954&Itemid=1

    “Former Beauty Queen Fights for Human Rights”

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1954&Itemid=1

    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.

  • Andrew

    “London to host Muslim LGBT conference”

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1954&Itemid=1

    “Former Beauty Queen Fights for Human Rights”

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1954&Itemid=1

    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.

  • Andrew

    Oops. Wrong link. Too much irony, even for me. Try this:

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1951&Itemid=1

  • Andrew

    Oops. Wrong link. Too much irony, even for me. Try this:

    http://bahaisonline.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1951&Itemid=1

  • [quote comment=”56806″]
    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.[/quote]

    That’s so unfair! Bahais Online is a popular (over one million visitors per year) Baha’i website, and is run by a Baha’i in good standing. But wait, that’s an argument in support of your position. I’ll get back to you. 🙂

  • [quote comment=”56806″]
    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.[/quote]

    That’s so unfair! Bahais Online is a popular (over one million visitors per year) Baha’i website, and is run by a Baha’i in good standing. But wait, that’s an argument in support of your position. I’ll get back to you. 🙂

  • ep

    Andrew and Steve,

    It is *sooooo* good to see your posts. Keep up the good work.

    RegAnon,

    may you be blessed with peace, prosperity and wisdom.

    As an XL-ex-bahai (30+ years), I agree with most of your excellent statement.

    However, the problem *is* with bahai scripture and theology (not “just” the way it is interpreted, bogus infallability doctrine, frothing at the mouth about coconut breakers, hatred of gays, etc.).

    As Sen pointed out several months ago (on another thread?), the current version of bahai culture has not evolved into a fully postmodern paradigm.

    And the leading edge of thought in the world has moved beyond postmodernism!

    Even if bahai scripture wasn’t medieval enough, the mindset in which it has been “interpreted” in the mainstream of the community is medieval. Even the modernist tendencies within the bahai community have tended to result in fundamentalism.

    I would encourage you to run away from bahai as fast as you can.
    (Unless perhaps you have the opportunity to support the few reformers that have not been hounded out or marginalized.)

    A better alternative is integral philosophy (which is “beyond postmodernism”).

    Examples: Jean Gebser, Sri Aurobindo, Clare Graves, Ken Wilber, and many others.

    Virtually all the deep questions I have about the pragmatics aspects of social change as they relate to systems theory and consciousness studies (including mysticism and meditation) are far better answered by integral philosophy than bahai.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Gebser#The_structures_of_consciousness

    http://www.gebser.org/

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/453699.html

    The fact is that bahai scripture, while containing some interesting examples of attempts to fuse premodern mysticism with modernity, is pathetically weak on the most important issue in human history: evolution.

    Unless a spiritual movement has a proper relationship to (and understanding of) “scientific” evolution, everything else is cr*p, or will eventually turn to cr*p.

    regards,
    ep

    [quote comment=”54722″]I posted this comment elsewhere, but since I am interested in a discussion, I am reporting it with some modifications. And because the Problem With Homosexuality is among what I find troubling in the Faith, I think my commenting here is not out of place.

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

    … come on people… you became Baha’is (or your predecessors became Baha’is) because you _were_ progressive. The attitudes towards homosexuals belong with the notions of infallible, mortal leadership: _Antiquity_.

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and diversity, and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=”56806″]
    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.[/quote]

    That’s so unfair! Bahais Online is a popular (over one million visitors per year) Baha’i website, and is run by a Baha’i in good standing. But wait, that’s an argument in support of your position. I’ll get back to you. :-)[/quote]

  • ep

    Andrew and Steve,

    It is *sooooo* good to see your posts. Keep up the good work.

    RegAnon,

    may you be blessed with peace, prosperity and wisdom.

    As an XL-ex-bahai (30+ years), I agree with most of your excellent statement.

    However, the problem *is* with bahai scripture and theology (not “just” the way it is interpreted, bogus infallability doctrine, frothing at the mouth about coconut breakers, hatred of gays, etc.).

    As Sen pointed out several months ago (on another thread?), the current version of bahai culture has not evolved into a fully postmodern paradigm.

    And the leading edge of thought in the world has moved beyond postmodernism!

    Even if bahai scripture wasn’t medieval enough, the mindset in which it has been “interpreted” in the mainstream of the community is medieval. Even the modernist tendencies within the bahai community have tended to result in fundamentalism.

    I would encourage you to run away from bahai as fast as you can.
    (Unless perhaps you have the opportunity to support the few reformers that have not been hounded out or marginalized.)

    A better alternative is integral philosophy (which is “beyond postmodernism”).

    Examples: Jean Gebser, Sri Aurobindo, Clare Graves, Ken Wilber, and many others.

    Virtually all the deep questions I have about the pragmatics aspects of social change as they relate to systems theory and consciousness studies (including mysticism and meditation) are far better answered by integral philosophy than bahai.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Gebser#The_structures_of_consciousness

    http://www.gebser.org/

    http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/kosmos/excerptA/intro.cfm

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/453699.html

    The fact is that bahai scripture, while containing some interesting examples of attempts to fuse premodern mysticism with modernity, is pathetically weak on the most important issue in human history: evolution.

    Unless a spiritual movement has a proper relationship to (and understanding of) “scientific” evolution, everything else is cr*p, or will eventually turn to cr*p.

    regards,
    ep

    [quote comment=”54722″]I posted this comment elsewhere, but since I am interested in a discussion, I am reporting it with some modifications. And because the Problem With Homosexuality is among what I find troubling in the Faith, I think my commenting here is not out of place.

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

    … come on people… you became Baha’is (or your predecessors became Baha’is) because you _were_ progressive. The attitudes towards homosexuals belong with the notions of infallible, mortal leadership: _Antiquity_.

    Baha’is, more than any group of people, should recognize the need for pluralism and diversity, and focus only on being a light unto humanity. You are failing, and it is not because of your prophet or writings.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][quote comment=”56806″]
    The irony is so thick it’s palpable.

    And probably completely lost on most Baha’is.[/quote]

    That’s so unfair! Bahais Online is a popular (over one million visitors per year) Baha’i website, and is run by a Baha’i in good standing. But wait, that’s an argument in support of your position. I’ll get back to you. :-)[/quote]

  • Andrew

    Oh Steve … it wasn’t a criticism of your site, it was a wry jibe at the juxtaposition of these articles. Don’t you know that civil rights for “practicing homosexuals” don’t qualify as legitimate human rights in the Baha’i Bundestag? So people like Nazanin the Beauty Queen can “fight for human rights” while remaining blithely unmindful of the complete and utter hypocrisy of the “official” Baha’i policy toward gays and lesbians (not to mention the treatment of gays and lesbians in, oh, say, Iran). Because, of course, the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really discriminate toward homosexuals; and although every non-Baha’i in the world might think it does, well, they’re just wrong. Because Baha’is don’t discriminate. Unless they do. Which they don’t, because it’s not really discrimination. Unless it is. Which it isn’t, because it can’t be. Because the UHJ says it isn’t. So it isn’t. Unless it is, which it isn’t. And a crack pipe isn’t really a crack pipe, either, especially if you’re the one sucking on it.

  • Andrew

    Oh Steve … it wasn’t a criticism of your site, it was a wry jibe at the juxtaposition of these articles. Don’t you know that civil rights for “practicing homosexuals” don’t qualify as legitimate human rights in the Baha’i Bundestag? So people like Nazanin the Beauty Queen can “fight for human rights” while remaining blithely unmindful of the complete and utter hypocrisy of the “official” Baha’i policy toward gays and lesbians (not to mention the treatment of gays and lesbians in, oh, say, Iran). Because, of course, the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really discriminate toward homosexuals; and although every non-Baha’i in the world might think it does, well, they’re just wrong. Because Baha’is don’t discriminate. Unless they do. Which they don’t, because it’s not really discrimination. Unless it is. Which it isn’t, because it can’t be. Because the UHJ says it isn’t. So it isn’t. Unless it is, which it isn’t. And a crack pipe isn’t really a crack pipe, either, especially if you’re the one sucking on it.

  • “Because, of course, the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really discriminate toward homosexuals; and although every non-Baha’i in the world might think it does, well, they’re just wrong. Because Baha’is don’t discriminate. Unless they do. Which they don’t, because it’s not really discrimination. Unless it is. Which it isn’t, because it can’t be. Because the UHJ says it isn’t. So it isn’t. Unless it is, which it isn’t. And a crack pipe isn’t really a crack pipe, either, especially if you’re the one sucking on it.”

    Andrew, truer words have never been spoken.

  • “Because, of course, the Baha’i Faith doesn’t really discriminate toward homosexuals; and although every non-Baha’i in the world might think it does, well, they’re just wrong. Because Baha’is don’t discriminate. Unless they do. Which they don’t, because it’s not really discrimination. Unless it is. Which it isn’t, because it can’t be. Because the UHJ says it isn’t. So it isn’t. Unless it is, which it isn’t. And a crack pipe isn’t really a crack pipe, either, especially if you’re the one sucking on it.”

    Andrew, truer words have never been spoken.

  • Andrew

    [quote]Andrew, truer words have never been spoken.[/quote]

    Or written! 😉

    Religious identity is not synonymous with human integrity … unless one is an automaton who constructs an illusion of integrity to serve as a surrogate for religious identity. Such individuals invariably follow the dictates of their religion rather than the promptings of their conscience (provided they have ever developed a conscience in the first place).

    You might find this interesting:

    Gay couples as committed as straight couples: study
    Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Gay and lesbian couples are just as committed in their relationships as heterosexuals and the legal status of their union doesn’t impact their happiness, according to new research.

    In two new studies that compared same-sex and heterosexual couples using different factors and methods to assess their happiness, scientists found few differences.

    “Among the committed couples, there were very few differences that we were able to identify either in terms of how satisfied these couples were, how effectively they interacted with one another or how their bodies responded physiologically while they were interacting with one another,” Glenn I. Roisman, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, said in an interview.

    He and his colleagues compared 30 gay male and 30 lesbian couples with 50 engaged heterosexual couples, 40 older, married heterosexual couples and dating heterosexual couples.

    They found that regardless of sexual orientation, as the level of commitment increased, so did the ability to resolve conflict — debunking the myth that same-sex relationships are not built on the same level of commitment as heterosexual ones.

    In the second study researchers, who focused on how legal status affected relationship quality, followed 65 male and 138 female same-sex couples in civil unions, 23 male and 61 female same-sex couples not in civil unions and 55 heterosexual married couples over a three-year period.

    The researchers from the University of Washington, San Diego State University and the University of Vermont found that same-sex couples, regardless of their legal status, were more satisfied with their relationships and reported more positive feelings toward their partners and less conflict than heterosexual married couples.

    But gay and lesbian couples not in civil unions were more likely than same-sex couples in civil unions or heterosexuals who were married to end their relationships, according to the study.

    Both studies were published in the journal Developmental Psychology.

    “My personal view is that I think it’s very hard to make the case as has been made that these same-sex relationships are fundamentally different from opposite-sex relationships in the presence of data like these and other data in the developmental literature,” said Roisman.

    (Reporting by Stefanie Kranjec; Editing by Patricia Reaney)

  • Andrew

    [quote]Andrew, truer words have never been spoken.[/quote]

    Or written! 😉

    Religious identity is not synonymous with human integrity … unless one is an automaton who constructs an illusion of integrity to serve as a surrogate for religious identity. Such individuals invariably follow the dictates of their religion rather than the promptings of their conscience (provided they have ever developed a conscience in the first place).

    You might find this interesting:

    Gay couples as committed as straight couples: study
    Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Gay and lesbian couples are just as committed in their relationships as heterosexuals and the legal status of their union doesn’t impact their happiness, according to new research.

    In two new studies that compared same-sex and heterosexual couples using different factors and methods to assess their happiness, scientists found few differences.

    “Among the committed couples, there were very few differences that we were able to identify either in terms of how satisfied these couples were, how effectively they interacted with one another or how their bodies responded physiologically while they were interacting with one another,” Glenn I. Roisman, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, said in an interview.

    He and his colleagues compared 30 gay male and 30 lesbian couples with 50 engaged heterosexual couples, 40 older, married heterosexual couples and dating heterosexual couples.

    They found that regardless of sexual orientation, as the level of commitment increased, so did the ability to resolve conflict — debunking the myth that same-sex relationships are not built on the same level of commitment as heterosexual ones.

    In the second study researchers, who focused on how legal status affected relationship quality, followed 65 male and 138 female same-sex couples in civil unions, 23 male and 61 female same-sex couples not in civil unions and 55 heterosexual married couples over a three-year period.

    The researchers from the University of Washington, San Diego State University and the University of Vermont found that same-sex couples, regardless of their legal status, were more satisfied with their relationships and reported more positive feelings toward their partners and less conflict than heterosexual married couples.

    But gay and lesbian couples not in civil unions were more likely than same-sex couples in civil unions or heterosexuals who were married to end their relationships, according to the study.

    Both studies were published in the journal Developmental Psychology.

    “My personal view is that I think it’s very hard to make the case as has been made that these same-sex relationships are fundamentally different from opposite-sex relationships in the presence of data like these and other data in the developmental literature,” said Roisman.

    (Reporting by Stefanie Kranjec; Editing by Patricia Reaney)

  • P

    Here is the President of Iran on Larry King live regarding homosexuality:
    “The law is the law and it’s law. And it must be enforced. Of course, we do pay attention that in Iran nobody interferes in the private lives of individuals. We have nothing to do with the private realm of people. This is at the (level of) not-private, public morality. In their own house, nobody ever interferes with people.”
    ———————–
    hmmmm… where have I heard this stance before? Oh yeah, from conservative Bahais!

  • P

    Here is the President of Iran on Larry King live regarding homosexuality:
    “The law is the law and it’s law. And it must be enforced. Of course, we do pay attention that in Iran nobody interferes in the private lives of individuals. We have nothing to do with the private realm of people. This is at the (level of) not-private, public morality. In their own house, nobody ever interferes with people.”
    ———————–
    hmmmm… where have I heard this stance before? Oh yeah, from conservative Bahais!

  • Andrew

    Shocking! Are you saying that the Baha’i position in contrast to the Shi’i position is a distinction without a difference? Heaven forfend it should be true! Absolutely shocking!

  • Andrew

    Shocking! Are you saying that the Baha’i position in contrast to the Shi’i position is a distinction without a difference? Heaven forfend it should be true! Absolutely shocking!

  • P

    Yep. Unfortunately it’s the truth for any fundamentalist religion. Stay in the closet and we’ll accept you fully. Just don’t dare peak out of that closet or else!

  • P

    Yep. Unfortunately it’s the truth for any fundamentalist religion. Stay in the closet and we’ll accept you fully. Just don’t dare peak out of that closet or else!

  • ep

    This presentation (video stream) gives an interesting answer for most of the “hot button” issues that come up when people talk about what is “wrong” with bahai, such as: intolerance of gays (and dissent, nonconformism in general), women-not-on-uhj, why abdul-baha said some really dumb stuff about evolution, non-involvement in politics, a bewilderingly incoherent set of ideas about the role of religion in economics and social organization and government, etc.

    !!!!!
    !enjoy!
    !!!!!

    [quote comment=””]Yep. Unfortunately it’s the truth for any fundamentalist religion. Stay in the closet and we’ll accept you fully. Just don’t dare peak out of that closet or else![/quote]

  • ep

    This presentation (video stream) gives an interesting answer for most of the “hot button” issues that come up when people talk about what is “wrong” with bahai, such as: intolerance of gays (and dissent, nonconformism in general), women-not-on-uhj, why abdul-baha said some really dumb stuff about evolution, non-involvement in politics, a bewilderingly incoherent set of ideas about the role of religion in economics and social organization and government, etc.

    !!!!!
    !enjoy!
    !!!!!

    [quote comment=””]Yep. Unfortunately it’s the truth for any fundamentalist religion. Stay in the closet and we’ll accept you fully. Just don’t dare peak out of that closet or else![/quote]

  • Andrew

    I recommend the book “WITH OR WITHOUT GOD: Why The Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe” by GRETTA VOSPER (Foreword by John Shelby Spong).

    See:

    http://www.progressivechristianity.ca/ccpc/index.php

    “Many have used passages within the Bible [Kitab-i-Aqdas] to warn members that to venture beyond its teachings is a treacherous thing. Often, in the more conservative corners of Christianity [the Baha’i Faith], the young are taught to disparage higher education lest it lead one straight into the arms of the devil [spiritual isolation]. Those who venture from the faith [Baha’i Faith], in some instances, experience what is called disfellowshipping, a practice used by Jehovah’s Witnesses [Baha’is] to shun individuals who have rejected some or all of the doctrinal beliefs of their communities.

    “If you are going to move forward though, you need to have an open mind, a mind that might end up in the evening with different stuff in it than was there when it awoke in the morning … It will allow that our perspective can’t have, nor provide, all the answers. An open mind will be eager to be understood to the point of being challenged. It is non-defensive and able to suspend judgment, holding ideas tentatively as they are assessed. It will be comfortable with complexity and ambiguity, not needing to have all the answers all at once. Ideas that have been offered to you are just that, ideas. They are malleable. They can be shifted around, stewed over, seen from different angles. They are mere food for thought. Your own thought. The church [UHJ] has worked very hard to hold on to their responsibility to do that for you. Take it back.

    “We believe that the Bible [Kitab-i-Aqdas] is a human construction, and it is, therefore, full of both human promise and human error. We believe that no humanly constructed book can be the authoritative word of God and that we, who recognize this, are responsible to challenge such claims and behaviour that suggests such claims, particularly where we find it in our own tradition … We believe that much of what is described in the Bible as the activity of God is destructive of relationship and equality, that it is tribal and divisive, that, despite the best attempts that the authors were making to describe their experience of the divine, they have created a legacy of judgment, horror, and despair, and we no longer choose to burden ourselves with that legacy. We believe it is wrong to call such words holy or sacred.

    “Believing as I do that all religious, philosophical, and ideological understandings must be challenged by their adherents so that we might all move into a place where foundational beliefs are shared and held in common, reviewed and revised as necessary, challenged and changed when appropriate, I extend the confrontation that is this book. May it irritate us all into the growth we so disturbingly need.”

    I love this book and humbly seek its guidance because every word, letter and silence from it is impregnated with God’s own love for humanity.

  • Andrew

    I recommend the book “WITH OR WITHOUT GOD: Why The Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe” by GRETTA VOSPER (Foreword by John Shelby Spong).

    See:

    http://www.progressivechristianity.ca/ccpc/index.php

    “Many have used passages within the Bible [Kitab-i-Aqdas] to warn members that to venture beyond its teachings is a treacherous thing. Often, in the more conservative corners of Christianity [the Baha’i Faith], the young are taught to disparage higher education lest it lead one straight into the arms of the devil [spiritual isolation]. Those who venture from the faith [Baha’i Faith], in some instances, experience what is called disfellowshipping, a practice used by Jehovah’s Witnesses [Baha’is] to shun individuals who have rejected some or all of the doctrinal beliefs of their communities.

    “If you are going to move forward though, you need to have an open mind, a mind that might end up in the evening with different stuff in it than was there when it awoke in the morning … It will allow that our perspective can’t have, nor provide, all the answers. An open mind will be eager to be understood to the point of being challenged. It is non-defensive and able to suspend judgment, holding ideas tentatively as they are assessed. It will be comfortable with complexity and ambiguity, not needing to have all the answers all at once. Ideas that have been offered to you are just that, ideas. They are malleable. They can be shifted around, stewed over, seen from different angles. They are mere food for thought. Your own thought. The church [UHJ] has worked very hard to hold on to their responsibility to do that for you. Take it back.

    “We believe that the Bible [Kitab-i-Aqdas] is a human construction, and it is, therefore, full of both human promise and human error. We believe that no humanly constructed book can be the authoritative word of God and that we, who recognize this, are responsible to challenge such claims and behaviour that suggests such claims, particularly where we find it in our own tradition … We believe that much of what is described in the Bible as the activity of God is destructive of relationship and equality, that it is tribal and divisive, that, despite the best attempts that the authors were making to describe their experience of the divine, they have created a legacy of judgment, horror, and despair, and we no longer choose to burden ourselves with that legacy. We believe it is wrong to call such words holy or sacred.

    “Believing as I do that all religious, philosophical, and ideological understandings must be challenged by their adherents so that we might all move into a place where foundational beliefs are shared and held in common, reviewed and revised as necessary, challenged and changed when appropriate, I extend the confrontation that is this book. May it irritate us all into the growth we so disturbingly need.”

    I love this book and humbly seek its guidance because every word, letter and silence from it is impregnated with God’s own love for humanity.

  • Grover

    Sounds great Andrew

  • Grover

    Sounds great Andrew

  • I think this video is an eloquent response by people of faith to the common (and incorrect) argument that “all religions” condemn homosexuality:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PxAER3cBMs

    I’m an atheist, myself, but…
    “Yes, Virginia, gay-friendly religions DO exist.” The Baha’i Faith just isn’t one of them.

  • I think this video is an eloquent response by people of faith to the common (and incorrect) argument that “all religions” condemn homosexuality:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PxAER3cBMs

    I’m an atheist, myself, but…
    “Yes, Virginia, gay-friendly religions DO exist.” The Baha’i Faith just isn’t one of them.

  • Andrew

    A beautiful video! Thank you Amanda!

    I know of at least two (structurally and theologically) different Baha’i communities (Covenant-Breaker Alert! Not In Communion With Rome! Er, I mean Haifa!) that welcome homosexual singles and couples as members. If one believes that “the Baha’i Faith” is synonymous with “acceptance of the authority of the UHJ in Haifa” then no, the Baha’i Faith isn’t gay-friendly. Quite the contrary, as many gay Baha’is can attest to.

    Fortunately, since I’m darkly swimming in such spiritual darkness (swimmingly, I might add) that I think such a notion is nothing less than ludicrous — “unity” used as a spiritual shibboleth, so to speak — I can assure gay Baha’is that there are, indeed, Baha’i-identified communities where they will be welcomed, and where they will not be repeatedly lectured, regaled, insulted, ridiculed, admonished or harangued. Neither of these “denominations” can boast of having “millions” of members, or that one day there will be more of them than there are Christians or Muslims (they’re small communities, but they’re not completely delusional). But they do exist, and they seem to reflect many of the demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of “emerging” faith communities. If you read Gretta Vosper’s book (“With or Without God”), this will give you some idea of what I’m referring to.

    It goes without saying that the Haifan UHJ will no more “recognize” the Baha’i religious identification of these emergent neo-Baha’i communities than the Magisterium of the Catholic Church will ever “recognize” the Catholicity of non-Roman communions. But that’s irrelevant. We live in a very fertile time for new and emerging religious movements, and the horse left the barn long ago. I suspect such communities will continue to grow (albeit slowly) and evolve, the usual tired and predictable tirades to the contrary.

    So Amanda — keep up the good work! I’m an atheist, too! God bless!

  • Andrew

    A beautiful video! Thank you Amanda!

    I know of at least two (structurally and theologically) different Baha’i communities (Covenant-Breaker Alert! Not In Communion With Rome! Er, I mean Haifa!) that welcome homosexual singles and couples as members. If one believes that “the Baha’i Faith” is synonymous with “acceptance of the authority of the UHJ in Haifa” then no, the Baha’i Faith isn’t gay-friendly. Quite the contrary, as many gay Baha’is can attest to.

    Fortunately, since I’m darkly swimming in such spiritual darkness (swimmingly, I might add) that I think such a notion is nothing less than ludicrous — “unity” used as a spiritual shibboleth, so to speak — I can assure gay Baha’is that there are, indeed, Baha’i-identified communities where they will be welcomed, and where they will not be repeatedly lectured, regaled, insulted, ridiculed, admonished or harangued. Neither of these “denominations” can boast of having “millions” of members, or that one day there will be more of them than there are Christians or Muslims (they’re small communities, but they’re not completely delusional). But they do exist, and they seem to reflect many of the demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of “emerging” faith communities. If you read Gretta Vosper’s book (“With or Without God”), this will give you some idea of what I’m referring to.

    It goes without saying that the Haifan UHJ will no more “recognize” the Baha’i religious identification of these emergent neo-Baha’i communities than the Magisterium of the Catholic Church will ever “recognize” the Catholicity of non-Roman communions. But that’s irrelevant. We live in a very fertile time for new and emerging religious movements, and the horse left the barn long ago. I suspect such communities will continue to grow (albeit slowly) and evolve, the usual tired and predictable tirades to the contrary.

    So Amanda — keep up the good work! I’m an atheist, too! God bless!

  • oops- I managed to embed my reply right in the middle of the quoted text…..I’ll try again:

    Hi, Andrew.

    You are SO right about other Baha’i traditions having a different stance on homosexuality. I fall into the habit of using the term ?Baha’i Faith? to refer to the Haifan bunch, and that is really not accurate or fair of me. Thanks for pointing that out- it’s an important point.

    Are you still working on your blog for Naw Ruz? I’m looking forward to it.

    godlessly, Amanda

  • oops- I managed to embed my reply right in the middle of the quoted text…..I’ll try again:

    Hi, Andrew.

    You are SO right about other Baha’i traditions having a different stance on homosexuality. I fall into the habit of using the term ?Baha’i Faith? to refer to the Haifan bunch, and that is really not accurate or fair of me. Thanks for pointing that out- it’s an important point.

    Are you still working on your blog for Naw Ruz? I’m looking forward to it.

    godlessly, Amanda

  • Pingback: Homosexuality: Blueprint or Recipe? at Baha’i Rants()

  • Andrew

    A fascinating interview with author Richard Rodriguez that puts all the pieces together:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/11/25/proposition_8_religion/

    [quote]I’m working right now in the Middle East on monotheistic religions because I’m very worried about the direction of religion. Ever since Sept. 11, when I heard that prayer being spoken at the moment the planes hit the World Trade Centers, I realized how much darkness there is in religion compared to how much light there is. I am very much concerned with whether or not these religions can be feminized.

    The desert religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — are male religions. Their perception is that God is a male god and Allah is a male god. If the male is allowed to hold onto the power of God, then I think we are in terrible shape. I think what’s coming out of Colorado Springs right now, with people like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, is either the last or continuing gasp of a male hierarchy in religion. That’s what’s at stake. And women have a determining role to play. Are they going to go along with this, or are they going to challenge the order?[/quote]

    “Love is … the spirit of life … the establisher of true civilization … ” — ‘Abdu’l-Baha

    A happy Day of the Covenant to everyone.

  • Andrew

    A fascinating interview with author Richard Rodriguez that puts all the pieces together:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/11/25/proposition_8_religion/

    [quote]I’m working right now in the Middle East on monotheistic religions because I’m very worried about the direction of religion. Ever since Sept. 11, when I heard that prayer being spoken at the moment the planes hit the World Trade Centers, I realized how much darkness there is in religion compared to how much light there is. I am very much concerned with whether or not these religions can be feminized.

    The desert religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — are male religions. Their perception is that God is a male god and Allah is a male god. If the male is allowed to hold onto the power of God, then I think we are in terrible shape. I think what’s coming out of Colorado Springs right now, with people like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, is either the last or continuing gasp of a male hierarchy in religion. That’s what’s at stake. And women have a determining role to play. Are they going to go along with this, or are they going to challenge the order?[/quote]

    “Love is … the spirit of life … the establisher of true civilization … ” — ‘Abdu’l-Baha

    A happy Day of the Covenant to everyone.

  • Andrew

    I think it’s important for gays (and allies) to support gay-positive businesses and even more important to support such businesses when they are owned and operated by gay-positive members of homophobic religions.

    http://www.sahan.ca/

    The owner of the above-linked business left a refreshingly positive comment (a true rarity amid the usual sea of mindless blather) on one of Mavaddat’s YouTube videos. He is a young Baha’i artist who lives in Canada. If you like his clothing, consider making a purchase. Sanity should always be rewarded.

  • Andrew

    I think it’s important for gays (and allies) to support gay-positive businesses and even more important to support such businesses when they are owned and operated by gay-positive members of homophobic religions.

    http://www.sahan.ca/

    The owner of the above-linked business left a refreshingly positive comment (a true rarity amid the usual sea of mindless blather) on one of Mavaddat’s YouTube videos. He is a young Baha’i artist who lives in Canada. If you like his clothing, consider making a purchase. Sanity should always be rewarded.

  • Andrew, thanks, I agree. But can’t find an online store at Sahan’s site.

  • Andrew, thanks, I agree. But can’t find an online store at Sahan’s site.

  • Andrew

    [quote]But can’t find an online store at Sahan’s site.[/quote]

    You’re right. But if you look under “Contacting Sahan Clothing” and click on “Send Message,” you can send him an e-mail inquiring about prices, availability, etc.

  • Andrew

    [quote]But can’t find an online store at Sahan’s site.[/quote]

    You’re right. But if you look under “Contacting Sahan Clothing” and click on “Send Message,” you can send him an e-mail inquiring about prices, availability, etc.

  • Andrew

    This day marks the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. I’ll be on hiatus from the internet for awhile so will miss the opportunity to contribute a rant to this disheveled collection of them. But I would like to once more draw attention to this site:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-gay-discrimination

    Some of the comments are truly heartbreaking and an indication of the stigma that exists. Comments 72 and 73 are particularly disheartening (I hope Amanda doesn’t mind my posting them here):

    “My brother is a Baha? convert and my nieces and nephews are being taught that their aunts (I and my partner) are sexual perverts who just need to ‘have babies/meet the right men’ to get ‘cured.’ This is insulting, divisive, and thoroughly false. There is nothing proper or ethical in promoting such bigoted misinformation as divine law.

    No (I am not a Baha’i), and I never will be. I was raised to defend human rights, not to trample them in the name of God.”

    And this:

    “My son, his wife and children are Baha’is. They are decent, honorable people. My daughter and her spouse are gay. They also are decent, honorable people. They all treat each other with kindness but this doctrine is a permanent barrier between them; it does harm to them all.

    I am not religious in any way. I believe that my children are caught up in the ideas of persons who lived in the ignorant past. Those who follow these teachings today are unable to escape this darkness because they believe these teachings are divinely inspired. I hope that the Baha’i faith, which has many noble precepts, can find its way to a better justice than it now asserts, but I am not optimistic. The division it has created in my family beaks my heart.”

    What a sorry testament to religious intolerance. As one of my friends put it: “A thinly-veiled excuse for the religious nuts to hate gays.” Discrimination excused under the guise of religion.

    “It is incumbent upon Bah??’? children to surpass other children in the acquisition of sciences and arts, for they have been cradled in the grace of God … The heart of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? longeth, in its love, to find that Bah??’? young people, each and all, are known throughout the world for their intellectual attainments.”

    Thank you again, Amanda! I think ‘Abdu’l-Baha would be well pleased with your attainments, intellectual or otherwise!

  • Andrew

    This day marks the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. I’ll be on hiatus from the internet for awhile so will miss the opportunity to contribute a rant to this disheveled collection of them. But I would like to once more draw attention to this site:

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-gay-discrimination

    Some of the comments are truly heartbreaking and an indication of the stigma that exists. Comments 72 and 73 are particularly disheartening (I hope Amanda doesn’t mind my posting them here):

    “My brother is a Baha? convert and my nieces and nephews are being taught that their aunts (I and my partner) are sexual perverts who just need to ‘have babies/meet the right men’ to get ‘cured.’ This is insulting, divisive, and thoroughly false. There is nothing proper or ethical in promoting such bigoted misinformation as divine law.

    No (I am not a Baha’i), and I never will be. I was raised to defend human rights, not to trample them in the name of God.”

    And this:

    “My son, his wife and children are Baha’is. They are decent, honorable people. My daughter and her spouse are gay. They also are decent, honorable people. They all treat each other with kindness but this doctrine is a permanent barrier between them; it does harm to them all.

    I am not religious in any way. I believe that my children are caught up in the ideas of persons who lived in the ignorant past. Those who follow these teachings today are unable to escape this darkness because they believe these teachings are divinely inspired. I hope that the Baha’i faith, which has many noble precepts, can find its way to a better justice than it now asserts, but I am not optimistic. The division it has created in my family beaks my heart.”

    What a sorry testament to religious intolerance. As one of my friends put it: “A thinly-veiled excuse for the religious nuts to hate gays.” Discrimination excused under the guise of religion.

    “It is incumbent upon Bah??’? children to surpass other children in the acquisition of sciences and arts, for they have been cradled in the grace of God … The heart of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? longeth, in its love, to find that Bah??’? young people, each and all, are known throughout the world for their intellectual attainments.”

    Thank you again, Amanda! I think ‘Abdu’l-Baha would be well pleased with your attainments, intellectual or otherwise!

  • P

    Thank you Andrew. I thought I was the only one who saw those posts on the petition site. It truly is heart breaking.
    Also, I wrote the following to the office of the secretariat for the UHJ. I have yet to hear back. I really didn’t expect to get much of a response, but I was hoping for at least an acknowledgement of my email!
    “Dear Sirs,
    I would like a clear and final decision on how openly gay couples and individuals would be treated in the Bahai community. Would we have our voting rights removed for openly stating that we are gay and living with a partner? Or would we be fully accepted with voting rights and all?

    I understand the difficult decision that you must face. On the one hand you feel that you must follow the admonitions written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, on the other there is tremendous damage being done to gays inside the Bahai community. I am just one of those individuals who suffered as a gay youth in the Bahai community.

    I have a solution that may be worth investigating. Baha’u’llah extols his followers to seek professional medical help when they have an illness. For this reason, no Bahai would ever lose his voting rights for drinking a medicine with alcohol that is prescribed by a doctor, correct? Letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi also state that homosexuality is a disorder- one that may need the help of competent physicians. Then in the exact same way, if a homosexual has consulted a competent physician (all of whom do NOT recommend that a homosexual try to overcome his sexuality) and is now living a happy spiritual life- he should be FULLY accepted by the Bahai community. To remove this individual’s voting rights or make him hide his sexuality in order to function in the community would be an incredible injustice and the height of hypocrisy.

    I hope to hear an unambigious reply from your office. For now, I have decided to remain inactive, but with the hopes that your leadership will bring the Bahai community to not only greater acceptance of gay families, but encourage the Bahai community to evolve into a haven for such families and individuals. I will leave you with an incredible link to a book that I hope you will read. I just pray that the religion of my forefathers will act differently from those in this book: http://www.crisisbook.org

  • P

    Thank you Andrew. I thought I was the only one who saw those posts on the petition site. It truly is heart breaking.
    Also, I wrote the following to the office of the secretariat for the UHJ. I have yet to hear back. I really didn’t expect to get much of a response, but I was hoping for at least an acknowledgement of my email!
    “Dear Sirs,
    I would like a clear and final decision on how openly gay couples and individuals would be treated in the Bahai community. Would we have our voting rights removed for openly stating that we are gay and living with a partner? Or would we be fully accepted with voting rights and all?

    I understand the difficult decision that you must face. On the one hand you feel that you must follow the admonitions written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, on the other there is tremendous damage being done to gays inside the Bahai community. I am just one of those individuals who suffered as a gay youth in the Bahai community.

    I have a solution that may be worth investigating. Baha’u’llah extols his followers to seek professional medical help when they have an illness. For this reason, no Bahai would ever lose his voting rights for drinking a medicine with alcohol that is prescribed by a doctor, correct? Letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi also state that homosexuality is a disorder- one that may need the help of competent physicians. Then in the exact same way, if a homosexual has consulted a competent physician (all of whom do NOT recommend that a homosexual try to overcome his sexuality) and is now living a happy spiritual life- he should be FULLY accepted by the Bahai community. To remove this individual’s voting rights or make him hide his sexuality in order to function in the community would be an incredible injustice and the height of hypocrisy.

    I hope to hear an unambigious reply from your office. For now, I have decided to remain inactive, but with the hopes that your leadership will bring the Bahai community to not only greater acceptance of gay families, but encourage the Bahai community to evolve into a haven for such families and individuals. I will leave you with an incredible link to a book that I hope you will read. I just pray that the religion of my forefathers will act differently from those in this book: http://www.crisisbook.org

  • Andrew

    Good luck, P!

    I have great hopes for the political and social progress of the United States under an Obama administration.

    Michelle Obama has been described as someone who “speaks TRUTH TO POWER without apology.” She is neither a hypocrite nor an attention whore: she is completely authentic.

    May you be inspired by her example (and that of her husband) to work for *authentic* social justice, without apology. No cheap grace, no free passes. Remember:

    “Apology is only egotism, wrong side out.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

    Again, good luck! I hope to learn more of your efforts over the course of the next few months … and now I must fly (literally).

    “What people in power need is to have their own power undermined by exposure of their wrongly held secrets and their pretensions to legitimacy and their concealment of what their real politics are.” (Daniel Ellsberg Ulrich)

  • Andrew

    Good luck, P!

    I have great hopes for the political and social progress of the United States under an Obama administration.

    Michelle Obama has been described as someone who “speaks TRUTH TO POWER without apology.” She is neither a hypocrite nor an attention whore: she is completely authentic.

    May you be inspired by her example (and that of her husband) to work for *authentic* social justice, without apology. No cheap grace, no free passes. Remember:

    “Apology is only egotism, wrong side out.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

    Again, good luck! I hope to learn more of your efforts over the course of the next few months … and now I must fly (literally).

    “What people in power need is to have their own power undermined by exposure of their wrongly held secrets and their pretensions to legitimacy and their concealment of what their real politics are.” (Daniel Ellsberg Ulrich)

  • Thank you for your kind words, Andrew. 🙂 And thank you for posting those comments from the petition site.

    And thanks, P, for sharing your letter to the UHJ.

  • Thank you for your kind words, Andrew. 🙂 And thank you for posting those comments from the petition site.

    And thanks, P, for sharing your letter to the UHJ.

  • P

    A couple of years ago I had a discussion on another site with a woman who claimed she was married to a gay man and they were living according to Bahai law. She believed her husband had “overcome” homosexuality. But I had to press her on her relationship and what exactly overcome meant. I just found what she said below interesting:
    “As for attraction, there are lots of elements that go into that, including spiritual attraction which is more stable in my experience than physical attraction which can come and go or change over one’s lifetime. I don’t believe attraction is static or purely physical. I realize that not everyone may believe that; no problem.”
    So in a nutshell, THAT is the best that a gay person can hope for in a Bahai marriage- a spiritual bond where the physical is minimized. She also went further to tell me that overcoming doesn’t mean that her husband has got rid of his feelings, just that he doesn’t act on them. So I had to press her then what exactly is the difference between control and overcome? I have to wonder, if he slips one day and cheats on her, then is he back to square one “controlling” or if he is committed 99% of the time has he still “overcome” his sexuality?
    I think such couples are naive. Bahai marriage includes the physical as well as the spiritual. To live together as good/intimate friends or room mates DOES NOT constitute a Bahai marriage. But I don’t believe the level of intimacy (spiritual and physical) that is required in a Bahai marriage is available to those who are gay. Any thoughts on this?

  • P

    A couple of years ago I had a discussion on another site with a woman who claimed she was married to a gay man and they were living according to Bahai law. She believed her husband had “overcome” homosexuality. But I had to press her on her relationship and what exactly overcome meant. I just found what she said below interesting:
    “As for attraction, there are lots of elements that go into that, including spiritual attraction which is more stable in my experience than physical attraction which can come and go or change over one’s lifetime. I don’t believe attraction is static or purely physical. I realize that not everyone may believe that; no problem.”
    So in a nutshell, THAT is the best that a gay person can hope for in a Bahai marriage- a spiritual bond where the physical is minimized. She also went further to tell me that overcoming doesn’t mean that her husband has got rid of his feelings, just that he doesn’t act on them. So I had to press her then what exactly is the difference between control and overcome? I have to wonder, if he slips one day and cheats on her, then is he back to square one “controlling” or if he is committed 99% of the time has he still “overcome” his sexuality?
    I think such couples are naive. Bahai marriage includes the physical as well as the spiritual. To live together as good/intimate friends or room mates DOES NOT constitute a Bahai marriage. But I don’t believe the level of intimacy (spiritual and physical) that is required in a Bahai marriage is available to those who are gay. Any thoughts on this?

  • Andrew

    [quote]I have to wonder, if he slips one day and cheats on her, then is he back to square one ?controlling? or if he is committed 99% of the time has he still ?overcome? his sexuality?[/quote]

    Saints are just sinners who keep repenting. It’s a make-work project for the professionally holy.

    “God wants faithfulness, not success” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    She’s married to a saint, “guillotined and still walking for miles through the city, carrying its head.” What could be more spiritual than that?

    “God is a sock stuffed into the shoe of a prophet.” – Mother Jones

    [quote]I don’t believe the level of intimacy (spiritual and physical) that is required in a Bahai marriage is available to those who are gay.[/quote]

    Or to anyone who isn’t fashion forward. Remember: A hot pink clutch, not a hot pink scarf.

  • Andrew

    [quote]I have to wonder, if he slips one day and cheats on her, then is he back to square one ?controlling? or if he is committed 99% of the time has he still ?overcome? his sexuality?[/quote]

    Saints are just sinners who keep repenting. It’s a make-work project for the professionally holy.

    “God wants faithfulness, not success” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    She’s married to a saint, “guillotined and still walking for miles through the city, carrying its head.” What could be more spiritual than that?

    “God is a sock stuffed into the shoe of a prophet.” – Mother Jones

    [quote]I don’t believe the level of intimacy (spiritual and physical) that is required in a Bahai marriage is available to those who are gay.[/quote]

    Or to anyone who isn’t fashion forward. Remember: A hot pink clutch, not a hot pink scarf.

  • Andrew

    P, you might enjoy this (from Pam’s House Blend):

    Opposite Sex Sodomites:
    By Dr. Sylvia Rhue

    Let me start by saying that if you don’t want to hear Godly truth in all it’s “gory” detail, you might want to read some other material. I’m about to take the gloves off to reveal the truth behind the heterosexual. A word of caution though: the material presented here is not for the weak-kneed or fainthearted. You are about to go “undercover,” embarking upon an behind-the-scenes foray into the sinful, sordid world of the heterosexual lifestyle.

    Again, enter at your own risk!

    God specifically targeted the heterosexual and destroyed almost the entire lot of them because of their violence and debauchery.

    Gen:5-6,12: “And God saw that the wickedness of (heterosexual) man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made (the heterosexual) man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, and all (heterosexual) flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

    God used purging waters to eradicate heterosexuals and their corruption (Gen.7:21-23). What corruption you ask?

    There is a laundry list of diseases and debauchery that are a daily part of the heterosexual lifestyle.

    For your reading pleasure, here are a few: hepatitis, anorectal candidiasis, rectal and oral gonorrhea, lymphogranuloma venereum, trichomoniasis, syphilis, parasitic infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma, liver infections, Bowen’s disease, thrash (and thrush), toxoplasmosis, cryptococcal meningitis, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, shingles, seborrheic dermatitis, prostatitis, urethritis, scabies, veneral warts and an unfortunate tendency to fake orgasms in the heterosexual female.

    While the heterosexual couples I have known have usually struggled to maintain a loving and enduring relationship, most are doomed with an over 50% divorce rate. Heterosexuals are notoriously promiscuous and the sordid sexual activities they engage in are too morally degenerate to divulge here. Not for the faint of heart!

