Sunday, October 23, 2011

Losing My Religion

I am always surprised at the things I don't know. Oh, yes, there's plenty I don't know. There's no denying that. Sometimes though finding out something I had no idea about just blows me away.

I was sitting with a group of people a while ago. We were looking for something to do and ended up rifling through all the questions of a kids trivia type game. Actually it was called something like The Game For Boys. I don't remember the age range of the game, but as I remember it was kinda young. The questions were hard too. I almost think they put the wrong questions in the box. We weren't playing the game though. We were just reading the questions aloud and trying our best to answer them.

One of the questions really got me though. It was something like - Name the top ten world religions. The actual number they asked for may be different but that's close enough. We rattled off Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Then I slowed. I think I guessed Greek or Russian Orthodox, but if I remember correctly they weren't on the list. In fact I think much of Christianity was lumped under just that term, Christianity. Anyway, we were down to the last one or two and just couldn't get them. Finally we gave up and asked the person who read the question to give us the answer.

If we had two answers left I don't remember them both. I only remember one. I was too stunned to even hear the other I think. I was stunned by the answer I heard. It was number 3 or 4 on this list.

The answer was Bahá'í.

For anyone lucky enough (ha ha) to spend, oh, more than two minutes with me has found out; if I don't know about something I reach for my hip, grab my phone and google it just so I'll know.  Well what I read that night blew me away.  I knew at that moment I had to write about it here in some form.  I just never knew.  I have lifted the next few paragraphs directly from Bahá’í.org/

Founded a century and a half ago, the Bahá’í Faith is today among the fastest-growing of the world’s religions. With more than five million followers, who reside in virtually every nation on earth, it is the second-most widespread faith, surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographic reach. Bahá’ís reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to the ideal of world citizenship.

The Bahá'í faith's global scope is mirrored in the composition of its membership. Representing a cross section of humanity, Bahá’ís come from virtually every nation, ethnic group, culture, profession, and social or economic class. More than 2,100 different ethnic and tribal groups are represented.

Since it also forms a single community, free of schism or factions, the Bahá'í Faith comprises what is very likely the most diverse and widespread organized body of people on earth.

The Faith’s Founder was Bahá’u’lláh, a Persian nobleman from Tehran who, in the mid-nineteenth century, left a life of princely comfort and security and, in the face of intense persecution and deprivation, brought to humanity a stirring new message of peace and unity.

The essential message of Bahá’u’lláh is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity. In this day, Bahá’u’lláh said, humanity has collectively come of age. As foretold in all of the world’s scriptures, the time has arrived for the uniting of all peoples into a peaceful and integrated global society. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens,” He wrote.

It takes a distinctive approach to contemporary social problems. The Faith’s scriptures and the multifarious activities of its membership address virtually every important trend in the world today, from new thinking about cultural diversity and environmental conservation to the decentralization of decision making; from a renewed commitment to family life and moral values to the call for social and economic justice in a world that is rapidly becoming a global neighborhood.
For a global society to flourish, Bahá’u’lláh said, it must be based on certain fundamental principles. They include the elimination of all forms of prejudice; full equality between the sexes; recognition of the essential oneness of the world’s great religions; the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth; universal education; the harmony of science and religion; a sustainable balance between nature and technology; and the establishment of a world federal system, based on collective security and the oneness of humanity.

Wow!  Full equality between the sexes?  Eliminate extremes of poverty and wealth?  The oneness of humanity?

I'm not trying to indoctrinate you into a new religion or anything.  I lost my religion long ago.  I mean I am glad that there are so many people out there that find fulfillment through this religion.  If you have read any of these other posts though you know it's all about treating each other with care.  With dignity and respect.  It doesn't have to be organised, presided over or dictated.  You just have to want to.  You have to want to know you are doing unto others.

Ok.  This time I think I've even had enough of me.

I'm pullin' for ya.


1 comment:

  1. I'm just wondering if this religion got any of it's ideas from any other religion, ex. christianity, judiasm, and other great religious people, ex. Jesus, Moses.