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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

and vigor."

===================== 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

particular government."

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.

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