Sarah goes to Church – her “Baha’i on Life” blogOctober 10, 2013
“Sarah Goes To Church” is an engaging and insightful blog on her independent investigations into different religions.
So she went along to find out about the Bahais of Webster Groves, Missouri, along with her partner with the dazzling pink hair.
Enjoy the read!
And then you’ll see that the bottleneck for her is that Bahai’s need to stop treating homosexuality as a form of ‘abberant’ sexuality.
The community she encountered seemed particularly open. No one said anything nasty about gays and one father expressed support of his transgender son but…
“There was a woman at the service, a gay woman, who talked about how hard it was to be chaste but she knew this life was only but a blip and that her devotion would be rewarded in the next life.”
So gays are expected to live lonely lives and never to have the joys of raising children with a partner. Time and time again we see from history that when one group of people is treated differently it is an imbalance on the majority group as well. Abdul-Baha expresses this beautifully on the topic of gender equality:
“The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”
Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 227, p. 302
So I would argue that any society which treats homosexuality as not part of the range of what human sexuality is, is out of balance. I’m not talking about sex nor morality, but orientation. See another of my blogs for more on this >
Bahaú’llah’s teachings were for equally and the principle of equally makes no sense if it is just for some people. I’m referring to what Abdul-Baha meant by “spiritual teachings” – Teachings that are eternal, not social teachings which do change, and in particular social teachings which the U.H.J., the head of the Bahai community, may rule on such as defining what marriage is.
Abdul-Baha writes of two kinds of teachings:
“The one is the call of civilization, of the progress of the material world. This pertaineth to the world of phenomena, promoteth the principles of material achievement, and is the trainer for the physical accomplishments of mankind. It compriseth the laws, regulations, arts and sciences through which the world of humanity hath developed; laws and regulations which are the outcome of lofty ideals and the result of sound minds, and which have stepped forth into the arena of existence through the efforts of the wise and cultured in past and subsequent ages. The propagator and executive power of this call is just government.
The other is the soul-stirring call of God, Whose spiritual teachings are safeguards of the everlasting glory, the eternal happiness and illumination of the world of humanity, and cause attributes of mercy to be revealed in the human world and the life beyond.”
Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 283
Currently the U.H.J. states that marriage can be only be between a man and woman but another U.H.J. in the future might have another definition.
What is a shame is that because of their current position, Bahais see this as justification to continue to discriminate against gays. I realise it must be tough if you are a Bahai and you believe the Bahaí Faith doesn’t change or you don’t like gays. But for the sake of the health of religious community that preaches equality for all, a first step for a Bahai community would be to remove any public display or reference to homosexuality that associates it with disease or otherness. And second step is to stop referring to gays as if their identity is tied to whether they are celibate or not. How would you feel if each time you met a Baha’i your identity as a holistic human being was focused on your sexual orientation?