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 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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The Desperation of the Baha’is as the 100th Anniversary of the Death of Abdu’l-Baha Approaches

Today, the Universal House of Justice has released yet another long-winded and ultimately pointless statement. It is indeed notorious for such things, as this earlier blog entry showed:

The Universal House of Empty Rhetoric

So what did they say this time?

https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/20201125_001/1#300076430

The Universal House of Justice

25 November 2020

To the Bahá’ís of the World

Dearly loved Friends,

We greet you with immense affection on this special day, an occasion for calling to mind the power of the Covenant, that power which “pulsateth in the body of the contingent world” and forges enduring bonds of love among the believers. In the months since Riḍván, we have seen the evidences of this dynamic power in the unified activity of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers, led so ably by the institutions of the Cause in each continent and country, as the friends everywhere have sought with characteristic creativity and determination to minister to the needs of an ailing world. Your resilience and your unwavering commitment to the well-being of those around you, persistent through all difficulties, have filled us with tremendous hope. But it is no wonder that, in some other quarters, hope has become a depleted resource. There is a mounting realization on the part of the world’s people that the decades ahead are set to bring with them challenges among the most daunting that the human family has ever had to face. The current global health crisis is but one such challenge, the ultimate severity of whose cost, both to lives and livelihoods, is yet unknown; your efforts to succour and support one another as well as your sisters and brothers in society at large will certainly need to be sustained, and in places expanded.

It is against this background of furious storms lashing humanity that the ark of the Cause is about to embark upon a series of Plans that will carry it into the third century of the Bahá’í Era and significantly strengthen the Bahá’í community’s capacity for realizing the society-building powers of the Faith. As you are aware, the first Plan to commence this new series will last but one year. In places where circumstances prevent national communities from establishing as many intensive programmes of growth before Riḍván 2021 as they intended, these twelve months will extend the time available to them to do so. Meanwhile, wherever the process of growth has already been intensified, the year will be an opportunity to consolidate the achievements made during the current Plan, while cultivating the conditions necessary for welcoming larger and larger numbers of souls into the embrace of a community recognized for its fortitude and outward-looking orientation. At the national, regional, and cluster levels, we look to communities of proven strength to help those in which less experience has accrued. In this year-long effort, every community must draw on whatever untapped potential it may possess and seek to overcome any obstacles that are impeding its growth, thereby preparing it for the demands to come. For it is within the context of a flourishing community, especially a centre of intense activity in a village or neighbourhood, and when each element of the Plan’s framework is given the attention it requires, that those elements most visibly cohere and connect, multiplying the community’s powers in the field of action.

Besides providing for advances within clusters everywhere, the coming Plan will be a year for profound reflection on the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the strength of the Covenant of which He was the Centre, as the community prepares to commemorate the centenary of His Ascension. The observance of this anniversary will undoubtedly prompt individuals and communities alike to contemplate the significance of that infinitely poignant moment when He Who was the Mystery of God departed from this world. His passing took from the Bahá’ís of that era a Figure Who was the object of their ardent love and loyalty; to the faithful of this age, He remains without parallel: a perfect embodiment in word and deed of all that His Father taught, the One through Whom the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh was “proclaimed, championed and vindicated”. We are conscious that the coming year will also mark a century since His Will and Testament—that “momentous”, “historic”, “immortal” Document—“called into being, outlined the features and set in motion the processes” of the Administrative Order, “the very pattern of that divine civilization which the almighty Law of Bahá’u’lláh is designed to establish upon earth”. This “unique” and “divinely-conceived” Order, this “mighty administrative structure”, had been fashioned by its Architect to perpetuate the Covenant and channel the spiritual powers of the Cause. It will be apparent, then, that the Day of the Covenant next year, exactly twelve months from now, will be especially meaningful. We ask National Spiritual Assemblies to determine how these two dates, occurring so close together, may each be observed, taking into account prevailing conditions in their countries.

All the while, earnest preparations continue to be made in the Holy Land for the commemoration of the centenary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at a gathering at which, it is hoped, representatives of National Spiritual Assemblies and Regional Bahá’í Councils will be present. Similarly, plans are already being made for the conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members, which will coincide, in January 2022, with the lapse of one hundred years since the first public reading of the Will and Testament of the Master. Conditions in the world may, of course, require the plans being made for these gatherings at the Bahá’í World Centre to change. But come what may, we have no doubt that the efforts made in local communities worldwide to befittingly commemorate the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and to honour the Day of the Covenant in this coming centennial year will provide the impetus needed to launch the succeeding stage in God’s Minor Plan, even as Providence propels the unfoldment of His Major Plan in accordance with His incontestable decree.

