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  • The Baha'i Faith

    I am a huge Office fan too,....

    You know that studiously goofy guy in "The Office," "Rocker," "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" and "Saturday Night Live"? He's a Baha'i. And when he talks about the faith in which he was raised, Rainn Wilson is seriously articulate.
    What was it like to grow up in the Baha'i Faith?

    When you grow up with a spiritual foundation that asks you to be conscious of the fact that all races are created equal, that men and women are equal and that all religions worship the same (God), it helps you see the world as one family and not get lost in the traps of political, social and economic belief systems that can lead you astray. I always think of myself as a world citizen. It's a powerful thing.

    You stepped away from the Baha'i Faith in your 20s and returned to it 10 years later. What happened in that decade?

    I was in New York City, going to acting school, and I was going through a rebellious phase. I didn't want anyone telling me what to do. I was disenchanted with things that were organized. It was a spiritual journey I was on. And this is reflected in and supported by one of the central tenets of the Baha'i Faith, which obliges every spiritual seeker to undertake an individual investigation of truth.

    I started at ground zero. I decided I didn't know if there was even a God. I read religious books of the world. I asked myself, "If there is a God, how do we know what He wants us to do and what He wants for us? Do we read books? Do we buy crystals? Do we follow certain gurus? Do we sit under a tree? Because surely this omniscient creator has some kind of plan in store for mankind."

    And that line of thinking led you back to the Baha'i Faith?

    Yes, it brought me back to the Baha'i way of viewing things. I came to realize I did believe in God. I couldn't conceive of a universe without someone overseeing it in a compassionate way. It just made the most sense to me that God gradually is unfolding a plan for humankind. That there is progressive revelation -- the Baha'i belief that God sends Messengers for each day and age. I re-read books about the Baha'i Faith. And I came back to believing that Baha'u'llah was the Promised One and Messenger for this day and age. My quest took me from age 21 to 31. I'm 41 now.

    Your wife (author Holiday Reinhorn) recently became a Baha'i. How did that come about?

    She wasn't a Baha'i when we got married in a Baha'i ceremony almost 12 years ago. I never pressured her to join the Faith. But she started attending Ruhi (Baha'i education) classes in the L.A. area and became interested. And the birth of our son, Walter, now 3, was such a miracle that she found herself saying prayers and spiritually connecting to the Faith. She became a Baha'i in 2004. We pray with Walter every night before he goes to bed

    What is it like being a Baha'i in Hollywood?

    There's a predisposition to link corruption and Hollywood. Even Shoghi Effendi (Guardian of the Baha'i Faith) wrote about this. The problem is that everything you hear in the news is about the superficiality, immorality and degradation of Hollywood. But that is just not the case. Only a certain percent of the population is like that. It's probably the same percentage as for doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, any profession. Some of the most morally conscious, kindest, most compassionate people are in the entertainment industry, people who want to affect the world and make it a better place through telling human, heartfelt stories.

    Most people in Hollywood haven't heard of the Baha'i Faith, so they ask questions. I've had the opportunity to mention it in several articles and TV interviews, such as on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

    For years Holly and I hosted a belief night - a devotional gathering where we invited people of different religious beliefs to our home. We asked them to bring something to share about their spiritual path. Belief in God was not required. We had atheists, Christian Scientists, Buddhist monks... Recently I've been asked to speak a lot more about the Baha'i Faith. And I'll be working as a spokesperson with the Mona Foundation, a Baha'i-inspired not-for-profit organization that tries to provide quality education to all children, raise the status of women and girls, and build community.

    How does the Baha'i Faith figure in your life now?

    My feeling about the Faith is that it provides a practical guideline for living one's life. So much about religion has to do with rigid, sacrosanct preciousness. I don't live my life that way, and I don't feel that's what Baha'u'llah teaches. He wants us to live rich, full, loving lives in service to God's will and the human family.

    I like being a Baha'i who has an out-there sense of humor. God gives us talents and faculties, and making people laugh is one of mine. I don't have to be digging latrines in Honduras to serve humanity. Abdu'l-Baha and Baha'u'llah talk a lot about using the arts to uplift people. When Abdu'l-Baha was with the early believers, nine times out of 10 he would make a joke.

    Speaking of delicate sensibility: Have you had to turn down roles because they conflicted with what's taught in the Baha'i Faith?

