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Subject: Welcome to soc.religion.bahai

This article was archived around: 4 Mar 1997 06:46:03 -0700

All FAQs in Directory: bahai-faith
All FAQs posted in: soc.religion.bahai
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: bahai-faith/welcome Posting-frequency: monthly Last-Modified: 16-Oct-1996
SPECIAL NOTE Several people receiving soc.religion.bahai via the bahai-faith mailing list have complained that they are unable to correctly identify the original sender of articles. Please provide a signature with your name and correct e-mail address (preferably in Internet format) at the end of your article; do not rely on the article header's From: field to identify you, as this will not necessarily contain your correct e-mail address. WELCOME Welcome! to the soc.religion.bahai newsgroup and its equivalent mailing list, bahai-faith. This article is one of several that shall be posted periodically. The current list of periodically posted articles is Welcome Introduction to the Baha'i Faith Annoted Bibliography Baha'i Resources on the Internet [Up to date versions of these postings can be obtained via anonymous ftp (give Name as "anonymous" and your login name as your password) from rtfm.mit.edu in the directory /pub/usenet/soc.religion.bahai] PURPOSE The newsgroup will act as a non-threatening forum for discussing and sharing information about the tenets, history, and texts of the Baha'i Faith. Prior to its formation there was a good amount of traffic on this topic in other newsgroups; this group provides a "single point of contact" for such discussion. Examples of posts that fall within the group's scope are: * The Baha'i Faith's relation to other religions * Relevance of Baha'i principles to current world events/problems * Analysis of particular scriptural passages or themes * General Q & A MODERATOR POLICIES o The newsgroup will be subject to standards of Baha'i consultation, a decision-making process whose salient features include frank yet respectful statement of views and the concerted, open-minded search for truth. In practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames) directed at individual posters, similarly inflammatory attacks directed at religious institutions, and articles which use offensive language. These guidelines are intended to regulate only the tone of the discussions, and not their contents. o The moderators will weigh the guidance available from the Baha'i Institutions such as the Universal House of Justice, National Spiritual Assemblies, Continental Counselors, and Auxiliary Board members in determining the appropriateness of postings to the newsgroup. o To avoid confusion, articles should not contain unpublished, unauthorized translations of Baha'i texts. Instead, authors should paraphrase untranslated materials. A good model can be found in Adib Taherzadeh's 4-volume work, "The Revelation of Baha'u'llah." o Posts which argue for or promote a succession of authority outside the Covenant of Baha'u'llah will not be posted. This does NOT preclude posts which ask about, explain or elucidate the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. o Repetitive postings (such as multiple responses to one request for a book reference) may also be rejected. o The moderators will not intentionally accept posts from individuals who can not be reached by email. Note that this policy does not preclude anonymous mailers, but a back-channel must exist. o Any rejected article will be returned to the sender with an explanation. The moderators may also, when it appears helpful, insert clarifying remarks in posts, with the intent of maintaining a good signal/noise ratio. SUBSCRIPTIONS At USENET sites, one is subscribed to all available newsgroups, including soc.religion.bahai, by default. If soc.religion.bahai does not appear on your system, request that your news administrator make it available. The soc.religion.bahai newsgroup is gatewayed to USENET from the moderated Internet mailing list, bahai-faith, which shares soc.religion.bahai's policies. Those without USENET access should address subscription and unsubscription requests to bahai-faith-request@bcca.org If you have access to both USENET and Internet email, the former medium is generally preferable, as it requires fewer network resources per additional subscriber. SUBMISSIONS Readers of bahai-faith submit articles to the moderators by mailing them to bahai-faith@bcca.org Please note that the distinction between the bahai-faith and bahai-faith-request addresses is that administrivia is handled at the latter. (This distinction applies to most other mailing lists as well.) The distinction is significant in that the moderators do not administer bahai-faith; the two addresses denote entirely distinct recipients. At USENET sites that provide automatic mailing in support of moderated newsgroups, posting to soc.religion.bahai will transparently mail the article to the moderators. At other sites articles will need to be mailed explicitly to the moderators, by means of the mailing list address: bahai-faith@bcca.org The moderators attempt to handle each incoming article in a timely manner, either posting it publicly or responding to its author privately within four days of receipt. If a post has resulted in neither of these actions after four days, it should be assumed that one's site is not configured to support submissions to moderated groups, and the article should be resubmitted by mail to the above address. Please provide a signature with your name and correct e-mail address (preferably in Internet format) at the end of your article; do not rely on the article header's From: field to identify you, as this will not necessarily contain your correct e-mail address. NETIQUETTE Please bear in mind that, because of the gatewayed nature of soc.religion.bahai and bahai-faith, each posted article will appear in both a USENET newsgroup and an Internet mailing list. The combined technical limitations of these forums require that a "least common denominator" approach be used in posting articles. Specifically, authors should be aware that: * USENET news has a massive readership, as articles are replicated on literally thousands of hosts; mailing list readerships are generally much less extensive * except for the Subject: header, mailing list articles have no built-in way of referencing previous articles * whereas news facilitates the direction of responses to either the entire readership (via a "Follow-up") or an individual author (via a "Reply"), a mailing list requires that the user explicitly rewrite an address for one of these tasks (depending on the list's configuration) by altering the default To: header or possibly just adding a Cc: header in a mail reply * a mailing list subscriber's host may have quite limited mail storage, so article length is a concern * many readers' terminals are limited to 80 character lines Therefore, the following suggestions are offered for your consideration before posting. An option in requests for specific information (how do I reach someone, where is this quotation to be found, etc.) is to ask explicitly that all replies be mailed directly to the poster, who may then post a summary if it is of general interest. This would result in only 2 messages (or perhaps just one) being seen by all subscribers, which could be desirable in some contexts. Likewise, responses to such requests may, in some cases, be most appropriately addressed just to the original poster. Please use line lengths of no more than 75. This keeps your text within the 80 character per line limit of most terminals, in both your initial article and in any followup articles, where it is customary to prefix each line of quotation from another article with a few additional characters to indicate the material is quoted. Please be merciful to small mail systems by limiting articles to 50 KiloBytes in length. Posts that exceed this limit should either be pared down or subdivided; or one could submit an announcement of the item instead, asking that readers respond via private mail in order to obtain the actual item. If you quote a previously posted article, please limit the amount of quoted text that you include. One may generally assume that readers have already seen an article to which one is responding. Therefore, you need only quote as much as required for establishing a context. Please choose your Subject: heading carefully! In the spirit of sharing ideas rather than wrangling over same, please consider the following two contrasting quotations and the questions that appear after them. The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions. `Abdu'l-Baha, in Baha'i Administration, p. 21 If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the Divine questions, differing and disputing, _both are wrong_. The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute might arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer. `Abdu'l-Baha, in Baha'i World Faith, pp. 428-429 (Emphasis as in the original) a. In my article, is an idea being offered, expanded or clarified, or its implications being explored? Has it been stated previously? Or is it mostly being reiterated and/or defended? b. Have others indicated a desire to move on to another topic? c. If responding to an earlier article, is it best in this case to respond to each paragraph therein? Or is there one statement that succinctly summarizes the earlier viewpoint? Or should a paraphrase be attempted? d. Does the article express facts, or opinions? More important, is it easy to discern which is which? Our thanks for your help in maintaining a good "signal to noise" ratio. With best wishes, --The Moderators: rdetweil@primenet.com (Dick Detweiler) boatright@cjnetworks.com (Rick Boatright)