If your Spiritual Orientation is HINDU…

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Hinduism is considered to be the oldest of the current popular religions in the world, and is to the east what Judaism is to the west. Like Judaism, it is a tribal religion made for one specific people, that of India, which is why most Hindu sects do not proselytize. However, there are a few examples of people outside India who have converted to some form of Hinduism, most notably George Harrison of the Beatles.

Oddly enough, Hinduism does not seem to have a specific set of exclusive beliefs. It seems to be more like Unitarian Universalism than any dogmatic western faith we have looked at so far.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism#Concept_of_God

Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others;[159][160][web 3] and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.

The simple fact that a single religious system can incorporate so many different ideas speak volumes about the possibility of someday uniting Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Baha’is together into one similar system since they all have in common the worship of one God and the belief that he sends Messengers to educate people on what God wants from them. They only disagree on when God stopped sending such Messengers. Get rid of that dispute, and we can have religious peace in the west.

If there are no Hindu temples where you live, see if you can instead join a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church where you can find fellowship with its members while practicing your personal form of Hinduism in the privacy of your home. See if you can form a group of fellow UUs to practice Yoga, a form of exercise and meditation that originated in Hinduism but has found common acceptance by various peoples of different religions.

 

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If your Spiritual Orientation is JEWISH…

Jewish Star

Judaism, unlike the Christian religion that later branched off from it, is a tribal religion made for one specific people, which is why to this day most Jews make no effort to proselytize and the Jewish religion and Jewish ethnicity (sometimes called Hebrew) are often considered one and the same. This blog entry is for those who have either embraced Judaism from a non-Jewish background or are considering doing so, as well as people raised as Jews seeking to live in a modern world with others.

  1. Consider that most of the Jewish Scriptures (which Christians have named the “Old Testament”), have a highly biased point of view, depicting other nations around Israel as evil and even ancient Hebrews who did not follow the dogmatic teachings of ancient Judaism as corrupt. These scriptures often claimed that the many tragedies that Israel suffered from was the result of disobedience to God. The truth is more complex; even when Israel was independent, it often warred against other nations and committed many atrocities against them. This was considered normal and it was only later that Jewish religious philosophers who wrote the Jewish Scriptures sought to reconcile their lofty ethical teachings with the war crimes their own ancestors had committed before.
  2. Being a religious Jew means you must follow certain rules and practice certain holidays. Most of those holidays refer to specific events in ancient Jewish history. And most of those rules, including Judaism’s dietary laws, were based on superstition, not science. Islam later borrowed some of those dietary laws, such as the ban on eating pork. Be sure to practice those rules in moderation, not blindly for their own sake.
  3. Christianity should not be considered an enemy religion. Indeed, the spread of Christianity around the world has brought knowledge of the Jewish people with it, making Jews. both ancient and modern, far more famous and respected than they would be otherwise. The antagonism between Jews and Christians that occurred resulted from a perversion of Christian teachings, not anything Jesus himself ever would have taught or allowed. He was himself Jewish!
  4. The modern republic of Israel has only a vague relation to the ancient nation that shared its name. It was created by Jews from Europe who wanted to establish a state of their own in Palestine, and in the process they displaced many thousands of Arabs that had previously been living in peace with Jews for many centuries. You can be a perfectly good Jew and not be a supporter of a nation that can only maintain itself through exclusion and persecution of non-Jews. Do not equate opposition to Israel’s policies with anti-Semitism and certainly not with the Holocaust that occurred in Europe during World War II; that is simply a lie. One of the things I was taught as a child was that if you do to others what was done to you before, then you are no better than your enemies. The past persecutions of Jews in Europe in no way justifies how Israel conducts itself now against Palestinians. Israel may have been fighting for its right to exist in 1948, but that has not been an issue since the 1980s. Instead, the Zionists of Israel are currently seeking TOTAL DOMINATION OVER ALL OF PALESTINE. So now Israel is its own worst enemy and it is making anti-Semitism around the world look respectable.
  5. Do not be fooled by American support for Israel; many Americans are brainwashed into believing that the establishment of modern Israel is a fulfillment of prophecies recorded in both the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. They think that eventually Jesus will then come and overthrow the nations of the world and become the absolute ruler of the world instead. This is absurd; if that was going to happen, it would have occurred over 1900 years ago when the generation that knew Jesus still lived.
  6. If you want to join with a Jewish group that embraces freethinking rather than dogmatic bigotry, go here: http://uuja.org/    or here: http://www.shj.org/

 

If your Spiritual Orientation is CHRISTIAN….

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Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today, with an estimated two billion followers around the world, and is the predominant religion in the two American continents, Europe, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa. Thus if a person’s spiritual orientation is actually NEUTRAL, then he is most likely to be Christian because there are simply more Christian families in the world than those of any other religion. However, there are people who, even if they are raised in a non-Christian religion, may be unhappy with their family’s faith and may decide that Christianity is a better one for them. This blog entry is for them as well as for others that may be looking for a “true” version of the Christian faith, whatever their original background.