    Heterosexuals play at marriage: Janice met Joe, who needed to get married so he wouldn’t be deported. They pretended to love each other, had a “wedding” ceremony and he got his green card. Nine months later they had a baby and Joe left, never to be seen again. True story.

    Another heterosexual couple went to Las Vegas, got drunk, got married and divorced 48 hours later. True again.

    While there are 6 biblical texts that have been interpreted as being against homosexuality, there are 362 admonitions against heterosexuality and the heterosexual lifestyle. Lynn Lavner stated what any thinking person can see: “That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.”

    Dr. Sylvia Rhue is the Director of Religious Affairs with the National Black Justice Coalition headquartered in Washington, DC.

  • Andrew

    P, you might enjoy this (from Pam’s House Blend):

    Opposite Sex Sodomites:
    By Dr. Sylvia Rhue

    Let me start by saying that if you don’t want to hear Godly truth in all it’s “gory” detail, you might want to read some other material. I’m about to take the gloves off to reveal the truth behind the heterosexual. A word of caution though: the material presented here is not for the weak-kneed or fainthearted. You are about to go “undercover,” embarking upon an behind-the-scenes foray into the sinful, sordid world of the heterosexual lifestyle.

    Again, enter at your own risk!

    God specifically targeted the heterosexual and destroyed almost the entire lot of them because of their violence and debauchery.

    Gen:5-6,12: “And God saw that the wickedness of (heterosexual) man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made (the heterosexual) man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, and all (heterosexual) flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

    God used purging waters to eradicate heterosexuals and their corruption (Gen.7:21-23). What corruption you ask?

    There is a laundry list of diseases and debauchery that are a daily part of the heterosexual lifestyle.

    For your reading pleasure, here are a few: hepatitis, anorectal candidiasis, rectal and oral gonorrhea, lymphogranuloma venereum, trichomoniasis, syphilis, parasitic infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma, liver infections, Bowen’s disease, thrash (and thrush), toxoplasmosis, cryptococcal meningitis, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, shingles, seborrheic dermatitis, prostatitis, urethritis, scabies, veneral warts and an unfortunate tendency to fake orgasms in the heterosexual female.

    While the heterosexual couples I have known have usually struggled to maintain a loving and enduring relationship, most are doomed with an over 50% divorce rate. Heterosexuals are notoriously promiscuous and the sordid sexual activities they engage in are too morally degenerate to divulge here. Not for the faint of heart!

    Heterosexuals play at marriage: Janice met Joe, who needed to get married so he wouldn’t be deported. They pretended to love each other, had a “wedding” ceremony and he got his green card. Nine months later they had a baby and Joe left, never to be seen again. True story.

    Another heterosexual couple went to Las Vegas, got drunk, got married and divorced 48 hours later. True again.

    While there are 6 biblical texts that have been interpreted as being against homosexuality, there are 362 admonitions against heterosexuality and the heterosexual lifestyle. Lynn Lavner stated what any thinking person can see: “That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.”

    Dr. Sylvia Rhue is the Director of Religious Affairs with the National Black Justice Coalition headquartered in Washington, DC.

  • Andrew

    Two sites of interest:

    http://www.iranian.com/BTW/2004/July/Najm/index.html

    [quote] The focus on anus as an erotic zone that we now collapse onto male homosexuality is indeed even more recent. In one Qajar source, Resalah-?i fojuriyah (An Essay on Debauchery), written in 1872 by Vali Khan, a Qajar courtier, Vali Khan records his sexual adventures with twenty-eight Qajar princesses, fifteen female prostitutes, sixty-five amrads, twenty-seven male and ten female servants (gholam and kaniz), and eight virgins (these are reported in a separate category, since the concern for their virginity is invoked in relation to his practice of anal intercourse with them).

    But it would be misleading, though tempting, to conclude from these relative numbers that Vali Khan had a preference for male objects of desire. There is nothing in his descriptions that would indicate superiority of the pleasure he took in male liaisons compared to female ones. What he does emphasize, however, is his preference for anal intercourse with men and women alike, a point upon which he further elaborates by concluding his essay with an elaboration of superiority of anus over vagina as an object of penile penetration.

    Contrary to our current tendency to assume that a preference for anal intercourse meant a preference for males that we would now name kuni, Vali Khan articulates nothing related to ?an object of desire?, male or female, but something that reads more like a desire for a particular body part, as if this body part was dissected from the entirety of the person’s body. It reads more as a hierarchicalization of pleasurable body parts.[/quote]

    “We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys.” I would surmise that here Baha’u’llah prohibits not only pederasty but also “a desire for a particular body part.” He does not prohibit all acts of (homo)sexual pleasure. Just a guess. 😉

    http://www.antigayliesandliars.blogspot.com/

    [quote]In their zeal to prove the worst about the gay community, the anti-gay industry . . . have created a house of pseudo-scientific studies based on distortions, lies, headless monsters, and legitimate studies taken out of context which are then pushed by fake experts, Ph.D.s, conservative columnists and bloggers, and ignorant people of faith all willing to sacrifice their integrity on the altar of an alleged higher calling.

    The purpose of this webpage is to record how the anti-gay industry (i.e. religious right) uses lies and deceptions to demonize the lgbt community and keep us from our God-given right of self-determination as well as our rights as Americans to be protected under the law.

    By all means, use this page to educate yourselves and others.[/quote]

    His webpage includes this:

    [quote]Top lies told about the lgbt community

    1. Homosexuality is a lifestyle more harmful than cigarette smoking.

    2. Gay men have a short life span.

    3. The gay and lesbian community have a high rate of domestic violence.

    4. Unhealthy behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, promiscuous sexual behavior) is indicative of the gay or lesbian orientation.

    5. Gay men molest children at a high rate.

    6. Gays and lesbians want to silence Christians.

    7. Gays and lesbians recruit people, particularly children, to their “lifestyle.”

    8. Gays and lesbians are following a six-point plan to take over America.

    9. Any judge who rules in favor of the gay and lesbian community in a case is an “activist judge.”

    10. Anal sex is “homosexual behavior.”

    11. Robert Spitzer’s study confirms that gays and lesbians can change their orientation.

    12. Gays and lesbians want to force acceptance.

    13. Gay bowel syndrome is a legitimate medical term.

    14. A man who molests a boy or a woman who molests a girl is automatically homosexual.

    15. A convenience sample or out-of-date study can be used to generalize about an entire community.

    16. The average gay man has many sexual partners.

    17. Laws created to protect transgenders from discrimination will make it easier for sexual predators to come into womens’ bathrooms and locker rooms.

    Information taken from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Exposing the Lies of the Anti-Gay Industry. [/quote]

  • Andrew

    Two sites of interest:

    http://www.iranian.com/BTW/2004/July/Najm/index.html

    [quote] The focus on anus as an erotic zone that we now collapse onto male homosexuality is indeed even more recent. In one Qajar source, Resalah-?i fojuriyah (An Essay on Debauchery), written in 1872 by Vali Khan, a Qajar courtier, Vali Khan records his sexual adventures with twenty-eight Qajar princesses, fifteen female prostitutes, sixty-five amrads, twenty-seven male and ten female servants (gholam and kaniz), and eight virgins (these are reported in a separate category, since the concern for their virginity is invoked in relation to his practice of anal intercourse with them).

    But it would be misleading, though tempting, to conclude from these relative numbers that Vali Khan had a preference for male objects of desire. There is nothing in his descriptions that would indicate superiority of the pleasure he took in male liaisons compared to female ones. What he does emphasize, however, is his preference for anal intercourse with men and women alike, a point upon which he further elaborates by concluding his essay with an elaboration of superiority of anus over vagina as an object of penile penetration.

    Contrary to our current tendency to assume that a preference for anal intercourse meant a preference for males that we would now name kuni, Vali Khan articulates nothing related to ?an object of desire?, male or female, but something that reads more like a desire for a particular body part, as if this body part was dissected from the entirety of the person’s body. It reads more as a hierarchicalization of pleasurable body parts.[/quote]

    “We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys.” I would surmise that here Baha’u’llah prohibits not only pederasty but also “a desire for a particular body part.” He does not prohibit all acts of (homo)sexual pleasure. Just a guess. 😉

    http://www.antigayliesandliars.blogspot.com/

    [quote]In their zeal to prove the worst about the gay community, the anti-gay industry . . . have created a house of pseudo-scientific studies based on distortions, lies, headless monsters, and legitimate studies taken out of context which are then pushed by fake experts, Ph.D.s, conservative columnists and bloggers, and ignorant people of faith all willing to sacrifice their integrity on the altar of an alleged higher calling.

    The purpose of this webpage is to record how the anti-gay industry (i.e. religious right) uses lies and deceptions to demonize the lgbt community and keep us from our God-given right of self-determination as well as our rights as Americans to be protected under the law.

    By all means, use this page to educate yourselves and others.[/quote]

    His webpage includes this:

    [quote]Top lies told about the lgbt community

    1. Homosexuality is a lifestyle more harmful than cigarette smoking.

    2. Gay men have a short life span.

    3. The gay and lesbian community have a high rate of domestic violence.

    4. Unhealthy behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, promiscuous sexual behavior) is indicative of the gay or lesbian orientation.

    5. Gay men molest children at a high rate.

    6. Gays and lesbians want to silence Christians.

    7. Gays and lesbians recruit people, particularly children, to their “lifestyle.”

    8. Gays and lesbians are following a six-point plan to take over America.

    9. Any judge who rules in favor of the gay and lesbian community in a case is an “activist judge.”

    10. Anal sex is “homosexual behavior.”

    11. Robert Spitzer’s study confirms that gays and lesbians can change their orientation.

    12. Gays and lesbians want to force acceptance.

    13. Gay bowel syndrome is a legitimate medical term.

    14. A man who molests a boy or a woman who molests a girl is automatically homosexual.

    15. A convenience sample or out-of-date study can be used to generalize about an entire community.

    16. The average gay man has many sexual partners.

    17. Laws created to protect transgenders from discrimination will make it easier for sexual predators to come into womens’ bathrooms and locker rooms.

    Information taken from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Exposing the Lies of the Anti-Gay Industry. [/quote]

  • Andrew

    http://playingagirl.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/the-differences-between-bahia-and-my-judiasm/

    [quote]This religion sounds like a liberal’s dream come true – at first.

    Baha’u’llah centers his prophecy on all the right stuff – We are one, just as God is one – thus we must eliminate poverty, inequality and oppression of all kind, in order to reflect the truth of God’s Unity.

    One thing they forgot to eliminate is homophobia. ?Bah??’? law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage? This is an answer to a question inquiring about the Baha’i perspective on homosexuality (http://www.bahai.org/faq/practices/sexuality).

    Thus, it seams that the prophet was just as revolutionary as the best progressive thinking of his time. A visionary can only see so far – this after all is at the heart of the faith that forgets to apply the same principle to itself.[/quote]

  • Andrew

    http://playingagirl.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/the-differences-between-bahia-and-my-judiasm/

    [quote]This religion sounds like a liberal’s dream come true – at first.

    Baha’u’llah centers his prophecy on all the right stuff – We are one, just as God is one – thus we must eliminate poverty, inequality and oppression of all kind, in order to reflect the truth of God’s Unity.

    One thing they forgot to eliminate is homophobia. ?Bah??’? law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage? This is an answer to a question inquiring about the Baha’i perspective on homosexuality (http://www.bahai.org/faq/practices/sexuality).

    Thus, it seams that the prophet was just as revolutionary as the best progressive thinking of his time. A visionary can only see so far – this after all is at the heart of the faith that forgets to apply the same principle to itself.[/quote]

  • ep

    Andrew,

    This is starting to sound extremist, shrill. etc.

    I have no problem with bahais that complain about the problems gays have in the bahai community (which are significant from what I’ve seen for 20 years), but what is becoming apparent is that the pro-gay political agenda is increasingly difficult to differentiate from a far-left/pc inquisition of anyone that even dares to be “neutral” on the subject, much less “conservative” or “traditional”.

    Being a california voter, I was told I’m a “bigot” for not voting “No” on Prop 8. This was after I told gay bahais/supporters that I don’t like either “side”, and didn’t intend to vote for either side.

    People are being attacked by pro-gay radical/extremists for supporting Prop 8.

    Looks like another exmaple of extremists on the left shooting themselves in the foot. They are creating the impression amongst the public that they are unstable and are theateneing to violate other people’s rights to get their own. What middle-of-the-road people are liable to conclude is that once a crazy group gets one thing “where will they stop?”.

    I think the only possible compromise that is “fair to everyone” (or perhaps “equally unfair”) is to remove all government/legal preferences to marriage of any kind. However, this will force people to first get “civil unions” (at the court house), then go to church/temple/mosque for a separate “unoffical” religious cermony.

    The whole point of having a separation of church/state is to prevent agents of state power from coercing people’s thought, beliefs and actions.

    I think the pro-gay political agenda has really started to go wrong, they want to put their internal “mommy/daddy” conflicts and similar issues into the public sphere, which always gets ugly.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    ex-bahai

  • ep

    Andrew,

    This is starting to sound extremist, shrill. etc.

    I have no problem with bahais that complain about the problems gays have in the bahai community (which are significant from what I’ve seen for 20 years), but what is becoming apparent is that the pro-gay political agenda is increasingly difficult to differentiate from a far-left/pc inquisition of anyone that even dares to be “neutral” on the subject, much less “conservative” or “traditional”.

    Being a california voter, I was told I’m a “bigot” for not voting “No” on Prop 8. This was after I told gay bahais/supporters that I don’t like either “side”, and didn’t intend to vote for either side.

    People are being attacked by pro-gay radical/extremists for supporting Prop 8.

    Looks like another exmaple of extremists on the left shooting themselves in the foot. They are creating the impression amongst the public that they are unstable and are theateneing to violate other people’s rights to get their own. What middle-of-the-road people are liable to conclude is that once a crazy group gets one thing “where will they stop?”.

    I think the only possible compromise that is “fair to everyone” (or perhaps “equally unfair”) is to remove all government/legal preferences to marriage of any kind. However, this will force people to first get “civil unions” (at the court house), then go to church/temple/mosque for a separate “unoffical” religious cermony.

    The whole point of having a separation of church/state is to prevent agents of state power from coercing people’s thought, beliefs and actions.

    I think the pro-gay political agenda has really started to go wrong, they want to put their internal “mommy/daddy” conflicts and similar issues into the public sphere, which always gets ugly.

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    ex-bahai

  • ep

    To be 100% clear: I have no interest in being bullied by either pro-gay or anti-gay extremists.

    (Both “sides” have a known history of extremism.)

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    ex-bahai

  • ep

    To be 100% clear: I have no interest in being bullied by either pro-gay or anti-gay extremists.

    (Both “sides” have a known history of extremism.)

    Regards,
    Eric P.
    ex-bahai

  • P

    Uh, excuse me? Extremism? What is extreme about wanting to be guaranteed the exact same rights/benefits automatically given to heterosexual taxpayers? Maybe I’m missing why you didn’t make a difference and vote against Prop 8. The Proposition wouldn’t do anything to hurt society, it wouldn’t cost tax payers any more money (in fact, you all lost out big time on the tourism dollars California could have gained). So why the fence sitting on this issue? It was a very clear choice and unfortunately the decision was left to the organized rigth wing churches/religions that fought it. Unfortunately, we are a minority and need our straight allies to help us- or else these right wing nutcases will take away any rights we already enjoy. Please go see the movie Milk if you haven’t. Histroy seems to keep repeating itself.

  • P

    Uh, excuse me? Extremism? What is extreme about wanting to be guaranteed the exact same rights/benefits automatically given to heterosexual taxpayers? Maybe I’m missing why you didn’t make a difference and vote against Prop 8. The Proposition wouldn’t do anything to hurt society, it wouldn’t cost tax payers any more money (in fact, you all lost out big time on the tourism dollars California could have gained). So why the fence sitting on this issue? It was a very clear choice and unfortunately the decision was left to the organized rigth wing churches/religions that fought it. Unfortunately, we are a minority and need our straight allies to help us- or else these right wing nutcases will take away any rights we already enjoy. Please go see the movie Milk if you haven’t. Histroy seems to keep repeating itself.

  • It may be true that the no-on-8 campaign made political miscalculations. It is certainly true that pro-8 activists and voters have been called bigots. I have called many of them bigots. I have done worse: I have called them Mormons. I have thus “attacked” them and been an “extremist”, though I admit I never got off my straight ass for the gays before. I am an extremist for my state’s constitution, and yes, as far as bigots go, I have no problem with calling a spade a spade.

    How many people, pray tell, have been lynched or bombed by gay activists? Look at the world, and tell me that murderous gay henchmen are what’s wrong with it.

  • It may be true that the no-on-8 campaign made political miscalculations. It is certainly true that pro-8 activists and voters have been called bigots. I have called many of them bigots. I have done worse: I have called them Mormons. I have thus “attacked” them and been an “extremist”, though I admit I never got off my straight ass for the gays before. I am an extremist for my state’s constitution, and yes, as far as bigots go, I have no problem with calling a spade a spade.

    How many people, pray tell, have been lynched or bombed by gay activists? Look at the world, and tell me that murderous gay henchmen are what’s wrong with it.

  • Dear Eric P.,

    First, you say:
    “To be 100% clear: I have no interest in being bullied by either pro-gay or anti-gay extremists.

    (Both ?sides? have a known history of extremism.”)

    Just to be 100% clear myself, is someone disagreeing with you aloud “bullying?” Will anyone who responds to your last post be a “bully?” What are you after here?

    How in the WORLD are you defining “extremism” if you find yourself able to accuse gay rights activists of it? “Activism” is not the same thing as “extremism.” Please inform us of this history of gay extremism you report.

    And, I’m sorry- did you actually say you “dare to be neutral” on gay rights? How remarkably NOT daring of you. Seriously, DARE? It must be pretty brutal to wake up every morning neutral (or apathetic) to the suffering of people in your own state. I don’t know how you do it. You know what IS daring? Waking up GAY in your state and having the courage to go to school every day and risk getting beaten up, or in the case of 15 year old Lawrence King, shot and killed. Or fighting for 55 years to marry the person you’ve been in love with, partnered with in California, finally MARRYING them when you are 87 years old,and then having the law changed. (http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/08/27/lesbian.activist.dies/) Daring to HOPE and to ACT for 55 years is worthy of mention. Not doing anything to stop Prop 8 is Not.

    Congratulations on your dare to be neutral.

    You also wrote: “People are being attacked by pro-gay radical/extremists for supporting Prop 8.”

    Attacked? Attacked how? Do you just mean argued with? What are you talking about? Debate does NOT equal attack. Particularly if it is on a PUBLIC issue.

    You also say you have been called a bigot for not voting against Prop 8. Voting FOR bigoted legislation IS an act of bigotry. If you commit a bigoted act, you are a bigot. That isn’t an attack, it is calling a spade a spade.

    If you just didn’t vote on it at all, shame on you.

    “You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist…But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love…was not Amos an extremist for justice…And John Bunyun: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln:”This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” So the question is not whether we be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?…

    I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.”
    -Martin Luther King, Jr, from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

    MLK goes on AT LENGTH in that letter about the heartbreak, bitter disappointment and “shattered dreams” he felt in his heart at the neutrality- the inaction- of moderates in the South. I think, maybe, that if there is anyone whose dreams about the United States should be taken seriously, it is him.

    Can you seriously name ONE instance of gay rights activists “threatening to violate other people’s rights to get their own?” That is an absurb claim. People do NOT have the RIGHT to a privileged legal position. Nor do they have a RIGHT to not be called on their bigotry.

    If the issue for you is actually that the state should have no role in marriages of ANY kind, I assume you have a history of activism on that issue that predates the Prop 8 controversy?

  • Dear Eric P.,

    First, you say:
    “To be 100% clear: I have no interest in being bullied by either pro-gay or anti-gay extremists.

    (Both ?sides? have a known history of extremism.”)

    Just to be 100% clear myself, is someone disagreeing with you aloud “bullying?” Will anyone who responds to your last post be a “bully?” What are you after here?

    How in the WORLD are you defining “extremism” if you find yourself able to accuse gay rights activists of it? “Activism” is not the same thing as “extremism.” Please inform us of this history of gay extremism you report.

    And, I’m sorry- did you actually say you “dare to be neutral” on gay rights? How remarkably NOT daring of you. Seriously, DARE? It must be pretty brutal to wake up every morning neutral (or apathetic) to the suffering of people in your own state. I don’t know how you do it. You know what IS daring? Waking up GAY in your state and having the courage to go to school every day and risk getting beaten up, or in the case of 15 year old Lawrence King, shot and killed. Or fighting for 55 years to marry the person you’ve been in love with, partnered with in California, finally MARRYING them when you are 87 years old,and then having the law changed. (http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/08/27/lesbian.activist.dies/) Daring to HOPE and to ACT for 55 years is worthy of mention. Not doing anything to stop Prop 8 is Not.

    Congratulations on your dare to be neutral.

    You also wrote: “People are being attacked by pro-gay radical/extremists for supporting Prop 8.”

    Attacked? Attacked how? Do you just mean argued with? What are you talking about? Debate does NOT equal attack. Particularly if it is on a PUBLIC issue.

    You also say you have been called a bigot for not voting against Prop 8. Voting FOR bigoted legislation IS an act of bigotry. If you commit a bigoted act, you are a bigot. That isn’t an attack, it is calling a spade a spade.

    If you just didn’t vote on it at all, shame on you.

    “You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist…But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love…was not Amos an extremist for justice…And John Bunyun: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln:”This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” So the question is not whether we be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?…

    I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.”
    -Martin Luther King, Jr, from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

    MLK goes on AT LENGTH in that letter about the heartbreak, bitter disappointment and “shattered dreams” he felt in his heart at the neutrality- the inaction- of moderates in the South. I think, maybe, that if there is anyone whose dreams about the United States should be taken seriously, it is him.

    Can you seriously name ONE instance of gay rights activists “threatening to violate other people’s rights to get their own?” That is an absurb claim. People do NOT have the RIGHT to a privileged legal position. Nor do they have a RIGHT to not be called on their bigotry.

    If the issue for you is actually that the state should have no role in marriages of ANY kind, I assume you have a history of activism on that issue that predates the Prop 8 controversy?

  • And also, “shrill?” So not okay.

  • And also, “shrill?” So not okay.

  • Andrew

    Nice try, ep!

    I especially like your use of the word “shrill.” How touching. How tactical. How predictable.

    But I’m afraid I can’t seriously entertain the prospect of adequately responding to someone who believes that the integral “philosophy” of Ken Wilber represents a valid “alternate approach to the exploration of truth and meaning.”

    “And thus the West produced an extraordinary number of subtle-level (or sambhogakaya) mystics, who only claimed that the soul and God can share a union; but very few causal (dharmakaya) and very few nondual (svabhavikakaya) mystics, who went further and claimed not just a union but a supreme identity of soul and God in pure Godhead.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. Wilber conflates a natural theology of monism with metaphysics, then colors his interpretations of reality with this idealist monist premise. He mixes apples with oranges and calls them potatoes. Ooooh, that’s soooo awesome, dooood.

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Cult_of_Ken_Wilber.html

    “Wilberism is a particular world perspective grown out of the humanistic and transpersonal psychology movements, which was an important moment of intellectual and human history, but it is time to move on.”

    Indeed. Well past time.

    Compared to “Culty Ken,” Baha’u’llah is a screaming liberal. Now does that seem too shrill and strident?

    http://wilberwatch.blogspot.com/2006/12/integral-inflation.html

    “I am convinced Wilber is just a neo-con conservative.”

    I am convinced Wilber is just a giant bag of hot gas, stink and all.

  • Andrew

    Nice try, ep!

    I especially like your use of the word “shrill.” How touching. How tactical. How predictable.

    But I’m afraid I can’t seriously entertain the prospect of adequately responding to someone who believes that the integral “philosophy” of Ken Wilber represents a valid “alternate approach to the exploration of truth and meaning.”

    “And thus the West produced an extraordinary number of subtle-level (or sambhogakaya) mystics, who only claimed that the soul and God can share a union; but very few causal (dharmakaya) and very few nondual (svabhavikakaya) mystics, who went further and claimed not just a union but a supreme identity of soul and God in pure Godhead.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. Wilber conflates a natural theology of monism with metaphysics, then colors his interpretations of reality with this idealist monist premise. He mixes apples with oranges and calls them potatoes. Ooooh, that’s soooo awesome, dooood.

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Cult_of_Ken_Wilber.html

    “Wilberism is a particular world perspective grown out of the humanistic and transpersonal psychology movements, which was an important moment of intellectual and human history, but it is time to move on.”

    Indeed. Well past time.

    Compared to “Culty Ken,” Baha’u’llah is a screaming liberal. Now does that seem too shrill and strident?

    http://wilberwatch.blogspot.com/2006/12/integral-inflation.html

    “I am convinced Wilber is just a neo-con conservative.”

    I am convinced Wilber is just a giant bag of hot gas, stink and all.

  • Grover

    I would like to point out that women’s rights activists back in the early 1900s went through similar difficulties as the gay community is currently going through. How many husbands and males wanted to remain neutral or got sick of the campaigning?

    Women having the vote? Having jobs? Taking positions of leadership? Getting equal pay? Not being stuck in the kitchen? The horror!

    Now because of the efforts of those activists we (at least in the Western nations) pretty much take women’s rights for granted (Granted that there are various flat earth backward groups that haven’t woken up to this).

    Gay marriage? Gay families with healthy well adjusted kids? No more closet homosexuals? Gay people happily living out their lives without fear of persecution? A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature? The horror!

    I bet in 50-100 years time the gay community will have the same rights as everyone else, and it will be thanks to the past, current and future gay-rights activists. There is and will be the usual kicking and screaming from the traditional conservative groups reluctant to change but eventually we’ll get there.

  • Grover

    I would like to point out that women’s rights activists back in the early 1900s went through similar difficulties as the gay community is currently going through. How many husbands and males wanted to remain neutral or got sick of the campaigning?

    Women having the vote? Having jobs? Taking positions of leadership? Getting equal pay? Not being stuck in the kitchen? The horror!

    Now because of the efforts of those activists we (at least in the Western nations) pretty much take women’s rights for granted (Granted that there are various flat earth backward groups that haven’t woken up to this).

    Gay marriage? Gay families with healthy well adjusted kids? No more closet homosexuals? Gay people happily living out their lives without fear of persecution? A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature? The horror!

    I bet in 50-100 years time the gay community will have the same rights as everyone else, and it will be thanks to the past, current and future gay-rights activists. There is and will be the usual kicking and screaming from the traditional conservative groups reluctant to change but eventually we’ll get there.

  • I agree, Grover, and that’s a really good point, but I think we will also look back (I hope, anyway)on the current status of women’s rights in 100 years and be appalled at where we are today. Where we are today with women’s rights is where we were with lynchings in the South during Reconstruction up to the first half of the last century- only the lynchings take place within intimate relationships. A woman is raped in the US every 2 minutes, usually by someone she knows and loves. One third of ALL American women will experience battering by a male partner at some point in their lives, and again in the US, violence against women is the second leading cause of death among 20-24 year olds, and the 3rd among 15-19 year olds. Luckily, for my age group it drops to the 5th leading cause of death. If I make it to 35 it drops to 9th.

    You wrote:
    “I would like to point out that women’s rights activists back in the early 1900s went through similar difficulties as the gay community is currently going through. How many husbands and males wanted to remain neutral or got sick of the campaigning?”

    Women’s rights activists actually STILL go through similar difficulties to what the gay community is currently facing. When push comes to shove, a shocking number of husbands and males STILL want to remain “neutral” or get sick of the campaigning.

    But you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

    Just as an aside, did you know getting heterosexually married lands women with SEVEN more hours of housework a week and SAVES men an hour? SEVEN hours. SEVEN. SEVEN UNPAID hours. I think we have another word for unpaid labor, but it escapes me…

    http://www.rainn.org
    http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/statistics.shtml
    http://www.cdc.gov/Women/lcod/04all.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States
    http://www.livescience.com/health/080404-husband-housework.html

  • I agree, Grover, and that’s a really good point, but I think we will also look back (I hope, anyway)on the current status of women’s rights in 100 years and be appalled at where we are today. Where we are today with women’s rights is where we were with lynchings in the South during Reconstruction up to the first half of the last century- only the lynchings take place within intimate relationships. A woman is raped in the US every 2 minutes, usually by someone she knows and loves. One third of ALL American women will experience battering by a male partner at some point in their lives, and again in the US, violence against women is the second leading cause of death among 20-24 year olds, and the 3rd among 15-19 year olds. Luckily, for my age group it drops to the 5th leading cause of death. If I make it to 35 it drops to 9th.

    You wrote:
    “I would like to point out that women’s rights activists back in the early 1900s went through similar difficulties as the gay community is currently going through. How many husbands and males wanted to remain neutral or got sick of the campaigning?”

    Women’s rights activists actually STILL go through similar difficulties to what the gay community is currently facing. When push comes to shove, a shocking number of husbands and males STILL want to remain “neutral” or get sick of the campaigning.

    But you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

    Just as an aside, did you know getting heterosexually married lands women with SEVEN more hours of housework a week and SAVES men an hour? SEVEN hours. SEVEN. SEVEN UNPAID hours. I think we have another word for unpaid labor, but it escapes me…

    http://www.rainn.org
    http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/statistics.shtml
    http://www.cdc.gov/Women/lcod/04all.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States
    http://www.livescience.com/health/080404-husband-housework.html

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature?

    Grover,
    would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?

    And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature?

    Grover,
    would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?

    And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?

  • [quote comment=””][…]A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature?[…][/quote]

    Absolutely, Farhan. Given the state of the science, I don’t think we’re in a position to start accusing particular individuals of being gay by choice. Are you suggesting a litmus test? Hah! But let’s be real! Shoghists don’t take scientific inquiry seriously when it contradicts Shoghism. You’ve already made up your mind.

    [quote comment=””]would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?[/quote]

    So openmindedness is tantamount to promiscuity? How perverse! This is the kind of nihilism that results when people are told by their scripture that they cannot be left alone to use their own judgment.

    [quote comment=””]And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?[/quote]

    A vow is a vow. It’s that simple. Think about it.

  • [quote comment=””][…]A world where it doesn’t matter if people explore gay, bi or hetero relationships, whether by choice or by nature?[…][/quote]

    Absolutely, Farhan. Given the state of the science, I don’t think we’re in a position to start accusing particular individuals of being gay by choice. Are you suggesting a litmus test? Hah! But let’s be real! Shoghists don’t take scientific inquiry seriously when it contradicts Shoghism. You’ve already made up your mind.

    [quote comment=””]would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?[/quote]

    So openmindedness is tantamount to promiscuity? How perverse! This is the kind of nihilism that results when people are told by their scripture that they cannot be left alone to use their own judgment.

    [quote comment=””]And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?[/quote]

    A vow is a vow. It’s that simple. Think about it.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    So openmindedness is tantamount to promiscuity? How perverse! This is the kind of nihilism that results when people are told by their scripture that they cannot be left alone to use their own judgment.

    Thanks for this clear reply, Dan. We have two different options in education here:

    The one I adhere to says that education should orient future citizens into ways that make their lives the most useful to society.

    The one you seem to be promoting says kids are to be allowed to discover their choices by themselves, and once they have made a vow, they have to stick to it.

    That would seem to be a sudden loss of liberty to me.

    Maybe we can one day compare the outcomes of these two different attitudes in education.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote:
    So openmindedness is tantamount to promiscuity? How perverse! This is the kind of nihilism that results when people are told by their scripture that they cannot be left alone to use their own judgment.

    Thanks for this clear reply, Dan. We have two different options in education here:

    The one I adhere to says that education should orient future citizens into ways that make their lives the most useful to society.

    The one you seem to be promoting says kids are to be allowed to discover their choices by themselves, and once they have made a vow, they have to stick to it.

    That would seem to be a sudden loss of liberty to me.

    Maybe we can one day compare the outcomes of these two different attitudes in education.

  • Grover

    Farhan asked

    [quote post=”193″]would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?[/quote]

    I was referring to people in general. Kids are a thorny issue. Most kids are sexually active or sexually aware by the time they are 8 years old or younger. They don’t understand it and being in a conservative family or environment forces them to hide it and/or conform for fear of being shamed. I wouldn’t advocate that they should be sexually active, but it is something that somehow has to be managed. Kids are going to be kids no matter what you do sometimes.

    My ideal world would be where there is sufficient trust between the child/teenager and parents to be able to openly discuss such things without fear of being embarrassed, rejected or punished.

    My ideal world would be where kids have an environment where they can safely explore their sexuality as they wish without having to do so in the back seats of cars, alley ways, or at home when the parents, siblings or friends aren’t around because they’re scared of their friends, relatives, or parents might say or do.

    My ideal world would be where they can be whatever sexuality they want or happen to be without fear of reprisal.

    [quote post=”193″]And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?[/quote]

    I know of several married men with children that have “changed” from being hetero to gay and have consequently got a divorce. Is it ideal? No, not for the kids and certainly not for the wives. In fact it was pretty traumatic for everyone concerned. But I would say these men were a victim of the environment forcing them to be “straight” when in reality they were gay. Are these people better off rather than living a lie? I would say yes.

    Should they be allowed to have multiple partners? Dan says a vow is a vow, but how often do we make vows and have to retract them because we made the vows on insufficient information, social pressure, or just to be nice? If it has the consent of all involved and helps keep the family together rather than going through the trauma of a divorce then sure, why not? After all (cheeky grin), doesn’t the Kitab-Aqdas say regarding multiple wives and the law applying mutatis mutandis and Baha’u’llah only being concerned about pedophilic activities….(Waiting for the moral outrage and lectures about the Covenant and Shoghi Effendi to occur ;P) Many would probably prefer to have a divorce.

  • Grover

    Farhan asked

    [quote post=”193″]would such a world mean to you that kids would be encouraged to make diverse experiences before becoming settled in their favourite type of sexuality?[/quote]

    I was referring to people in general. Kids are a thorny issue. Most kids are sexually active or sexually aware by the time they are 8 years old or younger. They don’t understand it and being in a conservative family or environment forces them to hide it and/or conform for fear of being shamed. I wouldn’t advocate that they should be sexually active, but it is something that somehow has to be managed. Kids are going to be kids no matter what you do sometimes.

    My ideal world would be where there is sufficient trust between the child/teenager and parents to be able to openly discuss such things without fear of being embarrassed, rejected or punished.

    My ideal world would be where kids have an environment where they can safely explore their sexuality as they wish without having to do so in the back seats of cars, alley ways, or at home when the parents, siblings or friends aren’t around because they’re scared of their friends, relatives, or parents might say or do.

    My ideal world would be where they can be whatever sexuality they want or happen to be without fear of reprisal.

    [quote post=”193″]And how about changes in orientation coming about during a life-time? Should couples be allowed to follow these attractions? Would that mean divorce or multiple partners?[/quote]

    I know of several married men with children that have “changed” from being hetero to gay and have consequently got a divorce. Is it ideal? No, not for the kids and certainly not for the wives. In fact it was pretty traumatic for everyone concerned. But I would say these men were a victim of the environment forcing them to be “straight” when in reality they were gay. Are these people better off rather than living a lie? I would say yes.

    Should they be allowed to have multiple partners? Dan says a vow is a vow, but how often do we make vows and have to retract them because we made the vows on insufficient information, social pressure, or just to be nice? If it has the consent of all involved and helps keep the family together rather than going through the trauma of a divorce then sure, why not? After all (cheeky grin), doesn’t the Kitab-Aqdas say regarding multiple wives and the law applying mutatis mutandis and Baha’u’llah only being concerned about pedophilic activities….(Waiting for the moral outrage and lectures about the Covenant and Shoghi Effendi to occur ;P) Many would probably prefer to have a divorce.

  • [quote comment=””][…] The one you seem to be promoting says kids are to be allowed to discover their choices by themselves, and once they have made a vow, they have to stick to it. […][/quote]

    The one I am promoting is to allow kids to be who they are.

    If we should imagine a hypothetical person who ‘chooses’ some sexual orientation, and commits to it with a vow of matrimony along the lines of that orientation, yes, I would say he must remain steadfast to that vow. If he breaks the vow, he’s done a great disservice to his partner. That’s between them.

    If, however, we discuss the general case wherein a person is simply who they are, I don’t think they would mind my insisting that they commit to their partner per their vows.

    [quote comment=””][…] That would seem to be a sudden loss of liberty to me. […][/quote]

    Nope. They’re free to be as irresponsible and immoral as they like. Morality without liberty is a sham.

  • [quote comment=””][…] The one you seem to be promoting says kids are to be allowed to discover their choices by themselves, and once they have made a vow, they have to stick to it. […][/quote]

    The one I am promoting is to allow kids to be who they are.

    If we should imagine a hypothetical person who ‘chooses’ some sexual orientation, and commits to it with a vow of matrimony along the lines of that orientation, yes, I would say he must remain steadfast to that vow. If he breaks the vow, he’s done a great disservice to his partner. That’s between them.

    If, however, we discuss the general case wherein a person is simply who they are, I don’t think they would mind my insisting that they commit to their partner per their vows.

    [quote comment=””][…] That would seem to be a sudden loss of liberty to me. […][/quote]

    Nope. They’re free to be as irresponsible and immoral as they like. Morality without liberty is a sham.

  • Andrew

    Today In History: APA Removes Homosexuality from List of Mental Disorders

    [quote]Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, famously wrote to one American mother in 1935, ?Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness.?[/quote]

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/15/7128

  • Andrew

    Today In History: APA Removes Homosexuality from List of Mental Disorders

    [quote]Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, famously wrote to one American mother in 1935, ?Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness.?[/quote]

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/15/7128

  • P

    My boss is Danish. She told me that back when she was taught sex ed in Denmark in the 70’s, they were taught that there was nothing wrong to experiment. That it would be best that they figured out what it is they wanted before they committed to someone. She did and now she is 100% heterosexual. Oh wait, she’s ALWAYS been 100% heter. It made no difference, because that is how she is wired. Just as I am wired for physical intimacy with men. Denmark is the happiest country on earth, and last I checked it doesn’t seem to have a higher percentage of gays than any other country. So what gives Farhan?
    Wouldn’t this Danish way save a few people entering Bahai marriages that are doomed to failure? But you don’t care about that, now do you? As long as Bahai couples do what they want secretly/behind closed doors, then the facade remains. That’s all religious conservatives want from gays- lived our facade and we’ll leave you alone. AND what REALLY irks me is that conservatives have no problem telling a young gay person that they should try heterosexual sexs in order to convert. It’s ok to make gay kids experiment with straight acts in order to convert them, but God forbid anyone ever just tells a straight teen that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality!

  • P

    My boss is Danish. She told me that back when she was taught sex ed in Denmark in the 70’s, they were taught that there was nothing wrong to experiment. That it would be best that they figured out what it is they wanted before they committed to someone. She did and now she is 100% heterosexual. Oh wait, she’s ALWAYS been 100% heter. It made no difference, because that is how she is wired. Just as I am wired for physical intimacy with men. Denmark is the happiest country on earth, and last I checked it doesn’t seem to have a higher percentage of gays than any other country. So what gives Farhan?
    Wouldn’t this Danish way save a few people entering Bahai marriages that are doomed to failure? But you don’t care about that, now do you? As long as Bahai couples do what they want secretly/behind closed doors, then the facade remains. That’s all religious conservatives want from gays- lived our facade and we’ll leave you alone. AND what REALLY irks me is that conservatives have no problem telling a young gay person that they should try heterosexual sexs in order to convert. It’s ok to make gay kids experiment with straight acts in order to convert them, but God forbid anyone ever just tells a straight teen that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality!

  • P

    You know, I’m so glad Farhan made the comment that he made. Because it clearly demonstrates the tactic of social/religious conservatives. You can’t argue against the older lesbian couple that have been together for 55 years and want equal treatment before the law. No Farhan, how can you look straight in that couples’ eyes and tell them you don’t support what they fight for. You have no moral ground.
    So what to do? Oh, let’s instead bring up kids being taught to experiment sexually by those gays with their ‘agenda’. That’s really all it is to you people- SEX. Nothing more. This type of knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality says a lot about social conservatives and the repression they harbor within themselves.

  • P

    You know, I’m so glad Farhan made the comment that he made. Because it clearly demonstrates the tactic of social/religious conservatives. You can’t argue against the older lesbian couple that have been together for 55 years and want equal treatment before the law. No Farhan, how can you look straight in that couples’ eyes and tell them you don’t support what they fight for. You have no moral ground.
    So what to do? Oh, let’s instead bring up kids being taught to experiment sexually by those gays with their ‘agenda’. That’s really all it is to you people- SEX. Nothing more. This type of knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality says a lot about social conservatives and the repression they harbor within themselves.

  • Farhan says:

    [quote comment=””][…] The one I adhere to says that education should orient future citizens into ways that make their lives the most useful to society. […][/quote]

    I’d like to respond to this remark on its own, because it deserves our attention.

    What does one mean when one suggests that individuals are to be educated to be “useful to society”? This has long struck me as a rather Orwellian world view. Individuals are not moral agents so much as components of society that must be ‘educated’ to be made ‘useful’.

    This really does fit into Baha’u’llah’s vision of men as sheep that must never be left shepherdless, who cannot so much as comprehend the meaning of their own scriptures without an Interpreter or Supreme Authority.

    In this sense, Farhan’s view is a legitimate Baha’i view. Homosexuals are less ‘useful’, let us say, because they are less ‘productive’. We should recondition them to be heterosexual, so that they may become ‘productive’.

    -Dan (Zoroastrian of sorts)

  • Farhan says:

    [quote comment=””][…] The one I adhere to says that education should orient future citizens into ways that make their lives the most useful to society. […][/quote]

    I’d like to respond to this remark on its own, because it deserves our attention.

    What does one mean when one suggests that individuals are to be educated to be “useful to society”? This has long struck me as a rather Orwellian world view. Individuals are not moral agents so much as components of society that must be ‘educated’ to be made ‘useful’.

    This really does fit into Baha’u’llah’s vision of men as sheep that must never be left shepherdless, who cannot so much as comprehend the meaning of their own scriptures without an Interpreter or Supreme Authority.

    In this sense, Farhan’s view is a legitimate Baha’i view. Homosexuals are less ‘useful’, let us say, because they are less ‘productive’. We should recondition them to be heterosexual, so that they may become ‘productive’.

    -Dan (Zoroastrian of sorts)

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    You know, I’m so glad Farhan made the comment that he made. Because it clearly demonstrates the tactic of social/religious conservatives.

    P, I am glad that my comment has made you happy, but I am not sure that I can be classified as “conservative”, nor have I any agenda or “tactic” other than trying to understand a complex issue where a lot of gruge and violence flies around, to a point where often prefer to listen and let others put the questions and get the insults.

    Two questions I have not replied to yet include the part that is innate and the part that is acquired in homosexuality, and the question as to why education should direct and orient natural tendencies instead of only encouraging and complying by them. We have replies to these points in Baha’i writings, but I am looking for social and scientific arguments for or against.

