In view of the rapidity with which racial incidents are occurring and being exposed in this revered nation, followed too often with questionable (if not outright ridiculous) legal outcome, it may well be time to slow the anger and increase the practice of adding spiritual solutions to these constantly multiplying earthly problems.
Such has been the primary focus on the June 19 massacre at Bethel AME Church in Charleston, SC, killing nine individuals including church pastor and Congressman, the Rev. Clementa’ Pinckney-–an admitted “hate crime” by its youthful perpetrator. Unique to this tragedy, however are the spiritual reactions demonstrated by family members of the victims, each of whom ended every tearful response with forgiveness of the killer. Such demonstrative spiritual love has never been witnessed to date, contributing to the peaceful demonstrations that continue to following its wake. Such spiritual values did not originate following that horrific incident, instead it speaks volumes of the spirituality instilled in the products of that historic holy place.
A Baha’i Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights presented in February 1947 to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Lake Success, NY, USA begins: “The source of human rights is the endowment of qualities, virtues and powers which God has bestowed upon mankind without discrimination of sex, race, creed or nationality. To fulfill the possibilities of this divine endowment is the purpose of human existence. Human rights can be established in terms of social status when members of the community realize that the gift of life and conscious being obligates them to meet responsibilities owed to God, to society and to self. Mutual recognition by individual community members of the truth that their lives emanate from one and the same universal Source enables them to maintain ordered relationships in a common social body.
No social body, whatever its form, has power to maintain essential human rights for persons who have repudiated their moral obligation and abandoned the divine endowment distinguishing man from beast. Civil definitions of political and economic status, if devoid of moral value and influence, are not equivalent to essential human rights but express the expedients of partisan policy. An ordered society can only be maintained by moral beings…”
According to the spiritual teachings of this New Era, “Man is in the highest degree of materiality and at the beginning of spirituality-–that is to say, he is at the end of imperfection and the beginning of perfection. He is at the last degree of darkness and at the beginning of Light. That is why it has been said that man’s condition is at the end of night and the beginning of day, meaning that he possesses the degrees of perfection. He has the animal side as well as the angelic side and the aim of each Divine Educator is to so train human souls that their angelic aspect may overcome their animal side.
Therefore children must trained and encouraged at earliest stage-–by the dynamic force of example–to have high aims, to conduct themselves well, be of powerful resolve and firm in purpose and in all things demonstrate dignity!