Universal House of Justice: Results of By-Election

The Universal House of Justice held a by-election a few days ago and two new members were elected to replace the retiring members: Hooper Dunbar and Peter Khan. The new members were, surprise! both members of the International Teaching Center: Stephen Birkland and Stephen Hall.

Here is the official announcement from the Baha’i News website:

HAIFA, Israel — The Universal House of Justice has announced the results of a by-election for two of its nine members.

The new members are Stephen Birkland and Stephen Hall, elected in balloting in which members of national Baha’i governing bodies around the world serve as electors. The voting was done by mail, and results were conveyed today to all Baha’i National Spiritual Assemblies.

The Universal House of Justice is the head of the Baha’i Faith. Its permanent seat is at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and all members reside here for the duration of their service.

The regular election of the nine members of the House of Justice occurs every five years at an international convention, held in Haifa. The most recent election was in 2008.

The by-election was necessary to fill two vacancies created when the House of Justice approved the request of two members, Mr. Hooper Dunbar and Dr. Peter Khan, to relinquish their positions owing to their advanced age and the heavy burden of work involved in membership.

The previous change in membership was when two other members chose to retire in 2007. There was no by-election since they stayed on until the regular election scheduled for April 2008. Since the House of Justice is elected every 5 years, it seems that Dunbar and Khan decided to leave ‘early’ rather than wait another few years until April 2013.

As you might recall, Hartmut Grossmann and Glenford E. Mitchell were replaced by Shahriar Razavi and Gustavo Correa – both members of the ITC (naturally). Back in late 2007 I had predicted the election of Stephen Hall to the House but I was just a bit too early. By the way, Grossmann ties L. Hakim for the distinction of the shortest membership duration.

This trend to retire (while still alive) is rather new. When the UHJ was first instituted there was no such policy and 4 members actually passed away while still serving. Finally the UHJ relented and allowed its members to withdraw voluntarily and enjoy retirement. The first member to do so was David Hoffman.

The most important trend is that we have, since 2008, a membership drawn completely from the ITC – which itself is appointed by the Universal House of Justice. So in essence, there is a closed loop with the UHJ appointing its future candidates (of couse, only the male members of the ITC are qualified for election).

This is certainly worthy of note but does this matter? ultimately, does it make a difference if the UHJ is drawn from a small pool of candidates that they themselves have ‘vetted’? Some would argue that it doesn’t. Personally, I believe that the organizational framework through which the Baha’i institutions are elected (or appointed) does matter. Not only does it markedly stray from the Baha’i administrative structure outlined by Abdu’l-Baha, it can also lead to an ossification through group think.

Hopefully I will find some time in the near future to explain a bit further why I am concerned about the UHJ being melded in effect with the ITC. For now though, I would welcome your thoughts, especially if you disagree with me.

To help you visualize the data, here is an updated infographic showing the complete history of the membership of the Universal House of Justice:

  • Obadiah

    Not surprising at all, but still disappointing that this is still going on without much of a change. The good thing is that the independent Baha'i bloggers (such as yourself and others) ARE making a difference in terms of exposing new ideas and allowing people to get used to being unafraid to speak their minds, even if their views may be unorthodox or liberal. Unfortunately, this may result in even more disenrollments and harsher crackdowns of 'dissidents', but perhaps that will lead to change in the long run because Baha'is will no longer be able to ignore what is happening?

  • Just between you and me, one of those new guys is a plant of the United Contrarian Front. I put him there myself. Decades of intelligence gathering, bribery, and subterfuge have finally paid off!

  • Hi Baquia,

    While you're analysing trends, it might be useful to note whether new House members tend to come from the same regions as the folks they replace. For example, Peter Khan is from Australia, as is Stephen Hall. Hooper Dunbar is from the US, as is Stephen Birkland. And will the new ITC members to replace the two Steves come from the same regions?

  • Lorenzo

    Grossman – Germany
    Mitchell – Jamaica/United States

    replacements

    Correa – Colombia
    Razavi – United Kingdom

  • shahjackumar

    HOPE U DONT JUST RATTLE LIKE SNAKES.WHATS YOUR POINT.GOT THEM FROM THE ORIGINAL POST,FROM BAGUIA N STEVE,BUT MAY B U JUST WANT TO B THE TYPE THAT SAYS U SAID SOMETHING TOO?

  • Baquia

    Steve, interesting. Are you suggesting perhaps that members are elected based on their geographic provenance? Adding that extra info would require a bit of sleuthing and perhaps make the infographic rather complicated. Also, how would you deal with ethnic origins vs. country citizenship?

  • Baquia

    Please be civil and contribute to the conversation in a mature manner. Thank you.

  • Pandoras_Hope

    I actually noticed this same kind of 'self-appointing predictability trend' with the outcomes of our local and national elections before hearing about it on-line in relation to the UHJ (particularly if you substitute appointments to the “External Affairs Committee” or the “Institution of the Learned” for the “ITC” where I live).

    I second Obadiah about the importance of blogs such as this because these discussions and concerns are simply not permitted to take place anywhere else. I've not read anything here that I feel should warrant forced 'disenrollments' but I wonder how upset I might be if it happened to me for merely expressing my honest opinion – here or anywhere else. That might be evidence that perhaps I made a mistake enrolling in the first place? I hope not but I guess you never know… if we as individuals and institutions can't or won't differentiate between 'constructive criticism' and 'covenant-breaking' then I have to ask myself what am I really doing here and how meaningful is this covenant for me personally?

  • lalilulelulz

    as i am sure you know, members of the UHJ are appointed buy the NSAs buy a secret ballot. in a similar way that the NSAs are appointed buy voting LSAs (which are elected by individual Baha'is). to be cosider the only requirement is service to the faith. the ITC is one of the largest platforms for service ever created, so it is no surprise that the NSAs would consider them when voting.
    to suggest that there is corruption in the elections is to suggest there is corruption in the NSAs and therefor LSAs and therefore individual Baha'is. if you suspect foul play there is a mechanism. contact your auxiliary board member for protection and tell them. at all levels of the Baha'i administrative order the appointed and the elected exchange duties. consider jakualine left-hand-bull once a continental counselor now a NSA member. or consider your own LSAs certainly some members were once members of ATCs and vice versa. consider also that there might be some local Baha'is that have served on the LSA for decades. this is not proof of corruption but rather proof that the community trusts that person so much that they would continue to elect them for decades.

  • peyamb

    I thnk you are missing the point. By having UHJ members constantly elected from the ITC, it is almost a type of silent campaigning going on. These individuals are given a visible role in front of NSA's whereas any normal Bahai out there (for instance a really good teacher who has brought in thousands of believers) would never stand a chance to be known. This guarantees no fresh blood- new Bahais who are outside of the loop of administration who could possibly bring in a different perspective. Instead you only get people who are inside the system who will perpetuate the same thought patterns. And you get these people because they are the only ones paraded in front of the NSA's.

  • lalilulelulz

    i understand the point trying to be made. I'm sorry but not sure what u mean by “silent campaigning.” i'm sure you can admit that it is possible that instead of “silent campaigning.” the NSAs could be merely impressed with the shear breadth of service to the faith. one isn't just apointed to the ITC on a whim but rather as the result of a lifelong devotion to the faith and the luck of the opportunity to serve. service is a grate and rare bounty. most only get the chance to serve as tutor or children's class leader. fewer are elected to the LSA. even fewer appointed to the Auxiliary board. extremely few ever serve as NSA members or Continental Counselors. not every body will ever have the opportunity to serve in such amazing cpascity. also if a single teacher were to bring in a thousand believers the NSA would know about it and would asueradly appoint such an amzing person to the auxiliary board or even the board of Continental consolers.

    i see no evidence of the perpetuation “the same thought patterns” never have we been focussed on the two esential movements,(the movement of individuals though the institute process, and the movement of geographic clusters trough systemic growth), the idea of area clusters are new. strategic teaching inicatives are new. local aria teaching committees are new, the adoption of the institute proses is new, the 4 core activities are new. the list goes on and on. i see no empirical evidence to support your claims.

  • peyamb

    What I mean by silent campaigning is that a special group of people are given a platform where they and only they are seen right there and then by a group of people who are about to vote. No other Bahai, no matter how great their service, will ever have that same opportunity to be seen. Wether this is intentional or just the way it is makes no difference. What happens is that the selection happens for a group of people that are entrenched in the system (career in administration) that acts like a bubble; instead of from the general Bahai population. Sorry you can't see what I am talking about.

  • lalilulelulz

    i understand what your saying i just wanted you to be more specific. the thing is the ITC doesn't have much contact with the NSAs. the ITC is part of the apointed brach of the Baha'i administration not the elected branch, there job is to be a lesion between the Continental Counselors and the UHJ. to coordinate worldwide opperatons of propagation and protection. there not just chosen buy random. or because there part of an upper or political class, or rich, or buddy buddy with the administration. there cosen becasue they have been devoted to life long service, have the skills required to cordinate worldwide operations, and, of course, there is an opening in the ITC. im curious as to why you refuse to see the wisdom of the NSAs chosing these individuals with this history of service, this particular skill set, and the experience of actually implementing plans on a worldwide scale. im also curious. to hear your evidence of the perpetuation “the same thought patterns,” you mentioned before.

  • peyamb

    Well doesn't it makes sense that a group of people who are working in one branch of the administration, sheltered for some time will have a similar world-view from let's say a dedicated Bahai on the ground in Africa who has brought thousands into the community? And I think you are wrong about the NSA's not being aware of the the people working in the ITC. They are more visible and have the advantage of being known.

  • Baquia

    Freudian slip there; I think you meant “liaison”, not “lesion”. And you are incorrect. The members of the ITC are in fact given a geographic mandate, just like the UHJ members themselves, and travel extensively to meet with the NSA's around the world. They also meet with other parts of the administration and the community at times to give speeches, attend events, etc.

    Being on the ITC gives you an unparalleled platform for visibility and access to NSA's – they are also many times the ones acting as enforcers and keeping NSA's who misbehave in check.

  • lalilulelulz

    Sure makes sense. but they’re not sheltered as I said their duty is to quardanate worldwide. Not only are they not sheltered but they see the whole picture even the proverbial African that brings in thousands of seekers. As you know one of their duties is propagation of the faith. Also the beliver that brings in a 1000 seeker does not neciaseraly have the skills to manage a worldwide program of propagation and protection. Infact they better serve the faith buy continuing to do what they are doing. I never said they weren’t aware of the members of the ITC that’s a silly thing to say. how could they elect people they weren’t aware of? I said they don’t have much contact. As in they don’t have opportunity to ?silently campaign? there to busy working with the continental counselors and UHJ.

    Lol not a Freudian slip a deslexic one sorry about my bad spelling.
    You are confused the ICT has a worldwide mandate there continental counselors have a specific geographic mandate as there name suggests. It is the continental counselors that give the NSAs advice but only upon request of the NSAs. And the continental counselors will investigate any claims of misdeeds brought forward about the the NSAs in fact they would be the ones investigating your claims if you wanted to actually act on your suspicions.
    And sure the small time that they are away from Haifa they speak to local community but plenty of Baha’is do that without being a member of the ITC.
    I’m curious about the source of your information about the Baha’i administration its faultiness is giving you a severe disadvantage in this conversation

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  • Hi! I can see what you are saying about possible ossification through group think. But your words about ?stray from the Baha’i administrative structure outlined by Abdu’l-Baha’ are completely surprise to me. Can you elaborate on it, please? I don’t see any evidence of it at all.

  • Baquia

    Archivarius, I've already explained this here (see organizational framework a bit lower).

  • lalilulelulz

    a more correct diagram can be found here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Present-bahai

    and those arrows can be applied to all levels of the administration not just the UHJ. members of the continental board of counselors become NSA members, LSA members become auxiliary board members.

    members of the ITC have an amazing set of skills and experiances that often make them excellent candidates.

    it is completely ok for Baha'is to criticize the administration. but we are not exempt in the faith's requirements of tact, detachment, and reverence etc.. when doing so. criticism should be given with love, kindness, and truth in our hearts. it is important to keep in mind the youth of our administrative system. it is still relatively new and has hundreds of years to perfect its self.

  • sl

    Only three House of Justice members TOTAL have passed away while on the House. Hakim retired Oct 15, 1967, and thus was not reelected in 1968. He passed away then in August of 1968. Not sure who these “four” are that you are talking about. Kavelin retired before the 1988 election, and thus was not reelected. He passed away Dec of 1988. Just because someone passes away the same year they retire doesn't mean they died while serving on the House. If you're going to “rant”, at least do your research. Not only do you critique the Administration, but you're bad at it. That's embarrassing.

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Baquia,

    Sorry, I cannot disagree with your position of concern. The central question is whether the unspoken assumption and expectation that new UHJ members will come from the ITC, is a form of nomination or electioneering, which is forbidden us. Is the appointment by the UHJ of men to the ITC a form of nomination as candidates for election to the UHJ? It seems to me that it effectively is, though nary a word is said directly advising NSA members to vote for any of these men.

    In my own country (U.S.), were I to propose that candidates for the highest offices in the land be confined to men (that distinction alone would cause concern) appointed by those presently holding those highest offices, people would look at me as if I had just stood on my head naked in front of them. Yet Baha'is seem to take such an idea in stride, with an “all will be well, God is in control” attitude.

    Of course the expectation is unspoken and unwritten – there is nothing to prevent NSA members from making a clean sweep and voting for no one who is on the UHJ or on the ITC, and vote, for instance, for people of experience and wisdom from among the other “Rulers,” or “Learned” if they really felt at some time in future that the UHJ were running away with itself. Such independence of action, however, seems unlikely, as time goes on, and unspoken assumption becomes firmly entrenched as the way to vote.

    A point to consider is that if we believe that the UHJ is capable of no error in understanding or decision-making, there is motivation to cast votes for those appointed by this infallible body. We could dispense with voting altogether and just let the UHJ appoint its own new members – makes sense, doesn't it?

    Barb

  • lalilulelulz

    yes baquia sl is making a good point
    your desire to start a conversation is awesome. and criticism of the administration is a beneficial thing.
    you just need to work on your research methodology.
    people ore not going to take you seriously if you are sloppy.
    don't give people the chance to write you off, or put you in the black helicopters category.

    it is obvious that you need to learn a little more about how the administration works. before you criticize it or people like me and SL will capitalize on your weaknesses and make you look foolish. group think seems to be a theme in this thread. something to think about: blogs like this can become echo-chambers. don't structure your argument to be mearly food for the eco-chamber, that is the strategy of political talk show hosts. rather construct a simple defensible position and be able to recognize its weaknesses and know how to copancate. don't be afraid to do the research. try talking with the administration. they are always willing to talk and they are not going to try to limit your speech or title you a covenant breaker, that is reserved for much greater offences then just criticism. talk to Erica Tusaount from the NSA she is awesome and is allways up for an interview.

  • peyamb

    Lali said: “before you criticize it or people like me and SL will capitalize on your weaknesses and make you look foolish”
    Is this what you mean by criticizing with tact, detachment and reverence?! Unfortunately, those in Bahai administration act the same way that you have just shown- and they are the ones in power. The will and have used subtle means to silence those they feel are a threat to the group think of current Bahai administration. Just google the history of the L.A. classes and how that community was shut down by the US NSA when they felt the conversations were out of Bahai norm. I'm sure it's even worse today Lali with the advent of cookie cutter thinking due to Ruhi classes.

  • Hi sl,

    Various sources disagree with your account, but it seems worthy of investigation. Here's one account, by Barmak Kusha …

    http://www.beliefnet.com/boards/message_list.as

    …who listed six deceased members and two retired members in 2002. At various times, Wiki seems to have provided broadly similar information.

    The point, though, is that, “The membership of the body has only seen change due to death or retirement: no member has ever been elected off the UHJ.” (Rachel Woodlock / Umm Yasmin) http://knol.google.com/k/babi-and-baha-i-bahai-

  • sl

    steve…thanks for playing…the first link you sent me just lists six deceased former House members. doesn't say whether they passed away in office or after retiring. as far as disagreeing or not…it doesn't really matter. If you actually do research, you can find (very easily) the letters announcing the retirement of Hakim, for instance. Or even easier, just look up when they passed away. If they passed away after the election in which they weren't elected, probably means they retired before they died (it's not that hard…basic third grade math).

    I don't really want to get into it with your “points”. Just wanted to clarify facts.

  • Baquia

    LoL… Love the strategy! Right out of Karl Rove's playbook: if you don't like the point being made, make some sort of trivial remark about a tangential issue and by virtue of this sleight of hand re-frame the conversation and cast aspersions on the person who brought up the issue. Brilliant – but a little frayed at the edges since it has been used so much and become so obvious.

    But fun to watch nonetheless. Thanks for playing. Come back soon, y'hear?

    One serious point though, when I write about issues that I believe deserve attention it is labeled 'criticizing the administration'. This is a very handy label because it allows the person to simply dismiss what is being presented because… well… it is a critique, an attack! on the beloved administration! Woo–Ooooo the alarm goes off, let's get'im!

    If I may suggest, ponder this, if someone opposes injustice, are they critiquing the body or person that perpetrated that or the injustice itself?

    Let me be more clear. Right now the Pope is sweating because of the despicable abuses that priests under his authority perpetrated (and his inaction in a clear situation that required him to act to protect innocent children from rape and sexual abuse). If someone points out the injustice in this, are they attacking the papacy? are they attacking Christ? are they attacking the Church?

    The Church certainly wants to frame the discussion this way – a the letter that Ratzinger sent to Ireland certainly casts it all in this light. Why?

    Because it is a very handy way to sidestep the actual issue being brought up and to instead introduce a new one, that the Church is being attacked dammit!! circle the wagons! never-you-mind about innocent children being raped… the Church!!

    This way, we don't have to actually address anything, or grow, or make any changes whatsoever. We can just keep the status quo because someone is deemed to be attacking and criticizing the status quo!

    Breathtaking when ignorance is dressed up this way and made to parade around.

  • sl

    and by the way…the IBC was ELECTED in 1961. So those elected to the House from the IBC (Wolcott, Kavelin, Semple, Hakim) were ELECTED to the IBC previous to being elected on the House. (Hakim was also on the appointed IBC during Shoghi Effendi's time…but he was the only one). So in fact, the original membership of the House was 100% elected, not evenly split. Also, the year is currently 2010. Birkland and Hall were elected in 2010. Oh, and off the top of my head, Khan, Hall, Grossman, I'm sure more, were previously on NSAs before being appointed Counsellors.

    So of your seven bullet points in this little graph, three are wrong, one is a harmless trend (shorter membership duration), and three are just inconsequential facts.

    so whats the difference between you and some ranting emotional six year old girl? (maybe the six year old can do ballet or something…)

    honestly though, it's pathetic how bad your critiques are.

  • Baquia

    sl, thank you for pointing out those errors. I will update the infographic as soon as possible. I'm blessed to count on sharp readers. The main point stands (actually it is buttressed thanks to your corrections).

    btw I fill out a tutu much better than a 6 year old and while my ballon is a bit flat these days I can still nail a grand jet? even on an off day. one word of advice, do not challenge me to a ballet-off, I will only end up ripping your face off (figuratively speaking of course)

  • Baquia

    Barb, ah yes, this is a brilliant question which we delved into about a year ago: If Infallible, Why Do We Need to Elect the UHJ?

    Perhaps you weren't around back then. In any case, great question.

  • Look again at the first link I posted. It lists two “*Retired members *” then six “Deceased members”. This implies that the deceased members didn't retire.

    If you want to clarify facts, then you should actually cite some. All we have from you are statements and vague references to “letters announcing the retirement of Hakim”. Those are not facts, they're assertions.

  • Baquia

    I look forward to sl's citations as well but I've started to do a bit of research myself and here's what I've found for Dr. Lutfullah Hakim:

    “He was elected to the first Universal House of Justice in 1963 but because of failing health and advanced age regretfully his resignation was accepted in October 1967 though he consented to serve until the 1968 election. He passed away in August 1968 and the House cabled the Bah??’? world…”

    So it would seem that Dr. Hakim lived just 5 months after retiring from the UHJ – although he tendered his resignation back in October '67.

  • shahjackumar

    if u really think of being effective,try following steve marshall s example!easy to comment out in the dark.why u dont take critism yrself?

  • lalilulelulz

    the reson that UHJ dosent choose its own members is to do so would require the UHJ to overturn “legislation” (for lack of a better word) put fourth buy the master and the gaurdein which is as you know out side of the bounds of there ability. it is this limit that also prevents change in the prohibition of sodomy, that the homosexual communtiy has a problem being obedient to. even if the UHJ agreed with the these sentiments it would be powerless to change it.

  • lalilulelulz

    go Baquia!!! flex that research muscle!!!! it seems like you were both right he both retired while he was alive and died serving the UHJ. an awesome trivia tidbit!!!

  • lalilulelulz

    certainly we all struggle with criticizeising if a nice and way i am in apsolutly no way an exception. i am trying to but i am still a youth and require much more practice. so if i have stumbled in some way please forgive me.

    i was mearly giving technical advise on the blog. i have some experiance with debate and thought my info would be helpful. sury you can understand that if you have faulty information you will look foolish using it. the Baha'i administration makes no attempt to silence speech. and in communityies were disunity arises the NSA simply dissolves the LSA. this has happened on more then one occasion and has proved to work.

  • lalilulelulz

    not sure what exactly you are referring to. can you be more spesfic so that we might be able to defend our position.

    this conversation is about your blog and there are some concerns that some of the information you have given is faulty. this is hardly a tangential issue.

    as i said before it is ok for Baha'is to criticize the Baha'i administration. you can oppose the things that the administration does and still support the administration. i never have sugested othewerwise

    the critisssium of the catholec administration is not that there were mentaly deranged pepole that commited a crime. its that there was alegedly an atempt to cover it up buy the catholic administration and there are questions about how far up the decision made to cover it up goes.

    it is ok to critisise the indeviuals involed in the crime and subsquent aledged cover up by the chirch. you can do so without being anti catholic or being against the chirch.

    this brings up an awsome proof about the flexablilty of the Baha'i administreation. lerning from others mistakes the UHJ has put in protections to protect baha'i children against the deragned. this includes yearly backround checks for childrens class leaders, and male femail team teaching umong otherthings.

  • peyamb

    Umm, ok. The “legislation” as you put it that was put forth by the Master in his Will & Testament (and elaborated on by Shoghi Effendi) was that there would be living Guardians who would work side by side with the UHJ to make sure that it did not make MISTAKES (yes the UHJ can make mistakes). But today the UHJ has decided to elevate the words of Shoghi Effendi (many times not even his words, but words written by secretaries on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to individual believers) as a substitute for a living Guardian. So hasn't the UHJ overturned legislation already? The present Bahai administration is something foreign to what was outlined in the Master's Will. So please do explain.

  • peyamb

    In my youth as an active Bahai, I never told someone that I woud try and “make them look foolish” because they espoused a differnet opinion. So please don't use your youth as a get-free card. You asked that Bahais deliver their message with respect (which I feel Baquia has done eloquently). So what really upsets you is the criticism in itself. Because I really don't see how Baquia has been disrespectful.

  • lalilulelulz

    i ment youth metaphorically.
    to be clear i am not trying to make anyone look foolish if fact i was giving advice to help him not look foolish.

    he is very eloquent and needs no help there.

    but style and substance are two different things. and he has awsome substance he just needs to vet the small little mistakes. pepole might just assume he is foolish for making a few mistakes and i want to help avoid that. people might also think “if he made those mistakes what elce is he missing?” its all about credibility. and i know this is just a blog and not a magazine or newspaper but credibility is just as importanit.

    i have no emotional attachment to the things baquia says, and the things he (or she) says does not upset me in the least.

    i wouldent say he's disrespectfull but some times his tone can be alitle snarky and troll-bait-ish. like in the preivious blog post wen he said “there is a clumsy error showing that simple arithmetic continues to challenge the Treasury department at the NSA of Canada.”

  • lalilulelulz

    I’m afraid you are miss-informed. The master’s will and testament says that the garden (not guardians) would serve as a lifelong member of the (not work side buy side with) UHJ as one of (at least) nine.

    As you know that it was the guardian’s responsibility to appoint hands of the cause and to appoint a successor. And as you must also know the guardian never appointed a successor and there was no guidance on how to appoint a Guardian in this situation, not to mention those that were qualified (you see the position of The Guardian was a hereditary position reserved for members of blessed beauty’s hereditary line) were not interested in being The Guardian. These two reasons made it impossible to appoint a new guardian. But the UHJ did create the appointed branch, to serve in lieu of the hands of the cause etc.

    The UHJ did not elevate Shogi Effendi’s words (and those written on his behalf) ?Abdu’l-Bah?? did when he appointed him to The Guardianship and made him an authoritative interpreter of the Baha’i writings. The UHJ has given us the stunning blessing of releasing those letters so we may all benefit from their wisdom and not as a replacement for a living guardian as u suggested.

    The UHJ has not overturned any ?legislation? in fact if they had of appointed a successor they would have had to overturn the ?legislation? that affirmed that it was the Guardians responsibility to appoint the next Guardian and not the UHJ.

    This is an example of what I’ve been talking about. In order to criticize something it is important that you understand it or else your criticism will look foolish.

    I'm curious..
    You mentioned the UHJ can make mistakes.
    What mistakes are you referring to?

  • ramfar

    Excellent post. You are 100% correct. My only complaint is that you didn't state it more clearly: the UHJ election process is obviously fixed. The ITC members are pre-screened for ideological purity (specifically reactionary conservative) and are then provided with unparalleled exposure which obviates the need for explicit campaigning.

  • peyamb

    Don't be afraid. I'm not misinformed. I actually have read a lot. So I know that Abdul-Baha said “O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. ” Shoghi Effendi did not do this, nor leave any idea whatsoever what the Bahai community should do. However, Shoghi Effendi did say this ” Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Bah??’u’ll??h would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as ?Abdu’l-Bah?? has written has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. . . Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperilled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn. (p. 148)” Shogi Effendi also stated that the Guardian (not him since there was no UHJ in his day) could ask the UHJ to revisit a decision that they made if he felt they strayed from their duty as only enacters of laws, not interpreters. This makes me wonder then…if the UHJ is infallible as many Bahais believe (can't make mistakes) then why would they require a living Guardian to tell them that they maybe made a mistake?! Could God take off a day and not guide the UHJ? Who knows. So sorry Lali, I have read and no I am not misinformed. But I guess I read more than just the sanitized Ruhi books. I actually ready the original works. :o)

  • peyamb

    And just to continue one thought. So without a living Guardian, the UHJ has decided to elevate every letter wether written and addressed to the Bahai world directly by Shoghi Effendi, or any letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to individual Bahais in his day for their personal use (e.g. the words supposedly showing that Shoghi Effendi was against homosexuality)- the UHJ has now elevated all these letters to be the living Guardian that is supposed to guide them and the Bahai world for the rest of Bahai history. When in fact that is soooo NOT what is written in Abdul-Baha's Will & Testament or explained in Shoghi Effendi's writings. Sorry to break the news to you.

  • peyamb

    And please don't give me the argument that the “institution” of the Guardianship still exists. It does not in the shape and form that Abdul-Baha envisioned and that was elaborated by Shoghi Effendi himself. The elevation of the letters of one Guardian in history to take the place of the living Guardians is something the UHJ has made up. They may decide to do things differently in the future- God willing. Because right now the Bahai community has truly stagnated by being stuck in words written decades ago by one Guardian meant for the period in which he lived.

  • lalilulelulz

    I am not afraid. I’m very glad you are well read. therefore you, no doubt, already know what my response will be. To which I eagerly await your reply. And as to not confusing I will simply quote beloved Teherzadeh who wrote–

    The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the
    Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them
    without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After
    Him the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches), and after
    them with the House of Justice — should it be established in
    361
    the world by then — so that they may use these endowments
    for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that
    which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty,
    the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be
    referred to the people of Baha, who speak not without His
    leave and who pass no judgement but in accordance with
    that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the
    champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they
    may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy
    Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.

    The passing of Shoghi Effendi in 1957 precipitated the very
    situation provided for in this passage, in that the line of Aghsan
    ended before the House of Justice had been elected. Although, as
    is seen, the ending of the line of Aghsan at some stage was provided
    for, we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith
    has suffered. God's purpose for mankind remains unchanged,
    however, and the mighty Covenant of Bah??'u'll??h remains
    impregnable.[296]
    [296 The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice, pp. 40-1.]

    This is one passage in the Kit??b-i-Aqdas to which Shoghi Effendi refers in his Dispensation of Bah??'u'll??h when he writes 'the verses of the Kit??b-i-Aqdas the implications of which clearly anticipate the institution of the Guardianship'.[297]
    [297 Shoghi Effendi, World Order, p. 147.]

    In the verse cited above Bah??'u'll??h states: 'After Him [Bah??'u'll??h] the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches).' The word Aghsan, being plural, indicates that them will be more than one Branch; in this case, two: 'Abdu'l-Bah??, the Most Great Branch, and Shoghi Effendi, the Chosen Branch. This foreshadows a break in the line of the Aghsan as Bah??'u'll??h states, 'and after them with the House of Justice — should it be established in the world by then'. By 'the House of Justice' is meant the Universal House of Justice, for Bah??'u'll??h refers to it as a world institution.

    When Shoghi Effendi passed away there was no House of Justice. So it can be seen that the above passage in the Kit??b-i-Aqdas was prophetic, in that a period of more than five years separated the passing of Shoghi Effendi from the establishment of the Universal House of Justice, and the Hands of the Cause during this period — 'the people of Baha who speak not without His leave' — fulfilled the last provision stated in the above text.

    We can see, therefore, that the break in the line of Guardians, the custodianship of the Faith by the Hands of the Cause, and the subsequent establishment of the Universal House of Justice were vital developments that were known to Bah??'u'll??h and revealed by Him. The statement, 'The people of Baha who speak not without His leave' is precisely applicable to the Hands of the Cause, because during the 362 period of the custodianship the Hands of the Cause faithfully carried out the instructions of the Guardian. They did not introduce any innovations in the Faith, nor did they express their own opinions or exert undue influence on the future development of the Bah??'? community throughout the world.

    As we meditate on the above passage from the Kit??b-i-Aqdas it becomes clear that the break in the line of the Guardians after Shoghi Effendi was not an unforeseen event. Having foreknowledge of this act, Bah??'u'll??h revealed the sequence of events leading to the establishment of the House of Justice.

    (Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 361)

  • lalilulelulz

    Shoghi Effendi was given the guardianship by ?Abdu’l-Bah?? which means he was elevated from just a Baha'i to an authoritative interpreter of the Baha'i writings. the UHJ didn't elevate his writings, and the writings done on his behalf, they were already there. as i'm sure you know the major writings took time to translate so the guardian provide letters of instruction and advice. these wern't just personal letters but letters written with all the authority of the guardianship.

    this notion that the UHJ is some how using his letters as some sort of living guardian is mearly vain imaginings.

  • lalilulelulz

    to be clear the passage
    The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the
    Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them
    without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After
    Him the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches), and after
    them with the House of Justice — should it be established in
    361
    the world by then — so that they may use these endowments
    for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that
    which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty,
    the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be
    referred to the people of Baha, who speak not without His
    leave and who pass no judgement but in accordance with
    that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the
    champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they
    may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy
    Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.

    is from the kitab-i-aqdas

  • lalilulelulz

    God dosen't take days off. and as i said ?Abdu’l-Bah?? made the gaurdian a permanent member of the UHJ and it is the duty of all the members to make sure they don't make mistakes and to ask to revisit an issue, not just the guardian. and since you provided no quote i cant really comment on speculation.

    it would be silly to argue that the Guardianship still exists. sadly Guardianship is no longer with us and neither are the hands of the cause, thankfully the blessed beauty has given us guidance in the most holy book on what to do.

  • If I may interject one thought, the role of the Guardian as permanent member and head of the UHJ is incredibly important and because we have no Guardian, the void equally important. This is because to him and only him is given the authority to “insist upon a reconsideration by them (the UHJ) of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s revealed utterances.”

    We do not have the check and balance that a Guardian would provide to the elected institution. In its stead we have self-regulation by the UHJ and to anyone familiar with that framework in real life, I need not say more. Finally, there was absolutely zero guidance on what to do in case Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a Guardian as clearly instructed to by Abdu’l-Baha. He did not even leave a Will which is not only a legal duty to all Baha’i adults but because many properties were in his personal name it caused no end of troubles for the Baha’i community. The Custodians struggled so much exactly because there was no clear guidance on what to do in the situation they found themselves in.

