Homosexuality

All research or scholarship questions
hihellowhatsup
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Location: Panama City, Panama

Homosexuality

Postby hihellowhatsup » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:22 pm

I just wanted every one's opinion. I'm gay, and I was wondering how tolerant a Baha'i or the Baha'i community would be of me, as Im strongly considering becoming a Baha'i. Do u all believe homosexuality is a sin? Do u believe it is a choice? Do u believe I'm going to hell for being gay? I'm just wondering... :D

_______________________________________
Please also look at this excellent resource:
http://bahai-library.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1788

-british_bahai, 2nd Aug 2007.

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:38 pm

I suggest you learn more about the Baha'i faith before you consitor joining. one of the first, basic things I learns was that there isn't a believe in the standard heaven and hell, or any sort of "sin" (which is a concept really only in Christianity.) No, Baha'is do not believe it is a choice.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.
~ Bahá'u'lláh

curt
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Location: Iowa

Homosexuality

Postby curt » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:36 pm

I once read an account of a near death experience in which the nder asked about homosexuals, sin and hell, etc... The being of light told the nder that if people knew why God created some people gay, homosexuality would cease to be an issue to anyone.

Baha'i reaction to your being gay will probably range from acceptance and loving support to being told you have some sort of spiritual disease and should get married as a cure all. I personally doubt Baha'is are much different than society at large in this regard. If you are interested in the Baha'i Faith, then I suggest you get to know the Baha'i Community where you live. You may even find some gays in it.

I don't believe you are a sinner or going to hell for being gay. However, I know Baha'is who would clobber you over the head with all sorts of verses indicating otherwise.

Best of luck,

Curt

portiapm
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Postby portiapm » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:33 am

I'm so happy you've been investigating the Faith, and I hope that you will continue to do so. As others have mentioned, because the Baha'i community at large is still growing and maturing, you may have all kinds of responses to the fact of your sexual orientation. But, the Baha'i Writings do not speak about "sin"--at least not in the traditional Christian sense. I encourage you to read what the Writings say about homosexuality, so as not to have several different personal interpretations confuse you. There are certain codes of behavior that all Baha'is are enjoined to follow, whatever their sexual orientation may be. This site is a wonderful resource to research specific subjects.

I will say that there is nothing in the Writings that says homosexuals should be "shunned" or mistreated in any way or discouraged from learning about the Faith. I would be delighted to fellowship with you if you were in my community.

BruceDLimber
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Postby BruceDLimber » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:05 am

Hi!

Briefly, the Baha'i teaching about homosexuality has two parts.

The first is a subset of the general Baha'i law commanding chastity. This applies to everyone regardless of marital status.

And as Baha'i marriage is a heterosexual institution, homosexual marriage isn't an option.

Further, ANYONE not married (regardless of orientation) has the obligation to refrain from sexual activity.

That aside, in all other respects homosexuals have the same rights and priveleges as anyone else, and should be treated with equity!

And yes, there are indeed homosexual Baha'is.

Best regards, :-)

Bruce

hihellowhatsup
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Postby hihellowhatsup » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:19 pm

BruceDLimber wrote:Hi!

Briefly, the Baha'i teaching about homosexuality has two parts.

The first is a subset of the general Baha'i law commanding chastity. This applies to everyone regardless of marital status.

And as Baha'i marriage is a heterosexual institution, homosexual marriage isn't an option.

Further, ANYONE not married (regardless of orientation) has the obligation to refrain from sexual activity.

That aside, in all other respects homosexuals have the same rights and priveleges as anyone else, and should be treated with equity!

And yes, there are indeed homosexual Baha'is.

Best regards, :-)

Bruce


well, I actually am a married man (I married my husband in Canada), so its not like I'm having sex outside of marriage. What would Baha'is say to that?

curt
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:11 pm
Location: Iowa

Homosexuality

Postby curt » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:24 pm

I don't have a clue what other Baha'is would say but this one would say Congratulations! Felicidades! And leave it at that. Baha'u'llah promises unconditionally never to turn anyone away from His door. Who am I to interpose myself between His generosity of spirit and a sincere seeker?

