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Old 11-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
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Atheist Marriage

I'm going to go into this post with a massive disclaimer.

First of all, I am NOT the author of the original post that I am bringing to your attention, nor do I agree with a good deal of his views and opinions.

Second of all, as I may have stated before, my Baha'i girlfriend and I have an agreement that if we were to (hypothetically) get married, I would not only have an equal say over all religious activities any children of ours would go to and freedom to express my opinion about all religions to them, but a humanist or civil ceremony would be the legal ceremony that takes place before the Baha'i one, and furthermore I would not put any meaning into the words "Verily we will abide by the will of God" which takes care in my view of discomfort I had with that verse.

Third and last, I only am bringing this to you because I'm very annoyed that this man brought out his angry, emotional, and painful experiences and questions and in return the post sat there for nearly eight years without any answer. Surely any number of things could have happened by now, but the most likely scenario is that he broke it off with the Baha'i girl, and that he may have killed himself because of it, which weighs very heavily on me. However, I hope you can answer this man's post as if he wandered on here with a pressing concern.

With all that having been said, here's the original link to the post, with the full text copied below.

*****

Atheist Marriage - Bahaindex.com - Bahai Faith Index - Baha'i portal and search engine

Atheist Marriage 7 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0
I hope you can be of help. This is causing me massive mental anguish, bordering on suicidal thoughts. Know this is a challenging post, and only those who are mature enough to accept challenges to their faith should read it or respond (and to those who respond, I applaud you). I hope that someone may find value in seeing how their religion may affect others, from the paradigm of one diametrically opposed in the area of religious belief.
--------------------------------------------------------

I am engaged to a Bahai. I am an atheist. Her parents think I am some sort of Christian due to my upbringing, so they don't mind us marrying (since, ostensibly, Christianity is a lesser, antiquated religion when compared to the Bahai faith, but still celebrates the same God).

According to Bahai teachings, a Bahai marriage must be held, and those being married must say

"We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God."

Clearly, there will be much religious symbolism in the form of prayers, music, rituals, &c.

I don't mind being the laughing stock of my friends, who will no doubt be wondering, "Wow. I can't believe what a fraud he is. He has fought for atheist rights, and look at him." I don't mind being alienated by my family, who will be wondering why I would be a part of this bizarre spectacle- a pain that Bahai's probably experience in cross-religion ceremonies.

No. It is the lack of any alternatives, the static nature of your celebrated "modern" religion that is so hurtful. I was never given a chance. It was a "Bahai wedding" from the start. By default, there was no other choice, unless I celebrated another monotheistic, Abrahamic religion. My rights were not considered.

"That's not what Bahai's teach!" you may say. Clearly, if I were a Christian, she could participate in my Christian wedding ceremony (which, I might add, would be as insulting to her as this circumstance is to me) and then we could change out a few props, like a cross for a star...thing, and then voila! One ceremony in the bag, NEXT CEREMONY!

Let us then assume that since Bahai's, presumably, are allowed to marry under a non-Bahai ceremony, that we extended that to a non-religious ceremony, celebrating the wonders of the universe, the absolutely astounding fact that we are alive, &c. Is this a possibilty? Let's examine your "laws" with a bit of my commentary:

"1. When a Bahá'à is marrying a non-Bahá'Ã, and the non-Bahá'à wishes to have the ceremony of his (or her) own religion the Bahá'à party may take part in it under the following conditions:

1.1 That all concerned, including the officiating priest, know that he is a Bahá'Ã.

- Ok. This is harmless enough, and, surely, a good idea.

1.2 That he does not, by having the ceremony, renounce his faith.

- Again, harmless and probably a good idea. It would be insane for someone to renounce his or her faith due to some antiquated tradition of counter-biological, civil pairing.

1.3 That he does not undertake any vow to act contrary to Bahá'à principles (such as to bring up the children in another Faith)

- Hold on- I agree that a person shouldn't agree to a vow that is contrary to his or her beliefs... but now, by default, Bahai is the religion if any children of the couple? I know it is specifically talking about the vows, but we may extrapolate that there is a law saying that children in the marriage must be raised Bahai- am I wrong? (Regardless, the act of placing a religion on a child is CRIMINAL... to say a child is Bahai is no different than saying "look at that Communist child" or "that child is an Existentialist." They simply can't UNDERSTAND the complexities of religion, and they are genetically predisposed to BELIEVE what you tell them, because if they had experimented on their own they wouldn’t have survived; telling a child that everything you teach them about YOUR Bahai faith is true is wrong and not conducive to critical thinking, the most powerful tool we have... but that is another story)

1.4 That the ceremony be held on the same day as the Bahá'à ceremony, either before or after it. 384

- A Bahai ceremony is MANDATORY, which, again, leaves little room for me, considering I am not lucky enough to be religious and have my religion have its wedding day in the sun, as well.

"2. If a civil ceremony is required by law in addition to the two religious ceremonies, all three ceremonies must be held on the same day.

- This is just utterly ridiculous and arbitrary.

