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This week we chatted with RETeach. Here’s what she had to say in response to some of our questions,
Do you have a goal as to anything that you would like to accomplish by virtue of being a Beliefnet host?
RETeach: I am host on the Sexual Orientation board. I would really like for people to understand that sexual orientation is not a choice. I believe too many people still view sexual orientation as they do being liberal or conservative. They do not understand that while I can choose to be a liberal or a conservative, I cannot choose my sexual orientation. Attacking a group based on orientation is not like attacking liberals or conservatives–it is more like attacking someone based on hair color or height. I would like the hurting to stop.
What prompted you to volunteer?

RETeach: I was “volunteered” by a host who needed some help. Seeing some of the flame wars she had to deal with, I was happy to help.
Have you met any Beliefnet members who have become a friend off-line?
RETeach: Two Beliefnet members live in my town, and I have met one of them. I talk to one on the east coast by phone. I have met another from the east coast in person, and I have met a couple others on the west coast.
What do you most enjoy doing when you are not online?
RETeach: Being with my husband, traveling, reading, cooking, eating, and doing puzzles.
Do you have any suggestions for members who are new to the site?
RETeach: My mistake when I started was assuming I knew more than most. There is a huge variety of people on Beliefnet. Some are amazingly highly educated in matters of faith or other areas. Leaping into a board thinking you are going to save or educate the other posters is a good way to get off on the wrong foot. “I think”, “I believe”, “I’ve been taught”, “I thought that” are much safer ways to get started. Also remember, debate or discussion boards have posters who may believe just as strongly as you something completely different. Don’t take it personally. If you can listen to their point of view, you may even expand your own horizons. I think faith is something like light. There are many distinct and different wavelengths or colors of light that all come together to create white light. While your wavelength or color is important and valid, remember that it may not be the only one.

What do you think is the dumbest question you yourself have ever asked on a message board, here or elsewhere?
RETeach: I try to forget major episodes of embarrassment. I have sometimes posted something I thought was witty that, on being called on it, was indeed off base.
Who is your role model?
RETeach: I don’t know that I have a role model. I think I have been influenced by such a mix of people over time, it would be difficult to narrow it down. Jesus. My parents. CS Lewis. My 8th grade math teacher. Ranchhand, who posts occasionally (I think he is a modern saint.) Fr. Ed Dunn. It’s like the Oscars, I could go on and on.
If you could invite any famous person to become a regular poster on your message board who would that person be?
Jesus, probably, because so many people with opposing viewpoints think they know what he wanted. He could clarify.

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