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Editor: Dianne Bradford, 5384 Tansas Ln., Hilliard, OH 43026

Vol. 1, No. 5

     Topic: Eliminating Racism & Other Prejudices                 Page 1
This newsletter is dedicated to all seekers after the Eternal Truth.
      'It is not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the world.' Through the power released by these exalted words He hath lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction to the birds of men's hearts, and hath obliterated every trace of restriction and limitation from God's holy Book.1

      One of the principles of the Bahá'í Faith which is important for attaining unity and which every individual must practice and strive for is the elimination of all prejudice from their lives, thoughts, and especially from our hearts. Prejudice in all of its ugly forms--be it racial, religious, political, social or any other division mankind as been able to create for itself through the ages--must be purged. Below are some verses regarding these exhortations on personal behavior, beginning with one about how we need to look at the world and each other:
            The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens. . . Let not a man glory in that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.2      --Bahá'u'lláh

      . . .Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 3

           I ask you all, each one of you, to follow well the light of truth, in the Holy Teachings, and God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit so that you will be enabled to overcome the difficulties, and to destroy the prejudices which cause separation and hatred amongst the people. Let your hearts be filled with the great love of God, let it be felt by all; for every man is a servant of God, and all are entitled to a share of the Divine Bounty.
          Especially to those whose thoughts are material and retrograde show the utmost love and patience, thereby winning them into the unity of fellowship by the radiance of your kindness.
     If you are faithful to your great work, following the Holy Sun of Truth without swerving, then will the blessed day of universal brotherhood dawn on this beautiful city. 4

      . . . consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship, to proclaim that which the Speaker on Sinai hath set forth and to observe fairness in all matters.
      They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord,which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations. Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.
      This Wronged One exhorteth the peoples of the world to observe tolerance and righteousness, whch are two lights amidst the darkness of the world and two educators for the edification of mankind. Happy are they who have attained thereto and woe betide the heedless.5

      These last quotes give us some specific instructions: we must all "observe tolerance and righteousness" and "associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance." In addition, kindness, love, patience and friendliness are stressed. It is quite a prescription, but one that is within the capabilities of us all. This crucial work of the elimination of all prejudice is ultimately the responsibility of each and every person on the planet. It is something that everyone can do, no matter what kind of upbringing he or she has had, be it one of tolerance or intolerance of the differences between people. Wemust all work to eliminate totally all prejudice from our lives, thoughts, and especially from our hearts. And we are not alone in our struggle. Since the elimination of prejudice is part of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation and Mission, we have His help in this important purification of our lives. Not
only that, since Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation came directly from God, we know that this is God's will and, therefore, we have His power behind us as well, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that in making these efforts to purge our hearts we are making efforts to follow God's will: What, after all, can be more important or conducive to our own spiritual health than following God's will to the best of our ability?
      In conclusion, I'd like to invite everyone to help to make a good start at establishing the Kingdom of God on earth by helping to eliminate racism and all forms of prejudice from the world by beginning this process in our own country. We can do this by not only trying to eliminate our own prejudices, but also by teaching love and tolerance to the children with the aim of raising the first prejudice-free generation. What better hope for the future of our country and what better gift to posterity can we give than this? After all, the first generation should then lead naturally to the second, the third, and so on, until ALL generations are free of prejudice and we can see the beginning of that Kingdom in this world. The more people we have working towards this goal, the sooner it can be realized.
           "'Let not a man glory in that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind." A much wider, indeed a world-wide view is needed if we, mankind, are to have a chance even at survival, and especially so if we are to rachieve "the Most Great Peace."
           One of the most revealing evidences of the power of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation is that the elimination of prejudices has already been accomplished, in microcosm, within the thousands of Bahá'í communities throughout the world. Bahá'ís come from many and diverse backgrounds, of diverse racial, political, social, economic and religious backgrounds, yet they have managed to put their former differences behind them and to work together in fellowship and love for Bahá'u'lláh. Even former traditional enemies have managed to set aside their differences, to trade animosity for love and fellowship, and to labor side by side for the Cause of God, despite the obstacles placed in their path by the unenlightened. The Bahá'ís have been able to accomplish this unity even in parts of the world such as Northern Ireland where the individuals would otherwise have been traditional enemies and where the outside pressures are tremendous to take sides in the conflict going on around them in the area in which they are residing.
          I believe that the day will come when the color of the skin of our friends and neighbors will be no more important to us than the color of their eyes or their hair, nd when our differences in upbringing and culture will become a source of enrichment instead of animosity. The day will come when we will all be able to truly look upon our world-wide family of humanity as a healthy and loving, instead of a dysfunctional, family and God's Kingdom will be established "on earth as it is in heaven." It is inevitable because it is God's Will and, in the words of the Blessed Báb,
           . . .no God is there but Thee, and nothing whatsoever in the heavens or on the earth and all that is between them can ever thwart Thy Purpose.6

      Furthermore, concerning the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth--the "Most Great Peace"--we have these reassuring words by Bahá'u'lláh spoken to the distinguished Orientalist Prof. E. G. Browne of Cambridge during an interview with Him, "these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the 'Most Great Peace' shall come."7

1 Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 87-88.
2 quoted in The Promised Day is Come, Shoghi Effendi, 1941, p. 118.
3 Mark 12:31.
4 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 28.
5 Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 36.
6 The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 187.
7 quoted in God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi, p. 194.
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