Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Baha'i Teachings Baha'i Teachings and Doctrine - Social Principles, Greater Covenant, Lesser Covenant


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-27-2015, 03:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Earth
Posts: 6
Abstaining From Alcohol in an Alcoholic World?

Living in Texas, I am surrounded by a strong Alcohol culture that constantly bombards me with temptations.

My parents always love to have beer stocked in the fridge, there are numerous billboards advertising drink and even my friends I talk with over the internet always seem to crack open a beer while I am talking to them and it if I didn't know any better it is like they want me to know that they are drinking because they go out of their way to comment about how they have an alcoholic beverage and the sound of them opening it is very loud.

This is preposterous of course because they I never told them that I don't drink due to being Baha'i but I have noted that this seems to be the thing I struggle with the most. I am not trying to throw the people who do drink under the bus with the Alcoholic term but for the culture that western society is in I find it appropriate with the amount of usage and not drinking yourself is seen as "pompous" or "unmanly".

How should I work on combating these temptations? I know you could say not to be friends with those who drink but they nor my parents are bad people and I dare say that I am blessed to have been raised by parents who drink but at least know their limits. So I do not judge but I wish to remain to the laws of Baha'u'llah. Sorry for making this so long but it really has been troubling me and I have actually given into the temptations a few times.
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 09-27-2015, 04:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,748
Born on the Rez

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt TM View Post
Living in Texas,

not drinking yourself is seen as "pompous" or "unmanly".

How should I work on combating these temptations? I know you could say not to be friends with those who drink but they nor my parents are bad people and I dare say that I am blessed to have been raised by parents who drink but at least know their limits. So I do not judge but I wish to remain to the laws of Baha'u'llah. Sorry for making this so long but it really has been troubling me and I have actually given into the temptations a few times.
Wyatt
. I can relate, as I was born on a reservation settled mostly by Bohemians, some of whom drank daily or at least weekly. No need to talk about the effect upon the non-white community.
.
. After the loss of a brother and several friends to alcohol related auto accidents, plus all... the other other damage, what finally got me to step out of the cultural routine was actually yoga and meditation.
.
. My mind became so sensitive that after even half a beer, it's like my brain was shouting:
. "Why are you doing this to me???"
.
. So I thought to myself,
.., "What is alcohol anyway?"
.
And I looked up fermentation in the encyclopedia and read about the yeast, eating the sugar or starch, and realized that alcohol was the excrement.
.
. "Its bug shit!!! It isn't food... No wonder it rots your brain and liver!!"
.
. Just like that, I quit drinking. This was mid 1979, and six months later I became a Bahai.
.
. So I think it was one last hurdle for me. An important one. Its a Law of God. No alcohol...
.
 
Old 09-27-2015, 04:14 PM   #3
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 378
It can be tough, but if you let your friends and family know that you have stopped drinking beer and why, they should respect it. One option to not make them feel bad is to have "non alcoholic brew" such as O'Douls, etc. The other plus is you can be designated driver.
 
Old 09-27-2015, 09:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: Blue Planet
Posts: 1,121
in my opinion, the desire for whatever thing which is forbidden will grow very strong. if you force yourself not to drink, you can do it but not forever and I know how it feels when you are living in a society where everyone drinks beer and you have to restrain. now my suggestion is that (it may not look very Baha'i but it is and it works) don't kill yourself over trying to resist beer! if you really think in one or two occasions that you really cannot resist then drink it BUT the important thing is to keep in your mind that your goal is to stop drinking and that you can do it little by little. in order to make something a habit, you can never do it at once. when people are addicted to something (or are strongly willing to do something) which is not good and healthy, doctors usually say that they must not stop that all of a sudden but step by step, little by little. it can at first be one glass every two days for as long as you see that you can reduce the amount. you must only do it when you find yourself ready to reduce and not by force. I am sure that God would not get angry at you.why?because you don't drink forever and you are planning to stop it little by little. what is clear now is that since now you have forced yourself (and I guess you had been successful) but if you push down a big spring then in some point it will free itself and jump high above! some habbits cannot be and should not be repressed all of a sudden. you would feel better if you do it little by little and there will come a time in which you will feel that you are completely ready to fully give up I wish you success ....
 
Old 09-28-2015, 02:31 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Europe
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt TM View Post
How should I work on combating these temptations?
The actual temptation seems to be that you are looking for approval from other people (who are not Baha'is). So it's not about alcohol per se, it could also be about anything else -- chocolate, cigarettes, watching tv, ... The bottomline is that you are the odd one out, and that doesn't seem to be something you are okay with.