"3. If a Bahá'à has the marriage ceremony of another religion and, in so doing, violates any of the above requirements, he is liable to loss of his voting rights."
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 383)

- Oh- a threat. A nice threatening religion you have here. I don't know why voting rights are so important, considering the apathy Bahais have toward politics in the real world. Come to think of it, I can't even begin to understand why a religion would tell its flock to be apolitical, aside from paternal, religious crowd control. If they think non-involvement in politics will make everyone get along better, then maybe they haven't noticed that religion will always trump politics as a dividing force (look at the Bahais in Egypt).

"As to the holding of the Bahá'à and civil marriage ceremonies on the same day, as the consummation of the marriage should not take place until both ceremonies have been held, a night should not intervene between the two ceremonies."

- again, completely arbitrary

Letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated April 23, 1971, in Handbook for Local Spiritual Assemblies in Australia, p. 55
(Compilations, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities)

Now, for my crux, my conclusion, for any who dare read this far:

"The laws conditioning Bahá'à marriage are found in the 'Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas' under C, Laws of Personal Status beginning on page 39 of that publication. No Bahá'à marriage can be valid without the recitation of the prescribed verse by both parties."

(Letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice in answer to a letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador regarding an atheist who agreed to the Bahá'à ceremony but since he did not believe in God did not wish to repeat the marriage verse using the name of God. Letter dated December 19, 1974)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance)

This brings us full circle back to the harmless looking vow.

If a Bahai marries a Christian, Muslim, whatever, they both have their ceremonies and then live happily ever after in cooperative self-delusion (aside from the deep religious chasm in their marriage), both having freely said their vows to the same "God" (at least the Bahais say it is the same god... I guess Hindus are left out, and I bet the Muslims don't think they and the Bahai's have the same God... not to mention Aztecs, Sumarians, Greeks, and the thousands of Gods that pre-date the Abrahamic God, but I digress).

HOWEVER, if an atheist is involved, his or her rights are violated. The basic marriage rights that Bahais have codified place their religion and religious rights above all other.

Mine are pissed on. In order to marry someone, I have to give my faith to God.

Please think about this, about how unfair, uncritical, and WRONG this line of thinking is; please consider the sorts of peripheral, negative externalities your peaceful religion may inflict. Please think about the anguish and embarrassment I must go through just to marry someone of your faith. Please consider how this rule alienates my freedoms and me; please consider the discrimination your religion, one that praises diversity, permits and encourages. Please examine your own beliefs.

Please consider people like me, because the pain of religion has made me reconsider whether I want to reside on this earth at all.

Eric Leeds
Cheshire
 
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
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Dear friend SmilingSkeptic, First of all if a person finds Baha'i laws so dreadfull then why do they worry they do not have to marry a Baha'i, do they.
Second in these arguments, sorry but I see the atheist doing the same to Baha'is and our faith as they accuse us of doing to them.
So much angst against people of belief in God, they (the atheist) come into religious forums to attack our beliefs, they are in many commentaries in news papers etc, attacking religous belief, I see them often doing this. I do not see Baha'is joining in this type of behaviour.

It all comes down to why does this person need to marry a Baha'i, if I felt so strongly I would be seeking a person with the same beliefs as my own.

Sorry dear friend but I am getting a little sick of the constant attack upon my beliefs.

A person on becoming a Baha'i accepts the teachings, to do what this person says to not obey all the teachings, what sort of person is that? Certainly not a person of fidelity, if a person can so easily break Baha'i laws they can so easily break all laws, does that give the person marrying such a person confidence, I would not think so.

I have never read this post, you say it is years old, I am sad that someone did not respond, but maybe they also are sick of these attacks upon our faith. To understand our feelings you have to understand as we do that these laws are God given and not man made. As you so casually refuse to accept the existance of God, I fail to see how you would ever understand.

But I still wish you well, I still wish to be your friend.
Loving regards
bill
 
Old 11-04-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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Good morning SmilingAthiest

Each person spends their life both making and unmaking their bed. They try to lay in it, find it either too hot or too warm. Life is restless. The tide of our breath moves in and out, adding to the sensation.

The fanaticism of athiesim is as bad as any other form of fanaticism. And, I am sorry to say, I find it extremely sad that athiests will admit to dishonesty and believe themself honest by doing so. If the person's mouth utters something, it should be uttered with honesty, or not uttered at all. If the person was not prepared to live ther married life abiding by the will of God, then why say it? How can one trust a person who admits to dishonesty? How can one put faith in a person who is not true to their word?

Every act of dishonesty has a penalty, and when that penalty finally catches up, the sufferer spends their time blaming everyone and everything but themselves. Thus, frustration, anger, depression and so on. All because of a little bit of dishonesty.

I feel sorry for the person, and sympathy, but he has made his bed, and now finds that he must lay in it. And finds it uncomfortable. Has he learned? Please, go ask him. And learn.

Remember this.