Well, that’s not the complete statement, but that’s all of it I can stand to read.

The references to Abdu’l-Baha clearly tie in with the construction of the Shrine that is to be dedicated to him:

https://news.bahai.org/story/1353/

They are taking a HUGE and desperate gamble with this construction. They have been doing construction project after construction project at the   Baha’i World Center, but this one is especially noteworthy because it is happening while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world!

A popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and hoping for a different result than before. So since the results of  past construction projects have failed to attract more people to join the Baha’i Faith, why would they think this new one might do the trick? I guess the UHJ must indeed suffer from a type of collective insanity, a extreme form of “groupthink”.

When this shrine is completed and then entry by troops STILL does not occur over the next decade or so, they will probably end up in such debt that they may face BANKRUPTCY! I can hardly wait to see them FAIL!

John Calvin, predestination, free will, and the ideal of justice for all

Read this:

http://predestination.com/John-Calvin.html

John Calvin wrote many pages about his belief in predestination, and it would be difficult to properly summarize them all here. Instead, here is an excerpt from The Institutes of Christian Religion. This text is from the chapter on predestination. You can read more of the chapter here if you wish. This is the excerpt:

Predestination, by which God adopts some to the hope of life, and adjudges others to eternal death, no one, desirous of the credit of piety, dares absolutely to deny. But it is involved in many cavils, especially by those who make foreknowledge the cause of it. We maintain, that both belong to God; but it is preposterous to represent one as dependent on the other. When we attribute foreknowledge to God, we mean that all things have ever been, and perpetually remain, before His eyes, so that to His knowledge nothing in future or past, but all things are present; and present in such a manner, that He does not merely conceive of them from ideas formed in His mind, as things remembered by us appear present to our minds, but really beholds and sees them as if actually placed before Him. And this foreknowledge extends to the whole world, and to all the creatures. Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself what would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is fore-ordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestinated either to life or to death. This God has not only testified in particular persons, but has given a specimen of it in the whole posterity of Abraham, which should evidently show the future condition of every nation to depend upon His decision. “When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, the Lord’s portion was His people; Jacob was the lot of His inheritance.”

If you presume the existence of God and also his omniscience, then you may assume that God knows ahead of time who will be saved and who will be damned. Thus God being totally sovereign as well means he DECREES the eternal fates of individuals. The elect go to heaven, the rejected go to hell.

But where is the justice in that? If people have no choice in the matter, how can subjecting people to a final judgement make sense? Would it be reasonable for a suspect brought to trial for a crime to argue that he had no choice when he committed his acts of murder or theft? And if he was forced to do those crimes, wouldn’t that be a defense for NOT imprisoning him?

This dilemma would be solved by rejecting the notion of God’s omniscience….or by rejecting theism completely. John Calvin was a delusional idiot.

Not to mention he had put to death Michael Servetus for rejecting the Trinity and therefore being one of the Unitarians. Thus showing what a hypocrite Calvin was after he rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church! Freedom for me, not for thee.

My current thoughts on religion

In order for a religion to be true, its teachings must be consistent with reality. Science is the intellectual tool used to find out what reality is and used to be. Thus, any religious doctrine that contradicts modern science is false. That discredits any form of Biblical literalism. We know the creation stories in the Book of Genesis couldn’t have happened; they are just like all the other creation myths that were made up by primitive peoples before science as a means of discovery was invented.

Likewise, the flood myth of Noah is impossible. It too was a product of prescientific thinking, and has no input from reality. The Babylonians had their own flood myth, as did the Greeks, the Indians, and other peoples. Because…..flooding happens all over the world, but only for a short time and on a local basis. The notion of a worldwide flood lasting for several months is completely unfounded. So we can throw out many of the stories in Genesis.

