Talk:List of notable converts to Christianity/Archive 4

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References

The article was kept in the last AfD on the basis: "KEEP but remove all uncited entries to living people per WP:BLP". I plan to remove all unsourced entries in 24 hours or so, and so if anyone was planning to add any references now would be a good time. Of course under WP:BLP there is no need to give notice like this, I am merely doing it as a courtesy to those who have built the list, and anyone may remove unsourced info at any time. --Guinnog 18:27, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

While I apologize for the lack of work, one should note that the continuing conversation is, unfortunately, overly distracting. The unresolved state of the discussion itself is why the article is protected from editing in the first place. How are we supposed to add anything to the article in this situation- with the bickering on the talk page and the un-editable article on hold until the discussion has ended? --C.Logan 19:16, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
As noted above, the page is currently being protected, thus preventing any references being added. For what it's worth, below is a list of all the names on the list that are currently unreferenced. I will try to bold those which are of living people. Also, at least some of the names below, including the Twelve Apostles (not blp), Constantine I, Polycarp, and Saint Angelus are individuals I know to be converts. I hadn't added references yet because the reference I have lists them as converts to Christianity, but doesn't indicate what they converted from. Anyway, these are the names, in order of appearance on page. I will shortly start bolding those names of living people. I am also putting them in a separate section to preclude any edit conflicts. John Carter 19:31, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Many of those names are easy to find sources for. I'll admit I've been a little lazy, but I feel it's likely more important to find sources for contentious or not-well-known conversions first- people like C.S.Lewis are generally known to have converted, and should take secondary priority to listings that have no certain place on the list. --C.Logan 19:41, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this, and I'm sorry if my first message came across as waspish. I hadn't noticed the article was protected. Thanks to John Carter's list (below), it will be easy enough to re-add names as they are sourced, but please consider the 24-hour part of my message above to be moot until the protection issue is resolved. Meantime there would be no harm at all in starting to add references here. --Guinnog 19:48, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

List of unreferenced names

I have debolded referenced names of living people to make the search for sources easier. Note:Red links are bolded because I'm not sure if they are alive or not.

(John- perhaps we should strike-out each name from the block list that is sourced below- or remove them, although I think it would be good to keep the block list in tact. If you don't mind, I'll strike-out referenced names now.)--C.Logan 23:57, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Brother Andrew, Marie Dähnhardt, Zhang Guotao, Gabriel Marcel, Alfred Moisiu, Malcolm Muggeridge, Benito Mussolini, John Newton, Blaise Pascal, Enoch Powell, George R. Price, Richard Wagner, Keith Ward, Bảo Đại, Chiang Kai-shek, Stephen Kaung, Talduwe Somarama, Yang Xiuqing, Feng Yuxiang, Ling-Sheng Zhang, Sun Yat Sen, Mariamma NChedathy, Bobby Jindal, Devasahayam Pillai, Ramesh Ponnuru, Pandita Ramabai, Gabriel Sharma, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Anak Agung Pandji Tisna, Sobron Aidit (?) , Martin Bashir, Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky, Emir Caner (?), Ergun Caner (?), Eldridge Cleaver, Djibril Cissé, Jeremiah Fard Muhammad (?), Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Alexander Kazembek, Yadegar Moxammat of Kazan, Michael Nazir-Ali, Emily Ruete, Amir Sjarifuddin, Hossein Soodmand (?), Patrick Sookhdeo, Saye Zerbo, Saint Angelus, Yahia Ben Bakr, Boris Berezovsky, Anthony Bloom, Otto Maria Carpeaux, Morris Cerullo, Marcel Dassault, Robert Debré, Egon Friedell, Fritz Haber, Kurt Hahn, Edmund Husserl, Fritz Kohn, Lawrence Kudlow, Steve Levicoff, Gustav Mahler, Osip Mandelstam, Friedrich Mandl, Sidney Myer, Barry Minkow, Judah Monis, Edgardo Mortara, Rich Nathan, Bernard Nathanson, Robert Novak, Harry Oppenheimer, Howard Phillips, Maria Ratisbonne, Astruc Remoch, Fernando de Rojas, Daniel Rona, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Joe Rosenthal, Hans Rothfels, Oswald Rufeisen, Epiphanius of Salamis, Yitzhak Salkinsohn, Allan Sandage, Max Scheler, James R. Schlesinger, Alfred Schnittke, Jay Sekulow, Israel Shamir, Helen Shapiro, Juan de Valladolid, Mordechai Vanunu, Heinrich von Friedberg, John von Neumann, Simone Weil, Mieczysław Weinberg, Richard Wurmbrand, The Twelve Apostles, Judy Mowatt, Bob Marley, Mitsuo Fuchida, Matsunaga Hisahide, Chika Honda, Oda Nagamasu, Gurmit Singh, Lim Bo Seng. John Carter (not bolded - died 200 years - us vampires are really hard to get rid of) 19:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

From Paganism

I've gone through and re-added most of the listings under Paganism with sources (and I've added a few new ones, as well). I've removed the sourced names from the above text. The following are names which I was not able to find sources for.

References

As the article is no longer protected, any sources should simply be added into the article. The above list of 'sourced names' will not be added to by me, nor removed, as I don't know if anyone may find it useful. --C.Logan 04:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
The article is protected again, so adding references below is probably a good idea. FWIW, I note that Marie Dahnhardt is actually categorized as a convert to Roman Catholicism, not to Christianity. As I can't find any direct links to this page, I wonder whether we should actively try to reference that party or not. John Carter 16:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Additions: (Charlie Soong - The Chinese Revolution and Chinese Communism]

Obama

Obama needs to be removed from the list of former atheists. The source says he was raised secular, but it never says he was an atheist. In fact it implies that he was always Christian.--Sefringle 03:52, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

It was my impression that he was included not as an "atheist", but as an "agnostic", believing that there was some sort of divinity, but not necessarily knowing the details. I acknowledge the source (which was the best one I could find on the external links section of that article) says he was taken to Christian churches as a child, but also says he was similarly taken to other sites of worship. To my eyes, at least, that seems to fit with the definition of an "agnostic". However, I acknowledge that I spent less time perusing the entire article than I might like. If you can point toward anything which clearly indicates I am wrong in the assumptions and conclusions above, though, I will willingly agree to the immediate removal. John Carter 14:08, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. An agnostic is defined in the dictionary as "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God." [3] The sources you mentioned above at no point say that Obama at any time "doubted" the existance of god. If I am wrong, please show me where. Thus he cannot be considered to have been an agnostic. The closest thing it says is that he was secular. Secular alone does not mean disbelief in god. It only seems in the article that he gained more faith in Christianity with time, but I fail to see where the source says he was not a Christian.--Sefringle 00:40, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Points taken. However, I'm not sure if we can count the absence of evidence (no statement that he was not a Christian), as evidence that he in fact was a Christian, particularly with the references to non-Christian books and visits to non-Christian services during his childhood. That might be clarified in some of the other sources, though, which I haven't yet gotten to. And I'm not sure what other heading could be created which would make it clear that he had what might be called a non-sectarian belief in a divinity. If anyone can think of one, though, I would love to hear it. John Carter 00:53, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, we need evidence not that he was non-christian at some time. Putting a bunch of different sources and comming up with our own conclusion is origional research, similarly, so is the claim that Obama was at some point in his life non-christian at this time.--Sefringle 00:58, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether the evidence from his book qualifies him as one or not. I'm sorry that I haven't been keeping up with the furor over his beliefs in the press lately, so I wasn't aware of how hot an issue this is. I can see removing him based on what we now have, unless someone can come up with something which provides good evidence of his having ever said or apparently espoused non-Christian beliefs. John Carter 01:15, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Since I would prefer that we refrain from disagreements here, I'll take it upon myself to try and find some sources for this. Unfortunately, most of the search returns are from right wing, paranoid blogs who turn Obama into a jihadist in Christian clothing. Obviously, no real clues from the clueless. As far as I'd call it, he grew up in a non-religious home (I can identify). From my own experience, I would say that he made a clear choice in conversion. He appears to have had just as much a Muslim influence as a Christian one in his secular upbringing, considering that he did go to schools for both. In my case, I was predisposed to the faith I used to sing carols for in elementary school, but I can honestly say I made a willful choice to change from my non-religious mindset. Just a personal opinion (so no suggestions to take my words with weight, of course); I'll be looking for sources when I have the time. --C.Logan 05:20, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, here's a quick one. [4]--C.Logan 05:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
It looks to me, having not read Obama's book, that he at least strongly implied that he was raised in a household which did not specifically espouse any particular religion. I guess the standard to be used would be whether in that book he ever used the word "converted" or a similar word to describe his formal entry into Christianity. If he did, then I think he can reasonably be included, preferably using the words he himself used. Certainly, based on the reference above, it seems to be a reasonable conclusion from the book, and that source If not, then a competent, non-partisan review by an editor of what he did say seems called for. If he is removed from the list, though, it would make sense to me to take the article on him out of the Category:Ex-atheists/agnostics as well. John Carter 13:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
As it's been brought up before, I find it relevant to note here and now that we should make a classification for formerly 'non-religious' individuals (i.e. those with no religious beliefs, and with no strong 'atheist' or 'agnostic' beliefs- that is, not enough to claim either of the latter titles).It would appear that anyone who is not 'atheist' or strictly (that is, in the proper meaning of the term) 'agnostic' is included in the agnostic/atheist' category. It should be noted that while 'non-religious' as a category might become an excuse for lackadaisical source-seeking, 'non-religious' is a genuine stance from which to convert. Although some sites like to claim that Obama 'converted to Christianity from Islam', it seems clear that his early religious involvements had largely disappeared by adolescence. I think the absence of the 'non-religious' category is a problem, but I'm unsure if it should be grouped with Agn/Ath or should be separated entirely. Either way, it would seem for lack of a more specific 'title' concerning his pre-Christian beliefs, Obama should be included in such a category. --C.Logan 07:35, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. It seems more accurately that he simply was a secular Christian as a child. As being born a secular Christian, he could not have converted to Christianity. Thus he does not belong on this list. No non-religous category is necessary.--Sefringle 02:26, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
"Barack initially followed his Muslim father's religion, but later became a Christian."
[...]
"Upon graduation, he worked for a year at newsletter publisher Business International (now part of The Economist Group), and then moved to Chicago, where he took up community organizing in the Altgeld Gardens housing project on the city's South Side. It was during his time spent here that Obama became a Christian and joined the Trinity United Church of Christ."[5]--C.Logan 02:37, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
and this seems to contradict this source, which never says his father was atheist. The problem is the sources contradict each other. One says he was secular, another muslim, another atheist. As we cannot know for sure, we can't make a decision. This is too disputed.[6] --Sefringle 02:47, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
If you were unaware, Obama's birth father, Barack Sr., was an ex-Muslim atheist who left the household when Barack Jr. was 2 years old. His mother married another man, who was a secularized Muslim, Lolo Soetoro. It was under this father that Obama attended Muslim and Catholic religious schools- though whether he really held a belief in either faith at that time is debatable (and you'll find just as many sources on both sides). I doubt that he practiced any religion in childhood, but it's likely that 'Netglimse' is considering what many readily available sources seem to argue (and being an internet celebrity/general trivia site, it may not be the most discriminating judge of source material).[7]
And I think it's hardly an issue of making decisions over the sources- the article you provided is "My Spiritual Journey", by Barack Obama. One should, of course, take his word above others, as the article was written with the specific intention of detailing the events leading to his religious state and the consequences of living the Christian faith in the political realm. Concerning Obama's own words, it seems clear that he grew up in a household of secular religious pluralism- no particular faith, but a cultural study and healthy respect of them all. His mother taught him of various religions for cultural value, and did not endorse any particular faith to him. It seems that Obama did indeed move from a secular, non-religious outlook to one of Christian faith, baptism and all- as he himself states.
Additionally, whether or not Obama is present, I believe a non-religious category is quite necessary. Not everyone who professes no religion is an agnostic or an atheist. I'm actually concerned that some individuals in the agn/ath category might actually be neither, but were placed for lack of a better place. Perhaps it should be a bit more forgiving of the non-specificity of sources; perhaps "Nonreligious/Undetermined former religion" would be a better category to save the mis-filings of such individuals (which should be given just as much attention as an ex-Muslim listed as an ex-Sikh). --C.Logan 04:01, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
he'd be better off in an "undetermined if he really is born christian or a convert to Christianity" section, as he is too disputable. Therefore, he should not be placed on the list, because he is disputed.--Sefringle 04:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Sefringle, one can hardly read Obama's personal testimony to his 'Spiritual Journey' and argue that he was "raised Christian". I've reproduced the text here to make this fact clear to the reader:

I was not raised in a religious household. My maternal grandparents, who hailed from Kansas, had been steeped in Baptist and Methodist teachings as children, but religious faith never really took root in their hearts. My mother's own experiences as a bookish, sensitive child growing up in small towns in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas only reinforced this inherited skepticism. Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones. Occasionally, for my benefit, she would recall the sanctimonious preachers who would dismiss three-quarters of the world's people as ignorant heathens doomed to spend the afterlife in eternal damnation--and who in the same breath would insist that the earth and the heavens had been created in seven days, all geologic and astrophysical evidence to the contrary. She remembered the respectable church ladies who were always so quick to shun those unable to meet their standards of propriety, even as they desperately concealed their own dirty little secrets; the church fathers who uttered racial epithets and chiseled their workers out of any nickel that they could.
For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.
This isn't to say that she provided me with no religious instruction. In her mind, a working knowledge of the world's great religions was a necessary part of any well-rounded education. In our household the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology. On Easter or Christmas Day my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites. But I was made to understand that such religious samplings required no sustained commitment on my part--no introspective exertion or self-flagellation. Religion was an expression of human culture, she would explain, not its wellspring, just one of the many ways--and not necessarily the best way--that man attempted to control the unknowable and understand the deeper truths about our lives.
In sum, my mother viewed religion through the eyes of the anthropologist that she would become; it was a phenomenon to be treated with a suitable respect, but with a suitable detachment as well. Moreover, as a child I rarely came in contact with those who might offer a substantially different view of faith. My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition.
[...]
In such a life I, too, might have contented myself had it not been for the particular attributes of the historically black church, attributes that helped me shed some of my skepticism and embrace the Christian faith.
[...]
It was because of these newfound understandings--that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved--that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.

Feel free to study the source further (I'll take a look at his books when I next get a chance). These are not tenuous assertions strung together from interview excerpts or song lyrics; they are a man's own testimony about his upbringing an his faith, and they are quite clear about the circumstances of his upbringing- a secular one which did not adhere to any particular religion, but studied them all as 'human expressions', from an anthropological viewpoint which was espoused by a non-religious mother. An assertion that he was 'raised Christian' holds as much weight as asserting that he was 'raised Hindu' or 'raised Hellenist' because of his study of such religions in youth and adolescence.--C.Logan 04:42, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

He was raised secular. Secular means no religion. It does not mean without any faith. There are tons of secular Christians, muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. but they are still religous. His mother was a secular Christian, but still a Christian. He was raised secular, but one could easily argue that he was still a Christian; only a secular Christian. He simply gained more faith in Christianity with time. As we are not Obama, nor do we have him here to tell us if he is a Christian, this is going to be pretty hard to verify.--Sefringle 05:03, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Very well, more to clarify:
Many assume, Wallis said, that Obama was raised in a black church and just "gets" the cadences and vocabulary of religious rhetoric. In fact, Obama was raised by an agnostic Kenyan father, an Indonesian Muslim stepfather and a white American mother whom he has described as "a lonely witness for secular humanism." It wasn't until he was 37 that Obama heard an altar call and became a member of the United Church of Christ.-The Pew Forum: On Religion and Public Life
Later, rejecting the agnosticism of his parents and his own skeptical instincts, he became a Christian and joined a church. “I came to realize,” he wrote in his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” that “without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith, I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart, free in the way that my mother was free, but also alone in the same ways that she was ultimately alone.”-The New Yorker: The Conciliator
It's good to see that we are uncovering useful sources in the process.--C.Logan 05:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

He needs to be removed from that category.--Sefringle 06:28, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Bob Marley

There are no sources to be found which are reliable saying he converted to anything apart from rastafarianism. The only thing spouted over and over again is the claim by the Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq, after Marley's death, which is hardly credible. {{editprotected}} Could an admin please remove him from the list? Pubuman 05:37, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

and while you are at it, can you please remove Obama from the list as well?--Sefringle 05:39, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I've templated out the edit request. Administrators do not normally make changes to a protected page that would appear to favor one side over the other in a content dispute. Please try to build a consensus for this removal and see m:The Wrong Version. --Selket Talk 06:02, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not a dispute as such, I am requesting a single name be removed because of the lack of sourcing, please put back the template and let the admins respond.Pubuman 12:38, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. According to this page, a friend of Marley states that Marley was actually baptized as a Christian shortly before his death. I acknowledge that the source is a Christian convert and involved in gospel music, but that does make at least two distinct sources for this statement. I hope we can avoid the argument about whether or not we have to produce baptismal records to verify this conversion. However, if there are other sources which specifically state that these other sources are fabricated, and can provide some justification of same, I would acknowledge that the name might be removed, or at least followed with a statement to the effect that the alleged conversion is a matter of dispute. John Carter 14:15, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Indeed- while you may find certain sources and statements to be unreliable and fabricated, it would be appreciated if you shared the reasons for your belief with the rest of us editors. As far as I see it, things become problematic when we begin to reject testimonies because of religious beliefs. There seems to be three individuals who lend support to this testimony: Abuna Yesehaq, Judy Mowatt and Tommy Cowan. One could argue that Yesehaq is lying because of his purpose in profession, but that's an unsupported assumption. Concerning the other two, I'm unsure what motivation they might have to support the idea, beside the factuality of it. --C.Logan 14:28, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Qualifications for inclusion of "List of former (x)s"

I can see the rationality of having separate lists of people who were at one point members of one faith only to leave it later. As this page seems to be the page with most active current discussion, I thought it reasonable to include this question here first. What do we think the standards for inclusion on a list of former believers should be? My own proposal, and I would be grateful for any reasonable feedback, positive or negative, would be the following.
We are basically dealing with two separate groups of people here. Those who are currently living, or who have only recently died, and those who are basically historical figures. I'm not trying to insult anyone by spelling out the obvious, simply pointing out that different circumstances and rules apply to different parties.
For people who more or less qualify as "historical" figures, which I would roughly define as having died twenty or thirty years ago or more, I think the most reasonable and useful definition to use would be that to qualify for inclusion in that list a person should have converted from the religion in the "List of former x's" title before or during the period of their life for which they are most notable. Thus, their period of greatest notablity would at least include some of the period when they could be or were contemporaneously known as "former adherents of Faith X". My particular specialty is saints, and most if not all of those people by definition converted from whatever to Christianity before their period of greatest notability, particularly those who are canonized on the basis of being martyrs for Christianity.
The guidelines for people still living or only recently died would I think be understandably more contentious, given the difficulties in determining when a living person's period of greatest notability is. Here I acknowledge my own comparative lack of experience, and particularly welcome any responses. I think the same basic rules could still apply, with the proviso that people who have clearly retired from "public life" or however you want to phrase it and converted to some faith during this private, post-notability period would probably not be included in that list, or at least have indications of the fact that the conversion took place after they retired from the public eye. However, in some cases which have already been mentioned elsewhere, such as David Berkowitz, who seemingly recently publicly converted to Christianity, would qualify, as this person is still considered notable enough that recent reports regarding his behavior are being published. Another example, Tom Cruise, would I think reasonably be included in the list of former Christians, as the majority of his time in the public eye has included a period when he is noted for being a Scientology practicioner.
Like I said earlier, I would welcome any reasonable responses, so that we can try to standardize the qualifications for these lists and thus reduce the possibility of contentious discussion in the future. John Carter 14:34, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I think people who converted after their notable period would fit if there are enough sources and their conversion was significant to their final years in some way. Alice B. Toklas's conversion to Catholicism ten years before her death is kind of notable considering the Church's view of homosexuality and certain other factors; Jaroslav Pelikan's conversion to the Orthodox Church in America occurred after most of his best-known books were written but is significant as he was a scholar of Christianity. Also I'm not sure "most" saints were converts. In particular I'd think most saints born from about 1000-1450 AD were people who'd always been at least baptized Christian.--T. Anthony 02:56, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I would agree to the inclusion of the parties mentioned above, as they were I think both during their time of greatest notability, which is to say, after their primary works were published. I guess what I was poorly trying to indicate was that someone who, for instance, wasn't involved in issues relating to religion who converted well after they disappeared completely from the limelight might not qualify for inclusion, as their behavior then might be less notable and considerably much less publicized. And, if I was less than specific in clearly refering to those saints who specifically and clearly converted to Christianity from some other faith, my apologies. That was the group I was trying to "target", as such a conversion is the necessary requirement for inclusion in this list. And please note that those canonized figures I have added to date all were clearly converts from a non-Christian faith. John Carter 14:28, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Bob Dylan

You do not put the Jewish person named Bob Dylan on the List of notable converts to Christianity because in doing so you contradict yourself. You do not contrive parameters in order to relieve that contradiction because doing so constitutes a form of "forcing." If he doesn't fit, then he doesn't fit. One does not force him onto that list if he doesn't fit. He happens to be Jewish. It is a list of Christians. Therefore he doesn't fit the parameters of that list. We don't present contradictions on Wikipedia. We don't say that black is white. And we don't say that white is black.

We don't blur distinctions. We respect differences. And yes, it is an offense to put a Jew on a list of Christians. As enthusiastic as the Christian philosophy of the salvation available through Jesus Christ may be, Jews do not accept that. Jews consider that incorrect. Jews do not accept that Jesus was the Son of God. Jews do not accept that there is salvation in accepting Jesus as one's Savior. Jews do not accept the New Testament. You respect a Jew by not forcing him onto a list of Christians. Equally important Wikipedia has no allowance for contradiction that I am aware of. Bus stop 12:44, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

... --C.Logan 13:02, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
If the above user honestly believes the statements he makes regarding the inclusion of that individual being inappropriate, then the appropriate course of action to take is, as he has been told before, to seek Dispute resolution. Otherwise, such repetitious, unfounded statements as the one above are, ultimately, useless. John Carter 14:00, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
For us to differentiate by race for inclusion or exclusion from Wikipedia articles unrelated to the subject of race I feel is racism. This cannot really be tolerated; we all know of what the last lot did as well as historical use of "Jewishness" as a filter and I do not see why we too should exclude people in this same way today. Dylan is here as a person not a race and he made a decision for whatever reason so it is a reflection on him not the race. If we have a reliable source it stays. I too feel that if Bus stop wants to pursue desire to tag a race of Jew on people then he take that up on Dispute resolution. ps: I am not a Christian and I doubt Jesus ever really existed as it is written anyway. Ttiotsw 14:37, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I think this should be enough. I found several notable sites mentioning Dylan's conversion to Christianity and then reconversion to Judaism. This, however, was the most notable. Can't this little debacle be resolved just by placing the following blurb after his name: "converted to Christianity in 1979 and reconverted back to Judaism in xxxx"? The article is clear -- it is a list of notable Christian converts who converted to Christianity at one point and time, irrespective of their current religious faith. Drumpler 18:50, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I made a minor edit and included one online biography I could find about Dylan's reconversion to Judaism. Those who are more expert at this subject can fill in more references (and possibly remove mine if it isn't notable enough). I believe I have equally addressed both sides of the issue and hope this can cease the edit warring. Because I believe this satisfies the efforts for neutrality, I have likewise removed the "NPOV dispute" tag and one other related tag. In the future, it might be wiser to state when one left Christianity than to just remove names one doesn't agree with. Drumpler 19:12, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I find your edits to be in good faith and generally in good form, but the focus on the argument by those who oppose his inclusion has not been addressed. We've tried in various stages to make Dylan's status clear (and indeed, even the creation of the page features Dylan with a notice similar to your own), and we've offered to fully represent any information provided by sources (although that offer is largely ignored). Bus stop believes it is slanderous to include such information, even when clarifying text should dispel any misunderstanding, even to the simplest reader.
As far as I'm concerned, comparing the title of a list with its listings without considering the clarifying or descriptive text is a bit like judging a book by it's cover. Titles can only convey so much information- the gaps must be filled in by introductory information and descriptions on the individual listings.
While I find your edit to be productive, I doubt any resolution will occur until the information is relocated to a separate section on the article (as it would seem, as far as Bus stop has implied, that readers are competent enough to browse Wikipedia and read a list of names, but are not competent enough to understand the situation presented by descriptive text, even only a few words' worth). --C.Logan 19:55, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

If there is no source for Dylan being a Christian in 2007 (or any year remotely close to 2007) then what justification is there for putting a non-Christian on a list of Christians? (Point of view pushing does not constitute a valid reason.) We don't promote untrue information on Wikipedia. Therefore we stick to what is known. We don't venture into areas unsupported by sources, however much we may wish to make particular assertions. In point of fact Wikipedia frowns upon (or should frown upon) the assertion that any religion is superior to any other religion. That, by the way, includes the religion of Christianity. If you have no source that Dylan is a Christian in 2007, then leave him off this list. Bear in mind that there are only two ways that notable people can become Christians (or Jews, for that matter). That is by birth or by conversion. Therefore you have two naturally arising lists. You have your list of notable Christians who were born Christian, and you have your list of notable Christians who converted to Christianity. In either case the lists contain only Christians, not anyone who ever dabbled in Christianity. Please stop pretending that you can pull the wool over everybody's eyes and assert that your particular list is the list of anyone who has ever converted to Christianity. I find that particularly far reaching. That is just a contrivance. Why doesn't the Jewish list, the List of notable converts to Judaism adopt such a tactic? Because it is illogical? In point of fact the Jewish list clearly states in a tag at the top of the article that This page is a list of Jews. (By the way, the List of notable converts to Christianity used to contain that tag, until it was strategically removed.) With that tag in place, any name can be challenged and potentially removed solely on the basis of the entry's not being Jewish. Why doesn't the Christian list uphold similarly high standards of inclusion? Because it has a point of view to push? Because proselytization is an important component of Christianity? (In contradistinction Judaism does not proselytize at all.) Why is an incalculably wider net being cast for the List of notable converts to Christianity? Has there not been a long enough history of forced conversion (at the hands of Christians) of Jews to Christianity? The Pope himself has had to apologize to Jewry in recent years for the brutality of this. I think Christians should create their list based on sound parameters and should refrain from the slander inherent in forcing an apparent Jew onto what is ostensibly a list that should contain only Christians, that is, Christians who have arrived at their Christian identity by way of conversion. Obviously what I am saying particularly concerns living people, as embodied in WP:BLP. We are to be especially careful as concerns incorrect information concerning living people. Dylan clearly isn't a Christian. How do you reconcile that with placing him on a list of Christians? Enhanced parameters and proselytization are one and the same in this instance. If there exists no source for Dylan being a Christian in 2007, or any year near 2007, then there exists no justification for Dylan being on a List of converts to Christianity. Bus stop 20:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Why do the lists have to be the same ?. That the Jewish list tries to discriminate need not apply to all lists in Wikipedia e.g. List of Christian, List of Muslims, List of Buddhists , List of Atheists etc. By your argument once someone dies then they should be removed from the list as there would be not record of them being an 'x' in any future year. That's nonsense.
The list records them claiming to be Christian at any time in their life not that they are still Christian. If you want to remove this entry you're going to have to show references that refute the claim that he converted sometime in his life. The references listed though seem reliable. Your trolling of what religion 'x' did to religion 'y' is irrelevant to Wikipedia: cites, sources, reliable, references and consensus...that is what is relevant.
Where are the references unreliable ? Simply answer that question then you'll get a consensus to your view. Ttiotsw 21:05, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

We need to stop pushing points of view. If you have valid parameters for a list (not contrived) and an individual conforms to those parameters, then they clearly belong on that list. Dylan doesn't happen to be Christian and the parameters articulated by some of the editors here happen to be contrived.

It is only of secondary importance that Dylan's religion happens to be Judaism (rather than any one of a number of other religions). But this is significant, because Christians have for centuries forced Jews to convert to Christianity. Many Jews have been willing to give their lives rather than accept the religion of Christianity. Jews do not accept that Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do not accept that Jesus was the Son of God. In point of fact the Jewish view is that Jesus was an ordinary man of flesh and blood, just like anyone else. Jews do not accept the concept of the Immaculate Conception of Jesus. In point of fact the Jewish religion happens to reject all of that. The Pope has even in recent years apologized to the Jewish people for the long history of brutality directed at Jews in particular, and this brutality has included forced conversion to Christianity. My point is, why would Wikipedia want to create a list that slanders a Jew by labeling him a Christian? Clearly he is not a Christian. That slander is totally out of place on Wikipedia.

Furthermore, Wikipedia requires sources. Sources exist for the use of the word conversion in 1979. But those sources only allow for the use of the word in relation to Dylan in 1979 or thereabouts. The use of the word convert in 1979 does not in any way establish the fact of being Christian in 2007. In fact such a far fetched concept is ludicrous. Dylan, in point of fact, has had nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years. And in case anyone hasn't been paying attention, Dylan has been involved in Jewish religious practices during those 27 years. No one is arguing that Dylan is a pious Jew. That is not the standard that has to be established for basic Jewish identity. But the normal Jewish involvement in the holidays of the Jewish calendar, for instance, are sufficient to establish the sort of Jewishness that characterizes of your average American Jew. In point of fact few American Jews could be characterized as being pious.

Certainly no one has come forward with a source indicating Christian identity for Dylan in 2007. The very title of this list uses the word convert. The title, in point of fact, uses the word convert as a noun. That noun refers ineluctably to the word Christian. Since Dylan is not a Christian it should be obvious to anyone that Dylan does not belong on this list. Bus stop 21:08, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

We need to stop pushing points of view. If you have valid parameters for a list (not contrived) and an individual conforms to those parameters, then they clearly belong on that list. Dylan doesn't happen to be Christian and the parameters articulated by some of the editors here happen to be contrived.
What you decide to be "valid" or "contrived is ultimately based upon your opinion; your point of view. It's apparent that all the editors who regularly oppose your suggestions and accusations find these parameters "valid", myself included. The above paragraph is merely 3 sentences' worth of opinion.
It is only of secondary importance that Dylan's religion happens to be Judaism (rather than any one of a number of other religions). But this is significant, because Christians have for centuries forced Jews to convert to Christianity. Many Jews have been willing to give their lives rather than accept the religion of Christianity. Jews do not accept that Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do not accept that Jesus was the Son of God. In point of fact the Jewish view is that Jesus was an ordinary man of flesh and blood, just like anyone else. Jews do not accept the concept of the Immaculate Conception of Jesus. In point of fact the Jewish religion happens to reject all of that. The Pope has even in recent years apologized to the Jewish people for the long history of brutality directed at Jews in particular, and this brutality has included forced conversion to Christianity. My point is, why would Wikipedia want to create a list that slanders a Jew by labeling him a Christian? Clearly he is not a Christian. That slander is totally out of place on Wikipedia.
How does any of the above have relevance in this argument? Have you been reading any of the arguing points of editors who disagree with you? Historical factors play no part in any of them, and the fact that you consistently rely on these history lessons for your argument makes your position questionable. However, concerning the above, a few things need to be said. For one, Wikipedia is not censored. The fact that an individual converted from one religion to another may upset some people is not a problem to the individual reporting the information, but of the individual who needs to cope with the reality of life. Additionally, and quite interestingly, anything you said above can be similarly applied to any other religion:
"Many Christians have been willing to give their lives rather than accept the religion of Islam. Christians do not accept that Jesus was merely a prophet. Christians do not accept that Muhammad was a prophet of God. In point of fact the Christian view is that Jesus was God incarnate."
It would be almost laughable to use such an argument on the List of notable converts to Islam. The statement is factual, yes- but how does it pertain to the article, or this case, at all? Should facts be hidden because of unfortunate historical situations? Should one apply a bias in determining a person's religion "in lack of current evidence" because of the historical relationship between two religions?
Furthermore, you should consider that any accusation of "slander" made by an individual (who intentionally or unintentionally neglects to consider the descriptions and clarifications given) will be laughed off by any neutral party who actually takes the time to read the text. It's a bit like suing an ice skating rink for slipping on the ice when a disclaimer at the entrance alleviates them from liability- you could make such and argument, but it only points out your own recklessness.
Oh, and one final thing: 'Immaculate Conception' is not the same thing as the 'Virgin Birth'. The former only applies to Mary, and only really in Roman Catholicism. I'm sure it was a simple conflation, but I'm clarifying just for future reference.
Furthermore, Wikipedia requires sources. Sources exist for the use of the word conversion in 1979. But those sources only allow for the use of the word in relation to Dylan in 1979 or thereabouts. The use of the word convert in 1979 does not in any way establish the fact of being Christian in 2007. In fact such a far fetched concept is ludicrous. Dylan, in point of fact, has had nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years. And in case anyone hasn't been paying attention, Dylan has been involved in Jewish religious practices during those 27 years. No one is arguing that Dylan is a pious Jew. That is not the standard that has to be established for basic Jewish identity. But the normal Jewish involvement in the holidays of the Jewish calendar, for instance, are sufficient to establish the sort of Jewishness that characterizes of your average American Jew. In point of fact few American Jews could be characterized as being pious.
First and foremost, I'd like to commend you for the above statement in bold. It's glad to see that you've finally come around to realizing this, and hopefully, you'll begin to provide your own.
Now, I'm puzzled as to why you continuously ignore statements directed to you. You, again, set up a straw man by applying your own standard to the list, and then arguing with statements that no one else really cares to argue about, because it doesn't pertain to the argument those who are opposed to you are actually making. And by the standard set forth in your latter half, Jewish Christians and Messianic Jews (and similar syncretic denominations) should be considered "Jews" because they participate in many, if not all, of the Jewish holidays. Their own belief regarding Jesus as the Messiah is unimportant in determining their faith, so you seem to imply. The simple fact that these individuals celebrate the holidays is enough to stamp them as "Jews", as you say.
Certainly no one has come forward with a source indicating Christian identity for Dylan in 2007. The very title of this list uses the word convert. The title, in point of fact, uses the word convert as a noun. That noun refers ineluctably to the word Christian. Since Dylan is not a Christian it should be obvious to anyone that Dylan does not belong on this list.
Let's say, hypothetically, that Dylan hasn't been publicly involved with music in ten years. He hasn't released any albums, and neither he or anyone else has made it clear that he even still plays music. Should we then remove him from a list of musicians, because this too is a noun, and because no clear sources show his involvement with music for the past ten years? Additionally, assuming that it can not be determined if he has written anything poetic/lyrical in the past ten years, should he be removed from the List of English language poets? You seem to again be judging a book by it's cover, and confining a sense of the word to one particular sense of usage. --C.Logan 22:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