    Thanks to Dan and Grover for their replies.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    You know, I’m so glad Farhan made the comment that he made. Because it clearly demonstrates the tactic of social/religious conservatives.

    P, I am glad that my comment has made you happy, but I am not sure that I can be classified as “conservative”, nor have I any agenda or “tactic” other than trying to understand a complex issue where a lot of gruge and violence flies around, to a point where often prefer to listen and let others put the questions and get the insults.

    Two questions I have not replied to yet include the part that is innate and the part that is acquired in homosexuality, and the question as to why education should direct and orient natural tendencies instead of only encouraging and complying by them. We have replies to these points in Baha’i writings, but I am looking for social and scientific arguments for or against.

    Thanks to Dan and Grover for their replies.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:

    What does one mean when one suggests that individuals are to be educated to be ?useful to society??

    Dan, human societies are all based on a minimum of social consensus made of language, behaviour, social regulations, etc. These societies also have a common aim if the individuals are to become integrated. Most societies have some common aim and a sense of purpose in the lives of individuals. Baha’is believe that humans live a short span of life in this world and that the aim of this life is to serve an ever advancing civilisation.

    Societies who have no common values and aims disintegrate. When we educate kids and when a religion educates humans, they convey a sense of common purpose that allows for a coherent society to build up. Those who have values that are too rigid stifle their members. Educational systems try to reconcile both.

    Perhaps the concept of liberty promoted by Alexander Sutherland Neill in his book, ?Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood? Albert Lamb (Editor) might be interesting in this exchange. He was popular in France in the 1960s (Libres enfants de Summerhill) and from what I know, he was opposed to sexual repression, but he differentiated between liberty and licentiousness.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote:

    What does one mean when one suggests that individuals are to be educated to be ?useful to society??

    Dan, human societies are all based on a minimum of social consensus made of language, behaviour, social regulations, etc. These societies also have a common aim if the individuals are to become integrated. Most societies have some common aim and a sense of purpose in the lives of individuals. Baha’is believe that humans live a short span of life in this world and that the aim of this life is to serve an ever advancing civilisation.

    Societies who have no common values and aims disintegrate. When we educate kids and when a religion educates humans, they convey a sense of common purpose that allows for a coherent society to build up. Those who have values that are too rigid stifle their members. Educational systems try to reconcile both.

    Perhaps the concept of liberty promoted by Alexander Sutherland Neill in his book, ?Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood? Albert Lamb (Editor) might be interesting in this exchange. He was popular in France in the 1960s (Libres enfants de Summerhill) and from what I know, he was opposed to sexual repression, but he differentiated between liberty and licentiousness.

  • Andrew

    [quote]This type of knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality says a lot about social conservatives and the repression they harbor within themselves.[/quote]

    Yes, it does say a lot. It says they’re whack. 🙂

  • Andrew

    [quote]This type of knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality says a lot about social conservatives and the repression they harbor within themselves.[/quote]

    Yes, it does say a lot. It says they’re whack. 🙂

  • The one thing i miss in all the discussion of above is: so what about kids of homosexual couples? All 5 I know of personally are straight, being wired that way I guess. And they seem to be so together, so mature.
    It is of interest that the discussion moved from EP calling his decision not to vote for equality as
    [quote comment=””][…] the only possible compromise that is ?fair to everyone?[…][/quote] (even children would see the bad logic here 🙂 to a discussion of morality as if gays can’t marry (and be merry!)

    A compromise is to let people choose – to allow all people to choose to be able to marry. Pro8 was against this compromise.

  • The one thing i miss in all the discussion of above is: so what about kids of homosexual couples? All 5 I know of personally are straight, being wired that way I guess. And they seem to be so together, so mature.
    It is of interest that the discussion moved from EP calling his decision not to vote for equality as
    [quote comment=””][…] the only possible compromise that is ?fair to everyone?[…][/quote] (even children would see the bad logic here 🙂 to a discussion of morality as if gays can’t marry (and be merry!)

    A compromise is to let people choose – to allow all people to choose to be able to marry. Pro8 was against this compromise.

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””][…] Societies who have no common values and aims disintegrate […][/quote]

    Now all the Baha’is need to do is find a society without common values. I’m thinking … Any suggestions?

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””][…] Societies who have no common values and aims disintegrate […][/quote]

    Now all the Baha’is need to do is find a society without common values. I’m thinking … Any suggestions?

  • P

    Hi Farhan, let me make it very easy for you to understand since you are so grapling with this moral dilemma, since you are so open-minded and hardly conservative in your views, ok?
    Scenario 1) closeted gay man forced to marry a woman because of Bahai pressure that this is the only way to ever advance civilization. Gay man marries woman and both live in misery because they lack complete physical intimacy. Woman is confused, wondering if it is something she did, is he interested in other women?, etc. The fortress of well-being falls apart. The few children they mustered to bring into this world are now from a broken home.
    Scenario 2) Same gay man comes out of the closet. He seeks another person with whom he can share a life with. Society/government acccept and support his decision. Gay man and partner adopt a child with HIV that no one wants. They live happily ever after.

    Seems like an easy decision to pick which creates the ever-advancing civilization, don’t you? Of course if you are being prejudiced by the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi that wrote on his behalf, then 1,000 of Scenario #2’s will never sway your opinion Farhan. Because any example, any research, anything will never trump the religious purist that their view is the only view from God.

  • P

    Hi Farhan, let me make it very easy for you to understand since you are so grapling with this moral dilemma, since you are so open-minded and hardly conservative in your views, ok?
    Scenario 1) closeted gay man forced to marry a woman because of Bahai pressure that this is the only way to ever advance civilization. Gay man marries woman and both live in misery because they lack complete physical intimacy. Woman is confused, wondering if it is something she did, is he interested in other women?, etc. The fortress of well-being falls apart. The few children they mustered to bring into this world are now from a broken home.
    Scenario 2) Same gay man comes out of the closet. He seeks another person with whom he can share a life with. Society/government acccept and support his decision. Gay man and partner adopt a child with HIV that no one wants. They live happily ever after.

    Seems like an easy decision to pick which creates the ever-advancing civilization, don’t you? Of course if you are being prejudiced by the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi that wrote on his behalf, then 1,000 of Scenario #2’s will never sway your opinion Farhan. Because any example, any research, anything will never trump the religious purist that their view is the only view from God.

  • ep

    andrew,

    you just proved my point – unfortunately. I should have known that trying to present a perspective that differs from that used by pc/left hate mongers and bullies is a mistake.

    people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version “pro-gay” politics are usually bullies, and are more than ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.

    as I said, this is because of unresolved “mommy/daddy” issues. they lack a mature model of personality, are not “good listeners”, and so forth.

    people involved in bahai dissent really really really need to pay careful attention, linking their attempts at bahai reform to radical pc/left (“mean green meme”) politics is a dead end (this is one of the main reasons that “talisman” went down in flames).

    this is of course very ironic considering that one of the main points of this blog is to complain about people (including gays) being forced to conform to dysfunctional ideas in the bahai community.

    the stink is coming from radicals and extremists, and that is why they are fuming, their old tactics of bullying (such as “outing” people) have backfired.

    have you ever thought about the bizarre level of dissonance between advocating for rights on one hand, and engaging in bullying on the other?

    can you see how if many people do what you are doing over decades and decades, it will become known to the people, and they will be unwilling to support pro-gay politics because they don’t want to se seen as supporting such bullying, radicalism, extremism?

    the problem with Ken Wilber and “neoconservatism” is that he has criticized the crazies on the left. the “mean green meme” thing. thus, the crazies on the left attack him. this is an old, tedious, dysfunctional story. an anti-pattern.

    Integralism is larger than Wilber. Anyone that wants can read free excerpts from “Boomeritis” on the web and they will quickly see that Wilber’s main point about leftism/liberalism/progressivism is.

    Wilber grew up in a military family, and studied hard sciences. he was already a “suspect” of those on the far left before he even got in the game.

    [quote comment=”59995″]Nice try, ep!

    I especially like your use of the word “shrill.” How touching. How tactical. How predictable.

    But I’m afraid I can’t seriously entertain the prospect of adequately responding to someone who believes that the integral “philosophy” of Ken Wilber represents a valid “alternate approach to the exploration of truth and meaning.”

    “And thus the West produced an extraordinary number of subtle-level (or sambhogakaya) mystics, who only claimed that the soul and God can share a union; but very few causal (dharmakaya) and very few nondual (svabhavikakaya) mystics, who went further and claimed not just a union but a supreme identity of soul and God in pure Godhead.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. Wilber conflates a natural theology of monism with metaphysics, then colors his interpretations of reality with this idealist monist premise. He mixes apples with oranges and calls them potatoes. Ooooh, that’s soooo awesome, dooood.

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Cult_of_Ken_Wilber.html

    “Wilberism is a particular world perspective grown out of the humanistic and transpersonal psychology movements, which was an important moment of intellectual and human history, but it is time to move on.”

    Indeed. Well past time.

    Compared to “Culty Ken,” Baha’u’llah is a screaming liberal. Now does that seem too shrill and strident?

    http://wilberwatch.blogspot.com/2006/12/integral-inflation.html

    “I am convinced Wilber is just a neo-con conservative.”

    I am convinced Wilber is just a giant bag of hot gas, stink and all.

  • ep

    andrew,

    you just proved my point – unfortunately. I should have known that trying to present a perspective that differs from that used by pc/left hate mongers and bullies is a mistake.

    people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version “pro-gay” politics are usually bullies, and are more than ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.

    as I said, this is because of unresolved “mommy/daddy” issues. they lack a mature model of personality, are not “good listeners”, and so forth.

    people involved in bahai dissent really really really need to pay careful attention, linking their attempts at bahai reform to radical pc/left (“mean green meme”) politics is a dead end (this is one of the main reasons that “talisman” went down in flames).

    this is of course very ironic considering that one of the main points of this blog is to complain about people (including gays) being forced to conform to dysfunctional ideas in the bahai community.

    the stink is coming from radicals and extremists, and that is why they are fuming, their old tactics of bullying (such as “outing” people) have backfired.

    have you ever thought about the bizarre level of dissonance between advocating for rights on one hand, and engaging in bullying on the other?

    can you see how if many people do what you are doing over decades and decades, it will become known to the people, and they will be unwilling to support pro-gay politics because they don’t want to se seen as supporting such bullying, radicalism, extremism?

    the problem with Ken Wilber and “neoconservatism” is that he has criticized the crazies on the left. the “mean green meme” thing. thus, the crazies on the left attack him. this is an old, tedious, dysfunctional story. an anti-pattern.

    Integralism is larger than Wilber. Anyone that wants can read free excerpts from “Boomeritis” on the web and they will quickly see that Wilber’s main point about leftism/liberalism/progressivism is.

    Wilber grew up in a military family, and studied hard sciences. he was already a “suspect” of those on the far left before he even got in the game.

    [quote comment=”59995″]Nice try, ep!

    I especially like your use of the word “shrill.” How touching. How tactical. How predictable.

    But I’m afraid I can’t seriously entertain the prospect of adequately responding to someone who believes that the integral “philosophy” of Ken Wilber represents a valid “alternate approach to the exploration of truth and meaning.”

    “And thus the West produced an extraordinary number of subtle-level (or sambhogakaya) mystics, who only claimed that the soul and God can share a union; but very few causal (dharmakaya) and very few nondual (svabhavikakaya) mystics, who went further and claimed not just a union but a supreme identity of soul and God in pure Godhead.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. Wilber conflates a natural theology of monism with metaphysics, then colors his interpretations of reality with this idealist monist premise. He mixes apples with oranges and calls them potatoes. Ooooh, that’s soooo awesome, dooood.

    http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Cult_of_Ken_Wilber.html

    “Wilberism is a particular world perspective grown out of the humanistic and transpersonal psychology movements, which was an important moment of intellectual and human history, but it is time to move on.”

    Indeed. Well past time.

    Compared to “Culty Ken,” Baha’u’llah is a screaming liberal. Now does that seem too shrill and strident?

    http://wilberwatch.blogspot.com/2006/12/integral-inflation.html

    “I am convinced Wilber is just a neo-con conservative.”

    I am convinced Wilber is just a giant bag of hot gas, stink and all.

  • P

    Amanda, I guess MLK must have had “mommy-daddy” issues too. What you don’t understand EP is that the “pro-gay” movement as you put it covers a broad sepctrum of people. From conservative Republican homosexuals, libertarians and yep even flaming liberals that you dislike- all of us. Why? Because we are fighting for human rights- nothing less. So brand us all crazy violent extremists; although you can’t point to a single instance of such violence. Andrew proved your point? Seriously?

  • P

    Amanda, I guess MLK must have had “mommy-daddy” issues too. What you don’t understand EP is that the “pro-gay” movement as you put it covers a broad sepctrum of people. From conservative Republican homosexuals, libertarians and yep even flaming liberals that you dislike- all of us. Why? Because we are fighting for human rights- nothing less. So brand us all crazy violent extremists; although you can’t point to a single instance of such violence. Andrew proved your point? Seriously?

  • EP,

    Thanks for not answering any of my questions and just repeating the word “bully” alot. Again, what is bullying to you, and how is it ANY different than someone vocalizing an opinion different than yours? Is it the content of the opinion or the way the opinion is expressed that makes it bullying? Do tell. How would you contrast your arguing of your assertions here as compared to the folks you’re calling bullies on the bully-o-meter? Hmm?

    P,
    Yeah, MLK had Mommy/Daddy issues I guess. And Coretta Scott King (“people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version “pro-gay” politics are usually bullies”) too- AND they and their nonviolent cronies must be laying in wait, “ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.”

    Apparently, it is opposite day.

    Notice how EP had not a single example to back up his claims.

    I love it when the people who are being victimized get called the oppressors. That’s such a neat trick. I think pulling rabbits out of hats will be next.

  • EP,

    Thanks for not answering any of my questions and just repeating the word “bully” alot. Again, what is bullying to you, and how is it ANY different than someone vocalizing an opinion different than yours? Is it the content of the opinion or the way the opinion is expressed that makes it bullying? Do tell. How would you contrast your arguing of your assertions here as compared to the folks you’re calling bullies on the bully-o-meter? Hmm?

    P,
    Yeah, MLK had Mommy/Daddy issues I guess. And Coretta Scott King (“people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version “pro-gay” politics are usually bullies”) too- AND they and their nonviolent cronies must be laying in wait, “ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.”

    Apparently, it is opposite day.

    Notice how EP had not a single example to back up his claims.

    I love it when the people who are being victimized get called the oppressors. That’s such a neat trick. I think pulling rabbits out of hats will be next.

  • Andrew

    [quote]people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version ?pro-gay? politics are usually bullies, and are more than ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.[/quote]

    To borrow a phrase from Juan Cole: Once a glaze-eyed Baha’i, always a glaze-eyed Baha’i. Same crap, different pee-eww.

  • Andrew

    [quote]people that put forward the radical/extremist (pc/left) version ?pro-gay? politics are usually bullies, and are more than ready to violate the very rights that they claim to be advocating.[/quote]

    To borrow a phrase from Juan Cole: Once a glaze-eyed Baha’i, always a glaze-eyed Baha’i. Same crap, different pee-eww.

  • Grover

    Hey guys, maybe we should examine a little deeper where EP is coming from. Maybe he has some horrible experience with an overzealous activist that has coloured his perception of all activist activities.

    An activist can be very forthright and assertive and sometimes very confrontational, no matter the issue, e.g. Greenpeace vs Japanese whalers. I’ve had close encounters with activists against animal testing and I’m just a science teacher. While its inconvenient for those on the recieving end, often the activists need to be agressive because no one is going to listen otherwise.

  • Grover

    Hey guys, maybe we should examine a little deeper where EP is coming from. Maybe he has some horrible experience with an overzealous activist that has coloured his perception of all activist activities.

    An activist can be very forthright and assertive and sometimes very confrontational, no matter the issue, e.g. Greenpeace vs Japanese whalers. I’ve had close encounters with activists against animal testing and I’m just a science teacher. While its inconvenient for those on the recieving end, often the activists need to be agressive because no one is going to listen otherwise.

  • P

    But WHO are we talking about? If a gay person goes and beats up a Prop 8 supporter, torches that person’s house, etc. etc. etc. then yeah, I’m with EP on that for sure. But if Andrew is proving EP’s point, then hell EVERYONE who is ever written on this board is a bully. Including EP!

  • P

    But WHO are we talking about? If a gay person goes and beats up a Prop 8 supporter, torches that person’s house, etc. etc. etc. then yeah, I’m with EP on that for sure. But if Andrew is proving EP’s point, then hell EVERYONE who is ever written on this board is a bully. Including EP!

  • Andrew

    I post an excerpt (without any comment) from a blog that is critical of Baha’i homophobia and EP (for no apparent reason) states that it sounds shrill and extremist; he conflates the practice of political correctness with the promotion of far-left ideology and compares it to an inquisition; he insinuates that opponents of Proposition 8 who participate in public demonstrations against it are merely leftist extremists; he indulges in the generalization that there exists a widespread impression of instability imputed by the public toward these activists (even to the point where they are alleged to threaten the rights of others); he presumes to speak on behalf of all the so-called middle-of-the-road people who are supposedly inclined to conclude that the activists are just a crazy group of unstoppable leftists; he implies that the state recognition of same-sex marriage involves coercive intrusion into the thoughts of others; he asserts that the struggle for equal marriage consists of an unresolved internalized parental conflict, etc., etc., etc. How he knows all these things, he cannot say, because, in truth, he doesn’t. He simply reacts to what he clearly perceives as a threat to the status quo in the time-honored tradition of all social conservatives everywhere: an argument from ignorance, relying on both his audience’s ignorance and their gullibility. Why, if I didn’t know any better (and I don’t, do I?) I’d hazard a guess that he’s probably a deeply closeted homosexual himself.

    Baha’i the way, the notion that liberals really ought to be tolerant of intolerance seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. I, to the contrary, was raised and educated to believe that the very essence of social progressivism is intolerance of intolerance. Most societies are not apt to progress very far at all if they continually indulge the prejudices of others in the name of tolerating their intolerance.

    Also, I live in Canada. My partner and I have been legally married for almost six years now; I understand that Massachusetts as well as Connecticut also recognize same-sex marriage. The first religious (but federally unrecognized) same-sex marriage in Canada took place almost forty years ago; the adoption of children by same-sex parents has been legal in most provinces of Canada for over twenty years. I live in a city which has almost 15,000 legally married same-sex couples, many of them married in liberal Protestant or Jewish houses of worship. The notion that this is an issue that threatens anything other than the purely conceptual models of marriage advocated by socially/morally conservative religions is absurd to the point of surreal hilarity. But it seems that many people prefer to clutter their brainpans with simplistic and outmoded conceptual constructs than actually live the life they were given to live, and allow others to do likewise.

    Conservative social and religious institutions are, quite simply, on the wrong side of human history, but they seem to lack the capacity for self-reflection (and self-correction) which would enable them to do anything other than what they are presently doing. Eventually, the state of California will have same-sex marriage, as will many other states in the Americas, and generations from now, the positions of these conservative religious groups and institutions will be seen (and evaluated) for what they are: hopelessly misguided, heedlessly prejudiced, irredeemably ignorant. Even in Canada, polls have shown that over three-quarters of the population which identifies as religiously conservative accepts the reality of same-sex marriage, even if they may not completely approve of it (fortunately, Canada is an extremely secular nation). One of my friends — a devout Iranian Shi’i — has witnessed three same-sex weddings in the past year. And the children of immigrants almost invariably embrace the more liberal cultural values that their parents initially reject.

    And Ken Wilbur? In my opinion, just another New Age narcissist who believes his own advertising. Despite the many mischievously provocative rants I’ve written on this blog (where else to shoot scattershot?), to compare Wilber with Baha’u’llah would be like trying to compare an anthill to Mount Everest. Really. Seriously.

  • Andrew

    I post an excerpt (without any comment) from a blog that is critical of Baha’i homophobia and EP (for no apparent reason) states that it sounds shrill and extremist; he conflates the practice of political correctness with the promotion of far-left ideology and compares it to an inquisition; he insinuates that opponents of Proposition 8 who participate in public demonstrations against it are merely leftist extremists; he indulges in the generalization that there exists a widespread impression of instability imputed by the public toward these activists (even to the point where they are alleged to threaten the rights of others); he presumes to speak on behalf of all the so-called middle-of-the-road people who are supposedly inclined to conclude that the activists are just a crazy group of unstoppable leftists; he implies that the state recognition of same-sex marriage involves coercive intrusion into the thoughts of others; he asserts that the struggle for equal marriage consists of an unresolved internalized parental conflict, etc., etc., etc. How he knows all these things, he cannot say, because, in truth, he doesn’t. He simply reacts to what he clearly perceives as a threat to the status quo in the time-honored tradition of all social conservatives everywhere: an argument from ignorance, relying on both his audience’s ignorance and their gullibility. Why, if I didn’t know any better (and I don’t, do I?) I’d hazard a guess that he’s probably a deeply closeted homosexual himself.

    Baha’i the way, the notion that liberals really ought to be tolerant of intolerance seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. I, to the contrary, was raised and educated to believe that the very essence of social progressivism is intolerance of intolerance. Most societies are not apt to progress very far at all if they continually indulge the prejudices of others in the name of tolerating their intolerance.

    Also, I live in Canada. My partner and I have been legally married for almost six years now; I understand that Massachusetts as well as Connecticut also recognize same-sex marriage. The first religious (but federally unrecognized) same-sex marriage in Canada took place almost forty years ago; the adoption of children by same-sex parents has been legal in most provinces of Canada for over twenty years. I live in a city which has almost 15,000 legally married same-sex couples, many of them married in liberal Protestant or Jewish houses of worship. The notion that this is an issue that threatens anything other than the purely conceptual models of marriage advocated by socially/morally conservative religions is absurd to the point of surreal hilarity. But it seems that many people prefer to clutter their brainpans with simplistic and outmoded conceptual constructs than actually live the life they were given to live, and allow others to do likewise.

    Conservative social and religious institutions are, quite simply, on the wrong side of human history, but they seem to lack the capacity for self-reflection (and self-correction) which would enable them to do anything other than what they are presently doing. Eventually, the state of California will have same-sex marriage, as will many other states in the Americas, and generations from now, the positions of these conservative religious groups and institutions will be seen (and evaluated) for what they are: hopelessly misguided, heedlessly prejudiced, irredeemably ignorant. Even in Canada, polls have shown that over three-quarters of the population which identifies as religiously conservative accepts the reality of same-sex marriage, even if they may not completely approve of it (fortunately, Canada is an extremely secular nation). One of my friends — a devout Iranian Shi’i — has witnessed three same-sex weddings in the past year. And the children of immigrants almost invariably embrace the more liberal cultural values that their parents initially reject.

    And Ken Wilbur? In my opinion, just another New Age narcissist who believes his own advertising. Despite the many mischievously provocative rants I’ve written on this blog (where else to shoot scattershot?), to compare Wilber with Baha’u’llah would be like trying to compare an anthill to Mount Everest. Really. Seriously.

  • ep

    Gover,

    As I said before, I rest my case. You see the froth and spittle, the groupthink, the hate rhetoric, people living in echo chambers, etc., on the pc/left. Boomeritis. There is a long list of actual and rhetorical terrorism associated with racicalism on the left throughout its history. Much of “activist” gay culture is apparently infected with the usual pc/left pathologies.

    Amanda, there have been widespread reports of pro-gay hostility, bullying, attacks, defacing churches, etc., in california. Of course most of the information about local incidents only surfaces in the marginalized “conservative” media, with a few exceptions.

    e.g., the speaker of the california legislative assembly, a black liberal democrat, had to make a public statement protesting gay hostility towards blacks after the election. Reason? blacks largely voted anti-gay. So now we have racist gays. sad.

    I will ignore your insults and distortions, they only prove my point.

    Adrew is obviously a smart guy, but has apparently become inflamed with power, like many gays I’ve met, that comes from PC bullying. Such bullying is really deeply ingrained in gay culture, has specific psychological characteristics, and seems to be getting more creepy. Again, sad.

    Since he has said he’s from Canada, goddess bless him, he presumably has not actually been in california to witness what is going on.

    As I said on talisman and other places many times, the first sign that groupthink and corruption are setting in is when people refuse to engage in deep self-examaination, and instead, demonize others. It was the case when reactionary conservatives where in power, and it is the case now that reactionary “liberals” (radical pc/left) are moving into power.

    Paolo Friere made the original, well known reference to revolutionaries taking on the characteristics of the oppressors way back in the 60s, perhaps earlier:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Freire
    |… In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may be best
    | read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched
    | of the Earth, which emphasized the need to provide native
    | populations with an education which was simultaneously new and
    | modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an
    | extension of the culture of the colonizer).

    In, Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities” – the classic treatment of victimst politics, political correctness and corporate greed run amok, in the courtroom scene when the self-serving “activist” tries to derail justice by inciting a riot, the judge says “have you people no decency?”.

    I certainly hope that the gay community can come to its senses and work with moderates on a compromise. To do so, they will have to unload a lot of nasty baggage. The situation in california is not hopeful in that regard.

    P – I find somewhat surprising that someone such as yourself, that has presumably had to personally experience the effects of intolerance is supporting intolerance, lies, distortions and radical extremism, and people posting positions in support of terrorism.

    Finally, Baquia:

    I am actually very sorry that I ever posted any personal information on this blog, this is not a safe place, or a safe time. If you can remove it, I would greatly appreciate it. Please let me know if I can provide you with compensation for your time and effort.

    regards,
    ep

  • ep

    Gover,

    As I said before, I rest my case. You see the froth and spittle, the groupthink, the hate rhetoric, people living in echo chambers, etc., on the pc/left. Boomeritis. There is a long list of actual and rhetorical terrorism associated with racicalism on the left throughout its history. Much of “activist” gay culture is apparently infected with the usual pc/left pathologies.

    Amanda, there have been widespread reports of pro-gay hostility, bullying, attacks, defacing churches, etc., in california. Of course most of the information about local incidents only surfaces in the marginalized “conservative” media, with a few exceptions.

    e.g., the speaker of the california legislative assembly, a black liberal democrat, had to make a public statement protesting gay hostility towards blacks after the election. Reason? blacks largely voted anti-gay. So now we have racist gays. sad.

    I will ignore your insults and distortions, they only prove my point.

    Adrew is obviously a smart guy, but has apparently become inflamed with power, like many gays I’ve met, that comes from PC bullying. Such bullying is really deeply ingrained in gay culture, has specific psychological characteristics, and seems to be getting more creepy. Again, sad.

    Since he has said he’s from Canada, goddess bless him, he presumably has not actually been in california to witness what is going on.

    As I said on talisman and other places many times, the first sign that groupthink and corruption are setting in is when people refuse to engage in deep self-examaination, and instead, demonize others. It was the case when reactionary conservatives where in power, and it is the case now that reactionary “liberals” (radical pc/left) are moving into power.

    Paolo Friere made the original, well known reference to revolutionaries taking on the characteristics of the oppressors way back in the 60s, perhaps earlier:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Freire
    |… In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may be best
    | read as an extension of, or reply to, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched
    | of the Earth, which emphasized the need to provide native
    | populations with an education which was simultaneously new and
    | modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (not simply an
    | extension of the culture of the colonizer).

    In, Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities” – the classic treatment of victimst politics, political correctness and corporate greed run amok, in the courtroom scene when the self-serving “activist” tries to derail justice by inciting a riot, the judge says “have you people no decency?”.

    I certainly hope that the gay community can come to its senses and work with moderates on a compromise. To do so, they will have to unload a lot of nasty baggage. The situation in california is not hopeful in that regard.

    P – I find somewhat surprising that someone such as yourself, that has presumably had to personally experience the effects of intolerance is supporting intolerance, lies, distortions and radical extremism, and people posting positions in support of terrorism.

    Finally, Baquia:

    I am actually very sorry that I ever posted any personal information on this blog, this is not a safe place, or a safe time. If you can remove it, I would greatly appreciate it. Please let me know if I can provide you with compensation for your time and effort.

    regards,
    ep

  • ep

    Dan J.,

    you said:
    | It may be true that the no-on-8 campaign made political
    | miscalculations. It is certainly true that pro-8 activists and
    | voters have been called bigots. I have called many of them bigots.
    | I have done worse: I have called them Mormons.

    Again, I rest my case. Can you imagine the mullas in Iran seeing this (on this blog), and getting a big laugh about Baha’is protesting human rights violations and intolerance?

    Appalling.

    I really think that all voter ballots should have “none of the above” on each choice. Most people in california do not want to support either dysfunctional side in this kind of stuff, and do not like the lies, distortions or hate rhetoric.

    As far as Mormons and Catholics from out-of-state funding Prop 8 goes – I found that distrubing and disgusting, but no more so than the many liberal partisan groups from out of state doing the same types of things.

    (And frankly, the pro-gay/anti-prop8 groups probably got out of state support.)

    However, I’m sure there are no shortage of “personal” stories circulating in Mormon and Catholic circles about people in those communities being confronted by pro-gay hate during and after the election. I’ve heard of several so far. And of course I’ve been called a “bigot” by every bahai gay for not conforming to their ideas. I do not talk to non-bahai gays for obvious reasons. they are even more scary and creepy. they “target” people that do not agree with them. there is a similarity starting to develop with abortion clinic bombers (or ecoterrorists) that people on the left ought to think hard about.

    I personally had not thought of a possible “compromise” structural solution until I was sitting around talking to a bunch of moderate-liberal middle aged, middle-class people who were lamenting the Prop8 win (they all voted against Prop8), and resulting violence and hate coming from gay radical/extremists. someone said that they heard of the compromise as a way to stop the violence and hate from both sides. the compromise is designed to keep radical extremists on both sides from each other’s throats. it will make no one invested in polarized “culture wars” rhetoric happy. both the ultra-right and ultra-left want to fight to the bitter end, and do not care about the rest of society. so, they will resist a structural solution. many of the extremists on the left and right of course profit from conflict, or find a way to “belong” to something larger than their usual mundane lives by buying into conflict.

    ironically, pc/left extremism strengthens the ultraconservative movement.

    But you already knew that, right? Of course you did.

  • ep

    Dan J.,

    you said:
    | It may be true that the no-on-8 campaign made political
    | miscalculations. It is certainly true that pro-8 activists and
    | voters have been called bigots. I have called many of them bigots.
    | I have done worse: I have called them Mormons.

    Again, I rest my case. Can you imagine the mullas in Iran seeing this (on this blog), and getting a big laugh about Baha’is protesting human rights violations and intolerance?

    Appalling.

    I really think that all voter ballots should have “none of the above” on each choice. Most people in california do not want to support either dysfunctional side in this kind of stuff, and do not like the lies, distortions or hate rhetoric.

    As far as Mormons and Catholics from out-of-state funding Prop 8 goes – I found that distrubing and disgusting, but no more so than the many liberal partisan groups from out of state doing the same types of things.

    (And frankly, the pro-gay/anti-prop8 groups probably got out of state support.)

    However, I’m sure there are no shortage of “personal” stories circulating in Mormon and Catholic circles about people in those communities being confronted by pro-gay hate during and after the election. I’ve heard of several so far. And of course I’ve been called a “bigot” by every bahai gay for not conforming to their ideas. I do not talk to non-bahai gays for obvious reasons. they are even more scary and creepy. they “target” people that do not agree with them. there is a similarity starting to develop with abortion clinic bombers (or ecoterrorists) that people on the left ought to think hard about.

    I personally had not thought of a possible “compromise” structural solution until I was sitting around talking to a bunch of moderate-liberal middle aged, middle-class people who were lamenting the Prop8 win (they all voted against Prop8), and resulting violence and hate coming from gay radical/extremists. someone said that they heard of the compromise as a way to stop the violence and hate from both sides. the compromise is designed to keep radical extremists on both sides from each other’s throats. it will make no one invested in polarized “culture wars” rhetoric happy. both the ultra-right and ultra-left want to fight to the bitter end, and do not care about the rest of society. so, they will resist a structural solution. many of the extremists on the left and right of course profit from conflict, or find a way to “belong” to something larger than their usual mundane lives by buying into conflict.

    ironically, pc/left extremism strengthens the ultraconservative movement.

    But you already knew that, right? Of course you did.

  • EP states: [quote comment=””]Again, I rest my case.[/quote]

    Your case is in a rather animated state of rest, Sir.

  • EP states: [quote comment=””]Again, I rest my case.[/quote]

    Your case is in a rather animated state of rest, Sir.

  • How’s every one feeling? This has been a very animated discussion, and one I haven’t felt like taking part in. But I am curious about one thing. Does anyone feel that they have learned anything from the exchange? And if so, what?

    ka kite
    Steve

  • How’s every one feeling? This has been a very animated discussion, and one I haven’t felt like taking part in. But I am curious about one thing. Does anyone feel that they have learned anything from the exchange? And if so, what?

    ka kite
    Steve

  • ep

    [quote comment=”60058″]EP states: [quote comment=””]Again, I rest my case.[/quote]

    Your case is in a rather animated state of rest, Sir.
    [/quote]

    LOL! You obviously haven’t seen my long posts.

    Did you see what the Speaker of the California Assembly said:

    http://www.racewire.org/archives/2008/11/assembly_speaker_bass_addresse.html

    “Assembly Speaker Bass addresses attacks on Blacks after Prop. 8 vote”

    http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/1412938.html

  • ep

    [quote comment=”60058″]EP states: [quote comment=””]Again, I rest my case.[/quote]

    Your case is in a rather animated state of rest, Sir.
    [/quote]

    LOL! You obviously haven’t seen my long posts.

    Did you see what the Speaker of the California Assembly said:

    http://www.racewire.org/archives/2008/11/assembly_speaker_bass_addresse.html

    “Assembly Speaker Bass addresses attacks on Blacks after Prop. 8 vote”

    http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/1412938.html

  • ep

    sonja,

    with all due respect, american political culture is not exactly like the prevalent “social-democrat” political cluture in europe, or NZ (or Canada).

    e.g., liberal-moderate Obama moves to moderate-conservative on a number of issues, including foreign policy (Pakistan), shortly after the election.

    as I’ve stated in another post, the issue in california is keeping people on the far left and far right from engaging in destructive politics against each other that harm innocent bystanders, neutrals, or moderates.

    Are you actually in favor of hate rhetoric, extremism, bullying, and thought policing, as long as it comes from the left?

    after all the protests over censorship and suppression of free expression by bahai administration? if so, I’m amazed.

    Prop 8 was the second vote in california against gay radicalism. the first “anti-gay” win was overturned by liberal courts, one of many examples where the judiciary overturned the people of the state’s vote for ideological reasons. after gays threw the court ruling in everyone else’s faces and generally made spectacles of themselves, the Mormons and Catholics saw an opening, and moved quickly.

    If you don’t know, california politics have been highly polarized, and highly dysfunctional, and high corrupted by special interests on “both sides”, for at least 25 years.

    it is extremely disgusting.

    There is little or no expectation that extremists on either “side” will do the right thing for the common good.

    [quote comment=”60033″]The one thing i miss in all the discussion of above is: so what about kids of homosexual couples? All 5 I know of personally are straight, being wired that way I guess. And they seem to be so together, so mature.
    It is of interest that the discussion moved from EP calling his decision not to vote for equality as
    [quote comment=””][…] the only possible compromise that is ?fair to everyone?[…][/quote] (even children would see the bad logic here 🙂 to a discussion of morality as if gays can’t marry (and be merry!)

    A compromise is to let people choose – to allow all people to choose to be able to marry. Pro8 was against this compromise.

  • ep

    sonja,

    with all due respect, american political culture is not exactly like the prevalent “social-democrat” political cluture in europe, or NZ (or Canada).

    e.g., liberal-moderate Obama moves to moderate-conservative on a number of issues, including foreign policy (Pakistan), shortly after the election.

    as I’ve stated in another post, the issue in california is keeping people on the far left and far right from engaging in destructive politics against each other that harm innocent bystanders, neutrals, or moderates.

    Are you actually in favor of hate rhetoric, extremism, bullying, and thought policing, as long as it comes from the left?

    after all the protests over censorship and suppression of free expression by bahai administration? if so, I’m amazed.

    Prop 8 was the second vote in california against gay radicalism. the first “anti-gay” win was overturned by liberal courts, one of many examples where the judiciary overturned the people of the state’s vote for ideological reasons. after gays threw the court ruling in everyone else’s faces and generally made spectacles of themselves, the Mormons and Catholics saw an opening, and moved quickly.

    If you don’t know, california politics have been highly polarized, and highly dysfunctional, and high corrupted by special interests on “both sides”, for at least 25 years.

    it is extremely disgusting.

    There is little or no expectation that extremists on either “side” will do the right thing for the common good.

    [quote comment=”60033″]The one thing i miss in all the discussion of above is: so what about kids of homosexual couples? All 5 I know of personally are straight, being wired that way I guess. And they seem to be so together, so mature.
    It is of interest that the discussion moved from EP calling his decision not to vote for equality as
    [quote comment=””][…] the only possible compromise that is ?fair to everyone?[…][/quote] (even children would see the bad logic here 🙂 to a discussion of morality as if gays can’t marry (and be merry!)

    A compromise is to let people choose – to allow all people to choose to be able to marry. Pro8 was against this compromise.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    [quote comment=”60060″]Does anyone feel that they have learned anything from the exchange? And if so, what?[/quote]

    Steve, I have further proof on what I already knew: there is a huge amount of pain, passion and concern when it comes to whatever takes place in people’s underpants, and less concern about what goes on in hearts and minds, at a time when the world going to pieces.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    [quote comment=”60060″]Does anyone feel that they have learned anything from the exchange? And if so, what?[/quote]

    Steve, I have further proof on what I already knew: there is a huge amount of pain, passion and concern when it comes to whatever takes place in people’s underpants, and less concern about what goes on in hearts and minds, at a time when the world going to pieces.

  • Andrew

    Proposition 8 was a vote against “gay radicalism” which is really all about “whatever takes place in people’s underpants.” Pathetic. Truly, utterly pathetic. As I wrote, generations from now, these positions will be evaluated for what they are, and it’s sad to see the extent to which individuals and institutions will go to excuse the inexcusable in an attempt to preserve a particular prejudice, a prejudice which will one day be recognized as every bit as insidious as racism or sexism. But the die seems to have been cast, irrevocably so (or so it appears), and these prejudices (and those who hold them) will be judged by those who follow us as unnecessary, hurtful and unbelievably archaic. I very much doubt that even the Administrative Order in Haifa will be able to spin its way past this one; but then again, by that time, it might be well beyond the point when most people would care.

  • Andrew

    Proposition 8 was a vote against “gay radicalism” which is really all about “whatever takes place in people’s underpants.” Pathetic. Truly, utterly pathetic. As I wrote, generations from now, these positions will be evaluated for what they are, and it’s sad to see the extent to which individuals and institutions will go to excuse the inexcusable in an attempt to preserve a particular prejudice, a prejudice which will one day be recognized as every bit as insidious as racism or sexism. But the die seems to have been cast, irrevocably so (or so it appears), and these prejudices (and those who hold them) will be judged by those who follow us as unnecessary, hurtful and unbelievably archaic. I very much doubt that even the Administrative Order in Haifa will be able to spin its way past this one; but then again, by that time, it might be well beyond the point when most people would care.

  • Andrew

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2008/12/courtsy-of-jmg-hrc-responds-to-beckett.html

    [quote]”Several signatories to the ad are generals in the culture wars,” said Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Church (Epsicopal), Pasadena, Calif. “They lied about gay people in the campaign, and now they are lying again when they say we are in favor of mob intimidation and violence. I personally talked legitimately angry demonstrators in California out of such action and every credible LGBT organization called for peaceful resistance to the Prop 8 travesty. Many of the leaders cited in this ad preach hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, then look the other way when LGBT people are the victims of hate crimes. This ad is an act of individual and corporate hypocrisy.”[/quote]

    Ah, hypocrisy. Well, if the jackboot fits, wear it with pride.

  • Andrew

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2008/12/courtsy-of-jmg-hrc-responds-to-beckett.html

    [quote]”Several signatories to the ad are generals in the culture wars,” said Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Church (Epsicopal), Pasadena, Calif. “They lied about gay people in the campaign, and now they are lying again when they say we are in favor of mob intimidation and violence. I personally talked legitimately angry demonstrators in California out of such action and every credible LGBT organization called for peaceful resistance to the Prop 8 travesty. Many of the leaders cited in this ad preach hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, then look the other way when LGBT people are the victims of hate crimes. This ad is an act of individual and corporate hypocrisy.”[/quote]

    Ah, hypocrisy. Well, if the jackboot fits, wear it with pride.

  • P

    P – I find somewhat surprising that someone such as yourself, that has presumably had to personally experience the effects of intolerance is supporting intolerance, lies, distortions and radical extremism, and people posting positions in support of terrorism.

    ==============
    And EP, I find it amusing that with all the ranting I’ve heard from you against the Bahai Faith, YOU don’t actually see yourself as a bully. Kind of funny.
    Again, if there have been instances of violence by gays against anyone who supported Prop 8, then YES I am against that. You are right, that is extremism and I don’t agree with it. HOWEVER, you made a blanket statement against those of us who strongly fought against Prop 8. You make it sound like the only solution is to be in the middle, as if there really isn’t a right and wrong in all this. EP there IS a right and wrong. And it has nothing to do with fighting for the rights “of what goes on in my underpants” as one conservative Bahai here would like you to believe. It’s about justice, the most beloved thing in God’s eyes (anybody remember that little quote from Bahaullah?). That’s all I have to say.

  • P

    P – I find somewhat surprising that someone such as yourself, that has presumably had to personally experience the effects of intolerance is supporting intolerance, lies, distortions and radical extremism, and people posting positions in support of terrorism.

    ==============
    And EP, I find it amusing that with all the ranting I’ve heard from you against the Bahai Faith, YOU don’t actually see yourself as a bully. Kind of funny.
    Again, if there have been instances of violence by gays against anyone who supported Prop 8, then YES I am against that. You are right, that is extremism and I don’t agree with it. HOWEVER, you made a blanket statement against those of us who strongly fought against Prop 8. You make it sound like the only solution is to be in the middle, as if there really isn’t a right and wrong in all this. EP there IS a right and wrong. And it has nothing to do with fighting for the rights “of what goes on in my underpants” as one conservative Bahai here would like you to believe. It’s about justice, the most beloved thing in God’s eyes (anybody remember that little quote from Bahaullah?). That’s all I have to say.

  • Farhan said: [quote comment=””]I have further proof on what I already knew.[/quote]

    Isn’t it wonderful how “faith” works?
    Always reinforcing itself.
    Not about God necessarily; just whatever it “already knew”.

  • Farhan said: [quote comment=””]I have further proof on what I already knew.[/quote]

    Isn’t it wonderful how “faith” works?
    Always reinforcing itself.
    Not about God necessarily; just whatever it “already knew”.

  • EP writes:

    [quote comment=””]ironically, pc/left extremism strengthens the ultraconservative movement.

