The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


From: <>
Subject: Re: Another Inquiring Mind
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 1999 3:36 PM

In article <7l952h$>,
  "Rick Schaut" <RSSchaut@email.msn.NOSPAMcom> wrote:
, what
> the Universal House of Justice has done is to say that materialist
> assumptions are not the only way to approach the Baha'i Faith and has
> attempted to preserve, for all Baha'is, the right to use whatever
> each of us deems best.

Dear Rick,
While that may be your perception of what the House is saying in this
letter, it is not the perception of many others, nor has it been the
_experience_ of others who, trying to exercise that "right to use
whatever approach" they deemed best, have been censored, castigated by
individual members of the institutions, often castigated by the
Institutions themselves, expelled or threatened with expulsion,
investigated, and generally, by words or actions, told that these
methods, _because they do not always affirm the cherished ideas or
beliefs, or because they do not support the "official" self-
presentation made by The Faith to the public and academic community,
and raise controversial questions_ are the products of "dogmatic
materialism" or not valid because they do not always take into account
such categories as revelation.

If indeed such a right were being preserved, these things would not be
happening, people would not be resigning or simply becoming inactive,
and the Baha'i community would, no doubt, be experiencing a vital,
progressive, useful, dynamic, and exhilarating dialogue between _all_
the various groups and individuals: academics, artists, theologians,
(not clerics, mind you), the Institutions, and every other sector of
the Baha'i community, something no other religion has had the ability
to accomplish without much pain, suffering, shunning, even bloodshed.
But it appears to me and many others that the direction being taken is
down the same slippery slope toward a fundamentalist mentality that
outwardly calls for scholarship, but rejects any which may challenge
its authority or long-held, perhaps outmoded, ideas.

Sent via
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.