C.Logan -- Actually, contrived is very easy to understand. But those enthusiastic about contrivance tend to also be enthusiastic about obfuscation. Lists need to have simple parameters. If lists don't have simple parameters they are immediately vulnerable to being contrived by those wishing to contrive them. The only parameters that are "bulletproof" against charges of contrivance are the simplest of parameters. A list is not like a prose article. A list can never rise to the level of great writing. A list is a simple creature. When the parameters of a list cannot be made any simpler then we know we have a list that can't be said to have contrived parameters. Actually, the difference between contrived parameters and uncontrived parameters is only one step, in this instance. Once you say that it is a list of anyone who has ever converted to Christianity you are complicating the parameters by one step. The bare minimal parameters are "those Christians who have arrived at Christian identity by way of conversion." The reason why those parameters constitute bare minimum parameters is because the only other way of arriving at Christian (or Jewish) identity is by means of being born Christian. Therefore the bare bones parameters are those who arrived at Christian identity by way of birth, and those who arrived at Christian identity by way of conversion. In either case we are talking about Christians. We are not talking about lapsed Christians. It is only by an additional added complexity that we arrive at the parameters that you are saying are not contrived. It is only by saying that it is a list of all those who have ever converted to Christianity that you gain the incalculably larger group of people that includes Bob Dylan. It is a contrivance that was there from the start. On January 17, 2006 you (or another editor) had to add a note next to Bob Dylan's name because he did not quite fit onto this list. Every disclaimer exclaims loud and clear: contrived parameters. When you suggest putting Dylan and 2 or 3 other people in a separate section of this article, that act exclaims loud and clear, contrived parameters. The List of notable converts to Judaism uses the simplest parameters. They are not only the simplest of parameters, but they are the most restrictive of parameters. The List of notable converts to Judaism does not cast nearly as wide a net in searching about for contents for that list. That greater restriction results in a smaller list, but in a list with greater meaning. The Jewish list states exactly what it means from the outset and it sticks to it's parameters. It's parameters are not contrived so it does not require one sort of disclaimer or another. The List of notable converts to Christianity should have to live up to the standards of the List of notable converts to Judaism. The List of notable converts to Judaism should not have to lower it's standards to the level of the List of notable converts to Christianity. Parameters should be simple because lists are simple. Parameters should also be simple because when they are at their simplest they cannot possibly be contrived parameters. You've argued that the parameters for the List of notable converts to Christianity are simple enough. You've argued that anyone can read the disclaimers at the top of the article and next to the individual names that require disclaimers. I say that you are arguing for low standards and contrivances. That is about pulling the wool over people's eyes. I am against that. Bus stop 23:46, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Bus stop, the editors here have already explained several times why the parameters, which have clearly been in practice since the creation of the article, are being upheld in contrast to your own opinion of their validity (or lack thereof). Since I'm trying to add sources to restore individuals who were removed (which you can help with, if you'd like), I'm not going to go into great detail- in fact, as we've both been through this argument several times, I'll be brief:
On January 17, 2006 you (or another editor) had to add a note next to Bob Dylan's name because he did not quite fit onto this list. Every disclaimer exclaims loud and clear: contrived parameters.'
Please keep in mind that the 'note' has been present since the date of the article's creation. Every individual should have a note which explains who they are and what they are known for, as well as other events in life (of course, all this being present with brevity in mind).
Additionally, the latter statement is rather unusual. Did you not notice the disclaimer which is presented at the beginning of the List of notable converts to Judaism? Considering the above, I suppose that article too has 'contrived parameters'.
When you suggest putting Dylan and 2 or 3 other people in a separate section of this article, that act exclaims loud and clear, contrived parameters.'
No, it exclaims loud and clear, "We editors are willing to compromise with an editor of a minority opinion who feels that individuals reading this page lack the comprehension skills to understand the relationship between the heading, the title, the person listed, and their description. We are, in effect, dividing the page in a compromise: the majority for the stricter parameters, and a minor section for individuals who would be included under the long-standing parameters". The fact that you have such a problem with the above compromise is baffling to me. It considers the arguments presented on both sides, even as the agitating party is in the minority, and largely satisfies the demands of both sides of the argument.
The List of notable converts to Judaism uses the simplest parameters. They are not only the simplest of parameters, but they are the most restrictive of parameters.
Actually, the description in the heading makes it clear that the article is not employing the most "restrictive" of parameters. If that were the case, only those considered Orthodox Jews (and converted under the strictest of their rules) would be listed. Of course, anyone could make such an argument, but this would prevent the presentation of relevant and useful information. Such specificity would harm the article, as it would become less useful. The same consideration is given to this article. The separate section should be a satisfaction for both sides of the argument. The information is presented, improving the usefulness of the article as a source of information, and it is also separated, so that no there will be no confusion over the individuals' status. Why then, do you still disagree with this resolution?
The List of notable converts to Judaism does not cast nearly as wide a net in searching about for contents for that list. That greater restriction results in a smaller list, but in a list with greater meaning.
Again, "greater meaning" is an opinion. How is it even relevant to this issue? We're not writing songs here- we're presenting verifiable information. We should be more concerned with presenting relevant information in the most efficient way possible, than with "meaning". The verifiability of a claim can be tested. The reliability of the sources can be tested. The meaning? I'm sorry, but that doesn't fit in to the equation.
Additionally, concerning the "casting of wider nets"- you yourself asserted that the observance of Jewish holidays was a sufficient qualifier in determining who is and who is not religiously "Jewish". Again, this is a wide net to cast- Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians would be inclined to disagree. --C.Logan 00:23, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
C.Logan -- We are not creating a billboard here to advertise Christianity. That is not what this is about. The mission of Wikipedia is not to create a billboard for advertising Christianity. The mission of Wikipedia is to create an encyclopedia. That requires focus. That requires objective focus. That is a focus which eschews distortion. Contrived parameters is precisely about distortion. Please use logical parameters for the List of converts to Christianity.
If you have a name on the List of notable converts to Judaism that you think does not belong there then say it with a degree of specificity that others can understand. Please don't beat around the bush with vague insinuations. State the name or names or stop obfuscating.
No one but you has brought up any consideration that the List of notable converts to Judaism might only contain Orthodox Jewish names. Stop obfuscating.
Do you have a source for Dylan being a Messianic Jew? If not, it is more obfuscation. Bus stop 02:51, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


We are not creating a billboard here to advertise Christianity. That is not what this is about.
That's what I've been trying to explain to you, but apparently, you believe that the editors who disagree with you are doing just that. It seems that no amount of reiteration can draw your attention from your own suspicions regarding the motivation of other editors.
The mission of Wikipedia is not to create a billboard for advertising Christianity. The mission of Wikipedia is to create an encyclopedia. That requires focus. That requires objective focus. That is a focus which eschews distortion. Contrived parameters is precisely about distortion. Please use logical parameters for the List of converts to Christianity.
As you yourself have said, presenting information is what an encyclopedia is "all about". As I've explained, abandoning the old parameters and adopting the stricter ones you argue for would remove information which has no other proper place on Wikipedia. There have been no attempts to "confuse" readers into believing Dylan was still a Christian- I myself have consistently made edits to reflect that fact.
Other editors, in lack of sources which you should have provided, have removed the description from time-to-time in accordance with Wikipedia policy. As better sources seem to be emerging (and none of these, it seems, have been provided by you), it's fair to include the description. As it is, I feel that entrants in line with Dylan's should be moved to a separate section. And once again, it would seem that by "logical", you mean "in line with Bus stop's opinion".
If you have a name on the List of notable converts to Judaism that you think does not belong there then say it with a degree of specificity that others can understand. Please don't beat around the bush with vague insinuations. State the name or names or stop obfuscating.
Did you actually read what I said? In what way did I make vague insinuations? The article which you present (with adoration) says, quite clearly:
Also, most of these conversions (apart from the Biblical ones) are not recognized by Orthodox Judaism because the converted did not convert under Orthodox auspices, or by Orthodox and Conservative authorities because the conversions were not done in accord with halakha. In 2005, five present and former Chief Rabbis of Israel declared: Any such conversion, under its various names such as `Reform' or `Conservative,' has no validity, and anyone who undergoes such conversion is still a gentile in every respect."
I have said (several times) in reference to the above that many Orthodox Jews would not consider many of the converts listed as 'valid conversions'. It should be noted that in almost every instance where I have mentioned this, you accuse me of obfuscating because I don't present names. Please cease to misdirect the argument in this manner. I find it puzzling that you consistently ask for 'names' in an example which is self-explanatory.
My purpose in mentioning the example in this instance is to demonstrate that a) the parameters used in that article are not the most restrictive, as you say, and b) using more restrictive parameters can harm the usefulness of an article, as in the case of that article, and as I believe, in the case of this article as well.
No one but you has brought up any consideration that the List of notable converts to Judaism might only contain Orthodox Jewish names. Stop obfuscating.
Again, missing the point entirely. Please try to grasp what I'm saying.
Do you have a source for Dylan being a Messianic Jew? If not, it is more obfuscation.
The example I presented was to demonstrate the clear error in your assertion that Dylan's practice of Jewish holidays, or even any individuals participation in these holidays, is sufficient to consider someone a Jew. As you should know, these religious groups are considered Christians, and yet under your standard, they would be considered Jews (religiously).
Once again, cease misdirecting the argument. I didn't even mention Dylan in the paragraph in which you're referring to- the point is that your assertion is fallacious and rather hypocritical, as it is rendered false by these "Christian" groups which would qualify under your standards, and because it is, in fact, an example of you "casting too wide of a net" in determining who 'is' and who 'is not' Jewish. --C.Logan 03:46, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


As Sefringle states in the above section, titled, Notable Converts Who Later Changed Their Faith:
If they changed their faith again, they should be removed from this list.--Sefringle 03:25, 21 May 2007 (UTC)'
and:
Somebody who has undergone multiple conversions belongs on the list of their current religon. If they convert again, they should be removed from that list and moved to the lsit of their current belief. I have taken the liberty a while ago of removing all the converts to Islam who later became former muslims from that list. I think we need to be consistent with that. We also don't want to give people the wrong impression that somebody who is a former christian is actually still a christian. If people who converted to judaism, but are no longer Jews are on the list of converts to Judiasm list, they should be removed. If they reverted back to their origional faith, thay should be considered converts to that faith.--Sefringle 03:59, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
and:
I disagree. I think the best place for Dylan would be on no convert list. If the current religion cannot be determined, that individual does not belong on any converts list. Dylan would have a clear place on the former religion X list, but not on the converts list, so that individual shouldn't be on any list.--Sefringle 04:39, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The above three quotes are quoted in their entirety from Sefringle in the above section of this Talk page titled Notable Converts Who Later Changed Their Faith. Bus stop 21:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Sefringle, being a reasonable individual, and can actually contribute reasonable arguments to a discussion. As he is reasonable, if a good argument can be made in opposition, he will not persist by ignoring opposing statements, applying irrelevant historical issues and copying-and-pasting arguments until anyone who disagrees goes completely mad. Because of this, I respect his opinion, and even if he still disagrees about Dylan's place, I will be happy to discuss with him why many editors, myself included, feel that this list is a completely relevant place in which to include the information.
Additionally, quoting someone's past statements can be misleading. Sefringle may still disagree, or he may be somewhat or even largely in agreement with my own and the other editor's argument. User Ttiotsw, for example, once strongly disagreed with the inclusion of Dylan and with the parameters that have been in place. I don't want to speak for Ttiotsw, but it seems like he's moved from that position, as evidenced from his more recent edits and comments. --C.Logan 22:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I still stand by my origional statement. Bob Dylan should be removed from this article.--Sefringle 22:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Oh my. I take a nap and wake up to this. :P Oh the drama I've caused.
This is ridiculous, Bus stop. I was first introduced to this page from the Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests page. Let me get a few things out:
Let me state, for the record, that Wikipedia could give one flying fig about the rules and creeds of Judaism (or Christianity, Buddhism, etc.) when it comes to editing and creating articles. Again, the keyword is verifiability. I don't have much the same time as you (or maybe other editors) on this article to contribute the sources I do, however, I did find one Orthodox Jewish site itself that mentions Dylan's conversion to Christianity and later reconversion to Judaism. I know there are several others, as I had to dig through Google to find notable ones (including the BeliefNet one on this talk page above). I believe from the nature of your arguments that you have one purpose and that is to promote Judaism. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Promoting the rules and creeds of Judaism and then expecting them to be binding on this and other related Wikipedia articles is, I believe, in violation of this policy.
I had thought my edit to the article fairly represented both sides of view. Like it or not, at one time, Dylan was a Christian. I mentioned he was a Christian and then left. That wasn't good enough for you. On the flip side, consider this: because of the "Christian" period of his life, many people may think he still IS a Christian. Thus by putting his name on this list and then mentioning his reconversion to Judaism, this would dispel this notion and could actually be interpreted as an argument in favour of Judaism.
I don't want you to think I have any personal claim or stake in this thing. I am neither Jewish nor Christian. I'm not even religious and in fact, I'm a former Christian. I have no reason to promote any side. However, instead of writing "Jesus sucks" or anything of that nature, I stick to Wikipedia's rules of verifiability because it insures fairness and accuracy. I believe your edits are anything but fair and accurate. They only promote a one-sided view of things. The rules of List of notable converts to Christianity apply specifically to this article (this means you cannot bring rules from outside articles). consensus is a key word and unless I'm misreading it, I believe you are in the minority. It is for this reason I'm readding the section I originally wrote and asking others to vote to see who agrees or disagrees. I qualify as "vote one". Drumpler 01:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Drumpler -- You don't get it -- contrived parameters can never be acceptable. The use of contrived parameters (in this case) is in violation of WP:SOAPBOX. This list is not a list of all those who have ever converted to Christianity. That is merely a contrivance. You are using Wikipedia as a soapbox when you employ contrived parameters in the compilation of a list. This is not Wiki-Christianity. This is Wiki-Objectivity. The list is of all those notable people who have arrived at Christian identity by way of conversion. That distinguishes this group from the group of Christians that arrived at Christian identity by the only other means available, namely those who have arrived at Christian identity by way of being born Christian. We do not, or we should not, contrive parameters to achieve the results that we desire. Bus stop 03:58, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
How can I be using Wikipedia as a soapbox to promote Christianity, Bus, when I already said I'm not a Christian? Dylan's Christianity was a significant part in his life. Even the Bob Dylan article (which you so fondly contribute to) mentions this. The edit was objective. It said he converted to Christianity and then reconverted to Judaism. I'm not going to go into an A-B-A-B-etc. argument with you. We'll let consensus settle this. If you want to continue to argue about this, make it your personal pet project (as you clearly state on your user page), go ahead. In the end, I could care less. What I do hate, however, are the actions of editors who think they are above protocol (you've made plenty of edits in plenty of articles, so I think you should probably know better). I think your own religious views in this regard are "contrived parameters" which you believe you can force on the rest of Wikipedia. Well, let me tell you something, it does not work that way -- not on Wikipedia and not in real life. Drumpler 04:30, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Drumpler -- Parameters arise from subject matter. The subject matter (at hand in these articles) involves ways of arriving at religious identity besides birth. There is only one other way of arriving at religious identity (as concerns Judaism and Christianity) besides birth, and that way is by means of conversion. It is based on the subject matter that we find the parameters. We can have a list of notable people who were born Christian. The natural, logical cousin to that list is the list of notable people who converted to Christianity. But in both cases we are talking about Christians. We are not talking about people who at one time were Christians. If you want to put them on a list (if that is your burning desire) then they belong a list with natural parameters. The parameters have to arise from the subject matter. If the subject matter involves past experience with a religion, then everyone on that list has to meet those criteria. But you do not compile a list of people meeting different parameters on the same list, and then differentiate between them with little disclaimers next to their names, and big disclaimers at the top of the list. Disclaimers are not necessary on a list that is not contrived. We do not contrive parameters. That is a form of illusionism. If Dylan is not a Christian, which he is not, then he does not belong on a list of Christians. This is a list of Christians. This is a list of Christians who have arrived at Christian identity by means of conversion. They were not born Christian. Dylan is not a Christian by either means. Therefore he would belong neither on a list of notable people who were born Christian nor on a list of notable people who converted to Christianity. Bus stop 11:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the current edit resolves this entire issue by putting former converts on a separate list. Drumpler 12:05, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Votes (Bob Dylan's name should be on this list so long as there's mention he reconverted to Judaism)
  • Agree for reasons outlined in the paragraphs immediately above. Drumpler 01:53, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree for reasons which have been presented and reiterated consistently for the past month. --C.Logan 02:21, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree People who are former Christians should not be on the Converts to Christianity page. --Sefringle 04:57, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree, with the provisos that their conversion must be notable in and of itself to be included, and that criteria for inclusion on the List of former Christians and other such articles be more clearly delineated, so that persons who more explicitly qualify there be included in the appropriate section, and/or that such individuals be placed in the sections for those who later converted should consensus support the inclusion of such sections. We do however, need to establish whether the "then converted to X" pages and sections have consensus support to exist and clearaly defined parameters before making such decisions. John Carter 15:59, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree that Dylan obviously belongs on the list because this is a list of converts. However, I would dispute the use of the phrase "reconverted to Judaism". There is no conclusive evidence that Dylan has returned to Judaism at present, nor has he ever renounced his previous conversion. --JJay 01:57, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

The above question is the wrong question. If you define the parameters correctly then the question doesn't arise. It is only by removing the tag which said that This page is a list of Christians that the above question gains relevance. The List of notable converts to Judaism contains a tag at the top of the list stating that, This page is a list of Jews. That leaves no ambiguity. That leaves no wiggle room for contrived parameters. If anyone should come along and feel that a name on the List of notable converts to Judaism is not in fact Jewish then they have clear reason to remove that name from that list on that basis alone. The List of notable converts to Christianity introduces ambiguity from the start by refusing to abide by clear guidelines. This is clearly seen in the removal of the tag This page is a list of Christians from the top of the List of notable converts to Christianity. Avoid contrivance and the above question does not arise. It is only in order to cast a wide net that the List of notable converts to Christianity refuses to adhere to naturally arising parameters. The List of notable converts to Judaism casts a much smaller net. It only includes on it those converts who are presently Jewish. And it provides the tools necessary for the removal of anyone on that list that any editor deems not Jewish, by explicitly stating at the outset that This page is a list of Jews. Why are some editors at the List of notable converts to Christianity apparently unwilling to accept such restrictive guidelines as the editors at the List of notable converts to Judaism readily accept? This argument has never taken place at the List of notable converts to Judaism. Only editors (some) at List of notable converts to Christianity think that enhanced criteria should be provided for that list. We do not see any counterpart to this dispute being played out at the article List of notable converts to Judaism. Judaism is of course a religion that does not proselytize. Judaism is a religion that does not try to win converts. Christianity, on the other hand, has an important plank in its policy that encourages the active seeking of converts to its religion. This has often resulted in the forced conversion of Jews to Christianity. The Pope himself has had to apologize to world Jewry for this offense, committed over centuries, against Jews. Please apply naturally arising parameters to the above list, and there is no question as to whether or not Dylan should be on this list. Doing so makes it obvious that Dylan does not belong on this list because he is not Christian. Thus there is an incorrect question being asked above. The parameters of the list are wrong. Correct the parameters and the question disappears. Bus stop 12:37, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Why do you attempt to portray the 'List of Christians' template as some sort of long-standing element which was removed from the article for insidious reasons?
That template, as anyone actually paying attention would realize, was created on May 15th, by John Carter. In Carter's statements regarding the template, he created it with the belief that it in no way counteracted Dylan's listing (nor the listings of others). As he was rather vague about his reasons for such an argument, the template was soon after removed by other editors. Nevertheless, John made it clear that he believed that Dylan and the tag belonged in the same article.
Please, don't hijack John's template for use in your argument, when it was created in contrast to it. --C.Logan 18:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not even going to bother reading this, Bus stop, as I doubt its much different from what you've said before. You've overstepped your bound plenty of times and have ignored Wiki protocol on several fronts. Several people have tried to compromise with your minority opinion. If it does not stop, I will file a report for abuse and I'm sure several of the editors on this forum will support me in my decision. Drumpler 13:21, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Drumpler -- Please refrain from edit warring, as you have been doing. This Talk page is for (among other purposes) intellectually resolving disagreements. Edit warring is using brute force to do the same. I don't think the use of brute force is consistent with the purposes of an encyclopedia. Bus stop 13:43, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
WP:KETTLE. I'm not in violation of 3RR either (although one more edit and I will be. :)) Drumpler 13:43, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Is anyone neutral on this whole Dylan thing? I mean when it comes to including "reverts" is Dylan the only issue you care about or is their other names that concern you? Or does anyone find the whole question unimportant?--T. Anthony 05:32, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Please stop edit warring

Bus stop, you've made your case in great detail. No one has any doubt where you stand. A few are convinced by your argument. Many are not. Please do not continue to revert war over this. I have not involved myself in the editing of this article, but am concerned because revert wars reflect extremely poorly on the individual editors and on the community as a whole. Edit warring is the least acceptable of all methods of dispute resolution. Continue to work it out and continue to push for mediation/arbitration--or discuss it further if you think they're anything you haven't said already--but please stop reverting each other--it's gone on way too long, and I find it embarrassing.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 21:19, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back -- Contrivance and point of view pushing reflect poorly on this enterprise. Feel free to come down on the side of writing an objective article, in this case a list. Unfortunately the List of notable converts to Christianity does not have Bob Dylan on it. Articulate why the List of notable converts to Christianity does not have Bob Dylan on it. That is the task before you. That is what I have been trying to do. Put it into your own words. Note Sefringle's edit above, in the section entitled Bob Dylan:
I still stand by my original statement. Bob Dylan should be removed from this article.--Sefringle 22:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I do not presume to speak for Sefringle, but I don't think it is so hard to see that the parameters for the List of notable converts to Christianity have been contrived. They were contrived from day one. This article was founded on a contrivance. And Bob Dylan was there from the start. The article is unfortunately flawed. But there are several editors who want an article of this sort with Bob Dylan on it, despite the fact that it is flawed. I do not. I am opposed to such point of view pushing. Nothing ameliorates the falsehood that is the foundation of this article. That is my opinion. I of course do not speak for Sefringle. Bus stop 04:57, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
You're as guilty as pushing your POV in this matter as the next person; I'm not opposed to your attempts to convert others to this POV, however repetitious these attempts have become. What bothers me is the way you and several other editors have carried on this bickering and reverting for weeks without a discernable compromise, resolution or beginning of consensus in sight. I know we're all amateurs and volunteers here, but it all seems so.... unprofessional. It's distasteful.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 05:06, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Why was this tag removed from this article?

Why was this tag removed from this article?

Christian cross.svg
This page is a list of Christians.
For more on who is considered Christian, see Christian.

It exists on the List of notable converts to Judaism article. This is the exact tag that presently hangs on the List of notable converts to Judaism article:

{{Jew list}}

Why is the article List of notable converts to Christianity casting an incalculably wider net for names that will qualify for inclusion on it? Bus stop 21:49, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

The above question has already been answered by those who have removed the tag, and by me, who has explained to you several times why, exactly, the Judaism article needs such a tag, while the Christianity, Islam and other conversion articles do not. And as you already know, but neglect to mention, the tag was created by user John Carter (who, as you know, argues for the inclusion of Dylan), and applied to the article only a week or two ago. The tag was introduced, and removed, as consensus was against its inclusion.
Additionally, let me say once again that your are applying your own opinion as to what the span of this article 'should be' and setting up your arguments using that suggesting while ignoring what the article's parameters actually are (or rather, dismissing them because of your own opinion about their validity). --C.Logan 22:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
C.Logan -- The article's parameters are invalid because they are contrived. You need look no further than the List of notable converts to Judaism to see what should be an identical article, except that it utilizes uncontrived parameters. Uncontrived parameters list people in an article who have arrived at their religious identity by way of conversion (as opposed to being born into the religion). It does not attempt to include "anyone who has ever converted to a religion." That is a contrivance. The List of notable converts to Judaism does not engage in that contrivance. It's parameters are straightforward, and they are spelled out in the tag that hangs on the List of notable converts to Judaism, which states, "This page is a list of Jews." The List of notable converts to Christianity cannot hang the similar tag, "This page is a list of Christians," because it would not be true. The List of notable converts to Christianity attempts, by contrivance, to contain on it both Christians and those who don't happen to be Christian. Why does the List of notable converts to Christianity cast a wider net for its contents than does the List of notable converts to Judaism? Bus stop 16:27, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Christianity is closer to Islam than to Judaism as the issue of "race" is not considered in the same way thus the article List_of_notable_converts_to_Islam is a better comparison. Both Christianity and Islam claim a universal appeal to all people irrespective of race. As you have pointed out the issue of race is very pertinent to claiming a Jewish identity. The Islam list says "This is a list of notable people who have converted to Islam sometime during their lives.". It isn't tagged "This is a list of Muslims" and it doesn't care if they are still Muslim or not. Why are you trying to compare two lists without explaining why they are comparable ? Ttiotsw 07:14, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Ttiotsw -- We are not talking about religion. We are talking about parameters for lists, and we are talking about contrivances in parameters used for point of view pushing, and we are talking about low standards applied to the creation of parameters, which allows for some editors on Wikipedia to create lists that promote the religion of their choice. The notion that the List of notable converts to Christianity has parameters that include "all those who have ever converted to Christianity" is just a cynical misuse of Wikipedia, and a contrivance. No one believes that those parameters are naturally arising. Everyone understands that proselytization is the sole reason for those particularly chosen and weird parameters. Any objective person would see that choice of parameters as artifice and farce.

In point of fact there are two ways of arriving at Christian identity: by way of birth, and by way of conversion. Simple parameters call for this list to be those notable people who have arrived at that identity by conversion. No logic exists, or has been articulated, for it to be the list of "all those who have ever converted to Christianity." A living person who briefly flirted with Christian identity a couple of decades ago only ends up on a list ostensibly composed of Christians because of point of view pushing. Stop pretending that there is sound logic behind putting a Jew on a list of Christians. The fact that there is a special section on this list for Dylan titled "Notable converts who later changed their faith" indicates that the editors of this list know that Dylan does not belong on this list. Contrived parameters and special sections for exceptions to the natural parameters for this list are only point of view pushing and proselytization, something Wikipedia should be ashamed of. Bus stop 12:32, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Bus stop, well then listen to your own council and stop talking about religion !. So far all you have done is repeat the same track of "Jew", "proselytization", "converted", "Christians", "pov pushing" mixed in various ways.
If a person murders someone then they are a murderer - they stay tagged as a murderer even though they have finished murdering people. At best we tag them as "former" murderer to show that the crime is spent or if a person was a member of the Nazi party then they are considered to be a Nazi even after the last war (extreme examples I know but they are clearer-cut cases). What you are proposing is that we forget what someone did.
That Dylan "converted" to Christianity sometime in his life is, on the surface to me, as encyclopaedic as the entries for Atheists are (where I personally doubt many were truly Atheists before they said they converted but I see no need to remove the entries).
Convince us that Dylan conversion is not encyclopaedic but trivial or unreliably reported. Given the effort you have spent so far it doesn't appear to be trivial and the cites seem reliable. Arguing about your opinion as to what the list description should say I feel is evidence of your lack of creditable reasons to doubt the references. Prove me wrong. Ttiotsw 13:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
As has been stated above, the parameters for inclusion in this list are, if anything, more restrictive than those for the List of notable converts to Islam, which bears a similarity to Christianity that Judaism does not, in that it is strictly a religious faith, and the word "Christian" is generally not also used to describe a purely ethnic group as well. On that basis, the parameters here are no more contrived than those for the similar Islam list. And I agree that the best way, and probably the only reasonable way, to continue this discussion, if it must be continued, as at least one person seemingly insists on, is for that person to review the relevant policies and guidelines of wikipedia and point out specifically how both of these lists violate one or the other. Should that party continue to choose not to do so, I once again suggest that that party seek dispute resolution, as the tactics currently being employed are unlikely to produce any results beyond those already produced. John Carter 14:00, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Ttiotsw -- I am saying that you create logical lists following logical parameters. I am saying that you don't create illogical lists that follow illogical parameters in order to promote religion on Wikipedia.

My contention is that this list is a farce. It was created as a farce in 2006 to put Dylan on a list of Christians. That is why in this article's initial iteration, on January 17, 2006, it was necessary to post next to Bob Dylan's name the note that he is, "from Judaism to which he later reconverted." It was necessary from the first day of this article's existence to point out that the placement of Dylan on this list did not conform with expected parameters for this list. This list is not expected to be the list of "all those notable people who ever converted to Christianity." It is expected to be the list of all those notable people who found their way to Christian identity by way of conversion. The contrived parameters are just a farce, designed to promote religion.

There are only two ways to arrive at Christian identity. That is by way of birth and by way of conversion. As soon as you add parameters to that you are performing some type of contrivance on parameters. All contrived parameters are not necessarily improper. It is conceivable that there could be parameters that are more complex than expected. In that case an explanation would be in order. But no editor here has articulated anything approximating an explanation for the contrivance that this is the list of "all those who have ever converted to Christianity." Does there exist an explanation for the parameters that are more complex than is expected? How come no editor is able to explain why it is the list of "all those who have ever converted to Christianity," rather than the more simple, "all those who have found their way to Christian identity by means of conversion"? Why are the editors contriving the parameters in unnatural ways? If they can't explain it, then we are left with the only possible explanation: proselytization. Bus stop 14:28, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


No one believes that those parameters are naturally arising. Everyone understands that proselytization is the sole reason for those particularly chosen and weird parameters. Any objective person would see that choice of parameters as artifice and farce.
The above statements make the warped outlook of the individual making them all the more clear. Only a delusional or deceptive individual would make such statements when he is, in fact, in the minority. The last sentence is especially telling, as several objective editors (i.e., atheists who could care less) have already opposed his arguments. In contrast, Bus stop himself is far from "objective", as his past, present, and (presumably) future statements will betray.
No logic exists, or has been articulated, for it to be the list of "all those who have ever converted to Christianity."
It most certainly has, many times- and yet you continually choose to ignore these statements. This may explain why this discussion has gone on for nearly 40 days(?).
Stop pretending that there is sound logic behind putting a Jew on a list of Christians.
You can argue against the parameters all you like- but stop calling this a 'list of Christians', when the article has had no such standard of inclusion since its inception. The standard is, as has been articulated, that this is a 'list of individuals who converted to Christianity'.
Of course, feel free to argue against those parameters- but keep in mind that this list is as much a list of current Christians as the List of former United States Senators is merely a list of 'white men'. The correlation is there, but it is not guaranteed by the parameters.
The fact that there is a special section on this list for Dylan titled "Notable converts who later changed their faith" indicates that the editors of this list know that Dylan does not belong on this list.
Actually, it means that the editors of this list know what the meaning of compromise is- and this, in fact, will likely be the only thing which brings this discussion to a close. However, it comes as no surprise that you are vehemently opposed to any form of compromise of your own position- after all, if you truly believe in the fallacious assertions presented in the quote at the beginning of this comment, then why would you even feel the need to concede an inch of ground to anyone- you seem to honestly, whole-heartedly believe that your opinion is the 'righteous majority', and the only option.--C.Logan 02:15, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

C.Logan -- That is correct, no logic has ever been articulated for the list to be of of "all those who have ever converted to Christianity," and, tellingly, you once again fail to articulate any such logic. Please understand what contrived parameters are. You are not to be allowed to make up whatever parameters you choose to convey whatever point you may wish to convey. In this instance doing so constitutes proselytization. Parameters are either simple or vulnerable to the charges of having been contrived. If you want parameters that cannot be challenged on the basis of having been contrived then the parameters have to be of the simplest sort. The basic, and simplest parameters for a list of this sort are: all those notable people who have arrived at their identity as Christians by means of having converted to Christianity. Why are those the simplest and most basic parameters for a list of this sort? Because the only other way to become a Christian is to be born a Christian. The mirror image of being a Christian as a result of having been born a Christian is being a Christian as a result of having converted to Christianity. Note that in both cases all individuals are Christians. Once you say it is the list of all those notable people who have ever converted to Christianity you are contriving the parameters. Once you say it is the list of all those notable people who have ever converted to Christianity you are introducing non-Christians to the list. That is a contrivance, and that constitutes proselytizing in this case. This is not to say that all contrived parameters are improper. But these contrived parameters are improper. Once you contrive parameters it is incumbent on you to explain why the special parameters are called for. I am here to tell you that the slightly more complicated parameters are only to serve the purpose of enhancing the contents of the list, and doing so constitutes proselytizing. Without enhanced contents, you don't have Dylan on the list. Those contrived parameters make this article a sham. Contriving to put Dylan on a list makes the list a sham. If you want to make a list of those notable people who have found Christian identity by way of conversion -- fine. But don't foist upon us that this is the list of all those notable people who have ever converted to Christianity. Wikipedia is not the place for sham articles masquerading as legitimate articles for the sole purpose of promoting a religion. Bus stop 08:15, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm torn between reiterating my argument for the 38th time to an individual who apparently has no desire to listen to anyone's opinions but his own, or simply taking a hint from John Carter and ignoring the needlessly large block of text above, which marks the 52nd example of Bus stop presenting his same simplistic, procedural argument- one which never fails in making at least one accusation that the other editors are warping an article to 'promote a religion'.
The above numbers are arbitrary, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were on the mark. I believe that today marks the 40th day of the discussion (and that's not an arbitrary number), and yet we are all still involved in a discussion with an individual more content to see his same argument pasted repeatedly all over the page than to actually discuss the issue even-handedly and, God forbid, reach a compromise of some sort.
Bus stop, the thought that you may have missed the arguments of logic for the upholding of the parameters in question, points which have been brought up again and again throughout the course of the discussion by various editors, is bone-chilling. I suggest that you take a long read over the archives and catch up on things you may have missed or forgotten. --C.Logan 08:55, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

C.Logan -- We should not be contriving the parameters of a list to accommodate any point of view reasons. It wouldn't matter if the reasons were other than for pushing the point of view of a particular religion. As soon as you make an adjustment to basic parameters you leave yourself open to being questioned concerning the wisdom, as well as the validity, of the change you have made. That is in the nature of a list. Lists have parameters. The parameters of a list are far more stark than the parameters of an article written in prose form. The parameters of a list, to a far greater extent than the parameters of an article written in prose, define the list. The parameters of a list, to a far greater extent than the parameters of an article, define the very nature and character of that list. One can debate, with a degree of flexibility, whether something properly belongs in a prose article. But a list is not like that. A list is black and white. Something either meets the parameters for inclusion on a list or it does not meet the parameters for inclusion on that list. Thus when you manipulate the parameters of a list you entirely change the nature and character of its contents. In point of fact the List of notable converts to Christianity casts an incalculably wider net for contents than does the List of notable converts to Judaism. It is apparently a difficult concept for you to grasp, but you are not permitted to make that change to parameters without offering an explanation. In the case of both Judaism and Christianity there are only two methods by which one acquires identity. Those two methods: are by birth, or by conversion. Thus two logical categories immediately arise -- those individuals who arrived at religious identity by way of birth, and those individuals who arrived at religious identity by way of conversion. Please take careful note that, concerning living people, neither of those categories include individuals who are not even of that religious identity. Thus the List of notable converts to Christianity as presently configured does not abide by basic parameters. The additional parameters that some editors have proposed are a contrivance. I am questioning that contrivance. It has been suggested that the List of notable converts to Christianity has parameters that include "anyone who has ever converted to Christianity." I am questioning the wisdom of that. I am claiming that those parameters constitute point of view pushing. I am asserting that the contrived parameters constitute content enhancement. I am asserting that that content enhancement amounts to proselytization for Christianity. Without contrived parameters Dylan does not fit on this list.

Furthermore -- nowhere in the title of this list is there reference to non-Christians. The article (list) is a contradiction. It is a self-contradiction when the title proclaims that it is a list of Christians and the contents contain non-Christians. The title claims that it is the List of notable converts to Christianity. The word "converts" in that title is a noun. Does that noun refer to non-Christians? No, it does not. The noun "converts" in the title refers to Christians. Why is the list taking the liberty of including non-Christians on it? Dylan is clearly not a Christian. Can we please stop the point of view pushing? The List of notable converts to Judaism does not engage in any such point of view pushing or content enhancement at all. The List of notable converts to Judaism states at the outset that, "This page is a list of Jews." Therefore any name on that list that any editor feels is not a Jew can be challenged and removed on that basis only. Not so with the List of notable converts to Christianity. The List of notable converts to Christianity is contriving to claim that both Christians and non-Christians belong on that list. That is an abuse of Wikipedia. Those editors who are perverting the simple meaning of this article have to respond to these criticisms, made by me as well as by others. In point of fact this issue goes back more than a month to the Talk page of the Bob Dylan article. Several editors argued on the Bob Dylan Talk page essentially the same argument I am arguing now. Yes, this issue has been going on for a long time. The editors defending this improperly configured list need to respond to these criticisms.

