My wife's son is and many other family members are, this is how you are look at them.

Jul 2015
75
Berlin, Germany
#21
This topic is one I struggle with most accepting about the Faith. Not because I have homosexual inclinations, but because my closest friend is trans- and homosexual. He also is one of the most spiritual persons I know outside the Bahai community.

The question whether homosexual inclinations are natural or not, misses the point, as far as I can see: As I understand the teachings, there are many natural inclinations that nevertheless should not be acted on, but must be controlled. To my best knowledge, homosexuality very definitely is no "choice", no matter if it is genetic or acquired; homosexual people cannot simply "decide" to become heterosexual, and most of those who try condemn themselves to a life in hell. In many cases, "reconditioning" leads to depression or even suicide.

Letters like in the compilation SoerenRekelBludau posted above, helped me to set aside my lack of understanding and gave me trust, when I realized that prejudice or enmity against homosexual people is clearly forbidden in the Faith, so is hostility because we erroneously judge non-Bahais with our moral yardstick. Sometimes I feel this aspect of the teaching should be stressed more.

As Christians say, "we're all sinners, so it's not up to us to judge" -- "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". As for individual dealings with homosexual people, our teachings say the same, as far as I understand. They even go beyond that, by saying that we should amicably support individual Baha'is with homosexual inclinations who struggle on the path of living a celibate life.

In the end, nobody is forced to become or remain Baha'i. And no matter how they decide, we're not to treat them any less amicably than anybody else.
 
Likes: Trailblazer
Apr 2018
19
Ontario
#22
I must admit I have a very difficult time with this subject. I wonder why God cares where people put there naughty bits so much. He apparently used to care a lot more about whether the animal you ate had a cloven hoof. you could be justifiably executed for things that are now no big deal.
and of course, once upon a time God displayed slavery as a fair and justifiable system. We now find it repugnant. Was it repugnant back then?
We cant go back in time, but if we did would we not be justified in living according to whatever revlation was active at the time, having multiple wives, enslaving prisoners of war, killing by legal loophole?

Will 1000 years from now whatever new system in place protect forms of love now banned by the current thinking of the faith? Can't say.

But it leaves me with a worry. Relative truth vs absolute truth. We are taught to accept that the current dispensation is, for us, the absolute truth, only it was not always, and this almsot certainly wont be. There were already abolitionists prior to the birth of the Bab. Were they wrong? Of course not.
What is truth? I dont know anymore, and while I still do the daily prayer, the 95 recitations, I wonder if living by wrote is just easier than looking deeply into all that.

I mention it because one day these discussions could well seem like the discussions on racial and gender equality a century ago. Some would say they already do.
Beyond any conciderations of how homosexuality affects a person or society the basic structure of the universe is mentalism or more accurately it is an interplay between the Will of God and the Will of the Manifestation. The ideas you have in your mind and the atoms of the universe are built with the same building blocks.

There are common patterns that extend through these various scales and dimensions of space and time that have their start in preexistance with an unknowable God and extend through everything that exists to what we would call the afterlife. Everytime you apply your will in this world there is a corresponding effect in the afterlife because everything that exists in this world has its corosponding element that exists there.

What God is asking of us is trusting in Him that your “naughty bits” are actually a sacred and spiritual treasure. If they are used in any other way than with love between a man and woman in marriage it has only negative effects on you throughout eternity. The afterlife is different than this reality, some aspects of the afterlife shared with us through the writings are there is no gender, there is not the same degree of free will as in this world if any free will at all and after you die you leave all of the negative aspects of your personality that you have picked up during your life behind.

It is my opinion that God is actually letting us off easy and everyday vanities we indulge in as simple as getting a fancy latte at Starbucks would be like atomic bombs going off in the afterlife for the self indulgence. God give us so many liberties when you consider the range of human behaviour His laws do not forbid. There are certain things that he does forbid us from doing and you are going to experience those effects for eternity.

Peace
 
Likes: Trailblazer
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#23
Beyond any conciderations of how homosexuality affects a person or society the basic structure of the universe is mentalism or more accurately it is an interplay between the Will of God and the Will of the Manifestation. The ideas you have in your mind and the atoms of the universe are built with the same building blocks.

There are common patterns that extend through these various scales and dimensions of space and time that have their start in preexistance with an unknowable God and extend through everything that exists to what we would call the afterlife. Everytime you apply your will in this world there is a corresponding effect in the afterlife because everything that exists in this world has its corosponding element that exists there.

