Opinion

Entries arguing a particular point of view

Positive? Negative?


My college Baha’i club was something of a haven for certain members of the local Baha’i community. One woman had memorized a prayer which she said at every opportunity. It was something like, “O, God, make me so meek and such a nothing that no difficulty perturbs me in the slightest . . .” You know, that sort of thing, though of course in much more elaborate language. The line that got me bad every time was about quelling every rebellious passion. I would sit there in the silence of my rebellious passion and think, “I can’t help it, I hate this prayer.”

From a different person I might have felt it differently. But the combination of those words with that personality, everything so neatly ordered and just so and tied up with perfect reasonableness, rationality and good cheer . . .What was it we used to say in sixth grade? Gag me with a spoon. Life is not neat, or reasonable, nor, if you’re paying attention, does it give cause for never-ending good cheer. And a prayer like that should be handled with care, if at all, as it is the kind of thing that helps keep people (women especially) in very bad places when feelings of rebellion and repulsion and the assertion of self should propel them out. I wondered why I never saw this prayer in print, and it gave me unholy pleasure not much later to discover that it was inauthentic, or at least not authenticated for Abdu’l-Baha or Baha’u’llah.

{josquote}Ironically, speaking openly of negatives, faults, or problems is one bad thing for which devotees of the sin-covering eye will often suspend their principle of seeing only the good. The one definitely addressable negative is the addressing of negatives.{/josquote}

Now I find that another oft-referenced passage that I have always disliked, for much the same reason, is apparently unauthenticated as well: “Look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, we must look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, we must look at the one and forget the ten.” According to the handy-dandy search tool at TrueSeeker, this appears in Baha’u’llah and the New Era, in the section titled “The Sin-Covering Eye” (p. 82–83). We are told that “Abdu’l-Baha tells us,” but not when and under what conditions Abdu’l-Baha tells us.

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On the Internet Anti-Baha'i Society: Have you noticed they don't post about children?


Photo: flitzy phoebie

In Iran there is the Anti-Baha’i Society (Hojjatieh), an organization dating back to 1953 that is devoted to opposition to the Baha’i community there. Ahmadinejad is reported to be associated with it.

There is community of bloggers on the Internet that compose a latter-day Anti-Baha’i Society. Theirs is not a community in a positive sense. These bloggers live to oppose, “Having no life of their own and existing only as a group of people united in their negativity towards the core Baha'i Faith” (Momen).

Have you ever noticed that these anti-Baha’i bloggers, consisting of marginals and apostates (see Momen for definitions), don't ever post anything about the importance of the spiritual education of children. They don’t write about youth, their own or others, going off to do a Year of Service. They don’t write about Feasts they attend or devotional meetings they hold with others. They don’t write about souls they are drawing to the Faith through their personal teaching.

But it is the absence of the mention of children that is most striking to me about this online community. -gw

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"Pre-Approved" Individual Investigation of Truth?

Neysan Zoelzer-Mehrabkhani, a Baha’i from Germany has created a Baha’i search engine (through Google Co-Op) named Majnún.

{josquote}...anyone who has ever attempted to “fetter” information in any way, has failed most spectacularly.{/josquote}

Regular Google search already does a great job of providing information, Baha’i related or otherwise.

So why do we need this service? Well, as Neysan’s site explains, Majnún:

Searches approved Baha’i-related websites only…

Searches approved Baha’i-related blogs only.

Searches approved Baha’i Book Stores only.

You may ask, “approved”? Approved by whom, exactly?

Well it seems by “Majnún editors”. Whoever they may be.

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Baha'ist believer: Science and religion go hand in hand

{josquote}I have a deep and abiding love of Christ. But I believe Baha'u'llah is the most recent manifestation of God. To look further back could be counterproductive. It would be looking backward. I want to look forward.{/josquote}

Give the three wise men of the East more credit, says Carol-lee Lane, a Baha'i who lives in Shoreham.

She thinks they knew what they were doing; they weren't shooting in the dark.

"Baha'is are very explicit that science and religion should go hand in hand," Lane said last week. "Religion without science is superstition. Science without religion is potentially dangerous to civilization. There's a balance to be had."

Someone -- a Zoroastrian astrologer, probably -- did the calculations for the Magi, she said. But that notion doesn't detract from the magic they bring to her appreciation of the gospels.

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Turning My Eyes

I've been pensive lately, and thinking of writing -- but my thoughts have not come together that coherently. So, I think I'll just write, and maybe as I write it will start making sense. That's what "Karen's Path" is really for anyway -- although it sometimes appears on Baha'is Online if I write something Steve thinks is worthwhile, and there is an audience. This is the blog I don't write for an audience. Nothing put on; nothing crafted. Just me. Here.

The whole hullaballoo about the "Marginality and Apostasy" article left me rather depressed -- and I said so on Unenrolled Baha'i. I really don't like these fights; I don't really like what either side does. I'd like to see an intelligent, academic rebuttal, but I'm not that interested in taking on the battle online. I actually don't expect that much out of conservative Baha'is. I know they think ill of me; I'd actually prefer they think ill of me out of my line of sight. Nothing I could say is going to alter their opinion anyway.

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