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Discussion For Ex-Xians: Limiting Christian Access Here


Ameen
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Today is Thursday; the day I was attacked, mocked, and humiliated by a Christian in a non-debate section was last Sunday. Nevertheles, I am still fuming. I find I now have a Pavlov's dog reaction, for I get angry and defensive merely logging onto this board.

 

I joined because I am an ex-Christian in a lot of mental pain. This is supposed to be a safe site where we can post freely and talk to each other without fear of Christian retaliation, yet last Sunday's events proved otherwise. Even after I explained to the Christian in question that I did not want to debate him, that I come from an abusive Christian background, that I have OCD, that the way he was treating me was not healthy for me, that there were sections of the board for heated debate which I stayed away from/where he could argue his points, and that I wanted him to stop, he persisted. I ended up starting a new thread about needing help with him, sending private messages to every mod I (and those who PMed me) could think of, and cursing out the Christian/posting in large letters in the thread in which I was being attacked to attract attention so that someone would help me... And then HanSolo came in an rescued me (literally).

 

I am grateful beyond words to him and to all those who supported me; there were many. I am used to being the class nerd, the odd one out, the one hated by Christians and homophobic heterosexuals and those who can't think, and I really did not expect any support. I am not accustomed to it, and it felt good despite the horrible things posted in the attack.

 

I know I am not unique. So many of us ex-Christians are in pain, and it is just plain wrong for Christians to attack us here when this is the only place many of us--myself included--can escape from being badgered by Christians in real life. Besides, there is an ample supply of Christian boards where they can mock us to their hearts' content; why do they need to post outside the heated debate sections here?

 

People who are new to atheism and uncomfortable with it, people who are just starting to question their religion, people who have been persecuted because of sexual orientation or transgender issues and have not yet fully come to terms with their identity can easily clam up and post nothing out of fear when Christian rants are present. Many old-timers on this board would not; but many of us are not old-timers on this board.

 

I ask what would happen to me if I went on a Christian board and treated a Christian there the way a Christian treated me here.

 

The thread in which I was mocked was about a teenage boy who wore clothes. The Christians pounced into the thread and treated this young man with disdain. Again, people in a situation like this teenager's may need to talk about the issue but may not if a Christian or many Christians are spouting off on the board the way they may be in those posters' real lives.

 

If an atheist had expressed a contrary opinion (a politically incorrect opinion), it would have been appropriate on this board since it is a place for ex-Christian discussion. The same remark coming from a Christian is dangerous because it is the same crap we in the sexual minority have had to endure all our lives, and it is the reason so many of have lived a lie for so long and are such emotionally damaged people.

 

I propose that Christian participation on this ex-Chrisian board be limited and regulated so that no one else has to experience what I did on Sunday and so that scared ex-Christians can post without fear.

 

I open this topic for discussion, as I do not claim to have absolute truth. Rather, I have an opinion that may be right, may be wrong, or may be a little of both. I do not seek to impose my view on the board and will abide by any decision made by webmasterDave and the mods. I will also stay on the board and do what I can to foster its aims regardless of any decision made.

 

I am, however, deeply troubled by the events of last Sunday and needed to get my feelings off my chest. Perhaps my doing so will be a step in the right direction in getting a discussion started.

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My two cents, I like the rancor and fighting. I understand though how one can get riled on a board, but I would miss fights and insults. Let me ask you this, Ameem...do you get the guilts out of fighting back?

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Ameen, I’m going to be honest with you, consequences be damned.

 

I think you over reacted.

 

Yes, I do think Abiyoyo was provoking you a bit. Yes, I do think he was taking advantage of your apparent extreme sensitivity.

 

But I still think you over reacted.

 

The Christians who come here serve their purpose. For better or worse they give us the chance to express our thoughts and feelings directly to Christians themselves.

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I don't know the circumstances of the problem but I would not be opposed to having one or two sub-fora that are closed to Christians. There are three sub-fora here for debates and fights - isn't that enough for the Christians?

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Two or three sub-forums are already closed to Christians.

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Ameen I understand your feelings but on the other hand...

