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Old 09-03-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
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Gay alternative: Recovery

I became a Baha'i almost literally in a gay bar in 1973 at age 22. I thought at first it was okay to be gay since I had met 2 gay Baha'is. I thought Seals and Crofts were gay. It was some time before I realized that living a gay lifestyle was not in tune with the Faith. I was amazingly willing to accept that. I deepened in the Faith and attempted to obey the rules. I had a couple of minor slips, but I succeeded for about 9 years in what I now know was repression of my feelings. From 18 to 21 I had been somewhat promiscuous, then at age 30 I became a sex addict. It caused me a great deal of spiritual pain. There did not seem to be solutions. God was not changing me because I was a Baha'i. I sought help eventually, and this is where others may go astray, but not going beyond their self to get help. I started getting counseling in 1986 and briefly I regained control and even married. I began attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings. Unfortunately I married someone who actually had as many problems as I did, and when the relationship failed as a result of our unresolved problems, I was unable to maintain a Baha'i life. It was extremely painful to believe what I was doing was wrong and doing it anyway. I sought more counseling and made goals I could reach and got successively less out of control. I had worked in alcoholism/addiction treatment and got Joseph Nicolosi's book whose views I believe wholly, and met Baha'is in Recovery Programs. By early 1989 I achieved choice in my life and continued in counseling, because I needed to know more about who I was, how my family of origin had affected me, improve social skills, and understand feelings. The developmental model infers that sexual orientation would not be the only problem, so there have been multiple issues to address and learning living a Baha'i life is a process, not a destination.

It has been a painful journey at times. I have not been open about my struggle. I think that appropriate for me not to seek attention, because others' lack of understanding could be potentially damaging to my progress. I have had to develop friends with whom I can be open, and I have developed meaningful same sex friendships. I became willing to marry again, but have not. My ex and I are friends. She has always supported this struggle for me. I consider myself in recovery. Where there has not been much material success in my life, I am happiest about this progress. I feel I have strength and wisdom that nothing else in life would have provided due to this struggle. This can be said to be equivalent to an alcoholic in recovery, though I believe it has been harder, because more of my being has been affected. At times the feelings of same sex attraction occur, though no longer nearly as strong. My attraction to women definitely increased. However I accept same sex feelings, and by doing so I have choices. Fighting these attractions strengthens them. It is an odd mental dance. The Guardian wrote it can be just as hard for a heterosexual to live a chaste lifestyle. I see attempts to change the Faith's view on homosexuality as more of an agrument for gay promiscuity. If homosexuality was genetic perhaps its sexual activity would not be so promiscuous, compulsive, and/or addictive in nature, and homosexual lifestyles would more resemble the chastity and monogamy of heterosexuals, and it would not be a big deal to be "gay". One would simply be chaste. Besides Baha'is willing to develop the the new world order sacrifice many things.

I see gay campaigning as the antithesis of the truth about homosexuality, an active form of denial. Giving in to it and attempts at legitimatization are the reverse of the solution. Recovery can seem so difficult that it is easier to consider homosexuality genetically caused than to work on resolutions for it. Recovery in all cases is not a cure, though some do very well. However the Baha'i Faith provided the motivation and apparently the spiritual strength for me and others.

My achievement gives me a great deal of comfort and lack of regret. I did not do this alone. I did seek help. Sexual Addicts Anonymous and Al Anon have been of great comfort and help. However assistance has to be sought carefully. The most surprising people, even Baha'is, believe that homoseuxality is genetic or not able to be overcome. I do not believe it is genetic. However even if it is genetic one can be in recovery. One cannot percieve recovery before one obtains it, it is not possible to project all that recovery means or the peace it can bring until it is obtained. At times during attempting recovery one may fail, that is part of the growth process. If ever a process could be described as organic, it has been this path I chose to take one day at a time, letting go and letting God. Cam, cam, ruz bih ruz.

Last edited by cire perdue; 09-05-2010 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:45 AM   #2
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Very dear and precious brother cire purdue,
What a deeply insightful, meaningful and enlightening post you have made. You have our greatest admiration for your strength of character, determination and the inspiration you provide for others to follow the Baha'i way despite the many detractors from that pathway.
My wife and I ( married for 52 years ) lovingly wish you and others that tread this dogged but ultimately rewarding path continued success. We thank you and all others who speak up to inspire others to follow.
Bless you.
 
Old 09-04-2010, 02:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post
If homosexuality was genetic perhaps its sexual activity would not be so promiscuous, compulsive, and/or addictive in nature, and homosexual lifestyles would more resemble the chastity and monogamy of heterosexuals, and it would not be a big deal to be "gay".
Homosexuality is genetic, but maybe that's not the point. It's not the science or the genes that has fostered promiscuous, compulsive, and/or addictive lifestyles, but social conditions:
- legal repression
- the lack of marriage and social reinforcement for monogamous same-sex relationships
- religious condemnations
- media stereotypes and lack of role models.
I think that if heterosexual relationships had been subject to the same negative conditions, heterosexual relationships would also have been furtive, promiscuous and compulsive. (Sex addiction is I think a separate condition; different causes.)

Our grandchildren will know the answer, because the legalisation of homosexual relationships, the recognition of marriages, social acceptance and to some extent religious acceptance are happening, at least in the West. I expect this grand experiment will show that the negative side of the homosexual sub-culture in the 20th century West was created by social repression.
 
Old 09-04-2010, 08:42 AM   #4
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more thoughts

Those are so many external things to blame for one's behavior. It is soundly logical, however coming to believe that I am responsible for my feelings and behavior even having nothing to do with homosexuality, I cannot credit external factors for causation of my acts. I continue to believe that much of homosexual behavior is externalization of inner feelings and past experience e.g. believing so many people are gay but just do not know it, being strongly attracted to very heterosexual men who have no interest in homosexual activity, being exhibitionistic about their alternate lifestyle, and blaming others lack of acceptance on homophobia. Does one expect a life-long vegetarian to have attraction to a steak, or feel no repulsion when a raw steak is put in their face? Women have been terribly oppressed historically, I don't think there has been such extreme results.

I don't think that it is generally known just how promiscuous the homosexual community is. Check out Madi Gras in New Orleans or open behavior in San Francisco. The popularity of bath houses prior to HIV also comes to mind. Those who are "monogamous" in later life or for periods of time are likely very actively sexual in between or prior to it. I don't think the Baha'i Faith excludes homosexuals, only the behavior. If one can be as chaste as a hetrosexual then there is no difficulty in belonging. Anyone who petitions the Faith to accept any behavior that is against the teachings is going to meet obstacles be it co-habitation without marriage, use of alcohol, or criminal activity, but there are homosexuals who expect to be an exception. Gay lifestyle is sexually promiscuous. If you want to be a Baha'i then there are lifestyle changes required, because it is a bigger issue than being homosexual. It does not matter whether it is genetic or not, there is recovery available. There are Baha'is have succeeded at it far better than I have. I do not see people making the same agrument for alcohol or expecting to be able to be sexually active outside of marriage regardless of orientation. I think there is great naivity about homosexual lives.

Those who want to be Baha'is are willing to make sacrifices. They pioneer in third world nations, they bring improved living conditons to the impoverished, and live in poverty to do so, they give up their lives, they become imprisoned and die for their beliefs. Yet, here is a group of people asking not to be challenged spiritually. I think there are other issues that are not so obvious. The proof of a Faith or faith is the change it brings in the individual. To "be happy" as Abdul'baha exhorted us is not about pursuit of desires and passions, but to become familiar with the depth of our souls, and even to sacrifice those passions and desires. The vehemence against the rejection of gay lifestyle by the Faith reminds me of it being easier to be angry than it is to admit sadness or fear.

