Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is the Bahá’í Faith?

The Bahá’í Faith is a world wide religion with adherents in more than 235 countries and territories in the world comprising over 116,000 localities.

Bahá’ís come from many religious and even non-religious backgrounds. The underlying common belief is that religion derives from one common divine source and is continually renewed through special Teachers such as Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad, Bahá'u'lláh and others to provide never ending spiritual guidance to humanity. Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith has come to bring teachings and principles to establish the oneness of humanity: "The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens"

The major beliefs of the Bahá’í Faith concern the promotion of world peace and the establishment of a united global commonwealth by the peoples of the world. Its auxiliary teachings include:

All humanity is one family.

The Bahá’í teachings emphasize that all of us, as creations of one God, are part of one human family.

Bahá’u’lláh said, “The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”

People of nearly every background, in every nation, have become Bahá’ís.

Women and men are equal.

Full equality and a firm sense of partnership between women and men are essential to human progress and the transformation of society. “Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God," said Bahá'u'lláh.

The worldwide Bahá'í community has been at the forefront of the movement to advance the rights of women for more than a century.

All prejudice—racial, religious, national, or economic—is destructive and must be overcome.

Bahá’u’lláh gave special attention to the problem of prejudice. At the heart of His message is a call for mutual understanding and fellowship among nations, cultures, and peoples.

There is, Bahá'u'lláh insists, only one human race. Prejudice—whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or social background—must be overcome if humanity is to create a peaceful and just global society.

We must investigate truth for ourselves, without preconceptions.

One of the main sources of conflict in the world today is the fact that many people blindly and uncritically follow various traditions, movements, and opinions.

Bahá’u’lláh emphasizes the fundamental obligation of human beings to acquire knowledge with their "own eyes and not through the eyes of others."

Science and religion are in harmony.

The Bahá'í teachings stress the fundamental harmony of science and religion. Bahá'ís consider that it is the same unique God who is both the Author of revelation and the Creator of the reality which science investigates.

If indeed there is only one truth (reality), it is not possible for something to be scientifically false and religiously true; contradictions are attributed to human fallibility and arrogance.

Our economic problems are linked to spiritual problems.

The Bahá'í teachings envision that economic justice and prosperity will come about only when the essential connection between the spiritual and practical aspects of life is recognized.

A satisfactory solution to the world's present economic crisis lies in a profound change of heart and mind which only religion can produce.

The family and its unity are very important.

Bahá'u'lláh came to bring unity to the world, and a fundamental unity is that of the family.

Bahá’ís understand that the family is the basic unit of society and unless this all-important building block is healthy and unified, society itself cannot be healthy and unified.

Bahá’í writings say, “If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual.”

There is one God.

The Bahá'í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being.

Such designations as God, Allah, Yahweh, and Brahma all refer to the One Divine Being, Whose nature is unknowable and inaccessible to humankind. We learn about God through His Messengers, who teach and guide humanity.

All major religions come from God.

When Bahá'ís say that the various religions are one, they do not mean that all the creeds and organizations are the same. Rather, they believe God has revealed Himself through a succession of Divine Messengers, Whose purpose is to guide and educate mankind.

They are expressions of a single unfolding Divine purpose, "the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future."

World peace is the crying need of our time.

Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity's stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth.

The Bahá'í community believes that humanity can confront this supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome.

as quoted from

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Recently, several people have asked me about my religious beliefs. I'd like to clarify them considering the content of the majority of my recent posts.

History of the Beliefs of James... I was born on Rota, a small island in the CNMI, and like all Chamorros was baptized a Catholic. This could be the beginning of my religious upbringing as I can remember spending time in a Catholic cathedral and of course all those christenings, funerals, rosary's, baptisms etc...
In my early years (about 5-7) after moving to the mainland United States the other side of my family was fully engrossed in the Baptist church. So I was brought to church and over time adopted the beliefs of the Baptist church. I actually went to a private school that took a hard line view of "Bible" principals with an exclusionary view of other religions.
When I was 15 my Grandmother (maternal) passed away and I flew back to the CNMI for her funeral and experienced the complete religious culture shock between beliefs and rituals surrounding the beliefs of the afterlife. I both prayed and took part in a completely Catholic ceremony (ritual?) and went back to SF kind of confused. This started a pattern of questioning in my mind about what I believed in.
I truly think that is was a this time that I started to look at what I was being taught in church and school. I realized that my upbringing was a bit one sided and so started to review different religious views. This did upset several people as it inadvertently cause me to pull away from my church.
My early adulthood had me "floating in the breeze" sort of agnostic. I had a belief that God existed and that He and I had some sort of relationship, however I really did not have a way to describe it.
About the time I was 24 I was introduced to a few people that had a unique perspective on religion. The Bahai community of Saipan initially (in my view) was an unorganized religion that believed in the equality of humanity, unity, spiritual responsibility and universal religious source. I underwent a period of three years in which I attended activities sponsored by the Bahais, participated in discussions, attend devotional meeting and generally learned what I could. One of the teachings that resonated with me was the teaching of progressive revelation (There is only one God and His will was/is revealed through time by different "Manifestations" or teachers depending on the needs of the human race of the time). To me this meant that the different religions of the world all had a single source. Another teaching which is in parallel is the Universal Truth that spans different religions love for all, unity, truthfulness etc..