What God is asking of us is trusting in Him that your “naughty bits” are actually a sacred and spiritual treasure. If they are used in any other way than with love between a man and woman in marriage it has only negative effects on you throughout eternity. The afterlife is different than this reality, some aspects of the afterlife shared with us through the writings are there is no gender, there is not the same degree of free will as in this world if any free will at all and after you die you leave all of the negative aspects of your personality that you have picked up during your life behind.

It is my opinion that God is actually letting us off easy and everyday vanities we indulge in as simple as getting a fancy latte at Starbucks would be like atomic bombs going off in the afterlife for the self indulgence. God give us so many liberties when you consider the range of human behaviour His laws do not forbid. There are certain things that he does forbid us from doing and you are going to experience those effects for eternity.

Peace
I always enjoy your posts so much and I always learn something new. Thanks for coming over to this forum. :)

I agree with everything you said. I like how you put it in an all-encompassing perspective, including the afterlife, rather than as a personal opinion. Personal opinions are irrelevant when it comes to the Law of God. As Baha'is, when we question the Law, we are questioning God, which is illogical, to say the least. It is also not in our best interest. IMHO, it is worse to question the Law than it is to break the Law. God understands that everyone has limitations and weaknesses.

Yes, when I think of all the latitude God gives us, it is enough to hang ourselves if we are not aware and vigilant. It would be so easy to get attached to the material world if we did not know better. Thank God as Baha'is that we have been told how we should view the world. Below is just one of over 100 quotes about the world that I found in Gleanings alone. The Guidance could not be clearer.

“By the righteousness of God! The world and its vanities, and its glory, and whatever delights it can offer, are all, in the sight of God, as worthless as, nay, even more contemptible than, dust and ashes. Would that the hearts of men could comprehend it! Cleanse yourselves thoroughly, O people of Bahá, from the defilement of the world, and of all that pertaineth unto it. God Himself beareth Me witness. The things of the earth ill beseem you. Cast them away unto such as may desire them, and fasten your eyes upon this most holy and effulgent Vision.

That which beseemeth you is the love of God, and the love of Him Who is the Manifestation of His Essence, and the observance of whatsoever He chooseth to prescribe unto you, did ye but know it.”
 
Likes: Onlyoneatall
Jul 2018
62
Tarshish, bound for Nineveh
#24
Being born a certain way is not, in my opinion, an argument for it. Sometimes, people are born with defects. When possible, defects are, in general, repaired. Someone could be born with an extra digit, a tail, a cleft palate, deaf, blind, joined with a twin, etc., The "born this way" argument holds equally true in all of these circumstances and yet, for the most part, they will be be corrected when it is possible to do so, despite the fact that "God made it so." Furthermore, the fact that God has created a system that allows for errors to occur is not the same thing as God having specifically created particular errors. The same thing would apply to free will. It is evident that God created a system where it is possible for men to do evil. or example, theft is possible and we do not say that God created a person a thief. We are all born in a state of ignorance and nakedness, and yet we become educated and clothed, an apparent rebellion against our "born that way" state.

The matter of homosexuality is a complex and emotionally loaded one. I am sympathetic to anyone who is affected by these controversies and difficulties and I do not wish to demean or dismiss anyone and their deep convictions about it or be insensitive to your feelings about it or any pain or suffering related to it. I only respond because the arguments being made, despite being popular and supported by many, are illogical, and I also believe that truth is important, even if it is uncomfortable or unpopular.

Cheers
 
Apr 2018
19
Ontario
#25
I always enjoy your posts so much and I always learn something new. Thanks for coming over to this forum. :)

I’m always happy to see you post as well. Your determination to get to the Truth has been noted as well.

I agree with everything you said. I like how you put it in an all-encompassing perspective, including the afterlife, rather than as a personal opinion. Personal opinions are irrelevant when it comes to the Law of God. As Baha'is, when we question the Law, we are questioning God, which is illogical, to say the least. It is also not in our best interest. IMHO, it is worse to question the Law than it is to break the Law. God understands that everyone has limitations and weaknesses.

Exactly, it is not that in the past Mohammad passed laws on the treatment of slaves because he condoned slavery. Slaves were found to be treated badly and the Manifestation passed laws that brought the condition into a better situation. The Manifestation does not force anyone to embrace His Laws so he has to know what the limits of what can be proclaimed is and still form the unity amongst the people to form a religion. There was a day God’s wrath wiped out entire populations that rejected his laws, today the it is a slow gradual shift in the global self-identify from barbarous world wars of imperial powers to peace loving global federation. The highest standard of holiness in this day will be the basest behaviour 1000 years from now. I’m sure that if we knew the importance of our time in this plane of existence we would freeze in terror. That’s why there are not easy answers, we are being left alone to be the children we are.

