Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity/Outreach/Newsroom

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"Profound loss"[edit]

A compromise to include profound loss for many appears to be reached, and while I am sure it won't please everyone, that's the whole idea of compromise now isn't it. Page unprotected. --kelapstick(bainuu) 14:09, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The death of Billy Graham on February 21 was a profound loss. For the Wikipedia reaction see this discussion. Graham received a blurb.
(Added the quote in dispute to be clear what is under discussion. Jbh Talk 21:57, 4 April 2018 (UTC))

The inclusion of the claim that the death of Billy Graham was a "profound loss" is clearly controversial and divisive. This statement is effectively being made i Wikipedia's voice, and should not be included. Graham was a polarising figure, and while his death will undoubtedly be mourned by Southern fundamentalists, many more moderate Christians are likely to believe that his influence was much less positive, especially given his antisemitism, homophobia and misogyny. This newsletter is not, I think, targeted specifically at fundamentalists, it is an outreach newsletter, and it should not be promoting the worldview of a specific sect of Christians. Guy (Help!) 21:27, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Billy Graham was lauded the world over. The only thing that's clear is that your assertion that he was "controversial and divisive" is a minority viewpoint. WikiProject newsletters have a cherished tradition at Wikipedia for the following reasons:
1. Wikiproject newsletters are not censored.
2. It gives members of the Wikiproject an opportunity to express their own opinions under a Byline just as in mainstream media.
3. The Wikipedia community is very tolerant with respect to Wikiprojects and members are given lattitude to improve articles in their fashion as long as official policy is not violated.
Thus I Support "profound loss" since it is under a byline.– Lionel(talk) 21:39, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
It's nothing to do with being censored (and I would note that "not censored" is a favourite argument of all manne of POV-pushers, so be careful witht hat). It's a matter of sttaing in Wikipedia's voice that a polarising and divisive figure is a "profound loss". You can laud him to the skies on your user page, but this is a newsletter intended to be circulated - it may not have mainspace standards of NPOV but there is an obligation not to stray too far from that ideal. Try to put yourself in the position of, say, a gay Wikipedian, seeing a well-known and high profile homophobe being lauded as a "profound loss". It's about sensitivity and inclusiveness. Or does your intended outreach only extend to fundamentalists? Guy (Help!) 21:50, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
It is not Wikipedia's voice. It is not even the Wikiproject's voice. It is my voice under my byline.Lionel(talk) 21:52, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Yep. "Happy Easter and Kalo Pascha!" is under the same byline. I do not think Wikipedia is wishing the newsletter's readers 'Happy Eaaster'. Jbh Talk 21:59, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Even though I have no respect for televangelism, I'm not completely opposed to saying something beyond "he died," due to "do unto others..." Were Pope Francis to die today, much of Christendom would regard it as a profound loss and I would not care to see insistence that nothing could be said on that. I happen to like Francis a hell of a lot more, but it'd be hypocritical of me to not apply that attitude here.
Now, I've suggested at ANI that if we're going to say anything beyond "he died," we should do it with weight given by sources, with attribution (even if it's WP:WEASELy). "His death is regarded as a great loss by (these people)" perhaps with an additional "but his legacy is questioned by (those people)" (if there's enough sourcing for that) would work.
If we're not going to use outside sources, then clusterfuck at ANI is rather an indication that "The death of Billy Graham on February 21 was a profound loss for some" or even "for many" would be more appropriate if "profound loss" is going to be retained.
This isn't an all or nothing issue, there is possibility for a middle ground that everyone will be equally dissatisfied with. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:45, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
@Lionelt: Do you have any specific opposition to tacking "for many" at the end of your phrasing? Ian.thomson (talk) 22:03, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Expressing 'profound loss' can just as easily be an expression or grief or condolence. That however is neither really here not there with respect to using admin to win an edit war over the issue. This is what should have happened. I personally believe that expressing loss over any death is OK. It is not really a political statement, an endorsement of his views or a value judgment. It is just a thing you say. Admittedly if he were Pol Pot or Stalin I would not be saying this but I sort of feel that many of the people who are against that phrase equate him with such.
I do not like the guy and I think he was responsible for propagating some horrible views. I, personally and politically, think the world would have been a better place without him. I could probably be convinced that it would more proper not to include "profound loss" in a project newsletter. I can not be convinced that it was proper for an administrator to swoop in, after the page had been by several non-project editors due to the ANI thread, re-open the thread, edit war, threaten the use of tools in the edit war, and use those tools to win the edit war. All without discussion. Jbh Talk 21:46, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
You're missing the point: newsletter editors have the right to express their own opinions under their byline. This is journalism 101. – Lionel(talk) 21:50, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
You're missing the important distinction between opinion stated as opinion under a byline, and opinion stated as fact under the editorial banner of a publication. Guy (Help!) 21:52, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
It says: "By Lionelt." That's a byline.– Lionel(talk) 21:53, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
It says "project news", not "opinion". Guy (Help!) 21:55, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
It says "Project News by Lionelt" – Lionel(talk) 21:56, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
If you look at an actual newspaper, it distinguishes news and opinion. Here, you present opinion as news. And lots of people have pointed out that if you had written about your personal sadness, or the fact that American evangelicals were greatly saddened, or presented it in almost any other way than a statement that Graham's death is objectively a "profound loss", then it would be fine. But you are not listening, because you have decided that Graham's death is objectively a profound loss, and you're bloody well going to say it, however much it alienates anyone else. Which is ironic, really, on a number of levels. Graham was not as awful as Mother Teresa, but he was a powerful force driving American Christianity away from the gospel values of humility and love, and it is behoven on all of us to be careful when discussiong such controversial figures. Guy (Help!) 22:06, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
A more clear attribution would certainly clear the matter up. I think it is a bit pedantic since, at least to my reading, it was not in Wikipedia 'voice'. The worst interpretation is that it could have been read as being in the WikiProject's voice but that whole section is under the editor's byline. Anyway, Wikipedia is nothing if not pedantic and it really is important to make potentially divisive statements particularly clear. Jbh Talk 22:21, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Just so. Though it would have avoided all this lovely drama, and where would be the fun in that? Guy (Help!) 22:23, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Not sure why you were replying to me. I agree it was under your byline. See my comment above. Jbh Talk 22:01, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