About 5 years ago I declared my belief in Baha'ullah and his station as a manifestation of God. In that time I have learned that the seemingly unorganized is in reality quite organized. Just in a way that is more decentralized and removes power from any single individual.

I will be posting a series of beliefs and social teaching of the Bahai's soon so please feel free to comment.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Just a somewhat serious note on love and relationships.

The bond that unites hearts most perfectly is loyalty. True lovers once united must show forth the utmost faithfulness one to another. You must dedicate your knowledge, your talents, your fortunes, your titles, your bodies and your spirits to God, to Bahá'u'lláh and to each other.

Let your hearts be spacious, as spacious as the universe of God! Allow no trace of jealousy to creep between you, for jealousy, like unto poison, vitiates the very essence of love. Let not the ephemeral incidents and accidents of this changeful life cause a rift between you. When differences present themselves, take counsel together in secret, lest others magnify a speck into a mountain. Harbour not in your hearts any grievance; but rather explain its nature to each other with such frankness and understanding that it will disappear, leaving no remembrance. Choose fellowship and amity and turn away from jealousy and hypocrisy.

Your thoughts must be lofty; your ideals luminous, your minds spiritual, so that your souls may become a dawning place for the Sun of Reality. Let your hearts be like unto two pure mirrors reflecting the stars of the heaven of love and beauty.

Together make mention of noble aspirations and heavenly concepts. Let there be no secrets one from another. Make your home a haven of rest and peace. Be hospitable, and let the doors of your house be open to the faces of friends and strangers. Welcome every guest with radiant grace and let each feel that it is his own home.

No mortal can conceive the union and harmony which God has destined for man and wife. Nourish continually the tree of your union with love and affection, so that it will remain ever green and verdant throughout all seasons and bring forth luscious fruits for the healing of nations.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Weekend...

ok so it's been awhile since my last post. what has been going on.. I spent most of Saturday looking over a house I am interested in purchasing. it looks like a good deal except for the condition of the electrical wiring of the house. I want to do some expansions (add a dining room) since the kitchen is too small to have more than 4 people in it around a table.

On another note. has anyone noticed how many people are leaving the CNMI? I mean come on, things will not get better just because you move away. There are problem all over the world and moving just places you into a new environment with new stresses.

Elections are coming up.. Enough Said!!

Work is doing fine. the website I was working on is up. Please feel free to visit.

I have nt gone diving in quite a few weeks. I think that the community of people that I live in is taking for granted that there is more to life that the land. I plan on diving next weekend. Anyone interested in joining me? no destination yet. I hope to link up with a few people I was diving with in the past.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I was born 32 years ago today. October 18, 1975 on the tiny island of Rota (Luta to you traditionalists) It has been an interesting life so far. Thank you to all of you that are involved in my life in one way or another you each contribute to my development and character in some way or another.

Family, Community, Society, Humanity

If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual; but if enmity and hatred exist within it destruction and dispersion are inevitable. This is likewise true of a city. If those who dwell within it manifest a spirit of accord and fellowship it will progress steadily and human conditions become brighter whereas through enmity and strife it will be degraded and its inhabitants scattered. In the same way the people of a nation develop and advance toward civilization and enlightenment through love and accord, and are disintegrated by war and strife. Finally, this is true of humanity itself in the aggregate. When love is realized and the ideal spiritual bonds unite the hearts of men, the whole human race will be uplifted, the world will continually grow more spiritual and radiant and the happiness and tranquillity of mankind be immeasurably increased. Warfare and strife will be uprooted, disagreement and dissension pass away, and Universal Peace unite the nations and peoples of the world.All mankind will dwell together as one family, blend as the waves of one sea, shine as stars of one firmament, and appear as fruits of the same tree. This is the happiness and felicity of humankind. This is the illumination of man, the glory eternal and life everlasting; this is the divine bestowal.

Baha'i Faith. 'Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace


How interesting that ideas that develop the Micro (small) can also be applied to the macro (large). I believe that we we each strive to love with our individual families and practice honesty and honor with our families we can affect the entire community and from there the world.