  • peyamb

    Yes I understand you are comforted by ignoring the Will & Testament of Abdul-Baha and the clear explanations of Shoghi Effendi about how future Guardians were supposed to work side-by-side with the UHJ and that if one is divorced by the other, then the whole thing is screwed up. But sticking your head in the sand…well it really isn't helping the Bahai community as we can see today– dwindling numbers and an adminstration that is more concerned with top down approach to keep itself elected season after season. But, if you are happy with the present situation, I'll let you be.

  • peyamb

    Here is the quote again for you: ?The Guardian… is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them (the UHJ) of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s revealed utterances.?
    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 150)
    If the the UHJ is infallible in its decision making, if they don't make mistakes because collectively they are guided by God. Then why would a living Guardian need to be there to tell them “nope, go back and come up with a new solution”? Doesn't make sense to me. I don't know what the answer is, but the one that you have accepted that is using the collective works (including letters written on behalf of shoghi effendi by a bunch of secretaries) to guide the UHJ and the rest of Bahai history as a substitute for a living Guardian is JUST as silly as any covenant breaker group claiming to have a new Guardian. You are all messed up and the Bahai community shows it today.

  • sl

    haha…alright, you win on ballet

  • peyamb

    Lali said: “this notion that the UHJ is some how using his letters as some sort of living guardian is mearly vain imaginings.”
    Please take that up then with the UHJ. It's in there constitution according to ?Al? Nakhj??v??n?. Mr. Nakhj??v??n? states:
    “This issue has been dealt with in the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice. In the absence of the Guardian, the Universal House of Justice has formally stated that among its ?binding terms of rerence? and the elements which con-stitute ?its bedrock foundation?, are the ?interpretations and expositions? of the Guardian. “(CUHJ 4)
    So yes Lali, in place of a living Guardian the UHJ is using every note/letter (including conflicting letters written by numerous secretaries on behalf of Shoghi Effendi) to guide it's decisions and make sure that it is not making any mistakes. So they have elevated a bunch of letters from one Guardian in history to replace the living Guardians that were supposed to be working side by side wth future UHJ's.

  • peyamb

    Lali said: “this notion that the UHJ is some how using his letters as some sort of living guardian is mearly vain imaginings.”
    Please take that up then with the UHJ. It's in there constitution according to ?Al? Nakhj??v??n?. Mr. Nakhj??v??n? states:
    “This issue has been dealt with in the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice. In the absence of the Guardian, the Universal House of Justice has formally stated that among its ?binding terms of rerence? and the elements which con-stitute ?its bedrock foundation?, are the ?interpretations and expositions? of the Guardian. “(CUHJ 4)
    So yes Lali, in place of a living Guardian the UHJ is using every note/letter (including conflicting letters written by numerous secretaries on behalf of Shoghi Effendi) to guide it's decisions and make sure that it is not making any mistakes. So they have elevated a bunch of letters from one Guardian in history to replace the living Guardians that were supposed to be working side by side wth future UHJ's.

  • Baquia

    If I may interject one thought, the role of the Guardian as permanent member and head of the UHJ is incredibly important and because we have no Guardian, the void equally important. This is because to him and only him is given the authority to “insist upon a reconsideration by them (the UHJ) of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bah??’u’ll??h’s revealed utterances.”

    We do not have the check and balance that a Guardian would provide to the elected institution. In its stead we have self-regulation by the UHJ and to anyone familiar with that framework in real life, I need not say more. Finally, there was absolutely zero guidance on what to do in case Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a Guardian as clearly instructed to by Abdu'l-Baha. He did not even leave a Will which is not only a legal duty to all Baha'i adults but because many properties were in his personal name it caused no end of troubles for the Baha'i community. The Custodians struggled so much exactly because there was no clear guidance on what to do in the situation they found themselves in.

  • lalilulelulz

    I’m sorry it is my fault that you think I, and for that matter the Baha’i administration are ignoring the Masters will and testament. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I will explain it with simple basic logic. And if you can find a fallacy please show me with either a logical statement (i.e. A is B therefore b is a) or a quotation. I will number them so you can easily respond and I will do it in one post so we don’t have several conversations at once. Be sure to read all my maxims before responding

    First meditate on this passage from the Kitab-i-aqdas
    ?The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After Him the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches), and after them with the House of Justice — should it be established in the world by then — so that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be referred to the people of Baha, who speak not without His leave and who pass no judgment but in accordance with that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.?

    1. Only the Garden can appoint a person to be a Guardian. The Guardian did not appoint a guardian. Therefore there will never be another Guardian.
    2. Like the Guardianship, Only the Aghsan, or branches, can appoint a person to be an Aghsani. The Chosen Branch (Shogi Effendi) did not appoint any Aghsan. Therefore there will never be another Aghsani.
    3. The guardian was the last authoritative interpreter of the holly writings. And did not pass that ability to anyone else. Therefore here will never be another authoritative interpreter of the writings. (until the next manifestation)
    4. Baha’u’llah foreseeing this gave us a clear solution. Instructions on how the authority of God was to be passed on. From Him to the Aghsan. If there was no Aghsan it was to be passes to the UHJ. If there was no UHJ then it is passed on to the Baha’is, but those Baha’is could not make new laws or judgments.
    5. After the death of the last Aghsan (The Chosen Branch, Shogi effendi) the authority of God passed to the Bahai’s since the UHJ was not established yet.
    6. Because they could not make new rules or judgments the Baha’is could not change the requirements of: only a guardian can appoint a guardian or that only an Aghsan can appoint an Aghsan they began building the UHJ.
    7. Once built all the authority of God was transferred to the UHJ.
    8. The quotes you have provided suppose that both the station of Guardianship and the UHJ. In this situation using the Kitab-i-aqdas as guide we see that it would be the station of the Guardianship with the authority of God. There for it would be necessary for that person to guide the UHJ.
    9. This is why the master made a part of the position of the Guardian a permanent member of the UHJ in effect unifying those to stations into one (not two side by side as you have suggested)
    10. ?Abdu’l-Bah?? made the guardian an authoritative interpreter of the Baha’i writings. This action, and this action alone raised his writings (yes even letters and letters written buy othere on his behalf) to the station of holly bahai writings. The UHJ did not do this as it was not even established at the time.
    11. You have accidentally miss quoted the selection from the CUHJ the correct quote is, ?The provenance, the authority, the duties, the sphere of action of the Universal House of Justice all derive from the revealed Word of Bah??'u'll??h which, together with the interpretations and expositions of the Centre of the Covenant and of the Guardian of the Cause – who, after 'Abdu'l-Bah??, is the sole authority in the interpretation of Bah??'? Scripture – constitute the binding terms of reference of the Universal House of Justice and are its bedrock foundation. The authority of these Texts is absolute and immutable until such time as Almighty God shall reveal His new Manifestation to Whom will belong all authority and power.(The Universal House of Justice, The Constitution of The Universal House of Justice, p. 4).? And dose not conflict with anything I’ve said here.
    12. This notion that writings can somehow be a person is or that the UHJ has appointed writings to the position of the Guardian or anyitteration or variation of this is completely silly and incorrect. And are what my friends call Kitab-i-hearsay.

    Consider this passage once again
    The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After Him the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches), and after them with the House of Justice — should it be established in the world by then — so that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be referred to the people of Baha, who speak not without His leave and who pass no judgment but in accordance with that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.

    If Baha’u’llah’s words written in his most ultimate and holly book are not enough of an answer to the question on the authority of the UHJ then I’m not sure what to tell you.

  • Concourse on Low

    lali,

    I think you need to actually READ Peyamb and Baquia's comments before inflicting such haughty incoherence on us.

  • Concourse on Low

    By the way, lali, a is b, therefore b is a, is a logical fallacy. Man is a mammal, therefore a mammal is a man, is obviously invalid. So please actually use the sound logic that you claim to be demonstrating for the rest of us inept morons.

    Are you the newest iteration of Farhan?

  • laliluleulz

    Thank you for the advice, but I did READ their comments. How else would I be able to respond? and if my statements are incoherent then you be able to show it. So please do so. I am eagerly waiting for your response.

  • laliluleulz

    Thank you. As I am sure you know logical statements can be either true of false. i used “a is b therefor b as a” as just an example of a logical statement and as you notice i never implied that it either true or false. It was merely an example. The point was not if you could find a fallacy in my example, but in my actual statements.

  • peyamb

    Stating that quote from the Aqdas a million times does not confirm the extrapolation that you have made that it is a prophecy about the end of the Guardianship and that everything would be fine with just the UHJ ruling. Everything is not fine. Amazing that you conveniently ignore the very detailed writings of Shoghi Effendi himself (not some secretary speaking on his behalf) explaining in detail how the Guardianship has to function with the UHJ or else it will be (my words) screwed up. So no, I don't accept your extrapolation, but I can see this is the best that you and the Bahais can do to explain a very ackward situation. The quote from Bahaullah could be explained in a number of ways- but you all have decided to explain it in a way that disregards all of the writings of Shoghi Effendi… I guess to make you feel better? I don't know. I think it would be more honest and correct to just admit that there are problems since we don't have that checks of balances and I don't know let the UHJ lead with more flexibility- let them decide since this situation (no Guardians) is something that is explicitly OUTSIDE of the BOOK (no matter how much you try to force us to see your explanation of that quote). Oh and regards to my “misquote”, you can blame that on ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni- I took that out from an essay that he wrote. It's still pretty obvious to me that the UHJ is using old letters from SE to guide them- as they are constantly quoting such letters (even when these letters were not direct words of interpretation from the SE, but rather letters written by secretaries to address personal questions of believers). So my argument does stand.

  • Concourse on Low

    No, thanks. I've learned my lesson when it comes to engaging Farhan-esque people on this blog. Futility, and then some. I'm sure Peyamb has the energy and wherewithal to respond to your comment. Toodles.

  • laliluleulz

    But there was guidance, i've posted it almost 5 times now, its in the Kitab'i'Aqdas

    ?The endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. No one has the right to lay hold on them without leave from the Dawning-Place of Revelation. After Him the decision rests with the Aghsan (Branches), and after them with the House of Justice — should it be established in the world by then — so that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Sites exalted in this Cause, and for that which they have been commanded by God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. Otherwise the endowments should be referred to the people of Baha, who speak not without His leave and who pass no judgment but in accordance with that which God has ordained in this Tablet, they who are the champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth, so that they may spend them on that which has been decreed in the Holy Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.?

    Bhaha'u'llah did not make his administration so week that it would crumble at just one person’s death

    Baha'u'llah has given the UHJ all his authority, what more do they need?

  • laliluleulz

    no problem. have a nice day!!

  • peyamb

    You know what bothers me the most about the non-existance of Guardians? It's the way that it has been presented by the Bahai authorities. I spent my whole childhood and youth learning that the way ti worked was that Bahaullah chose Abdul-Baha, then He chose Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian and then the UHJ was elected to take over. Nice and neat. That's all I need to know. Well guess what? I have a brain. At age 14 I picked up the Will and Testament and read it for myself. I also read the works of Shoghi Effendi (not letters written on his behalf by secretaries). And lo and behold- we were supposed to have MANY Guardians throughout Bahai history to guide the Faith according to the needs of the times. Why is it that i had to discover this for myself? Why wasn't it explained honestly/openly in the community? Because, it would mean losing control over people. Pesky thing that independent investigation of truth, isn't it? I can't wait to get my hands on the Ruhi book explaining the Covenant. I've heard it's out now. $100 says that it glosses over the end of the Guardianship and just explains that Shoghi Effendi was the Guardian and then neatly came the UHJ- nothing more. But of course, I'm a Bahai so I won't wager. :o)

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    hmmmmm. “A is B, therefore B is A” is not the least bit logical. For instance, say A is an apple, and B is fruit – A is B, but B is not necessarily A.

    ?????

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    oops, I read further and discover someone already made the point about “A is B…” etc. Anyway it is unfortunate that such a statement is made in the beginning of your explanation, for it prevented me from reading further.

    Barb

  • peyamb

    Here you go Lali. Kitabi-hearsay you say? This comes from a letter written by the first UHJ: http://covenantstudy.org/core-documents/guardia
    “It should be understood by the friends that before legislating upon any matter the Universal House of Justice studies carefully and exhaustively both the Sacred Texts and the Writings of Shoghi Effendi on the subject. The interpretations written by the beloved Guardian cover a vast range of subjects and are equally as binding as the Text itself.”
    You need to read the whole letter. Proof that at least the first UHJ very much considered the writings left by Shoghi Effendi as its guidance for the rest of Bahai history IN PLACE of any living Guardian. So yes, every letter, utterance or whatever was written by some secretary on behalf of Shoghi Effendi decades ago is considered the guidance for the Bahai world for centuries to come. Makes no difference in science changes, if humanity evolves- we are stuck in the interpretations of ONE Guardian in history until another Manifestation of God comes along. How pray tell is this gonna be any different from other fundamentalist religions?

  • laliluleulz

    The UHJ as asked up to approach things in a systematic way and since you don’t approve of answering my points line by line I will answer yours line by line.
    1. ?Stating that quote from the Aqdas a million times does not confirm the extrapolation that you have made that it is a prophecy about the end of the Guardianship and that everything would be fine with just the UHJ ruling.?
    Whether or not it was prophecy it still holds up. It also could have been that Baha’u’llah had the forethought to cover all his bases. Either way its effect is still the same, (that effect being Bah??'u'll??h was completely fine with just the UHJ ruling.)
    2. ?Everything is not fine. Amazing that you conveniently ignore the very detailed writings of Shoghi Effendi himself (not some secretary speaking on his behalf) explaining in detail how the Guardianship has to function with the UHJ or else it will be (my words) screwed up.?
    Everything is fine. And I don’t ignore any authoritative interpreter of the writings. In these instances he supposes both the Guardian and the UGJ to exist. At the same time. Together. And as I said, if both positions were around at the same time, the Kitab'i'Aqdas gives authority to the Aghsani. When there is no Aghsani the authority the guardian refers to reverts to the UHJ, even the power of the interpretation of the sacred word. But out of respect to the Guardian the UHJ refrains from the interpretation of the word of God and even goes as far as to say that the next interpreter will not come until (at least) the next Manifestation. Similarly the UHJ has the authority to create a guardian but out of the respect to the last will and testament (Werby the Master gives the ability the next Guardian to appoint to the station of the Guardian alone) the UHJ has restrained itself.
    3. ?So no, I don't accept your extrapolation, but I can see this is the best that you and the Bahais can do to explain a very ackward situation.?
    It is far from awkward, and is actually real simple. And it is not just the Bah??'?s but Baha’u’llah himself that ?explains? and guides our ?situation?. And as I said if Bah??'u'll??h is not good enough I don’t know what is.
    4. ?The quote from Bahaullah could be explained in a number of ways- but you all have decided to explain it in a way that disregards all of the writings of Shoghi Effendi…?
    Then do so. I am always open to other people’s interpretations. To be sure, Bah??'u'll??h never disregards Shoghi Effendi, but holds him in the highest esteem, greater in fact, then that of the UHJ. He was a Aghsani and an expert at the faith as well. He knew full well what would happen by not appointing a successor. And he knew that the UHJ would be ready to answer the call of Bah??'u'll??h.
    5. ?I guess to make you feel better? I don't know. I think it would be more honest and correct to just admit that there are problems since we don't have that checks of balances and I don't know let the UHJ lead with more flexibility?
    You believe there are problems and I have shown that there are not. You should either show how my logic is wrong or ?just admit that there are problems? with your arguments. The checks and balance you speak of is that the, UGJ makes laws not covered in the writings and the guardian interprets the meaning of the writings. Out of respect to the Guardianship the UGJ does not interpret the writings even though Bah??'u'll??h has given them complete authority to do so. This restraint is unparalleled in all other systems of governess (a close second perhaps being the fact that the NSA haven’t recently voted their own into the UHJ and would rather apoint members of the other branch a stunning act of selflessness buy the NSAs). And buy the way constitutional heretical monarchys also have a history of problems. The success of the Bah??'? administration lays not with its structure but with the fact that it has the authority of Bah??'u'll??h.
    6. ?let them decide since this situation (no Guardians) is something that is explicitly OUTSIDE of the BOOK (no matter how much you try to force us to see your explanation of that quote).?
    By that rational the Gardenship itself is also ?explicitly OUTSIDE of the BOOK? as it wasn’t created until after the writing of the Kitab'i'Aqdas and makes no appearance in it.
    7. ?Oh and regards to my “misquote”, you can blame that on ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni- I took that out from an essay that he wrote.?
    No problem, it happens, no big deal. But you should consider fact checking, this goes back to the credibility issue I spoke of earlier. And if you were quoting ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni then you should have soured ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni and not the UHJ. I find it very interesting that Mr. Nakhj??v??ni misquoted a document he helped write. Give me a link to the essay I’m am having trouble finding it and would really want to read it. Really! And if you don’t reply to anything in this post just respond to this request, if you would be so gracious.
    8. ?It's still pretty obvious to me that the UHJ is using old letters from SE to guide them- as they are constantly quoting such letters (even when these letters were not direct words of interpretation from the SE, but rather letters written by secretaries to address personal questions of believers). So my argument does stand.?
    They also use (and quote for that matter) the writings of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? and Baha’u’llah, and even the B??b and other manifestations. This is because they are either the origin of the divine word or an authoritative interpreter of it. Of course they using them for guidance, whom else would they use? But that wasn’t your ?argument?. Your ?argument’’ was not that the UHJ was using ?SE’s? writings for guidance. It was that they are are using the writings of ?SE? as some sort of replacement of or acting as a ?living? (as you put it) guardian. Which is silly.
    9. ?You know what bothers me the most about the non-existance of Guardians? It's the way that it has been presented by the Bahai authorities. I spent my whole childhood and youth learning that the way ti worked was that Bahaullah chose Abdul-Baha, then He chose Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian and then the UHJ was elected to take over.?
    I’m sorry that you are finding it difficult to accept the Guardian’s choice to not to appoint a successor. But the rest of us have. A long time ago. I’m sorry that this is how you learned about the Baha’i administration. it is incorrect and you should report those teachers to your LSA so they can correct them. I was told about it. The story of the hands of the cause and the tragic fall of Charles Mason Remey was told in my community as a cautionary tale about the seductive power of the ego.
    10. Nice and neat. That's all I need to know. Well guess what? I have a brain. At age 14 I picked up the Will and Testament and read it for myself.
    Gooood!!!
    11. I also read the works of Shoghi Effendi (not letters written on his behalf by secretaries).
    Awsome!! But you sould read the letters written by his secretaries too. You see he was a very busy man and didn’t have a bunch time to write, but for sure he did approve of the writing of his chosen secretaries. I find it strange that you would trust the chosen words and not the chosen secretaries of the beloved guardian. Or respect his choice of using secretaries to help him answer the large amount of letters and questions sent to him.
    12. ?And lo and behold- we were supposed to have MANY Guardians throughout Bahai history to guide the Faith according to the needs of the times.’
    This is true but Shoghi Effendi chose to not appoint a Guardian. What else can I say? I sorry that he didn’t. there’s nothing we can do to change that.
    13. Why is it that i had to discover this for myself?
    Because your community had flaws as every community does. This why the individual investigation of the truth is such an amazing principle. It puts the responcability to learn in your hands not your community’s.
    14. Why wasn't it explained honestly/openly in the community?
    That’s a question only your community can answer my community has never had this problem.
    15. Because, it would mean losing control over people.
    The only one that has control over you is….. You. That’s kind of the point. Lol the UHJ dosent contol us. They don’t tell us what to do the holly writings do, and you have the free will to choose whether or not you will be obedient to the commandments of God. They just give us a framework to serve they cause in and even that is voluntary. Perhaps you could elaborate on your choice of the word ?control?
    16. Pesky thing that independent investigation of truth, isn't it?
    No it is a absolutely brilliant tenet… it is an absolutely revolutionary idea.
    17. I can't wait to get my hands on the Ruhi book explaining the Covenant.
    Me toooooo!!!!!!
    18. I've heard it's out now.
    Really? I haven’t seen it im sooo exited I love Ruhi!!
    $100 says that it glosses over the end of the Guardianship and just explains that Shoghi Effendi was the Guardian and then neatly came the UHJ- nothing more. But of course, I'm a Bahai so I won't wager. :o)
    Make up your mind I could use $100 lol jk Wikipedia lists the 8th book as.
    Book 8: The Covenant of Bah??'u'll??h
    1. The Center of the Covenant and His Will and Testament
    2. The Guardian of the Bah??'? Faith
    3. The Administrative Order
    But that’s just Wikipedia so take it with a grain of salt. I find it strange that u criticizes not being taught about the covenant and then you criticize the institute proses for teaching of it. Seems just a little contrarian to me.

  • laliluleulz

    exactly just as i have said they study all the sacred texts. i have never suggested otherwise. You are adding your own spin on this buy saying that this some how replaces the station of the Guardian.

  • laliluleulz

    I am sorry I should have been more clear im speeking with terms used in philosophical logic I shold have not assumed that the readers of this blog would know that. You must have never taken a philosophical logic class in collage for more information on the philosophical discipline of logic start here
    http://www.galilean-library.org/manuscript.php?…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statement_(logic)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_connective
    goggle has a introduction to philosophical logic book that you can read for free here
    http://books.google.com/books?id=w5sOAAAAQAAJ&p
    I think you are misunderstanding the usage of the word logic in the phrase ?logical statement?. In this usage the word logical does not imply that the statement true of false but mealy that it is a declarative statement that uses logical connectors (i.e. if, then, therefor, is)
    now a and b are merely place holders and have no value so the statement is neither true or false.
    you have been putting elements in the logical statement that have false outcomes believe it or not you can put elements in the statement and get a true outcome one of the most common examples logicians (yes this is a real word and a real profession) use is a triangle is a shape with three sides therefore all three sided shapes are triangles. As you can plainly see this logical statement is true.

  • peyamb

    I ask you Lali to please read the whole letter. They don't just study the “sacred texts” (which now includes personal letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi not just the Words of Bahaullah), these letters actually affect their legislation. They affect how they lead the Faith. These letters in fact do take the place of a living Guardian- that's not spin- it's fact. So therefore the Bahai Faith is stuck in not just official interpretations given by one Guardian in history (when there were supposed to be MANY giving their interpretations according to the needs of the time), but we are also stuck in any letter, announcement or trivial little memo that may have been written on behalf of SE by a secretary, using that secretarie's words. If you can't see how this stifles any organization and keeps it in stagnation…oh well, I can't say more.

  • peyamb

    An in case you dont' have time to read it all, here is an extra quote from the letter:
    “Unity of doctrine is maintained by the existence of the authentic texts of Scripture and the voluminous interpretations of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? and Shoghi Effendi together with the absolute prohibition against anyone propounding ?authoritative? or ?inspired? interpretations or usurping the function of Guardian.”

    The problem is not just using the official interpreations of ONE Guardian in history when we were supposed to have many guiding the community for th rest of Bahai history. That's a minor problem. The real problem is that the UHJ uses even letters written not by Shoghi Effendi himeself, that were not official interpreations dictated in his own words to the Bahai world, but rather letters written by secretaries to individual Bahais living in SE's day. How do you take such letters applicable to a short period in history and say that they are part of the sacred script and applicable to all of humanity for the next 1,000 years? Now THAT is a silly thing to do!

  • peyamb

    And since this rants and I'm on a roll, let me vent one more thing. :o) Why does this same UHJ say in another letter:
    “Although, as is seen, the ending of the line of Aghsan at some stage was provided for, we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith has suffered. “
    What loss? Why should the Bahais feel sorry that the Guardianship ended? If the vast letters of Shoghi Effendi are enough to sustain the UHJ to do its job for the rest of Bahai history- then what's the big loss? Either not having living Guardians interpreting according to the needs of mankind at each age makes no difference or it does. Which is it? I believe the loss of the Guardianship makes a BIG difference. We are stuck with letters that were not even official interpretations to guide us forever on issues such as gay marriage, women on the House, freedom of expression inside the Bahai community, etc. Stagnation has set in unless the UHJ makes a bold move to change things. How they could do that, I don't know. But it certainly is not working today… and the failure of “entry by troops” shows it.

  • peyamb

    To your #7, here you go Lali dear: http://bahaistudies.net/bahaiworks/nakhjavani.pdf
    To the rest of your comments, ehhh… I'm tired. Who cares anymore? Funny though when you stated that the “rest of us” have accepted the situation. Who is the rest of us? Are you talking about the fundamentalist minded individuals left in a dwindling Bahai community? Yeah, I guess you all have definitely accepted the status quo and are not willing to question anything. Perfect mindset for Ruhi- which of course YOU love! Cheers! :o)

  • peyamb

    Oh and btw Lali you said: “And if you were quoting ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni then you should have soured ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni and not the UHJ.”
    Actually, I did when I stated “Mr. Nakhjavani said…” Was that not clear enough for you? But I understand, you are probably reading in between the lines of whatever anyone else here writes.

  • Baquia

    “Out of respect to the Guardianship the UGJ does not interpret the writings even though Bah??'u'll??h has given them complete authority to do so. This restraint is unparalleled in all other systems of governess (a close second perhaps being the fact that the NSA haven’t recently voted their own into the UHJ and would rather apoint members of the other branch a stunning act of selflessness buy the NSAs).”

    Sorry but WTF? Seriously there is so much wrong with what you write here that I honestly don't know where to begin. I guess I should wait until my head stops spinning.

  • lalilulelulz

    nothing is wrong with it it is quite siple Baha'u'llah as passed all of his athority to the UHJ. not just a part or a peace, all of it. and furthermore he didn't say they had hall his athority but you know what they'll still make mistakes lol. thats silly. so they have all the athority of Baha'u'llah and respect the wishes of Shogi Effendi to not apoint a guardian and therebuy end it forever. simple and easy.

  • laliluleulz

    1. ?I ask you Lali to please read the whole letter. They don't just study the “sacred texts” (which now includes personal letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi not just the Words of Bahaullah), these letters actually affect their legislation. They affect how they lead the Faith.?

    Thank you I have and I have. and I have always suggested they refer to the writings for advice. Thank you for posting a excerpt that supports my argument. While adding my argument at the expense of your own is a very Baha’i thing to do it does not fare well for your claims. If I might give you some advice, to support your claim you must produce an excerpt that doesn’t just say they use the writings to guide their decisions, but one in which they say that his writings are the living Guardian. This would look something like this. (this is not an actual quote ) ?the Universal House of Justice after much deliberation has declared, in accordance with the holy writings of the Baha’i faith, that the writings and the writings written on behalf of, our beloved guardian shall from this point onward act as a living guardian.? Un less you can do this it is just your interpretation and has absolutely no authority.

    2. ?These letters in fact do take the place of a living Guardian- that's not spin- it's fact.?

    No these are the letters of a living Guardian they are not the ?living? Guardian nor do they take his place as Guarden. Only a person can be a Guardian not words this is a very obvious point. For instance his writings don’t serve on the UHJ. As I have said many times the UHJ looks to them and ?MANY? other sacred writings for guidance.

    3. ?So therefore the Bahai Faith is stuck in not just official interpretations given by one Guardian in history (when there were supposed to be MANY giving their interpretations according to the needs of the time),

    I know there was supsed to be more than one Guardian. but the Guardian chose not to appoint another and thus the guardianship has ended and all authority has passed to the UHJ in accordance with Bah??'u'll??h’s law. It seems like your problem is not with me but with Shoghi Effendi. I’m sorry you don’t accept his choice to end the Guardianship. I’m sorry you don’t approve of him using secretaries to write on his behalf. You will have to take these concerns to him when you meet him in the Abha kingdom.

    4. ?but we are also stuck in any letter, announcement or trivial little memo that may have been written on behalf of SE by a secretary, using that secretarie's words. If you can't see how this stifles any organization and keeps it in stagnation…oh well, I can't say more.?

    They never included anything trivial lol. The UHJ never sites his shopping lists or the memo that said the hall bathroom is out of order rofl. They only consider only his authoritative commands and advice and sure he sometimes chose to delegate duty of the writing to one of his his secretaries. But they do so on his behalf (as in not on their own behalf, as in their duty given to them by the Guardian) and as such it carries all the authoritative weight that it implies. As I have said before the amount of letters that were sent to him was amazingly huge, so huge he needed assistance in responding. The administration is not stifled or in stagnation but in a constant state of growth.

    5. ?An in case you dont' have time to read it all, here is an extra quote from the letter:
    “Unity of doctrine is maintained by the existence of the authentic texts of Scripture and the voluminous interpretations of ?Abdu’l-Bah?? and Shoghi Effendi together with the absolute prohibition against anyone propounding ?authoritative? or ?inspired? interpretations or usurping the function of Guardian.”?

    Exactly! Thank you again.

    6. ?The problem is not just using the official interpreations of ONE Guardian in history when we were supposed to have many guiding the community for th rest of Bahai history. That's a minor problem. The real problem is that the UHJ uses even letters written not by Shoghi Effendi himeself, that were not official interpreations dictated in his own words to the Bahai world, but rather letters written by secretaries to individual Bahais living in SE's day. How do you take such letters applicable to a short period in history and say that they are part of the sacred script and applicable to all of humanity for the next 1,000 years? Now THAT is a silly thing to do!?

    See above Im sorry you have so many disagreements with the way Shoghi Effendy chose to act. And I don’t think you know the meaning of the phrase ?on behalf of? you might want to study its meaning some more.

    7. ?And since this rants and I'm on a roll, let me vent one more thing. :o)?

    Sure!

    8. ?Why does this same UHJ say in another letter:
    “Although, as is seen, the ending of the line of Aghsan at some stage was provided for, we must never underestimate the grievous loss that the Faith has suffered. “
    What loss? Why should the Bahais feel sorry that the Guardianship ended??

    Ahhh yes the grief was immense and deep. The loss of Shoghi effendi and the guardianship and the Aghsan,all at the same moment is practicly unparalleled in the faith. But thankfully, as I said, we eventually got over our grief, I suspect you are still in the disbelief or anger phase of grief but I’m not qualified to tell.

    9. ?If the vast letters of Shoghi Effendi are enough to sustain the UHJ to do its job for the rest of Bahai history- then what's the big loss??

    Well an entire branch of the Baha’I administration disappeared. This was very unexpected and shocking. But the Kitab’I’Aqdas provided us with a solution. And as I said with time that grief eventually healed.

    10. ?Either not having living Guardians interpreting according to the needs of mankind at each age makes no difference or it does. Which is it?

    It makes no difference but it is still nonetheless saddening. It was also terribly sad when `Abdu'l-Bah?? and Bah??'u'll??h died but we got over that too.

    11. ?I believe the loss of the Guardianship makes a BIG difference.?

    I know but trust in Baha’u’llahs word. And trust that he did not make the faith so fragile that on mans death would forever cripple it.

    12. ?We are stuck with letters that were not even official interpretations to guide us forever on issues such as gay marriage,?

    You are misinformed, Baha’u’llah himself prohibited homosexuality in a very clear and concise way that leaves zero room for interpretation. Also he is very clear about what a Baha’i marriage is. If you want I can elaborate more I can but this post is big enough already.

    13. ?women on the House,?

    You are missinformed this comes from ?Abdu’l-Bah?? (who is an authoritative (or as you put it, official) interpreter of the writings) “The House of Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men; this for a wisdom of the Lord God's which will ere long be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon. (Selections from the writings of Abdu'l Baha (rev. ed) Haifa: Baha'i World Center, 1982), p. 80)

    14. ?freedom of expression inside the Bahai community, etc.?

    there is no such thing rofl.

    15. ?Stagnation has set in unless the UHJ makes a bold move to change things. How they could do that, I don't know. But it certainly is not working today… and the failure of “entry by troops” shows it.?

    Entry by troops hasn’t happened yet lol. The two essential movements is a proses that is readying comminutes for the eventuality of entry by troops.

    16. ?To your #7, here you go Lali dear: http://bahaistudies.net/bahaiworks/nakhjavani.pdf?

    Thank you very much!!!!

    17. ?Oh and btw Lali you said: “And if you were quoting ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni then you should have soured ?Al? Nakhj??v??ni and not the UHJ.”
    Actually, I did when I stated “Mr. Nakhjavani said…” Was that not clear enough for you? But I understand, you are probably reading in between the lines of whatever anyone else here writes.?

    Right and as you learned in collage, when sourcing something you must provide both the author’s name and the publication and page number. And the only publication and page number soured was (CUHJ 4) when I looked on page 4 of the Constitution of the UHJ I found it did not match. This is called fact checking and it’s at the heart of the individual investigation of the truth. I wanted to know the real source so I could read the entire essay. And id like to remind you of the first 6 paragraphs.

