The United States National Council
of the American Baha'is Under the Provisions of the Covenant
Welcome to our national website for the Baha'is of the U.S. Here you will find information, tremendous resources, news and inspiration that is of particular interest to those who reside in America. You will be able to contact us here through this site--at any time day or night--and get information about our national and regional gatherings and other events you will undoubtedly want to attend.
The history of the Baha’i faith in America is particularly unique and compelling. 'Abdu'l-Baha the son of Baha'u'llah first came here to the U.S. in 1912. He legally adopted an American, Charles Mason Remey, as his son (an Aghsan: literally a 'branch' of David) to succeed him to the throne of King David. This fulfilled important prophecies about the coming of the Kingdom of God to America. For the people of the U.S. today this has great implications for the spiritual destiny of the United States, and the delicate transition we all now find ourselves within during this Age of Transition from national to internationalism.
The core ideals and values of the U.S. are primarily those of an eclectic freedom and moral imperative of responsibilities along the lines of great American figures such as Dr. King, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sitting Bull, Black Elk, Thomas Jefferson and many, many others that deserve mentioning. These core values are the outgrowth of the strong internationalism of the American tradition as a melting pot for all the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups of humanity forming one nation under God indivisible with justice and liberty for all. These liberties and personal-freedoms are counter-balanced by the Golden Rule of ‘do unto others what you would want them to do unto you.’ The U.S. therefore unlike many other countries is not a mono-culture or sub-cultural climate. But is one that really reflects all the problems of all the nations and all the peoples of the world within its very domestic borders.
The Baha'is here in the U.S. that have chosen to remain firm in the Covenant that God gave to King David (Psalms 89, etc.) understand all far too well both the dangers and pitfalls as well as the ecstasies and high hopes of the current crisis the world of humanity faces in this transition to internationalism.
Personal identities, core values, a hierocracy of personal priorities all come into key balance as the individual strives to better the many of the group; and the group longs to perfect an ever advancing civilization that ultimately supports each person as the one.
The Baha’i Faith teaches the “Oneness of Humanity.” Its watchword is "Unity in Diversity" and its foundation is the Most Great Justice for all. While these may be considered by some to be lofty ideals to be sure, our community (as part of the International Community of the Covenant (ICC) worldwide) has been able through the fires of tests and tribulations to hammer out specific solutions to spiritual problems with practical results! While these ideas and goals may seem to be the highest humanity is able to possibly now imagine at this time, nevertheless, they are the core values and deep spiritual ideals that all the books and prophecies of old foretell. The glorious reality of good transmuting evil; of prejudice becoming a thing of the past; of social and economic justice for all people; of equality of the sexes; of "every day being pay day" and "no work on pay day"; of personal saftey, security and salvation; and ultimately the end of war and religious difference and the elimination of prejudiced of all kinds that have all been promised has now arrived.
In harmony with the First Amendment Freedoms of he Consitution of the United States: "Where Judaism is the root and Christianity is the branch: the Baha’i Faith is the leaf, flower and fruit of this same tree."
This is the Tree of Life of Divine Revelation that has been planted and flourishing over the last 6000 years cycle of written history through the Nine Great Revelators of God: Adam, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, The Bab, and today the new 5000 century cycle of Baha'u'llah.
Baha’u'llah, founder of the Baha’i Faith, fulfills the prophecies of both the Old and New Testament as the Messiah-ben-David, the second coming of Christ, in the Potency of the "Everlatsing Fasther" seated on the "Throne of David" (that is to last for ever) who brings “a government on his shoulder” (Is. 9:6-7). Through His Revelation He has given humanity the blueprint for the Golden Age of Civilization (that Christian, Jews and Muslims await as the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven) for which Socrates gave his life; Galileo stood imprisoned under house arrest; Bruno was burned at the stake; John the Baptist was willing to be be-headed; and that Jesus taught us to pray for in the Lord’s Prayer: "Thy Kingdom come! It will be done on earth as it is heaven."
The center of this God-given government is established today in the United States of America at the prophesied spot of the area of "Four Corners" in the Rocky Mountains. This brings a special responsibility, a special work and peculiar mission to the Task Force of American believers willing to arise to the occasion and reap the rewards and garner the endless bounties of these Exciting Times!
As the Dawn-Breakers of the Baha’i administration, they (along with their fellow members of the international community) are the spiritual heirs to those heroic martyrs of the formative heroic age of the Baha’i Era whose sacred blood was willingly spilled in purification of the sanctuary of this Promise in proclamation as divinely appointed herald's of the arrival of this tremendous day. As these Baha'i martyrs gave their lives in the land of Persia culminating in the Proclamation of Baha'u'llah in the Garden of Ridvan in 1863, the United States was torn apart in Civil War: "My eyes have seen the coming of the "glory of the Lord!" and North and South fought as the West stood ready to succeed; and out of this chaotic conflagration the Republic of these people of the Four American Regions of the U.S. was forged in the fires of war and born forth like a phoenix from the ashes.
Will the coming of the global golden age of civilization also be born forth out of the fires of a world-civil war and global ethnic and cultural mega-conflagration? The people striving for truth, beauty and justice today are already engaged in ameliorating the dichotomous underpinnings of that real battle of the forces of light against dark played out in real human terms in the thoughts, words and behaviors of real every day to day human affairs.
Today, the Baha’i's of America, Shoghi Effendi explains, (as exemplars of all peoples of the world) have a twofold spiritual-crusade. First, we must work to regenerate the inward life and spiritual transformation of ourselves and our local communities (the most important work); and second, we must assail the long standing evils that have overcome a once glorious nation (the important work).
