It’s a Different World From Where You Come From

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I’m a 25-year-old graduate student in the DC area (just like you!).  I recently met a guy through my program. He’s gorgeous, smart, and very sweet.  We went out on one date so far, and we really clicked! Then, one of my friends in the program says he is Baha’i, some new religion which is kinda like a cult.  I looked it up on the Internet and it looks pretty innocuous to me: one God, no religious faction divisions within the groups, lots of different ethnic varieties within it.  But my friend told me it’s a religion of Iranian descent and has ties to Middle East extreme factions. I’d like to ask Arash (that’s the great guy in question) about all this, but he’s of Persian descent and I don’t want to offend him.  I’m torn between thinking my friend’s concerns are bullshit to wondering if there’s a grain of truth to what she says.  Can you help me out here?

Signed, Wendy from Washington

Symbol of the Baha’i Faith.

Dear Wendy,

Well, I can’t claim to be a Baha’i expert, but from all the research I did, there’s not a shred of evidence to support your “friend’s” suspicions. In fact, the religion, while “new” (it was founded about a century ago) has accomplished what many others have not: preaching love and peace, true diversity and global unity – without lots of internal division and infighting – probably because they claim that since there’s only one God, then all religions speak truth. Something our Judeo-Christian faiths cannot come close to claiming.  What it sounds like to me is that your friend has a case of Bush fever – linking anything from the Arab world as inherently suspect and potentially evil (unless it’s a Saudi selling some oil, but I digress). Which is as racist and as narrow-minded as it comes.

I think it’s perfectly alright to ask Arash about his faith.  It’s all in the way you ask. Here’s some examples:

Good Example

Wendy: I hear you are part of the Baha’i community, and I don’t know a lot about it. Could you tell me about it?

Arash: I sure would – you sexy, open-minded vixen you.


Bad Example

Wendy: So I hear your Baha’i faith has ties to Arab extremist groups, maybe even Al-Qaeda itself! What are you thinking being part of a terrorist organization!

Arash:  Okay you racist American you…this date – and any chance for a friendship – is officially over. Bye bitch.

One more thing…I don’t know where you are at in terms of what you want (just looking to date around or actually looking for Mr. Right)…but if the answer is the latter, I think you need to ask yourself if you will consider someone from a different faith as a potential life partner.  If your own religion is very important to you and you are not open to an interfaith marriage, then don’t waste each other’s time.  That said, the Universe works in some funky strange ways, and I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard someone say “Wow, so-and-so is TOTALLY not my type or who I thought I’d end up with, but here I am, and I am deliriously happy!”

Good luck 🙂

1. Green Day – American Idiot  
2. The Cure – Killing an Arab  
3. INXS – Original Sin  
4. The Twilight Singers – Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair  
5. Night Ranger – Sister Christian  
6. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God  
7. The Vaselines – Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam  



13 responses to “It’s a Different World From Where You Come From

  1. I really love reading your advice, but I miss the actual tracklists of the mixes you make, since I can’t see what songs they are anymore just from my RSS reader. Is there any way you could list them out like you used to (and like cassette shelf currently does?)

  2. Hey Marebear,

    Good suggestion – for now, I just lifted the list from my MixWit list…but promise in the future to list it old school 😉

  3. It’s the first time I’ve seen you blog and I have to say “Well done”. The advice you gave was open-minded, entertaining, and measured.
    I’ve been a Baha’i for years and have heard the same kind of mis-guided rhetoric as Wendy heard from her friend. But if folks take a moment to independently investigate, as you did, they learn that Baha’is are generally very nice people and not a cult at all.
    I used to live in the DC area and recommend that Wendy visit the Washington, DC Bahá’í Center, 5713 16th Street NW, at 11:00 AM any Sunday morning for devotions and presentations on various topics of the Faith. Then SHE can decide on her own if a realtionship with Arash is worth her time. One other thing she might ask Arash “Arash, would you be content with a partner who had no interest in becoming a Baha’i herself?” (honesty should work both ways)

    ///Darrell Rodgers
    Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist

  4. Thanks for the insiders view, Darrell…very helpful…oh and Wendy emailed me just a moment ago and is going out with Arash again.

