Baha’is criticizing other Baha’is on public forums

Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#1
What kind of example does it set when a Baha’i criticizes another Baha’i on a public forum, and everyone on that forum knows they are Baha’is?

I am on a forum where there are only two Baha’is, me and another woman, and she is often critiquing what I say, as if it is any of her business. She says I am setting a bad example for Baha'is on that forum just because I disagree with Christians once in a while, but I was never rude or insulting and I never criticized anyone. Yet she is doing that to me and she says I am setting a bad example.

Worse yet, she bandied up and agreed with the moderator of the forum who said to me a couple of days ago: “I've told you before that you've given so many people in this forum such a bad impression of Baha’i that people who might have considered it in the past, now never will.” Yet nobody else ever complained about me and he will not tell me what I have done when I ask. I was never rude or critical of anyone on that forum, although I was insulted constantly, mostly by atheists and agnostics, never by any believers except that one Baha’i. There are probably Baha’is on this forum who disagree with me and my ideas or style of posting, but as Baha’is we are not to be finding fault with other people. We are only supposed to look at our own faults.

“The most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. IV, No.11, p. 192)

26: O SON OF BEING! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

66: O EMIGRANTS! The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 45

I do not care what people think of me on forums as long as I do my best to follow the Baha’i teachings, it just hurts to have another Baha’i attacking me on a public forum, one who has pretended to be my friend. I have an MA in Counseling Psychology, and a lot of years in recovery from my own emotional issues, so I have a pretty good idea why people act this way, but I would never analyze or criticize anyone on a public forum, or anywhere else. Yet I will defend myself when my character is attacked publicly, because that is in accordance with justice.
 
Sep 2018
70
usa
#2
even if you were perfect, there would always be someone who would critique you, specifically in the religious arena.
look how people to this day critique the manifestations of god, also, look how the prophets reacted to those who criticized them.
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#3
even if you were perfect, there would always be someone who would critique you, specifically in the religious arena.
look how people to this day critique the manifestations of god, also, look how the prophets reacted to those who criticized them.
That is true, but my point was that this sets a bad example for Baha'is on public forums or anywhere else.

What did Baha’u’llah do? What did Abdu’l-Baha do? I remember the story about how Abdul-Baha allowed this man to spit in his face for years and then finally that man came around to like him in the end. So does that mean I should allow another Baha’i to assail my character on a public forum, which makes the Baha’i Faith look bad to others? How is this prudent? How is it justice to just lay down for false accusations hurled against you by someone who has some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul? How is it doing them a favor to allow it to continue?

“O ye beloved of the Lord! The Kingdom of God is founded upon equity and justice, and also upon mercy, compassion, and kindness to every living soul. Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind—except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.” Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 158
 
Sep 2017
346
Earth
#4
I always find Abdul Bahas examples tough to follow, he acted differently based on every unique situation, he used his infinite wisdom to judge. We are not Abdul Baha and have to use our own wisdom on how to act whilst trusting in the divine
 
Sep 2018
70
usa
#5
I always find Abdul Bahas examples tough to follow, he acted differently based on every unique situation, he used his infinite wisdom to judge. We are not Abdul Baha and have to use our own wisdom on how to act whilst trusting in the divine
that may be true for most people, but for dummies like me :lol:

Look at me, follow me, be as I am; take no thought for yourselves or your lives, whether ye eat or whether ye sleep, whether ye are comfortable, whether ye are well or ill, whether ye are with friends or foes, whether ye receive praise or blame; for all these things ye must care not at all. Look at me and be as I am; ye must die to yourselves and to the world, so ye shall be born again and enter the kingdom of heaven. Behold the candle, how it gives light. It weeps its life away drop by drop in order to give forth its flame of light.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 502)
 
Sep 2010
4,463
Normanton Far North Queensland
#6
What did Abdu’l-Baha do?
I always find Abdul Bahas examples tough to follow
Look at me, follow me, be as I am; take no thought for yourselves or your lives, whether ye eat or whether ye sleep, whether ye are comfortable, whether ye are well or ill, whether ye are with friends or foes, whether ye receive praise or blame; for all these things ye must care not at all. Look at me and be as I am; ye must die to yourselves and to the world, so ye shall be born again and enter the kingdom of heaven. Behold the candle, how it gives light. It weeps its life away drop by drop in order to give forth its flame of light.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 502)
Abdul'baha is the example. We need to read of His life constantly.

