It is impossible to take any stand, especially a religious stand, in public without provoking negative comment. Become known in cyberspace, and you're a mini-celebrity -- sometimes loved and sometimes hated. It took me a long time to figure out how to deal with this position wisely; I'm still not sure I always do. One of the temptations I struggle to resist is that of falling back into a defensive mode, arguing with the vicious and sometimes completely untrue things that are said.
When you're an unenrolled Baha'i, and you say so publicly, you make a whole lot of people unhappy. There are the fundamentalist Baha'is, of course, who flit between seeing you as a dark-souled enemy and looking down their noses in feigned pity. There are the anti-Baha'is, who seem to pretty much agree with the fundies in their rigid, acontextual view of Baha'i scripture, but view it all as bad and don't want anybody to be any kind of Baha'i, unenrolled or not. Then, there are the anti-religious, who think the whole bunch of us are completely ridiculous. When you get down to it, some people are going to keep pounding on you unless and until you see things their way.
If you don't allow others the freedom to decide what they want to believe -- and you aren't allowing for that if you speak of them harshly -- then you aren't treating them like human beings and have lost whatever moral high ground you think you've got. It's an easy trap to fall into, especially if you feel like you're under attack. I have mostly tried, in my years in cyberspace, to direct my criticisms towards specific issues and policies rather than individuals, although I've had a few exasperated moments that definitely disqualify me for sainthood. But I'm trying; I really am.
But today I was trying to turn my thoughts towards the people I am really talking to out here: Those souls who are moved by the Writings of Baha'u'llah, but who cannot find a place in the official Baha'i community. Their voices of encouragement are worth more than than all the rest of the fundies and antis put together.
I have always said that the only way to "win" -- if such a concept is really applicable at all -- is to be the best Baha'i you can be. Baha'u'llah's heart is open, even if others are not:
Every receptive soul who hath in this Day inhaled the fragrance of His garment and hath, with a pure heart, set his face towards the all-glorious Horizon is reckoned among the people of Bahá in the Crimson Book. Grasp ye, in My Name, the chalice of My loving-kindness, drink then your fill in My glorious and wondrous remembrance.