Wikipedia talk:Christian POV on Wikipedia

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Discussion of examples[edit]

I would really like specific examples. I think WP has been effective in bringing NRMs to light and that making sourcing more stringent might prevent some articles from qualifying on a notability basis, thus keeping their activities under the radar. Campus groups come to mind, and college newspapers seem to be the most reliable (if only) source as to what actually occurs at the university level. I do think that since encyclopedias should focus on facts, a premium should be placed on at least a concise epistemology ('Org "XYZ" believes the Bible should be interpreted literally'), clarifying organizational elements, and clear discussion of any criticisms. I would hope that the Flying Spaghetti Monster might serve as a guide in this. (Well, maybe not literally) :) Are there places where you see WP falling short of the glory of his noodley appendages? ClaudeReigns (talk) 14:28, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

It's worth noting that Christians care far more about the veracity of their beliefs than most other religions. I read a great book called A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong, which discussed how Christians became obsessed with their tenets being logical and Biblically derived, when essentially every culture from which they draw their tradition wasn't really concerned with an empirical truth, but rather in a more conceptual, spiritual understanding. That is to say, in many ways the ancient Greeks and Nordic tribes wouldn't have objected to their religions being called myth and folklore. Martin Luther would have certainly objected to these terms being applied to Christianity, but that's why he rejected all of the dogmas of the Catholic mainstream, in favor of a more rational faith. On the other hand, Sufists and Kabbalists don't object to being termed mystics, nor do the Eastern Orthodox, who are often described as more mystically or fantastically inclined. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 15:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, "myth" is an ancient Greek word, but it didn't mean to the ancient Greeks what it means to us. Nicias was a contemporary of Socrates and Plato, but "Just as the Athenians were preparing to sail home, on August 28, there was a lunar eclipse, and Nicias ... asked the priests what he should do. They suggested the Athenians wait for another 27 days, and Nicias agreed" despite the dire situation ... the result was "the entire expeditionary force was killed, captured or sold into slavery" and the eventual fall of the democracy of Athens. (See Sicilian Expedition - which also has some other examples of Athenians taking acts of petty vandalism to be serious and important "omens"). These, the archetypal ancient Greeks, took their superstition pretty seriously and really did see it as directly empirically relevant to day to day events. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:53, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying that they didn't believe in the validity of their myths. But they didn't have the same disposition to regard them on a factual basis - whether or not anyone had ever personally seen a god was immaterial, as opposed to now, when Catholic scholars present countless arguments demonstrating the Biblical roots of original sin, a concept created by St. Augustine, drawing from Socratic philosophy. The ancient Greek religion was as much an allegory for way the world worked as it was a recounting of tales. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 16:15, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Again, please show me the bias. I may be inclined to agree, but I would like to see examples. ClaudeReigns (talk) 20:27, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

