uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

The meta-FAQ for the newsgroup uk.religion.christian

This contains nothing about "Christianity in the UK" except insofar as it contains information about uk.r.c. The text is maintained by the newsgroup's moderator. Additional questions or answers should be raised in the newsgroup, but can also be mailed to the uk.religion.christian moderator. For pointers to other FAQs see the regular posting on the newsgroup.
the newsgroup's official constitution
the newsgroup's unofficial constitution
the kind of moderation we use
a clarification
how moderation is implemented technically
when the moderbot runs, and why
of articles submitted to the moderbot
rules used by the moderbot
delayed posting
request posts
system
change history, read counter, translations etc (in this page, but not of it)

charter

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ
The current charter for the group was passed by 80 votes to 11 on 7th May 1996. Here is the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS section from that RFD ['I' is Kevin King, BTW - Patrick]:
"I acknowledge my indebtedness to Chris Newport of uk.religion.jewish for the ideas contained in this moderation proposal, and to Andrew Foakes <andrew at foakes.demon.co.uk> for the original version of the charter."
The canonical version of the charter is held at http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.religion.christian.html.

guidelines

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ
      Participating in uk.religion.christian
                       by
                  Andrew Foakes
             andrew at foakes.demon.co.uk

Subject: Table of Contents

  Changes Since Last Version

 1.) Introduction
   1.1) About This Document
   1.2) Why Have This Document

 2.) Guidelines for uk.religion.christian

   2.1) Sermons, Prophesies and Other Christian Material
   2.2) Declaring a Heretic
   2.3) Quoting Bible Verses
   2.4) Labelling Other People's Beliefs
   2.5) Honesty
   2.6) When Christianity is Insulted

 3.) Other Useful Documents
 4.) Acknowledgements


Subject: Changes Since Last Version

Added 'PLEASE READ' to title.
2.) Corrected e-mail address of the moderator.

For inclusion in meta-FAQ:
Take out charter text; generalise a bit for non-ownership.

For inclusion in meta-FAQ web page:
Remove 'Table of contents' from table of contents.
Remove Charter section entirely to avoid duplication.

 ------------------------------

Subject: 1.) Introduction

1.1) About This Document

This document contains both the charter and guidelines for participating in
the newsgroup uk.religion.christian. The charter is a statement of what this
group is for, which is binding on all those who participate in this group. The
guidelines, on the other hand, are not intended to be rules or lead to
disputes about whose method of argument is correct. They are intended to be
helpful reminders of the traps and pitfalls that exist. Their ethos is centred
on one Bible verse, which is, in Paul's instruction on a debate on food that
rocked the Roman church:

    Lets us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace
    and to mutual edification.

[Romans 14 vs 19, NIV]

Whilst changing the charter needs a formal vote, the guidelines are always
under review to the point where their very existence is negotiable. Please
feel free to post any suggestions or submissions to the group.


1.2) Why Have This Document

There are three reasons.  In no particular order:

* There are some very strong emotions that awake when religion is
  discussed.  When these are coupled to the impersonal and sometimes
  anonymous nature of usenet, threads within the newsgroup can become
  obnoxious, unhelpful and even hurtful to the participants.

* The newsgroup is an opportunity to hear about others' experience
  of Christianity and share our own.  As such, it is also an
  opportunity for everyone to enlarge their view of God and
  understanding of differing opinions.  When postings fail to
  communicate, the opportunity that this group represents is lost.

* Consistent abuse of this newsgroup has led to it being moderated.
  Currently, this is a relatively light form of moderation (see the
  charter below).  Although this will stop some of the abuse of this
  newsgroup, there are still some behaviours that, if they become too
  widespread, will lead to calls for further control, with further
  drains on people's time, resources and freedom.  A set of guidelines
  may show those who consistently abuse this newsgroup why their
  behaviour, if unaltered, will lead to a stricter form of moderation.

The charter and guidelines will be successful if they protect the
participants, secure the full benefit of participation and stave off further
moderation. Please use this document to carefully think through how you
participate in this group.

