Peace, Love and Unity
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Hope the title isn't too shocking. :)

I'm aware that the Baha'i religion frowns very much on active sexual relationships between individuals outside of marriage.

However, how do they view issues of sexuality such as erotica/pornography?

A sincere question, and hopefully not too uncomfortable to address.

It's more that I believe some Christian groups at least regard it as a form of adultry in itself - a way of making people look outside of existing relationships for further sexual relations elsewhere.

Is there any specific Baha'i proscriptions on the issue?
Hi Mick, I'm not sure what your reply is supposed to mean. Would you care to elaborate?
Brian I know your trying to lighten the mood round this part of the forum but it seems that the Baha'i's around here instinctively expect negative views from you towards them, as legit as your question is, I'm sure you know the answer to it. If you wanted to lighten the mood, you could have asked something more meaningful like why did Bahá’u’lláh say this?

Now that the discourse hath reached this exalted and intractable theme and touched upon this sublime and impenetrable mystery, know that the Christian and Jewish peoples have not grasped the intent of the words of God and the promises He hath made to them in His Book, and have therefore denied His Cause, turned aside from His Prophets, and rejected His proofs. Had they but fixed their gaze upon the testimony of God itself, had they refused to follow in the footsteps of the abject and foolish among their leaders and divines, they would doubtless have attained to the repository of guidance and the treasury of virtue, and quaffed from the crystal waters of life eternal in the city of the 7 All-Merciful, in the garden of the All-Glorious, and within the inner reality of His paradise. But as they have refused to see with the eyes wherewith God hath endowed them, and desired things other than that which He in His mercy had desired for them, they have strayed far from the retreats of nearness, have been deprived of the living waters of reunion and the wellspring of His grace, and have lain as dead within the shrouds of their own selves.
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I would love to respond to you, but not in this thread and if you would like to start a new thread with that question, it should be a good one.

Concerning this topic, Brian should simply delete what he shouldn't have posted. Did he ask this same question of all the other religions? Is he writing a paper concerning erotica and mankind? What are his motivations other than to be controversial? You suggest he is trying to lighten the mood around here. You want to lighten the mood? Quit attacking, guys. What's the point. Isn't this similar to a bunch of you standing around in a circle in front of my table so that people can't get in to ask a question?

Brian, let me ask you a question that is just as frivolous as yours. What is the Christian thinking of fellow Christians amassing huge amounts of wealth while impoverishing millions of his fellow men? I wouldn't want you to think that I am asking this for any reason than curiousity. I would like you to answer it with a Christian perspective, concentrating on those quotes in your Holy Writings that justify wealth and poverty as God's will.

After that little bit of sarcasm, I leave this thread and will not respond to any other statements or questions in it.

Mick, I must say I don't think he was being frivolous in a negative way. Brian could have a personal opinion of the Baha'i faith that manifests in non equal treatment on this forum or it could be a non bias job of regulating the forum. I'm yet to conclude on this.
Who's attacking, Mick? Certainly I'm not.

I'm asking a genuine question, because sexual attitudes came up previously in another thread, and I was genuinely interested in asking what the Baha'i view was on the subject.

We usually have open discussions with other religions here - I'm acquainted with many other points of view on this topic from many other religious groups. Why does it touch such a nerve with yourself?

If you don't want to answer, that's fine, but frankly I'm surprised at your bitter attack and it doesn't become you.

To clarify:
  • I'm not trying to lighten the mood
  • I'm not trying to attack
  • Hey, I'm not a Christian, so if you want to moralise at me, try a different tact
If anyone feels there are any outstanding questions about CR and how it's dealt with any specific issues, any member is welcome to ask - Feedback board.

In the meantime, the original question is still there if anyone wishes to relate a Baha'i view.
Okay, I'm going to presume that anything that may be classed as pornography/erotica is pretty much frowned upon within the Baha'i faith. :)

I was especially curious, though, about the perception of sexuality in art. Although I appreciate this opens up a big grey area (ie, is the painting Olympia art or pornography?) I was sort of hoping for some specific writing on this issue - presuming there was something that Baha'u'llah may have said on the matter.

Or would we need to reference texts more akin with Christian proscriptions against looking at others lewdly?
Hi, Brian!

There is no prohibition in the Baha'i Faith on nudity in art, and an article published (as I recall it) in the late 90's makes this clear.

The practice of nudism is prohibited. Nudity in art is a different category.

I can post the article if you want to see it; just ask me if so.


Sure, that would be great Bruce - a link, or paste if it's only short. :)

As promised, here's the statement I mentioned:



The American Baha'i
Vol. 30, #3; April 9, 1999


In _The Advent of Divine Justice_, p. 25, Shoghi
Effendi states that the Faith "condemns the
prostitution of art" and "the practices of nudism"
and instead calls for the "exercise of moderation in
all that pertains to dress, language, amusements,
and all artistic and literary avocations." However,
the House of Justice does not know of any passages
in the teachings prohibiting the delineation of the
human body in works of art. It is the practice of
nudism that the Guardian condemns in _The Advent of
Divine Justice_, not nudity. There are many
variables in the question of the portrayal of the
nude form in art, including that of local mores and
attitudes. The intention of the artist is a very
important factor. Normally that is a matter left to
the conscience and good taste of the individual
artist unless the Spiritual Assembly decides that
the Cause is actually being harmed in a particular
--From a letter of the Universal House
of Justice dated Feb. 25, 1988, to a
National Spiritual Assembly
[end quote]


Many thanks for the post, Bruce - I know it may have sounded like something of an odd question, but I was simply curious as to what similarities may have been inherent to Pauline ideas on adultery.

It's interesting to see the Baha'i perspective is one of moderation through conscience and choice - thanks for sharing that. :)
Who gets to say whats art alot of people think playboy is art so are you saying Baha'i men can look at playboy?
I think most people have to say what constitutes art to themselves.

It also takes a very liberal interpretation to equate porn with art. I think it's unfair to make that presumption about the Baha'is.
I think most people have to say what constitutes art to themselves.

It also takes a very liberal interpretation to equate porn with art. I think it's unfair to make that presumption about the Baha'is.

I disagree the fact is baha'is keep a open interpretation about whats art because of this a Baha'i man could infact say playboy is art.

Nude art books is just like playboy it shows women naked its the same stuff it just has this title of art.

I think we need to ban this kind of stuff and stop trying to make it ok by saying well this is Art so its fine.
I think we need to keep the Baha'i viewpoint on this thread, and not start creating strawmen to argue with in order to justify our own religious position on any subject - either directly discussed, or otherwise claimed inferred. :)

If you have particular strong feelings on this issue, you are more than welcome to start it on a new thread on an appropriate board. :)
I think we need to ban this kind of stuff and stop trying to make it ok by saying well this is Art so its fine.

Agreed, what is art anyway? Nudity in art is for mans fantasy. Can pornography be considered art?