Monday, November 30, 2009

On Forgiveness as Guidance to Individuals & Justice As Social Policy for Nations: Jesus promised the coming of Baha'u'llah

A year ago my son worked in the very Forza coffee shop where this tragedy occured.

4 officers shot dead in Washington state: Officials call coffee shop slaying 'a flat-out ambush'

Brent points out an important difference between the Messages of Christ and Baha'u'llah. -gw

I am a lawyer, and I have heard many times, defense lawyers asking juries to exercise mercy and forgiveness of the criminal acts of the accused. If the words of Jesus were the sole basis for the organization of society, that's exactly what judges and juries would do. Individuals would turn the other cheek, and so would societies. If a nation is bombed on its East coast, it would turn the other coast. That is, if society tries to organize itself based on the words of Christ, it seeks to know what is the appropriate principle in all of its social dealings -- commerce, punishment, peace, defense, monetary policy, scientific matters, social welfare, etc. Jesus did not address these matters; He addressed the individual soul. Baha'u'llah did address these, as Isaiah and Jesus promised He would. You can read the guidance of God to heads of state in the book "Tablets of Baha'u'llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas" and in "The Summons of the Lord of Hosts" both at These show the will of God to heads of state. Because, again, heads of state cannot organize the functions of government around the verses of the guidance of Jesus Christ. He says to give everything away, to forgive all injustices, to expose yourself to further injustices, to never hurt a person even if he hurts you, to do good to those who harm you. That's magnificent guidance to individuals; and suicide if accepted as social policy by nations. Nations cannot organize on the basis of forgiveness; only on the basis of justice. Jesus promised the coming of Baha'u'llah. Read His Writings.

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On Anna Luxion: Busy

I especially liked "Busy Not Thyself." -gw

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On Music to Tango By: Baha'i

I tango with her in Argentina; I keep calling her Athena.
I met her in Hawaii; she said she was Baha’i.
Love this tango. -gw

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On a Baha'i Children's Class Mashup: An Ottawa vs. Tacoma remix

 Q: These are the tags. What is the blog? A: baha’i children’s class ideas. There is a new post just up today. Dan is the man behind the blog, whose efforts I greatly admire. He is also on Flickr, where he has a set called "Baha'i Children's Class." Well, I got pictures of Baha'i kids on Flickr, too. So I'm thinkin' mashup. Techno remix. Ottawa vs Tacoma. There is a lot children are up against in the world today. They need all the help they can get to be fully inoculated against tests and difficulties. That is why there are Baha'i children's classes. -gw

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On Nature = Soul: Best Baha'i set on Flickr for 11/30/09

My award for Best Baha'i Flickr Set for today goes to .... envelope please .... samimi-extremie for "Nature = Soul." -gw

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

On a Baha'i Home-Visit with Charles & Family: Building community on the Hilltop

Today I joined ABM Shadi and Hilltop teaching follow-up coordinator Deb, two generals, in making some more home visits. The highpoint was visiting Charles. I presented on the deepening theme of the Life of Baha'u'llah. He had lots of great questions and comments. Shadi and Deb engaged Charles' two grandchildren fabulously so Charles and I could focus on content. Charles said he is coming to the devotional at my home on Thursday. I relish the thought of him having a chance to visit with the likes of Walter, Rocky, Markal, Peggy, Bonita, Tim, Deb, and who all else will surprise us by walking in the front door that night. -gw

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On an Anecdote to Being Cooped Up in the Car: Balkan Beat Box Dancing at the Dannells

After being cooped up in the car for a long car ride from Fox Island into Tacoma and then waiting for an hour for a children's class which didn't happen (family moving), Tahirih and Helen's girls came over to my house for some intense silliness: 30 minutes of dancing to some tracks by Balkan Beat Box. BBB was Deb's request. Great choice, Deb! I DJ-ed. -gw
Thirsty for water.

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On the Consequences of Materialistic Views on Evolution: The dark side of Darwin's legacy

He found this Time article interesting
and called his readers' attention to this Master's thesis. -gw

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On Criticism of Gambling: Bingo or derivatives


"Churches and religion promote gambling. I find it a little bizarre," said Bernard A. Albiniak, an associate professor of psychology at Coastal Carolina University. "Bingo is perfectly legal, and it's the purest form of gambling."