 ------------------------------

Subject: 2.) Guidelines for uk.religion.christian


2.1) Sermons, Prophesies and Other Christian Material

Please remember when posting any lengthy Christian material that it must be
specifically about the UK or posted by someone within the UK to be suitable
for this group. Otherwise, it is more appropriate in the
soc.religion.christian or alt.christnet hierarchies.

If you have some Christian material, such as sermons or prophesies, which is
relevant to the UK and you have permission to distribute this material across
the internet, then it is better to find an FTP or WWW site to take them and
post a reference to the URL. Long postings just clog up others' modems and put
up their telephone bills.

Remember also that posts of sermons and prophesies, do not prove a point. This
group is for free discussion where everyone is considered of equal authority.
Sometimes, this will include posts that outline a position or summarise what
has been learnt about a particular issue. These posts can be very helpful and
are obviously welcomed within the group. However, any post that, by its title,
language or description of its author, claims an undue authority in a manner
that indicates that discussion is not expected is unwelcome.

If posting a prophesy, remember that exercising spiritual gifts should not be
done in the anonymity of usenet but in an orderly manner and under the
authority of a church, where you will be known and your gifts can be guided
and tested. As this group does not recognise anyone's authority as a prophet,
posting the content of prophesies for discussion is appropriate only if you
clearly state that this is a prophesy in your opinion only. This is especially
important as there are those who do not believe in the gift of prophesy for
today and may find such postings offensive and troublesome.

Of course, summaries of sermons and prophesies with short quotations, clearly
labelled and acknowledged, of particular eloquent phrases are welcomed.


2.2) Declaring a Heretic

This newsgroup is subject to no authority or creed against which heresies may
be judged. Hence no one has the authority to call another a heretic, or
anything stronger, in this newsgroup. Instead, this newsgroup is for free
expression of all thoughts and experience of Christianity in the UK. Always
try to convince others of the validity of your own opinion rather than merely
condemn theirs.

This includes the judgement that someone (or a whole denomination) is not
Christian if they believe a certain doctrine. It is true that the Church has
condemned certain beliefs as heretical throughout the centuries, but it is
always more convincing to explain why the Christian church has turned away
from a certain belief than merely state that it has.


2.3) Quoting Bible Verses

A debate between Christians can become a trade in Bible verses. The temptation
is to resort to many proof texts, quoting each one with some exposition. This
leads to very long posts which tend only to make one point.

In most debates, there will be only a few verses that make the main point. In
the posting, keep the Bible references pertinent and few in number, quoting
only the shortest of passages and leaving long passages as just references. If
you feel that a particular participant in the debate needs extra material or
does not have a Bible to hand, then longer quotes and references to the many
supporting texts can always be sent by e-mail.

When choosing a Bible version to quote from, remember that there are many
translations of the Bible. Which translation is best is a topic of endless
debates, but unless there is good reason, stick to a main stream translation.
Beware that some groups use their own versions of the Bible which are often
based on dubious scholarship. Going to the older translations can be unhelpful
as the usage of some English words and grammar has changed significantly.


2.4) Labelling Other People's Beliefs

It is tempting to label people as 'fundamentalist', 'evangelical', 'liberal'
or whatever from just a few remarks and judge the whole of their theology from
this labelling. Be aware, however, that these terms each cover a broad range
of beliefs which may not accord with your prejudice. Instead take time to
understand the other person's point of view. Rushing in with assumptions and
pre-arranged speeches will only turn the intended audience away.


2.5) Honesty

Honesty means two things.

First, be honest about yourself. Say what you really believe and do not enter
debates for the sake of it. You may consider a debate on the colour of God's
toilet a joke, but others may take it seriously.

Second, be honest about others. It is a cheap politicians trick to
misrepresent another's point of view and then argue against that rather than
their true position. So do not ridicule or intentionally mis-state another's
opinion. In particular, humour is not an excuse for insults or lazy argument,
so do not use a smiley face to excuse potentially hurtful postings. That is
not to say that humour should be banned, but negative humour does not win
debates; it destroys them.


