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About this site's banner ads

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Sponsored link.


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We occasionally receive complaints about the presence of banner ads on our web site, such as the one immediately above.

This essay describes these banner ads, as well as additional material that is seen on a few essays and menus: the Google Adsense ads and the Amazon.com graphics.

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The existence of the banner ads:

Many of our visitors would like to see them removed. We agree with you. We would dearly like to delete all of the ads from our web site.

However, we have large expenses associated with this web site. The three largest are: payment of salary to our part-time office manager, the purchase of books for our library, and the bill presented monthly by our internet service provider. 500 GBytes of high speed Internet traffic does not come cheaply.

Unfortunately for us, and fortunately for our visitors, the Internet was set up to provide free interchange of information. So, it is impossible for webmasters to raise enough money directly to meet the costs of a large web site. The only way in which we can raise money to meet our costs is through advertising and requests for donations. But we are stuck with what ever ads they send us.

Financial support is a common problem among independent religious web sites.

bulletSome sites are supported by religious denominations, and are allowed to work at a loss.
bulletOthers make a profit from the sale of books, recordings, and other religious material.
bulletSome are more effective than we are at encouraging donations from visitors who want to support the site.

But we have none of these options open to us. So we have to rely on advertisements.

But, who knows? If you read the ads, you might find one that you would like to click on. In the meantime, they are at least less obtrusive than TV ads. You can skip over banner ads  immediately without waiting for a commercial to end.

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The content of the ads:

The banner ads come in three forms: a wide ad at the top of each essay, a skyscraper ad at the right and an almost square ad that is sometimes added to the middle of some ads. Unfortunately, we have no control over the content of these ads. They are provided by a banner ad company in rotation. We cannot pick and choose them.

Over the years, we have received complaints about some of the many dozens of ads that appear on our web site:

bulletToo much skin: One ad showed the torso of a woman in a bikini. Some of our readers feel that it is inappropriate for a religious web site to have a picture showing that much exposed skin. Since we are a multi-faith website, we have visitors who follow a wide variety of religions. Many faith groups -- particularly those in the conservative wings of monotheistic religions -- do take a negative attitude towards exposure of the human body. But others, including secularists, Humanists, Progressive Christians, other religious liberals, Neopagans and others do not. Wiccans, for example, considers all responsible acts of pleasure, including sexual behavior, to be a gift of the Goddess. Many perform their rituals skyclad (Clothed only by the sky; i.e. nude). So we feel that some of our visitors would enjoy this ad, even as others are offended by it. Still others, like myself, who are having difficulty reaching their desired weight might be positively motivated to diet after seeing a picture of an attractive woman.

Over 95% of our web site visitors live in the U.S. or Canada; most of the rest live in the English speaking world: UK, Australia, New Zealand... Compared with the bathing suites that one can observe in North American beaches, and the images of partly clad women in magazine racks, the bikini/diet ads on our site are relatively conservative.
bulletFree ordination: One ad leads to a website that offers ordination certificates for a fee. This enables individuals to marry people in some states of the U.S. Some readers feel that this is an attack on their faith group because it cheapens the status of pastors, ministers, priests, etc. However, it does give some individuals the opportunity to act as a marriage officiant who otherwise would not be able to get certification from their state: This might include followers of Wicca, the New Age, Santeria, Native American Spirituality, etc. So we feel that the ads provide a useful and legal function.
bulletDiet plans are unethical: One visitor to this web site complained because so many of the ads related to weight reduction and diets. The complaint arrived shortly after 2004-Christmas, when there was a flurry of such ads on our web site. The visitor complained that diets rarely work, and that it was thus unethical to advertise them. I don't know how effective these particular weight reduction programs are, but I can personally testify personal success using Weight Watchers. I lost 37 pounds on Weight Watchers, regained 10 and am now on track to lose another 35.
bulletViolence in the ads: We have some ads in which the visitor is asked to click on some activity, like hitting a baseball. During early 2008, some of these ads involved hitting a woman in the face with a pie. We don't approve of this form of violence. However, we have no mechanism by which we can filter them out.

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About the Google Adsense ads:

The following ads appear at the left of our web site, and near the bottom of some essays:

Sponsored links:

In most cases, these and are related to the content of the essay. We hope that our visitors will find some of the links on these ads helpful. If Google is unable to match any text links to the content of our essay, they send us a non-revenue public service ad. This helps out non-profit groups who otherwise would not be able to afford ads.

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About the Amazon.com graphics:

Scattered around our web site are graphics supplied by Amazon.com, the world's biggest online bookstore. The following one shows books that Amazon.com found in their inventory that discuss religious tolerance:

Clicking on your browser's refresh key will usually show a new combination of books.

We do make a small commission as an affiliate of Amazon.com. However, we mainly show these graphics so that our site visitors can follow up a topic and consider purchasing one or more books.

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Site navigation:

Home page > About us > here

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Copyright 2004 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-JUN-15
Latest update: 2008-MAY-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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