    When the beloved Guardian passed away on November 4, 1957, the news of his passing convulsed the
    entire Bah??’? World. A second distress soon followed when the announcement was made by the Hands
    of the Cause that Shoghi Ef-fendi had left no Will and Testament, had appointed no successor as
    Guardian of the Faith, and that the Aghs??n one and all had broken the Covenant. The ?first effect? of
    this realization, as indicated in the message of the Hands of the Cause to the Bah??’? world, ?was to
    plunge? them ?into the very abyss of despair? (MC 36). A similar sense of dismay seized the entire
    Bah??’? World.
    Soon after the Universal House of Justice was established it sent a message (dated 6 October 1963) to
    the Bah??’? World. This message states that the House of Justice ?finds that there is no way to appoint or
    to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi? (MUHJ 14).
    Reflecting on this message, the friends everywhere soon realized that they had not properly understood
    the contents of the Will and Testament of ?Abdu’l-Bah??.
    Shoghi Effendi had already stated that the World Order as delineated by ?Abdu’l-Bah?? in His Will
    ?undoubtedly? contained ?manifold mysteries? (BA 8), and that we ?must trust to time, and the
    guidance of God's Universal House of Justice, to obtain a clearer and fuller understanding of its
    provisions and implica-tions? (BA 62).
    The obligation of the friends was now well-defined. They had to wait for the ?guidance? of the
    Universal House of Justice, to elucidate what certainly ap-peared to be ?obscure questions? (WT 20).
    The expectations of the believers were fulfilled when, in response to questions asked, the Universal
    House of Jus-tice wrote on 9 March 1965, on 27 May 1966, and on 7 December 1969, three let-ters
    (See MUHJ items # 23, 35 & 75 respectively) and explained for the friends the basic truths underlying
    the evolution of the Administrative Order of our Faith, and left them free to conclude that the passing
    of the beloved Guardian, without having appointed a Successor as Guardian and Authorized Interpreter,
    was a clear possibility and an understandable event.
    When the English translation of the Kit??b-i-Aqdas was published in 1992, the Universal House of
    Justice had yet another opportunity to explain the implica-tions of Paragraph 42 of the Most Holy
    Book. In relation to the Law of Succes-sion in the Faith, this paragraph stands out as a most significant
    and decisive statement. In this paragraph, Bah??’u’ll??h clearly envisages a time when there would be no
    institution to embody the functions incumbent upon the Appointed and Authorized Aghs??n (that is to
    say, a Guardianship). Further, the Universal House of Justice would not exist at that time and it would
    not be propitious to elect that Body. These points are fully covered in Notes 66 and 67, (pages 196 and
    197) of the English text of the Kit??b-i-Aqdas.?
    Very interesting indeed so I ask you again if you don’t respond to any of this please respond to this.. How can Paragraph 42 of the Most Holy Book. Be inturprated in any other way? show me an alternate interpretation.

    18. ?To the rest of your comments, ehhh… I'm tired. Who cares anymore?

    Lol yeah right. Lol.

    19. ?Funny though when you stated that the “rest of us” have accepted the situation. Who is the rest of us? Are you talking about the fundamentalist minded individuals left in a dwindling Bahai community? Yeah, I guess you all have definitely accepted the status quo and are not willing to question anything. Perfect mindset for Ruhi- which of course YOU love! Cheers! :o)?

    No I meant the rest of the Baha’is. But there are a few that are uninformed, or have agendas and resist the simple truth. It is this small handful of disobedient or just misinformed Baha’is that is dwindling.

    What is a Ruhi mindset? Lol whats wrong with Ruhi?

  • peyamb

    You are wise Concourse. I should have learned my lesson by now. Kind of reminds me of the story of Abdul-Baha when confronted with an indvidual who kept wanting to argue with him about the station of Christ but quoting the same Bible quotes over and over again. Abdul-Baha just let it go. He would be saddened to see the same types are so prevalent in the Bahai community. Oh well!

  • Just to add reality check to Laliluleulz's comment “the rest of the Bahais”, which I guess means me then. I do not agree with anything you have written. So much so, I don't even know where to start with the various assumptions you have made about what you say is in the Bahai Writings. So all I can say is to state clearly and LOUDLY, as one of the 'rest of the Bahais', I do not think it is a good thing to go around claiming that diverse views are “disobedient” or “misinformed” – that is a very childish statement to make.

    A Ruhi mindset is someone (as written in the quotation you quote) who accepts the status quo as correct (I guess from their viewpoint, not realizing that there are other viewpoints) and focus on following Ruhi by route (that's how the whole system works, learn it by heart and repeat it – and don't, God forbid, ask any questions or have doubts or a different answer to the one provided by the tutor.)

    So L, I'm one of “the rest of the Bahais” and i'm all for nuance, diversity, open debate, change, and going to the source of the Writings (as much as is possible and in ways which will always involve flexibility and change) till the day I drop.

    In a nutshell, what I think we lost with not having the guardianship, is flexibility. Look at Shoghi Effendi's own writings, how one of his main missions seemed to be to limit and to spread power.
    Getting back Qaquia's original blog here, I think one of the problems of the elected becoming more and more, it seems, a consequence of being appointed is a loss of flexibility that comes with new blood and differing views. Locally, what is happening is that now individuals appointed by the NSA or by cluster things or by the Ruhi system, are managing things where previously elected bodies such as the LSAs did this. I haven't done my homework on this, so it would be good hear from others of their experiences on this change from the elected to the appointed at local community levels.

    And finally, when the first UHJ was to be elected, the Hands of the Cause (who had been appointed) informed everyone that they were not eligible for election, thus keeping in the spirit of openenss and new blood. The UHJ could easily announce that members of the ITC cannot be elected onto the UHJ if they wanted to. It could help keep a balance of the appointed and the elected distinctive. A feature I think Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi intended.

  • Baquia

    Lalilulelulz, it is not “out of respect to the Guardianship” that the UHJ is barred from interpretation of the Writings. It is rather as a consequence of the delineation of the respective circles of authority of each institution as outlined by Abdu'l-Baha in his Will & Testament. Please do not take this the wrong way but you have such fundamental ignorance about the Faith that it is unproductive to enter into discussion with you. I humbly suggest that you please read and inform yourself of the basic tenants of your Faith otherwise, not only are you depriving yourself, you are also spreading misinformation and confusion to others who may be searching and attempting to learn about the Faith.

  • peyamb

    Thank you Sonja. I would also add that with the loss of the Guardianship what we have also lost is ability to truly go to one source to get final answers on obscure things. So now what we have are flippant individuals like Lali who make broad statements- “homosexuality forbidden- PERIOD”, “women forbidden forever on the House- PERIOD”, “censorship in the Bahai community will have to continue- PERIOD” and we are stuck with this mindset for the next 1,000 years? It's our way or the highway mentality. Fortunately there are a lot of the “rest of us” out there who love the Faith the too much to allow this type of mindset to be the representative of Bahaullah!

  • Shahram

    Dear Peyamb,
    I am so surprised to read this:
    “We are stuck with letters that were not even official interpretations to guide us forever on issues such as gay marriage, women on the House, freedom of expression inside the Baha’i community, etc. Stagnation has set in unless the UHJ makes a bold move to change things. How they could do that, I don't know. But it certainly is not working today… and the failure of “entry by troops” shows it.?
    From the rest of your writings I understand that you are a Baha’i and therefore have read the writings.
    ?Women in the house?, has nothing to do with writings of secretaries but clear interpretation of Abdu'l-Bah??.
    ?Gay relationship? is explicitly forbidden by Kit??b-i Aqdas, as is premarital sex or any other kind of sex outside of marriage. And the marriage and its purpose are clearly defined in Baha’u’llah and Abdul-Baha’s writings. None come from the secretaries of Shoghi Effendi without it being clearly and explicitly sourced to the writings of Baha’u’llah, Abdu'l-Bah?? or Shoghi Effendi himself.
    ?Freedom of expression? has nothing to do with the writings of the secretaries. The writings of Abdu'l-Bah?? and Shoghi effendi clearly delineate this issue. And those are not any different today than they were at the time of the Guardian.
    ?Etc?: please bring them on, but be specific with sources. …
    Why are not you and other ?ranters? here not able to see the wisdom that may be Shoghi effendi clearly knew that there will be no more guardians in the future as Abdu'l-Bah?? and Bahaullah have sets the rules for its appointment. He also clearly knew that based on the Kit??b-i Aqdas the possibility of not having a future guardian is prophesized. And therefore, knowing of his limited time on this earth and amount of correspondences and clarifications, he ?appointed? individuals he trusted he knew were best informed of Sacred texts and of his own writings and views and asked them to answer those letters?. Even though secretaries have written on his behalf, there is nothing that stopped them to asked guidance from Shoghi Effendi on how to answer controversial and challenging questions and they put those answers and guidance on the paper. For me, the fact that Shoghi Effendi in his infallibility as a guardian chose to do so is as good as him putting his seal of approval on those letters. Please do not forget that Baha’u’llah did the same, with his secretaries such as Mirza Aqha Khan Katib. , (may be to a lesser degree, I am not sure of this from statistical point of view)
    Re friend’s comments on Ruhi, I was also one of those who resisted Ruhi for years and made my voice known to all level of administration and even to the UHJ and I can honestly say today that the Ruhi circles, if done properly have been the best things that have happened to our community. I used to have fireside with 30-40 seekers but none would declare, may be one a year. Since I broke my resistance and invited them to Ruhi, had 9 declarations in 18 months. And four more are in our circle of study right now and already consider themselves Baha’is but have not declared officially. I have seen firsthand what it really means to fully trust the guidance of the UHJ.
    .? Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate therefrom is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth malice, and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant. By this House is meant that Universal House of Justice which is to be elected from all countries?
    It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself
    (Abdu’l-Bah??. Will and testament).

  • peyamb

    Why are not you and other ?ranters? here not able to see the wisdom that may be Shoghi effendi clearly knew that there will be no more guardians in the future as Abdu'l-Bah?? and Bahaullah have sets the rules for its appointment.
    Well I can't speak for the other “ranters”. But for me I can't understand how so many of you believe that obedience means shutting your brains off and not asking tough questions. Questions like “Why didn't Shoghi Effendi in his infinte wisdom then just clearly state what the future should be?” I mean seriously- he knew better than anyone else the LAW that one must write a Will. Shoghi Effendi was a busy man, I can understand that. That's why he let secretaries write for him when a Bahai asked him a question- such as on the topic of homosexuality. But when he actually made an interpretation of law which he felt was applicable to the Bahai world- he wrote in his own words and had it published for the Bahais to read. He didn't write a letter to an individual through a secretary and then expect that letter to be the official interpretation for the Bahai world (let alone the rest of Bahai history) . You as a devout Bahai should read up on a little more on the histroy of the Faith. But anyway, I digressed a bit. It just seems odd to me that Shoghi Effendi would not leave any guidance whatsoever about the future of the Guardianship when he knew fully well how important it is. If you are a true Bahai Shahram, then you will ask questions- even if they are uncomfortable. Otherwise, the Bahai Faith will turn into nothing more than another version of mindless followers of Ayatollahs, Popes,. etc. I and many other Bahais will not allow that to happen. Cheers!

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Shahram –

    In regard to “gay relationship” being expressly forbidden in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, I believe that Baha'u'llah's reference is to “boys,” i.e. pederasty, i.e. the practice of males sexually molesting children (slave boys). The UHJ itself says so, in their notes and commentary on the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Pedophilia is, of course, an entirely different subject from same-sex consenting adult relationships. Interpreting this reference to mean all homosexual activity is based on letters from either Shoghi Effendi or his secretaries – again, the UHJ admits this. In previous discussions on this forum, Sen has made it clear, with many examples, that other letters from either Shoghi Effendi or his secretaries, on other subjects, have not been treated as authoritative in the same way. So the understanding regarding homosexuality is a selective understanding, and there is no prohibition in Baha'u'llah's words regarding committed, monogamous same-sex relationships. Gay Baha'is would, I believe, be happy to submit to the Baha'i marriage laws if they were allowed to do so, and the institution of gay marriage would be a wonderful thing for the Baha'i community – they would once again be out in front in setting an example for other religious communities. As it is, we are bringing up the rear.

    Perhaps someone here can point Shahram to the discussion I am referring to?

    Beyond that, Shahram, I am curious to know your thinking in regard to the specific topic at hand – the pattern of new UHJ members being elected exclusively from the ITC, which is a body appointed by the UHJ, thus creating a closed loop. Do you see any danger in this?

    Barb

  • peyamb

    “…questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book….”
    Oh and Sharam-jan. I am in total agreement with your post at the end- what Bahai wouldn't be? But homosexuality, women on the house, etc (all the topics you'd like us to bring on)– are obscure topics that MANY Bahais have questions about and do not believe are fully covered 'by the Book” Therefore we hope that future UHJ's will overturn the narrow road that the present one seems to take. Who knows, maybe in my life time the UHJ will recognize legal gay civil marriages, without altering in any way the Bahai marriage ceremony.. this is very much a possibility. Same with the other “obscure” topics. The Bahai Faith was a religion that was meant to grow and change according to the needs of the times under the interpretative guidance of various Guardians. It was not supposed to be the stangnant, unflexible Sharia law that you may believe in.

  • laliluleulz

    Come, come, now baq I thought you wanted to be civil. (as I am sure you know provocateurisum is also out of Karl Rove’s playbook) I much prefer pemab’s response it was done with style and grace. Your just making yourself look contradictory which will hinder your credibility. When I said Guardianship I was referring to the station (not the man, Shogi Effendi) created by Abdu'l-Baha in his Will & Testament. And out of respect to the will of Abdu’l-Bah?? they don’t interpret the word of god which Baha’u’llah gave them the ability to do. I’m sorry for all the nuance.

  • laliluleulz

    The guardian could only interpret he could not change the writings. And yes this will stay this way for at least 1000 years and given the history of religion (on homosexuality) it’s not likely to change then either. It is not enough to just love the faith you must also be obedient this is the first duty which is the first thing mentioned in the kitab’I’aqdas.
    And the quote in the kiab’I’aqdas is remarkably clear.
    We shrink for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys. Fear ye the Merciful, O peoples of the world! Commit not that which if forbidden you in Our Holy Tablet, and be not of those who rove distractedly in the wilderness of their desires.

    (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 3)
    You see there was a Persian interpretation of Islam that said that homosexuality as only expectable if its was with a boy without a beard. It was thought that without a beard it somehow would affect (harm) his soul. It is this very interpretation that Baha’u’llah forbids in the Kiab’I’aqdas. So you see not only has he forbidden homosexuality but also the interpretation of homosexuality as anything but forbidden. In another work he forbids Sodomy which the act of homosexuality requires.
    Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful. By the righteousness of God! Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth satanic deeds, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue.
    (Bah??'u'll??h, from a Tablet – translated from the Arabic)
    (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 57)
    Abdu’l-Bah?? says about marriage
    Know thou that the command of marriage is eternal. It will never be changed nor altered. This is divine creation and there is not the slightest possibility that change or alteration affect this divine creation (marriage).
    (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 1)

    To sugest that Baha’u’llah allowed or would ever allow homosexuality or that a guardian would or could change this and the thought the UHJ will overturn this is simply wrong.

  • laliluleulz

    I’m really starting to like you!! Seriously!! Nice tactic, I wonder if you use it often or just when you don’t want to answer a question. Good job.. Well almost. As you know I’m a detail oriented guy, and in the story `Abdu'l-Bah?? gives his interpretation of the quote and answers the man’s questions, over and over again until he realized the guy wasn’t listening just talking. He stopped cause there was no point (something I should think about). The thing is you have never given your interpretations of the quote I repeated. It almost seems like you don’t admit it’s there. You said I could be interpreted in a different way and yet haven’t produced such an interpretation…. Very interesting if you ask me.

  • laliluleulz

    There is nothing in the writings that prevent you from asking tuff questions. When u ask tuff questions u get tuff answers like the oes we have been giving you. And plenty o the writings have been letters to people I mean the seven valles and the for valleys was a letter to Shaykh Muhyi'd-Din. Epistle to the son of the wolf, the word epistle means letter. The letters he sent to the rulers of the world I mean the list goes on. And an authoritative interpretation of the writings is just that no matter how or who it is written to. And btw the pope and the Ayatollahs can interpret there holly writings unlike the UHJ.

  • laliluleulz

    no this regards the Persian interpretation of Islam that homosexuality is OK if it is with a male with out a beard. this is talked about in length by janet afrey a Iranian exile, in her book sexual politics in modern iran. http://www.amazon.com/Sexual-Politics-Modern-Ja

    check out my other post for more info

  • laliluleulz

    thank you for your very eloquent and well soured post!!

  • Baquia

    Unfortunately I have limited time so I'll just address one of your false statements. The Kitab-i-Aqdas does not explicitly address homosexuality nor does it explicitly forbid “gay relationships” as you claim. You are probably thinking of this passage:
    “We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys.”
    107 page 59

    This is a reference to pederasty and can only be equated to “gay relationships” if we also equate rape with marriage. The social milieu in the Middle East in Baha'u'llah's time did not permit the mutually respectful, loving relationship among same sex persons that we find, for example, in Western Europe today. There was however, an accepted practice of pederasty. If you attempt to use this sentence as a flimsy cover to forbid homosexual relationships, what about two women who are in love? there are no “boys” involved clearly. Nor is there “sodomy” Not only are the two worlds apart, no where does Baha'u'llah make mention or allude to a healthy and mature relationship among same sex persons.

    Finally, conflating pederasty and homosexuality is a very popular practice among close-minded religious zealots. Just recently Bill Donohue made the same point on TV while attempting to defend the disgusting decades long cover-up of child rape in the Catholic church.

  • Baquia

    Yes, you're right that many of Baha'u'llah's most important works were actually letters. The Kitab-i-Iqan was really a letter to the Uncle of the Bab, the Tablet of Ahmad, the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, etc. The list is long. There is however a distinction to be made because while these were letters that Baha'u'llah wrote, He also instructed them to be widely distributed and republished. This is why a copy was kept for this purpose after the original was sent. In contrast to these many published and public “letters” there are perhaps 1000 as many which were private and personal. Baha'u'llah's correspondence was incredibly wide and included believers from around the Middle East as well as government officials, etc. We only have a few of these, for example, many Baha'i families kept personal letters from Baha'u'llah, or the Master out of deference. So it is wrong to conflate these two types of “letters” as you are and attempt to make no distinction among them.

  • Shahram

    Dear Peyamb
    “Why didn't Shoghi Effendi in his infinite wisdom then just clearly state what the future should be?” I mean seriously- he knew better than anyone else the LAW that one must write a Will”.
    The whole purpose of the will in Baha’i writing is twofold. One is to declare ones faith to Baha’u’llah and his covenant and declare the desire to be buried as Baha’i and secondly to clearly explain how one’s belonging are going to be distributed to others. Shoghi Effendi Clearly, through all his writings, especially the ?Baha’u’llah’s Dispensation? achieved the first duty and for the second, he had neither progeny nor any belonging to distribute. All he had belong to the Faith.
    Furthermore, the issue of the ?will? is irrelevant here as he could not appoint a guardian through a will; this is so clear through the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bah??. He was to appoint the next guardian ?while he was alive? and not through a ?will? after he passed away. As, I am sure you know this, the 9 hands of the cause needed to approve his appointment and, if rejected, he had to appoint someone else. So appointing a future guardian in a will could have been useless anyway.
    This means two things to me:
    First of all, the institution of the hand of the cause, even though appointed and not elected, had an enormous power and responsibility (as a group, not individually) if it was able to overrule the guardian’s appointment. And even if he had appointed a future guardian in a? will? which would be opened only after his passing away, the hands of the cause, thorough group deliberation, had all the God given rights to reject that appointment. M. R.’s claim, beside being foolish for other reasons, was not only rejected by the 9 residing Hands of the Cause in Haifa, but by all of the hands of the faith. And they have been give that right by Abdu'l-Bah?? Himself. And they used that right.
    Secondly, the reason he did not appoint any future Guardian during his life or in a ?Will? is because He ?was not able to?. The dictates of the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bah?? were so clear that all the doors for appointing another guardian were closed. So there was no reason for him to leave a will.
    On the other hand, it is just a wishful thinking that if we had another guardian ?things? would have been ?much better? or more flexible. Who am I or you to know this for sure? May be everything would have been much more strict! This is a very dangerous path to thread. Why don't we all just wish (and question) why we didn’t get a new manifestation of God every 150 years so things would have been much better and more progressive? Those of us who are already resisting and questioning the will of Baha'u'llah as it is clearly passed on to us through his divinely ordained successors and the New World Order he left behind, would have no doubt resisted another manifestation of God if he appeared tomorrow and said for instance, homosexuality is forbidden by the Law of God, if that is what we think a manifestation of God shall not say as it is not progressive and up to date.
    IN my humble opinion, if Bahaullah’s only desire was for people to become Baha’i regardless (so we could have entry by troupe for example), he would not provide any law at all, specially, laws like drinking, drugs, chastity , premarital sex and sex outside of marriage, even interferance in politics, etc . In the community I live, even marriage itself is outdated, common-law is becoming the rule of land, so may be if we had a guardian he would have make a new interpretation of the law so people did not have to marry and live together, have threesomes and foursomes and drink as much as they want, it is their choice. In my circle of friends, what prevents most people from entering the faith is because Bahaullah has accepted Mohammad as a manifestation of God. Do you know how many Buddhist and Christian have problem with this? There are many hurdles in front of any individual in order to recognize the truth of Baha’u’llahs ?spiritual? and ?social? Mission.
    All I know is that if I made a machine, it is because I have a specific purpose in my mind and I will write a manual to define clearly how this machine can be used at its best. Some people may not read this manual and have a very limited use of my machine, it is their choice. I consider Baha’u’llahs as my maker and the manual he has left us, if used properly with utmost trust , will helps us achieve best what we have been created for, spiritually and socially. Trust me, I had my own share of moments where I wished Bahaullah or the UHJ would have changed a law, how much easier it would have been on me. But I am so glad now that I was able to trust and follow those laws. And God knows how greatful I am today that Baha’u’llah gave me those laws.
    You mention:
    ?But for me I can't understand how so many of you believe that obedience means shutting your brains off and not asking tough questions?.
    Please do not accuse others who do not agree with your point of view as those who just shut their brain.
    As I mentioned in my previous comment, I had personal issues with the Ruhi circles (and other issues) but brought them up with both the elected and the appointed administrative bodies and I am glad to say not only I saw the wisdom of this, but saw that my suggestions and criticism were all taken into consideration and even though I took a couple of years they are all being implemented. As a Baha’i, I have a right to express myself and I fully use that right.
    Most Baha’is I know, including myself, had all these questions in mind for years and through personal research and reflection and prayer have come to understand them so they are not questions anymore.
    Dear Peyamb, I have even written recently few articles in Persian on this topic of Guardian and the UHJ. If you are able to read Persian and interested, please let me know and I will share with you the links.
    With warmest Baha'i love

  • Shahram

    Dear Barb,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I have tried to answer some of your concerns under Peyamb. Please see above.
    I have many very close wonderful gay friends and clients and If I was a manifestation of God I would have made a lot of things different, I think, if my goal was only to please and convert as many as possible to my cause and add up the numbers. .
    But Baha’u’llah, from the very beginning of his life stood up against almost every single thing that was ?normal? and ?accepted? in his time and society and opposed every ?normally ?held belief system of his time and changed and challenged them all for now and for the 1000 years to come and the society is going in that direction, whether we like it or not.
    Even if Shoghi effendi and the UHJ had not written anything at all about homosexuality, I do not see any indication in any of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha's writing that there is even a faint possibility for this kind of relationship within those writings. On the contrary, everything points to the contrary, for me.
    Baha’u’llah always stood up for what makes human beings reach the best of their potentials individually and made social laws that would bring out best the Divine Civilization he came here to build. And in that, every single group on earth is going to find its own challenges and tests. Even those who are born and raised Baha’is, but are living in this day and age with its new gods and challenges. His writing will raise an obstacle and challenges to almost anyone now and even in the future. We all are being tested at our own time with our personally held standards of? what God should do?. This is not just unique to the time of the manifestations of God. I am sure human beings, in 500 years from now, will be faced with equally challenging issues as you and I are being tested today. As, it seems, the fastest way for our soul to mature is to overcome our own unique issues which are not in conformity with divine direction.
    Re this topic of election, I do understand the comments. Points are very valid. But I also believe that the Baha’i faith is NOT a Utopia but the best possible ?workable? outcome for today’s misery, given 6 billion diverging opinions. . In a Utopic system, for those who hate smoking, smoking would have been forbidden, as science has clearly shown its dangers to health. For those who do not like to kill in order to eat, being a vegetarian would have been a divine law. And for those who think a glass of wine is good for your heart, drinking should have been permitted. (Btw science has since shown that those who started drinking more wine to protect their heart are actually getting more breast cancer, but no one talks about that research now a days, it is not a la mode).
    So if we Baha’is fail do to our duty and elect members of UHJ only from the ITC, it is our own fault, nothing is wrong with UHJ appointing people to ITC, nor should they seize to appoint members to ITC, neither appoint only women so no one can vote them in to the UHJ. They are only responsible to God and will appoint people to that august institution from those they think can serve best the worlds interest (not just the Baha’i community). And it is our responsibility, each one us who vote at any level, that we take our own spiritual duty very seriously and not blindly.
    Blind imitation is forbidden by Bahaullah but it doesn’t mean some Baha’is are not going to follow almost anything very blindly. This is not Baha'u'llah's fault, nor UHJ.
    I like you to see this in a very small scale of your own town. In mine, the LSA appoints people to different task forces and committees and … and invariably every new member of the LSA is elected form someone already serving in one of those appointed committees. Should LSA stop appointing anyone to anything? Are people voting those individuals because the LSA has appointed them and they trust the LSA? NO. In reality , those who get appointed, in my own communities small scale, are already the most active, the most dedicated , the most eloquent and intelligent AND are able to bring any task to a fruition ( and I hope you are not taking me wrong , I am not on the LSA and not tooting my own horn). Will I vote for them because the LSA has trusted them with those tasks? No. But it is my duty to be observant and vigilant during the whole year to make sure when I vote on April 21st, I have fulfilled my duty to Bahaullah properly. And if I fail at this, I am the only one to blame.

  • laliluleulz

    Yes this is one of the passages im refering too. If you are to take this passage literally (which you are doing) then pederasty with females would be ok and that is just silly. I’m sorry you have never heard of the Persian Islamic interpretation of boys without beards. A lot of Americans that are unfamiliar with Persia or Islam don’t understand this quote but either but it is clear Shoghi Effendi did. By condemning this Islamic interpretation it is apparent that he was affirming Muhammad’s ban of homosexuality (who was confirming Moses’s) and what about the quote forbidding sodomy ( you seem to not now that sodomy also means oral sex look it up if you don’t believe me)? It is pretty simple. Homosexual sex requires sodomy therefore homosexual sex is disobedient. It seems that you still hold some political beliefs that you have yet to detach from.

  • laliluleulz

    Thank you for agreeing with me. I have a question , do you think any central Bah??’? figure would tell an individual believer one thing and tell the world a completely different and opposite thing? Sure many kept there letters that dosen’t and there are letters we have not have the blessing to read but that does not mean they contained things that oppose previous statements. This assertion that there was a different message sent to individuals then to the world is wrong.

  • laliluleulz

    WOW your statement is very eloquent and well put together. i especially like you point about it is not the UHJ fault that the NSAs appoint the ITC. you are so very thoughtful i very much appreciate your sober thinking on this matter. i hope you continue to share!!!!

  • laliluleulz

    very true i too have these questions and i too became satisfied with the answered provide. in these intellectual matters we some times forget about the power of prayer to provided answers that are egos do not accept. i do so love your posts.

  • laliluleulz

    From Merriam-Webster’s dictionary
    Main Entry: sod?omy
    Pronunciation: ?s?-d?-m?
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French sodomie, from Late Latin Sodoma Sodom; from the homosexual proclivities of the men of the city in Gen 19:1–11
    Date: 13th century
    : anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also : copulation with an animal
    — sod?om?it?ic ?s?-d?-?mi-tik or sod?om?it?i?cal -ti-k?l adjective

    So perhaps it is somehow lost in translation? Ok let’s delve into that for a second.
    Baha’u’llah wrote in both Farsi and Arabic. While both languages (mostly) share the same alphabet (though they pronounce certain letters, especially short vowels, differently) most words and grammar however are different (like the difference between English and Spanish). But plenty of words do cross over especially religious words.
    Fortunately the word for sodomy is the same in both language (though the Arabic word is preceded by the definite article ?al’ (like ?a’, ? an’, or ?the’) its spelled Lam kesra waw alif ta (the heavy ta) and pronounced liwatt in farci and al’liwatt in aribic. The word comes from the Arabic word loot (lam damma waw ta.) This is an Arabicizaton of the biblical name lot (since there is no short vowel sound ?o’ it is changed to either, alif waw combination the make which makes a ?aw’ sound, but its usually changed to the kesra or kesra waw combination which makes a short oo sound and a long oo sound respectively.) and the word liwatt literally translates as lotishness. Lotishness has the same exact meaning as the English definition of sodomy(anal se oral sex and bestiality(not to sugest that homosexuals pratis bestiality that’s just what the word means) including the, ?same or opposite sex,? provision and so it applies to both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
    This is one of the rare occasions were different words in different language share the same definition and entomological roots.

    sounds like Shahram speacks Farsi and im sure can conferm this.

  • laliluleulz

    O I forgot to mention that the word ?lottishness? comes from the holly Quran in Muhammad’s retelling of the story of Sodom.

  • Baquia

    “i especially like you point about it is not the UHJ fault that the NSAs appoint the ITC”

    Come again?

  • Baquia

    Strawman – I never asserted that there personal letters contain “completely different and opposite things”.

  • laliluleulz

    o some advice; you can hold back on the insults(and be civil as you suggested in the first place) they have no effect on me. they only serve to make you look childish or like somebody that can give but not receive criticism. which i'm sure is not the case.

  • peyamb

    Excuse me? Since YOU don't see anything in Bahaullah's Writings supporting same sex relationships and since everything points to the contrary to YOU, then we are supposed to believe that this is a law for the rest of Bahai history? No matter what you may feel, guess what? I feel different. I feel that justice comes first in the Bahai Faith, not what a secretary of Shoghi Effendi may have written about homosexuality. And justice means acceptance of the beautiful gay relationships that do exist in this world. Couples who have been together for decades, who have adopted children and who have raised families better than some of the miserable fortresses of well-being that exist in the Bahai community. So please don't talk so high and mighty. YOU don't represent only yourself and not Bahaullah. And again, there is NO law against monogomous same-sex relationships. It is OUTSIDE of the Book. But if you want to argue this anymore, I suggest you take it to the other thrread on homosexuality where it is more appropriate.

  • peyamb

    I suggest Lali and Sharam go to the homosexuality thread and read a wonderful post by Sen showing the discrepancies that exist in some of the letters written by secretaries on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. They wrote thousand upon thousands of letters. Yes, SE gave them some authority (probably to appease the readers so they felt that their answer was truly answered, even if SE never read their questions personally), but they did not hold the same authority as an official interpretation announced to the Bahai World. Here is just one example from Sen's post. Pay attention to it. The post is odd because it shows ignorance of a topic that Abdul-Baha had covered. So who's ignorance is it? Shoghie Effendi's or the secretary? If we are to believe fundamentalist minded individuals that these letters are equal to Shoghi Effendi writing them himself, then it shows SE's ignorance? But that wouldn't make sense. So it would have to be the secretary's ignorance. But if it is the secretary's ignorance, why would SE let such a letter go out as an answer to an individual? Maybe cause he was so freaking busy, he didn't have time to answer the thousand of questions that were sent to him! Anyway, read the letter please….

    “Or what about the letter that says: “In regard to the question as to whether people ought to kill animals for food or not, there is no explicit statement in the Bah??'? Sacred Scriptures (as far as I know) in favour or against it.”

    Is this expressing the Guardian's ignorance, or the secretary's? There are tablets from Abdu'l-Baha on this topic. The letter goes on:

    “It is certain, however, that if man can live on a purely vegetarian diet and thus avoid killing animals, it would be much preferable.”

