I live in the UK. I am an evangelical Christian.
I heard a radio article this morning on BBC radio about conservapedia as an alternative to wikipedia. Although the BBC is often liberal, I felt the item gave Conservapedia a fair hearing. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by some of your complaints against Wikipedia - direct from your representative's mouth. One of the main concerns seemed to be that Wikipedia use non-US English, and that it was anti-american in its editorial stance.
I have to be honest. As a non-American, I found the inference that US English was the higher form of our shared language to be somewhat offensive, and small minded. If Wikipedia choses to use standard English, how is that any more or less morally acceptable than a wiki that uses American English? I don't believe that American is any more God's special country than the UK, France, or even Nigeria could claim to be? Where does this superiority complex come from?
I am concerned that Conservapedia has missed the point that is is part of the www - WORLD wide web, not the American web. As a Christian, I welcome an alternative viewpoint to Wikipedia. I do not, however, relish the idea that Christian = proAmerican and that the only audience you are serving is American. I ask that you consider your worldwide audience/potential contributors. I would add, I'm not anti American - I've been to your country many times and have many friends there. I'm just not American.
- A Conservapedia editor responds:
- Dear Sir,
- Thank you for your feedback. We have many friends in England also, and I once had the pleasure of being involved in litigation with your barristers across the pond. Many Americans older than I fondly recall coming to your aid in World War II when things were looking quite bleak in London.
- Certainly no offense is intended by preferring the American spelling of words here on Conservapedia. The American spelling is typically more economical in its use of letters, and more people prefer the American spelling to the old British spelling.
- I do wonder why you refer to your spelling as "standard English." Could you join us on Conservapedia and explain that for us?
- Cheers, --Aschlafly 16:44, 7 March 2007 (EST)
- A Conservapedia user responds:
- I think that the editor's reply to our British friend is an excellent one, and really demonstrates what Conservapedia is all about, particularly the reference to World War II. The point concerning the more economical approach to spelling embodied by American English is consistent with the philosophy behind the shorter and more concise articles on Conservapedia (when contrasted with other, more verbose online encyclopedias), an approach to language which one of our British friend's very own countrymen, Mr. George Orwell, would have found familiar.
- Cheerio, --Tooner440 00:35, 8 March 2007 (EST)
- Thanks, I really appreciated your comments above!--Aschlafly 00:44, 8 March 2007 (EST)
- You are most welcome!--Tooner440 01:11, 8 March 2007 (EST)
A British Wikipedian says
Hello there. I couldn't help noticing that you did not answer a single thing of that persons queries (except your spelling one, although that does not explain why its non-use makes Wikipedia anti-American). I myself am not anti-American, but I do not see how your arguments make sense.
For example- In your rules you state you are neutral in facts, for example you will call a terrorist group a terrorist group, yet a terrorist group is a point of view, not a fact. In your definition you state it as the use of violence or intimidation to pursue political objectives. In that case, any army in the World is a terrorist organisation.
- Perhaps our definition should be improved. But we're not going to use political correct terminology to epitomize terrorism. Call it what it really is.--Aschlafly 17:23, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
Point 2- Your articles are many times more biased than wikipedia. One of my edits was removed within minutes for being "liberal censorship of conservative facts", that is stating science. A large collection of users with more liberal, international views may become biased, but a small group who make a single demographic faction with pre-set ideas and relying on the consensus of a few individuals really does fulfil the meaning of the word "Wikiality" (see wikipedia on the subject). The internet is not the American Wide web.
- Not sure what your point is here. No one seriously disputes that Wikipedia is more liberal than the American public. Jimmy Wales has even admitted this, though of course he won't say how much more liberal.--Aschlafly 17:23, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
Point 3- Many of your articles lack reliable sources or do not mention facts. For example, in Evolution it states that there are no transitional fossils. Perhaps you have not heard of "Archaeopteryx" or "Cynodont". One article linked to a site which didn't exist, while another cited Conservapedia! Wikipedia may have its flaws but their rule clearly disallows that from happening!
- I have heard of Archaeopteryx and I believe my comments about it were edited out. What Wikipedia rule are you citing? Regardless, stay tuned and watch Conservapedia grow.
Oh, and finally, I do not see how WW2 is connected to the conversation, nor why it was commented as being a particularly relevant point when it was the most irrelevant point on the page, especially as the Battle of Britain was over. I fully appreciate the sacrifice of our American friends in their fight against fascism and for the freedom of Europe, but "come to our aid when things were looking bleak". Perhaps you should touch up on your history.
- Thank you, but I've studied this period of history thoroughly. Let's not understate what America did for Britain in WWII, OK?--Aschlafly 17:23, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
- We should never understate the enourmous assistance given by America to the entire of Europe and indeed the World (given that it was a World War), however the Americans only gave that assistance because they were forced to retaliate to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour. America would not otherwise have joined the war. MatteeNeutra 10:52, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
I remind you that I'm not anti-American or anti-Christian, but I see your response and most of your site to be fundamentally lacking of any substance whatsoever, incredibly biased and hypocritical, extremely prejudice against Liberals and full of blackwhite remarks (see "Newspeak" from 1984). I agree with my fellow countryman's remarks, and if anything, you could argue that I'm anti-you. I hope we can both see your site succeed (the Internet has very few generally new things nowadays) and my constructive criticism has been helpful. If you have read this far, my congratulations at reading to the end rather than deleting this “liberal propaganda”
- You are obviously liberal in your perspective. I don't expect all liberals to like this site. But more open-minded ones will.--Aschlafly 17:23, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
Signing out for undoubtedly the last time, your atheist friend, --Ben 16:19, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
PS. Perhaps you do not know what the definition for “Liberal” is. The dictionary defines it as…
1). Less strict, Tolerant 2). Free from prejudice or bigotry 3). Characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts 4). Of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies. “Naturally these are all bad things, although… “
- Those are lovely euphemisms that have virtually no basis in political reality. We define liberal as it really is.--Aschlafly 17:23, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
- Careful, Andy! Your bias is showing! But then again, you have a point. Racial profiling, torture, wiretapping, et al, are all pretty tolerant.-AmesGyo! 17:25, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
Please enlighten me by defining liberal "as it really is". Further more, you still didn't answer point 2. You mentioned that Wikipedia is more liberal which, although true, is never disputed on this page. Perhaps you misunderstood? And finally, then you say "which rule is this?", I mean this rule on the page "Wikipedia: Citing sources":
"Wikipedia articles and categories cannot be used as sources."
- OK, we're making progress. We both agree that Wikipedia is more liberal than the American public.
- Doesn't our entry liberal define the term? I'll check after posting this. A meaningful definition would have to include censorship of prayer from the classroom, even when every single parent, student and teacher wants a prayer, and forced taxpayer-funding of abortion, even for taxpayers who morally object.
- Wikipedia's byzantine rules are only selectively enforced in a way that reflects its bias. One of my major objections is how Wikipedia does allow, and even implicitly encourages, the citation of journalistic opinion as fact. In this manner many factual assertions presented in Wikipedia are, upon further investigation, merely a liberal opinion that was published somewhere.--Aschlafly 10:44, 28 March 2007 (EDT)