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Bahai Curious: Why Cant My Religion Accept My Sexuality? PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - The Subject of Boys
Written by Jake Sasseville, Profoundly Human   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
pink wilmette

Ive been a Bahai since April 21, 2007.

I came out of the closet November 4, 2010, at age 24.

Ive been gay, however, since as far back as I can remember.

I first learned about the Bahai Faith from a Persian classmate at my high school in Auburn, Maine. Were best of friends 15 years later, still.

What concerns me are the contradictions within the guidance of the Bahai Faith and how that affects what is, in all other respects, the most accepting, loving and global community Ive ever known.

She invited me over to her family home for a devotional. There, I met friends from around the world from various faiths, races and backgrounds. This diversity was intoxicating in my humble, if not sheltered, hometown of 30,000 people. I was awe-struck by the oneness that I felt at the devotional. There were songs, prayers, food and fellowship. I went back every Thursday after and became a Bahai seven years later. It has informed, guided and enriched my life in every way imaginable.

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Bounded Religious Communities' Management of the Challenge of New Media PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Baha'i studies
Written by Heidi A. Campbell and Drake Fulton, Social Media and Religious Change / Bahai Library Online   
Thursday, 19 March 2015

Bah' Negotiation with the Internet

If the blogger who makes negative claims happens to be a practising Bah, he/she can be labelled as a covenant-breaker and shunned by the community.

The negotiation of new forms of media by religious groups is a dynamic and complex process that involves decision-making engaging the history, tradition and beliefs of the community. This negotiation process is especially complex for bounded religious communities, which establish rigid social and value-laden boundaries allowing them to create and maintain a unique and separate cultural system. Observing how members of bounded religious communities interact with the Internet enables us to consider how some groups resist the fluidity of networked relations and instead use technology to maintain closed social structures and solidify their unique identities. This is clearly seen in the case of the Bah faith, especially in the patterns of use and limits American Bahs have developed to engage with the Internet. By using the Religious Social Shaping of Technology approach, developed by Campbell (2010), as a lens to explore the challenges and choices made by the Bahs, this process of technological negotiation is unpacked.

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Albert Einsteins Little-Known Correspondence with W.E.B. Du Bois on Race and Racial Justice PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Social Action
Written by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Photos of W.E.B. Du Bois and Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein endures as the quintessential modern genius for his seminal contributions to science, but he was also a great champion of human rights. In fact, despite having taken a backseat to his scientific legacy, Einsteins strong humanistic and political convictions are no less notable and revolutionary amid the assumptions of his era. Nowhere do they shine more brilliantly than in his lesser-known exchanges with people of radically different backgrounds and beliefs, always deeply thoughtful, irrepressibly respectful, and driven by an earnest desire for mutual understanding and encouragement including his conversation with the Indian philosopher Tagore about science and spirituality, his correspondence with Freud about violence, peace, and human nature, and his letter to a little girl in South Africa on why her gender shouldnt hold her back from pursuing science.

Some might assume that Einsteins compassionate outlook and unflinching commitment to equality were shaped by his own experience of being on the receiving end of historys deadliest anti-Semitism. When Hitler took over Germany on January 30, 1933 twelve years after Einstein earned the Nobel Prize, which had already exposed him to anti-Semitism he had just left Berlin with his wife Elsa to spend their third winter at CalTech, where Einstein had been invited as visiting faculty. The trip may well have saved his life mere months later, the situation in Germany became inhumane, then gruesomely lethal, for Jews.

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A Difficult Case: Beyer's Categories and the Baha'i Faith PDF Print E-mail
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Entries - Baha'i studies
Written by Sen McGlinn, Academia.edu   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015

[Source: A difficult case: Beyers categories and the Bah Faith in Social Compass 50(2),2003, 247-255]

Margit Warburg has presented data showing that the Bah community of Denmark represents an excellent case of Beyers 'liberal option' in its response to globalisation" She also claims, incorrectly, that the Bah Faith has the "ultimate aim of merging political and religious institutions." The Bahai Faith represents a paradoxical example in terms of Beyers categories. Its values include relativism, pluralism, globalisation, a cosmopolitan ethic and democratic government. But it also seeks to give political and legal effect to these religious values, for instance by supporting the United Nations and advocating a world court. Beyer considers that a religious movement which seeks to have religious norms enshrined in legislation has adopted the 'conservative option' in response to globalisation. Is this a useful categorisation, when the religious norms are liberal and the stage on which they are to be implemented is global?

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