With greetings

Romane
 
Old 11-04-2014, 02:29 PM   #4
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Bill, I agree with most of your reply. But I would like to say that it is quite clear that our dear Skeptic doesn't "casually refuse to accept the existance of God", rather, he has real, personal reasons for not believing which are reasonable and logical. Now, I feel he is wrong and that my own reasons for believing are both reasonable and logical as well. The fact is, it doesn't matter which of us is right or wrong. We didn't come to our conclusion "casually."

I urge you, my friend, to please examine the tone of your posts. Not doing so may cause harm to the feelings and souls of the recipients.

With Bah' love,
 
Old 11-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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Welp, I may be a relatively recent convert, but I'll take a shot at answering some of these, addressing them in order as the issues are raised:

Quote:
1.3 That he does not undertake any vow to act contrary to Bahƒ¡'ƒ principles (such as to bring up the children in another Faith)

- Hold on- I agree that a person shouldn't agree to a vow that is contrary to his or her beliefs... but now, by default, Bahai is the religion if any children of the couple? I know it is specifically talking about the vows, but we may extrapolate that there is a law saying that children in the marriage must be raised Bahai- am I wrong? (Regardless, the act of placing a religion on a child is CRIMINAL... (justifiable rant continues)
Well, he's not wrong in insisting that attempting to raise a child to be a certain religion would be morally wrong. That would encourage taqlid, or blind faith, in the child, which is a grievous sin in the Baha'i Faith (see Seven Valleys, pg. 5, Iqan pg. 73-74, etc.).

Eric has, it seems, incorrectly seen the rule that states that you should not, as he quotes, "bring up the children in another Faith." This is not saying "you must bring your child up as Baha'i", it is rather saying not to bring the child up in another religion, which is much different in tone (and is a rule of no concern to someone of no faith).

The Law states that a parent has a duty to educate a child, including in spiritual manners. This is not necessarily a command to bring up a child as Baha'i or attempt to force the faith upon them (again, that would be taqlid, and a grievous sin), but would (in my opinion) be a command to give them the tools and knowledge necessary to investigate and discover the Faith for themselves (the way entering the Faith is supposed to be done (see Seven Valleys)).

Quote:
1.4 That the ceremony be held on the same day as the Bahƒ¡'ƒ ceremony, either before or after it. 384

- A Bahai ceremony is MANDATORY, which, again, leaves little room for me, considering I am not lucky enough to be religious and have my religion have its wedding day in the sun, as well.

"2. If a civil ceremony is required by law in addition to the two religious ceremonies, all three ceremonies must be held on the same day.

- This is just utterly ridiculous and arbitrary.
My guess would be, and I cannot speak for the writer of these rules, that the purpose of having the ceremonies on the same day is so that no one religion is elevated above the other. They are given equal weight and scheduled the same day, so that one is not prioritized above the other. That is just my guess though.

It may seem to some like a burden to have both ceremonies on the same day, but according to Law, the Baha'i Ceremony needs only to have the two make the promise "We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God." This is the bare minimum, and taking the Law literally, the only thing that needs to happen for the ceremony to be valid, contrary to Eric's expectation that "there will be much religious symbolism in the form of prayers, music, rituals". It need not at all be complex, and could be shortened to the bare minimum if time is of concern.

(Typically, Baha'is also require some LSA witnesses to see the taking of the vows, but if we take the Aqdas at its basic level, this is not required, and the two persons simply speaking the vow in private would constitute a valid marriage under what is written in the Aqdas, so long as that marriage does not violate the laws on who can marry (such as attempting to take multiple wives).)

Quote:
"3. If a Bahƒ¡'ƒ has the marriage ceremony of another religion and, in so doing, violates any of the above requirements, he is liable to loss of his voting rights."
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 383)

- Oh- a threat. A nice threatening religion you have here.
Eh, makes sense to me. The Baha'i requisite marriage ceremony is so very simple there's no reason not to follow the things above. And, while Eric may not understand, "liable to loss" doesn't mean "loss", as breaking the law alone is no grounds for revoking voting rights, rather the sin must somehow damage the Baha'i community.

Quote:
I don't know why voting rights are so important, considering the apathy Bahais have toward politics in the real world. Come to think of it, I can't even begin to understand why a religion would tell its flock to be apolitical, aside from paternal, religious crowd control. If they think non-involvement in politics will make everyone get along better, then maybe they haven't noticed that religion will always trump politics as a dividing force (look at the Bahais in Egypt).
A bit of a non-sequiter, but politics are vitrolic. The divide between liberal Christians who pull scripture to justify their own beliefs and conservative Christians who pull scripture to justify THEIR beliefs is a testament to that. Look anywhere where members of a single faith discuss politics online. It's not pretty, and leads to some pretty harsh and angry divisions. As someone who's political views don't line up with the major parties in his country, I feel rather forced by society already to not speak of politics, as (being a "political minority") I run the risk of offending or alienating everyone who in general are more passionate about politics and in general disagree with my views in some way.

Quote:
"As to the holding of the Bahƒ¡'ƒ and civil marriage ceremonies on the same day, as the consummation of the marriage should not take place until both ceremonies have been held, a night should not intervene between the two ceremonies."

