The Great Commission

Ever since Christianity was founded nearly 2000 years ago, Christians have felt called to spread the Gospel around the world. The source for this commandment, known as the Great Commission, is Matthew 28: 18-20.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28%3A18-20&version=ESV

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Note what Jesus did NOT say. His commandment wasn’t to “convert all the people you can to my religion” and he certainly did not call for all other religious communities to be wiped out. He called for a Christian community to be established among all the nations of the world. So his Great Commission would be fulfilled if in some countries of the world only 1% of the populations became Christian. 

Indeed, the idea that the vast majority of a population should be made to embrace Christianity would have been more likely to debase Christianity rather than to uplift the population. We saw exactly that in the case of the Roman Empire, which converted en masse from Paganism to Christianity around 300 to 400 AD. That did nothing to stop the Empire from falling in 476 AD.

Why did Christianity fail to improve the population? Because it never changed human nature. Read this blog entry:

The Bell Curve of Morality

As the illustration shows, only a minority of people are truly good and very rarely do we find anyone that is extremely good.

Some Jewish groups not only do not proselytize, they discourage people from joining them and only accept those who they deem worthy of membership.

Sadly, the Baha’i Faith is also obsessed with winning converts. As I noted here:

A Baha’i Divorce

After I left the Baha’i Faith, I realized that religion simply has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s character; if people have screwed up personalities, religion actually can make them worse by making them think that believing certain dogmas and following certain rituals will save them and make them great people before God and their fellow humans. I know from my own experience with myself and others that this is simply a lie.

Maybe if Christians had been more cautious about accepting members, a lot of the scandals and atrocities associated with Christianity wouldn’t have happened.

Susan Maneck, Baha’i apologist (and IDIOT)

A long time ago, a certain Baha’i scholar (I use that term quite loosely) began posting comments on my blog in response to my criticisms of the Baha’i Faith. Eventually, this person, Susan Maneck, waged a long running battle on one of my blog entries:

Baha’is must reject the Guardianship!

I tolerated her shit for a while but finally had enough of her arrogance and banned her.

Well, she has struck again! Take a look at this video about her:

The very first comment on it was mine.

Dale Husband

Susan Maneck is one of the biggest hypocrites I ever had the misfortune of dealing with. She is really a blindly obedient Baha’i dogmatist. The comments below this blog entry show her true character: https://dalehusband.com/2010/03/21/bahais-must-reject-the-guardianship/

________________

 
That was four years ago. Then three months ago:
 
 
I then replied on this month:
 
 
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Of course she does! How else could she have posted her comments on YouTube? You can have a channel even if there is no content on it. And why doesn’t she bother to make her own videos? Anyway, here is her channel:
 
 
So her first outright lie is debunked.
 
 
 
Then I waited for her to respond. After a while, I made another comment, to prove my point about her cowardice.
 
{{{Date sent: Tue, 11 May 99
To: Susan Maneck
Subject: Access to materials at the Bahá’í World Centre
From: Bahá’í World Centre 4 May 1999
Transmitted by email to Dr. Susan Maneck, U.S.A.
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
The Universal House of Justice has received your email of 30 December 1998 requesting clarification of the policies governing access to sources at the Bahá’í World Centre and regarding publication of primary source material available to people through other avenues. It welcomes the opportunity to provide further information on these issues and has instructed us to send you the following reply.
 
Your questions have to be considered in the context of the range of the work and responsibilities of the Universal House of Justice. One of the most important functions of the Head of the Cause is to guide the faithful to the tasks which need to be performed at each stage in its progress. It must allocate the resources of the Faith and point out those areas on which attention should be focused. Naturally, each individual tends to see the importance of his or her special interests or to focus on needs which are immediately apparent. All these have their own validity, but it is the Universal House of Justice which sees the whole picture and can guide the process. The friends must have faith in this, otherwise their efforts will be dissipated and even mutually conflicting.
 
The question of providing access to primary source materials is but one of the matters which must occupy the attention and consume the resources of the Cause. The written material of this Dispensation is incomparably rich and varied, and we now stand only a century and a half from the day on which the Bab announced His Mission to Mulla Husayn in Shiraz.
 
Access to source documents relating to the Bahá’í Faith which are held in libraries in different parts of the world, or are in the hands of individuals, is open to anyone who wishes to consult them, dependent only on the permission of the institution or individual in whose possession the documents are held. A major service which a number of Bahá’í scholars have rendered to the Faith is in tracing such deposits and, where possible, obtaining archival quality photocopies for the World Centre Archives and Library.
 
As for source documents at the World Centre itself: these are held by the Universal House of Justice in trust for the entire Bahá’í world and ultimately for the whole of humankind, of both present and future generations. There is tremendous work to be accomplished in sorting, identifying and cataloguing such documents so that they can be effectively studied without either damaging them or losing vital information by disturbing their inter- relationships. As far as the urgent needs of the Faith are concerned, the primary work in this respect must be devoted to the Sacred Texts rather than to documents of historical interest, although the latter are by no means ignored. It would be irresponsible for the House of Justice, without itself first being fully informed of what is in the Archives, to consider opening them to individual scholars for the pursuit of purely personal interests.
 
Far from allowing anyone to tamper with the historical records, the Universal House of Justice has the obligation to preserve the integrity, not only of the Sacred Texts, but of all the historical documents in its possession. It has, moreover, a responsibility for arranging their publication for the scholarly world in a coherent manner that will not give a misleading impression of events as a result of the mere choice of the items and the order in which they are made public. Undoubtedly, in due course, it will be possible to publish editions of historical documents in facsimile accompanied, in the case of each document, by a printed transcription, and supplemented by necessary commentaries and notes. It is with such thoughts in mind that the House of Justice feels that a certain discipline is required of those individual believers who decide, for their own purposes, to publish or translate documents which they have at hand.
 
This entire process is made the more delicate by past experience with those who, pursuing unacknowledged agendas of their own, have wished to publish certain documents for ulterior motives, or with others who have lacked the good sense and breadth of vision to act responsibly.
 
You refer to the principle of the unfettered search after truth. This is certainly upheld, but it cannot imply that the institutions of the Faith have a duty to make available to each enquirer every piece of information he or she requests. We are faced here, not with wisdom prevailing over the search for truth, but with a process of organic growth, both in the world and, commensurate with it, at the World Centre of the Faith.
 
The Universal House of Justice has asked us to assure you of its prayers on your behalf in the Holy Shrines for the reinforcement of your devoted endeavours to advance the interests of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
Department of the Secretariat
cc: International Teaching Centre}}}
 
News flash: Anyone who followed the link provided by the original video poster could have seen that response. Susan Maneck made an issue out of nothing!
 
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This seemed to cause her to become unhinged.
 
 
So she thought I had made the video? I didn’t and in any case she was lying, since I had actually just posted the entire response by the Universal House of Justice as a comment…..and in any case, a person still could have looked up the response by following the original link in the video’s description. And the real point of not bothering to include the reply in the original video was that Ms. Maneck was an idiot to make such a lame inquiry to begin with! Any objective non-Baha’i would have already figured out that the Universal House of Justice was running a scam…..why couldn’t she see it?!
 
Then she started a rant at me:
 
Then how would she explain the case of John Wycliffe, who translated the Vulgate into English and was condemned by the Catholic Church for doing that, among other things that challenged its dogmas?
 
 

In keeping with Wycliffe’s belief that scripture was the only authoritative reliable guide to the truth about God, he became involved in efforts to translate the Bible into English. While Wycliffe is credited, it is not possible exactly to define his part in the translation, which was based on the Vulgate.[30] There is no doubt that it was his initiative, and that the success of the project was due to his leadership. From him comes the translation of the New Testament, which was smoother, clearer, and more readable than the rendering of the Old Testament by his friend Nicholas of Hereford. The whole was revised by Wycliffe’s younger contemporary John Purvey in 1388.

There still exist about 150 manuscripts, complete or partial, containing the translation in its revised form. From this, one may easily infer how widely diffused it was in the 15th century. For this reason the Wycliffites in England were often designated by their opponents as “Bible men”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wycliffe#Declared_a_heretic

The Council of Constance declared Wycliffe a heretic on 4 May 1415, and banned his writings, effectively both excommunicating him retroactively and making him an early forerunner of Protestantism. The Council decreed that Wycliffe’s works should be burned and his bodily remains removed from consecrated ground. This order, confirmed by Pope Martin V, was carried out in 1428.[9] Wycliffe’s corpse was exhumed and burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift, which flows through Lutterworth.

Indeed, Wycliffe was part of the growing trend of dissenting from Catholic dogma and practice that finally enabled Martin Luther to actually start the Protestant Reformation. One of Luther’s most famous works was his translating the Bible into German. That could have been done centuries earlier.

The assertion by Maneck that “Latin was the only language of literacy” for centuries doesn’t address WHY that was so, nor why literacy in general was so limited in most of Europe. It was limited by DESIGN!

Europe in the Middle Ages was dominated by a political and economic system known as feudalism, which was characterized by a strict social hierarchy.  At the top were the monarchs, including kings and emperors who ruled their lands with absolute power. Below them was the nobility and the clergy who had most of the wealth and exercised power of their own over the lower classes. The next level below was the peasants who were free but were also poor. And finally in some countries there was an even lower class known as serfs, who were slaves bound to the land and forced to work on farms for little or no pay. It was in the interest of the upper classes to keep the peasants and serfs uneducated, since an educated population would be more likely to question authority and tradition and demand better lives for themselves.

Here’s an illustration of how that hierarchy may have functioned (indeed, modern capitalism is directly descended from feudalism):

Anti-capitalism_color

You’d think that Ms. Maneck, who is supposed to be a historian, would know that!

Repeating a point of hers:

The letter from the House merely says they don’t have the resources to make their sources available to everyone and points out that most of them are available elsewhere.

First, what resources would the House of Justice need? And how exactly did the House of Justice come to this conclusion?

Second, even in the House of Justice’s response  to Maneck it did not specify examples of such outside sources.

Indeed, the very idea that historical documents relating to the early times of the Bab and Baha’u’llah are not suitable for exposure to the public smacks of a lack of transparency that one would only expect from scammers and tyrants, not credible leaders!

 

A Story About King David, Sort of

The Biblical tale of King David, Bathsheba, and her husband Uriah the Hittite is one of the most infamous ones ever, because of not only the way it depicted the king, but also how it depicted God. David may have killed Uriah, but God killed a BABY!

God was a hypocrite?!

Why couldn’t the story have been rewritten to make both David and God look a lot better???

And as the war against Ammon waged on, King David was informed that one of his loyal soldiers, Uriah the Hittite, was killed in battle and he left behind a wife, Bathsheba, who was pregnant. David sent for the widow to give her his condolences. But when he saw her, he felt she was beautiful and deserved better than to be a widow of a soldier, so he offered to marry her so her child could be raised in the royal palace. She agreed and thus became his wife and gave birth to a son a few weeks later.  But a few weeks after that, the baby fell sick and died, causing Bathsheba to mourn again. Even worse, a nasty rumor was soon spread that the baby was actually David’s, that the king had killed Uriah to get his wife, and therefore the baby’s death was a punishment from God. David was furious and demanded that the one who started the rumor be found and put to death. But the prophet Nathan urged restraint.