2.6) When Christianity is Insulted

The Usenet has created a new sport, called Flame Baiting. Religion is one of
the best areas for this sport. This means that someone, either anonymously or
using a false identity, posts an insulting message. The immediate reaction is
for hundreds of posts and hateful e-mail running over the internet. This is
the most likely explanation for a particularly sour post, so just ignore it.

However, there are some people who genuinely believe some extreme things about
Christianity and want to state their point of view and enter into a
discussion. Therefore, if you do reply, assume the message is genuine and
quietly state the reasons why you disagree with the posting's content.

 ------------------------------

Subject: 3.) Other Documents of Interest

This document should not be considered in isolation from the other guidelines
currently available on the Internet. For example, there are the documents that
are regularly posted to the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. These include:

* A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-info/news.answers/usenet/primer/part1

* Rules for posting to Usenet
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-info/news.answers/usenet/posting-rules/part1

and the ironic:

* Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-info/news.answers/usenet/emily-postnews/part1

It can be frustrating when others mis-understand the emotional, conceptual or
factual content of your post. If this seems to be happening with depressing
regularity, then some helpful guidelines on writing style, though from a US
perspective, are contained in:

* Hints on writing style for Usenet
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-info/news.answers/usenet/writing-style/part1

This newsgroup contains much, much more than formal discussion and theological
treatise. Nonetheless, there are some discussions which can benefit from the
participants demonstrating a discipline of thought. If you are enjoying such a
discussion, then consider reading the introduction to formal argument which is
contained in:

* Alt.Atheism FAQ: Constructing a Logical Argument
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-info/news.answers/atheism/logic

And yes, this is a Christian newsgroup recommending you read an atheist FAQ!

 ------------------------------

Subject: 4.) Acknowledgements

I have tried to give credit to those who gave suggestions and feedback in the
changes section as this document evolved. I am sorry now that I didn't keep a
full list of who you are, but many thanks to all of you.

And thanks be to God.

moderation

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Details of the moderation scheme

