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Old 03-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Some people left out of homosexuality discussions

Here are some concerns I might share with some people, on both sides of the homosexuality debates.

1. Concerns about people who are struggling with homosexuality being misused by others, with harmful consequences to them, turning them away from their own hearts, or turning them away from God.

2. Concerns about the teachings of the Faith being compromised and/or misrepresented to others, about God and his laws, or about fellowship and diversity.

3. Concerns about prejudice against gays in the Baha'i Community, and its consequences.

Those are all anxious concerns of mine, which I have been actively addressing for more than ten years, and I would love to exchange ideas and experiences with anyone who is trying to do anything about them besides debating about them.

However, my most pressing concern now, in relation to homosexuality, is possible harmful effects of debates about homosexuality, on Baha'is who see themselves as homosexual or possibly homosexual, and who take very seriously everything that Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice have said about homosexuality. I think it might mean a lot to them, to see more Baha'is on line who do not depreciate same-sex love, or the House of Justice, either one; and who are not maligning or scolding anyone. I'm hoping that there are a lot more of those people out there than I have ever seen or heard of.

I can see very good reasons for them not to come out on line. They might have much better things to do off line. They might not see any potential on line to do anyone any good. They might be afraid of failing to resist temptations to engage in acrimonious debate, or to reflect on the character of others. They might be afraid of the arrows that will come flying from all directions. They might, in humility or uncertainty, hesitate to put themselves on display.

I think that being seen as people who do not depreciate same-sex love, who do not depreciate the House of Justice, and who are not maligning or scolding anyone, does not require any certainty or arrogance about our own views, or even to debate about them at all. It might not even require discussing our own views. It might not require a lot of time on line, either. Just a post here and there, that allows people to see that we don't depreciate same-sex love, that we don't depreciate the House of Justice, and that if ever we malign or scold anyone, we recognize it as wrong and take immediate and decisive steps to rectify it and keep it from happening again.

I don't know what to say about the possible futility of such efforts, or the arrows flying at us from all directions, other than to weigh those against the possibility of offering some hope and cheer to someone who thinks that God despises her, possibly without ever knowing that you have done so.
 
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:19 AM   #2
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You cant change the rules as you have no authority. That is just how it is. Why bother trying to tell people that it is ok when the standard set by those in authority say that it is not?
 
Old 03-25-2012, 03:38 AM   #3
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Lord of Goblins wrote:

"You can't change the rules as you have no authority. That is just how it is. Why bother trying to tell people that it is ok when the standard set by those in authority say that it is not?"

I didn't say anything against any rules, or any standard set by those in authority, that I know of. I've looked over my post again, and I don't see what you could be referring to. Could you be more specific? What precisely did I say that you think is against some rule or standard?
 
Old 03-25-2012, 03:53 AM   #4
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Vague comments mean what?

I accepted the Faith when I was gay and shortly thereafter found out it was not acceptable. That was in 1973. I have considered myself a homosexual in recovery and also a recovering sex addict. I stand 100% behind the view of the Faith that homosexuality is not a way of life that is appropriate for the spiritual advancement of mankind. In my view there is no such thing as a gay Baha'i, there are Baha'is who may be homosexual.

There is a good bit of literature about homosexual devlopment theory. It is quite sound. There are recovery groups as well, as it is very difficult to do this by one's self, though it can be done. 12 step recovery groups are the best out there for self help and in my lengthy experinced with them have proved to do far more good than counseling, therapy, and medication.

Anyone who without knowledge of a gay lifestyle who accepts it as normal is naive and ignorant. The Faith in no way needs to apologize for its standards. I do not see gay people beating down the doors to get in however they may beat on the doors to make lots of noise about their issues to get attention.

Furthermore I am frequently perceived as gay. It saddens me, but I can't change that, however at no time have I ever felt rejected or not loved by Baha'is. The Baha'i Faith has no trouble whatsoever accepting homosexuals, but out standard is not meant to be compromised. It is there for very, very, very good reasons. Popular acceptance of something with quasi unproven scientific facts or even proven is not enough reason to tear down laws given to us by Baha'u'llah. A little research will show there was nothing casual about revealing the laws about this matter and was done so in several places. Who knew people would become so casual about sexual matters?
 
Old 03-25-2012, 04:40 AM   #5
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Cire, "cire perdue" literally means lost wax. Is it an idiom, or an allusion to something, or does it have some private meaning?

One thing that frustrates me is seeing Baha'is on both sides of homosexuality debates agreeing with each other on reading what Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice have said about homosexuality, as uniquely about homosexuality, rather than as applications of principles of chastity, and of prohibitions against sex outside of marriage, to the specific cases of people whose temptations happened to involve people of the same sex.

I'm glad for you that you haven't suffered personally from prejudice against gays in the Baha'i Community, but I'm wondering if you really don't see anyone else being hurt by it.
 
Old 03-25-2012, 05:09 AM   #6
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There is a compilation called 'homosexuality' on bahairesearch.com, which might prove useful. Here are some excerpts of it:

...you write that you cannot explain to a friend why her way of love, homosexual love, is wrong and that your lack of understanding on this point also hampers your teaching efforts. Until there is wide recognition of Bahá'u'lláh as the Revealer of the Divine Will, there is no answer that will satisfy all questioners, particularly one who has a vested interest in maintaining that his behavior is innocuous. Homosexuality has been forbidden by Bahá'u'lláh in His Book of Laws, just as it was forbidden by other Prophets of God....