Best of luck,

Curt

BruceDLimber
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Postby BruceDLimber » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:55 am

Hi!

I'll echo Curt.

Others' personal lives are not our business, so I wish all and sundry good health, peace, and much joy!

Regards,

Bruce

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:57 pm

The House of Justice has indicated that Baha'is have tended to go to extremes on moral topics these days, tending either to "resignation" or "condemnation", and neither course should be taken by Baha'is.

As far as this being a personal matter, what our Writings say--and that is the final authority--not anyone in this discussion forum--is that as with other sexual deviances outside of marriage, premarital sex, adultery, etc., flagrant homosexual actions is within the purview of Local Spiritual Assemblies and will be even more so when they become Local Houses of Justice in the far future. However, at this present stage of society, it is only "flagrant" cases of violation of Baha'i law that will be admonished by the elected members of the community (the individual is first approached lovingly but to be told clearly and firmly what is expected under Baha'i law).

"Cohabitation" is, however, considered to be such a case of being "flagrant" in violating Baha'i sexual laws, and as with any unmarried couple living together, a Bahai's administrative rights should be removed if the person(s) were to persist in staying together.

All of these detalis about administration are not based on my own ideas, but are what our own authoritative Writings have to say. See http://bahai-library.com/index.php5?fil ... osexuality for some of these quotations or search the site for many more.

Unlike previous religions whose priesthood and such were made up by and consisted of regular human beings--the system of our administrative Order (but not the individuals comprising it) was ordained by the Prophet-Founder of the Faith, Baha'u'llah. Our own Writings do not consider it a man-made system, so one cannot challenge the system and remain a member of the Faith--since being a member implies belonging to the administrative system.

"No matter how devoted and fine the love may be between people of the same sex, to let it find expression in sexual acts is wrong."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, March 26, 1950, published in Lights of Guidance, no. 1223)


"Thus, it should not be so much a matter of whether a practicing homosexual can be a Bahá'í as whether, having become a Bahá'í, the homosexual can overcome his problem through knowledge of the teachings and reliance on Bahá'u'lláh."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 14, 1973)


These two institutions quoted above, the Guardian and Universal House of Justice, were both appointed specifically by 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's chosen and infallible Successor--and implicitly by Baha'u'llah. (However, quotations from Baha'u'llah can also be found on this topic too.)

As the Writings point out, this challenge to abstain from sexual activity outside of (heterosexual) marriage--for whomever--is a challenge not only facing homosexually-oriented individuals, though such individuals deserve empathy as much as anyone struggling with the laws. I know it is not easy for a Baha'i to discover such laws as these, especially when involved with another person, but if one does consider Baha'u'llah to be the infallible Messenger of God--as He claimed to be--than one cannot persist in hedging away His commands, if one wishes to be faithful to His teachings.

best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:10 pm

Oh, also, hihellowhatsup, to address your other questions:

As far as it being a sin, the practice of homosexuality, our Writings consider to be a sin, but the orientation is simply a challenge for one to struggle to overcome (as with those many men and some women "oriented" to promiscuity).

As far as it being a choice, yes, our Writings do indicate that the action is ultimately a choice, but the orientation is likely not a mere choice (for most people at least). It is recognized that biological factors may play a role, but as with other biological factors which may predispose people in certain directions, it is supposed to be overcome with prayer, medical advice, struggle, and channeling into service.

As far as going to hell, there is a quotation from Shoghi Effendi on this, which I cannot find right now, in which he was asked what the position of a soul would be who practiced homosexuality but was otherwise good. He said, if I may summarize, that he cannot say what the position of such a soul would be and that while we should rely on the mercy of God, we should not press upon it.