    But you already knew that, right? Of course you did.[/quote]

    You’re getting ahead of yourself: you’re still stuck with a false premise. You have propped up your dazzling truism without establishing a foundation, or pertinence, for that matter. Your definition of “extremism” appears to be rather, well, extreme.

    And by the way, you might have things turned around. I was activated against prop 8 by the “ultraconservatives”. I fought against Prop 8 for the sake of republican government. Who did I anger with my “extremism”? The cross-toting mob who got me off my ass to begin with?

  • EP writes:

    [quote comment=””]ironically, pc/left extremism strengthens the ultraconservative movement.

    But you already knew that, right? Of course you did.[/quote]

    You’re getting ahead of yourself: you’re still stuck with a false premise. You have propped up your dazzling truism without establishing a foundation, or pertinence, for that matter. Your definition of “extremism” appears to be rather, well, extreme.

    And by the way, you might have things turned around. I was activated against prop 8 by the “ultraconservatives”. I fought against Prop 8 for the sake of republican government. Who did I anger with my “extremism”? The cross-toting mob who got me off my ass to begin with?

  • EP-

    Again, you have avoided defining extremism and are just accusing everyone who disagrees with you of it. What is it?

    You have actually now accused posters here of “posting positions in support of terrorism.” That just hasn’t happened, EP, and no matter how many times you say it has, it hasn’t. NO ONE here has posted anything in support of violence. We have been posting AGAINST violence. No one here supports violence towards anyone. You are making that up.

    Also, you keep talking about some violent pro-gay wave sweeping California, and you are still not providing any evidence that that is occuring. (And we all agree that if it was occuring it would be wrong.) You are not the only person reporting on their life from California, and the only sources saying these things seem to be making it up for Right wing and apologetics purposes. If I am simply missing news reports, please inform me of specifics.

    I have Mormon family members who I love and would frankly jump in front of a bullet for in order to protect their safety. So this effects me personally. But I also have a gay sister I DO jump in front of alot of hate coming her way, and let me tell you- being in the line of fire makes it very clear who’s doing the actual shooting.

    Debate and dialogue with people who hold differing opinions is vital to a free society and to the pursuit of truth. It does not equal terrorism.

    Just because you are terrified of something (gay marriage hiding under the bed) does not make the people who aren’t terrorists.

  • EP-

    Again, you have avoided defining extremism and are just accusing everyone who disagrees with you of it. What is it?

    You have actually now accused posters here of “posting positions in support of terrorism.” That just hasn’t happened, EP, and no matter how many times you say it has, it hasn’t. NO ONE here has posted anything in support of violence. We have been posting AGAINST violence. No one here supports violence towards anyone. You are making that up.

    Also, you keep talking about some violent pro-gay wave sweeping California, and you are still not providing any evidence that that is occuring. (And we all agree that if it was occuring it would be wrong.) You are not the only person reporting on their life from California, and the only sources saying these things seem to be making it up for Right wing and apologetics purposes. If I am simply missing news reports, please inform me of specifics.

    I have Mormon family members who I love and would frankly jump in front of a bullet for in order to protect their safety. So this effects me personally. But I also have a gay sister I DO jump in front of alot of hate coming her way, and let me tell you- being in the line of fire makes it very clear who’s doing the actual shooting.

    Debate and dialogue with people who hold differing opinions is vital to a free society and to the pursuit of truth. It does not equal terrorism.

    Just because you are terrified of something (gay marriage hiding under the bed) does not make the people who aren’t terrorists.

  • Daniel Orey

    I wish I had the talent and eloquence that the posters here have demonstrated in this dialogue.

    I want to extend my thanks to all of you here, especially Sonja and Dan Jensen, who to my mind, make this dialogue smart, interesting and informative… and so I shall rant.

    Over and over, I have had people tell me to my face things that if you change the word gay for black or Jew for instance we would all be shocked. Yet for some reason, we are able to tell gay folks that we are wrong, sick, dirty, or at very least worthy of tolerance and second class citizenship.

    It grew to a crescendo the week before the election. I am gay, so I can be told, to my face, things like, ?I give you two permission to live together, but marriage, no? as neighbor told me before the election. This was done with out me doing any more than ?how do you do?. WTF?

    So yes, EP, I am uppity, angry… or if you so choose extreme. Though I don’t own or plan to buy any spray paint. I will no longer be tolerated. EP, I can say that if the cards were different, that after years, and years of this bigoted homophobic crap, you too would be in the streets as I am now. If you cannot understand this frustration… you have lost any sense of compassion.

    My answer after the months building up to the election here in California was slow, smoldering boil; I am in a just a few words, fed up.

    I am fed up with people banging bibles and agdas’… and forgetting about love.

    I am fed up with being tolerated.

    I am fed up with being told that my family is not right.

    I am fed up with having to hide my non-Bah??’? life to Bah??’?s, when I do not have to do this with anyone else, including the Presbyterian and Catholic sides of my family, including the priest who blessed our marriage.

    I am fed up with bigots of all kinds (stupid gay racists included) and politicians who legislate against gay people, while having sex in bathrooms.

    I am fed up with cristinistas thinking that I am an extremist when the night before the election a synagogue here was spray painted with yes on 8 graffiti, and the week before a straight woman simply holding a sign against prop 8 was beaten up by two god fearing Christian women while their children watched. Yet it seems I am supposed to sit by and accept this like a good gay man.

    I am fed up with people telling others how gay folks should live their lives. Yet expecting us to pay our share of taxes, though were second class citizens.

    I am fed up with being afraid, that some nut case will come and kill me in my home, or beat me up while I spend time with friends in a park as happened here a few years back.

    I am fed up with my orientation being used as a slur as in ?that’s so gay?.

    I am tired of kids killing themselves because homophobic parents and religious communities seem to think they are sick (this has occurred in the Bah??’? community as well, campers).

    I am fed up with USAan elections that use gay folks to smokescreen what is really ailing the country.

    I am fed up seeing my GLBT friends being accepted by their progressive churches and seeing this religion (that I love so very much, that I am unable to leave it) so backwards and out of touch with issues related to sexuality that it is an embarrassment.

    I am fed up with people who hide behind rules, dogma, and science, and forget about compassion and love.

    Friends, I suggest that you get and read John McNeil’s latest book: Sex as God Intended. He is a former Jesuit priest, who ministers to the GLBT community. Not to change us, but to love us. McNeil rails against the homophobic teachings and beliefs of his church in a way that astonishes.

    When this religion can mature to the point that it will teach all people because it loves them unconditionally… things will be different indeed.

  • Daniel Orey

    I wish I had the talent and eloquence that the posters here have demonstrated in this dialogue.

    I want to extend my thanks to all of you here, especially Sonja and Dan Jensen, who to my mind, make this dialogue smart, interesting and informative… and so I shall rant.

    Over and over, I have had people tell me to my face things that if you change the word gay for black or Jew for instance we would all be shocked. Yet for some reason, we are able to tell gay folks that we are wrong, sick, dirty, or at very least worthy of tolerance and second class citizenship.

    It grew to a crescendo the week before the election. I am gay, so I can be told, to my face, things like, ?I give you two permission to live together, but marriage, no? as neighbor told me before the election. This was done with out me doing any more than ?how do you do?. WTF?

    So yes, EP, I am uppity, angry… or if you so choose extreme. Though I don’t own or plan to buy any spray paint. I will no longer be tolerated. EP, I can say that if the cards were different, that after years, and years of this bigoted homophobic crap, you too would be in the streets as I am now. If you cannot understand this frustration… you have lost any sense of compassion.

    My answer after the months building up to the election here in California was slow, smoldering boil; I am in a just a few words, fed up.

    I am fed up with people banging bibles and agdas’… and forgetting about love.

    I am fed up with being tolerated.

    I am fed up with being told that my family is not right.

    I am fed up with having to hide my non-Bah??’? life to Bah??’?s, when I do not have to do this with anyone else, including the Presbyterian and Catholic sides of my family, including the priest who blessed our marriage.

    I am fed up with bigots of all kinds (stupid gay racists included) and politicians who legislate against gay people, while having sex in bathrooms.

    I am fed up with cristinistas thinking that I am an extremist when the night before the election a synagogue here was spray painted with yes on 8 graffiti, and the week before a straight woman simply holding a sign against prop 8 was beaten up by two god fearing Christian women while their children watched. Yet it seems I am supposed to sit by and accept this like a good gay man.

    I am fed up with people telling others how gay folks should live their lives. Yet expecting us to pay our share of taxes, though were second class citizens.

    I am fed up with being afraid, that some nut case will come and kill me in my home, or beat me up while I spend time with friends in a park as happened here a few years back.

    I am fed up with my orientation being used as a slur as in ?that’s so gay?.

    I am tired of kids killing themselves because homophobic parents and religious communities seem to think they are sick (this has occurred in the Bah??’? community as well, campers).

    I am fed up with USAan elections that use gay folks to smokescreen what is really ailing the country.

    I am fed up seeing my GLBT friends being accepted by their progressive churches and seeing this religion (that I love so very much, that I am unable to leave it) so backwards and out of touch with issues related to sexuality that it is an embarrassment.

    I am fed up with people who hide behind rules, dogma, and science, and forget about compassion and love.

    Friends, I suggest that you get and read John McNeil’s latest book: Sex as God Intended. He is a former Jesuit priest, who ministers to the GLBT community. Not to change us, but to love us. McNeil rails against the homophobic teachings and beliefs of his church in a way that astonishes.

    When this religion can mature to the point that it will teach all people because it loves them unconditionally… things will be different indeed.

  • Dan W

    Friends, I am delighted to see such a lively discussion of a topic that was so hush-hush when I became a Baha’i in 1970. How we have grown!

    I long ago had my administrative rights removed for my homosexuality, and it has been decades since I was active in the Baha’i community, but I still Fast and say my prayers every day. I am a believer. No one can take that away from me.

    I own a gay travel business, and when I am asked about my Baha’i beliefs by my clients, I teach the Faith passionately and with unhesitating conviction. How can I do this when, in a sense, I am an outcast? There is a very good reason . . . I see the logic of Progressive Revelation, and I see the Baha’i Faith as the logical expression of that progression in this age. I see the principles of Unity espoused by Baha’u’llah as the only hope for this world. And, I have rested my forehead on the Holy Threshold and been touched at a core level that cannot be altered by the changes and chances of this world.

    I love the prayers of the Bab, and say several of them daily. He cuts to the quick of the matter with few words. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.” ” . . . and cause me to be satisfied with whatsoever Thou hast ordained for me. Thine is the absolute authority to command.” “All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.”

    A Divine Plan is unfolding, and I am so thrilled to be living through some of the most exciting parts. Unity, justice, equality, universal dignity and respect for diversity in all its glorious manifestations — I believe from my understanding of the Writings that these are among the hallmarks of the Divine Purpose that no one can thwart. Not fundamentalists of any stripe or persuasion.

    I know that the truth about homosexuality is grounded in science. When that science has been further mined and its truth undeniably established, the fundamental Baha’i belief in the absolute harmony of science and religion will trump all interpretations of Baha’u’llah’s teachings that have come before. That is a promise I can live with.

    In the meantime, my life-partner and I attend rallies and march through the streets and chant “What do we want? EQUAL RIGHTS! When do we want them? NOW!” We march on City Hall in Chicago, and make the attempt to obtain a marriage license. See: http://www.outworld.tv/media/115/Day_Without_A_Gay_Rally_Part_1/

    I know that change is coming. I don’t get distraught about a temporary setback, like Prop 8, in the progression towards full equal rights for gay people. Look at the firmly-entrenched laws regarding slavery and segregation and interracial marriage. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.”

    The Kingdom of God on Earth is all-inclusive. All expressions of the Divine in human form are revered, and none are told they are sick and need curing, or relegated to an inferior status. It will come to pass. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.”

  • Dan W

    Friends, I am delighted to see such a lively discussion of a topic that was so hush-hush when I became a Baha’i in 1970. How we have grown!

    I long ago had my administrative rights removed for my homosexuality, and it has been decades since I was active in the Baha’i community, but I still Fast and say my prayers every day. I am a believer. No one can take that away from me.

    I own a gay travel business, and when I am asked about my Baha’i beliefs by my clients, I teach the Faith passionately and with unhesitating conviction. How can I do this when, in a sense, I am an outcast? There is a very good reason . . . I see the logic of Progressive Revelation, and I see the Baha’i Faith as the logical expression of that progression in this age. I see the principles of Unity espoused by Baha’u’llah as the only hope for this world. And, I have rested my forehead on the Holy Threshold and been touched at a core level that cannot be altered by the changes and chances of this world.

    I love the prayers of the Bab, and say several of them daily. He cuts to the quick of the matter with few words. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.” ” . . . and cause me to be satisfied with whatsoever Thou hast ordained for me. Thine is the absolute authority to command.” “All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.”

    A Divine Plan is unfolding, and I am so thrilled to be living through some of the most exciting parts. Unity, justice, equality, universal dignity and respect for diversity in all its glorious manifestations — I believe from my understanding of the Writings that these are among the hallmarks of the Divine Purpose that no one can thwart. Not fundamentalists of any stripe or persuasion.

    I know that the truth about homosexuality is grounded in science. When that science has been further mined and its truth undeniably established, the fundamental Baha’i belief in the absolute harmony of science and religion will trump all interpretations of Baha’u’llah’s teachings that have come before. That is a promise I can live with.

    In the meantime, my life-partner and I attend rallies and march through the streets and chant “What do we want? EQUAL RIGHTS! When do we want them? NOW!” We march on City Hall in Chicago, and make the attempt to obtain a marriage license. See: http://www.outworld.tv/media/115/Day_Without_A_Gay_Rally_Part_1/

    I know that change is coming. I don’t get distraught about a temporary setback, like Prop 8, in the progression towards full equal rights for gay people. Look at the firmly-entrenched laws regarding slavery and segregation and interracial marriage. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.”

    The Kingdom of God on Earth is all-inclusive. All expressions of the Divine in human form are revered, and none are told they are sick and need curing, or relegated to an inferior status. It will come to pass. “No one can withstand Thy Will, or thwart Thy Purpose.”

  • Dan W

    I just typed a long submission to this thread, and because my computer did not provide the “gotcha” image after I pressed “Submit” the entire message was lost. Does anybody know if there is a way to retreive what I wrote. I poured my heart and soul into it (plus about an hour of my life)!

  • Dan W

    I just typed a long submission to this thread, and because my computer did not provide the “gotcha” image after I pressed “Submit” the entire message was lost. Does anybody know if there is a way to retreive what I wrote. I poured my heart and soul into it (plus about an hour of my life)!

  • Dan W

    Oh, never mind . . . it showed up! Thank God!

  • Dan W

    Oh, never mind . . . it showed up! Thank God!

  • Response to Dan: next time hit the back arrow key, often I’ve retrieved stuff that way. Wait a bit and do it again. Sometimes it takes time. Another suggestion is to write your stuff in a text document or to select + copy it all just before you hit submit so you can then paste it in again. That’s what I do.

  • Response to Dan: next time hit the back arrow key, often I’ve retrieved stuff that way. Wait a bit and do it again. Sometimes it takes time. Another suggestion is to write your stuff in a text document or to select + copy it all just before you hit submit so you can then paste it in again. That’s what I do.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    Does anybody know if there is a way to retreive what I wrote. I poured my heart and soul into it (plus about an hour of my life)!

    An African proverb says that an error does not make the effort accomplished void… I do the same as Sonja: I write and register the message in Word before posting… this also allows to spell check too.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dan wrote:
    Does anybody know if there is a way to retreive what I wrote. I poured my heart and soul into it (plus about an hour of my life)!

    An African proverb says that an error does not make the effort accomplished void… I do the same as Sonja: I write and register the message in Word before posting… this also allows to spell check too.

  • farhan

    Daniel wrote:
    He is a former Jesuit priest, who ministers to the GLBT community.

    Daniel, does he make a difference between bisexuality and homosexuality? And if so, does he differentiate between multiple heterosexual partners and bisexuality?

    Thanks

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Daniel wrote:
    He is a former Jesuit priest, who ministers to the GLBT community.

    Daniel, does he make a difference between bisexuality and homosexuality? And if so, does he differentiate between multiple heterosexual partners and bisexuality?

    Thanks

  • Daniel Orey

    Farhan asks:

    ?Daniel, does he make a difference between bisexuality and homosexuality? And if so, does he differentiate between multiple heterosexual partners and bisexuality??

    Daniel answers

    No, tho the focus is primarily on Gay/lesbian imagery in the bible

    And Daniel says to Dan W ?Good luck Dan… we await your story?

  • Daniel Orey

    Farhan asks:

    ?Daniel, does he make a difference between bisexuality and homosexuality? And if so, does he differentiate between multiple heterosexual partners and bisexuality??

    Daniel answers

    No, tho the focus is primarily on Gay/lesbian imagery in the bible

    And Daniel says to Dan W ?Good luck Dan… we await your story?

  • Daniel Orey

    P. 168 of McNeil:

    We must fight to free ourselves from any attachment to the institutional church, whether that be to have their approval or the equally destructive attachment that comes from the anger at the Church’s injustice. We should see ourselves as equals and siblings to Church authorities and pray for them as they try to discern the Spirit of God in their lives. Leave the Hierarchical Church in God’s hands. Be grateful to them for the gifts they helped bring to us like the scriptures and sacraments. But do not waste one ounce of energy in a negative attachment to anger with the Church. Commit every ounce of our energy to the positive ministry of love to which God has called us.

    This is from a man who was removed from the Jesuits by the Pope, and yet continues to love his church, and continues his ministry none the less… amazing.

  • Daniel Orey

    P. 168 of McNeil:

    We must fight to free ourselves from any attachment to the institutional church, whether that be to have their approval or the equally destructive attachment that comes from the anger at the Church’s injustice. We should see ourselves as equals and siblings to Church authorities and pray for them as they try to discern the Spirit of God in their lives. Leave the Hierarchical Church in God’s hands. Be grateful to them for the gifts they helped bring to us like the scriptures and sacraments. But do not waste one ounce of energy in a negative attachment to anger with the Church. Commit every ounce of our energy to the positive ministry of love to which God has called us.

    This is from a man who was removed from the Jesuits by the Pope, and yet continues to love his church, and continues his ministry none the less… amazing.

  • Daniel Orey

    FOCUS | Jerry Brown: Gay-Marriage Ban Should Be Invalidated

    http://www.truthout.org/122008Y

    Jessica Garrison, The Los Angeles Times: “In a surprise move, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate Proposition 8. He said the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage ‘deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.'”

  • Daniel Orey

    FOCUS | Jerry Brown: Gay-Marriage Ban Should Be Invalidated

    http://www.truthout.org/122008Y

    Jessica Garrison, The Los Angeles Times: “In a surprise move, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate Proposition 8. He said the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage ‘deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.'”

  • Andrew

    [quote]But do not waste one ounce of energy in a negative attachment to anger with the Church.[/quote]

    Do not waste it: honor it.

    http://www.crosscurrents.org/blumenthalsummer2002.htm

    [quote]Anger and rage are inseparably a part of us. One who has experienced no anger, no rage, is not human. Such a person has no deep investment in life, no love to protect, no vulnerability. Anger and rage are integral to human being . . . Covenant implies loyalty on both sides. Covenant means justice for both parties . . . Righteous anger defends covenant. The sound and thorough defeat of the enemy are part of covenantal relatedness — precisely because it is not pornographic violence that is the goal but action that seeks justice for both parties to the covenant.[/quote]

    O ye that dwell on earth (ay ahl-i ‘alam)! The religion of God is for love and unity (muhabbat va ittihad); make it not the cause of enmity or dissension . . . We fain would hope that the people of Baha may be guided by the blessed words: “Say: All things are of God.” This exalted utterance (kalima-yi ‘ulya) is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and enmity (nar-i zaghina va baghza) which smouldereth within the hearts and breasts of men. By this single utterance contending peoples and kindreds will attain the light of true unity (nur-i ittihad-i haqiqi).

  • Andrew

    [quote]But do not waste one ounce of energy in a negative attachment to anger with the Church.[/quote]

    Do not waste it: honor it.

    http://www.crosscurrents.org/blumenthalsummer2002.htm

    [quote]Anger and rage are inseparably a part of us. One who has experienced no anger, no rage, is not human. Such a person has no deep investment in life, no love to protect, no vulnerability. Anger and rage are integral to human being . . . Covenant implies loyalty on both sides. Covenant means justice for both parties . . . Righteous anger defends covenant. The sound and thorough defeat of the enemy are part of covenantal relatedness — precisely because it is not pornographic violence that is the goal but action that seeks justice for both parties to the covenant.[/quote]

    O ye that dwell on earth (ay ahl-i ‘alam)! The religion of God is for love and unity (muhabbat va ittihad); make it not the cause of enmity or dissension . . . We fain would hope that the people of Baha may be guided by the blessed words: “Say: All things are of God.” This exalted utterance (kalima-yi ‘ulya) is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and enmity (nar-i zaghina va baghza) which smouldereth within the hearts and breasts of men. By this single utterance contending peoples and kindreds will attain the light of true unity (nur-i ittihad-i haqiqi).

  • Andrew

    To quote Karl Popper:

    [quote]The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them . . . We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.[/quote]

  • Andrew

    To quote Karl Popper:

    [quote]The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them . . . We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.[/quote]

  • P

    Thank you Daniel for your moving post. I sometimes think that most straight people just don’t get it and they never will. Speaking of most straight people…
    I finally received a response from the World Center regarding my proposal to allow gays to openly live in the Bahahi community without sanctions if that is the prescription that a competent doctor prescribes (since homosexuality is seen as a disorder in the Bahai community). What follows is their letter. Then I will post my response to their letter. Thanks!
    ————————————-
    Dear Bah??’? Friend,

    The Universal House of Justice has received your email letter of 15 October 2008, and
    we have been asked to convey to you the following.

    Your comments about your experience in the Bah??’? community have been noted. We are
    to assure you that to regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against
    the spirit of the Teachings.

    With regard to your suggestion that Bah??’?s be allowed to live with a partner in a
    homosexual lifestyle without losing their voting rights if a physician were to recommend this
    course of action, the Bah??’? writings unambiguously affirm that marriage is a union between a
    man and a woman, and sexual relations are only permissible between a couple who are married
    to each other. These teachings are set forth in the Writings of Bah??’u’ll??h and in the authoritative
    statements of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? and Shoghi Effendi and are not susceptible to change by the House
    of Justice. Therefore, it cannot adopt your suggestion.

    The doors are open for all of humanity to enter the Bah??’? community, irrespective of their
    present circumstances. Associated with this invitation is the expectation that all those who
    accept Bah??’u’ll??h as a Manifestation of God will make a sincere and persistent effort to modify
    those aspects of their conduct which are not in conformity with His Law. For some, this may
    involve a prolonged personal struggle. However, it would be a profound contradiction for
    someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with
    aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.

    With loving Bah??’? greetings,

    Department of the Secretariat

  • P

    Thank you Daniel for your moving post. I sometimes think that most straight people just don’t get it and they never will. Speaking of most straight people…
    I finally received a response from the World Center regarding my proposal to allow gays to openly live in the Bahahi community without sanctions if that is the prescription that a competent doctor prescribes (since homosexuality is seen as a disorder in the Bahai community). What follows is their letter. Then I will post my response to their letter. Thanks!
    ————————————-
    Dear Bah??’? Friend,

    The Universal House of Justice has received your email letter of 15 October 2008, and
    we have been asked to convey to you the following.

    Your comments about your experience in the Bah??’? community have been noted. We are
    to assure you that to regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against
    the spirit of the Teachings.

    With regard to your suggestion that Bah??’?s be allowed to live with a partner in a
    homosexual lifestyle without losing their voting rights if a physician were to recommend this
    course of action, the Bah??’? writings unambiguously affirm that marriage is a union between a
    man and a woman, and sexual relations are only permissible between a couple who are married
    to each other. These teachings are set forth in the Writings of Bah??’u’ll??h and in the authoritative
    statements of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? and Shoghi Effendi and are not susceptible to change by the House
    of Justice. Therefore, it cannot adopt your suggestion.

    The doors are open for all of humanity to enter the Bah??’? community, irrespective of their
    present circumstances. Associated with this invitation is the expectation that all those who
    accept Bah??’u’ll??h as a Manifestation of God will make a sincere and persistent effort to modify
    those aspects of their conduct which are not in conformity with His Law. For some, this may
    involve a prolonged personal struggle. However, it would be a profound contradiction for
    someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with
    aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.

    With loving Bah??’? greetings,

    Department of the Secretariat

  • P

    And here is my response:

    “First thank you for your response. But I have to say I’m dissapointed in your response, yet it is what I expected. You will allow people to consume alcohol if prescribed by a doctor (something specifically forbidden by Bahaullah). But, you disregard a prescription by a doctor to allow a homosexual to find stability and peace in a healthy/intimate relationship. You condemn gay families (not Bahaullah; I’ve yet to see a specific quote from Him in regards to adult consenting gay relationships) but you still believe that this is not prejudice. What then is prejudice? You have pre-judged the relationship of two same sex adults and their children as not worthy of fully participating in Bahai community life.
    I am still a Bahai (albeit not active) and I always will be. I believe that justice is the most important thing before God’s eyes, not blind adherence to what was written by the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi to individual believers years ago.
    I pray for the Bahai youth being brought up, like I was, to regard their sexuality as a disorder to overcome. You say that the Faith stands against any type of prejudice against homosexuals, yet the Bahai community by insisting that gay couples are not fully welcome in the community, you are discriminating. Your views only feed Bahais in other countries to continue discrimination not only inside the Bahai community, but outside as well. Did you know for instance in 2003, the Guyana NSA wrote to the government against a proposed non-discrimination law that would protect gays/lesbians as well as others in society. And of course the recent protests in Uganda againsts gays where the Bahais were involved. Such actions by local Bahais, the trauma felt by Bahai youth (some whom I’m sure have committed suicide since they couldn’t “overcome”) and the loss of activity of thousands of good Bahais fall squarely on your shoulders because of the rigidness of your views. Good day.”

  • P

    And here is my response:

    “First thank you for your response. But I have to say I’m dissapointed in your response, yet it is what I expected. You will allow people to consume alcohol if prescribed by a doctor (something specifically forbidden by Bahaullah). But, you disregard a prescription by a doctor to allow a homosexual to find stability and peace in a healthy/intimate relationship. You condemn gay families (not Bahaullah; I’ve yet to see a specific quote from Him in regards to adult consenting gay relationships) but you still believe that this is not prejudice. What then is prejudice? You have pre-judged the relationship of two same sex adults and their children as not worthy of fully participating in Bahai community life.
    I am still a Bahai (albeit not active) and I always will be. I believe that justice is the most important thing before God’s eyes, not blind adherence to what was written by the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi to individual believers years ago.
    I pray for the Bahai youth being brought up, like I was, to regard their sexuality as a disorder to overcome. You say that the Faith stands against any type of prejudice against homosexuals, yet the Bahai community by insisting that gay couples are not fully welcome in the community, you are discriminating. Your views only feed Bahais in other countries to continue discrimination not only inside the Bahai community, but outside as well. Did you know for instance in 2003, the Guyana NSA wrote to the government against a proposed non-discrimination law that would protect gays/lesbians as well as others in society. And of course the recent protests in Uganda againsts gays where the Bahais were involved. Such actions by local Bahais, the trauma felt by Bahai youth (some whom I’m sure have committed suicide since they couldn’t “overcome”) and the loss of activity of thousands of good Bahais fall squarely on your shoulders because of the rigidness of your views. Good day.”

  • P, did you send this letter or is this your response just posted here? I’m just asking out of interest, and supporting you here. I admire your courage in writing the UHJ, because I wouldn’t, but I think it is important that Bahais do this. Others have suggested that I do, but I think I’m more useful trying to get fellow Bahais to see that it is nothing less than prejudice to expect gays to live differently to straights. I think real change happens at the grass roots and we need real change on this in our Bahai communities. After all if married gay couples were accepted in local communities without prejudice, then evidently the U.H.J. would see that there’s no immorality to fear, etc. Unfortunately, it seems from their letter above, as if this is going to take a long time, and as each decade passes and the world becomes more enlightened about identity and sexuality, harder to bear. When I read a letter like the above I despair, for how can we as Bahais preach the words “justice” or “equality” and have a different set of rules for gay Bahais.

    The only issue in the letter is the following:

    [quote comment=””][…] the Bah??’? writings unambiguously affirm that marriage is a union between a man and a woman[…][/quote]

    As far as I know it is not unambiguously only a union between a man and a woman in the Aqdas, given the principle of mutandis mutatis explained in the beginning, but give me a few days. I’ll look some stuff up and see what I find or someone else might beat me to it.

    If there’s nothing in the writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdul-Baha or Shoghi Effendi (Shoghi Effendi’s own authorative interpretations) and I suspect there isn’t or we would have heard about this by now, then as you wrote, it boils down to a decision by the U.H.J., on whether gay Bahais are expected to be treated with equality or not.

  • P, did you send this letter or is this your response just posted here? I’m just asking out of interest, and supporting you here. I admire your courage in writing the UHJ, because I wouldn’t, but I think it is important that Bahais do this. Others have suggested that I do, but I think I’m more useful trying to get fellow Bahais to see that it is nothing less than prejudice to expect gays to live differently to straights. I think real change happens at the grass roots and we need real change on this in our Bahai communities. After all if married gay couples were accepted in local communities without prejudice, then evidently the U.H.J. would see that there’s no immorality to fear, etc. Unfortunately, it seems from their letter above, as if this is going to take a long time, and as each decade passes and the world becomes more enlightened about identity and sexuality, harder to bear. When I read a letter like the above I despair, for how can we as Bahais preach the words “justice” or “equality” and have a different set of rules for gay Bahais.

    The only issue in the letter is the following:

    [quote comment=””][…] the Bah??’? writings unambiguously affirm that marriage is a union between a man and a woman[…][/quote]

    As far as I know it is not unambiguously only a union between a man and a woman in the Aqdas, given the principle of mutandis mutatis explained in the beginning, but give me a few days. I’ll look some stuff up and see what I find or someone else might beat me to it.

    If there’s nothing in the writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdul-Baha or Shoghi Effendi (Shoghi Effendi’s own authorative interpretations) and I suspect there isn’t or we would have heard about this by now, then as you wrote, it boils down to a decision by the U.H.J., on whether gay Bahais are expected to be treated with equality or not.

  • P

    Hi Sonja. No I emailed them back with what you read. I see two things in their response:
    1) The hypocrisy of allowing a Bahai to use drugs/alcohol if prescribed by a doctor, but not allowing a same sex realtionship if prescribed by a doctor. If as Bahais we are to accept science and the prescription of competent doctors, and if homosexuality is seen by the House as a disorder, then why reject such a prescription? They don’t even consider it. Why? There is ample proof from Bahaullah’s words Himself that we can not drink alcohol; yet THAT Bahais accept.
    2) The other thing is how quickly they equate a gay family with breaking Bahai law. I think the law (if there is such a thing and must be applied) should only be applied when it is blatant. So if two people are exhibiting their exploits on the internet for the world to see. Or lets say a closeted gay man cheats on his wife with another male who happens to be a LSA member- then that is a scandal where maybe you remove voting rights. But to automatically deny two good people full acceptance in the community with all rights is a complete injustice. Yet they continue to believe there is no prejudice in their decision.
    I’m really fed up. I used to be scared to death of letting anyone find out. Now I’m just angry at the injustice of it all. Daniel’s post above just confirmed for me how out of touch some religions are. I used to think those 9 men were something special and greater in their position than any Pope. Now I really see no difference.

  • P

    Hi Sonja. No I emailed them back with what you read. I see two things in their response:
    1) The hypocrisy of allowing a Bahai to use drugs/alcohol if prescribed by a doctor, but not allowing a same sex realtionship if prescribed by a doctor. If as Bahais we are to accept science and the prescription of competent doctors, and if homosexuality is seen by the House as a disorder, then why reject such a prescription? They don’t even consider it. Why? There is ample proof from Bahaullah’s words Himself that we can not drink alcohol; yet THAT Bahais accept.
    2) The other thing is how quickly they equate a gay family with breaking Bahai law. I think the law (if there is such a thing and must be applied) should only be applied when it is blatant. So if two people are exhibiting their exploits on the internet for the world to see. Or lets say a closeted gay man cheats on his wife with another male who happens to be a LSA member- then that is a scandal where maybe you remove voting rights. But to automatically deny two good people full acceptance in the community with all rights is a complete injustice. Yet they continue to believe there is no prejudice in their decision.
    I’m really fed up. I used to be scared to death of letting anyone find out. Now I’m just angry at the injustice of it all. Daniel’s post above just confirmed for me how out of touch some religions are. I used to think those 9 men were something special and greater in their position than any Pope. Now I really see no difference.

  • P

    And I guess I should have posted this first. Here is my initial email to the Secretariat office back in October:

    Dear Sirs,
    I would like a clear and final decision on how openly gay couples and individuals would be treated in the Bahai community. Would we have our voting rights removed for openly stating that we are gay and living with a partner? Or would we be fully accepted with voting rights and all?

    I understand the difficult decision that you must face. On the one hand you feel that you must follow the admonitions written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, on the other there is tremendous damage being done to gays inside the Bahai community. I am just one of those individuals who suffered as a gay youth in the Bahai community.

    I have a solution that may be worth investigating. Baha’u’llah extols his followers to seek professional medical help when they have an illness. For this reason, no Bahai would ever lose his voting rights for drinking a medicine with alcohol that is prescribed by a doctor, correct? Letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi also state that homosexuality is a disorder- one that may need the help of competent physicians. Then in the exact same way, if a homosexual has consulted a competent physician (all of whom do NOT recommend that a homosexual try to overcome his sexuality) and is now living a happy spiritual life- he should be FULLY accepted by the Bahai community. To remove this individual’s voting rights or make him hide his sexuality in order to function in the community would be an incredible injustice and the height of hypocrisy.

    I hope to hear an unambigious reply from your office. For now, I have decided to remain inactive, but with the hopes that your leadership will bring the Bahai community to not only greater acceptance of gay families, but encourage the Bahahi community to evolve into a haven for such families and individuals. I will leave you with an incredible link to a book that I hope you will read. I just pray that the religion of my forefathers will act differently from those in this book: http://www.crisisbook.org

  • P

    And I guess I should have posted this first. Here is my initial email to the Secretariat office back in October:

    Dear Sirs,
    I would like a clear and final decision on how openly gay couples and individuals would be treated in the Bahai community. Would we have our voting rights removed for openly stating that we are gay and living with a partner? Or would we be fully accepted with voting rights and all?

    I understand the difficult decision that you must face. On the one hand you feel that you must follow the admonitions written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, on the other there is tremendous damage being done to gays inside the Bahai community. I am just one of those individuals who suffered as a gay youth in the Bahai community.

    I have a solution that may be worth investigating. Baha’u’llah extols his followers to seek professional medical help when they have an illness. For this reason, no Bahai would ever lose his voting rights for drinking a medicine with alcohol that is prescribed by a doctor, correct? Letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi also state that homosexuality is a disorder- one that may need the help of competent physicians. Then in the exact same way, if a homosexual has consulted a competent physician (all of whom do NOT recommend that a homosexual try to overcome his sexuality) and is now living a happy spiritual life- he should be FULLY accepted by the Bahai community. To remove this individual’s voting rights or make him hide his sexuality in order to function in the community would be an incredible injustice and the height of hypocrisy.

    I hope to hear an unambigious reply from your office. For now, I have decided to remain inactive, but with the hopes that your leadership will bring the Bahai community to not only greater acceptance of gay families, but encourage the Bahahi community to evolve into a haven for such families and individuals. I will leave you with an incredible link to a book that I hope you will read. I just pray that the religion of my forefathers will act differently from those in this book: http://www.crisisbook.org

  • Grover

    Hi P,

    I suspect that your letter never even got read by any UHJ member. That looks like a stock standard reply from some annoying secretary. They probably have some automated response generator. You can understand their logic though:

    1 No sex before marriage (no kissing, no masturbation, no nothing)
    2 Marriage between man and woman only (procreation etc etc etc)
    3 Therefore no gay marriage and no gay sex

    I wouldn’t expect any other response from the UHJ, and I don’t think you’ll ever get them revisiting past decisions. Don’t expect there to be changes anytime soon, the UHJ members come from conservative backgrounds, either multiple generation Baha’i from muslim countries or conservative christian backgrounds. No amount of scientific evidence etc would ever override their own personal biases supported by what they perceive the Baha’i writings to be.

    The only way you would ever be able to force a change is to form your own faith community that embraces homosexuality as normal and get those who are closeted, inactive, or resigned and those who are supportive of homosexuals to join. You’ll be branded as a covenant breaker, but then what revolutionary has not been disowned by the mainstream community?

  • Grover

    Hi P,

    I suspect that your letter never even got read by any UHJ member. That looks like a stock standard reply from some annoying secretary. They probably have some automated response generator. You can understand their logic though:

    1 No sex before marriage (no kissing, no masturbation, no nothing)
    2 Marriage between man and woman only (procreation etc etc etc)
    3 Therefore no gay marriage and no gay sex

    I wouldn’t expect any other response from the UHJ, and I don’t think you’ll ever get them revisiting past decisions. Don’t expect there to be changes anytime soon, the UHJ members come from conservative backgrounds, either multiple generation Baha’i from muslim countries or conservative christian backgrounds. No amount of scientific evidence etc would ever override their own personal biases supported by what they perceive the Baha’i writings to be.

    The only way you would ever be able to force a change is to form your own faith community that embraces homosexuality as normal and get those who are closeted, inactive, or resigned and those who are supportive of homosexuals to join. You’ll be branded as a covenant breaker, but then what revolutionary has not been disowned by the mainstream community?

  • P

    Thanks Grover, but to start another Bahai group is NOT an option for me. What I love about the Bahai Faith is the idea of unity. I would rather be alone (or maybe worship with Unitarians and just call myself an inactive Bahai) than to be part of a splinter group. But I do believe that umbrella of unity will include LGBT people one day. It probably will start at the grassroots with liberal societies just allowing gay couples to serve openly at the local level without anyone at the top knowing (sort of like what is happening with many liberal Catholic congregations) and then maybe at some point the UHJ will come to terms with it. Who knows? It’s easy to be doubtful, but then again I also never thought I’d see the day when a black man would be president of the United States. So anything is possible. :o)

  • P

    Thanks Grover, but to start another Bahai group is NOT an option for me. What I love about the Bahai Faith is the idea of unity. I would rather be alone (or maybe worship with Unitarians and just call myself an inactive Bahai) than to be part of a splinter group. But I do believe that umbrella of unity will include LGBT people one day. It probably will start at the grassroots with liberal societies just allowing gay couples to serve openly at the local level without anyone at the top knowing (sort of like what is happening with many liberal Catholic congregations) and then maybe at some point the UHJ will come to terms with it. Who knows? It’s easy to be doubtful, but then again I also never thought I’d see the day when a black man would be president of the United States. So anything is possible. :o)

  • Dan W

    Yes, P . . . starting a splinter group is not an option. I also believe that “the umbrella of unity will include LGBT people one day.” It is the only possible outcome if our religion is to remain in consonance with science. I wonder what would happen if all the LGBT Baha’is, like myself, who have been sanctioned, started showing up at public Baha’i events and speaking our truth in a loving and gentle way? What if we jumped in and started teaching the Faith and attending Ruhi study groups, pointing out the glaring oxymoron enshrined in “elimination of prejudice of all forms” when gay people are not allowed to be themselves? So many of us are getting active in the quest for equality on a civic level — why not in our local Baha’i communities? Part of me wants to do it, but another part of me just doesn’t have the heart for the depression and renewed sense of alienation that would inevitably result.

  • Dan W

    Yes, P . . . starting a splinter group is not an option. I also believe that “the umbrella of unity will include LGBT people one day.” It is the only possible outcome if our religion is to remain in consonance with science. I wonder what would happen if all the LGBT Baha’is, like myself, who have been sanctioned, started showing up at public Baha’i events and speaking our truth in a loving and gentle way? What if we jumped in and started teaching the Faith and attending Ruhi study groups, pointing out the glaring oxymoron enshrined in “elimination of prejudice of all forms” when gay people are not allowed to be themselves? So many of us are getting active in the quest for equality on a civic level — why not in our local Baha’i communities? Part of me wants to do it, but another part of me just doesn’t have the heart for the depression and renewed sense of alienation that would inevitably result.

  • Bill Garbett

    I was asked to post something here by my friend Daniel. After reading the above posts, especially the response from the UHJ regarding gay couples, it seems futile to try and “reason” with the Baha’i Institutions and/or individual Baha’is who will not, under any circumstances, have a thoughtful and meaningful discussion about how and where gay and lesbian people can be out and proud and “fit” into the Baha’i community. Until the institutions of the Faith are ready to move on and reevaluate what the Guardian said so many years ago regarding homosexuality, nothing and I mean nothing will move them to change their stand. It’s like the Christian bumper sticker I see sometimes, “God Said It, I Believe It, that Settles It”. It’s heart breaking because I believe that as long as the Faith stays locked into a 1950’s mind set it will long continue to be viewed as a small fringe religion with no chance of capturing the hearts of the masses. Shoghi Effendi said that the Baha’i Faith should always be in the “forefront” of all progressive movements. Well, what happened? I also believe that if the Guardian knew that after his death there would be no more future Guardians and that the UHJ would refuse to update any of his writings/interpretations as the times would require, he would have given the future UHJ the power to do “what so ever they willest”. I don’t believe he would have agreed to “freeze” the ability of UHJ to legislate and possibly modernize his interpretations until the appearance of the next manifestation in a thousand or thousands of years! The Guardian had one of the most brilliant and logical minds of the 20th Century. He just asumed, as all Baha’is at the time did because of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, that future Guardians would keep the Faith in the forefront of a progessive civilization, they having the power to alter and change what past Guardians said. I guess as someone here said, it will take maybe another 100 years for the Faith to change regarding gays and lesbians. It will take that period of time for the “emotional” attachment to the person of Shoghi Effendi to fade away enough for the institutions to see the “era” in which they are functioning. To me, no matter what any Baha’is say, the Universal House of Justice has the power to do what ever needs to be done to perserve the very life of the Faith. They just haven’t been around long enough.
    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Bill Garbett

    I was asked to post something here by my friend Daniel. After reading the above posts, especially the response from the UHJ regarding gay couples, it seems futile to try and “reason” with the Baha’i Institutions and/or individual Baha’is who will not, under any circumstances, have a thoughtful and meaningful discussion about how and where gay and lesbian people can be out and proud and “fit” into the Baha’i community. Until the institutions of the Faith are ready to move on and reevaluate what the Guardian said so many years ago regarding homosexuality, nothing and I mean nothing will move them to change their stand. It’s like the Christian bumper sticker I see sometimes, “God Said It, I Believe It, that Settles It”. It’s heart breaking because I believe that as long as the Faith stays locked into a 1950’s mind set it will long continue to be viewed as a small fringe religion with no chance of capturing the hearts of the masses. Shoghi Effendi said that the Baha’i Faith should always be in the “forefront” of all progressive movements. Well, what happened? I also believe that if the Guardian knew that after his death there would be no more future Guardians and that the UHJ would refuse to update any of his writings/interpretations as the times would require, he would have given the future UHJ the power to do “what so ever they willest”. I don’t believe he would have agreed to “freeze” the ability of UHJ to legislate and possibly modernize his interpretations until the appearance of the next manifestation in a thousand or thousands of years! The Guardian had one of the most brilliant and logical minds of the 20th Century. He just asumed, as all Baha’is at the time did because of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, that future Guardians would keep the Faith in the forefront of a progessive civilization, they having the power to alter and change what past Guardians said. I guess as someone here said, it will take maybe another 100 years for the Faith to change regarding gays and lesbians. It will take that period of time for the “emotional” attachment to the person of Shoghi Effendi to fade away enough for the institutions to see the “era” in which they are functioning. To me, no matter what any Baha’is say, the Universal House of Justice has the power to do what ever needs to be done to perserve the very life of the Faith. They just haven’t been around long enough.
    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Grover’s syllogism:

    [quote comment=””]
    1 No sex before marriage (no kissing, no masturbation, no nothing)
    2 Marriage between man and woman only (procreation etc etc etc)
    3 Therefore no gay marriage and no gay sex
    [/quote]

    That’s clean logic, Grover, but for the sake of fair representation of the Baha’i writings, I think there’s a premise that your syllogism doesn’t cover: Homosexuality is “spiritually condemned” and a “shameful aberration.” The UHJ won’t forget these words, so it might be worthwhile to keep them in mind.

