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Switch to Forum Live View Some people left out of homosexuality discussions
3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 4:06AM #1
Jim46
Posts: 289
Here are some concerns I might share with some people, on both sides of the homosexuality debates.

1. Concerns about people who are struggling with homosexuality being misused by others, with harmful consequences to them, turning them away from their own hearts, or turning them away from God.

2. Concerns about the teachings of the Faith being compromised and/or misrepresented to others, about God and his laws, or about fellowship and diversity.

3. Concerns about prejudice against gays in the Baha'i Community, and its consequences.

Those are all anxious concerns of mine, which I have been actively addressing for more than ten years, and I would love to exchange ideas and experiences with anyone who is trying to do anything about them besides debating about them.

However, my most pressing concern now, in relation to homosexuality, is possible harmful effects of debates about homosexuality, on Baha'is who see themselves as homosexual or possibly homosexual, and who take very seriously everything that Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice have said about homosexuality. I think it might mean a lot to them, to see more Baha'is on line who do not depreciate same-sex love, or the House of Justice, either one; and who are not maligning or scolding anyone. I'm hoping that there are a lot more of those people out there than I have ever seen or heard of.

I can see very good reasons for them not to come out on line. They might have much better things to do off line. They might not see any potential on line to do anyone any good. They might be afraid of failing to resist temptations to engage in acrimonious debate, or to reflect on the character of others. They might be afraid of the arrows that will come flying from all directions. They might, in humility or uncertainty, hesitate to put themselves on display.

I think that being seen as people who do not depreciate same-sex love, who do not depreciate the House of Justice, and who are not maligning or scolding anyone, does not require any certainty or arrogance about our own views, or even to debate about them at all. It might not even require discussing our own views. It might not require a lot of time on line, either. Just a post here and there, that allows people to see that we don't depreciate same-sex love, that we don't depreciate the House of Justice, and that if ever we malign or scold anyone, we recognize it as wrong and take immediate and decisive steps to rectify it and keep it from happening again.

I don't know what to say about the possible futility of such efforts, or the arrows flying at us from all directions, other than to weigh those against the possibility of offering some hope and cheer to someone who thinks that God despises her, possibly without ever knowing that you have done so.
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 10:14AM #2
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,928

Welcome to Bnet Jim!


The gay topic has been rather exhaustively covered on so many threads that it is frankly starting to create weariness. Let it also be stated that not all of those threads, at least on the Bahá'í boards, have been acrimonious debates.


Bahá'u'lláh is rather clear that love is universal. There's no such thing as "same-sex love" as opposed to "dual-sex love." There's no such thing as African love or Chinese love. There's just love. However, there is such a thing in the explicit Writings of Bahá'u'lláh as marriage being exclusively a dual-gender affair. There is also such a thing in His Writings as prohibition from all extra-marital sexual relations. Last but not the least, there is such a thing as true love not equating with sex and physical intimacy. All extra-marital sexual relations, including homosexual intercourse (Bahá'u'lláh uses its Arabic-language equivalent), are explicitly proscribed by Bahá'u'lláh. Having said that, there's no chopping off hands, penises, heads or flogging in the Bahá'í Faith for departing from God's commandment. Neither will anyone be thrown out of the Bahá'í community. It is not ours to scrutinize the private lives of others as long as it is not public, doesn't create disunity and doesn't create an image of the Faith which is counter to its teachings. Obviously God sees all our actions.


One's conscience should be left entirely free to form one's own personal opinion on the meaningfulness of such a ruling by Bahá'u'lláh. But one cannot be a sincere believer in the infallibility of Bahá'u'lláh as a Manifestation of God (i.e. a Bahá'í) while shrugging off His explicit depreciation of all extra-marital sexual intercourse, including homosexual sex. It's that simple, really.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 10:05PM #3
Jim46
Posts: 289

LilWabbit, thank you for the welcome!


I'm glad to know that discussions about homosexuality are not all acrimonious.


I like this:


"It is not ours to scrutinize the private lives of others as long as it is not public, doesn't create disunity and doesn't create an image of the Faith which is counter to its teachings."


I also like your approach to the prohibition against same-sex acts as part of the prohibitions against extramarital acts, and not blowing homosexuality all out of proportion.


I want to be very clear about my purposes in this thread, not to insist on anyone else conforming to them, but to be very clear about what I'm doing here. Admittedly, I often get sidetracked, but that's all the more reason to clearly state my purposes from the beginning.


1. My supreme purpose here is to be visible as a person who does not depreciate same-sex love, who does not depreciate the House of Justice, and who is not maligning or scolding anyone; and to encourage others to do the same, if they can honestly do so.


2. Although that was my only purpose in starting this thread, I'm also willing to discuss with anyone who's interested, what *you* and *I* can *do*, *other than* discussing gay/homosexuality issues, to address the following issues:


a. Concerns about people who are struggling with homosexuality being misused by others, with harmful consequences to them, turning them away from their own hearts, or turning them away from God.

b. Concerns about the teachings of the Faith being compromised and/or misrepresented to others, about God and his laws, or about fellowship and diversity.

c. Concerns about prejudice against gays in the Baha'i Community, and its consequences.


To clarify further, in case it isn't clear enough already, I am *not* interested in discussions about the nature, healthfulness, morality, spirituality or changeability of homosexuality. Again, that is not to discourage anyone else from discussing those things. Just for people to know that I am not interested in those discussions.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 2:52PM #4
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Once current Western Politically Correct thought falls out of fashion and/or implodes under the weight of its own folly, we'll be able to have rational discussions in this part of the world on the subject of homosexuality.


Until then, I don't hold out much hope that we will -- at least not to a wide and general audience. 

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