Enemies of Baha'is

And if I can throw my two cents worth in. Scott hit on it well. Since the Revelation of Baha'u'llah in 1863 and Unity was ordained as a mandate of God and many nations have arisen to pass laws concerning human rights of individuals, the word "discrimination" and "prejudice" have taken on impossible meanings.

I see myself as a discriminating individual, but I do not discriminate against individuals. Actually, that isn't true. I have no interest in allowing "child molesters" the right to practice their beliefs. Not because it is against the law, but because it is abhorrently against God's directions. I also will not somebody to "gossip" to me. I stop them when they attempt to do that to the chagrin of many individuals. But, I have found if I politely listen to somebody gossip, it causes me pain. I refuse to listen to somebody belittle an ethnic or race or sexual orientation in words or joke without stopping the individual and saying I am not interested. In fact, I have a couple of things I say. I practiced them so I could say them with conviction.

1. When somebody says, "Hey, I got a good joke for you." I say, "If it is ethnic or racially abusive, I am not interested." Then if they continue and it is one of these, I simply stop them. Many times a conversation will come from this as to why I am so adamant about this. Many times I am told, "Hey, it is just a joke."

2. When somebody makes an ethnic or racial slur to me about somebody else, I will say something like, "Whoa, wait a minute. Do I look like one of your bigoted friends? Why would you pick me out of a crowd and make a statement like that?"

I would think that both of these incidents were an act of discrimination and a showing of prejudice. I am discriminating against racial and ethnic slurs delivered to me about somebody else and I am prejudiced against listening to them.

Brian, Baha'is are not prejudiced against homosexuals. We are told to welcome them with open arms. To respond to their inquiries and to add them to our communities, while teaching them the laws concerning marriage and sex outside of a marriage. We do the same with people that drink, or curse, or have shady pasts. I am aware of a Baha'i that spent time in prison for robbing banks, before he became a Baha'i. I am sure this is true with other religions as well.

So, the words "discrimination and prejudice", because of Unity being ordained by Baha'u'llah, have taken on differing meanings and will probably continue to do so as mankind learns how to live this spiritual mandate by God.

Sassafras suggested something to me while we were discussing this topic. Before Baha'u'llah and His announcement to the world that "We are the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch...", a dialogue concerning prejudice and discrimination wouldn't have existed. Sure, in the United States, there were those working against slavery and for the rights of women, but a simple dialogue concerning discriminate or prejudicial behavior would have held little meaning.

Segregation lasted long after laws were passed making the enslavement or trade in humans illegal. In reality, withing real estate, college acceptance programs, private clubs, investment opportunities, to name a few, segregation and the results of it are still prevalent in the United States. A perfect example would be how the Federal funds are being used in Louisiana and Mississippi in the rebuilding after the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. Whole towns have simply disappeared and little effort is being made to rebuild them because they were mostly inhabited by poor African Americans, while large amounts of money is being poured into the more affluent and rich communities that are predominately white.

I know, what does this have to do with how we, as Baha'is, treat our enemies. I am not sure who my enemy is. I think the Writings of Baha'u'llah have managed to wash the word away from my soul. I pray for those that have hurt our brothers and sisters in Iran. I hope for peace in the hearts of those that are terrorizing the world because of their zealous beliefs. This would include nations as well as individuals. I think, when you pray for an enemy, your ability to hate seems to wane. Without hate, an enemy doesn't really take on any ominous presence.

So in summary, Postmaster, because of our directions to pray for our guidance while dealing with all of humanity, enemies become more and more difficult to distinguish and seem to have less and less importance.

Is it an act of discrimination to punish crime based on the Ten Commandments? That's "crime based on the ten commandments" as in defining murder, theft, elder abuse, etc. as crimes. Certainly those in prison are ostracized from society.

This is just to show that your definition of discrimination is off-kilter.


Scott, homosexuality isn't proscribed againt in the Ten Commandments, and certainly in the UK homosexuality isn't illegal.

The big point on discrimination is that there's been a big revolution in social conscience over the past few decades that says that discriminating against people based on ethnicity, sexuality, gender, or faith, as forms of prejudices that modern society should combat.

Now, religions such as Christianity and Islam have mainstream views that may be perceived as discriminatory by these criteria. I can respect that any group whose scripture conflicts with modern social values even if I don;t agree with that.

However, the position being suggested in this thread is that Baha'is are all embracing and non-discriminatory when it comes to issues of sexuality - when it plainly is.

That doesn't mean to say that a Baha'i may perceive that as discriminatory by merit of the Baha'i scriptures, but it's going to be seen as discriminatory by modern social values.

Saying that you embrace homosexuals with open arms, but refuse to accept them as homosexuals, is surely an act of discrimination by modern social values?

That's simply the point I'm making, but is this a viewpoint to be refuted?
Okay, I'll try to sound less formal, especially as mentioning "modern social values" is yet another can of worms in danger of being opened. :)

If I ask a mainstream Christian like Dor or Faithful servant what they think of homosexuals and homosexuality, I'll probably be told that homosexuality is proscribed against in Leviticus therefore homosexuality is a sin and not to be tolerated - though we also may hear the line "hate the sin, love the sinner".

If told this is discriminatory, I'll be told it's scripture - and that's that.

I figure the Baha'i approach is similar?

It's simply that saying that accepting homosexuals but not homosexuality is not discriminatory seems a contradiction. Maybe not within the bounds of Baha'i scripture, but from an outside perspective.

Let's please stay on topic..

Thanks for your post Brian...

I think this topic probably needs a separate thread..maybe you could start one in the comparative religion section as this one deals with "enemies of Baha'is" and sexual orientation really isn't related I think.

But to answer your question about Baha'i law as it relates to Baha'is and no one else, it is very specific that sexual acts outside marriage is forbidden... in the same way that other acts are forbidden such as drinking alcohol or gambling or such.

Here's the source:

UHJ letter: homosexuality.discussion.html

The other point I'd like to mention is that the issue of a believers behaviour is dealt with confidentially by the Local Spiritual Assemly which has jurisdiction of Baha'is in a given community and is not a public issue.

I think we need to stay on topic.

- Art
"The big point on discrimination is that there's been a big revolution in social conscience over the past few decades that says that discriminating against people based on ethnicity, sexuality, gender, or faith, as forms of prejudices that modern society should combat."

Technically 'gender' is a seperate issue. Gender Dysphoria is a medical condition and can be treated medically. It is also accepted as such by the institutions of the faith.

I am personally aware of two instances of gender dysphoria in which the Universal House of Justice was consulted and the House encouraged the believers to seek medical assistance for gender reassignment.