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Creating our own space

Posted by WC on August 30, 2006 at 07:35:46

In Reply to: Re: the posts I deleted below posted by Farmer on August 30, 2006 at 03:12:04:


Thank you so much for expressing your views to us. LOL! You do have a point that posts don't tend to get moved from Journeys to genX for being too "unspiritual."

Sometimes it's hard to keep things tidy, when people post topics on the different boards that don't belong there. We don't always intervene, especially when a topic can twist and turn, even sometimes in the right direction, back to within the guidelines of the particular board. It's too much work and would be too heavy-handed to swoop in and moderate all the time, so we just try to let everyone work it out for themselves for the most, unless it really gets out of hand.

Sometimes topics are so overlapping it's hard to define it as political or not political, spiritual or religious or not, etc. We try to step in when it gets really clear something doesn't belong on the particular board. Sometimes as much as we try, we just don't catch everything. Often something is more offensive to someone due to perspectives and experiences - as much as we try to be fair and even-handed, we just don't always notice the same things. The coordinators are only human, and have to interpret the situation and have to make judgement calls.

We've had the complaint that "Christian views are automatically moved to Journeys because genX is supposed to be religion-free, and yet atheists get to post on Journeys and oppose/challenge our views - therefore it is unfair."

What is interesting is how posters are trying to define their own space. What is no good is when posters like you are getting annoyed and polarized. We want to make an environment where you are all comfortable to be yourselves and express yourselves. We don't have a Christian board. Nor a Buddhist board, a Catholic board, Baptist board, agonstic... It may be over-ambitious of us to lump everything "spiritual" on one board, but that's all we have space for at the moment. We are trying to define rules that are clear, if that's at all possible - what constitutes "religion" and what constitutes "journeys" can be debated to no end.

Journeys is not a "religious" board per se. - it is however a place for spiritual and religious discussions.

We have allowed atheists the right to post on Journeys because, as you've noticed, they could be said to have "religious" dogma of their own. Furthermore, they are often agnostic on many issues and on a journey to discovery. What is good is that they are exchanging ideas, and even helping those of faith to define their own beliefs more. What is bad is when they are intentionally/unintentionally insulting to people of faith. You should feel free to point it out when that happens, as our rules don't agree with it.

In a melting pot like Journeys, everyone will have to work hard on not getting offended by each other's comments, and on not making offensive comments. It is not always possible to avoid offending someone somewhere for stating your own beliefs/dogmas, thereby intentionally/unintentionally negating someone else's beliefs/dogma. But Journeys is really no different that in real life, where different cultures and religions mix.

genX is a religion free (yes, that includes Buddhism-free). Anyone, atheist, Buddhist, and even Christian can post there.

Anyone can post on any board - it's just the topic that matters. So that does not give Christians less space on our boards - not the way we see it.

We don't think we are being mild to atheists, and that is not our intent. We've seen that Christians can be as "confronting" as atheists. The insults can come from anywhere, any "camp." As much as you think atheists/non-Christians are being pointless in coming to Journeys to shoot down your faith, it seems they tend to think that Christians are a little too intolerant of non-Christian views and unable to openly discuss elements of their belief system. In fact some Christians could be described as being on a non-journey where they "give the immpression they hold the final key to all wisdom," as you put it.

Maybe we've come to expect a place like Journeys to have dogma, controversy and arguments, more so than in genX, and that's why we haven't always seen the interaction as "rocking the boat," as you put it.

I am not taking any sides and I really don't know because I don't read the boards enough to know for sure, but I think some of what you perceive as certain people not answering "one damned question" may have come at a time when they freeze up. There has usually been a serious of hard posts by this point, and it seems that rather than perpetuate the cycle of insults and accusations, they go away to cool off? Maybe it gets overwhelming to answer posts coming at you from all angles and you're outnumbered? Or maybe some people start something and have difficulty apologizing. I don't know, just trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I have noticed a trend towards polarization - Christians vs. atheists/outspoken non-Christians, and IMO that isn't a good thing. But then that is just a reflection of what is happening out there in real life too.

Regardless, we don't agree with calling people's faith/beliefs foolish, if that was indeed what was said.

I hope that helped to clarify some things for you. If you notice something is offensive to you personally, or doesn't adhere to the rules and guidelines, you are welcome to point it out to us, and we will see what we can do about it.