“Sire, the people who started that rumor are not worth bothering about,” Nathan said. “Those who are loyal to you and know your true nature will ignore such gossip.”

David accepted the prophet’s advice. But in reality, it was Nathan himself who started the rumor as a means of undermining the king. And centuries later, Nathan’s claims were recorded in the Bible, tarnishing David’s reputation forever!

Did you ever see yourself leaving Christianity?

To directly answer the question, when I was a Southern Baptist, of course not! But I did later!

This question was asked in the exChristian subreddit.

Where one member said:


Definitely not. I was planning to go into ministry to convert as many people as possible to Christianity (wanted them to not go to hell you know). Majored in theology. Studied apologetics aggressively in high school and college.

I am honestly one of the most surprising people to have left the faith considering how deep into it I was.

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Then what made you quit?

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Christians acted horribly during the pandemic. It started not making sense that horrible people went to heaven while good people went to hell. Then I used my rational thinking skills that I learned in apologetics and my theology degree against the Bible to deconstruct. Figured out pretty quickly that it’s all fake.

__________________

It started not making sense that horrible people went to heaven while good people went to hell.

Maybe because Jesus never taught such insanity?

Then I used my rational thinking skills that I learned in apologetics and my theology degree against the Bible to deconstruct.

It should have been obvious that something was wrong as soon as you read the first few chapters of Matthew and compared them with the first few chapters of Luke. The two narratives CANNOT be harmonized, period. At least one of the accounts must have been made up. And if one, why not both? Quite simply, there is NO reason to assume that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

You can read about that issue here: Teaching religion dishonestly

____________________

I was always taught that everything in the Bible can be explained. I see now how stupid that was. I was aware of all the errors in the Bible for years, but was extremely proficient in performing mental gymnastics around them.

_______________

When I was a Baptist, I used to laugh at the Mormons for believing in the ridiculous Book of Mormon. Then I stopped being a Baptist. Then I became a Baha’i and defended that religion for years. Then left the Baha’i Faith after realizing it was no better than Christianity!

When you have “faith”, anything goes. It does not matter what your faith is in.

_____________________

mental gymnastics

Which NO ONE should tolerate anymore. Reason: the followers of EVERY OTHER RELIGION also use mental gymnastics to defend their dogmas too. Truth can NEVER be found when you rely on dogmas of any kind.

__________________

Yeah I know. It was honestly ridiculous how damn blind I was, because I was an avid student of other religions much of the time I was Christian. I would always shake my head at the ridiculous attempts people used to defend their obviously flawed holy books, while somehow not recognizing that I was doing the same thing. Part of my deconstruction was that realization, and after that the whole thing unraveled pretty quickly.

 

Continuing “The Debbie and Carrie Show” for a Second Season

I decided there was a lot more story to tell using the characters I made up for “The Debbie and Carrie Show”, as described here: “The Debbie and Carrie Show” is finished!

So here is season two, which is a work in progress:

And here are some details about the characters so far…..

Debbie Smith: Now 15 years old, she is still best friends with Carrie but started a new romance with Laura Park after a brief period of alienation from Carrie. She then tried to have a three way relationship with both of them, but ultimately chose Carrie and broke up with Laura.

Debbie Smith 2

Appearance from episodes 16 to 60.

Debbie Smith

Appearance from episode 60 onward.

Carrie Sims: Also age 15, she agreed to end her romance with Debbie and then began dating Jason Laker, but he wasn’t ideal for her, so she kept looking for a lover that could make her as happy as Debbie did. And in the end…..she returned to Debbie.

Carrie Sims3

Appearance from episodes 19 to 59.

Carrie Sims1

Appearance from episodes 59 onward.

Barbara: Once Jessica Sims’ love partner back in Boston, their relationship was destroyed due to Barbara’s alcoholism and abuse of Jessica. She later became a Jehovah’s Witness in order to stop drinking and give her life a new purpose, only to have her faith derailed when she met Lucy Sims, Jessica’s wife and herself an ex-Jehovah’s Witness.

Barbara

Ted: Barbara’s fiance, it was he who converted her to the Jehovah’s Witness’ cult when her life was in ruins due to her alcoholism. He took advantage of her weakness to enslave her mind and even convinced her to marry him. When she finally rejected him, he began to abuse her, thus proving his love was really shallow.

Ted

Laura Park:  Once an enemy of Debbie and Carrie because of her strong Baptist beliefs. She later realized she was a lesbian and eventually changed her beliefs, falling in love with Debbie and becoming friends with Carrie too. After Debbie broke up with her, she went to Hollywood to become an actress.

Laura Park

Dr. Martin Lessi:  Carrie’s genetic father, he was finally able to meet Carrie after his wife persuaded Jessica Sims to permit this.

Dr Lessi

Jessica Lessi: Wife of Martin and mother of his five year old twin boys. Her curiosity about Carrie led her to contact Jessica Sims, despite Martin not wanting this at first.

Mrs Lessi

Rev. Dave Owen: Not learning from his earlier defeats, he had the building of the church he once was pastor of burned down, only to be arrested and imprisoned for that crime.

Rev Dave Owen

Jack Watson: He was the manager of a nightclub owned by Rich Smith. After Sandy Smith acquired the club, he offered to work for her, but also suggested she contact another club owner and see if he wanted to buy it. She sold it to that other owner. Jack was also a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.

Jack

Even Evil Has Standards: When Jack was offered $500 by Rev. Owen to burn down Owen’s former church, he not only refused the offer, he then went to the police after the church was destroyed and identified Owen as the mastermind of the plot. When Owen was jailed, Jack was waiting for him…….and promptly beat Owen up!

Officer Kelly: A member of the police department in the town, she had the unpleasant duty of dealing with Dave Owen.

Officer Kelly

 

“The Debbie and Carrie Show” is finished!

Starting in April, I downloaded an app called Plotagon and began using it to write and produce episodes of a series that came to be called “The Debbie and Carrie Show”. Earlier references to it are here:

A series made using Plotagon to promote Unitarian Universalist ideals

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Race and Being a Witness

Now the series is officially finished. Here is a link to it:

And here are the major characters in it.

Debbie Smith: A 13 to 14 year old girl living in a small town somewhere in east Texas. She is a lesbian and was raised an atheist. She was originally designed to be an “anti-Sophia” (Sophia being the girl featured in the “Caleb and Sophia” video clips made to promote the Jehovah’s Witness cult). Played by a character model I created.

Debbie Smith

Original appearance (Episodes 1-15).

Debbie Smith 2

Later appearance (episodes 16 to 33)

Sandy Smith: Debbie’s mother,  originally a Christian but became atheist as a teen. Moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the small Texas town after her divorce. Later inherits an estate worth over 20 million dollars from her ex-husband. Played by “Ms. Green”, a pre-made character model in the Plotagon app, because of her resemblance to the mother in this Caleb and Sophia video.

Sandy Smith

Cruel Mercy: After Rev. Dave Owen tries to pull a publicity stunt in front of Mrs. Smith’s restaurant, she has him arrested, but then quickly bails him out to prevent his jailing from generating sympathy from the members of Owen’s church. She and several others then proceed to give Rev. Owen a series of tongue lashings over his contemptible stunts.

Carrie Sims: A 13 to 14 year old girl who is Debbie’s best friend and later her love partner despite saying she is not lesbian. Like Debbie, she was raised atheist by her lesbian mothers. Her last name comes from the video game The Sims.

Carrie Sims1

Original appearance (Episodes 2 to 18, played by “Lizzie” a pre-built character model)

Carrie Sims2

Later appearance (Episodes 19 to 33, played by a character model I created)

Driven to Suicide: Averted, in that Carrie attempts suicide in episode 17 after suffering a nervous breakdown, but is saved by her mothers.

Jessica Sims: A beautiful white lesbian who came from Boston. She met her future wife, Lucy, at a restaurant and literally saved her life after Lucy was fired from that place. She is Carrie’s birth mother. She was raised an atheist, but she was also the one who came up with the idea of forming a Unitarian Universalist fellowship in the town as a means of helping her daughter and Debbie resist the bigotry that was common there. Played by a pre-built character model.

Jessica Sims

Hypocrite: In episode six, Jessica says no one should be treated as an outsider by the members of the Unitarian Universalist fellowship, only to say to Miss Jenkins when she comes to visit, “Shouldn’t you be at YOUR church?” Justified as Jenkins was the homophobic teacher who hurt both her daughter and Debbie. Jessica gets better once it is clear Miss Jenkins has no hostile intent.

Lucy Sims: Jessica’s wife, who was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, but was disfellowshipped after coming out as a lesbian. Carrie considers Lucy to be as much her mother as Jessica. Played by a pre-built character model.

Lucy Sims

Angry Black (Wo)man: Subverted. Lucy is against ALL bigotry as both a black person and a lesbian and she sees Carrie not as a white girl at all, but as her beautiful daughter, and even is distressed that her black (and Jehovah’s Witness) relatives refuse to accept Carrie as a family member.

Carla Jenkins:   English teacher of both Debbie and Carrie at their school, her Baptist zealotry caused her to begin using the Bible as a text in her lessons, eventually causing the Smith and Sims families to sue her and the school over this. She was hired as a teacher by her uncle, who was the school principal. Played by a pre-built character model.

Carla Jenkins

Well-Intentioned Extremist: From babyhood, she was brainwashed to believe that everyone had to be a Christian to be saved, which caused her to violate the rights of non-Christians like Debbie and Carrie.

Heel Realization: This happens in episode four when Jenkins is confronted by Sandy Smith over Jenkins’ threat to expel Debbie from school. Sandy tells Jenkins a Bible story, one in which Moses and his followers commit an actual act of genocide and mass child rape against a neighboring people. This badly shakes Jenkins’ Christian faith.

Nepotism: Carla Jenkins owed her teaching job to her uncle and even took cash from him as a sign of her loyalty to him only to learn later the money had been embezzled by the uncle from the school funds. She was then fired by her uncle’s successor.

Heel-Face Turn: After realizing that her faith is on shaky ground, Carla makes peace with the Sims and the Smiths and by the end of the series she is their firm ally, condemning Rev. Owen for his gross bigotry and hypocrisy to his face.

 

Jason Laker: A friend and classmate of Debbie who, despite being raised Baptist, opposes the bigotry of Miss Jenkins and others against the Sims and Smiths. Eventually leaves the Baptist church and joins the Unitarian Universalist fellowship, though he remains a Christian. Played by a character model I created.

Jason Laker

Victoria: Sister of Lucy and still a Jehovah’s Witness. Came to visit Lucy to tell her their mother was dying of cancer, but she, along with her son Scott and her mother, refused to accept Carrie as their niece/cousin/granddaughter. Played by a pre-built character model.

Victoria

Hypocrite: Jehovah’s Witnesses are supposed to be against racism and other forms of prejudice, but it is obvious that Lucy’s black relatives have a problem with Carrie being white; the fact that Carrie is being raised by lesbian mothers is merely the excuse given for their rejection of her (and of course, anti-LGBT bigotry is as problematic as racial prejudice in any case).