When the newsgroup realised that moderation was necessary the feeling was that it was primarily to filter out a few individuals who were clearly unable to use a newsgroup constructively, and who were usually personally abusive whenever approached. We didn't want to lose the freedom of expression which is one of the great things about Usenet. We did want to keep a majority of relevance to Christianity from a UK perspective. This means that we didn't want censorship on the basis of what is or isn't Christian - whatever views a UK person has on Christianity counts as relevant to "Christianity in the UK".
Accordingly this is how I have interpreted the charter: articles arriving at the submission address are read automatically by a specially written program, called the moderbot - short for 'moderation robot' - that rejects, posts or forwards the article to another address for me to check the content explicitly.
The reasons for automatic rejection are: cross-posting to more than 3 groups (I've upped the charter's limit slightly, making use of the word 'normally'), the text contains a binary (either uuencoded or a MIME inclusion) or HTML by a Content-type: text/html header, a Newsgroup header that doesn't contain uk.r.c, or that the poster's id has the status 'exiled'.
A poster's id is a combination of their address and proper name, as supplied by the Reply-To and From headers, in that order.
The reason for posting is that the poster's id has a status of 'free', or a status of 'guest' and the article is a reply rather than a new Subject, or it is an explicit approval by me. 'free' means that I have judged that that poster is interested in contributing positively to uk.r.c and can be trusted to continue doing so. 'guest' is for non-UK posters who can be trusted to reply constructively but I need to keep control of how many new threads they start, to maintain the UK relevance. I interpret 'UK' as including Eire. It would help greatly if people whose address looks American could make it clear in some way whether they are UK-based or ex-pat etc.
The reasons for forwarding to me are either cross-posting (because of the way that moderation works I need to check that another moderated group isn't involved - I hope to automate this at some point), or the poster has a status of 'aspirant', 'postulant', 'novice', or 'guest' and the article is a new Subject. 'aspirant' means the poster was not on the list of statuses ie this is their first post to uk.r.c. 'postulant' means I've approved at least one days-worth of articles for posting. 'novice' means I've approved at least two days-worth of articles; when I get a forwarded article from a novice then almost always the poster is given free access. I also approve articles without changing the status of the poster; these are usually for two reasons: adverts for Christian web sites by non-UK posters, which I post because they are short and it would be inhospitable to do otherwise, & articles from non-UK posters which might start an interesting thread precisely because they start from a perspective different from the usual UK one. If I have to reject an article the reason is either that the poster is non-UK and I want to avoid having too many such articles posted, or that the article is, shall we say, non-positive. This includes content that would not be construed as negative in a face-to-face conversation but which, from past experience, comes across as such when in text, for example making an argument too personal.
Both approvals & rejections go back into the moderbot as mails from me. Changes of status are made on the back of these returns so they are actioned when the moderbot processes those mails. Statuses are expired after one year of non-use ie that address hasn't posted anything. All rejections whether automatic or by hand generate a mail to the poster giving the reason in brief. The Reply-To header is set so that the poster can easily ask me for clarification.
All forwardings generate an acknowledgement mail to the sender, except for "new thread" articles from guests. See the acknowledgements section.
Because of the times that the moderbot runs (see the schedule section) & because I work during the day and poll my ISP once or twice a day (at 0600 and usually about 1930) some articles forwarded in one day will be seen by me the next day (sometimes I look through them over breakfast but I don't have time to deal with them) and the result will go out on the day after that. Therefore a new poster will notice a one or two day delay until they get free access. This is unfortunately unavoidable.
The moderbot runs on Exnet Systems Ltd's machines (ie with a permanent connection to the Internet) as a favour to me & Usenet, so I thank them for their generosity.
Correction to the last paragraph: the moderbot now runs on a server provided by Mark Goodge, with considerably easier access than before, to whom many thanks.

personal_abuse

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

A clarification of how the "no personal abuse" clause in the charter is interpreted by a sometime moderator (Debbie Herring, 1999-2006)

Moderation against a charter involves a certain level of petty legalism. In order to have the minimum possible intervention, a few, very simple rules are applied. They have to be applied in such a way that application is fair and applies equally to everyone, whether I like them or not, whether they are part of the current "in-crowd" or not, and whether they are being controversial or not. The rules have to be seen to be consistent, and consistently applied in all cases, or the group takes me sharply to task!
Personal abuse has to be *personal* and *abusive* to fall foul of the charter.
If I allow personal abuse of some individuals and not of others, where the line is drawn becomes a matter of personal opinion. If I insist that personal abuse of every individual is always forbidden, there can be no suggestion that I'm moderating on my own personal opinion. There are loads of good reasons why moderating on opinion is not helpful on Usenet, the most obvious one being that we all have different personal opinions, and confidence in the moderation system would be undermined if it were generally felt that I controlled the discourse of the group for my own personal ends.
Furthermore, I have to define "personal abuse" in a way that is consistent. The way that this is done is by saying that anything abusive which addresses the *person* of an identifiable or named individual is personal abuse. Anything abusive which addresses the actions of an identifiable or named individual, but says nothing about their *person*, is not interpreted as personal abuse.
"Abusive" is deemed to be something generally understood to be unpleasant - and that requires careful exegesis, too - I once fall foul of this one myself by describing someone as "deviant", having just lifted my eyes from a sociology text book. As a number of posters pointed out, the fact that the comment was factually true in the sociological use of the word did not excuse me from the fact that the term is generally understood to be unpleasant! Truth is not the issue. If something is unpleasant, it is unpleasant whether it is true or not. The example I cited above "male poster x is a wanker" may well be factually true, but it is nevertheless abusive. (This is also the case when it comes to libel in this country, I am informed - something published with intent to malign a person, even if it is true, can be libellous under the law).
The only exception I allow to all of the above is that I cannot approve libel, so, for example, when one poster suggested that another was illegally using drugs, I was obliged to take action to protect myself from possible libel action (my approvals header is on every message posted to the group, so I am implicated in "publication" in such a case).
By interpreting the charter in this legalistic way, a clear line can be drawn between what does and does not constitute personal abuse. It means that people are not hampered from discussing things like current events, because it's quite possible to do so without resorting to the above definition of personal abuse. It means that discussions can - and do - get quite heated and lively without my needing to intervene under the personal abuse clause. The group generally works best with the minimum of moderationly intervention. I am more often criticised for interpreting the term too carefully - there are a number of posters who would prefer me to invoke the charter whenever someone says something unpleasant about anyone, however it is phrased.
I should note here that in the same way as a dead person cannot be libelled, I assume that a dead person cannot be personally abused. Anyone may therefore speak ill of the dead with complete confidence that the moderator will not apply any sanctions. This means that Hitler, Myra Hindley and Genghis Khan may be invoked without fear of repercussions, but Margaret Thatcher, Ian Brady and Robert Mugabe must be discussed in more careful terms. (Although Godwin's Law makes Hitler a poor choice of subject for any discussion)
Now, I can see why you don't like the way this all works. But I doubt you could come up with an alternative system which is clear-cut enough to deal with all the kinds of posts we get to this group - if you can, do feel free to share it with us. For the purposes of comparison, you can access all my posts as moderator to the group by doing a Google search on the string "moderator for uk.religion.christian", and I can supply several years' worth of rejected posts which didn't make it to the group on the grounds of personal abuse.