In any case, you should be assured that any Baha'is whose deeds match the words of our Writings should show the utmost sympathy to you, if you did decide to struggle to overcome this condition and join the Baha'i community. However, again, while individuals are to practice a sin-covering eye, and our institutions are to direct people as needed to counselors, doctors, etc. (this should be the initial approach), we do have institutions which, while being loving, have the function of ultimately administering, and even administrative sanctions if an individual persists in behavior openly contrary to our teachings (not being to vote in Baha'i elections, come to Baha'i-only gatherings such as Feasts, and not able to give to the Baha'i Funds). I say this latter information not to try to be intimidating at all, but to let you or others here know what could eventually happen if someone joins and does not seek to change their behavior (assuming a local Baha'i community is aware of its duties in this regard and follows them).

take care,
Brett

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:31 pm

Yes, I meant to say what djk said also... My meaning was just that if one has some attitude contrary to the Baha'i Faith's teachings, one shouldn't join and expect to bend the Faith to one's own will... That's all I meant... The door is wide open for all, and all of us certainly rely on and depend on His help, and we all certainly falter in our own ways as Baha'is too.

British_Bahai
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Re: Homosexuality

Postby British_Bahai » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:10 pm

hihellowhatsup wrote:I just wanted every one's opinion. I'm gay, and I was wondering how tolerant a Baha'i or the Baha'i community would be of me, as Im strongly considering becoming a Baha'i. Do u all believe homosexuality is a sin? Do u believe it is a choice? Do u believe I'm going to hell for being gay? I'm just wondering... :D

i came across this site, its really good

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bah.htm

i might open a new thread and copy and paste the info from this site

British_Bahai
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Postby British_Bahai » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:57 pm

Zazaban wrote:I suggest you learn more about the Baha'i faith before you consitor joining. one of the first, basic things I learns was that there isn't a believe in the standard heaven and hell, or any sort of "sin" (which is a concept really only in Christianity.) No, Baha'is do not believe it is a choice.

Are you 100% sure?

(Have you read this somewhere and if so please post a quote)

The reason why im saying this is because right now in the scientific world, people are still debating whether it is a choice or whether the child has always had gay characteristics (i.e as a child, when he/she was unaware of what sex actually is).

I dont remember reading anywhere that the Bahai faith has stated whether homosexuality is a choice or not.

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:22 am

It is likely both a choice and affected by genetic "predispositions". How can it be at least in part other than a choice if our Writings mention those so afflicted must abstain from such activity and that they should seek the advice of doctors in trying to overcome the handicap, etc.? It may not be a choice to have tendencies to find the same sex attractive, just as many have lustful attractions to those of the other sex regardless of whether they are a spouse or not, but the point is that we are supposed to struggle to overcome these.

If you are a Baha'i, we cannot dispute the explicit words of our appointed centers, including Shoghi Effendi, so if it is not obvious that people can control their behaviors and that sexuality can be conditioned to some degree by our choices and experiences, then one must accept on faith that it is possible. That doesn't mean it is easy for anyone, that science shouldn't study it, etc. The Research Department of the House of Justice also suggested that studies which suggest that homosexuality cannot be overcome might be influenced by an agenda or have other flaws which overlook success cases. There are in fact other experiences, such as among Christians, to which Baha'is in such a position or interested in the topic could also look.

As our own Writings state, those who claim to be Bahai's and yet continue to insist that Baha'is can flout our own laws and teachings cannot be considered Baha'is; we have provided the quotations which unquestionably indicate what the Baha'i position is on this topic.

Brett

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:49 pm

british_bahai wrote:The reason why im saying this is because right now in the scientific world, people are still debating whether it is a choice or whether the child has always had gay characteristics (i.e as a child, when he/she was unaware of what sex actually is).


