Flexibility about orientation

News came through a few days ago about the destruction of the House of Baha’u'llah in Baghdad. This is big news for Bahais because Baha’u'llah designated that house, and the House of the Bab in Shiraz, as the two places on the planet for pilgrimage. Since access to those two places has been cut off, current pilgrimage consists of visitations to the holy places around Haifa.

{josquote}A great deal of flexibility is evident in the Bahai system, allowing it to adapt to changed conditions.{/josquote}

I think it’s wonderful that, even with a really big deal like pilgrimage, which is based on a clear message from Baha’u'llah, we adapted. A great deal of flexibility is evident in the Bahai system, allowing it to adapt to changed conditions.

The Bahai Faith is not simple, unchanging and black-and-white — it’s dynamic and adaptive. I don’t hear people making a fuss about the new realities regarding pilgrimage, and I don’t see why we can’t get used to the new realities regarding sexual orientation. In fact, I think we are doing just that.

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House of Baha’u'llah in Baghdad Destroyed

{josquote}...the Universal House of Justice incorrectly uses the word pilgrimage (hajj) to refer to the act of visiting the significant Baha’i sites in the Holy Land{/josquote}

The house of Baha’u'llah in Baghdad has a storied past. It is or, rather, was located in the North East section of present day Baghdad. Before the capital grew to reach and envelop it, al-Kadhimiya or Kazmain was a town 5 kilometers outside of Baghdad. It was and remains a pilgrimage site for Shi’ite Muslims due to the location of al-Kadhimiya mosque and shrine complex where the earthly remains of the Seventh and Ninth Imams rest. In fact the small town grew around the mosque and shrine which was named after the Seventh Imam (Musa al-Kadhim). Click for a Google Map view Due to its proximity to the shrines, the House of Baha’u'llah had been used as a hostel for Shi’ite pilgrims coming from Iraq and the surrounding countries. As you can imagine, due to its location to the Shi’ite shrine, the idea of returning the property to the Baha’i authorities is out of the question. Even if the government of Iraq was so inclined (which they obviously were and are not) the political and religious milieu would never allow it. The proximity of Sadr city doesn’t help either.

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The Trial of Corinne Knight True

Corinne True

Corinne Knight True was born near Louisville, Kentucky, on November 1, 1861, seven months after the Civil War began. Her father, Moses Knight, was Presbyterian minister. Her mother, Martha Duerson, was Southern aristocrat who had inherited a plantation and some thirty slaves. When they married, Moses persuaded her to free the slaves. Nevertheless, he would side with his neighbors during the war – Moses was a proud Southerner.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Moses moved his family to the city – he had invested in real estate there, a fortuitous move that soon made the family wealthy.

{josquote}When you return, consult with Mrs. True – I have given her complete instructions.{/josquote}

Corinne was the eldest child. Growing up, she was everything her father expected. As she entered her teenage years, he sent her to one of the finest finishing schools in the land. Then Corinne fell in love with the next door neighbor, a man who shared her father’s name. While he respected young Moses True, he forbade his daughter to take the relationship any further. The problem? Moses True was a Yankee.

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House of Baha’u'llah in Tehran features in Iran’s pre-election polemics

FARS, May 15

The house in Tehran where Baha’u'llah was born was added to the register of historic buildings in December 2006 and is to be restored. In recent days, reports of this, with numerous photographs of the exterior and courtyard of the house, have been carried in the conservative FARS news agency and copied by many other publications. This is being used to embarrass Isfandiyar Rahim Masha’i ( اسفندیار رحیم مشایی ), a close ally and relative of President Ahmadinezhad and one of the proposed presidential candidates. FARS claims that there are hundreds of old houses in Tehran with a similar architectural and cultural value, which the provincial authority for Cultural Heritage has not registered. The report lists the homes of princes and prominent clerics of the period that have not been registered, and describes the importance of the house in Bahai history (with the bias one would expect). It was previously owned by an organisation for the propagation of Islam, and purchased by the present owner in 2005, in order to prevent its demolition. This owner has registered it as a historic building and intends to restore it using his own funds. However the ‘transparency” magazine has claimed that it was bought by the Cultural Heritage foundation, at a time when Mr. Masha’i was the head of that organisation.

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