Friday, February 29, 2008

On Being Sure You Have the Genuine Article: You may be a victim of religious counterfeiting

"Genuine fake watches for sale in Turkey. Echte nep horloges te koop in Turkije." Uploaded on September 22, 2006 by Jackie Kever on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic. Comments: Marlis1 says: "I love this sign - somebody had a sense of humor."

The top result if doing a search for "Baha'i" on Google is...

The Baha'i World: The official presence of the Baha'i Faith on the Web. Comprehensive body of authentic material presented by the Baha'i International Community.

The site is "the official presence." But there are thousands of other sites out there. Just because a website or blog describes itself as Baha'i doesn't mean it is a source for authentic material. Blogs, if done by individuals, as most blogs are, are unofficial. On the U.S. Bahai multimedia website, there is this friendly reminder...

Much of the content featured on this page was created by individual members of the Baha'i Faith and does not necessarily represent the views of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States. This list is by no means exhaustive. You will find other excellent audio and video resources through iTunes, YouTube and Google searches.

Indeed, search on! The Internet exists for our benefit, and we have the intellect. It is our right to fully utilize what God has given us for our edification and education. And it is also so darn fun to explore for Baha'i content on the 'net.

But be knowledgeable about the sites you go to. Websites don't necessarily come with guarantees of authenticity. Blogs can say one thing and be another. Don't be fooled by "cheap imitations."

Don't be a victim of religious counterfeiting. Wrap your heart and soul around the genuine article. -gw

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