    If I get more info, will keep it posted…

  5. Christopher and me were always wondering what that weird building was all about we passed like, daily.

  6. Well, Elina, it likely would NOT be the Washington DC Center. It’s in a commonly simple “four-square/colonial” house at the corner of 16th and Montague.

    But the Baha’i Center out in Loudoun County, VA is a little different.

  7. Yes, she’s talking about the one on Route 7…on her way to visit all the pretty pretty boys she called friends. (Eagles reference, Elina…they’re a band from the 70s – insert blank stare here)…

  8. I have a couple close family friends who are Baha’i and from what I know, it’s nothing like a cult. They are peace-loving, hospitable, and generally no different from anyone of Judeo-Christian descent/affiliation. Although sometimes I think they’re a lot NICER. 🙂

    The advice was very entertaining.

  9. There are many within the “Judeo-Christian faiths” that don’t act like Bush or any other zealot from any religion. There’s fanatics in every religion (I’m betting I could find some Baha-i who are pretty off-balance if I looked hard enough!)

    While I’m certain that the intent of this was to be open-minded, it is nearly impossible to do while calling-out a group and leaving the assumption hanging that everyone in that group acts/believes in exactly the same way.

    I’m a devoted Christian who has read the Sermon on the Mount and I believe it to be true–unlike many of our leaders today. Those are the folks you should be calling-out!

    May the One God bless you all!!!

  10. You need to read a little closer there….I never tied Bush with the Judeo-Christian argument. I mentioned Bush in terms of his aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East and his racial profiling domestic policies.

    The only “calling out” I did towards Judeo-Christian faiths was over our fractured organizational structures. Different branches worshipping in different ways. Which can cause division in our ranks.

    And we can all agree we’ve got those.

  11. When you leave your politics out of your advice, it will become much more readable. Non-Kos readers also read your site for your mix-tape advice and find it informative…until you read stuff like this:

    “Bush fever – linking anything from the Arab world as inherently suspect and potentially evil (unless it’s a Saudi selling some oil, but I digress). Which is as racist and as narrow-minded as it comes.”

    Sure, it’s narrow-minded – if true. Which it isn’t, but hey, who let’s facts get in the way of purging some emotion? The sentence really is moonbattish as it comes. I mean, you’re going out of your way to insult someone in a request for help that doesn’t even require it. Sounds like an excellent example of Bush Derangement Syndrome to me. Let it go – he’s leaving office in < 4 months. Try not to treat John McCain this way, will you?

  12. I never insulted “Wendy” – I insulted her friend who thinks anything of Middle Eastern origins must obviously be tied to terrorist extremism. (a point Wendy seemed to get, but not you)

    The TSA, along with the Department of Homeland Security have sanctioned racial profiling since 9/11 through our airports, state highway systems. That is a matter of record. Moreover, I have many Persian friends who can’t even contact their families back in Iran because they work for our federal government and have been told that to contact a relative back home will automatically put them on the terrorist watch list. No matter what the circumstances. However, it’s okay for Bush to be photographed holding hands with Saudi royalty. Why?

    Guess what…I express my opinions all the time on my blog – about love, sex, marriage, music, and on a rare occasion, politics. This is not a neutral forum. I share my views because I can. And if I were to visit your blog and see a shrine to McCain and Palin and Bush, I’d understand that I’m in your territory and you are entitled as well. I can think you’re incredible delusional for believing that the Bush administration doesn’t have strong ties to Saudi oil, but I’d be fine with it. And you can think I’m being narrow-minded due to my own research, encounters, etc. That is your right. But don’t come into my house and try to dictate what I should or shouldn’t write about…if I want to write a diatribe about McCain or Palin, I’m going to do it.

  13. “probably because they claim that since there’s only one God, then all religions speak truth. Something our Judeo-Christian faiths cannot come close to claiming.”

    If part B is true, then how can you claim part A?

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