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The Confederate Flag and the Oneness of Humanity PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Social Action
Written by Homa Sabet Tavangar, Bahai Teachings   
Thursday, 02 July 2015

Just like ... the just-reached seminal decision by the U.S. Supreme Court granting marriage equality in all fifty states, realization of the Oneness of Mankind "implies an organic change"...

As the Confederate flag of South Carolina goes down – literally and figuratively – and others, like Mississippi’s and Alabama’s, and even previously revered collectibles like the famed Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Confederate Matchbox Car, fall with it in rapid succession, many of us stand in awe that such a change is actually happening.

Confederate flag flying over State House in Columbia, SC

While these moves were unimaginable just two weeks earlier, my thoughts inevitably turn to the nine slain worshippers in the Emanuel AME church of Charleston, who deserve the honor bestowed upon martyrs for racial equality and justice. The fact that President Obama broke out in song during his moving eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney attests to how profoundly he, along with a quiet majority of humanity, have been moved not just by the tragedy of the loss of those innocent worshipers, but also by the faith, fortitude, and forgiveness shown by the victims’ families, and by the wider community of Charleston coming together for a greater good that must–absolutely must–be realized.

Full story...

 
Closure of the BCCA PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Community and administration
Written by BCCA-CC   
Monday, 08 June 2015

BCCA logo

This is an extremely difficult letter for us to write. We are saddened to announce that, after nearly a quarter century of services provided to the Baha'i community world-wide, the BCCA is closing down all services as of 31 July 2015.

This shutdown includes all email lists and websites that are currently managed by the BCCA. After that date, however, lists for Assemblies, clusters, teaching institutes and groups will be created and maintained under the newly-formed 'bahai.email' domain. Topical lists, such as Baha'i Writers and Baha'i Women will be discontinued. The Daily Readings and Baha'i Announce lists will also continue. Websites for National Spiritual Assemblies will be maintained by a different service provider.

It bears repeating to say that e-mail services to Assemblies, councils, clusters, teaching institutes and specific Baha'i-oriented services will be continued under the bahai.email domain. Additional information as to this transition will be announced as the 31 July date approaches.

Founded in 1992, the BCCA has offered a variety of list services as well as web services to the Baha'i community around the world. These services have been offered free of charge to individuals and the Institutions of the Faith. The BCCA was, and still is being, operated by volunteers. For many years financial support was obtained solely from individuals, whereas for the last few years it was obtained from its sponsor.

Initially, the BCCA responded to a number of the communications possibilities offered by the then rapidly developing Internet and World Wide Web services as well as to the new and increasingly inexpensive personal computer technologies. Since 1992, Internet and personal computer usage have deeply penetrated almost all levels of society world-wide. Over the last ten years or so, wireless and mobile telephone technologies have increased even further this penetration and we all live in an increasingly connected world. New tools and services, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, to name but a few, together with a very ubiquitous use of mobile devices, are creating new and challenging changes in the very structure of society, breaking down communication barriers and creating unprecedented and as yet poorly understood patterns of human behaviour and communications modalities.

As a consequence of all this, the Internet world has become so complex that the demand today on our human resources is simply too great for us to keep operating in an effective way. As you may appreciate, our own volunteers, all of them accomplished professionals, have been devoting their free time and energies to keeping the BCCA services running, some for more than 2 decades.

We wish to thank all of you who have been loyal supporters over the years and who have been patient when we have encountered difficulties. We wish to also thank our formal sponsor and all those who have contributed their own personal resources, financial and material, over the years to the BCCA.

Finally, to all BCCA list subscribers and website clients, we send our sincerest thanks for having used our services over the years. We sincerely hope that they have been of some use to you in all your efforts to serve the Cause of the Blessed Beauty as well as in your own personal spiritual development.

As always, please direct all questions and/or comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

With most affectionate greetings to you all,

Co-ordinating Committee

Baha'i Computer and Communications Association

 
"Bahais marry their sisters" - the prohibited degrees of affinity for marriage PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Baha'i studies
Written by Sen McGlinn's Blog   
Sunday, 07 June 2015

This posting will explore the principles and procedures that determine the ‘prohibited degrees of marriage’ in Bahai law. How closely does someone have to be related to you, to be too close for you to marry? The term “affinity” is used to include blood relationships and marriage relationships.

Bahai readers will no doubt ask, why do we need a systematic explanation of this now? It is not as if there is a problem: we do not have a prevalence of first cousin marriages in Bahai communities, our assemblies are not overburdened by requests from fathers wanting to marry their daughters. Our lack of interest in the issue is indicated by the fact that the Bahaikipedia section on marriage laws does not mention the prohibited degrees of marriage. Apparently, we are quite satisfied to obey the civil laws and use our common sense.

However the lack of a systematic presentation in terms that are understandable for people from an Islamic background has given room for numerous Islamic scholars and anti-Bahai web sites to tell the people they can influence that Bahais “marry their sisters.”

Full story...

 
Gay Baha'i man withdraws from faith over its anti-LGBT stance PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - The Subject of Boys
Written by Seth Hemmelgarn, Bay Area Reporter   
Sunday, 07 June 2015
Rich Tarpening, left, and his husband, Sean Rayshel Photo: Courtesy Sean Rayshel

A gay California man who's advocated for LGBTs in the Baha'i faith recently withdrew from the religion over its anti-gay stance.

Sean Rayshel, 36, is a third-generation American Baha'i who founded the LGBT Baha'i Twitter account Gay Baha'is United, is co-administrator of the Facebook group "LGBTQ Baha'is and Allies," and heads LGBT Baha'i online site Gay/Lesbian Baha'i Story Project.

A May 2014 letter that Rayshel believes was circulated by Baha'i leadership says, "To regard a person who has a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain is entirely against the spirit of the faith."

However, the letter from the faith's Universal House of Justice's Department of the Secretariat also says, "Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and sexual relations are only permissible between husband and wife."

Full story...

 
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