 

...first, we have such places (where the morontheists are not allowed to enter) on this site already

 

...second, if we close more forums on this site (most of them? Just a few? Which ones?) we start sinking down to their level. :scratch:

 

Personally, I can live with both options. If there will be a vote on this, I think I'll stay away from it :)

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@ nightflight: It isn't so much guilt as practicality. Many of my past dealings with Christians have been traumatic, and I don't want to relive it all. In addition, I don't want to be banned (which will happen if I don't stay calm here) and I do want to make friends. When a Christian attacks a sexual minority, I am going to react angrily. I am not in a place where I can discuss it calmly, as I had years of self-hate for being gay programmed into me by Christians. My angry response is only going to make people here lose respect for me--and I was humiliated that everyone saw me in such an angry state. Which leads to...

 

@ Legion Regalis: You see me as overreacting, and I understand. I have no problem whatsoever with your expressing your honesty, and I think highly of you for having the guts to do it. There will be no consequences from me.

 

But, the way you see me as overreacting... What you're really saying is that I was babyish, and that is indeed how an OCD panic attack will be viewed by people who don't understand. I posted for help AND asked the Christian to stop repeatedly because I know my OCD very well and I can usually handle it. I felt that I was losing control, and I did all I could to gain control. Again, I PMed more than a dozen mods AND started a new thread AND called attention to the thread AND told the Christian to stop. All the while, my mind was racing faster than I could process the thoughts, and I knew I was going to snap (as I did) unless I got help fast.

 

I am not trying to make people feel sorry for me. As a person with OCD, I take full responsibility for all my actions and know that, in the end, I am the one to blame. Still, what I want all of you to see if how difficult the situation was. Whether or not I handled it in the best possible way (I did not) is not the issue here. That a Christian would mock me here, in the very place I come to be safe, is unfair and uncalled for. Do I go to Christian boards and push people's buttons? No.

 

@ Thuriasz: Perhaps, then, the places closed to Christians and open to Christians need to be clearly labelled, as I would stick mostly to non-Christians spaces on this ex-Christian board. I just don't want to deal with Christians and their hate. My life is packed with responsibilities, and I come here to relax--not to fight.

 

I would favor additional sections closed to Christians. I would not favor closing the whole board to Christians since many people want them here

 

@ ClaraOlive: Thank you! :)

 

@ Phanta: Thank you, too! :) Perhaps we need a section for emotions, growth, and ongoing work (not just the sections already non-Christian) free from Christian rants.

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Whether or not I handled it in the best possible way (I did not) is not the issue here.

In my opinion it is THE central issue. You now want the board to be changed for all of us because you alone can’t handle being prodded by a few words on a screen.

 

I’m manic-depressive Ameen. I’m medicated these days and I’m level. But I now recognize how poor my judgement has been in the past, and how unreasonable I was to expect the people around me to share in both my euphoria and despair. Should my mental illness be our standard?

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I open this topic for discussion, as I do not claim to have absolute truth. Rather, I have an opinion that may be right, may be wrong, or may be a little of both. I do not seek to impose my view on the board and will abide by any decision made by webmasterDave and the mods. I will also stay on the board and do what I can to foster its aims regardless of any decision made.

What I don't care for is that you are not bringing this up with the management of the board, but are instead going for popular support to back you in your complaint to the board. Whether your complaint is valid or not, is completely beside the point. This move is political, and in my opinion speaks poorly of it.

 

I'm not the primary moderator of this ex-Christian life forum, but I can toss my two cents in of opinion on the tactic. It doesn't merit my respect. It's hard to work with a situation when a member calls for popular support in support of them, rather than working with the management team of the site. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

 

So I'm just speaking as a long-term, fellow member of the site, who happens to know what it is to try to keep it working smoothly for everyone. We care about complaints, but end-running mods is not the right way to build relationships of support. I would suggest taking this off-line.

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Whether or not I handled it in the best possible way (I did not) is not the issue here.

In my opinion it is THE central issue. You now want the board to be changed for all of us because you alone can’t handle being prodded by a few words on a screen.

 

I’m manic-depressive Ameen. I’m medicated these days and I’m level. But I now recognize how poor my judgement has been in the past, and how unreasonable I was to expect the people around me to share in both my euphoria and despair. Should my mental illness be our standard?

 

I must disagree with you here. (And I am medicated too.)

 

First, I did not say that the board must be changed. In fact, I said that I would be here and support its aims regardless of whether any action was taken. You (plural you--those who run the board) may decide that my request is unreasonable or may decide there is some merit in it. I have presented it because I think it is a good suggestion--not just for me, but for many. Again, maybe I am right; maybe I am wrong; maybe I am somewhere in the middle.