Rich Smith: Ex-husband of Sandy Smith and father of Debbie and James, he had a highly questionable moral character (he had cheated on Sandy), but claimed he was getting better. Was killed by the ex-husband of Mary, the woman he was about to marry. Played by “Paul” a pre-built character model.

Rich Smith

Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rich recognized that Sandy’s divorcing him was his fault. He eventually sought to redeem himself by getting involved with a woman half his age, Mary, who already had five kids. She became pregnant with Rich’s baby, but she, along with Rich and all her children, were exterminated by her vengeful ex-husband.

James Smith: Son of Rich and Sandy and brother of Debbie. He had little respect for his father because of Rich’s cheating on Sandy, only tolerating him when they were together. Eventually came to regret his self-righteous attitude. Was even more irreligious than his mother and sister. Played by a character model I created.

James Smith 

Tara Conlan:  Meets Debbie and Carrie at a rock concert and learns about their Unitarian Universalist fellowship from them, which she joins, despite living in a town 100 miles away from the one of Debbie and Carrie. After being disowned by her parents for rejecting their Catholicism she moves in with the Sims and eventually moves again to Boston to work with Jessica’s mother at her cat shelter. Played by a pre-built character model.

Tara Conlan

Mrs. Sims: Jessica’s mother, she is so devoted to cats that she runs a cat shelter in Boston where she cares for and sterilizes stray or abandoned cats before releasing them or giving them homes. Wears a hat shaped like a kitten as a sign of her profession. Was raised Catholic, but became atheist as an adult. Played by a pre-built character model, the “crazy cat lady”.

Mrs Sims

Rev. Dave Owen: A Baptist minister and the greatest enemy of the Smiths and the Sims. Played by a pre-built character model.

Rev Dave Owen

Big Bad: The original motivating force behind Miss Jenkins’ attempts to indoctrinate the kids in her English class. Later sends an offensive letter to the Sims and finally tries to disrupt their and Sandy Smith’s restaurant, the Tuscany Tavern, resulting in his arrest and jailing. He is then bailed out only to receive a series of reprimands from people in the town he had antagonized.

 

Mr. Hernandez: The principal of the school after Miss Jenkins’ uncle was fired. He in turn fired Miss Jenkins, but was later persuaded to give her another chance by, ironically, Mrs. Smith. He was also impressed by Debbie and Carrie after getting to know them. Played by a pre-built character model.

Mr Hernandez

Dr. Drake:  The doctor at the hospital who treated Carrie after her suicide attempt.  He privately told Rev. Owen about Carrie and was shocked when Owen then sent a letter to the Sims attacking them over the incident. Despite being a Baptist himself, he condemned Owen for this breach of trust, while also recognizing his own wrongdoing about it. Played by a pre-built character model.

Dr Drake

A series made using Plotagon to promote Unitarian Universalist ideals

Plotagon is an app that can be used to make videos to tell dramatic stories. I decided to make a series of videos with characters for representing Unitarian Universalism. If the Caleb and Sophia videos work for Jehovah’s Witnesses, why not do such videos for UUs?

https://www.plotagon.com/desktop/

A non-religious version of the infamous One Man, One Woman Jehovah’s Witnesses propaganda piece

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Plans for a new Unitarian Universalist group

____________________

Dale Husband visits the town to explain UU teachings

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Debbie, her teacher, and her mother fight

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Facing a dilemma in town, fight or flee

And the final episode of the series:

The First Unitarian Universalist Service in Town

As well known as I have been for my blog entries slamming the Baha’i Faith, I am really most proud of this project. Tearing down one religion is useless if you do not replace it with something better.

Silencing the truth is unacceptable, from ANYONE!

A reddit user named MacPark711 tried to bring up a painful topic in the Bahai subreddit. You can guess how far he got with it.

Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/bahai.
Moderators remove posts from feeds for a variety of reasons, including keeping communities safe, civil, and true to their purpose.

__________

 

Hi MacPark711,

I’m not going to approve this post. It would take a long time for contributors here to address all the specific points you raised. It’s sort of like if you were trying to learn about vaccines and you spent hours and hours on anti-vax videos and forums, and then wanted other people to address/dispel all the misinformation you learned. Here are the books you’ll need to read.

  1. The Kitáb-i-Íqán. This book covers the basic principles and lays the foundation for the teachings/revelation of Bahá’u’lláh. It states God continually provides mankind with revelation direct from God for our education and upliftment. After reading this you should decide if you think Bahá’u’lláh is a messenger of God or not. If you think a possibility exists, you can continue into history:

  2. The Dawn-Breakers for the context and early history of the Faith, centered on the life of the Bab but it does carry forward to some events in the life of Bahá’u’lláh.

After those two works you should have a good idea about the character and purpose of the life and mission of the Bab and an understanding of the place held by Bahá’u’lláh. After that if you still want answers to your specific questions, turn to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and read it carefully. From it you will get an idea about what was acceptable behavior and what was not and you can judge the behavior of those close to Shoghi Effendi, who was following the Will and who was not?

In Summons of the Lord of Hosts you’ll find this passage: “This is the Day that shall not be followed by night, nor shall it be bounded by any praise, would that ye might understand!”

This is a significant promise written in 1868, because the only way to avoid the ‘night’ humanity has always seen following a religious dispensation is for the religious community Bahá’u’lláh has created to remain unified and under a control everyone accepts. You can almost bypass every concern listed simply by asking yourself, is it unified today? Is it under stable leadership?

But, going the long route, you can look next to histories centered on the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. There are very lengthy books about each.

Like The Covenant of Baha’u’llah by Adib Taherzadeh, perhaps?

This books do not answer questions regarding the issues I have brought up. I am trying to do a service to the Bahai faith which is clearly falling part online. Just searching Bahai faith in google or you to leads to many negative pages and videos that need addressing You are contributing to sweeping issues under the rug. The debate over the will of Abdul needs talking about due to some evidence that it was forged. Just “reading” it carefully isnt the answer. I have read it as well as talks about it. I am well versed in it. The issues is the handwriting analyses that was done on it which claims it was alerted. I cant debunk this without being able to find people and information that discredits this. If you think just “reading” the Will will answer peoples questions who want to know if it was forged due to the many many pages and videos online saying it was forced, then you have your head in the clouds. I feel you are helping to hold back the faith. In an online world most new people will look up bahai, see these issues and then just go no further. You need to tackle the big issues as hard as they are. By keeping to put your head in the sand will help nothing. You cant just ask a casual perspective new member to “go read Kitáb-i-Íqán and the dawn breakers”. I myself have read all these books and many many more. Probably more Bahai books and scripture than most active bahais. By not approving this post you will be contributing to holding back growth of the faith as it will hinder my ability to answer tough questions and make good reports and videos on them. I have faced the same issues in bahai groups on facebbook. No one wants to answer the tough questions. Its a shame. I was ready to open some very good discourse on this reddit. Your vaccine analogy is ridiculous. If people were finding out anti vax issues and you were able to ask people info about correct info to dispel these falsehoods would not tackling the incorrect issues be smarter? You seem to think the issues would just go away. Trust me the anti bahai info online is getting huge. Its going to hinder the growth of the faith as these questions are not being answered. Almost 100% of perspective new members will go online for Bahai info. Many will leave. I did and then decided to come back and tackle these issues head on but as always just keep hitting brickwalls. Is this because in people hearts they know these issues are real?

I guess you have had your mind made. Just know I am going to give up my defense of the bahai faith. I am over it. I keep coming across people like you wishing to just “hope it away”. Its not going away unless someone tackles the anti bahai brigade. I hope in your own heart you realize the mistake you are making. I was going to do a full website and youtube giving great debunks to anti bahai issues that are all over the net. These videos and website could have saved potentially thousands of people from walking away of moving on. Its 2021. You cant just tell people to “read the book”. This thinking will kill the Bahai faith…

So MacPark711 went to the ExBahai subreddit instead:

Where I had this to say to him:

He answered:

Thanks. I am on the fence Bahai and trying to make sense of it all. But people like t0lk are simply gatekeeping on a huge public forum and doing a disservice to the faith. Its 2021. People cant hide behind just covering things up and pushing under the rug anymore. Everything is out there online. I can see you are obviously anti Bahai. And thats totally fine. You have that right. I am at least open to some dialogue and now I just wish some Bahais would have the guts to come and tackle the negative Bahai posts online or at least help me in what I wish to do. I dont have enough info or knowledge to do this. Thats why I was hoping to get some Bahais onboard to help me but as you can see everyone just hides and blocks everything. Even worse they couldn’t even reply to my follow up explaining their reasons. t0lk just hides.

“Independent investigation of truth” means “just read and agree to what our books say”. by the sounds of it.

This is all really irritating me.

___________________

The Baha’is will NEVER allow you to ask such questions, not in any Baha’i Community, not in any Baha’i meeting, not at the Baha’i World Centre. You will be asked to leave. Your Membership in the Faith will be removed.

Was S.E. a closet homosexual? Probably so. The witnesses are many. Are they ALL lying? If you believe current Baha’i apologists, yes. I don’t think they were all lying.

Was S.E. lazy and went on 4 month long trips to Switzerland (without his wife) every year? He went on such trips, yearly. Without his wife. Was he lazy? He spent most days writing letters and translating. Why did he go to Switzerland for four months a year? Some say to get away from his wife. Others say to meet his lover, George Townsend. Others say, to get away from the hot Palestine Summers. Maybe the answer is “All of the above”. No way to be SURE unless one finds a letter written by Townsend or Effendi, that is a love letter. No such letter has been found.

Was S.E. a tyrant who excommunicated his relatives over the smallest of things? Answer: THEY thought so. He demanded absolute control over every decision of their lives, including whom they could marry and not marry, where they could go on trips, etc. If they “defied” him, he excommunicated them: including their children.

Did the wife of ‘Abdu’l-Baha forge part of the Will and Testament, making S.E. Guardian? Answer: the evidence is that part of the Will and Testament was NOT written by ‘Abdu’l-Baha. That much is known. Some think ‘Abdu’l-Baha dictated it to his wife or some scribe. Others think it was forged after AB died. Nobody saw the Will and Testament BEFORE AB died except AB and his wife. All we know for SURE is that the section where AB appoints SE as Guardian, is NOT in the handwriting of AB, but the rest of the W&T is in the handwriting of AB.

How can these issues be resolved? Answer: they won’t be. Either way, they won’t be. You have to decide “if” you want to be a Baha’i, and promote the Baha’i Faith, or not. These questions will always be unresolved. You have to choose.

Much to my annoyance, MacPark711 chose……to run away from the discussion by deleting his own post. But the neat thing about reddit is that you can still look up and restore some deleted material. Also, I found that Naser Emtesali had already copied the statement MacPark711 deleted here.

So…….I proceeded to put it ALL back on r/exbahai !

It worked!

Thank you for the restoration. Interesting read as I hit my 1-year anniversary of formal resignation.

(Have not regretted the decision one iota; only sorry I hadn’t done it a few decades earlier.)