@Ian.thomson: In the interest of global Wikipedia community harmony I have no objection to "for many." – Lionel(talk) 22:15, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

@JzG and Jbhunley: Would Lionel's version with "for many" tacked on the end address y'all's concerns? Ian.thomson (talk) 22:24, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
I have no objection to that. Jbh Talk 22:25, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
FWIW I opined in the ANI thread in a direction generally against inclusion of the text in question, but upon reflection I don't think it's a big deal. I have to concede a point 1990'sguy made at ANI that we are not consistent in our enforcement of neutrality/politics/polemics best practices in projectspace, and this is a relatively tame example of POV language used in a community forum. That's not to say it's perfectly fine -- the language should be qualified/edited -- just that I can think of too many examples of politically charged statements from e.g. the Signpost such that it's hard for me to justify making a stink about this one. If members of the WikiProject wish to object, they certainly should, as that is who this represents (not Christians but WikiProject Christianity members), and best practice would be to qualify the text, but I don't think it's something that needs broad community attention. Meh. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:15, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
I was just about to copy-and-paste my ANI wording here when I saw Rhododendrites reference it. Regardless of what wording is chosen, the members of the WikiProject should be able to exercise their own editorial oversight of their newsletter. Subscription to the newsletter is optional, and it's pretty clear that it's not intended to be representative of the Wikipedia community as a whole, so it's not a big deal if the editors don't adhere to NPOV (and not to mention the fact that WP rules don't necessarily apply to WP namespace articles). Let me also add that compared to other WP namespace pages, like the "Top 25 Report" or "The Signpost" which don't focus on any one topic area of Wikipedia, it's reasonable to expect some bias. And the bias here is nothing compared to what I observed at WP:25 a while back (no BLP violations here).
BTW, if the Dalai Lama died, I would have no problem having WikiProject Buddhism call his death a "profound loss" if its members supported it. --1990'sguy (talk) 00:04, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Is he controversial among Buddhists, in the way that Graham is controversial among Christians? Guy (Help!) 06:38, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
I really have no idea where you're getting your information from. The wider Christian community embraced Rev. Graham. In fact his warm relationship with Pope John Paul--leader of the largest denomination on the planet--was well known. His ecumenism was a hallmark of his ministry. You see, Guy, Christians have far more in common than we have differences. The belief that Christ died for our sins unites us all. And Rev. Graham preached the Gospel of Christ like few before him. To say that a significant number of members of WikiProject Christianity would object to "profound loss" is ludicrous. What is really behind the animosity displayed toward Rev. Graham at ANI? Well it's quite obvious, actually. It is due to his position that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. – Lionel(talk) 07:13, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
And there are Christians (even evangelicals) who are no less Christian because they do not hold Graham's exact position that point, or even disagree with his historical insistence that if racial injustice, sexual inequality, or even global warming are even problems at all, they can only be fixed through holding faith in Jesus (instead of direct action inspired by said faith). This is why I asked for "for many."
@JzG: Could you please answer on whether or not a qualified version (ending in "for many") would be acceptable? You've not actually said here so one way or another. You did close the ANI thread shortly after I pinged you on it in a way that could be interpreted as acceptance of that version, but I'd like to see something explicit just to ensure that I didn't misunderstand you. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:04, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
  • That this has devolved into a debate about how Christians as a group feel about Billy Graham is, to my eyes, a good illustration of why the original comment was out of bounds for a WikiProject. This is not a social club for Wikipedian Christians, where we could poll the club and take a position on Graham. It shouldn't even give the impression of such a thing, which might very reasonably exist in the world, but, as a matter of policy, is not to be hosted on Wikipedia: a WikiProject should be clear that its purpose is in encouraging all interested editors to write about the topic to Wikipedia standards, and thus have nothing to do with personal views of the topic.
As I mentioned over at the talk page to which we were all invited, during the ANI, to offer feedback, I was also troubled the newsletter's comments about the Black Christmas GA, which seem to raise similar issues as to the WikiProject's equal encouragement of all interested participants. Innisfree987 (talk) 19:41, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Just my .02, Billy Graham wasn't controversial, Creflo Dollar & Joel Osteen are however. Both, in fact, have made the news over their controversies, so too has Peter Popoff. Billy Graham hasn't, so no, he's not controversial, secondly the verbiage on the proposed quote says his death was a profound loss, not that it was a profound loss for Wikipedia, therefore, it's not being linked to Wikipedia itself, it's a general comment on the death of the man himself. Keep it in.  К Ф Ƽ Ħ  20:03, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Innisfree987, as I showed here, Wikipedia's policies don't necessarily apply to Wikipedia namespace articles. The WikiProject's newsletter is free to promote the pov of its members, so long as they adhere to WP:NPOV and other policies and guidelines when writing in mainspace. But regardless, the issue in dispute here is quite mild compared to other cases of POV I've seen on other Wikipedia namespace pages.
About Graham being controversial or uncontroversial, the way I see it is if people ranging from the Pope and Barack Obama to Ken Ham and Tony Perkins all make very kind statements about him upon his death, and if he consistently ranks at #1 or #2 of "most admired person" rankings, he's pretty uncontroversial. --1990'sguy (talk) 20:18, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

