Racism: Just undo it | Worship

By Gordy Arlin, A Bahá’í of Mukilteo | May 21, 2014

The loathsomeness of racism has belched its way into the headlines again, so I (full disclosure) have copped much of this copy from a Beacon column that I submitted in 1993. Like Stevie Wonder says, "We've got so far to come."-Gordy

Unity is impossible if racism endures. As regards to our need for unity, here are the words of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith: "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established... the Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change."

Hmmm... So let's take a look at the Word of God as regards to racism. All of the following passages are excerpted from the Writings:

"Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendship and fellowship."

"God doth not behold differences of hue and complexion. He looketh at the hearts. He whose morals and virtues are praiseworthy is preferred in the presence of God... In the realm of genesis and creation the question of color is of least importance."

"Reflect ye as to other than human forms of life and be ye admonished thereby: Those clouds that drift apart cannot produce the bounty of the rain, and are soon lost; a flock of sheep, once scattered, falleth prey to the wolf, and birds that fly alone will be caught fast in the claws of the hawk. What greater demonstration could there be that unity leadeth to flourishing life, while dissension and withdrawing from the others will lead only to misery."

"... [D]ifference of race and color is like the variegated beauty of flowers in a garden. If you enter a garden you will see yellow, white, blue and red flowers in profusion and beauty – each radiant within itself and although different from the others, lending its own charm to them.

“Racial differences in the human kingdom is similar... the various races of humankind lend a composite harmony and beauty of color to the whole.  Let all associate, therefore, in this great human garden even as flowers grow and blend together side-by-side without discord or disagreement between them."

"...(T)his diversity increaseth their charm and addeth to their beauty. How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruit, the branches and the trees of the garden were all of the same shape and color! Diversity of color, form and shape enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighten the effect thereof."

“The diversity of the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord."

"May our purposes centralize in the earnest desire of attaining the good pleasure of God, and may our supreme energies be directed to welding together the human household."

"Be kind to all people, love humanity, consider all mankind as your relations... Strive night and day that animosity and contention may pass away from the hearts of men... love each other so that no racial, religious or political prejudice may remain."

God entreats us collectively: "Do not despair! Work steadily. Sincerity and love will conquer hate. How many seemingly impossible events are coming to pass in these days! Set your faces steadily toward the Light of the World. Show love to all."

In closing, here is God's clarion call to you and me as individuals: "It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action."

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