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Conservapedia

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Conservapedia is a Wiki-based encyclopedia with approximately 30,000[1] article entries. Conservapedia's content generally reflects a socially and politically conservative viewpoint, by the modern, American definition of the term. It is friendly to the role that Christianity has played in history, and to the development of conservative principles.

Contents

History

It was founded by American homeschool teacher and attorney Andrew Schlafly on November 21, 2006 to counter what he perceived as a liberal bias in Wikipedia. [2][3] The wiki received its start as part of an assignment among Schlafly's homeschool students, and has since striven to produce a general reference, with articles about history, math, science, politics, religion and other topics.

Conservapedia is seen as "a sort of conservative alternative to the more familar online encyclopedia Wikipedia".[4] Conservapedia has attracted attention from the mainstream media, alternative news sources, and numerous blogs. Some media outlets that have covered Conservapedia include the Los Angeles Times[5], The Colbert Report,[6] and New Scientist.[4]

With the public attention, people critical of Conservapedia's stance soon registered as contributors and tried to steer the encyclopedia away from its point of view. This resulted in a strong response from Conservapedia that saw many contributors readily blocked, often for long periods of time, for attempting to undermine the goals of the site. In turn, these blocked contributors often returned with new identities, leading to stronger responses from Conservapedia administrators.

With so many people being blocked, some of those people decided to start their own site from which to monitor Conservapedia, and even to plan how to continue to undermine it. This site, which started around the beginning of April 2007, is called RationalWiki.

Criticism

There has been some criticism of Conservapedia aside from disagreements with its political position. Such criticism includes:

  • Claims of abuse and hypocrisy by administrators and bureaucrats:
    • abuse of editors who hold differing views
      • Often using the 90/10 rule to censor.
    • Abuse of editors who are active at other encyclopedia projects
    • selective enforcement of regulations according to the views of the editor
    • disregard of the same rules they hold others to
  • Claims that edits that either put liberalism in a positive light or conservatism in a negative one, are censored.
  • Claims that Conservapedia also functions as a forum to present Schlafly's own personal viewpoints on topics such as:
    • Classroom prayer
    • Gun control
    • The religious beliefs and national origins of Barack Obama[7]
    • The alleged side effects of vaccinations such as Gardasil [8]
    • An alleged increased breast cancer risk among women working in the entertainment business. [9]
    • The spelling of words in anything but American English being a sure sign of liberalism. [10]
    • The American Psychological Association [11]
    • American "tort reform" and an anti-lawyer bias (except that he fails to mention his shilling as counsel for AAPS)
    • An alleged observation that the number of conservative insights increases over time at a geometric rate. [12]
    • The theory of relativity being pseudo-science, but is pushed by liberals due to its alleged relationship to moral relativism. [13]
  • Claims of anti-Australian bias.

Conservative Bible Project

One of Conservapedia's projects that has attracted the most criticism from people nominally on Conservapedia's side is the Conservative Bible Project, an attempt to retranslate the Bible in a "conservative" way. The Conservative Bible Project is a renewed attempt following their stalled Bible Retranslation Project.

Apart from various secular sources[14][15][16] and blogs[17][18][19], the project has been strongly criticised by the conservative Christian World Net Daily[20] and the biblical creationist Creation Ministries International.[21]

Conservapedia Administrators[22] decided to remove Jesus's prayer on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing", since it is a "favorite of liberals" and that it was fabricated.

The project entirely removed the Adulteress story and Schlafly himself believes that it was entirely fabricated, is not authentic, and has a "liberal spin", saying:

"Official Bible translations already recognize that the passage is not authentic. Yet why is it increasingly taught anyway? Because it has an unmistakable liberal spin to it. Let's point out the obvious.--Aschlafly 22:49, 25 March 2007"(EDT)"[23]

Critics claim this project is just rewording Scripture to be in line with Schlafly's views.[24] [25]

Conservative Dictionary Project

In 2011, the Conservative Dictionary Project was launched to supplement the Bible Project. It is "designed to fight the liberal redefinitions and secularized language that liberals have been attemping to creep into the language." Some examples:

Atheism
True conservative meaning - Denial of God's existence, a discredited and failing liberal worldview known to cause mass murder, immorality, uncharitableness, obesity and other negative consequences.
False liberal redefinition - Lack of belief of a deity
Christian
True conservative meaning - A secularized term preferred by atheists to describe the Followers of Christ
False liberal redefinition - One who believes in Christianity
hate crime
True conservative meaning - An attempt to punish people for their belief in biblical law.
False liberal redefinition - Laws intended to protect minorities and homosexuals from violence.

External Links

References

  1. http://www.conservapedia.com/Special:Statistics
  2. Conservapedia: Data for Birds of a Political Feather? All things Considered, NPR, 13 March 2007.
  3. A conservative's answer to Wikipedia Los Angeles Times 19 June 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "E=mc2? Not on Conservapedia" August 2010 by Amanda Gefter and Celeste Biever. New Scientist.
  5. Stephanie Simon, A conservative's answer to Wikipedia, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2007.
  6. Andrew Schlafly, The Colbert Report, 8 December 2009 (not viewable from all locations)
  7. http://www.conservapedia.com/Barack_Obama#Obama_is_likely_the_first_Muslim_President
  8. http://www.conservapedia.com/HPV_vaccine
  9. http://www.conservapedia.com/Talk:Mystery:Young_Hollywood_Breast_Cancer_Victims
  10. http://www.conservapedia.com/index.php?title=Talk:Barack_Hussein_Obama&diff=616368&oldid=616358
  11. http://www.conservapedia.com/Essay:Quantifying_Mental_Strength
  12. http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservapedia_Law
  13. http://www.conservapedia.com/Counterexamples_to_Relativity
  14. Horton, Scott, From the Department of Self-Parody,Harper’s, 2009-Oct-05
  15. Orr, Christopher, Fixing the Bible, The New Republic, 2009-Oct-06
  16. Sullivan, Amy Coming Soon: the New International Free-Market Bible, Time, 2009-Oct-05
  17. Scalia, Elizabeth, Conservative Bible: Include me out, Institute on Religion and Public Life, 2009-Oct-09
  18. Lundin, Leigh, WWJW, Criminal Brief, 2009-Oct-18
  19. Taylor, Steven, Fighting Liberal Bias in the Bible (Yes, you Read that Correctly), PolyBlog, 2009-Oct-06
  20. Farah, Joseph, Now 'conservatives' are twisting Scripture, 22 October 2009
  21. Cosner, Lita, Politicizing Scripture, 24 December 2009
  22. [1]
  23. http://www.conservapedia.com/Talk:Essay:Adulteress_Story
  24. http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/10/07/a-neocon-bible-what-would-jesus-say/
  25. http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2009-11-04/news/hallowed-be-thy-name-member-schlafly-clan-lord-work-cleansing-bible-liberal-bias/
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