About this site's banner ads
We occasionally receive complaints about the presence of banner ads on our
web site, such as the one immediately above.
This essay describes these banner ads, as well as additional material that is
seen on a few essays and menus: the Google Adsense ads and the
The existence of the banner ads:
Many of our visitors would like
to see them removed. We agree with you. We would dearly like to delete all of the ads from our web
However, we have large expenses associated with this web site. The three
largest are: payment of salary to our part-time office manager, the purchase of books
for our library, and the bill presented monthly by our internet service provider.
500 GBytes of high speed Internet traffic does not come cheaply.
Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for our visitors, the Internet was set up
to provide free interchange of information. So, it is impossible for webmasters
to raise enough money directly to meet the costs of a large web site. The only way in which we can raise
money to meet our costs is through advertising and requests for donations. But we
are stuck with what ever ads they send us.
Financial support is a common problem among independent religious web sites.
||Some sites are supported
by religious denominations, and are allowed to work at a loss.
||Others make a profit from the sale of books, recordings, and other
||Some are more effective than we are at encouraging
donations from visitors who want to support the site.
But we have none of
these options open to us. So we have to rely on advertisements.
But, who knows? If you read the ads, you might find one that you would like
to click on. In the meantime, they are at least less obtrusive than TV
ads. You can skip over banner ads immediately without waiting for a
commercial to end.
The content of the ads:
The banner ads come in three forms: a wide ad at the top of each essay, a
skyscraper ad at the right and an almost square ad that is sometimes added to
the middle of some ads. Unfortunately, we have no control over the content of
these ads. They are provided by a banner ad company in rotation. We cannot pick
and choose them.
Over the years, we have received complaints about some of the
many dozens of ads that appear on our web site:
||Too much skin: One ad showed the torso of a woman in a bikini. Some of our readers feel
that it is inappropriate for a religious web site to have a picture showing
that much exposed skin. Since we are a multi-faith website, we have visitors
who follow a wide variety of religions. Many faith groups -- particularly those
in the conservative wings of monotheistic religions -- do take a negative
attitude towards exposure of the human body. But others, including secularists,
Christians, other religious liberals,
Neopagans and others do not.
Wiccans, for example, considers all responsible
acts of pleasure, including sexual behavior, to be a gift of the Goddess.
Many perform their rituals skyclad (Clothed only by the sky; i.e. nude). So
we feel that some of our visitors would enjoy this ad, even as others are
offended by it. Still others, like myself, who are
having difficulty reaching their desired weight might be positively motivated
to diet after seeing a picture of an attractive woman.
Over 95% of our web site visitors live in the U.S. or Canada; most of the
rest live in the English speaking world: UK, Australia, New Zealand...
Compared with the bathing suites that one can observe in North American
beaches, and the images of partly clad women in magazine racks, the
bikini/diet ads on our site are relatively conservative.
||Free ordination: One ad leads to a website that offers ordination certificates for a fee.
This enables individuals to marry people in some states of the U.S. Some
readers feel that this is an attack on their faith group because it cheapens
the status of pastors, ministers, priests, etc. However, it does give some
individuals the opportunity to act as a marriage officiant who otherwise
would not be able to get certification from their state: This might include
followers of Wicca, the New Age,
Santeria, Native American
Spirituality, etc. So we feel that the ads provide a useful and legal
||Diet plans are unethical: One visitor to this web site complained because so many of the ads related
to weight reduction and diets. The complaint arrived shortly after
2004-Christmas, when there was a flurry of such ads on our web site. The visitor
complained that diets rarely work, and that it was thus unethical to advertise
them. I don't know how effective these particular weight reduction programs are,
but I can personally testify personal success using Weight Watchers.
I lost 37 pounds on Weight Watchers, regained 10 and am now on track to lose
||Violence in the ads: We have some ads in which the visitor is asked
to click on some activity, like hitting a baseball. During early 2008, some of
these ads involved hitting a woman in the face with a pie. We don't approve of
this form of violence. However, we have no mechanism by which we can filter them
About the Google Adsense ads:
The following ads appear at the left of our web site, and near
the bottom of some essays:
In most cases, these and are related to the content of the essay. We hope
that our visitors will find some of the links on these ads helpful. If Google is
unable to match any text links to the content of our essay, they send us a
non-revenue public service ad. This helps out non-profit groups who otherwise
would not be able to afford ads.
About the Amazon.com graphics:
Scattered around our web site are graphics
supplied by Amazon.com, the world's biggest online bookstore. The following one
shows books that Amazon.com found in their inventory that discuss religious
Clicking on your browser's refresh key will usually show a new combination of
We do make a small commission as an affiliate of Amazon.com. However, we
mainly show these graphics so that our site visitors can follow up a topic and
consider purchasing one or more books.
Copyright © 2004 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2004-JUN-15
Latest update: 2008-MAY-23
Author: B.A. Robinson