Last edited by cire perdue; 09-05-2010 at 06:36 PM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 09-05-2010, 01:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cire perdue View Post

I don't think that it is generally known just how promiscuous the homosexual community is.
I think you make a mass generalisation here, and a statement which is just as equally valid, if not more so, for the heterosexual community, however for want of a better word, it is not looked upon as 'seemly' to discuss. It is therefore brushed under the carpet and never spoken if publicly, however it does go on just as widespread and rampant as in the gay community. have none of you heard of 'swingers' and 'dogging', all subcultures of the heterosexual 'world'.

Many are of the belief that homosexual men are promiscuous and will use that as a way to detract from homosexuality and homosexual relationships, which can be and in deed are as beautiful as any heterosexual relationship; as such, promiscuity within the homosexual 'world' is widely discussed in the media and within groups such as this, for all the wrong reasons in my opinion.
 
Old 09-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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Hello cire purdue and welcome to the forum.

I read what you wrote with interest. I think you seem a good example of how it is so important that individulal believers study the Bahá'í Faith for themselves and take responsibility for their own progress.

May many blessing rain down upon you.
 
Old 09-05-2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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Dear Cire, I think that it took a lot of courage to be so forthcoming about your struggle. I am happy that such a sensitive subject can be discussed in such a deeply personal way. I want to add a few personal notes of my own.

In the 1960s, because we had a common cause in opposition to the US war in Southeast Asia, I found myself in the company of other men who challenged the prevailing (macho) view of manhood, as well as being in the company of women who were challenging their own accustomed (passive, secondary) role in society. Such challenges were seen as secondary themes to the main cause we all shared, but over time, they grew in importance and we began to realize that in fact, they were really responsible for perpetuating a cycle of power and control, domination and submission that were the underpinnings, if not the driving forces, of war.

At some point, I became aware that some of those closest to me were "discovering" that they were gay. Because these were the people whom I most trusted and with whom I had bonded in a "community of risk", I had to ask myself whether I might also be gay. I had one comrade in particular who had been my companion through many tests and dangers, with whom I shared an apartment. Prior to the war, he had been a Catholic seminarian, but he had abandoned his idea of going into the priesthood. He had a steady female friend at the time, with whom he was very active sexually. What a shock it was, when he announced that he was gay!

I dearly loved that person, and his declaration forced me to confront the question of my own gender identity. However, without going into more detail, it became obvious that I did not share his gayness...which seemed initially somewhat of a disappointment, since it represented a point of separation from one I loved so much. But it quickly became obvious that I could go on loving him as a person, and as a companion.

I embraced -- and was embraced by -- the Baha'i Faith (I see it as a love affair with God) in 1971. In my nearly 40 years of being active in this community, I have met a number of fellow-believers -- both men and women -- who share your struggle. Most of them have served the Cause of Baha'u'llah with devotion and distinction.

One woman, to whom I was very close and whom I deeply admire and love, opted to announce very publicly that she is a lesbian, and she was deprived of her voting rights as a Baha'i because of this. I had been living in a distant location at the time of these developments, and learned what had happened only after I returned to her area. Of course, I immediately went to visit her. I regard it as a tribute to our friendship that although she felt negative toward her Baha'i community which she perceived (with some justification) as having ostracized her, she welcomed me warmly and confided in me.

At the time of my visit, she had been on the verge of resigning from the Faith. But she changed her mind when I reminded her that being a Baha'i essentially means loving God, through His Manifestation, regardless of our attachments to and estrangements from other human beings. And of course, I assured her of my love for her.
 
Old 12-25-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
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This was my story in response to the story above on another site (GLBSP Main - Gay/Lesbian Baha'i Story Project). I want to make sure that people are not misled into believing that the majority of LGBT people who are/were Bahais are happily trying to "overcome" their sexuality. Most of us have either left or are inactive in frustration. Most of us are not depressed, jaded individuals that loathe our sexuality. We embrace it as God's gift to us. My only concern is that young gays trapped inside the Bahai community do not harm themselves when older gays like this individual with the backing of the Bahai administration try to inflict reparative therapy on these young minds. So please read my story....
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I just read the story "Homosexual Alternative" and I've finally decided to submit my story. I think it is important to balance the dangerous trend inside the Bahai community towards "reparative therapy". I will never tell another person what journey to take in life. If an adult Bahai decides of their own free will that to be a "true" Bahai they must try to overcome their God-given sexuality, then that is their choice. I don't agree with it, but that's their choice. Whatever makes you happy. BUT, I do believe that an alternate voice must be heard, so here is mine.

I am five generations Persian Bahai from a pioneering family. Bahai prayers were recited in my ears the day I was born in the hospital in Tehran. A prayer were the first words that entered my ears at birth. I lived a happy well-adjusted life. No alcholism, no abusive parents. I had both the love of my father and mother to sustain me. My role models, my life, everything around me was geared towards the straight world. Long before I knew anything about what chastity meant in the Bahai writings, I knew that the equation was One man + one woman in marriage to make a famly. So I expected this was my future too. Except for one thing....I never thought, fantasized in any shape or form about women. Never have and I still don't. As my sexual feelings developed in my pre-teens and definitely teenage life- all I could think about were men. I even remember as child, I would fantasize about, not my beautiful female Bahai school teacher, but instead her jock husband. It wasn't in a sexual way, but in a way a child has puppy love for a teacher. Mine were for males- not females. Where did this come from? Iv'e read the bogus therapies wanting to blame everything from hormones gone crazy during the pregnancy to a distant father... but none of it applied to me. Then I realized- it's maybe just genetic. That's all it is. God made some of us to prefer the same sex and a few to like both.

My teenage years were hell. On the outside, I am the poster child of a good Bahai boy. Smart, handsome (some would say) and a pretty good catch for any Bahai girl. Except, I just never dated. I had no interest. And there was NO ONE in the Bahai community to talk to about this. It was the most horrible, lonely part of my existence. I'll say it again- my teenage and college years active in the Bahai community were the most horrible, lonely parts of my existence. A day did not pass that I did not wish God would strike me down if He wasn't going to take away this "disease" this dsgusting part of me that if I understood the Aqdas correctly made Bahaullah shrink from very shame at the thought of what I was fantasizing- sex with another man! At the age of 18, in the Shrine of the Bab, my only prayer was that he strike me down since I couldn't "overcome" anything. I actually one time even took a match to my penis, wanting to burn it because I felt such shame that I couldn't control these feelings that were so abhorrent to the Creator. Yes folks, THIS is how you are fucking with the heads of gay Bahai youth in your communities! All the prayers and submission to God did nothing.

So let's fast forward a few years. In my late twenties, I went overseas to work with a development group. I also went as a pioneer. I figured this is it. If as a pioneer, dedicating my life to service, I don't get cured of homosexuality- then when? Soon I realized, the answer is NEVER. And a strange thing happened, while serving as a pioneer, my daily thoughts of suicide went away. Once in my heart I decided this is wrong. Telling me that I'm sick and need help is just plain wrong. Once I felt that through my core, the thoughts of suicide went away. I spent most of my thirties in anger. Anger never against God, but against this religion, and especially Shoghi Effendi. Only recently have I realized that anger is misplaced. My anger now is against ignorance. Against a shrinking community of believers that is acting more like a small cultish group instead of having a world-embracing vision.

