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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I don't think debating theism is the purpose of this site. Its to share with other like minded people. Its great that other sites do foster debate, and I encourage people to visit them.
Uhhh... What I said, David S. As in "if the real issue relates to talking religion, conversion or similar, that you make *that* the reason for banning". That is, there is no reason to ban theists simply because they are theists (ain't that called bias, prejudice, bigotry and the like?) Again, unless I'm missing sumptin'... It does our collective reputation no good and some harm in my humble opinion to ban simply because of any set of beliefs (or lack).

If people do what you state: "debate (or try to debate,) theism", "foster debate" or similar, kick 'em out as it is contrary to site purpose. To ban because of a belief system is seems like outright bigotry if they otherwise conform to site purposes and guidelines. This kind of arbitrary policy hurts us all, methinks. Frankly, this direction is simply ugly.
It would seem that there should be *zero* difference in time and/or effort, whether you state that the rule is "NO THEISTS" or whether the rule is "NO DISCUSSION RE THEISM". Now, when there is an infraction, you ban them.

With the other (second) rule when there is an infraction, you ban them. What, pray (prey?) tell, would be the difference in time and/or effort, please? And the difference otherwise is night and day / bigotry or no bigotry.
Good for you, but... context, please? That is (at least in part), what is 'obvious' to you about my beliefs and what are the specifics around the implication that they are different than yours (if I'm even catching your drift). Also, has this got anything at all to do with what is beginning to appear as a fallacious claim about time and energy (since you seem to be avoiding a response and so far choose to side-track)?
Black, if he's as rude to theists as he is to us, he's going to have major problems with membership retention.
@ Black

I see you're talking Wookie again.
Yeah, Brett, we double dog dare ya - and pop in and let us know when you get to 10,000 members, will ya?
Black wrote: Shh! Iversional-day Erapy-thay.

Edited, as my swine's scribe is lysdexic.

Typical Black - he doesn't believe in dog.
Perhaps your energies would be best spent establishing this melting-pot you so desire.

Good idea! Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.
Do people join and partake of sites devoted to Hollywood because they never watch movies? Of course not, all groups and sites have direct and/or indirect purposes. The purpose of this site is to provide a safe haven for those who wish to escape the rhetoric and pandering of the religious.
This is not the tales of the religious and religious less, we experience that in the media, on the street, and even in our own homes. Using your logic all Jewish sites need to welcome Nazis, all black sites need to welcome KKK members, all mommy parenting sites need to welcome dads...See the pattern? You would be contradicting the entire purpose of forming such a site.

Just read my blog and you will see I speak to religious people everyday and go out of my way not to offend them. Must I welcome them everywhere I go to avoid being called a "bigot"? That seems outlandish. I do not think churches want people preaching a different religion or lack thereof within their doors, and we choose not to be preached to on an online site( We get that enough everywhere else we go)
This sounds precisely the same as the Boy Scouts here who say I would feel 'uncomfortable' if my atheist kids joined them because honouring 'God' (or similar) is one of their 3 main tenents... My take is that my comfort is none of their concern and that it's likely their discomfort that is the issue - I can very easily interact with people who don't share my beliefs, thanks.

But I'd appreciate knowing the sites you suggest, because while I'd guess that KKK sites would ban blacks and Nazi sites would ban Jews, reasonable and tolerant blacks and Jews would not ban KKK members and Nazis. Please remember that your stated presence as an atheist site as opposed to 'Matt's Site' reflects on us all... especially with your claim relating to size (neither I nor the only other atheist in the aforementioned thread had even heard of you). And yes, I see the pattern and it indeed is bigotry and exclusion, by definition. What else would you call it?

For maybe the 3rd or 4th time, if your 'issue' is that you "choose not to be preached to", then *that* should be the basis for banning. Otherwise, you're just like any ugly exclusionary religion, 'othering' those who have a different belief set than you do. And I'll read your blog when I can - is that the page with "Love the life you were given,so shut up..."?

By the way, your Hollywood analogy is fine in that many or most theists indeed will not join (so no problem, huh?) But as I said, the intolerance of your policy reflects on us all - most any atheist I know is nowhere near such intolerance (it's something I've experience with theists, and it don't make 'em look all that nice.)
Given the low regard in which atheists are held in society generally (at least in the US), my strong suspicion is that the only theists who would bother to drop in to A|N would be noisy troublemakers. I also strongly suspect that there are precious few Jewish sites that would tolerate visiting nazis, on the same grounds. What kind of nazi would drop by a Jewish site for some quiet, civilized debate? Your examples don't wash. Then again, they're not really all that analogous to A|N, because religious people are by and large not as inherently noxious as nazis and KKKers--they're just confused.

Speaking for myself, I value the somewhat cloistered nature of A|N. There are absolutely tons of sites with forums open to all comers in which theists square off with atheists directly. Some even manage to stay civilized. What's wrong with having one little corner of the web for a private party? By your logic, all web sites affiliated with the Democratic Party would be required to welcome Republicans with open arms, even though that would likely just drag the sites down into endless sidetracking, trolling, and subversion. A|N is supposed to be a haven from that sort of nonsense, which we get plenty of everywhere else in our lives.




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