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alt.religion.christian-teen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This FAQ is posted weekly in an attempt to answer some of the questions likely to be asked in alt.religion.christian-teen (arc-t). This FAQ is maintained by Steven Schrader, and any comments or contributions should be sent to him at email@example.com
I. Introduction to arc-t
Welcome to alt.religion.christian-teen! If you're a newbie just visiting our humble little group for the first time, then you should take the time to read this FAQ from beginning to end. If you want to plunge straight on in, then feel free, but don't say I didn't warn you. ;)
alt.religion.christian-teen (arc-t), while containing the words "christian" and "teen" in it's name, has actually grown into an active group full of Christians, non-Christians, liberals, conservatives, teens, ex-teens, kooks and trolls. While Christian discussion is certainly welcome, don't be surprised if it's not the only topic, or even the main one.
II. Tips on Posting
Here are a few suggestions on posting that will help you get into the flow of the group as quickly as possible:
* Avoid posting in HTML.
While your news reader may support it, keep in mind that not everyone views arc-t through the same program. By posting in HTML you may be excluding people who would otherwise be interested in responding to your post.
* Quote any relevant text in your replies and snip the rest.
While your point may be very clear to you, the person you're responding to may not read your post for days or even weeks. Anyone else who is reading your post may not understand what you're talking about if you don't include the text that you are replying to. This doesn't mean include _all_ the text, just the part that you're replying to. The rest can be deleted, but it's usually a good idea to replace the deleted sections with the word *snip* (or something similar). This lets others in the newsgroup know that there used to be text there but that you removed it. Another good practice is to respond below the text that you are responding to. Posting at the top of a post is known as "top-posting" or "jeopardy posting", and while not everyone minds it, it is generally considered to be poor netiquette as it can often make a thread very difficult to follow.
* Keep threads intact.
To help keep things less confusing, and because it is generally considered good "netiquette", please try to post your replies within the thread that you are responding to. By starting a new thread, you not only make it harder for others to keep track of the "flow" of a particular discussion, but also create the possibility that your contribution may be overlooked.
* Get to know the regulars.
Like many Usenet groups, arc-t has a definite sense of "community" to it. You shouldn't jump in and start flaming people anymore than you would run into a party at a stranger's house and start yelling at the guests. Take some time to lurk in the group and read this FAQ before you post and hopefully that will help you to get more out of the group. :)
* Be wary of cross-posting.
Cross-posting can be a good way to get alternate viewpoints involved in a discussion, but you should exercise caution when doing so. Most usenet folk are okay with limited cross-posting (two or three groups total) but consider mass cross-posting to be bad netiquette. In general, you should know about the groups you are posting to (their FAQ, charter, etc.) and consider how your cross-post will affect those groups. For instance, cross-posting something that will lead to heated debate in both a large group and a small group may introduce an unwelcome amount of volume to the smaller group. Another downside to cross-posting is that threads are more likely to get splintered which will make the discussion harder to follow. One way to get around this is to set a "follow-up" in your original cross-post, so that any further discussion in the thread is directed to one group, rather then all of the groups. Lastly, there are some people who filter out cross-posts entirely, in which case you may be excluding people who would otherwise be interested in responding to your post.
* Know when to post links.
PLEASE DON'T SPAM THE GROUP. Sometimes you may feel you have a web site that is of relevance to the group, but if you're not sticking around to discuss the link that you have posted, then you probably shouldn't be posting it in the first place. However, if you are included a link to a site that supports or elaborates on a point that you are making, then you're probably okay. One exception to this is if you include a reference to a site in your signature (provided of course that you're not just posting your sig! :D)
* Don't post binaries.
Posting binaries outside of a binary group is a real good way to make enemies in just about any newsgroup, not just arc-t. If you just have to share with us that picture of you in nothing but a tube sock, then include a link to it instead.
* Don't ask for penpals
Please don't post in the group just to ask for someone to email or be a penpal with. You'd have better luck checking out one of the groups made specifically for that purpose, such as alt.penpal
III. Frequently Asked Questions
1) Isn't the name of this newsgroup alt.religion.CHRISTIAN-TEEN?
