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Policy: Religous posts in RI and GNG

Discussion in 'Announcements & Support' started by Booch, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. Booch

    Booch An American

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    Yes, I cc'd them on this. I've started this thread so that this topic can be more easily discussed. PM's have only a 2000 character limit, and it's hard to say everything that needs to be said in that length.

    It's not that I have a problem with a specific user or thread, and I realize that RI is not a Christian-only forum. My problem is with a trend that I see developing. Us "God types" are shouted down in every other forum on GT. The argument is always the same "take that stuff to Religous Issues", but then the same people come over to RI and post things like "don't quote the Bible to me." You can't post in RI and expect to not see someone quote from the Bible (or any other holy book for that matter).

    What I would like to see done is a new rule put into effect for RI. Quoting from holy books (Bible, BOM, Torah, Quran, etc.) should be a form of protected speech. That is what RI is for. Posts like "Let's talk about religion, but don't you dare quote from a holy book" should be against the rules. People like that might as well be saying "Let's talk about the law, but don't you dare quote the Constitution." If they don't want to read quotes from holy books, then they shouldn't be reading RI.

    It seems like everyone expects us "God types" to just sit in our little RI box and wait for them to come over and bash us at their liesure. RI should not be a duck hunt. It should not be a place for non-religous people to take target practice at those with religous beliefs. People should not be allowed to come to RI for the expressed purpose of flaming religion. Yes, we all get into some heated debates at times (especially between different belief systems), but some people only show up in RI to express their hatred for all religion.
     
  2. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head Staff Member Admin Silver Member

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    I want to say first of all, that I personally do not think that religion is an appropriate subject of conversation in an open forum. Furthermore, I think that most users on Glock Talk either agree with me to some extent, or do not agree with me, but did not come to my site to talk about religion. My feelings on this do not reflect an anti-religion attitude. I just think that a person's belief system is a deeply personal thing and isn't the type of thing that most people would feel comfortable discussing with strangers, or in an environment such as a public message board, when they don't know everyone involved in the discussion. I believe what I believe and I think everyone else has a right to their beliefs, as long as those beliefs don't harm others and they do not attempt to inflict their beliefs on me. I personally do not try to sell people on my belief system and resent it when someone tries to do so with me.

    My personal feelings on this aside, there has never been any single topic of discussion that has started more trouble on this site than religion. In addition to the fact that the vast majority of religious posts end up in an argument, there really doesn't seem to be much of a point to these discussions in the first place. I have never seen anyone's opinions or beliefs swayed one wit, in a discussion on religion. People believe what they believe and the ones that believe in something enough to debate publicly with someone that holds an opposing belief, is probably not someone that will be swayed by any arguments. The whole process seems roughly akin to a couple of politicians each trying to convince the other to vote for him. They both talk a good game, but the exercise is ultimately quite futile. I am not trying to make light of this situation, or to insult anyone's religious beliefs. I am trying to point out that religious discussions have a high probability of starting trouble here and a low probability of accomplishing anything.

    Having said all of this, I made a decision, a few months ago, to open a Religious Issues forum, although I did not do it for the reasons that some people might think. When I made this decision, it was obvious to me that there were many people here that wanted to talk about religion. It was equally obvious that it was not a subject that most others on the site were comfortable with and it was a subject that caused a lot of trouble. So my choices were to disallow the discussion of religion on this site altogether, or to create a forum where it could be discussed, thus removing this topic as a point of contention from the rest of the site, as well as giving the proponents of such discussions a place to talk. I very nearly chose the former solution, instead of the latter. I've never made any secret of my opinions on this matter and religious discussions have wasted a lot of my time, dealing with the problems created. Ultimately, I chose to open the Religious Issues forum to see if it would work out. I haven't decided yet if this little experiment is working out. To tell you the truth, I have very little free time lately to follow the RI forum's progress and so I haven't made a decision yet on whether it will stay or go. I have added three moderators to that forum, whose opinions I trust, and they haven't reported many problems. If I do become aware of problems occurring, I will give the forum some more scrutiny. If I decide the forum is more trouble than it is worth, I will close it and if I do, I will not allow religious issues to be discussed here, in the future.

    To summarize my position on this: I do not personally think that discussion of religion is appropriate for a public forum, but I am willing to allow it on Glock Talk, in the Religious Issues forum only, if such discussions do not cause too much trouble. I want to accommodate as many people as I can here, but that has to be balanced with the resources<font size="-1">(My time, patience and energy included)</font> I have available to keep this place going and my vision for this site. I allow a lot of latitude here, but I can and will draw the line at anything that disrupts this site.

