Just the facts on religion.

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I welcome constructive comments, suggestions, and questions about this website. But before you write, please have a look at the following first to see if it addresses your comment or question.

Due to the volume of e-mail I receive and the fact that ReligionFacts is not my full-time job, I don't check e-mail very often and I'm not able to reply to all messages.

Any e-mails that are addressed by the notes below will not receive a reply.

But I do appreciate constructive comments and suggestions. I will read them all eventually, and will implement valid corrections/suggestions and reply as time allows.

  1. Include the URL. If you're commenting on a specific page, please include the URL and/or page title, or I won't be able to find and correct the problem.
  2. Sources required for corrections. If you spot a factual error, you must provide an authoritative source or two showing that it is an error. If you simply tell me "that's wrong," I will not change the information in question or probably even reply to your e-mail. I'm not being stubborn; this is just because I've based my articles on what I believe to be reliable sources so they have the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong and also because I only have limited time. But if you help me by providing a source, I am not at all resistant to admitting my error and will happily make the change. Of course no source is necessary for grammatical or spelling errors, and I welcome notifications of those as well.
  3. Be nice. Please be polite and try to give me the benefit of the doubt. I'm just a regular person doing the best I can to provide accurate, useful information and I really do not have an agenda or ulterior motive. If you've found an error or omission, please do not assume it was deliberate or malicious. I promise it wasn't.
  4. Why isn't [religion] included? Please keep in mind that ReligionFacts is a work in progress and has a long way to go before it can be reasonably considered "complete." If a religion is not included on ReligionFacts, it just means I haven't gotten there yet, not that it isn't important. However, if there is a particular faith (or topic) you would like to see profiled on ReligionFacts, please do write and let me know, as that can help prioritize which articles to work on next.
  5. Majority views; facts vs. truth. In describing the beliefs and practices of a religion, I try to represent the views of the majority within that religion and/or include a range of interpretations to be found within that religion. If you are a member of that religion, you will undoubtedly regard only one interpretation as the true one and may wish to write me about the "error." But please understand that the purpose of ReligionFacts is just to provide verifiable "facts" (i.e., what people say they believe, what writings say, what events occurred, what people do, etc.) and not "truth" (i.e., which view is right and what people should believe and do). Religious truth is very important, but it is simply outside the scope of this website. It's not my place (as the webmaster of ReligionFacts) to say what "true Christians" or "true Buddhists" or "true Muslims" believe, but only what people who could be reasonably identified as Christians or Buddhists say they believe.
  6. Comparison charts. Many of the critical e-mails I receive have to do with the comparison charts, which is understandable since their information is nearly always oversimplified due to the limitation of space. But I believe the charts are of more use than harm, and have tried to counteract the limitations through disclaimers above the chart and links within the chart to more details. So if you object to the information presented in a chart, please provide a source to support your objection and suggest alternative wording, keeping in mind that the entry needs to: (1) be short and simple; (2) represent the majority of adherents of that religion or the most generally accepted history; and (3) be expressed in the simplest terminology and concepts possible, which is understandable to a non-member of that religion. For example, I understand there is good grounds for questioning whether Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Joseph Smith, etc. actually "founded" a new religion, but I can't think of a better heading for the column (I welcome suggestions). People just want to know when and how Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Mormonism as we know them today got started, and it's the job of that column to tell them.
  7. Categorizing religious groups. Categorizing religious groups has been the most difficult thing to do while remaining objective. For example, choosing which sects go under "Christianity" or "Hinduism" and which get a separate section seems to come close to the value judgments I try so hard to avoid. But it simply has to be done for the sake of organization, so I've done the best I can based on: (1) what seems to be common convention in academic resources on religion; (2) what makes the most sense based on similarities and differences; and (3) what will be most useful and understandable to a general audience. I know that the categories I have chosen will not please everyone and will sometimes seem random (and some are). But keep in mind that for a belief system to be included either within or without the "mainstream" religion section on ReligionFacts does not mean it is or is not a valid interpretation of the mainstream religion. That is not our place to say.
  8. Written religious conventions. As this is an objective, academic guide I do not generally adhere to the written religious conventions, such as including "PBUH" after the name of the Prophet Muhammad, capitalizing pronouns (Him, He) in reference to Christ or God, or writing "G-d" instead of "God" in the context of Judaism. I respect and understand those who do so (and I may do so in my personal life) but since it is a specifically religious practice and not generally observed in academic works on religion, I believe it is out of place on ReligionFacts.
  9. Use of images. Please do not write to ask for permission to use a photo. I do not own the copyright to any images on this website. They are either in the public domain, used with permission, or used under license from another source. Most of the time, I try to note the source so you can contact them directly.
  10. Citing and authorship. For information about the webmaster's name and citing ReligionFacts, please see this page.

If you have you read all of the above, please send your e-mail to religionfacts@gmail.com. Please use a descriptive subject line, which will help me sort your e-mail from spam.

Thanks for visiting ReligionFacts and for taking the time to read all this.

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