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Belonging Before Believing PDF Print E-mail
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Ruhi
Written by Caleb Gilleland, Nine Branches   
Saturday, 19 July 2014

Think big and be inclusive. Remove any cultural barriers between seekers and Baha’u’llah’s message. If always reading prayers out of a book makes seekers in an evangelical Christian area uncomfortable, offer to sometimes say spontaneous prayers they way that they’re accustomed to. If playing John Lennon’s “Imagine” during devotions (this has really happened) makes outsiders shift in their seat, choose music that speaks more to their experience.

In addition, let seekers contribute to the life of the Baha’i community as much as they are comfortable. Short of encouraging them to crash Feast or an LSA meeting, let them know that they’re welcome at every event going on in the Baha’i community. Invite them to serve.

But mostly, just invite people in your community, both Baha’is and seekers, to live life with you. Make friends with them. Invite them out for dinner. Drop by to watch the big game.

No, seriously.

“They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations.” // Baha’u’llah

We can talk about principles all day, but if we don’t make a real effort to include others in our lives we will never be able to change society. Our local Baha’i communities will lose their effectiveness and stagnate. We can’t afford to let that happen.

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Baha'i Calendar Redux PDF Print E-mail
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Holy days
Written by Idol Chatter, Dan Jensen   
Saturday, 19 July 2014
zodiac

The Bahá’í Calendar, arguably the least lunar calendar there is, has recently been given a lunar calculation of its own. Because the founders of the Bábí and Bahá’í religions were reported to have been born a day apart on the Islamic calendar (though two years apart), the Bahá’í leaders in Israel figured it would be nice to make this happen on their calendar. To do this, they marked the 8th new moon after No-Rúz in Tehran as the one most likely to be close to the time of year when the two prophets were born, and then had one prophet’s birth commemorated on the first day after that new moon and the other prophet’s birth commemorated on the day after that.

The commemorations will no longer occur on the actual dates of birth on the solar cycle (October 20 and November 12) or even the Islamic calendar, but rather, they will take place on different dates from year to year, as is done with Easter and Good Friday.

Calendars are an important tool for scheduling our activities. A farmer might use a solar calendar to plan a harvest. A Bedouin might use a lunar calendar to plan a journey across the desert. Many calendars are a hybrid between solar and lunar so that they can be used in accord with seasonal and lunar cycles. The Gregorian calendar, for instance, is precisely calculated to remain synchronized with the seasons. It is not so precise with respect to lunar cycles, each of its months being about a day too long to keep pace with the phases of the moon. Still, a Gregorian month can be used to loosely approximate a lunar month.

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World Urges Israelis, Palestinians To Focus Mutual Hatred On Region’s Baha'i Peoples PDF Print E-mail
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Humour
Written by The Onion   
Saturday, 19 July 2014

"Hoping to quell reignited tensions in Gaza this week, world leaders reportedly urged Israelis and Palestinians to join forces and focus their mutual hatred on the region's Baha'i peoples. International authorities expressed genuine hope that by unleashing their combined stores of armaments and decades-long hostilities upon members of the small and persecuted Baha'i Faith, Israelis and Palestinians could achieve lasting peace in the typically war-torn region."


World Urges Israelis, Palestinians To Focus Mutual Hatred On Region’s Bahá'í Peoples
Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 July 2014 )
 
Why I Can’t Say Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin Any More PDF Print E-mail
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The Subject of Boys
Written by Micah J. Murray, Redemption Pictures   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

It’s a special sort of condescending love we’ve reserved for the gay community.

I thought we just needed to try harder. Maybe we needed to focus more on loving the sinner, and less on protesting his sin.

But I’m done. I can’t look my gay brother in the eye any more and say “I love the sinner but hate the sin.”

I can’t keep drawing circles in the sand.

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The End of the 'Mormon Moment" PDF Print E-mail
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Community and administration
Written by Cadence Woodland, The New York Times   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them.

LAST month, Kate Kelly, a feminist Mormon lawyer who had called on the Mormon Church to open the priesthood to women, was excommunicated on the charge of apostasy. John P. Dehlin, who runs a popular podcast on hot-button church issues and has loudly advocated for the church to welcome gay men and lesbians, also was threatened with expulsion. Other Mormons have faced sanctions for participating in online forums questioning the church’s positions on these and other matters.

This crackdown marks the end of the “Mormon Moment” — not just the frenzy of interest that rose (and largely faded) with Mitt Romney’s campaigns for the presidency, but a distinct period of dialogue around and within the Mormon community.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 July 2014 )
 
Decisions affecting the implementation of the Badi` calendar as of Ridvan 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Baha'i studies
Written by Sen McGlinn, Sen's Daily   
Friday, 11 July 2014

Editorial, July 10

The Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Bahai community, has released a letter detailing three decisions that will allow for the uniform implementation of the Bahai calendar (known as the badi` calendar) in countries that have solar and lunar calendars, with effect from March 21, 2015.

