We have for the last few weeks been running some columns from Pastor Rob Dale of the Bikers Church in Ottawa in The Busted Knuckle Chronicles, Canada's  Weekly Rider Community Newspaper.

Now, I myself am what I call a person of faith. I believe in love, I believe in a higher power than myself, I believe in the law of attraction the way I believe in the law of gravity - I just refuse to be labeled over my personal choices for faith.

It was recently drawn to my attention that the Pastor's column might put those who are non christian on the fight or have people quit reading the paper because they don't feel comfortable.

So I thought on it long and hard - how do I personally feel and if I was a first time reader how would that column make me feel...and as an Editor, what would I do about comments or concerns from those who read OUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER?

Well - let me give you my PERSONAL stance first...

This is a community newspaper and while I, Renee "Belt Drive Betty" Charbonneau may own the newspaper, make NO MISTAKE - this is OUR PAPER - YOUR PAPER - the Community's paper.

If you send me in something that is not racist, not hate filled or geared to hurt some one are a rider of a motorcycle...why should it not be printed? If it can potentially have value to someone in this community - why would I not print it?
If I write something - the seminars I have taken like one's from Brian Tracy tell me - those articles will be of interest and hold appeal for 25% of the readership. 

We do it with jokes and personal columns all the time. I don't always agree with -bad Uncle Monkey, but he makes me think and sometimes laugh and guess what, I as a rider have the same ability to submit something to the paper to express my point of view...the whole idea behind a COMMUNITY news paper is to share the community, to laugh, cry, create dialogue, instill empathy, compassion, call to action....if we don't share how will we ever become more tolerant, patient or fair minded? How will we ever know when we need to stand up and protect or reach out to help?

Maybe I am a weirdo... but I figure that if you don't like something - you have a few choices. You can decide that the messenger - in this case, the Busted Knuckle Chronicles should be shot and unsubscribe from it even though 50% of it has interest to you...
You can skip the page or just skim it. You could write in and react to it and ask questions and take this as an opportunity to expand your mind or to sway the mind of someone else.

Politics and religion are two topics that shouldn't be discussed if you want to keep friends and the peace...that is what someone said to me and while on a personal level I agree - for a COMMUNITY PAPER, I don't feel that holds true.  I think that we all have the right to be heard unless what we are spewing is absolute hatred - I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS PAPER become some POLITICALLY CORRECT watered down thing that does not represent what the community is facing, needing or doing...DIVERSITY AND ACCEPTANCE is what a COMMUNITY newspaper is all about, I think.

If you are a sport bike rider and want to share with us...if you are a drag racer, if you are a female rider, a gay or lesbian rider, a trail or trials rider, if you are a rally coordinator, a business person who rides - if you are an independent rider or the member of a riding club - why would we stop you from sharing your story? The commonality here is RIDER....and the Busted Knuckle Chronicles is a newspaper about the Rider Community.

If a Sikh, a Jew, and Hindu, a Korean, a Tibetan a Wicken, an Atheist, a  Southern Baptist, a Rastafarian follower wanted to share their religion with us and they rode a bike - why wouldn't we offer their ideas up?

If a Motocross Rider wrote in about his sport no one would take offense or would they?
Like I said -  maybe I am a weirdo.

Politics is something that is a part of every riders life - off and on their machine.

A newspaper is about education, sharing and should result in the strengthening of a community through information and consequently empowerment. Divergent and different ideas are in the Sun, the Journal the Globe and Mail and every other community newspaper be the community local and 200 strong or national and 33-4 million strong.

If the choices and options for knowledge aren't offered then how do we grow? 

Now for my Editor's Stance: It is your newspaper - I am only the keeper. If I don't ask you what you want - then I am not serving you and representing ALL OF YOU - which is my intent.

Do you have any issue with groups like the CMA, Biker's Church or  any other Rider related "religious" organization sharing their ideas, opinions and beliefs?   Yes or NO

Do you have any issues with us carrying articles on ice racing, drag racing, trials riding, motocross or any other sport/discipline?   Yes or NO

Do you have any issues with us carrying information on Riding Clubs, Motorcycle Clubs, One Per Center Clubs or Outlaw Clubs?  Yes or NO

Do you have any issue with us carrying financial services, legal or real estate services news delivered by riders?  Yes or NO

Do you have any issue with us printing the political issues that affect our community - the motorcycle riding community - like loud pipes and motorcycle ONLY noise bylaws, guilty by association laws, perception issues or anything that can affect riders as it pertains to the law?  Yes or NO

Do you think a community news paper should accept submissions from with in the riding community as long as the topic is not meant to specifically hurt or target anyone but meant generally to serve as information/educational or to create dialogue?  Yes or NO

Based on the answers to these questions which we are going to post in an actual survey we will let you know our decision on the various topics up for discussion here.


All entires will go into a random drawing for one of the following prizes:

Your choice of either a BDB Club patch or subscription to the newspaper.
Survey ends 11:59 pm MST December 19th, 2010 
One entry per person

As always - I welcome your input and feedback on this and every topic we discuss...
Join the discussion in our forums on, on Face Book on my personal Page - Belt Drive Betty on our fan page - Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle Chronicles or right here in my  blog!

Not a ton in the headlines today so I am going to get on with month end books and invoicing as well as rolling year end! I am only 8 days behind in invoicing and making year end calls to all of my customers - the decks have been cleared however and I finally have three days to get that job done!

Have a FABULOUS day - I know mine will be...
Please if you are attending Christmas Parties, plan your way home in advance!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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