Baha'is and politics

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Non-partisanship...

    It's been almost a month or so since my last post here on this thread...and I thought since it was the political season in some parts it would be good to look at the Baha'i principle of non-partisanship...Some might interpret non-partisan as a weakness.

    For me this has meant not registering in any political party and basically being neutral at least publically on partisan political matters...

    I think personally this is a principle that to be appreciated must seen in the long run or with a wide perspective.

    The other issue is involvement in community... We as Baha'is can be involved on the local level in issues concerning the community without being partisan..

    - Art :cool:
     
  2. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    To me it brings politics back to what it is supposed to be about - the governmental organization of human and social resources. At an simple level it lets one hear the political parties out, and take the good from whatever is presented. However beyond that it calls for making a party a non-issue, so that good ideas are good ideas, without reference to who had them and what it means *they* say x and so. Decisions can be based on actual experience instead of just supposition when everyone cooperates - if it really is a bad idea, it will become known through implimentation rather than being subject to a "loyal opposition" to fight every step of the way.

    Not being tied to partisan associations allows one to fairly easily walk back and forth across lines that do not really have much weight.
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: Principles of the Baha'i Faith:

    "Not being tied to partisan associations allows one to fairly easily walk back and forth across lines that do not really have much weight."

    Ummm... Yes. I rather like that. You know I think we can work better in collaborative ways with a variety of people than in opposition to some of them. So finding a common interest is more likely and possible when we're not in "opposition" to them.

    - Art :cool:
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    The trouble with that approach is that it can look like exclusivism to ensure loyalty only to the Baha'i faith - in other words, prevent members from having any interests that may conflict with Baha'i organisational aspirations. It can look like a policy of control rather than actual philanthropism.

    Oh, yes, partisan issues can be quite meaningless, and I'm sure we've all seen plenty of irresponsibility with partisan politics - however, democratic procedures also have partisan groups working in non-partisan ways on a far more common and less high-profile basis.

    Indeed, and if it is left to the Baha'i movement to organise human resources, while ensuring that members only have influence at the local level, then what you have is a remarkable tool for developing into an theological dictatorship.

    Oh, I know the Baha'i members may find that somewhat odd - after all, you give yourselves to Baha'i authority without questioning and if you are told somewthing is good, you must accept it -which is another part of the problem - the authoritative structure are built on foundations are already there, and if you were to ever scale them up, you would be able to create a regime on a par with any modern dictatorship.

    Frankly, the whole social structure of the Baha'i faith - from what has been described so far - would be a brilliant tool for oppression, and I have to say that human history taken into account, huamn nature will see that such a system is abused once it is of significant enough influence.

    Simply 2c.
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    ADDED: I think this thread could be an interesting discussion in it's own right - I've therefore split it from the original "Principles of the Baha'i faith" thread.
     
  6. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Greetings!

    I put it to you that this only signifies an unfamliarity with both the Baha'i Faith and its teachings.

    Baha'is obviously have many interests and concerns not directly related to the Faith! Nor is there any policy of trying to "prevent" these....

    Easily said, but again, this is not an accurate reflection of how the Faith works or of how broad its interests actually are. For example, we have well over a thousand socioeconomic development projects around the world which have been caaomplishing many wonderful things without even asking for anything in return.

    (And as you may not already be aware, Baha'is won't even accept--let alone solicit!--contributions to Baha'i Funds from non-members!)

    On the contrary, Baha'is question stuff all the time! And even our scriptures advocate contrary oipinions and discussion thereof as the means of clarifying what the truth is.

    As to "human nature," I think we have a rather more positive view of what humans are capable of achieving than do you! Certainly it's possible to stray into such negative results, but our whole system is designed to correct this and to encourage constructive actions.

    Further, in claiming this would be so "brilliant" a system for oppression, you obviously ignore the bottom-up nature of Baha'i administration, in which each level is based on the will of those beneath it.

    I could at least as easily describe it as a "brilliant" system for inclusion of everyone into the decision-making process....

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Well I think I'm done with this thread...I feel like I'm being pushed around a bit...