God judges each soul on its own merits. The Guardian cannot tell you what the attitude of God would be towards a person who lives a good life in most ways, but not in this way. All he can tell you is that it is forbidden by Bahá'u'lláh, and that one so afflicted should struggle and struggle again to overcome it. We must be hopeful of God's mercy but not impose upon it.

To be afflicted this way is a great burden to a conscientious soul. But through the advice and help of doctors, through a strong and determined effort, and through prayer, a soul can overcome this handicap.

...the Faith does not recognize homosexuality as a "natural" or permanent phenomenon. Rather, it sees this as an aberration subject to treatment, however intractable exclusive homosexuality may now seem to be. To the question of alteration of homosexual bents, much study must be given, and doubtless in the future clear principles of prevention and treatment will emerge. As for those now afflicted, a homosexual does not decide to be a problem human, but he does, as you rightly state, have decision in choosing his way of life, i.e. abstaining from homosexual acts.

Your plea for understanding of and justice extended to homosexuals is well taken in many respects, and the House of Justice assures you of its concern for the large number of persons so afflicted. Your work with the homosexual community is praiseworthy, and it permits you personally to exercise the support which is necessary for these often harassed persons, support which you call for in your essay. Moreover, your interest cannot but be therapeutic, at least for the more superficial elements of the problem; however, definitive therapy of the underlying predisposition, which you consider to be innate but the Teachings do not, may have to await additional investigations. As for the responsibility of Assemblies and of individual Bahá'ís, certainly all are called upon to be understanding, supportive and helpful to any individual who carries the burden of homosexuality.
 
Old 03-25-2012, 05:18 AM   #7
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This is all theorhetical

The gay issue in the Baha'i Community is a non-issue. I see no one getting hurt by it that does not set themselves up to do so. Someone who is going to rub their lifestyle into the noses of Baha'is and then say I am a Baha'i is going to have their rights removed. I know of only one case in which this was done, and it was definitely an individual who had flaunted the laws in the most inappropriate ways. I just saw another individual with whom I think it may only be a matter of time before something may be done, but there again this is an individual who is once again flaunting it openly and very inappropriately as if to see if the institutions are really serious. However that is my projection as an individual, nothing may be done at all. Baha'is have to find their own level of faith, and we may look very wrong and mistaken in the stages of our development.

You are much too concerned about this issue. It is below the surface at this time. You may have to wait a few years, because we are not being attacked about it. The Faith is in good shape as regards this matter. It is not different from being an alcoholic or having problems in one's marriage. Baha'is do not police each other. That is the job of the Institutions, be thankful to God, because I for one would be too tough if left to my own devices to judge this situation. If you read accounts of the early believers you will see how tolerant The Master was toward believers. We are still learning what love is and how to show it and treat others as a whole in all areas not just this one.

I reccommend Joseph Nicolosi's early books about homosexual development. My life is right out of the book.
 
Old 03-25-2012, 05:39 AM   #8
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Cire, you wrote:

"I see no one getting hurt by it that does not set themselves up to do so."

I do see people being hurt by it that do not set themselves up to do so.

I like this:

"Baha'is have to find their own level of faith, and we may look very wrong and mistaken in the stages of our development."

and this:

"It is not different from ... having problems in one's marriage."

and this:

"We are still learning what love is and how to show it and treat others as a whole in all areas not just this one."

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-25-2012 at 05:44 AM.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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Maybe the next manifestation will say Mirza, Jesus, Moses and the like were wrong and promote homosexuality...
 
Old 03-27-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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We are all tested in our own ways. Homosexuals who suffer fail to see the truth. The truth being that they are choosing their own will over God's. It may be hard to accept or see for some, but if God manifests Himself again and says no intercourse of any kind is permissible and the entire mankind should cease to exist no soul has the right to question His will. Now do you think most people will actually follow God's command? Almost without exception every man will deny God and His will and continue to procreate.

The wrong and right is set by God. How we feel, understand the world of creation to be or come up with our own goals and ideas about what the purpose of creation is, are all our own vain imaginings. The homosexual who struggles in choosing God's command over his own desire is just lost and in my book deserves the calamities he brings to himself. This is not about homosexuality at all though. This is about every test we face in this life and will face in the next.

And Orthodox, it's not about the previous manifestations being right or wrong. There is no universal right or wrong as far as us humans are concerned. It all happens in cycles. What the next cycle brings will almost without a doubt nullify some laws set in this dispensation as it has been the case in the past.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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So murder could be potentially moral in the future? This is why I prefer a consistent morality. Not one subject to change due to the times.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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As a reminder to me and to others, my primary purpose here is to be visible as a person who does not depreciate same-sex love, who does not depreciate the House of Justice, and who is not maligning or scolding anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
We are all tested in our own ways.
Agreed.
Quote:
Homosexuals who suffer fail to see the truth. The truth being that they are choosing their own will over God's."
Can you tell me what investigation you've done, to arrive at the conclusion that every homosexual is choosing his own will over God's? If you're saying that all people choose our own will over God's, do you see that as relevant to something I've said? If you're saying there's something unique about homosexuals, can you explain it further, and how it's relevant to something I've said?

Are you saying that that it's against God's will for anyone to see herself as homosexual or possibly homosexual, even if she only falls in love with people of the same sex, and has sexual temptations towards them? Does that apply only to homosexuals or to everyone? For example, is it against God's will for you to see anyone as homosexual?