- again, completely arbitrary
I must wonder what Eric would say if the rules demanded something like the Baha'i ceremony being First. I think the same day rule makes sense, and makes it so one faith is not prioritized by the other. (And also sidesteps some messy first-night-of-marriage questions by members of seperate faiths who believe in waiting until marraige )

Quote:
at least the Bahais say it is the same god... I guess Hindus are left out
A non-sequiter, but knowing a Hindu who hates and objects statements implying that Hindus are not monotheistic, or that Hindus dont believe in God, I feel obligated to point out Eric's stereotypical and faulty understanding of Hinduism in general.

Quote:
not to mention Aztecs, Sumarians, Greeks, and the thousands of Gods that pre-date the Abrahamic God, but I digress)
Actually a complete non-sequiter, but I've been examining *Dyēus Ph2ter recently and would think that, under the Baha'i understanding (though I've seen no Baha'i speculation on the Proto-Indo-Europeans at this time), *Dyēus Ph2ter and the gods that he inspired would be truely God... but I also digress.



Alright, now that specifics have been addressed, let's look at the wedding vow itself...

"We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God."

This isn't a declaration of faith, as Eric seems to think (at least as far as I can tell). The "abide by the Will of God" seems to me, in context, to apply to the marriage. IE, I'd argue that the vow is an agreement to abide by Baha'i Law in regards to the marriage (so no extramarital affairs, following Baha'i divorce proceedure, properly educating children (if any)).

It would be a promise to follow "the Will of God" in the marriage (Baha'i marriage-based Laws), regardless if one believes God to be real or imaginary. It is not necessarily a declaration of Faith.

Since God's Law is supposed to apply differently to various cultures,
Since this particular vow was revealed in a time and place where the existance of God was widely accepted,
Since letter of the laws can be interpreted and applied differently to accomidate the specific situation, as long as the spirit of the law is maintained (Example: The Law to not take multiple wives is interpreted (by the spirit of the law) to also apply to women as a Law to not take multiple husbands, even though the letter of the Law does not mention this specifically),
Since English is not the original language of this vow,

I would think, in my own opinion, that the wording of this vow could be changed to accomidate specific individuals if (especially) the non-Baha'i partner has a problem with the vows as written. As long as what they are promising to physically do (that is, abide by the Baha'i marriage laws) is the same as the original Law, it shouldn't matter what specific words are used to make that promise. The intent of the words, logic and reason tell us, is what is important, not the specific words themselves.



But that's only my opinion on these matters.

Last edited by Walrus; 11-04-2014 at 08:06 PM.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 08:36 PM   #6
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Abiding ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post

"We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God."
Hey!! Did ya hear the one about the two sky divers who wanted to get married while jumping out of an airplane??

The vows: "We will all, verily, abide by the law of gravity..."



But one of them protests, saying: "But I don't believe in gravity..."
;''-(

.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 06:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EternalStudent9 View Post
Bill, I agree with most of your reply. But I would like to say that it is quite clear that our dear Skeptic doesn't "casually refuse to accept the existance of God", rather, he has real, personal reasons for not believing which are reasonable and logical. Now, I feel he is wrong and that my own reasons for believing are both reasonable and logical as well. The fact is, it doesn't matter which of us is right or wrong. We didn't come to our conclusion "casually."

I urge you, my friend, to please examine the tone of your posts. Not doing so may cause harm to the feelings and souls of the recipients.

With Bah' love,
Dear friend I hear your words, but feel I have given a loving response, to continual pressing the atheist point in a Baha'i forum. Sorry if anyone is hurt by my words, but I guess I am old ill and frustrated with the continual pushing of anothers ideas. As I stated I do not tell our friend that his ideas are upsetting to me, maybe I should?
 
Old 11-05-2014, 07:00 AM   #8
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There is much of what SmilingSkeptic posts that I seriously dislike myself. But it is not our way to return hurt for hurt.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 11:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by EternalStudent9 View Post
There is much of what SmilingSkeptic posts that I seriously dislike myself. But it is not our way to return hurt for hurt.
Dear friend I most strenuously deny your observation, as I said before I considered I wrote a loving reply, for you to say what you do, I feel you are interpreting something that was not in my words. I say no more.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 09:50 PM   #10
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@BlinkeyBill Sorry, my friend, but you have a history of being antagonistic and condescending to non-believers, myself included. You may not mean it or see it, but a long, objective look at your posting history might help your future posts come across more lovingly, as you seem to intend.

To OP:

The letter you posted sounds like a man who has a lot more problems than a marriage ceremony. If you seriously think he may have killed himself over this, then it is most unfortunate that he did not seek professional help. Perhaps individual or premarital counseling could have helped him come to a mutual agreement with his fiancee without feeling the only other way was killing himself. That's very, very sad.

I say this as a non-Baha'i (although still searching/exploring the faith) whose fiance insists on a Baha'i wedding. I am still frustrated that I have to seek parental permission from parents who I want nothing to do with (and for good reason). But I am going through the motions to make my fiance happy. It's a sacrifice on my part, but that is what a marriage is: a series of sacrifices from both parties in order to be more strongly united to face the challenges of this world.