    - Art :(
     
  8. PrimaVera

    PrimaVera Well-Known Member

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Brian,

    First of all, in breaking this post out into its own thread, you've given it a rather misleading title. The issue, as Baha'is are concerned, is about partisan politics, not politics per-se. Indeed, it would be difficult to argue that Baha'is aren't involved in politics given the fact that the Baha'i International Community is one of the most active NGOs at the United Nations. The BIC just published a statement marking the 60th anniversay of the UN, and the statement contains a number of proposals for reform. It's difficult to see how that translates to political non-involvement altogether.

    I have no idea what you're talking about. The prohibition on participating in partisan politics stems from the principle of the oneness of humanity. Partisan politics divides us. Moreover, it's not difficult to see that partisan politics, itself, stifles the individual voice. To align oneself with a political party is tantamount to relinquishing one's own views on any given issue to that of the party.

    This may not be so prevalent in the UK as it is in the US, but the extent of the polarisation in the US over the past 20 years is startling. And the vitriol that permeates political discourse in the US, a vitriol that's driven entirely by partisan politics, has left us almost completely unable to solve some of our most pressing problems.

    What I find odd is the assertion that I've given myself up to any authority without questioning, and that, having merely been told that something is good, I have to shut my brain off. I find no justification for that assertion in any Baha'i literature or in every-day Baha'i practice.

    It's rather difficult to assert that Baha'is cannot ask questions when one of the names of the months in the Badi calendar is "Questions." There is a difference between questioning authority and undermining authority, and we seek to find a balance that allows the former without having to resort to the latter.

    Wherever did you get these ideas about the Baha'i Faith, Brian?
     
  9. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    In most instances "partisan" politics are party politics. Whether it be American Republicans and Democrats or Iranian Monarchists and Islamic Revolutionaries.
    Parties divide people. Parties are confrontational. Parties are exclusivist. Parties seek to defeat one another.

    This is not allowed for Baha`i's.

    In the U.S. I participate in politics at the ballot box. I do not belong to any political party. This means I vote in general elections, not primaries. To vote in a primary one must declare a party affiliation. Party affiliations are divisive. By registering I divide myself from those of the other party. This is not allowed.

    Baha`i's consult and attempt to acheive justice for all sides of an issue. Baha`i's do not confront. Baha`i's do not put the faith of Baha`u'llah into a position where it seems to take one side or another in political fashion. One cannot consult creatively if one has taken a side.

    Brian I appreciate your attempts to keep disharmony out of the boards. Why do you keep telling Baha`i's what they believe or do not believe without having any basis in fact? You do not allow anyone else to do this about any other religion, yet you actually do it yourself in regards to this particular religion.

    It is okay to disagree with us on anything, but it is encroaching upon hypocrisy to tell us what we believe.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  10. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Not only will the present-day Spiritual Assemblies be styled differently
    in future, but they will be enabled also to add to their present
    functions those powers, duties, and prerogatives necessitated by
    the recognition of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not merely as one of
    the recognized religious systems of the world, but as the State
    Religion of an independent and Sovereign Power.
    And as the
    Bahá'í Faith permeates the masses of the peoples of East and West,
    and its truth is embraced by the majority of the peoples of a
    number of the Sovereign States of the world, will the Universal
    House of Justice attain the plenitude of its power, and exercise,
    as the supreme organ of the Bahá'í Commonwealth, all the rights,
    the duties, and responsibilities incumbent upon the world's future
    super-state.[
    331]
    [331 Shoghi Effendi, World Order, pp. 6-7.]
     
  11. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    "What the Guardian was referring to was the Theocratic systems, such as the Catholic Church and the Caliphate, which are not divinely given as systems, but man-made and yet, having 79 partly derived from the teachings of Christ and Muhammad are, in a sense, theocracies. The Bahá'í theocracy, on the contrary, is both divinely ordained as a system and, of course, based on the teachings of the Prophet Himself... Theophany is used in the sense of Dispensation..."

