The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

Re: The root of the problem (was Re: Baha'u'llah's grammer and Mahdi's
                                David Fiorito commenting, said:
> My understanding is that people who withdraw from the Faith are not
>shunned in fact fellowship with them is welcome but their status should
              >be clear so that the relationship can be honest.
In the context of the missive of the US NSA to the Australians, this is a
complete non-issue. Because 1) my family and relatives all knew about my
withdrawal when I made it, 2) I was not living in Australia at the time (and
had not for a good seven years when the letter was written) and only came to
visit my parents and relatives once every year or so as a "visitor" and
"guest", 3) therefore my status in a national community I was not even a
member of was not the business of either the US NSA or the Australian NSA to
   > The only "shunning" is the avoidance of Covenant breakers.
Which raises the issue that since the Baha'i AO has absolutely no legitimate
grounds to declare either me or the rest of the Talisman 1 liberals or
Michael McKinney tout court as CB's, they must resort to the same
blacklisting and shunning methods engaged as if we were CBs. And the bottom-
line in all this is about entrenched power and not principle. They do what
they do, as in the letter about me, because we dare to speak the truth to
                                        their entrenched power.
> It seems to me that the letter upset Nima and that both sides of the
               >debate are trying to use it to their advantage.
                                          Upset?! Try libelled.
>When I read it I read some things that concerned me but I also saw some
>things that I thought were quite legitimate when seen from the
>perspective of an administrative body trying to protect the Faith
Protect the Faith from what?! A non-Baha'i? And what sorts of things in it
       were legitimate in your view from the perspective of any
administrative body? That I had been spied upon by Brent Poirier for over a
year after I had withdrawn and had absolutely nothing to do with Baha'is or
the Baha'i community and that the letter arrives less than a fornight before
I came to visit my family is a legitimate undertaking in your view? You
don't see the sinister disingenuity of Bob Henderson's action in this regard?
      > though the methods and the wording of the letter may be
                                                > questionable.
                                               Gee, I'll say...
    > For instance - was Nima active in working with the youth?
Nope! Wasn't very active nor interested in such activities even when I was a
        >If so doesn't the US NSA have a right to be concerned?
If I had been working with youth, yes, perhaps they would have a legitimate
gripe to be weary of me from filling the heads of their precious youth with
radical ideas. But since I never worked much with youth, even when I was a
twenty-something Baha'i youth myself before I withdrew, I don't see what the
                                       point of the concern is.
>Could someone less principled than Nima withdraw from the Faith in one
>country and then pose as a Baha'i in another and try to stir up
You're leading into a straw man and a non sequitor and a red herring all in
one fell swoop. a) I withdrew. b) everyone in my family knew I had
withdrawn. c) after I had withdrawn I couldn't care less about the Baha'i
community or its AO. d) therefore I joined a Sufi order in order to have
some sort of spiritual outlet. e) I wasn't even going to look back on my
tracks, until I arrived in Australia in November 1997 and found that
libellous letter waiting for me. Now, who created the division: me or the AO?
                              >Isn't that a legitimate concern?
For the above reasons, and the other ones I've already spelled out in this
                                        thread, no they aren't.
> The question is what is the right way and what is the wrong way.
The question is why keep tabs on people in the first place and report on
          people who are not Baha'is but ones the office of the
 Secretary-General of the US NSA considers ideological enemies.
>The US NSA may have had the right intentions with the wrong execution.
Since Robert C. Henderson is the sole author of the original missive, both
his intention and execution were misplaced and therefore unethical. 
> I do not read the same sinister undertones that some of you have, but
>I also don't read the same innocent undertones that others have either.
Well, at least you're more level-headed about the matter, which is refreshing.
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