The website for the Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance has three goals: to disseminate accurate information; to expose religious fraud, hatred and misinformation; to disseminate information on "hot" religious topics. The website fulfills these three goals admirably and with a certain amount of style. The site's nine main access points including 35 Religious and Ethical Systems; Spiritual Topics; Religiously Hot Topics and a very large file of media addresses.
The website is produced by The Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance which is comprised of four individuals. The web-site is established in 1995. Among its future plans is to write a series of essays on sex in the Bible, what the Bible really says about sex. They chose a Christian text because the majority of North Americans identify themselves as Christians.
The information is very well-done and balanced. The scope of the information is very thorough. In addition, the individual entries are well-done whether the religion is controversial or not. For example, the information on Satanism is very balanced and informative. The entry cuts through the scare tactics, misinformation and hype and presents a balanced picture on Satanism. The other entries are equally as well balanced and thorough. In most cases, the online articles have references and further web-sites to explore.
There are a number of essays on spiritual and, as they call it, "not so spiritual" topics. These include tolerance, intolerance, cults, ritual abuse, bisexuality, homosexuality and child-spanking. These essays are well-written and balanced. There is a test on religious tolerance so that the reader/viewer may test themselves. There is also a remedial recommendation so that the reader may become even more tolerant.
In addition to the information provided, this website is very well-done. The organization and lay-out shows attention to detail and a good artistic sense.
This is an excellent resources for anyone seeking well-researched, balanced information on religious and spiritual groups. The writing is lively and intelligent, clearly aimed at providing a neutral picture to reasearchers and information seekers.
Reviewer name: Gail Wood
Position: Director of Libraries and Academic Support Services
Date of Review April 18, 1996