Credible stories in the Bible seem to start with Abraham. But aside from those stories, we know nothing about him. Shockingly, that is also true of Moses. Did you know there is NO direct evidence that the ancient Hebrews were actually enslaved for centuries in Egypt? NO direct evidence that they wandered in the Sinai desert for decades after leaving Egypt? Archeology first records evidence of them only after they arrive in the land of Canaan and conquer it.

So we can throw out the entire Torah and with it, the ancient Jewish religion and its modern descendants.

Christianity? Started as an effort to reform Judaism under first Jesus and then Peter, but then got hijacked by this upstart known as Paul who also claimed to be an apostle but began teaching the Christian faith to Greeks and Romans. The result was a different religion that was more Pagan in form than Jewish.

Islam began as a means of making a religion that was for Arabs, but the conquests of the Arab Muslims resulted in many non-Arabs converting to Islam. The Quran has many stories that are similar to the ones in the Bible.

The Babi Faith began when the Bab proclaimed himself to be a new Messenger of God. He was killed for this.

The Baha’i Faith began with Baha’u’llah declaring himself to be the future Messenger of God the Bab had foretold. But if you can’t believe in the Bab……in Muhammad……in Jesus……in Moses……or in Abraham……how can you believe in God?

For me, the final solution with regards to religion after looking at ALL of them was to decide that NONE of them were objectively true, but that because people do have different spiritual and emotional needs, there needs to be many different religions in the world. And that means:

  1. Stop trying to convert the entire world to only ONE religion! That is unrealistic.
  2. Attempting to convert the entire world to NO religion by FORCE is also harmful. As long as human beings have free will, there will be a diversity of thought.

So I invented the concept of “Spiritual Orientation” as a means of explaining why there are different faiths and how people leave certain religions and convert to others. And here it is:

https://dalehusband.com/spiritual-orientation-series/

If we leave a religion, it’s because it clashes with our spiritual orientation. Let us respect religious diversity and freedom for all!

Translating “The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority” into Persian and Arabic

I have decided to try to increase the impact of my criticism of the Baha’i Faith by translating my most powerful blog entry against it into the two languages most closely associated with its original Writings, Persian and Arabic. So I used Google Translate for this purpose. I hope the automated translations are accurate enough, but this sort of thing was done before to one of my works and the results were less than satisfying.

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It seems I have finally met my match among critics of the Baha’i Faith!

Over the past decade, I have emerged as one of the strongest critics of the Baha’i Faith in the world, but I was blown away this year by a newcomer to the exBaha’i subreddit whose scholarly output puts me to shame……and I applaud him for his incredible expertise!

See for yourself:

Where I said:

You should win an award for this sort of writing! I am extremely impressed!

_____

If you have any academic experience, you should work on this topic and submit it to scientific journal.

He didn’t stop there!

And before that, there was:

And he even slammed Christianity too.

I would LOVE to work with this guy on a book slamming religions in general and the Baha’i Faith and Christianity in particular.

Unitarian Universalist leaders

The United States of America uses a federal system of government that acts as a means of uniting the 50 states of the union. The states are still separate entities that have their own priorities.

The Unitarian Universalist Association uses its own federal model, but it does not rule over territories like a nation does. It is a religious institution.

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Another fight in reddit over Rev. Todd Eklof’s publicity stunt of 2019

For some background, read these earlier blog entries:

https://dalehusband.com/2019/07/12/reopening-old-wounds-among-unitarian-universalists/

https://dalehusband.com/2020/02/25/a-debate-in-the-uu-subreddit-over-the-2017-hiring-controversy/

https://dalehusband.com/2020/07/19/another-call-for-unitarian-universalists-to-stop-fighting-for-consistent-racial-justice/

In reddit, my primary focus has always been debunking and opposing the Baha’i Faith, but I am also dedicated to promoting Unitarian Universalism, despite issues like that above. The occasional hypocrisy that crops up among UUs, unlike that other religion, is not a direct product of its contradictory teachings.

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A Damning Case of Anti-Baha’i Plagiarism

A new book has been offered for sale on Amazon that is supposed to be highly critical of the Baha’i Faith.
https://www.amazon.com/Truth-About-Bahai-Faith-Shocking-ebook/dp/B08H3HV77S#

The Truth About the Baha’i Faith: A Shocking Expose’

Kindle Edition

Who is this Darrick Evenson, and why would he have “the Unitarian Baha’is” listed as a co-author? Who could that refer to?
Looking through the text of the book, I find something strangely familiar about it. Especially after the part that is titled:

Part II

The Bab (Gate)

The First Vision of Muhammad (2.1)
Then I remember why. I look up a website that was also critical of the Baha’i Faith, but it is gone. Then I remember the Wayback Machine…..and find a snapshot of that missing website there!
And scroll down to this section:

The First Vision of Muhammad (pbuh)

And there it is, the text of the book. The book was COPIED from the website! The original author of the text was actually Daniel Kayse.

