The Challenge of Homosexuality – Part Deux

a-mans-jobIdeas are like hugs – much better when they are shared. And minds are like umbrellas- they work better when they are open.

With that in mind, I hope the discussion continues from the previous location: The Challenge of Homosexuality.

As I explained, the reason for this change of venue is to rescue my poor, exhausted mySQL database from the non-stop barrage you have put it through. At around 650 comments I was afraid it would finally give way one of these days and take the whole blog with it. I’ve taken other measures to fortify the blog but won’t go into the boring technical details.

We leave the discussion with Steve requesting some clarification from Farhan. Masud suggesting that the UHJ has “self-executing” privileges and does not need to legislate on everything. And we hear that Ted Haggard is not gay! (he just keeps on having sex with men). Oh and Daniel brought to our attention a petition for LGBT rights.

If that isn’t enough to kick things off here, indulge me in sharing something I read recently on Baha’i LiveJournal; suivreletoile wrote…

homosexuality and the Faith
I pretty much know the Faith’s position on homosexuality, I’m just wondering more about the administration side of it.

If somebody is gay, the LSA or NSA can take their declaration card away? And therefor prohibit them from going to Feast, etc?

Someone anonymously wrote a reply which many approved of:

I do not speak for the Administration, but from more than half a century of Baha’i administrative experience, it is my understanding that this problem (if you want to call it a problem) is like any other problem in the Faith. That is, if one disobeys a Baha’i law, it is not of concern to the administration of the Faith UNLESS one does so publicly and in such a way as to bring criticism upon the Faith itself. No one escapes life without breaking some of God’s rules from time to time either deliberately or inadvertently. It is a paramount principle of the Faith that one’s adherence to Baha’i law is between the individual and God. It is no one else’s business. However, if that violation brings disrespect or criticism upon the Faith and the Baha’i community, it becomes the business of the community. In the last analysis, it is between the individual and God. But the Baha’i community has the right to expect those who call themselves “Baha’i” to behave in such a way as to not bring discredit on the Baha’i Faith and its community of believers. We all have our burdens to bear in trying to adhere to Baha’i principles and we should not criticize or judge others for their problems or struggles so as not to invite judgment on ourselves for our own failures. As individuals we need to concern ourselves without our own struggles. The community (through the administrative process) has the responsibility to maintain the public image of the Faith. Even when the community disenfranchises someone by removing their administrative rights, the final judgment rests with God and God alone.

Sadly I didn’t fall over myself in fawning adulation over this reply like some at that forum. My eyebrows wrinkled instead in confusion… I imagined a loving homosexual couple who are married according to the civil laws of the land they live in and who are raising a child or children in a stable and safe home environment. If they declare their faith in Baha’u’llah and join his community…

What Baha’i law have they broken exactly?

How would they be bringing “criticism upon the Faith itself” exactly?

How would they be besmirching the “public image of the Faith”?

I wrote as much to inquire from the “anonymous” contributor on LJ Baha’i. But as is usual with anything that doesn’t meet the hair trigger standards of the fanatical moderators on that forum my comment was censored.

While a scientific challenge may be off in the near or far future, this challenge is right here, right now.

I still wonder though. And my eyebrows remain wrinkled. Won’t you unwrinkle them?

While you’re at it… and I speak now to fellow Baha’is around the world who happen to be heterosexual, please tell me when and under what circumstances you chose to be heterosexual.

You see, if we say that homosexuality is a choice and that it is an “aberration” to be corrected with prayer, meditation, etc. then I can’t help but wonder when it was that you, a heterosexual made the decision to be… well, a heterosexual.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with you being a hetero nor asking you to justify it in any way. I’m just curious when and where you were when you made the conscious decision to be one.

You did make such a choice, right?

  • P

    And I thought all good things must come to an end. Thanks for keeping the discussion going Baquia. It’s a discussion honestly that won’t have an end until other Bahais INSIDE the Bahai community speak up and share a different view from the supposedly “loving” view that the anonymou character above offers.
    I wish Bahais would realize that in some cultures/societies (california, canada, most of Western Europe, etc.) it is people like the anonymouse character above who are discrediting the Faith and ruining the public image of the Faith by punishing gay couples as being unchaste. I wish the Bahais would learn from the evangelicals and the story of Ted Haggard because that is exactly the future they are giving sincere Bahai who happen to be gay inside the Bahai commuinty. I was one of the lucky ones that did not succumb to pressures of a false marriage and a ruined life in order to conform.

  • P

    And I thought all good things must come to an end. Thanks for keeping the discussion going Baquia. It’s a discussion honestly that won’t have an end until other Bahais INSIDE the Bahai community speak up and share a different view from the supposedly “loving” view that the anonymou character above offers.
    I wish Bahais would realize that in some cultures/societies (california, canada, most of Western Europe, etc.) it is people like the anonymouse character above who are discrediting the Faith and ruining the public image of the Faith by punishing gay couples as being unchaste. I wish the Bahais would learn from the evangelicals and the story of Ted Haggard because that is exactly the future they are giving sincere Bahai who happen to be gay inside the Bahai commuinty. I was one of the lucky ones that did not succumb to pressures of a false marriage and a ruined life in order to conform.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]And I thought all good things must come to an end. Thanks for keeping the discussion going Baquia. It’s a discussion honestly that won’t have an end…[/quote]

    You’re right. Like many other challenges that we face, there are no easy answers but the only way forward is to engage together in consultation and exchange ideas openly.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]And I thought all good things must come to an end. Thanks for keeping the discussion going Baquia. It’s a discussion honestly that won’t have an end…[/quote]

    You’re right. Like many other challenges that we face, there are no easy answers but the only way forward is to engage together in consultation and exchange ideas openly.

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Baquia,

    I back up “P” in thanking you for keeping this discussion going. I don’t know how or when it will change for the better for GLBT Baha’is in the general Baha’i community, but at least here we can discuss and vent. Thank you so much.

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Baquia,

    I back up “P” in thanking you for keeping this discussion going. I don’t know how or when it will change for the better for GLBT Baha’is in the general Baha’i community, but at least here we can discuss and vent. Thank you so much.

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: Dear Farhan, you continue to conflate opinion, guidance, suggestion, etc with command, law, legislation, arbitration, etc. This is as wrong as mistaking Baha’i law for mere suggestion.

    Dear Baquia, I have no pretension of using these words correctly firstly, because I am not a lawyer, secondly because many words have different meanings in Anglo-Saxon and French vocabularies, and thirdly, as a forensic expert I have learnt to know what I do not master correctly. In addition, we cannot imagine how the fresh shoot of the Administrative Order will look like in some decades, and trying to analyse the fruit when the tree is just emerging out of the soil is an unwise move.

    The intent behind this unwise move is to bring God’s laws to comply with our aims in life, instead of trying to comply with God’s laws; it is like a child arguing with me because he does not want his appendix taken out: he will say it doesn’t really hurt, hide the thermometer, even argue about my competence and diplomas, etc.

    My point is that when the UHJ gives a view, law, injunction, loving suggestion etc; as a Baha’i I consider this as a loving guidance from God. Non Baha’is are free and are in no way submitted to this law which is only binding on those who wish to throw in their lot with the Faith.

    If those who wish to call themselves Baha’is want to belittle and argue with those views/legislations/opinions/elucidations that are not to their taste, by considering what a secretary might have written or not written, I believe that they are ignoring a bounty with which God has blessed our world. You can call it what you like, to me it is God’s view that Baha’is thirst for and this view has the capacity of maintaining unity.

    Here is another quote by Abdu’l-Baha which is in no way a contradiction to His W&T:

    ?…the deductions and conclusions of individual learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of Justice whose members are elected by and known to the worldwide Bah??’? community, no differences will arise; whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism, division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken.”

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote: Dear Farhan, you continue to conflate opinion, guidance, suggestion, etc with command, law, legislation, arbitration, etc. This is as wrong as mistaking Baha’i law for mere suggestion.

    Dear Baquia, I have no pretension of using these words correctly firstly, because I am not a lawyer, secondly because many words have different meanings in Anglo-Saxon and French vocabularies, and thirdly, as a forensic expert I have learnt to know what I do not master correctly. In addition, we cannot imagine how the fresh shoot of the Administrative Order will look like in some decades, and trying to analyse the fruit when the tree is just emerging out of the soil is an unwise move.

    The intent behind this unwise move is to bring God’s laws to comply with our aims in life, instead of trying to comply with God’s laws; it is like a child arguing with me because he does not want his appendix taken out: he will say it doesn’t really hurt, hide the thermometer, even argue about my competence and diplomas, etc.

    My point is that when the UHJ gives a view, law, injunction, loving suggestion etc; as a Baha’i I consider this as a loving guidance from God. Non Baha’is are free and are in no way submitted to this law which is only binding on those who wish to throw in their lot with the Faith.

    If those who wish to call themselves Baha’is want to belittle and argue with those views/legislations/opinions/elucidations that are not to their taste, by considering what a secretary might have written or not written, I believe that they are ignoring a bounty with which God has blessed our world. You can call it what you like, to me it is God’s view that Baha’is thirst for and this view has the capacity of maintaining unity.

    Here is another quote by Abdu’l-Baha which is in no way a contradiction to His W&T:

    ?…the deductions and conclusions of individual learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of Justice whose members are elected by and known to the worldwide Bah??’? community, no differences will arise; whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism, division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken.”

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Let’s not put the cart before the horse with this example. Let’s wait until Farhan has done as I’ve requested and gives some examples of the…
    ?rulings of the UHJ? that ?define at this time the standards for Baha’i families that are binding on those who wish to be fully active in the Baha’i community?
    …so we know what he’s referring to.

    Steve, within the scope of this discussion, I am obviously referring to the rulings of the UHJ concerning the Baha’i principles on marriage and sexuality.

    To my understanding, when they say that sexuality is only licit within the institution of marriage, and that no provisions are available for gay marriages, their word is to be considered as comparable to the word of Baha’u’llah Himself in the Aqdas. To me this ruling is inseparable from God’s revelation, it binding on all Baha’is without having to discuss what a secretary might or might not have written; it is as binding as my diagnosis is binding on any patient who wishes to be treated by me. To me, this ruling refers to Bah??’u’ll??h’s words in Gleanings LXXXVIII:

    ?Know verily that the essence of justice and the source thereof are both embodied in the ordinances prescribed by Him Who is the Manifestation of the Self of God amongst men, if ye be of them that recognize this truth. He doth verily incarnate the highest, the infallible standard of justice unto all creation. Were His law to be such as to strike terror into the hearts of all that are in heaven and on earth, that law is naught but manifest justice. The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men’s hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother’s milk, if ye be of them that perceive. Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God’s Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.?

    In my view, someone who does not adhere to this ruling, is rejecting the Aqdas and this has spiritual consequence; if we openly reject this ruling and question the validity of the UHJ, we are saying that we no longer wish to be considered as Baha’is.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    Let’s not put the cart before the horse with this example. Let’s wait until Farhan has done as I’ve requested and gives some examples of the…
    ?rulings of the UHJ? that ?define at this time the standards for Baha’i families that are binding on those who wish to be fully active in the Baha’i community?
    …so we know what he’s referring to.

    Steve, within the scope of this discussion, I am obviously referring to the rulings of the UHJ concerning the Baha’i principles on marriage and sexuality.

    To my understanding, when they say that sexuality is only licit within the institution of marriage, and that no provisions are available for gay marriages, their word is to be considered as comparable to the word of Baha’u’llah Himself in the Aqdas. To me this ruling is inseparable from God’s revelation, it binding on all Baha’is without having to discuss what a secretary might or might not have written; it is as binding as my diagnosis is binding on any patient who wishes to be treated by me. To me, this ruling refers to Bah??’u’ll??h’s words in Gleanings LXXXVIII:

    ?Know verily that the essence of justice and the source thereof are both embodied in the ordinances prescribed by Him Who is the Manifestation of the Self of God amongst men, if ye be of them that recognize this truth. He doth verily incarnate the highest, the infallible standard of justice unto all creation. Were His law to be such as to strike terror into the hearts of all that are in heaven and on earth, that law is naught but manifest justice. The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men’s hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother’s milk, if ye be of them that perceive. Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God’s Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.?

    In my view, someone who does not adhere to this ruling, is rejecting the Aqdas and this has spiritual consequence; if we openly reject this ruling and question the validity of the UHJ, we are saying that we no longer wish to be considered as Baha’is.

  • P

    If those who wish to call themselves Baha’is want to belittle and argue with those views/legislations/opinions/elucidations that are not to their taste, by considering what a secretary might have written or not written, I believe that they are ignoring a bounty with which God has blessed our world. You can call it what you like, to me it is God’s view that Baha’is thirst for and this view has the capacity of maintaining unity.
    ————————-
    And if those who wish to be Bahai want to ignore Bahaullah’s Hidden Word that the best beloved thing in God’s eyes is justice, then they may not be very sound Bahais themselves. There is no justice in discrimination no matter how rosy you try to paint it.

  • P

    If those who wish to call themselves Baha’is want to belittle and argue with those views/legislations/opinions/elucidations that are not to their taste, by considering what a secretary might have written or not written, I believe that they are ignoring a bounty with which God has blessed our world. You can call it what you like, to me it is God’s view that Baha’is thirst for and this view has the capacity of maintaining unity.
    ————————-
    And if those who wish to be Bahai want to ignore Bahaullah’s Hidden Word that the best beloved thing in God’s eyes is justice, then they may not be very sound Bahais themselves. There is no justice in discrimination no matter how rosy you try to paint it.

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    There is no justice in discrimination no matter how rosy you try to paint it.

    P, would it not be discrimination against non-gays if the UHJ stated that gay relations would be free, but non-gay relations would be restricted to within marriage?

    For moment, non blatant gay relations are tolerated and those unable to comply with this are required to withdraw from administrative functions, and Baha’is are required not to discriminate in any way on personal basis. Only those who openly claim they do not accept the authority of the UHJ have their voting rights removed.

    Prudish behaviour and bigotry do exist amongst Baha’is and this has to be rectified.

    Being said that the UHJ is not ready to instate gay-marriages, which other provision would you suggest to the UHJ to make the situation more just?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    There is no justice in discrimination no matter how rosy you try to paint it.

    P, would it not be discrimination against non-gays if the UHJ stated that gay relations would be free, but non-gay relations would be restricted to within marriage?

    For moment, non blatant gay relations are tolerated and those unable to comply with this are required to withdraw from administrative functions, and Baha’is are required not to discriminate in any way on personal basis. Only those who openly claim they do not accept the authority of the UHJ have their voting rights removed.

    Prudish behaviour and bigotry do exist amongst Baha’is and this has to be rectified.

    Being said that the UHJ is not ready to instate gay-marriages, which other provision would you suggest to the UHJ to make the situation more just?

  • P

    Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won’t expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE’s business. Just like it is no one’s business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah’s fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom (you know Farhan they could be egaging in sodomy too; if by that we mean anal sex). So the answer is very simple, the local LSA doesn’t do anything but accept them lovingly and be proud to have them in the community. NOW, if the UHJ ever actually writes a law stating that this is not allowed and telling LSA’s they must strip these couples of their voting rights, then I will concede. You and Masud and Anon are all correct, the Bahai Faith does not welcome openly gay and lesbian people into the Fold.

  • P

    Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won’t expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE’s business. Just like it is no one’s business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah’s fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom (you know Farhan they could be egaging in sodomy too; if by that we mean anal sex). So the answer is very simple, the local LSA doesn’t do anything but accept them lovingly and be proud to have them in the community. NOW, if the UHJ ever actually writes a law stating that this is not allowed and telling LSA’s they must strip these couples of their voting rights, then I will concede. You and Masud and Anon are all correct, the Bahai Faith does not welcome openly gay and lesbian people into the Fold.

  • farhan

    P wrote : Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them.

    Dear P, I cannot be a substitute for an institution like an LSA or an NSA. I am merely giving a personal opinion, on how and why I would act in my community.

    If two gentlemen came to our community with kids, they would be welcome to enrol and no one would have a word to say. If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publicly, calling each other darling or if kids called one of them Dad and the other Papa, or if they openly announced that they were living as a gay couple, then some people in the community might eventually feel embarrassed and report the matter to the LSA.

    If I were on that LSA, I would suggest asking the couple to be more reserved; if complaints continued, the LSA might ask for advice from the NSA, MAB or Counsellor. The matter might even go to the UHJ for guidance on what to do.

    I know that in the 1990s they case of a gay couple wishing to become Baha’is in the US or Canada was presented to the UHJ, but I am not aware of the reply.

    What happens will be conditional on how the community lives the situation, the directives of the NSA and the accepted standards of the society where the LSA functioned. Things might be different in France, Holland, NY and SF from Iran or Russia.

    You did not reply to my question on what would be in your opinion the just attitude for Baha’i institutions towards gay and non gay activities outside marriage. Would you believe that the rules should be the same, or would you believe that gay marriages not being instated, institutions should be more lenient towards gays, which in a way could perhaps be my personal attitude in an LSA consultation on this subject (positive discrimination???).

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote : Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them.

    Dear P, I cannot be a substitute for an institution like an LSA or an NSA. I am merely giving a personal opinion, on how and why I would act in my community.

    If two gentlemen came to our community with kids, they would be welcome to enrol and no one would have a word to say. If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publicly, calling each other darling or if kids called one of them Dad and the other Papa, or if they openly announced that they were living as a gay couple, then some people in the community might eventually feel embarrassed and report the matter to the LSA.

    If I were on that LSA, I would suggest asking the couple to be more reserved; if complaints continued, the LSA might ask for advice from the NSA, MAB or Counsellor. The matter might even go to the UHJ for guidance on what to do.

    I know that in the 1990s they case of a gay couple wishing to become Baha’is in the US or Canada was presented to the UHJ, but I am not aware of the reply.

    What happens will be conditional on how the community lives the situation, the directives of the NSA and the accepted standards of the society where the LSA functioned. Things might be different in France, Holland, NY and SF from Iran or Russia.

    You did not reply to my question on what would be in your opinion the just attitude for Baha’i institutions towards gay and non gay activities outside marriage. Would you believe that the rules should be the same, or would you believe that gay marriages not being instated, institutions should be more lenient towards gays, which in a way could perhaps be my personal attitude in an LSA consultation on this subject (positive discrimination???).

  • P

    I think I did give you the answer- you’ve had it all along. Unless there are blatant acts performed in front of your eyes (depending on the culture you are in you can define blatant), then the assembly need not say anything. Acts Farhan. Children saying pappa is not sometihng that should warrant someone being labeled unchaste and threatened with removal of voting rights. Do you seriously believe that Farhan? You would ask that parent to tell their child “shh honey, you know we are at feast call me by my first name when we are among our gay friends then you can say pappa to me”. How weird!

  • P

    I think I did give you the answer- you’ve had it all along. Unless there are blatant acts performed in front of your eyes (depending on the culture you are in you can define blatant), then the assembly need not say anything. Acts Farhan. Children saying pappa is not sometihng that should warrant someone being labeled unchaste and threatened with removal of voting rights. Do you seriously believe that Farhan? You would ask that parent to tell their child “shh honey, you know we are at feast call me by my first name when we are among our gay friends then you can say pappa to me”. How weird!

  • P

    And let me ask you Farhan, since you are an adult, if you were with a group of Bahais and you overheard a married couple speaking about the fun in the bedroom and mention that they enjoy anal sex, would you report that to the local LSA? Or are all adult Bahais not allowed to ever speak about sex openly (not among kids, or at feast; but as friends over tea). So if you heard such a comment- are they blatantly breaking Bahai law? And as absurd as this may seem, it really isn’t. I HAVE heard straight married Bahais (some Persian women actually) make sexual inuendos and talk at Bahai functions. It never really bothered me- I actually thought it was funny. But my question is how can that be tolerated in the community, but you would ask a gay parent to make sure his own child doesn’t call him daddy; you know to not hurt the sensitivity of these poor prudish traditionalists in the community.

  • P

    And let me ask you Farhan, since you are an adult, if you were with a group of Bahais and you overheard a married couple speaking about the fun in the bedroom and mention that they enjoy anal sex, would you report that to the local LSA? Or are all adult Bahais not allowed to ever speak about sex openly (not among kids, or at feast; but as friends over tea). So if you heard such a comment- are they blatantly breaking Bahai law? And as absurd as this may seem, it really isn’t. I HAVE heard straight married Bahais (some Persian women actually) make sexual inuendos and talk at Bahai functions. It never really bothered me- I actually thought it was funny. But my question is how can that be tolerated in the community, but you would ask a gay parent to make sure his own child doesn’t call him daddy; you know to not hurt the sensitivity of these poor prudish traditionalists in the community.

  • farhan

    P wrote : …then the assembly need not say anything…

    P, no one can dictate what an LSA can and will do. They will consult and follow the dictates of their conscience. Even Counsellors can only recommend to them…

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote : …then the assembly need not say anything…

    P, no one can dictate what an LSA can and will do. They will consult and follow the dictates of their conscience. Even Counsellors can only recommend to them…

  • farhan

    P wrote:
    …would you report that to the local LSA?

    P, why should I? Don’t you understand I have more interesting pastimes? Perhaps if I heard adults making sick jokes in front of youth, I would intervene, or again if I heard that a Baha’i teacher had regularly offended people in the community, I would wish to protect the youth, but otherwise why bother when we have enough on our plates?

    BTW, looking up the link about this ?cured? preacher who boasts of his physical performances without a total change in his fantasies, there is a concept that considers that gays are much more active physically than non gays. Is this a reality or yet another prejudice?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    P wrote:
    …would you report that to the local LSA?

    P, why should I? Don’t you understand I have more interesting pastimes? Perhaps if I heard adults making sick jokes in front of youth, I would intervene, or again if I heard that a Baha’i teacher had regularly offended people in the community, I would wish to protect the youth, but otherwise why bother when we have enough on our plates?

    BTW, looking up the link about this ?cured? preacher who boasts of his physical performances without a total change in his fantasies, there is a concept that considers that gays are much more active physically than non gays. Is this a reality or yet another prejudice?

  • P

    I would say men (straight or gay) are more active physically than women. But this could also be yet another prejudice inflicted on us by a male hetero-centered chauvinistic society/culture (hey I’m learning from my friend Amanda!) :o)

  • P

    I would say men (straight or gay) are more active physically than women. But this could also be yet another prejudice inflicted on us by a male hetero-centered chauvinistic society/culture (hey I’m learning from my friend Amanda!) :o)

  • http://crimson.Aniimora.com Gerald

    I made the choice in high school. After becoming a Bahai I struggled with a lie I had been telling myself for years, and the confidence and emergence from a multiple year depression that I gained when infimd the Faith gave me the strength to accept that I was bisexual. I am attracted equally to men and women, and more “sexually” attracted to men. I made a decision only to pursue relationships with women, based on my newfound Faith. I did not make this decisision based on what anyone else told me, but based on my own interpretation of the writings of Baha’u’llah and applying that in my current social context.

    I struggle with the rationale behind this, it isn’t like choosing to avoid backbiting, where I clearly understand and sympathize with the spieitual principle. I don’t really get why Baha’u’llah disaproves of me someday expressing my love for another man through sex withing an civil and religious marriage- however, I do beleive He does. I accept that on Faith, not even in a religious sense but in a personal sense: I trust Bah??’u’ll??h, and want to follow His advice for my life, and want to please Him. This sacrifice is a simple one, difficult and frustating at times, bu much simpler to extradite from my life than many of the subtle vices.

    So I choose in High School, only about two year back, at a time when waiting till marriage for sex hadn’t crossed my mind and I likely would have soon hEy first homosexual encounter had I not made that decision. I am happy with it. I don’t know why Baha’u’llah asks it of me, but I am willing to do this out of love and a proven trust, He has asked harder things, all of which have proven beneficial, so it seems sad to bet that He has a good reason for this.

    God Bless,
    Gerald

  • http://crimson.Aniimora.com Gerald

    I made the choice in high school. After becoming a Bahai I struggled with a lie I had been telling myself for years, and the confidence and emergence from a multiple year depression that I gained when infimd the Faith gave me the strength to accept that I was bisexual. I am attracted equally to men and women, and more “sexually” attracted to men. I made a decision only to pursue relationships with women, based on my newfound Faith. I did not make this decisision based on what anyone else told me, but based on my own interpretation of the writings of Baha’u’llah and applying that in my current social context.

    I struggle with the rationale behind this, it isn’t like choosing to avoid backbiting, where I clearly understand and sympathize with the spieitual principle. I don’t really get why Baha’u’llah disaproves of me someday expressing my love for another man through sex withing an civil and religious marriage- however, I do beleive He does. I accept that on Faith, not even in a religious sense but in a personal sense: I trust Bah??’u’ll??h, and want to follow His advice for my life, and want to please Him. This sacrifice is a simple one, difficult and frustating at times, bu much simpler to extradite from my life than many of the subtle vices.

    So I choose in High School, only about two year back, at a time when waiting till marriage for sex hadn’t crossed my mind and I likely would have soon hEy first homosexual encounter had I not made that decision. I am happy with it. I don’t know why Baha’u’llah asks it of me, but I am willing to do this out of love and a proven trust, He has asked harder things, all of which have proven beneficial, so it seems sad to bet that He has a good reason for this.

    God Bless,
    Gerald

  • Daniel Orey

    Thanks for keeping this going as well… we need to keep talking this out. Hopefully, the powers that be, who are no doubt following this, can learn that it is OK for us to work this through. Hopefully, they will see that there is so much pain and sadness related to the exclusion of GLBT folks in Baha’i affairs. In so doing I was fascinated by Rev. Gene Robinson’s interviews re-played on our local NPR station this morning, enjoy.

    This morning I was entranced by the interview with Bishop Robinson re: homosexuality and the church. So many of his insights fit our Baha’i insights as well. Baha’is from a non-Christian background my find this challenging, as the references are biblical. But his insights re: what is modern homosexuality – monogamous, married, long-term relationships is a modern phenomenon. The a biblical (as well as our Aqdas) refer to something else, that is being confused with modern GLBT relationships.

    I went to NPR.org and found these links, play it loud and proud:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89659417

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4210783

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4210781

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1356101

  • Daniel Orey

    Thanks for keeping this going as well… we need to keep talking this out. Hopefully, the powers that be, who are no doubt following this, can learn that it is OK for us to work this through. Hopefully, they will see that there is so much pain and sadness related to the exclusion of GLBT folks in Baha’i affairs. In so doing I was fascinated by Rev. Gene Robinson’s interviews re-played on our local NPR station this morning, enjoy.

    This morning I was entranced by the interview with Bishop Robinson re: homosexuality and the church. So many of his insights fit our Baha’i insights as well. Baha’is from a non-Christian background my find this challenging, as the references are biblical. But his insights re: what is modern homosexuality – monogamous, married, long-term relationships is a modern phenomenon. The a biblical (as well as our Aqdas) refer to something else, that is being confused with modern GLBT relationships.

    I went to NPR.org and found these links, play it loud and proud:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89659417

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4210783

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4210781

    and

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1356101

  • P

    And Gerald. I support you 100% in your decision. As long as you are not beating yourself over the head. As long as you don’t do anything that might harm yourself or another; and your pysche is good, then I am happy in your decision. BUT, for the majority of us, this is not the case. So if there is room in the Bahai community for you, then there should definitely be room for Daniel, Bill, Dan, me and tons of others like us that I’ve found online. For many of us it was the opposite of what you went through. Most of us had heterosexual encounters first before realizing the mess in our lives. Unfortunately some gave in to pressures of religion and family to live with someone of the opposite sex and make it work, but it didn’t. It all fell to ruin. So is the Bahai community for all? Some Bahais here say no. Others like me disagree.

  • P

    And Gerald. I support you 100% in your decision. As long as you are not beating yourself over the head. As long as you don’t do anything that might harm yourself or another; and your pysche is good, then I am happy in your decision. BUT, for the majority of us, this is not the case. So if there is room in the Bahai community for you, then there should definitely be room for Daniel, Bill, Dan, me and tons of others like us that I’ve found online. For many of us it was the opposite of what you went through. Most of us had heterosexual encounters first before realizing the mess in our lives. Unfortunately some gave in to pressures of religion and family to live with someone of the opposite sex and make it work, but it didn’t. It all fell to ruin. So is the Bahai community for all? Some Bahais here say no. Others like me disagree.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    What a relief! This isn’t about homosexuality at all. It was always about reputation. Of course! Now everything is falling into place. Homosexuality is really a peripheral issue. What really matters is public relations. Now we’re getting down to essential principles.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    What a relief! This isn’t about homosexuality at all. It was always about reputation. Of course! Now everything is falling into place. Homosexuality is really a peripheral issue. What really matters is public relations. Now we’re getting down to essential principles.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb Steve Marshall

    “Steve, within the scope of this discussion, I am obviously referring to the rulings of the UHJ concerning the Baha’i principles on marriage and sexuality.”

    It’s not obvious to me. Show me the rulings.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb Steve Marshall

    “Steve, within the scope of this discussion, I am obviously referring to the rulings of the UHJ concerning the Baha’i principles on marriage and sexuality.”

    It’s not obvious to me. Show me the rulings.

  • Pey

    You are right Dan. Just read Farhan's comment from a last post:
    "If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publicly, calling each other darling or if kids called one of them Dad and the other Papa, or if they openly announced that they were living as a gay couple, then some people in the community might eventually feel embarrassed and report the matter to the LSA. "
    So children calling their parents dad is now grounds for embarrasment and need reporting to the LSA. Yet, in the Bahai communities that I have lived in, I seriously have heard sexual jokes made at Bahai functions by straight people, jokes about gays made at Bahai youth activities, I have seen two gay youth make out in a car while we all went out one night and so and so forth….yet NONE of these things warrant the dreaded call to the LSA by some prudish upstanding Bahais in the community. Oh but God forbid, should my future adopted child dare call me daddy in front of anyone! Geeez!

  • Pey

    You are right Dan. Just read Farhan's comment from a last post:
    "If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publicly, calling each other darling or if kids called one of them Dad and the other Papa, or if they openly announced that they were living as a gay couple, then some people in the community might eventually feel embarrassed and report the matter to the LSA. "
    So children calling their parents dad is now grounds for embarrasment and need reporting to the LSA. Yet, in the Bahai communities that I have lived in, I seriously have heard sexual jokes made at Bahai functions by straight people, jokes about gays made at Bahai youth activities, I have seen two gay youth make out in a car while we all went out one night and so and so forth….yet NONE of these things warrant the dreaded call to the LSA by some prudish upstanding Bahais in the community. Oh but God forbid, should my future adopted child dare call me daddy in front of anyone! Geeez!

  • Pey

    Sorry I wrote two fast. I didn't mean two "gay" youth make out in the car. I meant to Bahai youth (straight of course) made out in a car. Hell two gay youth in the Bahai community wouldn't be able to so much sit too close to each other without getting sanctioned. :o)

  • Pey

    Sorry I wrote two fast. I didn't mean two "gay" youth make out in the car. I meant to Bahai youth (straight of course) made out in a car. Hell two gay youth in the Bahai community wouldn't be able to so much sit too close to each other without getting sanctioned. :o)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Good point, Dan. It explains why, when I dobbed myself in to my local assembly for masturbating, nothing was said. Clearly my moral state was not the concern of the assembly.

    "But if I were in that situation, and I was, God forbid, wanting to break the Baha’i law by indulging in dating and seeking to form a new relationship during a year of patience, I’d be smart enough to do it on the quiet, and you wouldn’t even know about it. In that case, it’s between me and God. I would still be violating the law of Baha’u’llah and Baha’u’llah can take care of me. You don’t need to peer into the kitchen window or whatever and see what’s happening. In other words, this is again this point, that we are here to protect the reputation of the Baha’i community, to protect the integrity of the Baha’i law, it does not involve witch hunts or snooping on people, but at the same time, it doesn’t involve shutting one’s eyes to violations of Baha’i law which affect the integrity and reputation of the community."
    Talk given by Peter Khan at the National Teaching Conference Auckland, New Zealand, June 2000.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Good point, Dan. It explains why, when I dobbed myself in to my local assembly for masturbating, nothing was said. Clearly my moral state was not the concern of the assembly.

    "But if I were in that situation, and I was, God forbid, wanting to break the Baha’i law by indulging in dating and seeking to form a new relationship during a year of patience, I’d be smart enough to do it on the quiet, and you wouldn’t even know about it. In that case, it’s between me and God. I would still be violating the law of Baha’u’llah and Baha’u’llah can take care of me. You don’t need to peer into the kitchen window or whatever and see what’s happening. In other words, this is again this point, that we are here to protect the reputation of the Baha’i community, to protect the integrity of the Baha’i law, it does not involve witch hunts or snooping on people, but at the same time, it doesn’t involve shutting one’s eyes to violations of Baha’i law which affect the integrity and reputation of the community."
    Talk given by Peter Khan at the National Teaching Conference Auckland, New Zealand, June 2000.

  • Pey

    Are you serious Steve? Is that an actual quote from Peter Khan, a member of the UHJ, one of the 9 men who's view I'm supposed to "thirst" for in order to show my true love for Bahaullah?

  • Pey

    Are you serious Steve? Is that an actual quote from Peter Khan, a member of the UHJ, one of the 9 men who's view I'm supposed to "thirst" for in order to show my true love for Bahaullah?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Thanks Steve – gotta keep up with the Joneses!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Thanks Steve – gotta keep up with the Joneses!

  • Craig Parke

    "…he was introduced as speaking "in his capacity as a member of the Universal House of Justice".

    That is a NEWTHINK innovation in the Faith. What these guys says INDEED goes in the Baha'i Faith no questions asked and no questions permitted. Forget the Institution of the UHJ acting together as a body, they AS INDIVIDUALS ARE "the Voice of God on Earth". What they say as individuals goes top down on everyone. The ITC Faith and it's small group of friends run it all. They exist on the Mt. Olympus of the World Age at the top of the world and no one is permitted to ask "why" or "wherefore".This has been said to me by several NEWTHINK Baha'is. Why else would they be permitted to travel the world on Baha'u'llah's money and give their personal opinions on everything under the sun to captive audiences? If that isn't for a reason, why would anyone bother to do it at such great expense?

  • Craig Parke

    "…he was introduced as speaking "in his capacity as a member of the Universal House of Justice".

    That is a NEWTHINK innovation in the Faith. What these guys says INDEED goes in the Baha'i Faith no questions asked and no questions permitted. Forget the Institution of the UHJ acting together as a body, they AS INDIVIDUALS ARE "the Voice of God on Earth". What they say as individuals goes top down on everyone. The ITC Faith and it's small group of friends run it all. They exist on the Mt. Olympus of the World Age at the top of the world and no one is permitted to ask "why" or "wherefore".This has been said to me by several NEWTHINK Baha'is. Why else would they be permitted to travel the world on Baha'u'llah's money and give their personal opinions on everything under the sun to captive audiences? If that isn't for a reason, why would anyone bother to do it at such great expense?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    It's not obvious to me. Show me the rulings.

    Steve, you may have noticed that there is abundant references to the rules of family life in Baha’i resources. This constitutes a “praxis” on which NSAs and LSAs draw for harmonising community life. All this is a form of internal legislation. Very obviously, this legislation only applies to those who wish to call themselves Baha’is and serve on the Baha’i administration of their country. Since Baha’i communities are submitted to the civil laws of their country, these rulings by the institutions are adapted to the laws of their states. If you have further questions, you can refer them to your institutions and even to the UHJ.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote :
    It's not obvious to me. Show me the rulings.

    Steve, you may have noticed that there is abundant references to the rules of family life in Baha’i resources. This constitutes a “praxis” on which NSAs and LSAs draw for harmonising community life. All this is a form of internal legislation. Very obviously, this legislation only applies to those who wish to call themselves Baha’is and serve on the Baha’i administration of their country. Since Baha’i communities are submitted to the civil laws of their country, these rulings by the institutions are adapted to the laws of their states. If you have further questions, you can refer them to your institutions and even to the UHJ.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The page that contains the whole talk is a transcript of Peter's talk, and I can vouch for its accuracy, to the extent that I've seen the official video — and those were the words spoken, give or take a typo. Peter is a member of the House, and he was introduced as speaking "in his capacity as a member of the Universal House of Justice". I was completely unaware there was any such capacity, and I don't think you are supposed to thirst for his view, or the view of any one of the other eight House members, in order to show your true love for Bahaullah.

    That said, I don't have a huge problem with his statement. The community has laws and it has institutions that uphold those laws, but it shouldn't indulge in witch-hunts. And there is an element of reputation involved.

    If the prime concern of the Baha'i administration is the reputation of the Baha'i faith in the wider community then, increasingly, the Baha'is are going to have to accept that gays have human rights and should be free to live as they wish, because that's what the wider community is trending towards. I think Peter's speech is an admission that witch-hunts are doing harm to the Baha'i faith's reputation and is a call for Baha'is to practice relative tolerance.

    p.s. Great comment system, Baquia!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The page that contains the whole talk is a transcript of Peter's talk, and I can vouch for its accuracy, to the extent that I've seen the official video — and those were the words spoken, give or take a typo. Peter is a member of the House, and he was introduced as speaking "in his capacity as a member of the Universal House of Justice". I was completely unaware there was any such capacity, and I don't think you are supposed to thirst for his view, or the view of any one of the other eight House members, in order to show your true love for Bahaullah.

    That said, I don't have a huge problem with his statement. The community has laws and it has institutions that uphold those laws, but it shouldn't indulge in witch-hunts. And there is an element of reputation involved.

    If the prime concern of the Baha'i administration is the reputation of the Baha'i faith in the wider community then, increasingly, the Baha'is are going to have to accept that gays have human rights and should be free to live as they wish, because that's what the wider community is trending towards. I think Peter's speech is an admission that witch-hunts are doing harm to the Baha'i faith's reputation and is a call for Baha'is to practice relative tolerance.

    p.s. Great comment system, Baquia!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Farhan, are you saying that anything the House has written about family life is Baha'i law? To me this sounds beyond bizarre, so perhaps I'm missing your point.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Farhan, are you saying that anything the House has written about family life is Baha'i law? To me this sounds beyond bizarre, so perhaps I'm missing your point.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Well, this is an about-face. Originally I said:

    You'll need to give some examples of the… "rulings of the UHJ" that "define at this time the standards for Baha’i families that are binding on those who wish to be fully active in the Baha’i community" …so I know what you're referring to.

    First you said the rulings were obvious, and now your answer appears to be that accepted practice is a form of internal legislation.

    What happened to "la primauté du droit", or the rule of law?

    "For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other." – Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Well, this is an about-face. Originally I said:

    You'll need to give some examples of the… "rulings of the UHJ" that "define at this time the standards for Baha’i families that are binding on those who wish to be fully active in the Baha’i community" …so I know what you're referring to.

    First you said the rulings were obvious, and now your answer appears to be that accepted practice is a form of internal legislation.

    What happened to "la primauté du droit", or the rule of law?

    "For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other." – Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Farhan,

    Bless your heart. You can't seem to get it. I have a great fondness for your state of thinking regarding what to do with homosexuals. I was a fundementalist, letter of the law Baha'i for many years. I even remember debating a UHJ member in the Pilgrim House on Mt. Carmel. It had something to due with allowing non-Baha'is to have alcohol at Baha'i firesides. I was "unmoveable" that we Baha'is cannot allow such a thing. It went on and on until in frustration I got up and went out into the gardens to cool off. My point is that when you say, "If two gentleman came to our community with kids…If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publically, calling each other darling…I would suggest that the couple be more reserved…", it's like saying to the Black population, we accept you, love you, and want you to be with us, but when we are in public, could you all sit at the back of the bus please? Do you see the similarity?

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Bill Garbett

    Dear Farhan,

    Bless your heart. You can't seem to get it. I have a great fondness for your state of thinking regarding what to do with homosexuals. I was a fundementalist, letter of the law Baha'i for many years. I even remember debating a UHJ member in the Pilgrim House on Mt. Carmel. It had something to due with allowing non-Baha'is to have alcohol at Baha'i firesides. I was "unmoveable" that we Baha'is cannot allow such a thing. It went on and on until in frustration I got up and went out into the gardens to cool off. My point is that when you say, "If two gentleman came to our community with kids…If they gave obvious signs of a sexual life, like embracing publically, calling each other darling…I would suggest that the couple be more reserved…", it's like saying to the Black population, we accept you, love you, and want you to be with us, but when we are in public, could you all sit at the back of the bus please? Do you see the similarity?

    In Peace,
    Bill Garbett

  • Grover

    Spot on there Dan, thats what its all about, image.

  • Grover

    Spot on there Dan, thats what its all about, image.

  • Grover

    Its all about preserving the dignity of the Faith. Kind of ironic now door knocking has started, I couldn't imagine anything worse for preserving the Faith's reputation.

  • Grover

    Its all about preserving the dignity of the Faith. Kind of ironic now door knocking has started, I couldn't imagine anything worse for preserving the Faith's reputation.

  • Grover

    Just from the article:

    "It is no one else’s business. However, if that violation brings disrespect or criticism upon the Faith and the Baha’i community, it becomes the business of the community. In the last analysis, it is between the individual and God. But the Baha’i community has the right to expect those who call themselves “Baha’i” to behave in such a way as to not bring discredit on the Baha’i Faith and its community of believers. We all have our burdens to bear in trying to adhere to Baha’i principles and we should not criticize or judge others for their problems or struggles so as not to invite judgment on ourselves for our own failures. As individuals we need to concern ourselves without our own struggles."

    Its a classic case of "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil". Yet many Baha'is are chronic gossips, we all love a good scandal, so if someone sees something going on, even if its trivial, sure as eggs are eggs, its going to get around the community and the LSA will have to step in. Some Baha'is are appallingly bad taddle-tales, thinking its their duty to report every kind of indiscretion to the LSA and their fellow Baha'is. I recall somewhere that one Baha'i got observed in a pub nursing a glass of beer (turned out to be ginger beer) with some mates. Well you can imagine the chaos that ensued, the morality speeches at Feast etc etc. Imagine what would happen if a gay Baha'i couple was observed meandering down the main street of town hand in hand or making out….

  • Grover

    Just from the article:

    "It is no one else’s business. However, if that violation brings disrespect or criticism upon the Faith and the Baha’i community, it becomes the business of the community. In the last analysis, it is between the individual and God. But the Baha’i community has the right to expect those who call themselves “Baha’i” to behave in such a way as to not bring discredit on the Baha’i Faith and its community of believers. We all have our burdens to bear in trying to adhere to Baha’i principles and we should not criticize or judge others for their problems or struggles so as not to invite judgment on ourselves for our own failures. As individuals we need to concern ourselves without our own struggles."

    Its a classic case of "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil". Yet many Baha'is are chronic gossips, we all love a good scandal, so if someone sees something going on, even if its trivial, sure as eggs are eggs, its going to get around the community and the LSA will have to step in. Some Baha'is are appallingly bad taddle-tales, thinking its their duty to report every kind of indiscretion to the LSA and their fellow Baha'is. I recall somewhere that one Baha'i got observed in a pub nursing a glass of beer (turned out to be ginger beer) with some mates. Well you can imagine the chaos that ensued, the morality speeches at Feast etc etc. Imagine what would happen if a gay Baha'i couple was observed meandering down the main street of town hand in hand or making out….

  • Pey

    Hey that's a thought Grover. Maybe the day when gossiping is completely eliminated from the Bahai community, then and only then should we worry about reparative therapy for gays to become straight. Actually, wouldn't the energy and money spent on reforming habitual gossipers in the community with some good psycho therapy, maybe even shock treatment be time better spent than worrying about kids calling their two daddies "papa"? Hmm, maybe I should suggest that to the UHJ. But their secretary is probably already tired of hearing from me. :)

  • Pey

    Hey that's a thought Grover. Maybe the day when gossiping is completely eliminated from the Bahai community, then and only then should we worry about reparative therapy for gays to become straight. Actually, wouldn't the energy and money spent on reforming habitual gossipers in the community with some good psycho therapy, maybe even shock treatment be time better spent than worrying about kids calling their two daddies "papa"? Hmm, maybe I should suggest that to the UHJ. But their secretary is probably already tired of hearing from me. :)

  • Grover

    And you're absolutely right. But we're dealing with a prejudice, like many others, that is well entrenched, traditional, and irrational within the community. With some Baha'is, I would call it homophobia, they even outrightly state they hate gays. With the rest, they're quite comfortable being around gays, but most of those have the mindset that homosexuality is something that can be cured.

  • Grover

    And you're absolutely right. But we're dealing with a prejudice, like many others, that is well entrenched, traditional, and irrational within the community. With some Baha'is, I would call it homophobia, they even outrightly state they hate gays. With the rest, they're quite comfortable being around gays, but most of those have the mindset that homosexuality is something that can be cured.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Grover sites "It is no one else’s business. However, if that violation brings disrespect or criticism upon the Faith and the Baha’i community, it becomes the business of the community." This is fundamental to my concern, the actual homophobia of the community is bringing harm, criticism, disrespect to he good name of the Faith.

    state of the movement

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Grover sites "It is no one else’s business. However, if that violation brings disrespect or criticism upon the Faith and the Baha’i community, it becomes the business of the community." This is fundamental to my concern, the actual homophobia of the community is bringing harm, criticism, disrespect to he good name of the Faith.

    state of the movement

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Dan_W Dan_W

    I lost you guys for a few days, but I think I'm back now. Thanks to everyone for keeping this topic full of thought-provoking conversation!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Dan_W Dan_W

    I lost you guys for a few days, but I think I'm back now. Thanks to everyone for keeping this topic full of thought-provoking conversation!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Apparently, the Baha'i faith has an "open-arms policy regarding homosexuality"

    "One day, I sent to a copy of the Baha’i Faith’s stance on homosexuality to my parents in Mindanao. My parents read it and later became supportive of my sexual orientation."

    Fascinating.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Apparently, the Baha'i faith has an "open-arms policy regarding homosexuality"

    "One day, I sent to a copy of the Baha’i Faith’s stance on homosexuality to my parents in Mindanao. My parents read it and later became supportive of my sexual orientation."

    Fascinating.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • DCO

    Steve – this is interesting… thanks –

    Daniel Orey

  • DCO

    Steve – this is interesting… thanks –

    Daniel Orey

  • farhan

    Bill wrote :
    it's like saying to the Black population, we accept you, love you, and want you to be with us, but when we are in public, could you all sit at the back of the bus please? Do you see the similarity?

    Bill, bless your kind words. I assure you I do get it. The question put to me was what would happen if… and I replied how I imagined things might happen in my community. I am not saying it was perfect, but this is how I would imagine the reaction of my community and I would be dishonest not to reply with sincerity.

    As to the similarity between skin colour and sexual behaviour, I am not at all convinced by your comparison. There is certainly some genetic and biological factors that determine our sexual orientation, as genetic and biological factors can predispose us to becoming athletes, violent, poets or alcoholics or developing breast cancer, but genetics is only part of it. I do not believe that it is all a matter of “being born that way”

    If you look up left-handedness you will notice a very similar situation to that of homosexuality, where genetics, hormones, experiences in life, handicaps, psychological and physical consequences and discrimination determine whether we are left-handed or right-handed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-handed)and where adaptation, rather than “cure” can be the answer.

    Having never been gay, I am afraid I cannot imagine what it would be like to feel attracted to a person of the same sex, but unable to achieve my goal, but I have lived trough painful times when I was unable to make my life with women I was in love with. I can imagine that it must be similar being attracted to a man and being obliged to making one’s life with a woman. At that time, you could not care less if thousands of “better” partners were available, and I would be offended to hear that I could be “cured” from loving that particular person.

    An important part of my spiritual growth has certainly been the understanding submission to the loving will of God as described in this passage:

    If ye meet the abased or the down-trodden, turn not away disdainfully from them, for the King of Glory ever watcheth over them and surroundeth them with such tenderness as none can fathom except them that have suffered their wishes and desires to be merged in the Will of your Lord, the Gracious, the All-Wise. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CXLV)

    O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CLII)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Bill wrote :
    it's like saying to the Black population, we accept you, love you, and want you to be with us, but when we are in public, could you all sit at the back of the bus please? Do you see the similarity?

    Bill, bless your kind words. I assure you I do get it. The question put to me was what would happen if… and I replied how I imagined things might happen in my community. I am not saying it was perfect, but this is how I would imagine the reaction of my community and I would be dishonest not to reply with sincerity.

    As to the similarity between skin colour and sexual behaviour, I am not at all convinced by your comparison. There is certainly some genetic and biological factors that determine our sexual orientation, as genetic and biological factors can predispose us to becoming athletes, violent, poets or alcoholics or developing breast cancer, but genetics is only part of it. I do not believe that it is all a matter of “being born that way”

    If you look up left-handedness you will notice a very similar situation to that of homosexuality, where genetics, hormones, experiences in life, handicaps, psychological and physical consequences and discrimination determine whether we are left-handed or right-handed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-handed)and where adaptation, rather than “cure” can be the answer.