He inspires us to find the unconstrained within.

Regards Tony
 
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Dec 2018
8
United States
#8
Yet I will defend myself when my character is attacked publicly, because that is in accordance with justice.
Your character is not in question, but rather your skills at interfaith diplomacy. There's a big difference. You have failed at interfaith diplomacy, but does not mean you are a failure as a person. Try to separate the two.

It is worth noting that you have given no credence to the other Baha'i's opinion in this situation. Rather, in your assumptions that your own character was attacked, you have publicly attacked her character, behind her back:

How is it justice to just lay down for false accusations hurled against you by someone who has some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul?
Disease of the soul? Really? How can you know? Did you even attempt to have an earnest discussion with this Baha'i, to try to see what her complete opinions were? Did you even take a moment to consider why she thought what she thought before you assumed her character was to blame? Did you even think for a moment that there may be some valid criticisms in play? If it were just one person saying you give a bad impression, especially a person critical of all religion, perhaps I would dismiss it. But when people on both sides of the aisle are saying the same thing, perhaps it's time to take a step back, stop casting aspersions on other's character and look at what might need changing in yourself.

I hope that you will take this seriously, and remember I have tried to offer you the same respect when we have had disagreements in the past. I really don't want to sound like a hypocrite, and I am not asking of you anything that I have not tried to do myself. I will be the first to say, it really sucks in the moment. But you have been given a chance to learn and grow. You can resent it, or make the best of it.
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#9
Your character is not in question, but rather your skills at interfaith diplomacy. There's a big difference. You have failed at interfaith diplomacy, but does not mean you are a failure as a person. Try to separate the two.
Who said I failed at interfaith diplomacy? I get along fine with everyone on forums no matter what they believe or disbelieve. Do you ever have anything positive to say? I am doing fine except for your unwarranted criticisms. I wish you would leave me alone and stop criticizing me. That is totally against what the Baha’i Faith teaches, in case you did not know that. Why not look at your own faults instead of mine?

“The most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. IV, No.11, p. 192)

26: O SON OF BEING! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

66: O EMIGRANTS! The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 45
It is worth noting that you have given no credence to the other Baha'i's opinion in this situation. Rather, in your assumptions that your own character was attacked, you have publicly attacked her character, behind her back:
I did attack anyone's character, but you are attacking mine. I never said anyone had a disease of the soul. I was asking a question of other Baha’is, wondering what to do. Then I quoted Abdu’l-Baha wondering if that applies to my situation.
Disease of the soul? Really? How can you know? Did you even attempt to have an earnest discussion with this Baha'i, to try to see what her complete opinions were? Did you even take a moment to consider why she thought what she thought before you assumed her character was to blame?
You have no idea what I have done or not done, you just assume you know. I did not assume her character was to blame but you are assuming mine is. Why don’t you mind your own business?
Did you even think for a moment that there may be some valid criticisms in play? If it were just one person saying you give a bad impression, especially a person critical of all religion, perhaps I would dismiss it. But when people on both sides of the aisle are saying the same thing, perhaps it's time to take a step back, stop casting aspersions on other's character and look at what might need changing in yourself.
Only one person on that forum has said I gave a bad impression and he cannot even come up with a reason when I asked him. Then that Baha’i woman bandied up with him. That is not both sides of any aisle. Everyone else on that forum likes me and posts to me.

In case you do not realize it you are the one with the problem because you are criticizing me constantly. You did it before and now you are doing it again. The fact that I am defending myself from a couple of people and everyone else likes me does not mean I am the one with the problem.
I hope that you will take this seriously, and remember I have tried to offer you the same respect when we have had disagreements in the past. I really don't want to sound like a hypocrite, and I am not asking of you anything that I have not tried to do myself. I will be the first to say, it really sucks in the moment. But you have been given a chance to learn and grow. You can resent it, or make the best of it.
You give me no respect. All you do is criticize me constantly, as if you know me. You do not know me. I am not like you. I am a separate person.

By the way, I am fine with the person I was referring to. She attacked me publicly, but I have no hard feelings towards her. She never apologized but I forgave her and when she posted to me again, like I always do, and I acted as if it never happened. It was just a passing thing. She is my friend.
 
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