I submit, based on the participation to date of WikiProject Christianity members, that we have consensus for "profound loss for many." I base this on established policies and guidelines. Therefore I request that page protection be removed @Kelapstick:. In the interest of providing satisfaction for the minority dissenters, Guy and Innisfree987, I will address the issues raised. 1. It is permissible to editorialize and add humor in newsletters since they are not encyclopedic.

The Content Guideline for The Signpost states: "The Signpost does not specifically maintain a commitment to neutrality... [Signpost] is not an encyclopedia itself, and so allows many things—editorializing, narrative, original research—that would be blasphemy in the article space."[1] Signpost was founded in 2005 and its guidelines are the product of a "long and continual process" and have consensus. Opinions are also allowed as we see at the Policy, What Wikipedia is Not, where it states "Talk pages, user space pages and essays are venues where you can advocate your opinions."[2] The destination of Ichthus is user talk pages. Thus we see strong support in policy for "profound loss for many" in the April issue of Ichthus.

Humor is integral to The Signpost: "A wish to entertain provides the impetus behind some of the publication's lighter-hearted features."[1] The mention of Black Christmas is humorous because Black Christmas is a slasher film that has nothing to do with Christianity. It only falls within the scope of WikiProject Christianity because the murders take place during Christmas. I seriously doubt if Drown Soda would be offended.

2. Opinions expressed in a newsletter are those of the writer and not Wikipedia nor the Wikiproject

The Signpost About says: "The Signpost is ... independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and other Wikimedia organizations"[3]

3. The audience for Ichthus newsletter are the members of WikiProject Christianity.

If a member of the Project objects to something in the newsletter they have numerous avenues for recourse. Some of them are:

  • Delete the newsletter from their Talk page
  • Submit a rebuttal for publication in the next issue
  • Unsubscribe

4. Yes, a WikiProject is a social club.

The WikiProject Guideline states: "A WikiProject may also be a focal point for building ties between Wikipedians interested in a certain topic area" and "A WikiProject is fundamentally a social construct."[4] In response to Innisfree987's assertion that "as a matter of policy, is not to be hosted on Wikipedia" the policy they cited states "You can chat with people about Wikipedia-related topics on their user talk pages. (ital. mine)"[5] Again, since the destination of the newsletter is the user's Talk page, NOTFORUM doesn't apply.

