Statement of Purpose
Talk to Action is a platform for reporting on, learning about, and analyzing and discussing the religious right -- and what to do about it. It is not a forum for discussion, dialog or debate with those who sympathize with or belong to this movement. There is an editorial framework for this site that is different than you will find on other major blog sites, so please read this carefully: We are pro-religious equality and pro-separation of church and state. We are prochoice, and we support gay and lesbian civil rights
-- including marriage equality. Therefore, debates about the validity of abortion and gay rights are off topic. We understand that some people who share our general concern about the politics of the Christian Right may not agree on all of these matters. That's fine. Anyone who agrees with the purpose of this site is welcome to participate -- but bearing this in mind. It is our intention to take the conversation forward, and not let it be held back by debating what, in our view are or should be, settled matters of human, civil and constitutional rights. Similarly, religious debates are off topic, especially debates between theism and atheism. Finally, we are nonpartisan. While political discussions are welcome, -- even central to the purpose of this site -- we do not wish the site itself to be a platform that is necessarily for or opposed to any particular party.
Do help us create a site culture that is conducive to creative thinking; thoughtful analysis; vigorous-but-civil debate; considered evaluation of tactics; and learning from both mistakes and victories. Do help us create a site culture of solidarity, of hope, and empowerment. And to help to get us there, please help us keep a steady, thoughtful pace. We do not want to emulate the frenzied, news cycle-driven culture of some other sites.
Do stick around as time and circumstances permit after posting a diary in order to engage in conversation. Or return periodically, as you are able. No hit and run diaries, please.
Do tell stories. Stories about events Personal stories. Organizational stories. Stories of victories and how they were won. Stories of hope and possibility. Stories of defeat and lessons learned. Stories of pain. Stories of empowerment. Stories of consequences -- what happened to the kids when the school board took away sex education, when the abortion clinic shut down; when the library was under attack. Stories of how a book, an article or a speaker changed your thinking or that of your community.
Do review books, articles and events. You can also review posts and discussions from other blogs that you think are important and relevant to the purpose of Talk to Action.
Do tell us about the skills we need to better defend and advance democratic principles and institutions. And do tell us where and how we can get them.
Do stay on topic. (Examples of off-topic diaries include, announcements of "faith" events unrelated to the purpose of this site, and attacks on organized religion.)
Do take the time to write your report or analysis well; or tell your story engagingly, effectively, even eloquently. Do write interesting and engaging headlines.
Do include links to articles, blogs and web sites. We are here to learn, and are interested in sources. Documentation is important. Let your diary be our guide.
Try to write in plain English. Avoid jargon -- notably blogspeak. Please consider that many readers and participants here will not have had much background in the internet and the blogosphere. We don't mean to single out people with a deep background in the blogosphere. People steeped in academia, or various religious traditions -- or anyone -- please consider that simpler and plainer language will make more sense to more people and result in more useful conversations. The use of idiosyncratic terms and abbreviations is often a significant distraction from the content of posts.
Don't hype diary headlines. (Avoid tabloid blog words like "breaking," "smack down," and "lock down.")
Avoid alarmist headlines and content. We can be concerned, even deeply concerned, without panicking or inducing panic in others. Please just explain thoughtfully and well. We will all, likely as not, share your concern, and want to thoughtfully consider what might be done.
-- Do not post diaries with little or no content, or only one paragraph (or less) in length.
Do not post the same or a similar diary more than once, or post an identical or too similar piece on the same subject as another recent diary. Be particularly alert to this pitfall when writing about a hot item in the news. Check to see if it has been written about recently. It's fine to write about the same subject, even the same news article, as long as you have a something substantial to add to the discussion.
Remember that when you register(ed) for the site, checking off the box means that you have read, understand, and agree with the purpose of the site and agree to abide by the guidelines.
Remember that the statement of purpose and guidelines, and the decisions of the site owners, administrators or moderators are not up for discussion and debate on the site; and that the statement of purpose and guidelines may be updated from time-to-time.
Don't be a troll. People who are offensive or abusive, are trolls. People who willfully hijack comment threads outside any reasonable discussion of the good work of the diarist, are trolls. People who write diaries or make comments obviously beyond the purposes of the site, are trolls. People who do not share the purposes of this site but join anyway, are trolls. Trolls and trollish behavior will not be tolerated.