Excommunication

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by 16Masail, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. 16Masail

    16Masail Bahá'i

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    This quote and others similar to it got me thinking...If everyone in a city were Bahá'is and one of them became a Covenant-Breaker, how would this individual attend school? Work? Since Bahá'is are commanded to excommunicate (shun) Covenant-Breakers lest they also become shunned, who would teach him in school? Sit beside him in class? Who would employ him? He would probably be kicked out of home lest his family be shunned. So who would provide him tenancy? Would he be exiled? Or live in an isolated place like a leper? Would this treatment force him to recant his deviant beliefs? If so, wouldn't this contravene with his freedom of religion?

    Then I encountered this quote and I'm glad to know that the hypothetical scenario that I present above is false. The UHJ will probably decree that a particular teacher, employer, landlord, and other individuals will be permitted to associate with the Covenant-Breaker as necessary in order to preserve his civil rights.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.

    One might form the opinion that attitudes had hardened in the 17 years between the two statements, and that the treatment of the covenant-breaker has stiffened considerably since the first.

    As the latter is a 'ground's eye' view, rather than the often optimistic and sometimes spin PR that tends to come out of General Assemblies, I could draw a whole raft of conclusions that the Baha'i can be as exclusive and oppressive as any other?
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    This is enough for.me to not have interest in any group....

    A reason I didn't join the military...

    A reason I felt sorry for Amish and Mennonites...
     
  4. 16Masail

    16Masail Bahá'i

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    I wouldn't speak ill of the Faith itself, but I agree that Bahá'is can be as exclusive and oppressive as any other group of people. It depends on the state of one's heart:

    I'll just end my post with this quote,

    "It makes no difference whether you have ever heard of Bahá'u'lláh or not," was the answer, "the man who lives the life according to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is already a Bahá'í. On the other hand a man may call himself a Bahá'í for fifty years and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá'í. An ugly man may call himself handsome, but he deceives no one, and a black man may call himself white yet he deceives no one: not even himself!"

    ('Abdu'l-Bahá in London, p. 106)
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Seems similar to Muslims that tell me that Islam has been here forever and we are all Muslims and have always been....just don't know it yet
     
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  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Actually "excommunication" is more a Christian term when you think about it... Excommunication as I understand it could come about in various ways..

    The term Baha'is use "Covenant Breaking" has a special context in the Faith.. It applies primarily to those who attack the Central Figures of the Faith and only the House of Justice determines who is a Covenant Breaker. Over ten years ago I did encounter a person so designated online but it is very rare these days. A Covenant Breaker can request to be reunited with the Faith if they are repentant of their past hostility. We are to simply leave a Covenant Breaker to themselves. If we have some business with them we don't wish them ill or make life difficult for them.

    The following are not Covenant Breakers:

    Any Baha'i can withdraw from the Faith and they are simply considered non-Baha'is... No penalties.
    Some Baha'is may have broken Baha'i laws and have had their administrative rights suspended... however they can restore their rights by correcting whatever behaviour was involved and be restored to full participation in their community.
     
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  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Appreciate the further info...
     
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  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ... I've head Catholics say the same thing about non-Catholics. And, of course, St Paul said it to the Athenians on the Areopagus (Acts 17).
     
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  9. Lux

    Lux Active Member

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  10. Craz

    Craz Active Member

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    Ditto.
    I once followed a guru who was believed by followers to be the Lord of the universe. We believed that everyone was really a follower but didn't yet know it.
    Our purpose, as present followers, was to welcome evryone into the kingdom of heaven.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
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