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Switch to Forum Live View inaccurate information about Baha'i
2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 8:47AM #1
Mercyonme
Posts: 38
I probably shouldn't be concerned about this, but it is driving me NUTS!  I'm in school right now finishing my degree and I have to take a Christian apologetics class.  For the most part, it is interesting, however, we have a text "The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics" which is anything but popular, IMO.  There was a section on Baha'i and the majority of what is written is misleading and or outright lies.  For example, saying that the Baha'is don't believe in the Virgin birth, that we have NO organization (completely omitting spiritual assemblies or UHJ), that we consider Jesus to simply be a great teacher (and not Holy), that the Bible is full of errors and a slew of other false or misleading accusations.  

I am all about hearing what any religion has to say about the Baha'i Faith in order to maintain their belief, but really, they ought to give accurate information otherwise it just pushes me further away from them.

But what drives me nuts MORE is that it makes me tenative to believe anything else in this book.  I feel like I have to research anything it says to see whether it's a blatant lie, misunderstanding, or misleading in any way.

This is really bothering me.  Is it worthwhile enough to note to the professor (starting the class in a couple weeks) that an entire section of this book are lies that are easily proved as lies?  Is it worth it to write a letter to the editor?  

What is also interesting is that the bibliography for the information about Baha'is is from 3 texts, Teaching Ritual by Catherine Bell, Secrets, Gossip and God, by Paul Johnson and Against the Modern World by Mark Sedgwick.  So, they got ALL of their Baha'i information from non-Baha'i sources.  How can this be an encyclopedia?!  Seriously.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 12:06PM #2
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Jun 3, 2012 -- 8:47AM, Mercyonme wrote:

I probably shouldn't be concerned about this, but it is driving me NUTS!  I'm in school right now finishing my degree and I have to take a Christian apologetics class.  For the most part, it is interesting, however, we have a text "The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics" which is anything but popular, IMO.  There was a section on Baha'i and the majority of what is written is misleading and or outright lies.  For example, saying that the Baha'is don't believe in the Virgin birth, that we have NO organization (completely omitting spiritual assemblies or UHJ), that we consider Jesus to simply be a great teacher (and not Holy), that the Bible is full of errors and a slew of other false or misleading accusations.  

I am all about hearing what any religion has to say about the Baha'i Faith in order to maintain their belief, but really, they ought to give accurate information otherwise it just pushes me further away from them.

But what drives me nuts MORE is that it makes me tenative to believe anything else in this book.  I feel like I have to research anything it says to see whether it's a blatant lie, misunderstanding, or misleading in any way.

This is really bothering me.  Is it worthwhile enough to note to the professor (starting the class in a couple weeks) that an entire section of this book are lies that are easily proved as lies?  Is it worth it to write a letter to the editor?  

What is also interesting is that the bibliography for the information about Baha'is is from 3 texts, Teaching Ritual by Catherine Bell, Secrets, Gossip and God, by Paul Johnson and Against the Modern World by Mark Sedgwick.  So, they got ALL of their Baha'i information from non-Baha'i sources.  How can this be an encyclopedia?!  Seriously.



Hi Sarah!


Good to have you back!


If you don't mind me asking, why does a Bahá'í have to take a Christian Apologetics Class in the first place? I think it's futile to try to correct books written by Evangelical Christian writers, hoping that they would become more objective and factual. Start with evolution, dinosaurs and prehistory. Or Levant History and Islam. Since their "facts" about the foregoing are not going to be easily changed, why would we even bother to correct them on smaller religions and "NWO cults". Wink


Try to hang in there Sarah and calmly accept the fact that your efforts as well as eagerness to defend/promote the truth are needed elsewhere and with far more receptive souls.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 1:04PM #3
Mercyonme
Posts: 38

Lol, well, I attend a Christian University.  Long story short, I am finishing my college degree that I started 15 years ago.  Now that I am divorced and have 3 kids to support, I needed to get out as quickly as possible and took an option for a BS in Psychology at a very conservative Christian school.  I think I'm pretty good a discerning truth so I take what works and leave the rest.  Dishonesty drives me bonkers though:-)


Reading through the rest of it, Baha'i is not the only place of inaccuracy or intolerance etc.  They also consider Mormon's and Jehovah's to be of the occult.  Hmmm, last I remember, cults were things like Heaven's Gate....oh well...I like Fiction books, too.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 1:10PM #4
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,760

Jun 3, 2012 -- 1:04PM, Mercyonme wrote:


Hmmm, last I remember, cults were things like Heaven's Gate....oh well...I like Fiction books, too.