Are you saying that every person who only falls in love with people of the same sex, and has sexual temptations towards them, and calls that "homosexuality", has chosen to see it as homosexuality by an act of will? That she could, with honesty and integrity, choose not to see it as homosexuality?

Quote:
The homosexual who struggles in choosing God's command over his own desire is just lost ...
Does that apply only to homosexuals, and not to anyone else who struggles in choosing God's command over his own desire? If it applies only to homosexuals, why?

Can you tell me what investigation you've done, to arrive at the conclusion that every homosexual who struggles in choosing God's command, is lost? If you mean lost as we all are lost, do you see that as relevant to something I said. If you mean lost in some way that applies only to homosexuals, can you explain what the difference is and how it's relevant to something I said?
Quote:
... and in my book deserves the calamities he brings to himself.
In God's book, as I understand it, we all bring on some of our own calamities, and we all deserve the calamities we bring to ourselves. Do you see that as relevant to something I said?

Are you saying that every person who sees herself as homosexual or possibly homosexual is responsible for all the injurious things people say about homosexuals and gays?

Are you saying that people who engage in acrimonious debate, and reflect on the character of others; and the people who stand idly by when they do so; have no responsibility for the harm that behavior does to all people?

I see a possibility that we aren't actually talking about the same people. Maybe when you talk about homosexuals, you are only talking about people who engage in forbidden same-sex acts. Is that what you mean by "homosexual"?

I'm talking about people who see themselves as homosexual or possibly homosexual. I know of many such people who are not engaging in any forbidden same-sex acts, by anyone's interpretation, and many more who are not engaging in any forbidden acts, as they understand them from their own independent investigation. If you say that any interpretation that differs from yours is wrong, can you explain what authorizes you to say that?

"This is not about homosexuality at all though. This is about every test we face in this life and will face in the next."

Agreed. For example, the test of learning to conduct ourselves in Internet discussion in accordance with Baha'u'llah's purposes and prescriptions, including explicit guidance from the House of Justice, and the test of rooting out all of our prejudices.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orthodox View Post
So murder could be potentially moral in the future? This is why I prefer a consistent morality. Not one subject to change due to the times.
Orthodox, some commandments change and some don't. It looks to me like the sexual acts that have, since the time of Moses at least, been prohibited outside of a marriage between a man and a woman, will always be prohibited.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhabegger View Post
I see a possibility that we aren't actually talking about the same people. Maybe when you talk about homosexuals, you are only talking about people who engage in forbidden same-sex acts. Is that what you mean by "homosexual"?
?
Good question to clarify my post and yours as well. Yes that is primarily how I used the word homosexual. Scientifically speaking the sexual interest in humans and all beings, is a spectrum. That being said, I resent the classification of people as homosexuals or heterosexuals. To me, this is purely man made, in most cases driven by disbelievers in God. God makes no distinction, to the best of my knowledge, from the beginning of time to this day between any of His men. To this effect, if one classifies himself as homosexual it is the shortcoming of that person in realizing the truth of God. Yes many do have such tendencies but the moment one classifies or considers himself a member of a group which is undefined by God, then that person is adding complications to his own understanding of God and His truth.

As I mentioned before, we all face tests in our own ways. The ones who consider themselves homosexuals, have such tendencies because of God's will! All that happens, everything that we see and fail to see is directly or indirectly His will!

This is just my opinion though and the truth or lack of truth in it is up to the reader to decide. In short, homosexual desires are but one form that God tests His servants just as He tests heterosexuals with sexual desire and all mankind with all that He has revealed to us.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
We are all tested in our own ways. Homosexuals who suffer fail to see the truth. .
Armin I normally Agree with you but I cant agree with this statement.
Shoghi Effendi admits it will be a struggling process to deny the homosexual desire and re-align yourself with Gods will.
That will probably almost always necessitate a degree of suffering...
 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
That being said, I resent the classification of people as homosexuals or heterosexuals.
I don't classify them that way, in my own thinking, and I think we would all be better off without those classifications. I feel the same way also about all the psychological classifications that are now used almost exclusively for drug marketing purposes.

However, I've given up contesting other people's use of those classifications, because I've never seen any good come out of contesting them. I just avoid them in discussing my own views.

Quote:
As I mentioned before, we all face tests in our own ways. The ones who consider themselves homosexuals, have such tendencies because of God's will! All that happens, everything that we see and fail to see is directly or indirectly His will!

This is just my opinion though and the truth or lack of truth in it is up to the reader to decide. In short, homosexual desires are but one form that God tests His servants just as He tests heterosexuals with sexual desire and all mankind with all that He has revealed to us.
Agreed.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfGoblins View Post
Armin I normally Agree with you but I cant agree with this statement.
Shoghi Effendi admits it will be a struggling process to deny the homosexual desire and re-align yourself with Gods will.
That will probably almost always necessitate a degree of suffering...
I believe I see your point and I'll add this to clarify further. I believe we are interpreting 'suffering' in slightly different ways. The way I understand it there are two sufferings. One that we bring upon ourselves as a result of our vain imaginings and one that one suffers in God's way. The first is hell and the second heaven!

My source for such interpretation is what Baha'u'llah has said. 'Suffer me oh my God so that I may draw nigh unto Thee!'
 
Old 03-27-2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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Duplicate post. Sorry!