    Having never been gay, I am afraid I cannot imagine what it would be like to feel attracted to a person of the same sex, but unable to achieve my goal, but I have lived trough painful times when I was unable to make my life with women I was in love with. I can imagine that it must be similar being attracted to a man and being obliged to making one’s life with a woman. At that time, you could not care less if thousands of “better” partners were available, and I would be offended to hear that I could be “cured” from loving that particular person.

    An important part of my spiritual growth has certainly been the understanding submission to the loving will of God as described in this passage:

    If ye meet the abased or the down-trodden, turn not away disdainfully from them, for the King of Glory ever watcheth over them and surroundeth them with such tenderness as none can fathom except them that have suffered their wishes and desires to be merged in the Will of your Lord, the Gracious, the All-Wise. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CXLV)

    O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CLII)

  • Pey

    Skin color is also not completely genetic. If you stay in the sun long enough (environment) skin color can change slightly. Yet you find that darker skinned black people sometimes feel more prejudice due to being darker, which may have a little to do with environment as well as genetics. So is it ok to discriminate against someone because environmental factors make them darker? Should they be asked to cover up so they can be lighter and not have to deal with the scorn of society? That is what you are asking Farhan. So no Farhan, you still don't get it. But I'll say, you are much nicer than another chap I'm dealing with on youtube. He really is making the Bahai Faith look like some fundamentalist freak show. I feel so sorry for how my Faith is being represented bythis homophobic individual.

  • Pey

    Skin color is also not completely genetic. If you stay in the sun long enough (environment) skin color can change slightly. Yet you find that darker skinned black people sometimes feel more prejudice due to being darker, which may have a little to do with environment as well as genetics. So is it ok to discriminate against someone because environmental factors make them darker? Should they be asked to cover up so they can be lighter and not have to deal with the scorn of society? That is what you are asking Farhan. So no Farhan, you still don't get it. But I'll say, you are much nicer than another chap I'm dealing with on youtube. He really is making the Bahai Faith look like some fundamentalist freak show. I feel so sorry for how my Faith is being represented bythis homophobic individual.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Should they be asked to cover up so they can be lighter and not have to deal with the scorn of society?

    No Pey, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that we should under no circumstance discriminate against gay orientation, no more than skin colour, which is an appearance. Baha’i teachings do not condemn gay orientation, but condemn misbehaviour towards gays. They also restrict some community activities people celibate or married with a standard non-gay behaviour.

    I am saying that for practical reasons, a community has a right to define the behaviour of its members for some specific functions. If you cannot suppress your need for talking, you should not become a Carmelite, or else talk to yourself when you are alone, and if you cannot cope with celibacy, you should not go for priesthood or become a Buddhist monk. If at present you wish to live an open gay family life, you might have to forfeit priesthood, and your Baha’i administrative rights.

    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would be discrimination against people with non-gay behaviour making the effort to comply by those rules.
    I am also saying that we should not discriminate against left-handed people, but if they insist that they have a preference for driving on the other side of the road, and that they cannot resist this preference, and cannot adapt to driving on the right side of the road, they should abstain from driving.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Should they be asked to cover up so they can be lighter and not have to deal with the scorn of society?

    No Pey, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that we should under no circumstance discriminate against gay orientation, no more than skin colour, which is an appearance. Baha’i teachings do not condemn gay orientation, but condemn misbehaviour towards gays. They also restrict some community activities people celibate or married with a standard non-gay behaviour.

    I am saying that for practical reasons, a community has a right to define the behaviour of its members for some specific functions. If you cannot suppress your need for talking, you should not become a Carmelite, or else talk to yourself when you are alone, and if you cannot cope with celibacy, you should not go for priesthood or become a Buddhist monk. If at present you wish to live an open gay family life, you might have to forfeit priesthood, and your Baha’i administrative rights.

    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would be discrimination against people with non-gay behaviour making the effort to comply by those rules.
    I am also saying that we should not discriminate against left-handed people, but if they insist that they have a preference for driving on the other side of the road, and that they cannot resist this preference, and cannot adapt to driving on the right side of the road, they should abstain from driving.

  • Pey

    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would discriminate agains who pray tell? Straight people who choose not to get married? Gays aren't even given a choice. That's discrimination.

  • Pey

    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would discriminate agains who pray tell? Straight people who choose not to get married? Gays aren't even given a choice. That's discrimination.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would discriminate agains who pray tell? Straight people who choose not to get married?

    Pey, Baha’i community law says no sexuality outside marriage, whatever your orientation, if you want to maintain your voting rights. Non-gays who do not comply, lose their voting rights. If Baha’is accepted gay sexual behaviour outside marriage and only condemned non-gay behaviour outside marriage, that would be discrimination against non-gays.

    Where I personally consider that gays could benefit from more flexibility is that non-gays have a choice to marry, whereas gay marriages are not available.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Giving a gay the possibility of having a family life outside wedlock would discriminate agains who pray tell? Straight people who choose not to get married?

    Pey, Baha’i community law says no sexuality outside marriage, whatever your orientation, if you want to maintain your voting rights. Non-gays who do not comply, lose their voting rights. If Baha’is accepted gay sexual behaviour outside marriage and only condemned non-gay behaviour outside marriage, that would be discrimination against non-gays.

    Where I personally consider that gays could benefit from more flexibility is that non-gays have a choice to marry, whereas gay marriages are not available.

  • Person

    Do pedophiles decide to be pedophiles? Or were they born with it, and cannot stop being pedophiles, because it is their nature? Would you allow consenting 11 year olds and 45 year olds be in relationships, 11 year olds and 21 year olds? How about a 15 year old and a 60 year old?

    Or would you say, that it doesn't matter that it is your nature, that's just sick. Or that you cannot cure your pedophile problem, even though you don't want to be a pedophile and feel that you can't change your nature despite your best efforts? Or that you really can cure your pedophile problem, even thought you feel you cannot. Or that the best thing that a pedophile can do is to just suppress that side of themselves and try not act out their pedophilic nature, because it ultimately harmful to them and their potential partners?

    One could argue about homosexuality in a similar matter. People might be extremely offended with the association of homosexuality being similar in nature to pedosexuality, but pedosexuals do have very similar feelings about their sexual orientation as homosexuals do, but often loathe themselves due to the extremely negative social attitude of them. Pederasty used to be accepted (and disliked) in societies such as ancient greece. And historical persia, arabia, and turkey. One could make similar arguments about necrophiliacs, or other socially loathed sexual fetishes.

    If you think that homosexuals should be thought of as a healthy natural variation, but necrophiliacs and pedosexuals as not is that not mentally hypocritical?

  • Person

    Do pedophiles decide to be pedophiles? Or were they born with it, and cannot stop being pedophiles, because it is their nature? Would you allow consenting 11 year olds and 45 year olds be in relationships, 11 year olds and 21 year olds? How about a 15 year old and a 60 year old?

    Or would you say, that it doesn't matter that it is your nature, that's just sick. Or that you cannot cure your pedophile problem, even though you don't want to be a pedophile and feel that you can't change your nature despite your best efforts? Or that you really can cure your pedophile problem, even thought you feel you cannot. Or that the best thing that a pedophile can do is to just suppress that side of themselves and try not act out their pedophilic nature, because it ultimately harmful to them and their potential partners?

    One could argue about homosexuality in a similar matter. People might be extremely offended with the association of homosexuality being similar in nature to pedosexuality, but pedosexuals do have very similar feelings about their sexual orientation as homosexuals do, but often loathe themselves due to the extremely negative social attitude of them. Pederasty used to be accepted (and disliked) in societies such as ancient greece. And historical persia, arabia, and turkey. One could make similar arguments about necrophiliacs, or other socially loathed sexual fetishes.

    If you think that homosexuals should be thought of as a healthy natural variation, but necrophiliacs and pedosexuals as not is that not mentally hypocritical?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Person,
    woah! I'm just left shaking my head, don't know where to begin…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    Person,
    woah! I'm just left shaking my head, don't know where to begin…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Person – you are very mixed up individual. I am extremely offended by your comparison to glbts and pedophilia, etc.

    Daniel Orey

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Person – you are very mixed up individual. I am extremely offended by your comparison to glbts and pedophilia, etc.

    Daniel Orey

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Two words: "informed" and "consent". Neither is possible when the relationship is with a child, nor when the "relationship" is with a dead person. Over here, we're discussing loving, committed, long-term relationships between adult equals. I remain completely unconvinced that paedophiles and necrophiliacs are in the ball-park. Goodbye troll.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Two words: "informed" and "consent". Neither is possible when the relationship is with a child, nor when the "relationship" is with a dead person. Over here, we're discussing loving, committed, long-term relationships between adult equals. I remain completely unconvinced that paedophiles and necrophiliacs are in the ball-park. Goodbye troll.

  • Pey

    You know. I used to get really offended by people like "person". Now I love it when they I see these comments. You should see some posted by this fundie named Candle something on youtube. I love it because they help prove our point 100 times better than we ever could- that the Bahai community truly is full of ignorant people who discriminate against the LGBT community. I sometimes feel I'm in an uphill battle to just convince people of this because the Bahai community is sold as such a tolerant and accepting place. Most people think it is similar to the Unitarians. So although I feel a little bit of vindication when I read such posts, for the most part I feel a lot of sadness because my Faith is being so mis-represented.

    “How about a 15 year old and a 60 year old? ” But this part really cracks me up. The age of consent for marriage in the Faith is 15. LOL! Person you need to brush up on Bahai law.

    Last night, over a nice dinner date, I learned more from my friend who is Catholic and belongs to an LGBT group in his parish. I wanted to know how the congregation balances the words of the Catholic leadership (which is very similar to the UHJ) with local acceptance of gays. He said that it is a fine balance. First the congregation is very open-minded, so of course that helps. And the LGBT group is just one of many “support” groups within the church. There are others for single straight people, young mothers, etc. The focus is creating a community that enriches the lives of the individuals and spreads the love of the Church, not rules. I guess in some way the Catholic church is even more stringent than Bahai.

    They can ONLY have sex to reproduce (no condemns allowed). So every Catholic knows that’s a bunch of hogwash. They see the acceptance of gays in their community the same as accepting all the straight people who are using condomns- no big deal. The flip side is that the LGBT group doesn’t push the envelope. They are not clamoring for gay marriages to be performed at the altar, etc. But gay couples definitely come to the parish with their kids. He knows a few who drop their kids off at Sunday classes before they go to the other activiities in the Church. I think if Bahai communities would evolve to this point, that would be good enough for me. But unfortunately we are hindered by so many of the “persons” above and others I have met inside the community. Oh well…their loss.

  • Pey

    You know. I used to get really offended by people like "person". Now I love it when they I see these comments. You should see some posted by this fundie named Candle something on youtube. I love it because they help prove our point 100 times better than we ever could- that the Bahai community truly is full of ignorant people who discriminate against the LGBT community. I sometimes feel I'm in an uphill battle to just convince people of this because the Bahai community is sold as such a tolerant and accepting place. Most people think it is similar to the Unitarians. So although I feel a little bit of vindication when I read such posts, for the most part I feel a lot of sadness because my Faith is being so mis-represented.

    “How about a 15 year old and a 60 year old? ” But this part really cracks me up. The age of consent for marriage in the Faith is 15. LOL! Person you need to brush up on Bahai law.

    Last night, over a nice dinner date, I learned more from my friend who is Catholic and belongs to an LGBT group in his parish. I wanted to know how the congregation balances the words of the Catholic leadership (which is very similar to the UHJ) with local acceptance of gays. He said that it is a fine balance. First the congregation is very open-minded, so of course that helps. And the LGBT group is just one of many “support” groups within the church. There are others for single straight people, young mothers, etc. The focus is creating a community that enriches the lives of the individuals and spreads the love of the Church, not rules. I guess in some way the Catholic church is even more stringent than Bahai.

    They can ONLY have sex to reproduce (no condemns allowed). So every Catholic knows that’s a bunch of hogwash. They see the acceptance of gays in their community the same as accepting all the straight people who are using condomns- no big deal. The flip side is that the LGBT group doesn’t push the envelope. They are not clamoring for gay marriages to be performed at the altar, etc. But gay couples definitely come to the parish with their kids. He knows a few who drop their kids off at Sunday classes before they go to the other activiities in the Church. I think if Bahai communities would evolve to this point, that would be good enough for me. But unfortunately we are hindered by so many of the “persons” above and others I have met inside the community. Oh well…their loss.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Folks: take a mmoment (play it loud) to watch this: http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Folks: take a mmoment (play it loud) to watch this: http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

  • Pey

    Great link Daniel. Here is one that I saw today on facebook: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/6/04054/0002
    I love it because it shows where the future is going with the young people in our country- in the hear of Kansas of all places. Very cool!

  • Pey

    Great link Daniel. Here is one that I saw today on facebook: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/6/04054/0002
    I love it because it shows where the future is going with the young people in our country- in the hear of Kansas of all places. Very cool!

  • DCO

    The rant seems a bit quiet these past few days… did any one get a chance to see this on JMG:
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/02/please-selec

    which Joe got from:

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/02/please-selec

    regards-

    Daniel Orey

  • DCO

    The rant seems a bit quiet these past few days… did any one get a chance to see this on JMG:
    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/02/please-selec

    which Joe got from:

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/02/please-selec

    regards-

    Daniel Orey

  • http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/ DCO

    click or paste the link to listen

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2009/02/till-end-

    a hug to all from Daniel Orey

  • http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/ DCO

    click or paste the link to listen

    http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2009/02/till-end-

    a hug to all from Daniel Orey

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    For those of you inthe USA: Immigration equality legislation introduced in US Congress

    US Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Rep. Jerrold Nadley (D-New York) reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would allow US citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for eventual citizenship. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeq… )

    The current system tears apart families and abandons binational lesbian and gay couples, viewing them as legal strangers.Call your national representative today. Tell them that hardworking citizens shouldn’t have to choose between their country and the person they love, and that Congress has a responsibility to move this bill forward and fix this gross inequality. please call: http://www.immigrationequality.org/template2.php?…

    It would make a real difference for Milton & I and many others if this passed.

    Thanks!

    Daniel Orey

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    For those of you inthe USA: Immigration equality legislation introduced in US Congress

    US Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Rep. Jerrold Nadley (D-New York) reintroduced the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would allow US citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for eventual citizenship. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeq… )

    The current system tears apart families and abandons binational lesbian and gay couples, viewing them as legal strangers.Call your national representative today. Tell them that hardworking citizens shouldn’t have to choose between their country and the person they love, and that Congress has a responsibility to move this bill forward and fix this gross inequality. please call: http://www.immigrationequality.org/template2.php?…

    It would make a real difference for Milton & I and many others if this passed.

    Thanks!

    Daniel Orey

  • Pey

    Hi Bill. If you are still reading this thread, I have a question. You mentioned a letter from a gay youth that committed suicide because he couldn't reconcile his homosexuaity with the Bahai Faith. Do you have a copy of that letter? Do you know if the family of that individual would be ok with the world reading this letter? I think it would make our point so much clearer to be able to share this with the world. There is so much in the Bahai community that is brushed under the carpet. But at the same time, we have to be sensitive to the wishes of the family. Thanks.

  • Pey

    Hi Bill. If you are still reading this thread, I have a question. You mentioned a letter from a gay youth that committed suicide because he couldn't reconcile his homosexuaity with the Bahai Faith. Do you have a copy of that letter? Do you know if the family of that individual would be ok with the world reading this letter? I think it would make our point so much clearer to be able to share this with the world. There is so much in the Bahai community that is brushed under the carpet. But at the same time, we have to be sensitive to the wishes of the family. Thanks.

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Friends – One of our fellow Gay Baha'i brothers is in the news:

    A Press Release with Photos:

    http://chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/857

    A video as the actual arrest took place

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ericachu

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Friends – One of our fellow Gay Baha'i brothers is in the news:

    A Press Release with Photos:

    http://chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/857

    A video as the actual arrest took place

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ericachu

  • Masud

    Bill,

    There's a huge difference. Being black is inherent/intrinsic to who one is. Here we're talking about acting on homosexual inclinations, which is not inherent/intrinsic. It's an action, which can be undertaken OR NOT. In other words, that is a choice. So asking for restraint is anything but outlandish, as you've suggested.

  • Masud

    Bill,

    There's a huge difference. Being black is inherent/intrinsic to who one is. Here we're talking about acting on homosexual inclinations, which is not inherent/intrinsic. It's an action, which can be undertaken OR NOT. In other words, that is a choice. So asking for restraint is anything but outlandish, as you've suggested.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Help me with this Masud. Are you saying that the inclinations you experience as part of your sexual orientation are not inherent/intrinsic to you. Let's not worry about the restraint aspect – that's about managing a state/condition – let's concentrate first on whether your sexual orientation is, or is not, intrinsic to you. Mine is part of who I am in this world of names, just as much as whether I'm black/white, diabetic/not, left-handed/right-handed, Maori/Pakeha, male/female. I guess I'm just surprised that you appear to think that your sexual orientation is quite malleable, or at least well outside of who you are in the world.

    I trust that you're OK talking about this. You seem quite relaxed talking about the sexual orientation of others.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Help me with this Masud. Are you saying that the inclinations you experience as part of your sexual orientation are not inherent/intrinsic to you. Let's not worry about the restraint aspect – that's about managing a state/condition – let's concentrate first on whether your sexual orientation is, or is not, intrinsic to you. Mine is part of who I am in this world of names, just as much as whether I'm black/white, diabetic/not, left-handed/right-handed, Maori/Pakeha, male/female. I guess I'm just surprised that you appear to think that your sexual orientation is quite malleable, or at least well outside of who you are in the world.

    I trust that you're OK talking about this. You seem quite relaxed talking about the sexual orientation of others.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • Pey

    Hetersexuality is also an action that can be undertaken OR NOT. The Bahai Faith give an outlet to heteresexuals, it does not to homosexuals. THAT is discrimination. Pretty simple to understand Masud. I can't believe you still don't get it. But of course in your eyes a gay person jumping from bed to bed is no different from one who is in a committed relationship and is raising a child with his partner. Can we say prejudice?

  • Pey

    Hetersexuality is also an action that can be undertaken OR NOT. The Bahai Faith give an outlet to heteresexuals, it does not to homosexuals. THAT is discrimination. Pretty simple to understand Masud. I can't believe you still don't get it. But of course in your eyes a gay person jumping from bed to bed is no different from one who is in a committed relationship and is raising a child with his partner. Can we say prejudice?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Let's not worry about the restraint aspect – that's about managing a state/condition – let's concentrate first on whether your sexual orientation is, or is not, intrinsic to you.

    Steve I gave a long reply on this: sexual orientation is partly genetic, partly biological, and partly acquired and subject to change during life.

    Our sexual orientation can change if we take hormones, or after some experiences in life. In many cases, orientation is not exclusive and can be a matter of choice and opportunities.
    To some extent, orientation drives can be similar to that of a non gay meeting someone else’s spouse with whom he falls in love.

    I agree that some sexual orientations are exclusively gay, with no possibility for non gay relations, but in many cases it is just a fantasy on which we need to use restraint, as in non gay fantasies.

    We have people with genetic predisposition to violence or addictive behaviour, including alcohol, gambling and drug misuse. They have to restrain themselves harder than others. They cannot argue that their genetic predisposition is an excuse for misbehaviour.

    I continue to believe that allowing gay sexual behaviours outside marriage and forbidding non-gay relations outside marriage would be an unacceptable discrimination to non-gays. This has nothing to do with genetic predisposition or skin coulour that has no influence on our behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Let's not worry about the restraint aspect – that's about managing a state/condition – let's concentrate first on whether your sexual orientation is, or is not, intrinsic to you.

    Steve I gave a long reply on this: sexual orientation is partly genetic, partly biological, and partly acquired and subject to change during life.

    Our sexual orientation can change if we take hormones, or after some experiences in life. In many cases, orientation is not exclusive and can be a matter of choice and opportunities.
    To some extent, orientation drives can be similar to that of a non gay meeting someone else’s spouse with whom he falls in love.

    I agree that some sexual orientations are exclusively gay, with no possibility for non gay relations, but in many cases it is just a fantasy on which we need to use restraint, as in non gay fantasies.

    We have people with genetic predisposition to violence or addictive behaviour, including alcohol, gambling and drug misuse. They have to restrain themselves harder than others. They cannot argue that their genetic predisposition is an excuse for misbehaviour.

    I continue to believe that allowing gay sexual behaviours outside marriage and forbidding non-gay relations outside marriage would be an unacceptable discrimination to non-gays. This has nothing to do with genetic predisposition or skin coulour that has no influence on our behaviour.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Hetersexuality is also an action that can be undertaken OR NOT. The Bahai Faith give an outlet to heteresexuals, it does not to homosexuals. THAT is discrimination.

    Pey, your point is well taken. However, I would not say discrimination, but a natural injustice, just as some 10% of the population is left handed or inclined to becoming alcoholics unless they never drink alcohol at all.

    Besides, the only solution to providing an outlet would be to instate gay marriages; then what will we do when orientations change later in life?

    We have to consider both the views of those afflicted, and those who try and bring order to society.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Hetersexuality is also an action that can be undertaken OR NOT. The Bahai Faith give an outlet to heteresexuals, it does not to homosexuals. THAT is discrimination.

    Pey, your point is well taken. However, I would not say discrimination, but a natural injustice, just as some 10% of the population is left handed or inclined to becoming alcoholics unless they never drink alcohol at all.

    Besides, the only solution to providing an outlet would be to instate gay marriages; then what will we do when orientations change later in life?

    We have to consider both the views of those afflicted, and those who try and bring order to society.

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    And people want to know why we are outraged:

    http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/story/1627706.html

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    And people want to know why we are outraged:

    http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/story/1627706.html

  • Daniel Orey

    As someone who was a sissy, and called a fag as a kid, I can say that my being gay WAS / IS inherent/intrinsic to who I am… this is such crap… how on earth can you speak for those of us who suffered chastisement, violence and prejudice by other kids and teachers when growing up? As someone who has been passed over for promotion because of who he is, as someone who know folks who were kiled for who they are … your assumption is very hollow. This all happened long before I "knew" or accepted who I was… stop telling glbt's who we are and what they should be, and start listening to who we are…

  • Daniel Orey

    As someone who was a sissy, and called a fag as a kid, I can say that my being gay WAS / IS inherent/intrinsic to who I am… this is such crap… how on earth can you speak for those of us who suffered chastisement, violence and prejudice by other kids and teachers when growing up? As someone who has been passed over for promotion because of who he is, as someone who know folks who were kiled for who they are … your assumption is very hollow. This all happened long before I "knew" or accepted who I was… stop telling glbt's who we are and what they should be, and start listening to who we are…

  • pey

    what are you talking about farhan? It is pure discrimination. The only solution is that gay partnerships are not specifically spoken about in the Aqdas, therefore it is outside the book. The present UHJ doesn't agree. They believe their hands are tied. So wether you are a rapist, a promiscous heterosexual man cheating on your wife, a child molester or a gay man raising a child with your committed partner of 10 years- you are ALL in the same boat "unchaste" and worthy of punishment. When the UHJ wakes up and realizes they have more wiggle room in the application of this "law" then the injustice will end. Til then- it is pure discrimination and the Bahai community will lose out on wonderful souls that could be active in it. (That includes me btw). Of course, if I'm lucky to be near a local Bahai community (like the one Sonja lives in) that would accept me as an equal- then sure I'd love to come back to the Bahai community; regardless of what the UHJ thinks or their "loyal" adherents like Masud.

  • pey

    what are you talking about farhan? It is pure discrimination. The only solution is that gay partnerships are not specifically spoken about in the Aqdas, therefore it is outside the book. The present UHJ doesn't agree. They believe their hands are tied. So wether you are a rapist, a promiscous heterosexual man cheating on your wife, a child molester or a gay man raising a child with your committed partner of 10 years- you are ALL in the same boat "unchaste" and worthy of punishment. When the UHJ wakes up and realizes they have more wiggle room in the application of this "law" then the injustice will end. Til then- it is pure discrimination and the Bahai community will lose out on wonderful souls that could be active in it. (That includes me btw). Of course, if I'm lucky to be near a local Bahai community (like the one Sonja lives in) that would accept me as an equal- then sure I'd love to come back to the Bahai community; regardless of what the UHJ thinks or their "loyal" adherents like Masud.

  • pey

    Amen brother.

  • pey

    Amen brother.

  • Pey

    Today I was so irritated with my family. My mom kept talking about the poor Bahai souls who have been imprisoned in Iran. My heart goes out to them, but I still can't help and wonder why? Why has the Bahai community never said a word when a number of teens were executed a few years ago for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Why have I never heard the Bahais utter so much a word in the defence of the LGBT people who have suffered imprisonment, torture and more at the hands of the Ayatollahs. Trust me more, much more, have died for being caught as gay in Iran than the number of Bahais. Yet, the Bahai community is silent. The only time you hear the word gay muttered among Bahais is to remind fellow members that it is wrong and they are being unchaste if they give into it.

  • Pey

    Today I was so irritated with my family. My mom kept talking about the poor Bahai souls who have been imprisoned in Iran. My heart goes out to them, but I still can't help and wonder why? Why has the Bahai community never said a word when a number of teens were executed a few years ago for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Why have I never heard the Bahais utter so much a word in the defence of the LGBT people who have suffered imprisonment, torture and more at the hands of the Ayatollahs. Trust me more, much more, have died for being caught as gay in Iran than the number of Bahais. Yet, the Bahai community is silent. The only time you hear the word gay muttered among Bahais is to remind fellow members that it is wrong and they are being unchaste if they give into it.

  • Pey

    Today I was so irritated with my family. My mom kept talking about the poor Bahai souls who have been imprisoned in Iran. My heart goes out to them, but I still can't help and wonder why? Why has the Bahai community never said a word when a number of teens were executed a few years ago for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Why have I never heard the Bahais utter so much a word in the defence of the LGBT people who have suffered imprisonment, torture and more at the hands of the Ayatollahs. Trust me more, much more, have died for being caught as gay in Iran than the number of Bahais. Yet, the Bahai community is silent. The only time you hear the word gay muttered among Bahais is to remind fellow members that it is wrong and they are being unchaste if they give into it.

  • Pey

    Today I was so irritated with my family. My mom kept talking about the poor Bahai souls who have been imprisoned in Iran. My heart goes out to them, but I still can't help and wonder why? Why has the Bahai community never said a word when a number of teens were executed a few years ago for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Why have I never heard the Bahais utter so much a word in the defence of the LGBT people who have suffered imprisonment, torture and more at the hands of the Ayatollahs. Trust me more, much more, have died for being caught as gay in Iran than the number of Bahais. Yet, the Bahai community is silent. The only time you hear the word gay muttered among Bahais is to remind fellow members that it is wrong and they are being unchaste if they give into it.

  • Pey

    Right Masud. I'm curious for you to answer Steve's question. I deplore the idea of outing anyone because it is wrong. People should be allowed to deal with their sexuality in there own due time. BUT, like I"ve said before, if an individual consistently makes it an issue to belittle what homosexuals go through and downplay the injustices that we face (as you hav done), then it's ALL fair game. So please answer Steve's question if you are comfortable talking about your sexuality and how you deal with your inclinations.

  • Pey

    Right Masud. I'm curious for you to answer Steve's question. I deplore the idea of outing anyone because it is wrong. People should be allowed to deal with their sexuality in there own due time. BUT, like I"ve said before, if an individual consistently makes it an issue to belittle what homosexuals go through and downplay the injustices that we face (as you hav done), then it's ALL fair game. So please answer Steve's question if you are comfortable talking about your sexuality and how you deal with your inclinations.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Farhan, you've just used up 195 words avoiding the question. I have no intention of discussing the restraint aspect until I find out whether my interlocutor thinks their own sexual orientation is intrinsic to them, in the same way other states/conditions, such as the ones I mentioned, are intrinsic to them.

    If you'd like to join in, you have to answer the question given. I promise to talk about restraint once you do that.

    Let me explain why. Perhaps it will help. I'm concerned that state/condition is being conflated with behaviour. You've already used the phrase "orientation drives". I have no idea what you mean by that, and I'd love to ask because it seems to be the ultimate in conflating state and behaviour, but I need to proceed methodically so we're both on the same page. OK?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Farhan, you've just used up 195 words avoiding the question. I have no intention of discussing the restraint aspect until I find out whether my interlocutor thinks their own sexual orientation is intrinsic to them, in the same way other states/conditions, such as the ones I mentioned, are intrinsic to them.

    If you'd like to join in, you have to answer the question given. I promise to talk about restraint once you do that.

    Let me explain why. Perhaps it will help. I'm concerned that state/condition is being conflated with behaviour. You've already used the phrase "orientation drives". I have no idea what you mean by that, and I'd love to ask because it seems to be the ultimate in conflating state and behaviour, but I need to proceed methodically so we're both on the same page. OK?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    You've already used the phrase "orientation drives". I have no idea what you mean by that, and I'd love to ask because it seems to be the ultimate in conflating state and behaviour, but I need to proceed methodically so we're both on the same page. OK?

    Steve, to my understanding, sexual drive can be oriented to diverse sexual behaviours. I do not believe that this orientation is entirely genetic, but only partly so and partly acquired through hormones and experience, and also partly a choice, at least as far as bisexuals are concerned.

    I also believe that through education, our inborn patterns of behaviour can be modified to some extent. We might be genetically predestined to be left handed, overweight or violent, and through adaptation we can modify our behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote :
    You've already used the phrase "orientation drives". I have no idea what you mean by that, and I'd love to ask because it seems to be the ultimate in conflating state and behaviour, but I need to proceed methodically so we're both on the same page. OK?

    Steve, to my understanding, sexual drive can be oriented to diverse sexual behaviours. I do not believe that this orientation is entirely genetic, but only partly so and partly acquired through hormones and experience, and also partly a choice, at least as far as bisexuals are concerned.

    I also believe that through education, our inborn patterns of behaviour can be modified to some extent. We might be genetically predestined to be left handed, overweight or violent, and through adaptation we can modify our behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That's another 84 words, and you still haven't answered my question. Later on I'll consider your answer to the question I said I'd love to ask (in the future) but, as I've said, I need to proceed methodically.

    The question I need to have answered first — so that we're on the same page — is about your sexual orientation and whether it's intrinsic to you in the kingdom of names. Never mind other people. Never mind your theories. This is about you and your sexual identity.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That's another 84 words, and you still haven't answered my question. Later on I'll consider your answer to the question I said I'd love to ask (in the future) but, as I've said, I need to proceed methodically.

    The question I need to have answered first — so that we're on the same page — is about your sexual orientation and whether it's intrinsic to you in the kingdom of names. Never mind other people. Never mind your theories. This is about you and your sexual identity.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • pey

    awesome! I love activism. I'll be doing a little of my own lobbying for the Human Rights Campaign in March. I'll be on Capitol Hill fighting the fight!

  • pey

    awesome! I love activism. I'll be doing a little of my own lobbying for the Human Rights Campaign in March. I'll be on Capitol Hill fighting the fight!

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    The question I need to have answered first — so that we're on the same page — is about your sexual orientation and whether it's intrinsic to you in the kingdom of names. Never mind other people. Never mind your theories. This is about you and your sexual identity. ka kite Steve

    Steve, I have a clear non-gay orientation, but I am aware that at times in my life, my experience might have changed that orientation, and that medication can also modify not only the intensity of my sexual drive, but also its orientation. For example, it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication. I do not consider my sexual drive and orientation as being entirely innate. I am aware that I need self-restraint to comply by social standards, but I am well aware that this might have been more or less difficult for other people, and at certain times in my life.

    As a doctor, I am accustomed to not considering myself as a standard, but as myself as part of variety of human beings.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote:
    The question I need to have answered first — so that we're on the same page — is about your sexual orientation and whether it's intrinsic to you in the kingdom of names. Never mind other people. Never mind your theories. This is about you and your sexual identity. ka kite Steve

    Steve, I have a clear non-gay orientation, but I am aware that at times in my life, my experience might have changed that orientation, and that medication can also modify not only the intensity of my sexual drive, but also its orientation. For example, it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication. I do not consider my sexual drive and orientation as being entirely innate. I am aware that I need self-restraint to comply by social standards, but I am well aware that this might have been more or less difficult for other people, and at certain times in my life.

    As a doctor, I am accustomed to not considering myself as a standard, but as myself as part of variety of human beings.

  • pey

    Thank Daniel. We need more of these stories to humanize what we are saying. Otherwise we are nothing more than "a sexual aberration", a controllable inclination, and so on and so forth….I swear my friends in Canada just shake their head wondering what the hell is wrong with us. They've had gay marriage for years and their society hasn't fallen apart anymore than ours!

  • pey

    Thank Daniel. We need more of these stories to humanize what we are saying. Otherwise we are nothing more than "a sexual aberration", a controllable inclination, and so on and so forth….I swear my friends in Canada just shake their head wondering what the hell is wrong with us. They've had gay marriage for years and their society hasn't fallen apart anymore than ours!

  • pey

    agree that some sexual orientations are exclusively gay, with no possibility for non gay relations, but in many cases it is just a fantasy on which we need to use restraint, as in non gay fantasies.
    ——————-
    Well Farhan, I've yet to have a single fantasy of a woman. Trust me, I've tried. Iv'e stared at Angelina Jolie's hot body, but I seem to still glance over to Brad behind her. The same holds true for the majority of gay people that I know. A very, very small percentage of people are truly bisexual. But the majority are either straight or gay- regardless of what fantasies enter our mind- intrinsically you know who you can be truly intimate with and who you are faking it with. So you like to concentrate on this very small percentage of people who maybe can be conditioned to be perfectly straight and perfectly Bahai, but that still leaves out the majority of us from God's kingdom on earth. You need to go back to the drawing board Farhan…

  • pey

    agree that some sexual orientations are exclusively gay, with no possibility for non gay relations, but in many cases it is just a fantasy on which we need to use restraint, as in non gay fantasies.
    ——————-
    Well Farhan, I've yet to have a single fantasy of a woman. Trust me, I've tried. Iv'e stared at Angelina Jolie's hot body, but I seem to still glance over to Brad behind her. The same holds true for the majority of gay people that I know. A very, very small percentage of people are truly bisexual. But the majority are either straight or gay- regardless of what fantasies enter our mind- intrinsically you know who you can be truly intimate with and who you are faking it with. So you like to concentrate on this very small percentage of people who maybe can be conditioned to be perfectly straight and perfectly Bahai, but that still leaves out the majority of us from God's kingdom on earth. You need to go back to the drawing board Farhan…

  • Pey

    And oh farhan, what hormones pray tell do you speak of? Do you know some secret of making have the hots for Angelina vs. Brad? Please share. (But please don't say I need more testosterone in my blood- I have plenty. All it's done is make me lose my hair, but not much in making me attracted to women).

  • Pey

    And oh farhan, what hormones pray tell do you speak of? Do you know some secret of making have the hots for Angelina vs. Brad? Please share. (But please don't say I need more testosterone in my blood- I have plenty. All it's done is make me lose my hair, but not much in making me attracted to women).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thank you for partially answering my question, but you keep using up lots of words discussing both restraint and levels of sexual drive — which simply gives me the impression that you don't see a problem with conflating issues.

    As for your assertion that "it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication." — I simply can't let that one do without responding.

    You're the doctor, but my quick glance over the literature indicates to me that your example is somewhat false and strengthens my argument, not yours. What happens is that the medication reduces inhibitions and can result in an "impulse control disorder" (ICD). In other words, the patient, who up until then had been resisting or masking their innate propensities, loses their inhibitions and starts acting on impulse. With regard to homosexuality, perhaps it would have been better for these patients not to have lived a lie all their lives? There is no indication that the medicine modifes sexual orientation. Not that you actually said that, but it renders your example pretty useless in the context that you used it.

    Back to your sexual orientation, which is all I asked about. According to you, it is "clearly non-gay" but not entirely innate. Tell me about the non-innate part. "Who would you go gay for?", as we say in this part of the world. Go on, you're amongst friends.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thank you for partially answering my question, but you keep using up lots of words discussing both restraint and levels of sexual drive — which simply gives me the impression that you don't see a problem with conflating issues.

    As for your assertion that "it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication." — I simply can't let that one do without responding.

    You're the doctor, but my quick glance over the literature indicates to me that your example is somewhat false and strengthens my argument, not yours. What happens is that the medication reduces inhibitions and can result in an "impulse control disorder" (ICD). In other words, the patient, who up until then had been resisting or masking their innate propensities, loses their inhibitions and starts acting on impulse. With regard to homosexuality, perhaps it would have been better for these patients not to have lived a lie all their lives? There is no indication that the medicine modifes sexual orientation. Not that you actually said that, but it renders your example pretty useless in the context that you used it.

    Back to your sexual orientation, which is all I asked about. According to you, it is "clearly non-gay" but not entirely innate. Tell me about the non-innate part. "Who would you go gay for?", as we say in this part of the world. Go on, you're amongst friends.

  • Daniel Orey

    The same is for New Orleans / Hurricane Katrina…. where were the Baha'is? Where were the calls to assist from our leadership? It seems we don't have the ability to mobilize and affect change when change is needed.

  • Daniel Orey

    The same is for New Orleans / Hurricane Katrina…. where were the Baha'is? Where were the calls to assist from our leadership? It seems we don't have the ability to mobilize and affect change when change is needed.

  • Daniel Orey

    More info on Mormongate… odd how religious people seem to be lying to the public, and government…

    http://californiansagainsthate.blogspot.com/

  • Daniel Orey

    More info on Mormongate… odd how religious people seem to be lying to the public, and government…

    http://californiansagainsthate.blogspot.com/

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    Tell me about the non-innate part. "Who would you go gay for?", as we say in this part of the world. Go on, you're amongst friends.

    Steve, I would clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation, however, during adolescence and on purely human attraction, I did sometimes feel admiration for some persons and given the circumstances, I can imagine that at that age experience might have led me to gay relations.

    As to medication or surgery of Parkinson’s disorder, what I read on the subject suggests not only a suppression of inhibitions, but also an exacerbation of the sexual drive. And with out suggesting a change in orientation through hormones, there is much indication that of orientation can be modified through hormones.

    To come back to your comparison, I do not believe that sexual orientation and more so behaviour is entirely determined by genes, as in the case of skin colour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote :
    Tell me about the non-innate part. "Who would you go gay for?", as we say in this part of the world. Go on, you're amongst friends.

    Steve, I would clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation, however, during adolescence and on purely human attraction, I did sometimes feel admiration for some persons and given the circumstances, I can imagine that at that age experience might have led me to gay relations.

    As to medication or surgery of Parkinson’s disorder, what I read on the subject suggests not only a suppression of inhibitions, but also an exacerbation of the sexual drive. And with out suggesting a change in orientation through hormones, there is much indication that of orientation can be modified through hormones.

    To come back to your comparison, I do not believe that sexual orientation and more so behaviour is entirely determined by genes, as in the case of skin colour.

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, there is no evidence at all that sexual orientation is changed by hormones. Trials people did using testosterone ramped up the sex drive but did not change orientation. It would be great if you actually cited some evidence……

  • Grover

    Lol Farhan, there is no evidence at all that sexual orientation is changed by hormones. Trials people did using testosterone ramped up the sex drive but did not change orientation. It would be great if you actually cited some evidence……

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "I would clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation, however, during adolescence and on purely human attraction, I did sometimes feel admiration for some persons and given the circumstances, I can imagine that at that age experience might have led me to gay relations."

    Thanks for that explanation. I can see that your orientation has modified over time, although it does sound like you've always been straight. I think Pey is right. Most folks are either gay or straight and are hardly likely to change.

    I've always been slim, small in stature and have always looked younger than my years. That's made me more attractive to gay guys than straight women. And I've hung out with gay guys quite a bit — mainly because I looked after people with an intellectual handicap, then I worked as a librarian. So I've had plenty of opportunity to figure out my orientation and I'm sure I'm straight. Gay sex – sorry, definitely not interested. Straight sex – yes, that is a temptation.

    Given that you "clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation" and given that I've never felt any sexual attraction to a guy despite being in many situations where that was normal, there's a strong indication that our orientation is relatively fixed. My experience of most straight people is that their orientation remains fairly fixed, and I'm happy to accept the assurances of most gay people that their orientation is fairly fixed, too. Who would choose to be gay in this world?

    I agree that the sexual orientation of a few people isn't fixed, but they are a minority.

    So, in many ways, being gay is like being black. In many situations you're perceived as being different and that difference is viewed negatively. Sociologically speaking, both are deviants in situations where there is prejudice against them. Blacks can sometimes pass as whites, they can get by if they "know their place", and they learn to survive by suppressing their blackness in public. I'm sure gays can play those games too.

    —————-

    Originally you said:

    "I have a clear non-gay orientation, but I am aware that at times in my life, my experience might have changed that orientation, and that medication can also modify not only the intensity of my sexual drive, but also its orientation. For example, it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even
    lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication."

    Now you're saying:

    "As to medication or surgery of Parkinson’s disorder, what I read on the subject suggests not only a suppression of inhibitions, but also an exacerbation of the sexual drive."

    It seems to me that you're no longer saying that medication for Parkinsons has an effect on orientation — which leaves me wondering why you cited it as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "I would clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation, however, during adolescence and on purely human attraction, I did sometimes feel admiration for some persons and given the circumstances, I can imagine that at that age experience might have led me to gay relations."

    Thanks for that explanation. I can see that your orientation has modified over time, although it does sound like you've always been straight. I think Pey is right. Most folks are either gay or straight and are hardly likely to change.

    I've always been slim, small in stature and have always looked younger than my years. That's made me more attractive to gay guys than straight women. And I've hung out with gay guys quite a bit — mainly because I looked after people with an intellectual handicap, then I worked as a librarian. So I've had plenty of opportunity to figure out my orientation and I'm sure I'm straight. Gay sex – sorry, definitely not interested. Straight sex – yes, that is a temptation.

    Given that you "clearly feel no attraction, and even repulsion at the idea of a gay relation" and given that I've never felt any sexual attraction to a guy despite being in many situations where that was normal, there's a strong indication that our orientation is relatively fixed. My experience of most straight people is that their orientation remains fairly fixed, and I'm happy to accept the assurances of most gay people that their orientation is fairly fixed, too. Who would choose to be gay in this world?

    I agree that the sexual orientation of a few people isn't fixed, but they are a minority.

    So, in many ways, being gay is like being black. In many situations you're perceived as being different and that difference is viewed negatively. Sociologically speaking, both are deviants in situations where there is prejudice against them. Blacks can sometimes pass as whites, they can get by if they "know their place", and they learn to survive by suppressing their blackness in public. I'm sure gays can play those games too.

    —————-

    Originally you said:

    "I have a clear non-gay orientation, but I am aware that at times in my life, my experience might have changed that orientation, and that medication can also modify not only the intensity of my sexual drive, but also its orientation. For example, it is now established that medication for Parkinson’s disorder can modify sexual drive and even
    lead to penal offences that are now being accepted as a side effect of that medication."

    Now you're saying:

    "As to medication or surgery of Parkinson’s disorder, what I read on the subject suggests not only a suppression of inhibitions, but also an exacerbation of the sexual drive."

    It seems to me that you're no longer saying that medication for Parkinsons has an effect on orientation — which leaves me wondering why you cited it as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    which leaves me wondering why you cited it as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive.

    I was just pointing out how medication can influence our sexuality; I never implied that I had a new drug to straighten out gays.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote:
    which leaves me wondering why you cited it as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive.

    I was just pointing out how medication can influence our sexuality; I never implied that I had a new drug to straighten out gays.

  • pey

    All you just proved Farhan is that people some people are willing to experiment. I tried making out with women and one time getting very close to having sex. Why? Not because of hormones, but because of societal pressures (especifically Bahai pressure to conform). It didn't work. It didn't work for me or countless others who entered fruitless marriages. So you haven't proven anything about orientation being innate or transient. You could have given in to your circumstances farhan and trust me, you would still be a very straight man today. It is how we are wired- just as our skin color, eye color, hair color. Environment has some effect on all of our physical characteristics, but it is primarily genetic. Our sexuality is just one other physical trait of who we are.
    A brown eyed man can wear contacts to turn his eyes blue, he may even be able to fool the world that he is a blue eyed individual, but at the end of the day, he knows he has brown eyes. That's the way God made him.

  • pey

    All you just proved Farhan is that people some people are willing to experiment. I tried making out with women and one time getting very close to having sex. Why? Not because of hormones, but because of societal pressures (especifically Bahai pressure to conform). It didn't work. It didn't work for me or countless others who entered fruitless marriages. So you haven't proven anything about orientation being innate or transient. You could have given in to your circumstances farhan and trust me, you would still be a very straight man today. It is how we are wired- just as our skin color, eye color, hair color. Environment has some effect on all of our physical characteristics, but it is primarily genetic. Our sexuality is just one other physical trait of who we are.
    A brown eyed man can wear contacts to turn his eyes blue, he may even be able to fool the world that he is a blue eyed individual, but at the end of the day, he knows he has brown eyes. That's the way God made him.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    A brown eyed man can wear contacts to turn his eyes blue, he may even be able to fool the world that he is a blue eyed individual, but at the end of the day, he knows he has brown eyes.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, all of you. I don’t think appearance is the right comparison; behaviour is closer: lets say a left handed person learning to use scissors with his right hand, but aware that he is left-handed. I used to have a left handed colleague who would get wild with his scissors, but he was an excellent surgeon and a wonderful person. BTW, I am right handed, but I can do many things, including making swift knot with my left hand: saves me a lot of operating time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    A brown eyed man can wear contacts to turn his eyes blue, he may even be able to fool the world that he is a blue eyed individual, but at the end of the day, he knows he has brown eyes.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, all of you. I don’t think appearance is the right comparison; behaviour is closer: lets say a left handed person learning to use scissors with his right hand, but aware that he is left-handed. I used to have a left handed colleague who would get wild with his scissors, but he was an excellent surgeon and a wonderful person. BTW, I am right handed, but I can do many things, including making swift knot with my left hand: saves me a lot of operating time.

  • Pey

    Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

  • Pey

    Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

    Yes, cleptomania is an ailment, and who know, perhaps related to some genetic dopaminergic addictive behaviour; if I were given the chance, I would try to cure my cleptomania, or at least restrain from it., otherwise, I would sacrifice my left hand.

    Joke appart, Pey, my teleological ethical procedures are related to the best ultimate results, and not to the value laden concerns linked with safeguarding moral values and traditions. I am more intereseted in preventing accidents than defining the sign posts and giving tickets, which is also an unfortunate necessity..

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

    Yes, cleptomania is an ailment, and who know, perhaps related to some genetic dopaminergic addictive behaviour; if I were given the chance, I would try to cure my cleptomania, or at least restrain from it., otherwise, I would sacrifice my left hand.

    Joke appart, Pey, my teleological ethical procedures are related to the best ultimate results, and not to the value laden concerns linked with safeguarding moral values and traditions. I am more intereseted in preventing accidents than defining the sign posts and giving tickets, which is also an unfortunate necessity..

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

    Yes, kleptomania is an ailment, and who know, perhaps related to some genetic dopaminergic addictive behaviour; if I were given the chance, I would try to cure my kleptomania, or at least restrain from it., otherwise, I would sacrifice my left hand.

    Joke apart, Pey, my teleological ethical procedures are related to the best ultimate results, and not to the value laden concerns linked with safeguarding moral values and traditions. I am more interested in preventing accidents than defining the sign posts and giving tickets, which is also an unfortunate necessity.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Right, but if you had to (God forbid) choose between your left hand or your right hand to be cut off because of some ailment let's say, which would you choose?

    Yes, kleptomania is an ailment, and who know, perhaps related to some genetic dopaminergic addictive behaviour; if I were given the chance, I would try to cure my kleptomania, or at least restrain from it., otherwise, I would sacrifice my left hand.

    Joke apart, Pey, my teleological ethical procedures are related to the best ultimate results, and not to the value laden concerns linked with safeguarding moral values and traditions. I am more interested in preventing accidents than defining the sign posts and giving tickets, which is also an unfortunate necessity.

  • pey

    So you are saying then that if you had to choose between sacrificing your left hand or your right, you intrinsically know that you would give up your left hand, why? Because there is no doubt that you are a right handed person, no matter how well you have conditioned yourself to use your left hand for some tasks. Get my drift? If not, let me spell it out for you: no matter how much you try to condition someone to turn straight- it will not happen. Period.

  • pey

    So you are saying then that if you had to choose between sacrificing your left hand or your right, you intrinsically know that you would give up your left hand, why? Because there is no doubt that you are a right handed person, no matter how well you have conditioned yourself to use your left hand for some tasks. Get my drift? If not, let me spell it out for you: no matter how much you try to condition someone to turn straight- it will not happen. Period.

  • Daniel Orey

    Last night aired an absolutely horrifying program on PBS "The Lobotomist"… it was worse than a horror movie, because it was true.

