The Authority of a LSA..

Jun 2018
30
USA
#1
Hi all, I came here to see if I can be referred to official source, specific to the following scenario brought up in another forum.

Suppose a female and male Baha'i, move into an apartment together. Making no mention of it. They appear at LSA's in the same car. People as people do, their minds start turning and assume, they are a couple, and are having physical relations. That's all that is know, they arrive to LSA in same car, perhaps someone else see's them entering the same apartment, that's all that is known.

Does any Baha'i person, in the LSA or not in the LSA, have a right to approach the couple and start inquiries as to if they are having physical relations?

Regards
 
Sep 2010
4,519
Normanton Far North Queensland
#2
Hi all, I came here to see if I can be referred to official source, specific to the following scenario brought up in another forum.

Suppose a female and male Baha'i, move into an apartment together. Making no mention of it. They appear at LSA's in the same car. People as people do, their minds start turning and assume, they are a couple, and are having physical relations. That's all that is know, they arrive to LSA in same car, perhaps someone else see's them entering the same apartment, that's all that is known.

Does any Baha'i person, in the LSA or not in the LSA, have a right to approach the couple and start inquiries as to if they are having physical relations?

Regards
Hi Mike hope all is well.

I have been a remote Baha'i for many years and not been on an LSA since the 1980's thus mainly working on what I have read and remembered.

The way I think it must be handled may be difficult if both parties are on LSA. The matter needs to be given to the LSA to discuss and make a decision upon. The LSA I see would need to appoint someone to investigate, or even invite the couple to a meeting and discuss before then consulting and making a decision.

This is a link to cohabitation

Cohabitation - Bahai9

There is also recent guidance I have seen on sharing a place to live, if there is no relationship happening. It is possible to share a residence.

More resources

Extracts from letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice on the subject of chastity



Regards Tony
 
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Jun 2018
30
USA
#3
Hi Mike hope all is well.

I have been a remote Baha'i for many years and not been on an LSA since the 1980's thus mainly working on what I have read and remembered.

The way I think it must be handled may be difficult if both parties are on LSA. The matter needs to be given to the LSA to discuss and make a decision upon. The LSA I see would need to appoint someone to investigate, or even invite the couple to a meeting and discuss before then consulting and making a decision.

This is a link to cohabitation

Cohabitation - Bahai9

There is also recent guidance I have seen on sharing a place to live, if there is no relationship happening. It is possible to share a residence.

More resources

Extracts from letters written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice on the subject of chastity



Regards Tony
Hi Tony, Thanks for response, I've read the guidance, but need a specific answer based upon the specific scenario, and neither the male nor female would be a member of the any LSA, just regular Baha'i. I understand the rule where if folks are blatant and public, that's the easy one, but in this case the two might not be having a physical relationship, there is no indications other than they share the same apartment, house, mobile home. Is the LSA required to ask the two if they are having sex? or, since the couple are not showing any outside indications that they are, just that apparently they reside within the same apartment. Should they then be left alone?
(PS: I meant show up at Feast, not LSA)
 
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Likes: tonyfish58
Sep 2010
4,519
Normanton Far North Queensland
#4
Hi Tony, Thanks for response, I've read the guidance, but need a specific answer based upon the specific scenario, and neither the male nor female would be a member of the any LSA, just regular Baha'i. I understand the rule where if folks are blatant and public, that's the easy one, but in this case the two might not be having a physical relationship, there is no indications other than they share the same apartment, house, mobile home. Is the LSA required to ask the two if they are having sex? or, since the couple are not showing any outside indications that they are, just that apparently they reside within the same apartment. Should they then be left alone?
Then I would look up the latest guidance from Universal House of Justice about sharing accommodation, it suggests that what you have suggested in your closing comments is appropriate.

As we all struggle in this age with the need to reverse the trend of what has become an immoral life, we should not be too hard on each other, unless the situation is damaging the Faith. We should encourage each other to become stronger in those laws.

Sorry, ran out of time to link the document. If you or anyone finds it please post. If nit will look it up later.

Regards Tony
 
Sep 2010
4,519
Normanton Far North Queensland
#7
Hi Tony, I think I found the solution;
"If the acts of immorality are not generally known and are discoverable only on investigation, a serious question is raised as to whether this immorality is ‘flagrant’. (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 59)"
That is appropriate guidance Mike. There is also other guidance that would show we must try to bring these laws into action by deepening our understanding of their importance, rather than always using the big stick.

Regards Tony
 
Mar 2018
3
Oregon
#8
Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies Ch. 5 talks about this.
And more in Chapter 10. Including this:
"Unmarried Bahá’ís, generally speaking, should not live in a residence with members of the opposite sex who are unrelated to them because the appearance of the situation may adversely affect the reputation of the Faith. Shared living arrangements may be acceptable, however, if the Local Assembly feels that the arrangements do not create an impression of immorality or moral laxity. It is for the Assembly to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not a given living situation creates such an appearance."

Sounds to me like it is the job of the Assembly to learn more so they can make the determination.
 
Jun 2014
1,081
Wisconsin
#9
Hi all, I came here to see if I can be referred to official source, specific to the following scenario brought up in another forum.

Suppose a female and male Baha'i, move into an apartment together. Making no mention of it. They appear at LSA's in the same car.
Based on the amount of carpooling I've seen within the Baha'i community I can't see why that would cause any suspicion to arise in the first place. :p

People as people do, their minds start turning and assume, they are a couple, and are having physical relations.
The hypothetical people in this scenario have degenerate minds and should feel ashamed then. It says more about the state of the culture they are in than anything else.

That's all that is know, they arrive to LSA in same car, perhaps someone else see's them entering the same apartment, that's all that is known.
So nothing is actually known.

Does any Baha'i person, in the LSA or not in the LSA, have a right to approach the couple and start inquiries as to if they are having physical relations?
Only if the people with the suspicions are, in turn, confronted and asked if they are having physical relations with anyone outside of marriage. For someone to be so paranoid and have such an unchaste mind that they presume, from the scant evidence in this theoretical scenario, that something inappropriate is going on, I'd suggest perhaps the paranoiacs in this scenario might have a guilty conscious and may be in dire need of turning their scrutiny inward.

:p Probably a bit harsh, but these are hypothetical people that don't exist, and the tendency of certain people to assume others must be having sex because they are in close proximity utterly disgusts me. Personally I think if someone's first assumption upon seeing two people arrive in the same car is "they must be having sex" and not "they're carpooling", I'd think the person in that theoretical scenario would have a unchaste mind that seriously needs some internal reflection. Luckily I don't believe such a person even exists that would make that assumption from the scant evidence in this theoretical scenario alone.
 

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