The first decision is that Tehran “will be the spot on the earth that will serve as the standard for determining, … the moment of the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and thereby the day of Naw-Ruz for the Baha’i world.” The equinox occurs when the planet, in its orbit around the sun, reaches the point at which its poles incline neither towards nor away from the sun, with the result that the northern and southern hemispheres are equally illuminated. At that precise moment, the time of day or night differs around the globe (as at any astronomical moment). It may be noon in one country, and past nightfall in another country. In the Kitab-e Aqdas, Baha’u’llah states that “The Festival of Naw-Ruz falleth on the day that the sun entereth the sign of Aries [that is, at the moment of the equinox], even should this occur no more than one minute before sunset.” The ruling of the House of Justice means that if the astronomical moment of equinox occurs before sunset in Tehran, on March 20, Bahais around the world will celebrate Naw Ruz on March 20. If the equinox occurs when the sun has already set in Tehran, they will celebrate Naw Ruz on March 21, and so on.

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Sacred Mythology and the Bahá’í Faith PDF Print E-mail
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Baha'i studies
Written by William Collins, JBS, 1990   
Friday, 11 July 2014

When we understand a history such as The Dawn-Breakers in its mythological context, then its social and psychological value as a guideline to our own life’s quests and our participation in a sacred drama become evident.

Myths are metaphors that convey truth about the indescribable through powerful images and experiences. The mythological models synthesized by Joseph Campbell, such as the monomyth with its attendant metaphysical. cosmological, sociological, and psychological purposes, underscore the fundamental unity of human spiritual experience. The Bahá’í Faith employs three significant spiritual verities to fulfil the purposes of myth and to open for all Bahá’í the full depth and range of the world’s mythologies: The unknowable nature of the Ultimate Mystery; the relativity of religious/mythological truth; and the necessity of science and investigation of reality. The Bahá’í Faith also possesses a sacred drama—history as myth—from which the Bahá’í community takes its signposts for individual and collective development. All of these aspects of Bahá’í mythology are the basis for a coherent mythological landscape through which each human being must travel. The mythological universe created by Bahá’u’lláh frees the soul to experience and understand all mythologies, to explore and be awed by the physical universe understood by science and reason, and to undertake the universal adventure through which all may become fully human.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 11 July 2014 )
 
Opposition and its beneficial effects PDF Print E-mail
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Social Action
Written by Sen McGlinn, Abdu'l-Baha speaks   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014

This is the custom of ignorant people: if they have no proof, their weapon is slander. If they could offer evidence, they would not attack in that way.

A talk given on November 19, 1911, in Paris

A provisional translation from Khetabat-e Mubarakeh (Talks of ‘Abdu’l-Baha) p. 186, using the Word text in Persian available from the Bahai Reference Library and a partial German translation by Soroush Shahidinejad in his commentary Zu ‘Abdu’l-Bahas Risaliy-i-Siyasiyyih, published in Zeitschrift für Baha’i-Studien (2013, p. 69).

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Horton hears a whoso PDF Print E-mail
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Humour
Written by Steve Marshall, The Cormorant Baker   
Monday, 30 June 2014
Horton hears a who book cover

Sooner or later, every Bahai gets to hear a whoso. I heard quite a few in the Dunedin community just after Alison was removed from membership. Listen in, and you might hear one, too.

"The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him!" The Will And Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

When you hear a whoso, it's because a sour kangaroo has objected to the small people having a voice.

“Humpf!” humpfted a voice. ‘Twas a sour kangaroo.
And the young kangaroo in her pouch said “Humpf” too.
“Why, that speck is as small as the head of a pin.
A person on that?... Why, there never has been!”
Horton Hears a who

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Learning To Accept Muslims As A Baha'i PDF Print E-mail
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Interfaith
Written by zanOTK, ex-Christian.net   
Monday, 30 June 2014

I've already posted how I went from a Christian to a Baha'i. Perhaps some [of you] noticed one religion missing from the list of faiths I'd investigated: Islam. I still hadn't gotten over the Islamaphobia I had been raised with at this time, and so I didn't read the Quran and I didn't even consider Islam.

And something that made it difficult for me to become a Baha'i was: Muhammad is considered one of God's Messengers. But everything else just drew me in, and in the end I accepted anyone. So I accepted that Muhammad was a Prophet. But His followers? What am I to think of them?

Not long after becoming a Baha'i, I learned about the horrors that Babis and Baha'is have faced, and are still facing, in Muslim countries. Just another thing to add to the list of reasons not to like Muslims.

Right?

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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 June 2014 )
 
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