May I highlight the staunch baha’i’s, named t0lk, typical and expected reply (in my own words): “read these (excruciatingly) lengthy books–hopefully your brain will be numbed to a level that will keep your critical thinking muscles QUIET.”

_______________

I am actually more upset at MacPark711 for deleting the original post here than at t0lk. I am USED to t0lk being a lying, backstabbing asshole.

MacPark711 needs to wake the hell up! I can state for the record that even if I was still a Baha’i in 2018 (the year I first joined reddit), by now I would have resigned from the Faith because of all the crap I have clearly seen from the reddit Baha’is. They are mostly hypocrites because their Faith makes them so by DESIGN. You can’t save it……..you just have to…….LET IT GO!!!!!

 

The Ridiculous Claim of Philip Henry Gosse

Just prior to the publishing of Darwin’s theory of evolution, there occurred an event that may have actually helped make his ideas more credible even to devout Christians in England. In a desperate attempt to reconcile modern findings in geology with the teachings of the Bible, the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse published a book in 1857 titled Omphalos (Greek for naval) which was so badly received that even Gosse’s own son Edmond considered it to be an insult to his intelligence and publicly disowned it, even rejecting Christianity outright as well.

Gosse claimed that when creation occurred about 6,000 years ago, trees had been created instantly with tree rings, Adam with his naval, and birds had been made as adults even though birds today hatch from eggs as chicks, thus seeing the first birds would naturally lead someone to assume that these birds also came from eggs even though they did not. Thus even the fossil record, Goss claimed, could also be “evidence” for an ancient age for the Earth that did not really happen.

Many Christian clergy who read the book, including Rev. Charles Kingsley, thought this was blasphemous, in essence calling God a liar (which was actually part of MY motivation for attacking “scientific Creationism”). As a result, Gosse’s standing among scientists and Christians alike was destroyed forever and he retreated from the rest of society, a broken man, until his death in 1888.

Vangelis, the Dragon, and the Bullshit of Religious Fundamentalism Revisited

If you haven’t done so, read these two blog entries:

Religious fundamentalism is blasphemy!

The Bible CANNOT be the Word of God

Those are indeed among my earliest works, but until now I did not have a real life example to show an artist being misrepresented, much like I think God is misrepresented by those who claim the Bible is the infallible Word of God. My rejection of that dogma stems from my assumption that if God really gave his word to us, it would be vastly superior to the Bible. No historical or scientific errors, no contradictions and no excuses for ancient atrocities or injustices.

Anyhow……..in the late 1970s, the pioneering new age composer Vangelis was a rising star. He had already come to fame with albums like Heaven and Hell.

Indeed, some of the music from this album, and some of his other early works, would be used in the COSMOS series by Carl Sagan. And in 1981, he would win an Oscar for the Chariots of Fire movie soundtrack, which I to this day consider to be the greatest soundtrack of all time! The music is remembered and loved even by those who never saw the movie!

But in 1978, something happened to tarnish his reputation. Back in 1971, Vangelis teamed up with a group of musicians and they made two albums worth of material that were merely jam sessions and were soon forgotten. Vangelis did not compose music for these albums, nor were any plans that year made to release them. Fast forward to 1978, when an unscrupulous record company somehow got those recordings. Hoping to capitalize on Vangelis’ fame, the record label released the albums as “Hypothesis” and “The Dragon” without his permission. I tried to listen to those albums, but they were so bad I always stopped after a few minutes.

Vangelis then sued the record label to have these two albums removed from the market and won the case. Just as I wish God could sue to have the Bible, the Quran, or the Book of Mormon somehow eliminated from all human cultures in the world. Of course, someone did buy copies of these albums, and decades later uploaded them to YouTube. Sorry, Vangelis!

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

Rape Apologists, Round Two!

Start with this earlier blog entry:

A Horror Story of Rape, Ostracism and Triggering Memories

Focus on these passages:

I heard a group of fifteen year old girls discussing a girl in their high school who had been [raped] by a classmate talking on the train yesterday……As far as they were concerned, the girl who had accused their classmate of rape was probably not lying, but apparently should have known better than to have hung out with this specific boy because he was a “ghetto” kid who had a reputation for being a ladies man?

In other words, blacks are expected to be rapists and white girls can protect themselves by being racists. Which is bullshit, of course. Rich white men also rape!

I was raped by my puppt loves cousin as his uncle held my puppy love down to wait to take his turn on me. Fortunately, my bf finally got out of his much older uncles grasp and ran. His uncle chased him to the train station where he lost him and my puppy love called the cops to tell them his cousin was raping me…..In the year leading upto the trail, my entire neighborhood (mostly old school Italians) completely turned on me. I went from being a straight a student to a high school drop out within 6 months due to the insanity which ensued. Not only facing death threats, having guns pulled on me, having my family threatened by the family of the guy who raped me, but also being shunned by the very community I grew up in all because
a white girls like me must have been asking for it to have 3 Puerto Rican boys in my house alone. I guess that fact alone made what happened to me my fault.

The harrassment and bullying I endured at the hands of my community, including being jumped by the same Italian girls I grew up with almost every week and having their mothers who had known me as a little girl shun me and forbid me from talking to their daughters (one neighbor of mine went so far as to call me a slut and spit on me after telling me if she saw me try to talk to her daughter again she would personally fuck me up).

Not to mention what the so called “Justice System” put me through, maligning my character, questioning my morality, trying to paint me as a slut beforehand (which shouldn’t have mattered even if that had been true, which it certainly was not). As if wearing a short skirt or hanging out with a boy or two is tantamount to asking to be raped!

I see a connection between this and MRA’s making excuses for raping women.

Rape Apologists!

Women say “no” to me in one way or another on a regular basis, e.g. “no, you can’t have my number”, “no, I should go home”, “no, I’m not coming into your apartment”, and of course, the classic, “no, we’re not having sex”.

Yet somehow, when it’s all said and done, the woman is invariably happy that I didn’t listen to a single word of protest she uttered; that I barreled through her resistance nonchalantly and drove the ball to the basket. Women RESPECT this sexual insistence even if they aren’t acutely aware of it……….I’ve had hour or more long battles with a girl who had come to my room and then protested that she wasn’t going to have sex with me. Hell, it just happened again yesterday. In the end, of course, we got naked. And, she appreciated it after the fact. If a girl isn’t open to being seduced she will either not come in or will precipitate hastily from your room. Anything short of that is a green light.

Note: the website that posted those lies was eventually shut down.

But there are still people who believe the lie that rape can EVER be blamed on the one who was raped. Read this horrible story from India:

https://currently.att.yahoo.com/att/cm/outrage-16-old-girl-tied-133656911.html

Outrage after 16-year-old girl tied to her rapist and paraded through Indian village

A teenager who said she had been raped by a neighbour was punished by being bound to her alleged attacker and paraded through her village, in a ritual humiliation which has caused outcry in India.

Film of the incident showed villagers raising pro-India chants as the pair were led around by a mob of men.

Six people have been arrested after the incident, which campaigners said demonstrated the widespread shaming of victims of sexual assault.

Members of the mob struck and spat at the 16-year-old girl as they lined her path in the village in Madhya Pradesh. Those arrested included the alleged attacker and the victim’s brother, uncle and cousin.

“When I saw them doing that to her, I had tears in my eyes,” one villager called Tilak Ram Bhilela told the New York Times. “But no one could speak a word, the mob was so angry they would have killed us.”

Accounts of horrific sex crimes are commonplace in India, which has seen repeated waves of protest over the issue since the notorious 2012 rape and murder of a teen on a Delhi bus.

Yet campaigners say a culture of violence against women includes the harassment of victims, who are often considered shamed and not fit for marriage. Women are put under pressure not to report crimes and often face revenge if they do.

The teenager had told family members that their neighbour had pushed her to the floor, then gagged and attacked her. The relatives, with a number of villagers, found the man she had accused and beat him, before parading them both.

India’s government promised to do more to protect women after the 2012 Delhi rape sparked outrage. Yet despite regular protests and new laws, the number of assaults on women has not abated and prosecutions languish in the backlogged courts for years.

Recent notorious cases have included the murder of a woman in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh, who was on her way to court in 2019 after alleging she had been raped. She was set upon by five men, including two alleged rapists, and set alight. She died soon afterwards.

Sexism is a problem because of India’s two main religions, Hinduism and Islam, both of which teach that women are to be property of men, or at best socially inferior.

In such an atmosphere, a man, even if condemned for rape, can argue that the sex was consensual. “She must have wanted it too, or she wouldn’t have been with me at all!”

Men can learn to not rape women and girls even if they have strong romantic and sexual feelings for them. It is sad that religions do not seem to teach that!

https://www.openbible.info/topics/rape

Deuteronomy 22:23-29

If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.

Is that why my friend was scorned and why the girl in India was scorned, because they were raped in cities and not the countryside? Location has nothing to do with it!

I remember a discussion I had with another friend about sex with underaged girls.

Being Better Educated and Changing my Opinion

Teenagers do not process information the same way adults do. Their brains have not fully developed the ability to reason and understand consequences of their actions. They act on almost pure emotion. They process information using the amygdala and adults use the pre-frontal cortex. Children and teenagers do not have the ability to reason the way an adult does, which is why they are notoriously impulsive and they are easily influenced. Adults have the ability and responsibility to protect young people and, even if put in a position where a minor comes on to them, it is their responsibility to handle that situation appropriately and not use that as an opportunity to prey on that vulnerability.

So even in a big city, an adult can manipulate a teen into sex because the teen responds naturally to peer pressure (essential as a survival tool in a natural environment of small tribes, but dangerous in larger and modern communities where one can thus “disappear” after committing an offense or crime).

If the teen later regrets the sex act, it is because their sense of personal autonomy and justice kicks in later and makes them realize they were used purely for physical gratification by the older partner, and not for love!

Which makes this meme particularly insidious:

Any adult by definition has power over a child, so sex between them cannot logically be consider consensual once the child clearly says she was raped. If you want to avoid ever being accused of rape, DO NOT EVER HAVE SEX WITH AN UNDERAGED PERSON, PERIOD! If you can’t wait until the younger person becomes legally an adult, or better still, find an actual adult to satisfy your urges, you deserve to be locked up to protect others from you!

And yes, that includes that damned pervert R. Kelly!

Unitarian Universalists need to get LOUD and PROUD!

Christians, Baha’is and members of other religions are more than willing to thrust themselves into the marketplace of ideas, even in places where they may not be appreciated. Maybe once the Covid-19 pandemic is over its time Unitarian Universalists (UUs) also got a little militant, instead of just sitting in their churches and waiting for refugees broken and disillusioned from authoritarian religion to come to their churches. If lost souls learn about us faster, they can also heal faster.

symbol_gradient

We can start by buying and wearing things that proclaim our liberal religion to the masses.

https://www.uua.org/genre/apparel

Article or product image

Much better than those red MAGA hats!

