The time that we took to maintain these sections of our web site were easily justified back in 1995 when this web site first went online. At the time, the Internet was in its infancy. There were only about 6,000 web sites on the entire Internet, compared with over 65 million near the end of 2010 and almost 673 million by 2013-MAR. The information that was available on religion was often highly biased. Essentially every web site, promoted only the views of the webmaster or sponsoring agency.
However, by mid-2010, many web sites specializing in religious information had become available. Also, this web site had grown to the point where the available staff hours were insufficient to properly maintain its more than 5,400 essays and menus. Something had to give.
We analyzed the traffic that each sections of the web site received. We studied the amount of effort to maintain each section up-to-date. We reluctantly decided to stop the blogging of religious news. It was not an important part of the web site in terms of visitor interest, and it took a great deal of effort to update -- effort that we don't have available.
However, we will continue to update this web site to include new developments with a religious or moral component in North America and occasionally elsewhere in the world. For example, if the Roman Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fund another initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage in a state, we will describe that in our same-sex marriage section. If the Conservative Party gains majority control in the Canadian Parliament and starts to bring back the death penalty, privatize the health care system, eliminate abortion access, renew the army's activities in Afghanistan, eliminate same-sex marriage, etc. we will describe these events in the corresponding sections of this web site.
The Pew Forum on Religion & public life at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ (Balanced presentation of survey data, roundtables, and briefings and other social science research on religion and public life in the U.S. and worldwide)
We suggest reading the article by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- an organization that monitors hate groups in the U.S. It describes "18 anti-gay groups and their propaganda." Written in late 2010, it found 18 such groups, of which they will list 13 as "hate groups" in 2011. Almost all are conservative Protestant Christian groups.
Choosing news sources:
Many people have a natural tendency to adopt as their main news source one supplier (e.g. CNN, Fox, & MSNBC) that matches their political and religious beliefs. We recommend that people consider also tapping into an additional source that sharply contrasts with their beliefs. We have four reasons for recommending this:
It is only by learning what other people believe that we can fully understand our own position.
It is only by learning why other people believe as they do that we can fully understand why we believe what we do.
Reading about opposing positions helps us detect baloney, false reporting, and bias that permeates the media -- particularly in religious news sources.
It sharpens our analytical skills and may help slow or prevent mental problems later in life.
Bias in religious news sources:
On 2009-NOV-1 about the time that the federal hate crimes bill was signed
into law, we noticed an increase in the level of bias, misinformation, confusing
reporting, and disinformation being spread by some religious news sources. So we
started a new section of essays on this web site:
These are items from the world's media that are selected by other
organizations. We do not have any control over which articles and which news
services are selected. Some of the articles may be biased.