Actually, it's not debated in the scientific world, but it is elsewhere.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

British_Bahai
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Postby British_Bahai » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:41 pm

Zazaban wrote:
british_bahai wrote:The reason why im saying this is because right now in the scientific world, people are still debating whether it is a choice or whether the child has always had gay characteristics (i.e as a child, when he/she was unaware of what sex actually is).


Actually, it's not debated in the scientific world, but it is elsewhere.

whats the definite answer from the scientific world? do they think its genetic?

Zazaban
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Location: Canada

Postby Zazaban » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:16 pm

british_bahai wrote:
Zazaban wrote:
british_bahai wrote:The reason why im saying this is because right now in the scientific world, people are still debating whether it is a choice or whether the child has always had gay characteristics (i.e as a child, when he/she was unaware of what sex actually is).


Actually, it's not debated in the scientific world, but it is elsewhere.

whats the definite answer from the scientific world? do they think its genetic?
Yes they do. Okay, there is some debate on whether it's genetic or not, but not if it's a choice or not.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

BruceDLimber
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Postby BruceDLimber » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:05 am

Zazaban wrote:I suggest you learn more about the Baha'i faith before you consitor joining. one of the first, basic things I learns was that there isn't a believe in the standard heaven and hell, or any sort of "sin" (which is a concept really only in Christianity.) No, Baha'is do not believe it is a choice.


I don't know where you're getting this, Za, but it's definitely not what the Baha'i Faith teaches and believes!

I suggest you check some authoritative Baha'i sources such as http://www.bahai.org before spouting off like this: it might save you future embarrassment.

For example (to name just two errors):

- Baha'is share the same view of Heaven and hell as many Christians, namely that they are spiritual conditions rather than places.

- And sin is definitely a concept in the Baha'i Faith.

Perhaps asking Baha'is what they believe rather than going to some random outside source (or worse, an anti-Baha'i site) would prove more productive....

Peace,

Bruce

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:22 pm

BruceDLimber wrote:
Zazaban wrote:I suggest you learn more about the Baha'i faith before you consitor joining. one of the first, basic things I learns was that there isn't a believe in the standard heaven and hell, or any sort of "sin" (which is a concept really only in Christianity.) No, Baha'is do not believe it is a choice.


I don't know where you're getting this, Za, but it's definitely not what the Baha'i Faith teaches and believes!

I suggest you check some authoritative Baha'i sources such as http://www.bahai.org before spouting off like this: it might save you future embarrassment.

For example (to name just two errors):

- Baha'is share the same view of Heaven and hell as many Christians, namely that they are spiritual conditions rather than places.

- And sin is definitely a concept in the Baha'i Faith.

Perhaps asking Baha'is what they believe rather than going to some random outside source (or worse, an anti-Baha'i site) would prove more productive....

Peace,

Bruce
Hmm... don't think many christians think of hell as a spiritual condition, most I know take it very literally.

With sin I meant the christian concept of sin, not sin in general. I notice sometimes what I mean is not what comes out, so I'm sorry, looking back what I wrote was kinda.. off.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

BruceDLimber
Posts: 189
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Postby BruceDLimber » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:30 am

Zazaban wrote:
BruceDLimber wrote:For example (to name just two errors):

- Baha'is share the same view of Heaven and hell as many Christians, namely that they are spiritual conditions rather than places.

- And sin is definitely a concept in the Baha'i Faith.

Perhaps asking Baha'is what they believe rather than going to some random outside source (or worse, an anti-Baha'i site) would prove more productive....

Peace,

Bruce

Hmm... don't think many christians think of hell as a spiritual condition, most I know take it very literally.

With sin I meant the christian concept of sin, not sin in general. I notice sometimes what I mean is not what comes out, so I'm sorry, looking back what I wrote was kinda.. off.

I was Lutheran before I was Baha'i, and can assure you that the concept of Heaven and hell being spiritual conditions--not places--is EXACTLY what I was taught there!

Other Christians doubtless believe (and are taught) the same thing.

Peace,

Bruce


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