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Welcome to soc.religion.bahai


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Archive-name: bahai-faith/welcome
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: July 8, 2003

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Welcome to soc.religion.bahai


SPECIAL NOTE

Occasionally people receiving soc.religion.bahai via the bahai-faith mailing 
list have complained that they are unable to correctly identify the 
original sender of articles. Please provide a signature with your name 
and correct e-mail address (preferably in Internet format) at the end 
of your article; do not rely on the article header's From: field to 
identify you, as this will not necessarily contain your correct e-mail 
address. 


WELCOME

Welcome! to the soc.religion.bahai newsgroup and its equivalent mailing 
list, bahai-faith@bcca.org. This article is one of several that shall be 
posted periodically. The current list of periodically posted articles is 

Welcome 
Introduction to the Baha'i Faith 
Baha'i Resources on the Internet 
[Up to date versions of these postings can be obtained via the web at 
http://www.bcca.org/services/srb/ 

PURPOSE 

The newsgroup will act as a non-threatening forum for discussing and 
sharing information about the tenets, history, and texts of the Baha'i 
Faith. Prior to its formation there was a good amount of traffic on this 
topic in other newsgroups; this group provides a "single point of contact" 
for such discussion. 

Examples of posts that fall within the group's scope are: 

	The Baha'i Faith's relation to other religions 
	Relevance of Baha'i principles to current world events/problems 
	Analysis of particular scriptural passages or themes 
	General Q & A 

MODERATOR POLICIES 

The newsgroup will be subject to standards of Baha'i consultation, a 
decision-making process whose salient features include frank yet respectful 
statement of views and the concerted, open-minded search for truth. In 
practice, the moderators will reject personal attacks (flames) directed 
at individual posters, similarly inflammatory attacks directed at religious 
institutions, and articles which use offensive language. These guidelines 
are intended to regulate only the tone of the discussions, and not their 
contents. 

The moderators will weigh the guidance available from the Baha'i Institutions 
such as the Universal House of Justice, National Spiritual Assemblies, 
Continental Counselors, and Auxiliary Board members in determining the 
appropriateness of postings to the newsgroup. However, it should be
understood that the moderators are an independent group not reporting 
to, or directed by any of those institutions.

To avoid confusion, postings which contain unpublished, personal,
unauthorized or provisional translations of Baha'i texts must be 
clearly identified as such to distinguish them from the 
authorized approved translations provided by the Baha'i World Center.

Posts which argue for or promote a succession of authority outside the 
Covenant of Baha'u'llah will not be posted. This does NOT preclude posts 
which ask about, explain or elucidate the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. 

Repetitive postings (such as multiple responses to one request for a 
book reference) may also be rejected. 

The moderators will not intentionally accept posts from individuals who can 
not be reached by email. Note that this policy does not preclude anonymous 
mailers, but a back-channel must exist. 

Any rejected article will be returned to the sender with an explanation. 
The moderators may also, when it appears helpful, insert clarifying remarks 
in posts, with the intent of maintaining a good signal/noise ratio. 

In order to maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio, the moderators will 
not accept "me too" posts.  In general, the new material should be at 
least 50% of the length of the quoted material.  Please snip your 
quoted material to limit it to that portion you are replying to.

SRB accepts top posts, interspersed posts, and bottom posts, but if you 
bottom post, (that is, if your new material is after the old material,) 
we ask that you place the comment "AT BOTTOM" at the top of the post.


SUBSCRIPTIONS 

At USENET sites, one is subscribed to all available newsgroups, including 
soc.religion.bahai, by default. If soc.religion.bahai does not appear on 
your system, request that your news administrator make it available. 

The soc.religion.bahai newsgroup is gatewayed to USENET from the moderated 
Internet mailing list, bahai-faith, which shares soc.religion.bahai's 
policies. Those without USENET access should address subscription and 
unsubscription requests to 

bahai-faith-request@bcca.org

If you have access to both USENET and Internet email, the former medium is 
generally preferable, as it requires fewer network resources per additional 
subscriber. 

SRB is also available for both reading and posting at 
http://groups.google.com.  Google provides a complete archive of all 
posts in soc.religion.bahai to date.


SUBMISSIONS 

Readers of bahai-faith submit articles to the moderators via usenet, by
posting at google, or by mailing them to 

bahai-faith@bcca.org

Please note that the distinction between the bahai-faith and 
bahai-faith-request addresses is that administrivia is handled at the latter. 
(This distinction applies to most other mailing lists as well.) The 
distinction is significant in that the moderators do not administer 
bahai-faith; the two addresses denote entirely distinct recipients. 