I am a happy well-adjusted gay man. I have many outlets of service and a great community of loving friends- I don't need to be active in the Bahai community for my spiritual growth. I'm not holding my breath that the Bahai community will truly become the umbrella for ALL of humanity. In fact, I think it is seriously dying out. Some of my friends get upset that more Bahais don't stand on the side of the struggle of gays in the Bahai community. My answer to that is this "how much can you expect from a handful of people that are continuing to dwindle in numbers?" It is sad, because I don't want that. I want to see a growing, vibrant community that is making a difference in this world as Bahaullah intended. But alas....

So why do I continue to post? Why am I a thorn in the side of the current members of the AO and those who believe that gay couples do not have a place at God's table? Because I care about the vulnerable in the community, especially the youth, who will fall prey to those who want to inflict their "pray the gay away" therapy in a Bahai fashion. These vulnerable people are the ones who I worry about. Because for every one of these gay Bahais who swears they are overcoming their sexuality, there will be many more who will leave the Faith in anger, become inactive, or worse give up hope and sink into lows of depravity or drugs, or even worse suicide-when they realize they just can't "overcome" and they never will.
 
Old 12-25-2010, 10:40 AM   #9
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It is hard to try and live a Baha'i lifestyle. I am a long ways from it. Eventually I will have to become vegetarian which I can't imagine now. To me living a Baha'i lifestyle can be hard. You have to give up alcohol. Not have sex outside marriage. Not backbite against others and all of this is against modern societies.

Some people have a hard time with sexuality. Some can work with their own feelings like cire perdue. Others cannot. I know heterosexuals with similar problems. One person I know can't keep from going out and participating in pre martial sex. This person would have a hard time living a Baha'i lifestyle. This dose not mean that such a person could not be a friend of the Baha'is. Just they would need to work hard to live the Baha'i lifestyle.

Now from this quote

Quote:
Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
In fact, I think it is seriously dying out. Some of my friends get upset that more Bahais don't stand on the side of the struggle of gays in the Bahai community. My answer to that is this "how much can you expect from a handful of people that are continuing to dwindle in numbers?" It is sad, because I don't want that. I want to see a growing, vibrant community that is making a difference in this world as Bahaullah intended. But alas....
It seems that you no longer wish to follow the Baha'i faith. This is fine you can still be a Baha'i friend from the outside since your individual search for the truth has led you away from the Baha'i faith. The Baha'is in my area are growing so just because one area experiences decline dose not mean another area is not experiencing growth. It is hard to live up the Baha'i lifestyle. But It is not like Baha'is believe a non-baha'i is going to hell. We just believe the optimum lifestyle for getting the most out of this world of God is a monogamous straight marriage.

So I can understand your being Persian you must have a cultural attachment to being a Baha'i but don't worry about it just live your life as you believe . Just please don't insult Baha'is or the holy administration.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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No Livindesert. I AM A BAHAI. But I choose not to be active in a hard-line community that acts more like a small evangelical Christian group than a world-embracing religion. I'm sorry that you see my words as an insult to the Bahai Faith. It's not towards the Faith. It is however towards those close-minded individuals inside the Bahai community that can't open their hearts and minds.
I'll try also not to see your words as an insult to all my dear friends who live in happy committed relationships, some raising beautiful children. I know it's convenient for Bahais such as yourslef to automatically equate all homosexuality with nothign but sex. That is why you cling to people like Cire Perdue. Its easy to make someone liek that the poster child for the anti-gay attitude of the Bahai community. All other gay Bahais like me are asking is to be given EQUAL rights. THe right to love, intimacy and family. YOUR statement that the optimum way of living is in a straight Bahai marriage says a lot about the underlying homophobia that exists among Bahais. You put on a facade of not being prejudice while telling young gay Bahais like I was that we are spiritually diseased and not living an optimum lifestyle if we decide to find love with someone of the same sex and build a family. Eventually the Bahai community will have to see the error of its ways, or continue to decline as it is.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
No Livindesert. I AM A BAHAI. But I choose not to be active in a hard-line community that acts more like a small evangelical Christian group than a world-embracing religion. I'm sorry that you see my words as an insult to the Bahai Faith. It's not towards the Faith. It is however towards those close-minded individuals inside the Bahai community that can't open their hearts and minds.
I'll try also not to see your words as an insult to all my dear friends who live in happy committed relationships, some raising beautiful children. I know it's convenient for Bahais such as yourslef to automatically equate all homosexuality with nothign but sex. That is why you cling to people like Cire Perdue. Its easy to make someone liek that the poster child for the anti-gay attitude of the Bahai community. All other gay Bahais like me are asking is to be given EQUAL rights. THe right to love, intimacy and family. YOUR statement that the optimum way of living is in a straight Bahai marriage says a lot about the underlying homophobia that exists among Bahais. You put on a facade of not being prejudice while telling young gay Bahais like I was that we are spiritually diseased and not living an optimum lifestyle if we decide to find love with someone of the same sex and build a family. Eventually the Bahai community will have to see the error of its ways, or continue to decline as it is.
Baha'i scripture states quite clearly that marriage is intended as a mechanism to pursue raising children in a healthy environment. It also states quite clearly that we are not to judge gay people at all, however since they cannot have children and thus the institution of marriage doesn't apply, they should maintain chastity.

It does say that sex outside of marriage is not optimal, but I don't think it is ever explicitly forbidden, but rather the chastity factor is most important. Provided you are not pursuing another person out of pure desire, I don't think the Baha'i writings can really be used to justify judgement of you. It states we should avoid things that accelerate desire, but we are to love everyone.

Personally, I believe homosexuality is not genetic, I believe it is a matter of comfort. We can all look at a person of the same sex and know they are attractive, and similarly someone of the opposite sex. I think homosexuality is becoming more prevalent because we are emphasizing this too much and justifying pursuit of it as a society. In nature, same sex activities occur too, but in all cases I am familiar with, they also act on natural instinct to reproduce. In our society, we justify same sex pursuits, but apply notions of a healthy relationship to it. I think this is quite unhealthy for our future, if people are increasingly homosexual, it eventually will lead to the extinction of our species... this is my personal opinion, however, and I would not treat you unjustly based on it.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 03:56 PM   #12
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My opinion:
(There is alot of evidence that points to it being a genetic condition, but I haven't done much research)

I don't think that being gay is wrong. Gay sex... I dunno.
But I think that heterosexual promiscuity is just as bad as homosexual promiscuity.

And I actually do know a gay guy who is VERY exclusive which I think is why he broke up with his boyfriend... I think.

And I think that homosexuality will only lead to a more efficient amount of humans. We are already over-populated as it is.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #13
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unitik you said that the Faith states quite clearly that marriage is intended as a mechanism to pursue raising children in a healthy environment.

