The purpose of my presentations is to demonstrate that the Baha’i Writings provide the theoretical and practical resources to establish a Baha’i-inspired and faith-based social justice movement that is a viable alternative to the social justice campaigns currently being waged in the United States and Canada. The social justice activism that currently dominates public attention may not be suitable for those who cannot agree with its involvement in partisan party politics, nor with the ideological viewpoints of many of its leaders; with its program and methods of seeking redress solutions to social justice problems; with its analysis and interpretation of social justice issues and with its often extremist rhetoric.
At the present time, such individuals have few options for social action available to them. They can either limit their social activism to their own behavior and maybe a few friends and acquaintances or they can be reluctant tag-alongs with whatever group least offends their consciences. For those who desire to do more without distressing their conscience this is not a satisfactory solution. Nor does it help society which needs wide-spread support for remedying the injustices which hinder mankind’s development.
In my understanding, the Baha’i Writings provide both the theoretical foundations and the practical guidance needed to make a Baha’i-inspired and faith-based movement into an effective participant in the quest for social justice. Indeed, I would argue that Baha’u’llah encourages such remedial action. Why else would He state that?
The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the isease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements (Gleanings 212)
In my opinion, the fact that Baha’u’llah asserts that has the correct remedy for the world’s ills suggests that Baha’is have an obligation to actively apply His ‘prescription,’ i.e. revelation in the world. What could be a more fitting project given that justice is His “best-beloved”? (Arabic Hidden Words # 2). In the following presentations, I will show how the Baha’i Writings meet “the needs of the age [we] live in” (Gleanings 212), i.e. how a Baha’i-inspired social justice movement provides unique and irreplaceable advantages over the current constellation of various secular social justice projects commonly described as ‘woke.’