 

The point is that I joined this board because I wanted a safe space to discuss ex-Christian issues and had already left two atheist boards because of all the fighting. I come from a family full of manic-depressives and people with borderline personality disorder, and I really don't want drama. I just want to talk about issues of mutual importance without reliving my church or my extended family. If the board is not safe for ex-Christians who cannot tolerate any more "Christian Love," what purpose does it serve?

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I open this topic for discussion, as I do not claim to have absolute truth. Rather, I have an opinion that may be right, may be wrong, or may be a little of both. I do not seek to impose my view on the board and will abide by any decision made by webmasterDave and the mods. I will also stay on the board and do what I can to foster its aims regardless of any decision made.

What I don't care for is that you are not bringing this up with the management of the board, but are instead going for popular support to back you in your complaint to the board. Whether your complaint is valid or not, is completely beside the point. This move is political, and in my opinion speaks poorly of it.

 

I'm not the primary moderator of this ex-Christian life forum, but I can toss my two cents in of opinion on the tactic. It doesn't merit my respect. It's hard to work with a situation when a member calls for popular support in support of them, rather than working with the management team of the site. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

 

So I'm just speaking as a long-term, fellow member of the site, who happens to know what it is to try to keep it working smoothly for everyone. We care about complaints, but end-running mods is not the right way to build relationships of support.

 

If my tactic is wrong, I apologize.

 

I don't think it is wrong. I feel I am posting about something that is troubling me deeply and that I cannot hold in any longer. I am looking for support in addition to discussion. If that comes off as end-running the mods, the fault is mine. It is not my intention to do that, but I can see what you are saying.

 

In my defense, I will say that I PMed more than a dozen mods when the situation occurred, and that 90% of what I said in my initial post in this thread appears in the thread in which I was attacked. I sent a link to every mod I PMed Sunday. In a sense, that is going directly to the mods.

 

Why don't I go directly to the mods once again this time around (today)? My experience with people in power is that they will yes you to death to shut you up and then do nothing. I don't know anyone on this board well enough to know what to expect if I bring my issues to the mods, although I did say in my initial post that the support I got from HanSolo and the rest of the board was a pleasant surprise. Still, I am used to taking care of myself and not depending on others.

 

I just don't know what else to do; I am still very angry and I am trying to deal with the anger by discussing it.

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Ameen, I know you have your reasons for your reaction to Yoyo... don't think I'm trying to minimize them. But I agree with Legion in that I think you've overreacted. Yoyo was being an ass, sure- but this IS the internet. While his comments were fairly typical of what I'd expect from a christian, he wasn't preaching... in fact, if you were to improve his structure and organization a bit, his initial posts wouldn't be THAT out of place for some of the more conservative Exchristians around here. And as far as I know (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), he didn't break any official forum rules. Yoyo made some comments where he clearly wanted to escalate things- but so did you. I AM more likely to agree with you than Yoyo on most topics- but that isn't really the issue here.

 

In my experience, lots of internet forums that are put up for a specific purpose or group of people (Exchristians in this case) become echo-chambers over time- especially if the 'opposition' (christians, democrats, Ford owners, whatever) is systematically banned, marginalized, or shouted down. Personally, I'm glad that we have our politically conservative members around- even if I DO disagree with them 75% of the time. Same goes for Christians- it wouldn't be much of a debate if there's nobody to argue with. And let's face it- the vast majority of christians aren't THAT hard to pick apart... Yoyo's primary weapon is persistence.

 

We already have two or three sub-forums where Christians can't post- including places where you can discuss issues like the thread in question without having to bother with Christians (I'm thinking of the Exchristian Life sub-forum). I think this is a good balance- it's been working quite well for years.

 

This is already a very supportive forum for Exchristians. Sure, Yoyo can put words on the screen and push your buttons, but he can't really DO anything to you. Maybe you could use posts like his as an opportunity to argue your case (and/or ridicule the guy if you're in a bad mood) in a place where you won't be banned and you'll likely be backed up. It might do you some good. I'm no psychologist, but my wife is- AND she has OCD (and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night). So I'm not entirely talking out my ass here.

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Two or three sub-forums are already closed to Christians.

 

Can you clarify which those are?

 

I've been here for a while and it's never been something I noticed. I did notice that I used to be able to see the sex forum and now I can't... whatever.

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If my tactic is wrong, I apologize.

