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Prostelytizing and lack-luster editing, too

Posted by Pennie Lane on August 28, 2001, at 22:23:42

In reply to Dr. Bob - Religious prostelytizing , posted by Jane D on August 28, 2001, at 21:29:27

I will add to this critique of the new recruitment campaign that cut-and-paste posting of lengthy excerpts from journal articles, as is becoming a recent trend for JasonT aka SalArmy4Me, tends to offend some people's sense of fair use.

There are problems with this kind of posting, beyond that these are exclusive journals supported by a readership that pays big money to maintain a quality source of information, and that reprinting lengthy excerpts encourages others to encroach further into the vague boundaries of maybe-not-so-fair use.

One problem is that these articles about Mrs. A and Mr. B are about real people. The subjects may or may not have appreciated seeing their cases in a medical journal, but seeing their situations posted in perpetuity on the World Wide Web is something they probably never intended to invite when they asked their attending physician for help. A physician's name along with a very unique group of medications given to a patient can tend to personally identify the otherwise unnamed patient, at least to their friends, family or close associates. I expected God's army would usually show a little more respect for privacy than that.

The other problem is it just lacks creativity. Cutting and pasting requires little thought. Many people obviously appreciate some of Sal's research work but, by my analysis, when the presenter does no more than paste lengthy excerpts or abstracts beneath their name, I tend to wonder if the abstract or excerpt is relevant. The information appears to be credible, but if the presenter has not taken the time to explain the relevance, I wonder if the presenter has taken time to consider the relevance. The format raises doubts in my mind about the credibility of the editor, in this case SalArmy4Me. In turn, that makes me wonder what kind of a division the officers of the Southern California Salvation Army are running.

As for the religious stuff, I have had plenty meals of at Salvation Army kitchens or similar eateries. I wear Salvation Army clothes and my house is furnished with Salvation Army artifacts. But my soul is not saved by Salvation Army rhetoric. If that doctrine is what it takes to motivate people to be kind and to share, power to them. But when I pick up a hitchhiker, or do some other charitable favor, I am not doing it to persuade anyone to accept my pagan philosophy. By the same reasoning, I soon turn away from charity that is provided as part of a religious recruitment package.

Believe me, dudes and dudessess, I understand the evangelical imperative, and share Sal's sense of zeal for promoting what provides him comfort. But what I appreciate most Salvation Army services is that they are offered with no strings attached. When a person starts trying to infiltrate my spiritual or emotional space with favors or charity, I can’t help but wonder what other space of mine they might try to violate given the opportunity or a slightly different circumstance.




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