The other temptation seems to be that you want the cake and eat it too. Being a practicing member of a particular religion means that there will be things one will need to sacrifice in order to stay true to one's religion. Things like having friends who are not from that religion, employment, socio-economic status, ...
Being true to one's religion naturally means that one will part ways with things and people that are contrary to that religion.
 
Old 09-28-2015, 04:43 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Earth
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
The actual temptation seems to be that you are looking for approval from other people (who are not Baha'is). So it's not about alcohol per se, it could also be about anything else -- chocolate, cigarettes, watching tv, ... The bottomline is that you are the odd one out, and that doesn't seem to be something you are okay with.

The other temptation seems to be that you want the cake and eat it too. Being a practicing member of a particular religion means that there will be things one will need to sacrifice in order to stay true to one's religion. Things like having friends who are not from that religion, employment, socio-economic status, ...
Being true to one's religion naturally means that one will part ways with things and people that are contrary to that religion.
Temptation never really came from approval; in fact the times that my breaks is usually when I am alone on a Saturday night. The truth is that I love the taste of beer, I never drank it to get drunk as I usually would stick to one or two as a treat. Of course I feel extremely dirty afterwards.

Mostly I have been combating any temptations by expanding my beverages by drinking coffee and I found a new love for sarsaparilla. It might be really be more of I know I can't have it and my brain wants it.
 
Old 09-28-2015, 06:58 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: _
Posts: 502
I understand how you feel Wyatt. I had my firs drink before I was ten, and its pretty much just the normal thing in my culture. I used to make my own wine and hard cider, passed on in the family. Like you I was never really getting drunk, just enjoying the occasional drink. I'm not going to get philosophical about it, just nuts and bolts, as I can only discuss myself.

The way I first handle it, is kind of like military orders. Ok, if I wanted to be in the army, I'd have to cut my hair and wake up early every morning. If I want to be a Baha'i, have to stop drinking.

Over time I've gotten used to it. Not as long as I thought it would be.

There are some advantages, especially in groups: EVERYBODY loves the designated driver.

I am not certain of the Universal House of Justice's stance on non-alcoholic beer. I wish there was a "non-alcoholic" beer that didn't have alcohol in it, but every one I have seen has a very tiny amount (.5% or so). The problem is that they use heat to evaporate the alcohol from the batch, and that is not a complete process. There's probably some other way to do it, and for all I know someone has figured it out. It would be nice to have the taste of beer without the alcohol, but until then I just move on to other beverages.

My wife is Christian and does enjoy the occasional drink. I was mostly worried when I became Baha'i that my no longer drinking would be awkward for her, but we've both adapted well.
 
Old 09-28-2015, 10:58 AM   #8
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,460
I think non-alcoholic beer seems like a good option. The less one makes a problem out of the issue the better.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 09-28-2015 at 11:24 AM.
 
Old 09-28-2015, 11:22 AM   #9
Member
 
Joined: Jul 2015
From: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 51
I drink a lot of non-alcoholic beer. There are really good non-alcoholic brands by now.

Are there .5% alcohol left in it? Perhaps, but that's even less than in most standard fruit juices, or in fruits that have been lying for a while. As long as I don't feel the effect and it's not an unhealthy quantity, I really don't see a reason for avoiding this tiny amount.
 
Old 09-28-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: _
Posts: 502
I didn't know that, about the fruit juice. I didn't want to split hairs, just am a in the faith still recently, just a few years, so feeling my way about. If Non-alc beer is ok, I wouldn't mind having one, one of these days.

It might cure my tea addiction
 
Old 09-28-2015, 12:27 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,748
Gambling prohibition

There are many gambling casinos in southern California now. While it might be tempting to rationalize this a little bit, I drive right on by, saying to myself:
.
."That is something Baha'u'llah says NO to!!"
.
Its something I don't do. And keep on driving.

. As for alcohol, you can't drink two or more if you don't drink one. Simply resolve to conform to the good-pleasure of Baha'u'llah.
.
. "Would this please Him?"
.
. Or add another chain around His blessed neck...
 
Old 09-28-2015, 02:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: n ireland
Posts: 1,747
In my opinion,if something is banned we think about it more often than were it not banned
 
Old 09-28-2015, 04:30 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,748
Eh

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidan View Post
In my opinion,if something is banned we think about it more often than were it not banned
So you think about killing and stealing alot??
 