And what is unhealthy of two people of the same sex raising children? They can and they do. I knew a Bahai straight couple that decided they did not want children- ever. Why were they allowed a Bahai marriage? It's convenient for Bahais (including the Universal House of Justice) to state over and over again how Bahais are not to be prejudiced against gays and act unustly towards them.... BUT. I'm here to tell you that you are. The toxic environment that is created in the Bahai community for gay youth is terrible. I survived it and I pray that others will as well. You are speaking through two sides of your mouth- "oh we love you and are not prejudiced against you", but "you are not equal to a straight couple that wants the exact same thing- love intimacy and a family". Discrimination is discrimination no matter how rosy you try to depict it. Fortunately the Bahai Faith (Bahaullah's actually Writings and the authorized interpretations; NOT second-hand letters from secretaries of Shoghi Effendi or the UHJ) does NOT condemn gay couples to celibacy and banishment from the Bahai community forever. Some of us believe that the community will eventually wake up.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #14
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I need to clarify what progressives in the Bahai community believe in regard to accepting homosexuality. We don't believe that it is as clear cut as saying no sex outside of marriage, therefore gay couples are no different from any other form of sex outside of marriage. What we believe is that in the Bahai Faith, yes, sex has been chanelled into the institution of marriage to create a family and a stable society for both the individuals involved and the community at large. However, to say that this formula is to remain stagnant forever to mean one man and one woman is not true. Polygamy was and will always be an acceptable form of marriage in the Bahai community (polygamous individuals who become Bahai are not asked to divorce their partners). If a couple in a society become Bahais without having had any official marriage (the society accpets their relationship as a common law marriage by default), they are not asked to have a Bahai marriage. They are automatically accepted. There is room to think outside of the box to end the discrimination against gay couples and their kids. Unfortunately the loudest in the Bahai community are the ones that simply want to equate homosexuality with the common denominator- "sex" nothing more. And you wonder why to the outside world the Bahais are seen no different from evangelical Christians or the Mullahs in Iran when it comes to this topic?
 
Old 12-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryK32 View Post
My opinion:
(There is alot of evidence that points to it being a genetic condition, but I haven't done much research)

I don't think that being gay is wrong. Gay sex... I dunno.
But I think that heterosexual promiscuity is just as bad as homosexual promiscuity.

And I actually do know a gay guy who is VERY exclusive which I think is why he broke up with his boyfriend... I think.

And I think that homosexuality will only lead to a more efficient amount of humans. We are already over-populated as it is.
Just because something is genetic dose not make it the optimal lifestyle for this world. In fact I would say rising above our genetics is what differs us from animals.

That is not to say that gays are evil or bad but they cannot be put up n a pedestal either as we have been commanded by God to live in monogamous Male and Female pairs for this dispensation.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 05:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
No Livindesert. I AM A BAHAI. But I choose not to be active in a hard-line community that acts more like a small evangelical Christian group than a world-embracing religion. I'm sorry that you see my words as an insult to the Bahai Faith. It's not towards the Faith. It is however towards those close-minded individuals inside the Bahai community that can't open their hearts and minds.
I'll try also not to see your words as an insult to all my dear friends who live in happy committed relationships, some raising beautiful children. I know it's convenient for Bahais such as yourslef to automatically equate all homosexuality with nothign but sex. That is why you cling to people like Cire Perdue. Its easy to make someone liek that the poster child for the anti-gay attitude of the Bahai community. All other gay Bahais like me are asking is to be given EQUAL rights. THe right to love, intimacy and family. YOUR statement that the optimum way of living is in a straight Bahai marriage says a lot about the underlying homophobia that exists among Bahais. You put on a facade of not being prejudice while telling young gay Bahais like I was that we are spiritually diseased and not living an optimum lifestyle if we decide to find love with someone of the same sex and build a family. Eventually the Bahai community will have to see the error of its ways, or continue to decline as it is.

As a Baha'i you must accept that Baha'u'llah chose Abdu'l Baha and Abdu'l Baha choose Shogi Effendi. So to say Shogi effendi dose not know what he is talking about is saying Baha'u'llah is not a manifestation.

Again no one is brought up as a Baha'i. To be a Baha'i you must choose to be one at age 15 or after. If you choose the Baha'i lifestyle it comes with restrictions. If you decide your path is not that lifestyle then you can be a Baha'i friend from the outside nothing is wrong with that. But to say Baha'is should be forced to accept a lifestyle that is against Baha'i teachings is just as bad as someone who says gay people are evil( which they are not).
 
Old 12-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #17
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Cire said: "Yet, here is a group of people asking not to be challenged spiritually. I think there are other issues that are not so obvious. The proof of a Faith or faith is the change it brings in the individual. To "be happy" as Abdul'baha exhorted us is not about pursuit of desires and passions, but to become familiar with the depth of our souls, and even to sacrifice those passions and desires. "
My dear brother Cire, I implore you not to project your own frustrations and inadequacies on ALL gay people. This paragraph from all that you initially wrote bother me the most. With one stroke you have labeled people like myself who have accepted their sexuality, seek to find another to love and be with for the long run and raise children, as people who are not seeking to grow spiritually. Do you not see how utterly self-righteous and lack of a better term small-minded this is? Equal to what evangelical Christians do. The pursuit of love and building an honest relationship with another human being IS a spiritual endeavour. I'm sorry that you haven't found that in the gay community. But I have seen it. And I refuse to accept a blanket statement that such beautiful relationships are less than or spiritually harmful. All I see is more blatant Bahai prejudice against gays and lesbians.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 06:44 PM   #18
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As a Baha'i you must accept that Baha'u'llah chose Abdu'l Baha and Abdu'l Baha choose Shogi Effendi. So to say Shogi effendi dose not know what he is talking about is saying Baha'u'llah is not a manifestation.

---------------
I didn't say that. I said the secretaries that wrote on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. I don't accept these letters to individuals in a certain time in history as equal to the words of B Bahaullah or even of Shoghi Effendi when he directly was interpreting something for the whole Bahai world. The Bahai Faith has the ability, under the guidance of a future Universal Hous of Justice, to include gay couples with their kids in the Bahai community. Just because you can't see that or want that, doesn't hold it true for the Bahai community. I am very much a Bahai, yet I will not be active in a community that discriminates against me.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 07:49 PM   #19
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The problem is the UHJ cannot change anything set by Shoghi Effendi unless you do not believe in the covenant.

It is too bad you cannot be tolerant enough to let Baha'is live like Baha'is while you live your life the way you choose to. We can be accepting and loving to each other without having to give in to either of our ideals Baha'i or non Baha'i.
 
Old 12-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
unitik you said that the Faith states quite clearly that marriage is intended as a mechanism to pursue raising children in a healthy environment.

And what is unhealthy of two people of the same sex raising children? They can and they do. I knew a Bahai straight couple that decided they did not want children- ever. Why were they allowed a Bahai marriage? It's convenient for Bahais (including the Universal House of Justice) to state over and over again how Bahais are not to be prejudiced against gays and act unustly towards them.... BUT. I'm here to tell you that you are. The toxic environment that is created in the Bahai community for gay youth is terrible. I survived it and I pray that others will as well. You are speaking through two sides of your mouth- "oh we love you and are not prejudiced against you", but "you are not equal to a straight couple that wants the exact same thing- love intimacy and a family". Discrimination is discrimination no matter how rosy you try to depict it. Fortunately the Bahai Faith (Bahaullah's actually Writings and the authorized interpretations; NOT second-hand letters from secretaries of Shoghi Effendi or the UHJ) does NOT condemn gay couples to celibacy and banishment from the Bahai community forever. Some of us believe that the community will eventually wake up.
There is a difference between not approving, and condemning you for it. I think it is wrong, and I don't think it is genetic - and thus believe it is in fact a choice based on personal comfort, but I'm not going to treat you any differently simply because we clearly disagree on this. Only God can judge us, however you are raising the discussion, thus to take part others are bound to state their own opinions.

That being said, I have no problem with gay couples adopting children. Surely any loving home is better than a foster home, and every child deserves that. I would even say it is an awesome act of kindness to take another persons child into your home. It is also not disallowed in the scriptures for two men to live together, thus I have no issue there. What I disagree about personally is the insistence on calling it marriage. I think gay couples should have the same civil rights, but marriage is a religious institution. Call it a civil union, anything but really, it just isn't marriage, the Aqdas says marriage can only be between a consenting man and women.