    If we take this as the Guardian speaking as interpreter, he is offering an interpretion on something which he himself thinks is not in the Writings – and therefore is in the province of the UHJ not the Guardian. But he says in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah that the Guardian will not do this. But it gets more puzzling, because the next sentence says

    “This is, however, a very controversial question and the Bah??'?s are free to express their views on it.” – so the writer (the secretary in my opinion) does not think this defines Bahai belief. But aren't the authoritative interpretations of the Guardian supposed to do that? Finally, note that the letter is written on a Holy Day: 9 July 1931. What are the chances that the Guardian was working on a Holy Day, and requiring his secretary to do the same! You can find the letter in The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 475)”

  • laliluleulz

    You misunderstand the writings are quite clear.at the risk of you claiming that I am repeating quotes from the writings. Bah??'u'll??h has forbidden sodomy, has forbidden the Persian interpretation of Islam involving boys with beards. Abdu’l-Bah?? says that the institution of Bah??’? marriage will never change. I personally don’t care about a person’s sexuality. I have gay friends I even had a gay roommate, my currant neighbors are gay and have a son. But It’s not about what I think or what you think it’s about the writings, and they are clear. Justis comes from obedeance to the will of God, and not from your or my feeling. I think drinking is ok but I’m not about to try and find faults in the writings to support my view about drinking I’m going to accept it and move on.

  • laliluleulz

    It is not expressing ignorance of either. It means that since it is not in the writings Shoghi effendi couldn’t interpret it Pretty simple. The ban on homosexuality however is and this is why he has (and his secretaries on his behalf) written about it.
    They were looking for an explicit’ yes it is good. or no it is bad. And since there is no yes or no they offered the advice that `Abdu'l-Bah?? has given, that it is preferable as in, we don’t ban it and it is ok if you chose to but it is preferable not to. Kind of like the quazi ban on smoking. And there is nothing that suggest otherwise in the writings. So it looks like the secretary was correct.
    Im sorry that you continue to find fault with Shoghi Effendi.
    You seem to miss the fact that I have shown the ban on homosexuality without any of Shoghi effendi’s(or secritarys) writings, and with the writings of Bah??'u'll??h and `Abdu'l-Bah??. So this is all moot.

  • peyamb

    Good that you have gay friends. I have African-american friends. I fight for racial equality, even though I am not black. Drinking is not ok because it was explicitly forbidden by Bahaullah in his Writings. I obey God, that's why I question assumptions made by some of His followers in the Faith today. There is no LAW against two men in a mongomous relationship living together and raising a family. It is outside of the Book and therfore a UHJ can accept it in the future. And if by sodomy you mean purely 'anal sex', then it does not mean homosexuality. But this topic has been covered over and over again.

  • peyamb

    Did anyone else's head hurt reading that?

  • laliluleulz

    Sodomy includes oral sex and bestiality. I’m sorry that you can’t accept this. Homosexual sex requires Sodomy (not the bestiality obviously). And since this applies to everyone it can hardly be called unfair or unjust. Check my other post I even delve into the Arabic meaning of the word used. I’m sorry that homosexual sex is against the will of Bah??’u’ll??h. And I’m sorry you are having such a hard time excepting that. If you are questioning this you are more than questioning his followers. This thought that the UHJ can change the writings is wrong. Not even the Guardian could do that, he could only offer an authoritative interpretation which is obviously different then changing the sacred writings.

  • peyamb

    “Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion, and of one can content oneself with cereals, fruit, oil and nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and so on, it would undoubtedly be better and more pleasing.”
    From a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bah?? to an individual believer, Selections from the Bah??’? Writings on Some Aspects of Health and Healing, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice, Bah??’? Publishing Trust, New Delhi, 1974, pp. 7-8. “
    This is a quote from Abdul-Baha. The topic is addressed in the Writings (unless of course you don't consider the words of Abdul-Baha as part of the writings). So why does the letter express some doubt about the existance of guidance regarding this subject? It does because it shows that secretaries wrote these letters sometimes with little supervision from Shoghi Effendi- except a geneal lukewarm endorsement. It shows that these letters to individuals do not constitute interpretation of the Wrod of God by Shoghi Effendi in his capacity to interpret a law. So you are still wrong. There is NO law in the Aqdas that would prohibit a mongomoous same-sex couple from being fully a part of the Bahai community. Ok enough for today… it's time for more important things – like dinner!

  • laliluleulz

    let me boil it down then
    1. his secretary did not make a mistake or say anything that is contrary to the writings. despite that person's apprehension.
    2. you don't even need to reed the writings of Shoghi effendi or his secretary on his behalf to see that there is a prohibition on sodomy(by Baha'u'llah himself in plain unobscure language) and therefor homosexuality.
    3. i'm sorry that you don't approve of some of Shoghi effendis choices (not appointing another guardian, his uses of secretaries to write on his behalf, and now working and asking his employees to work on a holy day.) i don't know what to tell you other then ur gonna have to get over it.

  • laliluleulz

    Of course I consider The Masters words as a part of the sacred writings including this statement

    ? Know thou that the command of marriage is eternal. It will never be changed nor altered. This is divine creation and there is not the slightest possibility that change or alteration affect this divine creation.? (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 1)

    the person was looking for an ?explicit? yes or no and 'Abdu'l-Bah?? doesn’t give that but gives a suggestion (as the secretary also did) that it would be better (ie preferable) to not eat meat as there exist other sources of a complete protein. He nowhere forbids the eating of meat in this excerpt. And thus his advice is the same as Shoghi Effendi's secretary. You have not shown any conflict between The Master and the Guardian’s office. All this talk of food is making me hungry too!! I’ll see you tomorrow then.

    And oh and yes there is a command in the Ktab’i’aqdas (the commandment against the Persian, boys without beards, interpretation of Islam which sees homosexuality ok as long as it’s with a boy that hasn’t grown a beard. if you don’t believe me look for yourself, there are plenty of accounts of this interpretation of Persian Shia Islam including the just published ?sexual politics in modern Iran? written by a non-Baha’i Iranian exile) but you refuse to believe it. And the writings elsewhere of Bah??’u’ll??h prohibiting sodomy are just as biding as the laws in the kitab’I’adas. And the UHJ (or the guardian for that matter) cannot change this even if they wanted to.

  • shahjackumar

    u guys,lalileulz n peyab,dont get feed up talking what u think u know n cannot have the courage to ask!find better things doing wasting yr time with this type of stupid conversation with guys like baquia who actually doesnt really know too whats the topic about n where its headed!dumb bo s

  • Shahram

    Dear Peyamb
    Regarding the Letter on behalf of the Shoghi effendi you quoted, I did not have time to check the rest of it but I presume you picked the one that is the best representing of your ideas about the secretaries writing.
    I work in the health field and have used this letter many times in my workshops and fireside presentation and am very familiar with it. In my opinion, the point you are missing is in the opening question of this letter :
    ?In regard to the question as to whether people ought to kill animals for food or not, there is no explicit statement in the Bah??'? Sacred Scriptures (as far as I know) in favour or against it.?

    English is my third language and please correct me if I am wrong. When I see the word ?ought to? I hear two things: something that you expect will happen (high probability), or a duty (when it is necessary or would be a good thing to perform the activity). There is absolutely nothing in the writings in my mind that says you ought to (expected to, or supposed to, or a necessity or a duty) to kill in order to eat. In one hand Killing is not forbidden in order to eat (law of hunting in the Kit??b-i Aqdas), but it doesn’t say you ought to hunt, and on the other hand Abdul-Baha's comments that you mentioned which equally means you do not have to be a vegetarian but it is kinder to be,( but it is not a necessity nor a duty) . So Baha’is are free to have their personal views on this.

    And if there is any interpretation in this letter, as you suggested, you can see that this interpretation is directly in conformity with Abdu'l-Bah??’s interpretation as you have quoted him.

    You also mention:
    ?This is, however, a very controversial question and the Bah??'?s are free to express their views on it.” – So the writer (the secretary in my opinion) does not think this defines Baha’i belief. But aren't the authoritative interpretations of the Guardian supposed to do that??

    Actually not. There are many many authoritative writings of Shoghi Effendi which depict the same thing. ?It is left to individual believer? ?Baha’is are free to express their views on it?…. His writings abound on that.

    Re: ?Finally, note that the letter is written on a Holy Day: 9 July 1931. What are the chances that the Guardian was working on a Holy Day, and requiring his secretary to do the same! ?

    I hope you are not serious about bringing this on so you can find another way to find fault with Shoghi Effendi. Please at least make it clear for me here. Is your issue with the UHJ or with Shoghi Effendi Himself, or both? So at least I know what where you are standing when I answer.

    I have often used my Holy days to make correspondences with people I had not time to write to in a long time. Also Baha'u'llah made it very clear that some Jobs are essentials and do not need to be interrupted on a holy day. Wouldn’t you say that Shoghi Effendi's works was one of the most essential work on the planet knowing that at times he had only a couple of hours of sleep due to the intensity of workload?

  • Shahram

    Peyamb Jan,
    Sorry for the way these views have turned. I did not initiate, nor meant to bring it to homosexuality.
    My comments were about the Guardian and the will and testament of Abdu’l-Bah??, a future Guardian, will of the Guardian and, the Present UHJ and its legitimacy, women on the House of Justice, freedom of expression and homosexuality.
    Out of all of those, you and others seem to have chosen to talk almost only about homosexuality, and that is why I made some personal comments on it.
    Does this mean you agree with me on all the other points I tried to clarify? Is homosexuality really the biggest issue? If not what is it?

  • peyamb

    I'm very serious Shahram jan. And I take great insult by you insinuating that I'm finding fault with Shoghi Effendi. YOU do not own him or the Central figures, so don't act holier than thou with me. You are merely a Bahai with your opinions, as I am- period. Now, what I do find fault with is this acceptance of letters written by secretaries as equivalent to actual interpretations by Shoghi Effendi. The elevation of these letters to almost the same status as the Words of Bahaullah Himself. That I find fault with. As to the quote that Sen posted, it shows a perfect example of how these secretaries wrote a lot on their own with some basic oversight by SE (who was too busy to answer the thousands of nit picky questiosn that Bahais sent to him). The letter doesn't ask if the eating of meat is prohibited. It ask if there is any guidance. And there is guidance, lots of it from Abdul-Baha. Guidance which the secretary was ignorant of. Also please go to the thread on homosexuality and you will find a number of other letters that Sen posted which show that these letters sometimes have discrepencies. So either you have to say that Shoghi Effendi was confused (which obviously wasn't the case) or you have to admit that the secretaries basically wrote as the felt and Shoghi Effendi gave them a quick approval. I really don't know, but you can't have it both ways. Anyway, go read the other notes if you are willing. Cheers!

  • laliluleulz

    i really love the way you write i would have never guessed that English is you 3rd language!!! do you speak Arabic????

  • peyamb

    Lali dear. I understand that the fundamentalist mindset needs to see everything in black and white. It gives you a sense of security in this world- to have everything in absolutes. That's fine. If it makes you feel good to believe this way, then cool. Nothing more that i can say. Although I do find it funny that you keep equating sodomy with homosexuality. It is quite funny. I just think of the countless straight Bahai couples who would be surprised to know that they too are homosexuals for what they do in their bedroom. A is B and B is A. :o) Peace!

  • peyamb

    The issue is the absolutist fundamentalism that has set in the Bahai community. A religion that was flexible and adapted to the needs of humanity at each age is now stuck in not just official interpretations (which would be fine because Shoghi Effendi never gave detailed official interpreations; personally I think he was leaving it that way so the UHJ could have more flexibility in enforcing laws and creating new laws), but it's worse stuck in every letter that a secretary wrote on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. Letters which show discrepancies, which were never used as official interpreations in Shoghi Effendi's day (so why the heck are they being used as such today?). This is the issue. And yes it affects A LOT of topics in the Bahai community today- not just homosexuality.

  • laliluleulz

    Fundamentalist is merely a codeword this community uses for someone that doesn’t agree with them. I don’t need black or white I just need the writings. And what they say is clear. And I will be obedient to them no matter how politically incorrect they become. I said that homosexuality requires sodomy not that they are the same thing. Quote me where I have said this. The record clearly shows I have not. And as I said the ban of sodomy applies to everyone, as in, not just homosexuals. That’s what makes it just, that it applies to everyone. And it is none of my business what happens in other peoples bedrooms, that’s between them and Baha’u’llah.

  • peyamb

    What community? Well, I need the Writings too- I just don't see them black and white like you do. Well if you don't care what happens in a straight couples bedroom, then you shouldn't care what is going on in a gay couples bedroom either. Great, then please go fight to allow gay families to be equal partners with straights in the Bahai community. Otherwise, you will be a hypocrite. Cheers!

  • laliluleulz

    Don’t speak to him that way he has been nothing but polite aim that stuff at me instead.

    1. ? YOU do not own him or the Central figures, so don't act holier than thou with me. You are merely a Bahai with your opinions, as I am- period. Now, what I do find fault with is this acceptance of letters written by secretaries asquivalent to actual interpretations by Shoghi Effendi. The elevation of these letters to almost the same status as the Words of Bahaullah Himself. That I find fault with?

    Why his secretaries have not spoken in err so there is no reason to not accept them. As he said this must be your best argument and it is not not good enuf because it shows no conflict with the writings.

    2. ?As to the quote that Sen posted, it shows a perfect example of how these secretaries wrote a lot on their own with some basic oversight by SE (who was too busy to answer the thousands of nit picky questiosn that Bahais sent to him).?

    And yet you can find no conflict in the writings and actualy prove this in your post by adding the conferming `Abdu'l-Bah?? quote.

    3. ?The letter doesn't ask if the eating of meat is prohibited. It ask if there is any guidance. And there is guidance, lots of it from Abdul-Baha. Guidance which the secretary was ignorant of.?

    No the secretary clearly references the guidance of `Abdu'l-Bah?? the only thing she says is that she thinks there is no explicit ban on it, which the writings confirm.

    4. ?Also please go to the thread on homosexuality and you will find a number of other letters that Sen posted which show that these letters sometimes have discrepencies.?

    Sen has had his administrative rights removed, look up Shoghi Effendis writing on that and you will be surprised. And the thread is long surly you can show us the parts u reference.

    5. ?So either you have to say that Shoghi Effendi was confused (which obviously wasn't the case) or you have to admit that the secretaries basically wrote as the felt and Shoghi Effendi gave them a quick approval. I really don't know, but you can't have it both ways. Anyway, go read the other notes if you are willing. Cheers!?

    No because as I have said there is absolutely no conflict in the advice given and the writings which you have so kindly provided.

  • laliluleulz

    The community that posts on this blog of course. I as I have alluded to I don’t see them in black in whit I only see them for how they are written, And no I don’t care what happens in anybody’s bedrooms straight or gay. This is not a debate on what happens in peoples bedrooms but on what the writings say. and what they say is clear and you haven’t been able to prove otherwise.

  • laliluleulz

    I have clearly shown this ban on homosexuality is from Bah??'u'll??h himself. Calling it fundamentalism does not make it any less true ( as I have said this is just a code word for positions you don’t agree with). And you have not shown any argument that proves it to be anything less than the truth, I’m sorry but that the flexibly you speak of doesn’t apply to homosexuality. Shoghi Effendi did give his official interpretation to his secretaries who gave it to us. You have not been able to show any discrepancies between the secretaries and the writings. All you have is a (not that I can find) which is connected with a statement that doesn’t actually conflict with anything in the writings.

  • Personally, I think the official Bahai stance on homosexuality is the biggest pressing issue at the moment because it goes so clearly against the principle of equality. Women being not eligible on the the UHJ is also another, but in my view less pressing, because in not being eligible for the UHJ, my personal and family life is not harmed as it is at the moment for gay and lesbian Bahais.

  • shahjackumar

    really son,must thank u for the most sensible comment at the end as from member ship its turned into slot for homonal issues.more important so now for getting input from the better half of humanity for a better tomorrow.
    not really a wonder why so few respond to issues n question as the subject matter if left to the names as appeared will turn into issues of the fear of man!

  • peyamb

    See this is a perfect example of fundamentalism at work in the Bahai Faith. The belief that Abdul-Baha's words on marriage only means one man and one woman forever and that's it. It mirrors the exact same thinking that evangelical Christians put out in “defense” of marriage. What if Abdul-Baha was talking about marriage in the sense of family stability and the creation of a haven for children to be raised in order to advance civilization? If he was talking only about marriage meaning one man and one woman and that's it- well… religious history shows us that marriage has changed and has been altered tremendously. The Bahai Faith itself is a perfect example of how marriage altered from polygamy to mostly monogomy now (although a polygomous person is allowed to become a Bahai and remain in his relationships). But thank you, you have shown perfectly how the fundamentalist mindset has to interpret things in absolute terms.

  • on the topic of UHJ membership:
    I am getting a bit lost with comments between the “change is a law of nature” which is on the theme of homosexuality and this blog which relates to the membership of the U.H.J. so, I'm reposting my response to L here on this blog and have added L's further questions related to the membership of the UHJ underneath and my response after this.
    My apologies to everyone for this mix up!

    I wrote: “The UHJ could easily announce that members of the ITC cannot be elected onto the UHJ if they wanted to. It could help keep a balance of the appointed and the elected distinctive.
    A feature I think Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi intended.”

    L wrote: “Interesting idea could you support it?”

    My response: The differences between the appointed and elected institutions, and ways they complement each other, have been worked out in many UHJ messages, but they derive ultimately from the fact the Will and Testament refers to both the Guardianship and the Hands (appointed), and the Houses of Justice (elected). That already indicated a complementary relationship with different roles, which Shoghi Effendi then detailed in his World Order letters.
    For example:
    “It must be also clearly understood by every believer that the institution of Guardianship does not under any circumstances abrogate, or even in the slightest degree detract from, the powers granted to the Universal House of Justice by Bah??'u'll??h in the Kit??b-i-Aqdas, and repeatedly and solemnly confirmed by 'Abdu'l-Bah?? in His Will. It does not constitute in any manner a contradiction to the Will and Writings of Bah??'u'll??h, nor does it nullify any of His revealed instructions. It enhances the prestige of that exalted assembly, stabilizes its supreme position, safeguards its unity, assures the continuity of its labors, without presuming in the
    slightest to infringe upon the inviolability of its clearly-defined
    sphere of jurisdiction.”
    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 8)

    An attempt, I feel, should at the present juncture be made to explain the character and functions of the twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure — the institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice. … these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Bah??'u'll??h should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity
    and flexibility of its teachings. Acting in conjunction with each other these two inseparable institutions administer its affairs, coordinate its activities, promote its interests, execute its laws and defend its subsidiary institutions. Severally, each operates within a clearly defined sphere of jurisdiction; each is equipped with its own attendant institutions — instruments designed for the effective discharge of its particular responsibilities and duties. Each exercises, within the limitations imposed upon it, its powers, its authority, its rights and prerogatives. These are neither contradictory, nor detract in the slightest degree from the position which each of these institutions occupies. Far from being incompatible or mutually destructive, they supplement each other's authority and functions, and are permanently and fundamentally united in their aims…. “
    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 147-8)

    and lots more, see
    http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/WOB/wob-40.html

    L then wrote: “if the master was against the appointed serving on the UJH why did he make the Guardian (an appointed person) a life time member of the UHJ? it seems that he had no problem with a member of the appointed serving on the UHJ. and none of the experts provided suggest otherwise. Im sorry but no where do they say that the appointed should not be elected to the UHJ in these quotes provided. Could you post some that do please?”

    my response: I was explaining the principle of having the elected and the appointed as “twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure” (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 8) and in support of this principle, I gave the example of how the Hands of Cause chose not to make themselves available for election to the UHJ. I saw their action as meaning, they saw the need for new blood as a good thing. Perhaps they even thought that being appointed and in the public positions each of them had, that unless they did this, they would have been elected to the UHJ? Of course, I have no idea what their motive was, all I am saying is that they did this and my suggestion is that if the members of the ITC chose to do this, this would help maintain this principle of having the elected and the appointed as complimentary aspects of the Bahai administration.
    L: the source for this is:
    “The Hands of the Cause in their message of November 4, 1961, referred to the election of the Universal House of Justice in these terms:
    “That all male voting members throughout the Bah??'? world are eligible for election to the Universal House of Justice. The Hands do not limit the freedom of the electors. However, as they have been given the explicit duties of guarding over the security and ensuring the propagation of the Faith, they ask the electors of the House of Justice to leave them free at this time to discharge their duties. When that Supreme and Infallible Body has been elected, it will decide on all matters concerning its own membership.”
    (Custodians, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 392)

    At the moment what is happening at the highest level of the Bahai administration is that individuals are being appointed by the UHJ to the ITC, and then the males of the ITC are being elected to UHJ. The issue is that membership of the UHJ has become a result of the UHJ chosen appointments. Given that membership on the UHJ is a matter of just 9 members, my suggestion is: if the UHJ decided to make ITC members ineligible or if members of the ITC chose to make themselves ineligible, then surely there are plenty of other males perfectly suitable to serve on the UHJ. That's my suggestion based on the above thinking. I am not suggesting it is bad to have appointed members of the ITC move to the UHJ, but when since 2008 (see Baquia's graph) ALL NINE members of the UHJ come from the ITC, then it indicates that the electoral process is not bringing in any new blood. Here's just one of the many quotations in the Bahai writings on the importance of new blood.

    “Upon the local Assemblies, whose special function and high privilege is to facilitate the admission of new believers into the community, and thereby stimulate the infusion of fresh blood into its organic institutions,…”
    (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 11)

  • Barb Ruth-Wright

    Shahram,

    Pleasing and converting people is not the point (though many Baha'is apparently think it is). Justice is the point. Independent investigation of truth is the point. Adherence to scientific truth rather than to superstition is the point. Elimination of prejudice is the point.

    Does not the UHJ, as the institution of guidance for the entire Baha'i community have the responsibility to do all it can to encourage people toward independent investigation of truth, rather than blind, unthinking obedience? Toward working for justice for all human beings? Toward respect for scientific truth? Toward elimination of all prejudice? It is true that many Baha'is prefer blind obedience; they prefer for someone else to do their thinking for them. They want the feeling of security that (for some) comes from an absolutist attitude and a belief in an infallible institution that relieves them of responsibility and hard thinking. They don't want to have to stand up and be counted when it comes to difficult questions – they want the UHJ to do everything for them.

    Is this easier path really the path Baha'u'llah had in mind for us, do you think?

    Barb

  • fubar

    lol. oh jeez, I thought it was *my* plant that got in!

  • fubar

    Pan,

    Those exact issues were in play during the late 70s, and through the 80s/90s during the big, early conflict between critics, nonconformists and dissidents on one hand, and “administration” on the other.

    Very few of the original dissidents/critics are still involved in much of any meaningful way, or are allowed to be “official” members, in the haifan bahai community.

    google “Dann May and Phyllis Bernard” for a stunning example of a very important bahai scholar's departure.

    good luck!

  • fubar

    lali,

    there is no evidence of what you say.

    but there IS a great deal of evidence that the election process is part of a larger self-reinforcing pattern in organizational culture that screens out nonconformism, criticism and dissent in the haifan bahai leadership elites long before the “ritual” elections take place.

  • fubar

    lali,

    in reality these people that rise to the top of the cesspool of haifan bahai administration are only proficient and successful at one thing: perpetuating dysfunctional organizational culture, lies and abusing authority, and supporting literalism/fundamentalism.

    it certainly takes some “talent” and “smarts” to be really good at perpetuating dysfunctional culture, but it is basically EVIL.
    Many of these people have sociopathic tendencies, or are deeply delusional.

    there is little or nothing that is authentically “spiritual” about bahai administration.

    it is simply a “modernist” facade on backwardness/tribalism.

    bahai administration internalized iranian culture's worst aspects, and combined it with the west's worst tendencies toward predatory corporatism.

    all of that is deeply anti-democratic and deeply anti-progressive.

    bye!

  • fubar

    critics of abuses of authority are attacked, frequently viciously, in the haifan bahai community. this has been going on for a very long time, and has been mostly covered up.

    you appear to be brainwashed.

    bye!

  • fubar

    lali,

    “framing” is a technical term used by theorists in linguistics. communications, and political theory.

    One example of an interesting (controversial) scholar that discusses how “framing” is used for political purposes is George Lakoff. There are many others.

    You may find something useful about “framing” on Wikipedia.

    It is extremely important for people to see how propaganda and rhetoric is used to reinforce particular values, biases and perspectives, and diminish others.

    “Framing” is a very useful concept for understanding human nature and organizational culture, especially in relation to the conflict between modernism and postmodernism.

    Cognitive science and consciousness studies are advancing very rapidly, and both support the validity of spirituality and destroy outmoded metaphysics.

    It is far better to start with science and go towards spirituality than to try to use science to support metaphysical assumptions. As such, bahai theology is precisely backward (at a “big picture” level).

    One alternative is integral theory:

    http://www.integraltheoryconference.org/default

    In a letter to Dr. Susan Maneck about “culture wars” several years ago, the UHJ letter writers indicated that bahais should “contribute to integrative paradigms” (rough paraphrase).

    Very little has actually been done in the bahai community to spread that very good advice, so you can see that bahais don't even listen to their own institutions unless what is said reinforces conventional thinking.

    Bye!

  • fubar

    lali said:
    “Bhaha'u'llah did not make his administration so week that it would crumble at just one person’s death”

    —response—

    As an ex-bahai, I think that it was weak and backward to begin with. It is a hideous attempt to fuse christian and muslim imperialism into a global quasi-theocracy. The whole thing was doomed to failure in the context of modernism and postmodernism. If bahai scripture can't even get a basic questiobn of immense importance like biological evolution correct, why should anyone think that the convoluted ideas about governance or politics (“new world order”) in bahai scripture could make any sense?

    bye!

  • laliluleulz

    Ok lest follow that logic then, suppose that’s what he meant. how would that work? Would homosexual couples be expmpt from the sodomy ban? What about heterosexual couples would they continue to have to obey the sodomy ban? And how do you go about changing the writings? Or would you just leave it and add a wink wink nudge nudge. Who has the power to do this?

  • laliluleulz

    What do you mean? Are u suggesting the NSA’s don’t? I’m intrigued to see your evidence!

  • laliluleulz

    This seems like a typical postmodern deconstruction for almost any religion (minus the Iranian stuff of coruse). I’m very interested to see the proofs of these arguments.

  • laliluleulz

    attacked how? have there voting rites removed? hardly an attack. worse case scenario is there deemed a covenant breaker and just ignored. this will seem to sound monotonous but i'm interested in the proof not just claims.

  • laliluleulz

    i am familiar with “framing.” and even progressive movement uses framing (Obamas masterful champaign and Bush's too for that matter.) I'm arguing about the fundamental structure of “Baha'i theory” not arguing about rhetoric or propaganda, but i'm willing to go there if you want.

    as i am sure you know t the Baha'i faith proposes harmony of religion and science.

    i'm sure you are aware that the soft sciences seem to always be changing bases on the political winds and popularism. like the new developments in “embodied cognition” that is proving that the way we have been teaching young boys has been wrong and has left them at a developmental disadvantage. the assumption was always “they just developed slower” lol and it was not the fault of the teaching. so it will take time to catch up to the baha'i faith but eventualy will.

    those “integrative paradigms” contributed to need to reflect the Baha'i writings am i right?

  • laliluleulz

    ill check out integral theory:

  • laliluleulz

    It is fundamentally different then ?christian and muslim imperialism? most obviously we do not nor do we have a history of, invading peoples land, forcing them to convert or die, and integrating their power structure into or own. Instead we take a non-violent, non-committal, peaceful take it or leave it approach. We believe that the only what to change the world for the better, is not through revolution, war, politics, or the market. But by the enlightenment of the human heart with the Bah??’? faith and Baha’u’llah’s revelation. And in this situation where everybody eventually becomes a Bah??’? then of course the UHJ will be the NWO and the old world order will collapse.

    All religion is ?doomed in the context of modernism and postmodernism? and in the context of ?Bah??’? theory? ?modernism and postmodernism? are doomed; this argument is moot at best.

    And he Bah??’? writings fully embrace ?biological evolution? and all sciences and not only that gives them a spiritual context.

    And sure if you don’t buy Devine Command Theory ur not gona buy the Bah??’? administration. No big deal you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

  • laliluleulz writes:

    “Ok lest follow that logic then, suppose that’s what he meant. how would that work? Would homosexual couples be expmpt from the sodomy ban? What about heterosexual couples would they continue to have to obey the sodomy ban? And how do you go about changing the writings? Or would you just leave it and add a wink wink nudge nudge. Who has the power to do this?”

    Nothing has to change for this to work. There's already a don't ask-don't tell policy operating for Baha'is. No Baha'i official has ever asked whether I masturbate or indulge in sodomy – not when I was single or while i've been married. If the goal is to have long-term, committed trelationships in which the couple and their children can be nurtured, and in turn nurture others — and that's a pretty much universal goal for marriage — then there's no reason why homosexuals can't take part if the state allows. And the state is increasingly allowing it.

    There's a fictional character who shares my name who “once dobbed himself into the Baha’i authorities for masturbating. An Administration missive had suggested that Baha’is keep an eye on each other and inform the Administration of suspicious activities. Steve, obviously wanting to take his Baha’i duties seriously down to the last jot and tittle, felt he had no option but to put his hand up.”
    http://laylaoww.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/48-the

    And it transpired that the assembly didn't respond — showing that some forms of immorality will be ignored even if you do tell.

    But standing up in solidarity (no pun intended) is the way to deal with selective morality and other breaches of human rights. When the Nazis required that Jews wear a yellow star, everyone should have started wearing yellow stars.

    This is what Baha'i, at its best, is about. There is no us and them.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • laliluleulz

    rofl this is the best argument offered yet. man i really like you dude!!!

    so you agree homosexuality is banned?

    and your right it’s not the LSA's job to police the Baha'i in their community. This is why this ?fictional character? was not reprimanded. However in situations where there is a flagrant consistent public disobedience, the kind where people might think the writings accept such behavior. It is the LSA’s job to inform the person and show them the writings that they are disobeying publicly. So unless this ?fictional? character was masturbating on public access TV the LSA neither has nor will take the authority to inform the person of their disobedience.

    And homosexual marriage implies sodomy and is therefore against the Writings and is a ?flagrant consistent public disobedience? so the LSA will step in to inform you, regardless of the politics of your sate or country.

    The person informed can either reform their behavior or choose to continue their disobedience and all that happens is their administrative rights are taken. Nothing else happens to them, there not thrown into a gas chamber, put in Baha’i jail, or given lashes. They can even continue to believe in Bah??'u'll??h.They just can’t attend feasts, or vote, but they can attend holy days and Ruhi. They can even start a bog about how much they hate the administration and nothing else will happen.(unless they start clamming there the new Guardian lol. And even then you’re just ignored.)

    And being a Bah??’? is completely optional and if something else in your life is more important there is no resistance from The Faith for you to pursue it. This can hardly be called a human rights violation. The ban on sodomy is completely voluntary and you are not forced to do or not do anything you don’t agree with. The ball is totally in your court.

  • laliluleulz

    Right but you said this (not electing the apointed) was “A feature I think Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi intended” not a feature the Hands of the Cause intended. Surly you must have some excerpt that supports your claim that Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi did not intend for members of the appointed to serve on the UHJ( even though The Master did the exact opposite by appointing a member of the appointed branch to the UHJ for there lifetime.) and yes it is the goal of the LSAs to appoint ?new blood? not the NSAs. Their job is to elect whomever they think will do the best job. Whether or not there a member of the appointed branch.

  • “so you agree homosexuality is banned?”

    Homosexuality is the quality or condition of being homosexual. some people are homosexual and it would be a denial of their human rights as well as being a hopeless task, to attempt to ban them from being that way. But the word's meaning extends to homosexual character, behaviour and activity. You seem to be using the word exclusively to mean homosexual activity, which I think is an imprecise use of the word. Rephrase your question and I'll answer it.

  • laliluleulz

    (Yes i have been using the word homosexuality as a verb referring to the homosexual act that’s why i did not expect you to not know what i was talking about. But i'll play ball)

    Sure but there are even members of the homosexual community that believe their homosexuality is a choice. But that is not the issue. I’ll be even more specific, dose not the writings ban sodomy? Also known as anal and/or oral sex and/or bestiality? And is not sodomy required for homosexual sex (minus the bestiality of course)?

  • “dose not the writings ban sodomy? Also known as anal and/or oral sex and/or bestiality?”

    The translated writings mention sodomy, but the word is used as a translation for liwat in the Bahai writings, even though the two are somewhat different.

    “The term 'sodomy' is long established in western law and is not specifically linked to homosexuality. Basically, it refers to erotic activity between sentient beings that has no possibility of resulting in reproduction. Thus it can be between any combination of men, women, or animals.”

    “liwat requires a penis and the anus of a woman, boy, or man, or anything suitable at the back end of livestock. In both cases it is something done by a person with a penis to another.”
    http://bahai-library.org/essays/bf.and.sexualit

    One example of the difference is that liwat does not encompass all oral sex because no penis is involved in cunnilingus. Another example is that sodomy is generally thought of as being about consensual anal sex between adult males, whereas in Baha'u'llah's time liwat was something that that was generally done to catamites against their will.