    30-40 yrs ago this treatment was considered standard and a cure for mental ailments, many times for glbt's… if folks want o know why many of us reject the Faith’s view on homosexuality can be cured… this cold, horrifying, self righteous view on right and wrong and the terrible consequences it had on many people is why.

    See; http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lobotomist/program/

  • Daniel Orey

    Last night aired an absolutely horrifying program on PBS "The Lobotomist"… it was worse than a horror movie, because it was true.

    30-40 yrs ago this treatment was considered standard and a cure for mental ailments, many times for glbt's… if folks want o know why many of us reject the Faith’s view on homosexuality can be cured… this cold, horrifying, self righteous view on right and wrong and the terrible consequences it had on many people is why.

    See; http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lobotomist/program/

  • pey

    Yeah Daniel. Hmm and what else was going on in the early decades of the 20th century? Oh yeah, some secretary was writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi telling us that homosexuality is curable with a doctor's help. I wonder if he was thinking of the good ol doc you showed in that link?!

  • pey

    Yeah Daniel. Hmm and what else was going on in the early decades of the 20th century? Oh yeah, some secretary was writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi telling us that homosexuality is curable with a doctor's help. I wonder if he was thinking of the good ol doc you showed in that link?!

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    it is my very deep fear that he was… What non-glbt folks here and in the greater community who believe we can be changed don't understand is that the Guardian was not talking about rubber band therapy. They are talking about doing away with us altogether… either thru sanctions, therapies that do not work, living dishonestly, or in a closet. I can't do that. I am more than happy and proud to be out, honest and respected for my work, university colleagues, non-Baha'i community, neighbors, my husband's family, my colleagues in three or four countries…

    What I still feel, believe, and see is that the current out-moded homophobic based view of the Faith on homosexuality is causing much more harm to the Faith than being open and glbt in it could possibly be.

    I think thru this one issue, the Baha'is are being tested, and found to be wanting… it is sad indeed.

    Blessing to all.

    Daniel

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    it is my very deep fear that he was… What non-glbt folks here and in the greater community who believe we can be changed don't understand is that the Guardian was not talking about rubber band therapy. They are talking about doing away with us altogether… either thru sanctions, therapies that do not work, living dishonestly, or in a closet. I can't do that. I am more than happy and proud to be out, honest and respected for my work, university colleagues, non-Baha'i community, neighbors, my husband's family, my colleagues in three or four countries…

    What I still feel, believe, and see is that the current out-moded homophobic based view of the Faith on homosexuality is causing much more harm to the Faith than being open and glbt in it could possibly be.

    I think thru this one issue, the Baha'is are being tested, and found to be wanting… it is sad indeed.

    Blessing to all.

    Daniel

  • Pey

    What I don't undertand Daniel, is why local Bahai communities do not open up more to LGBT people. If there are liberal Catholic parishes that do it, then why not Bahai communities? Maybe Sonja is right. The UHJ is supposed to be the guard of tradition and in that respect, ultimately conservative. So they will never change. Same as the Papacy. But somehow local Catholics find a way to honor the Pope while still making their communities welcoming to all. Maybe it is because Bahais believe that the UHJ is something more than just our leadership. I think many actually do believe that they are God incarnate, but the Pope is not. But the truth is that in official Catholicism (regardless of what Bahais may believe), the Pope is also divinly guided by God. So the beliefe system among Catholics is exactly the same as the Bahais- an infallible authority figure. But somehow, Catholics have managed to have LGBT groups within some of their parishes WITH the blessings of their local Bishop. Try that out with an auxiliary board member.

  • Pey

    What I don't undertand Daniel, is why local Bahai communities do not open up more to LGBT people. If there are liberal Catholic parishes that do it, then why not Bahai communities? Maybe Sonja is right. The UHJ is supposed to be the guard of tradition and in that respect, ultimately conservative. So they will never change. Same as the Papacy. But somehow local Catholics find a way to honor the Pope while still making their communities welcoming to all. Maybe it is because Bahais believe that the UHJ is something more than just our leadership. I think many actually do believe that they are God incarnate, but the Pope is not. But the truth is that in official Catholicism (regardless of what Bahais may believe), the Pope is also divinly guided by God. So the beliefe system among Catholics is exactly the same as the Bahais- an infallible authority figure. But somehow, Catholics have managed to have LGBT groups within some of their parishes WITH the blessings of their local Bishop. Try that out with an auxiliary board member.

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey –

    What we as glbt's have to do is be better Baha'is, indeed better than the Baha'is that have some wierd need to that judge us…

    I consider myself an isolated believer, in a very hostile country (I am talking about Baha'i land, non-Baha'i land is less hostile). I try as best I can to live the life as prescribed, and go about doing my work as best I can, serving my friends and students in way that the Blessed Beauty asks me to do. I learned that it doesn't take or do I need a Baha'i community to raise children, read, fast, pray, teach, serve others… To my mind our best revenge, indeed example, can be to be better at what we are asked to do than those that judge us.

    Our difficulty as glbt Baha'is is that we are to be judged twice… In so doing, we need be strong, and do our best and contribute to the greater good, and above all make sure we are not our own worst enemies. It is lonely, it is sometimes very sad. I loose my patience frequently (may gawd forgive me), but we have each other in places like this, to support and urge each other to not give up, and ignore the ones who are lost in their own fundamentalist sickness.

    I think these forums are good. Even if some folks say some really dopey things… it is building a foundation… we are learning to teach each others that we are the ones that should also be included at the table.

    hugs – Daniel

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey –

    What we as glbt's have to do is be better Baha'is, indeed better than the Baha'is that have some wierd need to that judge us…

    I consider myself an isolated believer, in a very hostile country (I am talking about Baha'i land, non-Baha'i land is less hostile). I try as best I can to live the life as prescribed, and go about doing my work as best I can, serving my friends and students in way that the Blessed Beauty asks me to do. I learned that it doesn't take or do I need a Baha'i community to raise children, read, fast, pray, teach, serve others… To my mind our best revenge, indeed example, can be to be better at what we are asked to do than those that judge us.

    Our difficulty as glbt Baha'is is that we are to be judged twice… In so doing, we need be strong, and do our best and contribute to the greater good, and above all make sure we are not our own worst enemies. It is lonely, it is sometimes very sad. I loose my patience frequently (may gawd forgive me), but we have each other in places like this, to support and urge each other to not give up, and ignore the ones who are lost in their own fundamentalist sickness.

    I think these forums are good. Even if some folks say some really dopey things… it is building a foundation… we are learning to teach each others that we are the ones that should also be included at the table.

    hugs – Daniel

  • Daniel Orey

    I was wondering anyone know what ever happened about this outrage in Uganda?

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

  • Daniel Orey

    I was wondering anyone know what ever happened about this outrage in Uganda?

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

  • Dan Ware

    Oh, my . . . I'll be going to Uganda in August. I was really looking forward to my first visit to the Baha'i Temple there, and it is even on my gay group's tour itinerary. I might just have to reconsider that stop for the group, but I'll go incognito for private prayer on my own.

  • Dan Ware

    Oh, my . . . I'll be going to Uganda in August. I was really looking forward to my first visit to the Baha'i Temple there, and it is even on my gay group's tour itinerary. I might just have to reconsider that stop for the group, but I'll go incognito for private prayer on my own.

  • Danel Orey

    research it, perhaps this was resolved

  • Danel Orey

    research it, perhaps this was resolved

  • Daniel Orey

    on second thought, why change the itinerary? you can ask the guides about the rumor… I believe Sonja would encourage direct and honest confrontation

  • Daniel Orey

    on second thought, why change the itinerary? you can ask the guides about the rumor… I believe Sonja would encourage direct and honest confrontation

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    And I never accused you of implying that you had a new drug to straighten out gays. Please respond to what I actually said. Otherwise you sound like a politician with something to hide.

    I know, I should be more polite.But I know you're capable of engaging in open discussion and this obfuscation is beneath you.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    And I never accused you of implying that you had a new drug to straighten out gays. Please respond to what I actually said. Otherwise you sound like a politician with something to hide.

    I know, I should be more polite.But I know you're capable of engaging in open discussion and this obfuscation is beneath you.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    let me spell it out for you: no matter how much you try to condition someone to turn straight- it will not happen. Period.

    Well this is not entirely true; when we have right handed patients with an injury of the right hand undergo a long treatment, they learn how to use their left hand. If the treatment is long, they are sometimes even unable to switch back to the right hand and continue to use their left hand dominantly.

    Adaptation is an outstanding faculty of the human being; it is one of our major capacities as compared to other animals where usually adaptation essentially takes place by natural selection through successive generations.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    let me spell it out for you: no matter how much you try to condition someone to turn straight- it will not happen. Period.

    Well this is not entirely true; when we have right handed patients with an injury of the right hand undergo a long treatment, they learn how to use their left hand. If the treatment is long, they are sometimes even unable to switch back to the right hand and continue to use their left hand dominantly.

    Adaptation is an outstanding faculty of the human being; it is one of our major capacities as compared to other animals where usually adaptation essentially takes place by natural selection through successive generations.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    Maybe Sonja is right. The UHJ is supposed to be the guard of tradition and in that respect, ultimately conservative. So they will never change.

    I disagree, Pey ; the UHJ can adapt the application of the teachings to the needs of each day and age as Shoghi Effendi says in the World Order of Baha'u'llah, p 23:
    “Such is the immutability of His revealed Word. Such is the elasticity which characterises 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.”

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    Maybe Sonja is right. The UHJ is supposed to be the guard of tradition and in that respect, ultimately conservative. So they will never change.

    I disagree, Pey ; the UHJ can adapt the application of the teachings to the needs of each day and age as Shoghi Effendi says in the World Order of Baha'u'llah, p 23:
    “Such is the immutability of His revealed Word. Such is the elasticity which characterises the functions of His appointed ministers. The first preserves the identity of His Faith, and guards the integrity of His law. The second enables it, even as a living organism, to expand and adapt itself to the needs and requirements of an ever-changing society.”

  • farhan

    Daniel wrote:
    I try as best I can to live the life as prescribed, and go about doing my work as best I can, serving my friends and students in way that the Blessed Beauty asks me to do

    I strongly commend you for this attitude, Daniel; For the moment, if a person whose way of life is persistently outside the scope of the teachings is liable to lose voting rights, he is to be welcomed in many other activities: praying in the temples, holding fire sides, study circles, children’s classes, devotional meetings, reflection meetings, etc; if membership to LSAs and participation in 19 day feasts is excluded, there can be misunderstanding on the part of some prudish Baha’is, since there is absolutely no directive against the participation of GLTB in other activities.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Daniel wrote:
    I try as best I can to live the life as prescribed, and go about doing my work as best I can, serving my friends and students in way that the Blessed Beauty asks me to do

    I strongly commend you for this attitude, Daniel; For the moment, if a person whose way of life is persistently outside the scope of the teachings is liable to lose voting rights, he is to be welcomed in many other activities: praying in the temples, holding fire sides, study circles, children’s classes, devotional meetings, reflection meetings, etc; if membership to LSAs and participation in 19 day feasts is excluded, there can be misunderstanding on the part of some prudish Baha’is, since there is absolutely no directive against the participation of GLTB in other activities.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    But I know you're capable of engaging in open discussion and this obfuscation is beneath you.

    There is no obfuscation Steve; I am openly saying that I have no medication in view for changing orientation, but we know that hormone levels can influence orientation before birth, and after. So it is not entirely a matter of genetics; if you have further questions, I will readily reply.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote :
    But I know you're capable of engaging in open discussion and this obfuscation is beneath you.

    There is no obfuscation Steve; I am openly saying that I have no medication in view for changing orientation, but we know that hormone levels can influence orientation before birth, and after. So it is not entirely a matter of genetics; if you have further questions, I will readily reply.

  • pey

    I hope you are right. But I don't see it presently.

  • pey

    I hope you are right. But I don't see it presently.

  • pey

    Well you are welcome as long as you don't rock the boat. As long as you don't tell other Bahais that the "teaching" against homosexuality is not from Bahaullah. And as long as you don't try to save any more gay youth from the trauma inlficted on them by the words of secretaries writting on behalf of the UHJ or Shoghi Effendi. Show me a community that is so welcoming farhan? I have yet to see one. According to Sonja her home is one. That's all I know of right now.

  • pey

    Well you are welcome as long as you don't rock the boat. As long as you don't tell other Bahais that the "teaching" against homosexuality is not from Bahaullah. And as long as you don't try to save any more gay youth from the trauma inlficted on them by the words of secretaries writting on behalf of the UHJ or Shoghi Effendi. Show me a community that is so welcoming farhan? I have yet to see one. According to Sonja her home is one. That's all I know of right now.

  • Pey

    But IF, you have the choice of using either your right or left, and God has intrinsically given you the right hand to use for everything, which would you choose? Your left, just for the challenge? Or maybe if a secretary had written that left handed people are God's people, then I guess because you are sucha good Bahai, you would get rid of your right hand to follow the "teachings". Sorry, but Bahaullah's Faith is not this type of fanaticism. Not to me anyway.

  • Pey

    But IF, you have the choice of using either your right or left, and God has intrinsically given you the right hand to use for everything, which would you choose? Your left, just for the challenge? Or maybe if a secretary had written that left handed people are God's people, then I guess because you are sucha good Bahai, you would get rid of your right hand to follow the "teachings". Sorry, but Bahaullah's Faith is not this type of fanaticism. Not to me anyway.

  • pey

    what hormones farhan? hormones can give you physical features like hair on your face or breasts. I have a trans friend she is tranistioning to be a woman. And yes she is taking hormones to help her do that. But guess what? It is NOT affecting her intrinsic sexuality. She is primarily attracted to woman- so she is truly a lesbian. She does not feel the same physical intensity towards men that she feels when she sees a beautiful woman. So for her, the hormones are a way to make her body appear the way she sees herself- as a woman. But it does absolutely nothing to change the attraction that she has for women.

  • pey

    what hormones farhan? hormones can give you physical features like hair on your face or breasts. I have a trans friend she is tranistioning to be a woman. And yes she is taking hormones to help her do that. But guess what? It is NOT affecting her intrinsic sexuality. She is primarily attracted to woman- so she is truly a lesbian. She does not feel the same physical intensity towards men that she feels when she sees a beautiful woman. So for her, the hormones are a way to make her body appear the way she sees herself- as a woman. But it does absolutely nothing to change the attraction that she has for women.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Well you are welcome as long as you don't rock the boat. As long as you don't tell other Bahais that the "teaching" against homosexuality is not from Bahaullah.

    I agree here Pey; You are welcome to play football with a team, as long as you don’t stop in the middle of the match and say “wait a minute, those rules are not right: you should change them”, or if in the middle of a philharmonic orchestra you stop the maestro and say: “..hey, wait a minute there, that is not how Beethoven intended to have it played”.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    Well you are welcome as long as you don't rock the boat. As long as you don't tell other Bahais that the "teaching" against homosexuality is not from Bahaullah.

    I agree here Pey; You are welcome to play football with a team, as long as you don’t stop in the middle of the match and say “wait a minute, those rules are not right: you should change them”, or if in the middle of a philharmonic orchestra you stop the maestro and say: “..hey, wait a minute there, that is not how Beethoven intended to have it played”.

  • Dan Ware

    This is probably the best approach, rather than being ashamed and trying to hide the fact that my religion is capable of persecution in its own way.

  • Dan Ware

    This is probably the best approach, rather than being ashamed and trying to hide the fact that my religion is capable of persecution in its own way.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    I have a trans friend she is tranistioning to be a woman.

    Pey, you know a case where hormones have no effect, and you presume that they have no effect on orientation; I know other cases where hormones do have an effect on orientation. This proves that we cannot generalise on individual cases, but after prospective studies we can make assumptions, and then again as in the horror cases of lobotomies, we so often realise that science was wrong in making those assumptions. I would be jeered at if I referred to things I learnt as a medic student and which would have eliminated me from studies if I had not referred to in exams.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    I have a trans friend she is tranistioning to be a woman.

    Pey, you know a case where hormones have no effect, and you presume that they have no effect on orientation; I know other cases where hormones do have an effect on orientation. This proves that we cannot generalise on individual cases, but after prospective studies we can make assumptions, and then again as in the horror cases of lobotomies, we so often realise that science was wrong in making those assumptions. I would be jeered at if I referred to things I learnt as a medic student and which would have eliminated me from studies if I had not referred to in exams.

  • farhan

    Pey, here is what seems to me a very good summary of the present “state of science” in regards with factors that influence sexual orientation:

    http://borngay.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questio

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, here is what seems to me a very good summary of the present “state of science” in regards with factors that influence sexual orientation:

    http://borngay.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questio

  • Daniel Orey

    Thanks Farhan, I appreciate being welcomed at your firesides… but it is just not the same in my part of the world… and if I can't share the news of my husband my work, our son, etc… what would be the point of sitting quietly next to those that talk freely about themselves, their friends, activities and children? Baha'is here have joined the fundamentalist, republican right-wing agenda here… and frankly they just scare me. Just warming a seat isn't my idea of spirituality, unless it is a bicycle seat on a long ride in the country away from these people. Thanks for the invite tho!

  • Daniel Orey

    Thanks Farhan, I appreciate being welcomed at your firesides… but it is just not the same in my part of the world… and if I can't share the news of my husband my work, our son, etc… what would be the point of sitting quietly next to those that talk freely about themselves, their friends, activities and children? Baha'is here have joined the fundamentalist, republican right-wing agenda here… and frankly they just scare me. Just warming a seat isn't my idea of spirituality, unless it is a bicycle seat on a long ride in the country away from these people. Thanks for the invite tho!

  • Daniel Orey

    hmmm… I am tempted to make a joke about hand jobs here… but essentially agree with Pey…something as deep seated as homosecxuality IS like the treatment the long treatment (I will avoid the Freudian opportunity there as well)… this to my mind is like the lobotomy treatments in the last century… the cure is far worse than the diss-ease you seek to cure.

  • Daniel Orey

    hmmm… I am tempted to make a joke about hand jobs here… but essentially agree with Pey…something as deep seated as homosecxuality IS like the treatment the long treatment (I will avoid the Freudian opportunity there as well)… this to my mind is like the lobotomy treatments in the last century… the cure is far worse than the diss-ease you seek to cure.

  • farhan

    Daniel wrote:
    what would be the point of sitting quietly next to those that talk freely about themselves, their friends, activities and children?

    Daniel, who talks about sitting quietly? If the Baha’i community mingled with people like you, I am sure that new horizons could be opened to them. It is not because someone is not enrolled in administrative activities that other activities are no longer open. Do you feel that more activities are open to gay couples in other congregations?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Daniel wrote:
    what would be the point of sitting quietly next to those that talk freely about themselves, their friends, activities and children?

    Daniel, who talks about sitting quietly? If the Baha’i community mingled with people like you, I am sure that new horizons could be opened to them. It is not because someone is not enrolled in administrative activities that other activities are no longer open. Do you feel that more activities are open to gay couples in other congregations?

  • pey

    Yeah. My mind was going in the direciton of such a joke too. :) But trying to keep serious. And in all seriousness, if you gave any right-handed person the option of which hand to cut off, no fool would say cut my right hand off. No matter how much you have "conitioned" your left hand. Come to think of it, decades ago, about the same time that the Guardian's secretary was writing, left-handed kids in school were also being forced to write with their right hand. Tell me Farhan, how succesful was that? And was it morrally correct? Did the majority of those kids become right-handed or did they revert back to using their left hand?

  • pey

    Yeah. My mind was going in the direciton of such a joke too. :) But trying to keep serious. And in all seriousness, if you gave any right-handed person the option of which hand to cut off, no fool would say cut my right hand off. No matter how much you have "conitioned" your left hand. Come to think of it, decades ago, about the same time that the Guardian's secretary was writing, left-handed kids in school were also being forced to write with their right hand. Tell me Farhan, how succesful was that? And was it morrally correct? Did the majority of those kids become right-handed or did they revert back to using their left hand?

  • Daniel Orey

    Indeed I do… the two local gay papers each have 4 or 5 adds from inclusive Christian and Jewish congregations inviting people to come worship. Many of my friends have been married by Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran pastors… my husband is Catholic, and even tho his Mother gave us permission to marry, my parents (Presbyterian) would not, so we had a Catholic priest bless us and our friends (using water we brought back from a holy spring on Mt. Shasta) after our wedding in the City Hall in August. Everyone I know, knows I am Baha'i and that the Baha'is do not accept glbt's… many knew this before I told then the story.

  • Daniel Orey

    Indeed I do… the two local gay papers each have 4 or 5 adds from inclusive Christian and Jewish congregations inviting people to come worship. Many of my friends have been married by Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran pastors… my husband is Catholic, and even tho his Mother gave us permission to marry, my parents (Presbyterian) would not, so we had a Catholic priest bless us and our friends (using water we brought back from a holy spring on Mt. Shasta) after our wedding in the City Hall in August. Everyone I know, knows I am Baha'i and that the Baha'is do not accept glbt's… many knew this before I told then the story.

  • pey

    Ok well at least you finally cited something. But what you cited speaks about pre-natal hormonal imbalance. That I actually agree with. I think there is possibility that linked with genetics, a hormonal change in the mother and fetus could triger one's sexuality. But that holds true just as much for one's heterosexuality. But as a 'treatment' in adults? Hardly. There is no such thing. So what do we make of what you have now proposed Farhan? Do we start messing with fetuses to make sure they come out straight? What if such treatment would cause a fetus miscarry? Which is the greatest sin? You've just opened up a WHOLE new can of worms with me.

  • pey

    Ok well at least you finally cited something. But what you cited speaks about pre-natal hormonal imbalance. That I actually agree with. I think there is possibility that linked with genetics, a hormonal change in the mother and fetus could triger one's sexuality. But that holds true just as much for one's heterosexuality. But as a 'treatment' in adults? Hardly. There is no such thing. So what do we make of what you have now proposed Farhan? Do we start messing with fetuses to make sure they come out straight? What if such treatment would cause a fetus miscarry? Which is the greatest sin? You've just opened up a WHOLE new can of worms with me.

  • pey

    Well if the rules were set up in a way to benefit only certain members of the team because they have let's say blue eyes vs. brown, then yes I would stop and say "wait a minute". Even in the middle of a football match- you should call out an injustice. Then maybe those he make the rules will get off their butts and honestly address the issue. Instead of letting secretaries write on their behalf. :o)

  • pey

    Well if the rules were set up in a way to benefit only certain members of the team because they have let's say blue eyes vs. brown, then yes I would stop and say "wait a minute". Even in the middle of a football match- you should call out an injustice. Then maybe those he make the rules will get off their butts and honestly address the issue. Instead of letting secretaries write on their behalf. :o)

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    So what do we make of what you have now proposed Farhan?

    Pey, I have already explained that I am not proposing a treatment for changing orientation, but merely pointing out that orientation is not entirely genetic, but can be influenced not only by hormone levels during gestation, but also by hormone levels later on in life.

    Hence all scientists do not share the idea that orientation is entirely genetic or entirely inborn.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    So what do we make of what you have now proposed Farhan?

    Pey, I have already explained that I am not proposing a treatment for changing orientation, but merely pointing out that orientation is not entirely genetic, but can be influenced not only by hormone levels during gestation, but also by hormone levels later on in life.

    Hence all scientists do not share the idea that orientation is entirely genetic or entirely inborn.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:

    "Besides, the only solution to providing an outlet would be to instate gay marriages; then what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    This cuts both ways. If what you said is valid, then it's just as problematic to have straight marriages because "what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    The problem I've seen within the Baha'i community is gay guys entering into straight marriages and not being able to continue living a lie. And that isn't about orientations changing. That's about trying to fit into a straight world. That's about attempted changes in orientation failing. In contrast, I've not heard of anyone in the Baha'i community genuinely going through an orientation change.

    And "instating gay marriages" is most definitely not the only solution. You should know that by now. You've been told of the alternative solutions often enough.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:

    "Besides, the only solution to providing an outlet would be to instate gay marriages; then what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    This cuts both ways. If what you said is valid, then it's just as problematic to have straight marriages because "what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    The problem I've seen within the Baha'i community is gay guys entering into straight marriages and not being able to continue living a lie. And that isn't about orientations changing. That's about trying to fit into a straight world. That's about attempted changes in orientation failing. In contrast, I've not heard of anyone in the Baha'i community genuinely going through an orientation change.

    And "instating gay marriages" is most definitely not the only solution. You should know that by now. You've been told of the alternative solutions often enough.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    it's just as problematic to have straight marriages because "what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    The teachings are clear here: sexuality within wedlock and fidelity, divorce being discouraged.

    Steve wrote: The problem I've seen within the Baha'i community is gay guys entering into straight marriages and not being able to continue living a lie.

    I have seen unhappy marriages and people work their way through the crisis or divorce.

    Steve wrote: And "instating gay marriages" is most definitely not the only solution. You should know that by now. You've been told of the alternative solutions often enough.

    I don’t see how we can be liberal about gay relations outside marriage, and not liberal about non-gay relations, without being unfair to non-gays, unless we decided that chastity was an outdated concept. Please explain what solution you suggest.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote :
    it's just as problematic to have straight marriages because "what will we do when orientations change later in life?"

    The teachings are clear here: sexuality within wedlock and fidelity, divorce being discouraged.

    Steve wrote: The problem I've seen within the Baha'i community is gay guys entering into straight marriages and not being able to continue living a lie.

    I have seen unhappy marriages and people work their way through the crisis or divorce.

    Steve wrote: And "instating gay marriages" is most definitely not the only solution. You should know that by now. You've been told of the alternative solutions often enough.

    I don’t see how we can be liberal about gay relations outside marriage, and not liberal about non-gay relations, without being unfair to non-gays, unless we decided that chastity was an outdated concept. Please explain what solution you suggest.

  • Craig Parke

    Wow! The loveless Republican broomstickified Faith! Who would have ever thought it would have ever come to this? I certainly didn't. In the high energy Hey Day the Baha'i Faith was full of free thinkers. Many people were Sufi or Buddhist in their core spiritual beliefs but saw the Faith as a practical path for dealing with world problems. Not now. these people have a long way to go to get to any kind of personal spirituality where truly profound cosmic things start to happen all around you on the path of your life.

    What can anyone here make of this strange mental state?

    http://www.bci.org/bibap/currentbulletin.html

    Here is a little bon mot from "THE GUIDANCE":

    Q. When is a home visit not a home visit?

    A. When it's a social call.

    "If a home visit, to take another example, is defined in the courses as an
    opportunity to enter into a deep conversation on spiritual matters, then it
    should not be reduced to a mere social call in which the Faith may not even
    be mentioned."
    (Universal House of Justice 18 Aug 2005)

    Wow! If you visit someone and don't do that "deep conversation" at a sufficient graded level of "deepness" I guess you can now be reported for crimes against the ITC and have a file opened on you.

    The Faith has gone completely off the rails. Just unbelievably mentally ill people. These people on the ITC need to lighten up. They are grim. And they are endless in their somber work. They have to check the reports with their pie charts too much. they should do this instead at one of their somber and grievous meetings amid the endless Power Point presentations.

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

  • Craig Parke

    Wow! The loveless Republican broomstickified Faith! Who would have ever thought it would have ever come to this? I certainly didn't. In the high energy Hey Day the Baha'i Faith was full of free thinkers. Many people were Sufi or Buddhist in their core spiritual beliefs but saw the Faith as a practical path for dealing with world problems. Not now. these people have a long way to go to get to any kind of personal spirituality where truly profound cosmic things start to happen all around you on the path of your life.

    What can anyone here make of this strange mental state?

    http://www.bci.org/bibap/currentbulletin.html

    Here is a little bon mot from "THE GUIDANCE":

    Q. When is a home visit not a home visit?

    A. When it's a social call.

    "If a home visit, to take another example, is defined in the courses as an
    opportunity to enter into a deep conversation on spiritual matters, then it
    should not be reduced to a mere social call in which the Faith may not even
    be mentioned."
    (Universal House of Justice 18 Aug 2005)

    Wow! If you visit someone and don't do that "deep conversation" at a sufficient graded level of "deepness" I guess you can now be reported for crimes against the ITC and have a file opened on you.

    The Faith has gone completely off the rails. Just unbelievably mentally ill people. These people on the ITC need to lighten up. They are grim. And they are endless in their somber work. They have to check the reports with their pie charts too much. they should do this instead at one of their somber and grievous meetings amid the endless Power Point presentations.

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

  • pey

    In my friend's catholic parish they have an LGBT group with the blessings fo the local Bishop- as I have mentioned before. The other reason this group exists is because the lay person who helps coordinate the various groups within the church (LGBT is just one of them; there are also groups for mothers with infants, single people, etc.) happens to also be a lesbian. So this lesbian in a Catholic parish has a signficant role in running the church without anyone pointing a finger at her and telling her that she unnatural, has a sexual aberration etc and needs to get therapy to overcome her sexuality. Now watch, Farhan will return with "well she still can't become a Priest so it's the exact same thing on not serving on an LSA". Hardly Farhan. She is actually helping run the community- a community that accepts her and loves her as she is. The Bahais are a LONG way away from this (well except Sonja's household). Why? Because most Bahais, like you, can't breathe without waiting for the UHJ to tell you to breathe. The catholics I know respect the Pope, but they aren't so fundamentalist in their views. I just wish there was a balance among the Bahais of the same.

  • pey

    In my friend's catholic parish they have an LGBT group with the blessings fo the local Bishop- as I have mentioned before. The other reason this group exists is because the lay person who helps coordinate the various groups within the church (LGBT is just one of them; there are also groups for mothers with infants, single people, etc.) happens to also be a lesbian. So this lesbian in a Catholic parish has a signficant role in running the church without anyone pointing a finger at her and telling her that she unnatural, has a sexual aberration etc and needs to get therapy to overcome her sexuality. Now watch, Farhan will return with "well she still can't become a Priest so it's the exact same thing on not serving on an LSA". Hardly Farhan. She is actually helping run the community- a community that accepts her and loves her as she is. The Bahais are a LONG way away from this (well except Sonja's household). Why? Because most Bahais, like you, can't breathe without waiting for the UHJ to tell you to breathe. The catholics I know respect the Pope, but they aren't so fundamentalist in their views. I just wish there was a balance among the Bahais of the same.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The teachings are not clear, because Baha'u'llah was around prior to the modern concept of homosexuality. Besides, the teachings have no bearing on whether alleged changing orientations, whether hetero to homo or vice versa are going to be problematic.

    You write:
    "Please explain what solution you suggest."

    There are many, but I quite like the solution P wrote about, the last you started talking about "gay marriage" as if it was only solution:

    "Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won't expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE's business. Just like it is no one's business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah's fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom…"
    P's solution.

    That solution ticks just as many boxes as your solution – it's just that some of the boxes are different:

    What is the Bahá’í attitude towards homosexuality?
    "Bahá’í law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Bahá’ís do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. While requiring uprightness in all matters of morality, whether sexual or otherwise, the Bahá’í teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. In this context, to regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahá’í teachings."
    The Baha'is – website of the BIC

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The teachings are not clear, because Baha'u'llah was around prior to the modern concept of homosexuality. Besides, the teachings have no bearing on whether alleged changing orientations, whether hetero to homo or vice versa are going to be problematic.

    You write:
    "Please explain what solution you suggest."

    There are many, but I quite like the solution P wrote about, the last you started talking about "gay marriage" as if it was only solution:

    "Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won't expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE's business. Just like it is no one's business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah's fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom…"
    P's solution.

    That solution ticks just as many boxes as your solution – it's just that some of the boxes are different:

    What is the Bahá’í attitude towards homosexuality?
    "Bahá’í law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Bahá’ís do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. While requiring uprightness in all matters of morality, whether sexual or otherwise, the Bahá’í teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. In this context, to regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahá’í teachings."
    The Baha'is – website of the BIC

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Dan,

    It's still simmering. Last I heard, President Obama got dragged in because of a "two degrees of separation" situation. It seems that Rick Warren — the guy who gave his inauguration invocation — works closely with Martin Ssempa, a key figure in the Interfaith Coalition Against Homosexuality.

    Sample source:Obama's First Gift to Africa: Rick Warren

    Gotta love the desperate denial from World Citizen in the comments area. :-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Dan,

    It's still simmering. Last I heard, President Obama got dragged in because of a "two degrees of separation" situation. It seems that Rick Warren — the guy who gave his inauguration invocation — works closely with Martin Ssempa, a key figure in the Interfaith Coalition Against Homosexuality.

    Sample source:Obama's First Gift to Africa: Rick Warren

    Gotta love the desperate denial from World Citizen in the comments area. :-)

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Daniel,

    It's still simmering. Last I heard, President Obama got dragged in because of a "two degrees of separation" situation. It seems that Rick Warren — the guy who gave his inauguration invocation — works closely with Martin Ssempa, a key figure in the Interfaith Coalition Against Homosexuality.

    Sample source:Obama's First Gift to Africa: Rick Warren

    Gotta love the desperate denial from World Citizen in the comments area. :-)

    Dan, you should definitely ask the guides about the situation and it wouldn't hurt to point out that even conservatives like World Citizen can't believe it's happening.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Daniel,

    It's still simmering. Last I heard, President Obama got dragged in because of a "two degrees of separation" situation. It seems that Rick Warren — the guy who gave his inauguration invocation — works closely with Martin Ssempa, a key figure in the Interfaith Coalition Against Homosexuality.

    Sample source:Obama's First Gift to Africa: Rick Warren

    Gotta love the desperate denial from World Citizen in the comments area. :-)

    Dan, you should definitely ask the guides about the situation and it wouldn't hurt to point out that even conservatives like World Citizen can't believe it's happening.

  • Dan Ware

    OMG, if this weren't so tragic I'd be ROTFLMAO. I read the bulletin you posted, and can't believe this is the same religion I joined in 1970! What happened while I've been away? If this represents what it is like to be a Baha'i today, I'm so glad to be free of it (the organized part). Thank you for sharing this!

  • Dan Ware

    OMG, if this weren't so tragic I'd be ROTFLMAO. I read the bulletin you posted, and can't believe this is the same religion I joined in 1970! What happened while I've been away? If this represents what it is like to be a Baha'i today, I'm so glad to be free of it (the organized part). Thank you for sharing this!

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The teachings are not clear, because Baha'u'llah was around prior to the modern concept of homosexuality. Besides, the teachings have no bearing on whether alleged changing orientations, whether hetero to homo or vice versa are going to be problematic.

    You write:
    "Please explain what solution you suggest."

    There are many, but I quite like the solution P provided when you recently started talking about "gay marriage" as if it was only solution:

    "Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won't expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE's business. Just like it is no one's business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah's fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom…"
    P's solution.

    That solution ticks just as many boxes as your solution – it's just that some of the boxes are different:

    What is the Bahá’í attitude towards homosexuality?
    "Bahá’í law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Bahá’ís do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. While requiring uprightness in all matters of morality, whether sexual or otherwise, the Bahá’í teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. In this context, to regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahá’í teachings."
    The Baha'is – website of the BIC

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The teachings are not clear, because Baha'u'llah was around prior to the modern concept of homosexuality. Besides, the teachings have no bearing on whether alleged changing orientations, whether hetero to homo or vice versa are going to be problematic.

    You write:
    "Please explain what solution you suggest."

    There are many, but I quite like the solution P provided when you recently started talking about "gay marriage" as if it was only solution:

    "Again you bring up gay marriage Farhan. I never said that. What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste. And God forbid, no asking them to break up and destroy their family for Bahaullah. In return, this couple promises they won't expose themselves in front of everyone, perofrm homosexual acts on the internet for the world to see or do anything else that might give concrete evidence for removal of rights. Basically they will keep their sex lives to themselves in the privacy of their bedroom. What goes on in there is NO ONE's business. Just like it is no one's business what a heterosexual couple living in Bahaullah's fortress of well-being are doing in their bedroom…"
    P's solution.

    That solution ticks just as many boxes as your solution – it's just that some of the boxes are different:

    What is the Bahá’í attitude towards homosexuality?
    "Bahá’í law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Bahá’ís do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. While requiring uprightness in all matters of morality, whether sexual or otherwise, the Bahá’í teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. In this context, to regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahá’í teachings."
    The Baha'is – website of the BIC

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:

    What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste.

    Steve, I get this point, but what I do not understand, is your position towards chastity for non-gays. If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    If you were an LSA member having condoned a gay family, what would you say if an unmarried non-gay couple announced arrived at the meeting saying that they loved each other, that they felt repulsion at the idea of gay relations, but unable to convince their parents, they had decided not to marry, but just to live happily together?

    Please reply to this question that I have been repeating for some 18 months.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote:

    What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste.

    Steve, I get this point, but what I do not understand, is your position towards chastity for non-gays. If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    If you were an LSA member having condoned a gay family, what would you say if an unmarried non-gay couple announced arrived at the meeting saying that they loved each other, that they felt repulsion at the idea of gay relations, but unable to convince their parents, they had decided not to marry, but just to live happily together?

    Please reply to this question that I have been repeating for some 18 months.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste.

    Steve, I get this point, but what I do not understand, is your position towards chastity for non-gays. If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    If you were an LSA member having condoned a gay family, what would you say if an unmarried non-gay couple arrived at the meeting saying that they loved each other, that they felt repulsion at the idea of gay relations, but unable to convince their parents, they had decided not to marry, but just to live happily together?

    Please reply to this question that I have been repeating for some 18 months.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote:
    What I said is if two men come into the community, say they are gay and living together, introduce their kids etc.- the community just accepts them. No votin rights removed. No pointing to letter from secretaries telling them they are unchaste.

    Steve, I get this point, but what I do not understand, is your position towards chastity for non-gays. If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    If you were an LSA member having condoned a gay family, what would you say if an unmarried non-gay couple arrived at the meeting saying that they loved each other, that they felt repulsion at the idea of gay relations, but unable to convince their parents, they had decided not to marry, but just to live happily together?

    Please reply to this question that I have been repeating for some 18 months.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Then readily reply to this:

    Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Then readily reply to this:

    Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Craig,

    You wrote:
    "What can anyone here make of this strange mental state?"

    What I make of it is that the folks promoting this stuff are deadly serious about bringing about "a change of culture". The Ruhi institute process is about re-education. It's about re-engineering the Baha'is and their communities. Those who pay lip-service to the program are going to get left behind.

    Yes, it's a strange mental state we're seeing, but it has its own internal logic that's worth exploring. The Baha'is are heading towards cult status just as fast as the programme is able to take them, and it will pay to know just where they're at, if any are to be helped.

    There are endless opportunities to laugh at the excesses of the programme. I've temporarily given up on doing satire because my readers find straight reporting so much funnier. But what we're witnessing is very serious. Not Pol Pot serious, but equally misguided. The Baha'i Faith is being turned into the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Apologies to any JWs out there.)

    ka kite
    Steve
    (Still a BIGS)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Craig,

    You wrote:
    "What can anyone here make of this strange mental state?"

    What I make of it is that the folks promoting this stuff are deadly serious about bringing about "a change of culture". The Ruhi institute process is about re-education. It's about re-engineering the Baha'is and their communities. Those who pay lip-service to the program are going to get left behind.

    Yes, it's a strange mental state we're seeing, but it has its own internal logic that's worth exploring. The Baha'is are heading towards cult status just as fast as the programme is able to take them, and it will pay to know just where they're at, if any are to be helped.

    There are endless opportunities to laugh at the excesses of the programme. I've temporarily given up on doing satire because my readers find straight reporting so much funnier. But what we're witnessing is very serious. Not Pol Pot serious, but equally misguided. The Baha'i Faith is being turned into the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Apologies to any JWs out there.)

    ka kite
    Steve
    (Still a BIGS)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    P wrote the words you attribute to me, but i'm happy to own them.

    I don't know what happens in your Baha'i community, but if a straight couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, it will probably be assumed that they are already married or in a civil union. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably be encouraged to get married or enter into a civil union.

    Now, if a gay couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, I'm not sure what would happen. However, but I'm guessing the response would be different. It will probably not be assumed that they are in a civil union, even though it's just as likely as it would be with the straight couple. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably not be encouraged to enter into a civil union.

    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple. The only barrier is that the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no blatant sexual activity or cohabiting outside of heterosexual marriage. Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    Yes, chaste.

    My position is that it is important for all Baha'is to try to be chaste in all that they do. Chastity is much more encompassing than being about sexual behaviour, but if we are going to focus on sexual behaviour, then part of the reason for practising restraint is to achieve a long-term, stable, fulfilling relationship. Whether you're gay or straight, single or a couple, what's the problem if you're working towards that?

    So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    There are precedents. The Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no polygamy, yet if a man with two wives joins the Baha'i community in a country where polygamy is legal, then the polygamous relationship is accepted. Similarly, the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that the purpose of marriage is procreation, but if a two people in their fertile years get married, yet have no children of their own (like Alison and me) the AO doesn't poke its nose in. In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles and necessary transitions involved.

    I'm now at a point where I can answer your other question, which is:

    "If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married. Particularly when it can be seen that they are ready for marriage.

    Frankly, you'll have to ask P because I live in a country where gays and straights can enter into a civil union just like marriage, so I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay. For me, unless one of the gays was a signed-up Baha'i before entering into a civil union, the problem wouldn't arise.

    I suspect we're wandering down a path of partial solutions because the question hasn't been framed properly.

    First, I would turn your question around and ask, "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple? And where the state does give equal recognition, why can't the Baha'i administration be equally non-discriminatory?"

    Second, forcing anyone to do something misses the point. Straights and gays ideally would want to use restraint, be chaste and work towards a long-term, nurturing, monogamous relationship. The laws are meant to be an aid towards that, not a barrier.

    "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Baha'is do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control."
    (From a letter dated 5 September 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)
    (Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, Page: 56)

    Third you ask all couples, straight or gay, to abide by the marriage laws – parental permission, chastity, checking out the character of your intended partner, the whole nine yards. No-one is given a "get into matrimony free" card.

    In summary: They're here, they're queer, get used to it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    P wrote the words you attribute to me, but i'm happy to own them.

    I don't know what happens in your Baha'i community, but if a straight couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, it will probably be assumed that they are already married or in a civil union. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably be encouraged to get married or enter into a civil union.

    Now, if a gay couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, I'm not sure what would happen. However, but I'm guessing the response would be different. It will probably not be assumed that they are in a civil union, even though it's just as likely as it would be with the straight couple. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably not be encouraged to enter into a civil union.

    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple. The only barrier is that the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no blatant sexual activity or cohabiting outside of heterosexual marriage. Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    Yes, chaste.

    My position is that it is important for all Baha'is to try to be chaste in all that they do. Chastity is much more encompassing than being about sexual behaviour, but if we are going to focus on sexual behaviour, then part of the reason for practising restraint is to achieve a long-term, stable, fulfilling relationship. Whether you're gay or straight, single or a couple, what's the problem if you're working towards that?

    So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    There are precedents. The Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no polygamy, yet if a man with two wives joins the Baha'i community in a country where polygamy is legal, then the polygamous relationship is accepted. Similarly, the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that the purpose of marriage is procreation, but if a two people in their fertile years get married, yet have no children of their own (like Alison and me) the AO doesn't poke its nose in. In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles and necessary transitions involved.

    I'm now at a point where I can answer your other question, which is:

    "If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married. Particularly when it can be seen that they are ready for marriage.

    Frankly, you'll have to ask P because I live in a country where gays and straights can enter into a civil union just like marriage, so I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay. For me, unless one of the gays was a signed-up Baha'i before entering into a civil union, the problem wouldn't arise.

    I suspect we're wandering down a path of partial solutions because the question hasn't been framed properly.

    First, I would turn your question around and ask, "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple? And where the state does give equal recognition, why can't the Baha'i administration be equally non-discriminatory?"

    Second, forcing anyone to do something misses the point. Straights and gays ideally would want to use restraint, be chaste and work towards a long-term, nurturing, monogamous relationship. The laws are meant to be an aid towards that, not a barrier.

    "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Baha'is do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control."
    (From a letter dated 5 September 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)
    (Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, Page: 56)

    Third you ask all couples, straight or gay, to abide by the marriage laws – parental permission, chastity, checking out the character of your intended partner, the whole nine yards. No-one is given a "get into matrimony free" card.

    In summary: They're here, they're queer, get used to it.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    P wrote the words you attribute to me, but i'm happy to own them.

    I don't know what happens in your Baha'i community, but if a straight couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, it will probably be assumed that they are already married or in a civil union. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably be encouraged to get married or enter into a civil union.

    Now, if a gay couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, I'm not sure what would happen. However, I'm guessing the response would be different. It would probably not be assumed that they are in a civil union, even though it's just as likely. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably not be encouraged to enter into a civil union.

    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple. The only barrier is that the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no blatant sexual activity or cohabiting outside of heterosexual marriage. Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    My position is that it is important for all Baha'is to try to be chaste in all that they do. Foir the simple reason that Baha'u'llah said so somewhere. I'm sure i can chase up a reference if you need it. Chastity is much more encompassing than being about sexual behaviour, but if we are going to focus on sexual behaviour, then part of the reason for practising restraint is to achieve a long-term, stable, fulfilling monogamous relationship. Whether you're gay or straight, single or a couple, what's the problem if you're working towards that, or something close?

    So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    There are precedents for the Baha'i administration to accept gay unions. The Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no polygamy, yet if a man with two wives joins the Baha'i community in a country where polygamy is legal, then the polygamous relationship is accepted. Similarly, the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that the purpose of marriage is procreation, but if a two people in their fertile years get married, yet have no children of their own (like Alison and me) the AO doesn't poke its nose in. In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles, necessary transitions and plain old fashioned privacy issues involved.

    I'm now at a point where I can answer your other question, which is:

    "If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married. Particularly when it can be seen that they are ready for marriage.

    But, frankly, you'll have to ask P to answer that question because I live in a country where gays and straights can enter into civil unions that are just like marriage. So I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay. For me, unless one of the gays was a signed-up Baha'i before entering into a civil union, the problem wouldn't arise.

    I suspect we're wandering down a path of partial solutions because the question hasn't been framed properly.

    First, I would turn your question around and ask, "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple? And where the state does give equal recognition, why can't the Baha'i administration be equally non-discriminatory?"

    Second, forcing anyone to do something misses the point. Straights and gays ideally would want to use restraint, be chaste and work towards a long-term, nurturing, monogamous relationship. The laws are meant to be an aid towards that, not a barrier.

    "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Baha'is do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control."
    (From a letter dated 5 September 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)
    (Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, Page: 56)

    Third, you ask all couples, straight or gay, to abide by the marriage laws – parental permission, chastity, checking out the character of your intended partner, the whole nine yards. No-one is given a "get into matrimony free" card.

    In summary: They're here, they're queer, get used to it.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    P wrote the words you attribute to me, but i'm happy to own them.

    I don't know what happens in your Baha'i community, but if a straight couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, it will probably be assumed that they are already married or in a civil union. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably be encouraged to get married or enter into a civil union.

    Now, if a gay couple with children comes into my community and joins the NZ Baha'i community, I'm not sure what would happen. However, I'm guessing the response would be different. It would probably not be assumed that they are in a civil union, even though it's just as likely. If they tell folks they're in a de facto relationship then they'll probably not be encouraged to enter into a civil union.

    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple. The only barrier is that the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no blatant sexual activity or cohabiting outside of heterosexual marriage. Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    My position is that it is important for all Baha'is to try to be chaste in all that they do. Foir the simple reason that Baha'u'llah said so somewhere. I'm sure i can chase up a reference if you need it. Chastity is much more encompassing than being about sexual behaviour, but if we are going to focus on sexual behaviour, then part of the reason for practising restraint is to achieve a long-term, stable, fulfilling monogamous relationship. Whether you're gay or straight, single or a couple, what's the problem if you're working towards that, or something close?

    So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    There are precedents for the Baha'i administration to accept gay unions. The Baha'i administration has traditionally held that there should be no polygamy, yet if a man with two wives joins the Baha'i community in a country where polygamy is legal, then the polygamous relationship is accepted. Similarly, the Baha'i administration has traditionally held that the purpose of marriage is procreation, but if a two people in their fertile years get married, yet have no children of their own (like Alison and me) the AO doesn't poke its nose in. In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles, necessary transitions and plain old fashioned privacy issues involved.

    I'm now at a point where I can answer your other question, which is:

    "If a gay couple is allowed to establish a family out of wedlock, how can we ask a non-gay couple to abide by the marriage laws?

    Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married. Particularly when it can be seen that they are ready for marriage.

    But, frankly, you'll have to ask P to answer that question because I live in a country where gays and straights can enter into civil unions that are just like marriage. So I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay. For me, unless one of the gays was a signed-up Baha'i before entering into a civil union, the problem wouldn't arise.

    I suspect we're wandering down a path of partial solutions because the question hasn't been framed properly.

