The Cover of the MagIran

Well, we’re ex-Baha’is

We got suits and ti’es

And we’re hated everywhere we go (“That sounds like us”)

We write about beauty and we talk about truth

At ten thousand miles an hour (right)

We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills

But the thrill we’ve never known

Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture

On the cover of the MagIran

Bahá’í Science Quarterly No. 13

A glossary of Bahai terms – by anon.

The following glossary of Baha’i terms was inspired by Juan Cole’s ironic “The Ghoul’s Glossary: the 2008 Election”, which is the first entry for 4 November on his Informed Comment blog. Just as the recent US election inspired new ways of using language, which threw up the need for a glossary to explain the new meanings, I thought I’d write a glossary for those trying to understand the latest meanings of terms found in common Baha’i parlance.

Anna’s presentation – 1) an illustrated document summarising the latest version of the Baha’i revelation used to convert seekers; a script usually memorised and spoken verbatim during presentations.

Baha’u’llah – the latest manifestation of God, whose revelation is updated on a regular basis by the Universal House of Justice; a 19th-century eccentric Iranian gentleman who spoke a strange language and received few visitors.

believer – a human resource.

disenrolment – an administrative procedure involving the issuing of a form letter for removing from the community a believer who promulgates persuasive opinions that do not keep abreast of the latest updates to the Baha’i revelation by the Universal House of Justice; not a punishment.

dogmatic materialists – scholars of Baha’i studies who use reason and evidence in their discussion and conclusions.

infallible – the condition of never having to make the following concession speech: “We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours”.

Ruhi – .

scholar – a learned person; esp. Baha’i scholar – a believer who has yet to detach from individualistic intellectual pursuits and fully commit to the community endeavour of advancing the process of entry by troops.

systematization – a pyramid scheme.

teaching – evangelising; the process of converting non-believers to the latest version of the Baha’i revelation and acceptance of future updates from the House of Justice.

theologian – a person who studies religion; part. Baha’i theologian – a person who has received, or will recive, the disenrolment form letter.

The Universe loves laughter?

God Loves Laughter, by William Sears
Misleading

The decline in quality and propriety of book titles has been going on for decades. In 1960, William Sears, a retired radio and television personality, put out a book with the title “God Loves Laughter”, despite the obvious fact that God is beyond limitations.

One very important consequence of God’s being incomparable is that God is not limited in any way. The reason is that if we describe God using a particular quality, then we immediately limit him to that quality and rule out other qualities that are the opposite. For example, if we assert that God is loving, then we rule out the possibility that God is wrathful. God, therefore, must be beyond description because any word we use to describe God limits him to the qualities of that description. God is unlimited or unconstrained: “God, alone, transcendeth … limitations”(G:LXXVIII, 150).
Commentary on the Divine Unity

Unnatural acts

HSunburnt Caucasianomo sapiens emerged out of Africa. As the species spread, some populations became afflicted with abhorrent conditions such as light skin colouring. Today, billions of people have this aberration. We must turn off the gene that causes pale skin, so that people no longer need to “cover up”. Pastiness is highly condemned and often a great trial and cause of suffering to a person. Remember, there are no legitimate ways in which a Caucasian can express the wayward impulses of the sunbathing instinct.

As for those now afflicted, a Caucasian does not decide to be a problem human, but he does have decision in choosing his way of life, i.e. abstaining from sunbathing acts.

Love the Caucasian, hate the flagrant sunseeker.

Leaving the surf

Surfing magazine cover, 2008
When I was a practising surfer, I briefly belonged to a nationally and internationally-affiliated surfing organisation. But I realised that I had no interest in organised group surfing activities and resigned my membership. Or “left the surf” as they say in surfing circles.

Actually, they don’t say that.

Surfers might ask why they haven’t seen you at club meets and competitions, but the idea that membership has anything to do with the way you surf would seem ludicrous to them.

When you stop tapping the energy of the ocean—that’s when you “leave the surf”.

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.

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.