Old 09-28-2015, 05:07 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: n ireland
Posts: 1,747
I thought it reasonable to assume that it would be seen that I was speaking about pertinent issues
 
Old 09-28-2015, 07:38 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,748
S

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidan View Post
I thought it reasonable to assume that it would be seen that I was speaking about pertinent issues
Sorry, mate. Its true, you tell a kid they can't have and they want it all the more.

. You tell them not to kill, then send them off to war.

.
 
Old 09-29-2015, 02:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Europe
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt TM View Post
Temptation never really came from approval; in fact the times that my breaks is usually when I am alone on a Saturday night. The truth is that I love the taste of beer, I never drank it to get drunk as I usually would stick to one or two as a treat. Of course I feel extremely dirty afterwards.

Mostly I have been combating any temptations by expanding my beverages by drinking coffee and I found a new love for sarsaparilla. It might be really be more of I know I can't have it and my brain wants it.
I think that "feeling extremely dirty afterwards" is something to look into.

Quote:
It might be really be more of I know I can't have it and my brain wants it.
Personally, I don't believe in this line of reasoning.

Of course, once a habit develops, it kind of takes on a life of its own.

But something doesn't simply become a habit unless one has put some desire into it. Over time, one might not remember that initial desire anymore, but there probably was one.

As an example, people generally do not like their first puff from a cigarette, or their first sip of coffee, or their first sip of an alcoholic drink. To the natural palate, thse things don't taste well.

But if the person is, for example, facing peer pressure and wants to fit in, they therfore willingly suppress the disgust they initially feel about smoking and drinking, and insist on smoking and drinking until they begin to like it (!). Over time, they may even forget the intitial disgust, and all that they are currently aware of is that they like the taste of this or that.

Peer pressure and the desire to fit in are powerful motivators for people to take up habits that are otherwise usually considered bad habits.

Another such motivator can be the desire to psychologically distance oneself from one's problems, and consuming mood-altering substances or engaging in mood-altering activities are common coping strategies. Albeit strategies with some potentially very harmful side-effects.

Bottomline, anything one consumes "just for the taste of it" could be suspicious and could be serving as a front for an unresolved issue.

(Also look up the term "soft addiction".)
 
Old 09-29-2015, 03:09 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Europe
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
I drink a lot of non-alcoholic beer. There are really good non-alcoholic brands by now.

Are there .5% alcohol left in it? Perhaps, but that's even less than in most standard fruit juices, or in fruits that have been lying for a while. As long as I don't feel the effect and it's not an unhealthy quantity, I really don't see a reason for avoiding this tiny amount.
I think it is essentially all about the intention with which one cosumes something or eganges in a particular activity.

If one would eat food and drink beverages only for the purpose of nurishing one's body and making sure one has the energy to attend to one's duties, then one would be happy to eat and drink very little and would be satisfied with what is usually considered plain food.

But people not rarely eat and drink to meet various psychological desires and needs. And meeting those needs via food and drink not rarely has adverse effects on the body and one's levels of energy.

Psychological desires and needs like: for comfort, for a clear conscience, feeling special, for deeming onself in control, for deeming oneself a good person, etc. etc.

Chances are that until one looks into those needs and desires and directly does something about them, efforts to change dietary habits can prove difficult.
 
Old 09-29-2015, 07:56 AM   #18
Minor Bloodsucker
 
gnat's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2014
From: Stockholm
Posts: 1,460
Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
So you think about killing and stealing alot??
I find that question quite pertinent. Actually, what is at stake is the internalization of values. Our forebears, some 500 or 1000 years ago, found it hard to abstain from violence. It took a number of generations to make the majority of us so peaceful that we abandoned the choice of being violent to passers-by in the street. The same, I think, goes for the less-established vales of our Faith. It will take generations until they are universally accepted. Many of us are the first Bahá'ís in our families. No wonder we can feel lost sometimes!

gnat
 
Old 09-29-2015, 09:45 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: _
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
So you think about killing and stealing alot??
Everytime I play Skyrim.
 
Old 09-29-2015, 10:04 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,748
Monopoly, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by noogan View Post
Everytime I play Skyrim.
Ha ha. Yeah. How about Monopoly?

. I wanna own the world!!

. Vis a vis... Today Crimea. Tomorrow the Continent!!

. "Then they'll all know who "I" am!! Put statues of my head in every city... yeah!!"

.
 
Old 09-29-2015, 11:51 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
thefrog's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: none
Posts: 491
If we would not lie, we would have not to fear what lies in alcohol.