    I accept that there are writings forbidding sodomy, along with lechery, adultery and fornication (I'm reading fornication in, because the word “adultery” is a translation of “zina”) . No real surprises there – the picture is one of sex only within marriage, and not a lot of variety, even then.

    “And is not sodomy required for homosexual sex (minus the bestiality of course)?”

    Yes, I imagine so, but first catch your catamite, then rape him. The context, in Baha'u'llah's day, was of adults abusing their ownership of minors by raping them. Do that today and you'd be quickly locked up by the state and perhaps experience some karmic retribution.

    Homosexuality, as we now know it, hardly existed in Baha'ulah's time. Long-term, committed, loving, nurturing homosexual relationships certainly didn't have any chance to develop.

    And just as the Baha'i authorities don't seem to concern themselves with what I'm doing with my penis as a straight guy in a committed relationship — even when I tell them — nor should they concern themselves what a gay guy in a committed relationship gets up to.

    Why? Because what we get up to arguably isn't liwat and zina. It's simply part of the rich diversity of marriage and family life. And I think Baha'is should be supporting that, not quashing it.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • L: Please read my posts more carefully, I wrote:

    “It could help keep a balance of the appointed and the elected distinctive.
    A feature I think Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi intended.”

    The second sentence refers to the former sentence, a balance. The point of my responses has been to see how the principle of this balance could work better.

    re: your idea that the Guardian was intended to be a member of the UHJ:

    Abdu'l-Baha wrote in the Will and Testament:
    “By this body [the UHJ] all the difficult problems are to be resolved and the Guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body. Should he not attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him.”
    (Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 14)

    From this we can see that the Guardian is not eligible for election (he is appointed), and that he is not just a member of the UHJ, since he can appoint someone else to represent him. It is not stated that the Guardian does not have a vote on the UHJ, but this is implied, first because nothing is said about whether the Guardian's representative would have a vote, and second because that would mean there are ten votes rather than nine, which would be allow for the possibility of a 5-5 split. I'd say that it's unlikely that Abdu'l-Baha would discard the symbolism of 9, and raise the possibility of a hung vote, by making the UHJ a ten-member body.

    Instead it seems, in preserving this principle of the distinctions of the elected and appointed, the Guardian or his representative who could have been a woman, would not be a member of the UHJ but rather that he sat at meetings and participated, and most likely did not have a say in the final decisions that would be made.

  • peyamb

    Is sex required for a Bahai marriage? Love is required for a same sex relationship- just as it is for a Bahai marriage. Really you haven't proved anything. But I know have absolutes makes you feel good in this world- feel secure in a very crazy changing world- so I'll let you be with your beliefs. Cheers!

  • Phil Ramsey

    When did marriage mean sex?
    if there is no sex there is no marraiage?
    I'm not being stupid, you can have a marraige that doesn't involve sex, ask any couple married 50 years or longer?
    it's the sex part og marraige that gets mixed up, if som eone has 5 wifes and he only has sex with one are the onther 4 still in marriage?
    Kepp sex out of it and what do you have

  • fubar

    lali said:
    “flagrant consistent public disobedience”

    —response—

    haifan bahai religion only pays lip service to enlightenment. people working for real enlightenment in bahai are attacked if they dare mention things like INDEPENDENT personal transformation (such as transpersonal psychology), democracy, or anything else that might cast into doubt the many serious flaws in haifan bahai theology, or practice.

    as recently as the late 1970s, “hippy” bahais were being attacked by bahai admin for “practicing magic” (rough paraphrase) by learning how to do YOGA exerices.

    haifan bahai insitutions flagrantly and consistently and publicly disobey the rules by which their own scriptures state they are supposed to operate. the disobedience is usually per the agendas of corrupt leadership elites, seeking ego inflation.

    institutionalized banning and support of hate politics against homosexuals by haifan bahai insitutions is a far worse form of public embarassment than individual “disobedience” of stupid sex rules.

    considerring how badly failed haifan bahai institutions have been for a long time, why should anyone care about the minutea of definitions having to do with sex rules? don't you see how “backward” and disgusting this obsession with repressing homosexuals really is?

    the real problem in haifan bahai is not what to do with homosexuals, but what to do with a corrupted religion that requires the abuse of authority to maintain a status quo.

    haifan bahai is not a “peace” oriented religion in practice, it has a deep historical pattern of psychological violence, including insitutionalized forms, being comitted against nonconformists, critics and dissidents.

    there is nothing, beyond fake propaganda, that indicates that haifan bahai institutions in a “new world oder” would rule with justice to any greater extent than current bahai institutions have done for 100+ years. haifan bahai institutions have comitted many acts of marginalization and injustice, and tried to cover it all up. these are classic signs of corrupt absolutism and dysfunctional organizational culture.

    If haifan baha can't hold onto a serious scholar like Dann May, the game is pretty much completely over, and will be left to idiots, control freaks, and people that are not honest with themselves, or those born into haifan bahais that are afraid of “offending” their families.

    haifan bahai scripture badly flubs evolution. the problem is that “man” is defined in absurdly backward sufi terms as a “spiritual” being, not a product of evolution in the same context as all other species of organisms.

    have you read keven brown, and eberhard von kitzing's work? they worked very hard for years (brown worked in the original languages/) to reconcile bahai scripture with evolution, and uncovered serious problems that had no ultimate resolution.

    no religion that has scripture that badly flubs evolution, without correcting the errors made by the “infallible” manifest/interpreter(s), will ever gain widespread respect by anyone except uneducated people and evil people seeking ego gratification.

    it seems bizarro that you assert that all religion is doomed in modern/postmodern culture. either you are advocating for a doomed religion, or you believe that modernism/postmodernism don't matter.

    both positions are incoherent.

    divine command, like prophetology and progressive revelation, are basically scams invented by the priest classes, or “ecclesiastics”, many thousands of years ago, probably to control people's use of irrigation systems. the same was refined and extended by many post-tribal “civilizations”, including the vast expansion of slave systems.

    bahai theology is premised on a spiritual slave mentality (cultural imperialism), so it is inevitably backward and anti-democratic IN ACTUAL PRACTICE.

    no manifestation or prophet is needed for human beings to directly access transcendence (nirvana, etc.), that cognitive function was programmed into the human gene pool by evolution (compassion and altruism of parents towards offspring, transcendence of self-interest), not by “god”.

    the manifests/prophets simply used to “culturally limited” lingustic constructs of their time to try to cystalize paradigm shifts that were already emerging in human consciousness.

    (see Jean Gebser's “Ursprung und Gegenwart” which cited a large body of cultural artifacts, not outmoded metaphysics.)

    bahai is a bad religion, and you are evil for defending its worst and most abusive aspects.

    bye!

  • fubar

    yes?

  • fubar

    do you know anything about Dialogue Magazine, the (original) Talisman email list, Kalimat Press?

    Hoc Mazindarani's history project being derailed by the Iranian NSA, and allowed by S.E.?

    Hoc Louis Gregory having his living stipend taken away by the US NSA for refusing to go along with the NSA when it undermined “street activism” in the Race Amity movement?

    The squelching of Sayeed Khadivian's work to foster independent spiritual transformation groups in california in the 80s (after working “within the institutions” failed miserably due to fundamentalism of LSAs/etc.)?

    The collapse of the Watsonville and Grass Valley mass teaching projects due to “spiritual materialism” and the need to worship institutions, instead of the actual INDEPENDENT practice of spiritual detachment, prayer and meditation?

    The way that ABMs talked about “getting” hippy bahais in northern california and “putting notches on their gun handles” when they got such people's rights removed?

    A professional bahai singer being labeled as “CB” so that a NSA's (competing) relative could be the first “official” person producing a (bad) record of bahai devotional music in the US in the 60s?

    Do you actually know anything specific about the major, or any minor, attempts at reform, or alternative, independent, nonconformist, or dissident movments within the bahai community and the vicious manner in which they are marginalized, by the SOUL KILLING practices of mainstream haifan bahai administration?

    And you seriously state that haifan bahai religion is about “peace” and social change via “enlightenment”?

    what an evil freaking joke.

    bye!

  • fubar

    a successful “pioneer” delegate from the mass teaching efforts in s. carolina was told that if he stopped talking about how the racists and elitists in the NSA/USBNC had derailed mass teaching, he would be “allowed” to stand on stage and gain the attention of the entire room fo delegates.

    NSA officer D. Nelson openly screamed at delegates daring to publicly ask deep questions about things that wer wrong with the community and NSA.

    Back home, people that continued to discuss the issues, and D.Nelson's vicious verbal and psychological violence, were “investigated” by bahai administration.

    Intimidation and bullying is widespread.

    An ABM screamed at a group of dedicated, long suffering LSA members (the people that do the actual “dirty” “boring” admin and social work in haifan bahai communities) in the USA northeast that they needed to “get off their a$$es” and get more converts so that the upper crust would look successful (and get reelected).

    You are in denial, and/or do not know what really goes on.

    You will ignore all “evidence”, and continue spinning the discussion.

    As long as you buy into the lies of the haifan bahai mainstream, you will be doing evil.

    bye!

  • fubar

    lali,

    see other posts for specifics.

    in general, the bahai community has consistently failed to achieve any major objectives for a very long time. simply read old copies of bahai propaganda like “The American Baha'i” newletter and compare what really went on.

    how long have you been involved in these questions? what do you actually know about anything? who have you known that was involved in trying to fight against abuses of authority in the haifan bahai community? ANYONE?

    have you EVER publicly expressed any complaint about any such abuses, or other absurd failures of bahai institutions/ideas/practices?
    if so, what was the result?

    please prove me wrong, but you seem extremely ignorant of the reality of human nature.

    bye!

  • fubar

    lali,

    see:
    http://www.iranian.com/main/blog/nur/soviet-sys

    Also
    —-

    forgot to mention:

    S.E. himself, in his late work on world governance and affairs, openly praised the christian/muslim imperial systems (“universalism”), and insulted anti-colonial national liberation movements.

    So, bahai “scripture” is unreliable in terms of making a consistent and coherent case against “structural racism”.

    I remember this clearly (even though I hae a bad memory) because I was reading the dreary stuff the day before 9/11 as part of an internet discussion of some kind of (UN?) conference on racism in S. Africa in which some islamicists had accused Zionists of supporting state sponsored racism.

    The whole thing was one of those really weird coincidences.

    Anyways, cultural imperialism and institutional imperialism are deeply imbedded in the organizational DNA of the haifan bahai religion.

    haifan bahaism is clearly (beyond paying lip service) not a religion of “peace” and “enlightenment”, at least not in the usual meaning of those words — as would be understood by a unbiased, rational and “reasonable” person.

    bye!

  • fubar

    re: forced conversion

    lali,

    I was coerced into signing a declaration card in the early 70s (by someone cloase to Ruhiyya Khanum). many vulnerable young people were being manipulated by “mass teachers” at that time.

    lies and deception are deeply imbedded into the organizational culture of the haifan bahai religion.

    with the internet, some of mess has been exposed.

    on a related topic:

    you made light of the systematic, long standing pattern of shunning that exists within the haifan bahai religion. your smug indifference to the serious SOUL KILLING effect that such shunning can have on people (victims) clearly demonstrates that you are a supporter of appalling hypocrisy.

    the mainstream version of haifan bahai religion is based on worship of dysfunctional institutions, a profoundly dehumanizing circumstance for everyone involved, including the smug inquisitors that attempt to hunt down nonconformists, dissidents and critics — SUCH AS YOURSELF.

    beware the spiritual and psychological cost, in self-dehumanization, of becoming such a smug inquisitor.

    “divine command” was prohibited for 1,000 years in the aqdas, so the haifan bahai institutions (following abdul-baha) appear to be the biggest “CBs” of all. lol!

    bye!

  • laliluleulz

    ok wow a lot of stuff its going to take some time to digest all this. thank you for your lengthy response. i'm probably going to want proof and not just claims and accusations (and a lot of needless insults lol) so if you can have that ready for when i ask that would be great! we will have to probably go issue by issue because if i respond in bulk i can see this getting very confusing rater quickly. thank you for all the time you spent responding 🙂

  • laliluleulz

    Well first off evolution and the faith go hand and hand. There is no conflict. The Bah??’? theory states that what the true life of a human is his soul. This was created long before human bodies evolved. When evolution finally produced an animal that was sufficient vessel for the soul it then became possible for the soul to have a mind. And it is through the development of the mind that the soul receives things like self-awareness and cognition. It also provides us with tests like ego and selfishness. Which are not real things but merely the lacking of the respective divine virtue. Since biological anthropology (the study of evolution) or biology takes no stance on the existence or non-existence of a soul it cannot be said to be in conflict with the faith.

  • fubar

    lali said:
    “Fundamentalist is merely a codeword this community uses for someone that doesn’t agree with them.”

    —response—

    elsewhere in this thread you imply that anyone that doesn't agree with the conventional viewpoint is sufering from to much “ego”.

    you have engaged in the usual smug inquisition that any nonconformist, dissident, or critic receives in the mainstream haifan bahai community for questioning the status quo.

    and then you WHINE to someone that also shares the conventional view that you are not being accepted (because you attack other people for “ego”)!

    ridiculous bullshizzle.

    bye!

  • fubar

    this really absurd. you are trying to insulate outmoded sufi metaphysics (“soul…This was created long before human bodies evolved”) from obvious science which destroys validity of the sufi metaphysics.

    science does not allow for the sharp differentiation of human consciousness and “animal” consciousness. there is a continuum of universal consciousness that manifests at varying levels depending on the evolutionary sophistication of the species in question.

    to be clear: there is NOTHING in science that would support the ABSURD idea that non-human species are “blocked” from experiencing spirituality of some sort as part of their consciousness. if you study primates, you will see that they are obviously “spiritual” animals in the broad sense that a “reasonable” modern person would consider valid.

    the bahai position on evolution (than “
    man” has a “special soul”) is stupid and cruel, and is in direct conflict with both science and common sense.

    science can measure which parts of the brain “light up” when a person is having “spiritual” experiences, and is is consistent with common sense that similar parts of primate brains (or other species) would light up when having similar experiences.

    bye!

  • fubar

    lali,

    there is vast quantities of proof of the marginalization of nonconformists throughout bahi history. mazandarani, louis gregory, dialogue magazine, kalimat press, talisman are only some of the major stories, there are many other lesser ones (large numbers of which are documented in the arhives of THIS BLOG!). for instance, the bahai-library web site was originally supported by non-conformist bahai scholars. then it became a place were nonconfomists were attacked by grossly fundamentalist idiots like “bahai warrior” after the author of the web site got on the NSA payroll.

    you provide no proof of YOUR (mostly) ARROGANT and IGNORANT assertions, and are obviously playing silly games with double standards and other rhetorical bullshizzle — lies and deception.

    the reality is that you are playing the role of the smug inquisitor, and are engaged in attempted assasinations of the characters of nonconformists, critics and dissidents.

    there is no quantity of “facts” or “proof” that will change your mind one iota, which is EXACTLY WHY people are calling you a FUNDAMENTALIST. many of the people in this “community” have known people exactly lke you for many years/decades, and know the “template” (brainwashing) that you operate from — it is called CULTURAL IMPERIALISM.

    To be clear: I think that you have provided ample “evidence” and “proof” that you are an evil fundamentalist based on the many stupid, thoughtless and inconsiderate things you have said. you have no concept of compassion, altruism, or universalism. you believe in the “one truth above all” anti-pattern.

    the “fact” that you sprinkle your posts with occasional “nicey nicey” is simply manuura.

    have a nice evening!
    bye

  • fubar

    lali wrote (presumably correctly quoting a translation of bahai scripture)

    “Ye have been called into being to purge the world from the defilement of evil passions. This is what the Lord of all mankind hath enjoined upon you, could ye but perceive it. He who relateth himself to the All-Merciful and committeth satanic deeds, verily he is not of Me. Unto this beareth witness every atom, pebble, tree and fruit, and beyond them this ever-proclaiming, truthful and trustworthy Tongue.”

    —response—

    as an ex-bahai, it is shocking to see such revolting extremism, disguised as “peace/enlightenment”, again.

    baha'u'llah was clearly NOT either “divine” or founding a “universalist” religion, rather he was simply recycling a lot of premodern religious extremism and CULTURAL IMPERIALISM.

    there are many valid spiritual traditions that approach spirituality and enlightenment from the “body” orientation (shamanism, tantric yoga).

    there appears to be NO flexibility in the haifan bahai tradition with respect to meditative/spiritual practices of other cultures that vary significantly from the sufi/islamic context.

    “facts” and “proof”: native american bahai are persecuted (and eventually marginalized/shunned) for traditional healing practices such as use of peyote.

    the reality is that haifan bahai leadership elites can't stand the idea that people could simply go to the desert, walk into a hogan, take a sweat, fast for a while, have some peyote, and DIRECTLY experience deep spiritual consciousness without the silly trappings of bahai theology, metaphysics and practice (cultural imperialism).

    “sometimes is really is JUST THAT SIMPLE”.

    similar experiences could be had by practicing buddhist meditation, or integral transformative practice – http://www.bigmind.org/Home.html

    haifan bahai religion is prejudiced, insularized and intolerant.

    bye!

  • fubar

    clarification, re:
    “have you read keven brown, and eberhard von kitzing's work? they worked very hard for years (brown worked in the original languages/) to reconcile bahai scripture with evolution, and uncovered serious problems that had no ultimate resolution.
    no religion that has scripture that badly flubs evolution, without correcting the errors made by the “infallible” manifest/interpreter(s), will ever gain widespread respect by anyone except uneducated people…”

    —note—

    lali,

    please note that keven brown (of the Naturegraph Publishing family) was hired by the BWC to retranslate “Some Answered Questions”. brown is a very accomplished scholar (as defined by the BWC's own standards), even though from a family that had some “alternative” or “counterculture” tendencies.
    Eberhard von Kitzing is a bahai and accomplished scientist who does research in experimental physics.

    If these guys couldn't OFFICIALLY “translate” and “reinterpret” abdul-baha's uninformed and unscientific statements about biological evolution in such a way that satisfies the scientific mind, “it probably ain't ever gonna happen”.

    bye!

  • Fubar, please show how Keven Brown + von Kitzing fail and then I'd able to respond, unfortunately, your statement is too vague.

    You wrote: ?they worked very hard for years (brown worked in the original languages/) to reconcile bahai scripture with evolution, and uncovered serious problems that had no ultimate resolution.?

    It seems that your hypothesis is that Abdu'l-Baha is writing about the scientific theory of evolution when it seems to me, from the following quotations, that need not be the case.

    “Know that there are two natures in man: the physical nature and the spiritual nature…” (Some Answered Questions, p. 118)

    I am not being more assertive on this, because the book ?Evolution and Baha'i Belief: Abdu'l-Baha's Response to Nineteenth Century Darwinism (Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Religions, V. 12) (Paperback)? (A Kalimat publication available from Amazon ) is dense and consists of different approaches by each author, that's why you have to give me some specific example of failure before I can respond. Also I couldn't claim to know what Abdu'l-Baha was thinking, only that from his text (and those lower down in this post) it seems that he is discussing the nature of humanity being both animal + spiritual, not about evolution nor process nor development.

    I asked Sen if he could find anything this is his response:

    While I was looking in the Persian notes of Abdu'l-Baha's talks from 5 July 1912, to see whether the PUP record could be authenticated, I came across an almost identical statement made that day, in which he says that “human beings have been given two lives, the bodily/physical and the spiritual. The bodily life is the life of the animal…” (Khatabat p 176, July 8th 1912, Sen's own translation)

    I don't think he would say that humans have evolved from the animal, and I don't think science would say that either. Rather, we *are* animals, and if we forget that the body will sooner or later remind us of it.

    Abdu'l-Baha says that “The body of man, which is composed from the elements, is … the most perfect existence. It grows and develops through the animal spirit.”
    (Some Answered Questions, p. 143)
    That is, his own resolution of the cross-talk between east and west is that the body of man belongs to the animal kingdom.

    “the world of nature is an animal world. Until man is born again from the world of nature, that is to say, becomes detached from the world of nature, he is essentially an animal, and it is the teachings of God which convert this animal into a human soul.” (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 303)

    “the animal, as to its body, is made up of the same constituent elements as man.” (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 152)

    “it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man. Man hath not grasped this truth, however, and he believeth that physical sensations are confined to human beings, wherefore is he unjust to the animals, and cruel. And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations? The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast.”
    (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 158)

    “Material education is concerned with the progress and development of the body, through gaining its sustenance, its material comfort and ease. This education is common to animals and man.

    Human education signifies civilization and progress — that is to say, government, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and handicrafts, sciences, great inventions and discoveries and elaborate institutions, which are the activities essential to man as distinguished from the animal.”
    (Some Answered Questions, p. 7)

    “The body of man, which is composed from the elements, is … the most perfect existence. It grows and develops through the animal spirit. (Some Answered Questions, p. 143)

    “The most noble being on the earth is man. He embraces the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms — that is to say, these conditions are contained in him to such an extent that he is the possessor of these conditions and states;”
    (Some Answered Questions, p. 158)

    My own mental modelling for Abdu'l-baha's way of thinking is that he uses a 3-dimensional set theory. A subset (human being) within a set (animal) can never the less contain a property that transcends the properties of the set. Like a ziggurat, with the higher levels based on the lower and including them.

    “For the animal, as to its body, is made up of the same constituent elements as man.” (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 152)

    “For example, this elemental human body hath come forth from the mineral, the vegetable and the animal worlds, and after its death will be entirely changed into microscopic animal organisms; and according to the divine order and the driving forces of nature, these minute creatures will have an effect on the life of the universe, and will pass into other forms.”
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Wisdom of Burying the Dead, Compilation of Compilations)

    The crux of the problem is what Abdu'l-Baha meant by “species.” The word he uses is nau`, and it would be better translated vaguely, as “types” because the Persian word is that broad in application.

    I think it most likely that he meant that rocks do not become vegetables, vegetables do not become animals, animals do not become humans. I think Abdu'l-Baha is speaking from a neoplatonic framework in which worlds or kingdoms are distinguished by the qualities they have: plants the quality of growth, animals of movement, humans of reflection (among other qualities in each case). This is circular: humans are what has the power of abstract reflection, so whatever has the power of abstract reflection is human. To try to relate this to the categories used in theories of biological evolution is like subtracting two apples from three oranges.

    In Khatabat-e Abdu'l-Baha p 600 (roman numbering, vol 3 p297 Persian, Sen's own translation) he says, “Then it is evident that the type is preserved, even if we acknowledge that at one time it was a swimming animal, at one time a quadraped.” In biology, a swimming animal and a quadraped would be two different species, but Abdu'l-Baha's idea of a “type” is broad enough to embrace both.

    Abdu'l-Baha did not ignore scientific data to maintain a theological a priori, he used the best scientific data available to him and correlated his religious beliefs to it. If we follow his example today, we have to acknowledge that human bodies and physically-induced behaviour and psychology are developments of the animal; and also that human “being” is something beyond that, it discovers secrets, recognises abstract realities and – most important – is aware of its animal elements and can choose to accept, control or repress them. Testosterone is no doubt 99% the same in any mammal, but humans do not have to allow it to shape their societies and relationships. We cannot argue that the human species has always been distinct from other biological species, but we can say that the human is itself a transcendent category, transcending the physical that is.

    And we can keep saying that until old age sets in and the animal has its revenge on the transcendent …

    ~ Sen

    Fubar, I realise this is an overkill of quotations, but this does hammer home that Abdu'l-Baha was not making ?uninformed and unscientific statements about biological evolution?. When I googled on this phrase and got to the wikipedia page, I saw this statement ?On some issues, the Bah??'? Faith subordinates the conclusions of current scientific thought to its own teachings, which the religion takes as fundamentally true.?, and when the source given for this, a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, didn't support this statement at all, I figured that I have better things to do with my time than refute a statement someone put on wikipedia that might be gone tomorrow anyway.

  • peyamb

    Although I have no desire anymore to engage you, I will have to correct blatant lies that you put forth. Sen did not have his voting rights removed. He was simply dropped from the roles as an enrolled Bahai. Why? No one knows. But you have shown a perfect example of a fundmentalist tactic to discredit any differing views. But if you can put aside your black and white mentality for just a second, here is the brilliant post from Sen in full. Take time to read it if you can.:
    —————————————-
    Hi Barb,

    you ask ?Were the letters regarding homosexuality sent on behalf of the Guardian sent out without the approval of the Guardian? If so, how do we know this??

    The question is, what is the meaning of the Guardian’s approval? Did Shoghi Effendi himself want us to treat the letters by his secretaries as equivalent to his own words? Did he want us to treat them as authoritative interpretations of scripture? Would he want us to treat them as Bahai Law?

    If we took the letters written by the Guardian's secretaries to be equivalent to authoritative interpretations of the scripture, how would we deal with the secretary's letter that says that “'this is the day which will not be followed by the night” (a prophecy of Baha'u'llah, in The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 34) refers to a never-ending line of Guardians:

    “The Guardians are the evidence of the maturity of mankind in the sense that at long last men have progressed to the point of having one world, and of needing one world management for human affairs. In the spiritual realm they have also reached the point where God could leave, in human hands (i.e. the Guardians'), guided directly by the B??b and Bah??'u'll??h, as the Master states in His Will, the affairs of His Faith for this Dispensation. This is what is meant by 'this is the day which will not be followed by the night'. In this Dispensation, Divine guidance flows on to us in this world after the Prophet's ascension, through first the Master, and then the Guardians. If a person can accept Bah??'u'll??h's function, it should not present any difficulty to them to also accept what He has ordained a divinely guided individual in matters pertaining to His Faith.”
    (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 25, 1948: Bah??'? News, No. 232, p. 8, June 1950) ditto Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 34)

    The UHJ itself has NOT taken the above as a definitive interpretation of this prophecy – it says that the prophecy refers to the Administrative Order:

    “The Bah??'? Dispensation is described in the words of its Founder as “a day that shall not be followed by night”. Through His Covenant, Bah??'u'll??h has provided an unfailing source of divine guidance that will endure throughout the Dispensation. Authority to administer the affairs of the community and to ensure both the integrity of the Word of God and the promotion of the Faith's message is conferred upon the Administrative Order to which the Covenant has given birth.
    (The Universal House of Justice, 1992 Dec 10, Issues Related to Study Compilation)
    ditto in (The Universal House of Justice, 1997 Jul 20, Scholarship and Related Subjects)
    ditto in (The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Mar 19, Complete Compilation on Scholarship)

    But Shoghi Effendi says that it refers to the appointment of Abdu'l-Baha:

    The continuity of that unerring guidance vouchsafed to it since its birth was now assured. The significance of the solemn affirmation that this is “the Day which shall not be followed by night” was now clearly apprehended. An orphan community had recognized in 'Abdu'l-Baha, in its hour of desperate need, its Solace, its Guide, its Mainstay and Champion.
    (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 245)

    Or what about the letter from a secretary that says “He (the Guardian) does not feel that the friends should make a practice of saying grace or of teaching it to children. This is not part of the Bah??’? Faith, but a Christian practice,…” – when in fact it is ordained by Baha'u'llah, and Abdu'l-Baha said grace himself and gave us a number of prayers to use for the purpose (and Shoghi Effendi also said grace himself, at least sometimes) – see
    http://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/grace/
    for the sources on this.

    Or what about the secretary's letter that says “Regarding your question whether there is any special
    ceremony which the believers should perform when they wish to “name” a baby; the Teachings do not provide for any ceremony whatever on such occasions. We have no “baptismal
    service” in the Cause, …”, when in fact Abdu'l-Baha has given us a form for the “spiritual baptism” of a newborn child, in Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha pp 149-50.

    Or the letter from a secretary that says “”The words Israel, used throughout the Bible, simply refers to the Jewish people, and not to the Chosen ones of this day.” (From a letter
    written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, April 21, 1939; Lights of Guidance, p. 498)

    Whereas the Guardian writes :
    “Turning to Bah??'u'll??h and repeating his request, he was honored by a Tablet, in which Israel and his children were identified with the B??b and His followers respectively … (God Passes By, p. 116)

    Or what about the letter that says: “In regard to the question as to whether people ought to kill animals for food or not, there is no explicit statement in the Bah??'? Sacred Scriptures (as far as I know) in favour or against it.”

    Is this expressing the Guardian's ignorance, or the secretary's? There are tablets from Abdu'l-Baha on this topic. The letter goes on:

    “It is certain, however, that if man can live on a purely vegetarian diet and thus avoid killing animals, it would be much preferable.”

    If we take this as the Guardian speaking as interpreter, he is offering an interpretion on something which he himself thinks is not in the Writings – and therefore is in the province of the UHJ not the Guardian. But he says in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah that the Guardian will not do this. But it gets more puzzling, because the next sentence says

    “This is, however, a very controversial question and the Bah??'?s are free to express their views on it.” – so the writer (the secretary in my opinion) does not think this defines Bahai belief. But aren't the authoritative interpretations of the Guardian supposed to do that? Finally, note that the letter is written on a Holy Day: 9 July 1931. What are the chances that the Guardian was working on a Holy Day, and requiring his secretary to do the same! You can find the letter in The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 475)

    Or what about the letter that says “All Divine Revelation seems to have been thrown out in flashes. The Prophets never composed treatises. (The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 453)

    Is the Bisharat not an organised treatise? the Iqan? The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf? Other lines in the same letter suppose that prophethood is the perfection of the human station, whereas Bahai teaching is that revelation is transcendent, even if the place-of-revelation is human. And the letters' idiom is English, warning: “We can never afford to rest on our own oars, …” (The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, p. 454) Persians do not rest on their oars since they have few flowing rivers, or boats on them. The letter is written in 1949 but refers to coming trials – so far as I know, only pilgrim's notes take that line at that time. The letter contains nothing to indicate that the person writing thinks they are reflecting the Guardian's direct instructions – it appears simply as personal opinions.

    All this is not to say that the Guardian's letters can all be disregarded. That would be just as simplistic as supposing that all these letters are the words of Shoghi Effendi, and his authoritative interpretations of scripture, which can never be changed.

    Shoghi Effendi himself wanted the Bahais to make a strong distinction between his writings and those of his secretaries. One of his secretaries warns

    ?Although the secretaries of the Guardian convey his thoughts and instructions and these messages are authoritative, their words are in no sense the same as his, their style certainly not the same, and their authority less, for they use their own terms and not his exact words in conveying his messages.? (Unfolding Destiny 260)

    If these letters had doctrinal authority, it would not make much sense to say they had ?less authority.’ I think the meaning here is that they share in Shoghi Effendi’s authority as Head of the Faith, they have to be followed by the assembly or individual to whom they are addressed, and we may suppose that they were the right thing to say, to the assembly or individual concerned (since Shoghi Effendi checked them, with very few exceptions). That’s doesn’t mean they are still the right thing for assemblies and individuals to be following now, when we have a different Head of the Faith and different issues and opportunities before us.

    In fact the Bahai community today does not follow everything written in letters by or on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. Sometimes the instructions are contradictory, for example:

    ?…it is not compulsory that a ballot paper should contain necessarily nine votes. The individual voter may record less than 9 names, if he chooses to do so.? (Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 23.)

    Versus

    ?Concerning the question you have asked as to whether in elections for Spiritual Assemblies the electors should cast exactly nine votes, … no electoral vote can be effective unless it is cast for exactly [nine]? (Unfolding Destiny, page 138)

    If we had a general principle that ?anything Shoghi Effendi said or published officially is Baha’i doctrine,? and included his secretaries' letters in that, we would have problem here! But such matters are not doctrinal, they fell to Shoghi Effendi to decide as Head of the Faith and he decided different things at different times, for different communities. Another example is the areas of LSA jurisdiction. One letter says that the principle can be determined by the National Spiritual Assembly (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Extracts from the USBN), another says the principle ?laid down by the Guardian? is that ?within a municipal area, where the people resident in the area pay taxes and vote, the Assembly can be elected, and holds jurisdiction.? (Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, 130).

    If the Guardian acting as Head of the Faith could change such matters, then it is not surprising that they also change when we have a new Head of the Faith. Shoghi Effendi says ?the ruling is quite definite, that an Assembly must be elected on the first day of Ridvan, April 21st.? (Messages to Canada, 50) The Universal House of Justice later changed this, and more recently has changed it back.