    First, I would turn your question around and ask, "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple? And where the state does give equal recognition, why can't the Baha'i administration be equally non-discriminatory?"

    Second, forcing anyone to do something misses the point. Straights and gays ideally would want to use restraint, be chaste and work towards a long-term, nurturing, monogamous relationship. The laws are meant to be an aid towards that, not a barrier.

    "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Baha'is do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control."
    (From a letter dated 5 September 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)
    (Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, Page: 56)

    Third, you ask all couples, straight or gay, to abide by the marriage laws – parental permission, chastity, checking out the character of your intended partner, the whole nine yards. No-one is given a "get into matrimony free" card.

    In summary: They're here, they're queer, get used to it.

  • farhan

    Thanks Steve for your helpful message; you wrote:
    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple.

    Farhan: This is a valid point; although I am not sure on what basis an NSA would act. I understand that the UHJ has replied to this circa 1995, but i have been unable to find that reply.

    Steve: Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    Farhan: Again I understand this, but we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours, so in some regards, the Baha’i revelation reaffirms ancient traditions, and in others, these are revoked. We read in Gleanings LXXXVII:
    “Were His law to be such as to strike terror into the hearts of all that are in heaven and on earth, that law is naught but manifest justice. The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men's hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother's milk, if ye be of them that perceive. Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God's Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.”

    Steve: So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    Farhan: This can mean that we should either drop the question of sexuality limited to within wedlock altogether, or else we instate gay marriages.

    Steve: Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married.
    Farhan: This is not the case in France; no voting rights have been withdrawn from gays to date in France, but several for non-gay marriages without parent’s consent.
    Steve: I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay.

    Farhan: This is one reason that Baha’i youth might wish to settle their married life before declaring, but again, this is like the patient spitting out his medication when the nurse is not looking.

    Steve: "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple?

    Farhan: if we respect the laws of the country, we do not abandon ours. If the law says alcohol only over 18 years of age, this is not applicable to Baha’is.

    Steve quotes: "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established.”

    Farhan: again this implies either extending the institution of marriage to gays, or else allowing sexuality outside marriage for every one.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Thanks Steve for your helpful message; you wrote:
    My feeling is that since NZ law makes a civil union functionally identical to marriage, and since Baha'is abide by the law, then the gay couple should be treated the same as the straight couple.

    Farhan: This is a valid point; although I am not sure on what basis an NSA would act. I understand that the UHJ has replied to this circa 1995, but i have been unable to find that reply.

    Steve: Well, times have changed, and it's important not to lose sight of the real meaning of chastity and the real value of stable, long-term, monogamous, chaste, child-raising relationships.

    Farhan: Again I understand this, but we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours, so in some regards, the Baha’i revelation reaffirms ancient traditions, and in others, these are revoked. We read in Gleanings LXXXVII:
    “Were His law to be such as to strike terror into the hearts of all that are in heaven and on earth, that law is naught but manifest justice. The fears and agitation which the revelation of this law provokes in men's hearts should indeed be likened to the cries of the suckling babe weaned from his mother's milk, if ye be of them that perceive. Were men to discover the motivating purpose of God's Revelation, they would assuredly cast away their fears, and, with hearts filled with gratitude, rejoice with exceeding gladness.”

    Steve: So that's my "position towards chastity for non-gays". In effect, I don't have one because I don't feel any need to discriminate between gays and straights.

    Farhan: This can mean that we should either drop the question of sexuality limited to within wedlock altogether, or else we instate gay marriages.

    Steve: Yes, P's solution does involve turning a blind eye. I suggest that a blind eye is often turned when straight couples are having problems getting permission to get married.
    Farhan: This is not the case in France; no voting rights have been withdrawn from gays to date in France, but several for non-gay marriages without parent’s consent.
    Steve: I can't see why the NZ Baha'i community can't accept all converts who are already in a civil union, whether they are straight or gay.

    Farhan: This is one reason that Baha’i youth might wish to settle their married life before declaring, but again, this is like the patient spitting out his medication when the nurse is not looking.

    Steve: "If a straight couple can get their relationship recognised by the state, then why can't a gay couple?

    Farhan: if we respect the laws of the country, we do not abandon ours. If the law says alcohol only over 18 years of age, this is not applicable to Baha’is.

    Steve quotes: "The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established.”

    Farhan: again this implies either extending the institution of marriage to gays, or else allowing sexuality outside marriage for every one.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?
    Steve, there is misunderstanding here: I was pointing out to the fact that contrary to skin colour, sexual behaviour is not entirely inborn or genetic and that dopamine can modify the sexual drive and hormones (at least in some cases) influence orientation, before and after birth

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?
    Steve, there is misunderstanding here: I was pointing out to the fact that contrary to skin colour, sexual behaviour is not entirely inborn or genetic and that dopamine can modify the sexual drive and hormones (at least in some cases) influence orientation, before and after birth

  • farhan

    Dan wrote : OMG, if this weren't so tragic I'd be ROTFLMAO. I read the bulletin you posted, and can't believe this is the same religion I joined in 1970! What happened while I've been away? If this represents what it is like to be a Baha'i today, I'm so glad to be free of it (the organized part).

    Dan, you remind me of conversations we have between colleagues on surgical feats in the 1970’s: so much liberty, no statistics, insurance bills, controls, paper work, consensus and multidisciplinary meetings, evaluations etc. With all this paperwork, breast cancer recovery rates have moved from 25% to 85%.

    We are victims of what Alvin Toffler in the 1970’s called the Future Shock: adaptation crisis. We had fun with our harmonicas, and now we are invited to join a philharmonic orchestra; we had fun fishing, and now we are invited to join a fishing enterprise, get gasoline for the boat, fridges, transporters, insurances, sailor’s wages, stock markets…

    In Frankfurt the representative of one Eastern European country explained how they had applied the recipe of the Faith for teaching, as for making bread, and to their astonishment it had worked, and then they realised that they had no trucks to transport the bread. Mass teaching needs mass production methods. We are moving from taxis to trains, from kitchen gardens to industrial farming, individual tutorship of the 1970s to big schools and a prepared curriculum. This doesn’t exclude fishing rods, home made bread, kitchen gardens, taxis and tutors… we still need all this traditional stuff, AND the new industrial methods.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Dan wrote : OMG, if this weren't so tragic I'd be ROTFLMAO. I read the bulletin you posted, and can't believe this is the same religion I joined in 1970! What happened while I've been away? If this represents what it is like to be a Baha'i today, I'm so glad to be free of it (the organized part).

    Dan, you remind me of conversations we have between colleagues on surgical feats in the 1970’s: so much liberty, no statistics, insurance bills, controls, paper work, consensus and multidisciplinary meetings, evaluations etc. With all this paperwork, breast cancer recovery rates have moved from 25% to 85%.

    We are victims of what Alvin Toffler in the 1970’s called the Future Shock: adaptation crisis. We had fun with our harmonicas, and now we are invited to join a philharmonic orchestra; we had fun fishing, and now we are invited to join a fishing enterprise, get gasoline for the boat, fridges, transporters, insurances, sailor’s wages, stock markets…

    In Frankfurt the representative of one Eastern European country explained how they had applied the recipe of the Faith for teaching, as for making bread, and to their astonishment it had worked, and then they realised that they had no trucks to transport the bread. Mass teaching needs mass production methods. We are moving from taxis to trains, from kitchen gardens to industrial farming, individual tutorship of the 1970s to big schools and a prepared curriculum. This doesn’t exclude fishing rods, home made bread, kitchen gardens, taxis and tutors… we still need all this traditional stuff, AND the new industrial methods.

  • Dan Ware

    The sad thing, Farhan, is that there is no mass-production formula for spiritual change. This religion forbids proscelitization. We are to attract members through the example of our lives, and not through home visits. Baha'is need guidance in how to put their spiritual principles into action in their own personal lives — how to get involved in their local communities and truly make a difference without expectations. You're busy baking bread and figuring out how to deliver it, but don't realize the product has no lasting nutritional value.

  • Dan Ware

    The sad thing, Farhan, is that there is no mass-production formula for spiritual change. This religion forbids proscelitization. We are to attract members through the example of our lives, and not through home visits. Baha'is need guidance in how to put their spiritual principles into action in their own personal lives — how to get involved in their local communities and truly make a difference without expectations. You're busy baking bread and figuring out how to deliver it, but don't realize the product has no lasting nutritional value.

  • Dan Ware

    About Uganda — I wrote to my tour operator there, requesting an update on the persecution of gay people in 2007, and raised safety concerns for my group in August. Here is the reply, for those who are interested. I have now written to gayrightsuganda.org to get more information from their perspective, and will update you all as it arrives. I will be asking them specifically about the continued involvement of the Baha'i Faith in any ongoing discrimination. Hugs, Dan

  • Dan Ware

    About Uganda — I wrote to my tour operator there, requesting an update on the persecution of gay people in 2007, and raised safety concerns for my group in August. Here is the reply, for those who are interested. I have now written to gayrightsuganda.org to get more information from their perspective, and will update you all as it arrives. I will be asking them specifically about the continued involvement of the Baha'i Faith in any ongoing discrimination. Hugs, Dan

  • Dan Ware

    Here is the letter from Uganda tour operator:

    Dear Dan,
    Thanks for your kind mail. First of all, I would like to inform you that we have been taking gays for Safaris and haven't had their right violated. Though it happened, there has been an organization that has been set up to protect gays in Uganda and I don't think the violence's against gays will happen again.

    Please check the link below for the objective of the gay community.
    http://www.gayrightsuganda.org/index.php/about-ga

    I therefore assure you that the group will be very safe. Our company welcomes every kind of person and since we tailor our tours to our clients' needs, protecting our clients' rights is our obligation. Please just be informed that the group will be safe. Last week we took a gay and a lesbian and trust me , they came back very happy. All that happened to the gays in the past will never happen again.

  • Dan Ware

    Here is the letter from Uganda tour operator:

    Dear Dan,
    Thanks for your kind mail. First of all, I would like to inform you that we have been taking gays for Safaris and haven't had their right violated. Though it happened, there has been an organization that has been set up to protect gays in Uganda and I don't think the violence's against gays will happen again.

    Please check the link below for the objective of the gay community.
    http://www.gayrightsuganda.org/index.php/about-ga

    I therefore assure you that the group will be very safe. Our company welcomes every kind of person and since we tailor our tours to our clients' needs, protecting our clients' rights is our obligation. Please just be informed that the group will be safe. Last week we took a gay and a lesbian and trust me , they came back very happy. All that happened to the gays in the past will never happen again.

  • Daniel Orey

    brilliant!

  • Daniel Orey

    brilliant!

  • farhan

    Dan wrote :
    The sad thing, Farhan, is that there is no mass-production formula for spiritual change

    True Dan, this change is transmitted from heart to heart, as we read in the Valley of contentment:
    “The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.”

    When there is a great demand, as it is now, there should be a proportional effort to provide help for those who request, so Baha’is are required to massively respond to this demand. Western civilisation is individualistic. News Baha’is get hugs and a gift, and are then abandoned to themselves to explain all that to their worried families.

    When I was a child, my parents were pioneers in Tanganyika and every week end we would visit the new Baha’is, take them books, discuss with them and their families and friends and I would run around after the chicken and goats and occasionally listen to the teachings. We now call that “home visits” and now that inactive Baha’is are helped understand its importance in Ruhi book 2 it suddenly becomes dangerous?

    There is nothing unnatural about visiting friends and neighbours, and if truly we believe that you hold a remedy to the spiritual ills of the world, we are not allowed to keep it to ourselves.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Dan wrote :
    The sad thing, Farhan, is that there is no mass-production formula for spiritual change

    True Dan, this change is transmitted from heart to heart, as we read in the Valley of contentment:
    “The pen steppeth not into this region, the ink leaveth only a blot. In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast.”

    When there is a great demand, as it is now, there should be a proportional effort to provide help for those who request, so Baha’is are required to massively respond to this demand. Western civilisation is individualistic. News Baha’is get hugs and a gift, and are then abandoned to themselves to explain all that to their worried families.

    When I was a child, my parents were pioneers in Tanganyika and every week end we would visit the new Baha’is, take them books, discuss with them and their families and friends and I would run around after the chicken and goats and occasionally listen to the teachings. We now call that “home visits” and now that inactive Baha’is are helped understand its importance in Ruhi book 2 it suddenly becomes dangerous?

    There is nothing unnatural about visiting friends and neighbours, and if truly we believe that you hold a remedy to the spiritual ills of the world, we are not allowed to keep it to ourselves.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:

    "…we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours…"

    Show me how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours. I accept that your solution ticks different boxes from mine, but it appears you won't acknowledge that, despite your soothing "I understand that" bedside manner.

    "if we respect the laws of the country, we do not abandon ours."

    Who said anything about abandoning any aspect of Baha'i law? Moreover, if accepting gay couples is abandonment of Baha'i law then so is accepting polygamous and intentionally childless couples. As I said, "In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles, necessary transitions and plain old fashioned privacy issues involved."

    I've served on an assembly. Ideally you weigh up all the issues, spiritual principles and applicable laws, and then you try to chart a course that balances all of these and is likely to lead to a good outcome. But good luck with your one-size-fits-all "…we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours…" approach.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:

    "…we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours…"

    Show me how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours. I accept that your solution ticks different boxes from mine, but it appears you won't acknowledge that, despite your soothing "I understand that" bedside manner.

    "if we respect the laws of the country, we do not abandon ours."

    Who said anything about abandoning any aspect of Baha'i law? Moreover, if accepting gay couples is abandonment of Baha'i law then so is accepting polygamous and intentionally childless couples. As I said, "In those situations it's understood that there are higher principles, necessary transitions and plain old fashioned privacy issues involved."

    I've served on an assembly. Ideally you weigh up all the issues, spiritual principles and applicable laws, and then you try to chart a course that balances all of these and is likely to lead to a good outcome. But good luck with your one-size-fits-all "…we need God’s prescriptions, and God does not need ours…" approach.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    No there is no misunderstanding. You didn't talk about hormones and pre/post natal sexual orientation until after you made the statement I'm questioning you about. You're still obfuscating. Here's the question again. I just want a straight answer.

    Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    No there is no misunderstanding. You didn't talk about hormones and pre/post natal sexual orientation until after you made the statement I'm questioning you about. You're still obfuscating. Here's the question again. I just want a straight answer.

    Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Dan,

    Somehow I guessed you wouldn't be impressed by Farhan's answer. Actually, Farhan is misleading you. There's precious little edible bread being baked. The Baha'is are still trying to leaven the lump. They get a rise here and a rise there, but usually it fails during the proofing process, but they stick it in the oven anyway. The result is half-baked, unleavened lumps.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Dan,

    Somehow I guessed you wouldn't be impressed by Farhan's answer. Actually, Farhan is misleading you. There's precious little edible bread being baked. The Baha'is are still trying to leaven the lump. They get a rise here and a rise there, but usually it fails during the proofing process, but they stick it in the oven anyway. The result is half-baked, unleavened lumps.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "…and now that inactive Baha’is are helped understand its importance in Ruhi book 2 it suddenly becomes dangerous?"

    No-one mentioned danger. Why do you keep muddying the waters? It's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion when your mind wanders off into fantasy.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "…and now that inactive Baha’is are helped understand its importance in Ruhi book 2 it suddenly becomes dangerous?"

    No-one mentioned danger. Why do you keep muddying the waters? It's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion when your mind wanders off into fantasy.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : Show me how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours
    Baha’u’llah has appointed the UHJ as the law maker, and the present ruling is that if we want to enjoy voting rights, in addition to all other community activities, sexuality is to be restrained to within wedlock. You suggest that this is old fashioned and needs to be changed.

    You do not reply to how we could justify that gay sexuality should be made licit outside marriage and not non-gay sexuality.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : Show me how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours
    Baha’u’llah has appointed the UHJ as the law maker, and the present ruling is that if we want to enjoy voting rights, in addition to all other community activities, sexuality is to be restrained to within wedlock. You suggest that this is old fashioned and needs to be changed.

    You do not reply to how we could justify that gay sexuality should be made licit outside marriage and not non-gay sexuality.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

    Farhan: I am not going to waste my time quibbling or re-quoting: Whether you misunderstood or I miswrote, I was pointing out to the fact that contrary to skin colour, sexual behaviour is not entirely inborn or genetic and that dopamine can modify the sexual drive and hormones (at least in some cases) influence orientation, before and after birth. You have no reply to this, so you are trying to discredit my reasoning.

    Steve wrote: No-one mentioned danger. Why do you keep muddying the waters? It's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion when your mind wanders off into fantasy.

    Farhan: You are right again and so smart in muddying the waters; indeed you did not say “danger” but you said “very serious” and “misguided” which I contracted to “dangerous” from of your phrase: “But what we're witnessing is very serious. Not Pol Pot serious, but equally misguided.”

    The readers of the blog will sort out for themselves.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: Why did you cite a treatment for Parkinsons as an example of medication that can modify the intensity and orientation of a patient's sex drive?

    Farhan: I am not going to waste my time quibbling or re-quoting: Whether you misunderstood or I miswrote, I was pointing out to the fact that contrary to skin colour, sexual behaviour is not entirely inborn or genetic and that dopamine can modify the sexual drive and hormones (at least in some cases) influence orientation, before and after birth. You have no reply to this, so you are trying to discredit my reasoning.

    Steve wrote: No-one mentioned danger. Why do you keep muddying the waters? It's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion when your mind wanders off into fantasy.

    Farhan: You are right again and so smart in muddying the waters; indeed you did not say “danger” but you said “very serious” and “misguided” which I contracted to “dangerous” from of your phrase: “But what we're witnessing is very serious. Not Pol Pot serious, but equally misguided.”

    The readers of the blog will sort out for themselves.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    you wrote:
    You have no reply to this, so you are trying to discredit my reasoning.

    One thing at a time, please.

    OK, you don't want to answer my question. I'll drop it.

    I've already replied to your assertions about dopamine. The literature indicates to me that inhibitions are reduced and that people — who would otherwise have been inhibited from gambling, homosexuality, pederasty and buying things due to familial and societal disapproval — sometimes cut loose. I don't see that as a modification of the sex drive.

    As for your coment about hormones. Pey has already pointed out that the material you cited studied pre-natal hormonal imbalance. This is hardly relevant to the adults we're discussing, and their potential "treatment / re-orientation / re-assignment". Cite some studies showing that adults can change their orientation through hormone treatment and I'll be happy to discuss it. I need more than repetitive baseless assertions from someone with a very poor record so far of coming up with anything accurate or substantive. Especially one who blathers on about "misperceptions" when cornered.

    …you did not say “danger” but you said “very serious” and “misguided”

    Let's walk through what you actually did. When you replied to Dan, you suddenly paraphased something I said in a different sub-thread, when I was talking about the whole of Ruhi ReEducation, not just a harmless "home visit". And you did this without any kind of attribution or link. This is just more obfuscation, Farhan.

    If I've misperceived, please walk me through my misperception.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    you wrote:
    You have no reply to this, so you are trying to discredit my reasoning.

    One thing at a time, please.

    OK, you don't want to answer my question. I'll drop it.

    I've already replied to your assertions about dopamine. The literature indicates to me that inhibitions are reduced and that people — who would otherwise have been inhibited from gambling, homosexuality, pederasty and buying things due to familial and societal disapproval — sometimes cut loose. I don't see that as a modification of the sex drive.

    As for your coment about hormones. Pey has already pointed out that the material you cited studied pre-natal hormonal imbalance. This is hardly relevant to the adults we're discussing, and their potential "treatment / re-orientation / re-assignment". Cite some studies showing that adults can change their orientation through hormone treatment and I'll be happy to discuss it. I need more than repetitive baseless assertions from someone with a very poor record so far of coming up with anything accurate or substantive. Especially one who blathers on about "misperceptions" when cornered.

    …you did not say “danger” but you said “very serious” and “misguided”

    Let's walk through what you actually did. When you replied to Dan, you suddenly paraphased something I said in a different sub-thread, when I was talking about the whole of Ruhi ReEducation, not just a harmless "home visit". And you did this without any kind of attribution or link. This is just more obfuscation, Farhan.

    If I've misperceived, please walk me through my misperception.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That doesn't show my how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours. It just shows me that you're hung up on sexual behaviour and your perception of what's primary in Baha'i law. My solution puts equity, inclusiveness and individuals first, and I've already shown that these values are espoused on official baha'i websites when homosexuality is discussed. So please try answering the question again.

    Baha’u’llah has appointed the UHJ as the law maker, and the present ruling is that if we want to enjoy voting rights, in addition to all other community activities, sexuality is to be restrained to within wedlock. You suggest that this is old fashioned and needs to be changed.

    No, you may be thinking of someone else. I don't think wedlock (or any kind of long-term, committed, monogamous, loving, fulfilling, chaste, child-nurturing institution) is old fashioned at all. I'm promoting the notion that "wedlock" be available to both gays and straights.

    Yes, legally it's a bit iffy, but so is masturbation, which is "sexuality" outside of wedlock and — if I was anything to go by — is prevalent in the unmarried Baha'i population. But the Baha'is have managed to chart a course through that minefield without causing serious hurt and scarring and without bringing the law you refer to into disrepute. It's called "giving people a bit of wiggle room". :-)

    If people are trying to live good, responsible lives, you don't leave them stranded just because you don't agree 100% with what they're doing. You do your best to work with them towards goals you both agree on. What's the problem with that?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That doesn't show my how my solution follows "God's prescriptions" any less than yours. It just shows me that you're hung up on sexual behaviour and your perception of what's primary in Baha'i law. My solution puts equity, inclusiveness and individuals first, and I've already shown that these values are espoused on official baha'i websites when homosexuality is discussed. So please try answering the question again.

    Baha’u’llah has appointed the UHJ as the law maker, and the present ruling is that if we want to enjoy voting rights, in addition to all other community activities, sexuality is to be restrained to within wedlock. You suggest that this is old fashioned and needs to be changed.

    No, you may be thinking of someone else. I don't think wedlock (or any kind of long-term, committed, monogamous, loving, fulfilling, chaste, child-nurturing institution) is old fashioned at all. I'm promoting the notion that "wedlock" be available to both gays and straights.

    Yes, legally it's a bit iffy, but so is masturbation, which is "sexuality" outside of wedlock and — if I was anything to go by — is prevalent in the unmarried Baha'i population. But the Baha'is have managed to chart a course through that minefield without causing serious hurt and scarring and without bringing the law you refer to into disrepute. It's called "giving people a bit of wiggle room". :-)

    If people are trying to live good, responsible lives, you don't leave them stranded just because you don't agree 100% with what they're doing. You do your best to work with them towards goals you both agree on. What's the problem with that?

  • farhan

    Steve, I suggest we keep this exchange useful by discussing opinions, without trying to pass judgment on those who hold those opinions. The opinions I hold are 1) that both the sexual drive and orientation are not entirely genetic, since they can change spontaneously and be modified by medication and hormones before and after birth. I hence disagree that the sexual drive and orientation are comparable to skin colour, and 2) we cannot liberalise gay relations outside marriage without liberalising non gay relations.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve, I suggest we keep this exchange useful by discussing opinions, without trying to pass judgment on those who hold those opinions. The opinions I hold are 1) that both the sexual drive and orientation are not entirely genetic, since they can change spontaneously and be modified by medication and hormones before and after birth. I hence disagree that the sexual drive and orientation are comparable to skin colour, and 2) we cannot liberalise gay relations outside marriage without liberalising non gay relations.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: Cite some studies showing that adults can change their orientation through hormone treatment and I'll be happy to discuss it.

    Farhan: Once again, I am not saying that I know of a hormone therapy that can change orientation in adults, but I am saying that there are some studies suggesting that orientation can be influenced by hormones. Here is one source you might wish to study: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=
    One of the studies on the site I suggested: http://borngay.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questio… concludes that we can hypothesize that hyperandrogenism, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, may be one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women.'"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: Cite some studies showing that adults can change their orientation through hormone treatment and I'll be happy to discuss it.

    Farhan: Once again, I am not saying that I know of a hormone therapy that can change orientation in adults, but I am saying that there are some studies suggesting that orientation can be influenced by hormones. Here is one source you might wish to study: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=
    One of the studies on the site I suggested: http://borngay.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questio… concludes that we can hypothesize that hyperandrogenism, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, may be one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women.'"

  • farhan

    Steve: The literature indicates to me that inhibitions are reduced. I don't see that as a modification of the sex drive

    Farhan: Inhibition is part of our resulting sex drive; I am not referring to orientation here. Sexuality is part of our natural functions, and culture, education, experiences, genetics, hormones, medication and many other factors can determine how much of our time we are going to consecrate to sexuality, and how much to other sources of pleasure such as art, poetry, music, religion, socialising, etc. Much of this is controlled by neurotransmitters such as dopamine, enkephalines and other substances that can be increased or decreased either by chemical or by psychological factors.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve: The literature indicates to me that inhibitions are reduced. I don't see that as a modification of the sex drive

    Farhan: Inhibition is part of our resulting sex drive; I am not referring to orientation here. Sexuality is part of our natural functions, and culture, education, experiences, genetics, hormones, medication and many other factors can determine how much of our time we are going to consecrate to sexuality, and how much to other sources of pleasure such as art, poetry, music, religion, socialising, etc. Much of this is controlled by neurotransmitters such as dopamine, enkephalines and other substances that can be increased or decreased either by chemical or by psychological factors.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Yes, I'm happy to continue discussing opinions, but I reserve the right to criticise the quality and veracity of those opinions.

    …since they can change spontaneously and be modified by medication and hormones before and after birth. I hence disagree that the sexual drive and orientation are comparable to skin colour…

    You've either left your argument half-finished or you're assuming that skin colour doesn't change spontaneously and can't be modified by chemicals. However, it does and it can:

    hyperpigmentation
    hypopigmentation

    Skin colour is the product of a complex interation between genetics and environment — and the mechanism differs between various groups, for example, East Asians and Africans.

    Homosexuality therefore remains analagous to skin colour.

    we cannot liberalise gay relations outside marriage without liberalising non gay relations.

    I agree, and that's why I suggest that the "between a man and a woman" clause be removed from Baha'i marriage. There are plenty of examples of Aqdas laws being applied on a mutatis mutandis basis, and this could be one of them.

    Have a look at what has been suggested for the inheritance laws:

    "Whether they do necessarily favour the male heirs is the main question which will be addressed here. I will argue that the laws allow more room for interpretation, and for the broad application of the mutatis mutandis principle, than has previously been recognized, largely because a key text in the Questions and Answers to the Aqdas, question 37 (Q37, p. 118), was not available in English until 1992.
    <a hreg="http://www.bahai-library.org/bsr/bsr05/54_mcglinn_inheritance.htm">Some considerations relating to the
    inheritance laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas – Sen McGlinn

    That aside, what is considered mutatis mutandis changes over time. Something that wouldn't have made sense to alter 100 years ago may make sense to alter now.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Yes, I'm happy to continue discussing opinions, but I reserve the right to criticise the quality and veracity of those opinions.

    …since they can change spontaneously and be modified by medication and hormones before and after birth. I hence disagree that the sexual drive and orientation are comparable to skin colour…

    You've either left your argument half-finished or you're assuming that skin colour doesn't change spontaneously and can't be modified by chemicals. However, it does and it can:

    hyperpigmentation
    hypopigmentation

    Skin colour is the product of a complex interation between genetics and environment — and the mechanism differs between various groups, for example, East Asians and Africans.

    Homosexuality therefore remains analagous to skin colour.

    we cannot liberalise gay relations outside marriage without liberalising non gay relations.

    I agree, and that's why I suggest that the "between a man and a woman" clause be removed from Baha'i marriage. There are plenty of examples of Aqdas laws being applied on a mutatis mutandis basis, and this could be one of them.

    Have a look at what has been suggested for the inheritance laws:

    "Whether they do necessarily favour the male heirs is the main question which will be addressed here. I will argue that the laws allow more room for interpretation, and for the broad application of the mutatis mutandis principle, than has previously been recognized, largely because a key text in the Questions and Answers to the Aqdas, question 37 (Q37, p. 118), was not available in English until 1992.
    <a hreg="http://www.bahai-library.org/bsr/bsr05/54_mcglinn_inheritance.htm">Some considerations relating to the
    inheritance laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas – Sen McGlinn

    That aside, what is considered mutatis mutandis changes over time. Something that wouldn't have made sense to alter 100 years ago may make sense to alter now.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks for providing citations. I don't have an account with Inist, so I can't view the first item. The second site provides some useful summaries of what appears to be a highly politicised debate.

    I lack the training to work my way through the issues, so I prefer to bring it down to individuals and populations i know about. I have seen harm done through Baha'is getting married, and discovering that they cannot continue to love a lie. I have not heard of any Baha'i changing orientation spontaneously. I'm inclined to think of saxual orientation as being very stable, although I certainly don't rule out medical conditions, chemicals and environmental factors in a change.

    Like you say, humans are very adaptable – I think all creatures are. I think we disagree over whether there is an need for change, and whether such a change is beneficial.

    While summarisng the study you say:

    …one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women

    I see no mention of "women". Is this the part you're summarising?

    "It is likely, indeed, that if there is a genetic element to the development of homosexuality, it probably works through prenatal and early childhood hormones."

    Can we agree to talk about adults, and not about foetuses and babies? The issue here surely is about how the Baha'is relate to adult homosexuals, and not about the medical/ethical issues surrounding the pre and post-natal prevention of homosexuality much later in life — as interesting as that other topic is. I imagine you're aware that many Baha'is believe that adult homosexuality can be "cured". That's the context for these discussions.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks for providing citations. I don't have an account with Inist, so I can't view the first item. The second site provides some useful summaries of what appears to be a highly politicised debate.

    I lack the training to work my way through the issues, so I prefer to bring it down to individuals and populations i know about. I have seen harm done through Baha'is getting married, and discovering that they cannot continue to love a lie. I have not heard of any Baha'i changing orientation spontaneously. I'm inclined to think of saxual orientation as being very stable, although I certainly don't rule out medical conditions, chemicals and environmental factors in a change.

    Like you say, humans are very adaptable – I think all creatures are. I think we disagree over whether there is an need for change, and whether such a change is beneficial.

    While summarisng the study you say:

    …one of the factors contributing to the sexual orientation of women

    I see no mention of "women". Is this the part you're summarising?

    "It is likely, indeed, that if there is a genetic element to the development of homosexuality, it probably works through prenatal and early childhood hormones."

    Can we agree to talk about adults, and not about foetuses and babies? The issue here surely is about how the Baha'is relate to adult homosexuals, and not about the medical/ethical issues surrounding the pre and post-natal prevention of homosexuality much later in life — as interesting as that other topic is. I imagine you're aware that many Baha'is believe that adult homosexuality can be "cured". That's the context for these discussions.

  • Daniel Orey
  • Daniel Orey
  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    thanks B for keeping this going. I'm in LA now and am travelling so don't have time to contribute, but I see I don't need to! all the best, sonja

  • http://www.sonjavank.com sonja

    thanks B for keeping this going. I'm in LA now and am travelling so don't have time to contribute, but I see I don't need to! all the best, sonja

  • pey

    Farhan I'll give you the reply that maybe you glossed over. Your straight couple can leave the community. Go off get married as non-bahais, then maybe after some time come back apolegetic and say they now wish to be Bahais. What would you do Farhan? Would you turn them away? Tell them that they just played the system and are not worthy of being fully accepted in the community with rights? I think most Bahai communities would just let it go and accept the couple with full rights. No one would be repulsed by them. BUT a gay couple with their kids… well that's a WHOLE different story. Their only option is to leave- period. Which is really what the "majority" of Bahais and the current administration want anyway.

  • pey

    Farhan I'll give you the reply that maybe you glossed over. Your straight couple can leave the community. Go off get married as non-bahais, then maybe after some time come back apolegetic and say they now wish to be Bahais. What would you do Farhan? Would you turn them away? Tell them that they just played the system and are not worthy of being fully accepted in the community with rights? I think most Bahai communities would just let it go and accept the couple with full rights. No one would be repulsed by them. BUT a gay couple with their kids… well that's a WHOLE different story. Their only option is to leave- period. Which is really what the "majority" of Bahais and the current administration want anyway.

  • pey

    Btw Farhan, when I mentioned your hormone theory to my friend who is transitioning into a woman- she gave out a big laugh. She said hormones do a lot of things, but they certainly do not change a person's orientation (just their sexual drive). And when I told her that these comments came from a doctor- well let's just say her mouth dropped with utter disbelief. Who better to know about hormones than someone who is using them?

  • pey

    Btw Farhan, when I mentioned your hormone theory to my friend who is transitioning into a woman- she gave out a big laugh. She said hormones do a lot of things, but they certainly do not change a person's orientation (just their sexual drive). And when I told her that these comments came from a doctor- well let's just say her mouth dropped with utter disbelief. Who better to know about hormones than someone who is using them?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: What would you do Farhan? Would you turn them away?
    Pey, I would do nothing. I would abide by the rules of the community, like any other Baha’i, and as an individual I would welcome and serve all the lovers of the Faith, whatever their status.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: What would you do Farhan? Would you turn them away?
    Pey, I would do nothing. I would abide by the rules of the community, like any other Baha’i, and as an individual I would welcome and serve all the lovers of the Faith, whatever their status.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Who better to know about hormones than someone who is using them?
    Pey, you cannot make generalisations from one case. I gave references by people working in this field. Thank you for sharing your view and that of your friend.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Who better to know about hormones than someone who is using them?
    Pey, you cannot make generalisations from one case. I gave references by people working in this field. Thank you for sharing your view and that of your friend.

  • pey

    ahhh, I see. So let's use hormones to get the sex drive to the point of non-existance in gays, so therefore they no longer will have the urge to wnat to have sex with someone- anyone. But rather open up a book or maybe go to Ruhi classes. But of course that you still haven't solved the problem of helping gays "overcome" their sexuality so they can function in a healthy Bahai fortress of well-being. But that really doesn't matter, now does it?

  • pey

    ahhh, I see. So let's use hormones to get the sex drive to the point of non-existance in gays, so therefore they no longer will have the urge to wnat to have sex with someone- anyone. But rather open up a book or maybe go to Ruhi classes. But of course that you still haven't solved the problem of helping gays "overcome" their sexuality so they can function in a healthy Bahai fortress of well-being. But that really doesn't matter, now does it?

  • pey

    I certainly can when this one person knows MANY other people in her situation. She almost committed suicide, but saved herself from that by education herself and getting proper therapy. I can use her information when I know she has read and studied more about the causes of sexual orientation and gender indentitiy in her young life than you probably have in a medical class. Oh yeah, she can talk with A LOT more authority Farhan.

  • pey

    I certainly can when this one person knows MANY other people in her situation. She almost committed suicide, but saved herself from that by education herself and getting proper therapy. I can use her information when I know she has read and studied more about the causes of sexual orientation and gender indentitiy in her young life than you probably have in a medical class. Oh yeah, she can talk with A LOT more authority Farhan.

  • pey

    Do you realize Farhan, how dangerous your words are here? It may seem innocent, but I read something else. I seriously see you looking at a gay person's sex drive and thinking it possibly can be remedied through hormones. Like decades ago it could possibly be remedied trhoug a lobbotomy. And as long as we get the sex drive down in that person to the point where they feel nothing, then we have succeeded in helping gays ovecome their sexuality. Scary!

  • pey

    Do you realize Farhan, how dangerous your words are here? It may seem innocent, but I read something else. I seriously see you looking at a gay person's sex drive and thinking it possibly can be remedied through hormones. Like decades ago it could possibly be remedied trhoug a lobbotomy. And as long as we get the sex drive down in that person to the point where they feel nothing, then we have succeeded in helping gays ovecome their sexuality. Scary!

  • http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2009/02/dustin-lance-black-accepting-academy.html Daniel Orey
  • http://ubnotorious.blogspot.com/2009/02/dustin-lance-black-accepting-academy.html Daniel Orey
  • farhan

    Pey wrote : I seriously see you looking at a gay person's sex drive and thinking it possibly can be remedied through hormones.

    Pey, if you go back and read my postings carefully, you will see that I am holding the view that sexual behaviour is not comparable to skin colour because it is not entirely genetic, it can change during our lifetime and can be modified by medication and education. I have repeatedly said that I do not believe that homosexuality can be “cured” by hormones.

    I understand that your views are different; thanks for expressing them.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : I seriously see you looking at a gay person's sex drive and thinking it possibly can be remedied through hormones.

    Pey, if you go back and read my postings carefully, you will see that I am holding the view that sexual behaviour is not comparable to skin colour because it is not entirely genetic, it can change during our lifetime and can be modified by medication and education. I have repeatedly said that I do not believe that homosexuality can be “cured” by hormones.

    I understand that your views are different; thanks for expressing them.

  • pey

    Farhan you said: Our sexual orientation can change if we take hormones, or after some experiences in life….
    We have people with genetic predisposition to violence or addictive behaviour, including alcohol, gambling and drug misuse. They have to restrain themselves harder than others. They cannot argue that their genetic predisposition is an excuse for misbehaviour.
    ———————————-
    From these posts of your Farhan I read that you consider hormones something that can affect orientation. Then you changed to say how much they affect our concentration on sex vs. other things like reading books, etc. I'm just putting two and two together Farhan. Were you not saying that hormones affect our sexuality and that they may be use to address the issue of homosexuality. I'm not talking about a "cure" because there is none. Unless by cure you mean helping homosexuals get rid of any sexual drive they may have.

  • pey

    Farhan you said: Our sexual orientation can change if we take hormones, or after some experiences in life….
    We have people with genetic predisposition to violence or addictive behaviour, including alcohol, gambling and drug misuse. They have to restrain themselves harder than others. They cannot argue that their genetic predisposition is an excuse for misbehaviour.
    ———————————-
    From these posts of your Farhan I read that you consider hormones something that can affect orientation. Then you changed to say how much they affect our concentration on sex vs. other things like reading books, etc. I'm just putting two and two together Farhan. Were you not saying that hormones affect our sexuality and that they may be use to address the issue of homosexuality. I'm not talking about a "cure" because there is none. Unless by cure you mean helping homosexuals get rid of any sexual drive they may have.

  • pey

    and btw Farhan, we have proven to you that skin color is also not entirely genetic. So what exactly was your point in bringing up hormones. You still believe that hormones can alter a person's sexual feelings/drive as an adult, right? This is sometihng that I agree with. So what now? What do you do with that information?

  • pey

    and btw Farhan, we have proven to you that skin color is also not entirely genetic. So what exactly was your point in bringing up hormones. You still believe that hormones can alter a person's sexual feelings/drive as an adult, right? This is sometihng that I agree with. So what now? What do you do with that information?

  • pey

    http://breakingdailynews.com/2005/11/30/gay-men-u

    can you see Farhan why I am a little sensitive when I hear a professional, a Doctor, who innocently brings up issues of hormones affecting sexual orientation. especially when this doctor believes that gays can "adapt" to a life more in tune with official Bahai law. It is treading some scary water farhan.

  • pey

    http://breakingdailynews.com/2005/11/30/gay-men-u

    can you see Farhan why I am a little sensitive when I hear a professional, a Doctor, who innocently brings up issues of hormones affecting sexual orientation. especially when this doctor believes that gays can "adapt" to a life more in tune with official Bahai law. It is treading some scary water farhan.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "if you go back and read my postings carefully, you will see that I am holding the view that sexual behaviour is not comparable to skin colour because it is not entirely genetic, it can change during our lifetime and can be modified by medication and education."

    You seem to use certain phrases interchangeably, even though they have quite different meanings. For example, you now refer to "sexual behaviour" even though the focus of this discussion has been on "sexual orientation". I first noticed this when we were talking about treatment for Parkinsons causing a loss of inhibitions and leading to behaviour that may be perceived to be socially unacceptable. You seemed to characterise some of this as "modification of the sex drive" when the cause seemed to be directly attributable to the loss of inhibitions.

    Can we agree that our core focus is on sexual orientation, not sexual behaviour?

    " I have repeatedly said that I do not believe that homosexuality can be 'cured' by hormones."

    Another problem is that your responses are contradictory – but others have covered that aspect already.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    "if you go back and read my postings carefully, you will see that I am holding the view that sexual behaviour is not comparable to skin colour because it is not entirely genetic, it can change during our lifetime and can be modified by medication and education."

    You seem to use certain phrases interchangeably, even though they have quite different meanings. For example, you now refer to "sexual behaviour" even though the focus of this discussion has been on "sexual orientation". I first noticed this when we were talking about treatment for Parkinsons causing a loss of inhibitions and leading to behaviour that may be perceived to be socially unacceptable. You seemed to characterise some of this as "modification of the sex drive" when the cause seemed to be directly attributable to the loss of inhibitions.

    Can we agree that our core focus is on sexual orientation, not sexual behaviour?

    " I have repeatedly said that I do not believe that homosexuality can be 'cured' by hormones."

    Another problem is that your responses are contradictory – but others have covered that aspect already.

  • pey

    that is beautiful. Sonja if you run into Dustin Lance Black while in LA, please tell him THANK YOU! :o)

  • pey

    that is beautiful. Sonja if you run into Dustin Lance Black while in LA, please tell him THANK YOU! :o)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The New York Times has published a compromise proposal for the "gay marriage" issue – A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage:

    "It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill."

    The civil union half of the trade-off looks to me very much like what has been put in place in NZ with very little fuss and bother. In NZ, the only benefit offered for those opposing any change was that "marriage", as a legal term, is reserved for straights. Straights can and do opt for a civil union. In the US there does seem to be a far more powerful anti- gay marriage sentiment from religious sources than there is in NZ, so I can see why religious organisations might need to be offered a "Get Out Of Gay Rights Free" card as part of the deal. Or perhaps religions in NZ already have access to sufficient human rights exceptions to continue their gay-unfriendly ways, if they wish.

    Anyway, what do folks here on Baha'i Rants, particularly those living in the US, think about the proposal?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The New York Times has published a compromise proposal for the "gay marriage" issue – A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage:

    "It would work like this: Congress would bestow the status of federal civil unions on same-sex marriages and civil unions granted at the state level, thereby conferring upon them most or all of the federal benefits and rights of marriage. But there would be a condition: Washington would recognize only those unions licensed in states with robust religious-conscience exceptions, which provide that religious organizations need not recognize same-sex unions against their will. The federal government would also enact religious-conscience protections of its own. All of these changes would be enacted in the same bill."

    The civil union half of the trade-off looks to me very much like what has been put in place in NZ with very little fuss and bother. In NZ, the only benefit offered for those opposing any change was that "marriage", as a legal term, is reserved for straights. Straights can and do opt for a civil union. In the US there does seem to be a far more powerful anti- gay marriage sentiment from religious sources than there is in NZ, so I can see why religious organisations might need to be offered a "Get Out Of Gay Rights Free" card as part of the deal. Or perhaps religions in NZ already have access to sufficient human rights exceptions to continue their gay-unfriendly ways, if they wish.

    Anyway, what do folks here on Baha'i Rants, particularly those living in the US, think about the proposal?

  • pey

    I actually would be happy with that. But I don't like the part "most" federal benefits/rights. It's either all or nothing. I would rather have a federal law stating that in all legal documents (federal, state, municipality- wherever) where the word "marriage" appears, civil unions can be replaced in that language to equally protect those in Civil Unions. Steve you just don't understand how fanatical and organized the religious right is in the US. They fought tooth and nail against the Hate Crimes Bill (Matthew Sheppard Act) by telling their congregations that if a preacher got up in the pulpit and denounced homosexuality he would be lead off to jail! These people are truly sick- they feed on the ignorance and fear of their followers. In my state last year, they helped defeat an anti-bullying bill that would have protected all kids from hate in schools because they told people that it would teach kids to be homosexual. WTF?! Protecting a child from being called a fag and beat up in school would make the other kids turn gay? This is what we are dealing with here. And it is disheartening when the Bahais appear more and more like these people rather than Abdul-Baha.

  • pey

    I actually would be happy with that. But I don't like the part "most" federal benefits/rights. It's either all or nothing. I would rather have a federal law stating that in all legal documents (federal, state, municipality- wherever) where the word "marriage" appears, civil unions can be replaced in that language to equally protect those in Civil Unions. Steve you just don't understand how fanatical and organized the religious right is in the US. They fought tooth and nail against the Hate Crimes Bill (Matthew Sheppard Act) by telling their congregations that if a preacher got up in the pulpit and denounced homosexuality he would be lead off to jail! These people are truly sick- they feed on the ignorance and fear of their followers. In my state last year, they helped defeat an anti-bullying bill that would have protected all kids from hate in schools because they told people that it would teach kids to be homosexual. WTF?! Protecting a child from being called a fag and beat up in school would make the other kids turn gay? This is what we are dealing with here. And it is disheartening when the Bahais appear more and more like these people rather than Abdul-Baha.

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey – you hit it right on….

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey – you hit it right on….

  • Daniel Orey

    I need to read this, but ift hey are talking civil unions just for gays… well then, no. If they are talking civil unions for everyone, and if you want to get "married" by a church, like I think occurs in Europe… cool. They system here is actually, the Unites States is like 50 united little countries, currently marriage laws differ from state to state. In my case, my husband is Brazilian, and our marriage besides being only recognized in California, doesn't help his immigration status. He is sponsored by his schools district., on the other hand, I can immigrate as his legal spouse to Brasil , which I plan on doing as soon as he is done with his doctoral studies. Just some thoughts…

  • Daniel Orey

    I need to read this, but ift hey are talking civil unions just for gays… well then, no. If they are talking civil unions for everyone, and if you want to get "married" by a church, like I think occurs in Europe… cool. They system here is actually, the Unites States is like 50 united little countries, currently marriage laws differ from state to state. In my case, my husband is Brazilian, and our marriage besides being only recognized in California, doesn't help his immigration status. He is sponsored by his schools district., on the other hand, I can immigrate as his legal spouse to Brasil , which I plan on doing as soon as he is done with his doctoral studies. Just some thoughts…

  • Daniel Orey

    OMG… this is absolutely beyond disgusting… how some places in the world are so advanced materially and bankrupt morally… I had no idea about this,thanks!

  • Daniel Orey

    OMG… this is absolutely beyond disgusting… how some places in the world are so advanced materially and bankrupt morally… I had no idea about this,thanks!

  • Daniel Orey

    Excuse my poor typing in the last post… multitasking is my eternal shame

    Steve here is some more discussion from Bilerico re: the NYT article:

    http://www.bilerico.com/2009/02/there_is_compromi

  • Daniel Orey

    Excuse my poor typing in the last post… multitasking is my eternal shame

    Steve here is some more discussion from Bilerico re: the NYT article:

    http://www.bilerico.com/2009/02/there_is_compromi

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Were you not saying that hormones affect our sexuality and that they may be use to address the issue of homosexuality.

    Pey, I am still saying that our sexual behaviour is not like our skin colour. It can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, medication before and after birth, hormones persistent in food or nature, education, free will, restraint, etc. Saying they CAN be influenced by these factors, does not mean they are invariably influenced or that I am suggesting hormone therapy. I am merely pointing out to factors that make skin colour different from behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Were you not saying that hormones affect our sexuality and that they may be use to address the issue of homosexuality.

    Pey, I am still saying that our sexual behaviour is not like our skin colour. It can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, medication before and after birth, hormones persistent in food or nature, education, free will, restraint, etc. Saying they CAN be influenced by these factors, does not mean they are invariably influenced or that I am suggesting hormone therapy. I am merely pointing out to factors that make skin colour different from behaviour.

  • farhan

    Pey and Steve, if our exchange helps us to better mutual understanding it is worthwhile. If it is limited to ad hominis judgments, how competent or incompetent a person might be, how he uses or misuses the language, straw men and why did you say this or that, it is a pointless waste of time and will only contribute to furthering misunderstanding between gays and non-gays.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey and Steve, if our exchange helps us to better mutual understanding it is worthwhile. If it is limited to ad hominis judgments, how competent or incompetent a person might be, how he uses or misuses the language, straw men and why did you say this or that, it is a pointless waste of time and will only contribute to furthering misunderstanding between gays and non-gays.

  • farhan

    Daniel and Pey, this is an absolutely intolerable intrusion of politics in medical care. On similar lines, the same country has condemned two doctors to 15 years of imprisonment and 1500 lashes for having prescribed morphine to a lady who later on became addicted

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Daniel and Pey, this is an absolutely intolerable intrusion of politics in medical care. On similar lines, the same country has condemned two doctors to 15 years of imprisonment and 1500 lashes for having prescribed morphine to a lady who later on became addicted

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The problem, Farhan, is that it is impossible to reach a better mutual understanding if either of the parties refuses, or is unable, to clarify the issues of language, meaning and interpretation that inevitably arise. I don't believe it is ad hominem to insist that these problems be resolved.

    In fact, not to do so would be a pointless waste of time and would only contribute to furthering misunderstanding between gays and non-gays.