I think what you're viewing as discrimination is the same as if we know of someone that drinks, simply pointing out that the scripture doesn't support it. What Cire is discussing is the same as what Baha'is would do in that case: he sought help for his problem.
 
Old 12-27-2010, 08:17 AM   #21
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There is nothing SET in the Bahai Writings (Bahaullah, Abdul-Baha and the official interpretations penned by Shoghi Effendi himself; not secretaries) saying that a man and a man can not live as a family and raise children. Nothing! There are letters written "on behalf of" to individual believers that apply to those believers. The Universal House of Justice picks and chooses how to apply those letters, if at all. They even recently stated that those letters do not all apply as the Word of God. So a future UHJ can make room for gay couples. Just because you all choose not to see that and instead only see things in black and white, does not mean all Bahais share your views.
The Bahai Faith, as I stated before, channels the sexual energy into the family setting so that children can be raised to ever advance society. To cast gays couples/families out of the Bahai community becuase of these letters from secretaries (the Hadiths of the Bahai Faith as I see them) is just as evil as muslims using Hadiths to discriminate against Bahais.
I accept that the present Bahai community under the present leadership of the Bahai Faith is not making room for gay couples. I also believe in the Covenant (that the present UHJ is the correct leadership), so to try to create a seperate Bahai community to allow gay marriage would not be correct either. So instead, I choose to remain inactive, but make sure the world at large knows how LGBT people are treated in the Bahai community.

So please you all do not try to silence anyone by throwing the word "covenant" around. It doesn't scare anyone and only makes the Bahai community like a small cultish group. Is THAT what you all really want?
 
Old 12-27-2010, 08:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
There is nothing SET in the Bahai Writings (Bahaullah, Abdul-Baha and the official interpretations penned by Shoghi Effendi himself; not secretaries) saying that a man and a man can not live as a family and raise children. Nothing! There are letters written "on behalf of" to individual believers that apply to those believers. The Universal House of Justice picks and chooses how to apply those letters, if at all. They even recently stated that those letters do not all apply as the Word of God. So a future UHJ can make room for gay couples. Just because you all choose not to see that and instead only see things in black and white, does not mean all Bahais share your views.
The Bahai Faith, as I stated before, channels the sexual energy into the family setting so that children can be raised to ever advance society. To cast gays couples/families out of the Bahai community becuase of these letters from secretaries (the Hadiths of the Bahai Faith as I see them) is just as evil as muslims using Hadiths to discriminate against Bahais.
I accept that the present Bahai community under the present leadership of the Bahai Faith is not making room for gay couples. I also believe in the Covenant (that the present UHJ is the correct leadership), so to try to create a seperate Bahai community to allow gay marriage would not be correct either. So instead, I choose to remain inactive, but make sure the world at large knows how LGBT people are treated in the Bahai community.

So please you all do not try to silence anyone by throwing the word "covenant" around. It doesn't scare anyone and only makes the Bahai community like a small cultish group. Is THAT what you all really want?
I suggest you re-read what I just said.

I clearly am not apposed to anything you have written here, it plainly is not marriage as defined by the Aqdas, however.

Also, for what its worth, those Baha'i "hadiths" are the only grounds for showing it is wrong to hold something unnatural against you, so I would suggest you do not look at them so strongly as what is written here.

Also, by your definition, Christian and Muslim communities are much more cult-like, since both plainly would not accept you at all. In fact, to the contrary, Muslims especially consider Baha'is a cult for the reverse - they believe we are too lax and thus not true to God.
 
Old 12-27-2010, 08:48 AM   #23
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There is a difference between not approving, and condemning you for it. I think it is wrong, and I don't think it is genetic - and thus believe it is in fact a choice based on personal comfort, but I'm not going to treat you any differently simply because we clearly disagree on this. Only God can judge us, however you are raising the discussion, thus to take part others are bound to state their own opinions.

That being said, I have no problem with gay couples adopting children. Surely any loving home is better than a foster home, and every child deserves that. I would even say it is an awesome act of kindness to take another persons child into your home. It is also not disallowed in the scriptures for two men to live together, thus I have no issue there. What I disagree about personally is the insistence on calling it marriage. I think gay couples should have the same civil rights, but marriage is a religious institution. Call it a civil union, anything but really, it just isn't marriage, the Aqdas says marriage can only be between a consenting man and women.

I think what you're viewing as discrimination is the same as if we know of someone that drinks, simply pointing out that the scripture doesn't support it. What Cire is discussing is the same as what Baha'is would do in that case: he sought help for his problem.
I would have to say I agree with you Lunitik. I see no problem allowing Gay couples to adopt children or to live in society with civil unions. I am supportive of the U.S.A which is now close to allowing Gays to serve openly in the military as I know some gay people who are currently serving. But these people should also be tolerant of us trying to live by Baha'i values as put forth in the Aqdas.
 
Old 12-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #24
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I'm sorry, but I have a hard time "tolerating" a community that tells its gay youth that they are spiritually diseased and need to overcome their sexuality. A community that only allows people like Cire to function within it. To me that is not tolerance on your part.

I have gay friends who are catholic. The local congregation is very LGBT accepting- regardless of the Vatican. They however are still a part of the Catholic church. When the Bahai community accepts me and my future family as an equal- then we'll talk tolerance. Until then, I'm just shining a light on how LGBT people are treated inside the Bahai community. It is no different from fundamentalist Christian churches. If you don't enjoy that, then please make the community a more welcoming place for ALL LGBT people. Cheers!
 
Old 12-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #25
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Dear Livindesert. The discriminatory law of DADT has been removed if you haven't heard. Thank you all for your showing tolerance outside world, but it seems a bit messed up to say it's perfectly fine for two men to adopt a child, but it's not ok in our community? What kind of logic is that? In my mind that would be like a church saying they don't believe in racial mixing. It's fine if blacks and whites want to marry outside, but you can't in our church. So be tolerant about how we run our church and what we tell our kids- that interracial marriage is WRONG.

This is what I see when Bahais try to justify discrimination inside their community towards gays and lesbians.
 
Old 12-27-2010, 08:41 PM   #26
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Dear Livindesert. The discriminatory law of DADT has been removed if you haven't heard. Thank you all for your showing tolerance outside world, but it seems a bit messed up to say it's perfectly fine for two men to adopt a child, but it's not ok in our community? What kind of logic is that? In my mind that would be like a church saying they don't believe in racial mixing. It's fine if blacks and whites want to marry outside, but you can't in our church. So be tolerant about how we run our church and what we tell our kids- that interracial marriage is WRONG.

This is what I see when Bahais try to justify discrimination inside their community towards gays and lesbians.
DADT has been removed law wise, but the military has yet to implement full DADT removal untill it is decided upon how to implement it.

Quote:
What kind of logic is that?
The way I look at it is through the lense of individual search for the truth. Being a Baha'i is living a choosen lifestyle same as Catholic priests voluntarily choose to remain celebate. At the age of 15 and above one can choose to be a Baha'i. To choose to be a Baha'i is to accept the Laws of the Aqdas.
Now I see nothing to gain in forcing people to adopt the Baha'i lifestyle which is why I have no problems with non-Baha'is search for the truth leading them somewhere different.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 02:42 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
Dear Livindesert. The discriminatory law of DADT has been removed if you haven't heard. Thank you all for your showing tolerance outside world, but it seems a bit messed up to say it's perfectly fine for two men to adopt a child, but it's not ok in our community? What kind of logic is that? In my mind that would be like a church saying they don't believe in racial mixing. It's fine if blacks and whites want to marry outside, but you can't in our church. So be tolerant about how we run our church and what we tell our kids- that interracial marriage is WRONG.