    Take away the three suppositions that what the secretary writes has the same authority as what Shoghi Effendi writes; that everything Shoghi Effendi writes is Bahai doctrine; and that doctrine is just another word for Bahai Law, and there is a better chance that the Bahai Faith will maintain that flexibility that will keep it in the forefront of progressive movements (World Order of Baha’u'llah, 22).

    Sen

  • Pandoras_Hope

    Thanks fubae. I read those posts not long ago and I wonder how well our Bahai consultative process will hold up under close scrutiny by the non-Bahai world. Particularly now that it's being offered to the United Nations as 'a new paradigm'. Pandora hopes for the best …. :o)

  • Pandoras_Hope

    Hope I don't end up regretting bringing this up Phil but doesn't the Kitab-i-Aqdas say a marriage must be 'consummated' within 24 hours?

  • laliluleulz

    Man I think your my favorite. I love how ur ok with just having a conversation and ur not emotionally involved with what you say and you don’t use vitriol or insults. Man it’s a breath of fresh air dude. It’s nice not being called an imperialist inquisitor or ignorant, every other sentence, just because I have difrent veiws.

    Ok cool you speak Farcie good then you now that the word liawt (from Lut (also spelled Loot) the Arabic pronunciation of Lot) literally means ?lotishness? (the Ulama actually borrowed the word sodomite from jewish and christen tradition and Aribcised it) and can be used (especially in religious texts) as an allusion to the Quranic retelling of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. It can also mean the behavior (homosexuality) of the followers of lot. Other derivatives of ?lut? include ?qaum Lut? (or people of lot) which actually means homosexual and luti (follower of lot) is a derogatory pejorative for homosexuals.

    But lets follow your logic and suppose he was only using it to mean anal sex (and referring to both the pitcher and the catcher) . The homosexual community would still have a problem with that, they believe that in this day such things should not be forbidden; and would still actively protest the administration who is powerless to change it. And if the institution of Bah??’? marriage is the only acceptable expression of sex, and if we also suppose `Abdu'l-Bah?? really didn’t mean the institution of Bah??’? marriage would never change, there would be a prohibition on male homosexual marriages since male homosexuality violates liwat.(unless you can dream up a scenario where the male homosexual community would be ok with giving up liwat which is certainly conservable)

    There is some question as to the infallibility of his secretaries. Such a thing is a matter of faith an is a personal matter, such things are imposable to argue about anyway (like whether Bah??'u'll??h prophesized the end of the guardianship or was just covering all his bases). The real question is did Shoghi Effendi have the authority to delegate such a responsibility and the Kitab’i’aqdas clearly says, yep. so if Bah??'u'll??h (as this scenario suggests) never ruled about homosexuality then it is well within the UHJ’s authority (given by Bah??’u’ll??h himself in the Kitab’i’aqdas) to rule on something not covered by Him. And the preponderance of evidence leans against homosexuality as there is no writing explicitly excepting it and plenty that weighs against it.

    Next topic you seem to not be familiar with the acceptance of homosexuality in Persia. This topic has been well documented by history. A recently published book ?Sexual Politics in Modern Iran? written by Janet Afary (a non-Bah??'? Iranian exile, the president of the International Society of Iranian Scholars, and is a professor of history and women's studies at Purdue University) does an incredible job talking about it. She talks about “status-defined homosexuality,” which was not only excepted but had its own rituals behind it. Check out
    http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2009/02/i-

    for an article about the book for ?Gay City Weekly?

    Here are some exerpts.

    “male homoerotic relations in Iran were bound by rules of courtship such as the bestowal of presents, the teaching of literary texts, bodybuilding and military training, mentorship, and the development of social contacts that would help the junior partner's career. Sometimes men exchanged vows, known as brotherhood sigehs [a form of contractual temporary marriage, lasting from a few hours to 99 years, common among heterosexuals] with homosocial or homosexual overtones.?

    “These relationships were not only about sex, but also about cultivating affection between the partners, placing certain responsibilities on the man with regard to the future of the boy. Sisterhood sigehs involving lesbian practices were also common in Iran. A long courtship was important in these relations. The couple traded gifts, traveled together to shrines, and occasionally spent the night together. Sigeh sisters might exchange vows on the last few days of the year, a time when the world 'turned upside down,' and women were granted certain powers over men.”

    Examples of the codes governing same-sex relations were to be found in the “Mirror for Princes genre of literature (andarz nameh) [which] refers to both homosexual and heterosexual relations. Often written by fathers for sons, or viziers for sultans, these books contained separate chapter headings on the treatment of male companions and of wives.”

    One such was the Qabus Nameh (1082-1083), in which a father advises a son: “As between women and youths, do not confine your inclinations to either sex; thus you may find enjoyment from both kinds without either of the two becoming inimical to you… During the summer let your desires incline toward youths, and during the winter towards women.”

    “Tradition dictated that one [woman] who sought another as 'sister' approached a love broker to negotiate the matter. The broker took a tray of sweets to the prospective beloved. In the middle of the tray was a carefully placed dildo or doll made of wax or leather. If the beloved agreed to the proposal, she threw a sequined white scarf (akin to a wedding veil) over the tray… If she was not interested, she threw a black scarf on the tray before sending it back.”

    “homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were embraced in numerous other public spaces beyond the royal court, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, gymnasiums, bathhouses, and coffeehouses… Until the mid-seventeenth century, male houses of prostitution (amrad khaneh) were recognized, tax-paying establishments.”
    In the court of Naser al-Din Shah, who ruled Persia from 1848 to 1896[and was a staunch hater of the Bah??'? faith and of Bah??'u'll??h], keeping boy concubines was still an acceptable practice, and the shah himself (in addition to his wives and harem) had a young male lover, Malijak, whom he

    “loved more than anyone else.” In his memoirs, Malijak recalled proudly, “the king's love for me reached the point where it is impossible for me to write about it… [He] held me in his arms and kissed me as if he were kissing one of his great beloveds.”

    also look up
    the k??eks
    the bacch??s
    and countless sufi potes are though to have accepted an experience and wrote about homosexuality.
    Iraj Mirza (1874 – 1926) was on of these poets that openly wrote about homosexual themes in his poetry.
    There is an Islamic interpretation that claims these excerpts from the Quran somehow allows for the homosexual sex of young men without beards.
    SURA LII:24
    “And there shall wait on them [the Muslim men] young boys of their own, as fair as virgin pearls.”
    SURA LXXVI:19
    “They shall be attended by boys graced with eternal youth, who will seem like scattered pearls to the beholders.”

    so saying ?as we now know it, hardly existed in Baha'ulah's time.? Is kinda like Ahmadinejad saying it still doesn’t exist.

  • laliluleulz

    im sorry i just assumed he had his right remove thats usually what “disinrlment” implys. im not familiar with this kind of dissinrolment can you infom me?

    its gonna take some time to respond to the rest of this post because my free time has dropped recently

  • Baquia

    Yes, but technically simply living under the same roof for that time is considered as “consummation” – to get all Woody Allen on you, no bodily fluids need be exchanged.

  • Pandoras_Hope

    Really? That's a pretty significant 'technicality' …. do you have an authoritative reference for that? Last year I learned you can go through your 'year of patience' while continuing to live under the same roof – I'm starting to wonder how many other surprises I'm in store for….

  • Baquia

    I asked the research dept about this in a letter a long time ago – sorry I don't have the source they gave me. You can ask them: secretariat@bwc.org
    As for the year of patience under the same roof, I believe that this is granted if there are extenuating circumstances (for example, financial) which does not allow for the couple to live separately.

  • “The consummation of marriage by a couple is, as you aptly state, an intimate and private matter outside the scrutiny of others. While consummation normally implies a sexual relationship, the Bah??'? law requiring consummation to take place within twenty-four hours of the ceremony can be considered as fulfilled if the couple has commenced cohabitation with the intention of setting up the family relationship.”

    (Letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, dated July 28, 1978, to a National Spiritual Assembly)

    Lights of Guidance, p. 389.

  • Baquia

    Thank you Steve.

  • laliluleulz

    First up
    ?The words Israel, used throughout the Bible, simply refers to the Jewish people, and not to the Chosen ones of this day.”
    and
    ?Impelled by a desire to receive illumination from Mirza Yahya concerning the meaning of the Qur'??nic verse “All food was allowed to the children of Israel,” Haji Mirza Kamalu'd-Din had requested him to write a commentary upon it — a request which was granted, but with reluctance and in a manner which showed such incompetence and superficiality as to disillusion Haji Mirza Kamalu'd-Din, and to destroy his confidence in its author. Turning to Bah??'u'll??h and repeating his request, he was honored by a Tablet, in which Israel and his children were identified with the B??b and His followers respectively — a Tablet which by reason of the allusions it contained, the beauty of its language and the cogency of its argument, so enraptured the soul of its recipient that he would have, but for the restraining hand of Bah??'u'll??h, proclaimed forthwith his discovery of God's hidden Secret in the person of the One Who had revealed it.(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 116)?
    the tablet Bah??'u'll??h wrote was referring to the B??b and his B??b’is, the Bah??’? faith (?the Chosen ones of this day? the secretary mentioned) had not been created yet. And it was a Qur'??nic verse. Not biblical These writings absolutely do not conflict.

  • fubar

    re: “origins” – metaphysics vs. science

    The issue can be resolved easily in integral theory, if there is interest in discussing that perspective.

    I liked the quotes a lot. thanks very much for doing the work to post them.

    I'm not a nitpicker, so don't expect voluminous quotes from bahai scripture in response. I did participate at the margins of discussion between Friberg, the Browns, von Kitzing and Ron S. about the issue, and got the general impression, especially from Ron (PhD Biology, senior scientist, retired from a government agency) that the work's results would *not* be satisfactory to real scientists on the scientific points. Ron was probably the “least orthodox” bahai in the group, and most “scientifically sceptical”. In other words, most bahai fundies would at least suspect him of tending to be a “heretic”.

    That is consistent with the endless commentary made by Cole and others on Talisman back in the 90s in response to many many many fundy bahais that argued “against” science and “for” religion. It is also consistent with the extreme hostility many advocates of “science” have been met with in many different conventional bahai settings – INCLUDING SCHOLARSHIP VENUES.

    I was told by one “establishment” bahai (and senior scientist of high qualification) that bahai administrators (NSA/BWC) are “all stupid” and simply have to be indulged like children to distract them from trying to do things that embarass bahai scientists.

    (Brown's work is good for theology, sociology, etc. — understanding what was both right and wrong about what abdul-baha said about evolution, metaphysics.)

    you and sen are masters of establishing that bahai scripture can be used to frame and support a socially progressive value system. the question is: is doing so consistent with the entirety of bahai scripture? and if not, “what does that mean?”

    —> it is clear that bahai scripture states that “man” is “separate” from “animals and nature” due to some “special” (spiritual) origin.

    that completely defies scientific common sense, and takes people's thinking away from very valuable areas of consciousness studies and related sciences that are constructing new models of cognition that can lead to better understandings of social change, justice, progress, and so forth.

    does it matter if this is about separate “types” vs “species”?

    Note: Brown's retranslations and research nuances the point vastly, and provide openings for “progressive” interpretations such as you are advocating that correctly differentiate between the “values spheres” of metaphysics and actual science.

    my impression is that abdul-baha's thoughts where intended to disassociate bahai teachings from the “social darwinism” (racism/imperialism) and “materialistic science” of his day.

    much of modern evolutionary theory didn't exist at the time of abdul-baha's statements. e.g., DNA was unknown.

    as others (real scholars) have pointed out many times for decades, the real problem is that bahai scripture/guidance *does* contain specific statements that science should be subsumed under religion (in areas where science and religion traditionally overlap, such as origins of the universe, species, etc.). at the same time, the opposite is stated, so there is a massive contradiction that can be exploited by fundamentalists to gain power.

    unfortunately one of the results of such power schemes is that dissidents and nonconformists can be ex-communicated (using the term in its broad sense) for preferring the scientific perspective.

    clearly there is great metaphoric value in religious (poetic) stories of the origin of the universe and “human species”.

    when such metaphoric value is confused with actual science, and used as the basis for creating religious authority over science, the result will be enormous delusion and contradiction.

    now, if you could somehow convince people that the errors of the fundamentalists and authoritarians that currently run/legislate/interpret the process of deciding what “correct thinking” is in the haifan bahai tradition can be corrected (in both theory and practice) from “the outside” by the normal processes of scientific advancement, you will have accompished something grand and of enormous significance.

    thanks again for taking the time to respond, it is always a great delight to see your thoughts.

  • fubar

    lali said:
    ” It’s nice not being called an imperialist inquisitor or ignorant, every other sentence, just because I have difrent veiws. “

    Victimist bullshizzle.

    You are being revealed for engaging in the usual psychological violence (by calling people that disagree with you slaves to “ego”) against nonconformists, critics, dissidents that do not agree with the rigidly orthodox mainstream, brainwashed, fundamentalist haifan bahai mentality.

    Please stop using distortion and dishonesty.

    I personally have no problem accepting your need for group inclusion to have validity. But when you then turn around an engage in the usual rhetoric of EXCLUSION against nonconformists, you just sound hypocritical.

    You asked for “evidence”, “proof”, “facts”, etc.

    Are you too much of a coward to respond without whining?

    bye!

  • laliluleulz

    lol i'm not playing the role of the victim i just want a civil conversation lol.

    i have never said any one was a slave to ego.

    and if calling a person a “slave to ego” is “psychological violence” would not calling them “ignorant,” a “coward” or an “imperial inquisitor” also be “psychological violence”?

    i don't care about acceptance, inclusion, or validity rofl obviously cause i continue to post on this blog.

    i'm not excluding any one i have said consistently said that criticism of the administration is ok. and i have never said that homosexuals or any one should be excluded from the Baha'i community.

    being a Baha'i is a choice and living up to the Baha'i way of life is a choice nobody is forced into it.

    i just what to understand this community's position. and i have received a lot of “psychological violence” in the process. i'm not whining i can take it i have resisted much worse treatment. this is nothing. just words lo.l and they have no effect on me lol.

    you say that the Baha'i teachings is in conflict witht evolution. Ok then show me how.

  • fubar

    lali says:
    ” I just need the writings. And what they say is clear. And I will be obedient to them no matter how politically incorrect they become.”

    bahai scripture is not clear in many cases – especially those that matter in postmodern culture. the uhj-women's issue is very non-clear, and is probably just a gigantic mistake.

    the founding dad's of babi/bahai fought against scriptural literalism, but the religion has descended into it again.

    there are vast areas of bahai scripture that deal with psychological and mystical issues and social issues of great import, but the religion has become obsessed with narrowmindedness about “authority” issues and bureaucracy.

    bahai elections are ritualized abuse of the common good.

    narrow minded fundamentalism prevents you from seeing that.

    sad.

  • fubar

    lali,

    google “maneck integrative paradigm” and you will probably find the UHJ letter that references the issue.

    I don't follow you comment about Lakoff's work on embodied cognition, have you read his letters to NYT and stuff on Huffington Post?

    If so, did you ignore what he was saying about how “liberals” do not understand the SUCCESS that “conservatives” have in “framing” politics?

    It is a very useful way to understand how haifan bahaism has been “colonized” by fundamentalism/conservatism.

    if you have even an iota of intellectual integrity/honesty, please reflect on the damage that the kind of brainwashing you have been subjected to is doing to the religion you advocate.

  • laliluleulz

    abdul'baha's quote is clear.

    women and men are equal but have different social responsibilities. for instance women are the first educators of children. and we are supposed to put our daughter's education before our sun's. this also could be interpreted as unjust. though “masculineisum” is not the most popular thing in “progressive” communities.

    the founding dads fought against rituals and dogma that was added to the scriptures and not “scriptural literalism” they were also agist the sectarianism of religion. so they would also be against a “progressive” sect being created.

    central to any “Divine Command Theory” is the authority of God and how it is passed on. in the Baha'i faith authority has clearly been passed to the UHJ.

    How are elections ritualized abuse of the common good?

    i'm not narrow minded or fundamental lol i to have difficulty being obedient all the time, it is hard. and i often fail.

    nobody is forced to be a Baha'i or be obedient to the faith. and to be obediant you must believe. the two are inseparable.

    so non-baha'is are not required to be obidiant.

  • fubar

    lali & all,

    more “proof” of the appalling practices of dysfunctional bahai culture and administration:

    (yes, I know that Glaysher is controversial…..)

    http://fglaysher.com/Reviews/bahai-faith-in-ame

    excerpt:

    … It should be noted that the December 2005 Library Journal review of Garlington’s book, by William P. Collins, a conservative apologist for Bahai orthodoxy, employs the usual Bahai tactic of discrediting and slandering any dissident opinion, while recommending books that have passed ?Bahai review,? in reality, censorship. The reader might want to reflect on the fact that William P. Collins is a librarian at the Library of Congress, yet readily uses his position to defend a system of administration regularly attacking the liberal values that make a library worthy of the name possible and to discourage acquisition librarians from ordering Garlington’s book.

    —end—

    Garlington's book does uncover specific examples of malfeasance and incompetency in bahai administration. You can read portions free on google books.

    What emerges from reading Garlington is a clear picture that mainstream haifan bahai culture is largely an echo chamber. With the exception of blogs like bahairants and others! which you are insulting and maligning, per the usual characteristics of echo chamber defenders.

  • fubar
  • laliluleulz

    I’ll check hat out

    i wasn't referring to Lakoff's work but something i herd that day about how there is new research on how to teach boys using principles of Embodied cognition. that boys are more successful learning if you let them squirm around and be silly. lol not sure where it comes from a friend of mine is a school counselor and he told me about ti I’ll ask him were he got that.

    i havent read that article could you link it?

    both “liberals” and “conservatives” are masters of framing. Look how the “libreals” are framing the Tea party. They are framing them as racists. which is an old framing trick used countless times. They even call them tea baggers. lol wich could be consider sexual harassment. the “conservatives” do the same thing claiming the government is “taking over” the market. and Obama is a “socialist”. There are fundamental hypocrisies to both political views. American politics is split between ?Personal Morality? parties and ?Social Morality? parties. There is a thought that the two are somehow mutually exclusive. But the baha’I faith clearly show how the two are in harmony.

    the baha’I faith has always been morally ?conservative? and ?socially? liberal this is not a new phenomenon. Nor has it been ?colonized? by ?conservatives.?

    I have not been affected by brainwashing, we are required to investigate the writings personally. Nobody is there to brainwash you. Or tell you what to believe. Its up to you.

  • laliluleulz

    ill check it out thanks!!! i'm beginning to think its not the Baha'i faith, per se, that u have a problem with but its conservatism u have a problem with. yes the Baha'i faith has some “conservative” ideals so i don't think its a good fit for you. i'm a centrist so its a perfect fit for me. perhaps the unitarian universalists or Buddhism would be a better fit for you.

  • fubar

    lali,

    Please note that before saying anything stupid about Garlington's book, that the preface was written by Jeffrey J. Kripal, an accomplished professor of religious studies and nonconformist/ alternative/ counterculture/ new age spiritual movements and religions.

    Kripal has written a fascinating book about the origins of the human potential movement and other related new age and counterculture movements in california (including the most well known version of Sri Aurobindo's integral studies tradition at the California Institute of Integral Studies)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=E4r4PAAACAAJ

    In “America's Religion of No Religion” Kripal established a crucial link between democracy and “non-religious” spirituality!

    As extraordinary as this might be, the postmodern implications for tradition-bound religious communities such as haifan bahaism are considerable. Basically, a spiritually inspired pro-democracy movement, aimed for instance at bringing corporate predation and state capitalism under populist control, would see the current form of rigid bahai orthodoxy as being anti-democratic.

    Also see Catherine Albanese's related work on the importance of marginal (non-mainstream) “metaphysical” movements in american history:
    http://yalepress.yale.edu/reviews.asp?isbn=9780

    Albanese carefully describes the cultural assumptions behind the dominant forms of american religious conformism, and how variant cultures developed.

    It is perhaps ironic that the counterculture tendencies and influences of many of the young people that were attracked to bahai in the 60s/70s would eventually have to be rejected by those that chose to stay in the haifan bahai mainstream.

    in other words, the american bahai community has shot itself in the foot in a big way, destroying the very thing that led to the largest increase in its history in the USA.

  • laliluleulz
  • laliluleulz

    All I could find was an intro to that book is there a free copy any ware? I’m on a fixed budget and can’t afford it right now. Ill check out your other suggested readings.
    Well in the 60’s and 70’s we did not have a system built yet to handle that mass of new believers. And teaching efforts varied greatly, some didn’t even mention Bah??'u'll??h. A lot of the new believers were unaware of the strict moral code about, drinking, drugs, and sex, among other things. These moral standings were against the populist feelings of the time. So a lot of new believers left upon learning of these prohibitions. The Bah??’? faith is a unification of liberal and conservative ideals and both liberals and conservatives often have a hard time detaching from their political views. This creates conflicts in their minds that can eventually lead them away from The Faith. Nowadays LSAs are more proactive about making sure you understand what you are getting yourself into, so this kind of thing doesn’t as much as it once did.
    It is clear you’re a postmodernist but postmodernism is only one of many intellectual traditions. And one of many ways to explain reality. Its clear you don’t believe in The Faith and that’s cool. Lots of people don’t. I look at it like this I don’t believe in ghosts. There are people that do. But I’m not going to go and tell those people there stupid for believing in ghosts. Or say there just ?ghost conformists.? That the only reason they believe in ghosts is because of ?ghost propaganda.? There’s plenty of room for many ways of thinking. And if the Bah??’? Faith isn’t true so what lol. Most of the prophecies about world unity and the dawning of a new day aren’t likely to happen in our lifetimes anyway so were not likely to see proof till we die and get to see (or not see for that matter) the truth. So why rain on the Bah??’?’s parade or tell them how to run their religion. What does it matter to you what people chose to believe. Is not the choice to believe (even in something that is wrong) valuable?

  • timwatts

    Hey hell yes… live and let live i say..if nazis want to believe jews need to be wiped out who am i to rain on their parade..if baha'is want to exclude me form the faith beacuse god made me and my sexulity and then say you can never have a family life with someone you love…what the heck…it's all fun…

  • laliluleulz

    lol the Nazis were murdering homosexuals and Jews (and others). and the Baha'i view is that it was the world's responsibility to end that. the two issues are hardly in the same category. the administration dose not want to exclude you. nor does it want to give you a special pass that somehow makes u immune to certain laws of God either. the law of god does not prevent you from loving anyone rather the opposite. and love does not require sex. the Baha'i interpretation is that God gave you your sexuality as a test for you to overcome. if you don't believe that, you don't have to. nobody is going to kill you. if sex is more important to you then being a Baha'i, you are free to persue that.

  • timwatts

    first sentence: So what I was remarking on the notion about raining on parade so your comment is irrelavfent. second sentece:the admistitrative may not want to but how the hell do you know? and they have already they have excluded me from voting. Special Pass: Id really prefer a special pass to make me immune the the rules of gravity or income tax something special like and useful, I cefrtainly gave a special pass to all the straight baha'is i grew up with they were having sex left right and centre and told me it was normal why would god make them want to sleep with women if they werent allowed to. The bit about the law of god..well you are playing with words here as for the purposes of this sex does equal love..stop being pendantic..Someones idea of bahai law indeed stops my having a family life within the faith with a man. The bahai interprestaion about sexuality….and it being a test…do you really think this idea accords with science? who said this anyway…where is your quote from the word of God to make this assertion or is it your interpretation…and thanks I dont beleive it thank you very much got any other whacky ideas i can ignore as being simplisitc and frankly childish? So there we have it you ask me to choose bertween being a bahai and having sex……i am sure baha'u'allah meant that to be a test for gays ….. how he must be chuckling at our pain and distress…

  • I”m sure you can get Bill Garlington's book via any college or university library system in the U.S., possibly even through a public library on interloan.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bahai-Faith-America-Willi

  • fubar

    lali,

    you did insult people by insinuating that they were motivated in their beliefs by the character defect of ego. this is an old (persian) bahai tactic used to intimidate nonconformists.

    your behavior was bullying. objecting to such bullying is not bullying. getting angry about such bullying is not bullying.

    if you are going to stop bullying, then you will most likely become very boring.

    you do not, and probably will not easily “understand this community's position”. first of all, there are various voices. second of all, go back and read some archives and you will see lots of superheated arguments about all the classic hot button issues. until you have a visceral personal/near-personal experience of bahai conformism, you will probably not be able to absorb what is being said.

    in virtually each instance where the details of nonconformance are debated, you simply regurgitate conventional thinking, and imply that people that do not understand you are wrong, stupid, etc.

    your tone is smug, inquisitorial, condescending.

    that kind of thing is usually overlooked if the smug person has something new/interesting to say.

    i already discussed evolution with sonja. in brief, abdul-states that man is a separate species (“type”) because of a “special” spiritual status. that idea is, from a scientific-evolutionary viewpoint on human congnition, utterly silly.

    Mark Turner's linguistic work might be useful? http://markturner.org/

  • fubar

    “different responsibilities” is clearly “bahai speak” for “inequality”.

    elections are ritual abuse because they are lies. the purpose of elections is supposed to be impartiality and civic participation.

    bahai elections insult those purposes, and make people feel hopeless in the face of injustice.

    the founding dads clearly opposed literalist reading of the qur'an and bible, preferring metaphorical reading (in general).

    sectarianism is debatable. unity via conformity and thought policing is not a good alternative.

    bahai culture is so dysfunctional that all large bahai projects are failures. bahai is not going to be anything significant, so it doesn't matter to the rest of the planet.

  • fubar

    you can find the article by looking through Lakoff's recent stuff on Huffington post. And New York Times.

    girls are much more successful in school than boys. some researchers feel that within 20 years, at least 80% of college/university students will be female. it is over 60% now, or close.

    when most teachers are female, huge problems will result. it has already started.

    liberals are bad at framing, as explained by Lakoff.

    I've already given you a long list of examples of how bahai had been “colonized” by conservatives/fundamentalists.

    you are now evading, which is the usual tactic.

  • fubar

    no.

    it used to be on bahai-library.org, under “maneck”

  • fubar

    Kripal:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=fzSP6BRFBzIC

    Garlington:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AzCV2jC35WsC

    I'm not a postmodernist, I'm integralist.

    http://holons-news.com/

    http://www.vastsky.org/Audio_Video.html

    Note: “Four Paths Four Destinations ” refutes one of the most important principles of bahai belief (“all religions are one”).

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=co

    if you don't understand the importance of criticism, nonconformance, dissident, you really need to learn some stuff.

    (please cut/paste the first page of Hidden Words, and provide commentary.)

  • fubar

    in the late 70s in california, various attempts were made to analyse “what was wrong” with bahai. then, solutions were proposed, and argued over. when a few things were tried, the administration attacked.

    it turns out that something was wrong previously, going way back.

    the sins of the early bahai community were never atoned for, and thus the ghosts are still in the community, awaiting “exorcism” (M. Scott Peck)

    I gave details elsewhere.

  • There's no “proof” in any of the rants quoted above.
    In my view the book is inspiring and very balanced and I'd recommend that people go to the Amazon books link ( http://www.amazon.com/Bahai-Faith-America-Willi… ) and read the reviews posted there and I'm sure the book can be found via most libraries, at least in the U.S.

  • There's no “proof” in any of the rants quoted above and these do not reflect the depth of discussion in Bill Garlington's book.
    In my view the book is inspiring and very balanced and I'd recommend that people go to the Amazon books link ( http://www.amazon.com/Bahai-Faith-America-Willi… ) and read the reviews posted there and I'm sure the book can be found via most libraries, at least in the U.S.

  • BahaiReply

    He’s not ?eligible? because he’s already a member for life.
    ?Should he not attend in person its deliberations, he must appoint one to represent him.? This means that if he is unable to attend he should send somebody in his place, and ?represent him? means just that, so it is unlikely that this person would be able to act on their own accord but merely report back to the guardian and let the guardian’s will be known in the deliberation.

    And he most assuredly had a vote in fact `Abdu'l-Bah?? said previously ?It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice, upon all the Aghsan, the Afnan, the Hands of the Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the Guardian of the Cause of God (Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 10)? so It is clear that he had more than just a vote.

    As u know Bah??'u'll??h set nine as the minimum and set no maximum membership. So if there was a problem (which I doubt given the power of Bah??’? consultation) it could easily be raised to 11

    And a better analogy would be the hands of the cause, which were not bared from serving on the UHJ.

    (this is lali I screwed up my login lol, sorry I didn’t reply to this post sooner I’m talking to so many people that it must have slipped by )

  • BahaiReply

    I was illustrating the difference between raining on somebody’s parade and allowing mass genocide.

    I have seen letters from the UHJ on homosexuality I’m sure your LSA has shown you them. Im speaking about the 1995 letter. I cannot speak to any other letters not having seen them.

    You should reread that letter @ http://bahai-library.com/uhj/homosexuality.uhj…. and read this passage from the will and testament of `Abdu'l-Bah??,

    The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! (Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 10)

    Pretty clear

    And if you are unable to vote then you are also unable to go to feast so I don’t know what you mean by ?bring? you husband, could you please clarify this for me. Is your husband a Bah??’??

    There are people, even members of the homosexual community itself that believe the homosexual lifestyle, and homosexual sex, is a choice.

    biology tells us the purpose of sex is procreation

    Biological anthropology teaches us that the purpose of sex is variation and this variation makes microevolution and macroevolution possible which makes speciation possible.

    Genetics has discovered a Homosexual gene but this gene only gives one the proclivity (tendency) to be homosexual and there are plenty of straight people with the gene and plenty of homosexuals without it. This research is in harmony with the UHJ.

    I for one am genetically predisposed to alcoholism but that doesn’t mean I should be allowed to drink. It means I should have been obedient when I was young and since I was not I will have to deal with the constant urge to drink for the rest of my life.

    There was just a good episode of ?This American Life? that delved into why the APA changed the DSM. Thay claimed it was because of the GayPA and other political groups that changed psychology’s stance on Homosexuality. And now these interest groups actively try to prevent research that show contrary information. They even interviewed a man that has to carry a gun because of repeated death threats because he researches ?homosexual treatment.? If this was a real debate why would you suppress information?

    And the UHJ says that u can be a homosexual Bah??’? u just have to be celibate. That’s what I meant by choosing sex or being a Bah??’?.

    I’m sure Bah??'u'll??h is very compassionate and merciful to your plight. Thankfully God is the source of everlasting forgiveness.

    I’m sorry that the Bah??’? faith is not what you want in a religion.

    If you have any more questions I suggest asking your LSA.

  • BahaiReply

    yeah not at either i'll have to do a loan

  • Craig Parke

    Wow! I have not been on here for a while. Been working on two film scripts. What a thread! My praise to everyone! Absolutely riveting to read!

  • BahaiReply

    Different cultures ascribe different meanings to sex. Here in America one of its meanings is love. ?to make love? means to have sex. But most psychologist and authors of self-help books advise that this thinking is dangerous. The point of this conversation is the Bah??’? interpretation of sex which is decidedly not love. Americas cultural understanding about sex is colored by the sexual liberty movement. so let us delve into Bah??'u'll??h’s teaching about liberty,
    We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance. Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing. Know ye that the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness. Regard men as a flock of sheep that need a shepherd for their protection. This, verily, is the truth, the certain truth. We approve of liberty in certain circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others. We, verily, are the All-Knowing. Say: True liberty consisteth in man's submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven.(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 63)
    Now this passage is often a deal breaker for most leftists, librals, and progressives. Notice how he says that the symbol of liberty is the animal. This is interesting because often a comon defense for human homosexuality is that animals practice it. He also says ?We approve of liberty in certain circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others.? Is this not one of the progressive’s qualms with the Faith that it allows some libertys and not others? Now in this same book he passes down his authority to the UHJ. and `Abdu'l-Bah?? has confirmed that there will is His will. So it is quite simple. Now please do not think I stand in judgment because I too have failed frequently in my obedience. This is the plight of the American Bah??’?. Almost every aspect of our culture urges us to be disobedient. Thankfully God is the source of everlasting forgiveness.

  • BahaiReply

    welcome back!

  • timwatts

    I was illustrating the difference between raining on somebody’s parade and allowing mass genocide.

    I have seen letters from the UHJ on homosexuality I’m sure your LSA has shown you them. Im speaking about the 1995 letter. I cannot speak to any other letters not having seen them.

    You should reread that letter @ http://bahai-library.com/uhj/homosexuality.uhj…. and read this passage from the will and testament of `Abdu'l-Bah??,

    The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! (Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 10)

    Pretty clear -doesn’t mention homosexuality at all. That the UHJ is ?against? homosexuality is not at issue. Whether they are right to base their views on a letter written on behalf of SE is another matter. There are many that break baha’i laws the issue is what happens to them…as far as the administration is concerned. Also is a future UHJ able to change their view on Homosexuality or are they bound by what is fixed and immutable will of God. Since none of the major figures of the BF mention gay people I hardly think that is.

