The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


Subject: Remember the function of this site.
Date: 10/12/1998 6:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Gibro28W
Message-id: <>


You wrote:>Dr. Cole's
>scholarship in general. His article entitled "Behold the Man" which
>Baha'u'llah's treatment of Christ and  appeared in the Journal of the
>American Academy of Religion about a year ago was magnificent.

Thank you for pointing that out. This is the useful information that Baha'is
need to hear from people like yourself.

You also said: > I would not have criticized Dr. Cole on this forum at all
had it not been
>for his intemperate condemnation of the Institutions which was forwarded to
>this list.

The discriptive heading of this particular
forum (folder) states: "for non-Baha'is to discuss why they left or never
converted to the faith." What Dr. Cole has said critically
about the Institutions (as others like myself
have)--why he left the Baha'i Faith--is quite
appropriate for this forum section. This is not
the "Happy Thoughts" section. Baha'is lurking
here, especially, should expect that.

If you feel the need to counter Dr. Cole by defending the UHJ, O.K.  But by
the same token, you should respect his right to criticize
it for what he feels its members hurtfully did to him and others. People
need to know about the pros and cons in order to get a broader picture. Let
it go at that.

The Bahai Faith, scripturally and institutionally, however beautiful to its
believers, is not perfect. If it was, we wouldn't be communicating under
these polarized circumstances.

None of the former members of this religion want to see it destroyed. What
we would like to see exposed are the divisive dogmas and the abuses of
administrative power that stunt its growth. If the Baha'i Faith has been
somehow corrupted, then this needs to be discussed openly and objectively to
remedy the problem. Yours should not merely be a public relations campaign
to put the best  spin on compromising revelations.

Surely you have to admit that these arguments haven't been foisted upon the
Baha'i community by deluded malcontents. And simply denying our arguments
won't make them go away. There will always be people after us who will
continue this debate--until the issues are honestly and faithfully
confronted to find the fairest resolution. With the present, unaccountable
(off-the-hook "infallibilty") mindset of the UHJ, however, this won't happen
any time soon. Nor will I wait around that long. As Candy so well reminded
me, there are better ways to spend one's life
than beating a dead horse.

In summary, the biggest problem, as I see it,
is that most Baha'is don't take criticism seriously--they tune it out as
"negative" or "harmful to spiritual growth." This selfish
attitude is very stupid. First of all, Baha'is entice people to join them.
When they do, they indoctrinate them until they think like the group. But as
soon as a red flare of doubt goes up in the convert's mind, they're cordoned
off by the group and reminded of their "spiritual" obligations in the name
of Baha'u'llah or the "Covenant." If left unresolved and doubt gives vent to
prolonged criticism, the convert is sent packing or is kicked out. What
we have here is a broken family that had failed to truly listen to the needs
of its members in the first place.

So, Susan, it's like you're telling Dr. Cole: "I would not have questioned
your integrity had it not been for your complaints about Daddy after he
chased you out of our house for not calling him All-Knowing, Loving King."
Isn't that really what your definition of loyalty to Baha'u'llah and the
Covenant mean?

P.S.--I'm only trying to reason with you, Susan. I'm not trying to put you