03-12-2018 11:29 AM - edited 03-12-2018 11:30 AM
We wanted to discuss and get some feedback from you all around the topic of religion in the forums. As most know (I hope!) the forum is a non-religious space that is open to all faiths, and equally all those not aligned to a faith. Faith & religion can be an extremely positive thing for some people’s mental health, but for others it can bring up traumas and impact negatively.
Our guidelines mention: ‘Everyone has different beliefs and values. It is okay to share your own, but it's not acceptable to criticise other's beliefs or pressure anyone to follow your beliefs and values’. And 9 times out of 10, everyone in the forum has been respectful of this.
There is currently a thread called ‘Christian chat & worship praise prayer support fun peace love joy (no debating) relax’ which is a discussion around one specific religion. We understand the desire for this and know that the intention is for support.
In evaluating our guidelines, the general breadth of the forums and social inclusion practices, we wondered whether we should be looking to create broader faith & spirituality-based threads rather than threads specific to one religion?
This is not an easy topic to open up and we want to be really clear that anyone aligned with religious threads is not in trouble on any level. This discussion is about thinking through how we maintain inclusion as the community evolves, making sure we are respecting all members and importantly checking in with you guys about this so we can get the full picture and your insights.
What do we think about re-naming faith-based threads to be called something a bit more general? i.e ‘Faith chat’ or ‘spirituality and self-care’ – these are just off the top of my head!
NB: If this conversation is triggering for you please ensure you reach out to supports and engage in self care. When approaching this topic please remain respectful as always. If you would prefer your feedback to be given to the forums team privately, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org but we do encourage everyone to feel safe and supported to discuss this here.
03-12-2018 04:21 PM
Hi @Lauz i have no problem in name change. The suggestions you have made are good ones. I really don’t mind. 😊
03-12-2018 04:33 PM - edited 06-12-2018 05:53 PM
I personally don’t have a problem with the idea that people can share a specific religion on a thread and I think that it’s a good way for those with the same religion or faith to connect and support each other.
My opinion is if you don’t want to be part of, or are triggered by religion then it’s probably better to avoid that thread. There will always be threads that trigger members for so many different reasons. I don’t think it’s possible to eliminate it in this environment. I think maybe it’s our responsibility as members to choose threads which are helpful and supportive for us as individuals.
I think if there is a thread that is causing lots of conflict then maybe consultation with the members is best which I know has happened in the past. It it continues to cause conflict then maybe it’s a case for looking at it more thoroughly.
I’ve looked at the thread that has been mentioned on and off since it began. The posts Ive read have been supportive and positive and I’ve noticed the strong connections that have been made. I know every now and then there may have been some conflict but it’s been resolved. I see it as more supportive for the members who contribute there than anything else. I think the main point is that it is essential that the same tolerance be shown if other religions were expressed as well in a different space. To me opening it up to all faiths on the same thread would be counterproductive.
I don’t think you can narrow it to religion. I don’t think it’s easy to define where inclusivity and exclusivity lines are drawn when it comes to religion as well as other topics such as spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, culture, age etc.
One of the best parts of the forum are the connections and the 'me too' moments where you suddenly don’t feel so alone. The forum is ever evolving and very specific topics often come up. There are so many members that come together in small groups over things they have in common. I wouldn’t like to see everything fit into categories personally.
Hoping I haven’t trodden on anyone’s toes with my opinions. I’m voicing them but am open to hear other opinions too.
03-12-2018 05:01 PM
There is currently a thread called ‘Christian chat & worship praise prayer support fun peace love joy (no debating) relax’-- this thread was started by @Bella
lot of religions call themselves christians or saints
I know no one own`s there thread
I don`t mind either one @Lauz
‘Faith chat’& worship praise prayer support fun peace love joy (no debating) relax’--
or ‘spirituality and self-care’ –
03-12-2018 05:46 PM
I mean no disrespect in saying this but I personally can't see how the name is at all threatening and believe the current name gives an indication of the content and readers the opportunity to read or not read if that is not their thing. The same way anyone would be able to start a new thread more aligned to their own beliefs or faith framework. To change the name just because someone may not like 'Christian' in the title would be disappointing. This is a thread where many receive calm and in no way means disrespect to anyone but is a space where people with similar views can find healing and comfort. In my opinion a valuable element of an already great forum framework.
03-12-2018 06:06 PM
I don't often post in this thread but do often read and on many occasions something shared has helped get me through my day. I am sure I am not alone in this.
03-12-2018 07:53 PM
The example that Jesus made for all mankind, no matter whether they believed or not. HE sacrificed himself for everyone. To show what Love is all about, whether or not they choose to believe, HE still loved them. Religion has rules, Christianity is free will, if we make mistakes we are forgiven, Religion had punishment.
There are so many triggering factors all around us, if I personally had no faith, I would have perished long ago. My faith in God & Jesus, through HIS Word (Bible) has given me the will to survive, & I am not the only one.
I'm sure if their were another thread just for Spirituality as such, then there would be variety. When I was in Hospital I needed my Faith in God & Jesus 100% to get better, just as I still do now. TY
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