I think it doesn't matter if you drink or drink not alcohol, it never will be "right".

If you are with people, they drink, ask you to join, you decline, it's not
about alcohol. It's about. are you with us or are you not.

If you deny to drink alcohol, without any explanatio, it's likely people may think
you drink just not with them.

If they assume you drink just not with others, it can make people to mention the
topic, to see if you maybe say you do the same at home / in private (so not with them).

If you dont want to mention your faith, you may answer what is kind of a no, but
in that is kind of a lie, since you may feel like you hide and lie, and may have the
effect and result of what is missing. And since people are kind of curious it might
make it more complicate.

So maybe its just about something, that you want and they want. You may want to
be just taken as you are, not bothered to drink, while you so wish to be liked,
while people may have all kind of thoughts, but one is to wonder and question and
so bother about, why you don't drink with them - so why you not join them. - there are other ways to do, if you want to keep to mention not your religion you may have to find out why you drink not, and that can be of reason.

if you drink, it just change that you feel bad, while you do what you want not, and think to be liked for what you are not. my thoughts
 
Old 09-29-2015, 06:17 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: United States
Posts: 1,200
Nice to see you again frog!
 
Old 09-29-2015, 10:23 PM   #23
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
in my opinion, the desire for whatever thing which is forbidden will grow very strong. if you force yourself not to drink, you can do it but not forever and I know how it feels when you are living in a society where everyone drinks beer and you have to restrain. now my suggestion is that (it may not look very Baha'i but it is and it works) don't kill yourself over trying to resist beer! if you really think in one or two occasions that you really cannot resist then drink it BUT the important thing is to keep in your mind that your goal is to stop drinking and that you can do it little by little. in order to make something a habit, you can never do it at once. when people are addicted to something (or are strongly willing to do something) which is not good and healthy, doctors usually say that they must not stop that all of a sudden but step by step, little by little. it can at first be one glass every two days for as long as you see that you can reduce the amount. you must only do it when you find yourself ready to reduce and not by force. I am sure that God would not get angry at you.why?because you don't drink forever and you are planning to stop it little by little. what is clear now is that since now you have forced yourself (and I guess you had been successful) but if you push down a big spring then in some point it will free itself and jump high above! some habbits cannot be and should not be repressed all of a sudden. you would feel better if you do it little by little and there will come a time in which you will feel that you are completely ready to fully give up I wish you success ....
This is good advice, we are all faced with things we must change within ourselves. The key is to keep trying. You will have success and some failure. Then one day you will realise it is an issue no more.

God bless and regards Tony
 
Old 09-30-2015, 03:41 AM   #24
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2015
From: Europe
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
I find that question quite pertinent. Actually, what is at stake is the internalization of values. Our forebears, some 500 or 1000 years ago, found it hard to abstain from violence. It took a number of generations to make the majority of us so peaceful that we abandoned the choice of being violent to passers-by in the street.
Martin Scorsese said that The Age of Innoncence was his most violent film.
 
Old 09-30-2015, 06:08 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
thefrog's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: none
Posts: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Light View Post
Nice to see you again frog!
I never left. Just did not write or if did not post. This one I posted.
It can be of use
 
Old 09-30-2015, 10:02 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
BlinkeyBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
Posts: 4,208
Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
This is good advice, we are all faced with things we must change within ourselves. The key is to keep trying. You will have success and some failure. Then one day you will realise it is an issue no more.

God bless and regards Tony
Dear Wyatt, I liked very much what Tony wrote, when one becomes a Baha'i it is not instantaneous, we do not become perfected overnight. It is a slow growing pathway, and only with the assistance of Baha'u'llah, through asking in prayer.
For me I always think, would Baha'u'llah like me to do this, it comes down to love, do I love what the this, is or Baha'u'llah, which has the strongest pull. I feel others here have given different explanations of my own thought process, over time one does not have to think twice.
Best wishes dear friend in your pathway.
Bill
 
Old 09-30-2015, 12:28 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: Blue Planet
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
This is good advice, we are all faced with things we must change within ourselves. The key is to keep trying. You will have success and some failure. Then one day you will realise it is an issue no more.