    As I said earlier, I have had very little time to follow things in the RI forum. I DO NOT want that forum used for the purpose of baiting arguments or starting trouble though and if anyone spots such behavior, email me at webmaster@glocktalk.com and it will be dealt with...Eric
     

  3. Guest

    There have been religious threads started in GNG and eventually moved over to RI, but I don't think you're referring to those are you?
    Sure, but that's the way it is in the real world as well. People do not have to accept the authority of a holy writing unless you can show them logically and reasonably that it is indeed a Holy God/Gods/Spirt Inspired Book.
    But then you wouldn't be allowed to compare and contrast religions because if each one of those claims inspiration and each one of those claims to be The True Way, then you're automatically going to have to call one or more a falsely inspired book. Unless you can prove that they're all true, which would be a rather impossible task.

    Unless, once again, that it can be proven to be a Holy God/Gods/Spirit Inspired Book. But you can't prove it unless you test it and you can't test it unless you can throw all sorts of stuff at it to see what sticks.
    Depends. You can talk about the Constitution if you are a citizen of the United States of America. If a Pakistani came over and started quoting their constitution most would say "don't quote from that". Why? Because it has no jurisdiction on US soil.

    A member of the Church of Jesus Christ LDS can quote me the Book of Mormon, but it has no jurisdiction over my beliefs until such time that it can be proven. In the same way the Bible has no jurisdiction over an atheist. Unless you show them that yes, they are within the scope and region of that jurisdiction.

    And only reason and logic can show where the jurisdiction really lies.
    This I totally agree with.
    True. Maybe there should be a specific "Rules and Behavior" sticky for the express purpose of pointing out that flaming and bashing is rather wack. If you don't have an argument or reason or logic just a big freakin chip on your shoulder, might not want to post.
     
  4. Rebecca

    Rebecca

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    Booch... I am only going to speak for my position in the RI forum. I cannot, nor will not, speak for the other staff working the other forums here at GT. I have confidence in them to maintain their forums... just as hope they have confidence in me to maintain mine.

    The views expressed in RI are done so by a variety of belief structures. That is why it is titled as Religious Issues ... as that names covers just about everything.

    In any case... I do see your point, but do not be so certain that there are members who have not been addressed when it becomes obvious to me that there is no intent for a true discussion to be had on their part. If they are only there to bash others... they are usually addressed. I choose, more often than not... to make my contacts privately. Just because you do not see it does not mean a contact is (or has not) been made.

    As for quoting scripture, no, I would no more expect to come into any religious topic and not expect to see a bible verse or two.... or even more. I honestly believe that anyone who thinks it isn't going to be a part of the discussion is not entering any topic in there with full reasoning capabilities. The bible is very important to many religions. If you cannot accept that the bible is a tool for living for persons of faith... then, perhaps you are entering into the wrong forum on this board. I cannot tell a Christian man to not believe in his bible and not use verses from it to show his examples... anymore than I can tell an atheist that he cannot believe in evolution nor use his science books to help make his point. It's a matter of respecting one another.... period.

    I will not lend my support to a set pattern of rules in that forum. Obviously, it is Eric's call, but I see no sense in it. The moderators are capable of adding more moderation to the forum if Eric and/or the members feel it is truly needed. Keep in mind, though... we go out of our way to mostly leave the members alone so we do not stifle anyone's point of view. None of us want to come down heavy handed. Religious Issues can be very sensitive for many... and more often than not, we must be allowed to use discretion when we make our moderator calls. It isn't about playing favorites of any kind... it is about being able to offer as much leeway for the members as we can because sometimes, it is in the very passion itself that is being shown that the best points are made.

    Any member reading or participating in that forum are welcomed to contact any of the staff associated with it... at any time. If there is a complaint, we will check it out. I promise. Make use of our PM and email links... and we'll get right on it. Just keep in mind that we may or may not agree with you. We do our work based on first what is best for Eric's board... and what is best for our regular members in there. We will always take your opinions into consideration, though... no matter what. So, you contact us if you need to talk, ok?