The List of notable converts to Christianity once stated at the top of it that "This page is a list of Christians." That statement was removed. What was the reason that statement was removed? Could it possibly have been removed because it stood in contradiction to the contents of the list? Bus stop 14:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Please note that the parameters for inclusion in this list are substantially identical to those in the most directly comparable list, List of notable converts to Islam. Is the above editor implying that those parameters are similarly contrived?
No, John Carter, the above editor is not implying anything of the sort, and you did not to sign your name. Bus stop 21:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
My apologies for having not signed my name. I can't see how the autobot which pointedly includes forgotten signatures forgot this one. However, I cannot see how you can question the terms of inclusion in one article while at the same time saying, as you did above, that the virtually identical terms used elsewhere are not equally flawed. Please inform me on what basis you make this distinction. John Carter 22:00, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- List of notable converts to Christianity is the locus of abuse to Wikipedia's neutrality policy. It is on that basis that I make a distinction. You are forgetting which comes first. First we have abuses to Wikipedia, then we have editors complaining about it. This began on the Bob Dylan Talk page. Editors complained that since Dylan was no longer a Christian, that he should be removed from the category of "Converts to Christianity." To which came the response, that that was the category of "all those who ever converted to Christianity." The same abuse was found, by me, on the article List of notable converts to Christianity. What you fail to understand is that the egregious assault on Wikipedia's neutrality policy only takes place on, and is found in, the article entitled List of notable converts to Christianity. Bus stop 01:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Give it a rest. You really shouldn't cite policy that you completely misunderstand. Particularly since almost none of your endless messages on this talk page adhere to NPOV. --JJay 01:33, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • JJay -- Shouldn't you stick to reporting people for technical infractions, since you rarely if ever participate in actual give and take discussion? When was the last time that you engaged in a conversation with an editor with a differing opinion from your own, with the aim of finding resolution to the problems that beset us? What I think I more often see (correct me if am wrong) is you reporting people to Wikipedia for a transgression of WP:3RR. I am citing Wikipedia's neutrality policy because that is what I feel is applicable. Please try to articulate your reasoning in the taking of a position in opposition to my citing of Wikipedia's neutrality policy. If you are not doing that, then I don't see the point to your above post. Bus stop 02:11, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Most of your comment is completely irrelevant to this article or talk page (not that I'm surprised). Since you are interested in discussing edits, when was the last time you added a name to this list? Or a reference? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the answer is never. Regarding reporting "technical infractions", I have reported you three times for 3RR violations, for which you have been blocked twice and warned once. If you violate 3RR again here, or on any other article, you will be reported again. That is the naturally arising outcome of your edit warring. 3RR is a wikipedia policy that you need to believe in. I must say I also find your comment regarding "give and take discussion" both disengenuous and laughable - since you have persistently ignored comments from almost every editor of this page. As for your citing of NPOV policy, you have not explained why you believe this article is POV. NPOV states: All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly, proportionately and without bias. This article accurately and without bias reflects Dylan's conversion to Christianity. It is fully documented by numerous sources that adhere to WP:RS. What you can not document, but insist on arguing as fact (thus in violation of NPOV) is any renunciation of this conversion by Dylan or reconversion to Judaism. --JJay 02:42, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • JJay -- Would you consider contradiction to constitute point of view? Dylan is not a Christian. Why is he being put on a list of Christians? I would consider that beyond point of view. That constitutes point of view in the extreme. That constitutes creating reality out of whole cloth. Do you have a source for Dylan being a Christian in 2007? Obviously you do not. Sources have limited areas of applicability. Conversion is founded on a flimsy reference by a priest who did not know where or when a supposed Baptism took place. He said over a period of a few days. He said it probably took place in the ocean. Obviously he was not there. (Do you think he forgot if it was the Pacific Ocean or a swimming pool?) Dylan has had nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years. Even during 1979 and 1980 there is no evidence of a Christian life lived. Please stop pretending that album lyrics and stage performance constitutes conversion, or Christian identity. Do you forget that Dylan was born Jewish? Have you overlooked Dylan's involvement with the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, in the intervening 27 years? Please stop pretending that a glancing contact with Christianity 27 years ago constitutes Christian identity in 2007. Dylan has been reported attending ritualistic observances of holidays on the Jewish calendar such as the Passover holiday. Is that of no significance? Dylan has been reported observing by means of participating in the Jewish ritual of the Jewish Sabbath. How do you construe that as the identity of a Christian? Bus stop 04:10, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
"Nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years". Right. He played for the Pope at the World Eucharistic Conference in 1997. When you have actually read the sources let us know. I suggest you start with the four part Bob Dylan's Unshakeable Monotheism by Marshall. That requires a certain commitment on your part. It's long. In the interim, I would ask you, once again, to stop filling up this talk page with your unreferenced POV opinions. If you are going to make assertions here, as per policy, provide sources --JJay 04:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

JJay -- Playing "for the Pope at the World Eucharistic Conference in 1997" implies being Christian? It implies being a performer. You really need to stop pretending. Do you have a source for Dylan being a Christian past the year 1980? Bus stop 08:46, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I can't help but see a glimpse of the inner Bus stop trying to break out through his comments. Let's see if I can decipher what he really wants to say, based on the history of his commentary. Remember that this is my own personal interpretation, and if any other were to gaze into the cloudy crystal ball that is Bus stop, he or she may discover something entirely different!
"Would you consider contradiction to constitute point of view? Dylan is not a Christian. Why is he being put on a list of Christians? I would consider that beyond point of view. That constitutes point of view in the extreme. That constitutes creating reality out of whole cloth. Do you have a source for Dylan being a Christian in 2007? Obviously you do not. Sources have limited areas of applicability. Conversion is founded on a flimsy reference by a priest who did not know where or when a supposed Baptism took place. He said over a period of a few days. He said it probably took place in the ocean. [...] Please stop pretending that album lyrics and stage performance constitutes conversion, or Christian identity."
What he really means: "I don't need to present sources for what I say, and I think I should point out that no source which disagrees in any way with my assertions shall pass my judgment. I consider that any public expressions of Christianity were simply part of a 'persona' and had no real validity; in contrast his public expressions of Judaism (which I have never presented sources for) are not merely the workings of a 'persona', but are honest-to-God sincere religious actions and can not be doubted; in no way is his participation in these rituals 'cultural' rather than 'religious' (despite the fact that the 'WP:BLP compliant, reliable sources' which have been presented claim that these expressions are cultural rather than religious- or even that his involvement with any Jewish organizations or rituals if from a Christian perspective)."
"Obviously he was not there. (Do you think he forgot if it was the Pacific Ocean or a swimming pool?)"
What he really means: "All the historians in practice should resign immediately, because I, Bus stop, decree that an individual can not know that a factual event has occurred without being physically present at the event itself. No individual can relay such information with any merit if he/she was not physically present, preferably with a camcorder. It is also impossible that the leader of an organization might send his employees to do field labor rather than performing the labors himself. In addition, his testimony to the occurrence of a baptism is only valid if his very own hands plunged Dylan beneath the water. Additionally, let us not forget that an individual can not be considered to have converted to Christianity if he/she has not been baptized, preferably with copies of baptism records available."
"Dylan has had nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years. Even during 1979 and 1980 there is no evidence of a Christian life lived."
What he really means: "I, Bus stop, decree that a council shall be created for the specific purposes of determining how an individual lived his life in respect to his religious affiliation. If my mighty council determines, for example, that a "Christian life has not been lived", then the individual can no longer be considered a Christian (and any affiliation with such a religion should be erased from the annals of history). This council will function excellently because I know with certainty that every individual can be measured by the same standards in any given scenario."
"Do you forget that Dylan was born Jewish?"
What he really means: "It is certain that an individual must be unflinchingly loyal to his birth religion especially if it is Judaism. If an individual is not overtly violating his birth religion, then he must be considered an adherent of that religion. No other possibilities can even be considered."
"Have you overlooked Dylan's involvement with the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, in the intervening 27 years? Please stop pretending that a glancing contact with Christianity 27 years ago constitutes Christian identity in 2007."
What he really means: "I shall reiterate that I, Bus stop, do not ever need to provide sources for my assertions. You should learn to accept my word as the honest truth. Additionally, if a source does happen to arise for my statements, and it is from a website affiliated with Judaism in any way, then the source must be considered instantly valid and received without a hint of doubt, even though I have previously made it clear that any source affiliated with Christianity cannot be trusted under any circumstance."
"Dylan has been reported attending ritualistic observances of holidays on the Jewish calendar such as the Passover holiday. Is that of no significance? Dylan has been reported observing by means of participating in the Jewish ritual of the Jewish Sabbath. How do you construe that as the identity of a Christian?"
What he really means: "I do not need to consider how reliable biographies treat the involvement of Dylan with these religious rites. I do not need to consider that one can participate in Jewish rituals from a cultural perspective, and not necessarily from a religious one. I also (and this one is the most important one to note) do not need to consider that there are thousands upon thousands of Christians (Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians, so I'm told) that participate in these rituals without considering it to be an antithesis of Christianity. By the way, as you know, I do not believe that any assertion made by me could possibly be weak or fallacious. If an individual were to use the latter consideration against me, I will surely ask for sources, as any assertion made by me is the guiding standard for all operations on Wikipedia. Any argument which is in opposition to mine must be thoroughly sourced and attested, and signed by a notary public before it is even considered."
Ah, well, what a wild ride that was. I feel that I may have actually brought out a few of the underlying currents of meaning which flow beneath Bus stop's beautiful bed-rock of an argument. --C.Logan 05:40, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

C.Logan -- What is your source for Dylan being a "Messianic Jew"? Bus stop 08:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I guess you didn't catch that last part. Nor did you the last time I attempted to explain this. I suppose I'll reiterate, and be clearer. You continuously present black and white divisions concerning beliefs and behaviors, but it isn't that simple.
The 'test' you present (indirectly) to determine whether or not Dylan is religiously Jewish is a badly flawed one- and as I've said, several times now, it is because certain individuals who are Christians also celebrate these same holidays and perform many of these same rituals (these being Messianic Jews or Jewish Christians). This simple fact essentially nullifies the last quote from your comment, as none of the statements within necessarily compromise the potential 'Christian element' of Dylan's belief, considering that it does no such thing for the above individuals.
The purpose of my last sentence was this: when an individual points out a flaw in your argument by offering an example which disproves your test (i.e. rituals/holidays = Jewish, so you say), you ask for "sources" regarding the claim- as you have regarding this particular subject 2-3 times- when that isn't even the point. The point is that you are making an assertion based on insufficient, circumstantial evidence. As such, the argument regarding Messianic Jews is not intended to prove that he is indeed a Messianic Jew, but it is to dismantle the unwarranted certainty of your assertion; that is, you are arguing that there is black and white, and as Dylan has shown some glimpse of white, then he must be white. I'm trying to explain to you that gray is also a possibility, so your certainty based on slim evidence is shaky and half-baked.--C.Logan 09:32, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
C.Logan -- Dylan is Jewish because he was born Jewish and he isn't actively negating his Jewishness. He has not actively negated his Jewishness since 1980. He is an average American male Jew. He does nothing different than any average Jew. You don't have a representative of Christianity in Dylan at all. If you think you do, provide a source. Bus stop 10:08, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I would note that the second through fourth sentences by Bus stop above, despite how often they have been repeated by him, also have no sources. Yet he persists in making them. As has been noted, Dylan has been very silent on the exact nature of his beliefs in recent years. On that basis, as he has never publicly renounced Christianity, it can be reasonably argued that there is no evidence that he is not in some way still a Christian. Certainly, I am unaware of any specific statements he has made with indicate otherwise. On that basis, any statement we would make that he is no longer a Christian, without a specific source stating the same identified, would be a violation of the blp guidelines above, which specifically state that unsourced statements can and should be immediately removed from content relating to living people. John Carter 15:13, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
A.) Who's looking for a "representative of Christianity"? We've already explained why he's listed along with other individuals in similar situations. How many times are you going to pull out this same unsupported assertion? How are we trying to find a "representative to Christianity" by detailing his re-conversion to Judaism? Have you not been paying attention for the past month and a half? With respect to your assertions (which are about 98% unwarranted), we've even compromised the article with the hopes of resolution to this 40-something-day dispute. You apparently find no pleasure in progress, but are rather overly stubborn, unwilling to concede any point of your argument and especially unwilling to assume good intentions on the part of your fellow editors and listen to anything they have to say.
B.) Like I've said, you go about trying to 'prove' something with vague, circumstantial evidence from Dylan's life- which is laughable, because no one is asking you to prove anything. In fact, we've already had a (tendentious) source on the page for his apparent return to Judaism. Why do you persist in 'arguing' an argument that has already been settled some time before?
The reason I find it necessary to pick apart your argument (as I've tried to do above) is that I feel your logic regarding how one might 'determine' an individual's religion (something you should refrain from doing, anyway) is so flawed that it would be a service to point out the problems with it. Namely, your conclusions are unwarranted based on the evidence, specifically considering that we do not have enough access to his personal life to make any assertions more reliable than a tabloid would, and the fact that another group of individuals (who are quite clearly considered Christian) exhibit the same 'evidence' you outline in your test, and yet contradict your promised end-result.
You argue (indirectly) for exclusivity in practice when there are in fact two possible scenarios. Luckily, the source given slightly cools the furnace (although if we were to use the same discriminating attitude which you had in response to Christian sources, this source would most certainly not be in use- that, I think, is worth noting). The stark contrast between the quality of the conversion sources (3 WP:BLP compliant, reliable biographies) and the reversion source (from a borderline geocities-quality personal site with a Jewish intent) raises a few questions as to the reliability of the latter source; while the first 3 attempt objectivity, the latter functions through "decidedly Jewish spectacles". --C.Logan 15:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Former Christian converts to Christianity again

Former Christian converts do not belong on this list, because they are not Christians. For consistency with other "converts to religion X" articles, we cannot and should not include any former Christians on this list.--Sefringle 02:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I might agree, but this seems to be allowed in other conversion lists. List of notable converts to Judaism includes Uriel da Costa who "came to reject formalized, ritualized religion" and was rejected as a heretic and I'm uncertain if Marilyn Monroe remained in Judaism after divorcing Arthur Miller. (Yeah I know Jewish rules might say you may still be Jewish even if you switch after, but regardless) Likewise List of Catholic converts includes people like Mary Frances Cusack who became Anti-Catholic. So we'd have to set-up a standard for what you propose. I'm not opposed to doing so, but I will say that it's good this list at least makes it clear who converted and then left as some don't.--T. Anthony 11:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
There's a consensus. I cannot understand, for the life of me, why certain editors continue to beat a dead horse. Drumpler 08:09, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
And as a side note, why don't these certain editors take a week or two break from this article? I took a break. It worked wonders. :) Drumpler 08:11, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
That's good advice for any editor involved. Perhap's I'll take it. --C.Logan 09:01, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Keeping it out of your "watch" list also helps. :) Drumpler 09:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I do note that the other lists of notable converts do not specifically refer to any individuals who have since converted to something else. I assume that is because they have all stayed as members of the faith on whose list they are included. However, there are only two extant lists that I can find, List of former Christians and List of notable former Muslims, for individuals who have converted to some other faith from those two. I guess that maybe the best way to go would be to possibly make a formal request for opinions in the matter. The questions which might be asked include (1) whether these lists of converts should exist in the first place, (2) whether the lists of existing and former "Foos" should be maintained separately for all faiths, (3) whether people who theoretically qualify for inclusion on both the lists of converts to and converts from faith Foo should be included in both lists, and (4) if the lists are to be made more limited, what the specific criteria for inclusion on each list should be. Does that sound reasonable, and are there any potential questions which I may have missed? John Carter 13:56, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Forced conversions?

I'm putting this up here as the stuff below this is devoted to the mediation/argument deal. I edited Horapollo to explain the nature of his conversion, but then started wondering if he should just be dropped. On the List of notable converts to Islam there was a rough concensus not to include forced conversions. What's the feeling on the matter here? On that list those in favor of including forced conversions said it was necessary as forced conversions have some historical value. Others said forced conversions are usually rejected by the converted and don't count by the rules of Islam. Christian rules also traditionally forbid forced conversions, St. Augustine mentions this as do earlier Christians, so that could apply here too. Thoughts?--T. Anthony 19:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

As only one source treats the issue, I'll look into it further, but he should probably be removed for now until more information can be found. I agree, forced conversions are not really considered valid, as many individuals often continue to practice their own religion in secret (the situation in historic Spain being an example). A more puzzling issue would be a 'forced conversion' that later became outspoken and sincere in the faith (which I'm sure has happened at least a couple times in history, though I'm unaware of notable examples at the moment). --C.Logan 21:05, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I would tend to agree that if his conversion was forced, and his personal beliefs unchanged as a result, he should be removed. There is a question, however, implied above, regarding forced conversions which might later become voluntary, based on the individual coming to believe that his "old" god, belief system, whatever, is "weaker" than the one he was forced to convert to. Certainly, such conversions based on the comparative power of the belief systems did happen somewhat regularly in the ancient world, although less often recently. That might be irrelevant to the case at hand, however. John Carter 21:13, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Protected

While looking into an WP:ANI report, I noticed the edit warring on this article and I've decided to protect it for the time being. Discuss the issues, come to a consensus, and request unprotection. This continual revert warring is in no way helpful.--Isotope23 14:21, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to do so. However, the article was just recently removed from protection. So far as I know, the majority of the edits to it since then have been to place references in for the various individuals included, and add other names as they have been referenced. John Carter 14:24, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
All the edits today have been reverting back and forth over the addition of one section. That is edit warring in my book.--Isotope23 14:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I actually hadn't checked the revisions for today. You have my sincerest apologies for my earlier misstatement. John Carter 14:34, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment?

Do the other editors involved in this discussion believe that requesting outside comment on either issues or editors would be appropriate? If yes, which issues or editors? As the argument seems to have little chance of not continuing indefinitely without such outsider involvement, I personally do favor some such external comment. John Carter 16:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

It might be wise. However, it would seem the biggest issue is with Sefringle and Bus stop's reversions. I thought the rest of us already decided the former convert list is okay? Maybe some arbitration instead? Drumpler 23:06, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I reckon it couldn't hurt. Note, I only got involved here as a result of an earlier request for outside comment. I wasn't aware of this page until it's problems spilled out to the larger community. I also see this as a case of a few aggressive editors refusing to acknowledge when a consensus exists, and not appreciating when many compromises have already been made to accomodate their point of view. zadignose 00:20, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
If everyone's agreed, I'll make a request. Drumpler 00:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Why is it acceptable to have biased and inaccurate statistics/figures of ex-muslim converts to christianity in this page, but every time statistics from unbiased sources of converts to Islam from different countures and religions is added to the List of notable converts to Islam it always get deleted? I suggest those figures should be deleted, because they seem to be biased and exaggerated.Wraith12 03:36, 31 May 2007 (UTC)Wraith12

You may want to ask the users on that page who have continuously opposed your re-addition of those statistics, rather than bringing your question to a page of users who are entirely unfamiliar with the situation (and your edit history) on List of notable converts to Islam.
Additionally, the fact that you consider a CAIR report as being an "unbiased source" is troubling. CAIR is, after all, a scandalous organization, widely criticized for its strongly biased portrayals of world events, in addition to silly little things ( such as adding photoshopped head-scarves into a picture which featured bare-haired women at an Islamic rally). Of course, this is just my personal observation. --C.Logan 04:06, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Listing arguments from bigoted, biased and intolerant sources such as Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch has no basis, these sites have a tendency to make false accusations of CAIR, Islam, and other peaceful Islamic Organizations in order to demonize them and create a level of Anti-Islam hysteria in the U.S to fulfill their xenophobic Right Wing agenda.Wraith12 04:34, 31 May 2007 (UTC)Wraith12
And the relevance to this article is ...--Sefringle 04:36, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Newsflash, Wraith- I included the link so that other readers may enjoy a laugh at the expense of a questionably valid organization. Anyway, it's good to know your perspective on the magical world of online politics.--C.Logan 05:06, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Given the above comments, it occurs to me that we might also want to perhaps include in the request some questions about the terms for inclusion in any lists of converts, specifically including the List of converts to Islam, and maybe addressing both questions simultaneously. I would also add that I personally would include a question as to whether Bus stop's repeated comments do qualify as tendentious editing and should be discontinued, or at least that if he does continue, he more directly respond to points made against him and provide some references for his comments. John Carter 13:44, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- the very first sentence of tendentious editing describes the problem with the article List of notable converts to Christianity. This is the very first sentence:

Tendentious editing is editing which is partisan, biased, skewed -- in other words, it does not conform to the neutral point of view.

That is precisely the problem with List of notable converts to Christianity. There is no justification for putting people who are not Christian on a List of notable converts to Christianity. There is nothing conforming to a neutral point of view about putting Bob Dylan on a list that is expected to contain Christians. That is forced conversion to Christianity, Internet style. Doing so certainly very strongly hints of partisan, biased, and skewed editing. Shouldn't you be taking your own advice? We know perfectly well that the Christian religion encourages proselytization. While it would be uncivil of me to point a finger of accusation at any particular editor, I think it is safe to say that the article List of notable converts to Christianity smacks very strongly of proselytization. There was a tag that used to hang on this article, at the very beginning, that used to say, "This page is a list of Christians." Why was that tag removed? Was it removed because it contradicted the contents? You are not permitted to contrive parameters to suit your needs. You may want Bob Dylan on a List of notable converts to Christianity but he doesn't happen to be Christian. Proselytization is the problem with this article. You can't have an article whose title is converts to Christianity and have on it people who are not converts to Christianity. And please don't try to foist the unlikely notion that it is the "list of all those who have ever converted to Christianity," because that is a contrivance. The List of notable converts to Judaism only contains Jews on it. It does not attempt to cast the ludicrously wider net that the List of notable converts to Christianity attempts to cast. The List of notable converts to Christianity is all about tendentious editing. Proselytization on this article is synonymous with tendentious editing. What justification is there for the List of notable converts to Christianity to cast an incalculably larger net than does the List of notable converts to Judaism? Tendentious editing is casting a ridiculously wider net (than does the List of notable converts to Judaism) that includes Jews in it. This article is clearly a locus of abuse. This article is being used to proselytize for Christianity by putting the high profile and charismatic Dylan on it. Dylan is arguably the sole reason for this article. This article was created in January of 2006 with only Dylan and two other individuals on it. And even then the editor who created this article had to put a note next to Dylan's name saying that he was not in fact a Christian but was a Jew. That problem has never been resolved, and can never be resolved. Now a special section in this article has been created for those who are not really Christian. When are you going to realize that if they are not Christian then they do not properly belong on this list? Judaism and Christianity are two different religions. Dylan wears a yarmulke. Does that sound like a Christian to you? Dylan attends Passover meals with the Lubovitch of Brooklyn, New York. Do you think that the Lubovitch are Christians? Please stop pretending that a source referring to Dylan's conversion in 1979 makes him a Christian in 2007, because it does not. The tendentious editing is the placing of someone that you know not to be a Christian on a list that is properly only of Christians. That is the simple meaning of the word convert. That is the simple guideline that the List of notable converts to Judaism follows. The religion of Judaism does not proselytize. But proselytization is improper on Wikipedia. Proselytization is totally contrary to Wikipedia's neutral point of view. Bus stop 16:00, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

There is no pro-Christian bias on Wikipedia and I don't see how a reasonable argument could me that there is one. I leave in a huff quite often because there's a decidedly anti-Christian bias if anything. Saints and theologians are claimed to be pederasts based on slim evidence, conservative Christians are gay-hating harridans, etc. Atheists are way overrepresented on WP and the place is led by a quasi-follower of an atheistic cult group. (I'm not putting that in an article, and would not, but as my opinion I can call it a cult) It can be argued that placing people who converted and then left is actually a not-to-subtle insult to Christians. A kind of way to say "your religion is so stupid that even on a conversion list we'll be sure to point out that even converts dump it." No other list does that. List of Catholic converts and List of converts to Judaism has people who left later on, but neither points that out in a big way. This one makes sure to. Now I'm not saying it is insulting to Christianity, but I don't see how it's prosyletizing either. Unless all these lists are proselytizing and in that case they should all be deleted or you should object to them all equally.--T. Anthony 21:03, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

T. Anthony -- Who is the individual on List of notable converts to Judaism who "left later on?" If that is so, then remove that person. The List of notable converts to Judaism says at its outset that "This page is a list of Jews." If you feel someone on that list is not a Jew then remove that name. Bus stop 01:55, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Da Costa, maybe Monroe although I'd need more information. The funny thing is I think you might actually have the right position, but the way you're going about is counterproductive. You're making it about some oddball Christian conspiracy or hurt feelings of the Jewish community. It looks like "special pleading." It'd be more logical to say that converts who left should not be allowed on any of these lists, not just this one, because it's irrelevant and weakens utility. Even in terms of comparative religion it's not necessarily useful as some people become a Christian, or Buddhist or Scientologist, for a short period or for marriage. Does Dylan or Larry Flynt really have something meaningful to say about Christian relationship to other faiths? Is it something that you can't find from the non-disputed names? Or does allowing them in open the floodgates for any pop star or actor who got baptized because they married a Christian? To me that should be the real question if you wish to question the practice.--T. Anthony 19:00, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
These are really good questions. I wish I had really good answers to them. For what it's worth, these are the answers I do have.
Could Flynt, or some other parties, potentially have anything meaningful to say? Based on what little I know of the man, which isn't much, I would have to say that, at least potentially, he might. Certainly, he has made a number of public statements over the years, and, for all I know, might even have a regular column in his publications. It is certainly at least possible that he might have made the best bon mot on a specific point of religious observance or belief. I don't know the man's work enough to say anything one way or another, but I can't rule it out out of hand.
Unfortunately, I can think of no way to clearly and explicitly change the parameters for inclusion in such a way that we can say that "only those who have contributed to the furtherance of inter-religious dialogue will be included", as there are no uniform definitions of the terms themselves. When Flynt was proposed for inclusion in the list here, I agreed to his inclusion based on the existing parameters. But, I personally have no intention of myself listing all those individuals who I might find in the course of creating articles about saints to this list, particularly those who only achieved notability on the basis of their being martyrs, as such martyrdom doesn't really tell us much. I guess the best we can hope for, unless we can come up with a clear and definite set of parameters which would exclude "redundancies", is that the people who propose names for inclusion on the list show some good sense in not wanting to include the "redundancies". I can't be sure whether that'll happen, and if it doesn't I might propose either restructuring or even deleting the article myself. But, until and unless someone can contrive better parameters, that's what I have to hope will happen. John Carter 16:07, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
That said if the article were renamed "List of notable conversions to Christianity" the section would be useful and be worth keeping. In some cases insincere or temporary conversions did become historically notable. It'd also maybe open up to certain cases where a nation or group converted as that's already done in List of notable converts to Judaism.--T. Anthony 19:08, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
This is actually a similar to the reasoning behind the inclusion of Dylan and these other individuals. Additionally, the nation conversions would be a good bit of info- Armenia comes to mind immediately. --C.Logan 19:42, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
You have again cited a wikipedia policy/guideline/essay that you do not understand. WP:TE relates to problem editors. Its second line reads: the term also carries the connotation of repetitive attempts to insert or delete content which is resisted by multiple other editors. This perfectly describes your involvement with this article, including the endless repetition of your POV-filled talk page musings. You should closely read the section entitled WP:TE#Characteristics_of_problem_editors since you have violated nearly every item in the list. JJay 15:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

JJay -- You need to take note of the more basic fact that proselytization is not permitted on Wikipedia. Proselytization is in direct conflict with Wikipedia's principle of neutral point of view. We don't endorse a religion on Wikipedia. That should be obvious to you. Bus stop 16:02, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

What is obvious to me is that you have been repeatedly pushing the same POV here for far too long. What should be obvious to you is that you have made these absurd "proselytization" accusations for weeks and months without any proof and without convincing the vast majority of users here. Dylan's conversion is documented. You need to start coming to grips with that. To get you started, here are some quotes from notable Christian "proselytizers":
  • In late 1978 Dylan himself was busy being born again. His widely-publicized conversion to Christianity made him perhaps the most famous Jewish apostate in American history Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991
  • Dylan has, if only from the ironic sideline, taken part in --and sung at-- the deepest spiritual crises of his generation of American Jews: the drama of the civil rights struggle, the comforts and exoticism of the Jewish homeland, and the spiritual excitements of Lubavitch. He also became a Christian--the one leader he followed--and never really looked back and renounced it Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991[8]
  • Elie Wiesel wrote to me [and said] he had considered Dylan's conversion a tragedy and hoped that efforts to reach him would succeed. Marshall- Bob Dylan's Unshakeable Monotheism -- Part IV: The 1990s,Jewsweek, 2004 [9]
  • "During the conversion thing, I went where I was told. I was aware that it mattered to him. He's never done anything half-assed. If he does anything, he goes fully underwater" Jakob Dylan, JAKOB'S LADDER Part 2, Rolling Stone, 1997
  • ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC.

JJay 16:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Let's keep in mind that this whole response is based upon Bus stop's own unsupported assumption about the motivations of other editors. What responses and arguments are presented to Bus stop seem to make little difference to him; he prefers to remain within his constructed view of the discussion. --C.Logan 16:37, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I assume the second from last comment above is from User:Bus stop, given it's tone, although I note that he for whatever reason did not sign it. I also note once again charges, in this case proselytization, are being raised against the majority of editors who have agreed to keep the article in his recent nomination of it for deletion and in the comments of the majority of those editors who have already responded to the existing request for comment. On that basis, I believe it would be reasonable to ask whether his own comments, which clearly reflect a viewpoint not held by the majority of other editors who have commented on this article, particularly considering his own refusal to offer substantiation of his comments in any neutral and verifiable sources, could be seen as qualifying as tendentious editing by the terms he himself cited. I personally would be more than willing to seek other matters, such as mediation. However, the above user has already refused to accept such mediation as per here. So, on the basis of his seeming to refuse to seek any means of resolving this conflict, and his repeated statement of positions which have already been apparently rejected in the deletion discussion here, I believe that there is more than sufficient cause to believe that the way in which that editor is continuing to conduct himself may well be problematic and clearly and explicitly conforms to his own point of view, which the majority of editors in this discussion to date seem to have indicated they believe to be far from neutral. John Carter 15:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- We are not permitted to contradict ourselves on Wikipedia. The title of the article is List of notable converts to Christianity. How can Dylan be on it if he isn't even a Christian? The word "converts" in the title is a noun. The noun "converts" refers to Christians. But Dylan isn't a Christian. You therefore contradict yourself by putting Dylan on a list whose title indicates it's a list of Christians. Please remove the contradiction from this article. Bus stop 16:10, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Please point out specifically where the contradiction to which you are pointing exists. The title of the article indicates that those included must have been converts to Christianity. The introductory text specifically goes on to state that inclusion is not in any way, shape, or form a reflection of the subject's current religious beliefs. Frankly, I see no contradiction. Please specificy exactly where the contradiction you refer to exists, and exactly how it is a contradiction. I would welcome a direct response to the questions posted here. Otherwise, until and unless the inherent contradiction in the terms of the article itself is specified, as opposed to a contradiction only perceived by editors who seek to impose their own POV on the article, there can be no reasonable discussion of the subject. As already pointed out, there can be no discussion without all parties involved having a clear idea as to the subject. Also, please note that we are not here to discuss anyone's opinions on what the content of the article should be are, but rather what the content of the article is. If you believe that the terms for inclusion should be changed, then I once again urge you to accept mediation of the matter involving an outside party, or perhaps take note of the comments which have already come in on the extant request for comment, which seem to generally support the existence of the article in its current state. But as stated above by myself and others, your own conduct to date, at least in the eyes of those who have spoken on it, clearly does qualify as tendentious editing. John Carter 16:23, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
The noun phrase is actually "converts to Christianity", a descriptor which most certainly applies to Mr. Dylan. It seems that you are now attempting to split hairs in regard to the grammar of the title to take ground for your argument. This isn't the sort of "gotcha" situation where you can alter the content of the article by using grammar tricks with the title- the intention of the list has been clear since it's inception to list "converts to Christianity", not "Christians".--C.Logan 16:37, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

The creator of this article was cognizant of the problematic nature of this article at its inception. That's why the initial iteration of this article, which only contains on it Dylan and two other people, felt the necessity to point out next to Dylan's name that he was not in fact a Christian, but that he was a Jew. It is surprising that this improper listing has persisted as long as it has. It is known that Wikipedians hail primarily from industrialized and nominally Christian countries and this article only reinforces the fact of that. What this article has become is a locus of abuse. Proselytization is embodied in the placement of non-Christians on this list. That is a manifestation of the bias that is known to exist on Wikipedia. I don't enjoy engaging in this dispute, by the way. But I am indignant about the abuse of Wikipedia and the offense of forcing a person who is not even a Christian onto a list that clearly should only be of Christians. I think the insistence displayed by the handful of editors I primarily communicate with in this dispute is only indicative of the privileged status that those editors think the systemic bias of Wikipedia bestows upon them. Contrivance such as is seen here should never be tolerated. Dylan is not a Christian. That indicates he doesn't belong on a list of converts. He is not a convert to anything. He is a person who was born a Jew and had an encounter with Christian identity that was over almost as soon as it began. That was a long time ago. Association with the Orthodox of Brooklyn, New York does not even sway the determination of the small handful of editors here that he is not a Christian. We have a small group of editors determined to turn Wikipedia to do their promotion of Christianity. The contrast is too great. One cannot overlook that the person that they want to place on a list of converts to Christianity has in point of fact in recent years taken up association with actually pious and highly observant Jews. Dylan need not be pious. He need only be Jewish by birth. That he is. But that he takes up associating with the austere lifestyle of highly religious Jews is clear enough indication of his religious mindset. I for one cannot possibly overlook the point of view pushing going on on this article. This article should have been corrected on the day of its inception. It is really only the systemic bias on Wikipedia that has overridden Wikipedia's neutrality policy in this article. I think this article has been the locus of abuse for a long time. Bus stop 18:17, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

What is obvious to me is that you have been repeatedly pushing the same POV here for far too long. What should be obvious to you is that you have made these absurd "proselytization" accusations for weeks and months without any proof and without convincing the vast majority of users here. Dylan's conversion is documented. You need to start coming to grips with that. To get you started, here are some quotes from notable Christian "proselytizers":
  • In late 1978 Dylan himself was busy being born again. His widely-publicized conversion to Christianity made him perhaps the most famous Jewish apostate in American history Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991
  • Dylan has, if only from the ironic sideline, taken part in --and sung at-- the deepest spiritual crises of his generation of American Jews: the drama of the civil rights struggle, the comforts and exoticism of the Jewish homeland, and the spiritual excitements of Lubavitch. He also became a Christian--the one leader he followed--and never really looked back and renounced it Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991[10]
  • Elie Wiesel wrote to me [and said] he had considered Dylan's conversion a tragedy and hoped that efforts to reach him would succeed. Marshall- Bob Dylan's Unshakeable Monotheism -- Part IV: The 1990s,Jewsweek, 2004 [11]
  • "During the conversion thing, I went where I was told. I was aware that it mattered to him. He's never done anything half-assed. If he does anything, he goes fully underwater" Jakob Dylan, JAKOB'S LADDER Part 2, Rolling Stone, 1997
  • ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC.
JJay 16:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Good God, Bus stop- how many times must the same points be explained to you before you drop your baseless preconceived notions about the other editors involved?
I suppose this is a hellish thing: being involved with an individual who doesn't listen, doesn't provide sources, jumps to conclusions based on tenuously-linked occurrences, and then accuses editors who have already presented their cases reasonably (several times, one should note) of 'proselytizing'. It's the same tired argument from you, over and over again.
As I've said, Bus stop, you can take your unsupported opinions to Blogger or some similar site, where you can rant and rave all you'd like about the 'injustice' of placing an 'individual who converted to Christianity' on a 'list of individuals who converted to Christianity'.
It's exasperating to see you persistently accuse other editors of warping Wikipedia to 'proselytize' or 'promote' their religion, and then only offer up the same b.s. argument (as if it's going to convince anyone that your accusations are the product of any more than a personal issue over a factual occurrence with which you still refuse to come to terms). You are defaming the other editors involved with your frequent implications, and it's getting extremely tiresome when your 'evidence' for such accusations is nothing but your own personal opinion.--C.Logan 19:58, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Bob Dylan is still alive. Has anyone thought to communicate with him on this subject? Would he take offense at being included on this list? Would he take offense at his conversion, however brief, being equated to a historical fact like (in Ttiotsw's words) being a "murderer"?
The idea of "conversion" would seem to be that, after some life as an adult, the "notable person" decides that some (other) religion is preferable, makes a change, and retains the new conviction, at least while remaining in the public eye. In the case of Bob Dylan that would seem to not be the case. Quoting from the Bob Dylan article, Dylan has since participated in many Jewish rituals, and, In a September 28, 1997, interview appearing in The New York Times, journalist Jon Pareles reported that "Dylan says he now subscribes to no organized religion."
Religion is, or should be, a private matter. If a person doesn't want to talk about it, where do Wikipedia list-compilers get off insisting he or she is, or even was, this or that? I hate to say it, but in my opinion Bus stop is right. --Wfaxon 19:30, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
No, I don't believe that Bob Dylan would take offense at being included on a list of individuals who converted to Christianity when he did, indeed, convert to Christianity. Additionally, Ttiotsw statement is not to be a comparison between the two sorts of acts themselves, but of the historical relevance of the occurrences which take place in an individuals life. That an individual changes the course of his lifestyle later in life no more erases the noteworthy factuality of his conversion to another religion (and one, might I add, which has been widely publicized and discussed during the course of his career) than it erases other dramatic events in ones life (even considering, as Ttiotsw said, murder).
A conversion is essentially a change from one idea to another (in the most general sense), and further great changes in life do not negate the previous occurrences. Additionally, other editors and I are fully awart of the complicated religious scenario in which Dylan seems to find himself (or rather, place himself). I've argued continuously with Bus stop, who, despite quotations like the above, believes that if an individual is not actively negating his birth religion, then he should be considered an adherent of it. I don't believe I need to point out the gap in logic here, which is made even wider by the fact that Dylan has made the whole of his private business unavailable to the public eye in recent years.
And in regard to your last point, I note WP:BLP: In the case of significant public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable, third-party published sources to take material from, and Wikipedia biographies should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is notable, relevant, and well-documented by reliable published sources, it belongs in the article — even if it's negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it.
We are not motivated to censor widely-reported happenings merely because the individual has taken a private stance on such matters recently. And fact, we make no big issue about his current beliefs; we are reporting the occurrence of an event which is widely attested and was made by Dylan during a very public stage of his life. I've seen sources which claim several different possibilities for his current religious scenario. As such, I've always argued that we should make his apparent disinterest in Christianity clear, but should not make a clear statement about his current faith (until a stronger source for such information can be obtained.
In contrast, Bus stop puts fragments of evidence together to assert that Dylan must be a Jew, although the criterion by which he comes to his conclusions would also consider several denominations of Christians as 'Jews', which is a fact I feel is worth mentioning when we're talking about an individual whom sources reveal to be a syncreticist in regard to his religious ideas.--C.Logan 19:58, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
It is largely because the subject in question has never actually said anything definitive one way or another that the argument for inclusion of the subject has been based. As he has, to the best of anyone's knowledge, never specifically renounced his Christianity, it can be said that there is no good reason to not include him on this list. The fact that Dylan has refused to speak publicly about the subject in any clear way puts us in a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" spot. On that basis, I, and I think the others who disagree with Bus stop, think that Dylan's extremely public and documented conversion may well be enough for his inclusion in the list, particularly as he has never said anything definitive himself. While it is a compromise, which by definition doesn't necessarily please everyone, it also seems to be the most directly verifiable way of dealing with the subject. In a sense, we might be just as likely to be, at this point, sued for not including him where he does belong as including him where he doesn't belong. This way, including him but qualifying that inclusion with statements which might seem to clarify the situation, seems at least to me the best way to go, as it clarifies the verifiable data. The fact that he has recently permitted a book of his Christian addresses from stage to be published can be cited as being sufficient cause to say that he has wanted to talk about it, and that would probably be considered sufficient cause, with his two "Christian" records, to say that this subject is at the very least notable in regards to the subject. It would also presumably be enough to indicate that it is not a specifically "private" matter, as those statements have been both made and reprinted publicly. And, as we all know, such notability is the real basis for most everything we do here. It would be very problematic to try to contact Dylan himself, as we couldn't even necessarily verify the source of a comment even if it was from him. Unfortunately. I hope this clarifies part of the position of those seeking inclusion a little. John Carter 19:44, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I have no objection to any or all of this information being included in Dylan's biography. I guess what I'm objecting to is including it in a list that by its nature is POV-pushing. The two great universal proselytizing religions, Christianity and Islam, are going to get a lot of converts one way or another. Even Atheists love to brag about how many scientists are not religious. This Wikipedia list seems to be saying, "Hey, look how many we've bagged!" --Wfaxon 21:30, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that really isn't as I see it the primary cause for these lists. As I've stated before, lists of this type allow people who are interested in comparing and contrasting belief systems to hopefully be able to find individuals who are directly familiar with both their old and new belief systems. Such people might well be the best able to make reasonable, informed statements on how those belief systems differ. Right now, wikipedia has a real lack of such information, and lists like this, until further information comes along, are probably the closest thing we have to content relevant to inter-religious affairs and comparative religion. John Carter 21:37, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, so here's at least one small positive suggestion: We have articles on Religious conversion and Comparative religion. At least add to this page, Category:Religious conversion and Category:Religious comparison (hmmm, can't wikilink categories here). It already has the category Category:Converts to Christianity, which doesn't seem to be connected to anything at a higher level. In fact this whole business of categories vs. lists needs a rethink, and not only in this area. --Wfaxon 22:45, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the Category:Converts to Christianity is a second-level subcat of Category:Religious conversion already. The newly created (still formative, though) Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/Inter-religious content task force uses that categories parent cat, Category:Interfaith topics, as its category. Like I said, though, the new subproject is still in only the beginning stages, so a lot of things have still to be worked out. We would welcome any parties interested in it who think they could contribute, though. John Carter 22:51, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I guess the categories are in a separate namespace or something since the "What links here" toolbox thingie didn't list any parent (sigh). --Wfaxon 23:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