  • Grover’s syllogism:

    [quote comment=””]
    1 No sex before marriage (no kissing, no masturbation, no nothing)
    2 Marriage between man and woman only (procreation etc etc etc)
    3 Therefore no gay marriage and no gay sex
    [/quote]

    That’s clean logic, Grover, but for the sake of fair representation of the Baha’i writings, I think there’s a premise that your syllogism doesn’t cover: Homosexuality is “spiritually condemned” and a “shameful aberration.” The UHJ won’t forget these words, so it might be worthwhile to keep them in mind.

  • Andrew says, with regard to righteous anger:

    [quote comment=””]Do not waste it: honor it.[/quote]

    I agree, but I would also add that to speak the truth, whether or not one is angry, is a noble goal. Those who silence the truth for the sake of unity “shall have neither.”

  • Andrew says, with regard to righteous anger:

    [quote comment=””]Do not waste it: honor it.[/quote]

    I agree, but I would also add that to speak the truth, whether or not one is angry, is a noble goal. Those who silence the truth for the sake of unity “shall have neither.”

  • Amanda

    Andrew and Dan, I really appreciate your comments about honoring righteous anger and the importance of speaking the truth.

  • Amanda

    Andrew and Dan, I really appreciate your comments about honoring righteous anger and the importance of speaking the truth.

  • “In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.”
    (`Abdu’l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, Page: 215)

  • “In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.”
    (`Abdu’l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, Page: 215)

  • Grover

    Hi Dan J,

    [quote post=”193″]Homosexuality is ?spiritually condemned? and a ?shameful aberration.?[/quote]

    I was conveniently ignoring that ;P. Its from some nasty secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (I think). It sidelines homosexuals as evil and naughty when they are just as spiritual and good as anyone else.

  • Grover

    Hi Dan J,

    [quote post=”193″]Homosexuality is ?spiritually condemned? and a ?shameful aberration.?[/quote]

    I was conveniently ignoring that ;P. Its from some nasty secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (I think). It sidelines homosexuals as evil and naughty when they are just as spiritual and good as anyone else.

  • Grover wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Its from some nasty secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (I think)[/quote]

    😀 Grover, who *was* this secretary that hijacked the future of the Baha’i Faith? Does she have a name? A face? It seems like every time I come around a corner, she’s standing there with a can of spraypaint vandalizing the Word of God!

  • Grover wrote:

    [quote comment=””]Its from some nasty secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi (I think)[/quote]

    😀 Grover, who *was* this secretary that hijacked the future of the Baha’i Faith? Does she have a name? A face? It seems like every time I come around a corner, she’s standing there with a can of spraypaint vandalizing the Word of God!

  • Dan, someone once said it would be badaa’ to mention her name.

  • Dan, someone once said it would be badaa’ to mention her name.

  • Daniel Orey

    Steve Marshall’s find:

    ?In creation there …. blameworthy.?
    (`Abdu’l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, Page: 215)

    Daniel (with tongue in cheek) says that this is proof that the Master never taught mathematics in an inner city gang infested high school in California…

  • Daniel Orey

    Steve Marshall’s find:

    ?In creation there …. blameworthy.?
    (`Abdu’l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, Page: 215)

    Daniel (with tongue in cheek) says that this is proof that the Master never taught mathematics in an inner city gang infested high school in California…

  • Baquia explained:

    [quote comment=””]Dan, someone once said it would be badaa’ to mention her name.[/quote]

    Look, Baquia, don’t get hung up on too literal a definition of ‘year’. Remember, a year is like a day to God. That would make “1000 years” sometime in 1895. If that’s not good enough for you, you don’t have to say a word. Just write her name down here–backwards if you like. I promise not to say it aloud.

    -Dan

  • Baquia explained:

    [quote comment=””]Dan, someone once said it would be badaa’ to mention her name.[/quote]

    Look, Baquia, don’t get hung up on too literal a definition of ‘year’. Remember, a year is like a day to God. That would make “1000 years” sometime in 1895. If that’s not good enough for you, you don’t have to say a word. Just write her name down here–backwards if you like. I promise not to say it aloud.

    -Dan

  • Why is it assumed that the secretaries were women 🙂 Shoghi Effendi’s brother Ruhi was one for a time. A guess would be that there would have been 20 or so secretaries who wrote letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. One of the problems is that we have no access to finding out who wrote what when, because this information is not made public. But again, these are not scripture.

    Bill wrote “it seems futile to try and ?reason? with the Baha’i Institutions and/or individual Baha’is who will not, under any circumstances, have a thoughtful and meaningful discussion about how and where gay and lesbian people can be out and proud and ?fit? into the Baha’i community.”

    This is where people like me can do something and should, I think.
    We need to wake up the consciences of our fellow Bahais and show by reasoning that denying gays full equal rights and responsibilities is nothing short of prejudice. It is not up to gays to do this. It is too painful and besides it is more effective for a straight to engage in this way. Likewise when it comes to getting sexists to consider that women could be more than just secretaries. Men would listen more openly to other men, etc.
    I see a point in aiming for a community where gays have a place. In my home and at any event I organize gays have a place and I’m as Bahai as the next person, so we start with ourselves and proceed. And we don’t buckle. So hopefully more and more gays will find that there are communities where they can be who they are without prejudice. So straights can do two things: talk to other Bahais about this injustice and work on them. I use simple slogans like isn’t the garden for all the flowers, etc and hammer that. With people who really don’t see the inequality I don’t bother with the Shoghi Effendi letters. They need first to see that it is unjust to expect that a gay or lesbian to be sexless as a lifestyle. But this isn’t really the issue, the issue is having a different set of rules which goes against any principle of equality.

    I find the UHJ’s responses so far on this topic saddening, but on the other hand, if you see the UHJ not as the vanguard but as the most conservative element in the Bahai community then I find this helps. Perhaps this is their role, after all, a head of state is usually the most conservative element of a given society. It certainly gives a sense of stability. It could be that we need to rethink the role of the UHJ in this light.

  • Why is it assumed that the secretaries were women 🙂 Shoghi Effendi’s brother Ruhi was one for a time. A guess would be that there would have been 20 or so secretaries who wrote letters on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. One of the problems is that we have no access to finding out who wrote what when, because this information is not made public. But again, these are not scripture.

    Bill wrote “it seems futile to try and ?reason? with the Baha’i Institutions and/or individual Baha’is who will not, under any circumstances, have a thoughtful and meaningful discussion about how and where gay and lesbian people can be out and proud and ?fit? into the Baha’i community.”

    This is where people like me can do something and should, I think.
    We need to wake up the consciences of our fellow Bahais and show by reasoning that denying gays full equal rights and responsibilities is nothing short of prejudice. It is not up to gays to do this. It is too painful and besides it is more effective for a straight to engage in this way. Likewise when it comes to getting sexists to consider that women could be more than just secretaries. Men would listen more openly to other men, etc.
    I see a point in aiming for a community where gays have a place. In my home and at any event I organize gays have a place and I’m as Bahai as the next person, so we start with ourselves and proceed. And we don’t buckle. So hopefully more and more gays will find that there are communities where they can be who they are without prejudice. So straights can do two things: talk to other Bahais about this injustice and work on them. I use simple slogans like isn’t the garden for all the flowers, etc and hammer that. With people who really don’t see the inequality I don’t bother with the Shoghi Effendi letters. They need first to see that it is unjust to expect that a gay or lesbian to be sexless as a lifestyle. But this isn’t really the issue, the issue is having a different set of rules which goes against any principle of equality.

    I find the UHJ’s responses so far on this topic saddening, but on the other hand, if you see the UHJ not as the vanguard but as the most conservative element in the Bahai community then I find this helps. Perhaps this is their role, after all, a head of state is usually the most conservative element of a given society. It certainly gives a sense of stability. It could be that we need to rethink the role of the UHJ in this light.

  • Sonja wrote: [quote comment=””]Why is it assumed that the secretaries were women :)[/quote]

    Just wishful thinking. How else are we going to get a female Guardian?

  • Sonja wrote: [quote comment=””]Why is it assumed that the secretaries were women :)[/quote]

    Just wishful thinking. How else are we going to get a female Guardian?

  • Dan W

    I love you guys so much, and can’t tell you how much solace and joy it brings me to read all these posts. Jonathan and I will be driving from Chicago to Louisville tomorrow, through snow and sleet. I’ll be standing by my my partner as we love and ease the journey of his dying father. I am so blessed that I have a family, his family, who loves me equally and treats me as a spouse even though I don’t have that recognition in my religion or society. I’ll keep watching this site for more inspiration and strength!

  • Dan W

    I love you guys so much, and can’t tell you how much solace and joy it brings me to read all these posts. Jonathan and I will be driving from Chicago to Louisville tomorrow, through snow and sleet. I’ll be standing by my my partner as we love and ease the journey of his dying father. I am so blessed that I have a family, his family, who loves me equally and treats me as a spouse even though I don’t have that recognition in my religion or society. I’ll keep watching this site for more inspiration and strength!

  • Andrew

    What might it look like if someone wanted to treat straight Baha’is the way straight Baha’is treat gay Baha’is?

  • Andrew

    What might it look like if someone wanted to treat straight Baha’is the way straight Baha’is treat gay Baha’is?

  • P

    That’s a good question Andrew. Actually I would like to see more single straight Bahais prosecuted. If the administration is going to assume that two openly gay men living together are breaking laws and need to have voting rights removed, then we should assume the same of single Bahais in the community. In fact, single parents should be strongly discouraged and Bahai administration should always encourage the single parent to give up the child to his/her ex if the ex has re-married. Because the way God intended for a child to be raised is by a mother and a father, not by a single person. It’s absurd to even consider what I’m proposing, but when it comes to gays/lesbians it somehow makes sense to the Bahai administration. Total hypocrisy!

  • P

    That’s a good question Andrew. Actually I would like to see more single straight Bahais prosecuted. If the administration is going to assume that two openly gay men living together are breaking laws and need to have voting rights removed, then we should assume the same of single Bahais in the community. In fact, single parents should be strongly discouraged and Bahai administration should always encourage the single parent to give up the child to his/her ex if the ex has re-married. Because the way God intended for a child to be raised is by a mother and a father, not by a single person. It’s absurd to even consider what I’m proposing, but when it comes to gays/lesbians it somehow makes sense to the Bahai administration. Total hypocrisy!

  • ep

    [quote comment=”60199″]… I wonder what would happen if all the LGBT Baha’is, like myself, who have been sanctioned, started showing up at public Baha’i events and speaking our truth in a loving and gentle way?
    … Part of me wants to do it, but another part of me just doesn’t have the heart for the depression and renewed sense of alienation that would inevitably result.[/quote]

    Same as any other differing opinion about anything not in the current conformist-groupthink mindset. As you say, alienation is the inevitable result.

    Experiment shows that conformance to authortarians is the default reaction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    | I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much
    | pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply
    | because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark
    | authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’]
    | strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the
    | subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the
    | victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme
    | willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command
    | of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the
    | fact most urgently demanding explanation.

    The same is true of pc/left/liberal groupthink authoritarians.

  • ep

    [quote comment=”60199″]… I wonder what would happen if all the LGBT Baha’is, like myself, who have been sanctioned, started showing up at public Baha’i events and speaking our truth in a loving and gentle way?
    … Part of me wants to do it, but another part of me just doesn’t have the heart for the depression and renewed sense of alienation that would inevitably result.[/quote]

    Same as any other differing opinion about anything not in the current conformist-groupthink mindset. As you say, alienation is the inevitable result.

    Experiment shows that conformance to authortarians is the default reaction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    | I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much
    | pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply
    | because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark
    | authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’]
    | strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the
    | subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the
    | victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme
    | willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command
    | of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the
    | fact most urgently demanding explanation.

    The same is true of pc/left/liberal groupthink authoritarians.

  • ep

    “anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants ”

    what happens when the above is applied to pro-gay hate groups?

    the only thing keeping such pro-gay hate groups from increasing is the same thing as anti-gay hate groups:

    honesty and self-examination.

    what this blog thread demonstrates is that anyone asking why the breakdown of such self-examination exists will be demonized.

    the classic statement is “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”.

    an update version would be “compassion is the last refuge of scoundrels”.

    pc/left pathology and inflamation clearly exists in the pro-gay movement. people are being forced to accept pc/left ideology as wrapped in a pro-gay banner. such is detrimental to the goals of the movement in that it polarizes things and excludes possibilites not at the extremes.

    the classic example is how a radical/extremist statement by the mayor of SF was used by the Yes on Prop 8 people.

    as long as the pro-gay movement is part of the pc/left movement, it will have significant problems trying to get support from moderates.

    as long as the pro-gay movement continues to insist that it is ok to spew hate (and disrespect of social traditions) in the name of “tolerance” and “rights”, it will have significant problems trying to get support from moderates.

    if the people asking for tolerance and rights can’t recognise such basic political reality, then “that says it all”.

  • ep

    “anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants ”

    what happens when the above is applied to pro-gay hate groups?

    the only thing keeping such pro-gay hate groups from increasing is the same thing as anti-gay hate groups:

    honesty and self-examination.

    what this blog thread demonstrates is that anyone asking why the breakdown of such self-examination exists will be demonized.

    the classic statement is “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”.

    an update version would be “compassion is the last refuge of scoundrels”.

    pc/left pathology and inflamation clearly exists in the pro-gay movement. people are being forced to accept pc/left ideology as wrapped in a pro-gay banner. such is detrimental to the goals of the movement in that it polarizes things and excludes possibilites not at the extremes.

    the classic example is how a radical/extremist statement by the mayor of SF was used by the Yes on Prop 8 people.

    as long as the pro-gay movement is part of the pc/left movement, it will have significant problems trying to get support from moderates.

    as long as the pro-gay movement continues to insist that it is ok to spew hate (and disrespect of social traditions) in the name of “tolerance” and “rights”, it will have significant problems trying to get support from moderates.

    if the people asking for tolerance and rights can’t recognise such basic political reality, then “that says it all”.

  • ep

    anyone who has seen how far-left or far-right political groups actually operate in the “real world” will of course know that once inflamed, dysfunctional attack dog tactics become “normal”, they are used against anyone that does not conform to wishes of the group using them – not just the “perpetrators of injustice”.

    the fact is that totalitarianism is being argued for, and old story, and sad.

    [quote comment=”60160″]To quote Karl Popper:

    [quote]The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them . . . We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.[/quote][/quote]

  • ep

    anyone who has seen how far-left or far-right political groups actually operate in the “real world” will of course know that once inflamed, dysfunctional attack dog tactics become “normal”, they are used against anyone that does not conform to wishes of the group using them – not just the “perpetrators of injustice”.

    the fact is that totalitarianism is being argued for, and old story, and sad.

    [quote comment=”60160″]To quote Karl Popper:

    [quote]The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them . . . We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.[/quote][/quote]

  • Amanda

    EP,

    Would you kindly name a “pro-gay hate group?”

    Would you kindly provide a quotation/citation for any of these groups “spew(ing of) hate?”

    Would you kindly explain the logic of how you equate “hate” to “disrespect of social traditions?”

    Thank you,
    Amanda

  • Amanda

    EP,

    Would you kindly name a “pro-gay hate group?”

    Would you kindly provide a quotation/citation for any of these groups “spew(ing of) hate?”

    Would you kindly explain the logic of how you equate “hate” to “disrespect of social traditions?”

    Thank you,
    Amanda

  • Daniel Orey

    What is a pro-gay hate group?

    Is pro-gay like a professional gay, one who is paid to be both gay and hate… ? Hmmmm let me work this out…

    I absolutely hate lima beans and I am gay, however, I am to a professional gay in that I have no degree from a university, nor am I hired to be gay, I do have a certificate from the state saying I am married.. .but it doesn’t mention gay there either… so I guess I am a semi-pro hater…

  • Daniel Orey

    What is a pro-gay hate group?

    Is pro-gay like a professional gay, one who is paid to be both gay and hate… ? Hmmmm let me work this out…

    I absolutely hate lima beans and I am gay, however, I am to a professional gay in that I have no degree from a university, nor am I hired to be gay, I do have a certificate from the state saying I am married.. .but it doesn’t mention gay there either… so I guess I am a semi-pro hater…

  • ep

    some of the people on this blog.

    some of the people posting on this thread.

    please stop distorting what I said, it is a bullying tactic.

    [quote comment=”60274″]EP,

    Would you kindly name a “pro-gay hate group?”

    Would you kindly provide a quotation/citation for any of these groups “spew(ing of) hate?”

    Would you kindly explain the logic of how you equate “hate” to “disrespect of social traditions?”

    Thank you,
    Amanda[/quote]

  • ep

    some of the people on this blog.

    some of the people posting on this thread.

    please stop distorting what I said, it is a bullying tactic.

    [quote comment=”60274″]EP,

    Would you kindly name a “pro-gay hate group?”

    Would you kindly provide a quotation/citation for any of these groups “spew(ing of) hate?”

    Would you kindly explain the logic of how you equate “hate” to “disrespect of social traditions?”

    Thank you,
    Amanda[/quote]

  • Daniel Orey

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-etheridge/the-choice-is-ours-now_b_152947.html

    gotta go have cooffe in midtown with my fellow pro-gay haters… laters!

  • Daniel Orey

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-etheridge/the-choice-is-ours-now_b_152947.html

    gotta go have cooffe in midtown with my fellow pro-gay haters… laters!

  • Amanda

    EP.

    I have not distorted anything you have said- if I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, please correct me.

    What I have done is asked you to be specific. Asking for clarification, definition, examples, or EVIDENCE is far from bullying. What it is asking you to do is to participate in this discussion in an adult way that is reasonable and fair. All adults have the right to any opinion and to state that opinion, but we also have the responsibility to back up our assertions with facts. That is where your method is breaking down.

    It is fine to speak in grand, broad strokes, about how people are. To be an impressionist painter with your words. However, you have made truth claims here about what you claim to be facts. If I am understanding you, you have claimed that 1) “Pro-gay hate groups” exist 2) These groups are organized, violent, and use extremism to further their goals 3) That “disrespect of social traditions” is hate and that 4) Some posters here, including myself, are bullies.

    Have I missed anything?

    So, because you are stating the above assertions as facts, I am simply asking you to provide evidence that any of them are true. If you find being held to the common standard that one should be able to back up one’s assertions with evidence to be “bullying,” rather than simply the rules of engagement in a public discussion, then I encourage you to just clarify for all of us that you do not wish to be held to those rules of engagement or any standard of evidence. I, and I am guessing anyone else here, would be more than happy to respect your boundary that you NOT be expected to back up any of your claims with facts- if you would simply let us know that’s what you’re asking.

    Because that’s what you’re asking.

    For example, if you were to state that “The universe is purple,” and I knew that you didn’t mean it literally or factually, I would simply take it as a statement of how you FEEL about the universe and I would light up the incense and crank up the Jimmi Hendrix right along with you. However, if you mean your assertions FACTUALLY, then I am going to continue to ask you to provide evidence.

    So, not to harsh your mellow, but please demonstrate that there is any truth to your above summarized claims.

    Thank you,
    Amanda

  • Amanda

    EP.

    I have not distorted anything you have said- if I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, please correct me.

    What I have done is asked you to be specific. Asking for clarification, definition, examples, or EVIDENCE is far from bullying. What it is asking you to do is to participate in this discussion in an adult way that is reasonable and fair. All adults have the right to any opinion and to state that opinion, but we also have the responsibility to back up our assertions with facts. That is where your method is breaking down.

    It is fine to speak in grand, broad strokes, about how people are. To be an impressionist painter with your words. However, you have made truth claims here about what you claim to be facts. If I am understanding you, you have claimed that 1) “Pro-gay hate groups” exist 2) These groups are organized, violent, and use extremism to further their goals 3) That “disrespect of social traditions” is hate and that 4) Some posters here, including myself, are bullies.

    Have I missed anything?

    So, because you are stating the above assertions as facts, I am simply asking you to provide evidence that any of them are true. If you find being held to the common standard that one should be able to back up one’s assertions with evidence to be “bullying,” rather than simply the rules of engagement in a public discussion, then I encourage you to just clarify for all of us that you do not wish to be held to those rules of engagement or any standard of evidence. I, and I am guessing anyone else here, would be more than happy to respect your boundary that you NOT be expected to back up any of your claims with facts- if you would simply let us know that’s what you’re asking.

    Because that’s what you’re asking.

    For example, if you were to state that “The universe is purple,” and I knew that you didn’t mean it literally or factually, I would simply take it as a statement of how you FEEL about the universe and I would light up the incense and crank up the Jimmi Hendrix right along with you. However, if you mean your assertions FACTUALLY, then I am going to continue to ask you to provide evidence.

    So, not to harsh your mellow, but please demonstrate that there is any truth to your above summarized claims.

    Thank you,
    Amanda

  • ep

    “I have not distorted anything you have said- if I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, please correct me.”

    Yes, you distorted what I wrote (as have several others in this thread). I already stated this. There was no misunderstanding, just distortion. I’m assuming that you are using distortion because you have nothing of substance to counter my observations, and are upset that te usual bullying isn’t working.

    Let’s be clear: are you saying that there has never been radicalism or extremism in the pro-gay movement? “Outing” never happened? Bizarro. At least andrew tries to make excuses for the extremism, presumably because he is too smart to deny that it exists.

    Google “pro gay hate”.

  • ep

    “I have not distorted anything you have said- if I have misunderstood what you are trying to say, please correct me.”

    Yes, you distorted what I wrote (as have several others in this thread). I already stated this. There was no misunderstanding, just distortion. I’m assuming that you are using distortion because you have nothing of substance to counter my observations, and are upset that te usual bullying isn’t working.

    Let’s be clear: are you saying that there has never been radicalism or extremism in the pro-gay movement? “Outing” never happened? Bizarro. At least andrew tries to make excuses for the extremism, presumably because he is too smart to deny that it exists.

    Google “pro gay hate”.

  • ep: this has me smiling. If I’ve understood you correctly you are associating “Outing” with pro-gay extremism. Now, that is hilarous. So you are being ironic and funny, and we shouldn’t take your claims seriously.

    Ok, there’s room for fun here too.
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • ep: this has me smiling. If I’ve understood you correctly you are associating “Outing” with pro-gay extremism. Now, that is hilarous. So you are being ironic and funny, and we shouldn’t take your claims seriously.

    Ok, there’s room for fun here too.
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Eric states:

    [quote comment=””]Let’s be clear: are you saying that there has never been radicalism or extremism in the pro-gay movement?[/quote]

    Never. Never-ever-ever. It’s all been 100% peace, love, and understanding, Eric.

    Of course if a gay activist ever had a single hateful thought, that would destroy the credibility of the “pro-gay movement”.

  • Eric states:

    [quote comment=””]Let’s be clear: are you saying that there has never been radicalism or extremism in the pro-gay movement?[/quote]

    Never. Never-ever-ever. It’s all been 100% peace, love, and understanding, Eric.

    Of course if a gay activist ever had a single hateful thought, that would destroy the credibility of the “pro-gay movement”.

  • Daniel Orey

    This discussion is enjoyable (he says while sipping tea at our very civilized Hina’s on K street in Sacramento).

    Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…

    The readership needs to know as well, that despite my disagreeing with him on what ever he means by “pro-gay haters” or a number of other things we talk about over coffee. That withstanding, the USAan right-wingnut media that likes to inflame the homophobia, and ignore the anti-gay violence, name calling and disagreeableness from republicans that I deal with on a constant and daily basis. I am deeply appreciative of him and his efforts, he went to bat for me when I came out to the LSA here. He is one guy, with cajones that I respect, even tho I disagree with him, frequently.

    Now, if you want to know what gets this GBLM (gay Bah??’? lefty mathematician) all riled up (mind you not enough to spray paint a cathedral, or scare the bejezus out of Mormons on bikes… tempting to honk, though… but naw) but enough to join my friends at the capitol and PEACEFULLY protest is this. I will ask Father Joe when I see him… “what the hell was that about anyway?”

    In his latest and most bizarre anti-gay missive, Pope Benedict says it’s just as important to protect humanity from dirty homosexuals as it is to protect the rainforest:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE4BL2FE20081222

    Sigh… this is supposed to help the situation, how?

    Blessings all!

  • Daniel Orey

    This discussion is enjoyable (he says while sipping tea at our very civilized Hina’s on K street in Sacramento).

    Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…

    The readership needs to know as well, that despite my disagreeing with him on what ever he means by “pro-gay haters” or a number of other things we talk about over coffee. That withstanding, the USAan right-wingnut media that likes to inflame the homophobia, and ignore the anti-gay violence, name calling and disagreeableness from republicans that I deal with on a constant and daily basis. I am deeply appreciative of him and his efforts, he went to bat for me when I came out to the LSA here. He is one guy, with cajones that I respect, even tho I disagree with him, frequently.

    Now, if you want to know what gets this GBLM (gay Bah??’? lefty mathematician) all riled up (mind you not enough to spray paint a cathedral, or scare the bejezus out of Mormons on bikes… tempting to honk, though… but naw) but enough to join my friends at the capitol and PEACEFULLY protest is this. I will ask Father Joe when I see him… “what the hell was that about anyway?”

    In his latest and most bizarre anti-gay missive, Pope Benedict says it’s just as important to protect humanity from dirty homosexuals as it is to protect the rainforest:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE4BL2FE20081222

    Sigh… this is supposed to help the situation, how?

    Blessings all!

  • Amanda

    EP,

    Again, I have not distorted anything you’ve said, and if you feel I have misrepresented it I sincerely ask you to correct me. Really. Really, Really. You say that I have, but then refuse to tell me how or where or what. What am I supposed to make of that? What is anyone else supposed to make of it? This would be a great opportunity to start doling out the facts and evidence to back up your claims. But instead you just move up the ladder of logical fallacies, and go straight for the ad hominem by saying:

    “I’m assuming that you are using distortion because you have nothing of substance to counter my observations, and are upset that te usual bullying isn’t working.”

    Nice one. 2 points for an attempt at changing the subject to my (undocumented) lack of substance and what my emotional motivations might be. Perhaps next you might try calling me shrill? That’s always a crowd pleaser.

    What I would like is to have the OPPORTUNITY to DEMONSTRATE through EVIDENCE whether or not I have anything of substance to say to your observations. Sadly, until you actually get your observations on solid ground by telling us specifically what they are, I am left to swat at ephemera in the air. Defining your terms and showing a little evidence (what or where is this extremism? What and where are these distortions? Where lies the bullying, etc)this can’t be anything but a ping pong match of “uh uh, yuh huh!”

    So, throw me a thesis statement with a fact or two attached instead of calling people names and let’s see if this goes someplace. Because, so far, you stated that there is the “pro-gay hate” equivalent of a forest fire sweeping California, and to prove it you cite the existence of a box of matches in somebody’s pocket. Show me the flames, Eric, that’s what I’m saying. Where are the flames? Where there ISN’T SMOKE, there usually ISN’T FIRE, is all I’m saying.

    I did google “pro gay hate” as you suggested, and found alot of sites about people who are pro- passing hate crimes legislation to protect gay people who are suffering from well documented violence. I DIDN’T see anything about our nations hospitals filling up with battered right-wingers. There was also a story about two 7 year olds fighting over seating in their school cafeteria, and one of the fathers attributing it to “a well-planned and coordinated assault”by the kid with gay parents because it was the “anniversary of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.” (http://gay_blog.blogspot.com/2006/06/first-graders-accused-of-pro-gay-hate.html) There was also a story about an older woman who walked into a No on 8 rally with a giant cross and a beligerent man yanked the cross out of her hands and stomped on it. You are quite right that, whatever the 7 year olds reasons, it’s not ok to hit and he deserves a timeout, and that guy shouldn’t have stomped on the homophobic lady’s cross. He should get charged with assault. There are people whose immaturity and issues prevent them from being constructive. But, conflating their actions with those of people who are just talking to you is absurd. So far, I am not seeing any existance of “groups” whose are organized around “pro-gate hate.” Prove me wrong if they exist.

    You state that I denied the existance of radicals in the movement. Not true. I’m asking you to DEFINE radicalism. I’m a radical, and I exist. But I (and every self-respecting radical I know) mean by that that we reject the structural disparities that hurt and disempower people. We want something radically different. We do NOT want violence and disempowerment to visit those who are currently empowered, nor do we tolerate any violence, period. I’m asking you to be thoughtful with your terminology, because on this very blog you have called nonviolence activists TERRORISTS. THAT is inflammatory and dangerous language. And it is profoundly incorrect.

    You also wrote: “?Outing? never happened? Bizarro.” I never even mentioned outing, EP. Oh, it’s happened. It ain’t cool. But it isn’t a part of the strategy or agenda of No on 8 groups, as far as I’m aware.

    You also said, “At least andrew tries to make excuses for the extremism, presumably because he is too smart to deny that it exists.” Thanks for that, EP. I have to say it’s hard to deny something exists if you won’t define what it is we’re even talking about. I must also be so unsmart that I need you to pin down your lingo, because when you use the words “violence,” “extremism,” “radicalism,” “terrorism,” and “outing” interchangably….I begin to have no idea what you mean.

  • Amanda

    EP,

    Again, I have not distorted anything you’ve said, and if you feel I have misrepresented it I sincerely ask you to correct me. Really. Really, Really. You say that I have, but then refuse to tell me how or where or what. What am I supposed to make of that? What is anyone else supposed to make of it? This would be a great opportunity to start doling out the facts and evidence to back up your claims. But instead you just move up the ladder of logical fallacies, and go straight for the ad hominem by saying:

    “I’m assuming that you are using distortion because you have nothing of substance to counter my observations, and are upset that te usual bullying isn’t working.”

    Nice one. 2 points for an attempt at changing the subject to my (undocumented) lack of substance and what my emotional motivations might be. Perhaps next you might try calling me shrill? That’s always a crowd pleaser.

    What I would like is to have the OPPORTUNITY to DEMONSTRATE through EVIDENCE whether or not I have anything of substance to say to your observations. Sadly, until you actually get your observations on solid ground by telling us specifically what they are, I am left to swat at ephemera in the air. Defining your terms and showing a little evidence (what or where is this extremism? What and where are these distortions? Where lies the bullying, etc)this can’t be anything but a ping pong match of “uh uh, yuh huh!”

    So, throw me a thesis statement with a fact or two attached instead of calling people names and let’s see if this goes someplace. Because, so far, you stated that there is the “pro-gay hate” equivalent of a forest fire sweeping California, and to prove it you cite the existence of a box of matches in somebody’s pocket. Show me the flames, Eric, that’s what I’m saying. Where are the flames? Where there ISN’T SMOKE, there usually ISN’T FIRE, is all I’m saying.

    I did google “pro gay hate” as you suggested, and found alot of sites about people who are pro- passing hate crimes legislation to protect gay people who are suffering from well documented violence. I DIDN’T see anything about our nations hospitals filling up with battered right-wingers. There was also a story about two 7 year olds fighting over seating in their school cafeteria, and one of the fathers attributing it to “a well-planned and coordinated assault”by the kid with gay parents because it was the “anniversary of the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.” (http://gay_blog.blogspot.com/2006/06/first-graders-accused-of-pro-gay-hate.html) There was also a story about an older woman who walked into a No on 8 rally with a giant cross and a beligerent man yanked the cross out of her hands and stomped on it. You are quite right that, whatever the 7 year olds reasons, it’s not ok to hit and he deserves a timeout, and that guy shouldn’t have stomped on the homophobic lady’s cross. He should get charged with assault. There are people whose immaturity and issues prevent them from being constructive. But, conflating their actions with those of people who are just talking to you is absurd. So far, I am not seeing any existance of “groups” whose are organized around “pro-gate hate.” Prove me wrong if they exist.

    You state that I denied the existance of radicals in the movement. Not true. I’m asking you to DEFINE radicalism. I’m a radical, and I exist. But I (and every self-respecting radical I know) mean by that that we reject the structural disparities that hurt and disempower people. We want something radically different. We do NOT want violence and disempowerment to visit those who are currently empowered, nor do we tolerate any violence, period. I’m asking you to be thoughtful with your terminology, because on this very blog you have called nonviolence activists TERRORISTS. THAT is inflammatory and dangerous language. And it is profoundly incorrect.

    You also wrote: “?Outing? never happened? Bizarro.” I never even mentioned outing, EP. Oh, it’s happened. It ain’t cool. But it isn’t a part of the strategy or agenda of No on 8 groups, as far as I’m aware.

    You also said, “At least andrew tries to make excuses for the extremism, presumably because he is too smart to deny that it exists.” Thanks for that, EP. I have to say it’s hard to deny something exists if you won’t define what it is we’re even talking about. I must also be so unsmart that I need you to pin down your lingo, because when you use the words “violence,” “extremism,” “radicalism,” “terrorism,” and “outing” interchangably….I begin to have no idea what you mean.

  • P

    pc/left pathology and inflamation clearly exists in the pro-gay movement. people are being forced to accept pc/left ideology as wrapped in a pro-gay banner. such is detrimental to the goals of the movement in that it polarizes things and excludes possibilites not at the extremes.
    ————————–
    And how involved are you in the pro-gray movement EP to come to this conclusion? I give a lot of time and money to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which in the US is a pro-gay movement. My time is not spent “outing” anyone. In fact, I’ve never heard HRC out anybody. We have more important things to worry about like legislating congress to remove “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, passing an inclusive ENDA (I’m sure you know what that is, since you are such an expert of the pro-gay movement) and yes working towards marriage equality or at the very least civil unions nation-wide. So is HRC (the leading LGBT lobbying group) one of your terrorist groups?
    I hope that your are not refering to some gay gossip columnist that makes his $$ by outing celebreties. I hope that’s not your litmus test for hate in the pro-gay movement!

  • P

    pc/left pathology and inflamation clearly exists in the pro-gay movement. people are being forced to accept pc/left ideology as wrapped in a pro-gay banner. such is detrimental to the goals of the movement in that it polarizes things and excludes possibilites not at the extremes.
    ————————–
    And how involved are you in the pro-gray movement EP to come to this conclusion? I give a lot of time and money to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which in the US is a pro-gay movement. My time is not spent “outing” anyone. In fact, I’ve never heard HRC out anybody. We have more important things to worry about like legislating congress to remove “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, passing an inclusive ENDA (I’m sure you know what that is, since you are such an expert of the pro-gay movement) and yes working towards marriage equality or at the very least civil unions nation-wide. So is HRC (the leading LGBT lobbying group) one of your terrorist groups?
    I hope that your are not refering to some gay gossip columnist that makes his $$ by outing celebreties. I hope that’s not your litmus test for hate in the pro-gay movement!

  • Andrew

    [quote]We are to assure you that to regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against the spirit of the Teachings … However, it would be a profound contradiction for someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.[/quote]

    (Department of the Secretariat)

    [quote]Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.[/quote]

    (Blaise Pascal)

    [quote]Merry Christmas everyone.[/quote]

    Ave Sol Invictus.

  • Andrew

    [quote]We are to assure you that to regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against the spirit of the Teachings … However, it would be a profound contradiction for someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.[/quote]

    (Department of the Secretariat)

    [quote]Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.[/quote]

    (Blaise Pascal)

    [quote]Merry Christmas everyone.[/quote]

    Ave Sol Invictus.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]Shoghi Effendi’s brother Ruhi was one [a secretary] for a time[/quote]

    Yes, and he became a convenant breaker. Kind of ironic that the current pestilence ravaging the Baha’i community is named after him.

    Regarding Shoghi Effendi’s secretaries, if someone has a list and the approximate time they were working for SE, you should be able to find out who wrote that awful quote about homosexuality

    [quote post=”193″]… However, it would be a profound contradiction for someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.[/quote]

    All Baha’u’llah was worried about was dirty old men getting their jollies with little kids. If homosexuality was a big deal, surely he would have found some time to wax lyrical about it? But as Baquia often points out, there is nothing.

    Pro-gay hate group? Sounds like a group of people that hate gay supporters ;P

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]Shoghi Effendi’s brother Ruhi was one [a secretary] for a time[/quote]

    Yes, and he became a convenant breaker. Kind of ironic that the current pestilence ravaging the Baha’i community is named after him.

    Regarding Shoghi Effendi’s secretaries, if someone has a list and the approximate time they were working for SE, you should be able to find out who wrote that awful quote about homosexuality

    [quote post=”193″]… However, it would be a profound contradiction for someone to profess the intention to be a Bah??’?, yet consciously reject, disregard or contend with aspects of belief or practice ordained by Bah??’u’ll??h.[/quote]

    All Baha’u’llah was worried about was dirty old men getting their jollies with little kids. If homosexuality was a big deal, surely he would have found some time to wax lyrical about it? But as Baquia often points out, there is nothing.

    Pro-gay hate group? Sounds like a group of people that hate gay supporters ;P

  • ep

    P asked

    Q: “And how involved are you in the pro-gray movement EP to come to this conclusion? ” … “(I’m sure you know what that is, since you are such an expert of the pro-gay movement)”

    P, These are logical fallacies, distortions. You are hyperventilating. People do not want to talk to those that blather such junk.

    This is a typical bullying tactic: anyone that dares to not conform to radical/extremist pro-gay rhetorical posturing has all of the moral failings of the non-gay world projected onto them. this kind of thing is understood by anyone that has encountered the blatant polemic conformism and political correctness common in gay culture.

    When I previously stated that I was not voting on Prop 8 to show disgust of the extremism of the people on both “sides”, I was called a “bigot”. I had previously voted for “gay rights”, but was insulted by the usual types when expressing questions about the extent to which pc/left pathology in the gay movement caused the defeat of that vote.

    Sorry if that was confusing. Let me start over and try again: california has had two votes “for traditional marriage” (against gay marriage), one this past election (2008) and another one several years ago. Both times, a majority went for “traditional marriage” (against gay rights). Both votes were overturned by the courts. which pissed off a lot of people (consistent with the california courts overturning a number of controversial votes by the majority of voters against extreme ultra-liberal/pc/left and/or “anti-conservative” political initiatives for a number of years).

    http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/state/prop/8/

    | BACKGROUND
    |
    | In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to specify
    | in state law that only marriage between a man and a woman is
    | valid or recognized in California. In May 2008, the California
    | Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22
    | and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between
    | a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the
    | California Constitution.

    At a minimum, this is a very volatile, problematic and complex issue – popular democracy vs. legal elites – something that would presumably give people enough pause to discontinue the usual hyperventilated polemics long enough to at least try to look at the issue from another perspective than they hear in the echo chambers they hang out in.

    What I saw when Proposition 22 was overturned by the courts was a worsening of political conditions, and further movement toward extremism and polarization. Apparently this is accepted as the price to be paid by the gay movement, and anyone that speaks against extremism and polarization – which is happening on both sides – will be vilified as an “opponent”. So, I am simply saddened by the further decline. And worried that people that claim to be for “rights” are unwilling to see the problem with the erosion of values, ethics and morals that underly any system of rights.

    Amanda – the traps you lay are in your own mind, you continue the distortions, and accuse me of “ad hominems” while making them yourself.

    Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer (for which I could potentially get fired, then lose my house, career, retirement, family, mental and physical health).

    Is anyone “getting it” now? No?

    “It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=30873

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kKn5LNhNto

    So, gays are being exploited, and worked into a frenzy of attacking anyone that disagrees with instrumentalized pc/left rhetoric, by someone that is apparently becoming the liberal equivalent of “dumbed down” politician George Bush.

    I vote “no” on emotionally inflamed politics on either side. I vote “no” on distortions, and threats. I vote “no” on extremists and radicals of any kind further polluting the political culture with toxic, dysfunctional rhetoric.

    have a nice day.

  • ep

    P asked

    Q: “And how involved are you in the pro-gray movement EP to come to this conclusion? ” … “(I’m sure you know what that is, since you are such an expert of the pro-gay movement)”

    P, These are logical fallacies, distortions. You are hyperventilating. People do not want to talk to those that blather such junk.

    This is a typical bullying tactic: anyone that dares to not conform to radical/extremist pro-gay rhetorical posturing has all of the moral failings of the non-gay world projected onto them. this kind of thing is understood by anyone that has encountered the blatant polemic conformism and political correctness common in gay culture.

    When I previously stated that I was not voting on Prop 8 to show disgust of the extremism of the people on both “sides”, I was called a “bigot”. I had previously voted for “gay rights”, but was insulted by the usual types when expressing questions about the extent to which pc/left pathology in the gay movement caused the defeat of that vote.

    Sorry if that was confusing. Let me start over and try again: california has had two votes “for traditional marriage” (against gay marriage), one this past election (2008) and another one several years ago. Both times, a majority went for “traditional marriage” (against gay rights). Both votes were overturned by the courts. which pissed off a lot of people (consistent with the california courts overturning a number of controversial votes by the majority of voters against extreme ultra-liberal/pc/left and/or “anti-conservative” political initiatives for a number of years).

    http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/state/prop/8/

    | BACKGROUND
    |
    | In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to specify
    | in state law that only marriage between a man and a woman is
    | valid or recognized in California. In May 2008, the California
    | Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22
    | and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between
    | a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the
    | California Constitution.

    At a minimum, this is a very volatile, problematic and complex issue – popular democracy vs. legal elites – something that would presumably give people enough pause to discontinue the usual hyperventilated polemics long enough to at least try to look at the issue from another perspective than they hear in the echo chambers they hang out in.

    What I saw when Proposition 22 was overturned by the courts was a worsening of political conditions, and further movement toward extremism and polarization. Apparently this is accepted as the price to be paid by the gay movement, and anyone that speaks against extremism and polarization – which is happening on both sides – will be vilified as an “opponent”. So, I am simply saddened by the further decline. And worried that people that claim to be for “rights” are unwilling to see the problem with the erosion of values, ethics and morals that underly any system of rights.