 

I don't think it is wrong. I feel I am posting about something that is troubling me deeply and that I cannot hold in any longer. I am looking for support in addition to discussion. If that comes off as end-running the mods, the fault is mine. It is not my intention to do that, but I can see what you are saying.

 

Why don't I go directly to the mods? My experience with people in power is that they will yes you to death to shut you up and then do nothing. I don't know anyone on this board well enough to know what to expect if I bring my issues to the mods, although I did say in my initial post that the support I got from HanSolo and the rest of the board was a pleasant surprise.

 

I just don't know what else to do; I am still very angry and I am trying to deal with the anger by discussing it.

If it's of any consolation to you, this has been discussed off-line amongst other mods. People like YoYo or End3 are hardly your typical, died in the wool fundi - sort of folk. For me personally, I sort of see them as Honorary Heretics, but that's not some official board opinion, just my own. But I certainly respect that you may feel that he represents something that is offensive to you. He has acknowledged that he needs to back off with you, and we do hold an expectation that he is respectful of what we deem important, which your desire to be left alone by him was. As far as I know, that has happened.

 

I would hope you can talk about this with the mod staff here instead of dragging others into it. It makes it difficult to help when everyone gets involved. We aim to support, but need support in return.

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First, I did not say that the board must be changed.

I’m sorry Ameen, but this strikes me as being slightly disingenuous. You have here argued that the board should be changed.

 

I have enjoyed many of your posts, and I still hold out the hope that we can be friends. But I’m definitely sizing you up right now.

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If my tactic is wrong, I apologize.

 

I don't think it is wrong. I feel I am posting about something that is troubling me deeply and that I cannot hold in any longer. I am looking for support in addition to discussion. If that comes off as end-running the mods, the fault is mine. It is not my intention to do that, but I can see what you are saying.

 

Why don't I go directly to the mods? My experience with people in power is that they will yes you to death to shut you up and then do nothing. I don't know anyone on this board well enough to know what to expect if I bring my issues to the mods, although I did say in my initial post that the support I got from HanSolo and the rest of the board was a pleasant surprise.

 

I just don't know what else to do; I am still very angry and I am trying to deal with the anger by discussing it.

If it's of any consolation to you, this has been discussed off-line amongst other mods. People like YoYo or End3 are hardly your typical, died in the wool fundi - sort of folk. For me personally, I sort of see them as Honorary Heretics, but that's not some official board opinion, just my own. But I certainly respect that you may feel that he represents something that is offensive to you. He has acknowledged that he needs to back off with you, and we do hold an expectation that he is respectful of what we deem important, which your desire to be left alone by him was. As far as I know, that has happened.

 

I would hope you can talk about this with the mod staff here instead of dragging others into it. It makes it difficult to help when everyone gets involved. We aim to support, but need support in return.

 

Although we may not see eye to eye on this issue, I want you to know that I respect your honesty. I also respect the way you posted to me both times, as you could have been holier than thou but weren't.

 

I freely admit that sometimes I get so caught up in my head that I see all the details but not the big picture, which may not be what you are telling me but is what I get from your posts.

 

I also admit that when I feel powerless, as I do now, I go on and on and on and on and on in hopes that some sentence (or even some subordinate clause) will make sense to someone somewhere and let that person hear my voice.

 

Finally, I admit that I am not good at subtlety, and I do come off as very direct. If I say or do anything that rubs you or anyone else the wrong way, please tell me as you did now. I will never know unless it is pointed out to me. This thread was not meant to rub the moderators the wrong way; if you feel it is inappropriate, please delete it--and know I won't bring up the subject again. I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted to say, but I know that what one person says or writes is not always what he or she intended--and not always what the other person hears.

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First, I did not say that the board must be changed.

I’m sorry Ameen, but this strikes me as being slightly disingenuous. You have here argued that the board should be changed.

 

I have enjoyed many of your posts, and I still hold out the hope that we can be friends. But I’m definitely sizing you up right now.

 

I don't have an issue with anything you have written, and I too hope we can be friends. I don't feel that I said "must"; you feel I did. I don't feel I am being disingenuous; you feel I am. We can agree to disagree. I don't agree with you and you don't agree with me. Given this, if we knew each other in real life, could we still share a pizza and a movie? Of course.

 

My best friend has been my best friend since 1992, but if I said we never had a disagreement I would be lying. I am a flawed person like everyone else. If you can see my flaws and still like me, then we can indeed be friends.

