How to Better Look After Newcomers?

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26 Aug 2017 04:23 #299610 by
To my understanding, this is for the government records in Texas since we are a legal and registered non-profit organization. They need to keep track of how many members of the "church" exist.

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26 Aug 2017 04:53 #299611 by

vladucard wrote: To my understanding, this is for the government records in Texas since we are a legal and registered non-profit organization. They need to keep track of how many members of the "church" exist.


And for that they need to ask my criminal history? I'm posting on an internet forum, not babysitting children or handling money.

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26 Aug 2017 04:57 #299612 by
Right, I understand, but this is also a non-profit organization, it's not just a fan forum, it's legally a place of worship as well.

If you are concerned, feel free to reach out to one of the Knights and they will happily help you out since they may be able to explain it better than I can.

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26 Aug 2017 05:10 #299613 by
Right, so is every other church, and they're not asking general membership about their criminal history.

As I previously said, if you are clergy or an actual employee of the church they may do background checks, but they don't ask that kind of stuff of the people sitting in the pews.

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26 Aug 2017 13:09 - 26 Aug 2017 13:10 #299633 by Avalon
The difference between here and the sort of church you're referencing is the fact that this is an online church, not a local community church. Go to a church in your neighborhood, people know people. They're gonna have an idea of your history. You may not like it, but people will find out and know that you robbed Joe Schmoe or what have you, and they'll talk, and before you know it, people see you and go "there's the Joe Schmoe robber." Regardless of if you've done your time or turned your life around.

Online that doesn't exist. Online, people can be who they want to be. We have children who come here unattended. At one point in time, in order to become a member, you had to publicly post your full name and date of birth. That question is the closest thing to neighborhood gossip that can possibly exist. Is a single question in a membership application going to stop those who want to cause harm? No, probably not; someone could easily lie. But at least the Temple can show there was an active attempt to protect her members.

Either way, you can still come here and participate without ever having answer it at all.

Not all those who wander are lost
Studies Journal | Personal Journal
Last edit: 26 Aug 2017 13:10 by Avalon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Br. John

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26 Aug 2017 16:58 #299644 by
Not to take away at all from what Ava has said (which is right on), there is another way to look at this. Because in a sense, when you apply for membership, you *are* applying for a job.

Most physical churches distinguish between members and congregants, whether they say so or not. The subset of folks who show up for services on Sunday morning is congruent with -- but not equal to -- the subset of members. Membership in a real world church is something different (often involving an application of some kind, frequently including a promise to tithe) from simply showing up for a service. I found that out when I applied for a service position in one church only to discover that I wasn't a member of the church even though I had been attending and making friends there for months. No one talked about it, I guess they just assumed we would know.

It's not different here. You can come here daily, attend the services, read the sermons, take part in the discussions and educational programs as a guest. I think you can do the entire IP as a guest. But you can't go past the IP without becoming a member. It's a mandatory prerequisite for becoming an Initiate.

And that's how it should be. Becoming an Initiate is a step on the path toward becoming recognized as a Knight, or the path toward joining the Clergy. The Temple has a clear interest in knowing whether candidates for its Knights Corps or Clergy have history that could affect the candidate's ability to perform the duties of the position for which they may one day be considered, or history that could reflect badly on the Temple. Because the membership application is the only one we make people fill out, no matter how long they stick around or how far they progress, it makes sense to me to ask that question up front.

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26 Aug 2017 17:09 - 26 Aug 2017 17:12 #299647 by
I guess I'm not being clear.

I'm not actually confused about why you think you're doing this. It's obvious that it's some kind of attempt at safety (for this kind of church, you'd be better off asking if people have programming backgrounds, because they could hack your site, but I digress). But people who come here with the intent to harm are going to lie in that field and unless you are running actual background checks you will be none the wiser. Meanwhile, you've just made anyone who's ever had a criminal conviction (even if it was years ago when they were young and stupid and got busted with drugs one time) feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

It's also then obvious that you guys don't believe in a redemptive life arc for people, if you're concerned about something that they did in the past and have since fulfilled their societal obligation for. That's really disappointing.

The purpose of this thread is about newcomers not feeling welcome/supported/what have you. I'm saying, that's not a very welcoming sort of question. If you think it is, by all mean, please go to your local store and roll up on people and ask, "Hey, do you have a criminal record?" My guess is most of the looks you will get will be like this at best:
Warning: Spoiler!


I mean, that's what I did when I looked at the application, and, as I've said, my record is squeaky clean. I'm cleared to sell securities and to work in schools, both jobs I've had in the past. I've been fingerprinted, DNA tested, drug-tested, you name it. I do anything crooked and law enforcement has the info in their databases to match me up with any evidence I leave behind.

But, Ava, I've never lived anywhere people would know what I did 10 years ago. I've lived in big urban areas all of my life and I've moved and my neighbors have moved. I'm used to people not being all up in my business in any way shape or form. I recognize that people from small towns have a different experience and of course everyone knows everything you did if you lived there your whole life, but we're moving away from that being the standard experience for people.

We're also moving away from this being an acceptable question to even ask on job applications, as more and more states start adopting "ban the box" regulations (like my home state of California just did ),. The "war on drugs," in particular, has left us with as many people with criminal records as college diplomas .

You all can all explain all you want, but my response will remain that it's invasive, in bad form, and doesn't protect you, anyway. If someone had a specific job within the temple that's sensitive, then, by all means, ask for a background check at that point if it's legal to do so. Otherwise, maybe it's better to let some people with redemptive life stores tell you those stories as they get comfortable on their own time?

And, no, we can't fully participate here without it. We're locked out of the Jediism forum unless we fill out the app, which is the forum we're arguably all here for.

*EDITED to add* Also, who can see that information? Clergy only, who are bound by clergy-parishioner privilege, or more? I suspect it's more people than that.
Last edit: 26 Aug 2017 17:12 by . Reason: Added something, fixed some typos

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26 Aug 2017 17:12 #299650 by
Asking for a criminal is not the same as judging someone for a criminal record.

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26 Aug 2017 17:13 #299651 by

Nami wrote: Asking for a criminal is not the same as judging someone for a criminal record.

Then why ask in the first place, if you aren't intending to do anything with the information?

Human nature is going to lend itself toward judging, as much as people may try hard not to. You can't un-know that about someone.

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26 Aug 2017 17:17 #299653 by

Asakura Shoji wrote:

Nami wrote: Asking for a criminal is not the same as judging someone for a criminal record.

Then why ask in the first place, if you aren't intending to do anything with the information?

Human nature is going to lend itself toward judging, as much as people may try hard not to. You can't un-know that about someone.


Its for legal reasons. Anyone who becomes a member can aspire to become a Knight, and as a Knight they are a representative for this place. The TotJO must know if their potential reps have done anything that could reflect badly on them.

Its also part of the teachings. A Jedi has Integrity, so they fess up to the mistakes of the past and grow from it.

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