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Rationale For Guideline Concerning Neutral Zone Language


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#1 Heidi

Heidi

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 10:11 AM

Neutral Zone: Our mission requires language that is appropriate for all ages, cultures, beliefs, and countries. We avoid cursing, swearing, "instant messaging" abbreviations, and slang (since it can be misconstrued or offensive in other languages and cultures).

We convey our faith-based thoughts without directly or indirectly mentioning any specific diety, religion, dogma, scripture, religious occasion, or denomination (including satanic, cult, pagan, neopagan, atheistic, psychic, horoscope/astrology) by using generic terms instead, such as blessings, celebration, choir, clergy, clergyman, devotion, divine, faith, holiday, holy, meditation, religion, religious, religious leader, rituals, sacred, spirit, spiritual, spiritual leader, spiritual path, worship, and worship services.

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We are an international nonprofit organization only authorized to deal with issues regarding scleroderma and related illnesses. We have discovered the hard way that discussions about religion are divisive to our members and do not advance the cause of scleroderma.

We encounter this more than many other organizations, since we serve an unlimited geographic area. Preventing the mention of "church" and "prayer" equally prevents the mention of "coven" and "curses".

We are not allowed (by law, as an international nonprofit, per our guidelines from the IRS) to discriminate against any class of people, so all our rules must not be just to make allowances for faiths that we happen to approve of; they must apply equally to all similar groups of people.

Discrimination or discord can occur much too easily when we allow discussions of any specific belief systems, so we "cast a wide net" and disallow a discussion of all belief systems.