I've been getting complaints from more than one person involved in a particularly controversial and "volatile" thread that's currently going on here in the Open Discussions forum. I don't want to get into the specifics of it (as I haven't been following the particular thread) nor am I going to serve as any kind of arbiter in this case, but I thought I'd bring up my thoughts here.
I think discussing controversial topics is great -- as long as people discuss such with the very first rule of the AikiWeb Forums in mind: "Treat your fellow AikiWeb Forums members with respect."
I believe, though in any case, that there's a danger, in discussing controversial topics, especially those involving personal belief systems such as politics, religion, and such. One thing these kinds of discussions tend to do, in my experience and observation, is create rifts rather than bridges. These Forums, even the Open Discussion forum, are meant to do the latter, not the former.
I don't want these Forums to be a means of harboring people's attacks on each other. It causes me pain to hear people calling each other names, pointing fingers across the table, and accusing each other of this and that. Really, it does. I did not spend hundreds of hours creating this website for such.
Personally, I don't think we need more of such in our lives. I feel like I get enough of that just driving to work, much less reading the newspapers!
So, please, folks. I'm trying to keep these Forums as open as they possibly can be as I very much believe that open discussion is a healthy addition in everyone's lives. But, please approach every discussion, even those that push your buttons, with respect, understanding, and a sense of sharing.
Or, as Mom used to say (albeit, to me, in Japanese) -- "I don't care who started it. Behave!"