    (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 78)
     
  12. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    The Administrative Order which this historic Document has established, it should be noted, is, by virtue of its origin and character, unique in the annals of the world's religious systems. No Prophet before Bahá'u'lláh, it can be confidently asserted, not even Muhammad Whose Book clearly lays down the laws and ordinances of the Islamic Dispensation, has established, authoritatively and in writing, anything comparable to the Administrative Order which the authorized Interpreter of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings has instituted, an Order which, by virtue of the administrative principles which its Author has formulated, the institutions He has established, and the right of interpretation with which He has invested its Guardian, must and will, in a manner unparalleled in any previous religion, safeguard from schism the Faith from which it has sprung. Nor is the principle governing its operation similar to that which underlies any system, whether theocratic or otherwise, which the minds of men have devised for the government of human institutions. Neither in theory nor in practice can the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh be said to conform to any type of democratic government, to any system of autocracy, to any purely aristocratic order, or to any of the various theocracies, whether Jewish, Christian or Islamic which mankind has witnessed in the past. It incorporates within its structure certain elements which are to be found in each of the three recognized forms of secular government, is devoid of the defects which each of them inherently possesses, and blends the salutary truths which each undoubtedly contains without vitiating in any way the integrity of the Divine verities on which it is essentially founded. The hereditary authority which the Guardian of the Administrative Order is called upon to exercise, and the right of the interpretation of the Holy Writ solely conferred upon him; the powers and prerogatives of the Universal House of Justice, possessing the exclusive right to legislate on matters not explicitly revealed in the Most Holy Book; the ordinance exempting its members from any responsibility to those whom they represent, and from the obligation to conform to their views, convictions or sentiments; the specific provisions requiring the free and democratic election by the mass of the faithful of the Body that constitutes the sole legislative organ in the world-wide Bahá'í community -- these are among the features which 327 combine to set apart the Order identified with the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh from any of the existing systems of human government.

    (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 326)

    He has ordained and established the House of Justice, which is endowed with a political as well as a religious function, the consummate union and blending of church and state. This institution is under the protecting power of Bahá'u'lláh Himself. A universal, or international, House of Justice shall also be organized. Its rulings shall be in accordance with the commands and teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, and that which the Universal House of Justice ordains shall be obeyed by all mankind. This international House of Justice shall be appointed and organized from the Houses of Justice of the whole world, and all the world shall come under its administration.
     
  13. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Primavera, could you explain this difference with respect to the Baha'i Faith?

    Look, I ask myself pretty much every day whether the Baha'i Faith is the real deal. Yet, I'm pretty sure that my questions and concerns about the authority of the UHJ would lose me my administrative rights fairly quickly.

    Do I have a concern over a totalitarian state and oppression of the minority, the "other?" You bet I do.

    lunamoth
     
  14. PrimaVera

    PrimaVera Well-Known Member

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    Luna,

    First of all, what you're quoting pertains to what Baha'is believe about the patterns of a future society. What do you suppose the phrases "the recognition of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh," and "embraced by the majority of the peoples" might imply in the context of these statements? How does your reading of these two quotes square with the Universal House of Justice's assertion that,
    Moreover, wouldn't the Baha'i recusal from participation in partisan politics indicate that we do not wish to achieve our aims by pressing a particular political agenda? Does not this recusal indicate that the sole means by which Baha'is would wish to affect change in society is through changing people's hearts?

    Secondly, this is not the primary point with which I was taking issue. Brian, rather inaccurately and with no small sense of disdain, suggested that Baha'is are not allowed to voice disagreement with our institutions and/or their policies. I believe his charicature distorts the balance that Baha'is are called upon to try to achieve.

    Perhaps the most eloquent statement of the balance Baha'is are asked to strike can be found here:

    I see two rather important points we can take from these two quotes. The first is that Baha'is are striving to build something the world has never seen before. Comparisons between the Baha'i Administrative Order and other systems of governance, if they are to be fair, must included points if difference between, as well as points of similarity to, other systems of governance. To do otherwise is to commit a lie by means of omission.

    The second important point to take away from this is that Baha'is have no intention of bringing this about through any means other than through a completely voluntary acceptance of Baha'i aims. We seek to demonstrate the efficacy of this system as we build the system, not impose this system on others against their will.
     