This is what I see when Bahais try to justify discrimination inside their community towards gays and lesbians.
Again, you don't seem willing to tolerate the opposite view, so why should people be tolerant of yours? It seems you want us to just accept something the writings disagree with, and anything short is discriminatory. You compare it to things the writings explicitly hold up and say its the same thing, it is not.

Have you read Some Answered Questions? It discusses the topic some...
 
Old 12-28-2010, 02:49 AM   #28
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I would not discriminate against a gay person, but that doesn't mean I don't think it is unnatural. What I just pointed you towards, it essentially says since you can't marry, a gay couple should remain chaste. If you disagree that gay society is inherently promiscuous, you should find this fine. Again, gay couples can live together where non-married straight couples cannot. Just don't ask someone to consider it anything short of a betrayal of nature, at most, you can ask them to not judge you based on this - which is exactly what most here are saying.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 06:28 AM   #29
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Ok that's fine. Then you all need to accept that many will see your stance as no different from a small evangelical church that says the EXACT same thing as you do. It is sad, because it is NOT the Bahai Faith that I and many other Bahais believe. However, we are shut out. You continue to tell vulneralbe kids inside the Bahai community that they are unnatural and send them off on a false quest of "overcoming" their God-given sexuality. This is wrong- absolutely wrong. But if that is how the Bahai community wishes to be as it goes into the future, then you better believe there will be Bahais like me shining the light on you. You won't do this in silence. Bahai youth have died because of your ignorance.
It saddens me that the local Catholic congregation in my town is 100% more open and accepting of gays than the local Bahai community. And this for a religious community that supposedly purports acceptance of all people and elimnination of prejudice.
So yeah, I won't tolerate discrimination anywhere it shows its ugly head- including the Bahai community. Cheers!
 
Old 12-28-2010, 06:33 AM   #30
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"To choose to be a Baha'i is to accept the Laws of the Aqdas"

Cheap shot. But of course that's the same type of argument evangelical Christians make when they qoute the Bible to shut others up.

For your information, I DO accept thge Laws of the Aqdas. You don't see me advocating the enslavement of a slave boy for sexual pleasure. I accept that sex should be channelled in a healhty environment (marriage/family). However, I don't accept YOUR view that marriage/family means only man + woman. This is where you are stagnant, wrong and prejudiced. Not Bahaullah, not the Faith, but a community that is not willing to grow and adjust to the needs of humanity as it did in the past. Sad.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
"To choose to be a Baha'i is to accept the Laws of the Aqdas"

Cheap shot. But of course that's the same type of argument evangelical Christians make when they qoute the Bible to shut others up.

For your information, I DO accept thge Laws of the Aqdas. You don't see me advocating the enslavement of a slave boy for sexual pleasure. I accept that sex should be channelled in a healhty environment (marriage/family). However, I don't accept YOUR view that marriage/family means only man + woman. This is where you are stagnant, wrong and prejudiced. Not Bahaullah, not the Faith, but a community that is not willing to grow and adjust to the needs of humanity as it did in the past. Sad.

Shoghi Effendi lets us know that pederasty also refers to homosexual relations. Also in Baha'u'llahs time period pederasty was linked with homosexuality.

You can refer to this article from Wikipedia where Schopenhauer talks on the subject of homosexuality knowing pederasty is linked with it.

Either way Shoghi Effendi already laid this one to rest no UHJ can change his ruling.

Quote:
Schopenhauer was also one of the first philosophers since the days of Greek philosophy to address the subject of male homosexuality. In the third, expanded edition of The World as Will and Representation (1856), Schopenhauer added an appendix to his chapter on the "Metaphysics of Sexual Love". He also wrote that homosexuality did have the benefit of preventing ill-begotten children. Concerning this, he stated, "... the vice we are considering appears to work directly against the aims and ends of nature, and that in a matter that is all important and of the greatest concern to her, it must in fact serve these very aims, although only indirectly, as a means for preventing greater evils."[47] Shrewdly anticipating the interpretive distortion on the part of the popular mind of his attempted scientific explanation of pederasty as a personal advocacy of a phenomenon Schopenhauer otherwise describes, in terms of spiritual ethics, as an "objectionable aberration", Schopenhauer sarcastically concludes the appendix with the statement that "by expounding these paradoxical ideas, I wanted to grant to the professors of philosophy a small favour, for they are very disconcerted by the ever-increasing publicization of my philosophy which they so carefully concealed. I have done so by giving them the opportunity of slandering me by saying that I defend and commend pederasty-Wikipedia
 
Old 12-28-2010, 08:40 AM   #32
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The inter-net is probably not the best place to resolve some disputes... What do Baha'is do when issues arise? They go to the Writings and their Institutions to resolve issues..

Here are what I consider to be some relevant quotes:

TAKE heed to carefully consider the words of every soul, then hold fast to the proofs which attest the truth. If ye fail to discover truth in a person's words, make them not the object of contention, inasmuch as ye have been forbidden in the Bayan to enter into idle disputation and controversy, that perchance on the Day of Resurrection ye may not engage in argumentation, and dispute with Him Whom God shall make manifest. XVII, 16.

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 134)


We must put aside these disputes and controversies, nay, rather must we consign them to utter oblivion and arise to do that which is indispensable and which is demanded of us in this Day. Controversies are words and not significances, theories and not realities.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 431)

This is well known:

...it is made indubitably clear and evident that the Guardian of the Faith has been made the Interpreter of the Word and that the Universal House of Justice has been invested with the function of legislating on matters not expressly revealed in the teachings. The interpretation of the Guardian, functioning within his own sphere, is as authoritative and binding as the enactments of the International House of Justice, whose exclusive right and prerogative is to pronounce upon and deliver the final judgment on such laws and ordinances as Bahá'u'lláh has not expressly revealed. Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other. Neither will seek to curtail the specific and undoubted authority with which both have been divinely invested.

(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter of 8 February 1934, published in "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh - Selected Letters" pp. 149-50)

(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 121)
 
Old 12-28-2010, 09:08 AM   #33
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"Shoghi Effendi lets us know that pederasty also refers to homosexual relations. Also in Baha'u'llahs time period pederasty was linked with homosexuality. "

Correction. Shoghi Effendi's secretaries writing on his behalf to an individual believer or question put forth about an individual believer at a certain point in history may have made comments which you believe means ALL homosexuality. The current Universal House of Justice, as far as I know, uses these second-hand letters (the Hadiths of the Bahai Faith), but a future UHJ may think differently on the matter. Time will tell.

Also in Bahau'llah's time the idea of two men having a sexual relationship in order to foster a family and an ever-advancing Civilization was unheard of. Therefore it is completely outside of the Book. ANd therefore, a future UHJ can choose to allow gay couples to sit side by side with their kids as equals in the Bahai Faith. Again time will tell, but I refuse to accept your hard black and white stance as how Bahais are to think. Fundamentalism is not part of the Faith that I love. Sorry!
 
