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Brokenhearted Baha'is: LGBT's Rejected by Their Church PDF Print E-mail
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The Subject of Boys
Written by BlogTalkRadio, Nicholas Snow Live, with Sean Rayshel   
Saturday, 18 April 2015

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with NicholasSnowLive on BlogTalkRadio with Nicholas Snow Live! on BlogTalkRadio

MSU student shunned in Egypt wins coveted PD Soros Fellowship PDF Print E-mail
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Bahais in Egypt
Written by Layne Cameron, Michigan State University   
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Raeuf Roushangar (L), an MSU graduate student studying biochemistry, has won a prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. He is studying in the lab of George Mias, MSU biochemist and molecular biologist. Photo by Katie Stiefel

Raeuf Roushangar, a Michigan State University graduate student studying biochemistry, has won a prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans – an honor that comes with up to $90,000 stipend.

Roushangar was one of 30 winners of the premier graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants. The recipients, chosen from a pool of 1,200 applicants, were selected for their potential to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture or their academic field.

While winning the award is a high achievement, what Roushangar had to overcome is equally praiseworthy. Roushangar was born in Oman, to an Iranian father and Egyptian mother, and grew up and attended high school in Cairo, Egypt.

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Shipwrecked sailor says he survived 66 days at sea with a lot of prayers PDF Print E-mail
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Individuals and groups
Written by Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post   
Saturday, 04 April 2015

Facebook posts paint Jordan as a free-spirited young man who shared his father’s Baha’i faith...

Louis Jordan’s Facebook page foreshadowed his fate. A year ago, the 37-year-old South Carolina man began posting photos of himself on his beloved 35-foot sailboat, Angel, which he had painstakingly restored. Over the coming months, he uploaded pictures of food he had jarred and fish he had caught for dinner. Jordan, it seemed, was preparing for a journey.

On Dec. 28, 2014, he posted a video to Facebook. It was grainy footage of a woman recounting a near-death experience.

Less than a month later, Jordan would be the one facing death at sea.

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Seeking Justice and not Vengeance - a Baha'i Perspective PDF Print E-mail
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Social Action
Written by iraj khodadoost, Youtube   
Wednesday, 01 April 2015

A young black man, Nicholas Thomas was gunned down on March 24, 2015. Iraj offers a few Baha'i prayers on healing and justice ... and ultimate forgiveness of those who repent in this gathering of family and friends of Nicholas in Smyrna, Georgia on March 31, 2015.

Baha’i Curious: Why Can’t My Religion Accept My Sexuality? PDF Print E-mail
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The Subject of Boys
Written by Jake Sasseville, Profoundly Human   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
pink wilmette

I’ve been a Baha’i since April 21, 2007.

I came out of the closet November 4, 2010, at age 24.

I’ve been gay, however, since as far back as I can remember.

I first learned about the Baha’i Faith from a Persian classmate at my high school in Auburn, Maine. We’re best of friends 15 years later, still.

What concerns me are the contradictions within the guidance of the Baha’i Faith and how that affects what is, in all other respects, the most accepting, loving and global community I’ve ever known.

She invited me over to her family home for a devotional. There, I met friends from around the world from various faiths, races and backgrounds. This diversity was intoxicating in my humble, if not sheltered, hometown of 30,000 people. I was awe-struck by the oneness that I felt at the devotional. There were songs, prayers, food and fellowship. I went back every Thursday after and became a Baha’i seven years later. It has informed, guided and enriched my life in every way imaginable.

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Bounded Religious Communities' Management of the Challenge of New Media PDF Print E-mail
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Baha'i studies
Written by Heidi A. Campbell and Drake Fulton, Social Media and Religious Change / Bahai Library Online   
Thursday, 19 March 2015

Bahá'í Negotiation with the Internet

If the blogger who makes negative claims happens to be a practising Bahá’í, he/she can be labelled as a covenant-breaker and shunned by the community.

The negotiation of new forms of media by religious groups is a dynamic and complex process that involves decision-making engaging the history, tradition and beliefs of the community. This negotiation process is especially complex for bounded religious communities, which establish rigid social and value-laden boundaries allowing them to create and maintain a unique and separate cultural system. Observing how members of bounded religious communities interact with the Internet enables us to consider how some groups resist the fluidity of networked relations and instead use technology to maintain closed social structures and solidify their unique identities. This is clearly seen in the case of the Bahá’í faith, especially in the patterns of use and limits American Bahá’ís have developed to engage with the Internet. By using the Religious Social Shaping of Technology approach, developed by Campbell (2010), as a lens to explore the challenges and choices made by the Bahá’ís, this process of technological negotiation is unpacked.

