First, read this earlier blog entry:
Today, I finally came up with a credible explanation for what happened. The timing of my leaving the mall must have meant that when the family became stranded, their minds became overwhelmed with stress because of the summer heat. They began broadcasting their emotions without realizing it, and my own mind in turn was close enough and sensitive enough to detect their feelings even without being aware of the exact source. Then I drove directly to the source of the broadcasting. It was a case of me having a strong sense of empathy, even without any reference to religion.
My experience wasn’t proof of God’s existence and certainly wasn’t proof that the Baha’i Faith was valid; I would have sensed the family’s need regardless of my religion, or lack thereof at the time.
Having figured that out, atheism now seems more acceptable to me personally than it was before. So I will now call myself atheist.
With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.
Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?
I have been distrustful of police ever since.
On October 20, 2018, I gave a talk about 50 minutes long at Westside Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Worth detailing my life and religious and political views and how they evolved over the course of my life. I spent the first half of the discussion merely speaking for myself in general, and the last half answering questions from the audience to focus more on specific topics.
For a short version of that story see:
I made reference to other issues that I have also dealt with on this blog, including:
The title of this blog entry refers to two people that I dearly loved last year. And both of them broke my heart, though not at the same time. But they ARE connected. Both professed to be Unitarian Universalists, like me. And I dealt with them both on Facebook. I will tell their stories through links and screenshots of my Facebook postings about them and those who commented on them. Continue reading
Cheri and me as newlyweds.
I was in my mid-thirties and had been looking for someone to love since I left high school.
Then I met a beautiful lady named Sara. She seemed to have a wonderful personality, but even after I made clear how attracted I was to her, she said she saw me as just a friend.
Anyway, I had a choice to make. Walk away from her, or remain and be her real friend. I chose the latter. At one point, I even helped her get a job at a Target in Arlington, Texas. Where a certain woman was already working.
Sara then met a guy named John Ellington. The moment I saw them together, I knew she had found the right man for her. A year later, I get invited to their wedding. Guess who was also invited?
Cheri Day, my own future wife and Sara’s co-worker at Target. Cheri actually sat near me. I danced with Cheri at the wedding and we swapped addresses and phone numbers and we began dating. We often double dated with Sara and John.
When I started this blog about a decade ago, I always hoped it would be a useful reference for people seeking credible arguments about science, religion, politics, and other social issues, backed with a consistent ethical standard. Little did I know just how far my words would travel!
Recently, other bloggers that are critics of the Baha’i Faith have begin taking my words and directly posting them onto their own blogs and even on one video on YouTube, much to my astonishment.
First the video, based on Four Ways to Create a Religion of Hypocrites
Which also appears here: http://bahaism.blogspot.com/2016/12/4-ways-to-create-religion-of-hypocrites.html
The original blog entry was copied here: http://bahaism.blogspot.com/2015/07/four-ways-to-create-religion-of.html
That same blog also reposted several other blog entries of mine:
When it comes to faithfulness and accuracy in quoting my writings, Others, not so much.
‘s blog is indeed the best.
Here are other examples of blog entries elsewhere that got it right, mostly:
Another blogger, Ed Darrell, referred to one of my early statements on climate change, which is an even bigger issue to me than the Baha’i Faith:
Which actually came from here:
And loooooong before any of that, one of my oldest online friends referred to my blog here:
Which came from here:
Earlier, he made this: https://dovaryeh.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/science-can-it-dictate-ethics/
Which referred to this: https://dalehusband.com/2007/07/21/three-opponents-three-different-results/
Which is also more important in some ways than criticizing the Baha’i Faith.
Note: this is an updated and expanded version of an original blog entry from nearly a decade ago.
From 1995 to 2004, I was a member of a religion known as the Baha’i Faith. This religion teaches that God is called by various names but is still the same all over the world, that all religions teach the same basic message, and that humanity is actually one race and is destined to unite under the banner of the Baha’i Faith in a new age of peace and unity.
I was eager to see and to achieve the highest goodness in my life and in the world, so this was a Godsend to me! I embraced the faith after attending firesides about it in Bedford, Texas and became an active teacher of it, even attempting to convert others to it. I had been a Christian, specifically a Southern Baptist, in my teens, but had become disgusted with Christianity and left that faith in my early 20s because I saw the errors, contradictions, and failures of it. The Baha’i Faith explained that away by claiming that while Jesus was indeed a Messenger (or Manifestation) of God, His faith had become corrupted over time and thus most Christians were not truly following him, but the doctrines of men. In joining the Baha’i community, I thought I was seeing what the early Christians in the Roman Empire were like, except that unlike them the Baha’is would not split into competing sects and engage in wars against each other. If only everyone in the world became Baha’i, I was told, we would be at peace and prosperity forever. Continue reading
In the early 2000s, back when I was devoted to the Baha’i Faith, I was at North East Mall (near Fort Worth, Texas) and was just sitting down to eat lunch at the food court when suddenly I felt this urge to leave the mall! I couldn’t understand why, but I picked up my food (a Chick-Fil-A sandwich) and drink and I left the mall as if I was following a direct order. I got in my car and started for home. As I was passing this mostly deserted shopping complex, I saw a family stranded on the side of the road begging people for help. It was a couple and their two sons and they were suffering in the summer heat! I decided to offer them a lift in my car, so the father sat in the front passenger seat while the mom and boys sat in the back. We traveled together for several miles, me following the father’s directions while the music of an Ottmar Liebert CD played in my car. Finally, I stopped in their neighborhood and dropped the family off. Then I went back home and ate my lunch there.
To this day, I cannot explain what happened. It could have been a coincidence, but I also think I could have been under some outside control, which foresaw the need of that family and sent me to be their “angel” that day.
That is my story….take it or leave it.
In the summer and fall of 2004, I gradually came to the conviction that the Baha’i Faith was no longer worthy of my allegiance. Realizing that I had to remove myself from that community outright as a matter of honor, I wrote the following letter:
To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States,
After years of investigation and soul-searching, I have finally come to the sad understanding that I can no longer bring myself to believe in Baha’u’llah or any of the institutions established in His name, including the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. I am totally convinced that the Baha’i Faith is doomed to fail in its mission to bring peace, unity, and a Golden Age to humanity and I therefore resign from my past membership in the Faith. Goodbye.
A decade ago, I was a member of a religion known as the Baha’i Faith. This religion teaches that God is called by various names but is still the same all over the world, that all religions teach the same basic message, and that humanity is one and is destined to unite under the banner of the Baha’i Faith in a new age of peace and unity.