Old 12-28-2010, 09:48 AM   #34
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You all may want to read Jack Armstrong's paper on sexuality in the Aqdas to understand:
Provisions for Sexuality in the Kitab-i-Aqdas In the Context of Late Nineteenth Century Sexual Ideologies

Not all Bahais think the same on this topic. There is room for gay couples in the future New World Order.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 09:59 AM   #35
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The last two paragraphs of Armstrong's paper explain what I have been saying better than I have:

"Limiting legitimate sexual expression to marital relationships and defining marital relationships in terms of mutual growth invalidates exploitation in sexual interaction. To be valid, the expression of interpersonal sexuality must contribute to mutual growth irrespective of whether or not it also leads to children.
The Aqdas can indeed be taken as simply a "code of laws". The Eastern Bahá'ís largely did so and the Western Bahá'ís have generally followed them. Taken that way it represents one more example of a religious code rooted in a particular culture that its followers seek to impose on all cultures. Alternatively, the Aqdas can be read as a liminal discourse that provides the tools to, among other things, re-envision the ideology of gender and sexuality in each and every culture. "
 
Old 12-28-2010, 10:23 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyamb View Post
The last two paragraphs of Armstrong's paper explain what I have been saying better than I have:

"Limiting legitimate sexual expression to marital relationships and defining marital relationships in terms of mutual growth invalidates exploitation in sexual interaction. To be valid, the expression of interpersonal sexuality must contribute to mutual growth irrespective of whether or not it also leads to children.
The Aqdas can indeed be taken as simply a "code of laws". The Eastern Bahá'ís largely did so and the Western Bahá'ís have generally followed them. Taken that way it represents one more example of a religious code rooted in a particular culture that its followers seek to impose on all cultures. Alternatively, the Aqdas can be read as a liminal discourse that provides the tools to, among other things, re-envision the ideology of gender and sexuality in each and every culture. "
Sorry but the Aqdas is a code of laws to be slowly implemented on the world as it becomes Baha'i,to be used for this dispensation. What the secretary wrote was on Shoghi Effendi's behalf so it was approved by Effendi.

If Shoghi Effendi,Abdu'l-Baha or Baha'u'llah said homosexual relationships were fine for this dispensation I would agree but this is not so. So even though I don't totally understand them I must uphold the laws for this dispensation. Maybe next dispensation this will change but we have to wait until then.

Again I have no problem with non-Baha'is(those who choose to not be Baha'i at the age of 15 or after) in there individual search for the truth to disagree with Baha'is and choose to live as they see fit. Show us Baha'is the same tolerance back.

Last edited by Livindesert; 12-28-2010 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #37
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Sorry Livindesert, but since they also did not say in their own words that homosexual unions were NOT forbidden, then it is outside of the Book and a future UHJ can decide. You are entitled to your opinion, I wish you would show a little tolerance INSIDE the Bahai community as well for differences of opinions.
So you think it is fine to tell a 13 or 14 year old who is gay (and yes most of know our sexuality at a very young age; just as straight people do) that his desires are unnatural? That if he decides to leave the Faith which he can do when he turs 15 in order to pursue a loving relationship, then he is going against God's Will. And you don't see what a toxic environment you continue to maintain in the community?
Since my words and story don't mean anything to you, I'll leave you with the words of a young lesbian friend of mine who was also hurt by people like you. This is the hurt that yes YOU are causing:

"I don't want young Baha'is who are questioning their sexuality to repress themselves in the name of maintaining their religious identity. This is harmful to the soul. It hurt me, and I want it to stop hurting others.
I left the Baha'i Faith when I came out as a Lesbian."
 
Old 12-28-2010, 02:06 PM   #38
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In fact before I leave, allow me to share with you the stories of just a few of the many who have been hurt by the hard-line stance of the Bahai community against their LGBT members. Here are just some of the stories. Maybe it'll open your eyes. Isha'llah:

2:14 am PDT, Apr 19, Eva Buer, Norway
The scripts and law is discrimitating and not a practice that unite mankind. The sanctions are about insolating homosexuals which is inhuman. What is also frightening is that the "friends" and members of the local essembly agree on the scrips without questening at all, like they are brainwashed. Some say that I can leave the Faith and that the Faith is not for everybody.... , but it is my Faith and my connection to God and not easy to leave.
I have been a Bahai since 1990, 20 years. The last year I have been in a lespian relationship, with deep love. For the first time. I am totally shocked and disappointed when I now read the Bahai scrips on this issue and experience the practice.

4:47 pm PST, Jan 27, Name not displayed, Illinois
For the Bahai New year, March 21st 2010. Bahais around the world should seek to address and consider this matter. 10-15% of people in this world statistically are gay. 10-20% are their friends family and supporters. So your telling me that 35% of the Bahai Faith should be denied? They have been rejected by their family and every institution to man. And bahais proclaim unity and the erradication of predjudice? As the prophets of the faith state to not fear the truth no matter martydom or hatred by others to reaveal the truth. Fellow Bahais need to practice what they preach. I will continue to fight for the truth and unity of all our people. As that is my promise to the faith as the promise of Gods Eternal Covenant to me. Being gay is by nature not choice and is no longer considered a "handicap" or "mental disorder". To consider science as relavent..and being gay myself...i know that being gay is not a choice and not a mental condition. It cannot be changed. In nature everything is not black and white, and are things that cannot be explained. It is a rare, though not uncommon flower in the garden of humanity, being gay. Becuase Gays have been outcasted by all institutions and authorites, there is a illness that grows in them that leads them to sex, drugs, materialism, aids, and party life. Becuase they are looking for the love and acceptance in the wrong places. You need to accept them to heal them. Not that all gays are like that, however, many use these examples as a way to outcast them, or appear as sinners. But this is societies issue, because they are turning them away from God, by not accepting them. We cannot unite the people of the world with these prejudices. Please change this, i will pray for it and protest.
I am a Gay Baha'i
8:34 pm PST, Nov 21, Name not displayed, Texas
I am a gay man. I came to the Faith because it spoke to me. God spoke to me through his revelations. This is a faith that unifies science and religion, people of all nations and creeds, but most importantly, one that unifies God and mankind. The idea that homoxesuality is wrong and something to be fixed is in many ways contrary to these ideas. Though I am disturbed by this intolerance, I am firm in my faith, and I am, and shall remain a Baha'i.
Yes. I am a man, a child, a person, a follower of God, Adam, Moses, Abraham, Christ, the Buddha, Krishna, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah

12:34 am PDT, Jul 7, Jozef A Blazej, California
because homosexuality is not a changable part of a person, and even if it were, the Baha'i faith should still respect people for who they are- does Baha'i not teach that all mankind is one?
i would be if only they accepted LGBT folks...

:43 pm PDT, Apr 19, Name not displayed, Oregon
I have all but renounced my Baha'i beliefs because I can not be who I am and be a Baha�i. While I believe in the teachings of Baha�u�llah, I can not spread the faith in good conscious knowing that I am actively oppressing other individuals like myself. I believe that the answer lies in progressive revelation. The Universal House of Justice bears the responsibility of leading the world in to the new world order and maintaining the integrity of the writings not only to the believers, but to the people of the world. It will be impossible to carry out that momentous of a task without sincere veracity on all levels. I will continue to practice equality in all aspects of my life because it is my belief that that is what God and Baha�u�llah would want. It saddens me that I will have to do this without the support of the faith. I applaud all those who stand up for who we are. After all, we are all seekers of the truth and we have found our truth.

9:02 pm PDT, Apr 5, Melissa Flory, South Carolina
As a lesbian Baha'i this issue is of incredible importance to me. The Baha'i mandate is of unity and equality, to discriminate against not only against some of their own members and their community is against everything a Baha'i stands for and it is wrong.

Feb 26, 2009, Chara Riegel, Massachusetts
my girlfriend is Baha'i and she has gone through so much sadness and pain as a result of the religion's discrimination of lgbtq people. The love of people in same-sex relationoships is of God and should be recognized as such.

