On the other boards, the religious or those with unconventional views are often find themselves mercilessly pursued by most of the other active posters. If you have ever been in this position, it is remarkable how much work it takes to respond to each poster when there are maybe 10 long posts after yours, each demanding an answer.
Also, the vigorous debate that takes place often causes posters to become frustrated and this leads to flaming, insults, condescending language, intentional trolling, etc. Topics often drift away from their titles and, anyone wanting information about, or to review, the arguments on, say, evolution, would have to read acres of print in order to isolate the points.
In the normal course of events, such a lively style is what makes WWGHA the site it is and why many of us love the way that sudden angry comments or pieces of brilliance can appear as if shouted out by the audience. Mods, having been there themselves, understand this and normally only intervene when something truly objectionable happens. However, part of WWHGA’s mission is to engage with the minority of the religious who bravely appear here. To address these problems, The Shelter has been introduced.
The standard of civility within The Shelter is set at that which you might expect in a generally pleasant conversation between two strangers and will reflect their desire to understand and inquire politely into the other’s rationale through question and answer. This standard is intentionally vague but we may all agree that even if we do not know how to define rudeness, we recognize it when we see it.
Within this board and to maintain this standard of civility, moderation will be severe and Mods will remove whole posts if there is anything objectionable in them. Mods will not usually explain their actions, as it should be obvious why action has been taken.
Keep copies of your posts, as Mods have been instructed to remove whole posts that may be seen as offensive in part or in whole or otherwise do not comply with the standard. The rules may be amended/increased/deleted as felt appropriate or in response to numerous requests.
By participating in The Shelter, you agree to the following 10 Commandments -
1. All the rules of WWGHA continue to apply.
2. Mods will have been told to enforce the rules more pro-actively and without warning and to the maximum extent – usually deletion.
3. There will be no invective, cuss words (or their abbreviations or slight misspellings), sarcasm, cynicism, pointed wisecracks, throw-away lines, ridicule, insults, angry, condescending, aggressive or similar behavior.
As an example,
"What? You moron! You are quoting answers-in-genesis!?! You think that's some sort of proof - you and they are delusional."
"It may be difficult for many to see how that site may be quoted in support."
4. Comments on spelling and grammar will not appear unless the post is unintelligible, when a polite request for clarification will be in order.
5. Although it is recognized that some points will need clarification, the thread must remain on topic; Mods will not allow the topic to drift away from the title.
6. Once the OP has posted, no more than 3 posts from non-theists (atheists/agnostics) commenting upon that post will be allowed. Posting by non-theists will recommence in the same manner when the first poster replies. This rule does not apply to theists.
7. To stop walls of text that nobody reads in full and general rambling, there is a limit of 500 words of text per post at the standard size and font (paragraph spaces do not count.) All words after 500 will be deleted, which may spoil your argument. Do not attempt to post twice in a row so as to have more than 500 words – the second post will be deleted. Direct quotes, up to 100 words, do not count towards the 500 words, but nested quotes and quotes beyond 100 words all count.
8. If you link to an article, paper, quotation, etc. ensure that the subject matter of the link does not offend rule 3 above. The link must be an expansion of your point, rather than an excuse to exceed the 500 word limit by citing an article that contains many more points than you can contain within that 500 word limit.
9. A Mod's decision is like a baseball umpire's - even when wrong it stands.
10. These rules may evolve.
Edited for clarity