Friday, December 24, 2004

Baha'i Blogs

I happened to find the site -- which I suspect is already familiar to experienced bloggers, but to a novice like me, it seemed pretty cool. I checked out the top 100 blogs list, in which the blogs are given their status by the number of links. Juan comes up at #78. Then I put "Baha'i" into the search, and was amazed to find that the posts I'd just made a few hours before were already there. There were a couple of "Teach the Faith" sites, and a few that consisted mostly of quotes from the Writings. Good news is that Juan's translations of the houri tablets are very popular on these. Either folks haven't heard of his controversial reputation in the Faith, or they don't care -- I hope very much the latter.

Most of the Baha'i blogs, or rather, blogs by Baha'is, are Self-Indulgent Personal Blogs. (If I call them SIPBs, I wonder if that would catch on?) They just mention the Faith in passing. I hate to sound like a schoolmarm, but if people really expect others to read about their cat or problems with their boyfriend, they ought to at least fix the typos and use conventional punctuation. Nothing will send me for the mouse to click away faster; it's almost never worth the effort to figure out what the poor ass is saying when you see bad writing like that.

I also ran into several mentions in passing of "I used to be a Baha'i", and one where a person was investigating the Faith, but turned off by the attitude about homosexuality. It always bugs me to see someone turned off the Faith by something like that; I always want to say "Hey, wait, that's not the end of the story." But, I suppose if that's an important issue for someone, it's for the best, because the mainstream community isn't particularly kind to gays. Although, I have heard of some communities that take a very liberal attitude, but it is very much the luck of the draw. Speaking of which, I posted a quote to talk.religion.bahai today from an abstract of a German academic article that talks about liwat (i.e. sodomy, which is what is actually forbidden in Baha'i law) in Islamic jurisprudence, saying that it most certainly is not "homosexuality", but anal intercourse specifically. While the law "on the books", so to speak, condemn it, in actual practice is was tolerated more often than not. I've spoken about this issue at more length elsewhere in this blog, so I don't think I'll go into it again. It crops up repeatedly on Baha'i forums; Beliefnet, especially. But I found it interesting that this was coming from an article published in a journal dedicated to Islamic Studies, and so it was not discussed in the context of Baha'i politics.

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