Conservapedia

I can’t quite believe this.
I am truly gob smacked.
This surely can not be real.

Highlighted to me by Vicky Spain who spotted it in a Guardian article, here are some examples of the contrast between the “liberal anti-American” wikipedia and the “pro-Christian pro-American” conservapedia.

Dinosaurs
Wikipedia
“Vertebrate animals that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for over 160m years, first appearing approximately 230m years ago.”

Conservapedia
“They are mentioned in numerous places throughout the Good Book. For example, the
behemoth in Job and the leviathan in Isaiah are almost certainly references to dinosaurs.” US

Democratic party
Wikipedia
“The party advocates civil liberties, social freedoms, equal rights, equal opportunity, fiscal responsibility, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention.”

Conservapedia
“The Democrat voting record reveals a true agenda of cowering to terrorism, treasonous
anti-Americanism, and contempt for America’s founding principles.”

Even worse than that is the apparent conversation between an evangelical British Christian who seems to be talking sense [never thought I’d say that] but the editors of Conservapedia bring up the war! World War 2 for christ’s sake, it was like more than 60 years ago.

——————

I live in the UK. I am an evangelical Christian.

I heard a radio article this morning on BBC radio about Conservapedia as an alternative to wikipedia. Although the BBC is often liberal, I felt the item gave Conservapedia a fair hearing. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by some of your complaints against Wikipedia – direct from your representative’s mouth. One of the main concerns seemed to be that Wikipedia use non-US English, and that it was anti-american in its editorial stance.

I have to be honest. As a non-American, I found the inference that US English was the higher form of our shared language to be somewhat offensive, and small minded. If Wikipedia choses to use standard English, how is that any more or less morally acceptable than a wiki that uses American English? I don’t believe that American is any more God’s special country than the UK, France, or even Nigeria could claim to be? Where does this superiority complex come from?

I am concerned that Conservapedia has missed the point that is is part of the www – WORLD wide web, not the American web. As a Christian, I welcome an alternative viewpoint to Wikipedia. I do not, however, relish the idea that Christian = proAmerican and that the only audience you are serving is American. I ask that you consider your worldwide audience/potential contributors. I would add, I’m not anti American – I’ve been to your country many times and have many friends there. I’m just not American.

(Name withheld)

A Conservapedia editor responds:
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your feedback. We have many friends in England also, and I once had the pleasure of being involved in litigation with your barristers across the pond. Many Americans older than I fondly recall coming to your aid in World War II when things were looking quite bleak in London.
Certainly no offense is intended by preferring the American spelling of words here on Conservapedia. The American spelling is typically more economical in its use of letters, and more people prefer the American spelling to the old British spelling.
I do wonder why you refer to your spelling as “standard English.” Could you join us on Conservapedia and explain that for us?
Cheers, —Aschlafly 16:44, 7 March 2007 (EST)
A Conservapedia user responds:
I think that the editor’s reply to our British friend is an excellent one, and really demonstrates what Conservapedia is all about, particularly the reference to World War II. The point concerning the more economical approach to spelling embodied by American English is consistent with the philosophy behind the shorter and more concise articles on Conservapedia (when contrasted with other, more verbose online encyclopedias), an approach to language which one of our British friend’s very own countrymen, Mr. George Orwell, would have found familiar.
Cheerio, —Tooner440 00:35, 8 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks, I really appreciated your comments above!–Aschlafly 00:44, 8 March 2007 (EST)
You are most welcome!–Tooner440 01:11, 8 March 2007 (EST)

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There have been allegations that there are some people who are deliberately vandalising conservapedia so as to poke fun [those darn liberals]. But I think the slow realisation is that it is not a hoax but is genuine. Jeez.

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