    I accept that I have on occasion lost my patience with you and slipped into sarcasm. To that extent I am guilty of responding at times in an unpleasant tone, and for that I apologise. But I do not apologise for criticising the quality of your arguments and the directness of your answers. I try to specify exactly what I find unacceptable in your responses so that you have the opportunity to clarify or counter-argue, and I try to separate your behaviour from you as a person, even though i don't always succeed.

    I would really like to know whether you think the phrase "sexual behaviour" can be used interchangeably with "sexual orientation". It may seem like I'm trying to score points but it matters to me. If you complain in a general way about being treated unfairly instead of answering my criticisms, then yes, we might as well go home. If, however, you have specific complaints about the way I have treated you, that I have not yet responded adequately to, then please bring them up so I can respond to them, and we can move on.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    The problem, Farhan, is that it is impossible to reach a better mutual understanding if either of the parties refuses, or is unable, to clarify the issues of language, meaning and interpretation that inevitably arise. I don't believe it is ad hominem to insist that these problems be resolved.

    In fact, not to do so would be a pointless waste of time and would only contribute to furthering misunderstanding between gays and non-gays.

    I accept that I have on occasion lost my patience with you and slipped into sarcasm. To that extent I am guilty of responding at times in an unpleasant tone, and for that I apologise. But I do not apologise for criticising the quality of your arguments and the directness of your answers. I try to specify exactly what I find unacceptable in your responses so that you have the opportunity to clarify or counter-argue, and I try to separate your behaviour from you as a person, even though i don't always succeed.

    I would really like to know whether you think the phrase "sexual behaviour" can be used interchangeably with "sexual orientation". It may seem like I'm trying to score points but it matters to me. If you complain in a general way about being treated unfairly instead of answering my criticisms, then yes, we might as well go home. If, however, you have specific complaints about the way I have treated you, that I have not yet responded adequately to, then please bring them up so I can respond to them, and we can move on.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote :
    Can we agree that our core focus is on sexual orientation, not sexual behaviour?

    Steve, my main focus is on how gays can be better treated within the Baha’i community. This includes elimination of any discrimination and misunderstanding stemming from a lack of information and spiritual education within the Baha’i community. The rules of this community are based on behaviour, and not on orientation.Both orientation and the intensity of the sexual drive make these standards of behaviour more or less difficult to comply with for some of us.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote :
    Can we agree that our core focus is on sexual orientation, not sexual behaviour?

    Steve, my main focus is on how gays can be better treated within the Baha’i community. This includes elimination of any discrimination and misunderstanding stemming from a lack of information and spiritual education within the Baha’i community. The rules of this community are based on behaviour, and not on orientation.Both orientation and the intensity of the sexual drive make these standards of behaviour more or less difficult to comply with for some of us.

  • farhan

    Steve, Genetics, environment, medication, experiences and education can make this standard of behaviour more or less difficult to comply with. Not complying with these standards can sometimes deprive us of participating in some activities, but not from participating in all aspects of community life. Since no provisions have been made for gay marriages within the Faith, I can agree that gays should benefit from more leniency than non-gays in complying with the rules that restrict sexuality to within marriage, but I cannot see how we can make different rules for behaviour depending on our orientation, nor can I determine to what extent our behaviour is a matter choice.
    Also, I would not lump together GLBT because of the very different behaviours involved.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve, Genetics, environment, medication, experiences and education can make this standard of behaviour more or less difficult to comply with. Not complying with these standards can sometimes deprive us of participating in some activities, but not from participating in all aspects of community life. Since no provisions have been made for gay marriages within the Faith, I can agree that gays should benefit from more leniency than non-gays in complying with the rules that restrict sexuality to within marriage, but I cannot see how we can make different rules for behaviour depending on our orientation, nor can I determine to what extent our behaviour is a matter choice.
    Also, I would not lump together GLBT because of the very different behaviours involved.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : You still believe that hormones can alter a person's sexual feelings/drive as an adult, right? This is sometihng that I agree with. So what now? What do you do with that information?

    Yes, Pey, from what I read, and the references I suggested to you, hormones are merely one of the many factors that can in certain cases influence both orientation and sexual drive, as can our education, spiritual engagement, people we associate with, what we read, etc. This by no means justifies the idea that homosexuals can or should be “treated” by hormones. It is merely part of the information we have which indicates that orientation is not merely a matter of genetics as in the case of racial characteristics

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : You still believe that hormones can alter a person's sexual feelings/drive as an adult, right? This is sometihng that I agree with. So what now? What do you do with that information?

    Yes, Pey, from what I read, and the references I suggested to you, hormones are merely one of the many factors that can in certain cases influence both orientation and sexual drive, as can our education, spiritual engagement, people we associate with, what we read, etc. This by no means justifies the idea that homosexuals can or should be “treated” by hormones. It is merely part of the information we have which indicates that orientation is not merely a matter of genetics as in the case of racial characteristics

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: Something that wouldn't have made sense to alter 100 years ago may make sense to alter now.

    Steve, it is up to the UHJ to decide what to change. Also, racial characteristics are much larger than only skin colour. I disagree that behaviour equates with orientation which in turn equates with genetics which in turn compares to racial characteristics. I agree that genetics and orientation are some of the factors that make complying with the standards of Baha’i behaviour more or less difficult AND more or less meritorious. The some 10% of the population who are genetically prone to addiction disorders and those born into unfavourable family environments also have to make more efforts than others to comply with Baha’i standards which require abstaining from alcohol, drugs and violent behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: Something that wouldn't have made sense to alter 100 years ago may make sense to alter now.

    Steve, it is up to the UHJ to decide what to change. Also, racial characteristics are much larger than only skin colour. I disagree that behaviour equates with orientation which in turn equates with genetics which in turn compares to racial characteristics. I agree that genetics and orientation are some of the factors that make complying with the standards of Baha’i behaviour more or less difficult AND more or less meritorious. The some 10% of the population who are genetically prone to addiction disorders and those born into unfavourable family environments also have to make more efforts than others to comply with Baha’i standards which require abstaining from alcohol, drugs and violent behaviour.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Pey and Daniel,

    Gosh, I seem to be developing a bit of a man-crush with you two (and Farhan) — given the way we're chattering together and agreeing on things (OK, I guess that leaves Farhan out).

    Pey, you wrote:
    "Steve you just don't understand how fanatical and organized the religious right is in the US."

    I prefer to turn that around and say that you just don't understand how easy-going and disorganised the religious right is in NZ. :-)

    Thanks for the Bilerico article, Dan. It does seem like dropping the marriage demand and creating an equivalent called a civil union is the crucial compromise from both sides. Why ask/offer more than that?

    One of the strengths of the law change in NZ is that the civil union option is equally available for straights and gays (with the civil marriage option available for only for straights).

    It seems to be working out very well, and very uncontroversially, with one of the groups opposed to it having to resort to a spot-the-silliness press release that doesn't seem to have got any traction at all.

    Very small numbers of couples, mainly gay, have been entering into civil unions. I guess the default for straights is the marriage option. That's a pity, because the marriage option now has a lot of baggage associated with it, in my opinion.

    New Zealand has swung to the right, at the last election, but that hasn't had any negative effect on LGBT rights. This clip of our new prime minister at the Big Gay Out may give you an idea how relaxed our politicians are.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Pey and Daniel,

    Gosh, I seem to be developing a bit of a man-crush with you two (and Farhan) — given the way we're chattering together and agreeing on things (OK, I guess that leaves Farhan out).

    Pey, you wrote:
    "Steve you just don't understand how fanatical and organized the religious right is in the US."

    I prefer to turn that around and say that you just don't understand how easy-going and disorganised the religious right is in NZ. :-)

    Thanks for the Bilerico article, Dan. It does seem like dropping the marriage demand and creating an equivalent called a civil union is the crucial compromise from both sides. Why ask/offer more than that?

    One of the strengths of the law change in NZ is that the civil union option is equally available for straights and gays (with the civil marriage option available for only for straights).

    It seems to be working out very well, and very uncontroversially, with one of the groups opposed to it having to resort to a spot-the-silliness press release that doesn't seem to have got any traction at all.

    Very small numbers of couples, mainly gay, have been entering into civil unions. I guess the default for straights is the marriage option. That's a pity, because the marriage option now has a lot of baggage associated with it, in my opinion.

    New Zealand has swung to the right, at the last election, but that hasn't had any negative effect on LGBT rights. This clip of our new prime minister at the Big Gay Out may give you an idea how relaxed our politicians are.

  • pey

    ok well we cleared that up at least. thanks!

  • pey

    ok well we cleared that up at least. thanks!

  • pey

    then you also have to be clear in what you say farhan. you can't bring up hormones lightly and then later on say well i didn't mean that as a mean of therapy. When your posts beforehand leads a number of us to think that you are bringing up the topic of hormones as a possible solution. Then be VERY clear by stating what you mean. thanks!

  • pey

    then you also have to be clear in what you say farhan. you can't bring up hormones lightly and then later on say well i didn't mean that as a mean of therapy. When your posts beforehand leads a number of us to think that you are bringing up the topic of hormones as a possible solution. Then be VERY clear by stating what you mean. thanks!

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: I imagine you're aware that many Baha'is believe that adult homosexuality can be "cured". That's the context for these discussions.

    Steve, we are well past that idea. What can be “cured” is the relation between gays and the Baha’i community. This is a matter of behaviour and not of instinctive and innate predisposition on both sides. The interrelation between our instincts and our behaviour is not only a matter of genetics, nor purely a matter of change in the required social standards, but also spiritual, educational, biological and environmental. If we want to improve the relations between the Baha’I community and gays, we have to consider all these factors.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: I imagine you're aware that many Baha'is believe that adult homosexuality can be "cured". That's the context for these discussions.

    Steve, we are well past that idea. What can be “cured” is the relation between gays and the Baha’i community. This is a matter of behaviour and not of instinctive and innate predisposition on both sides. The interrelation between our instincts and our behaviour is not only a matter of genetics, nor purely a matter of change in the required social standards, but also spiritual, educational, biological and environmental. If we want to improve the relations between the Baha’I community and gays, we have to consider all these factors.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    When your posts beforehand leads a number of us to think that you are bringing up the topic of hormones as a possible solution. Then be VERY clear by stating what you mean. thanks!

    Sorry Pey, I was assuming that you understood the position I have been holding for some time now; I realise that a person who suffers, like yourself, is understandably concerned with his own case and not with the concerns of other cases. As an “outsider” I consider the situation neutrally, without all the emotion you are experiencing, a position that might seem cynical to you. As an excuse, I can say that Internet is not an adequate media for considering personal matters, but excellent for general questions. When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    When your posts beforehand leads a number of us to think that you are bringing up the topic of hormones as a possible solution. Then be VERY clear by stating what you mean. thanks!

    Sorry Pey, I was assuming that you understood the position I have been holding for some time now; I realise that a person who suffers, like yourself, is understandably concerned with his own case and not with the concerns of other cases. As an “outsider” I consider the situation neutrally, without all the emotion you are experiencing, a position that might seem cynical to you. As an excuse, I can say that Internet is not an adequate media for considering personal matters, but excellent for general questions. When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: Farhan, being part of an oppressive majority may make you an "outsider", but it does not make you neutral.
    Steve, what I mean is that I am not personally involved in your struggle with Baha’i administration, as I would be if I, or someone close to me was gay, or if I were working on an institution consulting on a particular case. I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities. I do not believe that God needs my help in enforcing His principles, not do I believe that Baha’is are interested in attracting large numbers of new believers who do not share their views into the Faith, but rather that the world can benefit from these teachings. IOW, my position is more of a scientific one than that of someone emotionally involved, which can be hurtful to someone suffering.
    Steve wrote: “When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves." Please provide some examples of this, so I know what you're referring to.
    We lack personal contact on Internet; when we try to guess beyond the opinions expressed, how people holding opinions are, what their emotions might be, we are “projecting” as someone looking at a Rorschach test. For example, when you write “oppressive majority” this is a projection, as I have never had any intent of oppressing you, but this is what you presume, given your personal experiences in life. There is a story of a guy going through a Rorschach test. First plate he saw a naked woman, the next he saw bras, the third a panty, and so on. When he had finished, the psychologist said: “I have to inform you that you are sexually obsessed” And the patient replied “what me, or you, with all these dirty pictures you have been showing me?”

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: Farhan, being part of an oppressive majority may make you an "outsider", but it does not make you neutral.
    Steve, what I mean is that I am not personally involved in your struggle with Baha’i administration, as I would be if I, or someone close to me was gay, or if I were working on an institution consulting on a particular case. I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities. I do not believe that God needs my help in enforcing His principles, not do I believe that Baha’is are interested in attracting large numbers of new believers who do not share their views into the Faith, but rather that the world can benefit from these teachings. IOW, my position is more of a scientific one than that of someone emotionally involved, which can be hurtful to someone suffering.
    Steve wrote: “When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves." Please provide some examples of this, so I know what you're referring to.
    We lack personal contact on Internet; when we try to guess beyond the opinions expressed, how people holding opinions are, what their emotions might be, we are “projecting” as someone looking at a Rorschach test. For example, when you write “oppressive majority” this is a projection, as I have never had any intent of oppressing you, but this is what you presume, given your personal experiences in life. There is a story of a guy going through a Rorschach test. First plate he saw a naked woman, the next he saw bras, the third a panty, and so on. When he had finished, the psychologist said: “I have to inform you that you are sexually obsessed” And the patient replied “what me, or you, with all these dirty pictures you have been showing me?”

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Farhan, being part of an oppressive majority may make you an "outsider", but it does not make you neutral. Also, your recent reference to "standards of behaviour" –presumably some reference to Baha'i standards of sexual behaviour — indicates that you struggle with neutrality like the rest of us.

    But whatever kind of "neutral outsider" you are (presumably due to being straight) I am that too. Yet I also did not know what position you have apparently been "holding for some time now".

    Frankly, I have found Pey's responses and arguments to be more rational than yours. The emotional content from you both is about the same, but I welcome it anyway, provided the rational and the emotional aren't intermixed indiscriminately. I think Pey also manages that better than you. But probably I'm biased.

    You say:
    "When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves."

    Please provide some examples of this, so I know what you're referring to.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Farhan, being part of an oppressive majority may make you an "outsider", but it does not make you neutral. Also, your recent reference to "standards of behaviour" –presumably some reference to Baha'i standards of sexual behaviour — indicates that you struggle with neutrality like the rest of us.

    But whatever kind of "neutral outsider" you are (presumably due to being straight) I am that too. Yet I also did not know what position you have apparently been "holding for some time now".

    Frankly, I have found Pey's responses and arguments to be more rational than yours. The emotional content from you both is about the same, but I welcome it anyway, provided the rational and the emotional aren't intermixed indiscriminately. I think Pey also manages that better than you. But probably I'm biased.

    You say:
    "When we try to personalise by reading between the lines, we are merely projecting ourselves."

    Please provide some examples of this, so I know what you're referring to.

  • pey

    You are not neutral Farhan. Not by any means.

  • pey

    You are not neutral Farhan. Not by any means.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You write:
    "Steve, what I mean is that I am not personally involved in your struggle with Baha’i administration, as I would be if I, or someone close to me was gay, or if I were working on an institution consulting on a particular case. I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities."

    I can't see how your attitude towards homosexuality would have any bearing on any of my struggles with the Baha'i administration, because none of my struggles have anything to do with homosexuality.

    I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities.

    Uh, what do you think my situation is?

    "when we try to guess beyond the opinions expressed, how people holding opinions are, what their emotions might be, we are 'projecting'

    I was hoping for a real-life example from this discussion – one that had led you to make your statement about projection. Or were you not referring to anything that happened on this list?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You write:
    "Steve, what I mean is that I am not personally involved in your struggle with Baha’i administration, as I would be if I, or someone close to me was gay, or if I were working on an institution consulting on a particular case. I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities."

    I can't see how your attitude towards homosexuality would have any bearing on any of my struggles with the Baha'i administration, because none of my struggles have anything to do with homosexuality.

    I have been trying to reconcile situations such as yours with the standards applied in Baha’i communities.

    Uh, what do you think my situation is?

    "when we try to guess beyond the opinions expressed, how people holding opinions are, what their emotions might be, we are 'projecting'

    I was hoping for a real-life example from this discussion – one that had led you to make your statement about projection. Or were you not referring to anything that happened on this list?

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Some good news to share! My husband's application for pertinent visa has been accepted! GLBT who are married to foreigners are not given the same rights as straight marriages… his work sponsored him, I could not… at any rate 10 years of stress (we have been legal) is now over… woo hoo! Oh happy day!

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Some good news to share! My husband's application for pertinent visa has been accepted! GLBT who are married to foreigners are not given the same rights as straight marriages… his work sponsored him, I could not… at any rate 10 years of stress (we have been legal) is now over… woo hoo! Oh happy day!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That is good news. And what a good example of the inequalities you face, given that your relationship isn't yet properly recognised by the civil authorities. I'm realising that I take the rights I have as a married person very much for granted.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    That is good news. And what a good example of the inequalities you face, given that your relationship isn't yet properly recognised by the civil authorities. I'm realising that I take the rights I have as a married person very much for granted.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : I can't see how your attitude towards homosexuality would have any bearing on any of my struggles with the Baha'i administration, because none of my struggles have anything to do with homosexuality

    Sorry, Steve, here is a real life example of a projection on my part : I must have mixed up names, just like when you consider me as part of an “oppressive majority”. Once again, Internet is excellent for exchanging facts and opinions, but no good for analyzing people’s capacities and personalities.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : I can't see how your attitude towards homosexuality would have any bearing on any of my struggles with the Baha'i administration, because none of my struggles have anything to do with homosexuality

    Sorry, Steve, here is a real life example of a projection on my part : I must have mixed up names, just like when you consider me as part of an “oppressive majority”. Once again, Internet is excellent for exchanging facts and opinions, but no good for analyzing people’s capacities and personalities.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : You don't seem to see any problem with using non-equivalent terms — like "sexual orientation" and "sexual behaviour" — interchangeably, so it's impossible to pin you down when you respond.

    Steve, here again is how I use the words : our sexual behaviour is what we do ; our orientation is what we are prone to. Orientation, sexual drive, education, belief, restraint, culture, opportunities, physical status, hormones, medication,… all contribute towards our behaviour. Our way of life is a regular, organised behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : You don't seem to see any problem with using non-equivalent terms — like "sexual orientation" and "sexual behaviour" — interchangeably, so it's impossible to pin you down when you respond.

    Steve, here again is how I use the words : our sexual behaviour is what we do ; our orientation is what we are prone to. Orientation, sexual drive, education, belief, restraint, culture, opportunities, physical status, hormones, medication,… all contribute towards our behaviour. Our way of life is a regular, organised behaviour.

  • pey

    awesome. Congratulatons Daniel!

  • pey

    awesome. Congratulatons Daniel!

  • pey

    Or when we stand up only for the rights of some of our brethren in one country vs. human rights in general. That really besmriches the name of the Faith much more than accepting gay people.

  • pey

    Or when we stand up only for the rights of some of our brethren in one country vs. human rights in general. That really besmriches the name of the Faith much more than accepting gay people.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    In that case, we're right back where we started, with Baquia saying, in the original blog entry:

    I imagined a loving homosexual couple who are married according to the civil laws of the land they live in and who are raising a child or children in a stable and safe home environment. If they declare their faith in Baha’u'llah and join his community…

    What Baha’i law have they broken exactly?

    How would they be bringing “criticism upon the Faith itself” exactly?

    How would they be besmirching the “public image of the Faith”?

    To you, "The rules of this community are based on behaviour, and not on orientation. The loving homosexual couple who are married according to the civil laws of the land they live in and who are raising a child or children in a stable and safe home environment are, presumably, not meeting the Baha'i standards of behaviour. Because sex can only exist within marriage, and marriage can only exist when it's straight. But you do accept that the couple will find it "more difficult" to comply.

    Have I got it about right? I'm just trying your formula on for size.

    I might as well comply and speak your language because you refuse to speak mine. For example, You don't seem to see any problem with using non-equivalent terms — like "sexual orientation" and "sexual behaviour" — interchangeably, so it's impossible to pin you down when you respond.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    In that case, we're right back where we started, with Baquia saying, in the original blog entry:

    I imagined a loving homosexual couple who are married according to the civil laws of the land they live in and who are raising a child or children in a stable and safe home environment. If they declare their faith in Baha’u'llah and join his community…

    What Baha’i law have they broken exactly?

    How would they be bringing “criticism upon the Faith itself” exactly?

    How would they be besmirching the “public image of the Faith”?

    To you, "The rules of this community are based on behaviour, and not on orientation. The loving homosexual couple who are married according to the civil laws of the land they live in and who are raising a child or children in a stable and safe home environment are, presumably, not meeting the Baha'i standards of behaviour. Because sex can only exist within marriage, and marriage can only exist when it's straight. But you do accept that the couple will find it "more difficult" to comply.

    Have I got it about right? I'm just trying your formula on for size.

    I might as well comply and speak your language because you refuse to speak mine. For example, You don't seem to see any problem with using non-equivalent terms — like "sexual orientation" and "sexual behaviour" — interchangeably, so it's impossible to pin you down when you respond.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : How would they be bringing “criticism upon the Faith itself” exactly? How would they be besmirching the “public image of the Faith”?

    Steve, we only besmirch the name of the Faith if we do not live up to its principles, be they easy or not to comply with. If we give in to public pressure drink alcohol when our environment considers it smart to do so and fanatical not to do so, we are besmirching the name of the cause. If we accept gay marriages, not as a matter of principle, but just because dozens are leaving the Faith or pouring hatred on the net, or thousands are waiting to enter if we accept gay marriages, or if we flee from a country at a time when our spiritual help is the most needed, we are besmirching the public image of the Faith.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : How would they be bringing “criticism upon the Faith itself” exactly? How would they be besmirching the “public image of the Faith”?

    Steve, we only besmirch the name of the Faith if we do not live up to its principles, be they easy or not to comply with. If we give in to public pressure drink alcohol when our environment considers it smart to do so and fanatical not to do so, we are besmirching the name of the cause. If we accept gay marriages, not as a matter of principle, but just because dozens are leaving the Faith or pouring hatred on the net, or thousands are waiting to enter if we accept gay marriages, or if we flee from a country at a time when our spiritual help is the most needed, we are besmirching the public image of the Faith.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    I must have mixed up names, just like when you consider me as part of an “oppressive majority”.

    I don't think I've mixed up names. You are the straight doctor, living in France, who things that anything but straight sex within the bounds of marriage is outside the Baha'i rules, aren't you? And you did say to Pey:

    As an “outsider” I consider the situation neutrally, without all the emotion you are experiencing, a position that might seem cynical to you.

    So you're comfortable describing yourself as a neutral outsider — but you reject being described as part of an oppressive majority. Well, I'm sorry, but that's how I see it. I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too.

    If it's any consolation, I'm also part of the oppressive majority. All it takes to be part of that majority is to be straight and not to reject the benefits that acrue. I could get my civil marriage changed to a civil union, for a fee, but that could limit where I could travel to, and what I could do. Some countries don't recognise civil unions contracted in NZ, but do recognise its marriages.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    I must have mixed up names, just like when you consider me as part of an “oppressive majority”.

    I don't think I've mixed up names. You are the straight doctor, living in France, who things that anything but straight sex within the bounds of marriage is outside the Baha'i rules, aren't you? And you did say to Pey:

    As an “outsider” I consider the situation neutrally, without all the emotion you are experiencing, a position that might seem cynical to you.

    So you're comfortable describing yourself as a neutral outsider — but you reject being described as part of an oppressive majority. Well, I'm sorry, but that's how I see it. I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too.

    If it's any consolation, I'm also part of the oppressive majority. All it takes to be part of that majority is to be straight and not to reject the benefits that acrue. I could get my civil marriage changed to a civil union, for a fee, but that could limit where I could travel to, and what I could do. Some countries don't recognise civil unions contracted in NZ, but do recognise its marriages.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    As I've said earlier, this is an issue where, whatever you do, some laws and principles are going to be compromised. It think the phrase I used was "You're not going to be able to tick all the boxes." The question then becomes, which ones do you tick?

    I prefer to tick the boxes named inclusivity, justice, chastity, fidelity and nurture rather than the boxes named heterosexuality, legality, normality and how-do-we-explain-this-to-the children.

    We've been through these arguments before. I'm disinclined to go through them again. If i don't respond it's because I think you're at the point where you can dig your own hole without my help.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    As I've said earlier, this is an issue where, whatever you do, some laws and principles are going to be compromised. It think the phrase I used was "You're not going to be able to tick all the boxes." The question then becomes, which ones do you tick?

    I prefer to tick the boxes named inclusivity, justice, chastity, fidelity and nurture rather than the boxes named heterosexuality, legality, normality and how-do-we-explain-this-to-the children.

    We've been through these arguments before. I'm disinclined to go through them again. If i don't respond it's because I think you're at the point where you can dig your own hole without my help.

  • pey

    also lets look at the results- the fruits shall we say. In the end, isn't it really about creating an ever-advancing civilization? And this religion believes in the harmony of science and religion. So let's look honestly at the results of gay unions. How do the children turn out? Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination? If not, if the net effect of having gay unions is more family stability, more children being brought up to love God and make a better world, then what is the problem? Do we follow blind Faith attachement to letters written by secretaries to individual believers decades ago, or do we move forward? If on the otherhand you can prove how detrimental the fruits of gay unions would be to civilization (not sensationallized biased opinion, but real hard facts), then we can drop the whole issue and everybody goes their merry way.

  • pey

    also lets look at the results- the fruits shall we say. In the end, isn't it really about creating an ever-advancing civilization? And this religion believes in the harmony of science and religion. So let's look honestly at the results of gay unions. How do the children turn out? Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination? If not, if the net effect of having gay unions is more family stability, more children being brought up to love God and make a better world, then what is the problem? Do we follow blind Faith attachement to letters written by secretaries to individual believers decades ago, or do we move forward? If on the otherhand you can prove how detrimental the fruits of gay unions would be to civilization (not sensationallized biased opinion, but real hard facts), then we can drop the whole issue and everybody goes their merry way.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: You are the straight doctor, living in France, who things that anything but straight sex within the bounds of marriage is outside the Baha'i rules, aren't you?

    Steve, I agree with your point which is well taken; when I say I am “neutral” I mean that I have no personal benefit to defend here. Without being opposed to gay marriages and gay families participating in Baha’i administration, I am capable of weighing the pros and cons, and I can admit that on one side a community is entitled to setting up its own rules concerning family matters, and the gays on the other pointing out to their discomfort in a society not designed for their specific needs. However, as Pey points out correctly, my spiritual understanding is that the UHJ is divinely guided, and I am not questioning their authority.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: You are the straight doctor, living in France, who things that anything but straight sex within the bounds of marriage is outside the Baha'i rules, aren't you?

    Steve, I agree with your point which is well taken; when I say I am “neutral” I mean that I have no personal benefit to defend here. Without being opposed to gay marriages and gay families participating in Baha’i administration, I am capable of weighing the pros and cons, and I can admit that on one side a community is entitled to setting up its own rules concerning family matters, and the gays on the other pointing out to their discomfort in a society not designed for their specific needs. However, as Pey points out correctly, my spiritual understanding is that the UHJ is divinely guided, and I am not questioning their authority.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks for explaining what you mean by neutral.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Thanks for explaining what you mean by neutral.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    As a Baha’i, I would suggest applying the directives of the UHJ within the Baha’i community, and then compare in some years kids brought up in Baha’i families with those brought up in non-Baha’i families. This would seem to me a scientifically sound attitude and…

    But how are you going to deal with the confounding variables? The kids brought up in Baha'i families may be benefitting from prayers or community diversity or the prevalence of Ruhi books, rather than from having a mummy and a daddy (sometimes even living in the same house!). Surely controls are needed to eliminate alternative explanations of the experiment's results.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    As a Baha’i, I would suggest applying the directives of the UHJ within the Baha’i community, and then compare in some years kids brought up in Baha’i families with those brought up in non-Baha’i families. This would seem to me a scientifically sound attitude and…

    But how are you going to deal with the confounding variables? The kids brought up in Baha'i families may be benefitting from prayers or community diversity or the prevalence of Ruhi books, rather than from having a mummy and a daddy (sometimes even living in the same house!). Surely controls are needed to eliminate alternative explanations of the experiment's results.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: Surely controls are needed to eliminate alternative explanations of the experiment's results.

    Steve, I worked some 15 years on the French Association for Research in Surgery, using multi-centre studies. We have to advance towards evidence based medicine, but not only do we need the patients consent, but also variables such as hospital facilities, patient’s age and condition, other morbidities, the surgeon’s expertise, etc all come into consideration. The more studies we have, the longer the follow up, the better the accuracy. The statistical treatment of the data is very complex, but in the end the mathematicians working with us give a result with an interval of reliability. If we are outside the limits, we have to continue the studies until we arrive at a limit of significance.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: Surely controls are needed to eliminate alternative explanations of the experiment's results.

    Steve, I worked some 15 years on the French Association for Research in Surgery, using multi-centre studies. We have to advance towards evidence based medicine, but not only do we need the patients consent, but also variables such as hospital facilities, patient’s age and condition, other morbidities, the surgeon’s expertise, etc all come into consideration. The more studies we have, the longer the follow up, the better the accuracy. The statistical treatment of the data is very complex, but in the end the mathematicians working with us give a result with an interval of reliability. If we are outside the limits, we have to continue the studies until we arrive at a limit of significance.

  • pey

    NO it is unjust to not allow ANY outlet to gays. An outlet already exists for non-gays- it is called marriage. Two Bahais that can't get parental rigths, can leave the community- go shack up for a few years, then have a civil recognized union. Then come back to the community and ask to be Bahais. No one would ask them to get divorced and then get married with parental permission. They would serve in the community as equals. For gay couples this does not exists. And let's face it Farhan, until you get a letter from the UHJ saying "We have legislated that gay couples can be fully included in the Bahai community" you are not going to budge in your view period. No matter how much science, facts, stories or whaterver is written. You move wherever the UHJ wind blows you. And that is fine as long as we all understand that and realize that you are by no means neutral. Anymore than I am.

  • pey

    NO it is unjust to not allow ANY outlet to gays. An outlet already exists for non-gays- it is called marriage. Two Bahais that can't get parental rigths, can leave the community- go shack up for a few years, then have a civil recognized union. Then come back to the community and ask to be Bahais. No one would ask them to get divorced and then get married with parental permission. They would serve in the community as equals. For gay couples this does not exists. And let's face it Farhan, until you get a letter from the UHJ saying "We have legislated that gay couples can be fully included in the Bahai community" you are not going to budge in your view period. No matter how much science, facts, stories or whaterver is written. You move wherever the UHJ wind blows you. And that is fine as long as we all understand that and realize that you are by no means neutral. Anymore than I am.

  • pey

    And I'll be the first to admit that I am not neutral. If anything I'm being straight(no pun intended)forward. I want the Bahai community to change or else I would not have written directly to the UHJ for a solution. I don't feign a persona of being here just to learn as an impartial observer.

  • pey

    And I'll be the first to admit that I am not neutral. If anything I'm being straight(no pun intended)forward. I want the Bahai community to change or else I would not have written directly to the UHJ for a solution. I don't feign a persona of being here just to learn as an impartial observer.

  • pey

    Oh good. So we now have clearly where you stand. Thanks.

  • pey

    Oh good. So we now have clearly where you stand. Thanks.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: You move wherever the UHJ wind blows you.

    Pey, you are right, just as in a match I would abide by the way the referee’s whistle blew. As a physician I have to be neutral in my view on gay marriages, and at the same time say that a person who decides to work in some positions in Baha’i community life has to abide by the rules of that community. If a patients tells me he wants to be a Jew, but doesn’t want circumcision, as a physician I would be neutral and tell him to choose but not campaign against the Jews, as a Jew I would try to explain the law. As I have said, I agree about the outlet.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: You move wherever the UHJ wind blows you.

    Pey, you are right, just as in a match I would abide by the way the referee’s whistle blew. As a physician I have to be neutral in my view on gay marriages, and at the same time say that a person who decides to work in some positions in Baha’i community life has to abide by the rules of that community. If a patients tells me he wants to be a Jew, but doesn’t want circumcision, as a physician I would be neutral and tell him to choose but not campaign against the Jews, as a Jew I would try to explain the law. As I have said, I agree about the outlet.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: And I'll be the first to admit that I am not neutral.

    I understand Pey; I have been trying to hold two positions: one of a physician, and the other of a Baha’i, but I hope it is clarified now.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: And I'll be the first to admit that I am not neutral.

    I understand Pey; I have been trying to hold two positions: one of a physician, and the other of a Baha’i, but I hope it is clarified now.

  • farhan

    Thanks to you all, I am learning ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Thanks to you all, I am learning ;-)

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: I prefer to tick the boxes named inclusivity, justice, chastity, fidelity and nurture rather than the boxes named heterosexuality, legality, normality and "how-do-we-explain-this-to-the-children?"

    Steve, having been engaged in ethical decision making for the past 20 years, I have spent my time explaining that life in general, and surgery in particular cannot fit into boxes with this OR that, but rather into an infinite complexity of this AND that in whatever specific situation. This is a global fuzzy approach of reality, rather than a sequenced yes/no approach. If I were looking for a red marble in a jar of black ones, I would pour out the jar and have a look at all of them in one go, instead of pulling them out one by one, eventually finding the red one.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: I prefer to tick the boxes named inclusivity, justice, chastity, fidelity and nurture rather than the boxes named heterosexuality, legality, normality and "how-do-we-explain-this-to-the-children?"

    Steve, having been engaged in ethical decision making for the past 20 years, I have spent my time explaining that life in general, and surgery in particular cannot fit into boxes with this OR that, but rather into an infinite complexity of this AND that in whatever specific situation. This is a global fuzzy approach of reality, rather than a sequenced yes/no approach. If I were looking for a red marble in a jar of black ones, I would pour out the jar and have a look at all of them in one go, instead of pulling them out one by one, eventually finding the red one.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination?

    Pey, to me it would be unjust to only allow gay sex and forbid non-gay sex outside marriage, and I cannot say on what basis the UHJ does not instate gay marriages. Scientifically, the data presently available seems to show that kids brought up in gay families do as well, and even perhaps better than kids brought up in non gay families; it is too soon to evaluate how these kids will act as partners and as parents. As a Baha’i, I would suggest applying the directives of the UHJ within the Baha’i community, and then compare in some years kids brought up in Baha’i families with those brought up in non-Baha’i families. This would seem to me a scientifically sound attitude and we can be gay and make merry straight away.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination?

    Pey, to me it would be unjust to only allow gay sex and forbid non-gay sex outside marriage, and I cannot say on what basis the UHJ does not instate gay marriages. Scientifically, the data presently available seems to show that kids brought up in gay families do as well, and even perhaps better than kids brought up in non gay families; it is too soon to evaluate how these kids will act as partners and as parents. As a Baha’i, I would suggest applying the directives of the UHJ within the Baha’i community, and then compare in some years kids brought up in Baha’i families with those brought up in non-Baha’i families. This would seem to me a scientifically sound attitude and we can be gay and make merry straight away.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote: How do you reconcile abrogating your will and your own God given intellect in when Baha'u'llah tells us: … By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others…
    Baquia, humanity is in dire need arbitration. This implies submitting some matters, and not all, to an institution in which we have confidence. Private matters are of our own responsibility and the “zones of grey” are submitted by the UHJ to personal decision and conscience. When it comes to collective enterprises, harmonisation and coordination are vital, as when musicians wish to play in a symphony. In my own understanding, in these cases, we all have to strictly abide by the decision of institutions; otherwise, as my God given faculties inform me, we will have chaos.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Baquia wrote: How do you reconcile abrogating your will and your own God given intellect in when Baha'u'llah tells us: … By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others…
    Baquia, humanity is in dire need arbitration. This implies submitting some matters, and not all, to an institution in which we have confidence. Private matters are of our own responsibility and the “zones of grey” are submitted by the UHJ to personal decision and conscience. When it comes to collective enterprises, harmonisation and coordination are vital, as when musicians wish to play in a symphony. In my own understanding, in these cases, we all have to strictly abide by the decision of institutions; otherwise, as my God given faculties inform me, we will have chaos.

  • Daniel Orey

    A story…

    A number of years ago, when my son was in high school, his friends would hang out at our house, study, and just hang as is common with high school kids. One day I brought in a bunch of snacks and sodas and left. I went to the next room, and overheard the following conversation:

    “I wish my parents were gay”
    He said, “Its all the same, they are just as much assholes as your parents”
    “Naw, they are cooler”.

    My son who graduated first in his class at UC Berkeley and is now a Fulbright / MTV researcher in Mali, when asked if he ever felt deprived for being in a broken home and raised by gay dads, answered “what bullshit.”

  • Daniel Orey

    A story…

    A number of years ago, when my son was in high school, his friends would hang out at our house, study, and just hang as is common with high school kids. One day I brought in a bunch of snacks and sodas and left. I went to the next room, and overheard the following conversation:

    “I wish my parents were gay”
    He said, “Its all the same, they are just as much assholes as your parents”
    “Naw, they are cooler”.

    My son who graduated first in his class at UC Berkeley and is now a Fulbright / MTV researcher in Mali, when asked if he ever felt deprived for being in a broken home and raised by gay dads, answered “what bullshit.”

  • farhan

    Steve, during our pilgrimage last July, Paul Lample explained that the Guardian, and later the UHJ learnt by experiments/evaluation/adaptation. In the 1970s I participated in mass teaching efforts, we had results that could not be consolidated because nothing was prepared for the seekers. This led to the idea that communities were to be prepared for welcoming new believers. Hence in 1996 the UHJ announced a campaign for building up human resources through the teacher training institutes. As the world situation, the size of our communities, the new resources provided by science and we evaluate our advances, new decision have to be taken and this constant change that should take place harmoniously is something we have to become accustomed to.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve, during our pilgrimage last July, Paul Lample explained that the Guardian, and later the UHJ learnt by experiments/evaluation/adaptation. In the 1970s I participated in mass teaching efforts, we had results that could not be consolidated because nothing was prepared for the seekers. This led to the idea that communities were to be prepared for welcoming new believers. Hence in 1996 the UHJ announced a campaign for building up human resources through the teacher training institutes. As the world situation, the size of our communities, the new resources provided by science and we evaluate our advances, new decision have to be taken and this constant change that should take place harmoniously is something we have to become accustomed to.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    How do you reconcile abrogating your will and your own God given intellect when Baha'u'llah tells us:

    "O SON OF SPIRIT! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes."

    What you are doing is converting the UHJ into an empty idol and yourself into a superstitious shell of a man. I don't mean this as an insult – this is what anyone would be doing by following Rebequa Murphy's misguided logic

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    How do you reconcile abrogating your will and your own God given intellect when Baha'u'llah tells us:

    "O SON OF SPIRIT! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes."

    What you are doing is converting the UHJ into an empty idol and yourself into a superstitious shell of a man. I don't mean this as an insult – this is what anyone would be doing by following Rebequa Murphy's misguided logic

  • pey

    Well you could tell him to be part of a Jewish congregation that fully accepts him with foreskin and all. And only the most fundamentalist Jew would have a hissy fit about this individual or organization calling itself Jewish. THAT scenario does not exist. Nor do most of us who are gay, disenfranchised, liberal, thinkers, etc. etc. wish to create our own little cluster outside of the Faith. If THAT is what you are asking and what eventually will have to happen to the Bahai Faith in order for it to be for ALL of humanity, then we all might as well pack up and go home. This religion is really no different from the rest. BUT if the Faith under the direction of one UHJ can manage to create a community for all, then we can show that we are different. Right now, we can't.

  • pey

    Well you could tell him to be part of a Jewish congregation that fully accepts him with foreskin and all. And only the most fundamentalist Jew would have a hissy fit about this individual or organization calling itself Jewish. THAT scenario does not exist. Nor do most of us who are gay, disenfranchised, liberal, thinkers, etc. etc. wish to create our own little cluster outside of the Faith. If THAT is what you are asking and what eventually will have to happen to the Bahai Faith in order for it to be for ALL of humanity, then we all might as well pack up and go home. This religion is really no different from the rest. BUT if the Faith under the direction of one UHJ can manage to create a community for all, then we can show that we are different. Right now, we can't.

  • pey

    LOL. I love it. Once straight people realize that teens rebel against gay parents just like they do against all parents- then people will realize that we are just normal folk! Thanks for the story. Reminds me of another story when Larry King interviewed a gay preacher the Rev. White:
    "When I was on Larry King Live, somebody called in and said, ‘What do you guys do in bed?’ Larry hung up on him and said, ‘that’s none of your business.’ And I said, ‘We’ve been together in the same bed for 24 years – we’re like everybody else, we sleep in bed. And King said: ‘Once they find out you’re as boring as we are, it’s all over.’”
    I can't wait for that day! :o)

  • pey

    LOL. I love it. Once straight people realize that teens rebel against gay parents just like they do against all parents- then people will realize that we are just normal folk! Thanks for the story. Reminds me of another story when Larry King interviewed a gay preacher the Rev. White:
    "When I was on Larry King Live, somebody called in and said, ‘What do you guys do in bed?’ Larry hung up on him and said, ‘that’s none of your business.’ And I said, ‘We’ve been together in the same bed for 24 years – we’re like everybody else, we sleep in bed. And King said: ‘Once they find out you’re as boring as we are, it’s all over.’”
    I can't wait for that day! :o)

  • Daniel Orey

    buhahaha… in our case Larry is right…

  • Daniel Orey

    buhahaha… in our case Larry is right…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "not by an organized campaign of teaching — no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character — …can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation."
    Shoghi Efendi, quoted in Entry by troops (time to be announced)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "not by an organized campaign of teaching — no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character — …can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation."
    Shoghi Efendi, quoted in Entry by troops (time to be announced)

  • pey

    Daniel's post on the lobotomy doctor made me start thinking. What were some of the other treatments used to cure homosexuality during the time of Shoghi Effendi? Let's see…besides lobotomy, we had hormone therapy, electroshock treatment, pharmacologic shock treatment, use of sexual stimulants and depressants. This is a few I found on Wikipedia. I'm sure there were more. So it makes me wonder- did Shoghi Effendi's secretary really know what he was doing when he wrote "But through the advice and help of doctors, .,..a soul can overcome this handicap. [...] ?
    I wonder if that letter went to some father, concerned about his 14 year old son who was gay. A father who then listening to God's message for the day sent his son to a hospital to have his head butchered, or to be pumped with hormones, or to be shocked into becoming straight. Do you wonder Farhan and all the rest of you that only see justice in these words?

  • pey

    Daniel's post on the lobotomy doctor made me start thinking. What were some of the other treatments used to cure homosexuality during the time of Shoghi Effendi? Let's see…besides lobotomy, we had hormone therapy, electroshock treatment, pharmacologic shock treatment, use of sexual stimulants and depressants. This is a few I found on Wikipedia. I'm sure there were more. So it makes me wonder- did Shoghi Effendi's secretary really know what he was doing when he wrote "But through the advice and help of doctors, .,..a soul can overcome this handicap. [...] ?
    I wonder if that letter went to some father, concerned about his 14 year old son who was gay. A father who then listening to God's message for the day sent his son to a hospital to have his head butchered, or to be pumped with hormones, or to be shocked into becoming straight. Do you wonder Farhan and all the rest of you that only see justice in these words?

  • Daniel Orey

    lobotomy, electroshock , pharmacologic shock treatment, use of sexual stimulants and depressants all seem pretty much good for removing the soul…

  • Daniel Orey

    lobotomy, electroshock , pharmacologic shock treatment, use of sexual stimulants and depressants all seem pretty much good for removing the soul…

  • Daniel Orey
  • Daniel Orey
  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Here's something for the Baha'is to look forward to:

    Judge drafted in to sort Aussie church scrap

    BRISBANE – A former High Court judge has been appointed to mediate in the case of sacked rebel Catholic priest Peter Kennedy.

    Fr Kennedy is refusing to stand down from St Mary's church in South Brisbane despite being sacked last week for unorthodox practices such as blessing gay couples and selling books that questioned the divinity of Jesus.

    More than 1,000 people attended a service at St Mary's on Sunday in support of Fr Kennedy, who read the opening prayer and sang hymns.

    The parish is refusing to hand over the keys to the church to its appointed administrator Fr Ken Howell.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Here's something for the Baha'is to look forward to:

    Judge drafted in to sort Aussie church scrap

    BRISBANE – A former High Court judge has been appointed to mediate in the case of sacked rebel Catholic priest Peter Kennedy.

    Fr Kennedy is refusing to stand down from St Mary's church in South Brisbane despite being sacked last week for unorthodox practices such as blessing gay couples and selling books that questioned the divinity of Jesus.

    More than 1,000 people attended a service at St Mary's on Sunday in support of Fr Kennedy, who read the opening prayer and sang hymns.

    The parish is refusing to hand over the keys to the church to its appointed administrator Fr Ken Howell.

  • pey

    That's very cool. I wonder what would happen in the Bahai community if a situation like that arose. Let's say there was a liberal congregation that owned a Bahai center under an LSA in a city. And let's say they started accepting gay couples openly, as well as others that the AO doesn't welcome as full Bahais. I guess the NSA could disband the assembly/community (sort of like what happened in L.A. a few years ago). And if the community refuses, what then? Are they thrown out of the community? Are they labeled covenant breakers (although no one can really label anyone a CB now)? Will the NSA force take them to court to have them remove Bahai from their Center sign, etc.? I wonder.

  • pey

    That's very cool. I wonder what would happen in the Bahai community if a situation like that arose. Let's say there was a liberal congregation that owned a Bahai center under an LSA in a city. And let's say they started accepting gay couples openly, as well as others that the AO doesn't welcome as full Bahais. I guess the NSA could disband the assembly/community (sort of like what happened in L.A. a few years ago). And if the community refuses, what then? Are they thrown out of the community? Are they labeled covenant breakers (although no one can really label anyone a CB now)? Will the NSA force take them to court to have them remove Bahai from their Center sign, etc.? I wonder.

  • farhan

    Thanks for the link, Daniel

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Thanks for the link, Daniel

  • farhan

    Daniel, the Baah'i teachings say that teh soul is indestructible; any illness does not affect the soul, but hampers with the soul manifesting itself in our mind and body.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Daniel, the Baah'i teachings say that teh soul is indestructible; any illness does not affect the soul, but hampers with the soul manifesting itself in our mind and body.

  • pey

    I think Daniel was saying that these barbaric "treatments" that were so prevalent in the time of Shoghi Effendi had the effect of destroying the vibrance, creativity, love and passion for life (aka soul) in an individual. All for what? So that the individual could 'overcome" his sexuality in accordance with a letter written by some ignorant secretary. Do you still think Farhan that that letter advising some Bahai in that age to seek the advise of doctors was the right thing to do? Was that what God wanted back then, that the individual be shocked into becoming straight?

  • pey

    I think Daniel was saying that these barbaric "treatments" that were so prevalent in the time of Shoghi Effendi had the effect of destroying the vibrance, creativity, love and passion for life (aka soul) in an individual. All for what? So that the individual could 'overcome" his sexuality in accordance with a letter written by some ignorant secretary. Do you still think Farhan that that letter advising some Bahai in that age to seek the advise of doctors was the right thing to do? Was that what God wanted back then, that the individual be shocked into becoming straight?

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I understand how data is normalised in a multi-centre study. What happens is that you do your best to have a random selection of participants from each centre, then you use demographic and statistical data to normalise the results, so as to account for the differences between the centres. Centre A has a higher proportion of younger / poorer / less educated parents and this is reflected in the sample. Adjustments in the results must be made to account for the differences. The bigger the differences between centres, the more challenging this normalising process is.

    Pey is suggesting that we compare the children of gay parents with those of straight parents, and the same normalising of the data would need to occur. Gay parents are going to have a different demographic profile from straight parents. What you're suggesting is that straight families from the Baha'i population be compared to gay families from the general population. Not only is it unnecessary to do that — because we're only supposedly comparing the "performance" of gay families to that of straight families — it introduces a whole bunch of variables associated with whether a participant is Baha'i or not, and these would need to be accounted for as well.

    Moreover, no matter how significant the result is, your experiment would not isolate the causal relationship we're supposedly looking at. It wouldn't tell us whether the overall Baha'i way of life produced "better" kids, or whether it was due to straight being "better" than gay at doing that — as I've already pointed out.

    When our resident mathematician has finished laughing, perhaps he'll have a comment or two.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I understand how data is normalised in a multi-centre study. What happens is that you do your best to have a random selection of participants from each centre, then you use demographic and statistical data to normalise the results, so as to account for the differences between the centres. Centre A has a higher proportion of younger / poorer / less educated parents and this is reflected in the sample. Adjustments in the results must be made to account for the differences. The bigger the differences between centres, the more challenging this normalising process is.