    ~Rebecca. :)
     
  5. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head Staff Member Admin Silver Member

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    Rebecca touched on the point of specific rules for that forum, which I missed, when I first responded. The same posting rules that apply to the rest of the site, apply in the RI forum. Those rules boil down to 'mind your manners'. Don't start trouble, or respond with insults or other rude behavior, if you do not agree with someone else's opinions. If faced with rude behavior from someone else, please do not respond to it. Let a moderator or admin deal with it.

    I want to allow as much leeway as possible to everyone, but I draw the line at bad conduct. I want people to mind their manners on my site. I can't put it any plainer than that. I know people get passionate about their beliefs, but I do not believe that strongly-held beliefs in anything excuse bad behavior. I think that actions truly do speak louder than words. I allow a lot of latitude to people on this site, but not on this point. Insults and rude behavior are unworthy indulgences, not necessities, in any discussion. Try being insightful, instead of inciteful. Words don't have to be weapons to be tools.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts on that...Eric
     
  6. Booch

    Booch An American

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    I would like to ask each of you to go back and look at the example posts that I put in my first PM. I won't duplicate them here because I see no need to make this a public finger-pointing session. I would like you to look at them and think about whether or not these posts have any meaningful opinion other than "I hate religion." These posts aren't expressing any sort of alternate position, all they say is "don't preach to me" or "don't quote the bible to me." These types of people should be politely asked to leave RI if they don't want to talk about religion.

    To clarify a few things, I am not talking about posts that started in GNG and were moved to RI, and I am not talking about a Christian arguing with a Mormom about who's book is better, or a Hindu arguing with a Buhdist about "self." These types of discussions obviously get heated from time to time, but at least they are on topic. Rebecca mentioned that sometimes the disruptive posts are being dealt with behind the scenes, and I guess that's fine. But when a religous reference is made in GNG or elsewhere the humilation of that person is made very public. This seems like a double standard to me.

    Eric, I am really left speechless at your first post. Obviously you decided to create RI for those of us who want to discuss this topic, and I thank you for that, but certainly you would not suggest that we somehow manage to "force" religion onto people who WILLINGLY AND DELIBERATELY enter the RI forum? My point is that it is hyprocritical for a person to willingly enter the RI forum and then insist that no one mention religion to them. If someone doesn't want to talk about religion then they shouldn't be in RI. It would be like someone posting in GG "I hate Glocks, so nobody mention anything about Glocks to me." Obviously, if this person didn't want to discuss Glocks, then he should never enter GG.

    I am even more concerned about the undertones of your post. It sounds like your saying "Don't complain or I'll shut it down and ban religion completely." Surely this is not what you're trying to say? I would also like to point out that the "religious types" are not the ones causing the real problems in RI. It's the non-religous people who occasionally wander over and stir trouble, just because they think it's fun to watch. It wouldn't make sense to punish the people who are following the rules because of the actions of the people who really had no place in RI to begin with. That would be like shutting down GG because there were to many posts about 1911's in it.
     
  7. Guest

    Not really. But you also can't just get down on someone because they say they hate glocks. Atheism is the religion of no religion. You have honest thinking posters in every forum and you have other posters who want nothing more to do than to start a flame war.
    Well, with all due respect to the religious posters, some members can come off preachy. Some come off harsh, others just don't know proper "text emotionalism".

    In some cases your absolutely right, it's unprovoked and not needed. In other cases, people sound harsh and bitter all the while preaching the "good news" of whatever religion they hold to. They may not intend to come off like that but they do.
    Sure, and that's what the moderators are for. If it's an unprovoked attack, it should be brought to the attention of the moderators. If it's a provoked attack expect to get hit.
    I didn't get that from his post. The thrust of his post was that if it was left up to him, his preference would be that there wouldn't be a RI forum.
    Sure. But what's to stop them?
    Yeah, and they'd be IMMEDIATELY preached at, not to mention flamed, baked and soaked. I think the posters in RI are a LOT more understanding of alternate opinions than GNG is. But hey, that's my opinion. ;f
    I'm not trying to speak for Eric, but what if it is? This is a GLOCK website, not a religious website. I for one give Eric two thumbs up for managing to put up with us for this long.
     