JJay -- What you need to come to terms with is that you are citing sources that relate to the time period of 1980. By 2007 you have a Jew associating with the very observant Jews known as the Lubovitch of Brooklyn, New York. That is important. He was born a Jew and in the 27 years between 1980 and the present day you have a Jew choosing to seek out a highly pious sect of Jews. That is indicative of his Jewish orientation. Why would you think otherwise? There is no indication he has had anything to do with Christianity since 1980. Does that indicate ongoing Christian interest? He need not be pious himself. But what we see is the gravitation to pious Jews. There is a picture on the Internet of him wearing the highly arcane religious adornment known as "phylacteries." I hope you are aware that phylacteries are associated with Judaism, not Christianity. He is also in that same picture wearing the traditional Jewish scull cap, known as a "yarmulke." Your sources that allow you to use the word conversion in relation to him in 1980 lose all significance and applicability by 2007. In 2007 Dylan is not a convert to anything. In 2007 he is of the same religion he was born with. I think you are overlooking the obvious. And if you don't know why I am using the word proselytization in relation to this article, then try to explain in other terms how it comes to be that someone who is Jewish gets labeled a Christian on this article. That's proselytization. That's clearly a misrepresentation of a living person and that is a twisting of Wikipedia to serve a Christian purpose. Bus stop 19:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, absence of data does not itself necessarily qualify as presence of denying data. And please try to post your comments directly below those of the parties you are responding to, as doing otherwise gives the false impression that you are actually responding to comments directly above your own, which is clearly and explicitly not the case in this instance. John Carter 19:54, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
For the hundredth(?) time, the biographies and articles such as the Jewsweek piece clearly explain away these 'arguments'. For example, the phylacteries image was taken at his son's bar mitzvah, in which, as the sources explain, he was involved from a Christian perspective (a similar explanation is given for his involvement with the Lubavitchers). The Jewsweek article offers the following analysis:
The most recent Dylan biographer, Howard Sounes, covered the 1983 event in this fashion: "In fact, Jesse was on vacation in Israel with his grandmother, Beatty, when they discovered a bar mitzvah could be conducted quickly and easily at the Wailing Wall and Bob simply flew in to play his part. He still believed Jesus Christ was the Messiah, and kept a broadly Christian outlook, although he had not maintained regular contact with the Vineyard Fellowship since the early flush of his conversion."
[...]
"I don't think he ever left his Jewish roots," said Paul Emond, when asked about Dylan's attending his sons' bar mitzvahs and studying with the Lubavitchers. Emond was one of the two Vineyard pastors who visited Dylan in 1979, and said that the 1983 meetings took place at the request of the Lubavitchers. "I think he [Dylan] is one of those fortunate ones who realized that Judaism and Christianity can work very well together because Christ is just Yeshua ha' Meshiah [Jesus the Messiah] ... They can't take the fact that he was able to come to the discovering of his Messiah as being Jesus. Jews always look at their own people as traitors when they come to that kind of faith ... when one of their important figures is 'led astray,' they're going to do everything they can to get him back again."
[...]
Even Mitch Glaser, the man who distributed gospel tracts for Jews for Jesus at Dylan's 1979 shows in San Francisco, wasn't disturbed by Dylan's presence at such a special event: "Well, first of all, the fact that he attended, or paid for, or encouraged his son's bar mitzvah, this would be normal for a Jewish dad. The fact is, there's a real bad presumption in all this: and that is that when you become a believer in Jesus, you don't have a bar mitzvah. And that is really, for the most part, false. I mean, I had a bat mitzvah for my daughters, and I would say lots of Messianic Jews [Jewish believers in Jesus] have bar mitzvahs for their kids. And so that's not disturbing at all."
[...]
"His support for Chabad is not at all disturbing because a lot of us support Jewish causes. It's not like we became Christians and all of a sudden we're no longer Jews," remarked Mitch Glaser. "We're very much Jews ... but it wouldn't matter to Chabad [if Dylan still believed in Jesus], that would not keep them from inviting him. They're not like that. They would be very confident that doing anything with Chabad would be a mitzvah. Mitzvah means a commandment. You know, that Dylan would be fulfilling a commandment to God and that God would only bless him for doing that, and it would be a way to get him back into [his] Judaism."
Dylan also videotaped a public service announcement for Chabad, lending his support for their drug rehabilitation and education programs. However maddening it might be for many a fan, Dylan's belief in Jesus and his Jewish heritage didn't pose a problem (if this is not the case, it seems many would be more than willing to diagnose Dylan with a case of spiritual schizophrenia).
Once again, this is all derived from "Jewsweek", a Jewish newsletter that really has no reason to offer apologetics for Dylan's conversion, but seem to do so anyway. As these are the commonly cited 'reasons' behind your half-baked assertions, I felt that it should be noted that the sources contradicted your presentation of these events quite some time ago.--C.Logan 20:33, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Not that this is relevant to anything, but Don Feder, conservative columnist and president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation[12], once wrote a column in which he quipped that the group calling itself Jews for Jesus, made about as much sense as having one called Catholics for Buddha.  :) --Wfaxon 23:01, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • No, I'm citing souces by Jews from Jewish publications that call Dylan a convert to Christianity and an apostate. That may be shocking to your obsessive POV, but those are all WP:RS by Jews and for Jews that confirm that Dylan converted - something you refuse to accept. Of course, I could also cite all the mainstream bios and articles that confirm the same thing. And no matter how much you pompously babble on about "phylacteries" and "yarmulkes", no matter how many long-winded opinion opuses you share with us, you have not cited any reputable sources to confirm that Dylan renounced his conversion. All you are doing is trying to throw up a smokescreen built of logical falacies, unproven assertions and internet pictures - but dancing with rabbis doesn't make you a jew. --JJay 20:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Here's an idea. If everyone ignores Bus stop, maybe, just maybe, he'll stop reposting the same things he has repeated over and over again. Then maybe he'll move on to other things, as obviously he believes he is above WP:Consensus. Drumpler 00:49, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
How come is it that just about every debate involving who's a Jew and who isn't, Messianic Judaism is brought up? I thought being a "Jew" was about "race", not about religion? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that they don't hold to the tenets and teachings of Orthodox Judaism? Are Karaite Jews even Jews?
I know, unrelated, but I'm responding to an equally unrelated comment above. Drumpler 01:17, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

There is no more time for this charade to go on. This charade has gone on long enough. It has gone on since January of 2006. If the individual is not Christian, they don't belong on this list. There are good reasons why that is so. But committed editors who want that perversion will argue endlessly against a rational use of this list. This list is probably best deleted. The same small group of committed editors will probably always abuse this list as long as it is in existence. I feel this article should be deleted because the contradiction that is central to it is unsupportable by any rational reasoning or any rational people. The out of control emotions of proselytizers for Christianity has to be reigned in by one means or another. If this list ultimately is deleted so be it. Promotion of religion on Wikipedia is totally unconscionable and that's what this baloney is totally about. Bus stop 01:42, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Another block of opinionated statements passed as rational arguments. Once again, the only individual who considers proselytization as an essential element in this discussion is you- and this is a claim you base upon... well, absolutely nothing save for your own 'intuition' (if you will).
Editors in opposition to you have repeatedly outlined the reasoning behind their arguments, they have gone out of their way to provide reliable sources for the information, and they have repeatedly warned you about your consistent personal attacks- and I can assure you, accusing individuals of functioning in a deceitful manner without evidence to support your claims is an 'attack'. You are defaming productive editors by portraying them as dishonest ones; individuals who are willing to 'warp rules' to win 'prize converts' for their religion. This is insulting.
In the mean time, while other editors base their arguments on policies and general reason, you are the one editor who has consistently involved historical/racial/theological issues which are entirely irrelevant to the argument and the editors at hand. Essentially, with such comparisons, you've attempted to equate the editors who disagree with you with every monstrous individual in Christian history. I'm glad, at least, that I'm not on the side of the discussion making such b.s. arguments/accusations.
Please, get a clue. Read the responses presented to you, as it is uncertain if you've devoted the most of your attention to this discussion. You refuse to 'get' what we're trying to say because it seems you have already condemned us and our arguments based upon your preconceptions.--C.Logan 02:59, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it is a foregone conclusion by anyone with a rational mindset that the List of notable converts to Christianity is a locus of proselytizing Christian sentiment. Wikipedia is not about serving the needs of Christian proselytization. I should "get a clue?" I would say the same to you. Bus stop 03:22, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
The problem arises when you prejudicially apply your theories to individuals with whom you have no prior experience. Christians as well as atheists have disagreed with your argument. Are the latter also attempting to promote Christianity?
The fact that such groups are in agreement over this issue should cause you to rethink your assumption that the opposing argument is based on 'serving the needs of Christian proselytization'. Of course, it seems that the only circumstance in which your unsourced, unsupported argument could have any measure of merit is one which portrays the argument as a case of "Bus stop vs. The Christian proselytizers"- a portrayal which has no basis in fact.
Your characterization of the Christian editors involved is only a signification of your warped view of the discussion. The only situation in which one could find any substance in your "opposing editors = acting in the interest of proselytizing" argument is if the reader were to completely ignore all the responses and arguments made by these same 'opposing editors'.--C.Logan 04:39, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Well yes, as the person who equated a former conversion to Christianity with being a former murderer I consider the implementations of Christianity to be quite simply political insidious, irreversibly corrupted by money and lust for power, unnatural and antihuman so I agree that Wikipedia is not about serving the needs of Christian proselytization. Bus stop we agree on something but I can't see how your answer relates to me as a person. The basis of my edits are Wikipedia my interpretations of the policies and guidelines not my supposed faith. You're not characterising editors now are you ?.
Unless its about editing spelling mistakes, grammar or bringing in new material on new entries or existing entries (excluding Dylan) can we wait for Mediation to kick off ? These circular arguments are making me dizzy. Ttiotsw 07:31, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm tired of being labled an anti-semite and Christian proselytizer. There are some editors who hold conflicting views from mine, but who are reasonable, civil, and open to discussion and possible compromise. There are some who hold similar views to mine, who have occassionally over-personalized the matter. But then, the mud slinging and gross mischaractarization, the ceaseless harping on insupportable assertions, the dull and senseless repetitions, the slander, and stubborn refusal to listen, all in evidence in Bus Stop's postings, are getting maddening. Bus Stop, we get it... you're passionate about the subject. But it's time to come to terms with the fact that even athiests like me who have no interest in religion, and no racial biases, but are only concerned with fair and accurate reporting of facts, can sometimes disagree with you. Your rants are simply an obstacle to discussion between reasonable people seeking a reasonable solution. It's quite reasonable to report on the fact that Dylan (and others) converted to Christianity. The objection that they should not be listed as "converts," is fairly addressed by the compromise that sections them out and makes explicit the fact that they later changed their faith (or that their later faith is indeterminate). The minority point of view (your point of view, Bus Stop) has been represented here by this compromise, and the explanatory notes. This does not in any way serve a Christian cause... how could it benefit Christians to highlight the fact that several notable converts may have abandoned Christianity? Well, everything you've meant to say has been beaten to death and then beaten to dust. If you want to try a new tactic, call me a Communist. It's equally inaccurate to your other accusations, but at least it's novel. zadignose 17:20, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

This is not a comment about any individual editor.

No list of converts to Christianity should have as its primary focus a Jew. I think the raison d'être of this list is Bob Dylan. I think there is an obsession here with Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is a Jew possessing great charisma. Philosemitism and antisemitism are related. Both involve obsession with Jews. Forced conversion, as historically practiced, clearly involved an obsession with Jews. In forced conversion, Christians could not be content merely to be Christians. They had to convert Jews to Christianity. That is a historical fact.

Bob Dylan is of extreme importance to this list. Bob Dylan shouldn't be central to this list. Bob Dylan shouldn't even be peripheral to this list. Bob Dylan shouldn't be on this list at all. This list should only consist of Christians. The Wikipedia Christianity project should put people who converted to Christianity and are Christians on this list. It is a wrong; it is an injustice; it falls outside of basic Wikipedia guidelines to put any person not of a given religion on a list of converts to that religion. The contrivances used to effectuate this illogical use of a list merely circumvent Wikipedia's neutrality principle. That is objectionable to me and I don't think that is supportable by a variety of general Wikipedia guidelines. Bus stop 04:48, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect you, and maybe the list's creator, seem to be more obsessed with Bob Dylan than any other editor here. I've checked this article off and of for about a year without thinking much about whether Dylan was on it or not. I don't really care for Dylan's music, his voice grates on me, or his personality. I think the question about including reverts is valid and should be brought up on other conversion lists. The obsession with Dylan, not only by you but primarily by you, is the kind of petty waste of time that makes Wikipedia somewhat ludicrous on matters of religion.--T. Anthony 05:20, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Mediation

Given the level of rhetoric I'm seeing here, I'd say the request for mediation is a very good idea.--Isotope23 01:53, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

agree--Sefringle 07:27, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
The sooner the better. However, a question. If the mediation is (once again) not accepted by one or more parties, what would be the next step? John Carter 14:48, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
It's premature to conjecture about that at this time. Suffice to say that if no mediation happens, then other avenues of dispute resolution will need to be pursued.--Isotope23 14:56, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
MedCab doesn't require one or more parties. Sr13 07:17, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Mediator

I will try my hand at my first MedCab case and read the discussion... Sr13 05:20, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Wow. I am shocked to see that no one has tried to at least calm this over-a-month-long dispute. I believe that there has been too much talk and less resolution, so I will resolve by being straightforward. I will start a poll, discussion, and notes section henceforth. Sr13 07:01, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, we have already asked in the past to (1) have the article deleted (by Bus stop - see the most recent AfD above), (2) requested comment for RfC, and (3) requested formal mediation. The RfC comments can be found on the archived page, and the request for formal mediation failed because one party would not sign on to it, as shown here. John Carter 15:38, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I see...we'll see if MedCab can resolve this issue. Sr13 18:22, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Poll

Several statements/questions will be presented, and there will be no discussion; that is appropriate in the discussion section. Say either Agree or Disagree, and give a concise explanation for your decision.

This is an article about a list of converts to Christianity, regardless of what has occured afterward

  • Disagree This is a list of people who converted to Christisnity and are Christians today, or when they died. This is necessary for consistency and to not confuse our readers into thinking someone who isn't a Christian is.--Sefringle 08:33, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree I think the "disagree" camp is largely doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, but I think it is the right thing regardless.--T. Anthony 09:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC) Withdrawn, but not switched. Consider me essentially "non-voting."--T. Anthony 01:54, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree Ttiotsw 14:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree - While I could potentially agree that the list could be limited to only those active in Christianity at present or at or near the times of their deaths if consensus were to establish that, to the best of my knowledge there has been no attempt to determine consensus in that matter yet. And, while I note similar parties have been removed from the List of notable converts to Islam already, I believe that we might best proceed if we first created a consensus opinion for what should be included in such articles before using a standard which might not be found to be the consensus opinion. John Carter 15:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree - This type of conversion-reversion does not find an easy placement among the different lists, so we should duplicate the listings on the relevant lists (e.g. Dylan should be on List of Jews [considering that the definition applies to him regardless of faith), List of notable converts to Christianity, and probably List of former Christians). I don't see how any reader could be 'confused' about the listing when the description makes each individual's personal situation clear: Dylan converted to Christianity, and later fell away from it (and it should be noted that there have been a dearth of sources which confirm his current beliefs, though Bus stop is eager to make assumptions, hence the most current argument); any 'confusion' caused is not our problem, but the reader's (compare judging a book by its cover- any individual who does not take care in analyzing data needs to learn to do so; we do not need to dumb down Wikipedia's articles for these individuals), and considering the current format (with a different section, and more detailed descriptions), I doubt how anyone could still be 'confused' over the matter- and the data has its place on the page (which is the most appropriate page for listing an individual who converted to Christianity).--C.Logan 17:02, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree the article’s scope was only broadened during the course of this dispute so that Bob Dylan’s name did not have to be removed from the list. [13] This is inconsistent with the more strictly defined, clear-cut criteria connected to the convert lists of all other religious denominations. I see no valid editorial reason why the Christianity list should receive special treatment not afforded to all other religions on Wikipedia. Cleo123 01:14, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. In relation to Dylan, his Christianity had an obvious influence on his life. This article should cover notable converts to Christianity regardless of whether they reconverted because of the influence it had on their lives and careers. However, a disclaimer should be added stating the reason why the left (this has already been largely accomplished by the "former converts" list). Drumpler 08:41, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. The main reason is because it's impossible to make any claim about the current religious beliefs of living people, and for the majority of dead people it's impossible to know what their faith was at the end of their lives, because such matters are often of a personal nature. But the fact that a person publicly professed a faith at some time in their life is easy to document and verify. It's the only reasonably verifiable standard. Another compelling reason is that conversions that have a significant impact on the life of notable figures is worthy of note and documentation, and as long as the terms are clear, there's no harm, no distortion, and no abuse involved in simply noting this pivotal moment in a person's life. Thirdly, it should be considered that "this article addresses only past voluntary professions of faith by the individuals listed" is an accurate description of the list we have, while "this is a list of Christians" is an entirely unsupportable assertion which does not reflect the actual contents of the list. Many of those who have argued to define this as a "list of Christians" are fully aware that it's an inaccurate description, and they want to use it as a lever to force radical changes to the entire contents of the list... perhaps without thinking that it makes the entire list untenable.zadignose 14:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. I agree with everything zadignose says above. This is a list of notable conversions, just like every other list of this type. We have no way of verifying day-to-day religious practice/beliefs on a continuing, ongoing basis. But a conversion is verifiable and historically important. And for additional information, well, that's why god invented footnotes.--JJay 15:21, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Bob Dylan, at one point in time, was converted to Christianity

  • Agree - Ttiotsw 14:09, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree - John Carter 15:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree - C.Logan 16:34, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree - Tendancer 17:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC) In fact there is really no need to debate/poll on this per WP:RS. See http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9031669/Bob-Dylan among many other sources.
  • Agree - --T. Anthony 21:25, 2 June 2007 (UTC) (Although I think either answer to this question should be irrelevant and the discussion has revolved too much on Dylan) Withdrawn, I've decided to not "vote" on either matter.--T. Anthony 01:55, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree - Dylan appears to dispute a formal conversion to Born Again Christianity. See comment below. Cleo123 01:33, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree --Sefringle 03:22, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree Drumpler 08:39, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree This is well documented, and has had a significant impact on his career and public image. zadignose 14:47, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree. Confirmed by Encyclopedias, press reports, leading biographies, Jewish sources, Dylan interviews, etc. etc. --and Dylan has never renounced that conversion. --JJay 15:14, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

None of the above statements have any significance because no one (of the above people) know the answer to the posed question. Agreeing or disagreeing is just guesswork. Bus stop 01:30, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sigh...--C.Logan 01:39, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Discussion

Comments, questions, and statements may be placed here. All claims made here must be cited with a reliable source; any claims that are not may be removed without notice.

I disagree with the above statement of fact. As I pointed out during the AFD discussion, [14] there is no question that Dylan explored Christianity during the early 70’s, whether or not he formally converted is another question. Yes, there are reliable secondary sources available that claim Dylan converted to Born Again Christianity. However, this has been disputed by Dylan himself who has indicated that his conversion is a fabrication of the media. Dylan has stated, in part :
“I went to Bible school at an extension of this church out in the Valley in Reseda, California. It was affiliated with the church, but I'm not a believer in that born-again type thing…. The media make up a lot of these words for the definition of people. I mean, who's a person anymore? Everything's done for the media. If the media don't know about it, it's not happening. They'll take the littlest thing and make it spectacular. They're in the business of doing that… Spirituality is not a business, so it's going to go against the grain of people who are trying to exploit other people." [15]
As a formal conversion seems to be disputed by Dylan himself, Wikipedia should heir on the side of caution in accordance with WP:LIVING. Cleo123 01:31, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
He's said mixed things. In a 1984 Rolling Stone interview he says
  • "I would never call it that. I've never said I'm born again. That's just a media term." but then later he adds
  • "I believe in the Book of Revelation. The leaders of this world are eventually going to play God, if they're not already playing God, and eventually a man will come that everybody will think is God. He'll do things, and they'll say, 'Well, only God can do those things. It must be him."
  • Interviewer: You're a literal believer of the Bible?
  • Dylan "Yeah. Sure, yeah. I am."
  • Interviewer: Are the Old and New Testaments equally valid?
  • Dylan: "To me."
  • Interviewer: Do you belong to any church or synagogue?
  • Dylan: "Not really."[16]

So kind of mixed in a way. Still in it he says he believed in the New Testament and the Book of Revelation, at that time, so I'd say he was at least vaguely Christian. Again "at that time." At the same time he disliked the "born again" label and did not belong to any Church. (Not that it matters, the issue of including reverts shouldn't have revolved around one guy)--T. Anthony 02:41, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

I actually see no "dispute" of a conversion in the above statement. The closest thing to a dispute is the phrase "I'm not a believer in that born again type thing", which is clearly a present-tense construction, and says nothing about his beliefs at the time. Also, as a practicing Catholic, I can say most of the members of that church are also not believers in that "born again type thing", but are clearly Christians. The subsequent statements also seem to be more or less a criticism of the modern media, not a denial of any sort of conversion. John Carter 17:19, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Dylan doesn’t say that he “believes in” the New Testament, only that the Old & New Testaments are equally valid. Nowhere in the source provided does it state that Dylan converted to Christianity. The source supports my statement saying: “Despite his spiritual preoccupations, he insists that he's no prude ("I think I had a beer recently") and that his religious odyssey has been misrepresented in the press.”[17] Dylan’s statement that “eventually a man will come that everybody will think is God.” Indicates that he does not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah – he is apparently still waiting for the Messiah. This is the most fundamental difference between Judaism & Christianity. Had he converted, he would have had to accept Jesus Christ in that capacity. My point is that it is not a clear-cut matter and cannot be adequately addressed on a list. Cleo123 04:00, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Judaism, or Judaism since at least 200 AD, does not believe anyone will come that will be considered God. Judaism does not equate the Messiah to a God-Man. Still considering the New Testament to be as valid as the Old could just be some kind of "every religion is equal statement" and considering the things he said later in the interview that might be what it is. I'm not a Dylan fan though and I think there's been too much said on him so I'll stop now.--T. Anthony 04:13, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
"Eventually a man will come that everybody will think is God" does not mean that he does not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Christians generally believe that God came as Jesus, and he will come again... that's what's being referred to here, and that's to a large extent what the book of Revelations is about. zadignose 15:03, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
It should also be noted that the Apocalypse of John, which Dylan has stated he believes in, indicates that there will be a person coming whom everyone thinks is the Messiah. That book is taken as canonical by the majority of Christians, but that does not mean that the majority of Christians are not, in fact, Christians. John Carter 17:36, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Lets not forget the famous 1980 interview with Karen Hughes:
  • "It would have been easier", he sighed "If I had become, or a Buddhist, or a Scientologist or if I had gone to Sing Sing"..."Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up. Being born again is a hard thing. You ever seen a mother give birth to a child? Well it's painful. We don't like to lose those old attitudes and hang-ups. Conversion takes time because you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. You have to learn to drink milk before you can eat meat. You're re-born, but like a baby. A baby doesn't know anything about this world and that's what it's like when you're re-born. You're a stranger. You have to learn all over again. God will show you what you need to know.
  • "I guess He's always been calling me", Dylan said gently. "Of course, how would I have ever known that? That it was Jesus calling me. I always thought it was some voice that would be more identifiable. But Christ is calling everybody; we just turn him off. We just don't want to hear. We think he's gonna make our lives miserable, you know what I mean. We think he's gonna make us do things we don't want to do. Or keep us from doing things we want to do. But God's got his own purpose and time for everything. He knew when I would respond to His call.''[18] --JJay 02:58, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I question the reliability of this source. It seems unusual that an Ohio based journalist could not get a one on one interview with Bob Dylan published in the United States. The link provided states that the article is reprinted from the New Zealand newspaper, The Dominion. It would appear that this newspaper is now known as The Dominion Post, which is a joint business-publishing venture with The Press of Christchurch.[19] With all due respect, that does not strike me as a neutral and unbiased source of information. Cleo123 04:07, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Because it's a conservative paper? Because it's based with the Press of Christchurch, New Zealand? Is that press Christian or biased?--T. Anthony 04:17, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I also find that the above editor is adding additional parameters beyond those included in Wikipedia:Reliable sources#What is a reliable source?. That section cites only three parameters, and, while I agree that it might not be "authoritative in relation to the subject at hand", the last parameter, I also note that that clause is preceded by the word OR, meaning that it is not necessarily an absolute requirement for something to be counted as reliable. Of course, if it can be indicated that the source does not meet the two criteria, or fails in some other way, I would be willing to revise my opinion based on the evidence presented to support that contention. John Carter 17:58, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

At WP:VERIFY the very fist sentence states, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." There exist sources that satisfy Wikipedia's requirement for the use of "conversion" in the 1979 period. Wikipedia requires verifiability, not truth. We do not have truth, because nothing even approaching an account of a formalized conversion process exists. We merely have supposition. One individual states that Baptism took place, but he knows neither the time nor the place. Clearly he was not there. He says it took place some time during a few day period of time. He say it took place "probably in the ocean." Does that sound like an eyewitness to said conversion? With such flimsy evidence, actually no evidence at all, it would be irresponsible to say that actual conversion to Christianity for Dylan ever took place. The word is used. The word is tossed around. But there is certainly no evidence anyone has turned up for formalized conversion. At best there are the suppositions of the above one individual. Now, if you are talking about whether Wikipedia can use the term conversion relating to the time period of 1979 certainly they can. That usage is established by reliable sources. But the fact of conversion for Dylan is very much in doubt. One person's supposition does not establish fact. Bus stop 05:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, Bus stop, I suppose I agree with you on this. Of course, anyone can doubt or believe anything they'd like. I don't see the sources' claim with such scrutiny as you, but I'm glad to see that we agree that as far as Wikipedia is concerned, the sources say what they say (factual or not). I've doubted the validity of many claims of conversion (a recent example being Michel Aflaq, a famous secularist whose 'deathbed conversion' claim by the government seems like simple propaganda), but I know that my own opinions and scrutiny can not take precedence over the claims of sources. --C.Logan 06:09, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm thinking we should remove Dylan just so we can have an actual conversation about including reverts or not. If this is only about Dylan it's selective and a total waste of time. If only we also had Sikhs complaining that Duleep Singh's conversion was "in unclear circumstances before he turned 15" and that reverts shouldn't be here.--T. Anthony 05:37, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I think all former Christians need to be removed from this list. There is no reason to have any former Christian on this list, except ad populum propaganda. It somehow makes certian people feel that if there are a lot of converts, their religion is somehow more true. That is part of the reason why these lists get long. I see no other reason to include former Christians other than to make this list longer.--Sefringle 05:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The only problem with this argument (and as I've watched articles like List of notable converts to Islam, I know exactly what you're saying) is that there is no 'promotion in the inclusion of these names. As has been mentioned, these are individuals who have left Christianity, i.e. found it unsatisfactory or found it to be a falsehood. What propaganda comes from noting individuals who have left a faith? I watch List of notable converts to Islam and List of notable former Muslims, and I notice that some users add names to the former list with unreliable sources, and simultaneously delete listings on the latter list by using a harsh (but sometimes warranted) standard for sources. Propagandists don't want to show the ones who've left a cause. It's about joining- and staying. I understand your argument, but I don't see how it even applies here, especially considering a proposal such as the separate section. --C.Logan 06:09, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
It is the same thing. Both are propaganda. Muslims who try Proselytize non-muslims state that because there are so many converts to Islam, Islam must be true, and you should convert to Islam. Similarly, people who try Proselytizing muslims say look at all the former muslims out there, so Islam must be false. That is the whole reason why some try to make one list longer and another list shorter. At the same time, Proselytizers want good people on their list, while at the same time, they want bad people on the other list, that way they can say that the other group is bad, and their group is good. That is why the List of notable converts to Islam list, non-muslims are the ones adding terrorists, while the muslims often try to remove the terrorists from the list of converts. They realize it makes conversion to Islam look bad, and that makes their Proselytizing goals harder to acheive. The same is true for Christianity.--Sefringle 20:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
[Pardon the placement, John, but you beat me with an edit conflict.]
I'm familiar with the common tactics on List of notable converts to Islam, as my watchlist is filled with tales of Wraith re-adding the same block of text repeatedly, terrorists getting deleted (or at least their descriptions being vanilla-fied.
However, again, how does this apply here? We're not debating descriptions or attempting to remove unsavory characters. In fact, as Bus stop presumes, Bob Dylan would appear to be a 'prize' of sorts- so if proselytizing was the issue why would a so-called 'prize' be listed as one who later left the religion (which, by the way, is a claim made by no known sources beyond Jewish community sites; you be the judge, but note the great scrutiny which was applied by Bus stop to prove conversion in the first place).
Obviously, if you want to use 'good' and 'bad' terms, then Dylan would be a 'good' listing- so why would the editors involved in the argument argue continuously to keep Dylan's place with a clear notice that he is no longer a Christian (even, as a hope to satiate the insatiable stance of Bus stop, to move him into a separate section entirely, so we can get on with more important issues).
As you've said, 'they want bad people on the other list (which, although you're referring to the other religion's list, pertains also to the sub-section proposed- a list of former Christians who had come to the religion by conversion)', but Dylan is most certainly a 'good person'. I wonder how such an argumentan be presented when the circumstances are quite the opposite: these editors are arguing to keep a 'good person' on a 'bad list'. This seems to run roughly against claims of proselytizing on the part of the other editors.
Additionally, the great passion and disbelief which Bus stop exhibits concerning his continued resistance of conversion claims seems far more like the strong-willed religionists who live in denial of conversions away from their faith (and honestly, I've seen this mindset most commonly in fervent Muslim individuals, claiming that the individuals were not "true Muslims"). This is not to say that his scrutiny is unwarranted, but his behavior parallels your examples more than the editors who argue for Dylan to remain on the list: he is working to keep a 'good person' (whom he himself has termed a 'prize') off of a list for the 'other religion'- even when this list makes it clear that Dylan's current status is uncertain, and he may not be a Christian (which really is all we can say for many of the individuals on the list, with a dearth of sources on the matter). --C.Logan 21:08, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
It applies here for the exact same reason. You, as a Christian, have a pro-Christian bias. You probably want people to convert to Christianity. Including Dylan on this list makes the list longer. List size is just as important, if not more important than who actually is on the list. That is the whole purpose of the ad populum argument. By including former Christians on this list, you make the list longer. And although Dylan left Christianity, and would be on the "good" list, he still converted, and that is what is important when proselytizing. What happened next is secondary, de-emphasized, or this detail is often just left off. That is what propaganda is. Manipulations of the truth. In this case, it is just religious propaganda.
Even with Dylan, you are etherizing the conversion and de-emphasizing the Apostasy, by saying things like "is a claim made by no known sources beyond Jewish community sites." Obviously, you made your intentions clear for including his name on this list.
Those "strong-willed religionists" as you called them, are part of the evidence that these lists are propaganda. --Sefringle 22:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
My point was that it does not apply in this instance particularly because we are putting a 'good person' on a 'bad list'. I don't know where your judgement lies, but the occasion of an individual leaving a faith is a negative thing to the members of that faith. Notice the recent lump of additions by a particular user to List of notable converts to Islam, followed by a procedural removal of entries from the 'former Muslims' article by this same individual. Now, though the observation is largely flawed (as he could be countering such 'bias-inclined' actions on articles which I don't happen to be watching), it understandably implies an interest in 'puffing up the good list, and deflating the bad one'. This could reasonably understood as a proselytic undertaking.
Now, the point at which I find no connection to this article is that the editors who argue for Dylan's (and like individuals') inclusion are arguing to put him onto a 'bad' list: a list of individuals who later left the religion to which they'd converted. As another user has expressed, this makes 'Christianity' look 'bad' to the simple viewer. Compare the fact that, as I'd said, fervent Muslims have argued (from my experience) that individuals who would leave Islam were not 'true Muslims' or were 'never Muslims at all'. These individuals, as ridiculous as they are, know that there is nothing about an individual leaving a religion that makes it 'look good'. How could such a thing even be suggested?
In fact, a conversion which ends in a reversion or re-conversion is even more disastrous to proselytizers in 'outward appearance', as an individual who had found enough merit in a religion to leave his former belief for it would obviously have a strong fervor for its tenets and its cause (as is common among religious converts); however, the case of such an individual later leaving the religion for another, or for their old religion, quite clearly causes more of an 'image problem' for the faith than would an individual who converted after a long and mediocre life experience with their birth religion.
As such, listing Dylan and others, and even more explicitly claiming that these individuals are no longer Christians, should not appear to anyone to be a form of 'promoting' or 'list puffing'. I doubt that individuals who regularly remove entries from the 'former Muslims' list are in the same league as the users here, who are arguing to have an individual put on to what is essentially a 'former Christians' list.
Additionally, I doubt that anyone would seriously consider a religion because the list was 'bigger', despite what some of the internet da'ees on List of notable converts to Islam may seem to think. Obviously, individuals convert for a large variety of reasons. If we hadn't stopped to notice, people happen to do many illogical and plainly stupid things, and typically on a daily basis; it is a good thing we don't provide merit to these actions based on the frequency at which they are commited.
Religions, each in their own particular form, fill certain voids and leave other thoughts and emotions unaffected. Each individual person has needs, and it is natural that they would gravitate towards the religion which seems to fill their needs (and wants) most completely (and if they don't, then I must give them credit for their fortitude). The 'truth' of a religion should come from an assessment of its beliefs and its teachings, not from its popularity. I doubt that any of the editors involved have such a shallow perception of religious conversion; I know that I most certainly don't.
And while I would, of course, answer friend's questions about my religious beliefs and recommend certain readings to them if they'd like to learn more, I also make sure to give them caveats and be completely honest with my own problems with my faith, and with religion in general. And considering that, I for one find it laughable that certain individuals simplify the thoughts and beliefs of Christians to such a point where they might believe that any Christian who would (naturally) want others to join him in his belief would stop at no moral blockade to make such a thing happen. What in the hell is the point of following the religion of Christianity if you toss out all logic and reason and use deception to spread it?
I was first a religious skeptic, and therefore I am quite aware of the ridiculous ploys that some misguided individuals use to attract others to their cause. I understand the reality of these practices, but equating me and my reasons for involvement in the discussion to the actions and beliefs of those individuals is tantamount to calling me an 'idiot', as far as I'm concerned.
Concerning my comment on the 'reversion' sources, I believe that John has already said a good amount on the matter, and I second his elaboration. User Bus stop applied fierce scrutiny to the original sources which claimed 'conversion', and he continued to do so until the point at which I provided transcriptions from three "RS" biographies which satisfied the standards set forth in the slightly-stricter WP:BLP.
As Bus stop was critical of these sources because of their affiliation with Christianity (Christian music sites, Christian ministry sites, etc.), I agree that his scrutiny was warranted and, in the end, produced better sources. As such, I believe that it would be hypocritical- after the editors had catered to such high expectations to provide sources for conversion (it almost escalated to a demand for baptismal records)- that we should turn around and accept sources which are in no better a position than the original, religiously affiliated sources which claimed conversion.
When 3 biographies making explicit claims are necessary to even sway the position of Bus stop by a small degree, it is ridiculous to neglect to apply similar standards in providing sources for a second event which is equally relevant to the discussion at hand; actually, as the entire argument of 'removing Dylan' revolves around the concept of his 'reversion', the sources provided for such a claim are critical to the discussion. Honestly, if everything had gone as I had hoped long ago, both the Christian sites and the Jewish sites would be reasonably acceptable sources. However, now that the bar has been raised so far for the first claim, it is only reasonable that a good, reliable source be found to support the second claim- or else we have an unusual double standard.
Therefore, I stand by my opinion that the constant cries of 'proselytizing' are rather baseless in this instance; although I focus on what I know, I have made edits to articles concerning all different religions (at least wherever I spot errors or possible improvements). Again, the editors here are arguing to put the 'good' Dylan on a 'bad' list. As far as I can see, there is no way in which this makes Christianity look 'good', and the accusation is even flimsier considering that there is an entirely separate section for such individuals which provides a clear explanation of the section's criterion, along with the explanatory notes provided next to every listing.--C.Logan 05:54, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


