Part 1 of 2: For first-time visitors:
An introduction to this web site, including a
description of why we are very different
from almost all other religious web sites.
This essay is also available:
The following is probably more than you ever wanted to
know about us and our web site. However, we want to explain our
"agenda" in promoting religious tolerance and to help you understand
how this web site was written.
It is important for us to be
open with our beliefs and positions on various matters. You need this
information in order to judge the credibility of our essays.
Our thoughts about religion:
Religion is a unique force in society.
It motivates individuals to do both good and evil. Historically, it has promoted:
An end to slavery, racial integration,
equal rights for women, and equal
rights for gays and lesbians, etc. It has motivated individuals to create massive support services
for the poor, the sick, the hurting, and the broken.
Conversely, it has been used to justify
slavery, racial segregation; oppression of women; discrimination against
homosexuals, transgender persons and transsexuals; genocides; exterminations of minorities; etc.
Religion motivates some individuals to dedicate their lives to help the poor and needy. (e.g. Gandhi, Albert
Schweitzer, Mother Teresa.) It drives others to exterminate as many "heretics" as they
can. Over the past two decades we have seen religiously-motivated mass murders and genocides in Bosnia, East
India, Kosovo, the Middle East, Myanmar, Northern Ireland, Philippines,
Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tibet, the 9/11 attacks on New York City & Washington DC, etc.
Religion has the capability to generate unselfish love in some people, and vicious, raw hatred in
others. The goal of every caring person should be to somehow change religions so that they maximize the
former and minimize the latter. This is not a simple task, because most faith
groups are extremely resistant to change. We feel that the key is religious tolerance.
About our group...
We are a multi-faith agency of five
volunteers in the U.S. and Canada who follow
five different religious beliefs (Agnosticism,
Atheism, Christianity, Wicca,
and Zen Buddhism).
Our group is independent of all other religious organizations. We rely
almost exclusively on
the revenue from banner ads, and our readers' donations, to enable us to continue our work.
Our office is located in Canada; our web site server is located in the U.S.; our
technical support is from New Zealand.
Our staff live in either Canada, the U.S., or New Zealand.
Definition of religious tolerance:
Some folks, particularly religious conservatives define "religious
tolerance" as the belief that all religions are equally true, valid, and equally
beneficial to the culture. Since they generally disagree with this belief, they often disapprove of religious tolerance.
We define the term differently: to be tolerant is to
follow the Ethic of Reciprocity, a.k.a. the Golden
Rule. That involves working towards a culture in which every person should be
- Follow their own religious beliefs, as long as they do not harm others;
freedom of religious belief, speech and assembly, without
discrimination or oppression.
- Change their religion if they wish, and
- Make non-harassing, non-manipulative and non-coercive attempts to convert others.
We try to write accurate, balanced, clear,
objective and inclusive articles about religion, morality, and ethics. We often tackle tough religious questions. We don't promote
a specific religious viewpoint; we don't attack anyone's theological
beliefs. We don't value religious beliefs over secularism or vice-versa. However, we do criticize
actions that harm people, even if those actions are religiously motivated. We do compare beliefs of various religions with each other and with the findings of scientists. We are dedicated to
"liberty and justice for all" (with the exception of those engaging in acts
which can be shown to be criminal and hurtful). More
information on our purposes, beliefs, rules of engagement etc. is available.
About our beliefs:
We are most definitely not fence-sitters on matters of belief. Each
of us has our own, strongly held, but different personal beliefs about many topics, including:
The nature, gender, existence, and attributes of
- The purposes of life.
Moral codes governing personal behavior,
including abortion, physician assisted suicide, the
death penalty, and other hot religious topics.
- The importance of being part of a religious community.
- The wearing of religious clothing and jewelry.
- Change-of-life rituals (baptism, confirmation, marriage, funeral).
However, we do have some beliefs in common:
- We view almost all religions as having an overall positive effect on society.
- We view most or all religions as also having a dark side. They have taken actions which have harmed
individuals in the past. Similar actions continue today,
and will probably exist into the foreseeable future.
We share a desire that our American and Canadian cultures
continue to work towards achieving true "liberty and justice
for all," including women, men, and other religious, cultural, and sexual minorities.
Before publishing or distributing any material from this web site, please read our copyright and legal notices.
This topic continues in the next essay
Copyright © 1997 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on
Last update: 2018-FEB-15
Author: B.A. Robinson