Article or product image

Article or product image

There is also this collection from Cafepress:

https://www.cafepress.com/+unitarian-universalist+gifts

https://i3.cpcache.com/merchandise/632_550x550_Front_Color-White.jpg?Size=3x3&AttributeValue=NA&c=True&region={%22name%22:%22FrontCenter%22,%22width%22:2.8209307,%22height%22:2.845,%22alignment%22:%22MiddleCenter%22,%22orientation%22:0,%22dpi%22:200,%22crop_x%22:0,%22crop_y%22:0,%22crop_h%22:569,%22crop_w%22:564,%22scale%22:0.4817951,%22template%22:{%22id%22:38980089,%22params%22:{}}}

BUMPER unitarian 1

https://i3.cpcache.com/merchandise/7_550x550_Front_Color-AshGray.jpg?Size=L&AttributeValue=NA&c=True&region={%22name%22:%22FrontCenter%22,%22width%22:9.21,%22height%22:7.38,%22alignment%22:%22TopCenter%22,%22orientation%22:0,%22dpi%22:100,%22crop_x%22:0,%22crop_y%22:0,%22crop_h%22:700,%22crop_w%22:900,%22scale%22:0,%22template%22:{%22id%22:70636543,%22params%22:{}}}

https://i3.cpcache.com/merchandise/161_550x550_Front_Color-Black.jpg?Size=L&AttributeValue=NA&c=True&region={%22name%22:%22FrontCenter%22,%22width%22:10,%22height%22:10,%22alignment%22:%22TopCenter%22,%22orientation%22:0,%22dpi%22:100,%22crop_x%22:0,%22crop_y%22:0,%22crop_h%22:1000,%22crop_w%22:1000,%22scale%22:0,%22template%22:{%22id%22:20922923,%22params%22:{}}}

And how about this collection from Zazzle?

http://www.zazzle.com/unitarian+universalist+gifts

If wearing jewelry is your thing, look here:

https://www.etsy.com/market/uu_chalice_jewelry

https://www.cafepress.com/+unitarian-universalist+jewelry

We may occasionally find a Gospel tract left in restrooms for complete strangers to pick up (and perhaps discard). How about giving UU pamplets to people that we have earned our trust instead?

http://www.uua.org/publications/pamphlets/

https://www.uuabookstore.org/GetImage.ashx?Path=%7e%2fAssets%2fProductImages%2f3081.jpg&maintainAspectRatio=true

UU Views of God

Faith of Unitarian Universalist Christians

The Faith of Unitarian Universalist Humanists

Spiritual Home for LGBTQ People

And one that has special meaning to me:

Science and Religion

Indeed, just as Baha’is may do “firesides” in members’ homes, so UUs might often do “Dinners for Nine” in their homes as well. If non-church members were invited to these, then they would be a great way to share the faith in an relaxed, informal setting. No pressure.

So how about it? Wouldn’t our world be better if there were as many UUs in it as there are Roman Catholics or Muslims now? I think so!

A non-theist version of “One Man, One Woman”

This is a direct sequel to Jehovah, the Homophobe.

For reference, here is the video again:

What if the mother and daughter in that video had been atheists and not Jehovah’s Witnesses? Let’s rename the children and retell the story.

Debbie: “Look, Mom! I drew our family in school today!”

Mom: “Oh, wow!”

Debbie: “I didn’t have time to finish James’ face.”   (Mom chuckles.)

Debbie: “Carrie drew two mommies. She said they are married to each other. My teacher rejected her picture, saying Carrie’s mommies are living in sin. That made Carrie cry. What does that mean?”

Mom: “Your and Carrie’s teacher has a common view of gays and lesbians as sinners or even diseased because of their sexuality, but that is based mainly on religious bigotry. Thousands of years ago, when most of the world’s religions were being founded and spread, most people lived in tribal groups. Marriages were usually not just relationships between individuals, but also alliances between families or even nations. So fathers would often arrange for their children to marry members of other families and then those children would be expected to produce the next generation as adults. But the problem was that gays and lesbians couldn’t have children with each other, so they were useless for procreation. Because the founders of the great religions and the writers of the scriptures of these religions mistakenly believed that people could choose their sexuality, harsh punishments were often called for in an effort to force young people to avoid being gay or lesbian and try to be straight instead. Today, we understand how foolish and ignorant those people were and that’s why prejudice against LGBT people is fading away.”

Debbie: “What can we do to help Carrie?”

Mom: “Her rights are being violated by the teacher. If they haven’t done so already, Carrie’s mothers need to consult a lawyer and try to take legal action against the school. Let me talk to Carrie and her mothers so they can know what to do.”

 

Mormon leaders need to STFU about tithing!

A common complaint in the ExMormon subreddit is over the obsession the Mormon leaders have with tithing, which is paying 1/10th of your earnings to the church. Many Christian churches encourage this and some also accept “offerings” (any payment that is not a part of tithing).

I can understand a church suggesting tithing as a means of its support, but making it MANDATORY seems absurd. And yet…….

I couldn’t believe the Mormon church would do such a thing. And then I saw the proof:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2012/12/sacred-transformations?lang=eng

The Vigils’ bishop, César Orellana, also saw changes in their lives. Soon after their baptism, Amado approached Bishop Orellana and said, “We want to pay tithing, but we don’t know how.”

Bishop Orellana explained that tithing was 10 percent of their increase. Amado was somewhat concerned. At the time, Evelyn had a job, but he did not. “We always come up short,” Amado explained to his bishop, “but we want to pay tithing.”

Bishop Orellana responded, “Brother, the Lord has made many promises.” Together they read scriptures about the blessings that come from faithfully paying tithing, including the Lord’s words through the prophet Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

After reading these scriptures together, Bishop Orellana looked at the new convert and said, “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.”

The next Sunday, Amado approached Bishop Orellana again. This time he didn’t ask any questions. He simply handed his bishop an envelope and said, “Bishop, here is our tithing.”

If you are actually trying to get people to starve themselves or go without any basic necessities to give you anything, YOU ARE A DAMNED PARASITE!!!!

People like Bishop Orellana are con artists, pure and simple.

Some great ideas for Unitarian Universalist sermons.

I am a member of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church and I love it. Last year, the church made its own YouTube channel and with the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been broadcasting its services on its Facebook page and then uploading them to YouTube.

Here is a recent fine example:

It has occurred to me, however that we UUs could increase the appeal of our churches among younger people by making sermon topics that appeal more to their age group by sounding more like YouTube videos rather than like most churches do now. Let me provide some examples.

Telltale is a former Jehovah’s Witness who is highly critical of his former religion as well as many other cults. Recently he even took on Donald Trump, calling him a cult leader.

He also does podcasts that are less “arty” and more wordy, but still informative, like this:

Then there is Blair aka the Iiluminaughtii who I spoke of twice before. Many of her videos can serve as UU sermons, with a practical purpose.

There is also Adam Buckley, who I also have written about more than once. If you don’t like the foul language he often uses, but agree with some of his ideas, you can present them with “clean” language.

Genetically Modified Skeptic advocates directly for atheism, but he also tackles MLMs like Blair does.

But he also is willing to criticize his fellow atheists, making him more credible than most.

Indeed, he is surprisingly balanced about Islam, but still gets lied about by misinformed people.

Well, that also happened to me in a UU subreddit!

My point was that no UU should be Islamophobic, but likewise we must be free to criticize Islam……and ALL other religions. Refusing to face flaws and failures in other religions, and even our own, enables prejudice and ignorance. And that doesn’t help the credibility of UUism. We don’t even have to claim that Islam (or any other world religion) is false, but that allowing its dogmas to go unchecked is dangerous. That was indeed the whole point of my Spiritual Orientation series.

If more UUs like me took this balanced approach to criticizing religions while defending the rights of religious people, more people might flock to UUism.

Were blacks among the Southern Baptists really expecting better from their white leaders?

Read this story:

https://news.yahoo.com/prominent-black-pastor-pondering-exit-140305638.html

Some Black Southern Baptists feel shut out by white leaders

DAVID CRARY

As a student in college and seminary, then as a pastor in Texas, Dwight McKissic has been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for more than 45 years. Now he’s pondering whether he and his congregation should break away.

“It would feel like a divorce,” McKissic said. “That’s something I’ve never had, but that’s what it would feel like.”

If he does, he would be following in the footsteps of several other Black pastors who have recently exited in dismay over what they see as racial insensitivity from some leaders of the predominantly white SBC. Tensions are high after an election year in which racism was a central issue, and after a provocative declaration by SBC seminary presidents in late 2020 that a fundamental concept in the struggle against racial injustice contravenes church doctrine.

A crucial moment for McKissic and other Black pastors could come in June at the SBC’s national meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, if delegates rebuff their views on systemic racism in the U.S., and if Rev. Albert Mohler, a high-profile conservative who heads the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is elected SBC president.

Last year, even while announcing new scholarship funds for Black students, Mohler declined to change the names of buildings at his seminary named after slaveholders. More recently he played a key role in the seminary presidents’ repudiation of critical race theory — a broad term used in academic and activist circles to describe critiques of systemic racism

The presidents later apologized for not consulting Black pastors before issuing that repudiation, but Mohler told The Associated Press the presidents would likely have reached the same decision in any case.

The seminary leaders’ stance on critical race theory, as well as Mohler’s public support for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, “should disqualify him from being SBC president,” said McKissic, who has become one of the SBC’s most prominent Black pastors since founding the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, in 1983.

Some of the pastors who cut ties with the SBC in recent months also share negative views of Mohler. The Rev. Ralph West, whose Church Without Walls in Houston claims a weekly attendance of 9,000, called him “a polarizing figure” who would worsen divisions within the SBC.

Mohler suggested his critics do not reflect the opinions of most Southern Baptists, white or Black.

“I believe I represent the vast mainstream of conservative Southern Baptists on these issues,” he said. “I think I am polarizing only at the extremes.”

Regarding Trump, who had overwhelming backing from white evangelicals, Mohler said he consistently pointed out the former president’s flaws, but opted to endorse him based on his stances opposing abortion and defending religious liberties.

The SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. was founded in an 1845 split with northern Baptists over slavery and became the church of Southern slaveholders. Its membership of about 14.5 million remains overwhelming white — its predominantly Black churches claim a combined membership of about 400,000.

While the SBC formally apologized in 1995 for its pro-slavery past, and later condemned white supremacy, some tensions flared again after the Nov. 30 statement from six seminary presidents, all of them white. They declared that critical race theory was “incompatible with” central tenets of the SBC’s Scripture-based theology.

The statement swiftly created friction far beyond the realm of SBC academia, particularly due to the lack of Black involvement in its drafting.

Virginia pastor Marshal Ausberry, president of the organization that represents the SBC’s Black pastors, wrote to the presidents saying concepts such as critical race theory “help us to see and discover otherwise undetected, systemic racism in institutions and in ourselves.”

“The optics of six Anglo brothers meeting to discuss racism and other related issues without having ethnic representation in the room in 2020 — at worst it looks like paternalism, at best insensitivity,” Ausberry, first vice president of the SBC, elaborated in an interview with Baptist Press, the SBC’s official news agency.

The presidents apologized for not consulting Black pastors and met with some of them Jan. 6, but have not wavered in their rejection of critical race theory.

McKissic, who was in the Jan. 6 meeting, said the conversation was polite “but the outcome was not respectful to who Black people are in our history.”

He’s likely to remain in the SBC until the June meeting but is prepared to exit then if the delegates ratify the presidents’ stance on critical race theory as official policy.