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-28-2012 at 12:56 AM.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
One that we bring upon ourselves as a result of our vain imaginings and one that one suffers in God's way.
I have two questions.
1. How do you respond to other people's suffering, and where do you see that in Baha'i writings?
2. Is your response to other people's suffering different for different people, according to your opinion of whether it is self inflicted or not, and if so, where do you see that in Baha'i writings?
 
Old 03-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhabegger View Post
I have two questions.
1. How do you respond to other people's suffering, and where do you see that in Baha'i writings?
2. Is your response to other people's suffering different for different people, according to your opinion of whether it is self inflicted or not, and if so, where do you see that in Baha'i writings?
Generally speaking I hold back from pointing out peoples shortcomings. One reason for this I suppose is that I may very well be wrong in my assessment of the specific situation others are caught up in. If however I am asked for my opinion, if I see where the problem lies, then I will truthfully to the best of my knowledge point out the problem and if I have some writings in mind to back my statement I will do so.

"Is your response to other people's suffering different for different people, according to your opinion of whether it is self inflicted or not"

It surely is! Different circumstances require different responses. I don't think that requires any further explanation.

In response to where I see these things in the Baha'i writings, I don't think there is one specific place in writings I can point out to you. One needs to indulge himself in the writings as much as possible. The more one reads the more answers will become evident to him. The one thing I'd like to point out is the purity of ones heart and intent. I don't think anyone would disagree that a stained heart, mislead by ones selfish desires, will never be able to see the light in the writings no matter how much time one spends on them. One can have all the writings of Baha'u'llah, the Master, and the Guardian memorized but without fulfilling the first requirement, having a pure detached heart, no good will come from it.

One example I can give is how the Islamic clerics are in Iran. Many people related to the government force their children from very early age to memorize the Quran and most clerics have the entire Quran memorized. In their speeches or when speaking to them one can easily be fooled by their words. It's as though God Himself is incarnated and is speaking. No matter what the question is they will find a verse in the Quran to give back as an answer. But look at how lost they are in their illusions. They are just as trained parrots who utter words without understanding the meaning of it.

When the first requirement is met, it's the entirety of the writings that shed light to our questions. One can not pick and choose.

One last thing I'd like to add, and this may not sit well with some but I've come to this realization through my own experiences and whether others agree or disagree is beyond the point. The chain is unbreakable! But the writings are veiled and the truth in them are revealed to us according to our understanding. God has ordained for each one of us our own unique destination. One's salvation lies in following the Guardians revelations and the UHJ's clarifications of the writings and one's lies in the writings of Baha'u'llah! If at any point one sees any contradictions in the writings of our central figures then just follow the chain of command!
 
Old 03-27-2012, 10:39 PM   #21
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People who have or struggle with homosexual feelings should be welcomed and accepted, and loved by baha'is and in gatherings. After all, to feel differently from the accepted norm would be hard enough to deal with, let alone to possibly then feel further isolated because of a lack of understanding or empathy.

However, what seems to happen on some discussion boards is that some homosexuals seem to be lobbying for a change in the baha'i law. It appears that some are hoping that the House of Justice will at some future time decree that marriage between 2 people of the same gender is acceptable in Baha'i terms; and yet I can't ever see that happening, at least in this Dispensation.
Perhaps when one religion is superseded by another, then there can be a weakening of some of the formally established standards of the former one, just as we see now that some christian churches have ordained ministers who are openly gay.
But I quite imagine that the baha'i stance on this matter won't change.

So while I believe people who struggle with this should feel accepted and included like anyone else, isn't it a different ballgame if they don't accept the Baha'i standard and wish to bring their same-sex partner to gatherings to be seen as or accepted as a couple??

At least I seem to have seen this expectation on discussion boards.

That is why, although people of any sexual orientation should be loved, I've seen that kind of discussion (where they want to be accepted as a married couple), and I can't think of much answer, or rather adding to their conversation doesn't seem to achieve much.
So, while I can imagine being friends with them, I can't help them to try to change the Baha'i law and would never want to do so.

Last edited by Rani; 03-28-2012 at 01:53 PM.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 10:52 PM   #22
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Oh, and Jim, in my last line, I certainly wasn't trying to imply, that you or anyone else is wanting to help anyone change baha'i laws.
 
Old 03-27-2012, 11:22 PM   #23
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This is just my personal opinion. Perhaps it is interesting to ask what our motives are at researching or joining a Faith. Are we searching for acknowledgement of 'what we already know', or are we accepting the infallibility of the Manifestation of God, even if He declares something that is not in our personal interest?

I try to see it as a mother telling her kid to not touch something hot or it will get burned. If the kid touches decides to touch it, it will get burned. If the kid keeps holding on to it, the burn will get more severe. Sometimes people are so used to the burns that they don't feel them anymore, but that still does not make it a good idea to burn yourself...

Don't get me wrong, it is very hard, and people with homosexuality are certainly no exception. The Blessed Beauty however, told us that we will never get more tests than we can handle. Therefore I'm confident that every person with homosexuality can overcome it.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
The one thing I'd like to point out is the purity of ones heart and intent. I don't think anyone would disagree that a stained heart, mislead by ones selfish desires, will never be able to see the light in the writings no matter how much time one spends on them.
I agree.