  15. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    I think one should remember that the purpose of the House of Justice at this time is NOT to interfere with governmental affairs. It is only at this time to help usher in the Lesser Peace.

    Portions of Baha`i Law become binding upon the believers only when the time is right for it to be so. There was no House of Justice until 1963, though the law existed at that time. Local and National Assemblies are "Assemblies" because it is not time for them to function as Local and National Houses of Justice. If it was attempted to make them do so, governments would be hostile to the faith when it is most important that the Lesser Peace be established.

    We make no claim to governmental powers whatsoever.

    IF the Baha`i Fiath should become so well established that Houses of Justice might actually function as such, time will make apparent.

    Surely this is a great test for the Faith. If it never comes to be, then perhaps the Faith is false. But this is meant to take place in God's good time not mine.

    I was born in 1947, the iron curtain was bright shiny and impregnable. Yet I have lived to see it come down, something I would never have forecast when I was a young adult. Since my birth the world has become a global society in ways which my parents would never have thought possible.

    In God's good time, what might become possible?

    I do not expect to see it in my days, but then I did not expect to see the Iron Curtain come down in my days.

    God's will isn't thwarted. And man can not say what is God's WILL.
    We pray regularly: "Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say" Praised be God! He is God! all are His servants and all abide by His bidding."
    Even those who impede, oppose, subvert, fall away, stand steadfast, stand waiting, stand unconcerned are His servants in one way or another.

    SO. Time will tell what will happen.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Rick, Yes there are writings to balance out those which I quoted. To me the entire BAO comes down to having trust in the UHJ. But I feel that the UHJ, the BAO, breaches that trust and puts legalities above love and compassion. Perhaps this is not the way the faith used to be, perhaps it is not the way it will be in the future, but bottom line, what will happen to a homosexual Baha'i who obtains a civil union with her partner? How do you explain what happened to Alsion Marshall? These are breaches of that trust.

    Yes, there are avenues to voice concerns, but these avenues are designed to isolate the believer who questions. Face a nine-member assembly, alone. Write a letter to the UHJ. Do not talk about it with your friends. Do not make your concerns public in any way.

    Did not SMKolins in this very forum describe how he would not want every administrave meeting taken up with people going on about "the basics" as he called them, rather than getting on with the important business at hand (promoting the Baha'i Faith).

    Baha'is are told that they can't be members of certain organizations such as Amnesty International.

    Baha'is can't publish anything about the Baha'i Faith, even scholarly works, without pre-publication review by Baha'i Authorities.

    WHY?

    What is it that detests the sunlight?

    And perhaps it is not the prevailing attitude, but how many times have I read comments by Baha'is online about how well, they'd like to overlook a fellow Baha'i's homosexual relationship, but they might be compelled to alert the Local Spiritual Assembly to be obedient.

    How could I ever encourage my gay friends to love a religion that would open them up to that kind of treatment?

    Too much emphasis on our pitiful attempts at human "justice," keeping our fellow believers in line, rather than on compassion and love.

    lunamoth
     
  17. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Allah'u'Abha Scott,

    Yes, time will tell. But I only have this one lifetime to make my choices and play my role in God's plan, to decide to the best of my knowledge, to the depths of my heart, how I can best serve and help this world, rather than add to the pain.

    To be a Baha'i at this time means to assent to the belief that all homosexuals are somehow sicker, more afflicted than I am, and at the same time deny them full participation in the Baha'i Faith if they are in a homosexual relationship, even if it is monogamous, even if it is a civil union.

    How is that compassionate? How does that reflect the harmony of science and religion? If there is any question about the basis of homosexuality, why would the Baha'i Faith do anything but err on the side of love and compassion? Would it be acceptable to remove voting rights from sufferers of obesity unless they were able to lose a couple hundred pounds?

    I am not trying to bash the Baha'i Faith, but these are real issues of justice and compassion that are glossed over. Baha'u'llah decreed that it was lawful to have two wives, Abdu'l Baha' "clarified" this to mean that he really meant only one wife because its impossible to meet the criteria of just treatment of two wives. There are many instances of lots and lots of words to explain away various difficult laws and conflicts, yet when it comes to homosexuality and women serving on the UHJ..