You can't always get your way in a marriage, and sometimes it's a matter of deciding who is this more important to? Let's say I don't care much about the vow or the religious aspect of the ceremony except I have to do a bit of a dance to get parental permission waived. So my feelings on a scale of 1-10 are about a 5. For my fiance, he's a 10. It is VERY important to him to have a Baha'i wedding, so I concede the matter.


I'm not seeing how the atheist's (or non-Bahai's, for that matter) "rights are violated" by the vow or the "regulations" of the ceremony. I think this person had a fundamentally skewed concept of rights. He has a right to a non-Bahai ceremony, a right to have whatever vows he wants, a right to a ceremony based on the wonders of life on this planet. Who's stopping him?

However, his FIANCEE, the woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with, has decided to follow a certain path. So he can take it or leave it.

If it's a level 10 important to her and a level 10 important to him, then YIKES they may be in for some rough times ahead because the ceremony is only the BEGINNING of a lifelong series of mutually made decisions in which religion may often play a big role.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 01:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rose View Post
@BlinkeyBill Sorry, my friend, but you have a history of being antagonistic and condescending to non-believers, myself included. You may not mean it or see it, but a long, objective look at your posting history might help your future posts come across more lovingly, as you seem to intend.

To OP:

The letter you posted sounds like a man who has a lot more problems than a marriage ceremony. If you seriously think he may have killed himself over this, then it is most unfortunate that he did not seek professional help. Perhaps individual or premarital counseling could have helped him come to a mutual agreement with his fiancee without feeling the only other way was killing himself. That's very, very sad.

I agree that it is a very sad state of affairs.

I say this as a non-Baha'i (although still searching/exploring the faith) whose fiance insists on a Baha'i wedding. I am still frustrated that I have to seek parental permission from parents who I want nothing to do with (and for good reason). But I am going through the motions to make my fiance happy. It's a sacrifice on my part, but that is what a marriage is: a series of sacrifices from both parties in order to be more strongly united to face the challenges of this world.

I feel a little frustrated at the parental consent requirement as well. It's not that I don't think that I would get it if I asked, however while I see the benefits of parental support I also think that requiring it feels superfluous, as it is just a pro forma thing for couples like us and for those who are on bad terms with their parents the parental consent process would definitely not prevent arguments with in-laws. In fact, it would probably lead to more fighting as the parents have the ability to easily use it as a weapon to strongarm their children. However, as you said, I am willing to do this and to say the vow for my Baha'i girlfriend if we ever get to the point of being engaged.

You can't always get your way in a marriage, and sometimes it's a matter of deciding who is this more important to? Let's say I don't care much about the vow or the religious aspect of the ceremony except I have to do a bit of a dance to get parental permission waived. So my feelings on a scale of 1-10 are about a 5. For my fiance, he's a 10. It is VERY important to him to have a Baha'i wedding, so I concede the matter.

I'm not seeing how the atheist's (or non-Bahai's, for that matter) "rights are violated" by the vow or the "regulations" of the ceremony. I think this person had a fundamentally skewed concept of rights. He has a right to a non-Bahai ceremony, a right to have whatever vows he wants, a right to a ceremony based on the wonders of life on this planet. Who's stopping him?

However, his FIANCEE, the woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with, has decided to follow a certain path. So he can take it or leave it.

If it's a level 10 important to her and a level 10 important to him, then YIKES they may be in for some rough times ahead because the ceremony is only the BEGINNING of a lifelong series of mutually made decisions in which religion may often play a big role.

It's almost like you read my mind here.
Thank you for a very thoughtful reply.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 11-06-2014 at 02:22 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 02:13 AM   #12
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Dear SmilingSkeptic,

I'm actually quite optimistic about your future with your present fiance. You take this matter so seriously that you've bothered to register at this site and engage in numerous discussions.

As to the faith to which you, so far, have a skeptical attitude: well, for most of us it takes a lifetime to even understand the basics of it.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 02:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Dear SmilingSkeptic,

I'm actually quite optimistic about your future with your present fiance. You take this matter so seriously that you've bothered to register at this site and engage in numerous discussions.

As to the faith to which you, so far, have a skeptical attitude: well, for most of us it takes a lifetime to even understand the basics of it.
Well, she's currently just my girlfriend, but we just celebrated our third anniversary so we'll see.

Not that I don't enjoy discussing with you guys here, but yeah, trying to understand her faith better and get answers to questions regarding, for instance, children's classes was the reason I registered here.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 11-06-2014 at 02:33 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 02:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
Well, she's currently just my girlfriend, but we'll see.
You'll be a great husband and dad, I'm sure. We need people who ask questions. Beware of those who have cock-sure answers to everything!

It's even been said by 'Abdu'l-Bah that Western people, not being brought up in an authoritarian environment, should question and scrutinize the Faith.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 02:47 AM   #15
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You'll be a great husband and dad, I'm sure. We need people who ask questions. Beware of those who have cock-sure answers to everything!