    Pey is suggesting that we compare the children of gay parents with those of straight parents, and the same normalising of the data would need to occur. Gay parents are going to have a different demographic profile from straight parents. What you're suggesting is that straight families from the Baha'i population be compared to gay families from the general population. Not only is it unnecessary to do that — because we're only supposedly comparing the "performance" of gay families to that of straight families — it introduces a whole bunch of variables associated with whether a participant is Baha'i or not, and these would need to be accounted for as well.

    Moreover, no matter how significant the result is, your experiment would not isolate the causal relationship we're supposedly looking at. It wouldn't tell us whether the overall Baha'i way of life produced "better" kids, or whether it was due to straight being "better" than gay at doing that — as I've already pointed out.

    When our resident mathematician has finished laughing, perhaps he'll have a comment or two.

  • Daniel Orey

    you got it right, thanks Pey.

  • Daniel Orey

    you got it right, thanks Pey.

  • Daniel Orey

    indestructible sure, but these "cures" did a great job of hampering the individual's ability to make much progress in this world. I am curious as to what sorts of cures the esteemed secretary was referring to… folks really need to see the program re: lobotomy to understand my disgust. As well this tendency for Baha'is to ignore the science, especially in favor of their own prejudices continues to alarm me.

  • Daniel Orey

    indestructible sure, but these "cures" did a great job of hampering the individual's ability to make much progress in this world. I am curious as to what sorts of cures the esteemed secretary was referring to… folks really need to see the program re: lobotomy to understand my disgust. As well this tendency for Baha'is to ignore the science, especially in favor of their own prejudices continues to alarm me.

  • Daniel Orey

    that is interesting… something to visualize during our fast meditations I wager…

  • Daniel Orey

    that is interesting… something to visualize during our fast meditations I wager…

  • pey

    Exactly. It is easy to gloss over such words and act all righteous against those of us who question them. Remember Masud's little remark "well you just don't believe in the Guardian, now do you?" or something like that. But when these people do not stop and think of what those words may have meant in the day they were spoken, the possible outcomes- then this religion just falls into the same fundamentalist trap as so many others. I don't believe that was Bahaullah's intent and I never will.

  • pey

    Exactly. It is easy to gloss over such words and act all righteous against those of us who question them. Remember Masud's little remark "well you just don't believe in the Guardian, now do you?" or something like that. But when these people do not stop and think of what those words may have meant in the day they were spoken, the possible outcomes- then this religion just falls into the same fundamentalist trap as so many others. I don't believe that was Bahaullah's intent and I never will.

  • farhan

    teve wrote: no matter how significant the result is, your experiment would not isolate the causal relationship we're supposedly looking at

    You are obviously right, Steve, but I see no other way of giving a scientific reply to Pey’s question on the outcome of children in gay families. Firstly, “a better kid” is a concept that requires defining. Secondly, a way of life is a coherent “package” inspired by your way of thinking which in turn is determined by our beliefs. This having been said, when we are convinced of something, as Baquia has pointed out, it is painful to change and it helps if we have evidence based facts. Each surgeon was convinced in the 1970s that the procedure he had chosen was the best. When prospective studies on morbidity, mortality, pain, recurrence rate, cost effectiveness, etc arrived, we had to change and we improved. This is one reason that the Teacher Training Institute is collecting statistics to spot the most effective teaching procedures. As a physician, I could reply to Pey that our concepts of the ideal family could change if scientific evidence helps establish the facts. As a Baha’i I would say that since we only live once and cannot come back to use the acquired experience, we better follow as closely as possible the prescriptions of God’s messenger.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    teve wrote: no matter how significant the result is, your experiment would not isolate the causal relationship we're supposedly looking at

    You are obviously right, Steve, but I see no other way of giving a scientific reply to Pey’s question on the outcome of children in gay families. Firstly, “a better kid” is a concept that requires defining. Secondly, a way of life is a coherent “package” inspired by your way of thinking which in turn is determined by our beliefs. This having been said, when we are convinced of something, as Baquia has pointed out, it is painful to change and it helps if we have evidence based facts. Each surgeon was convinced in the 1970s that the procedure he had chosen was the best. When prospective studies on morbidity, mortality, pain, recurrence rate, cost effectiveness, etc arrived, we had to change and we improved. This is one reason that the Teacher Training Institute is collecting statistics to spot the most effective teaching procedures. As a physician, I could reply to Pey that our concepts of the ideal family could change if scientific evidence helps establish the facts. As a Baha’i I would say that since we only live once and cannot come back to use the acquired experience, we better follow as closely as possible the prescriptions of God’s messenger.

  • farhan

    Steve quoted Shoghi Effendi: "not by an organized campaign of teaching — no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character — …can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation."

    Steve, it would be interesting to continue the quotation with: “One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u'llah.”

    Some of these aspects of our “inner life and private character” are prayer, regular study of the writings, obedience to laws and institutions, refraining from back-biting and negative criticisme, attitudes of loving unity when we wish to share our views generously with other Baha’is. This doesn’t mean that we do not need a structure to foster such qualities, but that structure without these qualities is void of meaning.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve quoted Shoghi Effendi: "not by an organized campaign of teaching — no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character — …can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abha Revelation."

    Steve, it would be interesting to continue the quotation with: “One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Baha’u'llah.”

    Some of these aspects of our “inner life and private character” are prayer, regular study of the writings, obedience to laws and institutions, refraining from back-biting and negative criticisme, attitudes of loving unity when we wish to share our views generously with other Baha’is. This doesn’t mean that we do not need a structure to foster such qualities, but that structure without these qualities is void of meaning.

  • farhan

    ey wrote: Do you wonder Farhan and all the rest of you that only see justice in these words?

    Pey, Baha’u’llah advises us to refer to competent doctors or again to the best medical advise available. We have already spoken about the complexity of orientation, but again, a competent doctor can help a person adapt his orientation to a hostile environment. At that time science had “proved” the inequality of races. So people can make mistakes and science can make mistakes: we can grow when we learn from our mistakes.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    ey wrote: Do you wonder Farhan and all the rest of you that only see justice in these words?

    Pey, Baha’u’llah advises us to refer to competent doctors or again to the best medical advise available. We have already spoken about the complexity of orientation, but again, a competent doctor can help a person adapt his orientation to a hostile environment. At that time science had “proved” the inequality of races. So people can make mistakes and science can make mistakes: we can grow when we learn from our mistakes.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: Do you still think Farhan that that letter advising some Bahai in that age to seek the advise of doctors was the right thing to do?

    Pey, I am sure that most doctors at that time, were not like those employed by Hitler, involved in barbaric experiments, and that most of them were essentially concerned with the wellbeing of their patients. We shudder at what they did, and in 50 years time people will shudder at what we are doing now. Who knows how they will consider our discussions on orientation.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: Do you still think Farhan that that letter advising some Bahai in that age to seek the advise of doctors was the right thing to do?

    Pey, I am sure that most doctors at that time, were not like those employed by Hitler, involved in barbaric experiments, and that most of them were essentially concerned with the wellbeing of their patients. We shudder at what they did, and in 50 years time people will shudder at what we are doing now. Who knows how they will consider our discussions on orientation.

  • pey

    But Farhan I am not talking about Bahaullah. Let's go thru this step by step, if you didn't understand. A secretary writes to an individual believer about what to do about homosexuality. I don't know what the question was- maybe it was a general question, maybe it was an individual Bahai wanting to overcome- but this secretary with the power of writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, advises this individual to go see a doctor to overcome homosexuality and leaves it at that. Daniel and I are telling you what treatments existed in the day of Shoghi Effendi- it included the barbaric act of a lobotomy to remove homosexual tendencies. Are you not the least bit curious if that individual, a dedicated Bahai, decided to submit himself to such treatment or worse a father submitted his child to such treatment because God had told him to? So instead of addressing the question I put forward in a clear manner, you sidestep by bringing the inequality of race, yadda yadda. Instead of just saying, wow, I never thought about- that f''en secretary may have cause detrimental harm to some poor soul! You are unbelievable Farhan- but as expected since you are not neutral.

  • pey

    But Farhan I am not talking about Bahaullah. Let's go thru this step by step, if you didn't understand. A secretary writes to an individual believer about what to do about homosexuality. I don't know what the question was- maybe it was a general question, maybe it was an individual Bahai wanting to overcome- but this secretary with the power of writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, advises this individual to go see a doctor to overcome homosexuality and leaves it at that. Daniel and I are telling you what treatments existed in the day of Shoghi Effendi- it included the barbaric act of a lobotomy to remove homosexual tendencies. Are you not the least bit curious if that individual, a dedicated Bahai, decided to submit himself to such treatment or worse a father submitted his child to such treatment because God had told him to? So instead of addressing the question I put forward in a clear manner, you sidestep by bringing the inequality of race, yadda yadda. Instead of just saying, wow, I never thought about- that f''en secretary may have cause detrimental harm to some poor soul! You are unbelievable Farhan- but as expected since you are not neutral.

  • farhan

    Pey, I am sure that for that time, suggesting that gays were not criminals but that they could be helped spiritually and physically, at a time when they were sent to camps was already a great step towards their acceptation. No doubt you can compare better, as know the history of this evolution better than me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, I am sure that for that time, suggesting that gays were not criminals but that they could be helped spiritually and physically, at a time when they were sent to camps was already a great step towards their acceptation. No doubt you can compare better, as know the history of this evolution better than me.

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey is correct in my concern… or… what if the LSA advised a kid to go get treatment, and the kid committed suicide? Which happened, and which caused a number of us to form the now defunct GBF

  • Daniel Orey

    Pey is correct in my concern… or… what if the LSA advised a kid to go get treatment, and the kid committed suicide? Which happened, and which caused a number of us to form the now defunct GBF

  • farhan

    Daniel, doctors diagnosed transexuality and suggested reassignment surgery for a person I know. The UHJ submitted to medical prescription and the patient was operated and is now married and integrated in the community with a new gender; Who knows if in 10 years this surgery will not be considered as barbarous? Would we then argue that the UHJ should have opposed medical prescription today?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Daniel, doctors diagnosed transexuality and suggested reassignment surgery for a person I know. The UHJ submitted to medical prescription and the patient was operated and is now married and integrated in the community with a new gender; Who knows if in 10 years this surgery will not be considered as barbarous? Would we then argue that the UHJ should have opposed medical prescription today?

  • farhan

    Pey, When we look at the letters concerning medical subjects, and I have been working with them quite some time, we realise that they were replies to letters part of which have not been published for personal reasons; I believe it should be possible in some cases to have the question and the complete answer. With out side-stepping, I earnestly do not believe that Shoghi Effendi, or any other Baha'i would have encouraged mutilating surgery, even at the time when medicine had no other substitute for mental cases where the patients life was at risk. We now know that electroshocks, under general anaesthesia, can today be benefit some rare cases of bipolar disorders or melancholia who do not react to drugs and where the patient’s life is endangered by suicide. At that time, when psychotropic drugs were almost inexistent, Shoghi Effendi states that it is up to doctors to decide and not a question of Faith. If He had discouraged and the patient had committed suicide, who would have been to blame for questioning science?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, When we look at the letters concerning medical subjects, and I have been working with them quite some time, we realise that they were replies to letters part of which have not been published for personal reasons; I believe it should be possible in some cases to have the question and the complete answer. With out side-stepping, I earnestly do not believe that Shoghi Effendi, or any other Baha'i would have encouraged mutilating surgery, even at the time when medicine had no other substitute for mental cases where the patients life was at risk. We now know that electroshocks, under general anaesthesia, can today be benefit some rare cases of bipolar disorders or melancholia who do not react to drugs and where the patient’s life is endangered by suicide. At that time, when psychotropic drugs were almost inexistent, Shoghi Effendi states that it is up to doctors to decide and not a question of Faith. If He had discouraged and the patient had committed suicide, who would have been to blame for questioning science?

  • pey

    Again you are mixing up things farhan to justify that letter. These letters have been published and they are supposed to be the word of God for the next 1,000 years. I am telling you that there were barbaric "treatments" that hurt people. That is why they are discouraged today because they did not work. Your secretary that you adhere to, told someone that a gay person needs to go to a doctor (possibly this doctor) and get help. The treatment may very well have caused a suicide. Here you have a troubled person, not because he is has any mental disorder, but because he believes that his homosexuality is a grave sin and wants to know what he should do. He submits a question to this secretary and the response is "go see a doctor". He sees a doctor and ends up with his brain buthchered or injected full of chemicals or hormones, left still wiht his gay feelings wondering why God will not remove this sin from him. THAT Farhan is what causes a gay person to suicide. AND that secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi would have been the cause of it. As today, you and the whole Bahai community were the cause of the death of that young man that Daniel pointed out.

  • pey

    Again you are mixing up things farhan to justify that letter. These letters have been published and they are supposed to be the word of God for the next 1,000 years. I am telling you that there were barbaric "treatments" that hurt people. That is why they are discouraged today because they did not work. Your secretary that you adhere to, told someone that a gay person needs to go to a doctor (possibly this doctor) and get help. The treatment may very well have caused a suicide. Here you have a troubled person, not because he is has any mental disorder, but because he believes that his homosexuality is a grave sin and wants to know what he should do. He submits a question to this secretary and the response is "go see a doctor". He sees a doctor and ends up with his brain buthchered or injected full of chemicals or hormones, left still wiht his gay feelings wondering why God will not remove this sin from him. THAT Farhan is what causes a gay person to suicide. AND that secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi would have been the cause of it. As today, you and the whole Bahai community were the cause of the death of that young man that Daniel pointed out.

  • pey

    Daniel. Do you know who this kid is? Is this the same one who's letter was read by Bill at the World COngress? I think, if the families involved, are willing to share this letter with the world, it would do much good. I understand the need for privacy if they don't wish to share it. But the world has to know what we are dealing with inside the Bahai community. Especially when you consider that someone like Farhan is supposed to be the best we have in the community among "loyal" Bahais in trying to understand the issue. It really doesn't leave much hope, does it?

  • pey

    Daniel. Do you know who this kid is? Is this the same one who's letter was read by Bill at the World COngress? I think, if the families involved, are willing to share this letter with the world, it would do much good. I understand the need for privacy if they don't wish to share it. But the world has to know what we are dealing with inside the Bahai community. Especially when you consider that someone like Farhan is supposed to be the best we have in the community among "loyal" Bahais in trying to understand the issue. It really doesn't leave much hope, does it?

  • pey

    That is the correct surgery to help someone accept themselves and be who they innately know they are. Great care is taken to make sure the person is ready for this kind of major surgery before it is carried out. We are talking about taking a mentally healthy person who loves God, filling him with doubt about his true nature (that he is gay and that is ok) and then sending him off on some false quest to overcome. IN this day, it means that individual suffering from so much guilt and hopelessness that they end their life. In the time of Shoghi Effendi it meant submitting to gross procedures like cutting into one's brain. Why is it so hard for you to admit that this secretary was utterly wrong? Shame on you Farhan.

  • pey

    That is the correct surgery to help someone accept themselves and be who they innately know they are. Great care is taken to make sure the person is ready for this kind of major surgery before it is carried out. We are talking about taking a mentally healthy person who loves God, filling him with doubt about his true nature (that he is gay and that is ok) and then sending him off on some false quest to overcome. IN this day, it means that individual suffering from so much guilt and hopelessness that they end their life. In the time of Shoghi Effendi it meant submitting to gross procedures like cutting into one's brain. Why is it so hard for you to admit that this secretary was utterly wrong? Shame on you Farhan.

  • Daniel Orey

    it was so long ago, and I threw out all the notes in a pique years ago, it could be… I lost track of most of the folks as well, a psychologist Sam M. from NJ knew the details, but I think he moved to Italy, and now may have passed away

  • Daniel Orey

    it was so long ago, and I threw out all the notes in a pique years ago, it could be… I lost track of most of the folks as well, a psychologist Sam M. from NJ knew the details, but I think he moved to Italy, and now may have passed away

  • pey

    Unbelievable the extent you will go to justify. Even if it means the butchering of someone leaving them listless so they feel no sexual pleasures at all. Yeah, I'm sure they were quite proud of themselves having helped that kid no longer be gay. Of course he may have ended up in a hospital for the rest of his life, but that's a small price to pay. I'm sure Shoghi's secretary was also happy that he saved this poor soul and now helped him enter the Abha kingdom. Right Farhan?

  • pey

    Unbelievable the extent you will go to justify. Even if it means the butchering of someone leaving them listless so they feel no sexual pleasures at all. Yeah, I'm sure they were quite proud of themselves having helped that kid no longer be gay. Of course he may have ended up in a hospital for the rest of his life, but that's a small price to pay. I'm sure Shoghi's secretary was also happy that he saved this poor soul and now helped him enter the Abha kingdom. Right Farhan?

  • pey

    RIght Farhan and today the best evolution is accepting gays as perfect individuals as they are and dropping the false idea of reparative therapy. Allowing gays unions and helping gay people live spiritual active lives in our Faith communities- AS EQUALS. Yeah I can compare Farhan and today what I just offered IS the best that society can offer. Are you ready to help the Bahai community be in the forefront of that, or will you sit back with idle talk?

  • pey

    RIght Farhan and today the best evolution is accepting gays as perfect individuals as they are and dropping the false idea of reparative therapy. Allowing gays unions and helping gay people live spiritual active lives in our Faith communities- AS EQUALS. Yeah I can compare Farhan and today what I just offered IS the best that society can offer. Are you ready to help the Bahai community be in the forefront of that, or will you sit back with idle talk?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    I see no other way of giving a scientific reply to Pey’s question on the outcome of children in gay families.

    If you go back to what Pey said,

    So let's look honestly at the results of gay unions. How do the children turn out? Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination?

    …you'll see there's no mention of Baha'i. That was your addition. All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    You wrote:
    I see no other way of giving a scientific reply to Pey’s question on the outcome of children in gay families.

    If you go back to what Pey said,

    So let's look honestly at the results of gay unions. How do the children turn out? Are they deprived, hurt by not having a mother/father combination?

    …you'll see there's no mention of Baha'i. That was your addition. All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.

  • pey

    Yeah it was Sam McLellan you are probably thinking of. I've read his stuff on the BNASAA web site. He was one of the few in the Bahai AO that came even close to understanding our plight, yet even he, in the end, followed the letter of the law. But it's amazing how much has even changed from those early days of BNASAA, just a decade ago. Interesting, I just visited the BNASAA web site, and EVERYTHING that they have listed under Shoghi Effendi that specifically mentions the word homosexuality comes from some secretary writing on behalf of the Guardian to some individual. There are only two quotes there direct from the Guardian's own mouth and they only mention the word chastity. Sonja is so right.

  • pey

    Yeah it was Sam McLellan you are probably thinking of. I've read his stuff on the BNASAA web site. He was one of the few in the Bahai AO that came even close to understanding our plight, yet even he, in the end, followed the letter of the law. But it's amazing how much has even changed from those early days of BNASAA, just a decade ago. Interesting, I just visited the BNASAA web site, and EVERYTHING that they have listed under Shoghi Effendi that specifically mentions the word homosexuality comes from some secretary writing on behalf of the Guardian to some individual. There are only two quotes there direct from the Guardian's own mouth and they only mention the word chastity. Sonja is so right.

  • pey

    Maybe an easy way to see is take a record of how many kids entering the juvenile prison system come from a home with two opposite sex parents, two same sex parents and single parent household. Then evaluate with statistics that tell you what percent of the general population are from those types of families. It's not perfect, but it would be a start for some hard data; and I would think pretty easy to do in any country that takes a good census.

  • pey

    Maybe an easy way to see is take a record of how many kids entering the juvenile prison system come from a home with two opposite sex parents, two same sex parents and single parent household. Then evaluate with statistics that tell you what percent of the general population are from those types of families. It's not perfect, but it would be a start for some hard data; and I would think pretty easy to do in any country that takes a good census.

  • Daniel Orey
  • Daniel Orey
  • farhan

    Pey wrote: THAT Farhan is what causes a gay person to! suicide. AND that secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi would have been the cause of it. As today, you and the whole Bahai community were the cause of the death of that young man that Daniel pointed out.

    Pey, are you suggesting that the social reaction to gays is the sole cause of their discomfort, and of the suicide rate higher than in the general population?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: THAT Farhan is what causes a gay person to! suicide. AND that secretary writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi would have been the cause of it. As today, you and the whole Bahai community were the cause of the death of that young man that Daniel pointed out.

    Pey, are you suggesting that the social reaction to gays is the sole cause of their discomfort, and of the suicide rate higher than in the general population?

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Especially when you consider that someone like Farhan is supposed to be the best we have in the community among "loyal" Bahais in trying to understand the issue.
    I have no pretention of being the « best » nor the most « loyal », and I am acting as an individual with no authority, trying to understand your feelings and listen to your arguments. If you were hoping that I would decree that you are right and that the institutions are wrong, I would suggest submitting your questions to some authority, such as one of the Baha’i medical associations.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : Especially when you consider that someone like Farhan is supposed to be the best we have in the community among "loyal" Bahais in trying to understand the issue.
    I have no pretention of being the « best » nor the most « loyal », and I am acting as an individual with no authority, trying to understand your feelings and listen to your arguments. If you were hoping that I would decree that you are right and that the institutions are wrong, I would suggest submitting your questions to some authority, such as one of the Baha’i medical associations.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Why is it so hard for you to admit that this secretary was utterly wrong?
    Pey, do you feel that it would be utterly wrong for the secretarial department of the UHJ to refer someone to prayer, loving attention and medical care today? Should they be encouraged to ignore medical attention and to submit to which other care? And are you sure that this person some 60 years back had no other medical problem to be dealt with? How can you say that it was utterly wrong to refer someone to science when you regularly refer to scientific knowledge yourself?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : Why is it so hard for you to admit that this secretary was utterly wrong?
    Pey, do you feel that it would be utterly wrong for the secretarial department of the UHJ to refer someone to prayer, loving attention and medical care today? Should they be encouraged to ignore medical attention and to submit to which other care? And are you sure that this person some 60 years back had no other medical problem to be dealt with? How can you say that it was utterly wrong to refer someone to science when you regularly refer to scientific knowledge yourself?

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.
    Steve, I replied to that: the scientific stand is to say that the only studies reassuring, although there seems to be some controversy. We will have to wait some 10 or 20 years to have sufficient data on the family making capacities of these children. So we can wait and see before we compare the outcome.
    The believer’s stand is to say we live only once, and so I want to comply with God’s prescriptions as the UHJ legislates.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.
    Steve, I replied to that: the scientific stand is to say that the only studies reassuring, although there seems to be some controversy. We will have to wait some 10 or 20 years to have sufficient data on the family making capacities of these children. So we can wait and see before we compare the outcome.
    The believer’s stand is to say we live only once, and so I want to comply with God’s prescriptions as the UHJ legislates.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote: All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.
    Steve, I replied to that: the scientific stand is to say that the only studies reassuring, although there seems to be some controversy. We will have to wait some 10 or 20 years to have sufficient data on the family making capacities of these children. So we can wait and see before we compare the outcome.
    The believer’s stand is to say we live only once, and so where science is not conclusive, want to comply with God’s prescriptions as the UHJ legislates. This is the crux of the matter for Pey, since he rejects science of the 1950s, refers to that of today, and wishes that community requirements would comply with his way of life.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote: All that's required is to compare children in straight families with those in gay families in a scientific way.
    Steve, I replied to that: the scientific stand is to say that the only studies reassuring, although there seems to be some controversy. We will have to wait some 10 or 20 years to have sufficient data on the family making capacities of these children. So we can wait and see before we compare the outcome.
    The believer’s stand is to say we live only once, and so where science is not conclusive, want to comply with God’s prescriptions as the UHJ legislates. This is the crux of the matter for Pey, since he rejects science of the 1950s, refers to that of today, and wishes that community requirements would comply with his way of life.

  • pey

    Suicide rate among gay teens is definitely higher than regular teens. Teens brought up in religions where they are told that their sexuality is an aberration to God and must be overcome for their spiritual development. You haven't denied that you believe this and will continue to preach this nonsense inside the Bahai community. So yes, you are the cause of the death of a gay teen in the Bahai community that were to kill themselves because they could not overcome as you and the Bahai community collectively tell him he should on Bahaullah's behalf.

  • pey

    Suicide rate among gay teens is definitely higher than regular teens. Teens brought up in religions where they are told that their sexuality is an aberration to God and must be overcome for their spiritual development. You haven't denied that you believe this and will continue to preach this nonsense inside the Bahai community. So yes, you are the cause of the death of a gay teen in the Bahai community that were to kill themselves because they could not overcome as you and the Bahai community collectively tell him he should on Bahaullah's behalf.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Teens brought up in religions where they are told that their sexuality is an aberration to God and must be overcome for their spiritual development. You haven't denied that you believe this and will continue to preach this nonsense inside the Bahai community.
    Pey, I have never seen any Baha’i writing say such a thing, nor have I ever believed and still less vehicled such nonsense which could only be produced by some bigoted power seeking puritan or someone wishing to discredit the Baha’i teachings.
    What I do believe is that we all have a spiritual progress to accomplish in this life, rising above our animal condition to become more and more human, investing our time and substance to human attainments. Each one of us evolves more or less in the different fields of accomplishment, so we cant compare ourselves to each other but only to the unattainable ideal. This progress can only be attained trough love, which elevates us to higher attainments, and not through fear and constraint, which stifles our potential capacities.
    Complying with social requirements in our sexual behaviour is but one aspect of this evolution, but the fact that this behaviour can impair the social structure, society can apply coercive measures, which are not, a good measure of our relation with God.
    As to the higher suicide rate, although I have seen no study estimating what part of it might come from the mindset and what part of it comes from the social pressure, it definitely does engage our responsibility. You feel that the solution is liberalising gay relations, and I have no idea yet what the best solution might be, and this is why I have been lingering here.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : Teens brought up in religions where they are told that their sexuality is an aberration to God and must be overcome for their spiritual development. You haven't denied that you believe this and will continue to preach this nonsense inside the Bahai community.
    Pey, I have never seen any Baha’i writing say such a thing, nor have I ever believed and still less vehicled such nonsense which could only be produced by some bigoted power seeking puritan or someone wishing to discredit the Baha’i teachings.
    What I do believe is that we all have a spiritual progress to accomplish in this life, rising above our animal condition to become more and more human, investing our time and substance to human attainments. Each one of us evolves more or less in the different fields of accomplishment, so we cant compare ourselves to each other but only to the unattainable ideal. This progress can only be attained trough love, which elevates us to higher attainments, and not through fear and constraint, which stifles our potential capacities.
    Complying with social requirements in our sexual behaviour is but one aspect of this evolution, but the fact that this behaviour can impair the social structure, society can apply coercive measures, which are not, a good measure of our relation with God.
    As to the higher suicide rate, although I have seen no study estimating what part of it might come from the mindset and what part of it comes from the social pressure, it definitely does engage our responsibility. You feel that the solution is liberalising gay relations, and I have no idea yet what the best solution might be, and this is why I have been lingering here.

  • pey

    Farhan you said: "I have never seen any Baha’i writing say such a thing, nor have I ever believed and still less vehicled such nonsense which could only be produced by some bigoted power…"
    And I am telling you it was precisely the words of secretaries writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi that gave me a sense of hopelessness and moved me to almost give up on God. IT was these words that are espoused by you and the Bahai community, that put my friend in the psychiatric hospital when she attempted to take her life (ironically the hospital was close to the House of Worhsip in Wilmette, so she got to see every dat the cause of her pain). So ignore, deny, pretend all you want Farhan, but the official stance of the Bahai community is hurting gay teens. As long as the 9 men in Haifa continue to put out letters saying thiings like the following: continued…

  • pey

    "There should be real incentive for you to courageously face the problems inherent in the situation you describe in your letter, and to firmly resolve to change your way of life. But you must desire to do so. Both you and your Bahá'í friend must first recognize that a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life and that determined effort to overcome the wayward tendencies which promote this practice which, like other sexual vices, is so abhorrent to the Creator of all mankind will help you both to return to a path that leads to true happiness. (23 August 1982 to an individual believer)" , then Farhan- vulnerable gay people inside the Bahai community will continue to abuse themselves and beat themselves over the head for Bahaullah. Because of you and your support of the current stance of teh UHJ.

  • pey

    Farhan you said: "I have never seen any Baha’i writing say such a thing, nor have I ever believed and still less vehicled such nonsense which could only be produced by some bigoted power…"
    And I am telling you it was precisely the words of secretaries writing on behalf of Shoghi Effendi that gave me a sense of hopelessness and moved me to almost give up on God. IT was these words that are espoused by you and the Bahai community, that put my friend in the psychiatric hospital when she attempted to take her life (ironically the hospital was close to the House of Worhsip in Wilmette, so she got to see every dat the cause of her pain). So ignore, deny, pretend all you want Farhan, but the official stance of the Bahai community is hurting gay teens. As long as the 9 men in Haifa continue to put out letters saying thiings like the following: continued…

  • pey

    "There should be real incentive for you to courageously face the problems inherent in the situation you describe in your letter, and to firmly resolve to change your way of life. But you must desire to do so. Both you and your Bahá'í friend must first recognize that a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life and that determined effort to overcome the wayward tendencies which promote this practice which, like other sexual vices, is so abhorrent to the Creator of all mankind will help you both to return to a path that leads to true happiness. (23 August 1982 to an individual believer)" , then Farhan- vulnerable gay people inside the Bahai community will continue to abuse themselves and beat themselves over the head for Bahaullah. Because of you and your support of the current stance of teh UHJ.

  • pey

    It is wrong Farhan when that "care" was not needed. God you are so willing to bend over backwards for the most horrific acts- just because it is in what you consider the official writings of the Faith. The letter was telling an individual to overcome their homosexuality by seeking the prevalent science of that day- that including getting a lobotomy. The secretary did NOT say in that same letter, a letter that eventually would be used as bahai dogma, that care should be taken to not submit to detrimental treatments such as LOBOTOMY. So I guess you were ok if that individual went ahead and got his brain butchered and ended up in a hospital? He no longer had gay feelings- or any feelings for that matter. Unbelievable Farhan.

  • farhan

    Pey quoted: "There should be real incentive for you to courageously face the problems … firmly resolve to change your way of life. But you must desire to do so.. . like other sexual vices, is so abhorrent … help you both to return to a path that leads to true happiness(snip) and commented: then Farhan- vulnerable gay people inside the Bahai community will continue to abuse themselves and beat themselves over the head for Bahaullah.

    Pey, I know of non-gay Baha’is, some of them vulnerable, in divorce situations, or again marrying without parental consent, filled with remorse, and again some active in the Faith, who discretely have impetuous sexual lives, who would no doubt, in the eyes of the UHJ who here condemns "all sexual vices", deserve much stronger advice than the one give to these gay people, but who do not abuse themselves, nor beat themselves over the head because they are unable to overcome their wayward tendencies.

    I am truly moved by the love of Baha’u’llah you describe in gay people and their painful attachment to the Faith and I sincerely believe that their spiritual attainments in the eyes of God must be much higher than that of the remorseless non-gay persons I am thinking of.

    There is something here that I do not fully understand: are we saying that gays have more remorse than non-gays in breaking laws? Does this mean that if an efficient and harmless medical treatment did one day came up for changing orientation, all gays would be interested?

  • pey

    It is wrong Farhan when that "care" was not needed. God you are so willing to bend over backwards for the most horrific acts- just because it is in what you consider the official writings of the Faith. The letter was telling an individual to overcome their homosexuality by seeking the prevalent science of that day- that including getting a lobotomy. The secretary did NOT say in that same letter, a letter that eventually would be used as bahai dogma, that care should be taken to not submit to detrimental treatments such as LOBOTOMY. So I guess you were ok if that individual went ahead and got his brain butchered and ended up in a hospital? He no longer had gay feelings- or any feelings for that matter. Unbelievable Farhan.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey quoted: "There should be real incentive for you to courageously face the problems … firmly resolve to change your way of life. But you must desire to do so.. . like other sexual vices, is so abhorrent … help you both to return to a path that leads to true happiness(snip) and commented: then Farhan- vulnerable gay people inside the Bahai community will continue to abuse themselves and beat themselves over the head for Bahaullah.

    Pey, I know of non-gay Baha’is, some of them vulnerable, in divorce situations, or again marrying without parental consent, filled with remorse, and again some active in the Faith, who discretely have impetuous sexual lives, who would no doubt, in the eyes of the UHJ who here condemns "all sexual vices", deserve much stronger advice than the one give to these gay people, but who do not abuse themselves, nor beat themselves over the head because they are unable to overcome their wayward tendencies.

    I am truly moved by the love of Baha’u’llah you describe in gay people and their painful attachment to the Faith and I sincerely believe that their spiritual attainments in the eyes of God must be much higher than that of the remorseless non-gay persons I am thinking of.

    There is something here that I do not fully understand: are we saying that gays have more remorse than non-gays in breaking laws? Does this mean that if an efficient and harmless medical treatment did one day came up for changing orientation, all gays would be interested?

  • pey

    Your comparisons don't even come close to the shame and self-loathing that gays are put through when they are in the Bahai community. A straight Bahai teen who may do someting bad, always can fall back upon a prayer or two for forgiveness and then move on. Same for an adulterer or any of the other sexual vices that you and the UHJ group with homosexuality. We have NO outlet, except to lie, pretend or just leave- because we will NEVER have aaceptance of our relationships, our families in your community Farhan. If you are truly moved, then help make the Bahai community a haven for ALL. NOT one that would tell gay couples that their relationships subverts the purpose of human life and that they truly aren't happy. Sending them off on a false quest to change in order to fit in. But I gather you will not do this since you have stopped thinking for yourself and allowed the UHJ decide for you.

  • pey

    Your comparisons don't even come close to the shame and self-loathing that gays are put through when they are in the Bahai community. A straight Bahai teen who may do someting bad, always can fall back upon a prayer or two for forgiveness and then move on. Same for an adulterer or any of the other sexual vices that you and the UHJ group with homosexuality. We have NO outlet, except to lie, pretend or just leave- because we will NEVER have aaceptance of our relationships, our families in your community Farhan. If you are truly moved, then help make the Bahai community a haven for ALL. NOT one that would tell gay couples that their relationships subverts the purpose of human life and that they truly aren't happy. Sending them off on a false quest to change in order to fit in. But I gather you will not do this since you have stopped thinking for yourself and allowed the UHJ decide for you.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:
    But I gather you will not do this since you have stopped thinking for yourself and allowed the UHJ decide for you.
    I still don’t see why gays transgressing social and spiritual laws should be more self-loathing than non-gays, and I think you have decided not to see the difference between individual choices and morality, and collective and social issues. You do not reply whether you and other gays would have been be happy to accept a change in orientation, if science one day offered a safe possibility.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:
    But I gather you will not do this since you have stopped thinking for yourself and allowed the UHJ decide for you.
    I still don’t see why gays transgressing social and spiritual laws should be more self-loathing than non-gays, and I think you have decided not to see the difference between individual choices and morality, and collective and social issues. You do not reply whether you and other gays would have been be happy to accept a change in orientation, if science one day offered a safe possibility.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    If science and the French government one day offered a safe possibility for you to be fully French, rather than having you be partly Irainian in appearance, outlook, language and so on — would you be happy to accept that change in orientation?

    I'm not interested in whether my scenario is analagous to yours. The readers can decide that. I'd just like a simple yes or no answer. Can you do that? Again, just yes or no.

    And to answer your question. I would be willing to risk killing someone, if necessary, to prevent them changing my sexual orientation, even if the procedure was "safe" — whatever the hell safe means, given the context.

    How would you feel if someone said, "Swallow this pretty rainbow pill. It's perfectly safe, although you may find you watch rugby in a whole new way." Would you feel good or bad?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Hi Farhan,

    If science and the French government one day offered a safe possibility for you to be fully French, rather than having you be partly Irainian in appearance, outlook, language and so on — would you be happy to accept that change in orientation?

    I'm not interested in whether my scenario is analagous to yours. The readers can decide that. I'd just like a simple yes or no answer. Can you do that? Again, just yes or no.

    And to answer your question. I would be willing to risk killing someone, if necessary, to prevent them changing my sexual orientation, even if the procedure was "safe" — whatever the hell safe means, given the context.

    How would you feel if someone said, "Swallow this pretty rainbow pill. It's perfectly safe, although you may find you watch rugby in a whole new way." Would you feel good or bad?

  • pey

    Why would I accept such a change? At one time, under the brainwashing of Bahais like you, yes I wanted that change badly. Now I love my life and would never think of turning back. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to love and be committed to someone of the same sex. Bahaullah did not condemn it. The condemnation comes from the UHJ's insistance on some letters. Letters that I have real proof have hurt gays in the community and actually caused attempted suicide. What proof do you have that these letters regarding homosexuality have actually done any good? If you can show they are creating a better, more advanced/spriitual civilization, then we can talk about getting rid of my homosexuality one day. Unless of course you think that suicide and misery are part of God's spiritualization of mankind.

  • pey

    Why would I accept such a change? At one time, under the brainwashing of Bahais like you, yes I wanted that change badly. Now I love my life and would never think of turning back. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to love and be committed to someone of the same sex. Bahaullah did not condemn it. The condemnation comes from the UHJ's insistance on some letters. Letters that I have real proof have hurt gays in the community and actually caused attempted suicide. What proof do you have that these letters regarding homosexuality have actually done any good? If you can show they are creating a better, more advanced/spriitual civilization, then we can talk about getting rid of my homosexuality one day. Unless of course you think that suicide and misery are part of God's spiritualization of mankind.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Thanks Pey – indeed we need to see if this insistence on glbt sufferign advnaces anythign but prejudice agaisnt the Faith. My experince is that when asked, and I
    share honestly what the Faith teaches on this subject, folks are disappointed if not plain disgusted.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    Thanks Pey – indeed we need to see if this insistence on glbt sufferign advnaces anythign but prejudice agaisnt the Faith. My experince is that when asked, and I
    share honestly what the Faith teaches on this subject, folks are disappointed if not plain disgusted.

  • pey

    yes. Just go to the petition site and read. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-
    The majority signing there in disgust are not gay Bahais. They are not even Bahais. They are people who can't believe that a religion that prides itself in unity in diversity has such a horrible stance against LGBT people. And no one is influencing their decisions. All you have to do is put all these letters from secretaries in front of someone and they quicly will tell you how unjust the Faith specifically against us.

  • pey

    yes. Just go to the petition site and read. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bahai-anti-
    The majority signing there in disgust are not gay Bahais. They are not even Bahais. They are people who can't believe that a religion that prides itself in unity in diversity has such a horrible stance against LGBT people. And no one is influencing their decisions. All you have to do is put all these letters from secretaries in front of someone and they quicly will tell you how unjust the Faith specifically against us.

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : I would be willing to risk killing someone, if necessary, to prevent them changing my sexual orientation, even if the procedure was "safe"

    Steve, your reply is irrelevent to my question which was whether gay people themselves wished they could quit being gay. There is nothing about interfering with people’s lives, unless they ask for it, and I was refering to the words of the UHJ quoted by Pey about people desiring to change.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : I would be willing to risk killing someone, if necessary, to prevent them changing my sexual orientation, even if the procedure was "safe"

    Steve, your reply is irrelevent to my question which was whether gay people themselves wished they could quit being gay. There is nothing about interfering with people’s lives, unless they ask for it, and I was refering to the words of the UHJ quoted by Pey about people desiring to change.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to love and be committed to someone of the same sex.

    Pey, I am not saying it is wrong ; I am replying to your wish to enjoy voting rights in Baha’i administrative work AND at the same time live your sexual life. For the moment, to enjoy voting rights as a Baha’i you are required to restrict sexuality to within marriage and gay marriages are not available in the Baha’i Faith. Either the Baha’is are to change their laws, or you have to change your way of life, and apparently even if it were possible, you would not wish to change your way of life, so you would like the UHJ change Baha’i laws.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to love and be committed to someone of the same sex.

    Pey, I am not saying it is wrong ; I am replying to your wish to enjoy voting rights in Baha’i administrative work AND at the same time live your sexual life. For the moment, to enjoy voting rights as a Baha’i you are required to restrict sexuality to within marriage and gay marriages are not available in the Baha’i Faith. Either the Baha’is are to change their laws, or you have to change your way of life, and apparently even if it were possible, you would not wish to change your way of life, so you would like the UHJ change Baha’i laws.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I'll take that as neither a yes or a no, and more as a refusal to consider the question as being valid. Which is fine because that's exactly what I think of your question.

    Steve, your reply is irrelevent to my question which was whether gay people themselves wished they could quit being gay.

    That's a question you may have asked in a post other than the one I attached my reply to. I was responding to your more immediate question:

    Does [saying that gays have more remorse than non-gays in breaking laws] mean that if an efficient and harmless medical treatment did one day came up for changing orientation, all gays would be interested?

    …later repeated as:

    You do not reply whether you and other gays would have been be (sic) happy to accept a change in orientation, if science one day offered a safe possibility.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    I'll take that as neither a yes or a no, and more as a refusal to consider the question as being valid. Which is fine because that's exactly what I think of your question.

    Steve, your reply is irrelevent to my question which was whether gay people themselves wished they could quit being gay.

    That's a question you may have asked in a post other than the one I attached my reply to. I was responding to your more immediate question:

    Does [saying that gays have more remorse than non-gays in breaking laws] mean that if an efficient and harmless medical treatment did one day came up for changing orientation, all gays would be interested?

    …later repeated as:

    You do not reply whether you and other gays would have been be (sic) happy to accept a change in orientation, if science one day offered a safe possibility.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • farhan

    Steve wrote : I'll take that as neither a yes or a no, and more as a refusal to consider the question as being valid.

    Well apparently Pey found the question valid and he gave me a straight reply. Without being gay, Romeo and Juliet preferred not living rather than living without each other, and out of love, some give their whole lives to the Faith. Free will is a God given attribute, but it can lead us to difficult choices.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve wrote : I'll take that as neither a yes or a no, and more as a refusal to consider the question as being valid.

    Well apparently Pey found the question valid and he gave me a straight reply. Without being gay, Romeo and Juliet preferred not living rather than living without each other, and out of love, some give their whole lives to the Faith. Free will is a God given attribute, but it can lead us to difficult choices.

  • pey

    Well Farhan "some believers" stance is as yours. Obviously, Daniel, Steve, Baquia are believers with a very different stance. We don't shut out our own conscience in mindless acceptance. The UHJ is NOT God. They are the leadership who legislate on matters not in the book. They have yet to legislate on gay unions. So my stance is Farhan that I only have one life to live. And in this life, I am going to make up for the discrimination that I supported inside the Bahai community, that helped lead my friend to attempt suicide, that has caused so many gays/lesbians and our supporters to leave the Faith. I very much want a future UHJ to reevaluate the stance on homosexuality and make the Bahai community what it is supposed to be- a dynamic haven for ALL of humanity. I have no desire to create another parallel community, another administration, etc etc. NOT because I fear being branded a covenant breaker. I could care less about that. But because I sincerely believe in the ideal of "unity in diversity". That is the religion I was brought up in and I'm not giving up on it. I may be an outsider now, but one day (ishallah) the Bahai Faith will mature under a more progressive leadership.

  • pey

    Well Farhan "some believers" stance is as yours. Obviously, Daniel, Steve, Baquia are believers with a very different stance. We don't shut out our own conscience in mindless acceptance. The UHJ is NOT God. They are the leadership who legislate on matters not in the book. They have yet to legislate on gay unions. So my stance is Farhan that I only have one life to live. And in this life, I am going to make up for the discrimination that I supported inside the Bahai community, that helped lead my friend to attempt suicide, that has caused so many gays/lesbians and our supporters to leave the Faith. I very much want a future UHJ to reevaluate the stance on homosexuality and make the Bahai community what it is supposed to be- a dynamic haven for ALL of humanity. I have no desire to create another parallel community, another administration, etc etc. NOT because I fear being branded a covenant breaker. I could care less about that. But because I sincerely believe in the ideal of "unity in diversity". That is the religion I was brought up in and I'm not giving up on it. I may be an outsider now, but one day (ishallah) the Bahai Faith will mature under a more progressive leadership.

  • pey

    Romeo and Juliet were not being told that there love is an aberration to God. They killed themselves because they couldn't be with each other. We are talking about a distraught person who is in love with someone, lving a good life, but because they are weak, they are giving into religious authority telling them that their relationship subverts human existance. They might actually be happy with their partner, but because they fear God, they are having doubs placed in their mind by the Bahai community that they are not "truly" happy. Your comparisons to the plight of gays and lesbians is pitiful farhan.

  • pey

    Romeo and Juliet were not being told that there love is an aberration to God. They killed themselves because they couldn't be with each other. We are talking about a distraught person who is in love with someone, lving a good life, but because they are weak, they are giving into religious authority telling them that their relationship subverts human existance. They might actually be happy with their partner, but because they fear God, they are having doubs placed in their mind by the Bahai community that they are not "truly" happy. Your comparisons to the plight of gays and lesbians is pitiful farhan.

  • pey

    Yes farhan, you are saying that gay love is wrong. IF you have put your conscience away, and accept everything penned by the UHJ, then you have to believe that gay unions subvert human existance. So it is not merely about losign voting rights. Gay teens who have attempted suicide inside the Bahai community did not do so because they couldn't serve one day on an LSA. I certainly wasn't thinking that when it entered my mind. We have such thoughts because a whole community (like southern baptists and others) is telling us that God will NEVER accept our unions. Our only choice will be a life of celibacy in order to be accepted by God. It is this shame and utter loneliness/despair of being away from God that pushes you to that point. So your only choice is die or get the hell away from such an unhealthy environment. OR the other option is yes, make the community and its leadership realize what they are doing.

  • pey

    Yes farhan, you are saying that gay love is wrong. IF you have put your conscience away, and accept everything penned by the UHJ, then you have to believe that gay unions subvert human existance. So it is not merely about losign voting rights. Gay teens who have attempted suicide inside the Bahai community did not do so because they couldn't serve one day on an LSA. I certainly wasn't thinking that when it entered my mind. We have such thoughts because a whole community (like southern baptists and others) is telling us that God will NEVER accept our unions. Our only choice will be a life of celibacy in order to be accepted by God. It is this shame and utter loneliness/despair of being away from God that pushes you to that point. So your only choice is die or get the hell away from such an unhealthy environment. OR the other option is yes, make the community and its leadership realize what they are doing.

  • farhan

    Thanks for sharing, Pey

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Thanks for sharing, Pey

  • pey

    I hope it will open up your eyes some. Please look over the petition site if you haven't. Here is just one remark from there: my girlfriend is Baha'i and she has gone through so much sadness and pain as a result of the religion's discrimination of lgbtq people. The love of people in same-sex relationoships is of God and should be recognized as such.

  • pey

    I hope it will open up your eyes some. Please look over the petition site if you haven't. Here is just one remark from there: my girlfriend is Baha'i and she has gone through so much sadness and pain as a result of the religion's discrimination of lgbtq people. The love of people in same-sex relationoships is of God and should be recognized as such.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    In reference to the quotation from the 1982 letter from the UHJ:

    "a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life" quoted by Pey above,
    I am puzzled.
    I thought the purpose of human life was to know and love and worship God.
    That's what the Bahai Writings stress.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    In reference to the quotation from the 1982 letter from the UHJ:

    "a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life" quoted by Pey above,
    I am puzzled.
    I thought the purpose of human life was to know and love and worship God.
    That's what the Bahai Writings stress.

  • pey

    That part especially irked me Sonja. If they had said, "subverts the purpose of sexual relations", then at least it would be consistent with the dogma that "gay sex is a no-no because it can't produce offspring that will know and love God". But they went a step fruther and told this individual that his relationship is completely against the purpose of human life. So we are left believing what? That no matter how hard a gay person tries to "know and love God" as Bahaullah asked us to- it won't make any difference as long as you are in a gay relationship.

  • pey

    That part especially irked me Sonja. If they had said, "subverts the purpose of sexual relations", then at least it would be consistent with the dogma that "gay sex is a no-no because it can't produce offspring that will know and love God". But they went a step fruther and told this individual that his relationship is completely against the purpose of human life. So we are left believing what? That no matter how hard a gay person tries to "know and love God" as Bahaullah asked us to- it won't make any difference as long as you are in a gay relationship.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    The way I read this comment Pey, is that it seems that the UHJ is interpreting when they make this comment, unless they are directly quoting something Baha'u'llah, 'Abdul-Baha wrote or what Shoghi Effendi himself penned as an interpretator. The UHJ's role is as lawgiver not as interpretator.