    "About this, there can be no debate."

    lunamoth
     
  18. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Luna;

    Yes. You are absolutely right, it is a matter of trust. And one cannot put trust in what one cannot trust. You should not do so. It is ultimately your decision. And its ultimately mine.

    What happens to someone who enters into a homosexual partnership who is also a Baha`i. They don't get "churched". They are not expelled. But their right to attend feast is curtailed (though they can attend Holy Days, firesides, commemorations, study circles, children's classes, etc). They are also not allowed to hold Baha`i elected office or vote in Baha`i elections. And finally they are not allowed to give to the Baha`i Funds. Their administrative rights are revoked but not their identity as Baha`i's. If, in the future they can rebuild their life in such a way that the violation of Baha`i law is resolved, they can be re=instated. Its not a permanent shunning. in fact it is not a shunning at all. In the last five years on a Local Assembly on which I served we twice had to recommend a loss of administrative and twice worked with individuals to have those rights re-instated. In all four instances it was violation of Baha`i marriage laws that precipitated the loss of administrative rights. None of those occasions had anything to do with homosexuality. In fact, I have never lived in a community in my thirty + years where such an event occured. By my own experience this is nothing common.

    In my own experience I have known of three instances where a Baha`i in good standing was homosexual, but managed to live in accordance with Baha`i law.

    I could put you in touch with a Baha`i professor who has taken several issues of academic freedom to the Universal House of Justice and had replies which clarify the issues to her satisfaction.

    The responsibilites of a Local Assembly occasionally touch on pastoral matters, we don't have clergy to tend to that kind of thing. There are mecahnics for dealing with personal issues that observe the rights and feelings of those involved. An assembly tends to deal with such things not as routine, but as occasions when love and guidance has to be lavished on individuals. But . . . the purpose of a local assembly is to teach the Cause, everything else is secondary; however part of that is making the Baha`i Community a good model of how society ought to work. So teaching and pastoral matters are one and the same.

    As to Amnesty International, this is from the House's guidance on the issue to an individual believer:
    "Even though it is not appropriate for Bahá'ís to become members of Amnesty International, its humanitarian aspects make it possible for Bahá'ís to have friendly relationships with the organization. Thus, Bahá'ís are encouraged to feel free to collaborate as individuals in certain Amnesty International's projects, while retaining the right to abstain from participation in actions which could conflict with Bahá'í principles.


    "Regarding the enquiry in the penultimate paragraph of your letter, the Universal House of Justice had not established a list of different organizations that the Bahá'í Faith should not support. An important distinction, however is drawn between association with other movements and actual membership. In general Bahá'ís are encouraged to collaborate with all others who are working towards the same goals as the Faith. Bahá'ís are not permitted, however, to be members of certain secret societies, of the religious organizations of other Faiths, of political organizations or, of course, of organizations whose goals are in conflict with the Bahá'í principles. For example, Bahá'ís would gladly work together with Christians in humanitarian activities, but a Bahá'í, believing in Bahá'u'lláh, cannot be a member of a Christian church which believes that Christ has not yet returned."

    http://bahai-library.com/?file=uhj_amnesty_international for the entire document.

    The review process changes all the time, Luna. For the past five years there has been no review process whatsoever concerning electronically published material. I helped my daughter go through the process for publishing a children's book. It made it through without much delay, though we have not found a publisher as yet.


    Its not a matter of "obedience". Ratting out is ratting out, and one should consider it carefully. Does the way that an individual Baha`i is living cast a bad light on the faith?

    I think those who are committed to being "Gay" are not going to be committed to accepting a faith that says they should not live such a lifestyle. I think an individual teaching the faith should be up-front about it. Once upon a time a certain celebrity wished to become Baha`i, but in consultation with those who taught she was convinced to withdraw her declaration because her personal life at the time would have conflicted with her being a declared Baha`i. Those who loved her and taught her the faith helped her make a decision.

    Being Baha`i is voluntary, and one should know what is expected of those who declare up front and right away.