About 610 A.D. a man named Muhammad (pbuh), a trader, was meditating in a cave near his home of Mecca, in the country of Higaz, in what is now Saudi Arabia. A man appeared in the cave without calling out first, and said to Muhammad (pbug) “RECITE!” Muhammad (pbuh) said “I can’t even read!” but the man said “Recite!” two more times. Muhammad (pbuh) ran out of the cave in fright, and the “man” was standing in the air, telling him to “recite” in the Name of Allah certain Verses he (the man standing in the air) would tell him to recite. And so it began. The Apostle of God was taught 114 poems by the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) over a period of fourteen years, and the Apostle of God would recite these to people who were willing to listen to him. After the death of the Apostle of God, some followed Abu Baker as “Kawleef” (Successor) but others followed Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad (pbuh) as “Imaam” (Arabic: “Leader”). Those that followed Ali were called “Shee-ah” (Arabic: “Partisans”). The eldest male descendants of Ali became the “Imaams” of Shi’a Islaam; which is found mostly in Iran, southern Iraq, and parts of Lebanon, Pakistan, and India. The last “Imaam” was Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mehdi, who was just a small boy when he “disappeared”. Nobody knows what happened to him. But not long afterwards a Shi’ite arose claiming to be the spokesman, or “Gate” of the “Hidden Imaam”; claiming that Allah took the Imaam into a place of hiding, or “occultation”, until the Last Days, when the Hidden Imaam will return as a grown man, and establish the rule of Shi’ite Islaam everywhere, and establish peace and justice everywhere. Jesus will come with him, and kill the swine and break the crosses and kill the Anti-Christ named al-Dijjal (Arabic: “The Liar”). Three more “Gates” (deputies) of the Hidden Imaam arose, but after the Fourth Gate, that ceased.

The 12 Imaams of Shi’ite Islaam were:

Imam Ali
Imam Hassan
Imam Hussain
Imam Zain ul abedeen
Imam Mohammad al-Baqr
Imam Jafaar as Saadiq
Imam Musa Qazim
Imam Ali Raza
Imam Ali Naqi
Imam Hassan Askari
Imam Mohammad Mahdi

In 874 A.D. (260 A.H.) the Imaam Mohammad Mahdi, a boy of 7, goes missing. Shi’ites believe that he went down in a cave under a Masjid (Mosque) in Samarra, Iran. They believe God is keeping the boy alive all this time, and he will come forth in the last days, as a man, leading an Army of Shi’ites to final victory over all opposing forces in the world, and will rule the world for several years, until Jesus returns. This “hiding” of the Imaam Mehdi by God in a secret underground cavern is called the “Occultation” (Latin: “hiding”). It is divided into the “Greater Occultation” and the “Lesser Occultation”.

The Greater Occultation occurs to the “Hidden Imaam” who does not communicate with the Shi’ite Muslims. The Lesser Occultation refers to the Hidden Imaam communicating to the Shi’ite Muslims, and thus “guiding” them, via deputies, or channelers, called the “Abvab” (Arabic: “Gates”). Shi’ite Islaam recognizes four “Abvab” or “Gates” who were the legitimate deputies/representatives of the Hidden Imaam (Mehdi). Each deputy was called “al-Bab” (“The Gate”) to the Hidden Imaam; meaning his representative, or, what we would say in the West, the “channeler” of the Hidden Imaam.

Four Shi’ites arose after the boy went missing, one after another, claiming to be the Gate (al-Bab) of the Hidden Imaam, his representatives. They were:

Uthman Al-Amir
Abu Jafaar Muhammad ibn Uthman
Abu l Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh al Nawbakhti
Abu`I Husayn Ali ibn Muhammad as Sammari

Word for word, the two works are IDENTICAL, even containing the same error. Both works refer to TWELVE Imams, but list only ELEVEN names.

