Because of the way Gather is designed, and because of the way the series, Losing Your Religion, follows from post to post, there is sometimes an abrupt halt to a conversation or to several conversations, depending on what has started close to the end of the thread when it becomes too long. More times than not, a new topic is started in the next linked episode, and sometimes people do refer back to the last post and continue the previous conversations, but I thought that the current running post, unlike some others, did have a specific and very unrelated topic in mind, and I didn’t wish to muddy the waters with a continuation there. Although I certainly did not feel the necessity to ask whether or not the hosts of the series would mind that I do this, I also hope that they understand and are not bothered by my intent, and that is to make some ridiculous notions “perfectly clear,” if you can excuse the ‘Nixonian’ expression and refrain from making other nonsensical inferences.
The idea that Christians who comment on LYR are planning some kind of takeover is so preposterous that it doesn’t even really warrant a response, if for no other reason than the extraordinary ingenuity such an endeavor would require, a lacking quality of Christians, in general, of course. I’m still not quite sure how that notion became part of a belief system for some, but I was told that it was derived from “an accumulation of comments” and “an influx of people defending Christianity and the Book, and making accusation(s) toward the moderator.” (there are two moderators, so I don’t know whether or not that was just a typo that accidentally left off a plural as in the case with accusation which I felt at liberty to assume there was and added an s.) In any event, the only tangible part of that reasoning to which I can respond would be the accusatory part, and only because I said something myself in the post that might be inferred as an accusation, but mine was an accusation without placing blame, so I don’t particularly like the choice of words. The rest of that reasoning would have to be backed up with examples; otherwise, it’s just a personal perception. I will agree that people "defend Christianity and the Book" on LYR, but how that might constitute what someone perceives as a takeover is more than rather wild reasoning.
I had pointed out that one of the hosts of the series may be biased in her attempts to moderate, but that it probably is unintentional because it is inherent in someone who has started such a Losing Your Religion series to be more biased in conflict resolution that includes people with a structured belief system as a religion. The other moderator is an Atheist so his take may also be inherently, though unintentionally, biased. It has absolutely nothing to do with what I think of either of them personally, though that was also indicated. I suppose this is the sort of the same kind of inference people make when I point out the reasons I don’t like Barack Obama as a President, but I’d be the first to want to socialize with the guy, if given such an opportunity, because I find him to be a fun, likeable, and charming personality. As I’ve said, people read into things what they wish, whether true or not, and that’s more their problem than mine, but I wanted to make it clear that I like both of the moderators.
In an attempt to help rectify that conflict within the series, specifically because the conflicts arise most often between the Christian and non-Christian factions, I suggested that a Christian who is well liked and respected by just about everyone, both Christian and non-Christian alike, and is very intelligent and wise (despite his Christianity) might be a consideration to add as a moderator. This was not an attempt at a takeover. It was merely a suggestion that I think would work well. I have no idea whether or not the person I suggested would even be willing to do such a thing.
The rebuttals to this idea were mostly met with the reasoning that there are other religions that also may be at conflict with the non-religious faction. If Muslims or Jews or any other religion were at conflict, the idea of having a Christian moderator does not in any way preclude adding a Muslim or Jewish moderator down the line, if needed. Currently, the conflicts arise between the Christian and non-Christian commentators, and I think that having a Christian moderator added just lends a fairer and more balanced (oops, too Fox-like for you, probably, and will immediately transform me into a right wing neo-con) approach to conflict resolution. I’m also not implying that he is not also going to be unintentionally and inherently biased, but I think that having two non-Christians and a Christian moderating a group where the conflicts mostly arise between Christians and non-Christians can be helpful in balancing the scale.
The other rebuttal is that this series is really not supposed to be for people with any religion, so having a Christian moderator is not necessary. I also made another suggestion. That suggestion was to make the series a private group that could be accessed only by invitation agreed upon by the core of current members at any given time. That suggestion was met with the idea of a creation of a clique. Someone even took it to the extreme that it might preclude members of race, gender, or ethnicity. That’s only if you make it that way, of course. The obvious appearance of the group as a clique by making it a private group is not one that the group wishes to be known for. Can’t say that I blame them because it’s not an attractive perception. However, “an influx of people defending Christianity and the Book” is frowned upon to the point of making such defense into a takeover of the series! That’s quite an interesting contradiction. As long as you don’t post the unwelcome sign, it’s not a clique, and it’s okay to make them know they are unwelcome unless they paint their faces with the same color as the accepted crowd upon entering.