It's even been said by 'Abdu'l-Bah that Western people, not being brought up in an authoritarian environment, should question and scrutinize the Faith.
Thanks.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 02:50 AM   #16
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Good morning SmilingAthiest

Each person spends their life both making and unmaking their bed. They try to lay in it, find it either too hot or too warm. Life is restless. The tide of our breath moves in and out, adding to the sensation.

The fanaticism of athiesim is as bad as any other form of fanaticism. And, I am sorry to say, I find it extremely sad that athiests will admit to dishonesty and believe themself honest by doing so. If the person's mouth utters something, it should be uttered with honesty, or not uttered at all. If the person was not prepared to live ther married life abiding by the will of God, then why say it? How can one trust a person who admits to dishonesty? How can one put faith in a person who is not true to their word?

Every act of dishonesty has a penalty, and when that penalty finally catches up, the sufferer spends their time blaming everyone and everything but themselves. Thus, frustration, anger, depression and so on. All because of a little bit of dishonesty.

I feel sorry for the person, and sympathy, but he has made his bed, and now finds that he must lay in it. And finds it uncomfortable. Has he learned? Please, go ask him. And learn.

Remember this.

With greetings

Romane
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. My thinking is on the vow that I would say that line for her because it was required, but that I am not necessarily required to mean it- since obviously I don't believe in God, what would "abiding by the will" of something I don't believe exists even be like? The part of the vows that would mean something to me is the part that we write together, I think. That would probably come during the humanist ceremony.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 04:27 AM   #17
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@BlinkeyBill Sorry, my friend, but you have a history of being antagonistic and condescending to non-believers, myself included. You may not mean it or see it, but a long, objective look at your posting history might help your future posts come across more lovingly, as you seem to intend.
Dear Rose.

One I am surprised that you feel so.

Two I am also surprised that you would judge so harshly.

To find fault with others while also being a sinner is not something that Baha'u'llah teaches I feel.

Anyway I take your words seriously, so will post a farewell message to my friends here on the forum and withdraw, I do not wish to be a cause of disunity.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 09:22 AM   #18
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Dear Rose.

One I am surprised that you feel so.

Two I am also surprised that you would judge so harshly.

To find fault with others while also being a sinner is not something that Baha'u'llah teaches I feel.

Anyway I take your words seriously, so will post a farewell message to my friends here on the forum and withdraw, I do not wish to be a cause of disunity.
can we live in this world and be assured that we never annoy anyone? and does it mean that if someone is annoyed by what we have said, it is because we meant to annoy?!
Dear BlinkeyBill, I personally see your response in a different manner; I don't see it as insulting, but it is only a natural reaction to an insult. doesn anyone expect us to have nerves of iron? (of course not, but we try to get better and better). and there is truth in what you have said "when a non bahai comes to this forum we expect respect from him/her as we too, will respect his/her views"
people can have different point of views, we can have our own's too
(and I don't think you are old and annoying)
sorry if I seem like preaching. I just don't like to see you leaving.

With Love
your youngest sister

Last edited by maryamr; 11-06-2014 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 11-06-2014, 10:30 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
can we live in this world and be assured that we never annoy anyone? and does it mean that if someone is annoyed by what we have said, it is because we meant to annoy?!
Dear BlinkeyBill, I personally see your respond in a different manner; I don't see it as insulting, but it is only a natural reaction to an insult. doesn anyone expect us to have nerves of iron? (of course not, but we try to get better and better). and there is truth in what you have said "when a non bahai comes to this forum we expect respect from him/her as we too, will respect his/her views"
people can have different point of views, we can have our own's too
(and I don't think you are old and annoying)
sorry if I seem like preaching. I just don't like to see you leaving.

With Love
your youngest sister
Your points are very well taken, youngest sister! Not one of us is perfect, words can be misread and misunderstood by everyone. And it can't be denied that Bill has a loving heart.
Your posting is beautiful, Maryamr!
Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 11-07-2014, 08:12 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
Quoted:

If a Bahai marries a Christian, Muslim, whatever, they both have their ceremonies and then live happily ever after in cooperative self-delusion <snip>

HOWEVER, if an atheist is involved, his or her rights are violated. The basic marriage rights that Bahais have codified place their religion and religious rights above all other.

Please consider people like me, because the pain of religion has made me reconsider whether I want to reside on this earth at all.
I can see that this law would be hard for an atheist to accept, but I'm sure there is a reason for it. Baha'u'llah says that "truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues." If a person can't say this one little sentence in all honesty then maybe the marriage had better not take place because the chasm of belief between the couple is too great, and could be a source of future conflict, grief, contention and feelings of hurt and oppression, like the writer seemed to manifest in his posting. The whole point of the Baha'i Faith is fostering love and unity and unity starts with marriage. People can have differing beliefs but there's often trouble if the beliefs are so widely at variance that one party takes offence to the nature of the beliefs of the other or belittles and criticises them. So this one little sentence might be a protection for both of the partners and a screening out of future problems.