“if they adopt that statement in June, it would be the feeling to me that people you trusted hit you in the face with a baseball bat,” McKissic said.

Another possible trigger for him would be if delegates rescind a 2019 resolution that included a positive reference to critical race theory, suggesting it could be useful as an “analytical tool” as long as it was subordinate to Scripture.

The Rev. Charlie Dates of the Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, one of the pastors who have already severed ties, said the November statement was “the last straw.”

“When did the theological architects of American slavery develop the moral character to tell the church how it should discuss and discern racism?” Dates wrote in an op-ed for Religion News Service. “The hard reality of the seminary presidents’ statement is that Black people will never gain full equality in the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Other Black pastors who have cut ties include the Rev. Seth Martin, whose multiracial Brook Community Church in Minneapolis had been receiving financial support from the Southern Baptist association in Minnesota, and the Rev. Joel Bowman, who abandoned plans to move his Temple of Faith Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, into the SBC fold.

“I genuinely believe the SBC is headed in the wrong direction,” Bowman said. “White evangelicals have gotten in bed with the Republican Party.”

Some white SBC pastors are also troubled, such as the Rev. Ed Litton of Mobile, Alabama, who is one of Mohler’s rivals for the SBC presidency. McKissic has endorsed Litton’s candidacy.

Litton was a co-signer of a statement by a multiethnic group of Southern Baptists last month which asserted that “some recent events have left many brothers and sisters of color feeling betrayed and wondering if the SBC is committed to racial reconciliation.”

When evangelical churches get involved in partisan politics, like they have so much since the 1980s, both the government and the churches become corrupted. That’s what we saw in the case of Donald Trump being elected President.

Even if I were still a Christian, I could never return to the Southern Baptist Convention because of its racist roots. I’d be more likely to join the United Methodist Church or some other mainline or liberal Protestant body.

Since 2017, Unitarian Universalists have had their own struggles about race issues. And I believe strongly that the path should be open for blacks who are Christians to feel welcome among UUs. Consider the case of Bishop Carlton Pearson.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlton_Pearson

I actually saw him preach at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, and he also has a regular place at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/the-gospel-inclusion

When the story broke that evangelicals were calling Carlton Pearson a heretic, Lavanhar recognized right away that what he was preaching was classic Universalism. He called Pearson up and invited him to lunch. “Marlin was very sensitive and seemed to understand even more than I did in some ways where I was,” Pearson recalls. “He was probing my mind, and I his, and he was offering brotherhood. I didn’t have many friends in this town.”

Then Lavanhar invited Pearson to preach at All Souls. The sanctuary was packed. “They gave us their Sunday morning offering,” Pearson recalls, tearing up. “It makes me emotional just to think about it.”

Tulsa’s United Church of Christ ministers also reached out to Pearson. (He was granted ministerial fellowship in that denomination in 2006.) “But I was fellowshipping with Marlin,” Pearson says. “He grasped my position on Universalism even more than the UCC folks.” Pearson had read about Universalism at ORU, but he didn’t realize that All Souls Unitarian was part of that tradition.

In late 2005 Pearson sold the Higher Dimensions organization in order to avoid foreclosure, at a loss of $3 million in equity. The building is now a Christian prep school. “We were hurting, scattered, wandering through the wilderness like Moses and the children of Israel,” Pearson says. But they weren’t giving up. The 200 or so survivors renamed themselves New Dimensions. For the next two and a half years they held a one o’clock Sunday service in Trinity Episcopal Church downtown, attended on Sunday mornings by Tulsa’s country club and business elite.

Meanwhile, lunch had become a monthly ritual for newfound friends Pearson and Lavanhar. In April 2008, Lavanhar preached a sermon that got some buzz on the Internet, defending presidential candidate Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, by placing him in context with the Hebrew prophets and the historic black church. He showed Pearson a thankful letter Wright had sent.

Pearson thought out-loud, “We should have come to All Souls, because y’all really are interested in this kind of thing, racial justice. We wouldn’t be like boarders or visitors. Y’all would want us there. It would mean a lot to you.” So Lavanhar extended yet another invitation. New D could have the 11:30 a.m. Sunday service slot, free, for the summer, when All Souls went down to a single 10:00 a.m. service.

What caught everyone off guard was that about half the people who showed up at that service were All Souls folks. They loved the emotion, the spirit, the high they got from “bucking and shouting and getting our praise on,” as Cassandra Austin, a New D member since 1994, describes it.

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/humiliation-hostility-riot-lives

After Pearson was declared a heretic by his fellow Pentecostals for preaching universal salvation in the megachurch he led, he accepted Lavanhar’s invitation to lead worship at All Souls. He and approximately 200 of his parishioners started worshiping at All Souls in 2008, and today, about 4 percent of the church’s 2,023 members are black. 

Black membership among UUs may grow enormously if all UU churches do become as inclusive as All Souls is.

Let It Go… my analysis of its lyrics

In an earlier blog entry, I spoke of the experience of people leaving their former religion and seeking personal freedom. I also referred to a song that seems to speak of that experience. Here is that song again:

And here are the lyrics:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation
And it looks like I’m the queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know
 
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway
 
It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free
 
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on
 
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past
 
Let it go, let it go
When I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway
 
And here is my interpretation of those lyrics.
 
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation
And it looks like I’m the queen
 
When you realize that a religion you based your entire life around is not true, or at least not suitable for you, you don’t just lose that religion, you lose the COMMUNITY that religion creates, and thus you feel terrified about what may happen to you later. We humans are social animals, so this is indeed trauma on a grievous scale.
 
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know
 
At first, you may try to pretend to still believe in and follow your former religion, but this is no long term solution if you value your integrity. And eventually, those in the faith closest to you may figure out you are just pretending and condemn you, rightfully, as a hypocrite. The sooner you come out with the truth about yourself, the better.
 
 
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway
 

Once you turn that corner and admit openly you have abandoned your past faith, your fears will be replaced with inner peace, perhaps the same inner peace the religion itself was supposed to give you. Now you can face the others who still follow your old religion and refute their claims. The controversy (cold) wasn’t the issue; you were just on the wrong side of it!

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free
 
People who reject all dogmatic religions do so because they realize the rules of those religions are not grounded in reality. The only rules and laws that should ever matter are those that serve real needs of real people in real time. Religions can’t do that!
 
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on
 
So now you can prove that leaving a religion won’t destroy you as a person, but make your life better!
 
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past
 
Leaving an oppressive religion increases your creativity, allowing you to  explore possibilities that you were fearful of before. And that justifies your leaving and makes you see there is no point in ever turning back.
 
Let it go, let it go
When I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway
 

The religion you left promised you light, but it was a lie; you only became truly enlightened once you left it and found what was right for you. You stopped seeking moral perfection once you recognized it never existed. Instead, you make up your own standards and live by them. Just as I did in 2005:

 

An Honorable Skeptic

A critical analysis of a Muslim to Baha’i testimony

Today, I can celebrate, as Joe Biden finally takes his rightful place as the new President of the United States. I really hope Donald Trump fades away into the void like the degenerate scumbag he always was.

Meanwhile, I am still dealing with religious issues in reddit. Take a look at this:

https://www.removeddit.com/r/bahai/comments/l189z7/from_shia_exmuslim_to_bahai/

they_marked_me

I grew up in a strict Iraqi Shia family. I always had a place for God in my heart but I could never reconcile with the teachings of the Quran and the effects Islam had on the Muslim communities around me, shia, sunni, moderate and others. I saw sexism, homophobia, gossip, emotional isolation and of course violent enforcement of religious teachings. When I was finally old enough to legally leave my family home I did. I left religion, my hijab and the community behind. I needed to finally breathe.

10 years passed and I noticed that God’s place in my heart was getting smaller and smaller. There was even a point where I doubted my belief. Why was there so much hatred in his communities? Why was so much pain caused by his believers? Their worship and and words were so different that they might as well be descended from different Gods. I resented that I was told to believe in a God that promised nothing but horror, torture and hell fire. There was no compassion for Gods creatures, no pleasure in bowing down for him, no inspiration in their teachings and no guidance for my modern life. Deep down I knew of God and his true nature. His compassion, his beauty, his love for us. I couldn’t follow any religion or book that besmirched his name like that.

I wasn’t approached by any Bahai. I never saw any of their online work. I just searched for an answer. I refused to believe that God would let us rot in this horribly defect world we created. I believed that he must have thought of us and sent us guidance. I just needed to find it. It didn’t take long. When I learned about the Bab and his story it all clicked into place. The Shia teachings that I learned about in madrassa allowed me to recognize the Bab’s truth.

I’m only in the learning stages and I have no Bahai communities near me. But I call myself a Bahai because now I know that the God I have in my heart has never abandoned us.

Let’s do an examination of this testimony.

I always had a place for God in my heart but I could never reconcile with the teachings of the Quran and the effects Islam had on the Muslim communities around me, shia, sunni, moderate and others.

Millions of moderate and progressive Muslims can do just that. Indeed, there are subreddits of such Muslims, like this one:

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

I saw sexism, homophobia, gossip, emotional isolation and of course violent enforcement of religious teachings.

There is sexism and homophobia in the Baha’i Faith, even while the Faith’s leaders lie about believing in equality of men and women and claim they reject prejudice against gays

Why was there so much hatred in his communities? Why was so much pain caused by his believers? Their worship and and words were so different that they might as well be descended from different Gods. I resented that I was told to believe in a God that promised nothing but horror, torture and hell fire. There was no compassion for Gods creatures, no pleasure in bowing down for him, no inspiration in their teachings and no guidance for my modern life.

Those are exactly the sort of issues that lead many people to become atheists. And yet…..

Deep down I knew of God and his true nature. His compassion, his beauty, his love for us. I couldn’t follow any religion or book that besmirched his name like that.

Then why not embrace a form of Universalism?

I wasn’t approached by any Bahai. I never saw any of their online work. I just searched for an answer.

If you haven’t dealt directly with Baha’is, then you know nothing about how their religion works in terms of community. You just saw an abstraction. Religion is only useful in terms of its people.

I refused to believe that God would let us rot in this horribly defect world we created.

Ironically, atheism, so reviled by followers of Abrahamic religions, actually lets God off the hook; you can’t blame God for anything if he doesn’t exist.

I believed that he must have thought of us and sent us guidance. I just needed to find it.

I had the same assumptions in the mid 1990s, so I too became a Baha’i.

When I learned about the Bab and his story it all clicked into place. The Shia teachings that I learned about in madrassa allowed me to recognize the Bab’s truth.

Bullshit! The Bab claimed to be the Mahdi, a Messianic figure in Shiite Islam much like Jesus was supposed to be in Christianity. The Bab was expected to overthrow the evil rulers of the world and bring about a new age, but his being killed in 1850 by a firing squad should have discredited him and his movement forever. That didn’t happen because only a few years later, Baha’u’llah revived the Babi community and then claimed that he was “He Who God Will Make Manifest” that the Bab foretold. Most of the Babis, desperate to retain their faith, accepted Baha’u’llah and became Baha’is. To me, this would be an example of the sunk cost fallacy; the Babis and later Baha’is had suffered so much for their beliefs that they couldn’t bring themselves to admit they had been duped and their leadership had failed. This irrational view has kept the Baha’i Faith going to this day!