Why yes, it is. But this doesn't mean that all of the discussion within will necessarily be pro-Christian, or even of a Christian nature at all. The name of a group is meant to guide its content, not to limit it. At least, that's the way it works in the alt.* hiearchy. :)
2) This newsgroup sucks.
Not really a question, but it comes up often enough that I thought it should be included here. Every person who has ever said the above sentence, or any variation thereof, has always received the same answer: "You get out of a newsgroup what you put into it."
3) What's so special about the "Regulars"?
Not a damn thing. So why bother? Well, two reasons. First, The reg list can be used by new posters to learn about some of the folks who post to arc-t. The introductions should not only give you some idea of the type of people who post here, but also of the variety of beliefs and backgrounds present in the group. Second, the reg list provides a bit of recognition to those people who have contributed their time and thoughts to the group (assuming they want to be listed that is). Just remember that the regulars aren't any more important than anyone else, anyone can be a regular, and new posters are always welcome!
4) When am I considered a regular?
Read the "So You Want To Be a Regular" FAQ located at http://arc-t.org/faq-regular.html.
5) Will (insert name) ever respond to my posts?
Maybe, but probably not. There are several posters who like to post but apparently can't be bothered to actually engage in a discussion. You'll find the odd assortment of conspiracy theorists and doomsayers, plus one or two posters who just like to post Bible verses for some odd reason. Unless you like talking to yourself, you're probably better off ignoring them.
6) Okay, this is all nice and everything, but I still don't get why there are non-Christians posting here?
You'll find that there are all sorts of reasons why anyone chooses to post to arc-t, Christians and non-Christians alike. Just remember that it isn't a Christian group, but rather a group about Christianity, a small but important distinction. If you'd like to read the various reasons people have for being in arc-t, many of them have been compiled at http://arc-t.org/archives-polls-whydoyoupost.html.
IV. Who's Who
This is a quick introduction to many of the posters that inhabit arc-t. If you'd like your blurb changed please contact Steven Schrader at firstname.lastname@example.org. The arc-t homepage is also a good place to get information about the people listed here.
* Amy (Llama) - Occasional Poster
Resident animal, not christian, actual teen. She's been here since June 7, 2000, and pops in and out.
* The Astute Andrew - Occasional Poster
Andrew Van Hout, known as The Astute Andrew in Usenet circles, leads a relatively quiet life. He is a 17-year-old Roman Catholic teen who holds views that aren't dissimilar to orthodox Catholic teaching, with a few major exceptions. Occasionally, because of the stress of taking advanced or honor classes, Andrew will be seen in fits of insanity and will have nagging existential doubts about his own existence.
* Blade - Occasional Poster (Blade@mysanctuary.demon.co.uk)
Blade, resident atheist biochemist. If you think that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics, don't tell me unless you enjoy people shattering your ignorance.
* Charos - Frequent Poster (email@example.com)
Existential atheist with tappings into almost any belief system he's looked into to any degree (Shamanism, Paganism, Christianity, Nagualism, Buddhism, Taoism etc.)
* Jonathan Downie - Occasional Poster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jonathan is definetly here too much, possibly enjoys it and will probably be a babe magnet one day... :-)
* Ben Ferguson - Rare Poster
Ben is a Christian who is neither right nor left wing. He can be stubborn at times. He also wants several changes to take place in modern society (although he realizes most won't take place.) Other than that he's normal and kinda boring :).
* Jane Hall - Occasional Poster (email@example.com)
Jane is arc-t's Grandma. She's a Christian whose philosophy is "love, acceptance, forgiveness", and she loves to laugh and have a good time.
* Inky - Occasional Poster
What is a theist semi-achristianist? Theist= one who believes in God. Semi= partially. A= not. Christian= a supposed follower of Christ. Ist= (this part is just stuck on to make the tagline sound better). Inky is a person who believes in God but does not believe that many so-called Christians are truly following Jesus.
* Pastor John - Frequent Poster
Pastor John is a 54 year old United Methodist Pastor. He speaks for himself and not any church and tries to be caring. However, he believes strong in the Christian faith and is not afraid to say so.