All the best

[/INDENT]
 
Likes: Trailblazer
Sep 2012
305
Panama
#26
Nature vs Nurture vs Free Will?
I think this all misses the point. About 5% of the population are attracted to the same sex...
Did someone just make up that number or is there any kind of research to explain how the 5% was calculated? The % homosexual is controversial, and the conflict of different %'s can usually be traced to varying definitions of homosexuality. If we're just talking about "attracted to" then count me in. I spend most of my time daily just talking w/ men (at work, as friends, etc.) but I want to stress here that I'm only erotically attracted to women.
...something like 50% of people worldwide, mostly heterosexuals, are not married...
Same on that number --where does it come from and what does "married" mean on a world scale. For example, in Panama the legal procedures for marriage are so convoluted that the vast majority of Panamanians simply don't bother; but the still pair up in monogamous (opposite sex ofcourse) long term relationships for raising kids.
 
Mar 2013
519
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#27
Did someone just make up that number or is there any kind of research to explain how the 5% was calculated? The % homosexual is controversial, and the conflict of different %'s can usually be traced to varying definitions of homosexuality. If we're just talking about "attracted to" then count me in. I spend most of my time daily just talking w/ men (at work, as friends, etc.) but I want to stress here that I'm only erotically attracted to women. Same on that number --where does it come from and what does "married" mean on a world scale. For example, in Panama the legal procedures for marriage are so convoluted that the vast majority of Panamanians simply don't bother; but the still pair up in monogamous (opposite sex ofcourse) long term relationships for raising kids.
Both are valid questions. The 5% number for homosexuals corresponds to some studies, others estimate as much at 10%. I guess it depends if you include bisexuals, and those who are unsure or questioning their sexuality. It's really a continuum of degrees of orientation rather than one or the other, as far as I understand it.

I agree that the definition of marriage is also fluid in many societies. I got the 50% estimate from Google I think it was based on UN or State Dept. studies. You are very correct that the low rates of marriage in some places are partly due to hassles in getting a marriage license, but also within lower social and economic classes marriage was not the norm because it was assumed you need wealth and land. In former slave societies, it was even prohibited. The Baha'i administration in such societies has generally been tolerant of these situations and considered a stable unmarried relationship as equivalent to legal marriage, at least until the Baha'i community has matured enough to teach and enforce the laws of marriage.

The rate of people currently married is approaching 50% in developed countries also, mainly due to divorce and also those who simply decide not to marry. Most of those people don't really care if religious laws are against sex outside of marriage, the same with most homosexuals. They do what feels right to them at the time. That doesn't mean that the Law of God needs to change to suit their desires.

For many people who have faith but struggle at times to keep the laws, violating the law doesn't mean they have lost their faith or think the law is wrong, it just means they were not strong enough to resist the temptation. With time and prayer they can become stronger. The thing we must not lose sight of with regard to the chastity laws is that we have this body for a short while, the soul is eternal and it has no sex or sexuality. We can have eternal love in the heavenly realm with any soul no matter what gender they were in this world. As Jesus said, there is no giving or taking in marriage in heaven.
 
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Likes: Trailblazer
Mar 2013
520
_
#28
Beyond any conciderations of how homosexuality affects a person or society the basic structure of the universe is mentalism or more accurately it is an interplay between the Will of God and the Will of the Manifestation. The ideas you have in your mind and the atoms of the universe are built with the same building blocks.

There are common patterns that extend through these various scales and dimensions of space and time that have their start in preexistance with an unknowable God and extend through everything that exists to what we would call the afterlife. Everytime you apply your will in this world there is a corresponding effect in the afterlife because everything that exists in this world has its corosponding element that exists there.

What God is asking of us is trusting in Him that your “naughty bits” are actually a sacred and spiritual treasure. If they are used in any other way than with love between a man and woman in marriage it has only negative effects on you throughout eternity. The afterlife is different than this reality, some aspects of the afterlife shared with us through the writings are there is no gender, there is not the same degree of free will as in this world if any free will at all and after you die you leave all of the negative aspects of your personality that you have picked up during your life behind.

