Thursday, January 7, 2010

Has the Baha'i Community Changed Dramatically in the Last Few Years?

A of couple friends have reported to me that it has.  I listen to and believe them.  Different things are happening.  Yet I'm puzzled.  I read The American Baha’i and letters from the House and NSA, I look at blogs by Baha’is, I read of the actions of the House, I read or skim talks by prominent Baha’is—honestly, none of it seems particularly different.  Maybe repackaged—new terms, new activities, new ways to be busy.  But is there a qualitative change?  And what is it?  Is it good? 

One friend who is halfway out the door has wondered if she ought to give the Baha’i scene another chance.  If the community is “trying on authenticity,” as she puts it, wouldn’t that be worth sticking around for?  I hear also of a rethinking of ideas about political involvement and admission of a certain public/private schizophrenia in the community.  Those could be really good things, especially if accompanied by a fessing up to the history and the impact that they have had on people (which I do not hear about).

I know that my contact with the Baha’i world is very limited.  I’m not out there in the flesh.  So I’m seeking reports from others who are.  Has the Baha’i world changed significantly?  If yes, in what ways?  Is this change good?  Mixed?  Bad?