Laughing


I think you'll find more facts in Harry Potter than in your Apologetics Encyclopedia...


Sealed

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 6:41PM #5
Ironhold
Posts: 10,913

First off, you need to rustle up the materials needed to prove that the textbook is wrong.


Once you have those in hand, then you can go ahead and bring it to your professor's attention that the textbook is wrong.


You may also wish to consider contacting the publisher as well.





As an aside, what do they say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA "Mormons")?


If the stuff in there is wrong as well, I can easily provide you with the information on that.


It'll make two religions the book is wrong about, giving you greater evidence when you lodge a complaint and more grounds to push for the book's removal and replacement.


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 7:54PM #6
Mercyonme
Posts: 38

Jun 3, 2012 -- 6:41PM, Ironhold wrote:

First off, you need to rustle up the materials needed to prove that the textbook is wrong.


Once you have those in hand, then you can go ahead and bring it to your professor's attention that the textbook is wrong.


You may also wish to consider contacting the publisher as well.





As an aside, what do they say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA "Mormons")?


If the stuff in there is wrong as well, I can easily provide you with the information on that.


It'll make two religions the book is wrong about, giving you greater evidence when you lodge a complaint and more grounds to push for the book's removal and replacement.



I don't know enough about Mormon to instinctively know what to look for.  There's a lot on it in this book, I'll look through it tonight and see if anything jumps out.  I did have some Mormon boys come and converse with me last summer, so I know a little bit :-)


What is most interesting is that when I researched last fall about the Baha'i view of Mormonism, it had appeared that Joseph Smith had a vision of Baha'u'llah coming.  However, I have also read recently that Baha'is don't consider him a prophet...but perhaps a seer.  In my mind, it a little bit validates him for me.  


However, when I presented my research to the boys they didn't really want to come back.  oh well....I went to senior prom with a Mormon :-)

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 8:39PM #7
Ironhold
Posts: 10,913

Jun 3, 2012 -- 7:54PM, Mercyonme wrote:


What is most interesting is that when I researched last fall about the Baha'i view of Mormonism, it had appeared that Joseph Smith had a vision of Baha'u'llah coming.  However, I have also read recently that Baha'is don't consider him a prophet...but perhaps a seer.  In my mind, it a little bit validates him for me.  




We actually had a blow-up about this a few years ago, which is part of how I got invited to post here.


Joseph Smith had a prophecy which said that the Second Coming would happen within a particular time frame... if Joseph was still alive to see it, something that he very much doubted due to the increasing hostility towards Mormons. 


That's right: the prophecy was conditional on the citizens of America leaving the Mormons alone long enough for JS to see the date. 


Which didn't happen. He was murdered in 1844.


Someone, somewhere, ran some numbers and decided that the time frame JS put down included the year that Baha'lu'lah began ministering. Thus, this person argued that JS was actually prophesying the Baha'i faith and that any Mormon who truly believed in JS should actually go become Baha'i.


Never mind the fact that JS' murder counteracted the proposed date and thus nullified the prophecy: America was still too violent and unaccepting of anything different to be ready to experience God's presence.


A certain poster here on BNet decided to ignore that little "inconvenient" detail and instead took the someone at face value. This led to several posts that were little more than overt proselytization, something that's against BNet's ROC. I brought this - and a few other issues - to the attention of the folks on the Debate Baha'i board, leading to an extended discussion of how the two religions interacted with each other.



edit -


If you can give me a summary of details, that'll suffice. I've been gutting works full-length for a few years now, and so I can tell the difference between "sloppy research" and "person over-stepping their authority".

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 10:23PM #8
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,286

Jun 3, 2012 -- 6:41PM, Ironhold wrote:


First off, you need to rustle up the materials needed to prove that the textbook is wrong.


Once you have those in hand, then you can go ahead and bring it to your professor's attention that the textbook is wrong.


You may also wish to consider contacting the publisher as well.



Totally agree with Ironhold on this! It is an opportunity to both, as the Master said "... refute what is vain and false ..." and to teach the Faith indirectly.



