This announcement has already been made here in the religion forum, but I'm posting a duplicate here for better visibility. Here is our announcement: "The decisions is here! I know Elbe was supposed to post this but she's been really busy lately and she has just so much going on that I decided to give her a break and post it for her. Our decision for the Guild of Religion has been made. Our answer is: "Yes. With lots of conditions." It is our hope that you will discuss topics relating to Tolkien and his works in the context of Religion, but we also realise that other topics of general religious discussion will take place. We will not limit you in the topics you can make, but we'd like to encourage religious discussions relating to Tolkien as well as those unrelated. Please keep in mind that religious topics can tend to get out of hand and escalate to hurtful arguments more easily than others, but will not forbid it unless there seems to be a problem arising because of it. "the Guild would discuss philosophical, religious, moral and ethical matters within the context of Tolkien's works and the man himself"~Mrs. Maggot While the above quote is not limiting, it is a strong suggestion. We hope you'll remember Tolkien's work in your discussions! Here are the following conditions for the guild: You must submit to constant monitoring, and you must realise that final decision on what can or cannot be said lies with the mods and WM There will be NO bashing of other people's religions, of other people, or of groups of people. This forum must NOT be used as a means of trying to force your religious beliefs on others There will be an initial trial period, to make sure that it doesn't degrade into nasty arguments You must remain mature and understand that disagreement with your opinions is not necessarily an attack on your person This is not a free-for-all of religious discussion, you must remain level-headed and respect other people's opinions. Guild members must be aware of their obligation to one another and to the forum as a whole regarding the extra care that they must take to be conciliatory and respectful given the very delicate nature of their subject. originally penned by Mrs. M Nothing posted should either be intended to "proselytize" or be taken as an effort to do so. The "Great Commission" of Christianity as well as that of other faiths regarding leading people to become members thereof has no place on this forum except as might occur quite apart from any effort by the poster but as the result of his or her attitude and knowledge. In other words, if someone's discourse and demeanor is such that it causes others to wish to be "like" that person and perhaps to experience that person's faith, that is fine. But attempts to directly entice, browbeat or otherwise cause people to join one's own religion (or, conversely, could be considered a "put down" of another's faith) should be considered a definite "no no" and not be tolerated. originally penned by Mrs. M Any statements that declare that one's particular faith is "The Truth" have no place in this sort of discourse. As a Christian, I believe that about Christianity, but such statements have no place in scholastic debate since they cannot be proven being only my particular belief and that of others of my faith. We are not dealing with math here where the answer is irrefutable. Therefore declarations of omniescience (unless we are declaring that such was the intention of the author of a quoted source in which case we are commenting upon something rather than positing it ourselves) are simply without merit under the circumstances.originally penned by Mrs. M Nothing posted should be intended to be nor should it be taken as an "insult" to another person or his/her beliefs. That means that quotes from relevant sources pertaining to Tolkien which are "Christian" or otherwise should not be considered as insulting to someone who has a different perspective on the matter. Discourse and discussion are an attempt to look at all areas and positions of a particular question and as long as such debates are carried on in a civil and scholarly way, no one should feel "insulted". Our present "politically correct" culture makes it almost impossible to engage in true debate because someone might take a purely academic point and personalize it. For example, it is no longer possible to use the word "niggardly" in public speech because it may "offend" some people who mistake it for something else! If we are going to be that "touchy", then this Guild should never see the light of day. However, I cannot believe that - given the intellectual level I have encountered on the forum - we cannot have vigorous and substantial debate without descending into this sort of nonsense.originally penned by Mrs. M No poster should make flippant comments, even in "fun". We have seen where such "fun" leads to in the past. This is especially true on a site of this kind. You wouldn't juggle nitroglycerine, so why on earth would you post something that runs the risk of being misunderstood and creating a problem?originally penned by Mrs. M The Guild will be closely (and I mean CLOSELY) monitored to be sure that some small incident doesn't escalate. originally penned by Mrs. M Failure to adhere to these rules will result in warning PMs, possible warning points, and in extreme cases, closing of the guild. I trust that you all can act in a mature and responsible way, and realise why this is such a difficult subject, and how problems with this guild could form quite easily. Thank you. *Note* This list is subject to change if any of the C9 feel I've forgotten anything, and mods feel free to add or edit this in any way."