1932-10-22 re political involvement
No. 69 - December 1932 - page 4
"As regards the participation of the friends in general elections, Shoghi
Effendi has written about it in his letters explaining his views on the subject.
He strongly feels that the friends should abstain from any election that is along
party lines. In elections that are not political the friends can enter but not
when it is in any way political. The Assembly can judge best as to what is
political and what is not."
The postscript: "The Baha'i Faith as it forges ahead throughout the western
world and particularly in lands where the political machinery is corrupt and
political passions and prejudices are dominant among the masses, should
increasingly assert and demonstrate the fact that it is non-political in
character, that it stands above party, that it is neither apathetic to national
interests nor opposed to any party or faction, and that it seeks through
administrative channels, rather than through diplomatic and political posts to
establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the capacity, the sane patriotism, the
integrity and high-mindedness of its avowed adherents. This is the general and
vital principle; it is for the National representatives to apply it with fidelity
...in the letter published as "The Golden Age of the Cause of Baha'u'llah,"
Shoghi Effendi declared, "I feel it, therefore, incumbent upon me to stress, now
that the time is ripe, the importance of an instruction which, at the present
stage of the evolution of our Faith, should be increasingly emphasized,
irrespective of its application to the East or to the West. And this principle is
no other than that which involves the non-participation by the adherents of the
Faith of Baha'u'llah, whether in their individual capacities or collectively as
local or national Assemblies, in any form of activity that might be interpreted,
either directly or indirectly, as an interference in the political affairs of any
This instruction raised among American believers the important question whether the act of voting, in the normal pursuance of the function of citizenship, should be construed as a participation in political matters. The question was referred to the Guardian by the National Spiritual Assembly, and the following explicit reply has now been received.
The reply was dated Haifa, Palestine, October 22, 1932, and consisted of a
letter written by Shoghi Effendi through his secretary, with a postscript in the
Guardian's own hand.