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Albert Einstein’s Little-Known Correspondence with W.E.B. Du Bois on Race and Racial Justice PDF Print E-mail
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Social Action
Written by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Photos of W.E.B. Du Bois and Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein endures as “the quintessential modern genius” for his seminal contributions to science, but he was also a great champion of human rights. In fact, despite having taken a backseat to his scientific legacy, Einstein’s strong humanistic and political convictions are no less notable and revolutionary amid the assumptions of his era. Nowhere do they shine more brilliantly than in his lesser-known exchanges with people of radically different backgrounds and beliefs, always deeply thoughtful, irrepressibly respectful, and driven by an earnest desire for mutual understanding and encouragement — including his conversation with the Indian philosopher Tagore about science and spirituality, his correspondence with Freud about violence, peace, and human nature, and his letter to a little girl in South Africa on why her gender shouldn’t hold her back from pursuing science.

Some might assume that Einstein’s compassionate outlook and unflinching commitment to equality were shaped by his own experience of being on the receiving end of history’s deadliest anti-Semitism. When Hitler took over Germany on January 30, 1933 — twelve years after Einstein earned the Nobel Prize, which had already exposed him to anti-Semitism — he had just left Berlin with his wife Elsa to spend their third winter at CalTech, where Einstein had been invited as visiting faculty. The trip may well have saved his life — mere months later, the situation in Germany became inhumane, then gruesomely lethal, for Jews.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 March 2015 )
A Difficult Case: Beyer's Categories and the Baha'i Faith PDF Print E-mail
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Baha'i studies
Written by Sen McGlinn,   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015

[Source: ‘A difficult case: Beyer’s categories and the Bahá’í Faith’ in Social Compass 50(2),2003, 247-255]

Margit Warburg has presented data showing that the Bahá’í community of Denmark represents an excellent case of Beyer’s 'liberal option' in its response to globalisation" She also claims, incorrectly, that the Bahá’í Faith has the "ultimate aim of merging political and religious institutions." The Baha’i Faith represents a paradoxical example in terms of Beyer’s categories. Its values include relativism, pluralism, globalisation, a cosmopolitan ethic and democratic government. But it also seeks to give political and legal effect to these religious values, for instance by supporting the United Nations and advocating a world court. Beyer considers that a religious movement which seeks to have religious norms enshrined in legislation has adopted the 'conservative option' in response to globalisation. Is this a useful categorisation, when the religious norms are liberal and the stage on which they are to be implemented is global?

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Tsarnaev jury cuts across class, but not race PDF Print E-mail
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Individuals and groups
Written by Ann O'Neill and Sonia Moghe, CNN   
Friday, 06 March 2015

The jury chosen to decide the death penalty case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev includes 18 people from across the socioeconomic spectrum, but the group is almost exclusively white.

...[one juror] said his mother was born in Iran and converted from Islam to the Baha'i faith.

Race has been an issue raised by Tsarnaev's defense during four unsuccessful attempts to move the death penalty trial from Boston. His attorneys argued that the way the court issues jury summons led to picking a panel that's older and whiter than the community at large. But prosecutors argued that the jury had been picked properly. And now, the trial is set to begin Wednesday.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 06 March 2015 )
Central Florida man finalist for trip to Mars PDF Print E-mail
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Individuals and groups
Written by Click Orlando   
Thursday, 05 March 2015

George Hatcher 1 of 100 finalists for Mars One Foundation voyage

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - George Hatcher welcomed a guest at his Merritt Island home last week with 5-month-old daughter Io, named for one of Jupiter's moons, tucked in a baby carrier on his chest.

Inside, the NASA engineer's wife, Lorenia, took the baby and their 2-year-old son, Rafael, offered a small stuffed lamb and a Thomas the Tank Engine train for inspection.

Hatcher stretched out with Rafael on the living room floor to work on an animal puzzle, then played a game of "tickling spiders" and swung his son high up with his legs, to squeals of delight.

Hatcher is a member of the Baha'i Faith...

It's family time the 35-year-old father cherishes after a day at work at Kennedy Space Center. But he increasingly has reason to think about the day he might leave it all behind.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 March 2015 )
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