|Those who asked WHY?|
Until Baha’is can freely express their consciences without the fear of their more conservative coreligionists hanging the Baha’i Covenant over their necks like an executioners axe it will be impossible for Baha’is and thus the Baha’i faith to do anything to end the Baha’i religious practice of shunning, of the drawing of lines between friends and enemies based on diversity of religious interpretation while ignoring the reality of individual character.
During the many years I was a Baha’i I would thrill to those words in the writings that enjoin humanity to embrace brotherhood, friendship and unity. Then when I would read those words in the writings which directly contradict this stated goal of friendship, brotherhood and unity I would despair. I would think: “Perhaps I’m missing something, perhaps there is something wrong with me that I cannot see the sense in these many clear contradictions.”
Why state in one breath that shunning has been abolished and nullified and in the next breath council the shunning of certain individuals?
Why state in one breath that humanity is a two winged bird that will not fly until both wings are equally developed and then in the next breath state that women are not allowed and will never be allowed to be fully equal in the Baha’i faith? Why state in one breath that humanity is one, that we should draw no lines and treat all peoples as our friends and in the next breath cast certain individuals and their children as our inveterate enemies, as spiritually contagious, as only being worthy of shunning?
At a certain point I could no longer reconcile all these clear contradictions Kent. The many contractions between the words of Baha’u’llah, Abdul-Baha’ and Shoghi Effendi as well as the many clear contradictions between the universal, principle Baha’i teachings and the actual actions in the lives of Baha’u’llah, Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi in regards to their decision to shun many of their own family members. In Shoghi’s case the decision to shun his entire family, his own parents included.
It was then that I began the process of deprograming. Having been indoctrinated as a child greatly complicated this process. This process has been ongoing for the past thirty years.