Lionel(talk) 11:09, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Lionel, are you aware just how fringe Southern fundamentalism within Christianity generally? Guy (Help!) 12:37, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
First off, what does "Southern fundamentalism" have to do with anything in this discussion? Billy Graham was admired by many Americans outside the South, as well as people who don't fit the "fundamentalist" label. Even Barack Obama praised him upon his death -- does that make Obama a Southern fundamentalist? (based on his comments, I don't think so) Billy Graham was no doubt in the mainstream of Christianity in the West, and he was criticized both by theological liberals and conservatives at different times (though both sides of that criticism was solidly in the minority).
And for the record, what you call "Southern fundamentalism" is not fringe, and starting in the 1970s/1980s, it became even more mainstream in the U.S. (see Southernization, and note that the second largest Christian denomination in the U.S. recently had a conservative resurgence). Besides, if you look at other cultures (Africa, Asia, Middle East, even Europe today), as well as Christian history, the "mainstream" of Christianity was even more conservative than "Southern fundamentalists". --1990'sguy (talk) 13:25, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
  • We're getting off the damn track again. @JzG: Is tacking "for many" at the end a problem or not? This is the third time I've asked you! Ian.thomson (talk) 13:58, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
    • Based on this, specifically After a bit of discussion I think he accepts that reasonable people could easily take a different view, and he agreed to qualify the statement. And I really do think that is all that was needed. I am saying yes, and will unprotect the page. As you were... --kelapstick(bainuu) 14:06, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I am fine with it, I thought that was clear. Guy (Help!) 14:10, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


@Lionelt: Might I suggest, for future issues, something on the order of:

Ichthus dark yellow.png

May 2018

The current, larger version seems a bit gaudy (pun intentional Smile.gif). — Godsy (TALKCONT) 09:26, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

@Godsy: Thank you so much for the feedback and the mock-up. Good pun. Yeah, the current banner is kinda big. Actually, I was kinda thinking about keeping the ichthus on top of the name, but removing the Month/Year. I'm also wondering how it would look if the entire issue was shrunk to 80%. – Lionel(talk) 09:38, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

Non existent users[edit]

Hi @Lionelt: I removed some non-existent users from this list. Please note, capitalization of usernames (except the first letter) matter, so you may want to check the recent entries that were remove if they can be corrected. Best regarsd, — xaosflux Talk 12:03, 8 June 2018 (UTC)

Much appreciated. I will check the problem users. – Lionel(talk) 12:05, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: FYI a few of the problem accounts were the result of the global namechange and had ~enwiki appended. Two were misspellings copied over from the member roster and one of those was a capitalization. Incidentally I copied your div fixes to the blank newsletter template I use so they'll be incorporated into July. – Lionel(talk) 04:52, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Proposal for addition for the next newsletter[edit]

I would like ask if I am able to propose that we could cover Sun of Unclouded Righteousness in the next issue of Ichthus? I ask as it was a recent DYK and also because it would be interesting due to the fact that it is probably the most politically incorrect hymn ever written! The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 20:12, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for suggesting this. That would be awesome The C of E! Feel free to paste your submission on this page, and please limit it to 170 words. – Lionel(talk) 07:14, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
We could either use the DYK text @Lionelt: or something along the lines of the original proposal such as "In 1758, Charles Wesley wrote Sun of Unclouded Righteousness which refers to Muhammad as "that Arab thief" and "that Imposter." We could then add an additional aside comment in smaller text and brackets such as "probably the most politically incorrect hymn ever written!" That being said, a longer blurb could be: "Sun of Unclouded Righteousness was written in 1758 by Charles Wesley and was intended as a prayer for the salvation of "Mahometans" but calls Muhammad "that Imposter" and "that Arab thief" in it's lyrics." The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 07:30, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good. We'll use the DYK blurb. – Lionel(talk) 07:35, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Duplicate newsletter[edit]

Sorry everyone, the newsletter was duplicated. I'm trying to figure out what happened. – Lionel(talk) 06:54, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Suggested article[edit]

[Biblical criticism] has recently received a GA rating. I would like to suggest it for inclusion here. Jenhawk777 (talk) 16:01, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Delivery failed[edit]

I've noticed in the logs that this month's Ichthus failed to get sent to people on the mailing list because it was "readonly". Does anyone know why that might be? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 05:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)