    Amanda – the traps you lay are in your own mind, you continue the distortions, and accuse me of “ad hominems” while making them yourself.

    Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer (for which I could potentially get fired, then lose my house, career, retirement, family, mental and physical health).

    Is anyone “getting it” now? No?

    “It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=30873

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kKn5LNhNto

    So, gays are being exploited, and worked into a frenzy of attacking anyone that disagrees with instrumentalized pc/left rhetoric, by someone that is apparently becoming the liberal equivalent of “dumbed down” politician George Bush.

    I vote “no” on emotionally inflamed politics on either side. I vote “no” on distortions, and threats. I vote “no” on extremists and radicals of any kind further polluting the political culture with toxic, dysfunctional rhetoric.

    have a nice day.

  • Amanda

    Aiyo.

  • Amanda

    Aiyo.

  • P

    So to answer my question EP, you are not involved in the pro-gay movement and really don’t know what you are talking about. Ok thanks, I’ll stop “bullying” you now.

  • P

    So to answer my question EP, you are not involved in the pro-gay movement and really don’t know what you are talking about. Ok thanks, I’ll stop “bullying” you now.

  • Daniel Orey

    EP misunderstood my feeble attempt at humor when he said:

    “Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer (for which I could potentially get fired, then lose my house, career, retirement, family, mental and physical health). ”

    again, even tho I am profoundly hurt by your vote to support the removal of my marriage for reason s that I see as weird and petty, I was attempting to hand you, an olive branch, dude.

    Como dizemos no Brasil… “tristeza”

  • Daniel Orey

    EP misunderstood my feeble attempt at humor when he said:

    “Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer (for which I could potentially get fired, then lose my house, career, retirement, family, mental and physical health). ”

    again, even tho I am profoundly hurt by your vote to support the removal of my marriage for reason s that I see as weird and petty, I was attempting to hand you, an olive branch, dude.

    Como dizemos no Brasil… “tristeza”

  • Grover

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Hey EP, you need to take some chill pills, relax and read what people have written. eg Daniel Orey wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…[/quote]

    But you thought he wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote]

  • Grover

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Hey EP, you need to take some chill pills, relax and read what people have written. eg Daniel Orey wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…[/quote]

    But you thought he wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote]

  • Daniel Orey

    Thank you Grover.

    I am deeply hurt, and again, my apologies to EP if I made him afraid for his job. I feel very bad if that was what he heard… Having stepped in it myself a few times with the PCers on our campus, I understand his nervousness. There is a great deal of disingenuousness, slickness and nastiness where we work. Even tho we both agree our place of employment is less than healthy, I would never ever do anything to affect your job. THAT IS NOT MY STYLE. I am an idiot, but not a back stabber. I don’t have nor want that kind of power… and besides, tho it’s apparent that you want my marriage dissolved, I still call you a friend. Again, I don’t work that way. I was taken aback by, deeply hurt, by some of your comments and questions to me before the election… but I attributed that to your conservative NBG (not being gay) status… and let it go.

    Out of self preservation, I give my trust to others with caution. Your anger towards the GLBT community before the elections scared me. Because suddenly you made me feel that I was a them. NBG folks (the republican party, my family, wingnut colleagues, the H8er media) make it seem like being gay is a hobby, or something I should just fix somehow if…

    When it comes to gays vs straights, my rabbi colleague told me after Prop 8 passed the following. ?it’s the same, when times get tough, gays and Jews are always sold down the river first, we just have to get used to it.?

    I have. It still hurts. I get angry.

    In my experience, and that of most of my GLBT friends, we have to be careful with many NBGs. They interpret our reticence as dishonesty, but it is self preservation. I am tired of being hurt – people support you (you think) then they don’t (for weird reasons), over and over. Many religious PC or non-PC folks seem supportive, but when it comes down to it, vote for their own.

    This vote wasn’t just a exercise on marriage. What is happening is that it is was another step towards taking GLBT rights away… now they want to annul my marriage, next they will go our domestic partnerships (as in Florida), next is adoption rights, then they will try to get rid of teachers again, next… ?

    EP – be not afraid, that is my job.

  • Daniel Orey

    Thank you Grover.

    I am deeply hurt, and again, my apologies to EP if I made him afraid for his job. I feel very bad if that was what he heard… Having stepped in it myself a few times with the PCers on our campus, I understand his nervousness. There is a great deal of disingenuousness, slickness and nastiness where we work. Even tho we both agree our place of employment is less than healthy, I would never ever do anything to affect your job. THAT IS NOT MY STYLE. I am an idiot, but not a back stabber. I don’t have nor want that kind of power… and besides, tho it’s apparent that you want my marriage dissolved, I still call you a friend. Again, I don’t work that way. I was taken aback by, deeply hurt, by some of your comments and questions to me before the election… but I attributed that to your conservative NBG (not being gay) status… and let it go.

    Out of self preservation, I give my trust to others with caution. Your anger towards the GLBT community before the elections scared me. Because suddenly you made me feel that I was a them. NBG folks (the republican party, my family, wingnut colleagues, the H8er media) make it seem like being gay is a hobby, or something I should just fix somehow if…

    When it comes to gays vs straights, my rabbi colleague told me after Prop 8 passed the following. ?it’s the same, when times get tough, gays and Jews are always sold down the river first, we just have to get used to it.?

    I have. It still hurts. I get angry.

    In my experience, and that of most of my GLBT friends, we have to be careful with many NBGs. They interpret our reticence as dishonesty, but it is self preservation. I am tired of being hurt – people support you (you think) then they don’t (for weird reasons), over and over. Many religious PC or non-PC folks seem supportive, but when it comes down to it, vote for their own.

    This vote wasn’t just a exercise on marriage. What is happening is that it is was another step towards taking GLBT rights away… now they want to annul my marriage, next they will go our domestic partnerships (as in Florida), next is adoption rights, then they will try to get rid of teachers again, next… ?

    EP – be not afraid, that is my job.

  • Michael Zargarov

    A close friend of the late Ruhiyyih Khanum told me that the first Guardian and his wife NEVER consummated their marriage because Shoghi Effendi was both homosexual AND impotent.
    That would explain a lot: his aptitude at gardening and interior decoration, as well as the self-loathing that led to his “interpretation” that Baha’u’llah’s mention of Paederasty was a prohibition of ALL homosexual relationships.

  • Michael Zargarov

    A close friend of the late Ruhiyyih Khanum told me that the first Guardian and his wife NEVER consummated their marriage because Shoghi Effendi was both homosexual AND impotent.
    That would explain a lot: his aptitude at gardening and interior decoration, as well as the self-loathing that led to his “interpretation” that Baha’u’llah’s mention of Paederasty was a prohibition of ALL homosexual relationships.

  • Grover

    Ouch, double whammy for Persian pride! Someone else had mentioned that as well, but that’s the first I had heard that Shoghi Effendi was impotent. It would explain a lot! Isn’t there something about marriages needing to be consumated within 24 hours otherwise the marriage is void? Or is that another religion?

  • Grover

    Ouch, double whammy for Persian pride! Someone else had mentioned that as well, but that’s the first I had heard that Shoghi Effendi was impotent. It would explain a lot! Isn’t there something about marriages needing to be consumated within 24 hours otherwise the marriage is void? Or is that another religion?

  • Andrew

    An extract from the libretto of the Baha’i opera “Hujabat-i Afkiya” (written by Joyce Conner):

    Mr. Bumble:

    [quote]I know that even if we disagree, he would never ever backstab me.[/quote]

    Mr. Bee:

    [quote]Mr. Bumble now accuses me in advance, of trying to disembowel him with a double-pronged lance.

    Here’s the rest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IkYrIlP0kw

    Ah, the sweet consolations of insanity. Happy Holidays!

  • Andrew

    An extract from the libretto of the Baha’i opera “Hujabat-i Afkiya” (written by Joyce Conner):

    Mr. Bumble:

    [quote]I know that even if we disagree, he would never ever backstab me.[/quote]

    Mr. Bee:

    [quote]Mr. Bumble now accuses me in advance, of trying to disembowel him with a double-pronged lance.

    Here’s the rest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IkYrIlP0kw

    Ah, the sweet consolations of insanity. Happy Holidays!

  • Andrew

    Finally, possums, the Pope’s Christmas message

  • Andrew

    Finally, possums, the Pope’s Christmas message

  • ep

    Grover, take you own pills. and read between the lines.

    To simplify, here is my basic point: people go off into their polarized corners, an echo chamber developes, they can’t understand what other people are saying (or don’t want to). This leads to further polarization, which then makes pragmatic compromises difficult. Then cynicism sets in, no hope in building bridges. The echo chamber deepens. People realize that it is pointless to become a punching bag by saying any thing that those in the echo chamber aren’t used to hearing. It was my mistake to say anything in the first place given the creepy tone that has developed.

    This response is also a stupid mistake, the predictable gang mentality has set in.

    [quote comment=”60329″]Merry Christmas everyone!

    Hey EP, you need to take some chill pills, relax and read what people have written. eg Daniel Orey wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…[/quote]

    But you thought he wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote][/quote]

  • ep

    Grover, take you own pills. and read between the lines.

    To simplify, here is my basic point: people go off into their polarized corners, an echo chamber developes, they can’t understand what other people are saying (or don’t want to). This leads to further polarization, which then makes pragmatic compromises difficult. Then cynicism sets in, no hope in building bridges. The echo chamber deepens. People realize that it is pointless to become a punching bag by saying any thing that those in the echo chamber aren’t used to hearing. It was my mistake to say anything in the first place given the creepy tone that has developed.

    This response is also a stupid mistake, the predictable gang mentality has set in.

    [quote comment=”60329″]Merry Christmas everyone!

    Hey EP, you need to take some chill pills, relax and read what people have written. eg Daniel Orey wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Folks need to know that ol’EP and I are great friends, and if I get my new job on campus, he might even be my IT guy. I know that even if we disagree, he’d never ever put a worm or virus in my new computer, right? But I digress…[/quote]

    But you thought he wrote:

    [quote post=”193″]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote][/quote]

  • ep

    ” your vote to support the removal of my marriage”

    To clarify: I made no such vote.

  • ep

    ” your vote to support the removal of my marriage”

    To clarify: I made no such vote.

  • Daniel Orey

    Daniel to EP… that’s great then! thanks!

    Our last 1:1 email before the election gave me the impression you were voting yes on 8.

  • Daniel Orey

    Daniel to EP… that’s great then! thanks!

    Our last 1:1 email before the election gave me the impression you were voting yes on 8.

  • [quote comment=””][…] ?interpretation? that Baha’u’llah’s mention of Paederasty was a prohibition of ALL homosexual relationships.[…][/quote]

    Go read the notes in the Aqdas, it is not Shoghi Effendi who made that association.
    The stories of impotency and consumation are rumours and gossip as far as I know. Shoghi Effendi was close friends with at least one gay Bahai, and wrote nothing against gays, but that doesn’t make him gay.
    I hope other Bahai couples who have not had children are not subjected to such stories.

    For me this issue is about making our Bahai communities welcoming and respectful for all. There are enough GLBT Bahais around so we don’t need to fantisize about whether Shoghi Effendi was gay or not. In fact I find it rather silly because the issue is not Shoghi Effendi but rather the U.H.J. and the Bahai communities today.
    It might be an issue if Shoghi Effendi penned something himself on this topic, but he didn’t, so that’s why I am suggesting that this is not relevent.

  • [quote comment=””][…] ?interpretation? that Baha’u’llah’s mention of Paederasty was a prohibition of ALL homosexual relationships.[…][/quote]

    Go read the notes in the Aqdas, it is not Shoghi Effendi who made that association.
    The stories of impotency and consumation are rumours and gossip as far as I know. Shoghi Effendi was close friends with at least one gay Bahai, and wrote nothing against gays, but that doesn’t make him gay.
    I hope other Bahai couples who have not had children are not subjected to such stories.

    For me this issue is about making our Bahai communities welcoming and respectful for all. There are enough GLBT Bahais around so we don’t need to fantisize about whether Shoghi Effendi was gay or not. In fact I find it rather silly because the issue is not Shoghi Effendi but rather the U.H.J. and the Bahai communities today.
    It might be an issue if Shoghi Effendi penned something himself on this topic, but he didn’t, so that’s why I am suggesting that this is not relevent.

  • Bill Garbett

    The idea that the Guardian was a homosexual and impotent is a Kitab-i-hersay that’s been around for years. There is of course no way to prove it. Unfortunately, it’s used today mainly by various Covenant Breaker individuals and groups as one of several reasons that more Guardians have exsisted and continue to exsist because the “first” Guardian died with no heir, and according to them there must always be a “living Guardian”…Oh well. I agree with Sonja that what the Guardian said or didn’t say is today irrelevant because it’s now up to the UHJ to update it’s own interpretations of the Paederasty view of the Aqdas quote of Baha’u’llah’s regarding “the Subject of Boys”.
    In Peace,
    Bill

  • Bill Garbett

    The idea that the Guardian was a homosexual and impotent is a Kitab-i-hersay that’s been around for years. There is of course no way to prove it. Unfortunately, it’s used today mainly by various Covenant Breaker individuals and groups as one of several reasons that more Guardians have exsisted and continue to exsist because the “first” Guardian died with no heir, and according to them there must always be a “living Guardian”…Oh well. I agree with Sonja that what the Guardian said or didn’t say is today irrelevant because it’s now up to the UHJ to update it’s own interpretations of the Paederasty view of the Aqdas quote of Baha’u’llah’s regarding “the Subject of Boys”.
    In Peace,
    Bill

  • ep

    People see what they want to see. I stated clearly that I did not support either side, and would not vote either way in protest of dysfunctional politics, extremism/radicalism, political correctness, groupthink. I’ve been saying exactly the same thing since 1996 about the pc/left and hard right. Predictably, the polarization has worsened, political opportunists on both sides are engaged in risky, dangerous brinksmanship over gay politics.

    Again, this whole conversation is a perfect example of what I’ve said over and over, that some people can’t understand, or don’t want to understand:

    Just because I do not want to go along with the pc/left elements of gay culture/politics does not mean that I want to have all the evils of the “straight world” projected onto me.

    I do not want to be called a “conservative”, “bigot”, “neocon”, etc. for expressing an alternative perspective.

    The world is not divided into two camps, and to the extent that it is, I have no interest in being in either camp, or buying into the intellectual dishonesty or hate rhetoric involved.

    Most of what is going on is a rerun of previous versions of pc/left “identity politics” where there are internal factions, radicals vs. extremists. People can learn from history, or not.

    Black politics is just starting to recover from radicalism – as are feminism , multiculturalism , environmentalism, its all the same story.

    Intolerance in the name of tolerance.

    Thought policing in the name of free speech.

    Fascism in the name of compassion and altruism.

    “Mean Green Meme”

    Again, what I still think makes sense (given the overall atmosphere of senselessness), and I would like to discuss with anyone that agrees or disagrees, is some “third way” that provides very robust legal protections for gays while at the same time avoiding, to the extent possible, alienating religious people and traditionalists.

    The “gay marriage” issue is at an evolutionary dead end, it will be interpreted by traditional religious people as an attack by the left, and there is plenty of evidence to support that viewpoint. The left has instrumentalized gay rights.

    What is needed is to transcend the existing fracas and come up with new approaches that moderates can support. Extremists will never like such compromises, but will probably be better off anyway.

    The Baha’i context that this issue exists in is, in my opinion, much simpler and different from the context of california politics.

    So far, based on what I’ve seen, I’ve completely supported gay protests within the bahai community because the record of the bahai community and administration on gay rights is so hideous and appalling, and so obviously based in the kinds of fundamentalism that I loath. Gay bahais are almost invariably in a position of powerlessness within the community, and worse, within their bahai families (if any). I am not aware of any situation where gay bahais had any power except two conferences in the 90s after which it turned out that bahai administrators that initially supported gays proved to be dupes or liars. Many straight bahais were looking for hanky-panky, which seemed very strange to me. I saw little or no evidence that people advocating for gay rights in the bahai community were significantly part of a larger, dysfunctional political/left scheme. Gay bahais, as far as I can tell, were and are trying hard to be “responsible”, or as your say “good boys and girls”. And in return, they were abandoned by the bahai community in a disgusting, heartless, cold manner.

    So, all that responsibility was a horrible waste of good faith and effort, bahai administration is profoundly corrupt and inept, and places little or no value on anyone’s humanity.

    I have still never seen a coherent statement by either gay or conservative (or any other) bahais of what “spiritually healthy sexuality” consists of. I simply do not think that it is something that bahai theology provides insight into. Which is sad, and means that the issue, like so many other issues that concern people, can’t be resolved satisfactorily within the bahai community. it is a religion that increasingly is frozen in time.

    Politics outside the bahai community is a whole ‘nother story.

    I have been more than happy to blather on at length about exactly what I think about all this stuff.

    [quote comment=”60345″]Daniel to EP… that’s great then! thanks!

    Our last 1:1 email before the election gave me the impression you were voting yes on 8.[/quote]

  • ep

    People see what they want to see. I stated clearly that I did not support either side, and would not vote either way in protest of dysfunctional politics, extremism/radicalism, political correctness, groupthink. I’ve been saying exactly the same thing since 1996 about the pc/left and hard right. Predictably, the polarization has worsened, political opportunists on both sides are engaged in risky, dangerous brinksmanship over gay politics.

    Again, this whole conversation is a perfect example of what I’ve said over and over, that some people can’t understand, or don’t want to understand:

    Just because I do not want to go along with the pc/left elements of gay culture/politics does not mean that I want to have all the evils of the “straight world” projected onto me.

    I do not want to be called a “conservative”, “bigot”, “neocon”, etc. for expressing an alternative perspective.

    The world is not divided into two camps, and to the extent that it is, I have no interest in being in either camp, or buying into the intellectual dishonesty or hate rhetoric involved.

    Most of what is going on is a rerun of previous versions of pc/left “identity politics” where there are internal factions, radicals vs. extremists. People can learn from history, or not.

    Black politics is just starting to recover from radicalism – as are feminism , multiculturalism , environmentalism, its all the same story.

    Intolerance in the name of tolerance.

    Thought policing in the name of free speech.

    Fascism in the name of compassion and altruism.

    “Mean Green Meme”

    Again, what I still think makes sense (given the overall atmosphere of senselessness), and I would like to discuss with anyone that agrees or disagrees, is some “third way” that provides very robust legal protections for gays while at the same time avoiding, to the extent possible, alienating religious people and traditionalists.

    The “gay marriage” issue is at an evolutionary dead end, it will be interpreted by traditional religious people as an attack by the left, and there is plenty of evidence to support that viewpoint. The left has instrumentalized gay rights.

    What is needed is to transcend the existing fracas and come up with new approaches that moderates can support. Extremists will never like such compromises, but will probably be better off anyway.

    The Baha’i context that this issue exists in is, in my opinion, much simpler and different from the context of california politics.

    So far, based on what I’ve seen, I’ve completely supported gay protests within the bahai community because the record of the bahai community and administration on gay rights is so hideous and appalling, and so obviously based in the kinds of fundamentalism that I loath. Gay bahais are almost invariably in a position of powerlessness within the community, and worse, within their bahai families (if any). I am not aware of any situation where gay bahais had any power except two conferences in the 90s after which it turned out that bahai administrators that initially supported gays proved to be dupes or liars. Many straight bahais were looking for hanky-panky, which seemed very strange to me. I saw little or no evidence that people advocating for gay rights in the bahai community were significantly part of a larger, dysfunctional political/left scheme. Gay bahais, as far as I can tell, were and are trying hard to be “responsible”, or as your say “good boys and girls”. And in return, they were abandoned by the bahai community in a disgusting, heartless, cold manner.

    So, all that responsibility was a horrible waste of good faith and effort, bahai administration is profoundly corrupt and inept, and places little or no value on anyone’s humanity.

    I have still never seen a coherent statement by either gay or conservative (or any other) bahais of what “spiritually healthy sexuality” consists of. I simply do not think that it is something that bahai theology provides insight into. Which is sad, and means that the issue, like so many other issues that concern people, can’t be resolved satisfactorily within the bahai community. it is a religion that increasingly is frozen in time.

    Politics outside the bahai community is a whole ‘nother story.

    I have been more than happy to blather on at length about exactly what I think about all this stuff.

    [quote comment=”60345″]Daniel to EP… that’s great then! thanks!

    Our last 1:1 email before the election gave me the impression you were voting yes on 8.[/quote]

  • ep

    Are you drunk when you post this creepy drivel?

    [quote comment=”60338″]An extract from the libretto of the Baha’i opera “Hujabat-i Afkiya” (written by Joyce Conner):

    Mr. Bumble:

    [quote]I know that even if we disagree, he would never ever backstab me.[/quote]

    Mr. Bee:

    [quote]Mr. Bumble now accuses me in advance, of trying to disembowel him with a double-pronged lance.

    Here’s the rest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IkYrIlP0kw

    Ah, the sweet consolations of insanity. Happy Holidays![/quote]

  • ep

    Are you drunk when you post this creepy drivel?

    [quote comment=”60338″]An extract from the libretto of the Baha’i opera “Hujabat-i Afkiya” (written by Joyce Conner):

    Mr. Bumble:

    [quote]I know that even if we disagree, he would never ever backstab me.[/quote]

    Mr. Bee:

    [quote]Mr. Bumble now accuses me in advance, of trying to disembowel him with a double-pronged lance.

    Here’s the rest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IkYrIlP0kw

    Ah, the sweet consolations of insanity. Happy Holidays![/quote]

  • Andrew

    Are you temporarily sane when you post a response to my creepy drivel, or does your own deranged drivel represent your last best hope for lucidity? 😉

    [quote]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote]

  • Andrew

    Are you temporarily sane when you post a response to my creepy drivel, or does your own deranged drivel represent your last best hope for lucidity? 😉

    [quote]Daniel has stated that he might become my boss, and accuses me in advance of planting viruses on his computer[/quote]

  • Andrew

    Here, EP, is your Christmas gift from me: a link to a Tibetan Buddhist teaching video that features Guru Ozay Rinpoche in the kitchen of Guru AhiRANTa.

    May you be happy. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. This is the practice of this Paramita:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE-XpSDv0Ns

  • Andrew

    Here, EP, is your Christmas gift from me: a link to a Tibetan Buddhist teaching video that features Guru Ozay Rinpoche in the kitchen of Guru AhiRANTa.

    May you be happy. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. This is the practice of this Paramita:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE-XpSDv0Ns

  • Hi EP,

    I have no idea why I want to give the following Christmas gift to you – Fred Figgelhorn’s website videos. However, I’m sure you’ll understand my motives much better than me. Thanks in advance for helping me to figure it out.

  • Hi EP,

    I have no idea why I want to give the following Christmas gift to you – Fred Figgelhorn’s website videos. However, I’m sure you’ll understand my motives much better than me. Thanks in advance for helping me to figure it out.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote:

    the issue is not Shoghi Effendi but rather the U.H.J. and the Bahai communities today

    I agree, Sonja: Verbum sap sat (a word to the wise is enough).

    And I might add that the issue in what I read here is to see how the Baha’i community might be adapted to suit some individuals who, unable to find elsewhere a community that suits them and where they are happy, attempt to manipulate the Baha’i community to suit themselves.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sonja wrote:

    the issue is not Shoghi Effendi but rather the U.H.J. and the Bahai communities today

    I agree, Sonja: Verbum sap sat (a word to the wise is enough).

    And I might add that the issue in what I read here is to see how the Baha’i community might be adapted to suit some individuals who, unable to find elsewhere a community that suits them and where they are happy, attempt to manipulate the Baha’i community to suit themselves.

  • Grover

    Not really Farhan, its about removing discrimination due to sexual orientation (God’s gift one might argue because most of us, heteros, bi and gay, don’t have any choice in the matter, it is the way we are made) and the stigma associated with it.

    Interestingly, I see parallels between gay and indigenous communities. The indigenous people of my country embraced the faith in large numbers and all they wanted was some recognition of their sovereign rights to the country as indigenous people. They had their land bought, taken, and stolen from them by the colonists and then were shoved to one side. The europeans, asians and persians just didn’t understand what these people wanted having come from cultures and countries that had not been overrun and control and the right to govern for themselves taken away from them. The indigenous people thought joining the faith would give them some control back. We didn’t understand because isn’t the Faith supposed to bring everyone together and everyone give up their control under a big banner of unity and peace? So the indigenous people packed their bags and moved on. It was tragic loss because the indigenous people added a lot to the community vitality, and they could sing like no one else.

    The gay community are fighting for rights automatically granted to heterosexual people, freedom of sexual expression, freedom to marry, freedom to have kids, freedom to co-exist without persecution. We don’t understand because we’ve always had that freedom as heterosexuals so we’re safe from the churches, and the red necks, and even though we may not be allowed to have sex before marriage, we can always get it once married. Gays if they remain strictly faithful to the Faith will never ever be able to know the joy of being with a partner and so on and so on. We just say they should change their orientation and everything will be fine. We will never understand unless we look at it from their perspective. Like the indigenous people, they’re going to pack their bags and look for something else. For a faith that is supposed to value diversity, isn’t that a terrible shame? Homosexuals have some of the most creative and caring people.

    Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.

  • Grover

    Not really Farhan, its about removing discrimination due to sexual orientation (God’s gift one might argue because most of us, heteros, bi and gay, don’t have any choice in the matter, it is the way we are made) and the stigma associated with it.

    Interestingly, I see parallels between gay and indigenous communities. The indigenous people of my country embraced the faith in large numbers and all they wanted was some recognition of their sovereign rights to the country as indigenous people. They had their land bought, taken, and stolen from them by the colonists and then were shoved to one side. The europeans, asians and persians just didn’t understand what these people wanted having come from cultures and countries that had not been overrun and control and the right to govern for themselves taken away from them. The indigenous people thought joining the faith would give them some control back. We didn’t understand because isn’t the Faith supposed to bring everyone together and everyone give up their control under a big banner of unity and peace? So the indigenous people packed their bags and moved on. It was tragic loss because the indigenous people added a lot to the community vitality, and they could sing like no one else.

    The gay community are fighting for rights automatically granted to heterosexual people, freedom of sexual expression, freedom to marry, freedom to have kids, freedom to co-exist without persecution. We don’t understand because we’ve always had that freedom as heterosexuals so we’re safe from the churches, and the red necks, and even though we may not be allowed to have sex before marriage, we can always get it once married. Gays if they remain strictly faithful to the Faith will never ever be able to know the joy of being with a partner and so on and so on. We just say they should change their orientation and everything will be fine. We will never understand unless we look at it from their perspective. Like the indigenous people, they’re going to pack their bags and look for something else. For a faith that is supposed to value diversity, isn’t that a terrible shame? Homosexuals have some of the most creative and caring people.

    Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.

    Grover, cant we also agree that it is useful to have not only different individuals in each community, but also covenant making individuals in a diversity of communities, working in collaboration and cooperation, so that one day we might scientifically compare the outcomes of these communities? Why try forcibly bringing ALL communities to the sef-same covenant? Why slander communities who have different rules?

    I disagree with polygamy (including bisexuality) priesthood, the celibacy of priests, vows of isolation and silence, the twirling prayer mills, believing in karma, etc, etc, but I would never dream of insulting or slandering religious communities for such beliefs and practices as long as they do not harass or aggress those who disagreed with them.

    I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.

    Merry Xmas, folks, at least to those celebrating this ancient Mazdean feast.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:
    Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.

    Grover, cant we also agree that it is useful to have not only different individuals in each community, but also covenant making individuals in a diversity of communities, working in collaboration and cooperation, so that one day we might scientifically compare the outcomes of these communities? Why try forcibly bringing ALL communities to the sef-same covenant? Why slander communities who have different rules?

    I disagree with polygamy (including bisexuality) priesthood, the celibacy of priests, vows of isolation and silence, the twirling prayer mills, believing in karma, etc, etc, but I would never dream of insulting or slandering religious communities for such beliefs and practices as long as they do not harass or aggress those who disagreed with them.

    I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.

    Merry Xmas, folks, at least to those celebrating this ancient Mazdean feast.

  • P

    Farhan, please prove how allowing gay families raising wonderufl kids will destroy the Bahai community. Please. You and the UHJ obviously can’t prove that it is against Bahai law. If you could you would convince people like me and Sonja and others. Then I would just walk away and stop “attempting to manipulate the Baha’i community to suit themselves” as you put it. But you see, I believe in something greater than you or the House, I actually believe in JUSTICE, what Bahaullah said was the greates thing in God’s eyes. I don’t recall Bahaullah saying that excluding gay families from participating fully in Bahai community life was the greates thing in God’s eyes.
    You keep talking about an ever advancing civilization, but I just don’t see how your vision which exludes part of humanity will ever advance civilization. For this reason I fight on. I have no desire to create another group to break off. I have no desire of calling the real Bahai Faith a “Haifan” sect. WE ARE real Bahais who believe, but unfortunately who are constantly being disenfranchised by the majority and its leadership. So we wait patiently on the outside, but making sure the world knows how we are being treated.
    Change can come about, but it starts with YOU. Are you willing to help bring change to the community? Or will you stand in the way of good couples raising wonderful kids entering the Bahai fold?

  • P

    Farhan, please prove how allowing gay families raising wonderufl kids will destroy the Bahai community. Please. You and the UHJ obviously can’t prove that it is against Bahai law. If you could you would convince people like me and Sonja and others. Then I would just walk away and stop “attempting to manipulate the Baha’i community to suit themselves” as you put it. But you see, I believe in something greater than you or the House, I actually believe in JUSTICE, what Bahaullah said was the greates thing in God’s eyes. I don’t recall Bahaullah saying that excluding gay families from participating fully in Bahai community life was the greates thing in God’s eyes.
    You keep talking about an ever advancing civilization, but I just don’t see how your vision which exludes part of humanity will ever advance civilization. For this reason I fight on. I have no desire to create another group to break off. I have no desire of calling the real Bahai Faith a “Haifan” sect. WE ARE real Bahais who believe, but unfortunately who are constantly being disenfranchised by the majority and its leadership. So we wait patiently on the outside, but making sure the world knows how we are being treated.
    Change can come about, but it starts with YOU. Are you willing to help bring change to the community? Or will you stand in the way of good couples raising wonderful kids entering the Bahai fold?

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    Change can come about, but it starts with YOU. Are you willing to help bring change to the community? Or will you stand in the way of good couples raising wonderful kids entering the Bahai fold?

    P, I believe this is a critical point in the way I understand my life in this world: tolive in a society, weneed a consensus on some elementary rules: how we define weighs and measures, how we define social norms, etc. I have an area of obedience, one of free will, and an area of “grey” wherei reflect, consult and take my decisions.

    The area of family life is to me one of social necessity and submission, not one where I can throw in my weight and change social norms, but where I can sometimes choose the society I want to live in.

    My attitude to the UHJ is one of loving submission and respect, as the representants of God in this world. I fully understand and respect those who do not wish to submit to these rules, but I also wish to be respected in my choice. The UHJ will change me long before I would dream of changing their views, although I would not hesitate in putting questions to them whenever I do not understand what they prescribe for me.

    If I ever imagined that they were wrong and I had a better view than them, I would have ceased then to call myself a Baha’i.

    Please do not be offended by my views; I am not in any way judging those who do not share my views, I am just explaining to you my views in life.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    Change can come about, but it starts with YOU. Are you willing to help bring change to the community? Or will you stand in the way of good couples raising wonderful kids entering the Bahai fold?

    P, I believe this is a critical point in the way I understand my life in this world: tolive in a society, weneed a consensus on some elementary rules: how we define weighs and measures, how we define social norms, etc. I have an area of obedience, one of free will, and an area of “grey” wherei reflect, consult and take my decisions.

    The area of family life is to me one of social necessity and submission, not one where I can throw in my weight and change social norms, but where I can sometimes choose the society I want to live in.

    My attitude to the UHJ is one of loving submission and respect, as the representants of God in this world. I fully understand and respect those who do not wish to submit to these rules, but I also wish to be respected in my choice. The UHJ will change me long before I would dream of changing their views, although I would not hesitate in putting questions to them whenever I do not understand what they prescribe for me.

    If I ever imagined that they were wrong and I had a better view than them, I would have ceased then to call myself a Baha’i.

    Please do not be offended by my views; I am not in any way judging those who do not share my views, I am just explaining to you my views in life.

    warmest

    Farhan

  • P

    I’ll take that as a NO Farhan. Thanks. I’ll remember that whenever you continue with your quotes on an ever advancing civilization. I’ll remember that your civilization won’t include loving gay families raising children. Gay people today are looking more than ever for structure in their lives- a place where their families will be honored and given a chance to show what great fruits result. Unfortunately, the Bahai Faith will not be such a place for them any time soon if we have submissive individuals such as yourself that accept the status quo. And I am offended Farhan, because your ‘innocent’ views are keeping the Faith stagnant, oppressing young gay Bahais who end up leaving the community with a horrible experience (if they haven’t attempted to hurt themselves first) and keeping discrimination alive in the community. What would you do Farhan when Dan, Daniel or me where to just show up in your community? Will you submit to the House and close the door on us? Or would you be brave to stand up for Justice- the best beloved thing in God’s eyes?

  • P

    I’ll take that as a NO Farhan. Thanks. I’ll remember that whenever you continue with your quotes on an ever advancing civilization. I’ll remember that your civilization won’t include loving gay families raising children. Gay people today are looking more than ever for structure in their lives- a place where their families will be honored and given a chance to show what great fruits result. Unfortunately, the Bahai Faith will not be such a place for them any time soon if we have submissive individuals such as yourself that accept the status quo. And I am offended Farhan, because your ‘innocent’ views are keeping the Faith stagnant, oppressing young gay Bahais who end up leaving the community with a horrible experience (if they haven’t attempted to hurt themselves first) and keeping discrimination alive in the community. What would you do Farhan when Dan, Daniel or me where to just show up in your community? Will you submit to the House and close the door on us? Or would you be brave to stand up for Justice- the best beloved thing in God’s eyes?

  • G wrote: [quote comment=””][…]Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.[…][/quote]

    ‘Abdul-Baha I would argue made an even stronger claim, that change is a law of nature (a title I used for a performance work on values

    [quote comment=””][…]The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion.[…][/quote]

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 228)

    Of course one could interpret the above in various ways. My take here is it is about adapting to the times of our age. Such as another poster here who brought up the subject of using current medical advice as a work around for those who think that the Bahai Teachings cannot allow equal rights for gays.

    P: I loved your post! and if I too fight for equality because I believe in the justice of Baha’u’llah’s message. If I thought otherwise, I’d walk away too. Bahai communities are missing out on a lot of the good stuff gays can bring into our communities. We are lop-sided without them. I mean gay identity, not Bahai gay community involvement on a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ basis.
    We need minority cultures for balance and development.

    Farhan, the UHJ is not asking individual Bahais to treat our gay Bahais differently, so I am not going against any wishes of the UHJ to aim for equality and to voice my views and argumentation.

    It might not be your intention here, but bringing this as an argument could be away of implying that ‘good’ Bahais wouldn’t discuss this in order to be obedient. Just assure me that this was not your intention. I am not afraid for myself, jsut that it is not a very healthy approach. We Bahais do not need to use such tactics when consulting with each other. Bahais should not feel that they need to closet stuff (pun intended). Self-censorship is the worst type of silencing.

  • G wrote: [quote comment=””][…]Accommodation, compromise, compassion and empathy build communities, not unbending insistence in following the letter of Baha’i law.[…][/quote]

    ‘Abdul-Baha I would argue made an even stronger claim, that change is a law of nature (a title I used for a performance work on values

    [quote comment=””][…]The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion.[…][/quote]

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 228)

    Of course one could interpret the above in various ways. My take here is it is about adapting to the times of our age. Such as another poster here who brought up the subject of using current medical advice as a work around for those who think that the Bahai Teachings cannot allow equal rights for gays.

    P: I loved your post! and if I too fight for equality because I believe in the justice of Baha’u’llah’s message. If I thought otherwise, I’d walk away too. Bahai communities are missing out on a lot of the good stuff gays can bring into our communities. We are lop-sided without them. I mean gay identity, not Bahai gay community involvement on a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ basis.
    We need minority cultures for balance and development.

    Farhan, the UHJ is not asking individual Bahais to treat our gay Bahais differently, so I am not going against any wishes of the UHJ to aim for equality and to voice my views and argumentation.

    It might not be your intention here, but bringing this as an argument could be away of implying that ‘good’ Bahais wouldn’t discuss this in order to be obedient. Just assure me that this was not your intention. I am not afraid for myself, jsut that it is not a very healthy approach. We Bahais do not need to use such tactics when consulting with each other. Bahais should not feel that they need to closet stuff (pun intended). Self-censorship is the worst type of silencing.

  • P

    Thank you Sonja. And I would sya that the LGBT people need the Bahai Faith- or at least some faith community to give structure and support. Unfortunately, many gay people throw the baby out with the bath water when they run away from their religions. Then they live their lives on an “anything goes” attitude which can be just as destructive. But can you blame them? When you have religions that tell me whether you are sleeping around, using drugs, having sex with animals or kids or living your life with one partner and your adopted child- it really makes no difference to us because you are all equally breaking our law and not fully welcome.
    The sad part is that as the years go by, most former Bahais just turn their back on the Bahai chapter of their lives and move on. This will eventually happy to me, I’m sure. And THAT is the real loss to the Faith. Because while I make a fight and express my opinions- Farhan should be happy. It shows I care. When we stop writing is when the Bahai community has lost out.

  • P

    Thank you Sonja. And I would sya that the LGBT people need the Bahai Faith- or at least some faith community to give structure and support. Unfortunately, many gay people throw the baby out with the bath water when they run away from their religions. Then they live their lives on an “anything goes” attitude which can be just as destructive. But can you blame them? When you have religions that tell me whether you are sleeping around, using drugs, having sex with animals or kids or living your life with one partner and your adopted child- it really makes no difference to us because you are all equally breaking our law and not fully welcome.
    The sad part is that as the years go by, most former Bahais just turn their back on the Bahai chapter of their lives and move on. This will eventually happy to me, I’m sure. And THAT is the real loss to the Faith. Because while I make a fight and express my opinions- Farhan should be happy. It shows I care. When we stop writing is when the Bahai community has lost out.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    What would you do Farhan when Dan, Daniel or me where to just show up in your community? Will you submit to the House and close the door on us? Or would you be !

    P, no one has ever asked anyone to “close doors”. You would be welcome to my home and to all activities outside 19 day feasts and LSA meetings. A whole branch of Baha’i activities are open to what is called “the community of interest” which includes non-Baha’is and non enrolled Baha’is. Votings rights, as the name indicates, are necessary for those who wish to take part in administrative activities which are by no means the only part of Baha’i activities, most of which (all core activities) are open at this time to all, whatever their status.

    I do agree that some Baha’is have not fully understood this attitude and homophobia does occur within the Baha’i community as it does outside.

    As a doctor I would say that celibacy for priests is unhealthy, but I would not require the church to change it’s laws for priests, laws that are only applicable to tose who wish to accept them. I would encourage my patents who could not cope with celibacy to avoid priesthood.

    I would encourage my patients unable to cope with avoiding blatant relations outside wedlock and continual revolt against Baha’i laws on chastity to avoid enrolling as Baha’is or forfeiting their voting rights.

    Very obviously, as the UHJ points out, we cannot at the same time say we believe that the UHJ is divinely guided, and say they are mistaken in their stand on homosexual marriages. Our sexual lives are a spiritual or a personal issue with God, until they disrupt the community, and make the spiritual matter a community issue and rarely a penal issue.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    What would you do Farhan when Dan, Daniel or me where to just show up in your community? Will you submit to the House and close the door on us? Or would you be !

    P, no one has ever asked anyone to “close doors”. You would be welcome to my home and to all activities outside 19 day feasts and LSA meetings. A whole branch of Baha’i activities are open to what is called “the community of interest” which includes non-Baha’is and non enrolled Baha’is. Votings rights, as the name indicates, are necessary for those who wish to take part in administrative activities which are by no means the only part of Baha’i activities, most of which (all core activities) are open at this time to all, whatever their status.

    I do agree that some Baha’is have not fully understood this attitude and homophobia does occur within the Baha’i community as it does outside.

    As a doctor I would say that celibacy for priests is unhealthy, but I would not require the church to change it’s laws for priests, laws that are only applicable to tose who wish to accept them. I would encourage my patents who could not cope with celibacy to avoid priesthood.

    I would encourage my patients unable to cope with avoiding blatant relations outside wedlock and continual revolt against Baha’i laws on chastity to avoid enrolling as Baha’is or forfeiting their voting rights.

    Very obviously, as the UHJ points out, we cannot at the same time say we believe that the UHJ is divinely guided, and say they are mistaken in their stand on homosexual marriages. Our sexual lives are a spiritual or a personal issue with God, until they disrupt the community, and make the spiritual matter a community issue and rarely a penal issue.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote:
    Farhan, the UHJ is not asking individual Bahais to treat our gay Bahais differently, so I am not going against any wishes of the UHJ to aim for equality and to voice my views and argumentation.

    Sorry, Sonja, I dont understandyour point: I never implied that any difference was required in our attitudes to people.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sonja wrote:
    Farhan, the UHJ is not asking individual Bahais to treat our gay Bahais differently, so I am not going against any wishes of the UHJ to aim for equality and to voice my views and argumentation.

    Sorry, Sonja, I dont understandyour point: I never implied that any difference was required in our attitudes to people.

  • Daniel Orey

    This is so interesting as always.

    I appreciate Sonja’s quote’s… they are spot on as far as I am concerned, and the reason I had initially enrolled way back in 1976. It is these thoughts, quotes, and efforts that gave me so much and that attracted me. SO I got to thinking on my morning walk that I would like to propose a thought experiment:

    What are 10 reasons a GLBT would want to enroll in the Bah??’? Faith?

    The caveat is that there are dozens of inclusive communities that are reaching out to GLBT folk at the present. What would make a GLBT want to make a drastic cultural change?

    I am just curious… and interested in your ideas… think positive reasons… not the rules…

    Off to a nice inclusive dinner with straight, gay; Jews, Christian and this renegade Bah??’?.

    Blessings.

  • Daniel Orey

    This is so interesting as always.

    I appreciate Sonja’s quote’s… they are spot on as far as I am concerned, and the reason I had initially enrolled way back in 1976. It is these thoughts, quotes, and efforts that gave me so much and that attracted me. SO I got to thinking on my morning walk that I would like to propose a thought experiment:

    What are 10 reasons a GLBT would want to enroll in the Bah??’? Faith?

    The caveat is that there are dozens of inclusive communities that are reaching out to GLBT folk at the present. What would make a GLBT want to make a drastic cultural change?

    I am just curious… and interested in your ideas… think positive reasons… not the rules…

    Off to a nice inclusive dinner with straight, gay; Jews, Christian and this renegade Bah??’?.

    Blessings.

  • [quote comment=”60383″]I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    So that we know what you’re talking about, please supply examples of “the way those [you] sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog”. All occasions over the last month will do. Or are these regular insults less frequent than weekly/monthly?

