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City seeks to get handle on local homeless situation PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Social Action
Written by John Stroud, Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, USA   
Thursday, 27 November 2014
One of the many faces of the homeless population in Glenwood Springs, Paul Wilm, shown here on a snowy Tuesday morning near Ninth and Blake, recently returned to the area while awaiting word on VA benefits that he is hoping will help ease his own situation.

An unsuccessful attempt to land a job in Denver recently while working to line up benefits through the Veterans Administration ultimately landed Paul Wilm back on the streets of Glenwood Springs Monday night.

Its the place Wilm has called home since 2009 when he first came to Glenwood after a divorce, and amid dealing with lingering trauma from three years of active military duty with the Army National Guard, including a tour in Baghdad, Iraq.

Wilm said he often gets steered toward Christian-based assistance agencies. But as a practitioner of the Bahaii Faith, he said he feels alienated

But home is a relative term for the 37-year-old veteran, since most of his time here has been spent living out of his vehicle while trying to get his life back together.

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Ledoux, Urbain (1874-1941) PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Individuals and groups
Written by "Encyclopedia of American Recessions and Depressions", edited by Daniel Leab   
Thursday, 27 November 2014

A flamboyant self-promoter, many of whose charitable activities skirted the edge of legality and incurred the wrath of the authorities, he dramatically publicized the plight of the unemployed especially during the economic downturn of 19201921. Ledoux credited much of what he did for the down and out, in bad times and good, to his Baha'i faith (with its emphasis on good works and on ending extremes poverty and wealth). Ledoux was one of Baha'i's earliest practitioners in the United States and Canada

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Bahais demand minority status PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Community and administration
Written by Abantika Ghosh, Indian Express   
Sunday, 23 November 2014

Less than a year after the UPA government declared Jains as a minority community, the Bahai community has reignited its demand for the status. The community much like the Jains is affluent, but it asserts that the status is a matter of recognition rather than plea for help.

We had asked for more information from the community and they did submit some But, that was not enough for the commission

Bahai representatives had met Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla in this regard and she, it was learnt, referred the matter to the National Commission for Minorities. The matter was also taken up by the NCM in more than one meeting, but the commission felt that it did not have enough data on the socio-economic condition of the community to make a concrete recommendation. It is now for the Ministry of Minority Affairs to take a call. There are around two million Bahais in India and the community is perhaps best known for the Lotus Temple. The religion traces its roots to Iran the birthplace of Bahaullah, its prophet.

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Station of scholars and historians in the Baha'i faith (1999) PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Baha'i studies
Written by Juan Cole, Talk.Religion.Bahai   
Saturday, 15 November 2014

Many Baha'is from the global South have grown up in dictatorships or their parents did, and they think about the institutions of the faith as like the governmental dictatorship they experienced. Dictatorships typically severely restrict freedom of speech, jail academics, denounce them for undue "pride," practice censorship, and allow no public questioning of announced government policy. Many Baha'is think of the Universal House of Justice as such a dictatorial body, and believe that when they speak all must be silent.

I don't believe, however, that Baha'u'llah much cared for dictatorships, and he strove mightily to challenge the absolute monarchies of his own day, which he consigned to the dust heap of history with the advent of universal reason among the people.

Last I checked, this system does not produce chaos, and everyone seems to know what the actual law is.

There is another model, which is that of the Supreme Court in democracies. The Supreme Court's decisions stand as the law of the land. But in democracies, professors in law schools can write journal articles in law reviews that examine the reasoning of the decisions, re-examine the law, and come to a different conclusion. As long as the Supreme Court does not find these arguments persuasive, they remain nothing more than obscure journal articles. The Supreme Court's decisions define the law. Sometime the court will take up a law review article and incorporate its reasoning into their new decision. But they don't have to. It is the decision of the Court. Nevertheless, they do not seek to prevent the law professors from writing their articles. Last I checked, this system does not produce chaos, and everyone seems to know what the actual law is.

I think this is a much better model than that of the supreme dictator (like the Shah or Khomeini) for the Baha'i community. So, my answer to your question is very simple. The Universal House of Justice has the authority to decide such issues as whether women are admitted to that body, and as long as they stick to their decision that is Baha'i law. But they do not have the authority to prevent the free and conscientious expression of other views, as long as these are advertised merely as personal and non-authoritative opinion. Thus, historians may examine the evolution of the gender issue in Baha'i institutions, and freely publish their results, but these results do not have to be adopted by the House of Justice.

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