The Church of God declared gambling to be a violation of the Golden Rule. Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism include criticism of gambling, as does the Baha'i faith, though different adherents interpret the Scriptures differently.

"Baha'u'llah has prohibited gambling," said Windi Burgess, a Baha'i. "This prohibition does not include a detailed definition of gambling. It is left to the prayerful conscience of the individual. ... Any game where I pay money to play with the possibility of winning a jackpot I would consider gambling."

I'm against gambling. -gw
Uploaded on October 20, 2008
by woodleywonderworks on flickr

WASHINGTON – Sen. Maria Cantwell wants to use state gambling laws to regulate parts of Wall Street, saying someone needs to police financial markets where “casino capitalism” involving highly speculative trades she likens to sophisticated betting continue unabated and threaten to create yet another financial crisis. ...

Derivatives essentially began as a form of insurance, offering a hedge for such companies as airlines that wanted to lock in the cost of jet fuel to avoid sharp increases. But over the years, derivatives became more exotic, allowing investors to place what were essentially side bets on such things as whether people would default on their subprime mortgages or whether the price of oil or natural gas would go up or down.

Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland law professor, likened it to buying insurance on your neighbor’s home expecting it to burn down or your neighbor’s car expecting it to be totaled in an accident.

“It’s nothing else than betting,” he said.

Such well-known financiers as Warren Buffett and Felix Rohatyn have called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and “financial hydrogen bombs.”

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

On Kim's Baked Potato Party: Fun & games, with kale

The day after Thanksgiving, just 48 hours after her registration as a Baha'i, Kim was having a party on Black Friday. Say no to shopping. Eat baked potatos with all the fixings instead, play games, visit with good company, and watch movies. Bonita and I went over for the fun. We brought cooked kale, grown in our garden. Boy, did that go good with the potatoes. Good to meet Kim's friends and colleagues. Talked the Faith a bit with Dylan who already knew of Kim's becoming Baha'i. -gw

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On After the Glass Museum: A Baha'i home-visit at Rashid's

Rashid called this afternoon just as I was getting ready to go visit Charles. After putting some hours at work earlier, I had been at the Glass Museum with Ruhiyyih, Matt, and Bonita where Taraz works. With the chance to visit Rashid, I went over to his house; I'll stop by Charles' tomorrow. It's great re-connecting.  I told Rashid all about our efforts to build a more spiritual community in Tacoma. He reflected on family difficulties, life's hardship and suffering, recalling the Biblical stories of Jacob and his son Joseph, and of Job. He and Rocky go way back, BTW. Rocky had officiated at both a wedding and a funeral for members of Rashid's extended family back in the day. At one point during our visit, Rashid asked if I had Rocky's number. I "dialed" it up on my cell phone, and the two had a chance to chat. Rashid said he is going to come to devotions on Thursday so he can see Rocky and Walter and be with the friends. -gw

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On the Most Viewed Sets on Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie: Flickr-ing candles

The most popular Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie sets on flickr so far:
731 views 17th Baha'i Intensive Program of Growth 17th Baha'i Intensive Program... 109 photos |
708 views Baha'i pilgrimage Baha'i pilgrimage 452 photos |
548 views Lesson three, Hilltop children's class Lesson three, Hilltop... 35 photos, 3 videos |
470 views Baha'i arts devotional of 11/12/09 Baha'i arts devotional of... 14 photos, 1 video |
416 views Our Early Baha'i Study Circles Our Early Baha'i Study Circles 26 photos |
413 views The iMemorize Baha'i Study Circle The iMemorize Baha'i Study... 6 photos, 1 video |
397 views The Holy Day at Tom & Debbie's The Holy Day at Tom &... 41 photos, 8 videos |
388 views Baha'i home decor Baha'i home decor 87 photos |
387 views Tom, then and now Tom, then and now 12 photos |
376 views Hilltop children's class, 4th lesson Hilltop children's class, 4th... 23 photos, 3 videos |
354 views People get ready People get ready 58 photos, 1 video |
354 views Fly like a bird Fly like a bird 3 photos, 1 video |
315 views Cognitive Behavior Therapy Plus conference Cognitive Behavior Therapy... 35 photos, 5 videos
309 views Walter Palmore, Baha'i painter Walter Palmore, Baha'i painter 174 photos, 16 videos |
282 views Jam 'n' Tube Jam 'n' Tube 87 photos, 13 videos |
278 views Trauma-Focused CBT conference Trauma-Focused CBT conference 69 photos, 3 videos |
272 views Educating the girl child Educating the girl child 58 photos, 3 videos |
240 views Reflection Meeting for the 17th IPG Reflection Meeting for the... 45 photos, 6 videos |
186 views Children's class with Hajji Hossain Children's class with Hajji... 18 photos, 2 videos |
171 views Flowers and gardens Flowers and gardens 81 photos |
 94 views Baha'i music Baha'i music 57 photos, 11 videos |