    As to to the human sense of "justice" being too weak, well Baha`u'llah makes a clear demand of believers:

    "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."
    (Baha'u'llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  19. PrimaVera

    PrimaVera Well-Known Member

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Luna,

    I understand that you don't mean to bash the Baha'i Faith, and, yes, these are important issues. I should point out that Baha'is are building the system. It hasn't been built yet. Since this is a system that humanity has never seen before, we all, both individuals and members of the various institutions, are struggling to understand what it all means. We all bring certain values to the table. Many of those values were conditioned by the culture and society that reared us. As much as we might question the institutions, a failure to question our own assumptions, a failure to ascertain whether our culturally ingrained values are actually grounded in Baha'u'llah's teachings, impeads progress.

    The interactions are complex, and a full discussion of the implications just isn't possible in an online forum. Bahiyyih Nakhjavani discusses many of these issues at length in her book, Asking Questions: A Challenge to Fundamentalism. For example, I don't know all the details in the case with Alison Marshall (I don't believe that anyone whose sole source for information has been various online forums knows all the details), but I strongly suspect that core issue may well have involved misunderstandings at several levels.

    Regarding compassion, this, too, is a complex issue. And, it's not limited to homosexuality. As `Abdu'l-Baha says in several places, we are all endowed with a spiritual nature we are asked to nurture and develop as well as an imperfect physical nature. That our physical nature is imperfect is "by design" as folks in the software industry say. We each have aspects of our physical nature that must be overcome in order to grow and develop spiritually.

    If I might, you do, however, leave a couple of misconceptions. The notion that Baha'is can only discuss their problems with the institutions has no basis in the Baha'i Writings. We must take care not to undermine the authority of the institutions, and contention and conflict are certainly not allowed. Neither, however, of these standards of conduct requires us to remain silent or face a spiritual assembly alone. Have you read the exchange of letters that Dr. Maneck had with the Universal House of Justice? That kind of candor, and that kind of dialogue, comes very close to the ideal.

    You suggest that Baha'is are, in some way, required to "out" any homosexual members of the Faith--that we are obligated to report someone we know to be maintaining a homosexual relationship. I know of no such obligation in the Writings. Indeed, Shoghi Effendi's statement that individuals should look upon one another with "love, unity, forgiveness and a sin-covering eye" would imply that we are supposed to overlook the faults of others.

    Regarding membership on politically active organizations such as Amnesty International, the issue is rather clear. Many such organizations advocate such things as civil disobedience, and use means that are anathema to Bah'i principle. To fully align ourselves with an organization like Amnesty International would turn us into hypocrites. That doesn't mean we can't work with Amnesty International to further those aims that we hold in common.

    Lastly, with regards to pre-publication review, I don't believe the purpose has anything to do with obscuring light. It's purpose is no different than the practice of pre-publication review practiced by a majority of academic journals. In a religion where Baha'is are obligated to refrain from asserting that their own, personal views represent official Baha'i teaching, I'm at a loss to know how that standard might be upheld without pre-publication review. Do you think it would be better to simply allow someone to publish something that does pass off a personal view as being an official Baha'i teaching, and respond to the issue after the fact? No, rather than obscuring the light, the purpose of review is to keep the clouds off the horizon.

    I'll close by echoing Scott's remarks. We all have to make our choices. You are certainly free to make whatever choices you wish to make, as is everyone else who comes into contact with the Baha'i Faith. All I ask is that we base our choices on the truth, and not on half truths or outright lies.

    I have part of the quote about justice in my signature. I value it, I believe, as much as anyone else. Scott posted the rest of it, and the part of the quote that I feel is most important is where Baha'u'llah says, "Ponder this in thy heart how it behoveth thee to be." Justice is not achieved in this world when we spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not other people are being just. Justice is achieved in this world when we spend most of our time worring about whether or not we, ourselves, are being just.
     
  20. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Re: Non-partisanship...

    Rick,

    Its a deep pleasure to make your acquaintance. Have we met on other lists?

    And, yeah, it was Susan Maneck's letters I was referring to as well.

    Regards,
    Scott
     

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