I am a Baha'i, but that is not the only reason why I signed this petition. I was fortunate enough to be raised and primarily educated by a mother and father who wholeheartedly and sincerely believed in freedom and justice. My mother was born in Lake County, Florida, and from birth to age 18, lived under the iron rule of Sheriff Willis Virgil McCall, the infamously cruel embodiment of the only law in the county--his presence. Mom referred to him only as "the sheriff", and never went into much details about him, except to say that people warned her to never cross him. After reading about him as an adult ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_V._McCall ), I can understand why. He even defied then United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
My father was born in Mobile, Alambama and was raised in Moss Point Mississippi. Of course, both states figure prominently in the history of the civil rights movement. My father grew up in the period BEFORE Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that Montgomery bus to a white man. Needless to say, his childhood was not idlyllic.
Both of my parents instilled in me the need to stand up for justice and seek redress for civil rights abuse. I feel the same way about religious freedom as I do about the presence of institutional racism. They are both wrong and must be addressed in a consistent manner through whatever medium is available. I choose to use the Internet and social media to do what my parents could not do while they were raising my siblings and I--and that is, speak up for the causes that they felt very deeply were just.
Becoming a Baha'i completed the process that my parents began 55 years ago with my birth. I have resolved to continue the march toward justice by abiding by the Teachings of Baha'u'llah, the Ba'b, 'Abdu'l-Baha' and the Universal House of Justice.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh - O SON OF SPIRIT! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.