Response to condescension and insult

This is an archived post from the old bulletin board. For new posts, see the forum.

Posted by Stuart Gilman ( on November 30, 2002 at 10:10:16:

In Reply to: Re: What Would The UHJ Say? posted by anon on November 26, 2002 at 10:36:09:

The following was

Posted by anon ( on November 26, 2002 at 10:36:09:

In Reply to: What Would The UHJ Say? posted by Sg on November 26, 2002 at 07:10:05:

E:"Stuart - please remember that this site, for all intents and purposes, is Jonah's personal webpage. He can do what he wishes."

Sg: NONSENSE, he cannot do as he wishes - Liberty leads to chaos, if I may paraphrase Baha'u'llah.

E:"As far as I know, this web site is not under the sponsorship or direct guidance of any Baha'i institution. So this is not an official Baha'i site."

Sg: WORDPLAY, this IS a Bahai site, period. Whether it is blessed by the UHJ or not, it is a Bahai site and must conform to all the rules and precepts and morals of Bahai.

E:"This is also a free and open message board - anyone can post and postings are not reviewed prior to their addition. It is only after they are posted that Jonah can decide to remove postings he may wish -it is entirely up to him. He may not like postings that have the letter 'q' in them - he is free to erase all of them! Check the message at the top of the bulletin board:..."

Sg: The scope and excellence of this site makes it, to any outsider, an "official" site, whatever disclaimer Jonah posts. If I decide to make a Baha'i website, I can easily include every single element of Jonah's site and have my own bulletin board. I could, but I would feel so great a responsibility because there would be an automatic perception of officiality to the uneducated reader. You cannot have it two ways. If you design a Baha'i site that contains thousands of Bahai sacred texts, you are representing Baha'i whatever disclaimer you publish. This is the source of my respect for Jonah, since I believe he discharges his self-imposed responsibility extremely well, with only a few decisions I do not understand BUT which I respect.

E:"You must realize a few things."

Sg: Your condescension is extremely offensive and you have no right as a Bahai to presume the role of my teacher.

E:"Official interpretation of Baha'i writings was only bestowed upon `Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian. Personal interpretation is not forbidden, but cannot be construed in any way as official."

Sg: So, if I study the original texts in their available entirety and go out and present them to strangers without altering a word, that is acceptable and representative tho not official. If I add my interpretations, that is also acceptable with a disclaimer that I am interpreting and my interpreting is not official. Impossible, since by Holy Law, I am not permitted to interpret, I am only permitted to enquire and ask for clarification.

E:"We can use the analogy of a Supermarket to think about the Baha'i Faith. You should buy the whole store - you shouldn't go through and pick and put in your basket the best things that suit you. Once you have bought the store, it will take time to go through the aisles and examine all the products. But you already own them, you can't help that, so you study them and find out what they consist of."

Sg: You move downward into analogy. How can you dare to analogize Baha'i to a Supermarket? Have you no respect at all?

E:"So if you wish to tell other's what is right and wrong and what they can and can't do, you should either state it as an opinion supporting with the Sacred Text, or make sure that you in the process are not violating any other commandments."

Sg: I may have, in error, made a mistake in reading or remembering. I know that I have buried myself foremost in the English Translations of written and official OLDER TEXTS and have not followed THOROUGHLY the evolutionary process of edict-change as it has passed from Baha'u'llah to Abdul Baha to Shoghi Effendi and now to the House of Justice. I also know that I have difficulty reconciling some aspects of science and some tenets of our Faith. But having difficulty and opposing those edicts are two different things. I oppose nothing prescribed by the Holiest of Laws and nothing given to us by the Universal House of Justice. I do not fashion my own version of Bahai, tho I fail to do all that only Abdul Baha - The Only Perfect Servant - was able to do. I have been chastised for mentioning my own faults publicly and have been told that public confession is not permitted. I have accepted this lesson.

E:"I encourage you and everyone to post your opinions about matters. But do you see my point?"

Sg: I do not see any point except the ones I have made. Do I or anyone else on earth need or require or seek your encouragement or discouragement? You have not added one iota of enlightenment to a debate which you, yourself, claim is acceptable.

E:"I think writing the Universal House of Justice may not be the best line of action for the specifics of this matter, but I think you would find that your response from the House would be filled with such love and patience that no other single person would be able to show towards you. (As a side note, replies sometimes take a long time)."

Sg: More condescension. Am I permitted, my dear Jonah, to say I find anon's tone unbearable?

E:"It appears that posting here has become some sort of hobby for you which is wonderful. But you should not feel somehow obliged to respond to every message multiple times for some reason. Remember that there are others who wish to understand and wish to express opinions - you may already understand these things, but that does not mean others do. Everyone is very different when it comes to Faith - some things make more sense than others, some things have more effect, some things need more explanation, some people simply have more faith, and also some people just have different interests. To think that they are all the same would be akin to having an aim of the Baha'i Faith to simply achieve sameness, instead of unity in diversity."

Sg: How insulting! If Jonah permits you to assert that "posting here has become some sort of hobby for you" he must have the ethical consistency to allow for responsive non-obscene insults to be exchanged. Ergo, EDEN, you are, in my opinion, as a psychologist, a professor, a PH.D., a member of the world's largest scientific and psychological communities, a bobbit.

To continue, it is not my fault that so few persons post to this baord. Yet, if you were permitted to go to the other bahai newsgroups which are invaded by CB's, you would find thousands and thousands of posts. Before becoming a Bahai, I broke no Law by reading those newsgroups. I learned about every controversial issue brought against Bahai by Muslims and Covenant Breakers. I found no merit in any of their arguments. When I declared myself a Bahai, which I now realize might have been premature, I stopped going to those groups.

I have complained that there is insufficient, respectful debate (posts) on very important issues on this Forum and wonder why this is so. It cannot be that Jonah lazily deletes posts willy-nilly. I appear to be posting a great deal because very few people post, which is an issue for the Bulletin Board, not a fault of mine.

First you state that Jonah has all the authority he needs to purify the site, eliminate posts, whatever ... then you tell me that I should censor myself as though I have pre-knowledge of what Jonah thinks. This happened in the vampire posts and the ablution posts. If Jonah cannot manage his creation, he should, as he has offered, give the job to someone else, or, since nothing except the bulletin board is "his"... he can simply drop everything and link his site to the World Bahai Site.

I was trying to be polite when speaking of adversaries and intra-faith calumny. I am really fed up with your attitude. Let me tell you that American Bahai's are considered world-wide the most infantile of all Baha'is. Your posts do not help that image. And if you are not an American, you embarrass Anglophone Baha'is worldwide.

Sg: So, Jonah, is this an example of free expression? Is this spam, or obscenity or a flame ... ? If I have not used obscenities, flames or spam, is this reply to anon acceptable?

Sg: Show me where I have ever assumed superiority, where I have been condescending, where I have used profanity, where I have uttered a word suggesting any breach of covenant. I do not think you can, and I know you never will.


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