    I've turned down many roles because they're morally repugnant. I have chosen to play spiritually lost characters, but only because I feel doing so served the greater good. In "My Super Ex-Girlfriend," my character was so preposterous and ludicrous in his sexism that it was clear the message was not about degrading women. In fact, the women characters are the most together, courageous and strong people in the movie.

    What is your favorite aspect of the Baha'i Faith?

    I love how democratic the Faith is, that it has no clergy, no people telling us how to interpret the word of God. In this day and age we see how corrupt clergy can lead mankind down so many bad roads.

    My favorite quote from the Baha'i Faith is from Abdu'l-Baha: "If religion be the cause of disunity, then irreligion is surely to be preferred." For the disenfranchised to know that Abdu'l-Baha is a proponent of having no religion if there's disunity... And for those who say they don't like "organized religion," don't worry: The Baha'i Faith is one of the most disorganized religions on the planet! NOT.
    http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainme...ood-Bahai.aspx

  • #2
    Another Office fan here - what college student isn't? Oh, Pam and Jim (JAM).

    This is sad. There are so many people in Hollywood with great communication skills and other talents that could be used for the glory of the Gospel. But they squander it for the here and now, eat, drink, and be merry kind of lifestyle.
    The Gospel of Jesus Christ

    "I am more flawed and sinful than I ever dared believe."

    "I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tardisdoctor View Post
      Another Office fan here - what college student isn't? Oh, Pam and Jim (JAM).

      This is sad. There are so many people in Hollywood with great communication skills and other talents that could be used for the glory of the Gospel. But they squander it for the here and now, eat, drink, and be merry kind of lifestyle.
      you get a Schrute buck,...


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      • #4
        I'm not surprised, Hollywood is at war with God.

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        • #5
          The Baha'i Faith

          Has anyone ever heard of this religion? I saw it on Nightline. Rayne Wilson of "The Office" is really into it. Their saying all religions are under one God. They don't show a picture of the founder because he is too sacred to look at and their goal is world peace. They say the founder is the same as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc.

          http://www.bahai.org/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by novembergirl View Post
            Has anyone ever heard of this religion? I saw it on Nightline. Rayne Wilson of "The Office" is really into it. Their saying all religions are under one God. They don't show a picture of the founder because he is too sacred to look at and their goal is world peace. They say the founder is the same as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc.

            http://www.bahai.org/
            One of my many college roomates was from Rwanda Africa by way of Paris France and Iran. She practiced this faith and was a lovely person. I wasn't too concerned about my Christian walk back then and didn't pay much attention to her business but she was very peaceful and productive.

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            • #7
              They believe that Jesus and the "Prophets" such as Moses are all God. .. It's very strange.

              I guess they figure that since Moses had a white beard, hair and staff with a robe he = God.

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              • #8
                They are a religion that believes all faiths lead to heaven.. (sound familiar?)

                they are very bizarre, they have a lot of mysticism and eastern indian roots. They have a chapter here in my city and I always see people in there, Everytime I pass there building I say a prayer for their souls, they are so very lost

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                • #9
                  I think they believe that all the major religious figures (Jesus, mohammed, buddha, etc.) are forms that the god-figure took on during those eras because that's what the people needed at that time. Advanced people accept them all as forms of god while unadvanced people get stuck in one religion or another. At least that's how I understand it. There's a Baha'i group here on campus that's all about spiritualism, peace, and all roads lead to heaven. -_-

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                  • #10
                    they are a little bit of everything....

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                    • #11
                      EVer wonder if they don't want to picture their god because he/she/it is goofy looking and/or ugly? I picture Alfred E. Newman...

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                      • #12
                        could be....



                        i have to say that i often thought of bahai'i when i read up on the maitreya dude. i don't think i have ever seen them connected, but it seems like he'd fall right in with them quite seamlessly

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                        • #13
                          I don't know much about maitreya...

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                          • #14
                            I knew someone who was in the Bahai' faith and then she got out of it, because when she wanted to read the Bible they would tell her that she could not do that. So really they were accepting to a point, but then if one gets to much into Christianity they get cultic and actually get oppressive.

                            These people have a mish-mash of new age, cultic, and universalist beliefs.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amber Lynne View Post
                              I don't know much about maitreya...

                              well he's nothing special. but he is spozed to be this mystical being that will unite all faiths to their true purpose of blah blah blah..... human perfection...the inherent goodness of humanity, unity, oneness and we'll all burst into song and buy eachother coca~colas and we'll wear flowers in our hair.

                              kinda a little bit of everything with some celestine prophesy tossed in, in place of anchovies

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