I find the use of adherence statistics disturbing. In my country, Australia, obviously Christian editors delight in finding seemingly well sourced figures that show us that huge proportions of the population are Christian. These come from an optional question on our national census where people are asked about their religion. The results are not correlated with anything else, and dramatically contradict the much lower figures that are available on regular church attendance. Publishing the inflated figures is more like advertising than truth. HiLo48 (talk) 22:53, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Found one. This article reads like Wikipedia is saying this stuff actually happened. Very little attempt to distance the voice of the writing from fact. Tons of reference to Torah as an RS. ClaudeReigns (talk) 00:04, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
If articles like this are going to be discussed, then the essay should be renamed to reflect a more general approach. StAnselm (talk) 00:14, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Or perhaps I could focus on statements in namespace such as "The active obedience of Christ comprises the totality of his actions."[unbalanced opinion][neutrality is disputed] ClaudeReigns (talk) 22:52, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
That's ridiculous - it's simply the definition. You've been horribly selective in your quoting, for the next clause has "which Christians believe..." You're grasping at straws here, I'm afraid. StAnselm (talk) 23:20, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for calling my idea ridiculous. Civility warning number one. The statement presupposes an obedience to what I view as man-made rules ascribed to an imaginary metaphysical entity as borne out in purported actions derived from a narrative documentary which is an anthology wherein certain authors were included and others suppressed. The further blanket statements about what Christians believe effectively serves to push the POV of a certain view of Christianity. (See: Gnosticism for a different take.) A truly neutral article would define the doctrine without such presuppositions. The fact that the article was featured on the front page demonstrates that the bias is systemic. In a sentence, how should an atheist understand the active obedience of Christ? I propose that a more neutral statement might be: "The active obedience of Christ is a doctrine held by many Christians that all of the actions of Jesus as related in canon were perfectly obedient to biblical law." (not "Law of God" which is not the article title.) At the main Jesus article, we do not make the mistake of representing all Christians as holding the belief that he was the Son of God. But elsewhere, Wikipedia seems to endorse liberally views which are not universal. ClaudeReigns (talk) 04:19, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
The active obedience is not so much a doctrine, but a concept with Christian theology. But I have added the words "in Christian theology" to clarify. I agree with you about "law" not having a capital letter (per WP:DOCTCAPS) but "law of God" is perfectly acceptable. StAnselm (talk) 06:47, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
As far as the sinlessness of Christ goes, can you show me an example of a document in Gnostic Christianity that rejects it? The article doesn't say that every Christian hold to it, it only implies that Christians generally hold it. And I don't know of any Christian denomination that rejects the idea. StAnselm (talk) 07:05, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, this is really a discussion for the article talk page... StAnselm (talk) 20:31, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
No thank you. The gargantuan task of resolving the NPOV issues surrounding what I insist are articles about doctrine (see below) seems Sisyphean without a strongly worded essay and at least marginal consensus among editors to support the effort. It's not just about one article. ClaudeReigns (talk) 03:44, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
This would seem to disregard normal Wikipedia processes. Many essays refer to previous wording of articles that have been changed by consensus, but to criticise current wording in an essay while refusing to take one's concerns to the article's talk page isn't acceptable. I have removed the example, and I suggest you try to obtain consensus here before adding it back in. StAnselm (talk) 04:29, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Semantic discussions of religion highly relevant here[edit]

StAnselm brings up a point to which a valid reply is required. Semantics are highly relevant to an objective understanding of religion. When he says, 'It's not a doctrine, it's a concept' it's easy to draw comparison to other semantic arguments theists make such as 'Jesus is my savior, not my religion'. The same formula applies. A trivial truth is used to negate an unrelated point. (In the latter case, refutation of a strawman argument). What is a doctrine, then? According to Merriam-Webster: a)"Something that is taught" b) "A principle position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or belief: DOGMA."[1] There is a very real reason that these positions should not be stated as fact in a Wikipedia article.

The term indoctrination came to have awkward connotations during the 20th century, but it is necessary to retain it, in order to distinguish it from education. In education one is asked to stand as much as possible outside the body of accumulated knowledge and analyze it oneself. In indoctrination on the other hand, one stands within the body of knowledge and absorbs its teachings without critical thought.[2]

The NPOV requirement on Wikipedia is necessary to ensure we fulfill the project's stated goal - knowledge - and never engage in indoctrination. This is the reason we insist on distance. So when we make a statement about belief in namespace without regard to prominent adherents of opposing views, it's a problem.

The concept of identifying doctrines[edit]

The given example, which I have admitted is a commonality in namespace, was given ample opportunity to be peer-reviewed. Several assumptions about the belief are made which ignore minority viewpoints, which, taken as a whole, actually represent the majority. The assumptively worded doctrine is a principle of the Christology of Calvinism. Per the consensus that Christology is a doctrinal set, we see that 'the active obedience of Christ' fits the very definition of a principle (not principal) position in a branch of belief. The fact that it is also a general idea derived from a specific example[3] is irrelevant.