It is interesting that she is more interested in the Bab than Baha’u’llah. Could she become a Bayani/Azali if she discovers propaganda discrediting Baha’u’llah? But that movement is even less successful than the Baha’i one!

It is possible that the real reason she rejected Islam is that it does not fit her Spiritual Orientation. Could the Baha’i Faith be better for her? Then she should read this:

https://dalehusband.com/2018/05/04/if-your-spiritual-orientation-is-bahai/

And for clarity, she should also see this:

https://dalehusband.com/2018/04/24/if-your-spiritual-orientation-is-muslim/

She should also see THIS about a girl raised Muslim:

https://dalehusband.com/2019/06/16/a-conversion-to-unitarian-universalism/

There are SO MANY options they_marked_me can look up and consider before she goes off the deep end and wastes her time and life serving the cult of the So-Called Baha’i Faith (SCBF)!

 

 

Advice for people leaving or thinking of leaving their religion.

In reddit, there are many subreddits that are made as support groups for people doubting or denying the religion they were raised in and wanting to leave it. This blog entry is for those people.

Here is a list of those ex(religious) subreddits.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Exittors/     (A general subreddit for various people leaving any religious group allowing them to  compare notes and see how much alike they are.)

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

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

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

https://www.reddit.com/r/exjw/     (A subreddit for former Jehovah’s Witnesses, not to be confused with ex-Jews)

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

https://www.reddit.com/r/exjew/  (THIS is the subreddit for people who have rejected the Jewish religion, even if they are considered of Jewish ethnicity.)

https://www.reddit.com/r/exAdventist/    (For those who reject Seventh Day Adventist teachings)

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

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

https://www.reddit.com/r/excoc/      (For those rejecting the “Church of Christ”)

https://www.reddit.com/r/thegreatproject/     (Another subreddit for people wanting to tell stories about leaving their religion.)

And last but certainly not least (at least to me):  

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

Warning: Do NOT go to a religious group of any kind and openly state you want to quit their religion. All that will do is start a fight you don’t need to be involved in. Examples:  

Once you decide what you really are, you can join a subreddit that defines you in a positive rather than a negative way. Such as:

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, here is a song for all those ex(religious) people in the world to celebrate their freedom from whatever cult or dogmatic bullshit they were once in:

 

 

Bigotry in Religion

When I rejected the Baha’i Faith in 2004, I also rejected theism itself, reasoning that if any God-centered religion could have been true, the Baha’i Faith was because it was the newest and most progressive in nature. So I could not revert to any older faith, not even the Christianity I had been raised in. They had already failed, and once I understood that the Baha’i Faith was also a failure, I couldn’t believe in God at all.

Most followers of the Abrahamic religions regard non-theists with contempt, and they are encouraged to have this bigoted attitude by the scriptures of their religions. Here are some noteworthy examples.

The first is from the Bible.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+14&version=NIV

Psalm 14

For the director of music. Of David.

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.

7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

From the Quran we have this:

2: The Cow

6 As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.
7 Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.
8 And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.
9 They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.
10 In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.
11 And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.
12 Are not they indeed the mischief-makers ? But they perceive not.
13 And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe ? are not they indeed the foolish ? But they know not.

Here’s another example from the Gleanings of the Writings of Baha’u’llah:

www.bahai.org/r/207266714

CXIV (that’s Roman numerals, it would be 114 in Arabic numerals)

Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbor, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.

As a non-theist who has personally known many other honorable non-theists, these passages show the writers of these scriptures to be as ignorant as it gets when it comes to the true character of atheists and agnostics.

My strict ethical standards are defined here:

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

I have seen plenty of examples of treacherous and dishonest behavior from people who profess to believe in God.

Atheists do not reject theism because they are corrupt (though to be fair, some are). They cannot behave treacherously towards one they do not believe exists. To disbelieve in God is not evil, merely a different point of view. Saying otherwise is hate propaganda.

Ethical standards only make sense if they come from reality and are applied to reality. People are real. God(s) may not be. And if your only source of ethics is religion, what happens if a religious leader commands you to commit mass murder and rape?

This attitude of bigotry towards non-theists was used to justify the nonsense written by Hugh Ross, as recorded here:

Insulting and Libeling Unbelievers

And we simply shouldn’t accept that anymore.

UUism should be more than a social club for religious exiles

Someone said this in a Unitarian Univeralist (UU) group in Facebook and it really annoyed me:

The UU local churches turn over half of their members every five years. One quarter will still be present in ten years, one eighth in 15 years, with only about 1/16 of the original crowd in 20 years.

UUs maintain their ranks through the constant influx of refugees from other denominations, most of whom want to keep their kids in church. People who leave their previous denominations are often people who had a conflict of conscience in their previous religious home.

Some UUs just wandered in, but most were leaving something.

Ironically, ninety percent of folks who grew up UU want nothing to do with it as adults and, unfortunately, this is just fine to most UUs.

We call it the upstairs/downstairs division in UUism. So, it helps to understand that UUs are a “standing wave” phenomenon of people moving into and out of local churches at a brisk pace, with little growth.

The serious discussion of religious beliefs is not what UUism is mainly about, so much as finding a place where religious beliefs are not discussed much.

The internet provides more of a place for discussing UU beliefs than a typical Sunday at church does.

Most UUs believe that most other UUs have similar religious beliefs, but nothing could be further from the truth. We just don’t really talk about our religious beliefs much once we get to church.

I see these as serious problems and think we need to make changes to get younger UUs to WANT to remain loyal to the UUA and its churches. So let us discuss how. What can we do to make the UUA one of the fastest growing religious groups in America?

Fortunately, other UUs are just as concerned about this matter as I am. Thomas A. Earthman, who is the “Lifespan Religious Educator” at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, wrote the following essay several years ago:

Rehabilitating the UU Half-way House Trope

 

Rehabilitating the UU Half-way House Trope

Unitarian Universalism has a reputation of being the rehabilitation clinic for people who are leaving religion. That is a sad statement on how we view faith. People don’t come to us because they want to leave religion; they come because they want a religion that speaks to a broader world view and inclusion. People aren’t coming to church, even a Unitarian Universalist church, to get away from religion.

What many are looking for is community, encouragement, hope, and mental or ethical stimulation, and maybe some music or ritual. They are looking for religion when they show up, just one that is liberal and offers them a chance to explore theology, philosophy, and morality safely and sa part of a community. They are looking for a faith that allows them to be honest about who they are as a heretic, a doubter, or maybe just a hippie. It is when they don’t find anything fulfilling, for whatever reason, that they leave, often leaving religion behind for good. We need to tell them that we are believers, and that their faith, whatever shape it takes, maters [sic] as part of our shared identity.

UU ideals

“…we are believers. We believe in intellectual freedom; we believe in justice; we believe in compassion and concern for each other and the whole world. We believe in commitment to those ideals which make us caring and active in the struggles for human dignity. We are Unitarian Universalists.”
~ John M. Higgins

We are sometimes the last chance for religious community to embrace a person and make them feel welcome. Even after they are welcome, they have deeper needs we are obligated to meet. Our principles call on us to encourage one another to spiritual growth. They require our congregations to be laboratories for free, but responsible, exploration of the world and our role in it. That means we have to be communities of faith as well as covenant, or we’ve devolved into social clubs that are easily replicated in coffee shops and on-line message boards. Even sermons can be read in blogs or watched on YouTube. We have to offer more than Sunday services and coffee hour.

That is why Life-span faith development and small group ministry matter. That is why the focus of Unitarian Universalism needs to be open to change. It is why our mission is making the ideas we hold dear easy for people to share with their friends and family, so that we can spread them through human connections. It is what we ask you to support by being part of the I Am UU community.

The future of church is to offer what libraries, coffee shops, and the Internet cannot: a place where all of that is given freely, and supported by the folks who believe in the power of human beings, working together, to build a more just, more loving, more connected world. Is that what your congregation is? Tell us in the comments what is being done to take those ideas into the real world.

Thomas then said directly to me in Facebook:

People don’t come to a UU church because they are fleeing religion. They come looking for a religion they can believe in. They leave if they don’t find it…

Also, if you actually talk to young adults who grew up UU, they leave because the way adults do church isn’t the way we taught them to do church (most congregations force their kids out of their worship service) and we haven’t embraced the small group style that they are used to.

So now I want to use the blog to explore more the possiblities of UUism to become a true force for change in American society. And that can’t happen if we do not commit ourselves to growth to have many millions of members from all walks of life!

Another Creationist Meets his Maker

Read this announcement:

https://www.icr.org/article/in-loving-memory-of-dr-henry-m-morris-iii/

In Loving Memory of Dr. Henry M. Morris III
It is with heavy hearts that the Institute for Creation Research announces the homegoing of our CEO, Dr. Henry M. Morris III. He went to be with his Lord on December 12, 2020.

After his years of faithful service, Dr. Morris, known affectionately around the office as Dr. Henry, was planning to retire from his ICR leadership position at the end of this month. A tribute article about him was included in the December issue of Acts & Facts.

We’d like to share some excerpts from that article as we reflect on what Dr. Henry has meant to ICR’s ministry and to so many people who have been touched by his life and influence over the years.

Dr. Henry M. Morris III has been at the heart of ICR’s ministry work for decades, using his gifts as a leader, speaker, and writer to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and how science affirms creation. Some might say a passion for creation ministry has run in his family. His father, Dr. Henry M. Morris—widely known as the father of modern creationism—founded ICR in 1970, and his brother Dr. John Morris served as ICR President from 1996 to 2014 and as President Emeritus after that.

Here’s the thing to remember: The Morris family claimed to be scientists, researching evidence for creationism, but that is fraudulent; genuine scientists never make assumptions about reality and twist the results of their work to fit the assumptions. But that’s what Creationists have always done, because they are motivated by dogma, not objective truth.

science-v-spooky

Reading the announcement further:

Dr. Henry joined ICR in 2000 as Executive Vice President for Strategic Ministries. In 2004, he and his wife, Jan, moved to the Dallas area to prepare for the relocation of ICR from Santee, California, to that more central region of the United States. Once they found a place to live, their home functioned as a hub of the Texas “branch” for about two years, with the Dallas staff working from their living room until an office building could be located.

And why would the ICR move from one state to another? Most likely for political reasons. California is a “blue” (liberal Democratic) state while Texas is a “red” (conservative Republican) state, so perhaps Morris hoped to get more political support from the people and even the state government in Texas. Another Creationist group, Answers in Genesis, is also headquartered in a red state, Kentucky.

Between 2007 and 2010, Dr. Henry worked to establish a new generation of creation scientists who would be eager to uncover new evidence for biblical creation. The most important criteria he looked for were an unwavering commitment to Scripture and strong technical training in a scientific field.

Quite simply, you cannot uncover evidence that doesn’t exist. And the point of having training in science is to be able to write propaganda in “scientific” sounding language to deceive Christian readers who are themselves scientifically illiterate.