Kind regards,

Suzanne
 
Old 11-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #21
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To the heart of the matter, if your intended is a Baha'i, and you simply cannot stomach the Baha'i wedding ceremony, why not tell her so? There is no point in not being direct about it. Her faith is going to be very important to her. She's made commitments to it not easily broken, and you would probably not value her as much if she did.

No message forum will help you in this regard. If you were wanting, for instance, to become a Freemason, but your deep convictions as an atheist prevented you from taking certain oaths, then no amount of arguing or debating the point on a message forum of Freemasons would assist you.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 09:30 AM   #22
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To the heart of the matter, if your intended is a Baha'i, and you simply cannot stomach the Baha'i wedding ceremony, why not tell her so? There is no point in not being direct about it. Her faith is going to be very important to her. She's made commitments to it not easily broken, and you would probably not value her as much if she did.

No message forum will help you in this regard. If you were wanting, for instance, to become a Freemason, but your deep convictions as an atheist prevented you from taking certain oaths, then no amount of arguing or debating the point on a message forum of Freemasons would assist you.
Unfortunately it seems the most likely outcome was that he did tell her, and that it broke them apart. And I hope he didn't kill himself, but his relationship with her might have been his support system and the fact that that ended could have sent him off the cliff so to speak.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 09:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Suzanne9 View Post
I can see that this law would be hard for an atheist to accept, but I'm sure there is a reason for it. Baha'u'llah says that "truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues." If a person can't say this one little sentence in all honesty then maybe the marriage had better not take place because the chasm of belief between the couple is too great, and could be a source of future conflict, grief, contention and feelings of hurt and oppression, like the writer seemed to manifest in his posting. The whole point of the Baha'i Faith is fostering love and unity and unity starts with marriage. People can have differing beliefs but there's often trouble if the beliefs are so widely at variance that one party takes offence to the nature of the beliefs of the other or belittles and criticises them. So this one little sentence might be a protection for both of the partners and a screening out of future problems.

Kind regards,

Suzanne
I had similar problems with the line, until I realized I didn't have to mean it- at least not in the same sense that the line was literally about. Sure, the line itself is just a required statement for me and doesn't carry any meaning for me, but if I feel in my heart like I'm saying something like "Verily I will be true to her" or "I do" when I'm saying it, then it doesn't feel dishonest.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:16 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
Unfortunately it seems the most likely outcome was that he did tell her, and that it broke them apart. And I hope he didn't kill himself, but his relationship with her might have been his support system and the fact that that ended could have sent him off the cliff so to speak.
Dear friend we can't impose the idea upon another that they are our support system, this is totally unfair and may I say emotional blackmail.

What another person does or does not do, is not our fault, everyone is responsible for themselves, the reason Baha'u'llah tells us to investigate personally, it is a personal thing and we can't hold others responsible for what happens to us.

Just my thoughts on this post of yours.
Loving regards
bill
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:20 AM   #25
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And sometimes there are things that are best settled in a drastic way, like when jumping into ice-cold water: you just do it, without hesitating.

I'm the expert here: that's how I got married and ended up in a perfect hell. But I have two wonderful daughters: my best friends on earth.

Best,

from

gnat (who knows everything about unhappy marriage - and still wouldn't hesitate to jump into that kind of cold water again. It's so darn boring to always stay on the shore)

Last edited by gnat; 11-08-2014 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #26
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And sometimes there are things that are best settled in a drastic way, like when jumping into ice-cold water: you just do it, without hesitating.

I'm the expert here: that's how I got married and ended up in a perfect hell. But I have two wonderful daughters: my best friends on earth.
I pray that you will continue to have the love of your daughters, sadly as I have discovered there are no gurantee's.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:25 AM   #27
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I pray that you will continue to have the love of your daughters, sadly as I have discovered there are no gurantee's.
Oh, they wouldn't dare not to love me, because then....

gnat
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:27 AM   #28
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Oh, they wouldn't dare not to love me, because then....

gnat
Then what?
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:30 AM   #29
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Then what?
Oh, neither you nor my little darlings would like to know....

Forcing them to wear the same clothes at school for two days in a row would be just the beginning of their troubles....

But, to be quite serious, I take anything I get from them as an unexpected gift. I have seen it as an absolutely essential task to impregnate them with love of all kinds, because I believe that that is the best protection against all evils that surround them - and yes, there have been and are quite a few. But so far, I detect no falseness in them. Evening prayers, occasional children's classes and Virtues discussions, all based on the Bah' conception of the soul as a little seed that needs to be fed and nourished, seem to work - so far. But my main objective has not been to receive love from them, but to fill them with it.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 11-08-2014 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #30
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Oh, neither you nor my little darlings would like to know....