Feb 25, 2009, Anonymous, Massachusetts
I was raised Baha'i and hope I can practice again once the Faith accepts me and my same-sex partner. I feel outcasted from the most accepting religion in the world; the religion I love the most. I feel like what God really cares about is that I be kind, compassionate, that I do no harm, and do god work. I don't think God cares about the gender of the person I'm intimate with, which happens to be a loving, gentle, spiritual, caring, woman.
I was raised Baha'i and hope I can practice again once the faith accepts me and my same-sex partner.

Feb 9, 2009, Anonymous, Canada
My family is Bahai, and Ive lived most of my childhood through sunday schools, bahai functions and praying. For me to have to choose between finding love in your life and being able to express it, and my religion. Its not only disappointing, but hurtful.
I have not signed my card, and although I still follow the beliefs of the Bahai faith, not being allowed to fully participate, does not bring religion any closer to ones life, but rather makes it very easy to push it away

Feb 3, 2009, MJ Kelley, Texas
I am a lesbian Baha'i in a committed relationship raising four Baha'i children.
Yes...my partner, children and I are Bahai's.

Jan 1, 2009, Anonymous, Washington
I am a 19 yr old lesbian who was raised Bahai. It hurts me to think I have to seperate my wonderful Bahai community and myself to be who I am. I was born this way, and I do not think being gay is a disease.
I was a Bahai

Dec 24, 2008, Michael Zargarov, Texas
As a Baha'i I was consistently and often asked IF I was a homosexual. Although I was practicing the prescribed celibacy of an unmarried individual, my mannerisms told the ignorant that I MUST be gay. I was called before administrative bodies on numerous occasions, and was even told that I was denied service at Haifa because I was struggling against homosexuality.
I became a Baha'i in 1980. I pioneered and travel taught in more than 40 countries. I paid the Huququllah. I sang in the 400 voice chorus at the 2nd baha'i World Congress, in 1992. I resigned from a cultishly governed sect which no longer welcomed the diversity it espoused.

Nov 27, 2008, Anonymous, Georgia
My son, his wife and children are Baha'is. They are decent, honorable people. My daughter and her spouse are gay. They also are decent, honorable people. They all treat each other with kindness but this doctrine is a permanent barrier between them; it does harm to them all.
I am not religious in any way. I believe that my children are caught up in the ideas of persons who lived in the ignorant past. Those who follow these teachings today are unable to escape this darkness because they believe these teachings are divinely inspired. I hope that the Baha'i faith, which has many noble precepts, can find its way to a better justice than it now asserts, but I am not optimistic. The division it has created in my family beaks my heart.

Nov 27, 2008, Robin Kemp, Georgia
My brother is a Bahaí convert and my nieces and nephews are being taught that their aunts (I and my partner) are sexual perverts who just need to "have babies/meet the right men to get "cured." This is insulting, divisive, and thoroughly false. There is nothing proper or ethical in promoting such bigoted misinformation as divine law.
No, and I never will be. I was raised to defend human rights, not to trample them in the name of God.

Aug 16, 2008, Anonymous, California
I am a Baha'i, and I am ashamed of the Faith. No one at my work treats me and my husband like the Faith does... its very sad for the Faith. We look like dinosaurs... so many good people run out of the Faith, I pray that one day we will be brave as my Methodist and Jewish colleagues and others in being a welcoming group.
Are you a Baha'i? yes, and my non-Baha'i husband & I just got married here in California... I wanted a Baha'i ceremony but alas we settled for a Catholic blessing...

Aug 8, 2008, Evelyn Thomas, Florida
I believe God does not approve of the actions taken by the Baha'i administrative bodies (at various levels) toward LGBTI individuals. It is the responsibility of the House of Justice to take the lead role to inform themselves about the reality that current medical science now understands about human sexuality which differs greatly from that which was understood at the time of Shoghi Effendi.
Are you a Baha'i? I was enrolled in 1971 and remained active for ten years. I withdrew from the faith after "counseling" for my relationship with another woman. I re-enrolled two years ago but after many meetings with the LSA of Pinellas County and their anti-gay Chairman and assuring him that my current living arrangement is no longer sexual (although it is emotional and financial) my enrollment request was referred to National and they have been informed that I will not be admitted to enrollment into the faith because of my belief that my homosexuality is not an aberration nor a "problem" to be overcome. I am a women who was married and loved a man and bore five children. I have four living children and four beautiful grandchildren. I have loved three women since divorcing in 1977. The first woman became Baha'i and then left the faith in early 1980's. The second woman became Baha'i and also left the faith with me in early 1980's. We lived happily and monagamously for 13 years. My children love her dearly and she will always be a part of our family. My current partner is a Northern Baptist and doesn't want any part of Baha'i having witnessed unChristian behavior in the Baha'i community. We've been together for the past 13 years and she doesn't understand why I'd want to belong to a religion that discriminates against gays. I'm hoping and praying and trying to participate to the degree that I am able to promote a peaceful, loving world for my children and grandchildren and well as those of the House of Justice and the world.

Jul 21, 2008, Meredith Dodge, California
I don't want young Baha'is who are questioning their sexuality to repress themselves in the name of maintaining their religious identity. This is harmful to the soul. It hurt me, and I want it to stop hurting others.
I left the Baha'i Faith when I came out as a Lesbian.

Jun 12, 2008, David McLaren, Florida
I am a Baha'i who was born into a Pioneering family. I dream about a Baha'i community growing and nuturing all of the peoples of the world...ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD! The only place where I ever felt this inside the Baha'i community was at BNASAA!
I am a Baha'i!

Jun 11, 2008, Peyam Barghassa, North Carolina
I'm generations Bahai, so this issue affects ALL Bahais. It's not a western thing, it's not a liberal thing, it's a Bahai thing. It's time to move on. If Catholic congregations can open up their communities regardless of the Vatican, then why aren't Bahais changing at the grass roots level? I don't have the energy or time to fight in it, but I hope one day it will change and I will go back.

Apr 15, 2008, Bonnie Collup, Arizona
I studied the Baha'i two years ago, attended meetings in their homes, and was enthralled with this inclusive religion. I was very interested in becoming actively involved in their organization, which has many beautiful tenets. One day that I asked to interview one of the members for my 'World Religions' college class. I was APPALLED to find that they openly condemn any form of non-heterosexual relations. My awe was shattered. They speak of inclusiveness, but they disappointed me with their discrimination. My sexuality is NOT a spiritual "handicap."

Apr 10, 2008, Elizabeth Ryan, Ireland
I am bi-sexual and i thank the divine that i have the right to say that without injury. I only wish it were the same for everyone but that day is coming. If you do not personally condone homosexuality then lead by your own example and do not practice it. Beyond that no further action should be taken to condemn it.
I am not and nor would i ever be a devotee of any faith that requires the denouncement of another path.

Apr 6, 2008, Elizabeth Respess, North Carolina
Elizabeth Respess - I used to be a Baha'i, but resigned several years ago because of this exact issue. Since then, my life has opened up in wonderful ways and I am so happy and relieved to finally be living a life closer to my true beliefs. Thanks for putting this out for people to discuss.
 
Old 12-28-2010, 04:23 PM   #39
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arthra's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
From: California
Posts: 4,303
Since it was mentioned in the above post in a quote I think it would be appropriate to cite

BNASAA - Bahá?í Network on AIDS, Sexuality, Addictions and Abuse

As a resource to explore..
 
Old 12-28-2010, 07:00 PM   #40
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Joined: Jul 2010
From: Delmarva
Posts: 430
Quote:
10-20% are gay
Real percentages run around 3 to 5%. Plus sexuality is not black and white a lot of people are actually bisexual and will just merely have to work with one gender instead of two.
 
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