    Until then, I’m going to assume that what you call insults ere relly just criticism. What you seem to be asking for is for your religion’s workers and leaders to be above criticism. Yet you don’t seem worried when Muslim religious workers and leaders in Iran are criticised.

    I was once a mainstream-liberal Baha’i, and criticisms upset me a bit, too. What was mainly upsetting was how accurate the criticisms seemed to be. Your mileage may vary.

    cheers
    Steve

  • [quote comment=”60383″]I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    So that we know what you’re talking about, please supply examples of “the way those [you] sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog”. All occasions over the last month will do. Or are these regular insults less frequent than weekly/monthly?

    Until then, I’m going to assume that what you call insults ere relly just criticism. What you seem to be asking for is for your religion’s workers and leaders to be above criticism. Yet you don’t seem worried when Muslim religious workers and leaders in Iran are criticised.

    I was once a mainstream-liberal Baha’i, and criticisms upset me a bit, too. What was mainly upsetting was how accurate the criticisms seemed to be. Your mileage may vary.

    cheers
    Steve

  • P

    You would be welcome to my home and to all activities outside 19 day feasts and LSA meetings
    ———–
    Seperate but equal? Where have I heard that before? Farhan you still don’t get it, but I’m sure you pobably think the same of me.
    And Daniel, what are the top 10 reasons for LGBT people to join the Faith you ask? The same 10 reasons anyone else would join. We don’t join because the Bahais are such nice folks (there are Faith communities who are nicer and more welcoming), we don’t join because of the elimination of prejudice (obviously when it comes to LGBT there is no true equality among Bahais, but there is with other Faith communities), so then why join? Because you believe Bahaullah to be promised one of all ages and that his Message is what will unite humanity in one great functioning community- LGBT people and straight, liberal and conservative, fundamentalist and open-minded- one umbrella for ALL. Otherwise, there is no reason to waste time with the Bahais when there are a number of other Faith communities that offer so much more to LGBT people.

  • P

    You would be welcome to my home and to all activities outside 19 day feasts and LSA meetings
    ———–
    Seperate but equal? Where have I heard that before? Farhan you still don’t get it, but I’m sure you pobably think the same of me.
    And Daniel, what are the top 10 reasons for LGBT people to join the Faith you ask? The same 10 reasons anyone else would join. We don’t join because the Bahais are such nice folks (there are Faith communities who are nicer and more welcoming), we don’t join because of the elimination of prejudice (obviously when it comes to LGBT there is no true equality among Bahais, but there is with other Faith communities), so then why join? Because you believe Bahaullah to be promised one of all ages and that his Message is what will unite humanity in one great functioning community- LGBT people and straight, liberal and conservative, fundamentalist and open-minded- one umbrella for ALL. Otherwise, there is no reason to waste time with the Bahais when there are a number of other Faith communities that offer so much more to LGBT people.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    So that we know what you’re talking about, please supply examples of “the way those [you] sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog”. All occasions over the last month will do.

    Steve what I call “insult” you might call “name-calling” or being judgmental. I dont remember any dirty words, and to tell you the truth, I often skip long expressions of anger or hatred and I have no intention of going back and sifting those angry posts, although I fully understand and overlook the pain and anger involved when people suffer.

    There is a difference between expressing disagreement and calling names. You might feel insulted by being called names, but there is no reason you should feel offended if I express a view different from yours.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    So that we know what you’re talking about, please supply examples of “the way those [you] sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog”. All occasions over the last month will do.

    Steve what I call “insult” you might call “name-calling” or being judgmental. I dont remember any dirty words, and to tell you the truth, I often skip long expressions of anger or hatred and I have no intention of going back and sifting those angry posts, although I fully understand and overlook the pain and anger involved when people suffer.

    There is a difference between expressing disagreement and calling names. You might feel insulted by being called names, but there is no reason you should feel offended if I express a view different from yours.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    Seperate but equal? Where have I heard that before? Farhan you still don’t get it, but I’m sure you pobably think the same of me.

    P, I am not an LSA member and I would quietly take leave if a meeting were scheduled, and without being superior to each other, there are places where you would not invite me, and I would not invite you.

    Yes, there is undoubtedly a difference between an enrolled and an unenrolled Baha’i, and the choice can be very difficult one, when a Baha’i is invited for a political position, or is unable to have the permission from his beloved’s parents for marriage. Abdu’l-Baha said that His knees trembled when He thought of God’s tests, and believe you me, I often wonder if I might not slip, facing a difficult choice, and I am often ashamed when I remember some of my misgivings, so I will never judge another for what I might one day do myself.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    Seperate but equal? Where have I heard that before? Farhan you still don’t get it, but I’m sure you pobably think the same of me.

    P, I am not an LSA member and I would quietly take leave if a meeting were scheduled, and without being superior to each other, there are places where you would not invite me, and I would not invite you.

    Yes, there is undoubtedly a difference between an enrolled and an unenrolled Baha’i, and the choice can be very difficult one, when a Baha’i is invited for a political position, or is unable to have the permission from his beloved’s parents for marriage. Abdu’l-Baha said that His knees trembled when He thought of God’s tests, and believe you me, I often wonder if I might not slip, facing a difficult choice, and I am often ashamed when I remember some of my misgivings, so I will never judge another for what I might one day do myself.

  • [quote comment=”60409″]I have no intention of going back and sifting those angry posts,…[/quote]

    The problem remains that we have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific “name-calling” you have a problem with.

    [quote comment=”60409″]…although I fully understand and overlook the pain and anger involved when people suffer.[/quote]

    But you don’t overlook it. You dredge it up with what sounds to me like a holier-than-thou attitude (“I fully understand and overlook…”) and you fail to give us the information we need to address your complaints.

    cheers
    Steve

  • [quote comment=”60409″]I have no intention of going back and sifting those angry posts,…[/quote]

    The problem remains that we have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific “name-calling” you have a problem with.

    [quote comment=”60409″]…although I fully understand and overlook the pain and anger involved when people suffer.[/quote]

    But you don’t overlook it. You dredge it up with what sounds to me like a holier-than-thou attitude (“I fully understand and overlook…”) and you fail to give us the information we need to address your complaints.

    cheers
    Steve

  • P

    P, I am not an LSA member and I would quietly take leave if a meeting were scheduled, and without being superior to each other, there are places where you would not invite me, and I would not invite you.
    ———-
    But Farhan, we are not talking about a Country Club are we? I’m not talking about coming over and sipping tea in your house. Thank you, you are very generous to not care if I’m gay or not. But THAT is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being treated as an equal in the Bahai community. Having my relationship deemed worthy of producing an ever advancing civilization. Being a haven for people like me. Right now it is not and you wish to keep it that way per whatever the House says. My guess is to perpetuate the facade that the Bahai community is a welcoming place for all of humanity while still denying gays and lesbians equal status to other Bahais. How can you speak of welcoming all if you will turn around and strip someone of their voting rights, tell their children that their mommies are living a sin against Bahaullah’s law and tell Bahai youth that they must overcome if they wish to be following God’s path? Deosn’t sound too welcoming to me. It’s as welcoming as a southern baptist congregation. Sorry Farhan- you haven’t convinced me that I am welcome as an equal in the Bahai community.

  • P

    P, I am not an LSA member and I would quietly take leave if a meeting were scheduled, and without being superior to each other, there are places where you would not invite me, and I would not invite you.
    ———-
    But Farhan, we are not talking about a Country Club are we? I’m not talking about coming over and sipping tea in your house. Thank you, you are very generous to not care if I’m gay or not. But THAT is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being treated as an equal in the Bahai community. Having my relationship deemed worthy of producing an ever advancing civilization. Being a haven for people like me. Right now it is not and you wish to keep it that way per whatever the House says. My guess is to perpetuate the facade that the Bahai community is a welcoming place for all of humanity while still denying gays and lesbians equal status to other Bahais. How can you speak of welcoming all if you will turn around and strip someone of their voting rights, tell their children that their mommies are living a sin against Bahaullah’s law and tell Bahai youth that they must overcome if they wish to be following God’s path? Deosn’t sound too welcoming to me. It’s as welcoming as a southern baptist congregation. Sorry Farhan- you haven’t convinced me that I am welcome as an equal in the Bahai community.

  • P

    Oh and Farhan- YOU can be elected to be on the LSA. I can’t. Well, I can if I pretended to be straight or said I was gay and struggling to overcome, or maybe just got married and kept myself in the closet…yeah in those situations the Bahai community is very welcoming to gays and lesbians. But if I’m out with a partner and my children, then I’m a second class citizen. Something that you keep trying to minimize as not signficant. Again to perpetuate the facade of a welcoming community.

  • P

    Oh and Farhan- YOU can be elected to be on the LSA. I can’t. Well, I can if I pretended to be straight or said I was gay and struggling to overcome, or maybe just got married and kept myself in the closet…yeah in those situations the Bahai community is very welcoming to gays and lesbians. But if I’m out with a partner and my children, then I’m a second class citizen. Something that you keep trying to minimize as not signficant. Again to perpetuate the facade of a welcoming community.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    The problem remains that we have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific “name-calling” you have a problem with.

    I have no complaint, nor problem, otherwise I would not be here.

    I am pointing out that there is far more pro-gays bashing Baha’is for their views than Baha’is bashing pro-gays on internet, and I am not willing to provide statistics to back up my view here.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    The problem remains that we have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific “name-calling” you have a problem with.

    I have no complaint, nor problem, otherwise I would not be here.

    I am pointing out that there is far more pro-gays bashing Baha’is for their views than Baha’is bashing pro-gays on internet, and I am not willing to provide statistics to back up my view here.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    Sorry Farhan- you haven’t convinced me that I am welcome as an equal in the Bahai community.

    P, I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    Sorry Farhan- you haven’t convinced me that I am welcome as an equal in the Bahai community.

    P, I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.

  • Hi Farhan,

    [quote comment=”60430″]I have no complaint, nor problem, otherwise I would not be here.[/quote]

    The following statement of yours sure quacks like a complaint or problem:

    [quote comment=”60383″]I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.[/quote]

    You may not have a problem, but I still do. My problem remains that I have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific ?name-calling? you have a non-problem with.

    [quote comment=”60430″]I am pointing out that there is far more pro-gays bashing Baha’is for their views than Baha’is bashing pro-gays on internet,…[/quote]

    Then point it out with specifics. Also, for someone who has “no complaint, nor problem”, you sure make it sound like lots of bad things are going on!

    [quote comment=”60430″]…and I am not willing to provide statistics to back up my view here.[/quote]

    Not statistics, Farhan. Specifics. And I’m not asking you to back up your view. I’m asking you to define it.

    cheers
    Steve

  • Hi Farhan,

    [quote comment=”60430″]I have no complaint, nor problem, otherwise I would not be here.[/quote]

    The following statement of yours sure quacks like a complaint or problem:

    [quote comment=”60383″]I do feel the way those I sincerely love who are selflessly serving on the BWC have been regularly insulted on this blog and elsewhere on the internet is intolerant. This has been very painful to me.[/quote]

    You may not have a problem, but I still do. My problem remains that I have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t have the courtesy to identify the posts and the specific ?name-calling? you have a non-problem with.

    [quote comment=”60430″]I am pointing out that there is far more pro-gays bashing Baha’is for their views than Baha’is bashing pro-gays on internet,…[/quote]

    Then point it out with specifics. Also, for someone who has “no complaint, nor problem”, you sure make it sound like lots of bad things are going on!

    [quote comment=”60430″]…and I am not willing to provide statistics to back up my view here.[/quote]

    Not statistics, Farhan. Specifics. And I’m not asking you to back up your view. I’m asking you to define it.

    cheers
    Steve

  • P

    P, I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.
    —————-
    If you were in a conservative/traditionalist branch of those religions you would be kicked out. But there would always be a more liberal group of those religions with which to worship and keep your Faith. Is THAT what you are recommending Farhan? That gays/lesbians like Grover suggested go out and create a covenant breaking group in which to be Bahais? NO THANKS! You see Bahai bashing, I see fighting for equality and justice. The real bashing happens inside the Bahahi community where gays get so fed up they just end up leaving and pouring their frustrations on the internet. Meanwhile Bahais like you just act all innoent and confused “oh why, oh why are we poor Bahahis being bashed”. Please farhan. As long as you see my fighting for “what goes on in my underpants” as you put it in an earlier post, you just won’t understand. But thanks for inviting me into your home even thought you’d exclude me from fully participating in Bahai community life as an equal. Cheers!

  • P

    P, I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.
    —————-
    If you were in a conservative/traditionalist branch of those religions you would be kicked out. But there would always be a more liberal group of those religions with which to worship and keep your Faith. Is THAT what you are recommending Farhan? That gays/lesbians like Grover suggested go out and create a covenant breaking group in which to be Bahais? NO THANKS! You see Bahai bashing, I see fighting for equality and justice. The real bashing happens inside the Bahahi community where gays get so fed up they just end up leaving and pouring their frustrations on the internet. Meanwhile Bahais like you just act all innoent and confused “oh why, oh why are we poor Bahahis being bashed”. Please farhan. As long as you see my fighting for “what goes on in my underpants” as you put it in an earlier post, you just won’t understand. But thanks for inviting me into your home even thought you’d exclude me from fully participating in Bahai community life as an equal. Cheers!

  • Farhan wrote: [quote comment=””][…] we cannot at the same time say we believe that the UHJ is divinely guided, and say they are mistaken in their stand on homosexual marriages.[…][/quote]

    ‘Abdul-Baha obviously differs from you on this point, because otherwise he would not have written:

    “Inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are
    not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 20)

    Now here the case is where the UHJ is stating that something is in the Bahai Writings, but a later UHJ might see that as not being the case and could make a differing ruling.
    How could they possibly make a differing ruling?
    Because Bahais discuss these issues from various viewpoints, and keep in touch with society around them is one way of maintaining a connection with the peoples and changing views of the world.

    It does seem to me, Farhan, that your view here is, the UHJ has made a statement and so Bahais can no longer debate this. If Bahais do not debate things, how will the Bahai Faith ever progress, ever change. Here’s that quotation again…

    “[…]The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion.[…] ”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 228)

    For me this quotation is as much about today as yesterday or the future. I see it as an attitude to take towards the world. Change is a Law of Nature!

  • Farhan wrote: [quote comment=””][…] we cannot at the same time say we believe that the UHJ is divinely guided, and say they are mistaken in their stand on homosexual marriages.[…][/quote]

    ‘Abdul-Baha obviously differs from you on this point, because otherwise he would not have written:

    “Inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are
    not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same.”
    (Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 20)

    Now here the case is where the UHJ is stating that something is in the Bahai Writings, but a later UHJ might see that as not being the case and could make a differing ruling.
    How could they possibly make a differing ruling?
    Because Bahais discuss these issues from various viewpoints, and keep in touch with society around them is one way of maintaining a connection with the peoples and changing views of the world.

    It does seem to me, Farhan, that your view here is, the UHJ has made a statement and so Bahais can no longer debate this. If Bahais do not debate things, how will the Bahai Faith ever progress, ever change. Here’s that quotation again…

    “[…]The morals of humanity must undergo change. New remedy and solution for human problems must be adopted. Human intellects themselves must change and be subject to the universal reformation. Just as the thoughts and hypotheses of past ages are fruitless today, likewise dogmas and codes of human invention are obsolete and barren of product in religion.[…] ”

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 228)

    For me this quotation is as much about today as yesterday or the future. I see it as an attitude to take towards the world. Change is a Law of Nature!

  • Thinking about P’s thoughts on why he is a Bahai, and on Daniels’ 10 reasons… even though I lead a hetereo lifestyle, these are questions for all of us.

    Then today I read an email sent to me by a Spanish Bahai, a singer/musician: listen to his song “My Beloved”, that’s why I’m a Bahai and his music made my day today!

    http://www.reverbnation.com/mcequal

  • Thinking about P’s thoughts on why he is a Bahai, and on Daniels’ 10 reasons… even though I lead a hetereo lifestyle, these are questions for all of us.

    Then today I read an email sent to me by a Spanish Bahai, a singer/musician: listen to his song “My Beloved”, that’s why I’m a Bahai and his music made my day today!

    http://www.reverbnation.com/mcequal

  • Dan W

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” –Arthur Schopenhauer

    I think that our struggle for equality has reached the second stage in society at large. I fear we are still in the first stage with regard to the Baha’i Community. As my mom used to always say: TRUTH WILL OUT! She might not have intended it this way, but I’m OUT and living in my truth.

    The truth about Dan is so evident. Even when I was working at the Baha’i National Center and living a hetero lifestyle with wife and children, the truth about Dan was evident. I thought I was hiding something. When the divorce happened and I got the courage to tell my closest Baha’i friends that I was gay, they all said: “Oh, Dan . . . we knew that about you already!” Even my 7 year old son said those words when I came out to him. They could all accept the truth as self evident, even when I was running as hard as I could away from the truth.

    What I am is a “normal,” fully-functioning human being with a lot to contribute, and every right to be embraced by my religion without being relegated to an inferior (deprived of administrative rights) status. I believe in my religion’s teachings about unity and the elimination of prejudice of all kinds. Eventually, the Baha’i Community will get to stage three, but we have a long way to go!

  • Dan W

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” –Arthur Schopenhauer

    I think that our struggle for equality has reached the second stage in society at large. I fear we are still in the first stage with regard to the Baha’i Community. As my mom used to always say: TRUTH WILL OUT! She might not have intended it this way, but I’m OUT and living in my truth.

    The truth about Dan is so evident. Even when I was working at the Baha’i National Center and living a hetero lifestyle with wife and children, the truth about Dan was evident. I thought I was hiding something. When the divorce happened and I got the courage to tell my closest Baha’i friends that I was gay, they all said: “Oh, Dan . . . we knew that about you already!” Even my 7 year old son said those words when I came out to him. They could all accept the truth as self evident, even when I was running as hard as I could away from the truth.

    What I am is a “normal,” fully-functioning human being with a lot to contribute, and every right to be embraced by my religion without being relegated to an inferior (deprived of administrative rights) status. I believe in my religion’s teachings about unity and the elimination of prejudice of all kinds. Eventually, the Baha’i Community will get to stage three, but we have a long way to go!

  • Daniel Orey

    P & F ” I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.”

    My husband and I were first married a bout 9 years ago by 90 Methodist ministers who placed their hands on each couple to bless them/us… a local Catholic Church (St Francis) is very open and welcoming and has HUGE gay following, the Episcopal Church here is historically welcoming, a number of my friends converted from Catholicism when the Pope went homophobic, the Reformed Jewish community is historically welcoming to gays and lesbians, of course the Unitarians are groovy… the Congregationalists and Lutherans place adds in both gay papers here inviting folks to join them.

    It has been a constant, and embarrassing point of shame that the Bah??’?s are known for being homophobic amongst the progressive community here in Sacramento. I was at a gathering for something a few months ago, and folks were sharing their religious affiliation. I told them that I was Bah??’?, and the woman sitting next to me was so concerned for me being gay and Bah??’?s because as she said, ?they really hate their gay members?.

    What concerns me most about the homophobia in the Faith is the reputation is giving the progressive community for being un-progressive and exclusionary.

    What could I say?

  • Daniel Orey

    P & F ” I wondre how I would be welcomed in the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic congregations if I openly defied and challenged their teachings.”

    My husband and I were first married a bout 9 years ago by 90 Methodist ministers who placed their hands on each couple to bless them/us… a local Catholic Church (St Francis) is very open and welcoming and has HUGE gay following, the Episcopal Church here is historically welcoming, a number of my friends converted from Catholicism when the Pope went homophobic, the Reformed Jewish community is historically welcoming to gays and lesbians, of course the Unitarians are groovy… the Congregationalists and Lutherans place adds in both gay papers here inviting folks to join them.

    It has been a constant, and embarrassing point of shame that the Bah??’?s are known for being homophobic amongst the progressive community here in Sacramento. I was at a gathering for something a few months ago, and folks were sharing their religious affiliation. I told them that I was Bah??’?, and the woman sitting next to me was so concerned for me being gay and Bah??’?s because as she said, ?they really hate their gay members?.

    What concerns me most about the homophobia in the Faith is the reputation is giving the progressive community for being un-progressive and exclusionary.

    What could I say?

  • P

    You can’t say much Daniel. Because if you do, you are seen as Bahai bashing. It is SO sad. I see it everywhere on the all the boards and websites where the issue of gay discrimination is discussed in the Bahai community. Traditionalists (like Farhan and the AO) are living in their own bubble where discriminatin doesn’t occur, where everyone is equal, everyone is welcome and to note otherwise is pure Bahai bashing.
    I wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? They have chosen to live in a country that teats them like second class citizens, so the real ooption is to just leave, right? Or just choose another country or religion? (per your suggestion to gays in the Bahai community). What is the difference?

  • P

    You can’t say much Daniel. Because if you do, you are seen as Bahai bashing. It is SO sad. I see it everywhere on the all the boards and websites where the issue of gay discrimination is discussed in the Bahai community. Traditionalists (like Farhan and the AO) are living in their own bubble where discriminatin doesn’t occur, where everyone is equal, everyone is welcome and to note otherwise is pure Bahai bashing.
    I wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? They have chosen to live in a country that teats them like second class citizens, so the real ooption is to just leave, right? Or just choose another country or religion? (per your suggestion to gays in the Bahai community). What is the difference?

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]That gays/lesbians like Grover suggested go out and create a covenant breaking group in which to be Bahais? NO THANKS![/quote]

    Well P, I must say you’re made of sterner stuff than me ;P. I got tired of trying to work in the Baha’i community and haven’t been attending anything for several years now. I personally wouldn’t consider forming another faith community covenant breaking, unless you call it something like “The alternative Baha’i Faith”, and its out to directly challenge the current administration. This website and other blog sites are examples of virtual faith communities.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]That gays/lesbians like Grover suggested go out and create a covenant breaking group in which to be Bahais? NO THANKS![/quote]

    Well P, I must say you’re made of sterner stuff than me ;P. I got tired of trying to work in the Baha’i community and haven’t been attending anything for several years now. I personally wouldn’t consider forming another faith community covenant breaking, unless you call it something like “The alternative Baha’i Faith”, and its out to directly challenge the current administration. This website and other blog sites are examples of virtual faith communities.

  • P

    That’s true Grover. Sorry I misunderstood. I guess you could form a Bahai study group within like a Unitarian church and hold your 19 day deepenings and such. Of course first you would need a huge Bahai community where there are enough disgruntled Bahais. Right now, most Bahai communities hardly have enough people to host their own stuff. HEY, maybe that’s the solution! Let the Bahai community become so small that you couldn’t elect an assembly even if you wanted to. Then having voting rights taken away wouldn’t mean anything anyway. 🙂

  • Daniel Orey

    I am also inactive, haven’t attended a function in years… but I have found that fasting, funding, praying and trying to live the life as best I can doesn’t require a community. Other than a few internet communities like this… I remain under my rock.

    I have found I am happier this way.

  • P

    That’s true Grover. Sorry I misunderstood. I guess you could form a Bahai study group within like a Unitarian church and hold your 19 day deepenings and such. Of course first you would need a huge Bahai community where there are enough disgruntled Bahais. Right now, most Bahai communities hardly have enough people to host their own stuff. HEY, maybe that’s the solution! Let the Bahai community become so small that you couldn’t elect an assembly even if you wanted to. Then having voting rights taken away wouldn’t mean anything anyway. 🙂

  • Daniel Orey

    I am also inactive, haven’t attended a function in years… but I have found that fasting, funding, praying and trying to live the life as best I can doesn’t require a community. Other than a few internet communities like this… I remain under my rock.

    I have found I am happier this way.

  • [quote comment=”60446″]I wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? They have chosen to live in a country that teats them like second class citizens, so the real option is to just leave, right? Or just choose another country or religion? (per your suggestion to gays in the Bahai community). What is the difference?[/quote]

    The only difference I can see is that the Baha’i administration lacks the coercive power of the state and is prevented from using force on non-conforming members. It already abuses due process, just like the Iraninan government.

    My NSA wanted its reps to meet with me. I set some conditions, such as requiring it to present and follow a strict agenda so there were no surprises; having the meeting recorded so there was no confusion over what was said; and allowing me to have a support person there so I wasn’t railroaded. I was told there could be no conditions set for the meeting — which is code for “we will set all the conditions”.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • [quote comment=”60446″]I wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? They have chosen to live in a country that teats them like second class citizens, so the real option is to just leave, right? Or just choose another country or religion? (per your suggestion to gays in the Bahai community). What is the difference?[/quote]

    The only difference I can see is that the Baha’i administration lacks the coercive power of the state and is prevented from using force on non-conforming members. It already abuses due process, just like the Iraninan government.

    My NSA wanted its reps to meet with me. I set some conditions, such as requiring it to present and follow a strict agenda so there were no surprises; having the meeting recorded so there was no confusion over what was said; and allowing me to have a support person there so I wasn’t railroaded. I was told there could be no conditions set for the meeting — which is code for “we will set all the conditions”.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • P

    Right Steve. But I’m looking at just two things, taking away the ability of the individual to vote in a society and to serve in a position (Iran or the Bahai community). Both societies will remove those rights from an individual. In the case of Iran, it is because of breaking the law of being a practicing Bahai. In the case of the Bahai community for openly being a gay person living with a partner. Both feel justified. Both tell these individuals if they change their ways (no longer be a practicing Bahai; no longer be living with your partner) then they are fully accepted in their socieities.
    And as far as coersion goes, definitely what the Bahai AO does is NOTHING compared to the gruesome tactics of the Iranian government. But the Bahais also have no earthly power. But one day who knows. IF the House continues to believe the way they do regarding homosexuality, they could enact much sterner punishment. That option is available to them if we are to believe that Bahaullah’s quote in the Aqdas regarding future punishment of sodomy applies to ALL homosexuals. Who knows?

  • P

    Right Steve. But I’m looking at just two things, taking away the ability of the individual to vote in a society and to serve in a position (Iran or the Bahai community). Both societies will remove those rights from an individual. In the case of Iran, it is because of breaking the law of being a practicing Bahai. In the case of the Bahai community for openly being a gay person living with a partner. Both feel justified. Both tell these individuals if they change their ways (no longer be a practicing Bahai; no longer be living with your partner) then they are fully accepted in their socieities.
    And as far as coersion goes, definitely what the Bahai AO does is NOTHING compared to the gruesome tactics of the Iranian government. But the Bahais also have no earthly power. But one day who knows. IF the House continues to believe the way they do regarding homosexuality, they could enact much sterner punishment. That option is available to them if we are to believe that Bahaullah’s quote in the Aqdas regarding future punishment of sodomy applies to ALL homosexuals. Who knows?

  • Amanda

    Good points, P and Steve. I think that there is certainly psychological/spiritual coercion at work currently in the community. And the future community the Haifan bunch is aiming for (theocracy a la however the Aqdas is being interpreted)is certainly materially coercive, as well.

  • Amanda

    Good points, P and Steve. I think that there is certainly psychological/spiritual coercion at work currently in the community. And the future community the Haifan bunch is aiming for (theocracy a la however the Aqdas is being interpreted)is certainly materially coercive, as well.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]My NSA wanted its reps to meet with me. I set some conditions, such as requiring it to present and follow a strict agenda so there were no surprises; having the meeting recorded so there was no confusion over what was said; and allowing me to have a support person there so I wasn’t railroaded. I was told there could be no conditions set for the meeting — which is code for ?we will set all the conditions?.[/quote]

    Hi Steve, did they say what they wanted to meet with you for? I would have thought your conditions were fair and reasonable. Its standard practice particularly if the meeting is likely to be controversial or emotive, it ensures that both parties behave themselves.

    Regarding coersion, there are lots of ways the Baha’i administration uses coersion. Eg. Feast speeches and newsletter articles that “indirectly” target wayward individuals. Even though no one mentions any names, everyone knows who they’re talking about. Cluster meetings and goal setting to force people to do the 5 year plan activities. Committee member selection. Fund reports where individuals know exactly how much they gave compared to other Baha’is. “Friendly” visits by the ABM and LSA members. Sitting Baha’is in front of nine LSA members for a please explain. The Baha’i community has gotten very good at making people who have gotten off-side feel even more off-side to the point where there is outright antagonism or the person goes inactive, leaves the community or resigns. Then they quote Peter Khan and say that person doesn’t have a deepened spiritual consciousness.

  • Grover

    [quote post=”193″]My NSA wanted its reps to meet with me. I set some conditions, such as requiring it to present and follow a strict agenda so there were no surprises; having the meeting recorded so there was no confusion over what was said; and allowing me to have a support person there so I wasn’t railroaded. I was told there could be no conditions set for the meeting — which is code for ?we will set all the conditions?.[/quote]

    Hi Steve, did they say what they wanted to meet with you for? I would have thought your conditions were fair and reasonable. Its standard practice particularly if the meeting is likely to be controversial or emotive, it ensures that both parties behave themselves.

    Regarding coersion, there are lots of ways the Baha’i administration uses coersion. Eg. Feast speeches and newsletter articles that “indirectly” target wayward individuals. Even though no one mentions any names, everyone knows who they’re talking about. Cluster meetings and goal setting to force people to do the 5 year plan activities. Committee member selection. Fund reports where individuals know exactly how much they gave compared to other Baha’is. “Friendly” visits by the ABM and LSA members. Sitting Baha’is in front of nine LSA members for a please explain. The Baha’i community has gotten very good at making people who have gotten off-side feel even more off-side to the point where there is outright antagonism or the person goes inactive, leaves the community or resigns. Then they quote Peter Khan and say that person doesn’t have a deepened spiritual consciousness.

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Friends,

    As much as I’ve enjoyed this discussion over the past several weeks and I’ve tried to remain open and not take things personally, it’s now opened up all the old wounds and made me realize that no matter what GLBT Baha’is say, no matter what science they can produce to prove their case, no matter what many organizations, including the United Nations do to educate the world about GLBT equality, the conservative/fundamentalist Baha’is will NEVER change their view. Unfortunately, it’s the conservative/fundamentalist Baha’is from the UHJ down to the LSA’s that not only control the Faith, but set the standard/mindset of how the Baha’i community should respond to the GLBT community. Farhan is I’m sure a very sincere, dedicated Baha’i, but he just can’t see how wrong it is to offer the GLBT community “separate but equal” status in what GLBT Baha’is can and cannot participate in. For him to offer all the “non-administrative functions” to us is a complete insult. Like telling Blacks that they can ride on the same bus as whites but have to sit in the back. The whites back then who believed blacks should sit in the back, didn’t think that there was anything wrong with that situation because they weren’t black. Straight people are always saying to the gay folk, “Why don’t you just stop being gay and live a straight life?” They say this with all sincerity because they will never understand what it’s like being gay any more than those folks in the time of Rosa Parks, could fully understand what it was like to live everyday as a black person.

    I just got off another Baha’i site all about direct teaching. The question came up as to, “When should the Baha’i teacher tell the GLBT seeker what the stand on homosexuality is in the Faith?” I answered that they should be told right away so that later down the road the GLBT person can’t accuse the Baha’i teacher of holding back very important information in order to “convert” them. I was bombarded with responses from many well-seasoned Baha’is saying, “Gays have to realize that Baha’u’llah has come to cure them…” or “Homosexuality is the same as alcoholism and can be cured and overcome with enough effort”, or “as the Baha’i Faith gradually changes the society around us homosexuality will greatly decrease and those who are gay will willingly want to change to heterosexuality because of their love for Baha’u’llah and most importantly, because of their obedience to the Covenant”. Here’s my most favorite response, “All Baha’is out direct teaching should know that homosexuality can be cured and that they should become aquainted with the website, “www.narth.com” which is the official website for “The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.” A group, according to the fundamentalist Baha’is, that scientifically supports the official Baha’i stand regarding homosexuality. In reality, this is a very frightening, bigoted, fundamentalist organization.

    So friends, with this type of thinking so rampant in the Baha’i community, what’s the point of even trying to have any type of logical discussion with these people. At this point in time the Baha’i Faith is no different than the Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics,Fundamentalist Protestants, and Muslims in it’s views of homosexuality and how it treats homosexuals within it’s own community.

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Friends,

    As much as I’ve enjoyed this discussion over the past several weeks and I’ve tried to remain open and not take things personally, it’s now opened up all the old wounds and made me realize that no matter what GLBT Baha’is say, no matter what science they can produce to prove their case, no matter what many organizations, including the United Nations do to educate the world about GLBT equality, the conservative/fundamentalist Baha’is will NEVER change their view. Unfortunately, it’s the conservative/fundamentalist Baha’is from the UHJ down to the LSA’s that not only control the Faith, but set the standard/mindset of how the Baha’i community should respond to the GLBT community. Farhan is I’m sure a very sincere, dedicated Baha’i, but he just can’t see how wrong it is to offer the GLBT community “separate but equal” status in what GLBT Baha’is can and cannot participate in. For him to offer all the “non-administrative functions” to us is a complete insult. Like telling Blacks that they can ride on the same bus as whites but have to sit in the back. The whites back then who believed blacks should sit in the back, didn’t think that there was anything wrong with that situation because they weren’t black. Straight people are always saying to the gay folk, “Why don’t you just stop being gay and live a straight life?” They say this with all sincerity because they will never understand what it’s like being gay any more than those folks in the time of Rosa Parks, could fully understand what it was like to live everyday as a black person.

    I just got off another Baha’i site all about direct teaching. The question came up as to, “When should the Baha’i teacher tell the GLBT seeker what the stand on homosexuality is in the Faith?” I answered that they should be told right away so that later down the road the GLBT person can’t accuse the Baha’i teacher of holding back very important information in order to “convert” them. I was bombarded with responses from many well-seasoned Baha’is saying, “Gays have to realize that Baha’u’llah has come to cure them…” or “Homosexuality is the same as alcoholism and can be cured and overcome with enough effort”, or “as the Baha’i Faith gradually changes the society around us homosexuality will greatly decrease and those who are gay will willingly want to change to heterosexuality because of their love for Baha’u’llah and most importantly, because of their obedience to the Covenant”. Here’s my most favorite response, “All Baha’is out direct teaching should know that homosexuality can be cured and that they should become aquainted with the website, “www.narth.com” which is the official website for “The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.” A group, according to the fundamentalist Baha’is, that scientifically supports the official Baha’i stand regarding homosexuality. In reality, this is a very frightening, bigoted, fundamentalist organization.

    So friends, with this type of thinking so rampant in the Baha’i community, what’s the point of even trying to have any type of logical discussion with these people. At this point in time the Baha’i Faith is no different than the Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics,Fundamentalist Protestants, and Muslims in it’s views of homosexuality and how it treats homosexuals within it’s own community.

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • P

    I know Bill. It’s tough. You have to get a thick skin. I always just try to go back to the days when I was in denial and had the same fundamentalist mindset, so I can understnad these people. But my heart really goes out to the young Bahais in the community, those from generations Bahai who are at the age of 14- young scared and confused- are being told by these idiots that they haver a disorder to overcome. THEY are the reason I spend time refuting the fundamentalists in the Faith. THEY are the reason I write without fear to the World Center. As I told my friend Amanda, for years I felt the burden of the Bahai view on me until I finally realized this is has nothing to do with God. Now I’ve placed the burden on them. The AO will be responsible before God for gay teenagers in the community who hurt themselves because they couldn’t “overcome” and they will be responsible before God for allowing thousands of good Bahais to leave the Faith in frustration because of their fundamentalist stance on this issue.

  • P

    I know Bill. It’s tough. You have to get a thick skin. I always just try to go back to the days when I was in denial and had the same fundamentalist mindset, so I can understnad these people. But my heart really goes out to the young Bahais in the community, those from generations Bahai who are at the age of 14- young scared and confused- are being told by these idiots that they haver a disorder to overcome. THEY are the reason I spend time refuting the fundamentalists in the Faith. THEY are the reason I write without fear to the World Center. As I told my friend Amanda, for years I felt the burden of the Bahai view on me until I finally realized this is has nothing to do with God. Now I’ve placed the burden on them. The AO will be responsible before God for gay teenagers in the community who hurt themselves because they couldn’t “overcome” and they will be responsible before God for allowing thousands of good Bahais to leave the Faith in frustration because of their fundamentalist stance on this issue.

  • [quote comment=””]Hi Steve, did they say what they wanted to meet with you for?[/quote]

    It was to discuss my problems, which, it transpired, were actually its problems. That’s my take. Here’s some extracts from the correspondence.

    NSA:
    “The purpose of that meeting will be to discuss issues or concerns that you might wish to raise with this institution. For example, the National Spiritual Assembly is aware that you have certain concerns with the functioning of Baha’i institutions.”

    Steve:
    “I don’t have any concerns that I wish to discuss with NSA representatives, but thanks for the offer. If the NSA has any concerns it wishes to raise with me, please let me know.”

    NSA:
    “It is somewhat disappointing that you do not wish to take up the offer of sharing your concerns with the National Assembly’s representatives, because we are aware, through…”

    Steve:
    “Thanks for your message. I still don’t have any concerns that I wish to discuss with NSA representatives, but I remain open to any concerns of the NSA that it wishes to raise with me.”

    NSA:
    “The National Spiritual Assembly believes it would be highly advantageous for a meeting to go ahead between its two representatives and yourself.
    To this end, Xxxxx Xxxxxx will telephone you to make a suitable time.”

    NSA:
    The National Spiritual Assembly was disappointed that there was not an opportunity during Alan Wilcox’s visit to Dunedin last week, for our representatives to meet with you. You have asked if the National Assembly has concerns that it wishes to share with you. As you know, the role of the National Assembly is to maintain unity and guide the friends, so in that capacity, we feel it is important that our representatives have a meeting with you to
    1. Share the National Assembly’s concerns.
    2. Clear up any misunderstandings.
    3. Discuss basic Baha’i beliefs.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • [quote comment=””]Hi Steve, did they say what they wanted to meet with you for?[/quote]

    It was to discuss my problems, which, it transpired, were actually its problems. That’s my take. Here’s some extracts from the correspondence.

    NSA:
    “The purpose of that meeting will be to discuss issues or concerns that you might wish to raise with this institution. For example, the National Spiritual Assembly is aware that you have certain concerns with the functioning of Baha’i institutions.”

    Steve:
    “I don’t have any concerns that I wish to discuss with NSA representatives, but thanks for the offer. If the NSA has any concerns it wishes to raise with me, please let me know.”

    NSA:
    “It is somewhat disappointing that you do not wish to take up the offer of sharing your concerns with the National Assembly’s representatives, because we are aware, through…”

    Steve:
    “Thanks for your message. I still don’t have any concerns that I wish to discuss with NSA representatives, but I remain open to any concerns of the NSA that it wishes to raise with me.”

    NSA:
    “The National Spiritual Assembly believes it would be highly advantageous for a meeting to go ahead between its two representatives and yourself.
    To this end, Xxxxx Xxxxxx will telephone you to make a suitable time.”

    NSA:
    The National Spiritual Assembly was disappointed that there was not an opportunity during Alan Wilcox’s visit to Dunedin last week, for our representatives to meet with you. You have asked if the National Assembly has concerns that it wishes to share with you. As you know, the role of the National Assembly is to maintain unity and guide the friends, so in that capacity, we feel it is important that our representatives have a meeting with you to
    1. Share the National Assembly’s concerns.
    2. Clear up any misunderstandings.
    3. Discuss basic Baha’i beliefs.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • Bill thanks for your candor. For me it is either a case of giving up on the Faith, because there really isn’t equality, or keep at it as I try to because I believe without taking Baha’u’llah’s principle of equality seriously, the Bahai Faith is being sold out.

    I keep thinking about Bahais in the Netherlands where I live and think, most likely given the imbalance in attitudes between how GLBT are treated, no one is likely to be interested in the Bahai Faith, but what about the children of Bahai’s who are gay. This is really important. Perhaps Bahais might be moved, if reasoning or the principle of equality doesn’t work, if they were aware of the suffering to the youth. It is possible that here in the Netherlands, because society in general accepts gays -Many of my friends are out, and my colleagues in particular are private types of people to start with. So a Bahai youth, I guess, would be more likely to walk away from a Bahai community if harrassed or admonished than do some harm to themselves.

    Anyway I just couldn’t be a Bahai if I believed that I had remain silent about such an important issue. I’d feel like a hypocrit and I’m sure Baha’u’llah never intended for Bahais to make moral comporomises about a teaching as basic as equality.

    Many read bahairants and I’m sure our discussions here are fruitful for others. I appreciate Farhan’s postings, although I do not agree with his views, it gives me opportunity to explain my viewpoint because, as others have said, his viewpoint is a viewpoint of many Bahais.

  • Bill thanks for your candor. For me it is either a case of giving up on the Faith, because there really isn’t equality, or keep at it as I try to because I believe without taking Baha’u’llah’s principle of equality seriously, the Bahai Faith is being sold out.

    I keep thinking about Bahais in the Netherlands where I live and think, most likely given the imbalance in attitudes between how GLBT are treated, no one is likely to be interested in the Bahai Faith, but what about the children of Bahai’s who are gay. This is really important. Perhaps Bahais might be moved, if reasoning or the principle of equality doesn’t work, if they were aware of the suffering to the youth. It is possible that here in the Netherlands, because society in general accepts gays -Many of my friends are out, and my colleagues in particular are private types of people to start with. So a Bahai youth, I guess, would be more likely to walk away from a Bahai community if harrassed or admonished than do some harm to themselves.

    Anyway I just couldn’t be a Bahai if I believed that I had remain silent about such an important issue. I’d feel like a hypocrit and I’m sure Baha’u’llah never intended for Bahais to make moral comporomises about a teaching as basic as equality.

    Many read bahairants and I’m sure our discussions here are fruitful for others. I appreciate Farhan’s postings, although I do not agree with his views, it gives me opportunity to explain my viewpoint because, as others have said, his viewpoint is a viewpoint of many Bahais.

  • P

    Hi Sonja. Unfortunately things are so pretty in the good ol US; unlike the Netherlands. Here gay teens are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual teens. Things are changing, but not fast enough. If you get a chance, read the book “Crisis” edited by Mitchel Gold. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.
    It is naive to think that Bahai teens haven’t attempted suicide because of their inability to “overcome” as the House and the Bahai community expects of them. A couple of years ago in a nearby community I heard of one teenage girl who took her life. For the family’s privacy, everybody was asked to keep quite and not speculate. But I can’t help and think, why? Why would a sweet, active, smart Bahai teeanger from a good family take her own life? Why? The pressures to perform, to be perfect in a Bahai family (especially an active Bahai family) is very strong. For a gay youth to live this life is sometimes next to impossible. I know firsthand.

  • P

    Hi Sonja. Unfortunately things are so pretty in the good ol US; unlike the Netherlands. Here gay teens are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual teens. Things are changing, but not fast enough. If you get a chance, read the book “Crisis” edited by Mitchel Gold. Some of the stories are heartbreaking.
    It is naive to think that Bahai teens haven’t attempted suicide because of their inability to “overcome” as the House and the Bahai community expects of them. A couple of years ago in a nearby community I heard of one teenage girl who took her life. For the family’s privacy, everybody was asked to keep quite and not speculate. But I can’t help and think, why? Why would a sweet, active, smart Bahai teeanger from a good family take her own life? Why? The pressures to perform, to be perfect in a Bahai family (especially an active Bahai family) is very strong. For a gay youth to live this life is sometimes next to impossible. I know firsthand.

