Hi... I have a potentially contentious question/suggestion right off the bat...

(Feel free to look at my Profile for a bit about me and I'm an open book if ya wanna ask more.) That said, the reason I found you guys was a recent post on a United Church of Canada site called Wondercafe.ca. This post noted your (my?) Nexus home page proudly announcing your exclusionary practice: "As many of you know, we work hard to keep spammers and theists off of Atheist Nexus". The only reason I found was that plenty of other sites debated theism (or sumptin' similar). The post at WonderCafe (WC - lol) ended thusly:

"Isn't it interesting, that here at WC we welcome the participation of atheists in a reasonably well behaved and open discussion, while the largest atheist networking site obviously does not. So who is more open-minded?"

The idea of exclusion came up with obc before and my comment (I can likely find it) was something along the lines that wouldn't this make us like the worst of theists and that it painfully reminded me of:

“All three of our major religions in Britain -- Christianity, Islam and Judaism -- have a hateful idea at the very core. That idea is Exclusion: the "othering," if you like, of the unredeemed.” -- Matthew Parris

So while this is my first post, I'd like to suggest that you remove this restriction and if the real issue relates to talking religion, conversion or similar, that you make *that* the reason for banning. I'd also be interested in a more logical reason for banning ASAP, unless I get banned RFN. Thanks in advance. Brett (BrettA on pretty well any forum.)

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Hello Brett. Gee, I think I'm one of the few people that understand your concern. But just chill for a second, and notice...

...on the Home page what this site is, and what it's for... It says:

The World's Largest Social Networking Site Exclusively For Nontheists!

Now, one might wonder how it could be a social networking site for non-theists... if it were open to theists? (It would cease to be a networking site for non-theists, wouldn't it?)

See? Your presupposition is that we are here to debate theism or whatever (thus your open vs. closed mind accusation). But that's not what this site is for. It's a networking site for non-theist.

What we debate, if anything, is purely incidental.

However, and this is just between us (so keep it under your hat)... If you tithe 10% of your weekly income to the site, you get to eat a small portion of Brother Richard's body. So, as you can see -- there's a reason we don't want this to get out to the public.

Aces Lucky said: "If you tithe 10% of your weekly income to the site, you get to eat a small portion of Brother Richard's body."

If we tithe 15% do we get to choose which part?
Maybe we should have an auction fundraiser for Atheist Nexus, because I'm sure there will be competition for certain parts.
Wow - Had I seen this post before it became 5 pages long I'd have responded to the OP with a, "I do kinda see where you're coming from..."

When I first joined I too was a little off-put by the blatant theists-need-not-apply. But like so many have said, this is not a theism debate site, it's a safe haven. I can't think of any other way to put it that would take less than 3 paragraphs of rules that no one will bother reading before signing up.

There are women's issues groups, then there are women's groups that are for women only. Is that sexist? Not really, since women are an oppressed minority in post places and thusly could use a safe haven.

Likewise, I do like the distinction of having a safe place to go versus a place to debate theism. There is value in both.

I forget what the wording is when we sign up and I don't know if there's a better way to make it clear that the no-theists rule isn't a we-hate-theists declaration or even a statement that we wouldn't want to speak with theists. We just don't want to do so here, at this particular site, any more than they want us coming into their bible study group specifically to refute their bible.

Too bad the OP is a troll and isn't/wasn't up for a thoughtful discussion on the issue.
"since women are an oppressed minority in most places..."

Damn, for a self-proclaimed writer I really need to proofread better.

Thought of another good example; Open vs. Closed AA meetings. A Closed AA meeting is not to say "We don't like people who aren't actively in the program." It defines the purpose of that particular meeting, which is specifically geared towards people in the program and a safe haven for them and only them.
I already have a Facebook friends list full of theists. However, a number of them dumped me from their friends list because I am an atheist. I feel so outnumbered in my everyday life and I get tired of hanging out with people who I don't really like.

This site is like a virtual party in a private home, where the host decides who to invite. There is nothing wrong with that. And, we theists need this opportunity to connect with like-minded people. It is easy for theists to find friends who share their beliefs. There are multiple houses of worship in every town. Although there are a growing number of Atheist groups, we are not of the same ilk as the church folk. They like to get together to sing songs and follow a leader. We want to discuss ideas and share information; so, the internet is an ideal venue for us.

Gee, I wonder if their is any reason why the WonderCafe wanted to say something nasty about Atheist Nexus? And, did you notice the innuendo that we are not reasonably well behaved?
Uh oh. Concern Troll is concerned.
However will we live with ourselves.
Atheist Nexus is mentioned on the WonderCafe website. It is not a website I've visited before.

Brett has the same profile there, and has had since May of this year. There, it seems a tongue-in-cheek joke. Here, where people are unfamiliar with him other than this contentious question/suggestion, it seems curious. Sometimes its best not to copy-and-paste profiles from one site to another. I read a wee bit of the forum discussion I've linked to, and see Brett making a case for atheists there.

Brett, if someone were to join any of the groups I'm a member of, and immediately suggest we change the major purpose of the group, I'd wonder why they joined. If they made comments to some of the members which implied they were stupid (e.g. "Duh!"), I might begin to question their purpose.

Personally, if someone says to me "Don't get angry, but..." I'm inclined to stop them in their tracks, because I know their intent is either to make me angry, or that they are "sharing" information that really ought not be coming from them. I view the subject of your post similarly.

Ultimately, your communication style for this post is not the main issue... the issue is that you joined a site that is intended as a "safe space" for non-theists, and then suggested it be opened up to non-theists. I suspect most people who joined this site did so because it is a safe haven.

It could be a haven for you too, but you must accept the purpose of the site, because that will not change.
"while I've never heard of this one [A|N], I'll both 'join' (if required) and comment on this" - this being the policy of excluding theists from A|N.

Mea culpa. I didn't read that thread all the way through. Insomnia sucks.

I think Brett feels (felt?) that Atheist Nexus somehow reflects on him poorly as an atheist because we don't allow theists, and that overroad anything else. And yes... I suspect his reason was not to join, but to criticise. I like to give people the opportunity to change their mind.
I read the Wonder Cafe site where A/N is being discussed. One person has mentioned it's a social networking site and that plenty of other sites are not exclusionary.
Brett is extremely more polite there than here.
Personally, if someone says to me "Don't get angry, but..." I'm inclined to stop them in their tracks, because I know their intent is either to make me angry, or that they are "sharing" information that really ought not be coming from them.

I was taught a saying as a child: "Everything before the 'but' is bullshit."

It does make me check myself big time before uttering a phrase like, "I don't mean to blah, blah, blah, but ..."
How true. "Everything before the 'but' is bullshit."



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