Blogging Yourself To Death . . .

This post isn’t about blogging so much you die from it. It’s about blogging in the wrong country. That country is Iran and the blogger was Omid Reza Mirsayafi. He was jailed for blogging and died in prison. There’s a special site dedicated to making him the last blogger to die in prison, OR318.
Here’s a special video about the movement:

Spiritual Quote:

“Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail—that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs—development and growth are inevitable.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 197

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Jon Bon Jovi Sings for Iran

In our previous post titled, Playing for Change, there was a wonderful rendition of the song Stand By Me. With the recent violent actions against human rights in Iran, it only seemed appropriate to give you
Jon Bon Jovi and Andy Madadian’s recent version:

Spiritual Quote:

“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

“O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.”

— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá               
~~~~~~~~~

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Neda! Stay With Us . . .

Neda SoltanThis woman was recently murdered in Iran…

She’s now called Iran’s “Angel of Freedom”…

She was walking with her singing teacher (women in Iran are prohibited from singing in public), while the current struggle for human rights was being waged around them, when a single malicious bullet found its home in her heart…

She was a student of philosophy and is now a symbol of the egregious waste that oppression of human freedom spreads over not just Iran but our whole earthly Home…

Why such brutal waste of human potential?

Why should beauty be viciously twisted into the horror of senseless death.

Why should those created in God’s image take on the venomous visage of satanic insanity?

People are murdered, young beauty is effaced, humans become devils because the Principle of the Oneness of Humanity is buried under ages of egoistic debris…

The Spiritual Quote  at the end of this post contains a solution for this Crime…

I’ve posted an image and video of Neda’s final moments on one of my other blogs. Why in the world would you want to go there and actually watch this sweet, young woman die? I’ll let Aylar Macky, who represented Calgary in the recent Miss Universe Canada competition, who had never been involved in any social causes, then turned into a strident activist, give you one possible reason why you might watch Neda die.

In her words, from the Calgary Herald :

“I watched the video of Neda over and over….I just couldn’t stand by helplessly after that….This isn’t just about Iran, it’s about all of humanity.”

Spiritual Quote:

“This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity.

“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers.

“In the days of old an instinct for warfare was developed in the struggle with wild animals; this is no longer necessary; nay, rather, co-operation and mutual understanding are seen to produce the greatest welfare of mankind. Enmity is now the result of prejudice only.

“In the Hidden Words  Bahá’u’lláh says, ‘Justice is to be loved above all’. Praise be to God, in this country the standard of justice has been raised; a great effort is being made to give all souls an equal and a true place. This is the desire of all noble natures; this is today the teaching for the East and for the West; therefore the East and the West will understand each other and reverence each other, and embrace like long-parted lovers who have found each other.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 19

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Oppression Must Stop . . .

poorThis family is from another era but what they were suffering is still going on—oppression of most of the population by those in authority, whether governmental or corporate.

This is the second post in direct response to a recent survey (“What Should Be Our Greatest Concern?”).

Our last post explored the Global Water Crisis—number one concern of readers taking the survey. This post will bring two issues together: one from the second greatest concerns—Human Rights; and, one from fifth place—Economic Collapse.

The following two-part video set brings those concerns together
in sharp focus…



Spiritual Quote:

“Bahá’u’lláh set forth principles of guidance and teaching for economic readjustment. Regulations were revealed by Him which insure the welfare of the commonwealth. As the rich man enjoys his life surrounded by ease and luxuries, so the poor man must likewise have a home and be provided with sustenance and comforts commensurate with his needs. This readjustment of the social economic is of the greatest importance inasmuch as it insures the stability of the world of humanity; and until it is effected, happiness and prosperity are impossible.

“Bahá’u’lláh teaches that an equal standard of human rights must be recognized and adopted. In the estimation of God all men are equal; there is no distinction or preferment for any soul in the dominion of His justice and equity.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 240

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What Should Be Our Greatest Concern?

surveyFor the last week, this blog has had a survey up called, What Should Be Our Greatest Concern?

It’s time to tally the votes from our readers.

First though, let me state that 48% of this blog’s readers come from the United States; however, that means that 52% are from a wide diversity of other countries…

I should also say that the way the Internet and Blogs work the survey will likely receive more voters and I may revisit the results in the future.

For now though, here are what readers feel should be our greatest concerns.

The Top Concern with 11% of the vote:

Clean Water

The set of next greatest concerns, each carrying 9% of the vote:

Children’s Rights
Climate Change
Human Rights

The next set, each with 8%:

Moral Development
War
Starvation
All of the Above…

Next, each with 6%:

Epidemic Disease
Rainforests
Women’s Rights

Next, each with 4%:

Economic Collapse
Terrorism
Religious Fanaticism

And, finally, with 2%:

Wetlands

I’ll be using this survey of Greatest Concerns for the next series of posts—doing research and providing links so you can explore the issues…

Spiritual Quote:

“Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

“We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 212

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We Really Are One Big Family

RwandaOne of the comments to our last post, from a good friend of mine from Japan, said I was being “timely” in posting about Women, Rights, and Water; then, she left a link for a delightful video which is below.