Ignoring that atheists believe that the totality of the actions of Jesus Christ cannot be known, ignoring the position of Gnostic Christians who do not believe that Christ was perfect, ignoring even the relational view being refined within current thought that Christ was obeying the explicit commands of his Father rather more than obeying an abstract principle of divine law,[4] namespace becomes a soapbox. All of these points of view on the whole constitute a majority which should be respected in namespace. Pointing out that this is a doctrine is the first and most important remedy. Where significant contrasting viewpoints within Christianity also differ on this point, blanket statements about what 'Christians believe' also does not serve. What I have outlined in namespace avoids all that. A better criticism of what now appears in the essay might be to eliminate "many" as a weasel word and clearly delineate who believes this doctrine and who doesn't. ClaudeReigns (talk) 03:44, 11 December 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ "doctrine". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "concept". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  4. ^ Lee Strobel (1998). The Case for Christ. Zondervan. p. 160. That is, he functioned like God when his Heavenly Father gave him explicit sanction to do so. Now that's much closer. The difficulty is that there is a sense in which the eternal Son has always acted in line with his Father's commandments. You don't want to lose that, even in eternity past. But it's getting closer. 
To Adjwilley, i've been doing some research into the largest religions in the western outside the largest "cclassic" 7, (which are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Baha'i, Sikhism). I did this because i feel like on most articles only the above 7 get covered, and many of the groups outside the classical" group are ignored. I sought to correct that. It has nothing to do with diluting the Abrahamic POV, but rather to amplify the under-reported non-classical and non-Abrahamic religions.Pass a Method talk 09:35, 9 December 2012 (UTC)


I think not enough is being done to tackle the bias talked about on this page, but i'm not sure how to tackle it. Hence we might need something a bit more specific/practical.

In response to ClaudeReigns, i think your adddition is ok. Pass a Method talk 08:31, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I think a big part of the problem you perceive may be based on a flawed understanding of wikipedia policies and guidelines, particularly as there have been no particular examples yet provided of this alleged bias. We certainly could use some specific examples of where this alleged bias is found, with some indication based on independent reliable sources that there does exist such a bias in those pages. Please indicate specific examples where this alleged bias exists, if possible with independent reliable sources which support it. Based on the additions to best and most reliable sources, honestly, at least some of us are trying to make an effort to determine which sources qualify as such for matters of WP:NOTABILITY, WP:RS, WP:WEIGHT, and the like. I am among them. If the above editor could point out some specific sources which are regarded by the academic and religious communities as the best and most reliable sources, something I have not yet seen, that would be very useful. John Carter (talk) 22:57, 12 December 2012 (UTC)


Does this really need a crude and only vaguely-on-topic image that more than one editor deemed inappropriate at the MfD, and which is (at the default thumbnail size) too small for the text to be clearly read? What are we losing by removing or replacing it? Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 14:38, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I think "more than one editor" is a little bit disingenuous. Several dozen editors commented at the MfD, of whom only two or three thought the image was "inappropriate". I'd say that percentage is consistent with the proportion of editors who simply happen not to "get" the image, or rather believe erroneously that it's saying something that it's not.
How is the proposal to have the image deleted from Commons coming along?
Regarding the legibility, the text is legible at the size the image is rendered in the essay, on my setup. But I've been told that PNG images that look fine at a certain size in Firefox, are illegibly blurry at the same size in IE9. I've no objection to making the image bigger - my original choice of size was to avoid it distracting unduly from the essay itself.
What image would you replace it with? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:12, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
It is not mandatory for articles to have lead images, and that goes doubly for essays on abstract concepts of Wikipedia culture where the illustrative quality of the image is questionable. The text is just about legible to editors with good eyesight at the default thumbnail size on an appropriate user agent, but that only gets us so far, and embiggening images for the sake of clarity is not something that should be done simply because of the low quality of the original source. I've no problem with the image remaining on Commons given the license; the whole point of Commons is to collect free content of that sort. That doesn't imply we need to force ourselves to find uses for it. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 21:09, 19 December 2012 (UTC)


A deletion discussion about the redirects to this essay is being held at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2012 December 18. StAnselm (talk) 21:21, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. There is one policy statement that applies to essays that those that are found to contradict widespread consensus should be in userspace (WP:POL) and then there are the guidelines in WP:Essays. Based on these two, it appears that the criteria for essay writing are fairly lax. Almost anything is acceptable as long as it is about Wikipedia and the only caveat provided is to ask a reader to look at "What links here" to measure the value of essays (and nothing is said about deleting essays of little value). The default, therefore appears to be to move it into Wikispace. With that default in mind, let's look at the arguments against moving it. Risker objected to the first person tone of the essay but that has been addressed (and essays can be personal views so that's not a valid argument anyway). St Anslem pointed to a line in the guideline that talks about when essays can be categorically moved into Wikispace. But that doesn't say anything about what cannot be moved. And, since Pass a Method has expressed the desire to move it, we don't really have to measure the value of this essay in deciding whether to move it or not. Then there was the previous deletion discussion. But that closed as "keep" without a qualifying "only as long as it stays on userspace" and it is worth noting that several arguments there were about the right of keeping material on userspace not about whether the essay itself was "keepable" (for want of a better word) on Wikispace. It is hard to conclude (and impossible given the close statement) that this essay contradicts widespread consensus. In sum, what we have is an essay that several editors below say is about Wikipedia, that the original writer wants to move into wikispace, and that has not been shown to contradict widespread consensus. Therefore, I'm closing this as a move to wikispace. I suggest that, if the essay is considered unsuitable, an MfD would be the next appropriate step. --regentspark (comment) 22:38, 25 February 2013 (UTC)