As an aside, what do they say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA "Mormons")?


If the stuff in there is wrong as well, I can easily provide you with the information on that.


It'll make two religions the book is wrong about, giving you greater evidence when you lodge a complaint and more grounds to push for the book's removal and replacement.




We are also responsible to defend and protect the rights of others. Doing so has the additional benefit of learning what the Latter Day Saints believe and live.


If, you think these examples are bad; imagine the piles of nonsense that are heaped on your fellow students about Islam and other religions. One high school teacher had writing on his board saying that Muslims don't believe that Christ is the Messiah! This when the most common way Muslims refer to Jesus translates directly as "His Holiness the Messiah"!


One would think that teaching outright lies as a curriculum would embarass those of their students who come across people of different beliefs which will continue to happen more frequently in our frenetically relocating world society.


Was it Saint Paul who said to take people from what they understand, to the Gospels? If, they want to follow that advice; then, they need to know where those whom they would evangelize are in their beliefs.


Otherwise they are crippling their students. God help them, then; because, some of those with whom they'll speak will be merciless in shredding their dignity.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 10:36PM #9
Ironhold
Posts: 10,913

Jun 3, 2012 -- 10:23PM, in_my_opinion wrote:


Jun 3, 2012 -- 6:41PM, Ironhold wrote:


First off, you need to rustle up the materials needed to prove that the textbook is wrong.


Once you have those in hand, then you can go ahead and bring it to your professor's attention that the textbook is wrong.


You may also wish to consider contacting the publisher as well.



Totally agree with Ironhold on this! It is an opportunity to both, as the Master said "... refute what is vain and false ..." and to teach the Faith indirectly.



As an aside, what do they say about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA "Mormons")?


If the stuff in there is wrong as well, I can easily provide you with the information on that.


It'll make two religions the book is wrong about, giving you greater evidence when you lodge a complaint and more grounds to push for the book's removal and replacement.




We are also responsible to defend and protect the rights of others. Doing so has the additional benefit of learning what the Latter Day Saints believe and live.


If, you think these examples are bad; imagine the piles of nonsense that are heaped on your fellow students about Islam and other religions. One high school teacher had writing on his board saying that Muslims don't believe that Christ is the Messiah! This when the most common way Muslims refer to Jesus translates directly as "His Holiness the Messiah"!


One would think that teaching outright lies as a curriculum would embarass those of their students who come across people of different beliefs which will continue to happen more frequently in our frenetically relocating world society.


Was it Saint Paul who said to take people from what they understand, to the Gospels? If, they want to follow that advice; then, they need to know where those whom they would evangelize are in their beliefs.


Otherwise they are crippling their students. God help them, then; because, some of those with whom they'll speak will be merciless in shredding their dignity.




I've been in a similar boat on a few occasions.


For example, my statistics class was set up in such a fashion that we were supposed to do our homework via an online learning environment; the questions were posted on the site, we'd do them, and then we could get our results back complete with the correct answers.


Thing is, the answer key was wrong. The answers were to a previous edition of the textbook, and so in a number of instances they didn't match the questions provided to us.


Fortunately,


1. the professor allowed us three attempts


2. I was a few lessons ahead of the class


What I'd do is I'd deliberately foul my first attempt so that I could get the answers. With the answers in hand, I'd puzzle out how the problems were supposed to work; that'd be #2. 


#3, being for the grade, would be where I tried to fix my own mistakes.


If I still got problems wrong even after working them out, I'd show them to the professor, who would make note of them and warn the rest of the class.


Finally, the professor told everyone that so long as they at least put forth a good-faith effort on the homework they'd be guaranteed at least a B in the class.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2012 - 11:01PM #10
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,286

Yup, textbooks are often horrible.


Sometimes parts like homework/exercise questions and problems are farmed out to people who either don't know their stuff, or are under such time pressure and bother that they totally mess up.


One text was so bad that the instructor always knew which pupils had access to the incorrect teacher's edition immediately.


Sad to say that the school system, which had a "homework hotline", was frequently puzzled when it got back to them that their volunteers were working under a serious disadvantage with that book.


So, what do you do when mandated tests (often high-stakes affairs) are bad? You hope that the standardization process is good enough to make up for it. National (and usually proprietary) ones are pretty good but some of the government made ones are awful.

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