If you imagine that a person is engaging in an act that in your opinion is prohibited, is that enough for you to conclude, without any further investigation, that your heart is more pure than his, and therefore in any disagreement between you, he is wrong?
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:41 AM   #25
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My perspective (and I'm of course not Baha'i), as I've stated openly before, is that we should focus our attention primarily upon the dignity of the human person, respecting his/her right to freely discern their calling in life. Some homosexuals may find their sexual feelings for and attraction too the same sex to be an intolerable burden upon them, to the extent that they seek to become hetereosexuals. In these cases we should offer these people all of our spiritual and moral support. Other's however may, although its a struggle, be content with their homosexual identity but strive to lead a celibate life ie a non-practising homosexual. We should also fully lend our support to these people.

In some cases we will find homosexual people who sincerely have tried to and desire to become heterosexual but find themselves unable to change their sexuality. My advice would be for them to reconcile themselves with their homosexuality and strive to lead celibate lives. There is no sin in being 'homosexual'. There is nothing wrong about being homosexual. It is only homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle which is immoral.

We must remember that current scientific consensus, whether one wishes to dispute its validity or not, seems to suggest that at least a good number of homosexuals truly cannot 'choose' to be gay or make themselves 'not gay' so much as a black person can change the colour of their skin. We must work in tandem with this scientific consensus.

We should never discriminate against our homosexual brothers and sisters in anyway but rather love them with perfect love.

I personally think that there are a lot of underlying reasons for the homosexual orientation that science just hasn't figured out yet and probably never will. Human beings cannot be fitted into "categories"; we are the most complex life in the known universe, and we are made in the Image of God and are so wonderfully deep. We cannot be put into boxes.

It is probably a mixture of psychological, environmental and biological factors. The human mind is an extremely complex organ - we still haven't fathomed it!

I doubt that anybody will ever find a "gay gene", or indeed a single psychological or environmental factor which causes deep-set homosexual tendencies. Its the interplay between all of these which create a homosexual identity in the mind of the person.

Certainly, having sexual desires for the opposite sex, if this is involuntary isn't sinful in any way - its just homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle.

I'm not sure if homosexuality, as a disposition, can be effectively "treated" like some people here seem to suggest. I do believe that some homosexual people have genuinely converted from gay to straight, but it tends I think to happen without "therapy". Its more of, I don't know, an "inner" development I suppose - it cannot be forced or effectively influenced from the outside, it has to come from within.

Other people can't make someone who identifies as gay become "straight".

There is a reason for everything. Only God can effect real change in our lives, with our free-willed support and effort. Perhaps homosexuality is a cross he is willing to let some people bear.

And perhaps others he will help to overcome it.

For some people, homosexual urges seem to go very deep indeed - they are deep-set. This doesn't mean that these people were "born that way", but it does mean I think that as they have matured (not least of all as they have developed in the womb) these disordered emotions have become very deep-set to the extent that they are almost like a defining part of that person's identity, such that denying it would be denying something very innate to themselves, like denying once's skin colour, race or gender.

However, some gays have in fact become heterosexual which if anything shows that we really don't have as yet a through understanding of the human mind and thought processes.

Its all up to the individual person. If the person is unhappy with his homosexual orientation, then he should strive for the mercy and grace of God; if he is not, then he should embrace his homosexual identity I think but strive for complete celibacy and chastity. Either way what homosexuals need is faith, not therapy.

God does not want any of his children to suffer needlessly. He is the only one who can help them effectively combat homosexual tendencies or remain homosexual but embrace the hardships of celibacy.

One can be homosexual without embracing a depraved homosexual lifestyle. That's very important to remember. We should never force people to give up a deep set homosexual self-identity if they truly feel that it is innate to them as individuals. However if the person freely desires to be released from disordered, homosexual tendencies then we should certainly offer that person support but SPIRITUAL support should be at the fore front.


I have known many gay people in my life, and have gay friends, and in every case the homosexual orientation would appear to me to be beyond the person's control ie it was not a choice. I have only ever encountered one gay person who claimed it was a choice - and that is my cousin. He claimed that he was "conditioned" (I quote) to be homosexual while at university. In truth, his father is a devoutly religuous man, and I know (deep down) that he is ashamed of his sexuality and that he just cannot bring himself to admit that he was always homosexual.

For me, the "it was only a choice" or "lifestyle choice" arguement, stems from homosexuals (on the most part) who do not want to admit to themselves that they were always homosexuals, perhaps due to societal or famalial pressure.

Obviously, on the objective level, homosexuality is "unnatural". My faith (and by that I mean Catholicism) teaches that homosexuality itself, that is the condition and not the lifestyle, is not "sinful" but disordered. Homosexual thoughts and homosexual attraction are not in of themselves sinful or wrong. The Church has never condemned homosexuality, only homosexual acts which do contravene nature.

Homosexuality is disordered because it has the ability to make one do something which is against nature.

However although homosexuality, objectively speaking, is unnatural on the subjective (individual) level it can be "natural" in as much as it is that person's genetic makeup, his "natural" condition at conception/birth.

Objectively - it would end reproduction if we where all gay. However so would celibacy. One could say that, objectively speaking, Jesus and John the Baptist were "unnatural" for their refusal to marry (given that men have a natural urge to have sex and reproduce). However this of course is not the case. In and of itself celibacy can actually be a virtue, if done for reasons of sacrifice and love of God and not simply because one cannot find a partner!

In the same way I think that an individual afflicted with homosexuality can turn his condition into virtue, by choosing a celibate life and using this freedom to devote himself wholly to love of God. In this respect he/she should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist who (although being heterosexual men) adopted the celibate life out of love for God.


