We had several bible scholars and at least one Hebrew scholar with in inexhaustible supply of priceless knowledge. They got driven away by inanity. That's the price you pay for popularity - same as anywhere - the collective IQ falls through the floor.
I've just managed to read this whole thing today (whew--I'm a slow reader so it took some time). I think it's fairly obvious that the moderators have the right and, in some sense, duty, to enforce the site's guidelines. I cannot judge whether or not they have been fair in doing so, but I have no choice but to give them the benefit of the doubt in practice. I value freedom of expression and I value transparency. We members cannot demand anything, but we *can* respectfully request or suggest. I think there have been several suggestions related to posting the guidelines prominently and some about making available (although not too publicly) the story behind particular banishments/suspensions. This says to me that people are somewhat unsure of what the guidelines mean practically, so they want some examples in order to avoid falling foul of them. For example, harrassment is bad--we all know that--but what *contstitutes* harrassment is somewhat subjective. Rather than the story behind various individuals' banishments, maybe we could just have, in addition to the principles behind banning or suspension, an explicit list of offenses that would get one banned or suspended. I've found in contentious areas such as regulating the behavior of a group, it is most helpful to have theoretical principles at one end and a set of examples at the other to make sure everyone's behavior is in sync. I don't think anyone wants group-think here, nor do I think anyone wants sociopathic behavior tolerated. We all just want an interesting, pleasant place to spend intellectual virtual time. This is my respectfully submitted suggestion. And a hearty thanks to the moderators for their hard work.