Entries arguing a particular point of view

What we believe, Q & A

Who is the head of the Baha'i Faith?
Baha'u'llah created a system of democratically elected councils at the local, national and international levels. The head of the Faith is the Universal House of Justice, the nine-person international council elected by secret ballot by the members of national councils.

Why are Baha'i writings and prayers written in the style of the King James Bible?
When Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Faith, translated the writings of the central figures of the Faith, he chose a slightly archaic form of English to act as a bridge between the formal Persian and Arabic style in which they wrote and modern English.

The Guardian also chose a style similar to that of the King James Bible to convey the texts’ exact meaning and to evoke in the reader the spirit of meditative reverence, a distinguishing feature of the response to the original writings.

Baha'is practice “independent investigation of truth,” but what exactly does that mean?
Baha'u'llah emphasizes the fundamental obligation of individuals to acquire knowledge with their "own eyes and not through the eyes of others" and therefore know why they adhere to a given ideology or doctrine.

When we blindly follow various traditions, movements and opinions, we tend to become intolerant of those who do not share them. This attitude - believing that only our own beliefs are right and everyone else is wrong - is one of the main sources of conflict in the world today. History has witnessed conflict and bloodshed over slight alterations in religious practice, or a minor change in the interpretation of doctrine.

{josquote}depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation{/josquote}

Abdu’l-Baha explains that God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth…Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears nor comprehend with another’s brain. … Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation…”

Baha’is believe that, as there is only one reality, all people will gradually discover its different facets and come to a common understanding and unity, provided they sincerely seek after truth. In this connection, Abdu'l-Baha said:

Being one, truth cannot be divided, and the differences that appear to exist among the many nations only result from their attachment to prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.

What is the Baha'i attitude toward homosexuality?
Baha'i law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. Baha'is do not, however, attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. To regard homosexuals with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Baha'i teachings.

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What I would do with $1 million for the Faith

I’ll admit, $1 million is not a lot of money in today’s world. But with the vast improvements in Web and media technology quality and costs, with the mass adoption of the Internet and social networking phenomena, with the large number of fairly affordable and improving-quality media development companies and agencies increasingly available, and with the ubiquity of home entertainment systems and the American comfort with DVDs, we could put together some pretty useful tools for helping the Faith. So here is how I would spend $1 million to help the Baha’i Faith using technology, training, and content development.

Organizing a Lean Structure

Perhaps I would start by starting a small for-profit project management / holding company to manage the projects below. I would then find good little shops to outsource the following work to quickly, affordably, and professionally. I would do this for a few reasons:

  1. It is often cheaper for one-off projects like these than having to hire people fulltime and provide benefits, career paths, and all the rest.
  2. It is easier to hold contractors accountable and fire them if they don’t give you what you want.
  3. We do not want to ‘distract’ the Baha’i community too much from the Plans and thus get in trouble with the Institutions.
We would need Institutional support to pull off the tasks below, so we’d want to do this as a side project.

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Response and Freedom

I just love Maggie Ross. I was reading this, this morning:

"If . . . we encounter hostility and respond with hostility we have pretty much shut the door on a different response. If, however, we respond with understanding and kindness, we open the option for the other person to respond differently: we make a spaciousness for possibility."

I always struggle with spiritual admonitions to treat hostility with kindness. It depends on the situation. Many times you really lose nothing by being patient with another's anger, but there are times when the other person has the power to negatively impact your life. At what point are you allowed to protect yourself? Is it really a spiritual thing to make yourself such a nothing that you may be freely taken advantage of by anyone who thinks they have a right to do so?

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Islamic Republic will not recognize Baha'is' right

Iran President Ahmadinejad on the UN General Assembly – Press conference answered to media representative questions, a question was from Voice of America, Vafa Mostaghim. he asked:

"You always start remarks with the respect to the divine prophets and that's very respectable. One of the divine prophets who has the largest religious minority followers after Sunnis in Iran, are the Baha’is, we receive letters to the United Nations that they should followed from government, persecuted and their social progress should prevented, and Baha’i students too.

As the President can you tell us, given the prerogatives to you by the constitution to oversee the judiciary and the other powers in the country, how would you see through this issue follow through and to make sure the same justice that you talk about, will also apply to these people?"

President Ahmadinejad replied:

"When we talk about divine religions the Jewish groups, their prophet was the holy Moses, and Christians the Christ and Muslims the prophet of Islam. Can you tell me who the divine prophet of the religion you mentioned appeared and was revealed to and when? Exactly, did you have a name? Good luck, thank you!"

It means that Islamic Iran don’t recognize whatever prophet you have because he is not divine prophet so are you asking me to extend human rights (at least human rights that we granted to everybody else) to those non-believer Baha’is?

The video in Persian language:

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Human Rights for Baha'is of Iran

A blog posting in Persian was brought to our attention and we decided to share a summary translation for the benefit of our readers. The original is found here: http://ostade-azal.blogfa.com/post-45.aspx

Summary translation:

The recent reception given to the President of Iran, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, during his visit to Columbia University was rather unfortunate. The University President and others spoke disparagingly when introducing Mr. Ahmadinejad and during the follow-up Q&A session. This was neither worthy of the University, nor an appropriate conduct to receive a guest – whoever he may be.

The former President of Iran, Rafsanjani, later reportedly remarked, “Insulting Ahmadinejad is a sign of America’s moral bankruptcy.” The Speaker of Iran’s Parliament noted, “We take heart in Ahmadinejad’s brave stance that despite all insults, he courageously stood his ground and spoke his views.” Members of the Parliament considered the abusive remarks by Americans towards Ahmadinejad as evidence of Iran’s greatness and distinction, and they commented that this episode clearly demonstrated America’s defeat. They added, “This confrontation between America and Ahmadinejad is a mark of Iran’s victory and superiority.”

It is also sad to note that Iranian newspapers, encouraged by authorities, are always filled with most offensive slanders and lies against the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’i community in general.

Given these facts, then let us consider the following:

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