I don't think that homosexuality itself is a "problem" betokening a "solution" - only homosexual acts. There have been saints and holy men who have been homosexual within my own religious tradition, and they died celibate, non-practicing gays but gays nonetheless.

If a man is a homosexual but struggles against his desires to remain as chaste as possible, and if he is fine being chaste, then I say that he should embrace his homosexual identity.

Homosexuals should be proud to be the people they are. Being attracted to members of your own sex is not in any way sinful. Only homosexual acts are sinful, but even then homosexual acts are the "natural" outcome of a disordered homosexual desire, and so the person must still be treated with the utmost compassion, sensitivity and tenderness.

Homosexuality only becomes a problem when the individual himself (or herself) longs for sexual love and/or children.

In that case, I would support attempts by that person to "try" and become hetreosexual but only because they long for a sexual partner and/or children.

However, a person cannot change and should not be expected to change, who they are.

Ultimately homosexuality can be a cross to bear, but we all must bear our own crosses.

It is not a barrier to saintliness or godlineness.

Blessed Seraphim Rose was a homosexual. He never denied his homosexuality, even to death. Many also consider Saint Aelred to have been homosexual. When you read his Writings it is very clear to me that he was. But they were both holy, chaste homosexuals.

Yes! You can be a holy homosexual

Here is an example of a chaste, Catholic gay man who is at one with his sexual identity: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot...oing-fine.html
__________________

All shall be well with the Lord.

Last edited by Yeshua; 03-28-2012 at 12:59 AM.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:43 AM   #26
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Rani, this is what I want to see more of:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rani View Post
People who have or struggle with homosexual feelings should be welcomed and accepted, and loved by baha'is and in gatherings. After all, to feel differently from the accepted norm would be hard enough to deal with, let alone to possibly then feel further isolated because of a lack of understanding or empathy.
Quote:
So while I believe people who struggle with this should feel accepted
Quote:
That is why, although people of any sexual orientation should be loved
Quote:
So, while I can imagine being friends with them
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Quote:
However, what seems to happen on some discussion boards is that some homosexuals seem to be lobbying for a change in the baha'i law.
I see gay activists as their own worst enemies in Baha'i Forums. What I see them do in Baha'i forums discredits them more than anything anyone else could ever do, and intensifies prejudice against all Baha'is who see themselves as homosexual, and consequently their suffering.
Quote:
So while I believe people who struggle with this should feel accepted and included like anyone else, isn't it a different ballgame if they don't accept the Baha'i standard and wish to bring their same-sex partner to gatherings and to be seen or accepted as a couple?
I would love to discuss that with you, but in some other thread, an existing one if there is one, otherwise a new one.
Quote:
That is why, although people of any sexual orientation should be loved, I've seen that kind of discussion (where they want to be accepted as a married couple), and I can't think of much answer, or rather adding to their conversation doesn't seem to achieve much.
I have some ideas about how to answer, and I would love to discuss that with you, but in some other thread.
Quote:
So, while I can imagine being friends with them, I can't help them to try to change the Baha'i law and would never want to do so.
More discussion for another thread.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:54 AM   #27
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Yeshua, I like your attitude, and your ideas, very much. Not to say that I agree in every detail, but I like your loving approach, and the richness of your thinking.

Eric, and everyone else, I really appreciate having a calm, friendly discussion like this. I think the way people conduct themselves in discussions like this, even more than what they actually say, can go a long way toward relieving some people's distress.

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-28-2012 at 01:02 AM.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhabegger View Post
I agree.

If you imagine that a person is engaging in an act that in your opinion is prohibited, is that enough for you to conclude, without any further investigation, that your heart is more pure than his, and therefore in any disagreement between you, he is wrong?
What is prohibited and what is not is not up to you and me to decide. It is clearly stated in the writings. However, the purity of one's heart is solely between the created and the Creator. No investigation is required. Not only it is not required but the very act of investigating to know the essence of another humans heart to assess and judge, to rank humans, or to compare one's self with others is itself the biggest mistake one can make and the biggest veil that holds that person back from seeing the truth!

I am beyond disagreements! No disagreement will arise between me and others. The very moment I sense a disagreement that can not be solved is arising I will attest that I am wrong!
 
Old 03-28-2012, 01:02 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhabegger View Post
Yeshua, I like your attitude, and your ideas, very much. Not to say that I agree in every detail, but I like your loving approach, and the richness of your thinking.

Eric, and everyone else, I really appreciate having a calm, friendly discussion like this.

My dear brother Jim

Thank you very much for your kind words! I am glad you appreciated my thoughts on this topic.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 01:08 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armin View Post
I am beyond disagreements! No disagreement will arise between me and others. The very moment I sense a disagreement that can not be solved is arising I will attest that I am wrong!
You put a big grin on my face, stopped me in my tracks, and took all the knots out of my stomach!
 
Old 03-28-2012, 07:38 AM   #31
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Joseph Nicolosi is the foremost of the authors writing on the development theory of homosexuality. He says that there is heterosexual in everyone to start with. When more are interested in knowing more about homosexuality in the future it will be easier for the information to dessiminate rather than as it is now when the masses do not want to consider anything but a genetic cause. The solution is to form non-sexual bonds with same sex friends that are real and loving and the heterosexual orientation will come forth. There is a lot of discussion about this, and i found it to be true. Nicolosi says the compulsive urge to have sex with one's own sex is actually a healing impulse gone wrong. He has written several "levels" of books, the most recent is the most complex, SHAME AND LOSS ATTACHMENT. This is an extremely complex subject and it is a shame to see it mixed in with acceptance or understanding of the Faith.