It is my opinion that God is actually letting us off easy and everyday vanities we indulge in as simple as getting a fancy latte at Starbucks would be like atomic bombs going off in the afterlife for the self indulgence. God give us so many liberties when you consider the range of human behaviour His laws do not forbid. There are certain things that he does forbid us from doing and you are going to experience those effects for eternity.

Peace
I understand what you are saying. However in your last paragraph, this seems an almost hairshirt ascetic idea. Yes, we can express our unworthyness. But nowhere in the current manifestation's Law have I seen something portraying us as having to pay in the next life for enjoying a coffee. That is your belief of course. You're welcome to it. If I believed such a thing, I do not think I could possibly have any good feeling towards a deity and creator of a cruel system that would be more monster than divine. If the purpose of life is to prepare the soul for the next stage, as we are taught, being nuked in the afterlife for cafe au lait, seems a bit harsh. Are the senses a snare or simply part of, what the writer Ray Bradbury described as, “deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being.”

But back to the homosexuality thing. Attitudes and opinions will sway here and there. I have my own opinions about some of the comments back and forth, but if I gave them I am afraid it would help little cracks in unity, and that's not what we're about. I do wonder though at how big an issue is it.

There's a lot of things we're not supposed to be. Habitual liars, backbiters, lazy people, those indifferent to racial and gender equality, etc. I suspect those are all much bigger components of the population that considers itself attached to the Baha'i faith, but of this little is said. Why? It's perfectly possibly to hide. Drinking, heterosexual fornication, smoking during the fast, the list of easy to sublimate actions that are not considered perfect conduct, and which, I suspect, would be more important than the previously described offense of drinking coffee at a coffee shop, are easier to hide, unless has to be taught be social necessity, of hiding one's homosexual or bisexual identity. It's easy to single out the Other. So it is singled out.

Maybe we could just accept none of us are perfect, probably very few of us really earn our voting rights if we looked deeply under the microscope. Maybe we have no idea what really will happen when we are under Allah's merciful, for He is Merciful, He is Love, gaze in the next world.
 
Apr 2018
19
Ontario
#29
I understand what you are saying. However in your last paragraph, this seems an almost hairshirt ascetic idea. Yes, we can express our unworthyness. But nowhere in the current manifestation's Law have I seen something portraying us as having to pay in the next life for enjoying a coffee. That is your belief of course. You're welcome to it. If I believed such a thing, I do not think I could possibly have any good feeling towards a deity and creator of a cruel system that would be more monster than divine. If the purpose of life is to prepare the soul for the next stage, as we are taught, being nuked in the afterlife for cafe au lait, seems a bit harsh. Are the senses a snare or simply part of, what the writer Ray Bradbury described as, “deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being.”

But back to the homosexuality thing. Attitudes and opinions will sway here and there. I have my own opinions about some of the comments back and forth, but if I gave them I am afraid it would help little cracks in unity, and that's not what we're about. I do wonder though at how big an issue is it.

There's a lot of things we're not supposed to be. Habitual liars, backbiters, lazy people, those indifferent to racial and gender equality, etc. I suspect those are all much bigger components of the population that considers itself attached to the Baha'i faith, but of this little is said. Why? It's perfectly possibly to hide. Drinking, heterosexual fornication, smoking during the fast, the list of easy to sublimate actions that are not considered perfect conduct, and which, I suspect, would be more important than the previously described offense of drinking coffee at a coffee shop, are easier to hide, unless has to be taught be social necessity, of hiding one's homosexual or bisexual identity. It's easy to single out the Other. So it is singled out.

Maybe we could just accept none of us are perfect, probably very few of us really earn our voting rights if we looked deeply under the microscope. Maybe we have no idea what really will happen when we are under Allah's merciful, for He is Merciful, He is Love, gaze in the next world.
I had to look up what a hairshirt was. Ha!

In reading my post, the statement about lattes should have ended with if not for the Mercy of God. What I was saying is that this is the World of Creation and it came into existence through the heat generated by the active force and its recipient. This is God and the Primal Point and what is being transferred is the intention of Their Will. While their force of Will dominates your will, the exposition of your will still has its effects eternally on all of the Worlds of God. If it were not for God being protective of our creation our actions would lead to the complete distruction of the entirety of the World of Creation and all of the endless worlds of God.

I hope that is more clear about my intent and my reference to homosexuality having effects beyond what might be expected if you are holding the mistaken belief that life is recognizable in the afterlife as compared to this one.
 

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