Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

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Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (ReligiousTolerance.org)
ReligiousTolerance.png
Web address www.religioustolerance.org
Type of site Educational, Religious
Available in English
Owner Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Launched 1995[1]
Alexa rank negative increase 166,850 (April 2014)[2]
Current status Active

The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (OCRT) are a small group in Kingston, Ontario dedicated to the promotion of religious tolerance through their website, ReligiousTolerance.org.[1]

History of the group and its website[edit]

Bruce A. Robinson, who is described as the "chief architect" of the organization, presents a history of the group and its website in the book Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises (edited by Jeffrey K. Hadden and Douglas E. Cowan).[3]In 2008 the group consisted of an Agnostic, an Atheist, a Christian, a Wiccan, and a Zen Buddhist.[1]

Feeling that much of the information spread about religious minorities was inaccurate, the group created its ReligiousTolerance.org website in an attempt to explain the nature of these beliefs.[4] Satanism, Wicca, other Neopagan religions and New Age were some of the first belief systems they focused on.[4] The site hosts over six thousand articles devoted to the description of numerous religions and religious controversies, and features advertisements.[1][not in citation given][5][6]

The group has stated that religious tolerance does not mean having to accept that the beliefs of others are true, or will lead to the same God. Rather, it means according to others the right to choose their beliefs without being oppressed or discriminated against: "We can believe that members of another religious group are hopelessly deluded, and still support their right to enjoy religious freedom."[6]

Having originally begun as an informal group, the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance were registered as a sole proprietorship in 1996, one year after the website had first been made available online.[7][4] In addition to his writings on the website, Robinson has also contributed a chapter on "Satanic Ritual Abuse" to The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (2001), edited by James R. Lewis.[3]

Reception[edit]

Elizabeth D. Hutchison, in Dimensions of Human Behavior, described Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance as "an agency that promotes religious tolerance as a human right".[8] In Teaching New Religious Movements (2007), David G. Bromley lists ReligiousTolerance.org among recommended secondary research sources on new religious movements, to be used in concert with movement and countermovement sources.[9] Rebecca Moore, a scholar teaching Religious Studies at San Diego State University, described the ReligiousTolerance.org website as a "massive education program". She expressed regret that her students dismissed the site at first because it supported itself with advertising.[5] A 2005 online literacy guide (IssueWeb: A Guide and Sourcebook for Researching Controversial Issues on the Web) lists ReligiousTolerance.org as a suggested research resource on abortion, assisted suicide, religious tolerance, gay rights and hate groups/hate crimes.[10] The New York Times noted in 2002 that access to the site was blocked to Internet users in Saudi Arabia.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jennifer Fecio McDougall; Martha Gorman; Carolyn S. Roberts (2008). Euthanasia: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO. pp. 222. ISBN 978-1-59884-121-3. 
  2. ^ "Religioustolerance.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  3. ^ a b Lewis, James P. (2001). Satanism Today: An Encyclopedia Of Religion, Folklore and Popular Culture. ABC-Clio Inc. pp. 242, 244. ISBN 1-57607-292-4. 
  4. ^ a b c Klein, Sarah (2006-10-25). "The kinder, gentler Satanist. The devil sells out, moves to suburbia and dons a fluffy bunny suit", Metro Times. Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  5. ^ a b Stover, Mark (2001). Theological Librarians and the Internet, Haworth Press, ISBN 0-7890-1342-8, p. 145
  6. ^ a b Staff (2001-09-15). "Web Site of the Week", The Dallas Morning News
  7. ^ Cowan, Douglas E.; Hadden, Jeffrey K (2000). Religion on the Internet: research prospects and promises. Amsterdam: Jai. pp. 312, 311. ISBN 0-7623-0535-5. 
  8. ^ Hutchison, Elizabeth D. (2003). Dimensions of Human Behavior, SAGE, ISBN 0-7619-8765-7, p. 266
  9. ^ Bromley, David G. (2007). Teaching New Religious Movements, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517729-0, p. 296
  10. ^ Diaz, Karen R.; O'Hanlon, Nancy (2005). IssueWeb: A Guide and Sourcebook for Researching Controversial Issues on the Web, Libraries Unlimited, ISBN 1-59158-078-1, pp. 40, 55, 67, 120, 143
  11. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (2002-11-1). Can This Marriage Be Saved?, New York Times

External links[edit]