Talk To Action Site Guidelines



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.

Site Guidelines

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.


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Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

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