User:Pass a Method/Christian POV on WikipediaWikipedia:Christian POV on Wikipedia

Why? Should be moved to essay-space. Fully support this. Relisted. Staberinde (talk) 21:37, 12 February 2013 (UTC) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:07, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Category:User essays says "An essay here may be moved categorically into the Wikipedia namespace, Category:Wikipedia essays, if it is frequently referenced, as evidenced by becoming an evolving expression of multiple editors." StAnselm (talk) 09:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I support it too. Pass a Method talk 22:05, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I support this being moved to essay-space. It's remarkable and unusual that it has been moved to userspace. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
It hasn't been "moved" to userspace - it started in userspace. I also don't know what you mean about "remarkable and unusual" - many of the keep !votes at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Pass a Method/Christian POV on Wikipedia were on the basis that this was in userspace. StAnselm (talk) 00:27, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree in that this should be moved to the essay space. Greengreengreenred 23:58, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I've moved it to where it's supposed to be. I'm faintly alarmed that there is now an infinitely large herd of unicorns following me around, everywhere I go... --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:31, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Anyway, I oppose the move since it doesn't fulfil the move criteria. As far as I can see, only User:Pass a Method has cited it in discussions. StAnselm (talk) 00:33, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Reverted the move. There is no consensus yet - indeed, none of my arguments have been addressed. StAnselm (talk) 00:36, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
User:StAnselm has unilaterally moved the essay back from essayspace to userspace. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:35, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
A couple notes: StAnselm is correct that the essay started in the userspace (it was not ever in the Wikipedia space until today), and as far as I have seen, User:Pass a Method is the only one who cites the essay. Also...just something to consider, as far as I can tell, the essay mainly represents the point of view of the author. One thing the author may want to consider is that if the essay is moved to Wikipedia space, it will be edited mercilessly, and may be MfD'd again. (I should probably also note that while I don't really care where it ends up, in its current state, it's probably not ready for WP space.) ~Adjwilley (talk) 00:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Demiurge1000, i aree with your sentiment about "unicorns following you around". I have seen several editors support a move into essay space, so i dont see enough objections. Pass a Method talk 19:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, please bear in mind that consensus is determine by arguments, not by votes. StAnselm (talk) 19:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I have moved it. Pass a Method talk 21:52, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I have reverted to move. I don't see a consensus here, and it's not up to you as the user whose page this is. StAnselm (talk) 00:16, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support A page move i think is appropriate because several people have commented favorably on this essay and felt it was relevant on various topics including recently on an rfc thread. I have also improved it somewhat since the last debate. Also it was discussed above and i left the discussion open for 4 days and no concurrent arguments against it remain which have not been addressed. I have also seen multiple editors raise this issue on threads outside of my scope without directly referring to this essay. Therefore it clearly meets the criteria of being an evolving expression of multiple editors. Furthermore, this essay is possibly even more relevant to the wikipedia community than many other essays in wikipedia space considering it has been built by multiple editors, it was supported by multiple editors in an mfd, it uses various guidelines such as references, something which many others in essay space have not done. Finally, if it eventually lacks community support, there is always the option of lowerng its importance scale rate. Thats the reason i moved it. Pass a Method talk 01:25, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Also it provides an opportunity to address or discuss the increasing online coverage of unicorns as prime movers in theological (or philosophical) disputes, which has obvious educational benefits. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Idefinitely agree with you in the part where u said unicorns.:) 01:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I have reverted the move again. If you think there is a consensus against moving, then you should ask an uninvolved admin to close the discussion. But I suggest you propose a move following WP:RM/CM first. StAnselm (talk) 01:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Two editors have moved the article so far, so i think you're being somewhat unilateral. I explained my move above.Pass a Method talk 01:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I have reverted the move again. Please stop edit warring. Ask an uninvolved admin to determine consensus here, if you think the discussion is finished. StAnselm (talk) 02:02, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, actually you're both move-warring. StAnselm, it doesn't stop being a move-war just because you believe you're right. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:10, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. Well, I've posted this as a move review - hopefully that will sort out this mess. StAnselm (talk) 02:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. Evidently all of us are Christians and all have the same POV. Apteva (talk) 15:33, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Break; formal RM started here[edit]