  8. Patricia

    Patricia Wild at heart CLM Millennium Member

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    Since Booch wrote to me and asked me for my opinion in this thread, here goes. I hope you won't be sorry you asked. ;)

    I have been on this board for 3+ years. Eric is a close friend and this is a subject we have discussed many a time. There truly is no other subject that brings up as much discord here among members than the subject of religion. His primary concern has to be what works best for this site, and what makes the running of it the least burdensome for him. He does not make decisions lightly and tries to be fair to all. I agree that folks that post in RI should be held to the same standard as the rest of the board. As Eric said, that means minding your manners. Like Eric, I don't have the time or energy these days to check the forum out myself and am comfortable leaving the moderation of the forum in the very capable hands of the mods there. If you have specific problems with posts, I encourage you to bring them to the attention of the mods there. Please realize though that they may not always agree with you on the best way to handle things.

    Now, since I believe a post in GnG triggered your starting this post, I will address that. There is a particular member here that does include some type of religious content in almost every post. Even though folks, including me, have suggested to this person that GnG is not the place for this, this person continues to do so. Just as it did in the thread where this happened, it usually causes the post to be closed. I have written to this person and pointed out that his biblical quotes and religious references were causing a negative reaction from other members and that we had an appropriate forum if he chose to discuss religious topics. My message seemed to have fallen on deaf ears though as this practice continued. Since my job in GnG is basically a peace keeper most of the time (no small task let me tell you), I felt it was necessary to tell this person in public that this behavior was unacceptable since my private message went unheeded.

    I certainly don't mind a religious reference or two in any post. However, when a member seems bent on preaching to the forum on just about every occasion, it does cause a problem and one that I have to take the time to deal with. As always, folks do not have to agree with how I or any of the mods handle specific issues, but please understand that there may be more than meets the eye there. If in doubt, please feel free to send me an email or private message.

    Patricia
     
  9. Booch

    Booch An American

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    Well, I guess I understand why things are in the state they are now. I have to say that I am extremely disappointed. I have been on this board for over two years now (longer than Glockholio or Rebecca) and have enjoyed it immensely, but something about it has changed in the last few months. Flame posts seem to be rising in all the boards, but RI seems to have become a special place for kicking people when they are down. It seems that the mere mention of a belief in a higher power is justification for every insult you can imagine. These posts seem to go uncorrected in the name of "open discussion." After all, you wouldn't want to stifle an opinion like "argueing scripture with a talibanish 'christian' fanatic is as pointless as using reason and truth in a dialog with a demoncrat..."

    I just wanted to let all of ya'll know that I won't be visiting GlockTalk anymore. Eric, thank you for the use of the board, I have had many great conversations here. I hope this place eventually finds its way back to what it was a couple of years ago. Glockholio, I have enjoyed our debates very much and I will miss them, but I would like to remind you of one thing before I go. Your duty to God and Christ supercedes any duty you have as a moderator on this board. You can't go through life trying to be impartial. Sidearmor, you've helped me a few times the past couple of years (especially that one time when I locked myself out of my account), and I want to thank you for that.

    Goodbye and Good Luck,
     
  10. PACKIN' PLASTIC

    PACKIN' PLASTIC 4,500+ posts

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    Booch,

    I understand you are upset with certain aspects of the board, but I encourage you to consider staying, but avoiding the problematic forums/threads.


    PP
     
  11. master tigon

    master tigon to deep for you

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    hey nothing to do with RI, but hey my bad about the Sims post, didn't mean to get this site in any trouble, won't happen again.

    As far as religious scriptures, I'm going to quote the Bible as a christian just as a muslim should quote the quaran and so on. It seems rather pointless to argue faith between groups without using each religions chief texts. Anyone who has studied apologetics would know that arguing vs. defending causes different results. We can defend our beliefs without attacking another(intentionally that is.)
     
  12. PACKIN' PLASTIC

    PACKIN' PLASTIC 4,500+ posts

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    It's so christian to steal software;Q


    PP
     
  13. master tigon

    master tigon to deep for you

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    back in CT.shoot me!
    Hey I'm human, why pay for what I can get free.(great reasoning huh ;q) Hey I'm no mans judge so no man has the authority to judge me
    I do apologize that wasn't my most brilliant manuver.
     
  14. Patricia

    Patricia Wild at heart CLM Millennium Member

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    Booch, I am truly sorry you feel that way. I have to tell you though that the "Glock Talk has changed" comments don't sit well with me for a couple of reasons. First, change on a board this size in inevitable. Second, all of us, and I mean every single member, makes this board what it is. Of course we have our ups and downs here. When the downs occur I hear more and more of the "GT is going downhill" comments. It is my firm belief that these comments only serve to give more of a push down that hill. Negativity tends to fester and spread like a cancer. I challenge anyone that feeling the downhill trend to try turning it around with a bit of positive attitude.
     
