Editing my page the other night, I got to thinking about the mandatory drop-down box for declaring either atheism or agnosticism, and the reminder that this site is for "non-believers ONLY!"

I get that this website could be said to be a sort of atheist HQ, and other assorted forums across the net serve just fine as the battlefield for pitting our worldview against the religious; I also get that the drop-down box won't deter trolls and vandals who just want to cause distruption. What bothers me is the idea of a civil and open-minded theist who, for whatever reason, chooses this site as a place to discuss atheism and their religion in a civil manner. Would they be unwelcome? Summarily banned?

Of course, maybe it's already happened and it wasn't a problem. I'm just trying to disuade myself that we're not mimicking the fundamentalist boards out there, who'll ban your IP for so much as being the wrong denomination.

Also, if a theist can join up as long as they behave courteously, why have the drop-down box?

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My vote would be to keep them out. They don't have anything to say that I want to hear. If they are interested in exploring the idea of atheism, there are plenty of sites out there for them to do it. Besides, they are seldom courteous or civil, mostly they just prefer to proselytize shamelessly.
Also, this is more of a social site than a debating forum. And I agree - they talk shit, are usually barely literate, and there is absolutely nothing they can say that we haven't all heard a 1000 times before. This is a civilised and readable site. Lets keep it that way.
As an example, this creep tried to insinuate himself into the chatroom yesterday -

http://www.markcahill.org/welcome.html [*]

Do you really think he could contribute anything of interest ? Despite him thinking he was being very clever about it, he was spotted and tracked down within moments. They really are idiots thinking they can disguise themselves.

You want to debate with theists, do it at their sites.

[*] Genius' own words -

Since I gave my life to the Lord, I exist to glorify the God of this universe. That includes wanting to see 6 billion people come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Second Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God wants all people to be saved, and so should we.

According to Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, “Only two percent of believers in America regularly share their faith in Christ with others.” For a true Christian, that cannot be. One of the most exciting aspects of being a believer is telling other people about the Lord of your life.

I want to encourage you, challenge you, and equip you to reach both friends and strangers for Jesus. What could be more important? Be bold for what you believe!

Until the nets are full,

"Until the nets are full". Dontcha just love that ?
Boy, these people! I almost feel sad for them. They actually believe that they are doing a good thing by bugging the non-believers. They believe it is their mission to "save" as many as they can. Personally, I believe that it is the non-believers that have been saved from a delusional existence, but I don't invade the theist sites and try to convert them. They wouldn't welcome it, and it would be a waste of energy. I say it's perfectly reasonable to tell it like it is. They aren't welcome here. Most of us aren't interested in a dialogue, and if we were, we could go and find the appropriate venue for that.
This is a site for atheists (or agnostics). I do not think that makes us fundamental - we just want a home for us and some separation from the futile debates with theists. I guess that a theist would have to lie on the drop down box as to "are you an atheist etc." Obviously this is not a problem for them. I wonder if they had to state the words of the blasphemy challenge (I deny the holy spirit) - could they bring themselves to write that in order to get in here and "save us"?
blasphemy challenge (I deny the holy spirit)

LOL! Might not be a bad idea!
At least some wiggle room for people who don't meet either option would be good. I probably should have been clearer in my original post, but I was talking about non-evangelising theists. Those who want to turn up on the forums cutting and pasting screeds of the Bible in order to sway us are going to hop over our drop-down bulwark without a thought. What bugs me are the people who are decent enough to play by our rules and cancel their sign up when they notice they're not welcome because they have some kind of belief in God. What are their impressions of us when they hit the back button? I've seen plenty of mockery aimed at sites like Rapture Ready for shutting out everybody who doesn't fall in line with their favoured interpretation of the Bible. Why would we want to be comparable to that?

I worry that we're getting locked into an "us and them" mentality which alienates religious people who may be every bit against intolerance and fundamentalism as we are. The width of the brushes used in the replies to this topic alone concerns me.
If they're genuinely interested in us human beings (and not organ farms), then they are already proto-agnostic.
Maybe something to indicate that they are on the cusp of doubting their faith and are looking for acceptance in their feelings...Call it possible non-theist?
If they are let in, we'd see very long quotes from the bible in the messages. There's no way around it. They use the bible for their argument, and we don't accept it. It seems that can be the only conclusion. I'm glad for this haven. There are plenty of debate sites, and not enough of these, which is why i joined.

I wouldn't be against one section being open to believers, but all others would be off limits.

I just thought of something. I wonder if there are more xtians wanting to join atheist sites, or more atheists wanting to join xtian sites. Just a thought/question. Personally, i have no interest in a xtian site. What else do i need to know?
Or they use other non-biblical, yet bible-supported quotes. This happened to me recently when explaining the similarities of Mithra to Jesus. I simply stated things from my own mind, what I knew, whereas the result I got was 2 pages of quotes from some book against it that nobody on the site even read.
Okay, I see what most of you are saying. And maybe I am trying too hard to be kind, but I personally would suggest we include something beside the drop down box to specifically indicate that this isn't a debate site. Something that says "you've come to the wrong place" rather than "Ew, theist cooties!"


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