Monday, December 05, 2005

Other "Faithnet" Sites ::

I get a steady trickle of inquiries regarding the resources available on Occasionally, someone stumbles across our site while attempting to access other sites that they merely remember as "Faithnet something." -- Partnered with ABC News, Beliefnet provides an enormous variety and depth of religious reporting and polling. The content is broadly eclectic, encompassing various religious and spiritual traditions. I consider it a great spot to survey what is happening in the religious perspectives of others. There is also quite a large community of persons who frequent Beliefnet for various reasons, including chatting and polling.

"Where is the Belief-O-Matic?" is a question I've received numerous times. My all-time favorite feature of Beliefnet is the Belief-O-Matic quiz which purportedly tells you where you stand in the religious spectrum of things. Probably created as a bit of a hoot reminiscent of Gallagher's Sledge-o-Matic, nonetheless, Belief-O-Matic has endured as perhaps one of the chief reasons why people visit the site. You'll see the link at a prominent place at Beliefnet.

Compared to, Beliefnet has much deeper pockets (like the Mariana Trench vs. a south Texas mud puddle) and appeals to a much wider audience (like Yahoo vs. the smallest search engine). I like to think of Beliefnet as the religion section at the public library with a support group while Faithnet is more like a pastor's study (some good resources along with someone to pray with you). -- Stephen Richards began this site years ago--probably about the time that was getting started. He's constantly edging us out in the Google listings for "faithnet. " holds the ever growing collection of Richard's musings, mostly of things philosophical. Or, at least he engages in a rather philosophical discussion of things religious, such as the meaning of experience. Richards avoids the label of Christian, though he obviously maintains a Christian perspective in many ways. He acknowledges his debts to Buddhism for much of his spirituality, though he avoids the Buddhist label as well. Stephen, do you identify with Thomas Merton?

Compared to, Richards operates on a shoestring budget. Shoot, I sent him five bucks to even things up a bit. In contrast to's pastoral mission, is Richards' mission of providing resources for educators and intellectual seekers. A religion teacher himself, Richards provides some well-versed essays on various topics, from Augustine to Tillich to Plato to Buddha . . . you get the picture.



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