The lofty ideals the United States is founded upon have long been attempted to be cast to the wayside by negative forces gurgling up from the sub-culture and daimonic sub-conscious mind. Successful Americans today have learned to transmute these arcane and primal forces--turning satanic strength into heavenly power--as they are continually bombarded with messages of greed, selfishness, immorality and exclusionism. On the other hand many others feel helpless (due to lack of a proper education and entitlements) as they languish feeling as prisoners of a political system and police-state gone awry, democracy being bought and sold by the highest bidder. Americans find themselves trapped in the irony of a system that espouses equality but subtly perpetuates a bitter racism. They find mass poverty, hunger and disease in the wealthiest nation on earth. A country once known for its benevolent nature is now cast as a provocateur, a bully, and thief of the natural resources of other nations. Ultimately, many clear-headed Americans feel helpless to bring a once great nation back to a place of honor and high esteem that it is meant to ultimately be. In the face of these woes the threat of thermo-nuclear war is unimaginable and too hard to think about or even consider as viable option for survival--yet it looms and lurks on the horizon like a specter of the unimaginable threat and the fear-mongering of the insincere. Since the 9-11 Americans have learned that they are vulnerable--and the War of Terror marches on…
We, as spiritual people, must no longer be anxious. "Tomorrow is anxious enough for itself." Instead we must arise above the lethargy and be active. This activity (that must be integrated spiritual and material activity) energizes our own souls and is the real quickening of the spirit of each other, our neighbors and ultimately the entire nation and all the world. The divine physician has come with the remedy for this sick world. And from America, let the divine healing begin.
The Twofold Crusade of the Valiant Warrior Baha’i
“Dearly beloved friends! A rectitude of conduct which, in all its manifestations, offers a striking contrast to the deceitfulness and corruption that characterize the political life of the nation and of the parties and factions that compose it; a holiness and chastity that are diametrically opposed to the moral laxity and licentiousness which defile the character of a not inconsiderable proportion of its citizens; an interracial fellowship completely purged from the curse of racial prejudice which stigmatizes the vast majority of its people — these are the weapons which the American believers can and must wield in their double crusade, first to regenerate the inward life of their own community, and next to assail the long-standing evils that have entrenched themselves in the life of their nation. The perfection of such weapons, the wise and effective utilization of every one of them, more than the furtherance of any particular plan, or the devising of any special scheme, or the accumulation of any amount of material resources, can prepare them for the time when the Hand of Destiny will have directed them to assist in creating and in bringing into operation that World Order which is now incubating within the worldwide administrative institutions of their Faith.
“In the conduct of this twofold crusade the valiant warriors struggling in the name and for the Cause of Baha’u’llah must, of necessity, encounter stiff resistance, and suffer many a setback. Their own instincts, no less than the fury of conservative forces, the opposition of vested interests, and the objections of a corrupt and pleasure-seeking generation, must be reckoned with, resolutely resisted, and completely overcome. As their defensive measures for the impending struggle are organized and extended, storms of abuse and ridicule, and campaigns of condemnation and misrepresentation, may be unloosed against them. Their Faith, they may soon find, has been assaulted, their motives misconstrued, their aims defamed, their aspirations derided, their institutions scorned, their influence belittled, their authority undermined, and their Cause, at times, deserted by a few who will either be incapable of appreciating the nature of their ideals, or unwilling to bear the brunt of the mounting criticisms which such a contest is sure to involve. “Because of ‘Abdu’l-Baha,” the beloved Master has prophesied, “many a test will be visited upon you. Troubles will befall you, and suffering afflict you.”
“Let not, however, the invincible army of Baha’u’llah, who in the West, and at one of its potential storm centers is to fight, in His name and for His sake, one of its fiercest and most glorious battles, be afraid of any criticism that might be directed against it. Let it not be deterred by any condemnation with which the tongue of the slanderer may seek to debase its motives. Let it not recoil before the threatening advance of the forces of fanaticism, of orthodoxy, of corruption, and of prejudice that may be leagued against it. The voice of criticism is a voice that indirectly reinforces the proclamation of its Cause. Unpopularity but serves to throw into greater relief the contrast between it and its adversaries, while ostracism is itself the magnetic power that must eventually win over to its camp the most vociferous and inveterate amongst its foes. Already in the land where the greatest battles of the Faith have been fought, and its most rapacious enemies have lived, the march of events, the slow yet steady infiltration of its ideals, and the fulfillment of its prophecies, have resulted not only in disarming and in transforming the character of some of its most redoubtable enemies, but also in securing their firm and unreserved allegiance to its Founders. So complete a transformation, so startling a reversal of attitude, can only be effected if that chosen vehicle which is designed to carry the Message of Baha’u’llah to the hungry, the restless, and unshepherded multitudes is itself thoroughly cleansed from the defilements which it seeks to remove.
“It is upon you, therefore, my best-beloved friends, that I wish to impress not only the urgency and imperative necessity of your holy task, but also the limitless possibilities which it possesses of raising to such an exalted level not only the life and activities of your own community, but the motives and standards that govern the relationships existing among the people to which you belong. Undismayed by the formidable nature of this task, you will, I am confident, meet as befits you the challenge of these times, so fraught with peril, so full of corruption, and yet so pregnant with the promise of a future so bright that no previous age in the annals of mankind can rival its glory.” (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 40)
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