implementation

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Technical aspects of posting

Articles posted to a moderated newsgroup should be forwarded to the group's submission address automatically by the posting agent of the first newserver it encounters. This needs every newserver to be capable of doing that and to have been set up to do it for uk.r.c. Not every Internet Service Provider can, or does, do this. In particular because the uk.* hierarchy is not one of the Big Eight its control messages that communicate the moderated status are not always processed by, for example, US newsadmins.
If your posts aren't being automatically forwarded they will be propagated from your ISP to any others that that ISP feeds & which also don't deal properly with moderated groups. In particular they may appear on DejaNews (http://www.dejanews.com). However when it arrives at a newserver that does know about uk.r.c being moderated it will disappear without trace; it won't be bounced back to you like an email to an unreachable address usually is.
How can you tell if your articles aren't getting through to the moderator? Several ways are possible: your article shouldn't be seen in the spool of articles for uk.r.c for at the very least a few hours and, if you are new to the group, between one and two days; your article may not be recorded in DejaNews; you may find that no-one replies to your post when they might well be expected to; the path header ought to show that the article originated, as an actual post, from the moderator's address, though in uk.r.c this could be Demon's mail2news gateway ie it could end mail2news.demon.co.uk!not-for-mail or exnet2!anweald; the Approved header should name the person who, implicitly or explicitly, approved the article. If you are a new poster then you should get an acknowledgement for all article submissions, which you won't if they aren't going to the right place. See the acknowledgements section.
Therefore it would be useful to explain how to simulate manually what should happen automatically. Put simply you mail the article directly to the submission address yourself.
The submission address for uk.religion.christian is uk-religion-christian@usenet.org.uk. This address is in fact an alias for the actual article submission address so that if the moderator should change there would need to be one change made in only a few places rather than wait for a control message to propagate throughout the whole world. The domain 'usenet.org.uk' can be replaced by any that mean Pipex or Eunet, which are the two places where the submission address is translated into the actual address where the moderbot is. The same thing applies to the address that goes direct to the moderator ie uk-religion-christian-request@usenet.org.uk.
Technically a Usenet article has a Newsgroups header that names which newsgroups the article is to be propagated to. If you mail an article by hand it may not have such a header. However the moderbot allows you to not supply a Newsgroup header, in which case it assumes that you mean to post to uk.r.c. If you supply a Newsgroups header but it doesn't include uk.r.c then the article will be rejected automatically.