  • Mother of a Gay Young Man

    My love for Bah??’u’ll??h will never diminish, but my allegiance to the Faith has. I had been Bah??’? 21 years when my young son revealed to me he is gay. The Bah??’? view on homosexuality has troubled me for decades but it did not touch me personally, thus I permitted myself to accept it. Now, I cannot simply accept.

  • Mother of a Gay Young Man

    My love for Bah??’u’ll??h will never diminish, but my allegiance to the Faith has. I had been Bah??’? 21 years when my young son revealed to me he is gay. The Bah??’? view on homosexuality has troubled me for decades but it did not touch me personally, thus I permitted myself to accept it. Now, I cannot simply accept.

  • Amanda

    Mother of a Gay Young Man,

    I just want to applaud you on standing with your son on the side of justice and love. Support from family is SO important. Are you familiar with the organization PFLAG?

  • Amanda

    Mother of a Gay Young Man,

    I just want to applaud you on standing with your son on the side of justice and love. Support from family is SO important. Are you familiar with the organization PFLAG?

  • Sorry P: what I meant to say in my post was the opposite: that is the greatest harm I see is to children of Bahais who find they are gay and my hope that if they are in a society where homosexuality is not seen as something bad, that it would be easier for them to cope with the attitudes of their local Bahai community or of the current attitude towards homosexuality, that’s all. In the Netherlands, in any country, I think it would be extremely difficult for a youth born into a Bahai family. I hope our discussions here might help, that’s all.

  • Sorry P: what I meant to say in my post was the opposite: that is the greatest harm I see is to children of Bahais who find they are gay and my hope that if they are in a society where homosexuality is not seen as something bad, that it would be easier for them to cope with the attitudes of their local Bahai community or of the current attitude towards homosexuality, that’s all. In the Netherlands, in any country, I think it would be extremely difficult for a youth born into a Bahai family. I hope our discussions here might help, that’s all.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:
    heteros, bi and gay, don’t have any choice in the matter, it is the way we are made)

    Grover, would you be kind enough to explain how in your opinion, a bisexual has no choice? I would have imagined that a bisexual has absolute choice and no restriction. Is there a difference between taking a same-sex extra marital partner or one of a different sex? Also, although many people have no choice in orientation, there is ample indication that homosexuality can be mentored, as amongst Spartans or induced by hormone changes.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover wrote:
    heteros, bi and gay, don’t have any choice in the matter, it is the way we are made)

    Grover, would you be kind enough to explain how in your opinion, a bisexual has no choice? I would have imagined that a bisexual has absolute choice and no restriction. Is there a difference between taking a same-sex extra marital partner or one of a different sex? Also, although many people have no choice in orientation, there is ample indication that homosexuality can be mentored, as amongst Spartans or induced by hormone changes.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote:
    It does seem to me, Farhan, that your view here is, the UHJ has made a statement and so Bahais can no longer debate this. If Bahais do not debate things, how will the Bahai Faith ever progress, ever change.

    Sonja, as the needs of humanity change, the rulings of the UHJ can vary from age to age :

    “And inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example, the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power, according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do because that law formeth no part of the divine explicit text. The House of Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.” 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. (Shoghi Effendi, World Order Baha’u’llah (12:1, page: [23])

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Sonja wrote:
    It does seem to me, Farhan, that your view here is, the UHJ has made a statement and so Bahais can no longer debate this. If Bahais do not debate things, how will the Bahai Faith ever progress, ever change.

    Sonja, as the needs of humanity change, the rulings of the UHJ can vary from age to age :

    “And inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example, the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power, according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do because that law formeth no part of the divine explicit text. The House of Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.” 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. (Shoghi Effendi, World Order Baha’u’llah (12:1, page: [23])

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? (snip) What is the difference?

    P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    P wrote:
    wonder Farhan, how do you feel about Bahais living in Iran and not having the right to vote or serve their country in public posts? Why protest on their behalf? (snip) What is the difference?

    P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.

  • farhan

    Bill wrote:
    Farhan is I’m sure a very sincere, dedicated Baha’i, but he just can’t see how wrong it is to offer the GLBT community “separate but equal” status in what GLBT Baha’is can and cannot participate in. For him to offer all the “non-administrative functions” to us is a complete insult. Like telling Blacks that they can ride on the same bus as whites but have to sit in the back.

    I agree Bill, that to my present understanding, not all GLBT behaviours are innate or genetic, and bisexuality is an obvious case. Hence, GLTB cannot be compared to skin colour. Furthermore, there is no specific behaviour linked to skin colour. From the scientific data available at this time, I would rather link most GLTB behaviours with cultural behaviours, but I would be happy to learn more.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Bill wrote:
    Farhan is I’m sure a very sincere, dedicated Baha’i, but he just can’t see how wrong it is to offer the GLBT community “separate but equal” status in what GLBT Baha’is can and cannot participate in. For him to offer all the “non-administrative functions” to us is a complete insult. Like telling Blacks that they can ride on the same bus as whites but have to sit in the back.

    I agree Bill, that to my present understanding, not all GLBT behaviours are innate or genetic, and bisexuality is an obvious case. Hence, GLTB cannot be compared to skin colour. Furthermore, there is no specific behaviour linked to skin colour. From the scientific data available at this time, I would rather link most GLTB behaviours with cultural behaviours, but I would be happy to learn more.

  • Daniel Orey

    Folsk the following appeared in the Sacramento Bee via AP:

    Study: Family behavior key to health of gay youth

    “http://www.sacbee.com/832/story/1503387.html?mi_rss=Wire%20Health%20&%20Science”

  • Daniel Orey

    Folsk the following appeared in the Sacramento Bee via AP:

    Study: Family behavior key to health of gay youth

    “http://www.sacbee.com/832/story/1503387.html?mi_rss=Wire%20Health%20&%20Science”

  • P

    P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.
    ——————–
    No Farhan, you don’t get off that easily. You are trying to tell the world that treatment of gays in the Bahai community is just because the House has said so. Ok then, explain to me exactly how it is any different from Iranian law that excludes Bahais from serving or voting. You seem to believe that sexuality is a choice, and if we make the wrong choice in the Bahai community (living with a partner and raising children), it warrants removing voting rights and being able to serve in an LSA. The Iranian government thinks being a Bahai is immoral and breaks the law, stop being Bahai (a choice) and you can vote and serve your country. What is the difference Farhan?

  • P

    P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.
    ——————–
    No Farhan, you don’t get off that easily. You are trying to tell the world that treatment of gays in the Bahai community is just because the House has said so. Ok then, explain to me exactly how it is any different from Iranian law that excludes Bahais from serving or voting. You seem to believe that sexuality is a choice, and if we make the wrong choice in the Bahai community (living with a partner and raising children), it warrants removing voting rights and being able to serve in an LSA. The Iranian government thinks being a Bahai is immoral and breaks the law, stop being Bahai (a choice) and you can vote and serve your country. What is the difference Farhan?

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””]P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.[/quote]

    Indeed, what an appropriate comparison it is, for it is born of the same blind ignorance and prejudice. But you’re right, Farhan. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””]P, I would rather compare the lives of gays living in a Baha’i community, with that of gays living in an Iranian community.[/quote]

    Indeed, what an appropriate comparison it is, for it is born of the same blind ignorance and prejudice. But you’re right, Farhan. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.

  • P

    Dan. Actually there is not much difference between the Iranian government’s policy towards gays and that of the Bahai community. Recently Ahmadinejad was interviews on Larry King. He said that the Iranian gov. has laws to enforce, but it does not go peeping into the private lives of people. So in your bedroom, you can do what you want. But if it becomes public scandal, then the law is enforced. Now the enforcement of the law, yes the Iranian gov. is much more hideous than anything the Bahais do. But that is the only difference. Both end up punishing gays in their society.
    My point in all this is to make people think about what is justice and equality. You can’t point a finger at the Iranian gov. for denying Bahais the right to vote and live freely, if you do the same to gays inside the Bahai community.

  • P

    Dan. Actually there is not much difference between the Iranian government’s policy towards gays and that of the Bahai community. Recently Ahmadinejad was interviews on Larry King. He said that the Iranian gov. has laws to enforce, but it does not go peeping into the private lives of people. So in your bedroom, you can do what you want. But if it becomes public scandal, then the law is enforced. Now the enforcement of the law, yes the Iranian gov. is much more hideous than anything the Bahais do. But that is the only difference. Both end up punishing gays in their society.
    My point in all this is to make people think about what is justice and equality. You can’t point a finger at the Iranian gov. for denying Bahais the right to vote and live freely, if you do the same to gays inside the Bahai community.

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””]Furthermore, there is no specific behaviour linked to skin colour.[/quote]

    I can’t think of one “behavior” that is exclusive to homosexuals. As far as I know, heterosexuals commonly participate in a variety of “behaviors”. I guess we’re just lucky we straights don’t have you peering through our bedroom windows.

  • Farhan says: [quote comment=””]Furthermore, there is no specific behaviour linked to skin colour.[/quote]

    I can’t think of one “behavior” that is exclusive to homosexuals. As far as I know, heterosexuals commonly participate in a variety of “behaviors”. I guess we’re just lucky we straights don’t have you peering through our bedroom windows.

  • farhan

    P wrote :
    No Farhan, you don’t get off that easily. You are trying to tell the world that treatment of gays in the Bahai community is just because the House has said so.

    Farhan: P, to begin with, I would like to thank those who are contributing to this exchange in a warm constructive manner; I have no intention of wasting our time in quibbling on who said what inappropriately: in Baquia’s garden I want to concentrate my time on the flowers and not on the manure.

    I am trying to tell the world that to my understanding, any society needs some degree of conventions and rules. Any agme needs arbitration, a referee or an umpire. To me, the UHJ determines and arbitrates those of the Baha’i community. The rules at the moment are as you see them. I would bet that if the Baha’i world polled on those rules at this time, we would end up with what the UHJ has decided. We will let future generations cope with their specific problem at their times. As the Lords said (in French) ?a chaque jour suffit sa peine?.

    P wrote: Ok then, explain to me exactly how it is any different from Iranian law that excludes Bahais from serving or voting.

    Farhan: I feel that it is totally inappropriate and cynical to compare the lives of Baha’is in Iran: getting a job, getting a marriage, holding their properties, educating children, burying the dead, not being tortured in prison or executed for their belief, with the lives of gays who not for belief, but for behavior and openly proclaiming that they do not adhere to some of the rules of this community, partly lose their rights to some religious activities in some countries.

    If you go on to a football field holding a tennis racket and insisting that the rules of the game should be changed to suit your tastes, you will be politely invited to go play elsewhere on a tennis court. If some players are impolite to violent to you, they will need sanctions.

    P wrote: You seem to believe that sexuality is a choice.

    Farhan: To a certain extent, yes, sexuality is a choice, albeit an unconscious one. To what extent, I wish I knew.

    P wrote: and if we make the wrong choice in the Bahai community (living with a partner and raising children), it warrants removing voting rights and being able to serve in an LSA.

    Farhan: I do not consider administrative decisions as sanctions but as a measure of care for the community. Of course, all Baha’i administrators are not perfect, and umpires can make mistakes, but those are the rules of the game.

    P: The Iranian government thinks being a Bahai is immoral and breaks the law, stop being Bahai (a choice) and you can vote and serve your country. What is the difference Farhan?

    Farhan: The Iranian gvt punishes Baha’is for their beliefs, not for their behavior. The Baha’i administration invites those who disagree with the rules of the community and campaign against them not to participate in some of the activities.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote :
    No Farhan, you don’t get off that easily. You are trying to tell the world that treatment of gays in the Bahai community is just because the House has said so.

    Farhan: P, to begin with, I would like to thank those who are contributing to this exchange in a warm constructive manner; I have no intention of wasting our time in quibbling on who said what inappropriately: in Baquia’s garden I want to concentrate my time on the flowers and not on the manure.

    I am trying to tell the world that to my understanding, any society needs some degree of conventions and rules. Any agme needs arbitration, a referee or an umpire. To me, the UHJ determines and arbitrates those of the Baha’i community. The rules at the moment are as you see them. I would bet that if the Baha’i world polled on those rules at this time, we would end up with what the UHJ has decided. We will let future generations cope with their specific problem at their times. As the Lords said (in French) ?a chaque jour suffit sa peine?.

    P wrote: Ok then, explain to me exactly how it is any different from Iranian law that excludes Bahais from serving or voting.

    Farhan: I feel that it is totally inappropriate and cynical to compare the lives of Baha’is in Iran: getting a job, getting a marriage, holding their properties, educating children, burying the dead, not being tortured in prison or executed for their belief, with the lives of gays who not for belief, but for behavior and openly proclaiming that they do not adhere to some of the rules of this community, partly lose their rights to some religious activities in some countries.

    If you go on to a football field holding a tennis racket and insisting that the rules of the game should be changed to suit your tastes, you will be politely invited to go play elsewhere on a tennis court. If some players are impolite to violent to you, they will need sanctions.

    P wrote: You seem to believe that sexuality is a choice.

    Farhan: To a certain extent, yes, sexuality is a choice, albeit an unconscious one. To what extent, I wish I knew.

    P wrote: and if we make the wrong choice in the Bahai community (living with a partner and raising children), it warrants removing voting rights and being able to serve in an LSA.

    Farhan: I do not consider administrative decisions as sanctions but as a measure of care for the community. Of course, all Baha’i administrators are not perfect, and umpires can make mistakes, but those are the rules of the game.

    P: The Iranian government thinks being a Bahai is immoral and breaks the law, stop being Bahai (a choice) and you can vote and serve your country. What is the difference Farhan?

    Farhan: The Iranian gvt punishes Baha’is for their beliefs, not for their behavior. The Baha’i administration invites those who disagree with the rules of the community and campaign against them not to participate in some of the activities.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.

    Dan, this is a very unfair statement.
    Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote:
    The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.

    Dan, this is a very unfair statement.
    Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this

  • farhan

    Dan wrote :
    I can’t think of one “behavior” that is exclusive to homosexuals.

    I can, Dan, the one that the UHJ considers as incompatible with being an active Baha’i within the community is openly defying and campaigning against the rule that considers marriage as a vow between a man and a woman, with consent of parents.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote :
    I can’t think of one “behavior” that is exclusive to homosexuals.

    I can, Dan, the one that the UHJ considers as incompatible with being an active Baha’i within the community is openly defying and campaigning against the rule that considers marriage as a vow between a man and a woman, with consent of parents.

  • Farhan replies: [quote comment=””]

    Dan wrote :
    I can’t think of one ?behavior? that is exclusive to homosexuals.

    I can, Dan, the one that the UHJ considers as incompatible with being an active Baha’i within the community is openly defying and campaigning against the rule that considers marriage as a vow between a man and a woman, with consent of parents.
    [/quote]

    But Farhan, Homosexuals are certainly not the only ones guilty of this heinous crime of disobedience. Baha’is of all sexual orientations disobey the “rules” of their leaders on a daily basis, and yes, straight Baha’is even speak out in opposition to some such “rules”, such as the backwardness being discussed, as well as the exclusion of women from the UHJ.

    But you and I know there’s more to this than definitions of marriage. Don’t try to pull a Prop 8. We know what Shoghi Effendi’s infallible secretary says about those homosexuals, don’t we? They’re sick and depraved, Farhan. Their sexual orientation itself is ?spiritually condemned? and a ?shameful aberration.? We also know that the UHJ has bought into this outmoded prejudice. This goes beyond definitions of marriage. This is the “spiritual condemnation” of a natural characteristic of human biology. It’s not just “what they are”, Farhan: it’s who we are as humans. We too are “spiritually condemned” for our physical biology.

  • Farhan replies: [quote comment=””]

    Dan wrote :
    I can’t think of one ?behavior? that is exclusive to homosexuals.

    I can, Dan, the one that the UHJ considers as incompatible with being an active Baha’i within the community is openly defying and campaigning against the rule that considers marriage as a vow between a man and a woman, with consent of parents.
    [/quote]

    But Farhan, Homosexuals are certainly not the only ones guilty of this heinous crime of disobedience. Baha’is of all sexual orientations disobey the “rules” of their leaders on a daily basis, and yes, straight Baha’is even speak out in opposition to some such “rules”, such as the backwardness being discussed, as well as the exclusion of women from the UHJ.

    But you and I know there’s more to this than definitions of marriage. Don’t try to pull a Prop 8. We know what Shoghi Effendi’s infallible secretary says about those homosexuals, don’t we? They’re sick and depraved, Farhan. Their sexual orientation itself is ?spiritually condemned? and a ?shameful aberration.? We also know that the UHJ has bought into this outmoded prejudice. This goes beyond definitions of marriage. This is the “spiritual condemnation” of a natural characteristic of human biology. It’s not just “what they are”, Farhan: it’s who we are as humans. We too are “spiritually condemned” for our physical biology.

  • [quote comment=””]Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this[/quote]

    In a world where people are continually slaughtered, where women are generally treated as property, where children starve without any tears shed for them, as civilization proudly marches on toward its environmental demise, you want me to cry out to the world about the civil rights of Iranian Baha’is to an education, etc.? Well I have spoken out on their behalf, but pardon me if I have bigger fish to fry.

  • [quote comment=””]Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this[/quote]

    In a world where people are continually slaughtered, where women are generally treated as property, where children starve without any tears shed for them, as civilization proudly marches on toward its environmental demise, you want me to cry out to the world about the civil rights of Iranian Baha’is to an education, etc.? Well I have spoken out on their behalf, but pardon me if I have bigger fish to fry.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote :

    But Farhan, Homosexuals are certainly not the only ones guilty of this heinous crime of disobedience.

    Farhan: Dan, disobedience is not criminal nor heinous; this is an outdated vision of morality. Laws are for our own spiritual and material benefit and that of the society from which we draw sustenance. Each social group is entitled to drawing up its rules. Those who disagree with these rules can either adapt their behaviour or find a society in which they are more at ease. I have been adapting myself to different societies, cultures and languages all my life. I can also promulgate and teach my opinions, but at one point, if I insist on having others adopt my views, there can be a clash.

    Dan wrote : Baha’is of all sexual orientations disobey the “rules” of their leaders on a daily basis, and yes, straight Baha’is even speak out in opposition to some such “rules”, such as the backwardness being discussed, as well as the exclusion of women from the UHJ.

    Sure, Dan, this is the independent search for truth. Some go in for politics, others marry without consent of their parents or reject the authority of the elected institutions; at one point they have to decide whether they wish to continue calling themselves Baha’is or not, whatever their skin colour, gender or sexual orientation.

    Dan wrote: Don’t try to pull a Prop 8.

    Farhan: no idea what that is.

    Dan wrote: Their sexual orientation itself is ?spiritually condemned?

    Farhan: To me this means condemned on a spiritual basis and not on a legal basis, just as neglecting prayer, lying, not fasting can be condemnable only spiritually.

    Dan: This is the “spiritual condemnation” of a natural characteristic of human biology.

    We know of some genetic predispositions to crime; or predispositions to diabetes, and breast cancer. What is rejected is not the predisposition, but when this latent predisposition becomes patent in actual reality.

    I have a good colleague who argues that it is his genetic configuration as a male and hence his physiological ?need? as a man to regularly change female partners as he became bored with them, other wise he feels depressed and unhappy; he does not believe that beyond the joy of sexuality, there is a responsibility of social contribution and would never want to be bothered with children; should he be left to his natural state, or should he be encouraged to change his ways?

    I wish I had a reply to my question as to whether people become bisexuals by lack of choice at birth, or by an excess of choice in their social environment.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote :

    But Farhan, Homosexuals are certainly not the only ones guilty of this heinous crime of disobedience.

    Farhan: Dan, disobedience is not criminal nor heinous; this is an outdated vision of morality. Laws are for our own spiritual and material benefit and that of the society from which we draw sustenance. Each social group is entitled to drawing up its rules. Those who disagree with these rules can either adapt their behaviour or find a society in which they are more at ease. I have been adapting myself to different societies, cultures and languages all my life. I can also promulgate and teach my opinions, but at one point, if I insist on having others adopt my views, there can be a clash.

    Dan wrote : Baha’is of all sexual orientations disobey the “rules” of their leaders on a daily basis, and yes, straight Baha’is even speak out in opposition to some such “rules”, such as the backwardness being discussed, as well as the exclusion of women from the UHJ.

    Sure, Dan, this is the independent search for truth. Some go in for politics, others marry without consent of their parents or reject the authority of the elected institutions; at one point they have to decide whether they wish to continue calling themselves Baha’is or not, whatever their skin colour, gender or sexual orientation.

    Dan wrote: Don’t try to pull a Prop 8.

    Farhan: no idea what that is.

    Dan wrote: Their sexual orientation itself is ?spiritually condemned?

    Farhan: To me this means condemned on a spiritual basis and not on a legal basis, just as neglecting prayer, lying, not fasting can be condemnable only spiritually.

    Dan: This is the “spiritual condemnation” of a natural characteristic of human biology.

    We know of some genetic predispositions to crime; or predispositions to diabetes, and breast cancer. What is rejected is not the predisposition, but when this latent predisposition becomes patent in actual reality.

    I have a good colleague who argues that it is his genetic configuration as a male and hence his physiological ?need? as a man to regularly change female partners as he became bored with them, other wise he feels depressed and unhappy; he does not believe that beyond the joy of sexuality, there is a responsibility of social contribution and would never want to be bothered with children; should he be left to his natural state, or should he be encouraged to change his ways?

    I wish I had a reply to my question as to whether people become bisexuals by lack of choice at birth, or by an excess of choice in their social environment.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    …pardon me if I have bigger fish to fry.

    Dan, as my Iranien friends say with their sweet accent:
    de bate is for catching de fish 😉

  • Farhan responded to: [quote comment=””][…] “The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.”[…][/quote]

    with:
    [quote comment=””][…]…this is a very unfair statement.
    Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this[…][/quote]

    Farhan, how about trying this with the European commission for example? I think you’ll be shocked to find that “equal” treatment means that, not just for some types of people. And one day it may happen, so that’s why it is good to have these discussions now, so hopefully Bahais and Bahai communities can start thinking about these things before it becomes a newspaper headline in a country where GLBT individuals are not discriminated against.

    That’s the whole point of the comparision with Iran, to shock one into seeing the parallel. We don’t live in Iran, but we can do something about reducing discrimination in our own communities.

    The U.H.J. has not ruled on anything b.t.w., what they do is refer to letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as their evidence for saying this a teaching of the Bahai Writings. As long as it is not ruling from the UHJ themselves then Bahai communities are free to interprete for themselves. Of course Farhan, I realise you and other Bahais might think I’m suggesting disobedience to the U.H.J., let me state clearly before you start on this, I am not. I am saying look at the Bahai writings for yourselves, and decide how important the principle of equality is and then read on what “legistration” means and then you will see that the U.H.J. which is the legistrator, has not legistrated (made a rule) on the issue of homosexuality.

    But the bigger issue is how homosexuals are treated by their local Bahai communities, that’s where the Bahai Faith meets society, where it affects individual lives. Attitudes here are, I’d argue are where the spirit of the Faith really lives.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote:
    …pardon me if I have bigger fish to fry.

    Dan, as my Iranien friends say with their sweet accent:
    de bate is for catching de fish 😉

  • Farhan responded to: [quote comment=””][…] “The Baha’is treat their homosexuals more humanely. The Baha’is treat their homosexuals as humanely, in fact, as the Iranians treat their Baha’is.”[…][/quote]

    with:
    [quote comment=””][…]…this is a very unfair statement.
    Perhaps you would want to take this to the human rights courts? It is about time the world discovered the reality of all this[…][/quote]

    Farhan, how about trying this with the European commission for example? I think you’ll be shocked to find that “equal” treatment means that, not just for some types of people. And one day it may happen, so that’s why it is good to have these discussions now, so hopefully Bahais and Bahai communities can start thinking about these things before it becomes a newspaper headline in a country where GLBT individuals are not discriminated against.

    That’s the whole point of the comparision with Iran, to shock one into seeing the parallel. We don’t live in Iran, but we can do something about reducing discrimination in our own communities.

    The U.H.J. has not ruled on anything b.t.w., what they do is refer to letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as their evidence for saying this a teaching of the Bahai Writings. As long as it is not ruling from the UHJ themselves then Bahai communities are free to interprete for themselves. Of course Farhan, I realise you and other Bahais might think I’m suggesting disobedience to the U.H.J., let me state clearly before you start on this, I am not. I am saying look at the Bahai writings for yourselves, and decide how important the principle of equality is and then read on what “legistration” means and then you will see that the U.H.J. which is the legistrator, has not legistrated (made a rule) on the issue of homosexuality.

    But the bigger issue is how homosexuals are treated by their local Bahai communities, that’s where the Bahai Faith meets society, where it affects individual lives. Attitudes here are, I’d argue are where the spirit of the Faith really lives.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote :

    how about trying this with the European commission for example?

    Farhan: how about trying the celibacy of priests with the EU? And homosexual priests losing their jobs?? And women not being allowed to say mass?? And Carmelite nuns not being allowed to speak?? And unbaptised kids not allowed marrying in church or having a Christian funeral??

    Sonja: The U.H.J. has not ruled on anything b.t.w., what they do is refer to letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as their evidence for saying this a teaching of the Bahai Writings.

    Farhan : Sonja, IMO, the UHJ rules by referring to writings : they elucidate but do not interpret, they provide the practical application, and as you know, even decide which laws in Aqdas are applicable at a given time.

    Sonja : the U.H.J. which is the legistrator, has not legistrated (made a rule) on the issue of homosexuality.

    Farhan : They have ruled that sexuality is to be practiced within a marriage and that a marriage is between a man and a woman. What goes on in people’s private life is a spiritual matter between them and God ;

    Sonja : But the bigger issue is how homosexuals are treated by their local Bahai communities,

    Farhan : there is definitely room for much more love and compassion towards all fellow believers, but I gather that things are stiffer in the US than in Europe.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Sonja wrote :

    how about trying this with the European commission for example?

    Farhan: how about trying the celibacy of priests with the EU? And homosexual priests losing their jobs?? And women not being allowed to say mass?? And Carmelite nuns not being allowed to speak?? And unbaptised kids not allowed marrying in church or having a Christian funeral??

    Sonja: The U.H.J. has not ruled on anything b.t.w., what they do is refer to letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi as their evidence for saying this a teaching of the Bahai Writings.

    Farhan : Sonja, IMO, the UHJ rules by referring to writings : they elucidate but do not interpret, they provide the practical application, and as you know, even decide which laws in Aqdas are applicable at a given time.

    Sonja : the U.H.J. which is the legistrator, has not legistrated (made a rule) on the issue of homosexuality.

    Farhan : They have ruled that sexuality is to be practiced within a marriage and that a marriage is between a man and a woman. What goes on in people’s private life is a spiritual matter between them and God ;

    Sonja : But the bigger issue is how homosexuals are treated by their local Bahai communities,

    Farhan : there is definitely room for much more love and compassion towards all fellow believers, but I gather that things are stiffer in the US than in Europe.

  • P

    Farhan: I feel that it is totally inappropriate and cynical to compare the lives….
    ——————–
    Of course you would Farhan. Nice way of sidestepping the issue. You are looking at the degree of punishment and NOT wether or not the punishment is deserved and if it is justice. Again, the Iranian government feels that being a ‘practicising’ Bahai which is a choice, a belief that you put into practice warrants removal of at least two rigths- voting and serving in goverment. Are you with me Farhan? I’m not talking about all the other crap they do, so you can cool it with your indignation. Now, the Bahai community feels that a “practicing” homosexual (which means more than just what goes on in our underpants, but also means raising a beautiful family) warrants removal of voting rights and inability to serve the community. WHAT is the difference Farhan? I’ll tell you, in these two aspects NOTHING. THe difference is absolutely nothing Farhan. Maybe your sense of justice will one day see that, maybe not.
    I also feel a lot of disgust when you keep mentioning the hunger, poverty, etc etc in the world to make the plight of the LGBT community seem unimportant. It’s a terrible tactic that won’t work. What you think we live in a vaccuum where all we talk about is this topic? Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?

  • P

    Farhan: I feel that it is totally inappropriate and cynical to compare the lives….
    ——————–
    Of course you would Farhan. Nice way of sidestepping the issue. You are looking at the degree of punishment and NOT wether or not the punishment is deserved and if it is justice. Again, the Iranian government feels that being a ‘practicising’ Bahai which is a choice, a belief that you put into practice warrants removal of at least two rigths- voting and serving in goverment. Are you with me Farhan? I’m not talking about all the other crap they do, so you can cool it with your indignation. Now, the Bahai community feels that a “practicing” homosexual (which means more than just what goes on in our underpants, but also means raising a beautiful family) warrants removal of voting rights and inability to serve the community. WHAT is the difference Farhan? I’ll tell you, in these two aspects NOTHING. THe difference is absolutely nothing Farhan. Maybe your sense of justice will one day see that, maybe not.
    I also feel a lot of disgust when you keep mentioning the hunger, poverty, etc etc in the world to make the plight of the LGBT community seem unimportant. It’s a terrible tactic that won’t work. What you think we live in a vaccuum where all we talk about is this topic? Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?

  • [quote comment=”60569″]Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?[/quote]

    Yes Farhan, this is the issue that you keep failing to address. Please respond to it.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • [quote comment=”60569″]Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?[/quote]

    Yes Farhan, this is the issue that you keep failing to address. Please respond to it.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • P

    I wish I had a reply to my question as to whether people become bisexuals by lack of choice at birth, or by an excess of choice in their social environment.

    ———————
    Here is your answer Farhan. For a very small percentage of people it is genetic- they are wired to like both, as I am wired to like men. Those who choose to experiment due to their environment allowing them to do so, are not truly bisexual. I go back to my Danish friend who was taught in her society that it was ok to experiment to find out what it is they wanted. She did, and now she is 100% straight. I don’t remember her ever mentioning any girlfriends. Environment doesn’t change anything. If environment changed anything the majority of gay men would become straight. God knows religion/society have tried to gear me to be straight since childhood.
    So have I answered your question Farhan? Will you be so kind to answer mine? Thanks!

  • P

    I wish I had a reply to my question as to whether people become bisexuals by lack of choice at birth, or by an excess of choice in their social environment.

    ———————
    Here is your answer Farhan. For a very small percentage of people it is genetic- they are wired to like both, as I am wired to like men. Those who choose to experiment due to their environment allowing them to do so, are not truly bisexual. I go back to my Danish friend who was taught in her society that it was ok to experiment to find out what it is they wanted. She did, and now she is 100% straight. I don’t remember her ever mentioning any girlfriends. Environment doesn’t change anything. If environment changed anything the majority of gay men would become straight. God knows religion/society have tried to gear me to be straight since childhood.
    So have I answered your question Farhan? Will you be so kind to answer mine? Thanks!

  • Farhan writes:

    [quote comment=””]Those who disagree with these rules can either adapt their behaviour or find a society in which they are more at ease.[/quote]

    Why don’t you tell that to the Baha’is in Iran, Farhan?

  • Farhan writes:

    [quote comment=””]Those who disagree with these rules can either adapt their behaviour or find a society in which they are more at ease.[/quote]

    Why don’t you tell that to the Baha’is in Iran, Farhan?

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    Nice way of sidestepping the issue.

    Farhan: I am not side-stepping, I am just pointing out that being unable to meet the required the conditions of service, which is the mere outer physical part of worship, is not comparable to what the Baha’is in Iran are suffering and comparing the two is being cynical.

    P: You are looking at the degree of punishment and NOT wether or not the punishment is deserved and if it is justice.

    I am not considering the fact that someone does not meet the required standard of participation in part of Baha’i activities as a punishment, but as the inability to take part in some of the activities. It does not or at least should not impair activities within the sphere of the ?community of interest? of the community, as opposed to the enrolled workers who in fact have a function that was historically given to priests:

    We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.
    (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the
    Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries)

    P : Now, the Bahai community feels that a “practicing” homosexual (which means more than just what goes on in our underpants, but also means raising a beautiful family) warrants removal of voting rights and inability to serve the community.

    Farhan: It is the exactly the same situation for a practicing couple marrying without the consent of parents and raising beautiful children, and this case is far more frequent for removal of voting rights than for a homosexuals way of life.

    P: I also feel a lot of disgust when you keep mentioning the hunger, poverty, etc etc in the world to make the plight of the LGBT community seem unimportant.

    Farhan: Sorry for your disgust, but I am not saying that the conditions of the gLBT community is unimportant, but that that the plight of the GLBT community is not as severe as that of those experiencing hunger, poverty, etc, etc.

    P: Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran.

    Farhan: Sorry, P, I have to be sincere, even though I might be mistaken, I can’t compare the plight of Baha’is in Iran with that of GLTB in the US or Europe just because they are deprived of some aspects of service, although I am deeply appreciative of your eagerness at serving the Faith within the Baha’i administration, which some people on this blog do not share with us.

    Much love

    Farhan

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    Nice way of sidestepping the issue.

    Farhan: I am not side-stepping, I am just pointing out that being unable to meet the required the conditions of service, which is the mere outer physical part of worship, is not comparable to what the Baha’is in Iran are suffering and comparing the two is being cynical.

    P: You are looking at the degree of punishment and NOT wether or not the punishment is deserved and if it is justice.

    I am not considering the fact that someone does not meet the required standard of participation in part of Baha’i activities as a punishment, but as the inability to take part in some of the activities. It does not or at least should not impair activities within the sphere of the ?community of interest? of the community, as opposed to the enrolled workers who in fact have a function that was historically given to priests:

    We have no priests, therefore the service once rendered by priests to their religions is the service every single Baha’i is expected to render individually to his religion. He must be the one who enlightens new souls, confirms them, heals the wounded and the weary upon the road of life, and gives them to quaff from the chalice of everlasting life – the knowledge of the Manifestation of God in His Day.
    (From a letter dated 5 July 1957 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the
    Bah??’?s of the Benelux countries)

    P : Now, the Bahai community feels that a “practicing” homosexual (which means more than just what goes on in our underpants, but also means raising a beautiful family) warrants removal of voting rights and inability to serve the community.

    Farhan: It is the exactly the same situation for a practicing couple marrying without the consent of parents and raising beautiful children, and this case is far more frequent for removal of voting rights than for a homosexuals way of life.

    P: I also feel a lot of disgust when you keep mentioning the hunger, poverty, etc etc in the world to make the plight of the LGBT community seem unimportant.

    Farhan: Sorry for your disgust, but I am not saying that the conditions of the gLBT community is unimportant, but that that the plight of the GLBT community is not as severe as that of those experiencing hunger, poverty, etc, etc.

    P: Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran.

    Farhan: Sorry, P, I have to be sincere, even though I might be mistaken, I can’t compare the plight of Baha’is in Iran with that of GLTB in the US or Europe just because they are deprived of some aspects of service, although I am deeply appreciative of your eagerness at serving the Faith within the Baha’i administration, which some people on this blog do not share with us.

    Much love

    Farhan

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?

    Steve, they are doing whatever their conscious is prompting them to do, they are standing up to their ideas just as people here are doing, I am discussing with GLTB, without persecuting them, which is very different from what Baha’is in Iran are undergoing.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating; each of us cooks his own.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone. Understand?

    Steve, they are doing whatever their conscious is prompting them to do, they are standing up to their ideas just as people here are doing, I am discussing with GLTB, without persecuting them, which is very different from what Baha’is in Iran are undergoing.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating; each of us cooks his own.

  • Farhan writes: [quote comment=””]We know of some genetic predispositions to crime; or predispositions to diabetes, and breast cancer. What is rejected is not the predisposition, but when this latent predisposition becomes patent in actual reality.[/quote]

    I see. We are not deferring to nature to establish the moral primacy of heterosexuality; we are deferring to scripture. Rules is rules.

    So … it would be immoral (“rejected”) for a woman to lovingly dedicate her life to another woman, and say, adopt an orphan or two, if such was her genetic predisposition?

    Perhaps the problem is not the mutual vows–or affections–of these two women, but rather the fact that there’s not a penis between them?

  • Farhan writes: [quote comment=””]We know of some genetic predispositions to crime; or predispositions to diabetes, and breast cancer. What is rejected is not the predisposition, but when this latent predisposition becomes patent in actual reality.[/quote]

    I see. We are not deferring to nature to establish the moral primacy of heterosexuality; we are deferring to scripture. Rules is rules.

    So … it would be immoral (“rejected”) for a woman to lovingly dedicate her life to another woman, and say, adopt an orphan or two, if such was her genetic predisposition?

    Perhaps the problem is not the mutual vows–or affections–of these two women, but rather the fact that there’s not a penis between them?

  • Farhan writes: [quote comment=””]I am discussing with GLTB, without persecuting them[/quote]

    Admitted. You are merely advocating attempts to reprogram GLBT Baha’i youth whose only offense is to be raised in a religious community that regards their natural sexual orientation as a spiritual disease.

  • Farhan writes: [quote comment=””]I am discussing with GLTB, without persecuting them[/quote]

    Admitted. You are merely advocating attempts to reprogram GLBT Baha’i youth whose only offense is to be raised in a religious community that regards their natural sexual orientation as a spiritual disease.

  • P

    Farhan: It is the exactly the same situation for a practicing couple marrying without the consent of parents and raising beautiful children, and this case is far more frequent for removal of voting rights than for a homosexuals way of life.
    ————————-
    Well with one exception that you sidestep- the straight couple has an option to live together in marriage with full rights. No such option exists for gays. And even though you try to paint a rosy picture of discrimination, it is still discrimination. I seriously doubt a happy gay couple with children could function in the Bahai community in ANY way as you keep offering. How Farhan could they function if they are being told that their lives are wrong, that children should be raised by a mom and dad and that if they tried hard enough they could change? The discrimination against gays in the Bahai community goes beyond merely the sanction of voting rights- that’s just the most blatant. It’s the pyschological damage (and yes spiritual damage) done on gay Bahais especially youth. You don’t seem to address that in your rosy picture of the Bahai community. Sure the Bahais aren’t giong after gays in their community with sticks and stones, but telling a scared 14 year old that he has a spiritual disorder that needs treatment is incredibly abusive. Yet you seem to think that is not such a big deal. Did you even read Daniel’s posting of that article regarding gay youth and suicide?

  • P

    Farhan: It is the exactly the same situation for a practicing couple marrying without the consent of parents and raising beautiful children, and this case is far more frequent for removal of voting rights than for a homosexuals way of life.
    ————————-
    Well with one exception that you sidestep- the straight couple has an option to live together in marriage with full rights. No such option exists for gays. And even though you try to paint a rosy picture of discrimination, it is still discrimination. I seriously doubt a happy gay couple with children could function in the Bahai community in ANY way as you keep offering. How Farhan could they function if they are being told that their lives are wrong, that children should be raised by a mom and dad and that if they tried hard enough they could change? The discrimination against gays in the Bahai community goes beyond merely the sanction of voting rights- that’s just the most blatant. It’s the pyschological damage (and yes spiritual damage) done on gay Bahais especially youth. You don’t seem to address that in your rosy picture of the Bahai community. Sure the Bahais aren’t giong after gays in their community with sticks and stones, but telling a scared 14 year old that he has a spiritual disorder that needs treatment is incredibly abusive. Yet you seem to think that is not such a big deal. Did you even read Daniel’s posting of that article regarding gay youth and suicide?

  • P

    What I meant to say above is that teh straisght couple after some time, can have their voting rights replaced as long as they are married. They also have the option of marrying someone else. Gays have NO options except being alone. Which somehow is equated with spiritual growth. How, I’ll never understand.

  • P

    What I meant to say above is that teh straisght couple after some time, can have their voting rights replaced as long as they are married. They also have the option of marrying someone else. Gays have NO options except being alone. Which somehow is equated with spiritual growth. How, I’ll never understand.

  • Dan W

    Farhan Wrote: I am not considering the fact that someone does not meet the required standard of participation in part of Baha’i activities as a punishment, but as the inability to take part in some of the activities.

    Dan W: Take it from one who knows . . . I have been punished.

  • Dan W

    Farhan Wrote: I am not considering the fact that someone does not meet the required standard of participation in part of Baha’i activities as a punishment, but as the inability to take part in some of the activities.

    Dan W: Take it from one who knows . . . I have been punished.

  • farhan

    Dan wrote:
    You are merely advocating attempts to reprogram GLBT Baha’i youth whose only offense is to be raised in a religious community that regards their natural sexual orientation as a spiritual disease.

    I have seen nothing in the Baha’i writings saying that GLTB is a spiritual disease.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dan wrote:
    You are merely advocating attempts to reprogram GLBT Baha’i youth whose only offense is to be raised in a religious community that regards their natural sexual orientation as a spiritual disease.

    I have seen nothing in the Baha’i writings saying that GLTB is a spiritual disease.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone.

    Steve and P, I have no authority to give a Baha’i view on this subject, but only my present understanding.

    As you say, Baha’is ask to be left alone and not singled out and harrassed, granted the same civil rights (life, marriage, work, food, property, education,…) as other citizens, right? They are not saying they disagree with Shiite laws and principles that they reject as outdated, conservative, fundamentalist, contrary to science, and at the same time wish to be granted a function within the Shiite fold that they say they will reform from the inside.

    You are asking that gays who are not being harassed or persecuted by Baha’is (except by some very faulty ones who need their ears pulled), should be granted a position within the community, and that this community should change it’s policy to suit them, irrespective whether the majority of the members of the Baha’i community are ready to accept a total change in the family structure of their community, something that few religious communities have done so far.

    If this reply does not suit you, we can cordially agree to disagree on this point.

    Also I agree with you, I did overlook the fact that a non gay (I dislike the word “straight” that implies that gays are crooked) can get married and recover voting rights, something that is difficult for a gay to do.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    Again, how would you feel if we said the same about the Bahais in Iran. All they need to do is stop (or say they are no longer) being Bahais and the government will leave them alone.

    Steve and P, I have no authority to give a Baha’i view on this subject, but only my present understanding.

    As you say, Baha’is ask to be left alone and not singled out and harrassed, granted the same civil rights (life, marriage, work, food, property, education,…) as other citizens, right? They are not saying they disagree with Shiite laws and principles that they reject as outdated, conservative, fundamentalist, contrary to science, and at the same time wish to be granted a function within the Shiite fold that they say they will reform from the inside.

    You are asking that gays who are not being harassed or persecuted by Baha’is (except by some very faulty ones who need their ears pulled), should be granted a position within the community, and that this community should change it’s policy to suit them, irrespective whether the majority of the members of the Baha’i community are ready to accept a total change in the family structure of their community, something that few religious communities have done so far.

    If this reply does not suit you, we can cordially agree to disagree on this point.

    Also I agree with you, I did overlook the fact that a non gay (I dislike the word “straight” that implies that gays are crooked) can get married and recover voting rights, something that is difficult for a gay to do.

  • farhan

    P