Getting to know you! Getting to know all about you!

By Gordy Arlin, A Bahá’í of Mukilteo | Jul 10, 2013

Many years ago, I submitted a screed expounding upon Bahá’í verities that was also a love letter to Paul and Cate Archipley for the extraordinary gift that they bring to our city.

I named them in the article, but Paul, in his usual self-effacing humility, edited that sentence out of the piece.

In honor of The Paulinator being named 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year recently, I resubmit said love letter. For bringing us a unifying blessing that I think is unique in all of America, THANK YOU PAUL AND CATE! -Gordy

Thank you God, for causing me to live in Mukilteo! Our little burg is such a great place to be. There is so much that is so dazzlingly beautiful here; the park is just a few moments away for sunsets and salt air, lucky us!

The majesty of the Olympic Mountains never grows old, and on super-foggy days we get storybook foghorns.

But my absolutely – No. 1 – most favorite thing about Mukilteo living is something not nearly so tangible.

We enjoy something unique here that rumbles sweetly underground, off of the radar, that elevates the quality of life here immeasurably, and that is that we are blessed with a hometown newspaper whose brain trust not only tolerates, but good-naturedly solicits and publishes spiritual opinions from ALL religions.

Neighbor! Dost thou recognizeth the rareness of this publishing credo? Hmmm... How many OTHER cities' newspapers graciously proffer a respected and ongoing pulpit to groups so disparate?

My guess is... none! I'd love to be wrong, but that's my guess.

Let me try again: I wonder if there is any other city whose newspaper has a religion page policy that bangs a drum and shouts out: "ALL voices may be heard, as we believe that communication is the beginning of understanding, and we promote a healthy dialogue with the followers of all religions."

Thank you for this rare forum that can only be for the good of all. It genuinely assists us all with needed clarity about the beliefs of different groups, and, praise God, it gives us all perhaps our only opportunities to notice, weigh and file the primal and marvelous SIMILARITIES that exist in so many of our most basic spiritual beliefs.

As a Bahá’í, I'm ecstatic about this dialogue since we believe that in all of the universe there is only one religion, and that is: the religion of God.

We believe that this one religion of God is being revealed to us gently, as we can bear it.

We believe that all of the Prophets of God have revealed the same spiritual truths in every revelation, but They have all revealed different social laws in each of their times.

Bahá’ís believe that God custom-tailored the social laws for each individual revelation to most appropriately address the degree to which humans had progressed (or not!) in the interim period since the appearance of the preceding Manifestation of God.

All of these Prophets of God spoke to us about a coming world redeemer.

The Christian world awaits the return of Jesus Christ in the glory of the Father, the Jewish community awaits the Lord of Hosts, followers of Muhammad await the Twelfth Imam, Hindus await the return of Krishna in the Tenth Avatar, Buddhists await the Fifth Buddha and Zoroastrians await the promised Sháh-Bahrám.

Bahá’ís believe that all of these promised advents occurred in the mid-19th century in the person of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh:

“There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God.

“The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them... are a reflection of His Will and Purpose.

“O well-beloved ones!... (R)egard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.

“O contending peoples and kindreds of the earth! Set your faces toward unity... Gather ye together, and for the sake of God resolve to root out whatever is the source of contention amongst you...

“If the rulers and kings of the earth... arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity the reign of justice will assuredly be established amongst the children of men...

“...(C)onsort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship... inasmuch as consorting with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations.

"Beware lest amidst men the flame of foolish ignorance overpower you. All things proceed from God and unto Him they return. He is the source of all things and in Him all things are ended.

"Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you. This, verily, is the most exalted Word..."

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