None of us has any formal education in theology. We share over 6,000 religious reference books, including an truly
impressive array of religious hate literature. We are fortunate enough to
live in a city with two universities and one community college. Among
them, they have one theology department and multiple libraries.
All of us are motivated
by a concern about threats to religious freedom, and about religious
hatred, misinformation, and discrimination. We have no underground, secret
Our office is in Kingston, ON, Canada. This city is about two to three hours north of Syracuse NY, east of Toronto
ON, west of Montreal, Quebec, and south of Ottawa ON. It is located on the
shore of Lake Ontario where the lake funnels into the St. Lawrence River, across the lake from Rochester, NY.
The web hosting service that we use is Liquid Web, located in
Because of our expected audience, we try to write in "American"
rather than "English". But the occasional "colour, favour, centre",
etc. has been known to creep through accidentally.
Our web site is designed for a North American audience. We hope that people
elsewhere in the world can also benefit from it.
Some have criticized our lack of religious conservatives on staff. We have
searched for but have never found such a person willing to help us. This
situation is not unusual. We note that sites and organizations promoting
religious tolerance and freedom appear to be almost exclusively staffed by
religious, social, and/or political liberals.
We also feel that having an Agnostic as a main author is an advantage,
because Agnostics have no strong conviction that God either exists or does not
exist. They have the potential of exhibiting greater objectivity and less bias
when dealing with diverse religions.
Three of our four staff members are
professionals from a variety of fields: engineering, medicine,
urban planning. None of us have a formal theological background. We
feel that this
is actually an advantage to us when working on this web site.
We are not at all like the vast majority of religious web sites on the
Internet. We do not promote a specific theological belief system; we do not
teach a single view of deity, humanity and the rest of the universe to the
exclusion of other views.
We create very few innovative ideas and concepts on
our web page. We merely explain what people from
various sides of each issue believe and do. We are theological and ethical reporters,
not innovators or promoters. Our main role is to
perform research, and to explain all points of view with balance, clarity
A formal theological degree would be
counter-productive. It would tend to bias our understanding of
religious matters, and thus our writing, in a specific theological direction.
If we attended a Bible school, then we would probably graduate with a
permanent bias in favor of conservative Protestantism. If we went to a
liberal theological seminary then we would probably graduate with a
permanent bias in favor of mainline / progressive Christianity. As things now stand, our
undergraduate and postgraduate degrees have trained us in analytical
and research skills, and given us the proficiency to perform our task well.
We originally received no outside funding from any source. The web site was
operated as a hobby by our coordinator. But then our
numbers of hits spiraled upwards, and our Internet Service Provider started to
charge excess throughput penalties. So we sought sources of funding. During 2018, they are:
As of late 2018, our average profit is about U.S. $1,200 a month. Considering that the webmaster works about 350 hours a month, this amount is equivalent to under U.S. $3.00 an hour, which is significantly less than minimum wage where he lives (U.S. $10.50). For this reason, he regards the web site as non-commercial.
We attempted to register the organization as a non-profit group with the Canadian Federal Government. However, the only category under which it could be listed is "religious." The government defines a religious organization as one that teaches that one or more specific deities exist. We do not do that. Thus we had to register as a for-profit group. We monitor the government requirements in case they change their definition.
Our staff is mostly composed of volunteers who work without pay. Our office space and utilities
are donated without cost. So, we are able to do a great deal with a very small budget.
However, the OCRT was, overall, a money-losing proposition from its startup in
1995 until 1998 inclusive. In 1999, we made sufficient profit to pay off our previous years' debt. Long term trends appear encouraging, largely because religious intolerance is gradually increasing in intensity worldwide as measured in the number of innocent lives lost and religious property destroyed.
We may reorganize as a
non-profit agency eventually, and to obtain charitable status with Revenue Canada. The
latter would enable us to issue income tax receipts to Canadian donors.
Charitable status was impossible for us to obtain in Canada originally, because the Federal
government's rules are largely based on British common law. A group first has to
fit within one of the acceptable categories. Fortunately, "Religion" is one such
classification. However, an
organization can only qualify if it teaches belief in a specific deity, faith, or
religion. That would be an impossible requirement for us to meet, since we
describe and promote tolerance for the full range of faith groups. More details.