* Juggernaut - Occasional Poster
Juggernaut is also known as Antonio and is a conservative Catholic Christian. He has been in arc-t since July 27th, 1999 He's married, has a daughter, and is 31 years old. Likes to discuss theism, Catholicism, morality, politics and social issues, and music.
* Kelly - Occasional Poster
A 38-year-old mother of three who is obsessed with Nick. Gravitates toward silliness and levity but can become serious and reverent when the situation requires.
* Michelle - Rare Poster
Fairly quiet, semi-Chrisitian.
*nick - Rare Poster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THUS SPAKE GOD'S CREATOR'S CREATOR: n*ck is flesh and bones. n*ck is flavour eating. n*ck is tasty in bed. n*ck is genius. n*ck is mad. n*ck would like everyone to join a clique. n*ck prefers bananas over cherries. n*ck is kc*n spelled backwards. n*ck takes donations, blood and teeth accepted. n*ck despises you.
* Phil W - Frequent Poster
Phil is one of the few genuine 'teens' in here, and lives near Oxford in England. He became a Christian in his early teens and would describe himself as an evangelical Baptist. Phil holds both small-c-conservative and pacifistic views, so the rest of the world is lucky he believes in a separation of Church and State ;)
* Renita - Occasional Poster (email@example.com)
Resident Mennonite and said to be a "very level-headed Christian." No longer a teenager, but in many ways a kid at heart.. Prone to occasional fits of conservatism, but primarily liberal and tries to be open minded. Loves to tell people about how much cooler the Mennonites are than the Amish :)
* Sam Rusling (Cow Jam) - Occasional Poster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sam may not be a teenager, but he is a Christian. He's also conistently inconsistent, contradicting himself on a regular basis. His spelling is atrocious, which he puts down to a liberal attitude towards communication. So, if you see him contradicting himself in a post full of typos, don't worry about it, just remember "dippy".
* Steven Schrader - Frequent Poster (email@example.com)
Never shuts up. :) He maintains this FAQ and the website, so he's a good person to contact if you have any questions.
* Jon Seymour - Rare Poster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jon is now someone who can make up his mind. He still maintains an open mind, but he's an atheist until given a good reason not to be, like maybe evidence. He's as courteous as he wants to be, which isn't all that courteous at times. But overall, he's in the same boat as everyone else: with one leg in the boat on the search for truth, and the other leg in the boat fighting against stupidity and illogical reasoning. He also isn't too fond of newbies who ask questions easily answered in Steve's FAQ.
* Suzi - Frequent Poster
Suzi needs no blurb; Suzi is simply Suzi...and very indecisive, too.
* Leslie Terrell - Rare Poster (email@example.com)
Before you ask, yes, she really is a Christian. She has some very liberal views and some very conservative views and rest assured, you'll probably hear about them. She's not as mean as she sounds, if she seems mean or angry with you when she responds to your thread she's probably not irreversibly against you (just temporarily irritated). She's 19, and anglo-catholic. (Episcopal).
* The Steel Wolf - Frequent Poster
A rather odd bloke, The Steel Wolf aspires to the mantle of philosopher-mystic. His beliefs are a syncretistic blend of Christianity, Hermeticism, and various bits and pieces culled from his encounters with other belief systems. He is also an Episcopalian, which is fortunate as it is probably one of the few denominations that would willingly have him.
* wersh - Occasional Poster (Z@wersh.com)
wersh is wersh... He's a rather odd fellow, and you never quite know what to expect from him. Unpredictable at best, irrational at worst, the wersh can go from deep, thought-provoking conversation to totally insane banter in a heartbeat.
V. Related Links
This section will contain various links that the members of the group often cite or feel may contain information relevant to the discussions in arc-t.
* The arc-t Homepage - http://arc-t.org/
As you can probably guess by the title, this is the homepage for this newsgroup. It contains this FAQ, bios for the regulars, post archives (just the good ones of course) and other assorted goodies.
These newsgroups are a great resource for users new to Usenet and looking for information. You'll find information on netiquette as well as the FAQs for many different newsgroups.
This FAQ was first written on November 02, 1998 by Steven Schrader.