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Posting In The Protected Area Of This Forum

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I would like to have an open, honest discussion about the rule related to the protected portion of this forum. That rule states: “This area is for general, supportive discussion about progressive Christianity or related ideas. If you find that your views with regard to Christianity differ significantly from those that you encounter here and you are a PC holding a commonality of agreement in principle with the 8 points of TCPC you may state your view and why but not enter into debate or disrespect an opposing view. If you wish to challenge or debate start a new topic in the debate section, have at it but still be respectful of the other person as an equal creation of God.”


First of all the grammar needs correction. The “and” after “you encounter here” looks like an error to me. The sentence seems to want to say that one should not post here if one’s views are generally not consistent with the views found in the protected area and one does not agree with the 8 points. But the sentence actually says if your views differ from those found here and you agree with the 8 points then you can post. This needs to be corrected.


Secondly, the rule needs to be more clear about what is being protected. It was obvious to me that I understood this rule until recently when it became obvious that I did not (imagine that). I had thought that the primary purpose of the rule was to create a “safe” place for Progressive Christians to discuss matters. I guess I “read right over” the part about no debate within the protected area. I can now see how some may interpret that to mean little or no disagreement is allowed in the protected area. I see that the rule says this but I have not found that this is how the discussions have actually taken place in the protected area. I have seen significant disagreements discussed at length in the protected area among fellow Progressive Christians. My suggestion is to change the rule so that these kinds of discussions can continue.


Lastly, I can understand the difficulty involved in determining who gets to post in the protected area. The rule is clearly more nuanced and complicated than just merely asking someone if they have a problem with the 8 points. The rule states not only that one agrees with the 8 points but also one’s views should not differ significantly from those within the protected area. That seems to me to be clearly saying that if you find that the views expresssed by Progressive Christians are significantly different than your own then you should not post in the protected area. We have recently seen two clear examples of persons that have made it clear that their views significantly differ from Progressive Christians. DavidK and Sonomon should not post in the protected area. Now I am sure that there have been and will be other less clear examples and I’m all for giving the benefit of the doubt. But in these two cases there is no doubt. I see no reason not to challenge those that seem to be posting in the protected area and should not be. I think that given significant doubt that they should be asked to support their suport for Progressive Christianity. We obviously can and do accept a lot of different viewpoints but we can’t accept everyone who wants to post in the protected area.


So what does everyone think?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I came here from Beliefnet. There I consider the progressive Christian boards my "home" though I also observe, and occasionally post, on the atheism boards because I find that I have some affinity for agnostics, though I identify myself as a theist and consider myself a "respectful guest." And my point is that I have no trouble with those who are willing to be respectful guests regardless of their personal beliefs, but I rarely go to the debate board here because I feel I have been treated badly there on occasion. I sense that there are those who feel that they must speak their minds in such a way that they cannot be respectful of the ideas of those for whom a board or discussion area is intended, and in that case my hope is that they will not post in certain areas. If those areas are called "protected" that is fine with me.

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