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Assails Bahá’í Leader And Persian Veracity

Assails Bahai Leader And Persian Veracity
Washington DC Star
May 6, 1912
Washington DC

Dr. C. Ernest Smith Declares Missionary Should Not Be Encouraged.

Dr. C. Ernest Smith preached yesterday morning in St. Thomas’ Church, near Dupont Circle, on “Mohammedanism and Its Persian Cult — Bahá’ísm.”

A gentleman from Persia,” Dr. Ernest Smith said, “has been traveling through the United States and has lately been here in the capacity of a missionary to declare to us the things which belong to our place. For this he is worthy of all honor. Doubtless he is a sincere and high-minded man, who is profoundly convinced both of the truth and the importance of his message. Perhaps it is a little unfortunate that the country he comes from is in its decadence, both politically and morally.

According to Herodotus, the Persians devoted a third of their educational curriculum to training their children to speak the truth, but today scarcely an individual can be found willing to tell the truth unless he has something to gain by it.

On examination it turns out that this missionary is simply a Mohammedan. He therefore believes in the Koran, with its polygamy and sensual paradise, and that Mohammed is superior to Christ. He is not, however, an orthodox Mohammedan. Few if any of the Persians are. Their saint worship and sacerdotalism and use of bhang and opium are abhorred at Mecca. He represents a sort of Oxford movement known as Bahá’ísm in the Mohammedan Church — a cult which commenced some thirty or forty years ago — the good in it probably inspired by Christian missionaries to the Persians.

Admiration or Pity.

Testing this Persian missionary’s teachings by results and comparing them with the results of Christ’s teaching as manifested in Christianity’s hospitals, houses of mercy, homes, orphanages and higher ideals generally, and withal sweeter, nobler, more inspiring ideals of God, we do not know whether to admire more the splendid faith of this Persian in his creed or to pity more his colossal ignorance.

‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Therefore we cannot encourage this high-minded, earnest, conscientious Persian, who at great self-sacrifice has left his own country and kith and kin to teach us. Doing so, we would be traitors to Christ, whom we dare not compare, but may contrast, with the Arabian prophet, of whom it has been said that whether he be priest, hero, sage or impostor, ‘Allah only knows.’ Because of these things the only Godspeed we can bid him is a Godspeed back to his own country.”