Darrick Evenson has committed plagiarism and his book should be removed from Amazon immediately!

Another victory over the Baha’i Faith and one of its bigoted hypocrites

Two days ago, a seeker (a Baha’i term for a person investigating the Baha’i Faith) came to the Baha’i subreddit to ask questions about it.

And among those who tried to offer answers and advice was:

One of the things I would encourage is really taking the time to understand who Baha’u’llah is and what He taught. We all come with different backgrounds and experiences, but the concept in the Baha’i Faith of the Messenger of God as the representative of God and reflection of the Holy Spirit is at the core of our theology.

-It is difficult to understand and conceive of God. On one level, God and the spirit emanating from God is in all things; but, at another level, God is independent, unknowable, and one in the Baha’i Faith.

Meanwhile, I was in a state of rage, after learning this same DavidBinOwen had stalked and attacked me in another subreddit where I had made a statement against the Baha’i Faith. And I was damn tired of being one of his favorite prey items! So I proceeded to rant about it in the exBaha’i subreddit.

And the seeker SAW that! So he contacted me.

imfinnacry

Hey, Sorry to bother you but I would like to be very open with you. I’m a person in search of my religious beliefs. One that best reflects my spiritual beliefs and welcomes my choice of practice. I’ve found Unitarian Universalist, Baha’i Faith, and Advaita Vedanta Hinduism as my primary choices. I also have Islam and returning back to hinduism in the back of my head as far off options for me.

I come to you because I recently joined the Baha’i subreddit and asked them a couple of questions regarding mysticism, divination, and my Pantheist views.

Before converting I did more research that led me to this subreddit and your most recent post about a member of the baha’i subreddit DavidBinOwen. Your post shocked me because it comes off the complete opposite to what I have come to know learning about the Baha’i believers.

I wish to know what do you know about the Baha’i faith from your experience. Why did you decide Baha’i wasn’t for you and what do you not like about it. I want to use what you may know as a warning or caution for what I might be getting myself into.

 

I decided that to be diplomatic was the best option, so…..

To be fair, I should note that DavidBinOwen is not really a typical Baha’i. Most Baha’is I used to know were genuinely loving and honorable people…..at least they seemed to be. Here is one of my most powerful statements against the Baha’i Faith. If you want anything more, contact me later.

The next day:

imfinnacry

I do have a question for you

I read what you’ve sent me and I’ve also read the blogs you’ve referenced in this particular post you’ve made as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/idqjpp/a_conversation_about_religion/

________________

Seeker_Alpha1701

What is your question?

____________________

imfinnacry

I’m honestly quite disheartened. It felt like I’ve finally found a faith that was pretty much as close to what I’ve wanted out of a religious institution with it’s progressive and liberal values, inclusion of other religious faiths and so on.

As a pantheist first, a fan of rational minded educators, Baruch Spinoza, Einstein, and simply logic I can’t bring myself to subscribing to the Baha’i Faith like I once wanted to after reading your posts that pointed out so many fallacies and inconsistencies in the faith.

My question to you is, I did come across one blog while scouring your website. It was the blog about you and your friend presenting the idea of a Unitarian Baha’i Faith. Do you think that’s possible to achieve? Or would you suggest simply looking into UU instead?

I am guessing he saw this:

https://dalehusband.com/2010/04/05/why-we-need-a-unitarian-bahai-faith/

Seeker_Alpha1701

To make a long story short, Eric Stetson eventually dropped out of the Unitarian Baha’i movement, and all that’s left of it is a few websites and a Facebook group. Based on your various comments, you might be best joining a UU church, where you may always be free to explore different theologies and beliefs while still being part of a community that won’t judge you for questioning things most other religions take for granted.

To help you sort things out, please read all these essays: https://dalehusband.com/spiritual-orientation-series/

I won’t tell you what to believe, but I want to give you the tools to find out what is truly best for you. That sets me, and most UUs, apart from most Baha’is, Christians, and other dogmatic religions that seek converts.

____________

imfinnacry

Thank you, I appreciate it Dale.

For DavidBinOwen, this is a clear case of:

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/hoisted+by+their+own+petard

hoist by/with (one’s) own petard

To be injured, ruined, or defeated by one’s own action, device, or plot that was intended to harm another; to have fallen victim to one’s own trap or schemes.