This seems to be more an argument for deleting all convert lists. That has been tried and it failed. In addition to that you are dangerously close to just saying Christians shouldn't be allowed to edit at all as we'll bias everything with our evangelical fervor. I think this is very partisan and divisive. I've generally argued for taking temporary converts out and I've removed names from the Catholic convert list. I also worked on List of notable converts to Sikhism and List of notable converts to Judaism. On the Judaism list I took out a couple for lack of sourcing, but I worked hard to make it better referenced. On the Sikh list I added Vic Briggs. Does this make me a Sikh evangelist? I doubt it. I don't think people can be proselytized by a list on Wikipedia and if they can they're probably morons. To a Christian conversion is a matter of the grace of God and the individual will, lists are irrelevant to it. I've never known someone to convert based on a list and I don't think such a thing is even possible.--T. Anthony 23:37, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I would respectfully point out that Wikipedia is not paper, and that given the current length of the article the feasibility limit is not yet a concern. And I am concerned that the above user is also seemingly calling into question the motivations of other editors, by repeating the earlier "proselytization" charge made by others. I believe it is reasonable to say that when sources conflict regarding an individuals current status, and when the only sources found to date which support a given statement are clearly from what could be seen as being a biased source, which might not even meet the criteria for reliable sources at Wikipedia:Reliable sources#What is a reliable source?, it is reasonable to use the information from the more widespread and reliable sources, rather than the one with a less reliable publication process whose status as being "trustworthy" as per the above cited page is perhaps more in doubt. I also call to the above editor's attention that there has been no clear evidence of Dylan apostating from Christianity. In fact, his statement that he believes in the Apocalypse of John from the Christian Bible can be seen as being evidence that he has not clearly renounced Christianity, but rather has stated that he still clings to at least elements of it, making claims that he has "converted" from Christianity problematic. I have no objections to saying that he is seemingly more actively involved in Judaism in recent years, based on the evidence available there, but we don't yet have specific statements from the subject which clearly and unambiguously give us cause to think he has fully renounced Christianity. And the WP:BLP policy regarding unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material, which a statement that he has renounced Christianity might be seen as being, I think indicate that any statement to that effect, without better evidence than I have seen to date, should be removed not only from the article itself, but also, by the rules, anywhere else. If you can point to specific reputable and verifiable evidence which I might have overlooked which indicates that he has pointedly renounced Christianity, of course, I would be more than willing to agree that he has more or less "officially" converted from Christianity. John Carter 23:11, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


I'm not entirely sure then, that the allegedly "pro-Christian" editors of this list (myself among them), who all supported the inclusion of Larry Flynt and others who, shall we say, don't make Christianity look really good, (he abandoned it, after all, and it's hard to see how having his name on the list will help convert anyone - maybe the opposite, in fact), can be called proselytizers, on the basis of those inclusions. While I agree that there is cause to question whether "former converts" to Christianity, or whatever else, should be included on these lists, and a fair basis for discussion of same, I'm not sure that the current discussion is necessarily the best place to do so. Regretably, I get the impression that the current discussion exists, and seemingly also has existed, on the basis of the inclusion of one particular name, Bob Dylan. Personally, I think we might be best served by seeing whether that name should be included at all first. Then, once that discussion is ended, we might possibly find ourselves in a better position to engage in reasonable discussion about whether "reverts" should be included on the main list of converts, the list of former adherents, both, or neither. I do think however that that discussion would be a good deal more detailed and thoughtful than the discussion of Bob Dylan's inclusion per se, and think we might all be better served by resolving that one issue, even if only provisionally, and then going on to issues that relate to inclusion in this list, and possibly all other lists. But I really doubt whether the discussion of Dylan's inclusion will really easily allow itself to addressing these larger and more complicated issues, which would also seem to probably be relevant to any number of other articles as well, given the degree of overriding concern at least one party in this current discussion has on the inclusion of one particular party, Bob Dylan, on one particular list, this one. Just an opinion, anyway. John Carter 20:48, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
If the list is long it's largely because Christianity is a large religion with a strong evangelical component. Something like List of notable converts to Hinduism will always be smaller because, although a large religion, most of Hinduism is not proselytizing. Plus a long list is not always a positive one. The list does include war criminals and vicious dictators. Likely more will be added if they can be found. Still it might be nice to have a bit more context there in a few cases. Horapollo is listed and I was intrigued the last Ancient Egyptian priest converted. However what his article says is "he was later captured and after torture converted to Christianity" and his article is not in the category of converts.--T. Anthony 07:17, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

From above

None of the above statements have any significance because no one (of the above people) know the answer to the posed question. Agreeing or disagreeing is just guesswork. Bus stop 05:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Considering that this is essentially how our court system works, you should probably get used to this sort of thing. We're weighing what evidence we see. Some find it unconvincing; others don't. You can feel free to cast your opinion on the matter. You already know what you believe. --C.Logan 06:13, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
This is not the discussion segment. Raise the problem with the question elsewhere or, I believe, you're both out of order. (Note: I think the question is meaningless and maybe unanswerable, but again this isn't discussion)--T. Anthony 07:02, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
This is consensus related to what was said above. Drumpler 08:39, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Why I'm doing the poll

I may have been a little abrupt here, but I set up the process quickly so we could get a rough idea on the stance of users as well as a crude consensus of what is going on. The consensus will be final in the discussion, not the poll. In addition, I have taken into consideration Bus stop's comment, and we'll have to see how we can all arrive at an agreement. Sr13 10:26, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Notes

These are statements made by users involved that I have taken note of from the archived and current discussions on this talk page. Others may add to this section, but do not alter the original content.

Demong- Question: Some people think the obvious definition of convert is "someone who has converted to a religion", others think the obvious definition is "someone who converted to a religion and remained that religion for the rest of their life"... I think it would be more appropriate to open an RfC on that question.

GvH- This is not a list of Christians it is a list of people who converted to Christianity whether they continued to be a Christian or not. The consensus is cleartly for Dylan's inclusion here and BusStop and Cleos continued attacking seems to be like an attempt to drive people away from watching this list so that they can get their own way in removing Dylan.

C.Logan - I have no opinion that any names should be removed. As I consider my own ignorance in regard to the inter-relation of the divisions within Judaism, I refrain from making any judgments about validity of conversion.

I hope this argument doesn't continue forever. From what I've read, his baptism is described in the book "Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades", by Clinton Heylin. Obviously, I'll see if the book's available at the local bookstore. His conversion is also described in the book "Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan". If these sources are still insuffiecient, and if this ends up going on much longer, why can't we just do something like this:

Bob Dylan - popular musician (has professed some Christian beliefs; whether or not there was an actual conversion is disputed)

Wow! Problem solved? Hopefully these eleven words will save us hundreds in the long run

Bus stop- Why would Wikipedia put a name on such a list if there may not have been "actual conversion?" You do not put a Jew on a list of Christians, which is what this list is, despite the attempts to contrive the list's parameters.

Cleo123- I, too, do not feel Dylan should be included on this list. To label a practicing Jew as a "convert to Christianity" is potentially libellous.

Scott P.-

  1. Beside each convert who was currently "lapsed", this article might make a note to this effect, or else if....
  2. This article simply did not list any "lapsed" converts.
  3. In either case, this article should clarify in its opening paragraph how it treats "lapsed" converts.

The word is not "confusion." The word is "appearance."

The word is not "confusion." The word is "appearance." We should not be giving the appearance that Bob Dylan is a Christian by putting him on a list that is expected logically to have only Christians on it. Logic is always going to trump contrived parameters. Without contrived parameters this list would be just like the List of notable converts to Judaism, that is, consisting only of Jews. The List of notable converts to Judaism does nothing to contrive the parameters of that list to introduce people to that list who are not Jewish. Why is the List of converts to Christianity contriving parameters to include people who are not Christian? Dylan is not Christian. We should not convey the appearance that he is Christian by putting him on a list of converts to Christianity. That smacks of forced conversion, Internet style. I find that objectionable. Bus stop 05:15, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Read above "Several statements/questions will be presented, and there will be no discussion; that is appropriate in the discussion section. Say either Agree or Disagree, and give a concise explanation for your decision."--T. Anthony 05:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
To Bus stop- I understand your view. You say that Bob Dylan should not be on the list because it may suggest that he is Christian, although he isn't. People tend to be converts to a religion and stay that religion until the end of their lifetimes (that is the definition that almost all people usually follow).
But, according to Brittanica, it states (with emphasis added):

Lowndes and Dylan divorced in 1977. They had four children, including son Jakob, whose band, the Wallflowers, experienced pop success in the 1990s. Dylan was also stepfather to a child from Lowndes's previous marriage. In 1978 Dylan mounted a yearlong world tour and released a studio album, Street-Legal, and a live album, Bob Dylan at Budokan. In a dramatic turnabout, he converted to Christianity in 1979 and for three years recorded and performed only religious material, preaching between songs at live shows. Critics and listeners were, once again, confounded. Nonetheless, Dylan received a Grammy Award in 1980 for best male rock vocal performance with his “gospel” song “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Difficult to dispute this. My suggestion: do as C.Logan said earlier-

I hope this argument doesn't continue forever. From what I've read, his baptism is described in the book "Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades", by Clinton Heylin. Obviously, I'll see if the book's available at the local bookstore. His conversion is also described in the book "Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan". If these sources are still insuffiecient, and if this ends up going on much longer, why can't we just do something like this:

Bob Dylan - popular musician (has professed some Christian beliefs; whether or not there was an actual conversion is disputed)

Wow! Problem solved? Hopefully these eleven words will save us hundreds in the long run
Since Bob Dylan's convert to Christianity is clear, we could rephrase and say:
Bob Dylan - popular musician, (has converted to Christianity in 1979, converted again to Jewish)
Further thoughts? Sr13 23:25, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I would dispute the specific phrasing, "converted again to Jewish". Unfortunately, Dylan has expressed belief in the Apocalypse of John, which I think is probably classified by Jews as being a Christian work, and that might seem to indicate that his belief system is maybe a Jewish-Christian syncretion. Such a syncretion, however, would not be "Jewish", but a syncretion. Also, I hesitate to use the word "conversion" (as in "converted to Jewish") without some sort of concrete indicator of conversion, particularly without, as in this case, any specific denial of Christian beliefs on the subject's part. Judaism has no equivalent to Christian baptism, so that sort of indicator doesn't exist there. I acknowledge that he is apparently more involved in Jewish practice lately, and have stated elsewhere, here, that I think describing his current position as a "practicing Jew" is reasonable. But I would stop short of labelling him as a "convert" to Judaism without specific evidence to support that contention. And such phrasing makes the potential challenges regarding his lack of clear statements regarding his current religious beliefs less likely. John Carter 15:19, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, John, I believe it does. My ex-girlfriend was required to undergo such a ritual upon her decision to become Jewish, as it was her father's faith. However, I'm unsure if such a ritual would also be initiated for individuals who are 'reverting'; either way, there are many different situations for such an immersion (though Dylan's participation in these would give a strong case for current Jewish religious practice, depending on the source, of course).
Additionally, as a side note, our 'baptism' is actually considered to be the new 'circumcision' (as I believe St. Paul makes the comparison). Thus, baptism would seem to be a union of the intent of circumcision with the intent and actions of Jewish ritual baptism.--C.Logan 22:49, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Conversion by supposition

A Pastor makes the following statement:

It was during this late winter/spring period of 1979 that Mary Alice Ares was baptized in a swimming pool at Pastor Bill's house.

"This was total immersion. Because baptism is a symbol of burial, burying guilt, and then pulling the new man out of the water," says Pastor Kenn. Bob attended the baptism and, not long afterward, Bob was himself baptized, probably in the ocean, which was where the fellowship normally conducted baptisms."

That is as close as we get to indication of Baptism. The Pastor clearly was not there. He can not say when it took place or where it took place. If he is saying "probably in the ocean" that is clear indication he was not there. As far as conversion is concerned, what we have is supposition, not fact. Bus stop 12:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


This, again, taking into account 2 things:
  • You again, ignoring everything else that has ever been said about this subject, require baptism for an individual to be considered Christian. This comment is being typed to you by a Christian who has never been baptized and who has many friends who have never been baptized- we've just willfully chosen to believe in something, and we are Christians. And if someone were to say that we had 'converted to Christianity', do you think this would be disputed because of our lack of baptism? Apparently, we should likewise remove any and all converts from any page where the "time and place" of their baptism/shahadah/circumcision, or any other rights which we might "by evidence" legally determine their conversion status. This is very silly, and is nitpicking.
  • And, even considering baptism as a requirement, you again ignore everything I've ever said in regard to the man's testimony. Do you have to be present at the time and place of an event to know it occurred? No, you do not. Please use simple logic here. Again, I can tell you that I'd gotten married, and you may not know the time and place, but you know the occurrence. Your testimony that I did, indeed, get married ("probably in a church"), is entirely true. And considering that Kenn, in these same narratives, 'sends out' his assistants to interact with Dylan rather than going himself (as most managers manage things rather than performing the tasks assigned), it's fairly obvious that he might rarely, if ever, have a hands-on experience in the baptismal rites. As baptisms of these sort typically occur en masse (i.e., they arrange a common day for 10 or so people to travel out to the beach, or wherever), it would have been just one of many baptisms on that day, in just one of the several possible locations in which the church performs its baptisms (e.g., some churches have a 'dunk tank' set up in the center of the courtyard- though I find this a little silly).
Imagine if, in fairness, we applied such a standard to every assertion made on Wikipedia about individuals: birth, schooling, residency, marriage, career history, death, and everything else which falls between. When one applies the same scrutiny to these occurrences, one sees how ridiculous the strictness of it is: we are editors on Wikipedia, not federal investigators. We report from second hand sources. And about 99.9% percent of the time, having a reliable source claim that "something happened" is enough for us to claim that "something happened"- we do not need to scrutinize the claims beyond reason.--C.Logan 14:17, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


We should not contrive parameters to achieve desired contents

We should not be contriving parameters to attain the desired contents for our list. There are only two ways that a person can become a Christian. One way is to be born a Christian. The other way is to convert to Christianity. Thus two groups of Christians arise. One group is the group of Christians who were born Christian. The other group is the group of Christians who converted to Christianity. Those two groups are defined by uncontrived parameters. There are no non-Christians in either of those two groups. It is only by means of contriving the parameters for the List of converts to Christianity that the list becomes the list of "all those notable people who have ever converted to Christianity." Not all contrived parameters for a list such as this are necessarily bad. But if you contrive the parameters of a list such as this, it becomes incumbent upon you to explain the wisdom and the validity of doing so. I've heard no such explanation. The List of notable converts to Judaism does not use contrived parameters. It simply lists those Jews who became Jews by means of conversion. There are no non-Jews on that list. (Or there should not be any non-Jews on that list.) If any editor finds a non-Jew on the List of notable converts to Judaism they should simply be able to remove them on the sole basis of them not being a Jew. The List of notable converts to Judaism hangs the tag on it saying, "This page is a list of Jews." The List of notable converts to Christianity cannot hang the corresponding tag on its list. In point of fact the List of notable converts to Christianity had the tag on it reading, "This page is a list of Christians," but it had to be removed by editors trying to retain Bob Dylan on that list. The contrived parameters presently configuring the List of notable converts to Christianity allow for an incalculably larger list. The List of notable converts to Judaism makes no attempt to include on it all those who ever dabbled in Judaism. The resulting List of notable converts to Judaism is more restrictive as concerns inclusion on it than is the List of notable converts to Christianity. Why the disparity between the two lists? Why should the List of notable converts to Christianity have the contrived parameters presently in place?

I find the entire obsession with the placing of one highly charismatic living Jewish rock star on this list to be an unseemly exercise in Christian insecurity. For centuries Christians have forced Jews to convert to Christianity because it was not sufficient that they (Christians) had their religion which they believed in. It was additionally necessary to have Jews convert to Christianity. (No Jew ever forced a Christian to convert to Judaism. Judaism does not even proselytize.) This list, as presently configured, gives the appearance of a Jew having some relationship to Christianity. That is totally out of place because it requires contrived parameters in order to accomplish that, and it is totally unconscionable because it is a form of forced conversion, updated to the Internet age. We know that the Internet is a cesspool, but why would Wikipedia let down its neutrality policy to convey such bunk?

Is it our overriding purpose to blur distinctions? Christianity and Judaism happen to be two different religions. Jews and Christians don't happen to believe the same things. Why attempt to convey that Christianity and Judaism are in some sense indistinguishable? Why give the appearance that a Jew (Bob Dylan) is a Christian? If it is a List of notable converts to Christianity then it should follow the simplest parameters, which means it should have no non-Christians on it. It is point of view pushing to blur the important distinctions between Christianity and Judaism. Bus stop 13:53, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Is there some reason you, and a few others, have this Dylan obsession? At times I'm getting confused as to what your objection even is. Is it just about Dylan, is it about Converts from Judaism, or Converts who later changed their faith?--T. Anthony 21:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
While he personally does not believe that a conversion occurred (and this is an acceptable skepticism, I believe), he is aware that Wikipedia's policy regarding sources qualifies the sources used for conversion as reasonably valid per WP:RS, and also compliant with the stricter terms set forth in WP:BLP (the same cannot be said for sources claiming a reversion, as far as I know; it would seem that Dylan is in a religious limbo, if anything). Therefore, though he occasionally rails against the sources at hand, his scrutiny is misplaced, in my opinion (and I've tried to detail the problems with his arguments near the end of the above section), and it distracts the reader (as can be seen from your own uncertainty) as to what the actual conflict currently is.
As far as I know, Bus stop's argument has never operated outside of accusations of proselytizing, along with consistent comparisons to historical events (forced conversions of Jews, etc.), theological matters (the Christian view of supercession over the Jewish religion), and other unsavory things which may belong in a blog, but not in a reasonable discussion in which no evidence is presented to support such accusations.
While I accept that Bus stop's core argument may be valid, it has become so deeply buried in the muck of the histrionic interpretation that it is hardly discernible from a rant.
However, as I see it, the only strong case against the continued inclusion of such individuals (who, despite what one may think, have has a presence on the list for a very long time [sans Flynt]) is if one were to undermine the opposing argument under the presupposition of proselytic motivations. Perhaps this is why users such as Bus stop so vehemently present this as the situation (without evidence, again). If there is a better argument, I'm willing to listen, of course. --C.Logan 22:16, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
First off, you have made frequent reference to the notion that many people are "born Christian." I don't accept the notion that anyone has ever been "born Christian." This is where you engage in your standard blurring of notions of ethnicity and religion. Christianity isn't a gene, it's a faith. If one can be "born Jewish," it's only in the sense that we sometimes approach Jewishness as an ethnic identity, as opposed to Judaism the religion... but then, the Jewish faith itself invites some confusion in this matter, because the faithful believers accept the notion that their family history conveys a sort of "chosen people" status prior to faith. Jews believe in being born Jewish more than Christians believe in being born Christian. You simply can't apply that kind of model to Christianity and Christian people. Secondly, with regards to the question of why we should not lable this as a "list of Christians," your claim that "I've heard no such explanation" is basically a reflection on the fact that you haven't listened. It's been said before, but I'll say it again. One good argument for not labling it as a list of Christians is because that doesn't accurately describe the list. Another reason is because it's impossible to reliably verify the current beliefs of any members of the list, but we can certainly verify historical occurances of a person's conversion. zadignose 16:14, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Of course it doesn't accurately describe the list, and therein lies the problem. The list as presently configured follows contrived parameters. Use straightforward parameters and that problem vanishes.

Concerning beliefs, we are not trying to determine beliefs. We are trying to determine religion. Bob Dylan was born Jewish. He has had nothing to do with Christianity in 27 years. He has been associating with the Orthodox Lubovitch Jews in Brooklyn New York in the intervening years. He has been attending Passover services. He has been attending Jewish Sabbath services. What more evidence could there be? He doesn't have to meet a standard of piousness. He already is just a normal American male Jew. His brief flirtation with Christianity is in the past. You have no source for Christian identity for Dylan in 2007. You don't even have a source for Christian identity for Bob Dylan for any point in time after 1980.

As long as Bob Dylan is not actively negating his Jewish identity he is Jewish. He need not do anything additional whatsoever. But his involvement with truly pious Jews (Lubovitch) makes his Jewish status even more obvious. There is a picture of him on the Internet wearing the extremely arcane Jewish adornment known as "phylacteries." He is additionally wearing the traditional Jewish head covering known as the skull cap, or "yarmulke." These are totally Jewish ritualistic adornments. I believe he is even wearing the Jewish prayer shawl, known as the "tallit" in that picture.

No one is going to climb into Dylan's head and peer out through his eyes to try to determine his beliefs. Since he was born Jewish, in the absence of active negation of Jewishness, we consider him Jewish. And there is no evidence of any involvement with Christianity for 27 years. Or at least no one has presented any source for that. Dylan attends synagogue. He doesn't attend Church. Dylan attends ritualistic Jewish observances such as are found on the Jewish calendar. Even if he didn't attend these his Jewish status would apply. But he does so in the context of observant, pious Jews, in an Orthodox Jewish enclave in Brooklyn New York. We are not preparing to hook Dylan up to a belief determination machine, are we? His outward activities are clearly Jewish. So the question remains, why would he be on a list that should contain only Christians if it used straightforward parameters? Bus stop 17:19, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, just the "normal American male Jew", affirming his "Jewish status". LOL. Somehow I just don't remember the rabbi at my temple talking about how his body trembled after being touched by Jesus. I guess Judaism has really evolved. In the meantime, I would remind you that we are not trying to determine beliefs or ongoing religious commitment. If we were, we would be forced to resort to the same type of POV mental gymnastics that you display in all your messages. That's called WP:OR and is banned by policy. Instead, this is a verified list of notable conversions, like all the other lists, including especially the list of converts to Judaism, many of whom are not Jewish based on numerous definitions:
  • "Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up. Being born again is a hard thing. You ever seen a mother give birth to a child? Well it's painful. We don't like to lose those old attitudes and hang-ups. Conversion takes time because you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. You have to learn to drink milk before you can eat meat. You're re-born, but like a baby. A baby doesn't know anything about this world and that's what it's like when you're re-born. You're a stranger. You have to learn all over again. God will show you what you need to know. "I guess He's always been calling me", Dylan said gently. "Of course, how would I have ever known that? That it was Jesus calling me." [[20]
  • In late 1978 Dylan himself was busy being born again. His widely-publicized conversion to Christianity made him perhaps the most famous Jewish apostate in American history Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991
  • Dylan has, if only from the ironic sideline, taken part in --and sung at-- the deepest spiritual crises of his generation of American Jews: the drama of the civil rights struggle, the comforts and exoticism of the Jewish homeland, and the spiritual excitements of Lubavitch. He also became a Christian--the one leader he followed--and never really looked back and renounced it Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991[21]
  • Elie Wiesel wrote to me [and said] he had considered Dylan's conversion a tragedy and hoped that efforts to reach him would succeed. Marshall- Bob Dylan's Unshakeable Monotheism -- Part IV: The 1990s,Jewsweek, 2004 [22]
  • "During the conversion thing, I went where I was told. I was aware that it mattered to him. He's never done anything half-assed. If he does anything, he goes fully underwater" Jakob Dylan, JAKOB'S LADDER Part 2, Rolling Stone, 1997
  • ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC.
JJay 16:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I got caught in an edit conflict, but this is what I had to say in response to Bus Stop: ...And the answer remains that, as you seem to acknowledge, there's no way we can enter anyone's head to determine their current beliefs, so there's no way to limit this list, or any list, to people who are currently Christian... but the historical fact of a person's conversion can be researched and verified. As is often the case, you ignore a substantial part of the comment you've replied to. If it's possible to be "born Jewish," but Christianity is a matter of belief/faith, then there's no inherent contradiction in being both Jewish AND Christian. I also have not now, nor have I ever claimed to know what Dylan currently believes, so your statement that I "don't even have a source for Christian identity for Bob Dylan for any point in time after 1980" completely misses the point. All I've suggested is that we should accurately reflect what we do know, which we have done without distortion. You simply insist on mischaracterizing this article in an attempt to suppress factual information about Dylan's conversion. zadignose 17:52, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

This is what the issue is really about: Is the article anti-semitic?

JJay's sources proving Dylan's Christianity has done more than enough than to thoroughly prove the matter to me. Likewise, didn't he go through a Gospel phase in some of his music (I'm sorry, I'm not a huge Dylan fan)?

I'd also like to apologize that I'm new to a dispute resolution. If this comment belongs elsewhere, I invite the appropriate authority freedom to move it elsewhere.

I would like to address what this issue is really about. I came to this article when I saw an editor request on the editor's request forum. If you read Bus stop's comments above, you will find constant accusations of forced conversion and other "anti-semitic-like" activities. Here is a small sampling (the emphasis is mine):

The small clique of editors changed their parameters for this list twice in the past 24 hours! All they want is to have Bob Dylan on their list. That is the be-all and end-all of this list as far as those editors are concerned. <personal attack removed> All of their "disclaimers" are only indication that the name (Bob Dylan) shouldn't be there in the first place. In case you don't know this is not an emotionless issue. I am not referring here to my emotions. I am referring to the often tumultuous history of Jewish-Christian relations. The Pope himself recently had to apologize on behalf of Christendom for the wrongs historically committed against the Jews. Mind you, forced conversion did not occur in the opposite direction: Jews did not force Christians to convert to Judaism. It is ludicrous to consider the possibility -- Judaism doesn't even proselytize. This article is a clear locus of abuse because it oversteps the bounds that even the list of converts to Judaism accepts upon itself. This list is correctly the list of those Christians who have arrived at Christian identity by way of conversion.[23]
(By the way, the List of notable converts to Christianity used to contain that tag, until it was strategically removed.) With that tag in place, any name can be challenged and potentially removed solely on the basis of the entry's not being Jewish. Why doesn't the Christian list uphold similarly high standards of inclusion? Because it has a point of view to push? Because proselytization is an important component of Christianity? (In contradistinction Judaism does not proselytize at all.) Why is an incalculably wider net being cast for the List of notable converts to Christianity? Has there not been a long enough history of forced conversion (at the hands of Christians) of Jews to Christianity? The Pope himself has had to apologize to Jewry in recent years for the brutality of this. I think Christians should create their list based on sound parameters and should refrain from the slander inherent in forcing an apparent Jew onto what is ostensibly a list that should contain only Christians, that is, Christians who have arrived at their Christian identity by way of conversion.[24]
Judaism is of course a religion that does not proselytize. Judaism is a religion that does not try to win converts. Christianity, on the other hand, has an important plank in its policy that encourages the active seeking of converts to its religion. This has often resulted in the forced conversion of Jews to Christianity. The Pope himself has had to apologize to world Jewry for this offense, committed over centuries, against Jews.[25]

Bus stop has likewise started an entire section on this accusation alone above. [26] He likewise has a tendency to accuse people of being racist and anti-semitic on his own talk page (I am not defending what was said about him, only providing the facts).[27] Plus, in the past, on his user page, he admitted to making this his own pet project and called it "light stuff".[28] If it truly is "light stuff", why hasn't he compromised and moved on? The article explicitly states that Bob Dylan returned to Judaism and isn't a current convert. Several editors have provided sources to prove this. I think the material more than meets the qualifications of WP:Verifiability. However, I likewise think that Bus stop's actions are in violation of WP:SOAP and WP:GAME (he has tried to have this article deleted on the basis that it was anti-semitic[29]). If it really is "light stuff" (and as he said in the edit summary of his following edit, "irrelevant"), then what possesses him to fight over one single sentence? Why such racially charged language?

I think it is simple. He may not claim to convert people to Judaism, but he seems to believe that people need to follow its strictures in reference to Jews. Wikipedia is not about that. No one said that Wikipedia even needed to be fair. Wikipedia is about verifiability. And personally, I'm sick of having Judaism pushed down my throat (hence the reasons I've taken frequent hiatuses from this article). We can make several more compromises, but I'm sure they'll hit deaf ears. He isn't going to quit until the name is removed altogether (even though its on a former convert list -- how is this conversion?). Providing Bus stop leeway in this argument is a bid for his version of Judaism's own "forced parameters". Personally, I think he needs to be blocked from editing the article, not the rest of us. Everyone I know has made reasonable compromise (which both he and Sefringle blindly revert later, even though the majority of editors on this article state that the name belongs -- just pick random poll results above, as they demonstrate consensus).

In summary, the conclusion, from the evidence, seems to be this: This entire debate is truly centered around whether or not the article is anti-semitic as Bus stop claims. Is the article racist? Or is it verifiable? This is the true question I think we need to be asking ourselves.

I think Dylan needs to be on this list as a "former convert" because it made a significant impact on his life and career. I will state for the record that I am an irreligious person and so the issue of "forced conversion" is irrelevant to me, as I do not see it in this case. Drumpler 21:16, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Are you asking the question whether having a list of people who converted to Christianity is anti-semitic? Like the ones in the Jewish encyclopedia? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 21:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Regarding one of the points above, if after this mediation ends any parties to the discussion continue to edit the article or its talk page in conflict or contradiction of the terms of the mediated resolution, I too would agree that those parties should be blocked from editing this page. I would apply that to all parties in the discussion, myself included. John Carter 21:34, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I would hope that we could turn this from a debate tournament into an actual discussion of reasons, sans accusations and assumptions about motives. I believe the greatest block to compromise is the assumption that certain editors are pushing their point for religious reasons (despite, as has been noted, the fact that listing 'good people' on a 'bad list' is hardly a mode of propaganda; why fight to include such as an 'iconic entertainer' as a 'image booster' if he found the faith not worth continuing in all seriousness? [Seems a little counter-intuitive]).
I feel that at every point where the discussion might break into a situation where editors are actually discussing matters in a neutral manner, someone comes crusading back into the picture with a whole new round of unwarranted assumptions and accusations, with a heaping helping of drama, history, theology and all other peripheral matters thrown in, as it seems, for 'sympathy points'. Let's break that habit; possibly start afresh and try to assume good faith about everyone, whether friend or foe.--C.Logan 21:56, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment I propose that this entire section be removed from the discussion. This is suppose be a discussion of sourced facts, not a discussion of editors, their motivations or alleged anti-semitism. Yes, Bob Dylan is a focal point of the discussion, but he is not the locus of the dispute. Unfortunately, rather than following Wikipedia's guidelines and removing misleading and potentially libellous information about a living person from the article; a group of editors chose to change the article's parameters rather than abiding by policy. Bob Dylan has become the focus of the discussion, not because anyone is "obsessed" with him, but because that group of editors chose to turn the article upside down in order to include his name.
My primary concern, as I have stated in the past, is the article's new parameters, which may adversely impact any number of celebrities in the future. This is not all about Bus stop, and in trying to make it so the fact that other editors have objected to the article's new scope and Dylan's inclusion on the list appears to be getting lost in the shuffle. To my mind, previous attempts at mediation, arbitration etc. failed because editors chose to use those forums as a means of getting Bus stop blocked, rather than focusing the article. It should be noted that Bus stop has conceded to discussion of Dylan's conversion being included in the Bob Dylan biography. Moreover, he has agreed to the compromise I proposed some weeks back of a separate list of "Notable Converts Who Later Returned to their former faiths". Editors on the other side of this argument have refused to accept the proposed compromise.
As for "consensus" - there is no consensus as far as I am concerned. I have seen at least ten editors, on Bus stop's side of this argument effectively "run off" this and other Dylan related pages. When you attempt to "block" dissenting opinion and editors see a flury of bogus complaints being filed against anyone who shares any of Bus stop's views, it is natural for editors to decide they no longer wish to be involved in the discussion. How can there be a legitimate poll in an atmoshere rife with personal attacks and attempts at intimidation? Cleo123 00:56, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Such as the environment you created, or at least contributed to, with the "Hypocrisy" thread above, perhaps? Your own actions have been commented on by other users as being motivated by intimidation and harrasment, as well. And maybe you should also ask that question of Bus stop, who seems to have engaged in the greatest number and frequency of attacks on other editors, particularly unsupported attacks based on his own assumptions regarding their motivations. John Carter 20:26, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
No, John, I did not create any environment. I came to this discussion in response to your request for a community sanction against Bus stop, which was filed within days of his first edit to the article. Clearly, there was a serious dispute underway long before I joined the discussion, which I have attempted to help resolve. The solitary user who made the accusation, to which you refer, dramatically entered the discussion very recently. How convenient for you that this individual mysteriously appeared right when you needed someone to second the bogus complaint you attempted to file against me - an interesting coincidence. For the record, I stand by all statements I have made in this discussion. The "hypocrisy" thread to which you refer was written in direct response to your editorial contributions, which I felt it necessary to catalogue for the community. I am extremely proud of the remarkable restraint I have exhibited in response to your ongoing stream of threats, personal attacks and vandalism of my talk page commentary. As for your most recent harassing message on my talk page [30], I would suggest that you take your own warning under advisement. Please, rest assured, John, that should you ever pursue your stated desire to become an administrator, I will come forward with a great many more diffs for the community at large to review. You don't fool me, John, with your "saintly" contributions, not by a long shot. Cleo123 04:50, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think this should be a "Dylan related page" per se, but he does seem to have been on the list since it started. Judging by other lists, like List of Catholic converts which is over a year older, including people who left is probably not a "new scope." However switching to excluding them is a good idea I think. One objection is "how can we know if they stayed, we can't read their mind", but to me that's a real reach. When you list people by religion you aren't trying to read their mind you're just saying what they publicly were in life. You often can tell if people renounce a religion or switch to a new one. If these conversion lists exclude people who convert then leave they might be more focused and useful.--T. Anthony 02:22, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I only mention this because Bus stop likes to throw out the word "anti-semite" or make similar allegations and seems to be fighting to remove said reference because it offends his own religious sensibilites. I do not think that Bob Dylan's inclusion on the list is. I believe this is the core of the whole argument and to ignore it would be silly. Bus stop, do you think it is anti-semitic to include his name on the list?
I'd like to add that we did compromise with him just recently on this very page about former converts who later returned to their faith. Both him and Sefringle have continually removed this section. I am not attacking Judaism at all. What I am addressing, however, is whether or not religious opinions should dictate Wikipedia policy and I believe a religious factor is present from the evidence above. I see no reason to remove this section as I believe it reveals a key motivation in this entire argument to begin with and personally, I'm sick of Bus stop's filibustering.
Motives are highly important in determining a matter. What I am concerned with is Bus stop's motive in continually reverting the article and throwing out his own baseless accusations. Its not like any of us are trying to convert Dylan at gun point, myself especially. In fact, this list should not be used to support Christianity. I think Bob Dylan's name as a former convert would actually do the opposite, but then again, I'm only fighting for his name as his conversion seemed to have a serious influence on his life. Drumpler 01:54, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sourcing

It may also be better to lay out the sources that prove that Bob Dylan was a convert, because that is the core of the issue. We can then decide which sources may be biased. Sr13 23:31, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Surely it should also be considered whether the sources that say he converted back to Judaism might be biased? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 23:46, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Sr13 23:50, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I see Sr13 is conducting a kangaroo court here. Bus stop 01:21, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Assuming that you're referring directly to the above comments, it seems to me that he's being completely reasonable.
We should assess the sources for both claims, because as hard as it may be for you to believe, those sources could be biased and unreliable as well. It's also worth scrutinizing these sources, as it seems I'm the only individual who took the time to get reliable, published sources about the topic.
The sources I've seen for reversion are all explicitly Jewish in nature, and so they must be addressed with the same scrutiny as the internet-based Christian sources.
I'm surprised that you feel the need to bring up such accusations, seemingly without extensive consideration.--C.Logan 01:41, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Two reasons to why I'm doing this- one, to compile the sources in one area (so users need not go back and search again for them), and two, to put clearly into view and determine whether these sources are reliable. After doing so, we can concretely prove (through reliable sources) whether Dylan was a convert or not. I want to clear any skepticism on this matter as soon as possible, so we may proceed on other matters. Sr13 09:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sources suggesting conversion to Christianity