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On the Dream: Free and unrestrained, Bahá'u'lláh moved above the waters, with all the fish following His light

Beautiful. -gw

The Dream

This is a humble attempt to envision the dream Baha'u'llah's father had when Baha'u'llah was a child.

This is a small portion of the description of the dream: "Large numbers of fish gathered around Him, each fish holding fast to the end of a hair with its mouth. There were every kind of fish: large fish, small fish, white and black: and wherever He swam, they followed the light of His face. Such a vast number of fish clinging so tightly, caused no damage: not even a hair was lost from His head. Free and unrestrained, Bahá'u'lláh moved above the waters, with all the fish following His light."

Uploaded by Spice Weasel on 27 Nov 09, 2.10PM PST on flickr

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Friday, November 27, 2009

On the next Paraliament of the World's Religions: 106 years later

The 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago  is highly significant to Baha'is, because that is where the Baha'i Faith was first mentioned in America. It is now 2009, and the Faith is in every land, The next Parliament meets this coming week in Austrailia. -gw
Baha’is from Australia and four other continents will deliver presentations at the Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in Melbourne from 3-9 December 2009.

Thousands of participants will attend the event, which will be addressed by 1000 speakers including such international figures as the Dalai Lama and theologian Hans Kung.
Held every five years in a different city, the Parliament is the world’s biggest multi-faith event. In Australia for the first time, the event has as its theme “Make a World of Difference: Hearing each other, Healing the earth”. ...

The Baha’i speakers at the Parliament will come from Africa, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Their topics will be equally diverse.

From Africa, Lucretia Lally Warren, the chairperson of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Botswana and a speaker at the past two Parliaments, will participate in a session on “Interfaith and the Future of Africa”.


Native American Kevin Locke, described as the world’s leading performer of the Lakota Hoop Dance, will present a spectacular session titled “There are no back row seats in the Hoop of Life”.

Professor Brian Lepard, a human rights specialist from the University of Nebraska, will examine from a Baha’i perspective the concept of a human right to development. Dr A. K. Merchant, a Baha’i from New Delhi, will speak at the same session.

British authors and scholars, Moojan and Wendi Momen, will present a panel discussion on “Building Peace in the Pursuit of Justice: A Baha’i Approach”.

The national secretary of the Australian Baha’i Community, Arini Beaumaris, will speak on “Spirituality and Women’s Leadership”.


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On a Reader’s Digest “All in a Day’s Work” Rejected Humor Submission: Give me five a local engineering company I had an inexplicable crush on one of the managers, let’s call him “Shidan”. One day he was explaining his affiliation with the Baha’i faith. As we were about to part, I told him to give me a “Baha’i Five!” That was the end of our involvement.
Shidan should not have been so hasty. -gw

Internet high five

Uploaded by xorsyst on 14 Jun 09, 7.44PM PST on flickr

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On Smile: Irrepressible Baha'i music in the community

Here is Baha'i Russ Salton at the 2009 Brighton Creek Arts Festival performing his signature "Smile," the title track from his most recent album.
Russ contributes mightily to the musical experience here in Cluster 19 WA. Music is a part of all core activities: devotions, study circles, and children's class. There is music at Feast and Holy Days. Songs are sung sponotaneously. They bubble up irrepressibly. They are integral to the Baha'i experience. -gw

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