You are here:

Bahá`í/What are the voting habits of Baha'is

Advertisement


Question
I was not present at the 1988 national convention (I was not a baha'i, and I would have only been 13). The main legacy of that is the public denunciation of the modest proposal essay, which no one had heard of and now thousands of people know about it because of Firuz Kazemzadeh's wild over-reaction to an unpublished, largely uncirculated article. A person would think there was a wide-spread movement to create a left-liberal internal faction within the north american baha'i community, when that likely has never been the case. That begs the question that the solid majority (maybe overwhelming majority) of American Baha'is vote democrat anyway. In your opinion, who have been some prominent baha'is in the American baha'i community, past and present, who have been more likely to be republican? Charles Mason Remey comes to mind, in part because he was self-consciously from an elite family and his father was an admiral. Professor Kazemzadeh also comes to mind, in all honesty, for similar reasons. Without attempting to read any one's minds as far as political opinions are concerned, what comments do you have?

Answer
Hello Zach,

My apologies for taking a few days to get to your questions.

To help readers who might be unfamiliar with your reference to "A Modest Proposal," it was an article that was intended to be published in the supposedly "independent" Baha'i magazine dialogue in S U M M E R / F A L L 1 9 8 7. The full title was "A Modest Proposal: Recommendations Toward the Revitalization of the American Baha'i Community." It was banned and censored, as was the magazine, and forced to close, or, I should say, the editors were driven into silence or left the Baha'i faith, if memory serves. More details about it may be found on my website  The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience  Much more discussion about the incident can be found there and on the Net, for those interested. Just google it.

Now to the questions. No, there's never been a "wide-spread movement to create a left-liberal internal faction." That's the paranoia of the Iranian Shiism that Shoghi Effendi returned the liberal Bahai Movement of Abdul-Baha to after his death in 1921, ever increasingly transforming it into an oppressive cult, while hiding the fact from the majority of innocent and unsuspecting followers, deceived into accepting a false history of Abdul-Baha's interpretation for the modern world. I'll expand on this in one of your other posts.

I've never polled Baha'is on the basis of political party affiliation. I believe you're right, though, that most would tend to vote democrat, while finding neither party compatible.

You can find more background on much of that on the Reform Bahai Faith website:
<code>http://www.reformbahai.org<code>

Bahá`í

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Frederick Glaysher

Expertise

N.B. Please rely on my own books and publications as representative of my views. Since at least 1996, I have been a critic of the fanaticism of the Haifan Baha'i Faith, a Scientology-like criminal cult, based on Iranian Shiite millennialism and a fraudulent will and testament, which is attempting to create a global theocracy by deceiving and brainwashing its unsuspecting members into a false version of its history and then using them to carry out Baha'i jihads against dissenters and critics. I've been stalked, harassed, and misrepresented, on and offline, by fanatical Haifan Baha'is and Iranian Shiites and other Muslims for over a decade and a half, some of the latter frequently anti-semites, as well as possibly other religious fanatics, posting to the Internet false information and mashups intended to libel and discredit me. I no longer address questions directly related to the several other Baha'i denominations. I will not dignify antisemitism with a response.

Experience

I'm especially able to discuss the role of Iranian Shiite "takfir" in Baha'i circles, the identification and denunciation of "infidels" and "apostates," having witnessed its fanaticism against Haifan Baha'i victims on and offline, in the USA and elsewhere. I have been intimately involved in the issues of free speech and conscience within the Bahai Faith since 1996, if not longer. Most American Baha'is are naively uninformed about these issues, if not deceived and brainwashed into a cult-like and mindless acceptance of a distorted version of its history and teachings, into "taqlid," mindless obedience, as a result ultimately of the fraudulent will and testament of 1921. By attempting to destroy all other Baha'i denominations through various methods, since at least 1921, Haifan Baha'is think they can maintain their claim that they alone constitute the Baha'i Faith. As Professor Juan Cole writes in his book Modernity and the Millennium, Columbia University Press (1998), the Baha'i administration has increasingly come under the control of fundamentalists, "stressing scriptural literalism... theocracy, censorship, intellectual intolerance, and denying key democratic values" (196).

Organizations
Reform Bahai Faith https://www.reformbahai.org

Publications
I am also the editor or author of two books on the Bahai teachings. In Letters from the American Desert, Glaysher reflects on the cultural, political, and religious history of Western and non-Western civilizations, in a compelling struggle for spiritual knowledge and truth. Fully cognizant of the relativism and nihilism of modern life, Glaysher finds a deeper meaning and purpose in the universal Vision of Baha’u’llah, as expressed in the Reform Bahai Faith. Confronting the antinomies of the soul, grounded in the dialectic, Glaysher charts a path beyond the postmodern desert. Alluding extensively to Martin Luther and W. B. Yeats at All Souls Chapel, “metaphors for poetry,” from Yeats’s book A Vision, Glaysher invites Reform Bahais and others to consider the example of the global, universal, moderate form of the Bahai Teachings as interpreted by Abdul-Baha, Baha’u’llah’s son, who had spoken throughout the West in Europe, England, and the United States from 1911 to 1913. Abdul-Baha’s message of the oneness of God, all religions, and humankind holds out a new hope and peaceful Vision for a world in spiritual and global crisis. Far from a theocracy, the Reform Bahai Faith envisions a modest separation of church and state, as the will of God, in an unorganized religion, a universal synthesis of all spiritual and wisdom traditions, in harmony and balance with universal peace, in a global age of pluralism, where religious belief is a distinctive mark of the individual, not collective, communal identity.

Books and eBooks available

The Universal Principles of the Reform Bahai Faith. Baha'u'llah & Abdu'l-Baha. With a new Introduction and the original 1912 Foreword. Hardcover: ISBN: 9780967042138 148 pages. Reform Bahai Press, 2008.

Education/Credentials
MA, University of Michigan, English, 1981 BGS, University of Michigan, English, Biblical Studies, Islam, 1980 Illinois State University, All But Dissertation, English, Rhetoric. 1983- 1986. Ten years teaching, at the university and college level, English, Rhetoric, American literature, non-Western literature, World Religions, and other courses.

Awards and Honors
A Fulbright-Hays scholar to China in 1994, I studied at Beijing University, the Buddhist Mogao Caves on the old Silk Road, and elsewhere in China, including Hong Kong and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. While a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar in 1995 on India, I further explored the conflicts between the traditional regional civilizations of Islamic and Hindu cultures and modernity. I have been an outspoken advocate of the United Nations, an accredited participant at the UN Millennium Forum (2000), and attended the UNA Members Day 2012 on the Millennium Development Goals, held in the General Assembly Hall. In November 1, 2013, I spoke at the Robert Hayden Centennial Conference and Poetry Tribute, The University of Michigan, Rackham Amphitheatre, delivering my address "Robert Hayden Under a High Window of Angell Hall," which includes discussion of Hayden's ambivalent feelings about the Haifan Baha'i Faith (text on my blog at fglaysher.com/TheGlobe or watch the entire recorded presentation on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A3P1kZOrUnQ

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.