schedule

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

When articles actually get posted

The moderbot used to run hourly from 0020 to 0820 and from 1320 to 1820. The reason for these two sessions rather than running hourly all the time was to attempt to forestall one of the main causes of negativity & noise namely the escalation of bad-tempered reaction. With these posting times if someone posts in a bad mood and someone else reacts negatively it's unlikely that the first poster will see that reaction during that same day. Since moods generally last for a day at a time this should mean that when the first poster does see the reply the next day they will be a lot less likely to make things even worse. Another reason for limiting the moderbot response time is simply that quality of content is served by people thinking for longer before replying.
However, I eventually got round to doing a poll (thanks to Mark Goodge for the vote collecting) of what people thought would be best and here is most of the article giving the results & consequent decisions:
> Question 1
>
> The following seem to be the roles the group has and they are near
> enough in the order of needing decreasing response time & benefitting
> from longer gaps in the run schedule:
>
> A. disseminating information eg events, web site/software updates.
> B. community feeling ie chatting with like-minded people.
> C. personal growth & ecumenism ie exchanging experiences constructively.
> D. effective intellectual discussion ie with a chance of settling questions.
> E. texts for meditative reflection.
>
> Please rate how important each is to you, from 1="not at all, couldn't
> care less" to 5="incredibly so, change it and I'll sue":
>
>   Total  (Average)
>
>   A: 31    (1.55)
>   B: 62    (3.10)
>   C: 75    (3.75)
>   D: 74    (3.70)
>   E: 33    (1.65)
>
>   (responses: 20)

This shows, to me, that although most of the group's traffic might seem to be
intellectual discussion mixed in with a fair amount of ecumenical exchange
there's almost as much desire for the group to function as an on-line
community. Therefore I reckon it's unjustified to restrict posting times to
those that might be held to suit mainly category D.

> Question 2
>
> The following are near enough the times in the day that people might
> connect with the group:
>
> A. Early morning ie 0500 to 0900
> B. Morning ie 0900 to 1200
> C. Afternoon ie 1200 to 1800
> D. Early evening ie 1800 to 2100
> E. Evening ie 2100 to 0100
> F. The middle of the night ie 0100 to 0500
>
> Please rate how important each is to you, from 1="I'm asleep (or
> otherwise prevented from accessing netnews) then" to 5="I do nothing
> else at that time":
>
> (a - Weekday)
>
>   Total   (Average)
>
>   A: 34    (1.70)
>   B: 49    (2.45)
>   C: 60    (3.00)
>   D: 74    (3.70)
>   E: 56    (2.80)
>   F: 27    (1.35)
>
>   (responses: 20)
>
> (b - Saturday/Weekend) (only counted if different from 2a)
>
>   Total   (Average)
>
>   A: 20    (1.67)
>   B: 33    (2.75)
>   C: 32    (2.67)
>   D: 32    (2.67)
>   E: 35    (2.92)
>   F: 12    (1.00)
>
>   (responses: 12)
>
> (c - Sunday) (only counted if different from 2a and 2b)
>
>   Total   (Average)
>
>   A:  4    (1.33)
>   B:  8    (2.67)
>   C: 12    (4.00)
>   D: 13    (4.33)
>   E: 10    (3.33)
>   F:  3    (1.00)
>
>   (responses: 3)

It would seem that all waking hours are active, and some that ought not to be
so active <g>.

My general conclusion is that there's no point trying for some complicated run
schedule to be all things to all posters. So I'm going for the simplicity of
Mark's idea of a run every hour. This should be OK with most people's
propagation delays, at least we can't really cater for ISPs that consistently
provide less than this & since they all cost about the same...