The video made me review my understanding of the
Millennium Development Goals.

Don’t know what they are?

They’re a huge commitment by lots of people to resolve a host of Our Family’s problems…

Below is a list of the goals and each listing is a link. Check out the one that attracts you most… Then check out the rest so you can tell others about them!
 

MILLENNIUM 
DEVELOPMENT GOALS

 

Spiritual Quote:

“The modern national state came into existence as a unifier of diverse races and peoples. It has been a social truce observed by or enforced upon communities previously separate, independent and hostile. Historically the nation represented a great moral victory, a definite and important stage in human progress. It has raised the condition of the masses of people, substituted constitutional law for the arbitrary authority of the tribe, extended education and knowledge, mitigated the effect of sectarian disputes, and enlarged the social world of the average man. It provided conditions under which natural science could develop, inventions be put into operation, and industrialization give man mastery over nature.

“The new powers and resources made possible by the nation could not be confined within the national boundary but produced an internationalism of cause and effect in social relationships which no nation could control. The national state has reached the limits of its development as an independent, self-directed social body. A world science, a world economy and a world consciousness, riding the wave of a new and universal movement of spiritual evolution, lay the foundations of world order. Conceived of as an end in itself, the national state has come to be a denial of the oneness of mankind, the source of general disruption opposed to the true interests of its people. From the depths of man’s divine endowment stirs response to the affirmation of oneness which gives this age its central impetus and direction. Society is undergoing transformation, to effect a new order based on the wholeness of human relationships.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Baha’i Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

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Why should You care?

cyrus_the_greatWhy should you care that seven innocent people are languishing in prison in Iran with no access to legal counsel?

Well, even if they were guilty, the lack of access to their lawyer—Shirin Ebadi—is criminal. The image on the left is of Cyrus the Great. The following is from Wikipedia :

On December 10, 2003, in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi evoked Cyrus, saying:
“I am an Iranian, a descendant of Cyrus the Great. This emperor proclaimed at the pinnacle of power 2,500 years ago that he ‘would not reign over the people if they did not wish it.’ He promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed freedom for all. The Charter of Cyrus the Great should be studied in the history of human rights.”

Why should you care if the prime reason for these people’s incarceration is that they hold a belief in the Bahá’í Faith?

Well, jailing someone for their beliefs is an attempt to induce mind control through force.

Nader Saiedi has written a scholarly yet scathing article called Forgetting They Are Human. In that article (which goes into great depth on the psychology of the people who would use force to control thoughts), he says:

“It is now thirty years that the Islamic regime has been engaged in a brutal, systematic and organized persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. This religious sadism, however, has recently been much more intensified. The Islamic Republic forces elementary school teachers to publicly humiliate the Baha’i children, and with utter inhumanity to insult their religion. This is one of the manifestations of their brand of ‘Islamic Justice’ whose like is rarely seen even among the most despotic and racist contemporary regimes of the world. The reactionaries, led in this ‘holy war’ against these children by the leaders of the Hojjatiyeh Association [a secret anti-Baha’i society], have opened up new chapters in the annals of courage and humanity. These brave warriors are not content with just harassing children, instead they systematically attack the organized lines of Baha’i corpses in cemeteries, and after bravely defeating the dead, burn their remaining bodies.”

Why should you care about this if you don’t live in Iran?

Well, there’s that concept gaining increasing acceptance—the one that stresses our common humanity—that holds us to the high standard of protecting any  human who is dealt with unjustly.

Why should you care, even if you wished they weren’t being treated badly, when you might feel it to be impossible for you to do anything to protect them?

Because you can  do something to protect them…

You can pray for them.

If you don’t believe in prayer, have the courtesy and maturity to respect those who do believe in it.

From an open letter entitled, We Are Ashamed, from a group of more than 200 prominent academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world to the Baha’i community come these words:

“In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty!

“As Iranian human beings, we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Bahá’ís in the last century and a half in Iran.
We firmly believe that every Iranian, ‘without distinction of any kind, such as, race, color, sex, language, religion, politics or other opinions’, and also without regard to ethnic background, ‘social origin, property, birth or other status’, is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, from the very inception of the Bahá’í Faith, the followers of this religion in Iran have been deprived of many provisions of human rights solely on account of their religious convictions.”

Why should you care about these Bahá’ís if you’re a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or member of any other Faith?

Well, true religion upholds justice and instills unity.

Spiritual Quote:

“All the divine Manifestations have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity. The fundamental truth of the Manifestations is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another. Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. Read the Gospel and the other holy books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore unity is the essential truth of religion and when so understood embraces all the virtues of the human world. Praise be to God! this knowledge has been spread, eyes have been opened and ears have become attentive. Therefore we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion of God which has been founded by all the prophets. And the religion of God is absolute love and unity.
Abdu’l-Bahá: Bahá’í World Faith

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