The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

From: Teri Rhan <>
To: FG <>
Cc: srb moderators <>
Subject: Re: Leaving Faith
Date: Monday, May 11, 1998 12:47 AM
Dear Fred,
This is nothing more than pure flame bait.  Please leave the broad
generalizations and criticisms out, and stick with the charter.  This
newsgroup is for the discussion of the Baha'i Faith and it's teachings in
a consultative and respectful manner, not a grievence forum. Provide some
real facts and back them up with the Writings.
Teri Rhan
Co-moderator, soc.religion.bahai
On Sat, 9 May 1998, FG wrote:
> William Collins wrote in message <"ti6gJB.A.JhD.IVzU1">...
> This is no less true
> >of those who find their meaning in endless criticism of Baha'i
> >institutions and of committed believers.
> The context within which you set any kind of criticism or opinion
> other than what you think justifiable and appropriate obscures
> the issues that cause the criticism in the first place. An approach
> employed by many Bahais....
> And if those who hold to
> >extremes are committed to continuing in those
> >directions, the end results are retarded growth of the community, and/or
> >the withdrawal of individuals or application of
> >sanctions to them.
> As is your blaming the individuals or victims....
> >It appears to me to be an unhealthy pattern in anyone's life to fix upon
> >discontent, and then to be consumed with communicating
> >that discontent to others - especially to those with whom one is willing
> >to be continually angry.
> Abdul-Baha himself said that angry can serve the good.... There
> is such a phrase in English, "righteous anger," for wrongs suffered
> unjustly, wrongs that those who care about the Bahai Teachings
> ought to want to see corrected if they have any sense of justice....
> If the Baha'i community, its
> >institutions, and the believers are as hypocritical, fanatical,
> >ungenerous, misguided and critical as portrayed by many of those
> >who post here, then why waste the precious days of your short lives
> >mired in lashing out at the them?  Why not find something
> >else more fulfilling?
> Again, the typical Bahai approach.... Drive out or banish anyone
> who doesn't conform or agree with prevailing opinion.... This
> opinion also fails to perceive that there is much of importance
> the Bahai Faith needs to learn from many of its critics or voices
> of conscience....
> The only other alternative is to arise and model
> >for others the kind of Baha'i life you think Baha'is should
> >lead, rather than telling the Baha'is how bad they are.  Being
> >constantly possessed of a critical spirit is self-destructive.
> The Voice in the Wilderness is usually the one humankind needs
> the most.... The Bahai Faith is no different....
> >
> >In the cyberworld that has opened up the possibility for people to put
> >all of their immediate and unprocessed feelings up in
> >print, it might also prove useful for those who post in response to the
> >naysayers to ponder a few things.  Does the person who
> >blames the Baha'i institutions, community and believers for various
> >failures actually want a dialogue, or simply a confirmation
> >that he's right?  Perhaps the best response to the angry words and
> >criticism is no written response at all, but a continued
> >demonstration of wisdom, and a willingness to follow the lived example
> >of 'Abdul-Baha, who loved everyone but did not
> >legitimize everyone's actions and words.
> The answer of many Bahais: ostracism....
> >
> >Since the founding of various internet discussion groups a few years
> >ago, I have observed them carefully, both in the Baha'i
> >context, and in the context of other religions and disciplines.  Except
> >for very tightly controlled discussion groups (and
> >soc-religion.bahai is not so tightly controlled),
> In my opinion, it is tightly controlled. See my new web site,
> alt.religon.bahai, or for evidence and
> discussion to that effect....
> there is always a
> >significant percentage of participants whose purpose is criticism,
> >argumentation, negation and the expression of discontent.
> I would have to say that among Bahais there are always individuals
> willing to justify the most shameful abuse of the Teachings and
> ethics as long as they think it willl further the growth of the Faith....
> FG
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