Lowndes and Dylan divorced in 1977. They had four children, including son Jakob, whose band, the Wallflowers, experienced pop success in the 1990s. Dylan was also stepfather to a child from Lowndes's previous marriage. In 1978 Dylan mounted a yearlong world tour and released a studio album, Street-Legal, and a live album, Bob Dylan at Budokan. In a dramatic turnabout, he converted to Christianity in 1979 and for three years recorded and performed only religious material, preaching between songs at live shows. Critics and listeners were, once again, confounded. Nonetheless, Dylan received a Grammy Award in 1980 for best male rock vocal performance with his “gospel” song “Gotta Serve Somebody.”[31]

Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up. Being born again is a hard thing. You ever seen a mother give birth to a child? Well it's painful. We don't like to lose those old attitudes and hang-ups. Conversion takes time because you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. You have to learn to drink milk before you can eat meat. You're re-born, but like a baby. A baby doesn't know anything about this world and that's what it's like when you're re-born. You're a stranger. You have to learn all over again. God will show you what you need to know. "I guess He's always been calling me", Dylan said gently. "Of course, how would I have ever known that? That it was Jesus calling me."[32]

In late 1978 Dylan himself was busy being born again. His widely-publicized conversion to Christianity made him perhaps the most famous Jewish apostate in American history Yudelson, Larry. Dylan: Tangled Up in Jews. Washington Jewish Week, 1991

Dylan has, if only from the ironic sideline, taken part in --and sung at-- the deepest spiritual crises of his generation of American Jews: the drama of the civil rights struggle, the comforts and exoticism of the Jewish homeland, and the spiritual excitements of Lubavitch. He also became a Christian--the one leader he followed--and never really looked back and renounced it[33]

Elie Wiesel wrote to me [and said] he had considered Dylan's conversion a tragedy and hoped that efforts to reach him would succeed.[34]

During the conversion thing, I went where I was told. I was aware that it mattered to him. He's never done anything half-assed. If he does anything, he goes fully underwater Jakob Dylan, JAKOB'S LADDER Part 2, Rolling Stone, 1997

I would never call it that. I've never said I'm born again. That's just a media term." (but then later he adds)

  • "I believe in the Book of Revelation. The leaders of this world are eventually going to play God, if they're not already playing God, and eventually a man will come that everybody will think is God. He'll do things, and they'll say, 'Well, only God can do those things. It must be him."
  • Interviewer: You're a literal believer of the Bible?
  • Dylan "Yeah. Sure, yeah. I am."
  • Interviewer: Are the Old and New Testaments equally valid?
  • Dylan: "To me."
  • Interviewer: Do you belong to any church or synagogue?
  • Dylan: "Not really."[35]

Excerpts compiled by C.Logan here

Sources suggesting no conversion to Christianity

"I went to Bible school at an extension of this church out in the Valley in Reseda, California. It was affiliated with the church, but I'm not a believer in that born-again type thing…. The media make up a lot of these words for the definition of people. I mean, who's a person anymore? Everything's done for the media. If the media don't know about it, it's not happening. They'll take the littlest thing and make it spectacular. They're in the business of doing that… Spirituality is not a business, so it's going to go against the grain of people who are trying to exploit other people." [36]

We should not contradict ourselves, nor should we create contrived parameters for lists

We should not contradict ourselves. We should not put a Jew on a list ostensibly of Christians. Are these Christians who were born Christian, on the List of notable converts to Christianity? No, they are not. Are these Christians who converted to Christianity, on the List of notable converts to Christianity? Yes, they are. In order not to contradict ourselves we should not put a Jew on such a list. That would constitute a contradiction. Nor should we twist the parameters of the list to accommodate some goal that we think we rightfully should achieve. We should adhere to straightforward parameters. Note the parameters in place at the List of notable converts to Judaism. You won't find contrived parameters there. You will find straightforward parameters. The parameters that the List of notable converts to Judaism uses are straightforward. Does the List of notable converts to Judaism contain on it Jews who were born Jewish? No, it does not. Does the List of notable converts to Judaism contain on it Jews who converted to Judaism? Yes, it does. Does the List of notable converts to Judaism contain people who are not Jewish on it? No, it does not. We are talking here and now about the distinction between straightforward and contrived, as concerns parameters of lists such as these. We are talking about the importance of not contradicting ourselves. Contradicting oneself is a senseless thing. Please use the List of notable converts to Christianity responsibly. Please follow straightforward parameters. That will make for a great list. It will be a list of those notable Christians who converted to Christianity. It will not contain on it those notable Christians who were born Christian. Nor will it contain on it Jews, because Jews are obviously not Christians. Bus stop 01:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Why shouldn't we put a former Christian on a list? In particular, Bob Dylan? And what goal is being achieved? Remember, I'm not a Christian here, so I have no such goal. Drumpler 02:04, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

We should not start new threads when we have nothing new to say, nor should we make spectacles of our obsessions

--JJay 02:55, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Poorly worded, and on the verge of an attack. Nevertheless, Bus stop is being a little disruptive because he has repeated what he has said in a prior string. Sr13 10:18, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Bus stop currently has seven open threads on this talk page, all on the same subject and all making the same arguments. That follows eight mostly identical threads started by this user now found in archive 2. Fifteen threads on Bob Dylan in five weeks is not only excessive, but the threads have also contained personal attacks against other editors, including bizarre accusations that participating editors are "denigrating" Jews; "smearing" Jews, "disgracing" Jews, bringing "discredit to Christianity" and generally engaging in "antisemitism" and "forced conversion". This type of rhetoric is proscribed by WP:TALK, as are non-neutral topic headings such as "Contrived parameters and antisemitism" or "We should not contrive parameters to achieve desired contents". According to WP:TALK:

A heading should indicate what the topic is, but not communicate a specific view about it.

Criticism and praise in headings are strongly discouraged. A talk page is not a platform to browbeat other editors, engage in personal attacks or continually demonstrate failure to WP:AGF. This type of behavior is disruptive and makes achieving consensus and improving the article all the more difficult. Bus stop needs to understand that posting here is a privilege not a right. JJay 15:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Looking back at the bigger picture

Should Bob Dylan be on the list?

I don't see a problem at all if he is specifically defined to have converted to another religion (presumably Judaism) and is a believer in that religion today. Sure, he's not Christian anymore, but being a religion other than Christian at this current time although he was one before is not a good enough reason to stave Dylan off of the list. He has his own section, along with two others: (List of notable converts to Christianity#Notable converts who later changed their faith). The section clearly states:

The people listed in this section made a conversion to Christianity which was notable and had a significant impact on their careers, public, or private lives. They, however, did not continue in the Christian faith for life. As noted under individual entries, some converted to another religion, returned to a prior religion, or renounced their faith. Some entries are also listed here because the faith of their later lives is sufficiently disputed, and it appears unlikely that they continued to practice a Christian religion.

The consensus is that he has converted to Christianity, and through consensus of discussions, converted from Christianity to Judaism. The only users objecting are Cleo123, who is questioning the conversion itself, and Bus stop, who questions that not currently being Christian (although being a convert) means that one should not be on the list. Sr13 10:13, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I still don't think it is certain he "converted" back to Judaism as the only ref supporting it at the moment on the page is a Jewish website- are there not any third party neutral sources? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 10:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
True, we haven't touched on that part yet, but this doesn't mean that he shouldn't be on this list, is it? Sr13 11:39, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sr13 --Thank you for conducting this kangaroo court. Thank you for your failure to respond to violations of WP:CIVIL throughout this process. Thank you for your biased opinion expressed above. Bus stop 10:56, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sr13 -- You disqualify yourself from mediating this discussion by the bias you express above. This discussion hasn't been about whether Bob Dylan converted. That is your point of view pushing that you arrived here with. Wikipedia does not require factuality; Wikipedia requires verifiability. There has been no establishment of factuality of conversion for Dylan. But there are sources using terms like conversion for 1979. That allows for the use of the term conversion in relation to the time period 1979. That is not the issue. You may say that is the issue, but that doesn't happen to be the issue. You arrived here with that point of view pushing agenda in mind, but that is not the issue. The issue happens to be whether a non-Christian can be on a List of converts to Christianity. Clearly they should not. If they are not presently Christian, then clearly they do not fit the parameters of this list. The proper parameters of this list are, Those notable Christians who arrived at their Christian identity by way of conversion. Dylan is not a convert. Convert in the title of this article is a noun synonymous with the noun Christian. In point of fact Dylan is not a Christian. Dylan is a Jew. Two totally different religions. And the so-called mediator's preexisting bias disqualifies him as a mediator in this dispute. Bus stop 13:19, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Given the extremely prejudical nature, bordering on personal attack, of the above accusations made by User:Bus stop, I believe we are more than justified to ask the above editor to specify exactly which statement the mediator made which he considers indicative of a preexisting bias, and exactly which policy or guideline he believes is violated. Otherwise, I believe that comment, and any responses to it (like this one), should be removed, as the comment itself would then violate one or more wikipedia policies or guidelines. John Carter 13:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Bus stop refuses to acknowledge that an outside editor might actually disagree with him from a neutral standpoint. When mediation is not going in your favor, attempting to undermine the credibility of the third party (with no evidence) only makes it appear that you are prone to tantrums and a stranger to reasonable discussion. As far as I can see, anyone who disagrees with Bus stop is considered by him to be 'biased/warped/deluded/trying to promote Christianity'. Boxing yourself into that mindset will only make your argument less credible. --C.Logan 21:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Parameters can be changed, by the way. Sr13 21:23, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
No. When parameters are changed for one religion and not for all others that would appear to be an act of biased on a global scale in favor of that religion - and in direct odds with Wikipedia policy. Sr13, I applaud your courage for entering into the frey here. I'm sure everyone appreciates your efforts to help us find a resolution. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Bus stop to some extent on this. In offering a personal opinion, as you have above, you seem to have crossed a line from mediator to contributor. That strikes me as very improper, and hardly neutral - which is what a mediator should be. I will also point out that you seem to be ignoring your own primary question which is the article's parameters - in favor of the more easily answered secondary question. As I would hope you realize, from re-reading my comments that I do not - nor have I ever disputed the fact that there are verifiable sources for conversion. I question it as a verifiable fact - which is the manner in which you phrased the vote. Cleo123 05:41, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Other lists have converts that left, but admittedly don't point it out. As it seems this one won't change, I'll work at making a similar section in some of those. Also I'm not entirely comfortable with the behavior of the mediator either.--T. Anthony 08:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Considering that the individual has been on the list since its inception (shortly thereafter followed by another such individual), it would seem that there is no real 'change' here, but rather a clarification and further definition of the generally accepted beliefs. However, the terms used in this instance don't make much of a difference. --C.Logan 21:28, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
What are you saying here? That because you've gotten away with misrepresenting Bob Dylan as a currently practicing Christain for over a year, it's okay - just because now you've added a disclaimer? You are acknowleging the fact that Wikipedia is guilty of libel against the need I remind anyone - somewhat litigious - Bob Dylan.[37][38] [39][40] [41] In light of Dylan's own statements regarding the media's misrepresentation of his "conversion" - I consider your bold stance to be ill advised. The "National Enquirer" puts its faith in "reliable" secondary sources, as well. That doesn't stop anyone from suing them and winning. I think WP:LIVING has been grossly misinterpretted in reference to this list. Cleo123 06:09, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm uncertain as to why you feel the need to go completely off the deep end with your comments and your seemingly histrionic view of the discussion. I don't know how the inclusion of a simple explanation of his uncertain religious situation can be construed as a 'misrepresentation.
Additionally, there is no 'right/wrong' status for articles. They can change, develop and grow. The addition of clarifying statements does not affect the 'polarity'- there is none. As listing Dylan as a 'convert to Christianity' is not a 'contradiction' considering the sources, I can say that the creator of the article (and the subsequent editors who did not remove Dylan's listing, but edited it to reflect sources) can generally agree that the reason behind Dylan's inclusion is based on his action, not on his status (and by extension, neither is the inclusion of all other individuals).
The legal situations you reference here are entirely irrelevant- in the closest example you give, it should be noted that there is quite a jump from citing reliable biographies on the matter of conversion and 'suggesting in a film that Dylan was the cause of another Edie Sedgwick's suicide'.
And once again, mind your own OR interpretation of Dylan's statements in contrast to my citation of secondary sources; three widely-known, WP:RS and WP:BLP-compliant biographies which Dylan (mysteriously) has had no problem with since their publication (and not to mention the multitude of articles and publications, Encyclopedia Britannica, which reference these same sources). --C.Logan 06:38, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Hello??? What part of this quotation do you not understand? “Despite his spiritual preoccupations, he insists that he's no prude ("I think I had a beer recently") and that his religious odyssey has been misrepresented in the press.”[42] As for your very misleading opening salvo, in which you accuse me off "going off the deep end" and being "histionic" - the misrepresentation - the libel - is the more than one year period in which Dylan's name appeared on this list with no disclaimer - having been misrepresented as a current convert to Christianity. It has been well established that he has been a practicing Jew for several decades since the alleged conversion. More importantly, he has very publicly lent his name and support to Chabad, an organization that actively combats Christian prostelyzation of Jews. I will point out that your claim that "he's had no problem" with the publications of these biographies is Original Research and pure supposition on your part. You may view my opinions as "histrionic" - the fact of the matter is that they are entirely consistent with the cautious standards held by most professional journalists. Cleo123 08:13, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Cleo, I did read the Rolling Stone interview. Why do you so selectively quote text and offer it as a solid stone of proof? I could do the same, from the same article, if I wanted to 'prove' something, but I know that the context is extremely important. In fact, I encourage everyone to read the interview- it seems pretty clear that Dylan's issue with 'misinterpretation' stems more from the labels used than anything else... he rejects both 'Born Again' and 'Orthodox Jew' titles, so I think it actually shows his disconnection from any specific 'religious title' in his post-conversion period- something that I've expressed quite some time ago. Dylan goes on to call himself a literal believer in the Bible; he states that the Old and New Testament are equally valid to him; and he generally sketches out his religious/personal beliefs at the time of the interview. At a point, it is even asked:
Q: When you meet up with Orthodox people, can you sit down with them and say "Well, you should really check out Christianity"?
A: Well, yeah, if somebody asks me, I'll tell 'em. But you know, I'm not gonna just offer my opinion. I'm more about playing music, you know?
Of course, selective quotation robs the quote of it's context, essentially handicapping it. The above could be 'claimed' to support the idea of Dylan functioning within Chabad from a Christian standpoint (one which is noted by one of RS Biographies), but one would need to read the whole article (or at the very least the questions regarding religion) to understand the picture that is being painted: from what I see, Dylan is a universalist who finds truth in many, if not all religions, and has specifically studied- and holds a strong belief in- the Bible, and specifically the Book of Revelation. He charges the media with applying labels to him that are inaccurate (and in this, I find an agreement with him over the 'born again' label- I too disdain the commonplace, conflated title). --C.Logan 18:50, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Bus stop has struck me as slightly excessive because he's essentially acted like people want to include Dylan to defame Judaism, which strikes me as a serious accusation that'd need some support. However from what I recall you, Cleo, mostly have just been trying to make your case. Although "global scale" and basically threatening John were a bit out of line. Still I think you're being treated slightly unfair. Calling you things like "histrionic" is a bit too far and possibly even sexist, (Something we should avoid against, even if for all I know you're actually a man using a female handle, as Wikipedia is too weighted toward men)--T. Anthony 08:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Sexist? As far as I'd learned in school, 'histrionic' means 'exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect'- I've never known a 'sexist' connotation. I'm referring to Cleo's occasional habit of taken a relatively benign comment (the one made on 21:28 June 4, above) and turning it around completely in a sense which was unintended, and even to the point where I feel like I'm being cross-examined. Though the whole thing usually arises from a misunderstanding (which, I believe, is the fuel on the fire in this discussion), it is still something which should be mentioned and acknowledged. Take for example, the specific section of the comment to which I was referring when I claimed that Cleo has once again exhibited histrionic behavior:
What are you saying here? That because you've gotten away with misrepresenting Bob Dylan as a currently practicing Christain for over a year, it's okay - just because now you've added a disclaimer? You are acknowleging the fact that Wikipedia is guilty of libel against the need I remind anyone - somewhat litigious - Bob Dylan.
For comparison, lets examine the comment of mine to which the above was a reply:
Considering that the individual has been on the list since its inception (shortly thereafter followed by another such individual), it would seem that there is no real 'change' here, but rather a clarification and further definition of the generally accepted beliefs. However, the terms used in this instance don't make much of a difference.
Essentially, the above means that, as the original user included Dylan among the list of converts with a blatant description describing his return to Judaism (which was changed to 'current religious status unknown/disputed' later because of a dearth of sources), the only realistic manner in which his name would persist until this point would be if the criterion of 'conversion, not continued belief' where generally agreed upon. There were no real challenges. Generally, a law is not necessarily defined or codified until an issue becomes problematic. Consensus functions parallel to the disclaimers and clarifying statements; therefore, just because it wasn't written before, it doesn't mean we are 'changing' things now.
However, in Cleo's response, my statement is almost villainized, and I am portrayed in a questionable light. The writer appears to have the presupposition that I have bad intentions, and that I am deceitful. I haven't 'gotten away' with anything, nor am I trying to. Additionally, how am I acknowledging that the listing is 'libelous'? I'm not acknowledging anything of the sort, nor do I believe that the citation of widely-available sources (one of which delved so deep into Dylan's life that it uncovered his second marriage) concerning his conversion while making his later disinterest in the faith clear in his description is libelous. For anyone who is not wallowing in their presuppositions, the sources are sufficient sources concerning his conversion. If he's going to 'sue' anyone over this, why wouldn't he start with the sources from which these things are claimed, which have been in publication for quite some time now?--C.Logan 18:04, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but Bus stop has repeatedly tried to emphasize that "If they are not presently Christian, then clearly they do not fit the parameters of this list." He is suggesting that we should follow his "parameters" of not accepting former Christians who were converts. Parameters, and consensus for that matter, can change. Sr13 21:51, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Original research

An interesting item on another talk page: Talk:List of victims of the Virginia Tech massacre#The Original Research issue again. If the people editing this page are making the decisions as to whether or not the evidence is sufficient to write that someone did or did not convert, that is the definition of Original Research. And BTW, to what extent are biographies being added to Wikipedia simply to support the contention that the persons involved are notable enough to be added to lists like this? (E.g., though her bio was added a couple of years ago, to what extent is Joy Gresham notable enough on her own to have a wiki entry at all?) --Wfaxon 10:58, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe Joy Gresham was a writer in her own right, if minor, who once showed potential. According to the San Francisco Chronicle[43] her "Smoke on the Mountain" is still in print, she won the "Yale Younger Poets Series Award", and was praised by Stephen Vincent Benét. She was later overshadowed by her husbands. (Don't go by Wikipedia articles alone when determining whose notable or not as they're often stubbish or full of omissions) I get the feeling she's in the Jewish section, judging by this, but she had been atheist from the age of about 8 and at one time was an active Communist. I guess she would still be an indirect convert from Judaism to Christianity though.--T. Anthony 19:39, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I've added a list of her books to her article, but it is probably incomplete. --Wfaxon 23:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you suggesting Bob Dylan isn't notable? Drumpler 11:14, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
No. --Wfaxon 23:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Regarding Joy Gresham, it is possible that the editors felt that there was sufficient information and content of note about the subject that it was long enough to spin off from the C. S. Lewis article. It would not be the first time that "sections" of articles have been spun off like that. Also, based on my own admittedly weak grasp of the notability guidelines, her having had a book published about Lewis' reactions to her death, as well as Douglas Gresham's book Lenten Lands, I think is sufficient to establish that she meets notability requirements. I acknowledge that a staggering number of other people also meet those same guidelines, and that many of them haven't had articles created yet. But I think that is irrelevant to whether she individually merits a biography. I hope that makes sense. John Carter 15:26, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
People editing don't make decision whether the evidence is sufficient, WP:RS WP:V and WP:EL do and already did. You also may be confusing WP:RS with WP:OR, a better example of an argument that does not conform with WP:OR would be e.g. taking a Dylan quote from a Dylan interview in 1985: "It was affiliated with the church, but I'm not a believer in that born-again type thing." and use that to infer and claim Dylan has never converted in his life. (If such logic holds, imagine what we are going to have in wikipedia next: Are some editors also going to take the quote from Bill Clinton "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" and then go ahead and delete all references to the Clinton-Lewinsky relation citing "WP:BLP" "libel" concerns, demand Bill Clinton be taken off the Sex Scandals list due to "contrived parameters", and write long missives accusing other editors of being anti-Democratic???) Tendancer 17:17, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Clinton waffled as to "sexual relations" (i.e., intercourse) but finally admitted having a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Regarding Dylan, there are conflicting sources, particularly for the period following the late 70's. Is there one that can be taken as authoritative? (That was the point of the VT ref.) --Wfaxon 23:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
By that definition then Clinton provided "conflicting sources" since at least in one quote he claimed he never had sexual relations, in spite of innumerous verifiable, _secondary_ evidence that cited the contrary. And since Clinton himself must be "authoritative", all mentions of his relations with Monica Lewinsky must be deleted then?
Not to mention, I see zero, _zero_ source that claims Dylan never converted (contrasted with at least dozens from WP:RS--satisfying secondary sources explicitly stating "converted"/"conversion". Rather there has been one source where some editors are trying to synthesize into a claim that Dylan never did, which violates WP:NOR which clearly stated "Content should not be synthesized to advance a position."
And that's all ignoring the fact, rather amusingly, the same one source being synthesized states in its very first paragraph: "Bob Dylan, poet laureate, prophet in a motorcycle jacket. Mystery tramp. Napoleon in rags. A Jew. A Christian." Tendancer 23:41, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Clinton finally admitted the relationship in public and in his 1994 autobiography My Life, which followed his presidency. We can accept other non-conflicting authoritative sources as well. My complaint viz. Dylan has to do with categorization of his religious views for the purposes of a list, not his public actions or statements in 1978 or thereafter, particularly when these can be explored at length in a biographical article.
One's religion is a complicated business. Theoretically, you can accept all (or nearly all) of the Christian canon and still not call yourself a Christian. Likewise, you can reject all of the Christian canon and still call yourself a Christian (this is the position of some prominent Anglican clergy). The same for other religions. You can hold completely contradictory opinions at the same time. There is no authoritative source as to "what you are" or even "what you were", except you, and if you're not willing to talk plainly on the subject, how can you be included in a list of this or that?
AFAIK, Dylan at no time said plainly and on the record, "I am a Christian." It is all inference, very reasonable inference but still inference. His later statements deny explicit Christianity, but these are in reference to his later position(s). He is keeping his religious position, especially now, private. As is his right. So why is he anywhere on this list?
At any rate, that's my view. I'm not a Jew or a Christian or even a fan of Dylan. I'm tired of all this and am out of here. --Wfaxon 00:32, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Wfaxon the problem is you interjected into the discussion and made claims challenging the rough consensus, I see a few claims you've made
1) That "people editing this page are making the decisions as to whether or not the evidence is sufficient", and claimed that's "original research"
2) That there exists "conflicting sources"
3) That there is no "authoritative" source
So in response--necessary as those are the types of WP:RS-breaking reasoning that encourages some persistent editors here, and cause circular arguments to go around ad nauseum without consensus, I must ask:
  • In response to 1) Why exactly is it original research if we have verifiable secondary sources like Enclyopedia Britannica explicitly stating "he converted to Christianity in 1979".
  • In response to 2) Can you list the WP:RS- and WP:OR-conforming (yes that means no interpretation nor synthesis) "conflicting sources" that conflict with the claim Dylan once converted. As aforementioned, I have seen zero, zero such source yet a few editors seem to imply these sources exist. I've only see one source which editors have been using to synthesize in violation WP:OR, and amusingly in that same source in the first paragraph it flatly called Dylan a "Christian".
  • In response to 3) May I ask why you do not consider e.g. Enclycopedia Britannica "authoritative". Your last argument stated "AFAIK, Dylan at no time said plainly and on the record, 'I am a Christian.'". Are you saying only explicit statements from the subject himself can be considered authoritative and we do not value secondary resources on Wikipedia? Then I suspect your issue is really against the existing policies on what constitutes authoritative veriable sources, specifically WP:RS. In that case you can raise the issue on the boards for WP:RS and WP:CITE etc., and ask wikipedia to examine its reliance on secondary verifiable sources--which you Bus Stop et al do not deem sufficiently authoritative (I do not say this sarcastically, a lot of edit conflicts and wasted discussions seem to revolve use of sources, and it would help if all parties understand/agree to how Wikipedia works)--however as you can see it's not germane to the discussion here.
Cheers Tendancer 17:00, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Protection

I'm ending protection on this article for the time being because I don't intend to keep the article protected indefinitely. That is not carte blanche to resume the edit war here though, please continue the discussion on this talkpage. This can easily be reprotected at any time.--Isotope23 13:35, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

As the mediator, I'll look out for edit warring and protect the page myself if it continues. Sr13 21:04, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Partial restore

I've partially restored the removed section, sans the Dylan text. The dispute that is running here is essentially about Dylan's inclusion here (from what I have observed at least) and it appears the question of whether or not this section is appropriate is stemming from that dispute. I don't see much in the way of arguments about whether or not Flynt converted/renounced and I don't see a case for his inclusion here being especially contentious. I specifically left out Dylan for the time being as that is essentially the crux of the dispute. Personally I don't particularly care if this section is in or out but I would strongly suggest that a consensus be formed here first before further edits (i.e. removal of the section or adding Dylan back in) to this section be done. It's my opinion at least that continuing to revert war over this, even with 1 reversion, is disruptive to the ongoing discussion.--Isotope23 14:14, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Opportunity to deal with larger issues

For a while, it looks like we might be able to comment on things other than Bob Dylan's inclusion on this list. On that basis, I would like to solicit comments on what the rest of you think should be done with those individuals who have publicly and notably converted to one religion, only later to publicly and notably convert to something else. Personally, in such cases, I think that the best alternative might be to include them on all the relevant lists, with comments added to indicate their subsequent affiliation where there is sufficient evidence available to come to a reasonable conclusion. By doing so, we will not be apparently removing individuals who might be at least substantively noted for being converts to a specific religion, while at the same time making it clear (where evidence exists) of their current or last known affiliation. Opinions? John Carter 20:32, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

To avoid controversy, and a potential proliferation of marriage or politics related faux-conversions. I think converts who are known to have left should only be on "former X" lists. Hence Flynt, Singh, etc can be on List of former Christians, which is underpopulated, but need not be here. There's no need to have them on multiple different Christian lists if they were only Christian for a year or two. Same with someone who becomes Hindu or Buddhist for a year than gets tired of it. Check out J. D. Salinger he tried like a dozen different religions, that's only a slight exaggeration, at different stages in life. To put him in every "converted to" deal would get rather ridiculous.--T. Anthony 21:31, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Essentially, thats the point of the section within this article. Including such individuals solely on a "former X" list would be problematic, because there would, in such cases, be multiple 'formers'. For instance, as we have no RS which claim Dylan's reversion, it would seem we have a former (religious Jew) and a former Christian, as well as a current... well, that's not so clear.
Evidently, the listing here combines 4 bits of information on the most relevant page: former religion/birth religion, religious conversion, 'former' status in regard to the page's religion, and current beliefs. Such would combine a process which could be listed, for example, on List of notable former Muslims, List of notable converts to Christianity, List of former Christians, List of notable converts to Sikhism, and List of Sikhs. Determining which of these lists holds a monopoly over the information is a little NPOV; therefore, I can see why John has brought up this issue. Personally, I believe that the most neutral option would be to include such information on all of the above, without ambiguity in the matter.
However, I'd need to think this out a bit more: special cases such as Salinger complicate the issue, but as I doubt there will ever be any examples as complex as this, it's not something which should define the criterion. Additionally, having a special section such as the one included here on other conversion pages would be a fitting place for the likes of him.--C.Logan 22:07, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's necessary to have people be on every list where they might be relevant. John Butcher (musician) is on List of free improvising musicians and groups, but not on List of theoretical physicists and with good reason. I'm leaning toward thinking that if it was a long-term conversion, with them contributing to a religious charity or thought, they should maybe stay even if they left. However in general a convert leaving is in a way more notable for leaving than joining.--T. Anthony 22:24, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I should clarify what I meant by "every relevant list." What I meant, and clearly didn't say well, was that in the event that a person had (throwing out arbitrary numbers), two conversions (example:Islam-Buddhism-Voodoo), and were at least somewhat notable for each belief system they adhered to, they might be on the lists of former Muslims and Buddhists, and converts to Buddhism and Voodoo. I don't think the comparatively "trivial" conversions of someone who embraced half a dozen or more faiths in the course of their life would necessarily qualify for inclusion, though. Also, it would definitely be a good idea if the conversion were specifically notable in and of itself, rather than a "trivial" matter. The downside, of course, is that there could be cases where all of several conversions might be notable. So far, though, I only really see one name there, so think such cases could probably be handled on a case-by-case basis. John Carter 22:32, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I see some points there. Certainly, if there were a separate page for people who converted more than once in their lives, that might be the best place to put such people, if we also listed the specific conversions they underwent. Do the rest of you see an advantage to having such a page, and do you think there would be enough potential entries in it to justify it's existence? And I acknowledge the Salinger example. That might be the best potential example of a multi-convert to date. In cases like that, I could still see adding their names to specific lists where that particular conversion were specifically notable. If, for instance, the subject wrote a good-selling book about that particular conversion. I also note that there already is what some might call a large number of "faux" conversions on the List of notable converts to Judaism. If we could persuade the people who actively manage that list to remove those names as well, I would probably agree to such removal, where we have some specific evidence that the conversion might well have been in name only. However, such evidence is generally hard to find. And, if we can't get those names removed from that list, which I think might happen, I think for purposes of consistency having at least a few of the more notable "marriage" conversions included here might be in order. We wouldn't want the page to be overcome by their numbers, however.
Yes, I know that particular example of a published book could be seen as being applicable to Dylan, but it's the best example of how an individual conversion might be specifically notable I can think of. And I would acknowledge that if someone wrote a whole series of such books about multiple conversions, or similar public statements, they might well collectively be brought to the level of non-notability by the sheer weight of numbers. I can see the point of the above statement, however. I would still welcome any other input. John Carter 21:42, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm wondering what we'd call it? Would it be like "List of people who went through multiple conversions" or something?--T. Anthony 22:28, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
That seems to me to be potentially the least ambiguous potential title. If it were included in the See also section of the articles, I think that it's meaning would be basically clear. John Carter 14:04, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I thought we pretty much established Dylan was a convert, with only two-three contentious editors disagreeing with us. I still can't comprehend how that's consensus. Drumpler 21:15, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
If you are refering to me as a "contentious" editor, as my vote would seem to indicate you are - I consider that a violation of WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL. There is nothing in my record to indicate that I am a "contentious" editor and I request an appology. Cleo123 06:20, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. Like I said, I see this as being an opportunity to address the larger issues, without that certain party and his status being a distraction from the larger issues of inclusion of "reverts" and multiple converts in general. John Carter 21:19, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I second T. Anthony. Dylan was a convert to Christianity at a period of time, yet a former Christian, so reserving a section for him and several others seems to be somewhat of a compromise. Sr13 21:42, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused on this. You are aware that I don't really think there should be a section for reverts/deconverted people. I'm weakening on the matter, but I still think including those opens things up for cases where the person's Christian period was essentially trivial. I'm unique, I guess, in that I don't have fears that such inclusion is anti-semitic or pro-Christian. I just think it's unnecessary and possibly even anti-Christian. One of many subtle or not-so subtle messages on Wikipedia that Christianity is something childish or foolish that even joiners may come to regret.--T. Anthony 22:10, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure Christianity has impacted Dylan's life in some way, however short he retained that faith. My opinion on this matter is that it should be recognized and be reserved in its own section, because his belief in Christianity has been maintained in multiple sources. Sr13 22:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Not to bring the "wrath of Bus stop" on your head, but as mediator is it appropriate for you to clearly take sides like that? I mean before the matter is resolved. I mean I don't know, I've never been on an article being mediated, I'm just asking.--T. Anthony 23:19, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Just offering my two cents on the matter...but you're right. Mediation does require a neutral view. But consensus is pretty much formed already. Sr13 00:17, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Consensus does not mean unanimity. As WP:CONSENSUS states

In fact WP's standard way of operating is a rather good illustration of what it does mean: a mixture across the community of those who are largely agreed, some who disagree but 'agree to disagree' without disaffection, those who don't agree but give low priority to the given issue, those who disagree strongly but concede that there is a community view and respect it on that level, some vocal and unreconciled folk, some who operate 'outside the law'. You find out whether you have consensus, if not unanimity, when you try to build on it.

It seems we have here a couple of the last case: "some who operate 'outside the law'". Holdouts however cannot prevent Consensus_decision-making. e.g. in the hypothetical scenario one disruptive editor here keeps on refusing to accept the rest's agreed-upon consensus version, at some point then consensus can simply be achieved without him. That's known as U-1 Consensus (Unanimity minus one). (and even if there're other hold-outs who would agree with him, that cannot prevent a rough consensus or U-2, U-3, etc.)
Tendancer 22:15, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I know that a rough consensus has been reached already, and that consensus can be reached even with Bus stop or Cleo123's opposing opinions. But I want the parties "who disagree..." to be able to "'agree to disagree' without disaffection...", to prevent any further dispute. Sr13 22:32, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Totally agree. I remember one of the policy pages described the process of consensus-building and agreeing to differences as (or in this case, should've been) one of the most rewarding experiences on Wikipedia. Unfortunately sometimes some editors (and applies to all sides of course) seem to find satisfaction only in trying to "prove" that their POV is the correct one, when there could've been more satisfcation/enjoyment to be found in the process of give-and-take and building consensus. Tendancer 22:46, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

New categorization

Considering Category:Converts to Christianity is already a subcategory of Category:Religious conversion, I question whether the redundant categorization is required. John Carter 21:21, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

You have to go through categories re converts rather than conversion but fine. I've reverted and leave you guys to it. --Wfaxon 21:50, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Further discussion, close?

This dispute has ensued for well over a month now, and there finally seems to be some sort of rough consensus formed. It's pretty much agreed that Bob Dylan was a convert to Christianity by looking at the poll, discussion, and sources. Through logic, Dylan should be in the list (hence, "list of notable converts to Christianity").