Forcing them to wear the same clothes at school for two days in a row would be just the beginning of their troubles....

gnat
Now you worry me, no matter what my children may feel about me, no matter their hurtful words, my love never changes.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:40 AM   #31
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Now you worry me, no matter what my children may feel about me, no matter their hurtful words, my love never changes.
I added a few lines. But I told you that it will take a couple of years for you to get used to gnat humour.

gnat
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:44 AM   #32
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I added a few lines. But I told you that it will take a couple of years for you to get used to gnat humour.

gnat
Humour I can live with.
But as my dear grandmother taught me, many a truth is said in humour.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:50 AM   #33
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Humour I can live with.
But as my dear grandmother taught me, many a truth is said in humour.
I might one day tell about the horrors that I've been trying to keep away from my little ones. But that's where humour ends and unbelievable human degradation begins, so I'd rather not.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #34
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I might one day tell about the horrors that I've been trying to keep away from my little ones. But that's where humour ends and unbelievable human degradation begins, so I'd rather not.
It is best to keep ones horrors to oneself dear friend.
And may I say, you would not be the only one with such horrors.
 
Old 11-08-2014, 03:24 PM   #35
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Now you worry me, no matter what my children may feel about me, no matter their hurtful words, my love never changes.
I have found that i can cease to be a husband but I'll be a dad til I die
 
Old 11-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #36
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Oh, neither you nor my little darlings would like to know....

Forcing them to wear the same clothes at school for two days in a row would be just the beginning of their troubles....

But, to be quite serious, I take anything I get from them as an unexpected gift. I have seen it as an absolutely essential task to impregnate them with love of all kinds, because I believe that that is the best protection against all evils that surround them - and yes, there have been and are quite a few. But so far, I detect no falseness in them. Evening prayers, occasional children's classes and Virtues discussions, all based on the Bah' conception of the soul as a little seed that needs to be fed and nourished, seem to work - so far. But my main objective has not been to receive love from them, but to fill them with it.

gnat
Are you an advocate of the Uncle Buck method of childcare perchance?
 
Old 11-08-2014, 05:19 PM   #37
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Janis Joplin

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Originally Posted by noogan View Post
To the heart of the matter, if your intended is a Baha'i, and you simply cannot stomach the Baha'i wedding ceremony, why not tell her so? There is no point in not being direct about it. Her faith is going to be very important to her. She's made commitments to it not easily broken, and you would probably not value her as much if she did.

No message forum will help you in this regard. If you were wanting, for instance, to become a Freemason, but your deep convictions as an atheist prevented you from taking certain oaths, then no amount of arguing or debating the point on a message forum of Freemasons would assist you.
. "You better not compromise yourself. Its all you've got!"

Janis Joplin
 
Old 11-09-2014, 04:31 AM   #38
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I had similar problems with the line, until I realized I didn't have to mean it- at least not in the same sense that the line was literally about. Sure, the line itself is just a required statement for me and doesn't carry any meaning for me, but if I feel in my heart like I'm saying something like "Verily I will be true to her" or "I do" when I'm saying it, then it doesn't feel dishonest.
Hi Skeptic,

I think you're right that you need to be able to find a way to be able to say this line and sincerely mean it. You've found a way which works for you.

Here's something that occurs to me though. Baha'u'llah said that God is an unknowable Essence. Nobody knows God directly, but God is manifested or reflected throughout all of creation and especially in a human heart that is pure. I'm guessing that one of the things you love most of all about your girlfriend is the divine you see reflected in her. But it's also in you and there's the attraction.

Baha'u'llah said:
Quote:
He hath known God who hath known himself.
But people can also be quite ungodly when they get caught up with following their egos. Shoghi Effendi said:

Quote:
".. Self has really two meanings, or is used in two senses, in the Bah' writings: one is self, the identity of the individual created by God. This is the self mentioned in such passages as 'he hath known God who hath known himself etc.'. The other self is the ego, the dark, animalistic heritage each one of us has, the lower nature that can develop into a monster of selfishness, brutality, lust and so on. It is this self we must struggle against, or this side of our natures, in order to strengthen and free the spirit within us and help it to attain perfection...
So maybe abiding by the will of God could be translated as striving to develop your higher nature and help your future wife and children to do the same. I believe this is the will of God. That we all learn to mirror forth divine attributes, not that we all call ourselves Baha'is, Christians, Hindus or whatever.
 
Old 11-09-2014, 04:50 AM   #39
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Unfortunately it seems the most likely outcome was that he did tell her, and that it broke them apart. And I hope he didn't kill himself, but his relationship with her might have been his support system and the fact that that ended could have sent him off the cliff so to speak.
If he couldn't stand on his own and was going to kill himself because of losing her then he was probably not a very good candidate for a peaceful, loving marriage anyway. Not very stable. My daughter once had a boyfriend who said that if she left him he would kill himself. She was kind-hearted and stayed with him much longer than was wise just because of her fears for his well-being, but it ended up making her so unhappy, which, of course made him unhappy, that she finally had to break up anyway. He never killed himself though and within a short time he had found someone new.

Choosing a partner for life is a heavy decision, and divorces are so common. People need to feel free to use any criteria they feel is important to them (including and perhaps especially what their Faith says) rather than stifling their own personal concerns out of fear that their partner will hurt themselves if they don't marry them.
 
Old 11-09-2014, 06:04 AM   #40
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I have found that i can cease to be a husband but I'll be a dad til I die
Yes dear friend I agree most whole heartedly.
 
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