Our Daily Bread: Divine Retribution

Today’s slice is from Bahá’u’lláh’s Persian Hidden Words:

O YE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity followeth you, and grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not that which ye have committed hath been effaced in My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.

This passage guided much of my world view as a child. It played well with Cold War fatalism, and gave me a dim outlook on the future, though great things were promised for the people who would survive this “unforeseen calamity”.

Note that this is all about punishment for sin, and it is a worldwide punishment for the accumulated crimes of humanity. Though Bahá’ís claim to have an elevated, sublime notion of God, this God is none other than the jealous, vengeful Yahweh, who has no regard for the deeds of one man in his private moments of conscience, but only of humanity en masse. This is a God of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and Assyrian armies.

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