Any other discussions that have yet to be resolved can be presented here. Try to be as concise as possible to your reasonings. Sr13 01:18, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I had hoped for a broader discussion of whether or not we should be including de-converts at all, as some hinted this was their point, but that never really happened. As the only objection to de-converts concerned Dylan I guess I'll formally withdraw my disagreement from above and accept concensus. Still I think all conversion lists need better oversight when it comes to alleged deathbed conversions and people who converted under torture before death.--T. Anthony 01:52, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm just concerned that if this is the final answer, if the whole matter will drop? What will be the consequences if it doesn't? Drumpler 01:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
If the disputes continue and the capacity is beyond me (which it isn't right now) we could bring it up to the Mediation Committee. But it's prospective that the disputes will calm (at most) in a week, and hopefully, we needn't go that far. Sr13 01:35, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, I personally would like, if possible, for us to try to come to some sort of agreement as to what the standard parameters for inclusion in lists like this should be. I know that asking the mediator who volunteered to take on this task to continue for a second round of discussion would be an imposition, but I think we would all benefit from having an outside voice trying to keep us all in line while discussing that broader issue. I don't think we've even come close to resolving that one yet. John Carter 01:36, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
No. The primary question, which the mediator posed, has not been answered. As numerous living people may well be adversely affected by the article's newly broadened scope, I believe this is an issue best addressed by Wikipedia's biography project. Cleo123 06:32, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, considering the sources used for his conversion are WP:BLP-compliant, and considering his allocation to an entirely separate section with a sufficient explanation of his status from what the sources at hand claim, I don't see what the issue would be.
Of course, RS requirements would apply to all individuals, and it's likely that we should deal with this on a situational basis. I understand your concern, but the situations of the two living persons within this section is not as complicated as you seem to think. --C.Logan 06:47, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Once again BusStop appears to be back at his edit war tricks. Deleting the Dylan reference, yet claiming in his edit comment that his deletion is done as the result of a "discussion" or consensus. I have reverted his vandalism. -Scott P. 05:06, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that is not exactly what happened and the removal was not vandalism. Bus stop (talk · contribs) diff removed the section, then I restored it without Dylan and explained why this was done here.--Isotope23 13:40, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that is vandalism -- he removed the section in question as he has done all alone. Had you not cut in front of me, editors would have seen that, as the first diff you mention was already mentioned by me just a few lines below. Drumpler 18:45, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I think he needs to be blocked from this article. It would seem consensus has already been reached and there's no reason to run a fourth vote. Drumpler 05:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I think this is the diff that Scott P. was referring to. Who's edit warring? Drumpler 05:26, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I believe that we should leave the most contentious person off the list until the matter is entirely resolved. Just my opinion.--C.Logan 05:28, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed.--T. Anthony 06:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I just noticed this earlier diff also (diff). The wording is verbatim to his most recent revert. Is this bot activity? Drumpler 05:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Likewise, why is Dylan the most contentious person? Just because Bus stop has a fascination with him? I think Bus stop should just have his editing privileges removed from this article due to his own contentious editing and non-NPOV pushing (forcing). Period. Drumpler 05:32, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid the only way this issue is going to be resolved is if Bus Stop and Cleo are barred from posting on this page or its talk page otherwise they will never stop the continual harrassment and brow beating even we reach a majority consensus to include Dylan. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 07:57, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
[User:Gustav von Humpelschmumpel|Gustav von Humpelschmumpel]], although I have almost no contact with you, you seem to pop up in these discussions at the oddest moments always calling for some sort of block against me. Then, of course, who can forget the time you falsely accused User:Bulldog123 of being my sock puppet? Please, explain with specificity - including citations - what it is you believe I have done to warrant a block from editing this article, which I have hardly edited at all. Please, cite the policies that you believe I have broken in these discussions. Cleo123 08:34, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Dare I use the word "Hypocrisy" to describe such a request? Considering that the above poster saw fit to start a full thread on criticism of myself, without ever once citing a single policy or guideline violated? And, considering that the above editor has seen fit to question whether the daily newspaper in New Zealand with the second largest distribution in the country is not a reliable source, without making any clear indication as to why, but simply providing an at best ambiguous link as their justification? I for one think that the fact that you seem to raise objections without providing any clear rationale for them might be at least one reason why your continued contributions might be seen by others as being problematic. By the way, for the record, I am formally requesting that the entire "Hypocrisy" thread be removed as a violation of the WP:NPA guidelines. Such complaints, if they are to be made, should be made elsewhere. John Carter 14:42, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Removal of seemingly useless and unsubstantiated allegations by User:Cleo123, which could reasonably be seen as personal attacks

A thread started by User:Cleo123, which I believe was created in clear and explicit violation of the rules regarding no personal attacks, has been removed by me. I note that this user has also recently started another insinuation campaign implying that some other editor who happened to appear to support me elsewhere has since disappeared. The clear intention of this comment was to imply that that other user, who I did not see specifically named, was me. I cannot see how such a meaningless and unsubstantiated allegation serves any purpose other than possibly potential intimidation. As I have already told that editor, I will not be intimidated by such silly, unsupported allegations. I also note again that such unreferenced, unsupported allegations are I believe a clear and explicit violation of rules regarding personal attacks, particularly if the person making them seems to have no interest in following up on them in any meaningul way. If this user believes that they have an obligation to the community to make such unsubstantiative accusations, then I honestly suggest that they do so in the appropriate locations. Honestly, I cannot see how such unsubstantiated, purely hypothetical accusations, particularly on a specific article talk page, serve any useful purpose whatsoever. If that user honestly believes the accusations have merit, then I honestly and sincerely urge them to post them on a location which administrators have set up for such a purpose. However, I note that doing so would also bring in the spotlight the behavior of all individuals involved, including potentially that user him/herself. John Carter 18:11, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I think John Carter should take his own advice in almost everything he says above. In particular John Carter should stop his petty personal attacks on those people whose opinions on the subject matter of the article he disagrees with. Concerning sock puppetry it is understandable that the likelihood of it increases in the presence of other forms of underhandedness. Sock puppetry is probably hard to prove. I'm sure there are many ways of avoiding detection. But when we find an editor with a low regard for other forms of propriety it, increases the likelihood of the presence of sock puppetry too. Cognitive dissonance can be relied upon (to an extent) to keep the honest, honest, and the dishonest, dishonest. John Carter should take note of the fact that I am not attributing any negative tendencies to him. I am speaking in the abstract. But we have to be realistic and cognizant that these personal conflicts do not emerge meaninglessly from the aether, either. Bus stop 14:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC))
Actually, it is my hope that the removal of such, I believe, clearly inappropriate content should function as a signal that the policies and guidelines regarding personal attacks be followed. Also, and here I am speaking directly to the user above, it is my hope that after having been blocked three times to date that perhaps that user has perhaps learned what sort of comments are acceptable on such pages. At times, he makes valuable comments. Unfortunately, his tendency for unsubstantiated allegations and blanket dismissal of comments of others based on such allegations, are, I hope, tendencies that they have now realized are problematic and do in no way help their purposes or contribute to the development of the encyclopedia. John Carter 14:17, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
John Carter -- People in glass houses should not throw rocks. Bus stop 14:41, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Can you both perhaps move on to the article issues? If you want to argue about editor conduct you both have usertalk pages to continue this on.--Isotope23 15:34, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
John, I didn't see the section you removed, but I doubt it was a case of personal attack. You've cried "personal attack" before when it wasn't appropriate, and you seem to personalize these debates too much. However, even if it was a personal attack of some sort, maybe you should just leave it in place. I really can't see any reason to remove another user's comments from a talk page. Your claim of a "personal attack" would be easier to substantiate if the relevant text was here for all to read, and in any case, Cleo123 is someone we should be seeking a compromise with, not someone to further alienate from the discussion. zadignose 00:46, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Possibly. However, as the admin whom Cleo contacted to have the text restored has seemingly allowed the deletion to stand as per his not restoring it as per the comment s/he made above, I think that the removal was justified. However, for those who were interested, the thread, entitled "Hypocrisy", can be found [here]. And, as I indicated to the admin who responded above, I think that the removal of these comments will hopefully cause any other parties who might consider making such clearly off-topic and at best questionable posts subsequently to consider whether their comments are entirely appropriate here, myself, and hopefully Cleo, included. John Carter 01:01, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Bob Dylan in Encyclopedia Britannica

Another editor already pointed this out, but I thought I'd bring it back to the surface. Inspite of the thousands of articles in support of Bob Dylan being a former Christian, shouldn't this Encyclopedia Britannica article be enough? I think this more or less settles verifiability. Drumpler 01:41, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think EB is infallible, it's better than Wikipedia but that's not saying much, but sure it counts as a reliable source.--T. Anthony 01:46, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying its infallible, but I'm sure that it is probably more accurate on a lot of subject than the average Wiki user. Drumpler 06:01, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
The above source allows for the use of the terminology conversion for the year 1979. Sources have limitations to their applicability. If you want to use terminology like that in 2007 you would need a source with applicability to the present time period. Bus stop 14:05, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Please specify exactly which policy or guideline you believe requires that sources which were current and reliable at the time they came out do not qualify as reliable sources for material now. John Carter 14:10, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
You might want to quantify that argument Bus stop (talk · contribs). Are you suggesting that the word "conversion" had a different meaning in 1979 than it does in 2007? I think you are going to have a hard sell on that particular line of reasoning.--Isotope23 14:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Bob Dylan is a Jew who was born a Jew. In the absence of active negation of that fact he remains a Jew. But in addition we have involvement with an Orthodox group of people in Brooklyn New York known as the Lubovitch. That implies a degree of piety. That piety is certainly not necessary. He is a Jew because he was born a Jew, and he has not actively negated that in well over twenty years.

One can refer to Dylan's "conversion" in 1979 because a source uses the term that way. But the source uses the term in relation to 1979. That term loses applicability in relation to the year 2007. Convert in 2007 equates to Christian, which Dylan is not. Is Dylan a Christian in 2007? No, he is not. Is Dylan a convert in 2007? No, he is not. He is not a convert to Christianity in 2007. He happens to be just an average American male Jew in 2007. If we avoid contradicting ourselves this issue resolves itself very easily.

Sources establish the green light to use terms. They don't establish factuality. When seeking factuality for conversion for Dylan we run into a brick wall. We find merely one individual who did not know time or place of a supposed Baptism. He said the Baptism probably took place in the ocean, over a few day period of time. Did he forget whether it took place in the ocean or a swimming pool? Conclusion? He was not there. It is nothing more than supposition. But we know that a source establishes the right to use a term on Wikipedia. When speaking of 1979, the term conversion can therefore be used. Bus stop 14:45, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Please specify exactly how you justify that "convert equates to Christian", and give some specific outside creditable source for such. I only ask because that statement is clearly contrary to the existing content of the article, and that, to justify such a change in the article as you are proposing by changing the terms, particularly using the language you are using, I believe we have cause to ask exactly why the change you are proposing take place. Otherwise, I believe that others might see your statements above as indicating a particular point of view regarding definitions of words. Those points of view are not necessarily held by others, and there is no overwhelming reason to change existing content on the basis of one person's disagreement with it. Otherwise, I suggest reading WP:IDONTLIKEIT and related pages to perhaps develop justification which more closely meets wikipedia standards. John Carter 14:52, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't "justify" that convert equates to Christian. I "say" that convert equates to Christian. I'm not sure what problem John Carter finds with "convert" meaning "Christian" in the context of this article. A convert to Christianity is of course a Christian. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what John Carter is saying. As I understand it I am stating something which is obvious in the course of making my argument. This is, after all, the article on converts to Christianity. Bus stop 15:35, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
And, I repeat, I cannot understand your apparent inability to answer a question. Please indicate exactly what your justification for saying "A convert to Christianity is of course a Christian" is. I am simply asking you to provide some outside justification for your statement. Your own assertion (I "say" that convert equates to Christian), or any editor's unsubstantiated assertion, of anything is not necessarily sufficient cause for anything. By so doing we will know what you base your argument upon, and be able to discuss it. Simple repetition of unsupported, unsubstantiated statements serves no purpose whatsoever, and I believe actually serves as an impediment to conversation and resolution. John Carter 15:39, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

It's impossible to answer a question which has not been formulated. Dylan is a Jew, not a Christian. Wikipedia requires verifiability, not truth. Verifiability is established for the use of the term convert for 1979. Truth (or factuality) is not established for the period 1979. Verifiability is not established for the use of the word convert in relation to Dylan for 2007. And of course factuality is not established for 2007 either.

I think that the parameters for this list are the same as the parameters for the Jewish list (List of notable converts to Judaism) because Judaism is not a proselytizing religion, and of course Wikipedia would not allow for proselytization. Also, the List of notable converts to Judaism uses parameters of minimal complexity. Parameters of minimal complexity, I think, are unassailable by charges of contrivance. I think that added complexity beyond the minimal, opens up parameters to charges of being contrived. The added notion that this list (the List of notable converts to Christianity) is the list of all those who ever converted to Christianity is just such an added complexity. I am saying that with the addition of that added complexity there is also the possibility of the introduction of point of view pushing into this article. I am saying that were this article to conform to the simpler parameters that the Jewish article adheres to that there would not be present the point of view pushing qualities that some of us think we might be seeing in this article. The Jewish list does not contain anyone who is not Jewish, and the Christian list should not contain anyone who is not Christian. This is in keeping with simplicity of parameters, which are unassailable by accusations of being contrived, to push any particular point of view. Bus stop 16:34, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

But, as you have been told repeatedly, Judaism is not the most immediately equivalent religious group, as it is also used to often refer to strictly secular matters and individuals as well, based primarily on ethnicity. Therefore, as has been I believe repeatedly stated by others, it is far from being the best basis upon which to formulate bases for inclusion in other lists. Were that standard to be used, however, please note, as I have said before, we might well have the case that all residents of the Western world today would be classified as "Christian", as per the definition used in the Arab Muslim world here. I think we would all seek to avoid such a definition of the term. I am therefore asking you again, please indicate exactly on what basis you make your as of yet unsubstantiated assertion, so that reasonable discussion can actually take place. As you have been told before, it is impossible to have discussion unless both parties are at least aware of how the other party defines their terms. Also, as there does seem to be some serious disagreement on terms, it is quite reasonable to request that those definitions of terms be in some way sourced. To repeat what I have said before regarding the basic definition in use in the article as is, that definition seems to me at least to be the most objective and verifiable variation on the three disparate definitions contained in the Christian#Usage among Christians section, and it is generally seen as being best to let people define themselves, or use their own definitions of their terms, rather than attempt to have outsiders come in and say to them what they believe those terms mean. Please respond to the points above directly. John Carter 16:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I really don't know why people are wasting their energy in replying to Bus Stop as they are clearly never going to stop posting the same arguments here. As I said above the only way this will be resolved is if Bus Stop is blocked from posting on this page. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 16:46, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. So how do we go about doing that? Drumpler 17:12, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, can we put the Dylan reference back in? You know, the reference the majority of the editors here believes belongs. Drumpler 17:13, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- I'd be glad to converse with you, but I'm not sure what you're saying. And nor are you addressing anything I've said. Having said that, I think you are approaching distinctions that are not applicable. These are just lists. We don't make distinctions between what is cultural and what is religious, for instance. That is well beyond the scope of something as simple as a list. Lengthy essays can be written on such subjects and still be inconclusive in the end. Where distinctions matter we can make them. I think the distinction between the sciences and the humanities is a distinction worth making. I don't see the wisdom, in the context of simple lists, to the distinguishing of shades of meaning between what some might identify as sub components of identity associated with religion. Who is to say what part cultural touch points play in religion? We don't know these things. If we do know them they are unlikely to be applicable to evaluating people for inclusion on these lists. But if you have a specific case that you think needs special investigation then pose that specific case. Bus stop 18:20, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I note that use said "we don't make distinctions between what is cultural and what is a religious." Please however note that this list explicitly refers to religion, and explicitly does not deal with cultural issues. However, as your quote above makes it clear, at least to me, that you have no objections to using the term "Christian" in the only cultural sense included in the Christian page, that being the use in the Muslim world, where the term in uniformly applied to all Westerners, including all residents of the United States, I cannot see how you can object to the inclusion of the Minnesotan Bob Dylan on the list. Unless, of course, you are making a differentiation between cultural and religious matters. If you are, please indicate on what basis you are doing so. John Carter 18:27, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- Do I understand your argument correctly that Dylan is a Christian because there is supposedly an understanding originating somewhere in the Muslim world that considers all residents of the United States to be Christian? Bus stop 18:53, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Not surprisingly, you do not understand what I stated. You are the one who insists that there should be no distinctions between religious faith and culture. The western world has historically been seen for the past several hundred years, and still is, as per the link above, seen as being a Christian culture. Therefore, based on your own apparent position that no differentiation between religion and culture should be made, by those terms, all residents of the United States, including Dylan, qualify as "Christian", as they are part of the largely Christian culture of the United States. Therefore, I have to assume that, by the definitions you are choosing to use, he is a participant in the basically Christian culture of the US and thus can be called a Christian. I personally would still argue against inclusion of people on the list who did not clearly and explicitly experience a religious conversion to Christianity, as I have throughout, but it would seem to me, based on what appear to be the terms for inclusion which you are seeking to be the standard for inclusion, that you would have no such objection. Unless, of course, you do believe that differentiation between "cultural" Judaism (and Christianity) and "religious" Judaism (and Christianity) should take place. If you do actually believe that, then I would request that you clarify exactly on what basis you make that distinction, so that the discussion can take place. However, based on your own arguments to date, which seem to be that a "cultural" definition be used to describe religious matters, all residents of the United States of Dylan's era were members of an openly Christian society, and can thus reasonably be labeled as Christian. If that is the case, then Dylan may simply belong on one of the subList of Christians, because of his having always been a Christian, at least socially. Unless, of course, I am wrong. However, based on what appear to be your own arguments to date, it seems reasonable to say that he has not only always been a Jew, being born into and raised in a Jewish household, but also always been a Christian, being born into and raised into a household in a Christian culture. If I am wrong, please indicate exactly where you disagree and on what basis you do so. John Carter 19:02, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- Most Jews in the United States are not particularly religiously observant. That does not invalidate them as being Jews. Dylan is just one more average American Jew. Furthermore, he has participated in religious observance with an Orthodox group of people (Lubovitch). So by either the cultural guideline or the more religiously strenuous guideline, he is Jewish. And the overriding factor is his having been born jewish. He need be neither involved with Jewish culture nor involved with Jewish religious observance. As long as he is not actively negating his religion of birth, it is his religion of birth which is applicable. The religion of his birth has been applicable for the past 27 years.

We should not contrive the parameters of a list. The Jewish list does not engage in any such contriving of parameters. It uses straightforward parameters. It uses the simplest parameters applicable to these lists. It simply lists those Jews who arrived at their Jewish identity by way of conversion. It does not make an attempt to include anyone who ever explored Judaism. That results in a much smaller list. The List of notable converts to Judaism has no agenda to proselytize, because Judaism is a non proselytizing religion. Why is the Christian list expanding its parameters? Isn't it for proselytization?

What makes the Christian list think it deserves expanded parameters and correspondingly expanded content? Can that imperative be explained in any other terms than proselytization?

Sefringle has pointed out what is basically the same thing:

I think all former Christians need to be removed from this list. There is no reason to have any former Christian on this list, except ad populum propaganda. It somehow makes certain people feel that if there are a lot of converts, their religion is somehow more true. That is part of the reason why these lists get long. I see no other reason to include former Christians other than to make this list longer.--Sefringle 05:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

and:

It is the same thing. Both are propaganda. Muslims who try Proselytize non-muslims state that because there are so many converts to Islam, Islam must be true, and you should convert to Islam. Similarly, people who try Proselytizing muslims say look at all the former muslims out there, so Islam must be false. That is the whole reason why some try to make one list longer and another list shorter. At the same time, Proselytizers want good people on their list, while at the same time, they want bad people on the other list, that way they can say that the other group is bad, and their group is good. That is why the List of notable converts to Islam list, non-muslims are the ones adding terrorists, while the muslims often try to remove the terrorists from the list of converts. They realize it makes conversion to Islam look bad, and that makes their Proselytizing goals harder to achieve. The same is true for Christianity.--Sefringle 20:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

and:

It applies here for the exact same reason. You, as a Christian, have a pro-Christian bias. You probably want people to convert to Christianity. Including Dylan on this list makes the list longer. List size is just as important, if not more important than who actually is on the list. That is the whole purpose of the ad populum argument. By including former Christians on this list, you make the list longer. And although Dylan left Christianity, and would be on the "good" list, he still converted, and that is what is important when proselytizing. What happened next is secondary, de-emphasized, or this detail is often just left off. That is what propaganda is. Manipulations of the truth. In this case, it is just religious propaganda.

Even with Dylan, you are emphasizing the conversion and de-emphasizing the Apostasy, by saying things like "is a claim made by no known sources beyond Jewish community sites." Obviously, you made your intentions clear for including his name on this list.

Those "strong-willed religionists" as you called them, are part of the evidence that these lists are propaganda. --Sefringle 22:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

That is all found in the above section entitled, "Discussion," found here. Bus stop 19:42, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Incredible. Again, I enjoy your selective quotation. Perhaps you would enjoy to also include my responses in which I point out the flaws and mis-steps in his argument (of course, with all due respect to Sefringle). I explain why his suspicions, which are seemingly warranted on another "list" article, are not applicable here. Of course, it only makes it appear that you a grasping for straws- you attempt to present an argument with a neutered response, which is a deception. --C.Logan 20:31, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Selective? Yes, I've selectively included everything Sefringle has said in the above section entitled "Discussion," to which I've provided a link. Bus stop 20:38, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know, and removal of the context when quoting a statement is a misrepresentation and is extremely misleading. Would you release a film with the dialogue of one main character entirely excised? Without the framing of the conversation and the responses to them, all you have is a monologue which glorifies its own points without rebuttal. This, as I said, is deceptive. If you felt so inclined to include the link, why was it necessary to reproduce the dialogue of one individual?
Could you not simply reference the discussion, rather than presenting it in a one sided manner? I hardly think you would find it reasonable if one were to present a case with all arguments but yours in the presentation. Of course, it seems you are familiar with presenting sample arguments of your own without any explanation or exposition of the other side's position (and I believe it should be noted that I, at least, present a synopsis of the entire argument when speaking to uninvolved users- and I'm certain you have done the same, yet only when it pleases you to do so).--C.Logan 20:58, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
If it is your argument that religious belief and action is not particularly relevant, however, then is there any reason why he should not be included in one of the Lists of Christians, given his documented Christian baptism and the largely Christian nature of his upbringing in what is generally described as being the Lutheran culture of Minnesota? On this basis, I believe, based on your own arguments, that there is no reason not to include Dylan on the List of Christians in entertainment and media, given his prominence. Or do you seek to indicate that there can be a difference between religion and culture? Honestly, such a differentiation is the only way in which you can reasonably argue that a person as notable as Dylan should not be included on that list. Do you have any reason for not including him on that list, and, if so, what are they and on what basis do you make that claim? Based on your own arguments to date, he would seem to be a good fit there. John Carter 19:53, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Terms required for reinclusion of Bob Dylan

I note in the Talk:List of notable converts to Christianity#Partial restore section of this page that the name of Dylan was kept out until and unless consensus for conclusion was reached. The mediator who came in has yet to make a final statement, and so to the best of my understanding we are waiting for consensus to be declared. Right now, the only two impediments to consensus seem to me to be User:Bus stop and User:Cleo123. Although the latter has indicated that several people have left the discussion, which is true, it is also true that such departures are seemingly standard in such discussions, and it is hard to categorically say that such parties, many of whom may have responded to the existing RfC, must inherently be consulted in a dispute in which they only weighed in as outside observers, and have not apparently felt any reason to continue in the discussion. If, of course, any party were to wish to contact those individuals to request their input on this matter, I personally would have no objections. Based on my understanding, then, the conclusion of the mediation seems to be what we are waiting for. As I am not the mediator, I think it would be improper for me to say when and if that point is or should be reached. I do however hope User:Sr13 weighs in on this matter shortly. John Carter 17:44, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Consensus supports inclusion of the entry. The specific wording, though, still needs to be worked out. --JJay 17:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Take this for what it is (an opinion), but as someone who has been observing this from the sidelines, at least in regards to whether or not this particular piece of information should be in the article or left out, it would appear that there is a rough consensus at this time to include it (noting of course that there is some vocal opposition to this from Cleo123 (talk · contribs) and Bus stop (talk · contribs)). Of course consensus can change, but right now it appears that the majority of editors engaging in this conversation believe this should be included. If this is going to be included I would suggest hashing out acceptable wording/sourcing for it before reinserting it. There is no timetable here.--Isotope23 18:24, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. The conversion is sourced so that is not really the issue. What needs to be examined is the phrasing and potential sources for any statement indicating some extent of engagement with Judaism post conversion. To date, I have not seen any sources that explicitly indicate either a "reconversion" or a specific renunciation of Christianity by Mr. Dylan. --JJay 18:45, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

The mediator has not done any mediating. The so-called mediator has stated that he sees no reason why non-Christians not be on this list. It happens to be my contention that non-Christians should not be on this list. The Jewish list (the List of notable converts to Judaism) has no non-Jews on the list. The List of notable converts to Judaism hangs the tag on it reading, "This page is a list of Jews." No non-Jews are found on that page. The List of notable converts to Judaism follows simple, uncontrived parameters. In point of fact the List of notable converts to Christianity used to hang a similar tag on it. The List of notable converts to Christianity used to hang the tag on it that read, "This page is a list of Christians." That tag was only removed in response to arguments that Dylan, a Jew, should be removed from that list. Bus stop 18:34, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

No, editors have been updating the tags and contents in an effort to find a middle ground and find a consensus, in an apparent attempt to placate (IMO misguidedly) editors like yourself. Unfortunately, thusfar you prefer to react to these attempts to work with you to achieve consensus/mediation with rhetoric and accusations. When editors modify the parameters/contents to try to assuage your concerns, you scream "contrived parameters" and throw accusations of anti-semitism. As that has been going on for months, it's becoming apparent you'll never be satisfied until articles are written exactly per your POV: consensus and WP:RS + WP:NOR be damned unless Bus Stop is happy with it. Ask yourself where on this talk page have you even tried to work with others on finding any sort of middle ground, and show the courtesy others have shown you (by even wanting to modify the list parameters just to placate you)--instead choosing to respond to any opinions/facts contra to your POV with vehement rhetoric, and refuse all attempts at mediation and discredit the moderator ad hominem when his conclusion was not to your lacking. If you don't believe in [WP:CONSENSUS]], then eventually the consensus will be reached without you. Tendancer 19:12, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • It has been proven, I believe, through reliable sources and consensus, that Bob Dylan should be included in this list. The way of how Bob Dylan may be included in this list (wording, appropriate sourcing) has yet to be figured out. Remember that consensus can change, and if anyone wishes to reopen the discussion at a later time, they may do so under the discretion that they read this discussion. Sr13 19:18, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Sr13 -- Do you seriously see yourself as a mediator by any stretch of the imagination? You have all along been a participant. Your goal for the inclusion of Dylan on this list has been obvious to me from the start of your supposed mediation process. Bus stop 20:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

The statement above looks very much to me like an unsubstantiated personal attack. I would caution the above editor against making such statements. I note that at this point in the dispute resolution process, the only real step remaining is Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee. I have no objections to seeing this matter brought before them. However, you might wish to read the content of the various pages involved before bringing this matter to them. Please let us know what conclusion you come to. John Carter 20:09, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. Like his "kangaroo court" comments above ([44],[45]), this type of attack on Sr13 is not acceptable. Isotope23 previously indicated to Bus stop the proper forums for his complaints [46]. He should consider those avenues, rather than further disrupting this talk page. --JJay 20:29, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Well Sr13 did cross out a statement he made when I called him on being partisan. It's unfortunate that s/he's truly has been a bit partisan as it may prolong objection. Still partisan or not I think the concensus is real. I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea, but concensuses really aren't about what's best just about what's most agreed to. Plus there unfortunately never really was a debate about whether it's proper to include de-converts. I was, and to some extent still am, on the "no" camp in that non-existent debate. Although on reflection I think that if a person wrote a notable work of Christian philosophy, or even an important Christian hymn, they should probably count even if they left. Anyway de-converts are now to be included right or wrong and we probably need to add such a section to other convert lists. (I've done so with the Catholic and Jewish ones)--T. Anthony 00:19, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
In his defense Sr13 has said that this was his/her first attempt at mediation. I believe anyone who tries to come into a situation like this one deserves some credit for subjecting themselves to the abuse they can expect to take place here, even if they do (I think understandably) make a few mistakes the first time out. And I too would like to see the larger discussion regarding de-converts (or re-converts) in general take place. I do get the impression that here might not be the best place to do so, however. If anyone can think of a page where such discussion might be able to talk place, I would welcome being informed of it. John Carter 00:35, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Potential phrasing of Dylan entry

I would propose something like the following: "Bob Dylan - converted to Christianity in the (late 70's/early 80's-?).(reference) After a few years of notable Christian activity, has since become more reserved on the matter, accepting the "validity" of both Jewish and Christian scriptures[47], but apparently more actively involved in Judaism(reference)." The word "apparently" could be left out, of course, as could the whole clause, if notable Christian activity were indicated. I would welcome any input on whether (1) Dylan has had any substantive activity relating to Christianity in the eyes of the rest of you (I think there is a reference to him performing for the pope; would welcome discussion as to whether that qualifies or not), (2) any needed changes to the phrasing, or, alternately (3) other proposals. John Carter 18:39, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

  • My proposal: Bob Dylan - converted to Christianity in the late 1970s (source numerous, but I would go with the Sounes bio, Down The Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan, to start), studied Judaism with Chabad Lubavitch in the 1980s (source:????), has since indicated that he subscribes to no organized religion (source: Pareles, Jon. A Wiser Voice Blowin' In the Autumn Wind, The New York Times, 1997-09-28). --JJay 18:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I could agree to that. John Carter 20:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Having followed these discussions for many months, I also agree that JJay's proposal above seems to be the most sensible and verifiable solution to the problem. Teapotgeorge 21:09, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
A sensible proposal; if it's agreed through consensus, I'll have to concur. Sr13 21:16, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I second (or third? fourth?) the above statements of approval. The above description holds to the sources, and I believe is the best description I've seen of Dylan's status. Perhaps we could eventually vote on this? --C.Logan 21:20, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I think we are "voting" on it now. I would also propose that the article heading: Notable converts who later changed their faith [48], be changed to: Former or lapsed converts. --JJay 21:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
What about:
In the late 1970's, Bob Dylan indicated beliefs in harmony with Christianity (source), including belief in the Old and New Testaments, especially Revelation(source). In the early 1980's, Bob Dylan studied with Chabad Lubavitch, which some believe indicated a return to his Orthodox Jewish roots (source). However, he has since indicated that he doesn't subscribe to an organized religion(source).
Basically, a rewording of John Carter's statement which, while it might be a little less concise, I, at least, believe is clearer and closer to NPOV. Drumpler 21:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I can't fully support this (although I'm not not overly opposed either). First, I think it's too long (although it could be footnoted I guess). Second, I think we need to follow the sources by stating directly that Dylan converted. Third, Dylan doesn't have "orthodox jewish" roots. Fourth, the phrase "some believe indicated a return to his Orthodox Jewish roots" strikes me as a bit vague. I would also point out that Sounes in his Dylan bio specifically attacks the idea that Dylan returned to Judaism. --JJay 22:10, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
My one real objection to the last above is that the quote about belief in the Old and New Testaments is a relatively current one, not from the area of his conversion. Maybe shortened:
"In the late 1970's Bob Dylan was baptized into Christianity.(source). More recently, he has seemingly been more active in Judaism than Christianity (reference), although he has indicated he considers both the Old and New Testament valid (reference).
This version is I think maybe a bit more fact-based, not talking about conversion, which I suppose is potentially arguable, and confining itself to facts. I think. Again, if anyone has sources indicating substantive activity in the Christian sphere, I think that might merit inclusion as well. John Carter 22:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't baptized into Christianity = conversion? And if so, why not follow all the sources by stating that Bob Dylan converted? --JJay 23:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
You have a point there. I was thinking that potentially someone (do I have to give a name:) ?) might argue that there was no real conversion, but simply an attempt to ensure getting into heaven if his earlier beliefs were insufficient. Also, and this is strictly a personal opinion, I do like being able to point out the concrete basis for saying there was a conversion, which is evidenced in this case, given the various kinds of conversion possible, and the possibility of future arguments down the line somewhere or other. John Carter 23:06, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
In that case I would suggest using footnotes to discuss the baptism. Two source that I know of for the baptism are Sounes (i.e. The Down the Highway bio) and Scott Marshall (Bob Dylan's Unshakeable Monotheism -- Part II: The 1970s,Jewsweek, 2004 [49]. A good example of this approach is List of atheists, where the entries are kept short, but the footnotes contain extensive discussion --JJay 23:17, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

WP:BIAS, pro Christian systemic bias

This Talk page is resounding proof of the pro-Christian systemic bias spoken about at WP:BIAS. Isn't it interesting that on this Talk page, associated with the Wikipedia Christianity project, no inclination is found to counter that bias? It is sort of like privilege wanting to hold onto privilege as though holding on to dear life itself. Bus stop 01:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Take your accusations elsewhere. --JJay 01:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Bus stop, I'm not a Christian and wouldn't convert people to Christianity. I would suggest rereading WP:NPA and memorizing it if needed. Drumpler 01:18, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
You insist on this, but I don't see how you can sincerely believe it. See Category:Censorship in Christianity, Category:Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, or most articles in Category:Religious scandals. Only Islam and Scientology get the same level of scandal/criticism categories--T. Anthony 01:19, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Also please note that the only formal "association" with the Christianity Project was placed here by the person making the accusation of systematic bias. Presumably, then, that user is criticizing himself, for having placed the tag there? Otherwise, isn't this just another example of the unsupported, prejudicial comments from the originator of this thread which we have all come to know and, uh, know? :) John Carter 01:20, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
John Carter -- First of all you are saying I am pointing out prejudice if I'm pointing out a Wikipedia observation at a page entitled WP:BIAS? Secondly, how would my pointing that out be prejudicial? Bus stop 01:36, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
What you call "pointing out" might be seen by others as making "large, sweeping generalizations which have not yet had any real, objective evidence presented to support them". If, for once, you actually made an effort to substantiate your allegations, things might be different. But I'm not exactly holding my breath waiting for you to make such a pronounced change in your tactics, though. :) John Carter 01:39, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm wondering if this conversation is actually fruitful. Bus stop needs to realize that consensus has more or less been reached on this issue. Every time something doesn't go in his favour, he has a tendency to repeat the same arguments all over again and even make personal attacks. I think the best course of action would be to a) ignore him and b) revoke his editing privileges from this article. If he continues to come up and start his drama, just skip over his comments and choose not to respond to them. Otherwise, he's wasting our times. Drumpler 02:06, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

John Carter -- We see that List of notable converts to Christianity claims parameters very different from the parameters that List of notable converts to Judaism claims for itself. The parameters utilized at List of notable converts to Judaism are clearly far more restrictive. The parameters utilized at List of notable converts to Judaism results in the casting of a far smaller net for potential candidates. Why do you suppose the List of notable converts to Christianity should utilize parameters that are far less restrictive than those used by the List of notable converts to Judaism? Why do you suppose the List of notable converts to Christianity should utilize parameters that result in the casting of a far wider net than that used by the List of notable converts to Judaism?

