Photo of the Mansion of Bahjí,
Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, Akká, Israel
Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, Akká, Israel
Alláh'u'abhá dear friends worldwide,
I haven't said 'Alláh'u'abhá happily to anyone for years! I've been lonely, and profoundly disappointed with what's happened to Bahá'u'lláh's faith - and I include most of all, the group of believers who support Jacques Soghomonian, a very wonderful man whom I believe to be the only living successor to Shoghi Effendi, as well as the Guardian of Bahá'u'lláh's faith. Our community overall has lost its center, and it's spinning off into a God knows what controlled by a who knows what.
But the purpose of this letter to all of you, is to begin what I hope becomes a cross-discussion about the disgraceful treatment of homosexuals and bisexuals by the Bahá'í institutions. To initiate the dialogue, I've copied below a comment I made today in response to the recent good news that U.S. Representative Maxine Waters has become a Co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, a bill in Congress that will allow the foreign spouses/life partners of American citizens or permanent residents to immigrate to the United States, in the same way that heterosexual Americans sponsor their foreign fiance(és)/spouses to live with them permanently in the United States.
Please think about this question: If Bahá'u'lláh is the Manifestation of God, would He advocate the way the Bahá'ís-at-large and their community institutions have treated gays, bisexuals and lesbians - especially their dishonest, hypocritical and self-serving loud silence while we are suffering?
Have they said anything about the execution of gays in Iran, for instance? Since so many Bahá'ís are involved in the operations in Iraq, have they spoken out in defense of the innocent Iraqi gay men who have been raped, hung and hacked to death by hate-mobs? You'd think that they would use their influence with U.S. Congress, the UN and other international institutions, to speak out on behalf of our oppressed gay and lesbian brothers and sisters worldwide, since they routinely raise the cry of the persecution against Bahá'ís by Muslim regimes.
You all know the answer to all of these questions is a loud resounding "No!" And we all know that Bahá'u'lláh had nothing negative to say about homosexuality in the 'Aqdás or elsewhere, yet the institutions of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh are some of the most insidious anti-gay religious institutions in the world. But they're masters of glossing over their raw bigotry with the Robe of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and an eloquent tongued pseudo-science-speak that keeps the believers comforted and assured that the Bahá'í treatment of homosexuals and bisexuals is infallibly guided and sanctioned by God. They say,
"God loves your homosexual sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, and friends. If they pray, God may heal them of their affliction. Or they can seek medical help. And in the meantime, if they flaunt their perverted sexual orientation, we have no choice but to punish their behavior with community sanctions."
But according to Baha'u'llah, the Holy Spirit, speaking to the world through His Revelation, said,
"I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge. I cheer the faint and revive the dead. I am the guiding Light that illumineth the way. I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight."
Quite different than what we're experiencing, isn't it? Aren't you craving to live in a world that cares about the drooping wings of every broken winged bird who wants to fly?
The crap from the Bahá'í institutions, and the deafening silence from the believers worldwide reminds me of something akin to the dynamics between the Watchtower Society and the Jehovah Witnesses worldwide. The institution issues forth an "ex cathedra" pronouncement and the believers fall in line without question. Same energy, just a different name.
I have much more to say, but the purpose of this note was to leave you a copy of my comments about the good news about Maxine Waters' sponsorship of the Uniting American Families Act.
Bahá'u'lláh's blessings to all of you!
Brent Madison Reed
Founder of Heart of the Bahá'í Faith