I repeat that at no time have I ever felt anything but acceptance and love from Baha'is, that is not an issue and I have never seen it be an issue. The issue is that homosexuality as a lifestyle and sexual practice is not a part of the Baha'i Faith. I repeat anyone who thinks that is healthy is grossly uninformed and naive. I have experienced it and assure anyone that does not know that it is in no way healthy or acceptable. Gay marriages are not, NOT, the focus of a gay lifestyle, though it may be very visible at this time, it concerns a very small part of that lifestyle and is more difficult to obtain than anyone can imagine. Gay marriage is the exception not the rule. Remember: after the research on initial AIDS victims it was found that they had had thousands of sex partners. That was NOT unusual.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 09:11 AM   #32
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I'm not sure what the issue is?

You seem to have concerns that we are turning away gay people who would be interested in the Faith if they could marry and/or live a gay lifestyle. Should we do this for people who drink alcohol or smoke marijuana? Or those who wish to live without marraige and bear children outside a legal bond? To focus on the gay issue would seem to me to miss the point of being a Baha'i. There is a new Revelation that affirms the past Revelations and upholds teachings that are beneficial to mankind. Rather than protest or find a way for future acceptance I would say look into the literature there is out there on homosexual developmental theory. This particular thread seems to be based on the idea that it is genetic which has not been proved, and if it is genetic then why are there so many recovering homosexuals. It can be done.

The gay issue is a hot topic and it may at some point focus on the Faith. The Faith's position on homosexuality is the same as the Catholic Church, nearly all fundamental Christianity, I can't speak for Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and others. I remain confused what your concern is. One who fully believes in Baha'u'llah does not have to split laws or hairs and is willing to adhere to the teachings. It can be difficult for some to do so. The world, Maya to some, will have many ideas about what is good and right and okay that run counter to the teachings of world religions. So? We owe no one an apology for our teachings.

The Baha'i Faith will accept someone who believes in Baha'u'llah no matter what. Their behavior is another matter, however that is for the Institutions to deal with on a case to case basis. Dealing with theorhetical issues as if they are cases to solve seems very counter productive to building a personal faith and a way to create discord and resentment.
 
Old 03-29-2012, 05:32 AM   #33
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Cire, was that last post to me? I don't see what anything you said here has to do with anything I've said. Maybe you're talking to someone else, but you speak of "this particular thread," and I'm the one who started it, so I'm not sure you aren't talking to me. I just don't see where you get any of this, if you're talking to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
You seem to have concerns that we are turning away gay people who would be interested in the Faith if they could marry and/or live a gay lifestyle.
Where do you see me saying that, or even thinking it? That is not a concern for me at all.
Quote:
To focus on the gay issue would seem to me to miss the point of being a Baha'i.
I haven't said anything here at all about any gay issues, and I even said explicitly that I don't want to discuss gay issues.
Quote:
Rather than protest or find a way for future acceptance
Again, I don't see any sign of this anywhere in anything I've said.
Quote:
This particular thread seems to be based on the idea that it is genetic
Again, I don't see any sign of this anywhere in anything I've said.
Quote:
I remain confused what your concern is.
My concern, as I said, is possible harmful effects of debates about homosexuality, on Baha'is who see themselves as homosexual or possibly homosexual, and who take very seriously everything that Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice have said about homosexuality. Would you like me to try to clarify that for you?

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-29-2012 at 05:33 AM. Reason: to correct a typo
 
Old 03-29-2012, 06:54 AM   #34
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Perhaps

Perhaps I read things into what you said. I'm not sure I want you to clarify your last statement. Why shouldn't anyone take everything VERY seriously that the Guardian and The Universal House of Jusitce said about homosexuality? I have attempted to live my whole Baha'i life around that guidance. I'm not sure I want a discussion with someone who does not believe in that advice whole heartedly. I would see something really wrong with disagreeing with that guidance.
 
Old 03-29-2012, 07:37 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
Perhaps I read things into what you said. I'm not sure I want you to clarify your last statement. Why shouldn't anyone take everything VERY seriously that the Guardian and The Universal House of Jusitce said about homosexuality?
I don't know of any reason why anyone shouldn't, but I know a lot of Baha'is who don't, not just about homosexuality, but also, for example, about the framework for action, and about how to conduct ourselves in Internet discussions.
Quote:
I have attempted to live my whole Baha'i life around that guidance. I'm not sure I want a discussion with someone who does not believe in that advice whole heartedly. I would see something really wrong with disagreeing with that guidance.
Again, if you imagine that I don't take them seriously, or that I don't believe in their advice wholeheartedly, or that I disagree with their guidance, where are you getting that? Honestly, I don't understand where you could be getting that idea.
(later)
I just now realized my foolishness. You are one of the people I was concerned about, and what I'm saying could be distressing you. I'm abashed.

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-29-2012 at 07:47 AM. Reason: just realized my foolishness
 
Old 03-29-2012, 08:19 AM   #36
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Cire, I'm very glad to know that you have never felt anything but acceptance and love from Baha'is. That's very reassuring, and a great comfort to me. Now that I think of it, I have known and heard of some other Baha'is struggling with homosexuality, who might say the same thing.

I wasn't going to discuss homosexuality in this thread, but now I see discussing it with you as part of my purpose.

I regret very much if anything I said distressed you. That's the opposite of my purpose.

