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Byndom lets actions and record speak in First Ward city council campaign PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Individuals and groups
Written by Andrew Denney, Columbia Tribune   
Friday, 28 March 2014
First Ward Columbia City Council candidate Tyree Byndom speaks at a meeting last month of the Mayors Task Force on Community Violence. Byndom isnt campaigning as he seeks the council seat because of the restrictions placed on campaigning by his Bahai faith.

Activist defers to Baha'i faith.

Tyree Byndom, a candidate for the open First Ward seat on the Columbia City Council, is known for speaking out about his background, his beliefs and the issues he cares about.

When Mayor Bob McDavid presented Byndom with the Columbia Values Diversity individual award last year at the city's annual diversity celebration, the mayor quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying that lives begin to end when "we become silent about things that matter."

"Anyone who knows Tyree Byndom can tell you he is not a silent man," McDavid said.

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A petition against discrimination and response from the Universal House of Justice PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - The Subject of Boys
Written by Sonja van Kerkhoff, Just a Bahai   
Friday, 28 March 2014

Honorable Universal House of Justice,

Im sharing this on my blog to show that individuals, even those in positions where they are appointed, can misuse their position.

My name is Sean X and I am a Bahai residing in xx, California. It is with much humbleness I come to write you this letter regarding a much unfortunate situation.

On April 21, 2008 I heard from a local member of my Bahai community that my parents X and X resigned from the Local Spiritual Assembly of Riverside California (they were re-elected on Ridvan as well as my sister X) and that my sister X and I were being investigated at the World Centre.

On April 22, 2008 I contacted my Auxiliary Board Member for Protection with my concerns regarding the aforementioned information and to set up a meeting with him and my family. On May 5, 2008 my family and I met with our Auxiliary Board Member for Protection, it was at this meeting we found out that I was under investigation at the World Centre over a petition called Speak Up Against Bahai Discrimination Against Homosexuals that I signed and forwarded to adult Bahais in my local area (including my Auxiliary Board Member for Protection). My Auxiliary Board Member for Protection was not informed of the source of this very petition and did not know of the Bahai sites I believed to have found the petition on such as The Gay Bahai Website and Planet Bahai.

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Why churches should brace for a mass exodus of the faithful PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Community and administration
Written by Damon Linker, The Week   
Thursday, 27 March 2014

The more conservative churches, anyway

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the sweeping acceptance of gay marriage in recent years is owed in large part to Christianity. Rejecting the rigidly hierarchical and stratified societies of the ancient world, Jesus Christ taught the equal dignity of all persons, proclaimed that the meek shall inherit the earth, and declared that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. The Western world has been working out the logic of these subversive teachings ever since, with the institutional transformation of marriage being the latest, though surely not the last, example of its social, moral, and political consequences.

But what if the next institutions to be leveled by the Christian ideal of equality are the churches themselves?

American Catholics have become accustomed to worshipping in a state of cognitive dissonance

I'm not talking about all of the churches. I mean those that have resisted reforming themselves in light of women's equality — and specifically those that resist this reform from the top down, with ecclesiastical authorities enforcing male-centered dogma and doctrine. That's mainly the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons).

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Society and the individual a Bahai view PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Individuals and groups
Written by Sonja van Kerkhoff, Just a Bahai   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Recently I came across this Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:

“The Bah’ 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.”

Letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 21 November, 1935. Printed in 1973 in Directives from the Guardian.

This made me sit up because it is the individual, not the collective, that is “created in the image of God,” (See Genesis 1:27 or Some Answered Questions, pp. 195-197) and because the protection and priority given to minorities is characteristic of the form of democracy intended for a Bahai society. And that the spiritual priority of the individual, over all the structures that are created by and consist of various individuals, underlies many other Bahai teachings. For example:

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