In the absence of any objections to this change I'll switch it on during the
evening of St Patrick's Day.

acknowledgements

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Automatic acknowledgement of articles submitted to the moderbot

New posters will have noticed they get a mail acknowledging their post & saying that it has been fowarded for moderation. This is a new feature that I've put in to the moderbot because I've had several people wonder what's happened to their post. It's automatic for all article forwardings. The delay until it's seen as a post or a manual reject is quite long compared to the turnaround for regulars who get auto-approval.
If you want to get an acknowledgement that a submission has been received & either forwarded or posted (rejections have always generated a mail anyway) then it can be manually asked for by adding the literal (case-independently) "[ack]" to the Subject header.
The address used is, as for rejects, that in the Reply-To header if there is one, else it's the one in the From header.
This mechanism won't work if the address is anti-spammed. The ack will be sent but will bounce somewhere - the moderbot will get a Mailer-Daemon failure message which it ignores since it will look like spam <Fe>. The moderbot tries to remove anti-spam character strings specifically in this situation. Some example tries are: remove trailing '2null', remove all occurrences of 'nospam' or of 'NOSPAM', replace 'unitedkingdom' with 'uk'. Others can be added if they're asked for. <== 2003.09.25: this has now been discontinued owing to people needing to use anti-spam strings in valid addresses to deter spam.

antispam

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Anti-spam rules in the moderbot

The physical address of the moderbot always appears in the Sender header and/or a X-Mail2News-User header, and there's nothing I can do about it. It means that that address gets a lot of junk email. Demon answered my suggestion that they mangle their X-Mail2News-User header in some visually-un-mangleable way by saying that that was against the point of inserting it, so I've decided to put in my own check.
As from now if an article hasn't got a Newsgroups header & hasn't got the string 'uk-religion-christian' in the To header then the moderbot will ignore it.
I've been running this check for about a week with no ill-effects: it successfully detects all spam & all genuine posts appear as non-spam. There's still some spam articles actually posted properly but very few are forwarded to me since most of them are too cross-posted & so get an automatic reject.
The other source of 'articles' that now get ignored is mail-bounces back to the moderbot because of eg a poster who's mangled his From and Reply-To address so that the automatic acknowledgement goes nowhere. These too are ignored.
It's possible that a poster uses the physical moderbot address instead of the logical submission address: this will no longer work if they don't also include a Newsgroups header (& that's why I'm explaining this).
The mailer address will still appear in the moderbot's log, so in principle I can still see if things go wrong, but please don't rely on that.

throads

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Delayed posting

There is a feature in the moderbot to delay posts going out until some daily point. The idea is to provide for slow-running threads so that one can cope with the volume & have time to look things up & think rather than feel pressurised into responding quickly lest it move on past the relevance of one's contribution.
To get a post delayed include the literal '[THROAD]' anywhere in the Subject header. The letter case doesn't matter and there can be spaces between the brackets and the letters but there must be no other characters in it. 'THROAD' stands for 'THread Refreshed Once A Day', BTW.
The post time is the 0620 run to coincide with when manually approved articles will have reached the moderbot, so newbies don't get too great a delay.
The first post to start a throad is not itself delayed - it gets posted as normal.

prayer

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Prayer-request posts

There is a feature in the moderbot to detect when a post is a prayer request so that it be checked by the moderator, regardless of the status of the poster. The moderator can then make sure that such threads stay on-topic as prayer requests rather than change into discussion that drowns out the original request for prayer.
There are two ways in which such posts are detected: the poster puts [prayer] in the Subject header, or the Subject contains 'prayer' or 'pray' and 'request' or 'please' or 'for'.
This doesn't always work eg for a Subject of "Week of prayer for Christian unity". If you think it worthwhile you can prevent the moderbot detecting your post as a prayer request by putting [not prayer] in the Subject or by changing one of the trigger words to have a silent underscore in the middle etc.

