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Question to fellow Baha'is

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Seeker of White Light, Oct 2, 2022.

  1. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    In my study of a personal view of non voilence, i come across this teaching (follows after my question) about how a Baha'i can or should/should not defend themselves.

    My personal view is that l personally do not wish to physically defend my being in any circumstances, but am i braking the teaching by trying to be fully non voilent?

    Self-Defense, Guidance on
    by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice
    compiled by Geoffrey W. Marks
    published in Messages from the Universal House of Justice: 1963-1986, page 148
    Wilmette, IL: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1996
    date of original: 1969-05-26
    The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada
    Dear Bahá'í Friends,

    We have reviewed your letter of April 11th, asking about the teachings of the Faith on self-defense and any guidance on individual conduct in the face of increasing civil disorder in North American cities.

    From the texts you already have available it is clear that Bahá'u'lláh has stated that it is preferable to be killed in the path of God's service than to kill, and that organized religious attack against Bahá'ís should never turn into any kind of warfare, as this is strictly prohibited in our Writings.

    A hitherto untranslated Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, however, points out that in the case of attack by robbers and highwaymen, a Bahá'í should not surrender himself, but should try, as far as circumstances permit, to defend himself, and later on lodge a complaint with the government authorities. In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian, he also indicates that in an emergency when there is no legal force at hand to appeal to, a Bahá'í is justified in defending his life. In another letter the Guardian has further point out that the assault of an irresponsible assailant upon a Bahá'í should be resisted by the Bahá'í, who would be justified, under such circumstances, in protecting his life.

    The House of Justice does not wish at the present time to go beyond the guidelines given in the above-mentioned statements. The question is basically a matter of conscience, and in each case the Bahá'í involved must use his judgment in determining when to stop in self-defense lest his action deteriorate into retaliation.

    Of course the above principles apply also in cases when a Bahá'í finds himself involved in situations of civil disorder. We have, however, advised the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States that under the present circumstances in that country it is preferable that Bahá'ís do not buy nor own arms for their protection or the protection of their families.


    1. With loving Bahá'í greetings,
      The Universal House of Justice
     
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  2. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    Good question Seeker of White Light.

    In the end I see it is a personal choice. It is better to be killed than kill is the though we should keep in mind. I am of the same choice you are thinking of. That is at the personal level, I always consider what would happen if I was defending my family though?

    There are many stories of early believers who chose no defence.

    Regards Tony
     
    #2 TransmutingSoul, Oct 2, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
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  3. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    In my choice, i defend my girlfriend by protecting her with my body and my life when i am with her, but i will not kill or harm others so much that they are killed or paralized.
     
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  4. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    I spent 3 years in the army in my younger days, before I was a Baha'i. I would not like to meet myself on the battle field, I found one never knows what they are capable of in the heat of the moment!

    I always feel there is a warrior wanting to jump out and blast all the tyrants into oblivion.

    Luckily I found the balance in the Baha'i Writings. :):oops:o_O

    Regards Tony
     
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  5. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    The Baha'i Faith is a religion of peace and avoiding conflict. However, there are circumstances where it is appropriate to defend oneself. It is left to us as individuals to work out how we ahould best respond under what circumstances.
     
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  6. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    I have never been in the military, never gotten any weapons training, and my interests are more about saving the life of others than "defending my country"
    And through Baha'i teaching i am working my way through my life to become less angry, and less keen on finding "enemies"
     
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  7. nPeace

    nPeace Veteran Member

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    Must require quite a lot of self control.
    Actually, I am reminded of some experiences, of individuals who were transformed by the teachings of Christ, and the Bible.
     
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  8. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    In God we trust.

    Regards Tony
     
  9. nPeace

    nPeace Veteran Member

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    That's what they say in America, by rote.
    ingodwetrust.png
    There is an interesting history on that. However, this is not the thread, nor forum for that.
     
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