  1. Remember that Jesus, said to be the founder of Christianity, was a JEW, as were his early disciples. Therefore anyone who is a genuine Christian would also love and respect the Jewish religion and people. Anti-Semitism should have absolutely NO place among Christians.
  2. Jesus himself wrote nothing that survives to this day; what you read about him in the Christian Scriptures (commonly called the New Testament) are second-hand accounts of what some people thought he said. Do not take those quotations at face value. Do not believe that the Bible or any part of it is the infallible Word of God. That is actually an insult to any real God that may exist. Remember that one form of idolatry is attributing God’s glory to anything man-made, including books that have references to God himself in them.
  3. The many references in the Christian Scriptures to the coming of the kingdom of God were interpreted by many Christian leaders as referring to the literal coming of Jesus to conquer the world and directly rule it afterwards. This is absurd; if that was the case, it should have happened while the generation that lived in the time of Jesus still was around. They have all been dead for over 1900 years. Those prophecies must already have been fulfilled with the rise of Christianity to take over the formerly Pagan dominated Roman Empire. Writers like Hal Lindsey who claimed otherwise were lying to us.
  4. Remember that the Apostle Paul, who wrote about half of the Christian Scriptures that were later accepted by the early Christian community as valid, was not even an original disciple of Jesus. He led some of the early Christians, including many from non-Jewish backgrounds, in a very different direction from the groups that consisted mostly of Jews. The Jewish groups eventually faded away, leaving the non-Jewish ones. The result was a badly distorted faith. After all these centuries, we simply have no way of knowing if Paul was a legitimate Christian leader or not.
  5. In most cases, you must be a CHRISTIAN and nothing else. Do NOT claim as your primary religious identity any subdivision within Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, or anything else. You would be a Christian who might go to a Baptist or Catholic church, but that’s it. Reject as necessary or justified any division within the Christian community that claims to be the one true religion. It is only CHRISTIANITY itself that ever should have made that claim. Not Mormonism, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor any other such radical “reformist” or “restorationist” group within Christianity. These are simply additional divisions that do more damage to the credibility of Christianity itself.
  6. There is one exception to this: if you are also a member of a religious group that is actually multifaith, like the Unitarian Universalist Association. Then you should distinguish yourself from non-Christian UUs, but also celebrate the UUism you have in common with them. Check out this website:  http://uuchristian.org/

If Your Spiritual Orientation is HUMANIST…

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Here is some advice to a person who has decided for whatever reason that he cannot believe in a god of any kind. This actually includes myself, so I may be biased here. Such a person may be called an atheist, an agnostic, or a secular humanist. For the sake of simplicity, I will lump all of them together under the Humanist label.

  • Do not assume that because you have rejected theism that most people who accept a theistic religion are stupid. They may indeed have a different spiritual orientation than you. Respect them anyway, just as you would want them to respect you.
  • One of the worst things you can do to damage your credibility is to only care about the rights and dignity of your fellow non-theists and ignore everyone else.  Stand up and defend the rights and dignity of ALL religious people too, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others.
  • Just because you are non-theist does not mean that all other non-theists should be embraced. If a famous non-theist is known to be a racist, have committed acts of sexual abuse, or has committed theft or murder, reject him.
  • It is  true that people of various religions have committed atrocities against outsiders. But so have non-theists who followed an extremist ideology, like Communism. It is DOGMA that kills people, not religion.
  • You can find fellowship in the following organizations:  the American Humanist Association (https://americanhumanist.org/), or the UU Humanist Association (http://huumanists.org/).

In short, don’t be like Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. Or Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism. Those two arrogant, bigoted extremists brought disgrace to atheism in America that is still a problem to this day. I wish neither of them had ever existed.

Treachery of Baha’is @ reddit

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Ever since I joined reddit, I have found it a useful way to connect with others and put out information about certain topics as well as read information from others. Unfortunately, there have been attempts by some to suppress such information.

Take a look at this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/OnThisDateInBahai

This community has been banned

This subreddit was banned due to being used for spam. If you’d like to take it over please make a post in /r/redditrequest

Uh, I was a subscriber to that community and am prepared to testify under oath that any claim that its users were spamming is a LIE. All it did was post information about Baha’i history, including some criticism of it.

It was created by https://www.reddit.com/user/A35821361

This account has been suspended

So both the community and the user that made it were banned from reddit! But I have known that guy for months and he is NOT a spammer.

What really happened was that someone, most likely a Baha’i, REPORTED A35821361 for spamming merely because he sent that person a message, probably with one or more links to information on his community. That is NOT spamming!

This sort of treachery is why I have absolutely NO respect anymore for the Baha’i Faith, because it seems to make its followers engage in backstabbing like this!

And when we ex-Baha’is try to get that community back under our control:

dragfyre 1 point  

I am the top mod of r/bahaihistory, and would love to mod this subreddit to allow us to split off our existing “On This Day…” content into its own subreddit. Our subreddit has existed for a while, and is currently supported by the Today in History project on Bahaikipedia.

aGreenTeaLatte 2 points

That would be an excellent idea! I second this. r/bahaihistory does need a complementary subreddit to cater to its daily posts, leaving r/bahaihistory for more in-depth discussions of Baha’i history. I think connecting it with the Bahaikipedia project also extends its potential for a subreddit that draws on multiple redditors collaborating.

Also, having a mod with demonstrated experience running and expanding subreddits, collaborating and developing the capacity of others to start modding too, will prevent spam by one individual seeking to make a subreddit his/her own personal message board in future, as was the unfortunate case with r/OnThisDateInBahai.

dragfyre and aGreenTeaLatte are certainly people I will be wary of in the future. Who is to say that in a few more months they won’t try to suppress the original ex-Baha’i community in reddit as well?

The banned user has now created a new blog of Baha’i history:
http://onthisdateinbahaihistory.blogspot.com/?m=0

Let the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, never be suppressed!