    Sen McGlinn's blog makes this point in his discussion under the title "The consensus of the faithful" of another topic:

    "in Bahai theology, unlike Catholic and Islamic theologies, the ‘consensus of the faithful’ (Consensus Fidelium) has no authority, for the very simple reason that it may be wrong, and quite often is wrong. As I showed in ‘he cannot override,’ Shoghi Effendi considers it possible for the Universal House of Justice to pass an enactment which “conflicts with the meaning and departs from the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s revealed utterances.” (WOB 150) According to the Universal House of Justice itself, its elucidations “…stem from its legislative function, and as such differ from interpretation. The divinely inspired legislation of the House of Justice does not attempt to say what the revealed Word means — it states what must be done in cases where the revealed Text or its authoritative interpretation is not explicit.” So neither what ‘every knows’, nor what the Universal House of Justice says, can tell us what the Bahai teachings are."

    So I read the UHJ comment
    "a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life" in a similiar light and I found Sen's section under "When Prophecy fails" a plausible argument. In that the UHJ seems from the 1982 letter to be equating a homosexual relationship as subversion where as in other UHJ letters the policy seems to be it's OK to be homosexual but not to have a partner or to be able to marry, a position that in my view is not based on anything in the authentic Writings.

    Read Sen McGlinn's blog. I see parallels in how the homophobic attitudes towards homosexuals have developed.

  • http://www.sonjavank.blogspot.com sonja

    The way I read this comment Pey, is that it seems that the UHJ is interpreting when they make this comment, unless they are directly quoting something Baha'u'llah, 'Abdul-Baha wrote or what Shoghi Effendi himself penned as an interpretator. The UHJ's role is as lawgiver not as interpretator.

    Sen McGlinn's blog makes this point in his discussion under the title "The consensus of the faithful" of another topic:

    "in Bahai theology, unlike Catholic and Islamic theologies, the ‘consensus of the faithful’ (Consensus Fidelium) has no authority, for the very simple reason that it may be wrong, and quite often is wrong. As I showed in ‘he cannot override,’ Shoghi Effendi considers it possible for the Universal House of Justice to pass an enactment which “conflicts with the meaning and departs from the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s revealed utterances.” (WOB 150) According to the Universal House of Justice itself, its elucidations “…stem from its legislative function, and as such differ from interpretation. The divinely inspired legislation of the House of Justice does not attempt to say what the revealed Word means — it states what must be done in cases where the revealed Text or its authoritative interpretation is not explicit.” So neither what ‘every knows’, nor what the Universal House of Justice says, can tell us what the Bahai teachings are."

    So I read the UHJ comment
    "a homosexual relationship subverts the purpose of human life" in a similiar light and I found Sen's section under "When Prophecy fails" a plausible argument. In that the UHJ seems from the 1982 letter to be equating a homosexual relationship as subversion where as in other UHJ letters the policy seems to be it's OK to be homosexual but not to have a partner or to be able to marry, a position that in my view is not based on anything in the authentic Writings.

    Read Sen McGlinn's blog. I see parallels in how the homophobic attitudes towards homosexuals have developed.

  • farhan

    Sonja wrote: I thought the purpose of human life was to know and love and worship God

    Yes, Sonja, knowing God is recognising his message, and worshiping God is serving God by serving His creation in applying Divine laws in our lives. We should also learn to apply these laws through love of God’s Beauty, and not through fear of what people might say or of going to hell. For the moment, whatever the stand towards gay marriages, we have a duty of love and hospitality towards all, and there is no doubt room for improvement in our communities here.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Sonja wrote: I thought the purpose of human life was to know and love and worship God

    Yes, Sonja, knowing God is recognising his message, and worshiping God is serving God by serving His creation in applying Divine laws in our lives. We should also learn to apply these laws through love of God’s Beauty, and not through fear of what people might say or of going to hell. For the moment, whatever the stand towards gay marriages, we have a duty of love and hospitality towards all, and there is no doubt room for improvement in our communities here.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: That no matter how hard a gay person tries to "know and love God" as Bahaullah asked us to- it won't make any difference as long as you are in a gay relationship.

    Pey, it will make a difference only in that part of your life, but does not nullify so many other aspects of your services. However, when we have a failing in one field, it can become a cause of downfall in other fields. For example, if I backbite, it will not nullify other services rendered to society, but can reduce the efficiency of my other services by creating disunity and discouragement in the community which is precisely contrary to my aims.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: That no matter how hard a gay person tries to "know and love God" as Bahaullah asked us to- it won't make any difference as long as you are in a gay relationship.

    Pey, it will make a difference only in that part of your life, but does not nullify so many other aspects of your services. However, when we have a failing in one field, it can become a cause of downfall in other fields. For example, if I backbite, it will not nullify other services rendered to society, but can reduce the efficiency of my other services by creating disunity and discouragement in the community which is precisely contrary to my aims.

  • farhan

    People on this thread would be interested by this article announcing that the new project for an new French law defining the responsibility of step parents, includes gay parents. This law that concerns 1.6 million recomposed families, 2.7 million monoparental families and 30 000 homoparental families is considered as a major step towards the recognition of gay families by France.

    http://www.france-info.com/spip.php?article260114

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    People on this thread would be interested by this article announcing that the new project for an new French law defining the responsibility of step parents, includes gay parents. This law that concerns 1.6 million recomposed families, 2.7 million monoparental families and 30 000 homoparental families is considered as a major step towards the recognition of gay families by France.

    http://www.france-info.com/spip.php?article260114

  • farhan

    Sonja, it is precisely within the scope of the UHJ to legislate that the concept of sexuality limited to within marriage applies to gays and non-gays alike, and that they see no reason to make provision for gays marriages at this time. The private part of this is an act of worship that only concerns the individual and God and is to be applied according to the writings and their interpretations; the other part which concerns our social lives is not based on the interpretation of the writings, but falls within the scope of legislation by the UHJ.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Sonja, it is precisely within the scope of the UHJ to legislate that the concept of sexuality limited to within marriage applies to gays and non-gays alike, and that they see no reason to make provision for gays marriages at this time. The private part of this is an act of worship that only concerns the individual and God and is to be applied according to the writings and their interpretations; the other part which concerns our social lives is not based on the interpretation of the writings, but falls within the scope of legislation by the UHJ.

  • pey

    How would raising a child with one's partner in a loving committed relationship be a failing and reduce the efficiency of my service? Is it because a few uptight members would get up in arms against me? What if a whole community of local Bahais could care less, and accepted me wholeheartedly as I am. Never making comparisons to backbiting, alchoholism, adultery, etc etc. with my relationship. Then would it be ok, as long as find a group of Bahais that understand?

  • pey

    How would raising a child with one's partner in a loving committed relationship be a failing and reduce the efficiency of my service? Is it because a few uptight members would get up in arms against me? What if a whole community of local Bahais could care less, and accepted me wholeheartedly as I am. Never making comparisons to backbiting, alchoholism, adultery, etc etc. with my relationship. Then would it be ok, as long as find a group of Bahais that understand?

  • pey

    great we'll get there soon enough in the US as well.

  • pey

    great we'll get there soon enough in the US as well.

  • pey

    Thanks Sonja. I also liked your explanation of the letters written by secretaries in Shoghi Effendi's time. What you explained on the Facebook group. If Bahais would only read the thousands of letters written on behalf of, they would see the discrepancies that existed. And letters that were written while Shoghi Effendi was off on vacation and then only person left was a secretary to speak for him. You are right, it is NOT the word of God. Also this letter from the UHJ that I posted is NOT the word of God. When the UHJ legislates that gay unions are outlawed in the Bahai community, then local Bahais can legally deny gay couples full equality. Until then, I thnk there is wiggle room for any local community that is more open-minded.
    But my main reason in posting these letters is to show that vulnerable gay people can fell trapped, IF they actually believe that these letters are equivalent to the Word of God.

  • pey

    Thanks Sonja. I also liked your explanation of the letters written by secretaries in Shoghi Effendi's time. What you explained on the Facebook group. If Bahais would only read the thousands of letters written on behalf of, they would see the discrepancies that existed. And letters that were written while Shoghi Effendi was off on vacation and then only person left was a secretary to speak for him. You are right, it is NOT the word of God. Also this letter from the UHJ that I posted is NOT the word of God. When the UHJ legislates that gay unions are outlawed in the Bahai community, then local Bahais can legally deny gay couples full equality. Until then, I thnk there is wiggle room for any local community that is more open-minded.
    But my main reason in posting these letters is to show that vulnerable gay people can fell trapped, IF they actually believe that these letters are equivalent to the Word of God.

  • pey

    But farhan, they haven't legislated anything. They have basically passed the buck, by saying that they can't legislate anything since homosexuality is already forbidden by Bahaullah. So until they actually legislate, there will be confusion among Bahais. With more conservative minded saying NO WAY, and more open-minded saying WELCOME in the local communities. And maybe that's the way it should be. I want a religion for ALL people, not to push out those who think they are the only loyal lovers of Bahaullah. His Faith is for everyone- period!

  • pey

    But farhan, they haven't legislated anything. They have basically passed the buck, by saying that they can't legislate anything since homosexuality is already forbidden by Bahaullah. So until they actually legislate, there will be confusion among Bahais. With more conservative minded saying NO WAY, and more open-minded saying WELCOME in the local communities. And maybe that's the way it should be. I want a religion for ALL people, not to push out those who think they are the only loyal lovers of Bahaullah. His Faith is for everyone- period!

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    How would raising a child with one's partner in a loving committed relationship be a failing and reduce the efficiency of my service?

    Pey, I was just giving my understanding that people are not all black or all white, and having one behaviour in contradiction with the teachings does not nullify the positive acts, but that in some cases, and I gave a random example, this behaviour might mine the efficacy of other services. Yes, I do believe that the community could be more welcoming than what I have seen described here.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    How would raising a child with one's partner in a loving committed relationship be a failing and reduce the efficiency of my service?

    Pey, I was just giving my understanding that people are not all black or all white, and having one behaviour in contradiction with the teachings does not nullify the positive acts, but that in some cases, and I gave a random example, this behaviour might mine the efficacy of other services. Yes, I do believe that the community could be more welcoming than what I have seen described here.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    If Bahais would only read the thousands of letters written on behalf of, they would see the discrepancies that existed.

    Pey, to my understanding, affaires of worship are private affaires, to be referred to the book and to the interpretations of the book, and affaires of state, (i.e. community and social affaires) are to be referred to the UHJ. To me, this means that how Shoghi Effendi interprets the writings gives us a gist of how God would expect us to behave and the spiritual implications of our behaviour, and it is the UHJ who decides how society is to apply these rules.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    If Bahais would only read the thousands of letters written on behalf of, they would see the discrepancies that existed.

    Pey, to my understanding, affaires of worship are private affaires, to be referred to the book and to the interpretations of the book, and affaires of state, (i.e. community and social affaires) are to be referred to the UHJ. To me, this means that how Shoghi Effendi interprets the writings gives us a gist of how God would expect us to behave and the spiritual implications of our behaviour, and it is the UHJ who decides how society is to apply these rules.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote :
    they haven't legislated anything. They have basically passed the buck, by saying that they can't legislate anything since homosexuality is already forbidden by Bahaullah.

    Pey, Baha’u’llah clearly restricts sexuality to within marriage, and there is a private, spiritual implication here. The UHJ determines how institutions and the community are to deal with those who overtly disobey. I believe that many activities are open to these believers.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote :
    they haven't legislated anything. They have basically passed the buck, by saying that they can't legislate anything since homosexuality is already forbidden by Bahaullah.

    Pey, Baha’u’llah clearly restricts sexuality to within marriage, and there is a private, spiritual implication here. The UHJ determines how institutions and the community are to deal with those who overtly disobey. I believe that many activities are open to these believers.

  • Amado

    Hello, Pey. You said:
    And if the community refuses, what then? Are they thrown out of the community? Are they labeled covenant breakers (although no one can really label anyone a CB now)?
    Can I ask what you mean that "no one can really label anyone a CB"?
    Thank you!

  • Amado

    Hello, Pey. You said:
    And if the community refuses, what then? Are they thrown out of the community? Are they labeled covenant breakers (although no one can really label anyone a CB now)?
    Can I ask what you mean that "no one can really label anyone a CB"?
    Thank you!

  • pey

    Sure. Abdul-Baha had the power to declare CB's and so did the Hands of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi assumed that power in his life time. But he (nor AB) ever said that the Universal House of Justice had the authority to declare anyone a CB. Now, unless, the UHJ has made an actual legislation taking on the right to declare CB's since it is not specifically something mentioned in the Book, then I can't see how they can declare anyone a CB. Does anyone know if they have made such a legislation? And actually the only CB groups that I know of are the ones from years ago that are still alive. I'd like to be corrected on this if I'm wrong, but it may need to be moved to a new thread.

  • pey

    Sure. Abdul-Baha had the power to declare CB's and so did the Hands of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi assumed that power in his life time. But he (nor AB) ever said that the Universal House of Justice had the authority to declare anyone a CB. Now, unless, the UHJ has made an actual legislation taking on the right to declare CB's since it is not specifically something mentioned in the Book, then I can't see how they can declare anyone a CB. Does anyone know if they have made such a legislation? And actually the only CB groups that I know of are the ones from years ago that are still alive. I'd like to be corrected on this if I'm wrong, but it may need to be moved to a new thread.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "Although the authority to expel Covenant-breakers had been conferred upon the Hands of the Cause in the Will and Testament, the Guardian had reserved the exercise of this authority to himself during his lifetime."
    Authority of the Hands of the Cause to direct the Faith and expel Covenant-breakers – UHJ 1997-06-04

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "Although the authority to expel Covenant-breakers had been conferred upon the Hands of the Cause in the Will and Testament, the Guardian had reserved the exercise of this authority to himself during his lifetime."
    Authority of the Hands of the Cause to direct the Faith and expel Covenant-breakers – UHJ 1997-06-04

  • Amado

    Yes, I've seen footnotes saying " * now the UHJ " in Lights of Guidance, but wondered whether this was the footnoter's poetic license! (Thanks!)

  • Amado

    Yes, I've seen footnotes saying " * now the UHJ " in Lights of Guidance, but wondered whether this was the footnoter's poetic license! (Thanks!)

  • pey

    Well obviously my understanding is different. And we are both Bahais. Cheers!

  • pey

    Well obviously my understanding is different. And we are both Bahais. Cheers!

  • pey

    Yeah to my knowledge, the UHJ hasn't declared anyone to be a CB. I think they could if they wanted to, but they would have first have to legislate that they are giving themselves that authority. There definitely are individuals who warrant such a label. People that call themselves Bahai, but have created their own administrative order. Of course usually they themselves constitute the WHOLE adminstrative order. :o) But even if they are nutcases, you'd think the UHJ would have declared them CB's, but as far as I know, they haven't.

  • pey

    Yeah to my knowledge, the UHJ hasn't declared anyone to be a CB. I think they could if they wanted to, but they would have first have to legislate that they are giving themselves that authority. There definitely are individuals who warrant such a label. People that call themselves Bahai, but have created their own administrative order. Of course usually they themselves constitute the WHOLE adminstrative order. :o) But even if they are nutcases, you'd think the UHJ would have declared them CB's, but as far as I know, they haven't.

  • farhan

    Pey, here is my source of understanding:
    “Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the House of Justice that the members thereof may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them. All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book.” (Baha’u’llah, 8th Ishraq)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, here is my source of understanding:
    “Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the House of Justice that the members thereof may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them. All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book.” (Baha’u’llah, 8th Ishraq)

  • farhan

    Amado, a document dating back to 2003 by Momen is available here :

    http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia

    we read : « At present the institutions of the Bahá'í Faith are primarily responsible for dealing with any episodes of Covenant-breaking that arise, in particular the Hands of the Cause, the Continental Board of Counselors (q.v.), and their Auxiliary Boards. Individual Bahá'ís may take no action other than reporting any concerns they have to these institiutions. These then investigate the matter but the final decision lies with the Universal House of Justice. »

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Amado, a document dating back to 2003 by Momen is available here :

    http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia

    we read : « At present the institutions of the Bahá'í Faith are primarily responsible for dealing with any episodes of Covenant-breaking that arise, in particular the Hands of the Cause, the Continental Board of Counselors (q.v.), and their Auxiliary Boards. Individual Bahá'ís may take no action other than reporting any concerns they have to these institiutions. These then investigate the matter but the final decision lies with the Universal House of Justice. »

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall


    In this regard, the following passages seem to me probative:

    "Most imagine that this Servant hath the intention of establishing a full-blown government (hukumat-i kulliyyih) on earth–even though, in all the Tablets, He hath forbidden the servants to accept such a rank [of rulership]. For it yieldeth naught but trials and tribulations, save if a soul should accept this matter as a means of aiding the Cause of God. Kings are the manifestations of divine power, and Our intent is only that they should be just. If they keep their gaze upon justice, they are reckoned as of God." Baha'u'llah, Iqtidarat, p. 261; my translation

    Among them is he who declares that he desires autocratic power (as-saltanah). Say: Woe unto you, O heedless one who is distant [from God]. We have commanded the monarchs to toss it behind them, and to advance instead toward God, the Almighty, the Beauteous. We affirm (nusaddiq) the appearance of Reason (al-`aql) among all human beings. Therefore, you will see absolutism (as-sultah al-mutlaqah) discarded upon the dust, nor will any approach it. Thus was the matter decreed in a manifest Tablet. Say: It [despotism] is the most degraded of stations in my view, though you might see it as the most exalted station. (Baha'u'llah/Ibn-i Asdaq, n.d., quoted in Muhammad `Ali Faydi, Khitabat-i Qalam-i A`la dar Sha'n-i Nuzul-i Alvah-i Muluk va Salatin (n.p, 1336 s.), pp. 69-70. My translation)

    Baha'u'llah was tired of rule by unchallengeable despots and religious hierarchies. (Rule by an infallible religious body would after all be a form of absolutism or as-sultah al-mutlaqah, which Baha'u'llah denounced). He had had his experiences with caliphs and ayatollahs, with their theocratic pretensions. He rejected them. He proclaimed that the reins of government were about to fall into the hands of the people, who would rule themselves by their own Reason. He announced the advent of universal Reason among the common folk, the prerequisite for democracy. He instructed the kings to call parliaments, and put civil power in their hands for all time. He wasn't a theocrat.

    cheers

    Juan Cole
    History
    U of Michigan

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Unfortunately, you're using a badly mistranslated text. Let me deal with just one part of it, coiurtesy of Juan Cole. This is something Juan wrote prior to 1998. I'm using a poorly-attributed source, otherwise i'd be more specific:

    "All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book."
    Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 27.

    What I make of this passage is that it has been grossly mistranslated. First of all, Baha'u'llah begins that passage by saying that the House of Justice has been given authority over the affairs of the *millat*. In the nineteenth century Middle East, a "millat" or "millet" (Ottoman) was a religious community. One would speak of the Christian millet, the Jewish millet, the Baha'i millet. The 8th Ishraq has been mistranslated in *Tablets of Baha'u'llah* so that Baha'u'llah is represented as giving authority over the affairs of *the people* to the House of Justice. But he did not. He gave it authority only over the affairs of the Baha'i millet. *Millat* always refers to a bounded community (it can also mean a particular nation, e.g.), and never to the human race in general.

    Once that context is established, we can move to the later passage. The Baha'i millet is governed by two principles, revealed rituals and ordinances (`ibada:t), which are immutable, and the contemporary leadership of the community, which can legislate and take executive actions according to the exigencies of the time (as long as these do not contradict revealed principles). The original of "matters of State" is "umur-i siyasiyyih" which simply means "affairs of leadership." Siyasat in classical Islamic law referred to the imposition of sanctions for law-breaking. In medieval political philosophy it was used to translate the Greek "Politics" in the sense of various sorts of leadership (household management, city governance, kingship, etc.)

    "Affairs of State" would be something like "umur-i dawlat" or "umur-i hukumat." "Umur-i siyasiyyih" means affairs of leadership (or possibly "matters having to do with the imposition of sanctions"). And since the scope of the leadership has already been specified as the Baha'i millet, it is clear that Baha'u'llah is simply putting the leadership of the Baha'i community in the hands of the House of Justice in this passage.

    I believe that the phrase "affairs of state" goes back to one of Shoghi Effendi's secretaries, and it is typical of the vast misunderstandings that have grown up in the later Baha'i community about the meaning of passages in Baha'u'llah's writings. Later Baha'is had no linguistic or historical context for understanding those writings. In fact, their understanding was harmed by a semantic shift. Siyasat was gradually appropriated in Persian and Arabic to mean modern party politics. It did not bear that meaning in the nineteenth century, and in fact Iranian writers simply used pulitik as a loan word when they wanted to evoke modern politics. This semantic shift made Baha'u'llah's passage look like he was putting political affairs in the hands of the House of Justice. The end of the millet system and the rise of modern nation-states (sometimes called "millat" in Persian) may also have affected the Baha'is' understanding of the first part of the
    passage.

    Anyway, this passage has nothing to do with theocracy or affairs of state. It simply lays out a distinction between scripture and the leadership excercised by the House of Justice within the Baha'i community.

    cont'd…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Unfortunately, you're using a badly mistranslated text. Let me deal with just one part of it, coiurtesy of Juan Cole. This is something Juan wrote prior to 1998. I'm using a poorly-attributed source, otherwise i'd be more specific:

    "All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book."
    Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 27.

    What I make of this passage is that it has been grossly mistranslated. First of all, Baha'u'llah begins that passage by saying that the House of Justice has been given authority over the affairs of the *millat*. In the nineteenth century Middle East, a "millat" or "millet" (Ottoman) was a religious community. One would speak of the Christian millet, the Jewish millet, the Baha'i millet. The 8th Ishraq has been mistranslated in *Tablets of Baha'u'llah* so that Baha'u'llah is represented as giving authority over the affairs of *the people* to the House of Justice. But he did not. He gave it authority only over the affairs of the Baha'i millet. *Millat* always refers to a bounded community (it can also mean a particular nation, e.g.), and never to the human race in general.

    Once that context is established, we can move to the later passage. The Baha'i millet is governed by two principles, revealed rituals and ordinances (`ibada:t), which are immutable, and the contemporary leadership of the community, which can legislate and take executive actions according to the exigencies of the time (as long as these do not contradict revealed principles). The original of "matters of State" is "umur-i siyasiyyih" which simply means "affairs of leadership." Siyasat in classical Islamic law referred to the imposition of sanctions for law-breaking. In medieval political philosophy it was used to translate the Greek "Politics" in the sense of various sorts of leadership (household management, city governance, kingship, etc.)

    "Affairs of State" would be something like "umur-i dawlat" or "umur-i hukumat." "Umur-i siyasiyyih" means affairs of leadership (or possibly "matters having to do with the imposition of sanctions"). And since the scope of the leadership has already been specified as the Baha'i millet, it is clear that Baha'u'llah is simply putting the leadership of the Baha'i community in the hands of the House of Justice in this passage.

    I believe that the phrase "affairs of state" goes back to one of Shoghi Effendi's secretaries, and it is typical of the vast misunderstandings that have grown up in the later Baha'i community about the meaning of passages in Baha'u'llah's writings. Later Baha'is had no linguistic or historical context for understanding those writings. In fact, their understanding was harmed by a semantic shift. Siyasat was gradually appropriated in Persian and Arabic to mean modern party politics. It did not bear that meaning in the nineteenth century, and in fact Iranian writers simply used pulitik as a loan word when they wanted to evoke modern politics. This semantic shift made Baha'u'llah's passage look like he was putting political affairs in the hands of the House of Justice. The end of the millet system and the rise of modern nation-states (sometimes called "millat" in Persian) may also have affected the Baha'is' understanding of the first part of the
    passage.

    Anyway, this passage has nothing to do with theocracy or affairs of state. It simply lays out a distinction between scripture and the leadership excercised by the House of Justice within the Baha'i community.

    cont'd…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall


    In this regard, the following passages seem to me probative:

    "Most imagine that this Servant hath the intention of establishing a full-blown government (hukumat-i kulliyyih) on earth–even though, in all the Tablets, He hath forbidden the servants to accept such a rank [of rulership]. For it yieldeth naught but trials and tribulations, save if a soul should accept this matter as a means of aiding the Cause of God. Kings are the manifestations of divine power, and Our intent is only that they should be just. If they keep their gaze upon justice, they are reckoned as of God." Baha'u'llah, Iqtidarat, p. 261; my translation

    Among them is he who declares that he desires autocratic power (as-saltanah). Say: Woe unto you, O heedless one who is distant [from God]. We have commanded the monarchs to toss it behind them, and to advance instead toward God, the Almighty, the Beauteous. We affirm (nusaddiq) the appearance of Reason (al-`aql) among all human beings. Therefore, you will see absolutism (as-sultah al-mutlaqah) discarded upon the dust, nor will any approach it. Thus was the matter decreed in a manifest Tablet. Say: It [despotism] is the most degraded of stations in my view, though you might see it as the most exalted station. (Baha'u'llah/Ibn-i Asdaq, n.d., quoted in Muhammad `Ali Faydi, Khitabat-i Qalam-i A`la dar Sha'n-i Nuzul-i Alvah-i Muluk va Salatin (n.p, 1336 s.), pp. 69-70. My translation)

    Baha'u'llah was tired of rule by unchallengeable despots and religious hierarchies. (Rule by an infallible religious body would after all be a form of absolutism or as-sultah al-mutlaqah, which Baha'u'llah denounced). He had had his experiences with caliphs and ayatollahs, with their theocratic pretensions. He rejected them. He proclaimed that the reins of government were about to fall into the hands of the people, who would rule themselves by their own Reason. He announced the advent of universal Reason among the common folk, the prerequisite for democracy. He instructed the kings to call parliaments, and put civil power in their hands for all time. He wasn't a theocrat.

    cheers

    Juan Cole
    History
    U of Michigan

  • farhan

    Steve, thanks for taking the trouble; since we are at such an early stage in the coming structure of the Faith and of world civilisation, what the fruits of the tiny shoot coming out of the soil will look or taste like in a few centuries, no one can tell. I am not sure it changes anything in my statement to Pey, which conveys the idea that private adoration should be referred to the writings and to their interpretations, and community/social issues are to be referred to the UHJ for elucidation and legislation. IOW, how we obtain blessings and forgiveness from God is a private issue, how the community plans, organises and harmonises community life is up to the Baha’i Administration. In my mind these two are distinct but complementary.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Steve, thanks for taking the trouble; since we are at such an early stage in the coming structure of the Faith and of world civilisation, what the fruits of the tiny shoot coming out of the soil will look or taste like in a few centuries, no one can tell. I am not sure it changes anything in my statement to Pey, which conveys the idea that private adoration should be referred to the writings and to their interpretations, and community/social issues are to be referred to the UHJ for elucidation and legislation. IOW, how we obtain blessings and forgiveness from God is a private issue, how the community plans, organises and harmonises community life is up to the Baha’i Administration. In my mind these two are distinct but complementary.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Historically, quite a wide range of disapproved-of behaviours have resulted in people being declared CB. One of those behaviours, and probably the highest-profile one, is creating your own AO. I can't see the attraction in doing that, but some of the other behaviours are somewhat closer to home. The Wiki entry for Covenant breaker does a good job of categorising and giving historical context for a lot of those other behaviours. They include disobedience, dissidence and malicious-attack-while-being-an-apostate.

    In the last decade the House seems to have reinstituted removal from membership or has chosen to do nothing, rather than using the CB option, although I have theard of a few cases of people being declared CB.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Historically, quite a wide range of disapproved-of behaviours have resulted in people being declared CB. One of those behaviours, and probably the highest-profile one, is creating your own AO. I can't see the attraction in doing that, but some of the other behaviours are somewhat closer to home. The Wiki entry for Covenant breaker does a good job of categorising and giving historical context for a lot of those other behaviours. They include disobedience, dissidence and malicious-attack-while-being-an-apostate.

    In the last decade the House seems to have reinstituted removal from membership or has chosen to do nothing, rather than using the CB option, although I have theard of a few cases of people being declared CB.

  • pey

    I actually agree with you on this Farhan. I believe the ultimate decisions are with the UHJ in order to keep the community unified. So bringing this back to the topic on this thread….IF the UHJ makes a legislation saying that in no way shape or form can gay couples serve in the Bahai community without having their voting rights removed, then we can all go our merry way. The Bahai community can be left with gays who are closeted, beating themselves over the head to change or just plain lying to fit in. And the rest of us can just go off and worship in private, on our own. I will probably end up at the Unitarian church, but always a Bahai. BUT, I still hold out hope that in my life time, the UHJ will be more open. Or at least not make such a legislation, and will allow local communities wiggle room to organize community life as they see fit for the cultures that they live in.

  • pey

    I actually agree with you on this Farhan. I believe the ultimate decisions are with the UHJ in order to keep the community unified. So bringing this back to the topic on this thread….IF the UHJ makes a legislation saying that in no way shape or form can gay couples serve in the Bahai community without having their voting rights removed, then we can all go our merry way. The Bahai community can be left with gays who are closeted, beating themselves over the head to change or just plain lying to fit in. And the rest of us can just go off and worship in private, on our own. I will probably end up at the Unitarian church, but always a Bahai. BUT, I still hold out hope that in my life time, the UHJ will be more open. Or at least not make such a legislation, and will allow local communities wiggle room to organize community life as they see fit for the cultures that they live in.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: IF the UHJ makes a legislation saying that in no way shape or form can gay couples serve in the Bahai community without having their voting rights removed, then we can all go our merry way.
    Pey, to my understanding, the UHJ has made a general ruling against sexuality outside marriage; it is up to the NSA and LSA to evaluate each and every situation, also considering the culture and social environment of the country, and to react accordingly. This being said, I feel that there is now a lot to do within the “community of interest” open to non-enrolled, including children’s classes, which would be a great asset for your children. I can hope that such participation could help clarify the situation of gays within the Baha’i community.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: IF the UHJ makes a legislation saying that in no way shape or form can gay couples serve in the Bahai community without having their voting rights removed, then we can all go our merry way.
    Pey, to my understanding, the UHJ has made a general ruling against sexuality outside marriage; it is up to the NSA and LSA to evaluate each and every situation, also considering the culture and social environment of the country, and to react accordingly. This being said, I feel that there is now a lot to do within the “community of interest” open to non-enrolled, including children’s classes, which would be a great asset for your children. I can hope that such participation could help clarify the situation of gays within the Baha’i community.

  • pey

    No Farhan. That's not going to work. Your understanding is different from mine, or sonja's or steve's. So yes, if I were in your community, you would not accept me as an equal. But in Sonja's, I would be accepted, and could even serve on an LSA. So I have no interest in being part of a "commuinty of interest" where I am being treated as a second class citizen, where ultimately I will be told that my relationship would subvert the purpose of human life and that my children really need to be raised by a mom and dad. THAT is not the type of healthy commujity for me to be around. BUT if there was a Bahai commuity that accepted me FULLY, I would love to come back and participate… and bring back all my dedication, vitality (not to mention $$ I used to give to the fund), to support a HEALTHY haven for ALL of humanit.

  • pey

    No Farhan. That's not going to work. Your understanding is different from mine, or sonja's or steve's. So yes, if I were in your community, you would not accept me as an equal. But in Sonja's, I would be accepted, and could even serve on an LSA. So I have no interest in being part of a "commuinty of interest" where I am being treated as a second class citizen, where ultimately I will be told that my relationship would subvert the purpose of human life and that my children really need to be raised by a mom and dad. THAT is not the type of healthy commujity for me to be around. BUT if there was a Bahai commuity that accepted me FULLY, I would love to come back and participate… and bring back all my dedication, vitality (not to mention $$ I used to give to the fund), to support a HEALTHY haven for ALL of humanit.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote: But in Sonja's, I would be accepted, and could even serve on an LSA.
    Pey, are we not saying the same thing, when I say that each NSA and LSA are in a position to adapt the application of the law to specific situations? I don’t know the stand of the NSA and LSA where Sonja lives, and the case has never come up in France to the best of my knowledge, and not having any administrative authority, I have no idea what would happen and how the LSAs and NSA would react; but this seems to be “allowing local communities wiggle room to organize community life as they see fit for the cultures that they live in” as you put it. In addition to this, if the community does not allow as much liberty as the one where Sonja lives, by participating in a “community of interest” there is room for better informing the Baha’is.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote: But in Sonja's, I would be accepted, and could even serve on an LSA.
    Pey, are we not saying the same thing, when I say that each NSA and LSA are in a position to adapt the application of the law to specific situations? I don’t know the stand of the NSA and LSA where Sonja lives, and the case has never come up in France to the best of my knowledge, and not having any administrative authority, I have no idea what would happen and how the LSAs and NSA would react; but this seems to be “allowing local communities wiggle room to organize community life as they see fit for the cultures that they live in” as you put it. In addition to this, if the community does not allow as much liberty as the one where Sonja lives, by participating in a “community of interest” there is room for better informing the Baha’is.

  • Craig Parke

    That is certainly how I saw the Baha'i Faith when I very enthusiastically joined it back in 1971. But these are the words of Baha'u'llah. The words of Baha'ullah are completely irrelevant in the current Comintern version of the Baha'i Faith.

    The esoteric Internal Kingdom in the world wide Hearts of Men from musing upon the Sufi Teachings of Baha'u'llah was all superseded by the completely exoteric top down World Order of Shoghi Effendi.

    When THAT did not work after his death in 1957 after failing in his duty to appoint a Living Guardian in his lifetime to perform the ongoing and vigilant needed checks and balance in the lifetime incumbent system, the World Order of the International Teaching Center was eventually established. That is where we are now. It was an amazing coup d'etat. It is all very, very sad.

    The formal UHJ is not even in charge of anything whatsoever any more. The ITC ideologues and their friends run the show and those that do not comply will be driven out of the Faith as has happened with many long time deepened Baha'is.

    Total Ruhiization is now within their reach and they will most certainly achieve it. Their work books have superseded everything Baha'u'llah was ever inspired to write. What the ITC says and promotes IS the New Holy Word of God. The ITC IS the Voice of God on Earth. The workbooks are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to any understanding of anything in the entire Universe without them. No man can trust his own thoughts on anything.

    They have now created the ultimate automaton door-to-door MLM Faith. Brand Baha'i. Comes in strawberry, cherry, lime, and mint.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    That is certainly how I saw the Baha'i Faith when I very enthusiastically joined it back in 1971. But these are the words of Baha'u'llah. The words of Baha'ullah are completely irrelevant in the current Comintern version of the Baha'i Faith.

    The esoteric Internal Kingdom in the world wide Hearts of Men from musing upon the Sufi Teachings of Baha'u'llah was all superseded by the completely exoteric top down World Order of Shoghi Effendi.

    When THAT did not work after his death in 1957 after failing in his duty to appoint a Living Guardian in his lifetime to perform the ongoing and vigilant needed checks and balance in the lifetime incumbent system, the World Order of the International Teaching Center was eventually established. That is where we are now. It was an amazing coup d'etat. It is all very, very sad.

    The formal UHJ is not even in charge of anything whatsoever any more. The ITC ideologues and their friends run the show and those that do not comply will be driven out of the Faith as has happened with many long time deepened Baha'is.

    Total Ruhiization is now within their reach and they will most certainly achieve it. Their work books have superseded everything Baha'u'llah was ever inspired to write. What the ITC says and promotes IS the New Holy Word of God. The ITC IS the Voice of God on Earth. The workbooks are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to any understanding of anything in the entire Universe without them. No man can trust his own thoughts on anything.

    They have now created the ultimate automaton door-to-door MLM Faith. Brand Baha'i. Comes in strawberry, cherry, lime, and mint.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I don't know about others here, but "private adoration" just does not seem to be going too well these days it seems to me within the confines of the current version of the very strictly controlled top down Baha'i Faith.

    Private conscience is essentially forbidden when you know you can be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at any time if your views are made to appear to conflict with the views of nine men in Haifa who now fully interpret what goes and what does not go in the Baha'i Faith even though the Writings do not give them that right nor that power.

    Look at all the people who have been thrown out of the Faith by first class post mail simply because they spoke their conscience? So there just ain't much to "adore" anymore in the Baha'i Faith. I do, however, adore my cat Smootie. She is a wonderful cat. She is pure in her being.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    I don't know about others here, but "private adoration" just does not seem to be going too well these days it seems to me within the confines of the current version of the very strictly controlled top down Baha'i Faith.

    Private conscience is essentially forbidden when you know you can be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at any time if your views are made to appear to conflict with the views of nine men in Haifa who now fully interpret what goes and what does not go in the Baha'i Faith even though the Writings do not give them that right nor that power.

    Look at all the people who have been thrown out of the Faith by first class post mail simply because they spoke their conscience? So there just ain't much to "adore" anymore in the Baha'i Faith. I do, however, adore my cat Smootie. She is a wonderful cat. She is pure in her being.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : The workbooks are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to any understanding of anything in the entire Universe without them.
    Craig, you are describing the mindset of a few zealots who at the onset totally misunderstood the aim of the institute process. In the 1970s we proclaimed and many souls joined the Faith, but lacking human resources, we failed to welcome them adequately. We hence understood that for a sustainable growth, we needed, in the words of the UHJ, “a significant number” of human resources BEFORE proclaiming. This implied a fast procedure to help the teachers attain a minimal level of teaching talents. The workbooks were created to help future teachers not only teach with more precision, but also to transmit those capacities to other teachers.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote : The workbooks are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to any understanding of anything in the entire Universe without them.
    Craig, you are describing the mindset of a few zealots who at the onset totally misunderstood the aim of the institute process. In the 1970s we proclaimed and many souls joined the Faith, but lacking human resources, we failed to welcome them adequately. We hence understood that for a sustainable growth, we needed, in the words of the UHJ, “a significant number” of human resources BEFORE proclaiming. This implied a fast procedure to help the teachers attain a minimal level of teaching talents. The workbooks were created to help future teachers not only teach with more precision, but also to transmit those capacities to other teachers.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : I don't know about others here, but "private adoration" just does not seem to be going too well these days it seems to me within the confines of the current version of the very strictly controlled top down Baha'i Faith.

    Craig, I disagree : there has never been as much liberty of thought and action since with the institute process, vast numbers of individuals have been enabled and encouraged to organize their own core activities. The “top down” activities are only necessary in the harmonisation of all those individual activities, if the individuals want to go further and collaborate with others instead of winding their own wool.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote : I don't know about others here, but "private adoration" just does not seem to be going too well these days it seems to me within the confines of the current version of the very strictly controlled top down Baha'i Faith.

    Craig, I disagree : there has never been as much liberty of thought and action since with the institute process, vast numbers of individuals have been enabled and encouraged to organize their own core activities. The “top down” activities are only necessary in the harmonisation of all those individual activities, if the individuals want to go further and collaborate with others instead of winding their own wool.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : Private conscience is essentially forbidden when you know you can be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at any time if your views are made to appear to conflict with the views of nine men in Haifa

    Craig, I disagree : private conscience, AND its expression are encouraged if they are directed in a constructive manner through the right channels and not blurted out indiscriminately in a destructive manner.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote : Private conscience is essentially forbidden when you know you can be thrown out of the Baha'i Faith at any time if your views are made to appear to conflict with the views of nine men in Haifa

    Craig, I disagree : private conscience, AND its expression are encouraged if they are directed in a constructive manner through the right channels and not blurted out indiscriminately in a destructive manner.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote : The formal UHJ is not even in charge of anything whatsoever any more. The ITC ideologues and their friends run the show and those that do not comply will be driven out of the Faith as has happened with many long time deepened Baha'is.

    Wait a minute now, dear Craig! This is incredible! are you telling us that the nine men are no more in charge, and that the ladies in the ITC are running the Faith? And who said that the ladies were “deprived” of the honour of directing the affairs of the Faith. God bless your noble soul and lovable cat ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote : The formal UHJ is not even in charge of anything whatsoever any more. The ITC ideologues and their friends run the show and those that do not comply will be driven out of the Faith as has happened with many long time deepened Baha'is.

    Wait a minute now, dear Craig! This is incredible! are you telling us that the nine men are no more in charge, and that the ladies in the ITC are running the Faith? And who said that the ladies were “deprived” of the honour of directing the affairs of the Faith. God bless your noble soul and lovable cat ;-)

  • farhan

    Craig, the other activities were to go on unabated. Some misunderstood this “priority” as “exclusivity”, and we realized that we had some Baha’is who don’t like change, even if others were doing it, but everyone is now aware how useful these new activities are. As to the door to doors, we did them in the 1970s to invite people to public meetings, after which we had fire-sides; we now invite them to children’s classes, junior-youth, devotionals, study circles, reflection meetings, fire-sides, deepenings, summer-schools, feasts, Baha’i Studies, and eventually enroll them, and before doing so, they get “Anna’s presentation” which check-lists the essential points a new Baha’i should know, so that he cannot say that he has been unwaringly enrolled.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig, the other activities were to go on unabated. Some misunderstood this “priority” as “exclusivity”, and we realized that we had some Baha’is who don’t like change, even if others were doing it, but everyone is now aware how useful these new activities are. As to the door to doors, we did them in the 1970s to invite people to public meetings, after which we had fire-sides; we now invite them to children’s classes, junior-youth, devotionals, study circles, reflection meetings, fire-sides, deepenings, summer-schools, feasts, Baha’i Studies, and eventually enroll them, and before doing so, they get “Anna’s presentation” which check-lists the essential points a new Baha’i should know, so that he cannot say that he has been unwaringly enrolled.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "Craig, the other activities were to go on unabated."

    Yes Craig, What part of "redouble your efforts" do you not understand? :-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    "Craig, the other activities were to go on unabated."

    Yes Craig, What part of "redouble your efforts" do you not understand? :-)

  • Grover

    So you're saying we can do and say what we like provided its what they tell us to do and say? Sounds like oppression to me, not liberty. Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.

  • Grover

    So you're saying we can do and say what we like provided its what they tell us to do and say? Sounds like oppression to me, not liberty. Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote : So you're saying we can do and say what we like provided its what they tell us to do and say? Sounds like oppression to me, not liberty. Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.
    Grover, I am saying that IF and WHEN you want to do TEAM WORK, which has become vital for our survival, you have to abide by common rules. The world situation is such that unless and until we reconcile our differences, collectively collaborate and harmonise our efforts, we will continue to move to auto destruction. You can be the best violinist in the world, if you chose to play solo, you can play as you like, when, where and how you like, as long as you are not an inconvenience others. IF and only if you want to play in a philharmonic orchestra, you enter into a covenant with others; you have to play at the right time, in the right manner and as the maestro instructs you to do. If you ignore the common good and you try to impose your ideas on others you become an oppressing and manipulating tyrant.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote : So you're saying we can do and say what we like provided its what they tell us to do and say? Sounds like oppression to me, not liberty. Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.
    Grover, I am saying that IF and WHEN you want to do TEAM WORK, which has become vital for our survival, you have to abide by common rules. The world situation is such that unless and until we reconcile our differences, collectively collaborate and harmonise our efforts, we will continue to move to auto destruction. You can be the best violinist in the world, if you chose to play solo, you can play as you like, when, where and how you like, as long as you are not an inconvenience others. IF and only if you want to play in a philharmonic orchestra, you enter into a covenant with others; you have to play at the right time, in the right manner and as the maestro instructs you to do. If you ignore the common good and you try to impose your ideas on others you become an oppressing and manipulating tyrant.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote :
    Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.

    I disagree, Grover: harmonisation is unity in diversity: various talents and capacities synchronised, contributing in a complementary manner, towards the same goal. Lack of harmonisation is chaos in diversity. Uniformity and conformity do not need harmonisation; they are an assemblage of identical realities. A diamond is an immobile uniformity and conformity of molecules; it does not grow, but can only disintegrate according to the laws of entropy. A living plant is a developing unity of various molecules functioning in harmony with all their diversity, attracting other molecules into the scope of its confederative harmony, in a negative entropy.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Grover wrote :
    Harmonisation = uniformity & conformity.

    I disagree, Grover: harmonisation is unity in diversity: various talents and capacities synchronised, contributing in a complementary manner, towards the same goal. Lack of harmonisation is chaos in diversity. Uniformity and conformity do not need harmonisation; they are an assemblage of identical realities. A diamond is an immobile uniformity and conformity of molecules; it does not grow, but can only disintegrate according to the laws of entropy. A living plant is a developing unity of various molecules functioning in harmony with all their diversity, attracting other molecules into the scope of its confederative harmony, in a negative entropy.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You just don't get what many people have been saying on this Blog when you continue to use your orchestra analogy. The Baha'i Faith is AN ORCHESTRA THAT CANNOT PLAY! They cannot play so the self appointed orchestra leaders keep changing the sheet music "Plan" after "Plan". But the problem is that the orchestra simply cannot play.

    You repeatedly imply that the Ruhi Courses are to teach people how to play their instrument so they can play in the orchestra. People are saying here that these courses CANNOT teach people how to play AT ALL and to think they do is completely delusional. They can't. You have to LEARN how to play YOURSELF in life under your own power and effort. Then when you have reached a certain level of ability you can go and play in an orchestra with other people who have made a similar effort in life.

    What is better is to go out in life and find people who can already play and tell them they belong in this orchestra. That is how we used to teach the Faith. But the orchestra leaders do not want people who already know how to play under their own power in the orchestra because they might have their own musical ideas on the score and cannot be controlled. They might have their own musical interpretation of some of the passages that are different from the self appointed lifetime incumbent Maestros For Life orchestra leaders.

    Players who already know how to play are deemed reeking in ego and self corrupted by Western ideas. Meanwhile nobody is playing. The Baha'is orchestra can't play for s**t and the others are held back from playing their song in the world. It is a lose, lose situation. It is a zero sum game. The result is no music in the world from anyone who ever became involved in the Baha'i Faith. Zero. Silence.

    So I say it is better to let people go out into the world and start a band themselves wherever they can find others who can play so there will be music in the world instead of horrible nose from a hopeless orchestra of people who cannot play and never will be able to play because they are now forbidden by the orchestra to find the music within their own beings. That cannot be taught by anyone. that is Cod given from the Creator.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB96ALIS9JY

    The function of the BAO is merely that of G.E. Smith in this performance. Study his role very closely.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    You just don't get what many people have been saying on this Blog when you continue to use your orchestra analogy. The Baha'i Faith is AN ORCHESTRA THAT CANNOT PLAY! They cannot play so the self appointed orchestra leaders keep changing the sheet music "Plan" after "Plan". But the problem is that the orchestra simply cannot play.

    You repeatedly imply that the Ruhi Courses are to teach people how to play their instrument so they can play in the orchestra. People are saying here that these courses CANNOT teach people how to play AT ALL and to think they do is completely delusional. They can't. You have to LEARN how to play YOURSELF in life under your own power and effort. Then when you have reached a certain level of ability you can go and play in an orchestra with other people who have made a similar effort in life.

    What is better is to go out in life and find people who can already play and tell them they belong in this orchestra. That is how we used to teach the Faith. But the orchestra leaders do not want people who already know how to play under their own power in the orchestra because they might have their own musical ideas on the score and cannot be controlled. They might have their own musical interpretation of some of the passages that are different from the self appointed lifetime incumbent Maestros For Life orchestra leaders.

    Players who already know how to play are deemed reeking in ego and self corrupted by Western ideas. Meanwhile nobody is playing. The Baha'is orchestra can't play for s**t and the others are held back from playing their song in the world. It is a lose, lose situation. It is a zero sum game. The result is no music in the world from anyone who ever became involved in the Baha'i Faith. Zero. Silence.

    So I say it is better to let people go out into the world and start a band themselves wherever they can find others who can play so there will be music in the world instead of horrible nose from a hopeless orchestra of people who cannot play and never will be able to play because they are now forbidden by the orchestra to find the music within their own beings. That cannot be taught by anyone. that is Cod given from the Creator.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB96ALIS9JY

    The function of the BAO is merely that of G.E. Smith in this performance. Study his role very closely.

  • farhan

    Craig wrote: You just don't get what many people have been saying on this Blog when you continue to use your orchestra analogy.
    Craig, I get your point very well, but I keep on expressing an opinion different from yours.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Craig wrote: You just don't get what many people have been saying on this Blog when you continue to use your orchestra analogy.
    Craig, I get your point very well, but I keep on expressing an opinion different from yours.

  • pey

    And something fun to watch. This was the SF Bay Area group performing at the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) equality convention. For those of you that understand the struggles for marriage equality in California, you will appreciate it. Even though they can't dance as well as Beyonce. LOL!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na6CFUUj2zY

  • pey

    And something fun to watch. This was the SF Bay Area group performing at the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) equality convention. For those of you that understand the struggles for marriage equality in California, you will appreciate it. Even though they can't dance as well as Beyonce. LOL!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na6CFUUj2zY

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    great fun, thanks!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DCO DCO

    great fun, thanks!

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Bishops Urge Parents of Homosexuals to Accept Their Children, Themselves, Church Teaching on Human Dignity

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do;jsessi

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    Bishops Urge Parents of Homosexuals to Accept Their Children, Themselves, Church Teaching on Human Dignity

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do;jsessi

  • pey

    Thought I would post a question. Has anyone ever been at a Bahai lecture/talk where the speaker said something negative about homosexuality? Please share your story and especially how you felt at that time when you heard them speak. I will share the one that hurt me the most, but I think helped start the process of accepting the Faith in my own way. My story will follow after this post. The speaker was the wife of Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhajir who was giving a talk at a Bahai retreat when I was a teenager.