    And if you are unable to vote then you are also unable to go to feast so I don’t know what you mean by ?bring? you husband, could you please clarify this for me. Is your husband a Bah??’??
    You are wrong here, non baha’is may go to feasts but should withdraw from the administrative parts. Are you sure that people who have been deprived of their voting rights are barred from the 19 day feast also…

    There are people, even members of the homosexual community itself that believe the homosexual lifestyle, and homosexual sex, is a choice.

    biology tells us the purpose of sex is procreation
    What are you saying that the more people that say something the ?righter? it becomes? A lot of people in Iran say the BF is a British invention..so what ? To say that it is a choice is false. As a homosexual lifestyle (I presume you mean sleeping with men for gays) is a natural progression from being gay. You are saying the coughing is a choice but tuberculosis isn’t. The 2 are related. I wish you would try and understand. The catholic priest hood is by and large celibate…and have you read the headlines recently. What I can’t accept is that you are saying that that we should consult physicians and look to science for answers an d then flatly ignore what doctors and scientists tell us…you cannot have your cake and eat it on this matter.
    As for the ?Biology tells us the purpose of sex is procreation? well well well…so will you give us a list of people that are allowed to have sex then. Even the married ones?
    Woman who can’t have children yes / no
    Men who who cant have children yes / no
    Older couples in their 60’s 70’s maybe yes / no

    One you start on your Hitlerian lists i think you will find you cannot stop. Are you saying that married couples who engage in non penetrative sex are which doesn’t lead to the fertilization of an ovum are committing sin?

    You have certainly demonstrated to me that the old adage ?A little knowledge is a dangerous thing? to be spot on
    Biological anthropology teaches us that the purpose of sex is variation and this variation makes microevolution and macroevolution possible which makes speciation possible.
    Sexual reproduction maybe….not sex.
    Genetics has discovered a Homosexual gene but this gene only gives one the proclivity (tendency) to be homosexual and there are plenty of straight people with the gene and plenty of homosexuals without it. This research is in harmony with the UHJ.
    Has it really? When was this then? Well genetics isn’t genetic the science of genes? How did it manage such clever thing?
    I for one am genetically predisposed to alcoholism but that doesn’t mean I should be allowed to drink. It means I should have been obedient when I was young and since I was not I will have to deal with the constant urge to drink for the rest of my life.
    I am really sorry to hear that truly i am. It must be a great struggle for you. I know you are making reference to the fact that it is something that needs overcoming…alcoholism is a killer and leads to death in long run and does incalculable damage to people, families and society in general and we would all be better off without it..I can see the reason for its prohibition in the faith. As it seems reasonable and based on science. Science tells us that homosexuality is a normal part of the human spectrum of sexualities….it doesn’t say this about drug dependency and alcoholism where the harm can be easily seen. I would be careful however to associate being gay with this though as it can be insulting.

    There was just a good episode of ?This American Life? that delved into why the APA changed the DSM. Thay claimed it was because of the GayPA and other political groups that changed psychology’s stance on Homosexuality. And now these interest groups actively try to prevent research that show contrary information. They even interviewed a man that has to carry a gun because of repeated death threats because he researches ?homosexual treatment.? If this was a real debate why would you suppress information?
    Ridiculous non-sense.

    And the UHJ says that u can be a homosexual Bah??’? u just have to be celibate. That’s what I meant by choosing sex or being a Bah??’?.
    We know – it’s just impossible
    I’m sure Bah??'u'll??h is very compassionate and merciful to your plight. Thankfully God is the source of everlasting forgiveness.
    Well that’s to know.
    I’m sorry that the Bah??’? faith is not what you want in a religion.
    Are you? In fact it’s your interpretation of the faith that is what i don’t want.
    If you have any more questions I suggest asking your LSA.
    They are unable to answer my questions. They are made up of ordinary people. In fact I think 3 of them are gay and 2 of them drink and 4 are having sex outside marriage.

  • timwatts

    more cake and eat it….people used to use the animal thing to condemn gays…in the way they said “if it was natural you'd see animals doing it” the fac that animals do do it and this was pointed out to refute this attack is rather ironic that you now use this again agaisnt gays….what you are sying is clear all of you….

    the human impulse to have sex is being missed used….but if you accept this then you have to go to the logical conclusion of this theory……you are picking and choosing….

  • BahaiReply

    `Abdu'l-Bah?? is clear that the UHJ’s will is God’s will. They have the ability to legislate on matters not touched on by the central figures (as you suggest). And since Bah??'u'll??h did not change the ban against homosexuality written in the Torah and confirmed in the Quran, and banned the ?brotherhood shurahs? (that’s the subject of boys he was referring to) And sodomy. And because of the letters written on Shoghi Effendi’s behalf. And the establishment of Bah??’? marriage These all show a preponderance of evidence and it is unlikely that the UHJ will ever change their position. And even if they did we are still required to be obedient to then now.

    Yes I am sure. I have had my rights taken from me because of my work with radical political orgs (anti-drugwar, anarchists, antiwar groups you name it lol that’s college for you lol yes even pro homosexual movements. I was part of the GSA I even started a militant homosexual group that was called ?Bash Back? in salt lake city, but it never really caught on lol). I eventually calmed down and was given my rights back after significant personal growth. And I never suggested non-Bah??’?s could not attend feast. They can either step out during the administrative section or the Bah??’?s can hold a community feast that has no administrative section. and the UHJ actually requires us to not turn away non-Bah??’?s from feast. So if this has happened you need to report it to either to the auxiliary board or the NSA.

    Biology doesn’t tell you who you can have sex with only that the purpose of sex is procreation. Even perfectly healthy people that have sex are not guaranteed to produce a baby.

    ?Are you saying that married couples who engage in non penetrative sex are which doesn’t lead to the fertilization of an ovum are committing sin?? lol no this is nearly imposable and would most likely require the assistance of a doctor.

    Yes sex. You see originally organisms reproduced asexually and thus passed on all their weakness to the entire population so if the environment changed in a way that did not favor them the entire population died. Sexual reproduction, where genetics are mixed, allowed for a more robust foundation were populations could have varied traits and would more likely survive changes in the environment..

    Yes genetics is the science of genes, They have recently mapped the entire human genome it took a long time but they finally did it. And there is plenty of research out there I’m surprised you haven’t seen it, this research is usually used against less scientifically harmonized religions. And think about it if a pure homosexual gene existed on that had absolute control over your sexuality it would be immediately extinct as the homosexual phenotype would never be passed down (because the passing of genes requires heterosexual sex).

    Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate you taking the time to say so it means a lot to me. alcoholism and alcohol in general is a horrible thing. I wish had of stayed obedient. I would have a much easier life.

    Only the ?soft? sciences say ?homosexuality is a normal part of the human spectrum of sexualities? and the social sciences are always changing and are at the mercy of politics. The ?hard? sciences are clear and but can also be at the mercy of politics. A good example of this is sexual education does not include the many risks of anal sex, because this is seen as ?politically incorrect? and not sensitive.

    Im not associating them The Faith is. Both alcoholism and homosexuality are considered spiritual diseases by the Faith. Though I’m sure you don’t agree.

    If you think this is nonsense ur gona have to take that up with ?This American Life?

    Celibacy is completely possible people do it all the time.

    This is not my interpretation, I am going by what the UHJ has said, and the UHJ is clear and there authority is clear.

    If you have problems with your LSA contact your auxiliary board member for protection or the NSA.

    No you see evolutionally speaking we are animals too and this argument is used in response to the ?its not natural? statement. And I agree that animals have homosexual sex but this is often acts of dominance or done as a result of a sexually homogenous community. What has not been observed in animals having the option of heterosexual sex but constantly choosing homosexual sex. I.e. adopting a homosexual preference.

  • peyamb

    God what a pompous post. You are just full of self-righteousness aren't you? Who are you calling disobedient? The loving gay couple who is committed to each other, who maybe will adopt a child and raise that child to help create an ever-advancing civilization? Why can't you think out of your fundamentalist box? You and the Christian right, and the Mullahs of Iran and so on and so forth…are ALL the same. It is so easy for you to associate gays with nothing more than the common denominator- SEX! Gay families will have a place in God's Kingdom one day, but that Kingdom is NOT the sick, evil, exclusivist community that you are currently a part of- the present Bahai community.

  • BahaiReply

    This is lali by the way. I always get confused whether you ignoring me or not. I screwed up my log in so if you read that post accidentally I’m sorry

    Im not self- righteous. Did you even read the post look at the end I wrote ?Now please do not think I stand in judgment because I too have failed frequently in my obedience. This is the plight of the American Bah??’?. Almost every aspect of our culture urges us to be disobedient. Thankfully God is the source of everlasting forgiveness.?

    That’s hardly self- righteous. And to answer your question I was calling myself disobedient lol. I recognize that living up to the Bah??'? standard is very difficult but it’s not about being perfect but rather being in a constant state of self- improvement.

    The UHJ is clear and there authority has clearly been passed to them. If following them is fundamentalist who else should we then follow?

    The christen-right and the Mullahs of Iran are often just as critical, if not more, of being a Baha’i as they are about homosexuals. So to say that we are the same is silly.

    What ?gays?(as u put it) do is none of my business and I don’t associate them with anything. I like to get to know people and not judge them. This discussion is about Bah??'? law. Peoples personal lives and whether they are obedient or not is between them and God (unless it is consistent and flagrant then the LSA has a duty to inform the Baha’i) and has nothing to do with me. Being a homosexual does not make you evil or an abomination.

  • timwatts

    `Abdu'l-Bah?? is clear that the UHJ’s will is God’s will. They have the ability to legislate on matters not touched on by the central figures (as you suggest). And since Bah??'u'll??h did not change the ban against homosexuality written in the Torah and confirmed in the Quran, and banned the ?brotherhood shurahs? (that’s the subject of boys he was referring to) And sodomy. And because of the letters written on Shoghi Effendi’s behalf. And the establishment of Bah??’? marriage These all show a preponderance of evidence and it is unlikely that the UHJ will ever change their position. And even if they did we are still required to be obedient to then now.

    There is no ban against homosexuality in the Torah or the Quran….And anywat Jesus abrogated the laws of the tarah for Christians.

    Yes I am sure. I have had my rights taken from me because of my work with radical political orgs (anti-drugwar, anarchists, antiwar groups you name it lol that’s college for you lol yes even pro homosexual movements. I was part of the GSA I even started a militant homosexual group that was called ?Bash Back? in salt lake city, but it never really caught on lol). I eventually calmed down and was given my rights back after significant personal growth. And I never suggested non-Bah??’?s could not attend feast. They can either step out during the administrative section or the Bah??’?s can hold a community feast that has no administrative section. and the UHJ actually requires us to not turn away non-Bah??’?s from feast. So if this has happened you need to report it to either to the auxiliary board or the NSA.

    Biology doesn’t tell you who you can have sex with only that the purpose of sex is procreation. Even perfectly healthy people that have sex are not guaranteed to produce a baby.
    That wasn’t my point. If couples who knowing cannot have a baby engage in sex should they not be restraining themselves according to your double speak,

    ?Are you saying that married couples who engage in non penetrative sex are which doesn’t lead to the fertilization of an ovum are committing sin?? lol no this is nearly imposable and would most likely require the assistance of a doctor.
    Agains not my point….you are implying something else has been said then writing about it. This is most annoying. See point above about restraint

    Yes sex. You see originally organisms reproduced asexually and thus passed on all their weakness to the entire population so if the environment changed in a way that did not favor them the entire population died. Sexual reproduction, where genetics are mixed, allowed for a more robust foundation were populations could have varied traits and would more likely survive changes in the environment..
    Thanks for your potted evolution lesson…by this account organisms that reproduced asexually should have died out by now…how to you account for their continued existence,,,some do both by the way. There is very little evidence to suggest that human kind is successful in Bilogigal terms given the very short span of geological time we have been here…that cant be said for some micro organisims….

    Yes genetics is the science of genes, They have recently mapped the entire human genome it took a long time but they finally did it. And there is plenty of research out there I’m surprised you haven’t seen it, this research is usually used against less scientifically harmonized religions. And think about it if a pure homosexual gene existed on that had absolute control over your sexuality it would be immediately extinct as the homosexual phenotype would never be passed down (because the passing of genes requires heterosexual sex).

    There is no conclusinve evidence of a GAY gene….that the human genome has been mapped is one thing. The functions and interactions of the various genes certainly has not. You are talking non sense. And again you make the insulting assumption that gay people do not have children…my last partner had 2 of his own…both straight girls would you believe….

    Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate you taking the time to say so it means a lot to me. alcoholism and alcohol in general is a horrible thing. I wish had of stayed obedient. I would have a much easier life.

    Only the ?soft? sciences say ?homosexuality is a normal part of the human spectrum of sexualities? and the social sciences are always changing and are at the mercy of politics. The ?hard? sciences are clear and but can also be at the mercy of politics. A good example of this is sexual education does not include the many risks of anal sex, because this is seen as ?politically incorrect? and not sensitive.

    Im not associating them The Faith is. Both alcoholism and homosexuality are considered spiritual diseases by the Faith. Though I’m sure you don’t agree.
    Where in the faith does this take place….considering what FAITH actually means. Letters written in the 50’s certainly does not constitute the faith. Even SE when he is interpreting the holy writings.

    If you think this is nonsense ur gona have to take that up with ?This American Life?

    Celibacy is completely possible people do it all the time.

    They say they do it…how can you possibly know…?

    This is not my interpretation, I am going by what the UHJ has said, and the UHJ is clear and there authority is clear.
    If you have problems with your LSA contact your auxiliary board member for protection or the NSA.
    No you see evolutionally speaking we are animals too and this argument is used in response to the ?its not natural? statement. And I agree that animals have homosexual sex but this is often acts of dominance or done as a result of a sexually homogenous community. What has not been observed in animals having the option of heterosexual sex but constantly choosing homosexual sex. I.e. adopting a homosexual preference

    So Baha’is are evolutionists now are they? Mmmm again you are saying things lkike adopting a homosexual preference as if it were a choice in human beings…you are again wrong in your assumptions. Gay people do not have a choice in their ?preference?

  • BahaiReply

    ?There is no ban against homosexuality in the Torah or the Quran….And anywat Jesus abrogated the laws of the tarah for Christians.?

    Sure the Christ abrogated the law but just as with Bah??'u'll??h there is no indication of him abrogating that law. Her is a very clear quote from the Torah

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them Leviticus 20:13

    And several from the holy Quran

    “We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”” (Qur'an 7:80-82)

    “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!” He said: “I do detest your doings:” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (Qur'an 26:165-175)

    “Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant! But his people gave no other answer but this: They said, “Drive out the followers of Lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (Qur'an 27:55-58)

    “And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? – and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth.” (Qur'an 29:28-29)

    “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur'an 4:15-16)

    ?That wasn’t my point. If couples who knowing cannot have a baby engage in sex should they not be restraining themselves according to your double speak,?

    I never said anything about that I merely said that biology tells us that the purpose of sex is procuration. Biology does not say that infertile cupules should restrain themselves neither does the Faith.

    ?Agains not my point….you are implying something else has been said then writing about it. This is most annoying. See point above about restraint yes my point is that?

    No I understood it let me explain myself better. Even if a healthy fertile couple has intercourse it doesn’t always result in a ovum being fertilized so if you are suggesting that it’s a ?sin? because an ovum is not fertilized the most sex is a ?sin? and that’s silly

    ?Thanks for your potted evolution lesson…by this account organisms that reproduced asexually should have died out by now…how to you account for their continued existence,,,some do both by the way. There is very little evidence to suggest that human kind is successful in Bilogigal terms given the very short span of geological time we have been here…that cant be said for some micro organisims….?

    ?Not necessarily It could also mean that those organisms live in a stable environment that favors ether phenotype, which is the case, look at any micro-biologic. Biology does not assume success. If it did the fact we are still around and live in almost every climate (even space) should be enough. ?

    ?There is no conclusinve evidence of a GAY gene….that the human genome has been mapped is one thing. The functions and interactions of the various genes certainly has not. You are talking non sense. And again you make the insulting assumption that gay people do not have children…my last partner had 2 of his own…both straight girls would you believe….?

    There has been considerable research done just Google it. I never suggested that homosexuals don’t have children. I said that heterosexual sex is required to have a baby, now I suppose that a person could have a child by artificial insemination but this is a relatively new technology.

    ?Where in the faith does this take place….considering what FAITH actually means. Letters written in the 50’s certainly does not constitute the faith. Even SE when he is interpreting the holy writings.?

    The UHJ has written about this in the 90’s. Just look it up on ocean.

    ?They say they do it…how can you possibly know…??

    How could you possably know that they don’t

    ?So Baha’is are evolutionists now are they? Mmmm again you are saying things lkike adopting a homosexual preference as if it were a choice in human beings…you are again wrong in your assumptions. Gay people do not have a choice in their ?preference?

    The Bah??'? faith and the science of evolution are in complete harmony. And I know several Bah??’? biologists. whether or not it’s a choice it still has not been observed except with genetically altered fruit flies. And as I said before not everybody agrees with you. There are even members of the homosexual community that believe it is a choice.

  • peyamb

    Oh I see. You have morphed into “BAHAI reply” now. Interesting name for someone who is not self-righteous. You are now officially a “Bahai” reply, whereas the rest of us are what? Well, trust me you don't represent Bahaullah's Word anymore than the rest of us. And speaking of that Word, there is absolutely NOTHING in His writings against homosexuality. Against raping a boy for fulfilling one's sexual pleasures (sodomy), then yes that is banned. Nothing you have written has made any point, so that's not only silly, but it's actually dimwitted. But if you havfe to insist that gay sex in a loving, committed relationship is banned by Bahaullah, fine. But as you state- “it is none of your business”. So if it is none of your business, why then don't you advocate for such relationships to be accepted in the Bahai community? You don't need to know what goes on in the bedroom of two men, anymore than a Bahai married couple in their fortress of well-being. If you truly were not prejudiced against gays, then you would fight for justice. But you are not. Gay couples = automatic breaking of law. Bahai married couple = accepted; even if they are committing the vilest sins insdie their bedroom. Yep, it's discrimination buddy. Ok, back to ignoring you…

  • BahaiReply

    lol yeah sorry i messed up my log in and when I restarted my pc I couldn’t log back in lol. You rilly have put a lot of thought in my name I just picked it cus it rhymed lol. Ok let’s follow that logic; there is nothing in his writings that lift the ban of homosexuality found in the Quran.
    The UHJ is clear about homosexuality. And there authority has clearly been passed to them by Bah??'u'll??h.
    What people do is none of my business but what the UHJ writes is. And they are clear. But I’m called a ?fundamental? and a ?hifain? for following them. Ill ask again who should I follow then? `Abdu'l-Bah?? has said to not obey the UHJ is to not obey God.

  • timwatts

    ?There is no ban against homosexuality in the Torah or the Quran….And anywat Jesus abrogated the laws of the tarah for Christians.?

    Sure the Christ abrogated the law but just as with Bah??'u'll??h there is no indication of him abrogating that law. Her is a very clear quote from the Torah

    It’s not normal for Christ to be referred to as the Christ by the way. Did you re read what you said? I repeat there is no law against Homosexuality as we know the term today in any biblical writing.

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them Leviticus 20:13
    Leviticus was written as a book of laws for jewish rabbis it wasn’t even intended for the jewish population in general. It’s interesting to note that you agree with the putting to death of gays then if you believe this refers to them…and people who wear garments of different cloth maybe because that prohibition is also there. You should look up the word Abomination and find out what it mean in Biblical terms.

    And several from the holy Quran

    “We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”” (Qur'an 7:80-82)

    “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!” He said: “I do detest your doings:” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful.” (Qur'an 26:165-175)

    “Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant! But his people gave no other answer but this: They said, “Drive out the followers of Lut from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (Qur'an 27:55-58)

    “And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? – and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth.” (Qur'an 29:28-29)

    “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur'an 4:15-16)

    ?That wasn’t my point. If couples who knowing cannot have a baby engage in sex should they not be restraining themselves according to your double speak,?

    Well I read carefully through this and didn’t find one reference for homosexuality. Maybe if you translated ?lewdness? as homosexuality and then get Mohamed (PBOH) to authorise your interpretation then maybe otherwise please shut your bigoted mouth. In fact I am going to ignore you too from now on. You clearly don’t understand what you are regurgitating and I find reading what you write upsetting and demeaning…you must be a baha’i after all. !

    I never said anything about that I merely said that biology tells us that the purpose of sex is procuration. Biology does not say that infertile cupules should restrain themselves neither does the Faith.

    ?Agains not my point….you are implying something else has been said then writing about it. This is most annoying. See point above about restraint yes my point is that?

    No I understood it let me explain myself better. Even if a healthy fertile couple has intercourse it doesn’t always result in a ovum being fertilized so if you are suggesting that it’s a ?sin? because an ovum is not fertilized the most sex is a ?sin? and that’s silly

    ?Thanks for your potted evolution lesson…by this account organisms that reproduced asexually should have died out by now…how to you account for their continued existence,,,some do both by the way. There is very little evidence to suggest that human kind is successful in Bilogigal terms given the very short span of geological time we have been here…that cant be said for some micro organisims….?

    ?Not necessarily It could also mean that those organisms live in a stable environment that favors ether phenotype, which is the case, look at any micro-biologic. Biology does not assume success. If it did the fact we are still around and live in almost every climate (even space) should be enough. ?

    ?There is no conclusinve evidence of a GAY gene….that the human genome has been mapped is one thing. The functions and interactions of the various genes certainly has not. You are talking non sense. And again you make the insulting assumption that gay people do not have children…my last partner had 2 of his own…both straight girls would you believe….?

    There has been considerable research done just Google it. I never suggested that homosexuals don’t have children. I said that heterosexual sex is required to have a baby, now I suppose that a person could have a child by artificial insemination but this is a relatively new technology.

    ?Where in the faith does this take place….considering what FAITH actually means. Letters written in the 50’s certainly does not constitute the faith. Even SE when he is interpreting the holy writings.?

    The UHJ has written about this in the 90’s. Just look it up on ocean.

    ?They say they do it…how can you possibly know…??

    How could you possably know that they don’t

    ?So Baha’is are evolutionists now are they? Mmmm again you are saying things lkike adopting a homosexual preference as if it were a choice in human beings…you are again wrong in your assumptions. Gay people do not have a choice in their ?preference?

    The Bah??'? faith and the science of evolution are in complete harmony. And I know several Bah??’? biologists. whether or not it’s a choice it still has not been observed except with genetically altered fruit flies. And as I said before not everybody agrees with you. There are even members of the homosexual community that believe it is a choice.

  • peyamb

    Who is not obeying? Do you see me setting up a parallel UHJ to run a different Bahai community? Nope. I just decide to not be active and tell the world the truth about how gays are discriminated against in the community. But one day, a new UHJ may overturn the current policy. Which honestly is nothing more than policy. THere is no legislation that I have seen coming out of the UHJ saying that gay married couples have to get a divorce before they enter the Bahai community. Have you seen such legislation? Please share. But as who to follow, I think seeing justice with your own eyes and not the eyes of others… well that's a good start. Good luck!

  • BahaiReply

    ?It’s not normal for Christ to be referred to as the Christ by the way. Did you re read what you said? I repeat there is no law against Homosexuality as we know the term today in any biblical writing.”

    Christ means messiah there is nothing abnormal buy saying the Christ. I often say it that way because some people actually think its was his last name lol. Though I’m sure you are much better informed. and yes there is unless ?Homosexuality as we know the term today? no longer requires homosexual sex.

    ?Leviticus was written as a book of laws for jewish rabbis it wasn’t even intended for the jewish population in general.?

    You are unfortunately misinformed. Only the first 16 and the last chapters are orders to the Rabbis. The rest of Leviticus(including chapter 20) this includes the great commandment to ?love one's neighbor as oneself?(surely not just the rabbis are asked to do that lol) in chapter 19. Read it yourself if you don’t believe me.

    ?It’s interesting to note that you agree with the putting to death of gays then if you believe this refers to them…and people who wear garments of different cloth maybe because that prohibition is also there.

    You are severely confused. You said there was no ban on homosexuality in the Torah and I showed you where it does so. I absolutely do not agree with putting homosexuals to death. And as a Bah??’? I know that the Christ’s died for our sins and therefore we no longer have to sacrifice animals or put people to death to atone for sins. And for the few offences that warrant death (homosexuality not being one) it is satisfactory to serve life in prison instead. The purpose of the sentence is not vengeance or punishment but the protection of society.

    ?You should look up the word Abomination and find out what it mean in Biblical terms.?

    I know, it means prohibition or forbidden.

    ?Well I read carefully through this and didn’t find one reference for homosexuality. Maybe if you translated ?lewdness? as homosexuality and then get Mohamed (PBOH) to authorise your interpretation then maybe otherwise please shut your bigoted mouth.?

    You must have missed it then let me show you

    ?For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.?

    And
    ?Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates??

    And

    “Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant!?

    These statements are clear and require no interpretation

    I have said nothing bigoted. all I have done is quoted various holly writings. Is God then a bigot? I have said that not everybody believes that homosexuality is ?not a choice?. There are homosexuals that believe it’s a choice, are they bigots too? To whom? I have told you the position of the UHJ are they bigoted too? Are all the Bah??’?s bigots for following the UHJ?

    I have let this community hurl many different insults at me but I have to take a stand on this one.

    I don’t even like to say ?gay? because it has negative connotations. I respect your opinion that being gay is not a choice. I accept you as a human. I have even told you about the research that homosexuality is genetic supporting you claim that homosexuality is not a choice and u for some reason doubted that, which I cannot fathom?

    ?In fact I am going to ignore you too from now on. You clearly don’t understand what you are regurgitating and I find reading what you write upsetting and demeaning…you must be a baha’i after all. !?

    It is abundantly clear the real reason you are ignoring me.

  • BahaiReply

    My question was ?if following the UHJ is fundamentalism who then should we follow??

    Policy and legislation are synonyms for law so at least we do agree on some level.

    sure

    a homosexual cannot overcome his or her condition to the extent of being able to have a heterosexual marriage, he or she must remain single, and abstain from sexual relations. These are the same requirements as far a heterosexual person who does not marry. While Bah??'u'll??h encourages the believers to marry, it is important to note that marriage is by no means an obligation. It is for the individual to decide whether he or she wishes to lead a family life or to live in a state of celibacy. (The Universal House of Justice, 1995 Sept 11, Homosexuality)
    to ?remain single? you cannot be married

  • timwatts

    “to'ebah” means a condemned, foreign, Pagan, religious, cult practice, but often simply translated as “abomination.” Eating food which contains both meat and dairy products is “to'ebah” A Jew having a meal with an Egyptian was “to'ebah.” A Jew wearing a polyester-cotton garment, or having a tattoo is “to'ebah” today

    YOU HAVE INTERPRETED THE PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE AND ELSWHERE AS REFERRING TO HOMOHSEXUALITY. PLEASE ACCCEPT THAT THERE ARE OTHER INTERPRETATIONS THAN YOUR OWN. YOU ARE ATTEMPTING IN WHAT YOU WRITE TO USE YOUR INTERPRETATION TO CONDEMN OTHER PEOPLE FOR THEIR LIFESTYLES. THIS IS UNJUST UNKIND AND INSULTING. YOUR HANDLE IS ALSO MIS LEADING AS THERE ARE OTHER BAHAIS WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU. YOU ARE HOMOPHOBIC BY REPEATED YOUR INTERPRETATIONS WITHOUT TAKING THE TIME TO LOOK AT OTHERS.

    WHICH HOMKOSEXUALS ARE YOU CITING THAT CLAIM THAT THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A CHOICE…PLEASE GET ONE TO POST. ITS NOT A QUESTION OF BELEIF BUT FACT.

    I SAID I WOULD IGNORE YOU BECAUSE YOUR POSTS WERE UPSETTING ME WITH THEIR PREDUJICE AND FALSEHOODS..AND THEN YOU SAY IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR ETC…WHAT DO YOU MEAN ISNT THE FACT THAT YOU ARE UPSETTING ME ENOUGH! YOU ARE VERY ARROGANT AND THIS IS PART OF YOUR PROBLEM YOU MAKE UNFOUNDED ASSUMPTIONS AND THEN PASS THEM OFF AS FACT…

  • peyamb

    I would just ignore him. You can lead a fundamentalist only so far to the truth.. they will have to wake up for themselves. Years ago, unfortunately, I had the same type of mentality as L or “bahai” reply or whatever name he/she is going to morph into next. It took a lot of soul searching to finally realize the truth- that Bahaullah said absolutely NOTHING against loving gay families as we know them today. But as long as there are fundamentalists like this one inside the Bahai community, then we must live outside of that community and make sure the world knows how LGBT people are treated by their fellow Bahais. Cheers!

  • timwatts

    merci aziz am agha farsi baladi omidaram ke mifarmi che migam, to pesar ali hasti ….gorboonet beram tim

  • BahaiReply

    “to'ebah” means a condemned, foreign, Pagan, religious, cult practice, but often simply translated as “abomination.” Eating food which contains both meat and dairy products is “to'ebah” A Jew having a meal with an Egyptian was “to'ebah.” A Jew wearing a polyester-cotton garment, or having a tattoo is “to'ebah” today?

    Ok fine lets use your definition, ?You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is a condemned, foreign, Pagan, religious, cult practice? doesn’t change the meaning one bit it is still a ban of homosexual acts.

    ?YOU HAVE INTERPRETED THE PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE AND ELSWHERE AS REFERRING TO HOMOHSEXUALITY. PLEASE ACCCEPT THAT THERE ARE OTHER INTERPRETATIONS THAN YOUR OWN.?

    I have not interpreted them at all they are clear and require no interpretation. But please I am open to other interpretations show me how this is not a ban on homosexual acts. So far the only ?interpretation? you have offered is that Leviticus is just for the rabbis which is incorrect but you could simply have been mistaken. Leviticus describes Gods covenant as it was then. Progressive revelation shows us how some laws change and others stay the same. we are no longer held to Kosher rules for food or the ban against pork found in the Quran but the golden rule(and other rules) remains unchanged.

    ?YOU ARE ATTEMPTING IN WHAT YOU WRITE TO USE YOUR INTERPRETATION TO CONDEMN OTHER PEOPLE FOR THEIR LIFESTYLES. THIS IS UNJUST UNKIND AND INSULTING.?

    I have not interpreted anything just posted quotes found in the holy scriptures here’s another one from the Zoroastrian scriptures
    “The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is a man that is a Daeva [demon]; this man is a worshipper of the Daevas, a male paramour of the Daevas”
    notice I am only posting it and giving no interpretation of it.
    I am sorry you find these scriptures insulting.

    ?YOUR HANDLE IS ALSO MIS LEADING AS THERE ARE OTHER BAHAIS WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU.?

    Lol Bah??’? means a follower of Bah??’u’ll??h (which I am) and reply means to respond . My name means ? a follower of Bah??'u'll??h’s response.? Is not ?The Baha’i Faith’s Reply?, or ?Official Bah??’? Faith Response?. If you really want me to change my name I will do that for you.

    ?YOU ARE HOMOPHOBIC BY REPEATED YOUR INTERPRETATIONS WITHOUT TAKING THE TIME TO LOOK AT OTHERS.?

    Rofl I am not homophobic. I was part of the Gay Straight Alliance. And even organized a gay defense group called ?Bash Back? (though it never went any ware lol) my wife is a former lesbian and I live by a lesbian couple that have a kid. And we hang out all the time. Me and my wife have several homosexual friends, and they all respect my beliefs, they even like how the Bah??'? faith doesn’t get involved in partisan issues and that Bah??'? law only applies to Bah??’?s. My best friend is a (straight) homosexual rights activist that worked on Kerry’s campaign and canvased for gay marriage. We put together ?bash back?

    WHICH HOMKOSEXUALS ARE YOU CITING THAT CLAIM THAT THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A CHOICE…PLEASE GET ONE TO POST. ITS NOT A QUESTION OF BELEIF BUT FACT.

    Lol ther has been an active ?ex-gay? community since the 70’s, have you ever herd of BNASAA? http://www.bnasaa.org/ There a support group for addicts and homosexuals (and other things) there are tons of ?ex-gays? they even have a social network @ http://bnasaa.ning.com. Go there if you want to talk to some. Its sponsored by the NSA of Canada and has members from all around the world. Given how this community treats people with other views I dought any will post here but you can go to their site.

