Why do religions produce so many hypocrites?

I used to think that hypocrisy in religious communities was exceptional and could be easily dealt with once discovered. Now I’m not so sure.

Look at this discussion:

I need some advice. My family has strong roots to the bahai religion . Both my mom and dad left Iran at a young age during the iranian revolution to practice their religion in America . My dad is part of the spiritual assembly. My parents hosts allot of feasts at our house and are well known in the community. As a kid I was made to go to Sunday school allot and made to attend some of those bahai youth camps . At the age of 15 I had to sign a bahai card in front of everyone at the feast because If I didn’t my parents would be embarrassed and be sad so I signed it . After that day I signed my card I told my dad I really don’t believe in this faith. I could never wrap my head around why Baháʼu’lláh had three wives and women not being able to serve in the universal house of justice. One of the main reasons that turned me off about the faith was the constant discussion of how to get more new followers . Every feast I attended we literally talked about how to get new members and discussing different ways to teach the faith to non believers. In Sunday’s school and in youth camps , this was always the topic for the most part . In spite of all of this I made an agreement with my parents not to officially make myself not a bahai but I let them know I don’t believe in any of this this . The reason I did this is because my parents would really be sad and it would be an embarrassing situation for my dad because he is part of the spiritually assembly . If I wanted to withdraw from the Bahai faith it would be brought up in one of his spiritual assembly meetings. Everyone in the spiritual assembly is my dads close friends and they always go over to each others houses . I’ve been trying to talk to my parents about leaving the faith and I always bring up really good points of why to leave it but they always are in denial and never give me answers to my questions . One day I asked my dad what makes you so sure about this faith and he said my great grandmother met Baháʼu’lláh. They get really emotional after I question the faith in front of them,sometimes angry at me or sometimes sad . They’re in there late 50s right now . My question is do you think it’s too late for them to leave the faith . Do you think they’re too far in it ? I really feel like they’re brain washed . They were taught about the faith at a very young age . Everything around them and all there friends were Bahai. Bahai everything . Do I continue question their faith in front of them or just let them be? Sorry for the bad grammar.

 

I offered some advice, but it is more interesting what others said there.

Wow, okay there is a lot to un-box here. Regarding your parents, yes from what you’ve shared it does seem they’re fully entrenched in their belief system. For you however, you need to ask yourself some questions.

  1. Is it safe to leave?

I don’t know what the finer details your situation are, but I have seen Persian Baha’i parents shun and disown their teenage sons and daughters over this issue. It’s truly heartbreaking. You would have to estimate how they would react to you rejecting their worldview openly, and what the fallout from that might look like. I understand reputation is of importance in Persian culture, and you’re worried what this might do to your father’s reputation. You will need to carefully consider that too when trying to predict how he will react.

2. Is it healthy for you to stay?

On the other hand, you need to consider the toll that living a life that is inauthentic will have on your mental health. I did that for years before I left and I still get emotional when I think of the regrets I have. Mainly regretting going through the motions to maintain an appearance of engagement in something I was starting to have profound disagreements with.

I really hope you’re able to make the right decision for yourself, whatever that may be. While many of us on this sub have differering affiliations now, we all went through difficulties when we started to move away from the faith. Best of luck to you!

Then a Baha’i barged in. A bit of background: This particular Baha’i was so much a contrarian that he was actually banned from the Bahai subreddit, so he went to the exBahai subreddit instead, where oddly enough, the mods there almost never took action against him. The reason for that will become clear soon.

I will defend the Faith a bit:

I could never wrap my head around why Baháʼu’lláh had three wives and women not being able to serve in the universal house of justice.

About the three wives, my view is that a prophet is above his laws. The religious book is there to help guide people to doing good. But if you can communicate directly with God, you do not need to observe what is in the book to do what is good.

As for women on the UHJ, my view is that women are just unfit to be in the highest position of authority. It is in women’s nature to follow whatever is the dominant trend, and this is not good for leading a religion. All moral laws would be compromised if they conflict with trends. For example, if women were on the UHJ, there is no question they would have already declared gay marriage to be permissible in the Bahai Faith.

One of the main reasons that turned me off about the faith was the constant discussion of how to get more new followers . Every feast I attended we literally talked about how to get new members and discussing different ways to teach the faith to non believers.

I think you are perfectly justified in being turned off by these people. But it is not Bahaullah’s writings that tell them to do this, but an insane proselytism culture that now dominates the Bahai community, which views converting others as being the main if not only goal of the Bahai Faith. If you read Bahaullah’s writings, you will find that this culture in no way stems from him. There are some passages where Bahaullah encourages teaching, but there are also passages where he discourages it in some cases. For example, Bahaullah says that you should teach yourself before teaching others. He also says that it is not acceptable for people who are not firm believers to teach. This is the exact opposite of what the Baha’i community does – for example, the entire goal of Ruhi is to trick non-believers into acting as missionaries for the Bahai Faith.

So we went after him!

Pretty sure you are alone in your views on this subreddit

“The prophet is above his laws?” “Women are unfit to be in a high position of authority,” but women and men are also equal? The mental gymnastics you have to do in order to believe what you said is astounding.

I do not think Jesus Christ or Moses would ever believe they were above the Ten Commandments or the Gospel.

You’re telling this to a teen who is about to leave this religion as soon as they can. You’re definitely not encouraging this person to stay in your faith.

Then he said:

I do not think Jesus Christ or Moses would ever believe they were above the Ten Commandments or the Gospel.

One of the commandments is “Thou shalt not kill” and Moses killed people on multiple occasions. Prophets do not follow their own rules for the same reason that a dog owner might make a rule for his dog that he does not follow himself.

Higher beings require less rules. The highest being, God, does not need to follow any rules.

Then I decided to nail him to the wall!

“Rules for thee, not for me” is the very definition of hypocrisy, which Jesus actually condemned.

And since you opened the door for this…..

https://dalehusband.com/2019/05/12/biblical-genocide-and-pedophilia/

https://dalehusband.com/2018/02/24/god-was-a-hypocrite/

When God (and his Messengers) do not follow their own rules, they open the door for rules to not matter at all. For anyone.

And that is why I, as a highly ethical ATHEIST and Unitarian Universalist, don’t need your kind of god-centered religion at all. I DO have strict rules and principles and I seek to obey them in all ways.

https://dalehusband.com/about-the-author/an-honorable-skeptic/

https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s