Are Bahai's pacifists?


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Somebody said that they're not, but can someone please provide quotes to back this up for me ?

Hmm.... come to think of it, Im not 100% entirely sure what a "pacifist" is supposed to be.

To the best of my knowledge, all I know is that they are totally against war and any type of military action (im probably wrong about this...)
War is condemned. Murder is condemned. Abortion merely to prevent an unwanted child is condemned. Heck, backbiting is condemned.

That being said, it does depend on the definition of what a pacifist is. Some people think that a pacifist means that they will not harm others or kill regardless of the circumstance.

Bahais are not pacifists in that sense. If someone is in mortal danger, we need to defend them if possible. If that means that we must use lethal means to defend someone else, then it is allowed.

If one nation invades another nation, it is the duty of all the other nations to stop the offending nation.

So then what is the complete definition of a pacifist? Because I done some research on the net but it confused me even more...!

Im confused because I know that Bahais are allowed to serve in the military but theyre not allowed to kill but can do other things
XXXI. Military Service

1351. Bahá'ís Cannot Voluntarily Enlist Where Subject to Taking Human Life

"Bahá'ís cannot voluntarily enlist in any branch of the Armed Forces where they would be subject to orders to engage in the taking of human life."

(From the letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Fiji Islands, August 2, 1971)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 405)

I thought that this would be good to mention as well.

1353. There are Many Avenues Through Which the Believers Can Assist in Time of War

"It is still his firm conviction that the believers, while expressing their readiness to unreservedly obey any directions that the authorities may issue concerning national service in time of war, should also, and while there is yet no outbreak of hostilities, appeal to the government for exemption from active military service in a combatant capacity, stressing the fact that in doing so they are not prompted by any selfish considerations, but by the sole and supreme motive of upholding the Teachings of their Faith, which make it a moral obligation for them to desist from any act that would involve them into direct warfare with their fellow-humans of any other race or nation.

"The Bahá'í Teachings, indeed, condemn, emphatically and unequivocally, any form of physical violence, and warfare in the battlefield is obviously a form, and perhaps the worst form which such violence can assume.

"There are many other avenues through which the believers can assist in times of war by enlisting in services of a non-combatant nature -- services that do not involve the direct shedding of blood -- such as ambulance work, anti-air raid precaution service, office and administrative works, and it is for such types of national service that they should volunteer.

"It is immaterial whether such activities would still expose them to dangers, either at home or in the front, since their desire is not to protect their lives, but to desist from any acts of willful murder.

"The friends should it their conscientious duty, as loyal members of the Faith, to apply for such exemption, even though there may be slight prospect of their obtaining the consent and approval of the authorities to their petition. It 407 is most essential that in times of such national excitement and emergency as those through which so many countries in the world are now passing that the believers should not allow themselves to be carried away by the passions agitating the masses, and act in a manner that would make them deviate from the path of wisdom and moderation, and lead them to violate, however reluctantly and indirectly, the spirit as well as the letter of the Teachings."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, June 4, 1939)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 406)

When I responded earlier, this might help to clarify a few things.

1354. Bahá'ís Recognize the Right and Duty of Governments to Protect Their People

"... Bahá'ís recognize the right and duty of governments to use force for the maintenance of law and order and to protect their people. Thus, for a Bahá'í, the shedding of blood for such a purpose is not necessarily essentially wrong. The Bahá'í Faith draws a very definite distinction between the duty of an individual to forgive and 'to be killed rather than to kill' and the duty of society to uphold justice. This matter is explained by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 'Some Answered Questions'. In the present condition of the world Bahá'ís try to keep themselves out of the internecine conflicts that are raging among their fellow men and to avoid shedding blood in struggles, but this does not mean that we are absolute pacifists. This point is explained in the following statement written by the Guardian's secretary on his behalf on 21 November, 1935:

'With reference to the absolute pacifists, or conscientious objectors of war; their attitude, judged from the Bahá'í standpoint, is quite anti-social and due to its exaltation of the individual conscience leads inevitably to disorder and chaos in society. Extreme pacifists are thus very close to the anarchists, in the sense that both of these groups lay an undue emphasis on the rights and merits of the individual. The Bahá'í conception of social life is essentially based on the subordination of the individual will to that of society. It neither suppresses the individual nor does it exalt him to the point of making him an anti-social creature, a menace to society. As in everything, it follows the 'golden mean'. The only way that society can function is for the minority to follow the will of the majority.

'The other main objection to the conscientious objectors is that their method of establishing peace is too negative. Non-co-operation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction. Their refusal to bear arms can never establish peace. There should first be a spiritual revitalization which nothing, except the cause of God, can effectively bring to every man's heart'

"A further quotation which may help this dear friend to understand this matter is the passage about the establishment of the Lesser Peace on page 65 of 'The Secret of Divine Civilization'

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 9, 1967)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 406)

In short, Baha'is serving in the military are strongly encouraged to apply for noncombatant status. (In the US this status is restricted to chaplains and medics. Since Baha'is don't have clergy, this means they'd serve as medics.)

Also, Baha'is are permitted to but discouraged from serving as career military personnel (i.e., making the military one's career).

As was mentioned, the Baha'i scriptures specifically prohibit aggression and inciting violence, while they promote unity and concord. They also state that if one country invades another it's the duty of all other nations to stop the aggressor.

Best regards, :)