God bless and regards Tony
thank you Tony. and by the way, your new photo is so good
 
Old 09-30-2015, 01:50 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: n ireland
Posts: 1,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefrog View Post
I never left. Just did not write or if did not post. This one I posted.
It can be of use
Good to see you again Ulle
 
Old 10-03-2015, 08:00 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Earth's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Earth
Posts: 108
Greetings Wyatt,

The Universal House of Justice at this time refuses to legislate on de-alcoholized and low-alcohol drinks. One relevant letter on this topic is cited below:

"The Universal House of Justice has received your email of 13 May 1999 in which you seek its guidance on behalf of a believer on the use of de-alcoholized and low-alcohol drinks by Bahá’ís, and we are to provide the following response.

With regard to the use of alcohol-free lagers, beers, champagne and wines, there is a border area between that which is permissible and that which is prohibited where exact definition would lead to hair-splitting and infinite complications. The believers should be familiar with the principle given in Bahá’í law and should, at this time, be left free to make their own determination in borderline cases. No issue should be made of the matter in such cases.

If, however, the consumption of such beverages is occurring in social situations where both Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís are present, and is such that non-believers could come to the mistaken conclusion that Bahá’ís are consuming alcohol and openly flouting Bahá’í law, the matter should be taken by any believer concerned about it to his or her Local or National Spiritual Assembly, either of which is in a position to provide guidance on this matter."

(Letters of The Universal House of Justice, 10 June 1999)

In the western world de-alcholized and low-alcohol drinks are usually boiled after fermentation in an attempt to remove the alcohol. It is true to say that this does remove most of the alcohol but it does not remove all of it. Irrespective of this, as you can witness, Bahá'ís that choose to responsibly consume de-alcoholized and low-alcohol beers are not necessarily violating Bahá'í law at this time. The issue is down to ones behaviour more than anything else. All Bahá'ís are therefore free to exercise their own judgement with regards to such beers. The Universal House of Justice has however suggested in other letters that by purchasing such drinks from companies that produce alcoholic drinks they are directly supporting the alcohol industry. This is a fair point, but it does not change the facts. The responsible consumption of such drinks does not constitute as flagrant abuse of Bahá'í law, even if some may consider this a grey area. The only exception to this ruling is in the case of Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly members. They are compelled to exercise a higher standard here for obvious reasons and because of this they are not permitted to consume such drinks and can have their Administrative Rights removed if they do.

The issue with beer is actually complex because humans develop regional diets. Beer is actually loaded with a range of very healthy ingredients, therefore, unsurprisingly, it has played a dietary role in some societies, especially in locations that are too cool for growing a wide range of fruits. If one chooses to adopt a religious belief that prohibits alcohol in any culture where beer is a part of the cultural diet, it would be wise to obtain medical advice. Fail to do this and a person could end up facing health issues.

The life span of Bahá'ís appear to be less than those that choose to drink beer responsibly. So much so it would be interesting to examine any data available on this. One reason might be because Bahá'ís are not replacing beer from their diet with a responsible drink. One simply cannot substitute soda for beer and expect it to be a healthy option. Try not to shorten your life through such negative assumptions about beer, because beer also contains a great many products that Bahá'u'lláh advocates for good health. Hold on to this thought as we continue.

One primary factor that promotes longevity of life is a persons Ph balance. In ancient societies this was obtained by drinking rainwater. Indeed humans are biologically designed to consume rainwater. However acid can now be found in rain water so it is not always healthy to drink unless treated. This also means that the changing climate is directly impacting on the Ph value of foods that are grown. For instance in research it is known that an organic cabbage grown today has only a third of the nutrient of a cabbage grown half a century ago. It's Ph value is also lower, meaning it is more acidic. Yet despite this it contains the same carbohydrate value. Tap water and bottled waters are too acidic to stabilise a persons Ph balance. While it is possible to purchase a machine to make alkaline water for consumption for a few thousand dollars (a very healthy thing to do by the way) beer has a Ph value comparable to rainwater. This is one reason why it is so good to for cleaning kidneys. Blood cells in a body that is Ph balanced will naturally remove fats and toxins, however, as the Ph balance becomes increasingly acidic, blood cells will start to deposit fats and toxins on artery walls instead. These congest over time until the artery walls restrict the blood flow to promote cardiovascular issues. It is hardly surprising why the modern western world is facing such a rise in obesity. Simply by restoring the Ph balance to normal will result in the blood naturally removing the fats and toxins once again. Modern beers are tailor designed to meet the Ph levels that a persons body instinctively craves. This is why its taste can naturally excite people irrespective of whether or not it contains alcohol.

