ApricotPie Standards

Are there standards for what one can post on Apricotpie?

The answer is yes, there are.

These standards are closely aligned with what is written on Apricotpie's about page:

Apricotpie's inspiration comes from: the beauty and mystery of the created world; adventure and the warrior; contemplation; the good as infinitely more powerful than evil; respect for innocence; quality over quantity; friendship born from common activity.

In particular, these standards are concerned with, the good as infinitely more powerful than evil. What this means is that the writing that we share with each other on Apricotpie should present good as good, and evil as evil. Although this may seem obvious, it is not so much these days. You see, we live in a culture that increasingly embraces the idea of relative morality, and good and evil being a matter of subjective opinion rather than absolute truth. More and more, our generation thinks of it as creative or even noble to turn good and evil on its head, and present evil as a victim, misunderstood and oppressed; and on the other hand to present what is good as out-dated, bigoted, and even stupid (if you will pardon the term).

Another thing these standards are concerned with is respect for innocence. There are darker sides to life, and sometimes we want to write about them. Sometimes it might be appropriate to post such writing on Apricotpie, and sometimes it might not be. If you are in doubt about whether you should post something you've written, first consider: would any parents be uncomfortable with their small children either reading this or having it read to them? If you're not sure, you can contact me and I can let you know.

With these things in mind, here are some specific things to avoid posting:

  • Cussing and use of coarse words, like "hell" or "damn" (and of course there are even worse ones). Also, please avoid using eupamisms like "heck" (for "hell) and "dang" (for "damn"). I know the euphamisms are especially common, and in the last few decades most people have stopped being offended by them, but out of respect for others I ask that these words be avoided.

  • Use of God's name in vain. This is an important one, and one that I understand not everyone will agree with. None the less, I must insist on this. Saying things like (or having your characters say things like) "Oh God," or "Jesus Christ!" when you or your character are not actually addressing Him, are examples of what I mean. This also includes "gee," "jeepers", or "Jiminy Cricket!"(for "Jesus Crist") and "gosh," or "golly" (for "God").

    Since this one is a bit more controversial, I will elaborate on it more. In today's world, people with coarse language will usually say words that are filthy and cannot be repeated here, when they want to emphasize something. The more polite members of society have taken to substituting God's name or euphamisms of His name for these words. In other words, taking the name of the One who created us and gives us every breath we breathe to sustain us, and using it as a filthy cuss word. My friends, I beseach you to not talk this way. At the very least I will insist that we do not write this way on Apricotpie.
    You would think that if were going to take someone's name and use it in place of a cuss word, we might say "O Adolph Hitler!" Or maybe take the name of a blood-thirsty demonic false god that demanded child sacrifice, like "O Chemosh!" Why is it that we use the name of the One True God to cuss? Don't do it.

  • Careless or excessive death, blood and gore. In tails of adventure there will very likely be death. I will never ask you to try to avoid it. What you do need to avoid is treating it lightly. Whenever a human being dies, it is tragic. If that human is evil, it is at least sobering and nothing to treat lightly.

    When describing death, avoid gory details. I'm not saying avoid any details, but avoid details that parents would not want their little children to hear.

  • Reversing good and evil. As tempting as it might be to tell a story where human-devouring monsters are the heros and the humans themselves are the enemy to be overcome and eaten, don't do it. This standard may be disagreed on, but I must insist on it. We must not let ApricotPie become a place where good and evil are relative and the power of evil is cheered on as it devours the power of good.

  • Sensual Scenes. Avoid posting descriptions of people or interaction that is sensual. What I mean by sensual is anything that is sexually descriptive or inappropriate for younger children. Again, if parents wouldn't be comfortable reading your poetry or your fiction out loud to their younger children (in this case because the content is too sensual), don't post it. This doesn't mean avoid romance altogether -- not at all. Romance (within its proper bounds) is a wonderful thing and is to be celebrated. Just don't describe it inappropriately. The next point is in a similar vein:

  • Celebrating Fornication. Fornication is sexual intimacy outside of marriage. Please don't post anything that casts a positive light on it. God created marriage to be a wonderful and glorious union between one man and one woman for life. Sadly, in our fallen world, things are no longer perfect as God made them to be. People's hearts grow cold. Some marriages suffer from selfish spouses who care more for themselves and their desires than for the one they exchanged vows with at the altar. There are things like "shacking up" and intimacy before or outside of marriage. There is unfaithfulness within marriage. There is divorce. There is even a condition of twisting sexual desires, and now, within our culture, a strong drive to legitimize several versions of this condition and to redefine marriage itself to accomidate it.

    All of these things are tragic. It may or may not be appropriate to include some of these things in the plot of a story that you're posting. If in doubt, you can ask me to review it. But understand that it is not appropriate to cast such things in a positive light.

I understand that some will agree that these are good standards, while others will not. Two generations ago these things were taken for granted. One generation ago these standards would not be considered unusual in our culture at large. In our generation, many of these things are now openly mocked and derided.

I also understand that we here at ApricotPie come from a variety of different backgrounds. Most of us come from what would be considered conservative Christian homes, but not all of us. Some of us would not identify as conservative, or even Christian. But regardless of your background or your religion or world view, I want you all to feel at home here.

ApricotPie is not an explicitly Christian site, but at the same time, this does not mean that anything goes. As you can see, many of these standards for writing are grounded in the Christian world view. In particular are those standards dealing with use of God's name and dealing with marriage. I ask that, regardless of where you're coming from, these standards be honored.

Thank you for contributing to Apricot Pie.

-- James


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