At USENET sites that provide automatic mailing in support of moderated 
newsgroups, posting to soc.religion.bahai will transparently mail the article 
to the moderators. At other sites articles will need to be mailed explicitly 
to the moderators, by means of the mailing list address: 

bahai-faith@bcca.org

The moderators attempt to handle each incoming article in a timely manner, 
either posting it publicly or responding to its author privately within four 
days of receipt. If a post has resulted in neither of these actions after four 
days, it should be assumed that one's site is not configured to support
submissions to moderated groups, and the article should be resubmitted by 
mail to the above address. 

Please provide a signature with your name and correct e-mail address 
(preferably in Internet format) at the end of your article; do not rely on 
the article header's From: field to identify you, as this will not necessarily 
contain your correct e-mail address. 

NETIQUETTE 

Please bear in mind that, because of the gatewayed nature of 
soc.religion.bahai and bahai-faith, each posted article will appear in both a 
USENET newsgroup and an Internet mailing list. The combined technical 
limitations of these forums require that a "least common denominator" approach
be used in posting articles. 

Specifically, authors should be aware that: 

USENET news has a massive readership, as articles are replicated on literally 
thousands of hosts; mailing list readerships are generally much less extensive 

Except for the Subject: header, mailing list articles have no built-in way of 
referencing previous articles That is to say "article in reply to" threading 
is NOT RELIABLE in soc.religion.bahai. PLEASE include a short quotation of the
article you are responding to in order to facilitate following threads. 

Whereas news facilitates the direction of responses to either the entire 
readership (via a "Follow-up") or an individual author (via a "Reply"), a 
mailing list requires that the user explicitly rewrite an address for one of 
these tasks (depending on the list's configuration) by altering the default 
To: header or possibly just adding a Cc: header in a mail reply 

A mailing list subscriber's host may have quite limited mail storage, so 
article length is a concern. In general, SRB will not accept posts which 
exceed 200 lines. 

Many readers' terminals are limited to 80 character lines 

Therefore, the following suggestions are offered for your consideration before 
posting. 

An option in requests for specific information (how do I reach someone, where 
is this quotation to be found, etc.) is to ask explicitly that all replies be 
mailed directly to the poster, who may then post a summary if it is of general 
interest. This would result in only 2 messages (or perhaps just one) being 
seen by all subscribers, which could be desirable in some contexts. Likewise, 
responses to such requests may, in some cases, be most appropriately addressed 
just to the original poster. 

Please use line lengths of no more than 75. This keeps your text within the 80 
character per line limit of most terminals, in both your initial article and 
in any followup articles, where it is customary to prefix each line of 
quotation from another article with a few additional characters to indicate 
the material is quoted. 

Please be merciful to small mail systems by limiting articles to 50 KiloBytes 
in length. Posts that exceed this limit should either be pared down or 
subdivided; or one could submit an announcement of the item instead, asking 
that readers respond via private mail in order to obtain the actual item. 

If you quote a previously posted article, please limit the amount of quoted 
text that you include. One may generally assume that readers have already seen 
an article to which one is responding. Therefore, you need only quote as much 
as required for establishing a context. 

Please choose your Subject: heading carefully! 

In the spirit of sharing ideas rather than wrangling over same, please 
consider the following two contrasting quotations and the questions that 
appear after them. 

The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing 
opinions. 
        `Abdu'l-Baha, in Baha'i Administration, p. 21

If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the Divine questions, 
differing and disputing, both are wrong. The wisdom of this incontrovertible 
law of God is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, 
no contention and dispute might arise; that they may speak with each other 
with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of 
controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their 
discussions no longer. 
        `Abdu'l-Baha, in Baha'i World Faith, pp. 428-429

In my article, is an idea being offered, expanded or clarified, or its 
implications being explored?

Has it been stated previously? Or is it mostly being reiterated and/or 
defended? 

Have others indicated a desire to move on to another topic? 

If responding to an earlier article, is it best in this case to respond to 
each paragraph therein? Or is there one statement that succinctly summarizes 
the earlier viewpoint? Or should a paraphrase be attempted? 

Does the article express facts, or opinions? More important, is it easy to 
discern which is which? 


Our thanks for your help in maintaining a good "signal to noise" ratio. 

With best wishes, 

--The Moderation Staff: 
boatright @ cjnetworks.com (Rick Boatright) 
SRBModerator @ starband.net (Pete Hellmann) 
albert @ verbrugh.net (Albert Verbrugh)

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