The BBC offered its readers an interesting study that was conducted in relationship to understanding how taste could trigger dopamine in the brain. The findings were quite interesting for they suggested that males who originate from drinking families are more prone towards the smell and taste of beer. This can have a significant impact on some first generation Bahá'ís for if correct it demonstrates that the desire for beer is genetic. It therefore has nothing to do with a persons desire for alcohol or lack of faith. Because of this it is not always appropriate to assume that a person should simply stop taking beer once they become a Bahá'í. There is so much more to understand about this issue. This is why westerners would do well to obtain medical advice in such matters rather than assume it is healthy to stop taking beer. The BBC story can be found here along with the links to the research Beer taste excites male brain - BBC News

It should also be pointed out that some cultures are particularly vulnerable to alcohol and this means the damage it can do to them is greater. These are people whose ancestors respected the natural environment. This helped to maintain the natural Ph balance of the rivers, plants and animals too. Genetically such people have less defence against alcohol. This is why some native people can become intoxicated if they smell alcohol in the air around them. Even some alcohol based perfumes like colognes are strong enough to do this. Here is the U.S. medical guidance for anyone who should unfortunately swallow just a few drops of such a strong alcoholic perfume https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/...cle/002694.htm

Alcohol has historically been used as a weapon against people. The method in how alcohol has been used differs from culture to culture. Because of this Bahá'ís need to become very vigilant in understanding how their respective culture has employed alcohol to abuse people. This of course means that any Bahá'í that uses any alcohol based product needs to exercise it responsibility. The Universal House of Justice is not a scientific body and therefore it cannot be expected to legislate in such matters. Instead Bahá'ís need to become responsible enough to educate themselves about the risks alcohol pose and then make intelligent choices based on what they have learnt. Ignorance will not resolve this issue and neither will religious assumption.

The prohibition of alcohol within the Bahá'í Faith is aimed at the substance itself, not just the consumption of drinks. Like it or not it is practically impossible to avoid alcohol with commercial products today. The only real way to avoid it is to not purchase commercial products unless they have been responsibly tested; rather like the way some Islamic countries tests products to ensure they comply with their beliefs.

The following video is a news story made in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It examines the benefits of beer and shows how beer making has changed in Iran since the Iranian Revolution. In Iran beer contains no alcohol at all because it is not fermented. Therefore, unlike in the western world, there is no need to boil beer in an attempt to remove the alcohol. The important thing to understand here is that consumption of such beer will also help with Ph balancing and a range of other medical issues. Children are also encouraged to drink it. In other words one can now obtain all the health benefits of beer without needing to have any alcohol at all. It is simply a question of understanding the different brewing processes involved in order to make an intelligent choice. Enjoy watching the story entitled Non-alcoholic drinks-Iran-10-02-2011 on YouTube and decide for yourself how the best way might be for you to tackle this challenge.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4ivPwMDCE

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 10-03-2015 at 08:08 AM.
 
Old 10-03-2015, 12:18 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: Blue Planet
Posts: 1,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Greetings Wyatt,

The Universal House of Justice at this time refuses to legislate on de-alcoholized and low-alcohol drinks. One relevant letter on this topic is cited below:

"The Universal House of Justice has received your email of 13 May 1999 in which you seek its guidance on behalf of a believer on the use of de-alcoholized and low-alcohol drinks by Bahá’ís, and we are to provide the following response.

With regard to the use of alcohol-free lagers, beers, champagne and wines, there is a border area between that which is permissible and that which is prohibited where exact definition would lead to hair-splitting and infinite complications. The believers should be familiar with the principle given in Bahá’í law and should, at this time, be left free to make their own determination in borderline cases. No issue should be made of the matter in such cases.

If, however, the consumption of such beverages is occurring in social situations where both Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís are present, and is such that non-believers could come to the mistaken conclusion that Bahá’ís are consuming alcohol and openly flouting Bahá’í law, the matter should be taken by any believer concerned about it to his or her Local or National Spiritual Assembly, either of which is in a position to provide guidance on this matter."

(Letters of The Universal House of Justice, 10 June 1999)

In the western world de-alcholized and low-alcohol drinks are usually boiled after fermentation in an attempt to remove the alcohol. It is true to say that this does remove most of the alcohol but it does not remove all of it. Irrespective of this, as you can witness, Bahá'ís that choose to responsibly consume de-alcoholized and low-alcohol beers are not necessarily violating Bahá'í law at this time. The issue is down to ones behaviour more than anything else. All Bahá'ís are therefore free to exercise their own judgement with regards to such beers. The Universal House of Justice has however suggested in other letters that by purchasing such drinks from companies that produce alcoholic drinks they are directly supporting the alcohol industry. This is a fair point, but it does not change the facts. The responsible consumption of such drinks does not constitute as flagrant abuse of Bahá'í law, even if some may consider this a grey area. The only exception to this ruling is in the case of Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly members. They are compelled to exercise a higher standard here for obvious reasons and because of this they are not permitted to consume such drinks and can have their Administrative Rights removed if they do.

