Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Heroines of the Most High

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a nice graphic from it Religious Landscape Survey showing that women appear to have higher measures of religiosity than men in several areas:

Feb. 26, 2009

March is Women's History Month. A new analysis of data from the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that women are more religious than men on a variety of measures.

Data: Pew Forum U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007, released in 2008.

* Question wording: Do you believe in God or a universal spirit? [IF BELIEVE IN GOD, ASK]: How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain, fairly certain, not too certain, or not at all certain? [IF BELIEVE IN GOD, ASK]: Which comes closest to your view of God? God is a person with whom people can have a relationship or God is an impersonal force?

While I don't have any data on the religiosity of women in the Baha'i community, in my experience the women do a great amount of the heavy lifting in every area of service, teaching and administration. For example, the majority of members of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Boston (the governing council of the Baha'is of this city) are women, and most of those in the forefront of teaching the Baha'i Faith in our area are women. My question is, how often do Baha'i men take the time to acknowledge and thank Baha'i women for their contributions to the community? If you're not in the habit of doing so, it is never too late. If you already do it, keep it up.

"Know thou that in the sight of God, the conduct of women is the same as that of men. All are the creatures of God and He has created them after His form and likeness; that is to say, after the form and likeness of the Manifestations of His names and His attributes. >From the spiritual point of view, therefore, there is no difference between women and men. "The nearer we draw to God, the nearer He comes to us" without regard to whether the person be a man or a woman. How many women, thus drawn to God, have surpassed men in the shadow of Baha' in bringing men under it -- women famous throughout the world!" (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 90)