In my understanding, the marriage that is promoted and regulated in the books of God is a marriage between a woman and a man, physical union outside of that marriage is prohibited by God, and perfect chastity excludes not only all sexual intimacy, but even sexual desire, outside of that marriage. In my understanding, that will never change, not in any dispensation.

I'm very happy for you, for your decision not to abandon yourself to a gay lifestyle. I'm well aware of the sordid underworld that some gays themselves call "the lifestyle" and "the gay scene."

I actually think it would be quite easy for most people who have never had the feelings for people of the other sex that they associate with sexual intimacy, to learn to have those feelings, if they went about it the right way. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of forming non-sexual bonds with same sex friends, as part of the solution for some people. I agree with the idea of same-sex love as a healing impulse for the individual, and further, I see the outburst of same-sex love in our time as possibly a healing impulse of humanity as a whole.

In my own thinking, I do not classify people as "homosexual" or "gay" at all. Some people fall in love with people of the same sex, or have sexual desires for people of the same sex, and some people call people with those experiences "homosexual" or "gay." As I said earlier, I've given up trying to get people away from those labels and the concept of orientation, but I don't think that way at all myself.

The most plausible explanation I see for same-sex sexuality is imprinting, like a duckling seeing a person when it hatches and seeing the person as its mother, and itself as a person.

In my view, what I see people calling "science," when they accuse us of being unscientific, has nothing to do with what Abdu'-Baha meant by "science," and nothing to do with the kind of science that gave science its reputation.

I practice and promote continual efforts to understand everything the House of Justice is promoting, and wholehearted devotion to serving its interests. I see that as the only sure way to promote human progress.

I see celibacy, to whatever degree it is truly celibate and voluntary and for love of God, as a light shining in the darkness, a lighthouse on a rocky shore, for the people I'm concerned about here.

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-29-2012 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Revisions and additions.
 
Old 03-31-2012, 01:48 PM   #37
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From now on, if I see any posts that say or insinuate that I'm opposing Baha'i teachings or Baha'i laws, I will report it as slander.

If I see any posts that say or insinuate that gay Baha'is don't exist, or that *all* gay Baha'is are violating Baha'i laws or teachings, I will report it as slander.

When I say that in every Baha'i forum I see prejudice and unfair discrimination against gays, and against people who see themselves as homosexual, coming from Baha'is, I am not saying anything about Baha'i teachings or Baha'i laws.

I do not see any prejudice or unfair discrimination against anyone, in Baha'i teachings and Baha'i laws, and there is no excuse for anyone to say or insinuate that I do.

Last edited by jimhabegger; 03-31-2012 at 01:54 PM. Reason: to add a paragraph
 
Old 03-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #38
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Good grief, man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhabegger View Post
From now on, if I see any posts that say or insinuate that I'm opposing Baha'i teachings or Baha'i laws, I will report it as slander.

If I see any posts that say or insinuate that gay Baha'is don't exist, or that *all* gay Baha'is are violating Baha'i laws or teachings, I will report it as slander.

When I say that in every Baha'i forum I see prejudice and unfair discrimination against gays, and against people who see themselves as homosexual, coming from Baha'is, I am not saying anything about Baha'i teachings or Baha'i laws.

I do not see any prejudice or unfair discrimination against anyone, in Baha'i teachings and Baha'i laws, and there is no excuse for anyone to say or insinuate that I do.
Who are you going to report us to? Your mother? What a heavy heavy hand you have. It concerns me that you are so into seeing about the rights of others and then threaten to turn people in who would seem to slander you. You scare me. Quite frankly you scare me. Are you totally living in your head? Are you not in touch with how you come across to people emotionally? You are so harsh. I hope you get out of the Valley of Knowledge, and soon for the sake of those around you.

Oh if you are such an informed person about the gay issue what have you read? Have you read Nicolosi, or Van Den Aardveg, or Cohen. or are you blindly being a super hero here and throwing your weight around? You sound like a politician to me.
 
Old 03-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #39
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Jimahaabegger's theory of homosexuality

"The most plausible explanation I see for same-sex sexuality is imprinting, like a duckling seeing a person when it hatches and seeing the person as its mother, and itself as a person."

Oh, please, go read the literature on homosexual development or find another issue to defend. You do not know what you are doing, but you are definitely going out there and doing it anyway. I think everything you have said to other people you needed to say to yourself. If you have been involved in the debate with gay people then I suspect you have done damage.
 
Old 03-31-2012, 05:42 PM   #40
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To Jimhabegger:

I am a recovering homosexual Baha'i since 1973, and a recovering sex addict since 1989. I have a master's degree in counseling, and have worked in the psych field for many years and worked briefly in a sexual offender clinic. I have read extensively on gay developmental theory. I have participated with Christains in a homosexual recovery group as a peer. I would prefer that you stay out of the gay issue as it concerns the Baha'i Faith. I do not feel you have the knowledge or qualifications to deal with this issue. I think it is very erroneous to give others guidelines to deal with this issue from such a weak foundation.

It is obvious you are sincere, but that is only the first level of attainment of faith, one must not only be sincere, but must obtain belief or knowledge, detachment, and love. I feel despite your devotion that you lack the knowledge and spiritual insight that this touchysubject requires. I do not doubt your faith or devotion. However this is MY issue and those are my thoughts on this matter as it stands on this Forum. The subject homosexuality has been covered well previously to your entrance on this forum.
 
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