  • First of all, whatever the outcome of the discussion ends up being, move-warring during a discussion is never appropriate. I've move-protected the page (if you are an admin, I urge you to please respect the spirit of the MPP) until consensus is assessed as the outcome of this discussion. :) ·Salvidrim!·  08:34, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I boldly converted this into a full-fledged RM, as it evidently isn't non-controversial; it also ensures it will appear in a list of discussions to be closed by an admin. I am declining the speedy close request lodged at AN and closing the MRV as unecessary. :) ·Salvidrim!·  08:47, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you. Now we can finally work to solving this issue. Greengreengreenred 09:02, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Just to re-iterate, I oppose the move. Category:Wikipedia essays says "User essays may be moved categorically into the Wikipedia namespace and this category if they are frequently referenced, as evidenced by becoming an evolving expression of multiple editors." That is demonstrably not the case here. It is not enough, as User:Pass a Method says above, that people cite similar concerns - what would be needed is a citation of the essay itself. From this page, it looks like this has only been done once before by someone other than User:Pass a Method - it was referenced by User:Mathsci at Talk:Marseille#Immigration. Clearly, not enough to pass the criterion. StAnselm (talk) 09:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • To make it clear for whomever counts, I support the move. I said this before earlier, but in a less clear way (and without a bolded support); in order to let whomever tallies the votes not count mine twice, I'm striking that comment. Greengreengreenred 16:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. This is clearly a very personal essay. Most of the essay is written in the first person, which is unsuitable for Wikipedia space. It gives no examples of articles where this is or has been a problem. It needs some serious rewriting before being moved because its prose is clunky. References to the notability policy should be references to the notability policy, not another round of alphabet salad. The so-called "essay space" is being littered with personal opinion pieces which are then interchangeably referenced as if they are policy; leaving this in userspace at least makes it clear that this is personal opinion. Risker (talk) 17:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I have addressed it. Pass a Method talk 17:37, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
No you haven't (not completely anyway). For example "Since Wikipedia wants to expand outside the western world, i think it should start by accomodating various cultures and religions first.".
It does give an example actuallly. Pass a Method talk 17:42, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support moving to WP: space as an essay. Although it may need some additional tweaking, it's thoughtfully written and adds value as a guiding principle reinforcing our goal of NPOV content. I can think of many occasions where it would have been useful to cite the essay in discussions where a Christian POV inappropriately dominated article talk page discussions. - MrX 19:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose move as per Risker. One example, wich is all that has been provided, is generally not considered sufficient basis for a whole essay about what one person believes is a mistake. I would also point out that if it were to be moved into wikipedia space, by definition, anyone could edit it in any way they like, whether others, including the person who is almost solely responsible for this page, agree with it or not. John Carter (talk) 20:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
You say "anyone could edit it in any way they like" as though that were not already the case. See WP:OWN. --BDD (talk) 21:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Pass a Method could've easily created this in W-space and we wouldn't be having this problem. Its clear survival at MfD is a testament to its acceptance, and issues such as first-person tone can be fixed easily enough through regular editing. --BDD (talk) 21:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I think you're wrong on your first two points. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Pass a Method/Christian POV on Wikipedia indicates that lots of the keep !votes were predicated on this essay being in user space. StAnselm (talk) 21:26, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. No problems with this being in essay space. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Risker, that it is too much a single-editor focused essay that belongs in their user space. If it starts being widely used, linked, and quoted, then I would reconsider. I actually agree with the basic premise, that there is systemic bias on Wikipedia that touches many areas, including religion (See this discussion I started: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Saints#Proposal to change the scope of this project, and note that I am not trying to restart that discussion). Systemic bias in regard to religion is already addressed at Wikipedia:Systemic bias, though it could be improved and slightly expanded there. First Light (talk) 21:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment - this move request had already dropped into expanding RM backlog as Salvidrim then doing conversion seems to have accidentally used original 4th February comment without adding current date. I relisted it so that it could run full length.--Staberinde (talk) 21:49, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks, I wasn't sure how to handle the dating issue. :) :) ·Salvidrim!·  22:00, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support move to general essay space. As of now, the essay does read too much like one person's opinion. That's hardly surprising, since it began as a personal essay. The best way to fix that is to move the essay to general space and let others have a go at it. Ignocrates (talk) 17:42, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Countering this bias" section[edit]