 

Do I want to assert control so that I no longer feel powerless? Yes. Maybe that is what you are seeing? I know that I have such a streak, and that is why I repeatedly say maybe I am right; maybe I am wrong; maybe I am somewhere in the middle. I learned that from reading Dan Barker (as in 'maybe yes, maybe no'). I don't want to come off as saying that only I am right in reality regardless of how I feel in my head.

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First, I did not say that the board must be changed.

I’m sorry Ameen, but this strikes me as being slightly disingenuous. You have here argued that the board should be changed.

 

I have enjoyed many of your posts, and I still hold out the hope that we can be friends. But I’m definitely sizing you up right now.

 

I'm sure he's about as concerned as I was when you warned me a while back that your respect for me was dwindling because you disagreed with me. You seem like a decent guy, Legion, and maybe you don't realize it... but this sort of ultimatum doesn't really accomplish anything except to make you look like an ass.

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Yoyo made some comments where he clearly wanted to escalate things- but so did you.

 

Not something I had thought of, but I suppose there is some truth here. Again, my thoughts were racing, and I was doing what I could to make the situation end. Part of me may have been escalating it. This is something I have to think about--not something I will be able to resolve tonight.

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I didn’t realize I was laying down an ultimatum Isker. I thought I was expressing the fact that, personally, I am now weighing Ameen. If that comes across as being an ass, I don’t know what to say. :shrug:

 

Don’t you weigh people? (metaphorically speaking)

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I didn’t realize I was laying down an ultimatum Isker. I thought I was expressing the fact that, personally, I am now weighing Ameen. If that comes across as being an ass, I don’t know what to say. :shrug:

 

Don’t you weigh people? (metaphorically speaking)

 

I was a little startled by the sentence, as I did not know how to take it. I think this is what Isker is getting at. For what it's worth, I tend to be just as blunt, and sometimes it gets me in trouble too.

 

I don't have an issue with what you said. You may decide that I am not someone you want to be friends with, or you may decide that I am. I get and respect that.

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Two or three sub-forums are already closed to Christians.

 

Can you clarify which those are?

 

I've been here for a while and it's never been something I noticed. I did notice that I used to be able to see the sex forum and now I can't... whatever.

Ex-Christian Life and Testimonies.

 

They're not closed per se, but if Christians get in there, report them and we'll remove their posts. We will also make sure they know what they did wrong.

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I hold a similar opinion to Ameen's. In my case specifically, I believe the only place they should be allowed to post is in the debate forums, Colloseum, Arena, and The Lion's Den.

 

My reasoning for such action is as follows: I forget which one of the forums it was(Maybe Rants and Replies) but an ex-c was posting about how he was depressed about something and Lnc replied with a post that was witnessing to him. I called a moderator on him, and I think the posts he had made were moved to the Lion's Den if I remember correctly.

 

When we get here, a lot of us are hurting pretty bad emotionally and mentally. We're still vulnerable to witnessing from well meaning but misguided(and sometimes plain assholy)christians who want to drag us back to the fold.

 

I really don't want to see any of us who come here for aid in escaping the nightmare of Christianity, to be put at risk of being sucked back into it by a christian putting doubts in our minds.

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I am sorry that you are still so upset, Ameen.

 

I am afraid a board on the internet is never going to be a completely safe place. If you put an opinion out there, chances are someone will challenge it. No one can prevent that. There are times I have been quite angry myself, but to me its the price you pay.

 

One of the things that has kept me hanging around here is that this site is not heavily moderated. A person can be rather free in their expression here, to say the least. On other boards I have seen, posts are just arbitrarily removed by moderators who find them unsuitable and there is a long list of rules. Not so here.

 

Another reason I am here is perhaps the opportunity to help others overcome their Christian indoctrination. I think sometimes that seeing us do battle with Christians in many sections of the board is helpful to many who never post here.

 

If a Christian or anyone else is being offensive, I report the post to a moderator. Most of the time I have done that, action was quickly taken.

 

I do not favor any more restrictions.

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I didn’t realize I was laying down an ultimatum Isker. I thought I was expressing the fact that, personally, I am now weighing Ameen. If that comes across as being an ass, I don’t know what to say. :shrug:

 

Don’t you weigh people? (metaphorically speaking)

 

 

Sure I do. But I don't essentially tell them 'you better act right or I won't be your friend'. Neither would I tell them something akin to 'I used to respect you until you posted something that I disagree with'. Well, maybe I would have when I was 12.

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