  15. jmt_usa

    jmt_usa Shilly Savior?

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    Very perceptive!

    (Psalm 140:3) They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips. Selah

    (James 3:8) but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

    ;a
     
  16. PACKIN' PLASTIC

    PACKIN' PLASTIC 4,500+ posts

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    Please keep this up, as I would like to see your *** banned ASAP.


    PP:(
     
  17. jmt_usa

    jmt_usa Shilly Savior?

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    Bless you! ;)

    Although I haven't said it lately--remember...

    I Love You PACKIN' PLASTIC!

    ;3
     
  18. Rebecca

    Rebecca

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    I want to add a bit more to this topic for just a moment....

    I hope I have not left the impression that as a mod in RI.... that I do not back up the rules Eric has applied for this entire board. That would never be the case for myself or Glockholio... and I am very sorry if I led anyone to believe that's what I was saying.

    The main rules of this board are in place in RI.... but as with many of the forums here, we do not always catch everything... and yes, sometimes it is a matter of waiting and hoping the thread will turn about without our interference. I see this in many of the forums here so I do not worry so much about taking that approach.

    Do some people come into RI deliberately to bait? I believe some do, but I believe it is definitely a minority. I also believe that there are times that some of the Christian members may leave a baiting remark or two as well. So, I do not base my decisions in there as to whether you are a Christian and should be allowed to bait others verses a non Christian who isn't allowed. Your religious background has not a thing to do with whether you are civil to one another or not.... and that is where we make our calls.

    I do understand that the religious topics have caused dissention on this board, but I also have to step forward and tell all of you, including you Eric... with all due respect, the RI forum is a great addition to this board and the members who really care about it have done a remarkable job. Yes, there are some difficult moments, but not nearly to the extent that this thread here implies.... and not nearly as bad as I've seen some of the others forums at times. Since the creation of the RI forum.... our regular members in there have really gotten to know one another and actually seem to care.. despite their differences in religious issues. For the topic of religion itself to be so destructive everywhere you look... I really do not think you would know it by watching the comraderie that has been formed in our RI forum.

    Our gentlemen in there are actually quite remarkable. I enjoy watching them challenge each other by setting the example themselves of bringing forth the most informed and interesting debates they can muster. I'll tell any of you... if you want to seriously join in the topics in the RI forum... you had better come knowing what you are about to talk about because these men will shame you if you don't. And I don't mean with being uncivil to you... I just mean that if you don't know your stuff... it'll show through in the debate. Do come prepared. ;)

    It is a good forum. It absolutely does compliment Glocktalk... and I thoroughly commend the regular gentlemen in there for making it such an interesting piece of reading for me. We have our share of heated moments, but I would rather have a few rough spots to overcome now and again... than I would to not have the RI forum here on this site at all. It's a credit to this board. Take a couple of weeks and really read it. I think most would agree with me.
     
  19. Westicle

    Westicle Canadian... Eh

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    I just quit a board over religious issues and unfair moderation.... rebecca knows the one.

    I have come up with a term for people that try to enforce thier will and religion on others..... "Jack Booted *insert religious group here*".

    I quit the other board because they where not receptive nor open to other ideas, they choose not to beleieve that thier are other people that practice a different thing then they do and that makes a board very much like walking on pins and needles when you post what your belief is.

    If you read my signature Line you will see what I believe in, and personal freedoms to me come before religion.

    Freedom,god and country.....

    I thank you eric for running an even handed board where open discussion can take place on a level playing field and without the fear of repercussions just because your not in the "in crowd" when it comes to religion.
     
  20. Glenn E. Meyer

    Glenn E. Meyer

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    Rebecca, while you do a fine job moderating - I would disagree that it is a contribution. I usually stay away because of the heated debates which many times are not over technical theology or philosophy but turn to denounciations of other religions.

    The orginator of this thread, IIRC, made a blanket statement that Jews had lost the blessing of God because of the statement of one Rabbi. I don't need to read that nor do I think it is a contribution.

    I would recommend a position of eliminating the forum as there are many other outlets. I would also strictly enforced a no-religious content rule on GNG and other topics. I find it hard to accept that folks cannot abide by this rule. If they can't, I wouldn't need them on a board I ran.

    The board was created because of the inability of some not to force their beliefs on religion, usually irrelevant to gun issues, into their posts.