The issue with beer is actually complex because humans develop regional diets. Beer is actually loaded with a range of very healthy ingredients, therefore, unsurprisingly, it has played a dietary role in some societies, especially in locations that are too cool for growing a wide range of fruits. If one chooses to adopt a religious belief that prohibits alcohol in any culture where beer is a part of the cultural diet, it would be wise to obtain medical advice. Fail to do this and a person could end up facing health issues.

The life span of Bahá'ís appear to be less than those that choose to drink beer responsibly. So much so it would be interesting to examine any data available on this. One reason might be because Bahá'ís are not replacing beer from their diet with a responsible drink. One simply cannot substitute soda for beer and expect it to be a healthy option. Try not to shorten your life through such negative assumptions about beer, because beer also contains a great many products that Bahá'u'lláh advocates for good health. Hold on to this thought as we continue.

One primary factor that promotes longevity of life is a persons Ph balance. In ancient societies this was obtained by drinking rainwater. Indeed humans are biologically designed to consume rainwater. However acid can now be found in rain water so it is not always healthy to drink unless treated. This also means that the changing climate is directly impacting on the Ph value of foods that are grown. For instance in research it is known that an organic cabbage grown today has only a third of the nutrient of a cabbage grown half a century ago. It's Ph value is also lower, meaning it is more acidic. Yet despite this it contains the same carbohydrate value. Tap water and bottled waters are too acidic to stabilise a persons Ph balance. While it is possible to purchase a machine to make alkaline water for consumption for a few thousand dollars (a very healthy thing to do by the way) beer has a Ph value comparable to rainwater. This is one reason why it is so good to for cleaning kidneys. Blood cells in a body that is Ph balanced will naturally remove fats and toxins, however, as the Ph balance becomes increasingly acidic, blood cells will start to deposit fats and toxins on artery walls instead. These congest over time until the artery walls restrict the blood flow to promote cardiovascular issues. It is hardly surprising why the modern western world is facing such a rise in obesity. Simply by restoring the Ph balance to normal will result in the blood naturally removing the fats and toxins once again. Modern beers are tailor designed to meet the Ph levels that a persons body instinctively craves. This is why its taste can naturally excite people irrespective of whether or not it contains alcohol.

The BBC offered its readers an interesting study that was conducted in relationship to understanding how taste could trigger dopamine in the brain. The findings were quite interesting for they suggested that males who originate from drinking families are more prone towards the smell and taste of beer. This can have a significant impact on some first generation Bahá'ís for if correct it demonstrates that the desire for beer is genetic. It therefore has nothing to do with a persons desire for alcohol or lack of faith. Because of this it is not always appropriate to assume that a person should simply stop taking beer once they become a Bahá'í. There is so much more to understand about this issue. This is why westerners would do well to obtain medical advice in such matters rather than assume it is healthy to stop taking beer. The BBC story can be found here along with the links to the research Beer taste excites male brain - BBC News

It should also be pointed out that some cultures are particularly vulnerable to alcohol and this means the damage it can do to them is greater. These are people whose ancestors respected the natural environment. This helped to maintain the natural Ph balance of the rivers, plants and animals too. Genetically such people have less defence against alcohol. This is why some native people can become intoxicated if they smell alcohol in the air around them. Even some alcohol based perfumes like colognes are strong enough to do this. Here is the U.S. medical guidance for anyone who should unfortunately swallow just a few drops of such a strong alcoholic perfume https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/...cle/002694.htm

Alcohol has historically been used as a weapon against people. The method in how alcohol has been used differs from culture to culture. Because of this Bahá'ís need to become very vigilant in understanding how their respective culture has employed alcohol to abuse people. This of course means that any Bahá'í that uses any alcohol based product needs to exercise it responsibility. The Universal House of Justice is not a scientific body and therefore it cannot be expected to legislate in such matters. Instead Bahá'ís need to become responsible enough to educate themselves about the risks alcohol pose and then make intelligent choices based on what they have learnt. Ignorance will not resolve this issue and neither will religious assumption.