me2s

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

Posting agreement efficiently

People often don't post a simple agreement with another post because they don't want to clutter up the group with such trivialities. This means that more often it's disagreement that gets expressed. The me2 system is to make expressing agreement less obtrusive by automatically collecting "me too"s to particular articles & posting summaries.
To post a me2 for a particular article, reply to it as normal, put the literal
  [me2]
(case-independently, with no spaces before the [ or after the ]) somewhere in the Subject header, and post without any more editing (which will be ignored anyway).
The moderbot will collect up all such posts and, in the first run after noon each day, will post, for each article with a me2, a summary article with the same Subject as that article, a References header pointing back to that article, some of the text written by the author of that article, and a list of the posters that have said "me too" to it.
You can also add a short qualifier by doing e.g.
  [me2 that says exactly what I feel]
i.e. all text after the "me2 " appears on the summary post.
The poster's proper name from the From header will be used, if none is found then the poster's address will be used, in un-antispammed form unfortunately. If you change the proper name in your From header at the time of posting your me2 then you can appear otherwise than yourself in the me2 summary post. I really don't recommend faking someone else's name - that would corrupt the system for everyone - but me2-ing anonymously might sometimes be appropriate. Duplicate me2s (from the same address in the From header) are detected and ignored. The last to be received, for the same article, is used.
None of these me2 replies go via the moderator, regardless of whether the poster is new to the newsgroup or not, so this is a good opportunity for lurkers to contribute without getting involved in discussions.
The From header of the me2 summary posts is
From: me2s <uk-religion-christian@null4me2s.usenet.org.uk>
so they can easily be killfiled on that if you really don't want to see them.

bottom

uk.religion.christian meta-FAQ

read count

this page. babelfish

changes

to be mailed when changes occur.
2006.08.25
change to CSS formatting from TABLES
2003.10.05
acknowledgements: discontinue un-antispamming addresses,
moderation: include proper name in poster id,
various other small changes.
2003.02.05
personal abuse: new section giving some clarification of the current interpretion
2002.11.06
remove sub-ids sections - no-one uses them & they're confusing
2002.11.03
admin: NetMind gave up so the change notification is now by ChangeDetection, though I've kept the NetMind image because I like it.
2001.11.24
admin: NetMind doesn't seem to have charged me anything so I'm switching back.
2001.09.20
me2: qualifiers
2001.03.30
admin: NetMind has started charging (a lot) for its change notifications so I've rolled my own. You'll have to re-register.
2001.02.21
me2: more details
2001.03.09
start using a style sheet
changes: moved to admin
me2: new section
2000.11.25
guidelines: upped font size
2000.08.02
admin: TheCounter too slow; start a FastCounter counter; count was 33
2000.07.07
admin: start a TheCounter counter
2000.08.02
prayer: new section for prayer request posts
acknowledgements: change to method for getting non-automatic acknowledgements
2000.06.28
moderation: change to whereabouts of moderbot
2000.02.09
move to FreeNetName with home page move; visit count was 1112
1998.10.14
throads: throad starters aren't delayed,
moderation: statuses expire after six months not a year
1998.09.25
throads: new section for new moderbot feature
1998.05.15
moderation: not all forwardings get automatic acknowledgements
1998.04.09
schedule: new section to record final change to moderbot run-times
1998.01.30
admin: add link to Altavista's translation service
1998.01.14
convert text version to HTML.
1997.12.31
Who's Who: change to maintainer & location,
moderation: add about rejecting HTML,
moderation: change to moderbot run-times, again
1997.08.31
moderation: change to moderbot run-times
1997.07.05
faq: add that a FAQ is being created
1997.06.30
moderation & implementation: add about submission acknowledgements,
add acknowledgements & antispam sections
1997.05.30
add FAQ & sub-ids sections
1997.05.07
add charter web page
1997.05.06
moderation: add 'UK includes Eire',
moderation: add 'please make it clearer if you are UK when you have a US style address',
Who's Who : correct Who's who page address,
guidelines: remove some HTML that I had missed earlier
1997.05.02
moderation: add acknowledgement of Exnet,
moderation: add 'days-worth of' twice
1997.04.30
original version

copyright

the uk.religion.christian moderator, except where otherwise acknowledged eg. in "alt" clauses.