This is a great post from a while back on Baha'i Thought. It addresses the dehumanizing impact pornography has on men and women, but especially women. I found the quotations from the Universal House of Justice, 'Abdu'l-Baha, and Baha'u'llah, particularly moving in this context.
I recommend this blog to anyone who isn't already aware of it. The main blogger and his assistant have their fingers on the pulse of humanity and excel at correlating the needs of our age with insights from Baha'u'llah's Revelation.
Thanks for the shout out Baha'i Coherence. I'm really impressed with this blog as well.ReplyDelete
Excellent post. I thought Abdu'l Baha's commentary on punishing crime was pretty stunning. I'm not comfortable with the cruelties of the prison system, I think few of us are, and yet we're often expected to forgo these sensibilities as if criminals were a subhuman class, or in the name of the greater good. As a former prisoner himself, Abdu'l Baha must have observed firsthand the "destruction of morals and perversion of characters" visited upon hundreds of inmates in perhaps one of the world's cruelest prison systems.ReplyDelete
The fact that Abdu'l Baha emerged from prison without his character being perverted in this way is a tremendous testament to his station, and even moreso for Baha'u'llah.ReplyDelete
Here's the quote-- I kept it separate for length in case people have already read it.
"...the communities are day and night occupied in making penal laws, and in preparing and organizing instruments and means of punishment. they build prisons, make chains and fetters, arrange places of exile and banishment, and different kinds of hardships and tortures, and think by these means t discipline criminals, whereas in reality, they are causing destruction of morals and perversion of character.
The community, on the contrary, ought day and night to strive and endeavor with the utmost zeal and effort to accomplish the education of men, to cause them day by day to progress and to increase in science and knowledge, to acquire virtues, to gain good morals and to avoid vices, so that crimes may not occur. At the present time the contrary prevails; the community is always thinking of enforcing the penal laws, and of preparing means of punishment, instruments of death and chastisement, places for imprisonment and banishment, and they expect crimes to be committed. This has a demoralizing effect."
(Some Answered Questions p. 271)
So interesting that the Master reiterates the role of the community--charging them with responsibility for the solution and calling attention to their role in the problem. As things currently stand, our attention to devising punishments is often a distraction from the work of education. I'm reminded of the tendency in news media to overreport highly dramatic or violent crimes with little context. The result is to create a climate of fear and to steal attention from less "shocking" but more valuable stories.