The prohibition of alcohol within the Bahá'í Faith is aimed at the substance itself, not just the consumption of drinks. Like it or not it is practically impossible to avoid alcohol with commercial products today. The only real way to avoid it is to not purchase commercial products unless they have been responsibly tested; rather like the way some Islamic countries tests products to ensure they comply with their beliefs.

The following video is a news story made in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It examines the benefits of beer and shows how beer making has changed in Iran since the Iranian Revolution. In Iran beer contains no alcohol at all because it is not fermented. Therefore, unlike in the western world, there is no need to boil beer in an attempt to remove the alcohol. The important thing to understand here is that consumption of such beer will also help with Ph balancing and a range of other medical issues. Children are also encouraged to drink it. In other words one can now obtain all the health benefits of beer without needing to have any alcohol at all. It is simply a question of understanding the different brewing processes involved in order to make an intelligent choice. Enjoy watching the story entitled Non-alcoholic drinks-Iran-10-02-2011 on YouTube and decide for yourself how the best way might be for you to tackle this challenge.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4ivPwMDCE

Earth

finally something good about Iran!!
 
Old 10-03-2015, 02:41 PM   #31
~Mellow Wanderer~
 
PlatinumHeart's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2015
From: The City that Never Sleeps
Posts: 6
Hello Wyatt,

I am very new here, to the forum and to the Baha'i. Today I am exactly 80 days sober with new hope in my life. I completely understand what you're saying about being around alcohol. My dad is a moderate drinker, but since I never drank around him its not really a problem. However, I do know what its like to be in a chat environment where everyone is drinking. I used to frequent a "chatroom" where almost every night someone was talking about a drink they were having. I guess because I was so focused on my sobriety it never really affected me. And now that I have found the Baha'i its even more a reason to stop drinking. But I know its tough, hang in there!

This may be a bit difficult, but I suggest (since you are struggling a bit) surround yourself with non-drinkers for a while and see how that goes. I know its hard because in Western society its all about partying and having a good time with some drinks. I should know, I am in New York, and here its all about the nightlife. I am doing well though in an alcoholic environment, so I think you will be okay too.

Good luck!
 
Old 10-04-2015, 05:14 AM   #32
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth View Post

The following video is a news story made in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It examines the benefits of beer and shows how beer making has changed in Iran since the Iranian Revolution. In Iran beer contains no alcohol at all because it is not fermented. Therefore, unlike in the western world, there is no need to boil beer in an attempt to remove the alcohol. The important thing to understand here is that consumption of such beer will also help with Ph balancing and a range of other medical issues. Children are also encouraged to drink it. In other words one can now obtain all the health benefits of beer without needing to have any alcohol at all. It is simply a question of understanding the different brewing processes involved in order to make an intelligent choice. Enjoy watching the story entitled Non-alcoholic drinks-Iran-10-02-2011 on YouTube and decide for yourself how the best way might be for you to tackle this challenge.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4ivPwMDCE

Earth
I would like to find this product here, but that may be difficult due to economic sanctions.
There is another non-fermented alternative which is popular in Latin America and Africa, commonly known as malta, but that is usually very sweet with a lot of calories as well as vitamin B and other nutrients.
 
Old 10-04-2015, 07:41 AM   #33
Senior Member
 
Earth's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Earth
Posts: 108
Greetings Jcc,

You can usually obtain such drinks through dedicated stores that stock Iranian consumables. Take your time as some stores are better stocked than others. As Iranian sanctions are likely to be lifting now the nuclear issue appears to have been resolved I would expect these products may soon be much easier to acquire in the U.S.

The largest drinking company in Iran is Behnoushiran. I rather suspect it is the one featured in the news story. They maintain a website and one can elect to read it in Persian or English خانه

A good way to see if an Iranian store stocks good products is to order a small box of fresh Iranian dates. These tend to be large and slightly green but they have a beautiful natural taste to them. A store that stocks good dates will usually do other good produce too. Taking good Iranian dates to share with the friends at a community event is an excellent way to raise the spiritual atmosphere.

Like with all things in life food and drink raises people's spirits. Iran has some excellent produce. Consuming this is part of exploring Iranian culture. There is so much more to understanding the Blessed Beauty than reading Persian and Arabic. A culture has to be embellished before His Words truly start to make sense. This is where some western academics fail. One cannot simply transpose one culture over another and expect to obtain understanding.

Earth
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Tags
abstaining, alcohol, alcoholic, world



Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.