    I SAID I WOULD IGNORE YOU BECAUSE YOUR POSTS WERE UPSETTING ME WITH THEIR PREDUJICE AND FALSEHOODS AND THEN YOU SAY IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR ETC…WHAT DO YOU MEAN ISNT THE FACT THAT YOU ARE UPSETTING ME ENOUGH! YOU ARE VERY ARROGANT AND THIS IS PART OF YOUR PROBLEM YOU MAKE UNFOUNDED ASSUMPTIONS AND THEN PASS THEM OFF AS FACT…

    I’m sorry I have upset you but I’m not responsible for your emotions. If you want to have a theological discussion we can. Show me how the quotes provided are not a ban on homosexual acts and we can have a discussion. The reason I said its abundantly clear is because you have not been able to show that the quotes are not a ban. Your best try was to say Leviticus is just for rabbis and that was incorrect. And instead of showing me you are ignoring me. So it’s clear that you don’t have a response and are just hurling insults and ignoring me.

  • BahaiReply

    Ok I’m a fundamentalist because I follow the UHJ. Who then should I follow? You seem to not like that question.
    Bah??'u'll??h said nothing about lifting the ban on homosexual acts.
    If you have been mistreated by a Bah??’? repot it to the administration Bah??’?s are required to treat all people with love respect and tolerance no matter what their sexuality is.

  • peyamb

    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.

  • peyamb

    Ok when you mislead and lie, then I have to correct you. There are not TONS of “ex-gays” among Bahais. That's a bunch of B.S. you make out the sad, dying organization called BNASAA which lumps loving well-adjusted gay couples with people that are dealing with serious issues like incest, drugs and addictions. But that is the fundamentalist approach, isn't it? Associate homosexuality with all the evil things in society- that way there is no chance ever that it will be accepted as normal inside the Bahai community. I have been to BNASAA and I felt like a total outsider. My friend recently went to the anniversary meeting they had and told me how pitiful it was. The majority of the well-adjusted gays who tried in some way to stay active with it have just gotten up and left. Which ultimately is what you want. And please dont' bother trying to make yoruself out to be an ally of LGBT people. Let's see, you hang out with gays and your wife is a lesbian who couldn't deal with her own issues, so she decided to settle for you. Ok big deal. You can still be homophobic and guess what you are. Do your friends know how hard you work to make sure that gay couples NEVER have a place in God's Kingdom? I'm sure they would be surprised if you allowed them to read yoru posts. God you really are a pompous homophobe. But anyone who even remotely thinks that BNASSA is in anyway shape or form a 'support' group for gay Bahais is fooling themselves. It is a support group for people who are struggling with terrible issues of addiction and sexual molestation, but it is not a support group for someone trying to accept himself as the way that God created him- gay and proud!

  • peyamb

    Yes you are a fundmentalist. Glad you could finally see that. It is the first step to getting help. Good luck!

  • peyamb

    Merci janam. Fekmikonam ke maghze in mard yekam kharabe agar ye zane ke lesbian hast arusikarde. :o)

  • peyamb

    If you have been mistreated by a Bah??’? repot it to the administration Bah??’?s are required to treat all people with love respect and tolerance no matter what their sexuality is.
    LOL! Now THAT is really silly. That's like asking someone to go to the KKK to arbitrate over a racial hate crime. :o)

  • peyamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpJAucyX7RE
    I have posted this clip before on the homosexuality thread. But it's worth mentioning the movie “For The Bible Tells Me So”. It will give you fresh arguments that explain the stories from the Bible that you take to mean a ban against homosexuality. But of course, you have the right to continue to insist on your silly fifth grade understanding of these passages.

  • peyamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2sDv6b_mmY&feat
    And if you don't rent the movie. At least watch this clip wich made me cry. This young man and his family should be lovingly accepted in the Bahai community as EQUALS! Why are they not? He states that a a family is about love and acceptance. The Bahai community presently under the leadership of the UHJ mirrors exactly groups like Focus on the Family which exclude LGBT people. The Bahais just like Focus on the Family put on the facade of saying that we should love all, but at the same time tell gay parents that their child should get therapy to overcome their sexuality. It is the same sick fundamentalism that destroys lives. THere are many, many more gay versions of this young man in the Bahai Faith who have left the community or become inactive with the door shut behind them.. .many more of these than the lie of “tons of ex-gays” who you state are happily functioning inside the Bahai community. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

  • timwatts

    Of course you are responsible for me emotions if your words are hurtful and i have told you that they are….as for the levitis assertion you made you produve no evidence to support it. To follow your logic here and elsewhere you are agasin eating a meal with an eygtian and wearing garments of a different thread and eating meat and dairy products together SINCE i read nowhere that Baha u ll ah has lifted the “alleged” ban on these also mentioned in leviticus….anyway…i read this and thought i would show you another interprestion …

    Study Of Leviticus 18-20 “Abomination”
    The background of Leviticus is important to understand. The people are being told not to act like the “pagans”. This is also the format Paul uses in Romans. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” These words occur solely in the Holiness Code of Leviticus, a ritual manual for Israel's priests. This prohibition of supposedly homosexual acts follows after the prohibition of the idolatrous sexuality of worshipping Molech, whose cult included male cult prostitutes and bestiality. Lev 18 is specifically designed to distinguish the Jews from the pagans who worshipped the multiple gods of fertility cults. It also is included with other Mosaic laws such as required killing kids who curse their parents, the death penalty for picking up sticks or doing other work on the Sabbath, and under the law, slave-beating was a protected legal right!

    From a Jewish prospective, the commandments given at Sinai, including those of Leviticus (in Hebrew Jews simply name a book after the first word that appears – “V'yikra” – which means “then he spoke”) were given to the Jewish people. Since they were only commanded to Jews, no one who is not Jewish need worry about obeying them. Judaism holds God taught basic laws to all humanity before Sinai (no murder, rape, etc), but that the more specific laws such as in Leviticus, apply only to Jews.

    Lev 20:13 is giving the penalties for the Lev 18:22 “abomination” or in the Hebrew “toevah” Unlike what the English translation implies, toevah did not usually signify something intrinsically evil, but something ritually unclean for Jews. Eating pork, shellfish, lobster, eating meat 3 days old, trimming beards, etc is just as much an “abomination”. It is used throughout the OT to designate those Jewish sins which involve ethnic contamination or idolatry. In many other OT verses it simply means idolatry. Lev 18 is specifically designed to distinguish the Jews from the pagans among whom they had been living. The prohibition of supposedly homosexual acts follows after the prohibition of idolatrous sexuality of worshipping Molech, whose cult included male cult prostitutes and bestiality.

  • BahaiReply

    Only you are responsible for your emotions. Take P’s horrible slanderous lie about my beautiful and loving wife. Am I going to let his words hurt me lol no rofl. Or for that matter am I going to let all the horrible name-calling and vitriol I have gotten from this community hurt me? Rofl no. But in any case I really am sorry that you are hurt please tell me what I have said that hurts you. All I have done is posted quotes from scriptures. I am sorry if these scriptures hurt you. I did not write them.
    The arguments provided are valid. God’s law (at that time) was for the people of Israel (Jews). Just as Bah??'? law only applies to Bah??'?s. As you know Bah??’?s believe in progressive revelation. Where manifestations of God revel God’s law perpetually over time. Some laws change such as prohibitions of food. Others like the golden rule never change. And as of today no manifestation has changed the ban on homosexual acts. Bah??'?’s also consider the Torah as holly and God inspired.

  • BahaiReply

    ?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.?

    Good quote it’s no mystery why he named the UHJ the universal house of JUSTICE. And I look with my own eyes not yours and I see divine confirmation in the writings about the beauty and authority of the of the UHJ and how,(as ?Abdu’l-Bah?? put it) ?whatsoever they decide is of God? (Abdu’l-Bah??, The Will and Testament, p. 11)

    ?Ok when you mislead and lie, then I have to correct you. There are not TONS of “ex-gays” among Bahais. That's a bunch of B.S. you make out the sad, dying organization called BNASAA which lumps loving well-adjusted gay couples with people that are dealing with serious issues like incest, drugs and addictions. But that is the fundamentalist approach, isn't it? Associate homosexuality with all the evil things in society- that way there is no chance ever that it will be accepted as normal inside the Bahai community. I have been to BNASAA and I felt like a total outsider. My friend recently went to the anniversary meeting they had and told me how pitiful it was. The majority of the well-adjusted gays who tried in some way to stay active with it have just gotten up and left. Which ultimately is what you want. And please dont' bother trying to make yoruself out to be an ally of LGBT people. Let's see, you hang out with gays and your wife is a lesbian who couldn't deal with her own issues, so she decided to settle for you. Ok big deal. You can still be homophobic and guess what you are. Do your friends know how hard you work to make sure that gay couples NEVER have a place in God's Kingdom? I'm sure they would be surprised if you allowed them to read yoru posts. God you really are a pompous homophobe. But anyone who even remotely thinks that BNASSA is in anyway shape or form a 'support' group for gay Bahais is fooling themselves. It is a support group for people who are struggling with terrible issues of addiction and sexual molestation, but it is not a support group for someone trying to accept himself as the way that God created him- gay and proud!?

    BNASSA is not for you but you should not project this on everyone. Plenty of ?ex-gays? find the support of other ?ex-gays? through the BNASSA. But it’s not for evryone. This and other support groups like AA aren’t for me either but I’m not going to pretend they don’t help. And im not surprised that you would attack my wife. It has been the norm for homosexual activists (and supporters) to malign and attack ?ex-gays?. And last time I checked having and accepting homosexual friends is not something homophobes do rofl. Not sure by what u mean by ?how hard you work? rofl and yes I have showed them my posts and they think you are a ?coward for talking BLEEEP on the internet?(not my words). They don’t believe in religion and (like I said before) they like that Bah??’? law is only for Bah??’?s unlike what ?other religions try to do? ?like force it down our throats? (also not my words.) they even apologized for your comments about my wife.

    ?Yes you are a fundmentalist. Glad you could finally see that. It is the first step to getting help. Good luck!?

    So are you admitting that the only way to not be a ?fundamentalist? is to not follow the UHJ? who should I follow to not be a fundamentalist? Myself lol? Well the writings only give us one thing to follow and that’s the UHJ

    ?If you have been mistreated by a Bah??’? repot it to the administration Bah??’?s are required to treat all people with love respect and tolerance no matter what their sexuality is.
    LOL! Now THAT is really silly. That's like asking someone to go to the KKK to arbitrate over a racial hate crime. :o)?
    To regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against the spirit of Bah??'? Teachings. (The Universal House of Justice, 1995 Sept 11, Homosexuality)
    I don’t think the kkk would write…
    and it permits you personally to exercise the support which is necessary for these often harassed persons,(The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 6)
    demonstrate love and acceptance toward your son; such an attitude, however, should imply no agreement with his attitude towards homosexuality (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 10)
    seek to preserve your relationship to your son and also to avoid alienating your husband, is secondary; the main thing is that you strive to deal with these difficulties in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Cause of God, which is neither harsh and maledictory nor excessively liberal and forbearing. (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 10)
    This law is no reason for Bah??'?s to consider homosexuals as outcasts. If they are not Bah??'?s there is also no reason to expect them to obey the Bah??'? law in this respect any more than we would expect a non-Bah??'? to abstain from drinking alcohol. (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 11)
    It does not draw the vital distinction between the high standard that Bah??'?s must uphold in relation to themselves and the forbearance they must show towards others. In this connection there is a very important passage in the Lawh-i-Maqsud (“Tablets of Bah??'u'll??h”, pp. 169-70): (The Universal House of Justice, 1989 Jun 21, 'Dialogue', 'A Modest Proposal' etc)

    ?I have posted this clip before on the homosexuality thread. But it's worth mentioning the movie “For The Bible Tells Me So”. It will give you fresh arguments that explain the stories from the Bible that you take to mean a ban against homosexuality. But of course, you have the right to continue to insist on your silly fifth grade understanding of these passages.?

    These passages are clear and require no ?interpretation? lol. But I will gladly hear anybody’s views is it on Netflix streaming? In the mean time why don’t you show me the positions given in the film?

    The trailer starts out with horrible sights. Of people using horrible slanders and name-calling. Its important to know that Bah??'u'll??h has forbidden calumny and know that Bah??'u'll??h most assuredly detests these acts and that hatred and the use of the ?f’ word and the other words that those people were saying and how they were acting. And I want you to know that I have never and will never say any of those things I don’t even like to use the word ?gay? because it can carry negative connotations. And I never have said any of those things here. In fact the only slander and name-calling has been directed at me my by this community (with some praiseworthy exceptions like Sonia who proves it is possible to have a civil theologic discussion without insults and name-calling.)

    ?And if you don't rent the movie. At least watch this clip wich made me cry. This young man and his family should be lovingly accepted in the Bahai community as EQUALS! Why are they not? He states that a a family is about love and acceptance. The Bahai community presently under the leadership of the UHJ mirrors exactly groups like Focus on the Family which exclude LGBT people. The Bahais just like Focus on the Family put on the facade of saying that we should love all, but at the same time tell gay parents that their child should get therapy to overcome their sexuality. It is the same sick fundamentalism that destroys lives. THere are many, many more gay versions of this young man in the Bahai Faith who have left the community or become inactive with the door shut behind them.. .many more of these than the lie of “tons of ex-gays” who you state are happily functioning inside the Bahai community. You really should be ashamed of yourself.?

    They are accepted as equals and equally are expected to abide by the will of God. And at age 15 youth get to choose for themselves if they want to abide by the covenant or not. Unlike all other religions and religious groups (that I know of) There are plenty of ex-gays I’ve even seen them post here. I am sorry you refuse to accept ?ex-gays? you ask me to accept ?gays? (which I already did before I ever knew you existed) but you do not accept ?ex-gays? I would take you more seriously if you were more consistent on who deserves acceptance.

  • peyamb

    Accepted as equals, huh? Another blatant lie. You know very well that young man and his parents would NEVER be accepted in any Bahai community that has people like you in it. I really do believe you are delusional. If I put you in a room with ALL of the gay people I know (from people who are activists to those who don't make a big deal about their sexuality), they would ALL unanimously see you as total homophobe. Your words here are enough to show that. That you actually put out a blatant lie about the “tons” of ex-gays who attend BNASSA tells me that you are willing to twist and say just about anything to make your point. In a nutshell, I don't believe the things that you are saying. I have been to BNASSA. I know someone that went regularly and your description of it is a bunch of BS (as is probably all your gay friends who support you; yeah sure). Anyway, I don't know why I got suckered into tlaking to you again. Ignoring you will certainly bring me closer to God. Now go back to your lies. Cheers!

  • BahaiReply

    Yes as equals show me anyware in the writings that say homosexuals aren’t equals.
    look up the definition of homophobe http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/homophobe
    a person who fears or hates homosexuals and homosexuality.
    Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
    Behavior based on such a feeling.
    I don’t fear or hate or have contempt for homosexuals or homosexuality. What words? I have said that I don’t judge and that I accept homosexuals rofl.
    I meant ?tons? relatively speaking. Lol it’s an expression Im surprised you have never heard it before. I didn’t think you would take it so literally. And just because you and your friend had a experience wasn’t good doesn’t mean everybody’s isn’t too.
    Rofl support me? No they just don’t judge me lol. And I don’t judge them. Not everybody is so polarized rofl. being a Bah??’? is a choice you’re not forced to do anything lol. did you read those qotes
    To regard homosexuals with prejudice and disdain would be entirely against the spirit of Bah??'? Teachings. (The Universal House of Justice, 1995 Sept 11, Homosexuality)
    and it permits you personally to exercise the support which is necessary for these often harassed persons,(The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 6)

    demonstrate love and acceptance toward your son; such an attitude, however, should imply no agreement with his attitude towards homosexuality (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 10)

    seek to preserve your relationship to your son and also to avoid alienating your husband, is secondary; the main thing is that you strive to deal with these difficulties in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Cause of God, which is neither harsh and maledictory nor excessively liberal and forbearing. (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 10)

    This law is no reason for Bah??'?s to consider homosexuals as outcasts. If they are not Bah??'?s there is also no reason to expect them to obey the Bah??'? law in this respect any more than we would expect a non-Bah??'? to abstain from drinking alcohol. (The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 11)

    It does not draw the vital distinction between the high standard that Bah??'?s must uphold in relation to themselves and the forbearance they must show towards others. In this connection there is a very important passage in the Lawh-i-Maqsud (“Tablets of Bah??'u'll??h”, pp. 169-70): (The Universal House of Justice, 1989 Jun 21, 'Dialogue', 'A Modest Proposal' etc)

    Of course the faith would accept that family

  • peyamb

    “demonstrate love and acceptance toward your son; such an attitude, however, should imply no agreement with his attitude towards homosexuality”
    It is statements like this that upset us. I have to explain why the stance of the present UHJ and people like Bahai reply upset me and Tim and other gays so much. Their view of gay people is absolutely no different from Christian fundamentalists that would send their teenager off to some brainwashing program to “ex-gay” him. Oh yeah, as demonstrated from the quote above, they would still love him, but never accept him. I could careless if Bahai reply has gay friends, has married a lesbian or thinks he knows tons of ex-gays among Bahais. What I do care about and Tim and others, is the effect that such individuals have among the vulnerable (especially gay youth) inside the Bahai community. This is really why we fight so hard. We know the hell we went through as gays in the community and we certainly don't want anyone else to go through that as well. We want to make sure that they know their only options are not living in a frustraing heterosexual marriage or living alone and celibate for the rest of your life. This is not what Bahaullah wanted nor God, no matter how much people like Bahai reply insist this is the ONLY way to be a Bahai.

  • peyamb

    I mean seriously. What does that mean? Demonstrate acceptance, but don't agree with his attitude toward homosexuality. I accept that you have made the wrong decision to be gay, to be with someone you love and have a family. I accept that you exist, but your whole life is wrong to me. Oh yeah, but I still love you because I'm mandated to. Give me a break!

  • BahaiReply

    UHJ says
    “demonstrate love and ACCEPTANCE toward your son; such an attitude, however, should imply no agreement with his attitude towards homosexuality”
    P says
    . Oh yeah, as demonstrated from the quote above, they would still love him, but never ACCEPT him.
    He must have missed the ?acceptance? part.
    If you have faced anything that is unlike what the UHJ requires tell the NSA or your auxiliary board member or tell me I’m not afraid to report them. email your experience and the names of the people involved to report.a.bigot[at]gmail.com. We are not like those fringe Christian groups we are required to treat all people with love and respect. And if someone has treated you in any way other than loving or respectful, I will go to bat for you.
    It is possible to love and respect and accept a loved one and not agree with them. We all have experienced this in some way or another.
    There are unfortunately many writings, some that I haven’t even brought up yet, that support a ban on homosexual acts. I really am sorry. but I may have accidentally stumbled on a loophole.
    I was trying to find the reserch that the several reports mention about the homosexual gene mention (I apologizes to tom ahead of time) I was having trouble locating it. I always took it for granted because I’ve never heard a homosexual refute its claims till tom (I am very sorry for doubting you). So I know a geneticist and he happens to be a Bah??’? (I can hear P’s eyes rolling lol). So I ask him about the ?gay gene.? And he says that there is a ?genetic component to homosexuality but it has nothing to do with genes?. So he starts to explain about how during ?embryo genesis? a simple mistake in the RNA sequencing can result in a brain that has a different sexuality then the body. You see there are physiological differences in the hypophysis (aka the pituitary gland). And he said this can cause the individual to be a homosexual (though this is not the only cause). He said they did an experiment in the forties were then took twins of the same sex and maid one transgender. The transgender individual went ?crazy? (not my words). So I asked him if the cure for this ?medical aliment? was a sex reassignment surgery. He said yep and infact he had trained under the best sexual reassignment surgeon in the country. (he also said that this surgeon is so good she could fool a gynecologist in a pelvic exam!) he is a well-respected scientist and is the owner of several scientific patents. And he said he will testify in front of the UHJ! Now there is some bad news it turns out that the only way to asses a person’s hypophysis is post-mortem. but there has got to be solution to finding the sexuality of a persons brain wile there alive. The good thing is this is all hard verifiable science.
    Now this isn’t a solution to all of your concerns. And I know that not every homosexual wants to do sexual reassignment but its better then spamming your Facebook friends or attacking Shoghi effendi’s secretaries.
    As long as it is administered by a doctor it will fall under the same president as medical marijuana or opiates such as oxycodone or morphine (which Bah??’?s can have.) And as a member of their ?real? sex they will be able to have a Bah??’? wedding and live in accordance with Bah??’? law.
    And the research is not a problem I can show you how to start a 501 3c nonprofit org and you can solicit funds from the ?gay? community (and there supporters) (which will be tax deductible for them) . Those funds can go into further research into developing a way to find the sexuality of a brain. This has bigger implications than just the Bah??'? faith. P email me at the email I provided. We can get this proses rolling and I can put you in contact with my friend. Or anyone else for that matter (because P thinks I’m a liar rofl). I’m to busy to do this on my own but I will if I have to.

  • peyamb

    God you are sick individual. I shudder to think what would happen to some vulnerable gay teen that may get advise from you. I'm fortunate to know enough Bahais who do believe that gays should be accepted fully in the Bahai community, with their partners and their kids- AS EQUALS. Unfortunately none of them speak up. Oh well. Eventually times will change. Ishallah.

  • BahaiReply

    sick? vulnerable “gay” teen? what are you talking about? did you read my whole post? im willing to help you. or are you just in it for homosexuals and not the transgenderd? hum interesting well ok. show me the writings that support your claims or are you still ignoring me? rofl i geuess i do it without you then. well i gave you a chance lol

  • timwatts

    extremely scary pseudo-science…..more and morelike nazi doctors….and its TIM who the hell is Tom?

  • BahaiReply

    lol tim sooo ummm pseudo-science hu….. which part exactly.. i didn't realize you were a geneticist

  • peyamb

    Isnt' it Tim? I shared with my transgender friend once some comments that another fundie Bahai here had made about trans people and using hormones to get fixed, she laughed. Then she felt sad, because she thought that Bahais were like Unitarians. She didn't realize that they had become closer to some cultish evangelical group.

  • timwatts

    You quote experiments from the 40s you use tems incorrectly..you name structures in the brain wrongly you insisted that there was a gay gene and rudely told me to seach the internet if i didnt beleive you….i didnt as i already knew thanks….i may not be a geneticist but you dont have to be…you have repeated yet again the knowledge of one of your friends and chinese whipser like mangled up the message….1940's science experiments ..oh yes the NAZIS did this on jews maybe the UHJ can do it on faggots!

  • timwatts

    maybe you could gender re assign some male heterosexuals and then they could be lesbians…where will your nazi experiements end…..any was i just been the to the doctors and told him i was gay and although felt no way like a woman or have any woman like sentiments i wanted to be surgectly changed into a woman…..so the iraniian goverment wouldnt execute me……guess what he said?

  • Baquia

    I've uploaded a new version with the corrections (look up!). The dark green and light green correspond to the two elected institutions and the yellow and orange to the appointed. This way you can see the change clearly.

  • BahaiReply

    Ok sorry to be nit picky but I was quoting a friend. I used the right terminology the pituitary gland, is also known as the hypophysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pituitary_gland. You might have been confusing it with the hypothalamus which is also a structure in the brain with a similar name. im sorry I didn’t belive you but you should have backed up your claims lucky I did it for you. Repeated knowledge from a friend yet again? Not sure what you mean. There is a wealth of hard science to back all this up. And like I alluded to in my quote this would be a choice between the person and his doctor. And nobody would be forced to do it. Last time I checked the T in LGBT stood for transsexual. And I find it interesting you would malign an attempt to help them. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me are u just arguing to argue? And I abhor the ?F’ I don’t even think homosexuals should use it just a hateful word.

  • BahaiReply

    my “Nazi experiments”? “iraniian goverment wouldnt execute” you? dude your not making any sense. are you saing that people that want sex reasignment surgery shouldent get it. im confused. and remember i said it was one of many causes of homosexuality not the only cause.

  • timwatts

    no DUDE i am not. you are a trouble maker who knows next to nothing about hte issues. I am saying the iranian government offers gender reassignement surgery to gays regardless of wether they are transgendered or not as they do not understand ,..erm like you that gays men are not women trapped in men's bodies…you make me sick DUDE. One of the causes of homosexuality indeed. Are you from a village in the hindu kush? you know nothing….

  • timwatts

    backed up my claim that something doesnt exist??????? ok and maybe i should reseach the non existance of the tooth fairy when i have the time….i didnt need to i am a GAY man and I would have noticed the news headlines…GAY GENE FOUND…..you are wrong about this and the thing you said about leviticus and i recall you said i should acknowledge my errror….still waiting for you to back up what you said about the fisrt 16 chapters…i could find it anywhere….

  • timwatts

    you do a lot of rolling on the floor laughing don't you….i dont think we are laughing though…your and they are just yours views are hateful and homophobic. we should ignore you really but you are like a scab..cant help but pick

  • Baquia

    Perhaps he is referring to this which is very far from a scientific consensus:

    “This was popularly (but inaccurately) dubbed as the 'gay gene' in the media, causing significant controversy.”

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  • peyamb

    Constanlty LOL and ROFL is a sign of some missing screws. Or maybe he's actually someone who agrees with us, but is just trying to help us fine tune our rebuttals towards fundamentalist Bahais. Unfortunately his arguments are so weak, that it isn't helpin us much. :o/

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  • amzolt

    It seems to me that claiming membership in the ITC necessarily implies instant “access” to the UHJ is not true. The House is elected by well over 1500 individuals–members of National Spiritual Assemblies world-wide. Each is voting their conscience and not following some prescribed “necessary” vote…

  • Baquia

    Yes, it is one giant coincidence… which is repeated at every election…

  • amzolt

    I think your confusing the word “coincidence” with the word “process”…

    Are you saying that you can claim to judge the independent consciences of over 1500 people and call it coincidence?

  • You're attacking a straw man of your own making. No-one has claimed that “membership in the ITC necessarily implies instant 'access' to the UHJ”. However, the results of the elections speak for themselves.

  • Daniel

    It's an interesting critique that Professor Cole had already brought up almost ten years ago, but I'm really not at all concerned about it. “Groupthink” perhaps has happened in the previous precedence just as well in the previous precedence of NSA members – who the UHJ communicates closely with – being elected. Most recently, individuals have often been appointed to the CBC (Continental Board) based on outstanding understanding, organization skills, and implementation of the Baha'i global plans. This step usually comes before appointment to the ITC. The ITC – from my pilgrimage – seems to be drawn from diverse regions and ethnicities of the globe, ensuring a certain inflow of the value Baha'is give to a diversity of cultures, experiences, perspectives, and wisdom. In the end, Baha'is believe that the UHJ are – without error – divinely guided in the global Plans they set for the Baha'is, and so those who show a special dedication, insight, and talent in implementing those plans in their own regions of the globe, to appnt. to the CBC, to appnt. in the ITC, to possible election to the UHJ: none of this “groupthink” in the end is a problem for them.

  • John

    People have a right to choose who they want to vote for. Just because there is a trend regarding the source of the members of the Universal House of Justice, it does not mean that there is a problem. It is the right of all the voters to vote as they please under the Guidance of Bah??’? Law and Principle.

  • Fubar

    Don’t be delusional.

    Your statement itself reveals the “normality” of the system of self-deception in bahai culture.

    There is almost nothing in bahaism that leads to spiritual liberation or self-realization anymore.

    It is all about “systems colonizing lifeworld” (Habermas), or in other words, a broken model of bureaucracy that does not reflect holistic values, interdependence, postmodernism, and so forth.

    Much bahai thought is backward and paradigm regressive.

    The whole point of this blog is to air out problems that bahai culture wants to hide. There is an epic failure of leadership. Groupthink and deception are rife. Any basic  understanding of organizational theory would easily reveal massive levels of dysfunctionality in bahai administration.

    There is compelling evidence that the voting system is rigged to perpetuate a conformist system, not innovation, creativity, etc.

    Eventually people realize that the existing form of bahai culture and leadership is a scam, and it exploits people’s need for belonging and need for a higher meaning in life.

    Truth is being hidden. Honesty is not rewarded.

    Nonconformist thinkers are marginalized, critics and dissidents are attacked.

    What actually exists is basically a reinvention of medieval culture: a rigid power hierarchy in which a small class of supporters (who are rewarded with ego gratification and recognition) insulates the rulers from the reality of the lower classes of slaves and peasants (who have few “rights” to access, or demand change from , the ruling class).

    The real practical problem is that the logic behind many basic bahai ideas about human consciousness and society is deeply flawed, and the insularized form of bahai culture is largely incapable of adapting to new realities in a significant, meaningful way.

    Virtually everything that bahaism claims to want to do to improve the human condition is being done in a far better way by a very large number of other spiritual and humanitarian and intellectual groups.

  • Fubar

    You are correct in stating that within the bahai “bubble”, everything is carefully orchestrated to make it seem like the establishment is doing things right.

    Style over substance.

    Those that do not want to conform are marginalized and eventually attacked.

    Unfortunately this places a terrible, frequently destructive, burden on the people that want to belong to a religion that is about spiritual liberation and intellectual honesty, cmopassion, altruism, creativity, innovation, holistic values, and integralism.

  • Fubar

    Stop the delusions.

    There is nothing magic about observing obvious social patterns.

    Groupthink is well understood by common people that are outside the irrational bubble of bahai culture, as well as by social theorists.

    Religious people act as herds. That fact makes your use of the phrase “individual conscience” are farce.

    Most people have seen numerous attacks by bahai leaders on people that ask uncomfortable questions.

    No one in the bahai establishment talks honestly about criticism, nonconformists or dissidents.

    That is all you need to know to understanding that the bahai system is insularized and rewards backward thinking.

    The bahai system has devolved into an elaborate ritual system that is designed to avoid the truth, and avoid embarassing the ruling elites, or having them “lose face”.

  • Fubar

    Follow up on one of the topics discussed in this thread: evolution and bahai theology.

    This is what cultural anthropologists actually work on:

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/boyd/HenrichBoydRichersonHumNat08.pdf

    Note:  Richerson and Boyd have addressed how religion is involved in cultural evolution. I have not reviewed that material, yet, so I do not know how pertinent it is to bahai thought.

    Preliminary progress has been made on understanding cultural evolution, but it is hardly a refined, settled field.

    The idea that human consciousness was subject to some “special” developmental case, or force, outside normal evolution, which is basically what bahai scripture states (SAQ), is almost almost certainly NOT  supportable by science.

    What cultural evolution will likely do is to confirm the obvious: human consciousness departed significantly from the congnitive processes of most other species of “animals”. That bahais attempt to bootstrap from that to support the casse of “man” being a “special spiritual type” that is “outside nature” will not hold up in scientific terms as far as I can tell.

    What does this have to do with bahai administration and elections?

    One answer is that it indicates the problem of bahai culture and its leadership in adapting to new scientific ideas that are in conflict with traditional religious beliefs (in this case Sufi concepts of “species types” and the idea that “man” has “special” spiritual qualities that are outside nature).

    What evolution most likely will prove is that spirituality is not “special” to the human species (outside “nature”), but rather something that nature produces when the right evolutionary circumstances are present.

    To be clear, bahai theology does contain the idea of oneness with the larger realities of the kosmos, a concept continued from many earlier cultures and spiritual traditions. It always seemed odd to me that abdul-bahai would insist on departing from that general sense of “oneness with creation” to posit the specialness of human spirituality, at a “higher” spiritual level than  “brutal” “animal” nature.

    The question is, can bahai culture get rid of bad ideas from the past, or does it have to cling to them in defense of the “infallibility” of bahai scripture and interpretation?

    If bahai culture and its leadership is chained to outmoded ideas, how can it contribute to the “advance of civilization”?

    If the people “electing” the individuals for bahai leadership follow a pattern of only selecting bahai leaders that support theological conformism and that support marginalizing non-conforming views about things like science, how can bahaism contribute to “advances”?

    Any feedback is welcome and appreciated.

  • Fubar

    re: within the bahai “bubble”, everything is carefully orchestrated to make it seem like the establishment is doing things right.M. Scott Peck describes this a “false unity”, and explains how “false unity” is highly destructive to the development of “real community”.

    Pecks’ ideas have been continued by a great group that works to build spiritual-intentional community:

    http://fce-community.org/

    excerpts:

    “No community can expect to be in perpetual good health. What a genuine community does do, however, because it is a contemplative body, is recognize its ill health when it occurs and quickly take appropriate action to heal itself. Indeed, the longer they exist, the more efficient healthy communities become in this recovery process. Conversely, groups that never learn to be contemplative either do not become community in the first place or else rapidly and permanently disintegrate.”

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