Baha'i's Catch-22 situation involving the conflict of science & religion:
The Baha'i faith appears to be trapped between two of its foundational principles:
The trend in North America is towards an increasing public acceptance of the near consensus of human sexuality researchers. The incompatibility between the Baha'i policies towards science and towards homosexuality may prove to be a major problem to the faith. If current trends continue, oppression of gays, lesbians and bisexuals will become as unacceptable within the culture as sexism, racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance are today. This conflict may -- over time -- seriously inhibit conversions to the faith.
If Shoghi Effendi had selected a successor, then she or he might have reinterpreted the two writings of Baha'u'llah as:
That would leave the way free for their religion to accept the validity of loving, committed same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships.
But since no successor was selected, the conflict may be unsolvable.
Keeping Baha'i statements on LGB matters in perspective:
Religious organizations -- particularly those those whose beliefs are based on a holy text like the Torah, Holy Bible, or Qur'an -- have often found it difficult to change their beliefs and teachings on moral and ethical topics.
To their credit, the Baha'i faith has been an exception. They promoted democracy, equality for women, civil rights, and other causes from the time of their faith's inception in the 19th century. This was far in advance of many other faith groups. Their current opposition to LGB issues is an anomaly. On this one topic, they have lagged behind secular trends, rather than leading them.
This section discusses statements by Baha'i individuals and groups over the interval 1973 to the present time. It is important to realize that a major evolution in understanding of sexual orientation has occurred over this time interval. This has been reflected in the laws of some states and countries.
Recall that it was only:
This is an enormous change over the last six decades. However, on LGB topics, the Baha'i faith's teachings have remained static. Future developments should be interesting to watch.
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Consultants on Religious Tolerance
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