May 2006 Archives

Action Requested: 54 Baha'is Arrested in Iran

May 31, 2006

A call to action dated May 25, 2006, written to 300+ URI Cooperation Circles worldwide as well as the URI Global Council:

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I shared a press release about the recent arrest of 54 Bahá’ís in Shiraz, Iran, with the uri-discussion mailing list, mentioning the portion of the URI preamble that says "We unite to support freedom of religion and spiritual expression, and the rights of all individuals and peoples as set forth in international law," but despairing of what URI members could do to react. With no concrete suggestions, I chose to send it to the discussion list instead of the CC Contacts list.

Whither Can A Lover Go?

May 20, 2006

Though it has been long since I have read the following passage from  Bahá'u'lláh's Hidden Words, it has of late been entering my thoughts seemingly of its own accord, at those rare moments when I free my mind for contemplative reflection:

O Son of Justice!

Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart's desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives would he forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.

Perhaps to San Francisco?

Peacebuilding and Environmental Refugees

May 16, 2006

Africa climate change 'could kill millions', says The Guardian in response to a report from the humanitarian group Christian Aid.

Nothing speaks so forcibly to the link between environmental sustainability and peacebuilding as does the potential for waves of environmental refugees in coming decades — causing more overcrowding of the world's congested cities, more competition for local resources, possibly bringing into conflict many people from disparate cultures and tribes.

On the other hand, the interfaith movement can play powerful role in promoting sustainability for the future, as well as working to insure that diverse peoples come together in unity instead of conflict.

Linking Sustainability, Spirituality, and Peacebuilding

May 7, 2006

A friend of mine, Sarah Talcott, recently wrote the Global Youth Cooperation Circle about an interfaith youth exchange she is planning in Cyprus. In that message she asked,

I would love to get your thoughts and ideas about how you see peacebuilding and sustainability education linked. How do the two influence and / or impact the other? How do you see these links in the work you are doing in the world? It would be nice to be able to integrate the ideas and input from this global network of young people into the exchange, as well as to take the findings and insights of the exchange back to you all.

I happened to be thinking of these very issues as I pulled dandelions up from my front yard this afternoon, so when I came inside and read her message, I felt called to respond by rapidly composing the following, which is thought-through but admittedly makes a few leaps in logic (to do otherwise would require a far larger tome!).

"Deluded Masses" in 1844

May 3, 2006

In a story on the DaVinci code, an unnamed Associated Press journalist writes in reference to the fervor surrounding the book and upcoming movie, "Bart Ehrman, religion chair at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, likens the phenomenon to the excitement in the 19th century when deluded masses thought Jesus would return in 1844."

This of course is a reference to William Miller's followers But just what do they mean by deluded? If they mean that Christ did not return in the manner that they expected, then perhaps this word "deluded" is meaningful. But if it means that Christ did not return, then I'm sorry to say that this journalist has not bothered to investigate the matter at all. Of course this is hardly surprising as most people do not bother to question the religious truths handed down to them. While we can certainly debate the merits of His claim, there is at least one individual in 1844 who claimed to fulfil the prophecies of old: Sayyid 'Alí Muhammad, the Báb ("gate" in Arabic).

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