Due South Religious Wars of '96

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Event
Event: due South Religious Wars of '96
Participants: everyone
Date(s): 1996
Type: Flame War
Fandom: due South
URL:
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due South Religious Wars of '96

due South became a fandom almost immediately after the show debuted in 1994. Fan activity originated on mailing lists and in zines. The first due South discussion list was DSOUTH-L, founded by LJC December 20, 1994.

Because employees of the show participated on this list, the rules against posting fiction and discussing story ideas on list were strictly enforced, and a companion fiction list was created.

In 1996, ownership of the fiction list fell into the hands of a deeply-religious list owner, who objected to stories that contained swearing, pre-marital sex, taking the Lord's name in vain, and any slash content, even of a G-rated nature.

There were a few internal fights in the [due South] fandom that were actually pretty severe. There was a gigantic religious war in 1995—I think it was 1995—where the list owner, who was ... The woman who took over as list owner of the big list at the time, D-SOUTH-L, was very Catholic, and decided that since Ray Vecchio was Catholic, he would observe the same language restrictions that she observed as a practicing Catholic. And announced that Ray Vecchio would not swear, say "hell," or "damn," or "Jesus," or—or anything like that. And the rest of the list looked at—You would think that this was an American; this was an Australian. And we're all like, "How can an Australian be this crazy? This is American crazy." And you're just, "What? What!?" Because he would canonically say things on the show, that she was saying you were not allowed to say in fanfic. You were not allowed to have him say in fanfic. And people went out of their minds with rage about this, and it was like, "What are you talking about?" And a whole lot of—well, not a whole lot, but there were some stories that got written where suddenly, you had a lot of Hispanic characters named Jesus. (laughs) But because he could say, "Hey, Jesus!" And she couldn't object to it. [1]
This was on the fiction list, not the main discussion list, and I was there for it. It actually caused the shut down of that original fiction list, and its re-creation in other forms. The co-list owner of the time was deeply, deeply religious, and located in Australia.

She started objecting strongly to quite a lot, including swear words, pre-marital sex in stories, and taking in the lords name in vain (a character using the word Jesus as an exclamation, for example). She started implementing new rules. It was never an "Adult" list, but a LOT of authors objected, really strongly, to what they saw as insanity. Saying the characters couldn't do more than kiss a girl, for example, when we'd had Fraser canonically sleeping with Victoria... did not sit well. Nor did the religious/Jesus part of it. I remember Cat D. writing a story specifically as a reaction to this rule.

It deteriorated from there, and in a snit, the co-list owner shut the list down, leaving her partner co-mod on the mailing list, who had been more reasonable, both unhappy and listless.

As a result, the list was rebuilt, but additionally, James Walkswithwind started another list that specifically said "This is not an adult list, but all these things ARE allowed, as well as gen and pg slash" [2]

Inspired Stories/Responsefic

These events inspired a series of stories which contained these elements. [3].

One of these stories was by Cat Dudka, a list member. Because list members were told they could not swear in fic, she named three characters "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" The story: Babysitting (May 1996)

References

  1. Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Arduinna (August 2012)
  2. post via LJSeek, not locked originally, comment from a user at taraljc.livejournal (2009)
  3. Discussion in the livejournal of taraljc, referencing a story posted in May 1996 in direct reaction to the religious war. Posted March 15, 2009. Accessed March 15, 2009.