I have to say that this section, honestly, makes little if any real sense. First, it seems to be indicating that notability is based on numbers. I have never seen anyone seriously make such a statement anywhere other than perhaps on this page itself. Notability is by and large based on whether the subject is discussed at length in independent reliable sources. There have existed for several years reference sources like Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, and that source has as its basis for inclusion of a group the group having the required minimum of at least two congregations in the country, but not limited exclusively to one metropolitan area. So, for instance, a local Christian megachurch church here in St. Louis, "The Rock Church," probably wouldn't be listed, because although it does have one satellite church in the area, which meets the book's requirement of two congregations, both of those congregations are in the same metropolitan area. If it had a church in Kansas City or Columbia, MO, though, it would qualify for inclusion, and probably would be included in that volume, and probably be considered broadly notable enough for a separate article here on that basis alone.

In general, at least recently, the basis for determining weight in articles is the relative weight those subtopics are given in reference works. There are a rather huge number of reference works relating to the broad field of religion, including the Eliade/Jones Encyclopedia of Religion and Brill's Religion Past and Present. In those situations where there has recently been a discussion regarding relative weight to give groups in religion articles, at least in my own recent experience, the effort has been to basically follow the lead of those reference works.

I acknowledge that there are still huge, gaping, holes in our coverage of religion. User:John Carter/Religion articles contains several redlinks to what would be main articles on the religions of a number of peoples, and some named religious groups themselves. Honestly, the best way to ensure that these groups, all of which are notable, get reasonable coverage here is to help write articles relating to those subjects, at the same time helping us achieve the encyclopedic comprehensiveness we seek. When people see that those topics are notable, and can actually read something here about them, it would make it much easier for others to be persuaded that they might be significant enough for mention elsewhere. Also, honestly, there are a rather hugh number of articles on topics other than individual religions in that book we don't yet have here either. Having a better basis in the broad fields of religion beyond individual groups would also make it easier to introduce relevant links to those articles elsewhere.

Also, as has already been stated here, the groups chosen for inclusion in the essay tend to be newer groups which have often had little if any real significant impact on the broad field of religion as a whole. The UFO religions in general, for instance, have really had little if any impact on the topic of religion outside of their own group. Also, honestly, with some of these groups, their own internal numbers are not necessarily that reliable, as they don't provide much indication as to the relative importance and degree of impact those groups have on their members. One example would be the number of Jedi recently found in the UK, for instance. Broad historical significance is a much more useful indicator than numbers ever was or will be, and I am not sure the essay yet addresses it. John Carter (talk) 18:50, 21 February 2013 (UTC)


There is, of course, no pro-Judeo-Christian bias on Wikipedia. What looks like bias is really the fact that Abrahamic religions adhere to the principle of non-overlapping magisteria, and therefore refrain from making falisfiable claims about the physical world; Christians are specifically exhorted not to put God to the test (Matthew 4:7). By contrast, certain non-Abrahamic religions that engage in magical practices do assert claims of the form: "this spell will", encroaching upon the magisterium of science. This gives defenders of science something to debunk... DavidLeighEllis (talk) 23:59, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Users from Christian majority countries?[edit]

An IP editor wishes to remove the reference to userboxes and say instead that the majority of editors come from Christian majority countries. This, however, is based on flawed logic: "Statistics show that the majority of wiki's editors are from Christian majority countries. Thus, the majority are Christians." No - it would only say something about WP's editing population of editors were taken evenly or randomly from across the population. Which they aren't. StAnselm (talk) 19:45, 29 December 2015 (UTC)