The List of notable converts to Christianity uses parameters that include "anyone who has ever converted to Christianity." The List of notable converts to Judaism only includes those individuals who are presently Jewish. Unlike the List of notable converts to Christianity, the List of notable converts to Judaism does not include on it anyone who has ever dabbled in Judaism. It is from a far smaller pool of candidates that the List of notable converts to Judaism finds names for it's list. That is inherent in the parameters utilized by the List of notable converts to Judaism, in contradistinction to the parameters utilized by the List of notable converts to Christianity. Why is this discrepancy present? Would it be part of the systemic bias said to exist on Wikipedia? Bus stop 03:28, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Former converts were in the Jewish list, but I've tried to deal with that in a matter similar to what's done here. See the current version of List of notable converts to Judaism. Concensus at Wikipedia can be irritating and I think even wrong. Still this debate is basically over. Wait two months and you can start it again. (Or ignore the article in the way I try to ignore articles I find biased, not that I entirely succeed at that)--T. Anthony 03:37, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
T. Anthony -- If there are any names of living people on the List of notable converts to Judaism that are not presently Jewish you should remove them. Stop complaining if you are not doing anything about it. There is a tag which hangs on the List of notable converts to Judaism which says, "This page is a list of Jews." Just note in your edit summary that the names you are removing are not Jews. The List of notable converts to Christianity article could not hang a tag reading, "This page is a list of Christians" because it simply would not be true. The List of notable converts to Christianity claims for itself contrived parameters that include people who are not even Christian. That is the sort of bogus parameters that is clearly consistent with the systemic bias reported at WP:BIAS. Bus stop 03:49, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
There were no living former converts on the Jewish list. So I guess you mean former converts should be limited to the dead? Therefore Duleep Singh, despite some questions about his conversion, is therefore okay whereas Dylan or Flynt aren't? I think you might be right, but it no longer matters. Former converts aren't going to even be limited to the dead. It's just not going to happen. The debate went against you, pretty decidedly, and I think you should wait a few months to see if concensus change. That said at this point you're just tilting at windmills. As for the claim I'm "not doing anything", I did remove lapsed converts from List of Catholic converts and was going to do the same at the Jewish list. It's clear though that's not what's wanted. Instead most seem to want to include lapsed converts, for some reason, so I put the lapsed Jewish converts in a special section like the one here. (The Muslim convert list is often more contentious than this one so I've left it be)--T. Anthony 06:21, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
It's a little hard to attribute the other side of the argument to 'bias' when many of the individuals involved don't even have such a bias (being non-Christians); additionally, you are stretching the concept a bit too far, and resting it on the shaky assertion that the editors involved are acting in the interest of Christian affairs, and are contributing an unfair amount of favoritism to a Christianity-related article.
I'm not sure how you could even attempt this argument, considering that the editors involved are arguing that such sections be implemented in conversion pages for every religion. How is the addition of this section catering unfairly to Christianity when a similar section can be found in pages listing converts to Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and so on? There is no real favoritism being displayed, except perhaps in the eyes of an individual who seemingly desires no progress in any articles at all if such progress were to counteract his argument (which seems based more in personal contempt for the religion at hand). He refuses to accept any suggestions as valid because of his presuppositions about the motives of the editors involved; it doesn't seem to cross his mind for a second that they might, in fact, be trying to improve the state of Wikipedia and help to transmit relevant and useful information. This, as you said, is what an encyclopedia is all about.
Additionally, you continue to ignore the purpose of the 'Jew' template which I have already explained to you several times; in fact, perhaps you should read the link within it, because you apparently have a habit of conflating definitions of Judaism- additionally, you became enraged when another user attempted to explain the difference of definitions (for which the Who is a Jew? article was created) within the article, and you even claimed it to be 'total antisemitic crap' and 'propagandizing bullshit', quite perplexingly. Although I've assured you that the individual was most certainly not editing the article to spite or offend anyone, but rather to improve it with a note which probably should have been added quite some time ago, I'm unsure whether you will be able to lay down your assumptions and simply trust that the editors are more concerned with improving the article than with any personal issues. --C.Logan 04:13, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Dylan and Archives

So may we put Dylan back on the page? I don't think we need to worry about the wording so much since we can hash that out in the edits and decide to choose the best edit. Likewise, this page is becoming 475 KBs long. Maybe its time to archive? Drumpler 02:09, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

List of notable former Christians

Is there a good reason why Dylan and those now listed as former Christians cannot just be listed at List of notable former Christians? An article entitled "List of notable converts to Christianity" seems to me to be best suited for people who have remained Christians. Nick Graves 02:14, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I would prefer a "convert section" in former Christians rather than what's going to be done. Still I'm in the minority and the decision's been made.--T. Anthony 03:14, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Not a bad idea, really, but it's questionable as to why the information shouldn't belong in both lists, considering the equal relevance of the two events which determine their listings. In these cases, there could only be a 'former' because of the initial conversion, so one might wonder why such a conversion is not notable enough to mention. --C.Logan 03:20, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Partly because as a convert he is a special case. Also because the evidence is not compelling that he left "for another religion or a non-religious ideology", which is the definition used on the list you refer to. That was the reason I added lapsed convert to the heading, which you removed. Please explain the removal, since, as far as I know, it is the correct term. --JJay 02:19, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Just as a followup, the Jewish position on this situation is instructive. The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth has written:
if a convert, by his or her behaviour, demonstrates a genuine commitment to Jewish law and practice at the time of conversion, it remains valid even if he or she later abandons it. A lapsed convert is a lapsed Jew, not a lapsed gentile.[50].
Dylan is perhaps in an analagous situation: i.e. a lapsed convert to Christianity who may have abandoned religious practice and/or faith but who remains Christian. Nevertheless, I'm still awaiting good sources that establish Dylan's religious practice/beliefs at present. --JJay 02:30, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
A few factors: First, the fact that although some sources claim him as a 'former Christian', there is still the fact that he did convert to Christianity in the first place from a separate religion.
Second, considering the fact that some of the editors opposed to his inclusion are willing to argue against him ever being a Christian in the first place, I doubt the inclusion on such a list would only prolong the discussion and drag another article into place. As far as I'm concerned, individuals with multiple eligibility should be included on the relevant lists. For example, it is notably verifiable that Dylan converted to Christianity, which of course would be the necessary preliminary event which was followed by his apparent decline in interest in the faith up unto his current status.
Finally, it's difficult to even say what he became, and although Bus stop would be willing to do his own OR into the matter, there is no clear move to any other specific faith, but rather a gradually movement into religious universalism- he finds many religions to be valid, and he hasn't explicitly renounced his former faith. Because of this, it is relevant to note his situation here. The most verifiable occurrence in regard to his religion is his conversion to Christianity, as the sources state, but as far as to what occurred afterward, we have no clear picture (and there are plenty of web sites which claim him today, be they Christian or Jewish). This is what I believe JJay intended to mean when he referred to Dylan as a 'special case'.--C.Logan 02:42, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Nick Graves -- Actually, in the section of this Talk page above entitled "Contrived parameters and antisemitism," found here, Cleo123 says:

Believe it or not, I agree. We are no longer making any headway. I think I have an alternate solution, that may be acceptable to all parties. How about creating a breakaway article for "Notable Converts to Christianity Who Returned to their former faiths". Dylan's name could appear on such a list with other notable people who did not have a lasting conversion, such as Larry Flint. The original parameters could then be restored to this article, which would be consistent with all other "Notable Convert" lists on Wikipedia. I think that is a fair compromise, which will not be at all misleading to readers and might satisfy all parties. Cleo123 23:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

My response to that suggestion, also found above in the same section was:

Yes, I could consider going along with something along the lines of Cleo's suggestion. I would be amenable to a separate article entitled List of converts to Christianity who later returned to their religion. (I changed the word faith to religion.) Dylan and others who returned to a prior religion could be moved from this list to that list. I am in agreement in principle. Bus stop 03:06, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Obviously that idea was not found to be acceptable to others. I am of course still amenable to that, in principle. Bus stop 03:00, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

If you would note that there is a dearth of information which would fit under such a page, then you might understand why I argued in favor of the current idea, which is similar, of merely containing the information as a section within the most relevant page. Considering that we are at a mere 3 entrants at this point, and because it is doubtable that such a list will ever grow to a viable size, I find the subsection to be the most reasonable and satisfactory solution. Of course, if by chance the section were to ever grow to a viable size (once again, doubtful), then it may be moved to its own page.
As I see it, such an article would not survive an AfD, considering that the criterion is overly convoluted for an article (as opposed to a subsection within a relevant article). Additionally, if we were to have a pan-religious article which were to attempt similar criterion, it would get extremely messy and would still not address the issue of doubly-present individuals; that is, Dylan would still be on this here, because the information is relevant to multiple lists.--C.Logan 03:16, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

JJay: I explained my removal of "lapsed" in the edit summary. In my experience, the word "lapsed" has typically had a negative connotation, so its use in a section title raises POV concerns. If a lapsed Christian remains a Christian, they should just be listed in the main section of the article, rather than put in a separate subsection. Nick Graves 04:23, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I think JJay's point arises from the difficulty in determining a shift from a specific religion to loose affiliation, a non-religious, pan-religious, or anti-religious stance. For instance, Larry Flynt is most certainly non-Christian now, but at one point post-conversion did a change occur? I'm actually not fighting for the inclusion of 'lapsed' in the title, but I can understand why one might argue for it's inclusion; personally, I think 'former' sums it up well, although 'former converts' is a clumsy phrasing in and of itself, so I would actually gravitate toward the original title of the section (although that one, too, is imperfect). --C.Logan 04:38, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree with this proposal at all as it is not certain at all that he is a "former Christian", whereas it is certain that he converted to Christianity. We should only say what we are certain of. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 11:56, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Mediation

Is there any further need to mediate this discussion? The dispute has calmed down greatly, and consensus has been formed. You may ask me again if there is a need for further mediation, if not, then hopefully, a reasonable conclusion can be made without me. Sr13 05:07, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

You did your best and as this was your first one maybe I was too harsh. However I don't think mediation accomplished anything. The "rival camps" are about exactly at the place they were before. The dissenting opinion doesn't seem to want to accept Dylan being in, the other wouldn't accept him being out. A minority didn't like him being in a "former convert" section and they feel about the same as they did. I don't see any movement towards tolerating the other on either side.--T. Anthony 06:29, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the mediator has behaved improperly in this matter. As has been pointed out by several other editors on this page, Sr13 has made clearly partisan statements during the course this discussion, behaving more like a participant than a mediator. Sr13 has completely failed to address the primary issue which he/she posed regarding the article's parameters. He/she has failed this article by trying to put the cart before the horse in the discussion. Not only has the mediator made overt POV statements in the discussion, he has misrepresented the opinions of other editors in order to acheive a false sense of consensus. Most troubling of all, however, is the mediator's allowance of talk page vandalism and personal attacks by User:Warlordjohncarter.
Understanding that it was his/her first mediation, I was very willing to give this editor the benefit of the doubt. Although a "quick fix" may be tempting, that is not a responsible or acceptable solution. In granting a "special exception" to Christianity, as opposed to any other religions featured on WIkipedia, an editorial bias is being exercised. More importantly, this article, which has been nominated for deletion three times now, has been repeatedly cited by numerous editors as a forum for POV pushing and abuse. I would suggest that editors carefully review the talk page discussion. There is a group of editors guarding this page who have repeatedly engaged in very aggressive attacks against anyone who wants to remove any name from "their" list. The problem is not limited to Bob Dylan. The difference here is that, unlike most editors, Bus stop has refused to back down and go away in the face of their attacks. Take a look at the very recent Obama discussion, for example. I would not allow this group of editors any special dispensation; particularly when there is a the strong likelihood that living people's reputations may be adversely affected. This is an untenable can of worms being opened, that will undoubtedly lead to numerous conflicts and problems in the future.
Much ado has been made of "consensus". I do not believe there is a concensus. I have watched editor, after aditor, after editor come to these discussions in support of some portion of User:Bus stop's arguments.[51][52][53][54][55] It should be noted that the initial objections regarding Dylan were raised by User:Metzenberg, not User:Bus stop. [56] He spent exerted considerable effort defending his position against the same cast characters we find here. [57]. Like myself, his talk page comments were vandalized [58] and he appears to have abandoned not only the discussion, but Wikipedia. Unfortunately, it seems that anyone who voices a dissenting opinion on this article is subject to attempts at intimidation and bullying. I invite the community to take a look at my own talk page, which is downright cluttered with threats from User:Warlordjohncarter who has been relentlously harassing me from the day I first joined this discussion. For some weeks now, I have been hesitant to work on any other articles as he and User:C.Logan have been literally following me from page to page. I have taken breaks from Wikipedia in the hopes that the harassment would cease, but it has not. Their treatment of me, however, pales by comparison with their grossly uncivil treatment of User:bus stop. There is a very big problem on this page with editorial misconduct. Although User:Bus stop has made some impolitic commentary, his remarks have, for the most part, been article driven. He has not engaged in the kind of personal attacks, insults, overt name calling and blatent harassment that User:Warlordjohncarter and User:C.Logan have engaged in.
At this juncture, I would like to bring this edit to the community's attention. As he has done in the past, User:Warlordjohncarter has awarded a Barnstar to someone who other editors on this page have accused of exercising editorial bias. Given the timing of Carter's posts and the mediator's comment above, it would certainly appear that our neutral mediator has essentially accepted a bribe of sorts to end the discussion. I consider this to be highly improper and I suggest that the discussion be continued with a new, seasoned and experienced mediator. Cleo123 07:33, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
The above comment is, in part, a strong misrepresentation of reality. For example, I'm very surprised to find that participating in discussion on the talk pages of users involved (namely, you and Bus stop) is considered 'harassment' and 'following you from page to page'. I was deeply confused by your unwarranted upset before and I continue to be now. With all due respect, you need to relax, as I've said before.
Also, considering that John's award and description is essentially a 'thanks for trying' award, I don't really see a problem with it. The mediator was inexperienced, and he decided to take on a very difficult project. I would suggest you refrain from making suggestions of conspiracy, especially the suggestions of 'bribery'. For goodness' sake: this is Wikipedia, and considering this setting, you appear to be taking things way out of line. If you'd like to present evidence of this accusation, feel free to do so, but I feel that you are overstepping your boundaries with this accusation.
Additionally, your statement about Bus stop's comments being mostly 'article-driven' almost needs no comment. Whether you agree with Bus stop or not, it is hard to ignore the fact that at least 75% of the argument which he consistently holds to is based on non-Wikipedian elements: theology, history, personal issues, inter-religious interaction, etc. The individuals who cite WP policies or guidelines in response are generally ignored, and Bus stop continues to repeat the same arguments consistently.
I'm also surprised to see you citing votes from an earlier point in the discussion, which dealt with a largely different argument, and included users which had been involved at an earlier point in the discussion. If such an odd game is to be played, should I note that "editor, after editor, after editor, after editor, after editor, after editor...etc" also opposed his position at that time ([59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70] and so on...)? This sort of thing doesn't prove much, as the AfD itself had questionable causes.
Concerning the current issue, I find it difficult to assert that anyone can truly 'bully' another person on the internet. If by 'bullying' you mean 'responding to his comments', then I see no real problem with your presentation. This discussion has been functioning with individuals like Bus stop and yourself in the minority position, and therefore any sense of bullying primarily derives from the fact that it should (naturally) feel exasperating to have many users disagreeing with you. However, at the end of the day, I'm sure we're all good and rather intelligent people, and might likely become friends if we weren't made aware of the online identities. However, when arguments are brought to the table which a particular group of individuals believes are wholly deficient, it is unavoidable that these editors will respond plentifully and thoroughly. I can't claim that all editors have been saints, neither you, nor I, John, Bus stop or any other individual involved, but I haven't seen any really problematic issues arising (save certain off-kilter comments which were not entertained by anyone). It's only natural that such a long-running discussion would cause stress upon the participant, and that makes it a little easier to turn from friendly to foe-ly.
Now, as amazing as this may seem from your point of view, I'm actually open to what Bus stop has to say- once he ceases attempting to make his point by characterizing other editors, bringing in irrelevant historical and theological issues, ignoring, for the most part, other users comments and responses, and exercising 'potentially libelous' assertions when he claims that Bob Dylan should be considered Jewish because he is not 'actively negating it'- quite honestly, one of the worst logical arguments I've seen, considering the actual possibilities and the situation.
It's not as if I've never tried to put the argument to a friendly close before- I have; but I was quickly rebuked. Although I'd hoped to have a friendlier discussion on a user talk page, it appears I was not good enough for consideration (at least it certainly felt that way). Whatever the case, the argument continues in no small part because of Bus stop's unwillingness to drop his presuppositions regarding the motivations of other editors, many of whom aren't even Christian (and of those who are, are more concerned about following policy and improving articles than with 'proselytizing').
The only real issue I have with you currently, and this should probably be noted, is your tendency to practice OR. As should be clear from policy, primary sources should not be interpreted by anyone. Although we all believe ourselves to be masters of the mind, it may very well be that our interpretation of things is incorrect, and in making assumptions based on interview comments which often don't consider the context, the door is opened to mistaken assumptions which could end up being libelous in nature- and as you've noted, that's something we should avoid. Citing secondary sources is the general rule on Wikipedia. As the sources we've cited are from biographies composed by experts on Dylan, what they determine from their study and their expertise has a great deal more weight, as far as WP is concerned, than any direct statement made by Dylan himself.
I'd prefer not to get too involved in another mini-argument, as I don't feel there's much point in joining in this message chain. It's simply going to turn into another bitter point in the discussion, which you seem to have perpetuated with the above accusations (a kind which you have made in similar groupings previously). I would prefer we start over from a clean slate, and I have an idea regarding how the discussion might resolve smoothly and quickly (whether or not you would like to hear it is another issue, but it's up to you). Preferably though, the section which is being discussed should provide a more productive method to resolution.
As far as I'm concerned, I fail to see how the current section is insufficient in itself to (at least) cause everyone to cool down quite a bit. There can be no confusion in this section that the individuals listed are still Christians. The descriptions are clear and based in sources. And indeed, this applies the strictest terms to the parameters in the rest of the article. I know that you also presented a similar idea concerning a separate article, but I've already explained a few of the reasons why that idea wouldn't quite work. If there is any real issue with the section, then please make it clear. Otherwise, it would seem that the motivation derives solely from an agenda to censor a verifiable incident- which I certainly hope isn't the case. Although it seems you dislike talking to me, I'd like to discuss the section/article thing further on either yours or my own talk page, if you would be so inclined. I really doubt you enjoy being involved in a perpetual argument, as I certainly do not. --C.Logan 09:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I have reopened the case and will no longer be mediating. Hopefully someone more experienced than I can help solve this issue. Sr13 07:46, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I should elaborate my departure (as it may have been abrupt to some). I apologise that I have done a poor job in mediating. Apparently, all parties were not satisfied. I didn't solve the dispute, and I apologise for that as well. There has been no transparent resolve to this issue since I took it in. And yes, I may have (suggestively) taken a side on the issue instead of being mediator.
This was my first mediation case (an albeit difficult one), and don't take it against me that I didn't make my best attempt in mediating. Let this be a learning experience to me. Again, hopefully someone more experienced than I can help solve this issue. Sr13 08:32, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your willingness to step aside. This debate has gone on for quite a while and it is understandable that an agreement may not be easily reached. I admire your courage for trying to take this one on. All your futures mediations will likely be a "breeze" by comparison! LOL! I appologize if I have been overly harsh here, your efforts are, in fact, appreciated. Best Regards, Cleo123 09:23, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I second Cleo. You took on an extraordinarily difficult and long-running discussion, biting off a bit more than you could chew. Still, you handled things reasonably well for the first time, I suppose (I can't really gauge performance and things). I applaud your effort, even though we're largely in the same position. Good luck with future projects. --C.Logan 09:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I third Cleo. I'm also sorry if I was too critical. Sometimes even when I really try to be fair to all sides it doesn't work. Instead I end up being, or at least seeming to be, unfair to all sides. In many ways I still don't understand the whole thing and I have doubts that anyone could mediate in a way that would even be tolerable to all editors present.--T. Anthony 09:53, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I thought Sr did an incredible job and I'm sorry if s/he felt they were bullied to stop mediating. A frequent accusation was brought to this page that Sr had a tendency to take sides -- how is it possible to not take a side if you need to make a decision? Consensus seems to have been reached countless times and I interpreted Sr's actions as one who was willing to move people peacefully into that consensus. Like it or not, someone, somewhere is going to have to choose a side and I thought Sr had it unnecessarily rough. Drumpler 12:27, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Is compromise possible?

This is likely something a mediator should ask, but is compromise even possible? What would the middle-ground be here? Reading through ideas bandied about that sound sort of middle-groundish would be

  1. Limit the "former convert section" to non-living people so as to avoid anything that could offend a living person.
  2. Limit the "former convert section" to non-Jewish people because of historic persecutions. Limit the "former convert section" to people who did not return to their religion of origin.
  3. Limit the "former convert section" to those who explicitly say "I am a former convert to Christianity" or "I converted to Christianity, but have since abandoned it" or something similarly specific.
  4. Limit the "former convert section" to people who did something significant in Christian art, philosophy, or theology. Limit the "former convert section" to people who were Christian for ten or more years, kind of a "citizenship" requirement to assure notability/sincerity of conversion.
  5. Move the "former convert section" to the List of notable former Christians.

I might be imagining those or there might be ones I'm missing. Looking through them 1-3 would most likely exclude Dylan who seems to be the focus here. Three sounds sensible, but a difficulty is it might be hard to find explicit statements like that from anyone. (Flynt explicitly said that though) Four would likely lead to Dylan staying in as Slow Train Coming, whether or not you agree he was ever Christian, was in CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. It's unclear if he would stay in my altered number 4. He would probably stay in a list of former converts using 5, but it'd be in a subset of a different list. The new number 2 would eliminate Singh and Dylan, but keep Flynt as it's unclear what if anything was his original religion.--T. Anthony 11:08, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

  • We would first need to establish that Dylan is a former convert based on WP:V sources. That is something that is assumed by certain editors, but has not been seriously discussed here. There is a difference between being a former convert, i.e. someone who changed or directly renounced their faith, and someone whose faith wanes or who grows disillusioned with organized religion. As for your proposals, I'll state in passing that 1 and 2 strike me as bizarre, and 4 would imply setting a different standard for the section relative to both the article as a whole and all other lists of this type at wikipedia. --JJay 10:44, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I think it's safe to assume that if a compromise is possible that it'll mean Dylan being in a former section of some form. Granted compromise might be impossible and I'd even say that's the most likely scenario. The five was just a rough draft, I may have missed other compromise positions and people are free to suggest any. Also I'll change numbers 2 & 4--T. Anthony 10:56, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe some sort of modified form of "former" Christian, like maybe "inactive Christian/active (in this case) Jew" would be acceptable? There is a serious problem, I think, regarding classifying him as a "former" Christian, without any clear evidence to support his having indicated his leaving Christianity and his statement of acceptance of the Apocalypse of John and the "validity" (whatever that means) of the New Testament. Silly as it may sound, maybe the creation of an "Other" or "Current Status Uncertain/Unknown" section might be the best way to go here. John Carter 15:30, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
The statements on the New Testament, that I quoted, were from 20 years ago. Do you mean more recent ones?--T. Anthony 22:17, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I see a few problems with each of the possibilities given:
  1. Such logic would be lopsided- if we choose not to 'offend' individuals based on what sources explicitly state, it would seem that such logic could apply to any information on any living individual. It is questionably selective, and there are certainly other 'things' which have a place on Wikipedia which would be much more embarrassing or 'offensive' to a particular individual.
  2. What determines the non-inclusion of individuals who return to their former religion? This would be rather illogical, as most individuals who leave a converted religion actually do so in favor of their former religion (so it seems). Why does such a reversion not merit as much mention as a conversion to a tertiary faith? Additionally, this does little to 'solve' the problem. While Singh would be off the list, Dylan, as far as I know, would not qualify- there are no RS which claim he has returned to Judaism. Only in the cases of OR on the part of other editors have any reliable sources been said to 'state' as such. The only real sources we have which claim reversion are Jewish community sites, and considering the inherent bias (and the consistent rejection by Bus stop of any Christian source for claims of conversion), I don't think it's reasonable to make such a strong statement without an actual RS. Chalk Dylan up for an 'unknown' or 'universal' religious position. As such, it would be a stretch to argue that such an application would even help the discussion.
  3. Again, there is a serious problem with only applying such a standard to this type of occurrence as opposed to applying it in every situation. Why must reversion require a statement (one that is extremely unlikely to occur), while every other occurrence in that individual's life does not require such verbalization, and is sufficiently sourced to secondary sources (which we should be relying on rather than primary sources, actually)? We should simply stick to sources- if the source says an individual is no longer a Christian, then we state that he is no longer a Christian.
  4. This, while I understand your reasoning, is a convoluted set-up which questionably discriminates against the individual. It is, in fact, counterproductive to set a time-limit to determine sincerity, and it is really not our right either way to judge sincerity of conversion based on the time involved. An individual who converts to a religion and remains within it before converting to another one, even in a mere six month's time, can be more sincere in his or her belief than an individual who converts and changes his religion 20 years later, or even an individual who converts and remains a lifetime. Therefore, establishing citizenship rights is a mis-step.
  5. This is the most reasonable proposition, but it is a hard task to reason why such a subsection doesn't belong here just as much as there, or rather, why it isn't simply present at both. It is undeniable that their status as a 'former Christian' could not come about without their arrival to Christianity. In this instance, the first occurrence is the cause of the second, and the second could not have occurred without the first action. Therefore, as the conversion itself is a vital element of this little arc, it is questionable to argue that such a list doesn't belong on both a convert list and a former Christian list (and I believe it does belong on both).
As far as I can see, and I do appreciate your genuine attempts to help the discussion, T.Anthony, many of the suggestions put forth by yourself and by other editors complicate things unnecessarily and cater to a point which does not need catering to. I am baffled as to why the current set-up (not the wording, as that should be refined) of the sub-section proposed is not sufficient for cause of compromise.
I've attempted to point out, in no few words, that the current setup satisfies the complaints of both parties, and does not attempt to apply convoluted definitions to the matter- if an individual converted to Christianity, and later moved away from it, the individual is listed. If we begin to apply complex requirements and such similar things, one might question why we do not screen the individuals on 'list of Christians' to determine their activity within the faith, or require a periodical statement of faith for each decade? The last bit may sound ridiculous, but when we begin to require so much more than the sources themselves for no good reason, we begin to delve in that same ridiculous direction.--C.Logan 18:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
There are likely other compromise procedures I have not considered. Although if necessary I suppose compromise can just be ignored so the dominant side can "win." There's a new mediator and I think much of this is to be archived soon to avoid reviving old tiffs.--T. Anthony 23:32, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Of course; I was simply reacting to the ones which you presented. Considering my position, I never saw a problem with the original format, but if the compromise will resolve the issue and prevent further conflict, then I'm all for it. However, considering that the 'dominant' side sees no issue with him being included here, I think the current style of compromise (i.e., the one which you can see on the page right now), works perfectly well, although it is unrefined. I would support the duplication of such a subsection on the 'former Christians' page as well- duplication is not a real problem in lists (as much as it is in articles).--C.Logan 00:23, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
If duplication of items on lists isn't a problem, then I think this a great idea too. John Carter 00:29, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Much ballyhooed compromise

Much ballyhooed compromise has been brought to you by crew that makes this article a locus of abuse and will likely continue to do so. In above section, List of notable former Christians, here yet another editor makes a suggestion that actually gets to the heart of the problem. They make a suggestion that removes the contrived parameters that is the primary abuse found in this article. Nick Graves suggests moving those who are not Christians to another article. This suggestion was made before. It was made earlier by Cleo123. I accepted that when it was suggested by Cleo123. I expressed above again that I would consider accepting it. Here are some of the relevant quotes:

Is there a good reason why Dylan and those now listed as former Christians cannot just be listed at List of notable former Christians? An article entitled "List of notable converts to Christianity" seems to me to be best suited for people who have remained Christians. Nick Graves 02:14, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

AND:

Nick Graves -- Actually, in the section of this Talk page above entitled "Contrived parameters and antisemitism," found here, Cleo123 says:

Believe it or not, I agree. We are no longer making any headway. I think I have an alternate solution, that may be acceptable to all parties. How about creating a breakaway article for "Notable Converts to Christianity Who Returned to their former faiths". Dylan's name could appear on such a list with other notable people who did not have a lasting conversion, such as Larry Flint. The original parameters could then be restored to this article, which would be consistent with all other "Notable Convert" lists on Wikipedia. I think that is a fair compromise, which will not be at all misleading to readers and might satisfy all parties. Cleo123 23:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

My response to that suggestion, also found above in the same section was:

Yes, I could consider going along with something along the lines of Cleo's suggestion. I would be amenable to a separate article entitled List of converts to Christianity who later returned to their religion. (I changed the word faith to religion.) Dylan and others who returned to a prior religion could be moved from this list to that list. I am in agreement in principle. Bus stop 03:06, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Obviously that idea was not found to be acceptable to others. I am of course still amenable to that, in principle. Bus stop 03:00, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I and at least two other people are willing to "compromise." But it is not really "compromise," on my part. I am willing to go along with logic. I am uncompromising about illogic. For logic, see the parameters of List of notable converts to Judaism. It contains only Jews on it. For an example of illogic, notice the contrived parameters of List of notable converts to Christianity. The parameters are so illogical and contrived that its editors supporting them have had to restate them a dozen times. Bottom line: you should not mix two sets of parameters in one list. If you have a group of living people who are not Christian (or were not Christian at time of death), then you should not have them on a list of "converts to Christianity." That is a blatant contradiction. That requires contrived parameters. That requires parameters beyond the simplest. Parameters beyond the simplest allow opportunity for point of view pushing, which is the abuse that this article in its present configuration is all about. Bus stop 11:08, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm utterly puzzled as to why you feel the need to quote, reference and reiterate a section which is two above (really, it's right up there...). But hey, as it is how it is, I suppose I might as well repost my above response here as well:
"If you would note that there is a dearth of information which would fit under such a page, then you might understand why I argued in favor of the current idea, which is similar, of merely containing the information as a section within the most relevant page. Considering that we are at a mere 3 entrants at this point, and because it is doubtable that such a list will ever grow to a viable size, I find the subsection to be the most reasonable and satisfactory solution. Of course, if by chance the section were to ever grow to a viable size (once again, doubtful), then it may be moved to its own page.
As I see it, such an article would not survive an AfD, considering that the criterion is overly convoluted for an article (as opposed to a subsection within a relevant article). Additionally, if we were to have a pan-religious article which were to attempt similar criterion, it would get extremely messy and would still not address the issue of doubly-present individuals; that is, Dylan would still be on this here, because the information is relevant to multiple lists."
That is to say, the original idea which was proposed was not reasonably viable, and this is why we have arrived at the current compromise. As far as I can see, I don't see why you would have a serious problem with it. The parameters involved here have, according to some, like myself, been 'conversion to Christianity', and according to others, like yourself, been 'conversion to Christianity with continued involvement'. As I doubt well ever agree completely, as we're coming up with entirely different interpretations from the same circumstances, I would hope that this compromise would be reasonable.
The entire article would list 'converts' to 'Christianity', but the primary section, being naturally larger, would occupy the parameters you prefer (stricter, only known Christians and those who were in that faith at the time of Death), and the additional individuals, which would be included according to the parameters I and others argue for (essentially, individuals who converted to Christianity), would be listed in a subsection with no possibilities of "confusion of terms or purpose".
I hope that we can actually begin to work together on this idea- arguing over the specifics of a compromise is better than arguing with bitter fortitude. Hopefully, everyone will come away satisfied. --C.Logan 12:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

What particularly bugs me is that now you are making this suggestion after a long and winded debate, accusing people of anti-semitism for disagreeing with you and missionaries for Christianity. I personally don't think it matters what page the list is on (as even this article states that these are former converts), but if it will end the discussion I am for making a separate article (or moving it to the List of notable former Christians page). However, on the same note, if other editors do not wish for that, I throw my bid for him to be on the list that already exists here as there is much sourcing (certain editor comments to the contrary) that proves his conversion to Christianity. Drumpler 11:17, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Now? You must be overlooking the date stamp on the above quotes. They are in fact almost three weeks old. Bus stop 11:34, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, I also see where he belongs on this list. This is a list of notable converts to Christianity. He at one time was a notable convert. Therefore, I believe he belongs. Drumpler 11:21, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, the two essential elements (conversion-->re(con)version) are equally important, really, so it would be difficult to argue why such an individual would belong on the 'former' list alone if such a subsection can be added to both lists.--C.Logan 12:10, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, with that logic (and I believe it to be incredible logic), wouldn't it be more reasonable to merge the two articles? Drumpler 12:17, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't quite understand your own reasoning here (no offense). Can you explain?--C.Logan 17:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm more peeved at previous tactics of accusations of anti-semitism, conversion attempts, etc. Of all the things you could've repeated (and you have repeated much), why haven't you just reiterated this, as it at least sounds like an attempt at reasonable compromise? Drumpler 11:42, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
It was there for all to see three weeks ago. In point of fact it was mentioned several times since then. Editors have attempted to justify the "section within a section" concept by referring to the "separate article" concept referenced above. For the real reason for the rejection of this "compromise" read the specific reasons put forth by the usual crew defending the status quo here at this article. I have been willing to compromise; the usual crew defending the status quo here have been unwilling to compromise. I am not entirely thrilled by the notion of the separate article. But I have been willing to accept it. I stand by logic. I argue for logic. I argue against illogic, such as pervades the List of notable converts to Christianity in its present configuration. Bus stop 12:28, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
As you have already been told repeatedly, you do have options of how to resolve this matter. Clearly, no particularly useful purpose is achieved by your continuing to make accusatory and unsubstantiated comments as per the above. You say you "stand by logic". Do you? Logically, the only realistic alternatives you have available right now, if the mediation goes against your opinion (logically, if it favors your contention, you will have won and no further discussion will be required), are as follows:
  • (1) To realize the battle is lost, and go on to other things, barring some clearly and obviously unusual developments (like, maybe, an unambiguous statement from the subject himself in the interim), or
  • (2) To request further attempts to resolve the existing matter. Right now, the only step which has not been taken is to refer this to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee, so that would logically be the next step to take if you intend to continue this discussion and the mediation produces results with which you disagree.
  • I await your logical response to these logically constructed points. John Carter 14:12, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
It is not acceotable that Dylan will be moved to a list of former Christians as there is no reliable source that says he no longer has Christian beliefs. Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 15:16, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Possible poll to discuss the deletion of off-topic and/or clearly redundant comments or threads

I'm not sure if I actually should be doing this, considering we already have a mediator on the case. However, I would like to propose the following:

  • There is already a template on the top of this page that this page should not be used as a locus for making comments which are "off-topic". I believe that this specifically includes comments on the integrity and/or motivations of other editors. Also, given the extreme length of this page, and the likelihood of it getting even longer, I think it does make sense that we try to encourage each other to stick to the true purpose of this page, which is the discussion of the contents of this article. I am therefore proposing that, should this proposal be approved, we make it a routine practice to immediately delete any new comments or threads which fall within the following criteria:
  • (1) Comments or threads which seem to be at best tangentially, if at all, related to the discussion of the article and its contents, and
  • (2) Comments or threads which are clearly repetitious, in that they only repeat existing comments or threads. Note: I would not necessarily include in this group individual comments which are made which refer a given poster to an existing comment or thread on this page, or new comments or threads from individuals inquiring about whether comments on a given subject have already been made. There is always the possibility of someone coming to this page from the existing RfC, or elsewhere, and it would be polite to answer the well-intentioned questions or comments of such newcomers.
  • Do the rest of you believe that it would be acceptable to conduct such a poll? John Carter 14:08, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
You're asking about a poll on whether or not to customarily delete off-topic or unproductive comments for the duration of the discussion? Well, I suppose I support that. We need to remain focused in this discussion, and I would hope that we can learn to focus on the progressive matters and not to repeat old and tired discussions. However, there can be a difficulty in realizing this due to the fine line in determining which comments fall into the acceptable range and which do not (I fear that some users may abuse such an implementation). However, as far as the poll is concerned, I believe it is a reasonable thing to attempt. Further development and discussion of this idea might define it and make it more useful. --C.Logan 18:35, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I strongly oppose this suggestion. There have not been very many "off topic" posts, and this will be abused when people are given a free hand to determine which of the posts by those who disagree with them are "off topic." The already excised "Hypocrisy thread" may have been contentious, but it was relevant, and not abusive. Even if you disagree, a person's words can speak for themselves. I've already said we should not be alienating editors like Cleo123, but rather seeking compromise, consensus, and mutual respect even if we're unable to agree on all points. Even if such goals can't be reached, we only lend credibility to claims of bullying, hypocrisy, and incivility if we deny reasonable people a chance to speak and be heard, simply because they hold contrary opinions to our own, or because they may agree with a more contentious and abusive editor such as Bus Stop. There should be no such thing as "guilt by association" here. Unless a specific individual violates repeated warnings to stop edit warring, then they should continue to have their say, whether reasonable or unreasonable, sane or inane. And, even if a person is blocked for abusive behavior, their comments should not be removed, as we need to maintain the history and integrity of this discussion. That's what archives are for. zadignose 03:27, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I do agree that such an idea is easily abused. My main support for it comes from the fact that all progress in this thread seems to continuously 'restart' when particular individuals revert to more primitive arguing points and essentially reinforce the same points over and over again, without any real progress. If only such postings could be ignored rather than entertained by editors interested in resolution.--C.Logan 03:40, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, although I forgot to specifically state this, for which I apologize, it was and is my belief that the last mediator more or less made a similar statement regarding what he would do. It would be my intention, were this to be enacted, that the privelege of removing comments (or, potentially, editing them) would lie at the sole discretion of the mediator. John Carter 14:14, 8 June 2007 (UTC)


Removing or altering other people's comments

For the third time now comments of mine on this talk page have been removed, moved or altered by editors on the other side of this dispute.[71] I believe I've made it very clear above that I do mind people altering my remarks. I consider it very disrespectful and I would appreciate it if this sort of behavior would stop. Cleo123 08:12, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Cleo, your vote, which essentially summarizes the argument you have already presented in the section in which you had placed it, belongs in the "Dylan Should Not Be Included" section. It makes little sense to vote if you're not going to place the vote in the proper section; additionally, I find it unusual that when I moved your misplaced vote (which doesn't hold any necessary place in the above position) with a cautionary note about my reasons, you cry: vandalism. There's a difference between 'moving a comment to be an ass', and 'moving a comment because it belongs in another section'. I can assure you that I was not trying to piss you off; rather I was setting things in proper order. --C.Logan 08:14, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I placed my comment where I placed it quite deliberately. I did not want my remarks to be seperated from each other. I do not see any place where the mediator sets forth the format you describe. Had you asked me, rather than simply moving and rewriting my comment, I would have gladly explained myself. It's nice to hear that you "are not trying to piss me off". An appology would be more effective in convincing me, rather than the criticism you have offered above.Cleo123 08:33, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Well of course I apologize for moving your comment. I noted that I had moved it with a clear explanation as to why, so I would very much appreciate it if you weren't so quick to openly accuse me of 'vandalizing' it, as I was acting in good faith.
It would seem that the creation of the headings entitled Dylan should be included, Dylan should not be included and Dylan isn't the problem makes the format of the mediation discussion clear: A vote of "agreement" under the heading which describes the editor's opinion. By this logic, "disagreeing" to Dylan should be included is the same as "agreeing" to Dylan should not be included- save that it can be a little more confusing to tally, and it lumps all the discussion into one giant section, while there remains a sub-section which has not received any support (and one in which I felt your vote properly belonged). Therefore, I believe we should feel free to comment in all the sub-sections, but we should vote (in agreement) only under the headings which reflect our argument/stance. --C.Logan 08:42, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I would also reming Cleo that the repeated use of prejudicial language, one of that user's possibly strongest weaknesses, is itself a violation of the rules of discussion. To repeatedly use the word "vandalism" to describe removing comments which, by the guidelines of talk pages, should never have been there in the first place is a clear abuse of the term. If the user wishes comments to remain intact, I strongly suggest that they follow the guidelines of comments for talk pages, so there will be no reason to remove them. John Carter 14:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I think there is plenty of vandalism. What is wrong with the use of the word vandalism to describe vandalism? And it is not Cleo123 who is committing the vandalism. Bus stop 14:37, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and there is also a great deal of use of intentionally emotionally loaded language. In that regard, Cleo is probably one of the most regular and frequent abusers of talk page guidelines. John Carter 14:39, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
No, those who vandalize Talk pages, or other parts of Wikipedia, are the primary problem, not those who protest acts of vandalism. Bus stop 14:48, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
How about this... everyone refrain from refactoring/editing each others comments and someone (perhaps the mediator) can go through this page and archive some of the older threads that don't have comments this month... just to keep things easier to read. I would also remind everyone to comment on the edits, not the editor. There is quite a bit of commenting here that is frankly doesn't belong on an article talkpage.--Isotope23 14:42, 8 June 2007 (UTC)