Thoughts on homosexual acts

We know for certain the Bahá’í Faith disallows homosexual copulation. What I cannot see is how this implies anything except that He found such an act incommensurate with the needs of our age. Whether it will always be so is not within our knowledge.

Muhammad forbade His followers to eat pork. Did this make pork eaters “sick” (no pun intended), or evil? It was a commandment made at the time, which was later repealed. The Manifestation has full authority over such matters. Morality is defined in reference to His Law, not by our personal feelings of what is “good” or “right”.

After some simple-hearted thought on this matter, I came to the following conclusions:

  1. A practicing homosexual is no more deviant than anyone else who disobeys the Law. If any of us failed to read from the Writings this morning, hey! we just entered the same boat. I have no quotations to back up this statement. I make it from the negative, since the only statement of “doing this is worse than doing that” I have ever seen has to do with murder and backbiting.

  2. Do I shun my friends who drink, or who have sex before marriage? Do I even think about such things, unless they choose to do them in front of me?

  3. The matter is one of personal decision, unless it affects the name of the Faith, in which case administrative sanctions might be employed. Even then, it is ultimately an individual matter. It is not like murder, or theft, which harms another’s livelihood.

  4. If there is any wrongness, it will be addressed between God and that individual at the time of reckoning. Unless we ourselves have nothing to fear from that day, we should seriously avoid debating the goodness of other people.

We are all human. Things we personally abhor, when we find that God has also disallowed them, we have a tendency to become vigilant against – whether we do so consciously or not. It as though the Law gives us justification for our judgmental attitudes.

But such attitudes are manifestly false according to Bahá’í teachings. The fact that this issue is so controversial among us shows only our own immaturity: not the “sinfulness” of those people who have a bent toward lovers of their own gender.

O Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.

If someone wishing to participate in homosexual sex also wishes to obey Bahá’u’lláh, they have a dilemma on their hands; and I don’t think any of us should underestimate the displeasure of that situation. If anything, what is needed is support, and a constant remembrance that such abstinence is not without purpose.

This is perhaps what makes this issue so difficult: we focus on it out of context. The Law is our guide and our light in the darkness. The wisdom of it we may never learn until the final moment. But why is it a part of our lives at all? I would think this is a much better question to ponder and debate.

I leave with the sentiment of these words written by Bahá’u’lláh, revealed in the Sufi tradition of insight into the mundane – in this case the letters of the word Gunjishk (G N J SH K), meaning “sparrow”. They seem to point to the very heart of morality: not that some are evil, and some are good; but that in order for our souls to fly free, we must unload ourselves of all encumbrance.

Kaf or Gaf (K or G) referreth to Kuffi (“free”), that is, “Free thyself from that which thy passion desireth; then advance unto thy Lord.”

Nun (N) referreth to Nazzih (“purify”), that is, “Purify thyself from all else save Him, that thou mayest surrender thy life in His love.”

Jim (J) is Janib (“draw back”), that is, “Draw back from the threshold of the True One if thou still possessest earthly attributes.”

Shin (SH) is Ushkur (“thank”) – “Thank thy Lord on His earth that He may bless thee in His heaven; albeit in the world of oneness, this heaven is the same as His earth.”

Kaf (K) referreth to Kuffi, that is: “Take off from thyself the wrappings of limitations, that thou mayest come to know what thou hast not known of the states of Sanctity.”

Wert thou to harken to the melodies of this mortal Bird, then wouldst thou seek out the undying chalice and pass by every perishable cup.

Peace be upon those who walk in the Right Path!