Posted by Stuart Gilman (188.8.131.52) on August 10, 2003 at 18:01:30:
In Reply to: Re: David Kelley's Funeral posted by Jonah on August 10, 2003 at 16:18:03:
Jonah has posted in part from an anonymous source:
"Suicide and the Baha'i Faith
prepared as a statement by Baha'i physicians (anonymous)" the following:
'In view of the recent discussion by the media on the attitude of the Baha'i Faith to suicide (e.g. the Guardian's Suicide is Always a Tragedy from 7/27/2003), the following should be considered:
1. Suicide is "condemned" in the Baha'i teachings, and alongside the other world religions, it is "forbidden". .... anonymous writing: then to part 4 -
4. ... in response to an early Baha'i who committed suicide, the Baha'i writings stated: "He will be immersed in the ocean of pardon and forgiveness and will become the recipient of bounty and favour." conclusion of anonymous statement.
It is clear that items one and item four are contradictory, and both are, thus far, lack specific references. The Lights of Guidance do not contain the word suicide and the exact text on suicide is not available any longer without a special password.
I respond favourably to para four of the anon text. It conjures up courage and a willingness to die for one's beliefs or transgressions honourably and honestly. I cannot imagine Bahaullah frowning on this context of a suicide.
The general and unconvincing statement that suicide is condemned (item 1) strikes me as unenlightened and narrow and unbefitting the Faith. Bahaullah's Greatness was his ability to see most broadly and most compassionately all of human nature and action. It does not seem to me that Our Blessed Beauty, our Glory of Glories, would ever utter such a condemnation and if He did, it would have been followed by forgiveness and love.
There is one area where Bahaullah ordains without qualification - the Keeping of the Covenant. Breaking it, there is no redemption, yet there are those who have broken the Covenant and have returned to it and are included as "Good" Bahais. Our tolerance and compassion, our willingness to comprehend CONTEXT of human action, and relativism between cultures and nations and languages is our Hallmark and Cornerstone of Bahai Faith.
Stuart Gilman - a personal opinion
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