Posted by Rob (22.214.171.124) on August 15, 2002 at 17:50:42:
In Reply to: Re: Chastity - where does affection end and sexuality begin? posted by Morgan on August 15, 2002 at 16:33:36:
To be prejudiced, if we take that term for what it means, is to judge someone without facts or for reasons which are unfair. If we are prejudiced against or for someone it is usuaully because we have decided to judge them without the facts or for reasons which are unfair. As much as the Baha'i Faith does speak against prejudice, this does not mean that judgement WITH facts and WITH fair reason is not allowed.
Indeed, the faith's teaching speak specifically to what is proper judgement and what is not, and indeed, this is The Day of Judgement. For example, the Faith teaches it is wrong to judge someone on account of their race. This kind of discrimination or prejudice is not allowed by individual Baha'is or Assemblies as it prejudges a person's behavior based on skin color or bodily appearance which is wholly inconsistant with reason and fairness.
However, as with most religions, the Faith also teaches that a person's behavior is a legitimate reason to judge. Within the community of the Baha'is, a judgement may be rendered by an Assembly for a person's behavior which has been determined to be contrary to the laws of the Faith or a danger to the community. So it is not true that Baha'i are not permitted to make judgements of others, so long as it is done without prejudice and is based on the facts and the testimony of at least two trustworthy witnesses (this according to the Kitab-i-Aqdas).
In terms of personal relationship and the proper role of a Baha'i in dating and courtship, as has been mentioned elsewhere by respondants to your inquiry, the Writings and the letters of the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice speak to these issues best. It should be borne in mind that some of these words in print are simply guidance and suggestions which are left to the individuals to decide to follow; other statments are in the realm of Pilgrim's notes, meaning they are not obligatory or even to be taken as suggestions a authoritative Baha'i teachings; and then there are the bona fide Writings which are authoritative and hence the final say, so to speak, and those can be either obligatory or merely recommendations left to the believer whether or not to follow. Any questions about these Writings and letters are usually best answered by the Auxiliary Board member for protection in your area, or perhaps the Local Assembly.
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