  • pey

    Thought I would post a question. Has anyone ever been at a Bahai lecture/talk where the speaker said something negative about homosexuality? Please share your story and especially how you felt at that time when you heard them speak. I will share the one that hurt me the most, but I think helped start the process of accepting the Faith in my own way. My story will follow after this post. The speaker was the wife of Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhajir who was giving a talk at a Bahai retreat when I was a teenager.

  • pey

    In her talk Dr. Muhajir's wife was scolding the extremes of freedom in the US. And it was just one short phrase that to this day has stuck in my mind. She said "and even the gays, they are wanting freedom, freedom. Freedom for what?" This was back in the 80's. Of course, I being a scared closeted gay Bahai youth who couldn't admit anything to myself let alone anyone else, just kept mymouth shut. I kep quiet as did ALL the other people in the audience. But even then, something inside of me wanted to jump up and tell that woman to sit her ass down. Who the hell did she think she is? Did she stop to think how this might affect some young impressionable youth sitting in the audience? But unfortunately the Bahai community extols these people- sets them up on pedestals as they travel around the world spitting such vitriol in the name of Bahaullah. I don't know if she's still alive, even forgot her name. But if she is, someone please tell her to read Bahai Rants. I EXPECT AN APOLOGY! :o)

  • pey

    In her talk Dr. Muhajir's wife was scolding the extremes of freedom in the US. And it was just one short phrase that to this day has stuck in my mind. She said "and even the gays, they are wanting freedom, freedom. Freedom for what?" This was back in the 80's. Of course, I being a scared closeted gay Bahai youth who couldn't admit anything to myself let alone anyone else, just kept mymouth shut. I kep quiet as did ALL the other people in the audience. But even then, something inside of me wanted to jump up and tell that woman to sit her ass down. Who the hell did she think she is? Did she stop to think how this might affect some young impressionable youth sitting in the audience? But unfortunately the Bahai community extols these people- sets them up on pedestals as they travel around the world spitting such vitriol in the name of Bahaullah. I don't know if she's still alive, even forgot her name. But if she is, someone please tell her to read Bahai Rants. I EXPECT AN APOLOGY! :o)

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    U.S. Endorses U.N. Gay Rights Statement
    Declaration, Rejected By Bush Administration, Aims To Decriminalize Homosexuality

    http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=5738273

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    U.S. Endorses U.N. Gay Rights Statement
    Declaration, Rejected By Bush Administration, Aims To Decriminalize Homosexuality

    http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=5738273

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    I can think of dozens of "important" Baha'is who have spoken in such ways that made me cringe… mostly tho is the silence, the allowing of homophobia to continue that saddens me the most. The sitting there, and allowing people with power to say anything that comes off the top of their heads, and not challenging it is worse than the ones who make such crewel, stupid and ignorant remarks. It saddens me that they do not see that saying such things does more to harm the Faith than anything imaginable.

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    I can think of dozens of "important" Baha'is who have spoken in such ways that made me cringe… mostly tho is the silence, the allowing of homophobia to continue that saddens me the most. The sitting there, and allowing people with power to say anything that comes off the top of their heads, and not challenging it is worse than the ones who make such crewel, stupid and ignorant remarks. It saddens me that they do not see that saying such things does more to harm the Faith than anything imaginable.

  • pey

    I agree Daniel and not just against gays. One time I heard this old persian man speak. I can't remember who it was, but I'm sure from the way the hundreds of Iranians were crammed in there to hear him speak he had to be important. But anyway he made a comment that people without children were selfish. That the purpose to bring and rear children in the world was to learn to be less selfish. And people just sat there and took it. No one stood up to say "hey you $^#&$&, who do you think you are?" He is entitled to his opinion, but we should be just as entitled to refute that opinion. I sometimes think it's time for me to step back into my Bahai community- just so I can see if people still make such ignorant comments in talks. I would so stand up now. Don't ask me to be meak and sensitive if you are going to elevate certain ignorant individuals to the role of speakers at Bahai events.

  • pey

    I agree Daniel and not just against gays. One time I heard this old persian man speak. I can't remember who it was, but I'm sure from the way the hundreds of Iranians were crammed in there to hear him speak he had to be important. But anyway he made a comment that people without children were selfish. That the purpose to bring and rear children in the world was to learn to be less selfish. And people just sat there and took it. No one stood up to say "hey you $^#&$&, who do you think you are?" He is entitled to his opinion, but we should be just as entitled to refute that opinion. I sometimes think it's time for me to step back into my Bahai community- just so I can see if people still make such ignorant comments in talks. I would so stand up now. Don't ask me to be meak and sensitive if you are going to elevate certain ignorant individuals to the role of speakers at Bahai events.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    If the UHJ tells me to murder anyone who disagrees with any of Peter Khan's or Glenford Mitchell's or Douglas Martin's endless speeches on their endless personal opinions on the now completely incestuous World Order of Shoghi Effendi or their breathless uber-insights on everything under the Sun in the known and unknown Universe or to cut the throat of anyone who disagrees with any top down binding interpretation the UHJ makes of Baha'i Scripture (they don't have the right to interpret anything whatsoever!) or to garrote anyone who doesn't bow down and worship the new idolatrous Sacred Ruhi Holy Scripture as the primary foundation of the Baha'i Faith, I am just not doing it because I have a personal conscience.

    And anyone who may try to tell me to do such things can go to hell. And I think in the future they will try to tell people to do such things with the minions of the conscienceless Ruhiized automation subservient rank and file.

    I am NOT sending anyone to spiritual or physical concentration camps of the soul. I am responsible for my own moral conduct. Nazi Germany hacks saying "I was only following orders" as an excuse for crimes against humanity and the human spirit just won't cut it anymore. This is the lesson of our sorry recent history. I preach personal responsibility completely free from the dictates of any organization of men. Period.

    You assume the UHJ would never do such things. I don't anymore. These are absolutely frightening people. They are immature addicted ideologues. And the Baha'i Faith is becoming an absolutely frightening organization of shockingly manipulated completely vapid people devoid of critical thinking skills.

    In my opinion after decades in the Faith and serving at many levels, I say all bets are off. The Baha'i Faith organization is capable of any horrendous crime of mankind now. I do not trust anyone in any position of power in the NEW THINK Baha'i Faith AT ALL.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    Farhan,

    If the UHJ tells me to murder anyone who disagrees with any of Peter Khan's or Glenford Mitchell's or Douglas Martin's endless speeches on their endless personal opinions on the now completely incestuous World Order of Shoghi Effendi or their breathless uber-insights on everything under the Sun in the known and unknown Universe or to cut the throat of anyone who disagrees with any top down binding interpretation the UHJ makes of Baha'i Scripture (they don't have the right to interpret anything whatsoever!) or to garrote anyone who doesn't bow down and worship the new idolatrous Sacred Ruhi Holy Scripture as the primary foundation of the Baha'i Faith, I am just not doing it because I have a personal conscience.

    And anyone who may try to tell me to do such things can go to hell. And I think in the future they will try to tell people to do such things with the minions of the conscienceless Ruhiized automation subservient rank and file.

    I am NOT sending anyone to spiritual or physical concentration camps of the soul. I am responsible for my own moral conduct. Nazi Germany hacks saying "I was only following orders" as an excuse for crimes against humanity and the human spirit just won't cut it anymore. This is the lesson of our sorry recent history. I preach personal responsibility completely free from the dictates of any organization of men. Period.

    You assume the UHJ would never do such things. I don't anymore. These are absolutely frightening people. They are immature addicted ideologues. And the Baha'i Faith is becoming an absolutely frightening organization of shockingly manipulated completely vapid people devoid of critical thinking skills.

    In my opinion after decades in the Faith and serving at many levels, I say all bets are off. The Baha'i Faith organization is capable of any horrendous crime of mankind now. I do not trust anyone in any position of power in the NEW THINK Baha'i Faith AT ALL.

    So it goes.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote : Dr. Muhajir's wife was scolding the extremes of freedom in the US.

    Pey do you remember what else she said on the extremes of freedom besides her comment on the freedom for gays?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote : Dr. Muhajir's wife was scolding the extremes of freedom in the US.

    Pey do you remember what else she said on the extremes of freedom besides her comment on the freedom for gays?

  • pey

    Yes Farhan things like the extremes of greed, materialism, etc. A society that puts it's own views before God. It just happens that she lumped in homosexuality with all those "sins". Have you Farhan ever heard a Bahai lecture where homosexuality is spoken of in a positive light?

  • pey

    Yes Farhan things like the extremes of greed, materialism, etc. A society that puts it's own views before God. It just happens that she lumped in homosexuality with all those "sins". Have you Farhan ever heard a Bahai lecture where homosexuality is spoken of in a positive light?

  • pey

    Well unless whiskey was prescribed by a doctor, then it's ok. But if being in a healthy monogomous fulfilling relationship is prescribed by a doctor…well you get my drift- it is still wrong to Douglas Martin.

  • pey

    Well unless whiskey was prescribed by a doctor, then it's ok. But if being in a healthy monogomous fulfilling relationship is prescribed by a doctor…well you get my drift- it is still wrong to Douglas Martin.

  • farhan

    Pey, Do you remember what Mrs Muhajir had to say about liberty?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey, Do you remember what Mrs Muhajir had to say about liberty?

  • pey

    No Farhan. I was maybe 16 when she gave the talk, so I don't remember everything. How do you feel about her comment regarding gays wanting their freedom?

  • pey

    No Farhan. I was maybe 16 when she gave the talk, so I don't remember everything. How do you feel about her comment regarding gays wanting their freedom?

  • farhan

    Pey asked : How do you feel about her comment regarding gays wanting their freedom?

    Wrong for today, but who knows how we understood these problems then?
    I was doing psychiatry in the 1970s and the up to date science of that time taught us that there were three types of homosexuals: neurotic, who suffered from their disorder, and psychotic and perverse who felt no remorse and no suffering from their disorder. Also, we have to see the context of her talk and the concept of true liberty being submission to God’s commands. We can then say that excessive attachment to a socially disapproved behaviour is a kind of addiction, and hence loss of liberty, and show surprise that a smoker or a gambler is asking for liberty to peruse his behaviour.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey asked : How do you feel about her comment regarding gays wanting their freedom?

    Wrong for today, but who knows how we understood these problems then?
    I was doing psychiatry in the 1970s and the up to date science of that time taught us that there were three types of homosexuals: neurotic, who suffered from their disorder, and psychotic and perverse who felt no remorse and no suffering from their disorder. Also, we have to see the context of her talk and the concept of true liberty being submission to God’s commands. We can then say that excessive attachment to a socially disapproved behaviour is a kind of addiction, and hence loss of liberty, and show surprise that a smoker or a gambler is asking for liberty to peruse his behaviour.

  • pey

    Interesting. Because as a scared closeted teenager who wasn't expressing his sexuality and trying very hard to fit into the Bahai mold, I found her comments deeply disturbing and just out right homophobic. But looking back, I agree with Daniel, the truly disturbing part is that no one spoke up. This Persian woman was given the status of a great dedicated servant of Bahaullah- so she could make a homophobic remark and get away with it.

  • pey

    Interesting. Because as a scared closeted teenager who wasn't expressing his sexuality and trying very hard to fit into the Bahai mold, I found her comments deeply disturbing and just out right homophobic. But looking back, I agree with Daniel, the truly disturbing part is that no one spoke up. This Persian woman was given the status of a great dedicated servant of Bahaullah- so she could make a homophobic remark and get away with it.

  • farhan

    Pey wrote:Have you Farhan ever heard a Bahai lecture where homosexuality is spoken of in a positive light?

    I have almost never heard of it referred to; in one occasion in the 1970s, perhaps Douglas Martin, was replying to questions and someone asked if being attracted only to same-sex, he should refrain from sexuality altogether, and the reply was if I only like whiskey and not water, should I not drink at all.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/farhan farhan

    Pey wrote:Have you Farhan ever heard a Bahai lecture where homosexuality is spoken of in a positive light?

    I have almost never heard of it referred to; in one occasion in the 1970s, perhaps Douglas Martin, was replying to questions and someone asked if being attracted only to same-sex, he should refrain from sexuality altogether, and the reply was if I only like whiskey and not water, should I not drink at all.

  • Masud

    Hello everyone, I haven't posted here for a long time but I just wanted to inform you all that my cousin has been released from prison in Tehran and I wanted to thank you for your kind words and your prayers…although the "indictment" against him still stands, we are happy that he has been released on bail…thanks again, and I hope that our differences of opinion don't get in the way of our common humanity, which translates into our attempt to free these prisoners of conscience

  • Masud

    Hello everyone, I haven't posted here for a long time but I just wanted to inform you all that my cousin has been released from prison in Tehran and I wanted to thank you for your kind words and your prayers…although the "indictment" against him still stands, we are happy that he has been released on bail…thanks again, and I hope that our differences of opinion don't get in the way of our common humanity, which translates into our attempt to free these prisoners of conscience

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    This is indeed great news! Blessings on the fine (now even finer!) Naw-Ruz!

  • http://www.csus.edu/indiv/o/oreyd/ Daniel Orey

    This is indeed great news! Blessings on the fine (now even finer!) Naw-Ruz!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    This is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing. My best wishes to your family and my deepest hope that all Baha'is and prisoners of conscience are freed.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Baquia Baquia

    This is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing. My best wishes to your family and my deepest hope that all Baha'is and prisoners of conscience are freed.

  • Amanda

    Masud, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful news with us. :) Best wishes to your family.

  • Amanda

    Masud, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful news with us. :) Best wishes to your family.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Yes, great news. I hope it signals a change of policy / change of heart towards all prisoners of conscience in Iran

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SteveMarshall SteveMarshall

    Yes, great news. I hope it signals a change of policy / change of heart towards all prisoners of conscience in Iran

  • fubar

    (sorry for accidentally posting on the old thread. here is a copy for the new thread.)

    re: "Thousands of years of divine revelation"

    Nicholas,

    The whole idea of "divine revelation" is a pure "middle man" SCAM that has only been perpetuated for reasons of "political expediency".

    Judeo-Christian-Islamic culture, including bahai, simply seeks to turn the masses of people into "slaves of god" to be manipulated by elites whose egos are inflated far beyond any natural talent they might have in the areas of spirituality or enlightenment (much less government).

    The impulse toward transcendence, the human yearning for meaning and belonging, love, compassion, beauty, truth, and the good, existed long before religion was "invented" by the so called "prophets".

    Religion was simply a way to control people by scaring them into thinking that if they didn't allow priests to control irrigation canals in ancient times that some thundering sky god(s) would "zap" the "sinners" (non-conformists).

    (Religion "appropriated" [pre-existing] transcendence for economic, political and military reasons.)

    Homosexuality amongst the "slaves of god" (the masses) was prohibited by the (wealthy) priestly elites (who themselves gladly paid for homo-sex [in the back rooms of temples]) precisely because it was seen as a "competing" belief system based on "sex mystique". Same reason [sex mystique] for (stupidly) "banning" worship of the "divine feminine".

    The world is sick and tired of the kind of dreary stuff that bahai tradition tries to keep alive.

    bahai will never be able to deliver on the promise of being a movement of spiritual transformation and healing if it doesn't THROW OUT THIS KIND OF JUNK in bahai scripture.

    all of the resulting lies and deception doom bahai to be an irrelevant, dysfunctional attempt at building a "better bureaucratic mousetrap". mindless. heartless.

    bye, bye!


    http://www.bhavanasociety.org//main/quotes_full_p

    "There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn… no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn…, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned.”
    ~ The Buddha
    Ud 8:3

    Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi
    Udana 8:3

  • fubar

    (sorry for accidentally posting on the old thread. here is a copy for the new thread.)

    re: "Thousands of years of divine revelation"

    Nicholas,

    The whole idea of "divine revelation" is a pure "middle man" SCAM that has only been perpetuated for reasons of "political expediency".

    Judeo-Christian-Islamic culture, including bahai, simply seeks to turn the masses of people into "slaves of god" to be manipulated by elites whose egos are inflated far beyond any natural talent they might have in the areas of spirituality or enlightenment (much less government).

    The impulse toward transcendence, the human yearning for meaning and belonging, love, compassion, beauty, truth, and the good, existed long before religion was "invented" by the so called "prophets".

    Religion was simply a way to control people by scaring them into thinking that if they didn't allow priests to control irrigation canals in ancient times that some thundering sky god(s) would "zap" the "sinners" (non-conformists).

    (Religion "appropriated" [pre-existing] transcendence for economic, political and military reasons.)

    Homosexuality amongst the "slaves of god" (the masses) was prohibited by the (wealthy) priestly elites (who themselves gladly paid for homo-sex [in the back rooms of temples]) precisely because it was seen as a "competing" belief system based on "sex mystique". Same reason [sex mystique] for (stupidly) "banning" worship of the "divine feminine".

    The world is sick and tired of the kind of dreary stuff that bahai tradition tries to keep alive.

    bahai will never be able to deliver on the promise of being a movement of spiritual transformation and healing if it doesn't THROW OUT THIS KIND OF JUNK in bahai scripture.

    all of the resulting lies and deception doom bahai to be an irrelevant, dysfunctional attempt at building a "better bureaucratic mousetrap". mindless. heartless.

    bye, bye!


    http://www.bhavanasociety.org//main/quotes_full_p

    "There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn… no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn…, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned.”
    ~ The Buddha
    Ud 8:3

    Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi
    Udana 8:3

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Haaretz:

    Israel is stepping up its public relations effort to discredit Iran within the international community, and part of its new campaign focuses on Tehran's abuse of human rights and sponsorship of terrorism.

    "We have to lay the foundation in the world, and particularly in Europe, in order to be able to take harsher steps against Iran, especially in the economic sector," said one senior political source in Jerusalem.

    The new campaign, to be overseen by the Foreign Ministry, aims to appeal to people who are less concerned with Iran's nuclear aspirations and more fearful of its human rights abuses and mistreatment of minorities, including the gay and lesbian community.
    Advertisement

    The campaign plans to recruit the international gay community, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed in 2007 when he said there were no homosexuals living in his country.

    The campaign will also reach out to Jewish groups who want to bring more attention to Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial and some members of the Iranian regime's anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist views.

    About NIS 8 million have already been budgeted for the new campaign, which also includes increased briefings for foreign journalists on the Iranian nuclear program and greater use of the Internet and sites such as YouTube.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman want to broaden the PR campaign on the subject of Iran in the wake of increasing international willingness to negotiate with Tehran over its nuclear program. One political source said there appear to be greater expectations in the U.S. and in Europe that diplomacy will solve the nuclear dispute.

    However, the assumption in Israel is that dialogue will not lead to fundamental change in Tehran's stance and that the regime will not relinquish its nuclear aspirations, even in exchange for an incentives package from the international community.

    The senior political source in Jerusalem said it is necessary to lay the groundwork now for the possible diplomatic failure. Despite talk of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the current campaign focuses more on harsh economic sanctions against Tehran.

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Haaretz:

    Israel is stepping up its public relations effort to discredit Iran within the international community, and part of its new campaign focuses on Tehran's abuse of human rights and sponsorship of terrorism.

    "We have to lay the foundation in the world, and particularly in Europe, in order to be able to take harsher steps against Iran, especially in the economic sector," said one senior political source in Jerusalem.

    The new campaign, to be overseen by the Foreign Ministry, aims to appeal to people who are less concerned with Iran's nuclear aspirations and more fearful of its human rights abuses and mistreatment of minorities, including the gay and lesbian community.
    Advertisement

    The campaign plans to recruit the international gay community, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed in 2007 when he said there were no homosexuals living in his country.

    The campaign will also reach out to Jewish groups who want to bring more attention to Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial and some members of the Iranian regime's anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist views.

    About NIS 8 million have already been budgeted for the new campaign, which also includes increased briefings for foreign journalists on the Iranian nuclear program and greater use of the Internet and sites such as YouTube.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman want to broaden the PR campaign on the subject of Iran in the wake of increasing international willingness to negotiate with Tehran over its nuclear program. One political source said there appear to be greater expectations in the U.S. and in Europe that diplomacy will solve the nuclear dispute.

    However, the assumption in Israel is that dialogue will not lead to fundamental change in Tehran's stance and that the regime will not relinquish its nuclear aspirations, even in exchange for an incentives package from the international community.

    The senior political source in Jerusalem said it is necessary to lay the groundwork now for the possible diplomatic failure. Despite talk of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the current campaign focuses more on harsh economic sanctions against Tehran.

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Folks this is a Prayer Request…

    We are down to only four possible dates for Day of Decision, the day the CA Supreme Court will rule on the validity of Prop 8:

    Thursday, May 21
    Tuesday, May 26
    Thursday, May 28
    Monday, June 1

    see: http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=8804346

    and

    http://dayofdecision.wetpaint.com/

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Folks this is a Prayer Request…

    We are down to only four possible dates for Day of Decision, the day the CA Supreme Court will rule on the validity of Prop 8:

    Thursday, May 21
    Tuesday, May 26
    Thursday, May 28
    Monday, June 1

    see: http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=8804346

    and

    http://dayofdecision.wetpaint.com/

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Just a warning – friends – the NSA just removed my rights for my marriage in August that I mentioned either here or on facebook… be warned all of you who post honestly and openly… you are being watched and subject to being sanctioned…

    any thoughts?

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ DCO

    Just a warning – friends – the NSA just removed my rights for my marriage in August that I mentioned either here or on facebook… be warned all of you who post honestly and openly… you are being watched and subject to being sanctioned…

    any thoughts?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    DCO, sorry to hear that. Yes, believe it or not people read this blog. My logs indicate quite a few visits from Haifa, Wilmette and other interesting places. What reason did the NSA cite for the removal of your rights?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    DCO, sorry to hear that. Yes, believe it or not people read this blog. My logs indicate quite a few visits from Haifa, Wilmette and other interesting places. What reason did the NSA cite for the removal of your rights?

  • owen

    i'm interested in DCO 's story but I can't find it – tried the 'latest activity' function to no avail

  • owen

    i'm interested in DCO 's story but I can't find it – tried the 'latest activity' function to no avail

  • Grover

    I can't find it either, I hunted through all the posts, expanded all the threads.

  • Grover

    I can't find it either, I hunted through all the posts, expanded all the threads.

  • DCO

    can't seem to find myself either…

  • DCO

    can't seem to find myself either…

  • DCO

    Here's what is missing…

    "Just a warning – friends – the NSA just removed my rights for my
    marriage in August that I mentioned either here or on facebook… be
    warned all of you who post honestly and openly… you are being watched
    and subject to being sanctioned…

  • DCO

    Here's what is missing…

    "Just a warning – friends – the NSA just removed my rights for my
    marriage in August that I mentioned either here or on facebook… be
    warned all of you who post honestly and openly… you are being watched
    and subject to being sanctioned…

  • owen

    and now i can't find wherever you re-posted it! is there something sinister going on? ;)

  • owen

    and now i can't find wherever you re-posted it! is there something sinister going on? ;)

  • Pey

    I swear. Don't these 9 people have anything better to do? Oh I don't know, like maybe opening up the home for the elderly that they closed down?! Maybe helping the poor and sick in nearby Chicago, instead of being in cloistered meetings in opulent Wilmette where they judge who is and who is not worthy of being a fully functioning Bahai. Whatever happened to the Abdul-Baha's vision for the Mashriq- orphanage, hospital, charity?! Oh now, let's just keep pushing loyal believers out of the Faith… that's how they spend time and money.

  • Pey

    I swear. Don't these 9 people have anything better to do? Oh I don't know, like maybe opening up the home for the elderly that they closed down?! Maybe helping the poor and sick in nearby Chicago, instead of being in cloistered meetings in opulent Wilmette where they judge who is and who is not worthy of being a fully functioning Bahai. Whatever happened to the Abdul-Baha's vision for the Mashriq- orphanage, hospital, charity?! Oh now, let's just keep pushing loyal believers out of the Faith… that's how they spend time and money.

  • Craig Parke

    It is complete dysfunctional loveless mental illness in "organized" religion. The same old, same old. It all devolves into witch hunts and burning people at the stake. Continuous daily inquisitions into orthodoxy litmus tests and searching out thought crimes. Many knowledgeable people had hoped for so much more this time out. Sigh.

    But I believe it just may be the work of the Divine to enable the rest of the entire world to freely channel the power of the World Age unencumbered by the burden of self-appointed projected "morals police" and "thought crimes" policing. Both roles completely drain both collective and individual energy and lead to barren spiritual exhaustion. Who wants to be in anything that culturally and spiritually barren? The blocking forces in the Faith are incredible. SE impaired it even more, perhaps fatally, by totally failing in his duty to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime as he was required to do by the W&T of Abdu'l-Baha. In a situation like this what is a religious fanatic to do? There is no guidance from a living Guardian to ask the UHJ to reconsider any decision that is manifestly fatally deranged . There are no checks and balances so the Faith will always head for the nearest cliff generation after generation.

    The only card left to the lifetime incumbent clique of psychologically brain chemistry addicted fanatical rulers who have gamed the electoral processes of sheep is trying to create a door-to-door socioeconomic marketing driven planetary Vista program to recruit the absolutely desperate in life. The only problem is that the BAO cannot deliver on any of it. Such groupthink conversions are not connected to anything directly spiritual with searching the Writings for personal meaning. People are merely connected to the "Institute Process" as their New God. The BAO has never been able to deliver on anything as advertised generation after generation. Everything has been completely run into the ground over and over since 1912 in an orgy of top down clueless dysfunctional brain chemistry. . Anna's Presentation is new to the game of this kind of "conversion" marketing. Now we have hit bottom. The top down system ITSELF is the new God. The JW's own the franchise on the brain chemistry for that brand of "organized" religion. Do the Mormon's still use their felt boards? I heard even they abandoned that kind of captive bullying years ago?

    There is going to be great difficulty retaining these kinds of converts. I do not see them lasting more than a year in the MLM Vista program. For a religion to thrive it has to be engaged in an individual multi-dimensional spiritual dynamic in society. The Ruhi Full sequence of Courses and Core activities are too Johnny-One-Note. they are too isolated in mindset.

    Meanwhile, the whole rest of the world is moving on writing books, creating films, and engaging in political discourse and social action brought by the Maid of Heaven – the Spirit of the World Age – while the Baha'i thought police groupthink consumes it's own tail in an ever advancing manner. The US NSA 2007 Convention Report was the last honest discussion. It was turned away. There won't be any more attempts at organizational reason in the lifetime of anyone here.

    So it goes.

  • Craig Parke

    It is complete dysfunctional loveless mental illness in "organized" religion. The same old, same old. It all devolves into witch hunts and burning people at the stake. Continuous daily inquisitions into orthodoxy litmus tests and searching out thought crimes. Many knowledgeable people had hoped for so much more this time out. Sigh.

    But I believe it just may be the work of the Divine to enable the rest of the entire world to freely channel the power of the World Age unencumbered by the burden of self-appointed projected "morals police" and "thought crimes" policing. Both roles completely drain both collective and individual energy and lead to barren spiritual exhaustion. Who wants to be in anything that culturally and spiritually barren? The blocking forces in the Faith are incredible. SE impaired it even more, perhaps fatally, by totally failing in his duty to appoint a living Guardian in his lifetime as he was required to do by the W&T of Abdu'l-Baha. In a situation like this what is a religious fanatic to do? There is no guidance from a living Guardian to ask the UHJ to reconsider any decision that is manifestly fatally deranged . There are no checks and balances so the Faith will always head for the nearest cliff generation after generation.

    The only card left to the lifetime incumbent clique of psychologically brain chemistry addicted fanatical rulers who have gamed the electoral processes of sheep is trying to create a door-to-door socioeconomic marketing driven planetary Vista program to recruit the absolutely desperate in life. The only problem is that the BAO cannot deliver on any of it. Such groupthink conversions are not connected to anything directly spiritual with searching the Writings for personal meaning. People are merely connected to the "Institute Process" as their New God. The BAO has never been able to deliver on anything as advertised generation after generation. Everything has been completely run into the ground over and over since 1912 in an orgy of top down clueless dysfunctional brain chemistry. . Anna's Presentation is new to the game of this kind of "conversion" marketing. Now we have hit bottom. The top down system ITSELF is the new God. The JW's own the franchise on the brain chemistry for that brand of "organized" religion. Do the Mormon's still use their felt boards? I heard even they abandoned that kind of captive bullying years ago?

    There is going to be great difficulty retaining these kinds of converts. I do not see them lasting more than a year in the MLM Vista program. For a religion to thrive it has to be engaged in an individual multi-dimensional spiritual dynamic in society. The Ruhi Full sequence of Courses and Core activities are too Johnny-One-Note. they are too isolated in mindset.

    Meanwhile, the whole rest of the world is moving on writing books, creating films, and engaging in political discourse and social action brought by the Maid of Heaven – the Spirit of the World Age – while the Baha'i thought police groupthink consumes it's own tail in an ever advancing manner. The US NSA 2007 Convention Report was the last honest discussion. It was turned away. There won't be any more attempts at organizational reason in the lifetime of anyone here.

    So it goes.

  • Grover

    Hey Owen, don't sort the posts – just click on 5 down the bottom of the first page and go down to the bottom

  • Grover

    Hey Owen, don't sort the posts – just click on 5 down the bottom of the first page and go down to the bottom

  • fubar

    possibly shrewd move by israelis but, israel's "human rights" records itself is appalling, why would european gay rights groups want to get sucked into the slimy politics on both sides of the of israel-vs-iran issue, the related corruption involved with the military-industrial complexes in various countries, etc.?

  • fubar

    possibly shrewd move by israelis but, israel's "human rights" records itself is appalling, why would european gay rights groups want to get sucked into the slimy politics on both sides of the of israel-vs-iran issue, the related corruption involved with the military-industrial complexes in various countries, etc.?

  • pey

    It seems the administrative bodies of our Faith are just like this… bigots, homophobes and a bit drunk on power…
    ————-
    While of course Daniel still trying to convince the world that they are not any of those things; that the Bahai community doesn't discriminate against the GLBT community. It's a very Iranian thing (I shoudl know)- keep face to the world, while you continue on your witch hunt.

  • pey

    It seems the administrative bodies of our Faith are just like this… bigots, homophobes and a bit drunk on power…
    ————-
    While of course Daniel still trying to convince the world that they are not any of those things; that the Bahai community doesn't discriminate against the GLBT community. It's a very Iranian thing (I shoudl know)- keep face to the world, while you continue on your witch hunt.

  • fubar

    (XL-ex-bahai, 30 years….)

    DCO’s “real” crime is being a social activist, a person that cares about other people, and that is comitted to a life devoted to social change and social justice. Such people, when they can’t be assimilated into the BAO “Borg”, are expected to hide quietly in a corner, cowering from the bahai thought police.

    bahai administration has devolved into a system of exploitation/dehumanization. and it is paradigm regressive, backward, and attempts to impose a spiritual, intellectual and collective “slave” mentality based on islamic “submission”.

    like all dysfunctional organizations, it is in a frenzied state of constant bureuacratic reinvention, as opposed to profound, unvarnished self-examination and learning. it is studiously indifferent (if not hostile) to outside influences that would encourage honest examination of problems – including a lot of bad metaphysics that shold be discarded ASAP in order for the religion to have a sliver of a change to stay current with the leading edge of social evolution.

    the bahai writings themselves explain that bahai administration can “go bad”, and that when such happens, “the assembly” will be “brought to naught” (by God).

    for “some reason” that inconvenient truth probably got left out of Ruhi.

    bahai s supposed to be about an “ever advancing (world) civilization”, but has become a ever regressing tribal/in-group” scam.

    adios muchachitos!

  • fubar

    (XL-ex-bahai, 30 years….)

    DCO’s “real” crime is being a social activist, a person that cares about other people, and that is comitted to a life devoted to social change and social justice. Such people, when they can’t be assimilated into the BAO “Borg”, are expected to hide quietly in a corner, cowering from the bahai thought police.

    bahai administration has devolved into a system of exploitation/dehumanization. and it is paradigm regressive, backward, and attempts to impose a spiritual, intellectual and collective “slave” mentality based on islamic “submission”.

    like all dysfunctional organizations, it is in a frenzied state of constant bureuacratic reinvention, as opposed to profound, unvarnished self-examination and learning. it is studiously indifferent (if not hostile) to outside influences that would encourage honest examination of problems – including a lot of bad metaphysics that shold be discarded ASAP in order for the religion to have a sliver of a change to stay current with the leading edge of social evolution.

    the bahai writings themselves explain that bahai administration can “go bad”, and that when such happens, “the assembly” will be “brought to naught” (by God).

    for “some reason” that inconvenient truth probably got left out of Ruhi.

    bahai s supposed to be about an “ever advancing (world) civilization”, but has become a ever regressing tribal/in-group” scam.

    adios muchachitos!

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ Daniel Orey

    Muchas gracias Fubar…

    Now that I am freer to share my thoughts I want to share something funny. I had a rather hilarious dream last night… my HUSBAND loves to watch the game show network and it was on when I went to bed… to read before I dosed off. My HUSBAND often stays up being interested in game shows for some gawd forsaken reason, but I digress… at any rate, here is the dream… I was standing in front of a group (didn’t count, but I suspect there were nine) faceless people in black robes. One of them raising a spectral finger, pointed to me and stated that ?gay marriage will never be acceptable in the Bah??’? Faith, therefore YOU are the weakest link… good bye!?

    It seems the administrative bodies of our Faith are just like this… bigots, homophobes and a bit drunk on power… and if you do not meet “our” standards … goodbye! They need to maintain a sense of we (the saved, clean, moral) vs them (the unsaved, unclean, immoral). Gays are the new “blacks” in that now it is acceptable to say anything negative re: GLBT’s, including by the leadership of the Bah??’? Faith. In fact it could be very helpful to the Faith, if they increased the fear factor – insert horrifying images of Gay men and lesbians embracing and kissing here – falling values in the world, etc… in rereading the letter sent to me, really shouts this to me…

    Thanks friends for the love an d support here… and to those who feel compelled to police us, to report us, to turn us in, may God forgive you, right now I just can’t find it in my heart to do so…

    DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    –Dylan Thomas

  • http://www.edgovblogs.org/duncan/2009/04/statement-on-student-safety/ Daniel Orey

    Muchas gracias Fubar…

    Now that I am freer to share my thoughts I want to share something funny. I had a rather hilarious dream last night… my HUSBAND loves to watch the game show network and it was on when I went to bed… to read before I dosed off. My HUSBAND often stays up being interested in game shows for some gawd forsaken reason, but I digress… at any rate, here is the dream… I was standing in front of a group (didn’t count, but I suspect there were nine) faceless people in black robes. One of them raising a spectral finger, pointed to me and stated that ?gay marriage will never be acceptable in the Bah??’? Faith, therefore YOU are the weakest link… good bye!?

    It seems the administrative bodies of our Faith are just like this… bigots, homophobes and a bit drunk on power… and if you do not meet “our” standards … goodbye! They need to maintain a sense of we (the saved, clean, moral) vs them (the unsaved, unclean, immoral). Gays are the new “blacks” in that now it is acceptable to say anything negative re: GLBT’s, including by the leadership of the Bah??’? Faith. In fact it could be very helpful to the Faith, if they increased the fear factor – insert horrifying images of Gay men and lesbians embracing and kissing here – falling values in the world, etc… in rereading the letter sent to me, really shouts this to me…

    Thanks friends for the love an d support here… and to those who feel compelled to police us, to report us, to turn us in, may God forgive you, right now I just can’t find it in my heart to do so…

    DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    –Dylan Thomas

  • fubar

    Baquia,

    My understanding is that the USNSA said DCO did the following things wrong:

    1) got married to a gay partner, and
    2) talked about it openly on the internet.

    The correspondence from the USNSA is posted on the internet. Feel free to send me a private email if you do not yet have the URL.

  • pey

    Actually, they yanked his rights because of his marriage and because of his “statements in support of the homosexual lifestyle” as being a viable choice for Bahais. So in that case, then there are a WHOLE lot of others out there who's rights need to be removed. Because I know quite a few people who believe gays and lesbians should be free to love and be open inside the Bahai community- regardless of what these 9 people think. So will the NSA be removing more people's rights? Time will tell…

  • Baquia

    fubar, afaik that's correct, however that may not be the whole story. I'll respect Daniel's privacy and allow him to elaborate if he so wishes.

  • AmadodeDios

    If I may crave everyone's indulgence, now that most or all of the back-and-forth seems to have subsided, I would like to try to pull this together into a summary, perhaps going stepwise from what we all agree to where the contention lies.

    (First of all, many societies have taboos about different forms of sexual expression, and those of us raised in any culture anywhere are imbued with all of that.)

    This means that, when Bah??’u’ll??h says ?boys? we need scholars’ help, and we find that the connotation is pederasty. By the mutatis mutandis principle, this must mean all sexual abuse of minors, both girls and boys. I suspect we all agree so far. There are people who advocate free love with children, but I think most of us feel this is traumatizing for little people.

    Now, when Shoghi Effendi says that this really extends to forbid all same-sex relations, this is where we branch off. I think most of us recognize that Shoghi Effendi was a genius who worked himself into an early grave for us, producing such brilliant writings, plans and gardens. So, we would like to find some ?wiggle room? in the fact that so many of his zillions of letters were read and signed by him, but composed by someone else, a secretary / assistant (often R??h?yyih-Kh??num, to whom we also owe so much). However, for example, the letter in Lights of Guidance that uses the phrase ?against Nature? is apparently written by the Guardian himself.

    And it was one of the Guardian’s functions to interpret like that – but about all subjects, binding forever?

    So, here we have to decide whether we agree. This creates a deep conflict for me, because I think it is hard for me to think of anything else that Shoghi Effendi interpreted that I don’t go along with (except perhaps the penchant for sexist language, which is also a phenomenon of changing social realities).

    On the other hand, Shoghi Effendi clearly pointed out that scientific issues (including economics, medicine, etc.) would have to be straightened out scientifically.

    And Science already sees these issues extremely differently than 80 to 100 years ago. (For example, ?against Nature? sounds embarrassingly unscientific now…)

    Next step: the House of Justice puts in its opinions, holding firmly to the above ?party line?. This does not create such a crisis for me as Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation, because the House of Justice has demonstrated that its infallibility must itself be interpreted.

    ?Abdu’l-Bah?? refers to the House as the ?source of all good, freed of all error? but we have seen them do what Bah??’u’ll??h said they would: decide one thing, and then decide otherwise. One small – hopefully not contentious – example: there have been numerous adjustments in ?the institute process? (what clusters do what, which ones do intensive growth campaigns, etc.) as it has developed. If these admittedly minor changes were 100 years apart, we would say that society changed and the House changed its rules accordingly. Since they have been months apart, I think it means that we have to understand its infallibility as (1) the Master’s hyperbole (not the only such instance of His generously lofty over-statement) and (2) by no means absolute.

    (As an aside, I think the House’s infallibility can be summarized as the fact that we have to abide by whatever they decide, so for all practical purposes they are right – even when they shift gears over and over – or refuse to budge when they seem to be wrong!)

    So, the House of Justice could come around, at some point in the future, to being among the last religious authorities in the world to open up and become tolerant toward the X% of the human race who have different personal preferences.

    I don’t know how they will get around the Guardian’s express pronouncement, though. Speculating, when a vast majority of the world and the Bah??’? community have become freed of practically all our obsolete excuses to discriminate against others, this could result in even a House of Justice ruling that the Guardian’s pronouncements regarding scientific issues may be treated as opinion rather than binding interpretation.

    For instance, the original electrical wiring at the World Center was installed according to Shoghi Effendi's instructions. However, no one would say that it is heretical (or unfaithful to the Covenant!) to upgrade the wiring!

    Anyway, as more and more people come to appreciate the undeniable beauties of Bah??’u’ll??h’s Revelation, I expect this to evolve into a situation in which each Bah??’? community has lots of friends, many of whom are involved with different activities, but only some of whom are ?officially? Bah??’?s.

    (This is now the case already, for example, if a teenager in a Bah??’? family has not felt like declaring as a Bah??’? but still comes along with the family to Feasts, or for other family members – parents, who already have ?the station of a believer? – and other friends.)

    I expect that, as society becomes more tolerant, even we backward Bah??’?s will learn to follow along and grow up.

    And, looking further into the future, as the world becomes civilized, many things will change. For example, perhaps the promiscuity associated with both heterosexual and homosexual relations will decline. As repression vanishes, and as every family is finally a loving place, we will learn a lot about how people really are, when allowed to be.

    But unless change accelerates, we early 21st-century Bah??’?s will be cheering these advances on from beyond the pale!

  • pey

    That's a very balanced view Amado, but unfortunately it means we just wait while the Bahai Faith continues to remain backward (at least in Western societies). Gay couples will continue to get married adn raise beautiful kids while the Bahai authorities continue to group them with the pedophiles that Bahaullah spoke of. But the bottom line is that there is NO law against homosexuality. Show me? I don't want letters written by secretaries. I don't even want a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer- those are NOT laws. Bahaullah did not specifically speak about gay marriage anywhere in His Writings. Therefore it is something outside the Book which the UHJ can one day legislate on. They should step up and just say we have made a law against gay unions. Then everyone can go on their merry way. But they haven't to my knowledge. All they do is get more secretaries to point to more secretaries. So for now, I truly believe that a local community can accept a gay couple with their kids with full rights into the Bahai community (well that is unless the pesky NSA gets in the way and takes away rights). There is no law against gay unions. The most you can say is that there is a law against sodomy and even that can be interpreted to what Bahaullah meant. But IF Bahaullah actually meant anal sex. Well then, I suggest that the NSA only remove rights when they have an actual picture of anyone (male or female) engaging in anal sex. Otherwise, stay out of people's bedrooms. To deny two men who have entered a union and are raising a family the rights of being a Bahai is pure discrimination and the world should know abou it.

  • Baquia

    Thanks for the summary Amado.

    If I may add a new observation. Recently I've noticed a trend that I didn't before (or perhaps it was there but I didn't pay attention to it). Whenever I or those that I'm with teach a seeker, they invariably do two things: 1. ask about the 'official' stance on homosexuality. and 2. become repelled when they are told the 'official' Baha'i line of non-acceptance of homosexuality (that is, the act or marriage isn't acceptable but the person isn't condemned).

    As society continues to evolve and move beyond this issue (it has almost become as accepted as the racial issue) then the Baha'i Faith is presented with a rather thorny challenge. Those that re now joining without discovering this issue will face a serious test of Faith. And those that do ask and discover it, will reject the message and not join. At least that has been my personal experience with seekers.

  • AmadodeDios

    If I may crave everyone's indulgence, now that most or all of the back-and-forth seems to have subsided, I would like to try to pull this together into a summary, perhaps going stepwise from what we all agree to where the contention lies.

    (First of all, many societies have taboos about different forms of sexual expression, and those of us raised in any culture anywhere are imbued with all of that.)

    This means that, when Bah??’u’ll??h says ?boys? we need scholars’ help, and we find that the connotation is pederasty. By the mutatis mutandis principle, this must mean all sexual abuse of minors, both girls and boys. I suspect we all agree so far. There are people who advocate free love with children, but I think most of us feel this is traumatizing for little people.

    Now, when Shoghi Effendi says that this really extends to forbid all same-sex relations, this is where we branch off. I think most of us recognize that Shoghi Effendi was a genius who worked himself into an early grave for us, producing such brilliant writings, plans and gardens. So, we would like to find some ?wiggle room? in the fact that so many of his zillions of letters were read and signed by him, but composed by someone else, a secretary / assistant (often R??h?yyih-Kh??num, to whom we also owe so much). However, for example, the letter in Lights of Guidance that uses the phrase ?against Nature? is apparently written by the Guardian himself.

    And it was one of the Guardian’s functions to interpret like that – but about all subjects, binding forever?

    So, here we have to decide whether we agree. This creates a deep conflict for me, because I think it is hard for me to think of anything else that Shoghi Effendi interpreted that I don’t go along with (except perhaps the penchant for sexist language, which is also a phenomenon of changing social realities).

    On the other hand, Shoghi Effendi clearly pointed out that scientific issues (including economics, medicine, etc.) would have to be straightened out scientifically.

    And Science already sees these issues extremely differently than 80 to 100 years ago. (For example, ?against Nature? sounds embarrassingly unscientific now…)

    Next step: the House of Justice puts in its opinions, holding firmly to the above ?party line?. This does not create such a crisis for me as Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation, because the House of Justice has demonstrated that its infallibility must itself be interpreted.

    ?Abdu’l-Bah?? refers to the House as the ?source of all good, freed of all error? but we have seen them do what Bah??’u’ll??h said they would: decide one thing, and then decide otherwise. One small – hopefully not contentious – example: there have been numerous adjustments in ?the institute process? (what clusters do what, which ones do intensive growth campaigns, etc.) as it has developed. If these admittedly minor changes were 100 years apart, we would say that society changed and the House changed its rules accordingly. Since they have been months apart, I think it means that we have to understand its infallibility as (1) the Master’s hyperbole (not the only such instance of His generously lofty over-statement) and (2) by no means absolute.

    (As an aside, I think the House’s infallibility can be summarized as the fact that we have to abide by whatever they decide, so for all practical purposes they are right – even when they shift gears over and over – or refuse to budge when they seem to be wrong!)

    So, the House of Justice could come around, at some point in the future, to being among the last religious authorities in the world to open up and become tolerant toward the X% of the human race who have different personal preferences.

    I don’t know how they will get around the Guardian’s express pronouncement, though. Speculating, when a vast majority of the world and the Bah??’? community have become freed of practically all our obsolete excuses to discriminate against others, this could result in even a House of Justice ruling that the Guardian’s pronouncements regarding scientific issues may be treated as opinion rather than binding interpretation.

    For instance, the original electrical wiring at the World Center was installed according to Shoghi Effendi's instructions. However, no one would say that it is heretical (or unfaithful to the Covenant!) to upgrade the wiring!

    Anyway, as more and more people come to appreciate the undeniable beauties of Bah??’u’ll??h’s Revelation, I expect this to evolve into a situation in which each Bah??’? community has lots of friends, many of whom are involved with different activities, but only some of whom are ?officially? Bah??’?s.

    (This is now the case already, for example, if a teenager in a Bah??’? family has not felt like declaring as a Bah??’? but still comes along with the family to Feasts, or for other family members – parents, who already have ?the station of a believer? – and other friends.)

    I expect that, as society becomes more tolerant, even we backward Bah??’?s will learn to follow along and grow up.

    And, looking further into the future, as the world becomes civilized, many things will change. For example, perhaps the promiscuity associated with both heterosexual and homosexual relations will decline. As repression vanishes, and as every family is finally a loving place, we will learn a lot about how people really are, when allowed to be.

    But unless change accelerates, we early 21st-century Bah??’?s will be cheering these advances on from beyond the pale!

  • pey

    That's a very balanced view Amado, but unfortunately it means we just wait while the Bahai Faith continues to remain backward (at least in Western societies). Gay couples will continue to get married adn raise beautiful kids while the Bahai authorities continue to group them with the pedophiles that Bahaullah spoke of. But the bottom line is that there is NO law against homosexuality. Show me? I don't want letters written by secretaries. I don't even want a letter written by Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer- those are NOT laws. Bahaullah did not specifically speak about gay marriage anywhere in His Writings. Therefore it is something outside the Book which the UHJ can one day legislate on. They should step up and just say we have made a law against gay unions. Then everyone can go on their merry way. But they haven't to my knowledge. All they do is get more secretaries to point to more secretaries. So for now, I truly believe that a local community can accept a gay couple with their kids with full rights into the Bahai community (well that is unless the pesky NSA gets in the way and takes away rights). There is no law against gay unions. The most you can say is that there is a law against sodomy and even that can be interpreted to what Bahaullah meant. But IF Bahaullah actually meant anal sex. Well then, I suggest that the NSA only remove rights when they have an actual picture of anyone (male or female) engaging in anal sex. Otherwise, stay out of people's bedrooms. To deny two men who have entered a union and are raising a family the rights of being a Bahai is pure discrimination and the world should know abou it.

  • Baquia

    Thanks for the summary Amado.

    If I may add a new observation. Recently I've noticed a trend that I didn't before (or perhaps it was there but I didn't pay attention to it). Whenever I or those that I'm with teach a seeker, they invariably do two things: 1. ask about the 'official' stance on homosexuality. and 2. become repelled when they are told the 'official' Baha'i line of non-acceptance of homosexuality (that is, the act or marriage isn't acceptable but the person isn't condemned).

    As society continues to evolve and move beyond this issue (it has almost become as accepted as the racial issue) then the Baha'i Faith is presented with a rather thorny challenge. Those that are now joining without discovering this issue will face a serious test of Faith. And those that do ask and discover it, will reject the message and not join. At least that has been my personal experience with seekers.