Anyone who has survived the eighth grade knows how backbiting hurts. "He who is without sin, cast the first stone," is pretty much ignored in the heat of an argument or self justification. Even adults who should know better--those aspiring to become statesmen?--often resort to fault finding and outright lies and gossip, thereby avoiding actual debate upon issues, it seems to me!
But the religious injunction against this sort of poisonous behavior is age old. It is severely censured in the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, as well. Here's the latest article from the Baha'i site at BellaOnline.com.
Backbiting - the worst sin for Bahá'ís
Gossip, backbiting and calumny are considered sins on a par with murder and arson because they quench the light of the heart and extinguish the life of the soul.
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