He was also instrumental in the push to create a DVD series churches could use to introduce their members to creation truth without the time and expense of bringing in an ICR speaker. He said, “I became convinced that we needed to do something that would offer the smaller churches a quality educational resource without the expense of funding a seminar. That generated the idea of having a collection of these short, 20-minute, movie-quality episodes.”

This is actually a damning indication of how far Creationism has fallen since its heyday decades ago. Plus not having a speaker means people can’t ask them critical questions about their claims and dogmas.

As a passionate and engaging speaker, Dr. Henry often joined the ICR science team at creation seminars and conferences. He communicated the importance of the authority and accuracy of God’s Word and exhorted Christian believers not to compromise but to uphold Genesis as a true account of our beginnings.

Again, in real science, the authority and accuracy of ANYTHING besides the scientific research itself should never be an issue. Mere stories that were popular in the past don’t matter.

applesandoranges

But Dr. Henry’s biggest undertaking was the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History. It took years for this vision of a creation-based Dallas museum to come to pass as ICR encountered various obstacles along the way.

<snip>

He was intimately involved in the plans and decisions to ensure that the Discovery Center reflected ICR’s commitment to solid science and the ultimate authority of Scripture. It was his hope and expectation that the Discovery Center would equip Christian believers with the scientific evidence that confirms biblical creation and refutes evolution. He wanted the new facility to build visitors’ confidence in the Bible, as well as serve as a training ground for Christian pastors and educators. He had a heart to reach homeschool families and other students ranging from elementary through college.

Since the Discovery Center’s grand opening in 2019, thousands of visitors have already come to explore the wonders of God’s creation and gain confidence in the veracity of His Word. Dr. Henry said, “It’s been an absolute delight and joy to see it birthed from a scrawling idea on the back of a lunch napkin to something that is really significant.”

Answers in Genesis’ Creation Museum was established in 2007, so why would the ICR found their own museum 12 years later? Not to mention yet another Creationist museum also in Texas that has existed for decades before the museum in Kentucky. Oh, wait…..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_Evidence_Museum#Criticism_from_creationists

Young Earth creationist organizations such as Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International have criticized Baugh’s claims saying he “muddied the water for many Christians … People are being misled.”[1] Don Batten, of Creation Ministries International wrote: “Some Christians will try to use Baugh’s ‘evidences’ in witnessing and get ‘shot down’ by someone who is scientifically literate. The ones witnessed to will thereafter be wary of all creation evidences and even more inclined to dismiss Christians as nut cases not worth listening to.”[37] Answers in Genesis lists the “Paluxy tracks” as arguments “we think creationists should NOT use” [emphasis in original].[38] The old Earth creationist organization Answers In Creation also reviewed Baugh’s museum and concluded “the main artifacts they claim show a young earth reveal that they are deceptions, and in many cases, not even clever ones.”[39]

The “Burdick track” and “fossilized finger” were featured on the controversial NBC program The Mysterious Origins of Man, aired in 1996 and hosted by Charlton Heston.[16] Creationist Ken Ham criticized the production in the February 1996 Answers in Genesis newsletter in a review titled “Hollywood’s ‘Moses’ Undermines Genesis.”[40] Ham attacked Baugh’s claims, saying, “According to leading creationist researchers, this evidence is open to much debate and needs much more intensive research. One wonders how much of the information in the program can really be trusted!”[40]

It’s almost like playing  a game of whack-a-mole; you debunk one phony museum’s exhibits and another museum arises to try to make a more credible presentation of Creationist claims instead of reaching the obvious conclusion that CREATIONISM ITSELF IS A LIE!

Then there are these web pages:

https://answersingenesis.org/creationism/arguments-to-avoid/

https://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

Keep in mind that in most cases, these arguments were seriously used by Creationists in the past. The reason they are denied now is because real scientists have torn down those arguments with the objective TRUTH, which even Christians can easily find through the internet. Hence the damage control I just listed.

I myself have written many blog entries debunking Creationist nonsense:

The Planets Won’t Cooperate, with CREATIONISM!

It’s not just evolution that discredits Genesis!

How to be a good Creationist

The bottleneck effect and the Genesis creation myth

Blasphemy by Creationist bigots

Dinosaurs and Creationism

Creation Museum Running Out of Cash and Going Extinct?

Insulting and Libeling Unbelievers

But since Christian Creationism is ultimately based on the claim of the infallibility of the Bible, we really need to strike at that dogma itself, even without referring to evolution or other scientific issues.

Lying About History for the Bible

Lying About History for the Bible, Round 2

Teaching religion dishonestly

The prophet Isaiah did NOT predict the coming of Jesus!

Creationists are frauds, period and we need to keep discrediting them until they are gone from society.

Why I Rejected the Baha’i Faith, 4th Edition

The three previous accounts of my defection from the Baha’i Faith are as follows:

https://dalehusband.com/2007/10/19/why-i-quit-the-baha%e2%80%99i-faith/

https://dalehusband.com/2011/02/22/my-resignation-from-the-bahai-faith/

https://dalehusband.com/2017/01/22/why-i-abandoned-the-haifan-bahai-faith/

Here is the newest, most updated edition.

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.

What a wonderful vision! But human nature will NEVER allow for it! The reason is that the leadership of the Baha’i Faith, from its founder, Baha’u’llah, to the Universal House of Justice today, claims to be infallible because it is guided by God. Yet we know that Baha’u’llah, his son Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha’s grandson Shoghi Effendi (the Guardian of the Faith), and the members of the Universal House of Justice were/are all HUMAN BEINGS. What evidence do we have that ANY of them are infallible? NONE! And if you cannot question the will of a leadership, what do you in fact have? Tyranny! And what does tyranny always lead to, according to history? Corruption and injustice! And that, in turn results in the system breaking down over time. Indeed, the very idea that any human being, human run institution, or human product is infallible is sheer nonsense. It is the most dangerous idea in the world!

Religious fundamentalism is blasphemy!

Also, I finally began to see that the Baha’i Faith also has errors, contradictions, and failures of its own, despite being less than 200 years old. It was my coming to understand this that finally led me to leave the Faith with a heavy heart. The truth about the Faith, as revealed over the years by my research, is shown in these blog entries, among many others I have made:

The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority

Baha’i Scandals

FIVE Ways to Create a Religion of Hypocrites

So at the end of 2004, realizing that I had to remove myself from that community outright as a matter of honor, I wrote the following to the National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) 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.
Regretfully,
Dale Husband

I composed that letter on my computer and then mailed it in January of 2005. A few weeks later, the NSA replied that they had accepted my resignation and expressed hope that I would one day decide to return. That looked like denial to me, so I dismissed it and threw away the letter. Then I cut completely all personal ties to the Baha’is in the Fort Worth area. Despite this, I stayed silent about my defection from the Baha’i Faith until October 19, 2007, when I posted my first blog entry attacking it. Encouraged by the feedback I got as a result, I stepped up my efforts until I found myself in battle over the years with various members of my former religion, all of whom only showed me why I had no reason for being among them anymore! They were not nearly as good or as intelligent as I thought originally.

Baha’is must reject the Guardianship!

My Battle on Amazon with a Haifan Baha’i

Another Battle with a Haifan Baha’i, this time on Blogspot
Another Baha’i picks a fight with me on YouTube
Confronting Scott Hakala on Quora

I have joined the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and found its principles to be far more enlightened than those of the Haifan Baha’is. And better still, they truly LIVE those principles too!

1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Despite my rejection of most Baha’i teachings, I later supported my friend Eric Stetson’s effort to establish a new Unitarian Baha’i (UB) community, blending Baha’i and Unitarian Universalist ideas. We thought it was the only way to save the Baha’i Faith itself from continuing to degenerate into a destructive cult. But the UBs remain an online community of only a few dozen members and even Stetson left it to return to liberal forms of Christianity. I have also given up on advancing the cause of the UBs. Let it fade away, like the Baha’i Faith itself should.

In 2018, I joined Reddit and a subreddit for former Baha’is and have been mostly focused on discrediting the Baha’i Faith and promoting Unitarian Universalism there. This led me into more battles with Baha’is and increased my determination to see the Baha’i Faith crash and burn into total oblivion.

Treachery of Baha’is @ reddit
Muslim-bashing and Libel Against Ex-Baha’is in Reddit
Is the Baha’i community disintegrating?
Another victory over the Baha’i Faith and one of its bigoted hypocrites

I am a non-theist now, worshipping no God and refusing to adhere to any other religion than that of the UUA. And I do not foresee myself being anything else. The Baha’i Faith was the last chance I was willing to give for a God centered religion to rule my life….and now I know that none ever will.

Historical narratives in religion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative_history

Narrative history is the practice of writing history in a story-based form. It tends to entail history-writing based on reconstructing series of short-term events, and ever since the influential work of Leopold von Ranke on professionalising history-writing in the nineteenth century has been associated with empiricism. The term narrative history thus overlaps with the term histoire événementielle (‘event-history’) coined by Fernand Braudel in the early twentieth century, as he promoted forms of history-writing analysing much longer-term trends (what he called the longue durée).[1]

Though history is considered a social science, the story-based nature of history allows for the inclusion of a greater or lesser degree of narration in addition to an analytical or interpretative exposition of historical knowledge. It can be divided into two subgenres: the traditional narrative and the modern narrative.

Traditional narrative focuses on the chronological order of history. It is event driven and tends to center upon individuals, action, and intention. For example, in regard to the French Revolution, an historian who works with the traditional narrative might be more interested in the revolution as a single entity (one revolution), centre it in Paris, and rely heavily upon major figures such as Maximilien Robespierre.

Conversely, modern narrative typically focuses on structures and general trends. A modern narrative would break from rigid chronology if the historian felt it explained the concept better. In terms of the French Revolution, an historian working with the modern narrative might show general traits that were shared by revolutionaries across France but would also illustrate regional variations from those general trends (many confluent revolutions). Also this type of historian might use different sociological factors to show why different types of people supported the general revolution.

Historians who use the modern narrative might say that the traditional narrative focuses too much on what happened and not enough on why and causation. Also, that this form of narrative reduces history into neat boxes and thereby does an injustice to history. J H Hexter characterized such historians as “lumpers”. In an essay on Christopher Hill, he remarked that “lumpers do not like accidents: they would prefer them vanish…The lumping historian wants to put all of the past into boxes..and then to tie all the boxes together into one nice shapely bundle.”

Historians who use traditional narrative might say that the modern narrative overburdens the reader with trivial data that had no significant effect on the progression of history. They believe that the historian needs to stress what is consequential in history, as otherwise the reader might believe that minor trivial events were more important than they were.

Virtually all the “history” you read in the Bible is this type of narrative.

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What is a “true” religion?

It is no secret that as a non-theist I personally reject ALL God centered religions. That stems from my desire to avoid all double standards in my life; if I can no longer accept Baha’u’llah as a Messenger of God because his writings and character were flawed, by what standard can I accept any previous Messenger, such as Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad? Didn’t they ALL have failings and flaws from present day and secular standards? My desire for perfection in religion made me reject all of them…….but I must also recognize that my own religion, Unitarian Universalism, is also less than perfect. The reason is simple: ALL religions are run by humans, and humans are not perfect.

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