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Ulc Forum: Members, Friends, Or Customers?

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I clicked on the Members tab a couple of days ago and saw member after member, after member, date joined and 0 posts. I got to page 46 or 47 and gave up. Obviously people join and quickly find out that this is not the forum for them.

I was a bit intimidated by those active members that site reference after reference to bolster their points and tend to say disparaging remarks to those of us that do not. Maybe newcomers think it is too highbrow for them. I know from experience that people who use wikipedia as reference are often thought of to have an intellect lower than a snake's belly. Although I cannot cite the exact post, there were words to the effect that If you cannot back up your post with references, you may as well not waste your time posting. I, personally, continue to muddle along and ignore a lot of folks here and do what I do no matter if I am lower than a snakes belly or considered too lazy to look past wiki but I know there are other who are surely put off by that attitude.

We had a member here in the not too distant past who was such an extreme Christian fundamentalist, that rather than just saying that he had the right to his beliefs and opinions then disengage, he was attacked at every turn and after a short time left the forum.

I know the forum cannot be everything for everybody but there is a real private club feeling to it.

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I know I feel in the minority when I say that my path works for me, and each member is free to pursue his or her own path/paths or lack thereof. I have never seen it as a threat to my faith or person when another has a differing view, provided that view is not to inflict harm upon me.

I do not need to be right in anyone's eyes. I only seek to be right with my Creator. If I manage that, I am doing well enough.

I have learned a great deal from those brave enough to share their views. I have seen many of those people bashed simply because they did not follow another member's prescription of how they should be. This hurts, because the ULC was created specifically with the mindset that each of us has the right to define the path we are called to follow and no one should have the right to tell us what is right, within legal boundaries.

I have no right to tell another how to worship (or not to). I have no right to force my truth upon another. There is a far cry of difference between sharing my truth and pushing my agenda. I am happy to do the former, I have no right to do the latter.

I miss the days where we had weekly chats sessions where many would gather and we would hold an online service. I saw many people who did not share my path or beliefs come to the chat room to "listen" to the "service," and hang out long after to discuss because there was an atmosphere of sincere interest, and not a competiton to see who was walking the best or right path. I would love to see us go back to that kind of forum.

We always had those who only had time to debate. We will have them for the forseeable future. I still think a discussion and sincere interest beats a debate and defensive stance any day. Of course, I am also fond of the saying "you can't shake hands with a clenched fist."

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I actually think this is a very tame forum, to the point of being boring sometimes. Considering that everyone believes something different, its amazing how civilized the bulk of the members are. Compared to some of the Yahoo discussion groups where rules are essentially nonexistent, ULC is a pretty friendly place. I belong to a Christianity Board, and it gets more heated than anything I've seen here, despite everyone having a common denominator that should unite all the members. So its unavoidable that others will take some offense when you disagree with them, the super-sensitive will resent your opinion, feel offended, and get defensive. Members can only try to state their opinions diplomatically, and moderators can only try to keep the conversations non-abusive and semi-civilized; no personal attacks, name calling, etc. Politics and religion have always been contentious subjects, so to expect sunshine and roses while discussing these topics is an unrealistic expectation, a degree of conflict is inevitable...If only everyone had my carefree disposition :)

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I clicked on the Members tab a couple of days ago and saw member after member, after member, date joined and 0 posts. I got to page 46 or 47 and gave up. Obviously people join and quickly find out that this is not the forum for them.

I was a bit intimidated by those active members that site reference after reference to bolster their points and tend to say disparaging remarks to those of us that do not. Maybe newcomers think it is too highbrow for them. I know from experience that people who use wikipedia as reference are often thought of to have an intellect lower than a snake's belly. Although I cannot cite the exact post, there were words to the effect that If you cannot back up your post with references, you may as well not waste your time posting. I, personally, continue to muddle along and ignore a lot of folks here and do what I do no matter if I am lower than a snakes belly or considered too lazy to look past wiki but I know there are other who are surely put off by that attitude.

We had a member here in the not too distant past who was such an extreme Christian fundamentalist, that rather than just saying that he had the right to his beliefs and opinions then disengage, he was attacked at every turn and after a short time left the forum.

I know the forum cannot be everything for everybody but there is a real private club feeling to it.

A lot of the newly ordained join the forum because they think that it is part of the process, and with no real intent to become involved, I suspect. And most all forums have more lurkers than posters.

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A lot of the newly ordained join the forum because they think that it is part of the process, and with no real intent to become involved, I suspect. And most all forums have more lurkers than posters.

many have upwards are 10x as many "active" lurkers (ie routinely look, but do not post as seen by the last active date) as active members.

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many have upwards are 10x as many "active" lurkers (ie routinely look, but do not post as seen by the last active date) as active members.

It has always been true that more people buy books than write them....

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I have no right to tell another how to worship (or not to).
Of course you do. Freedom of speech is a very basic right, without which freedom of religion is meaningless. If you choose not to exercise the right, perhaps because you believe that doing so would be wrong, you still have a very basic right to tell anyone you want how to worship, how to cut their hair, or what to eat for dinner.

Evangelism is a central part of many religions. To speak of religious freedom without acknowledging the right to try to convince others of the merits of your faith is like wanting water that is never wet. You do not like evangelism. You don't have to. You have spoken out against evangelism. You are allowed to. But others are still free to decide for themselves that evangelism is the right thing to do.

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I know I feel in the minority when I say that my path works for me, and each member is free to pursue his or her own path/paths or lack thereof. I have never seen it as a threat to my faith or person when another has a differing view, provided that view is not to inflict harm upon me.I do not need to be right in anyone's eyes. I only seek to be right with my Creator. If I manage that, I am doing well enough.I have learned a great deal from those brave enough to share their views. I have seen many of those people bashed simply because they did not follow another member's prescription of how they should be. This hurts, because the ULC was created specifically with the mindset that each of us has the right to define the path we are called to follow and no one should have the right to tell us what is right, within legal boundaries.I have no right to tell another how to worship (or not to). I have no right to force my truth upon another. There is a far cry of difference between sharing my truth and pushing my agenda. I am happy to do the former, I have no right to do the latter.I miss the days where we had weekly chats sessions where many would gather and we would hold an online service. I saw many people who did not share my path or beliefs come to the chat room to "listen" to the "service," and hang out long after to discuss because there was an atmosphere of sincere interest, and not a competiton to see who was walking the best or right path. I would love to see us go back to that kind of forum.We always had those who only had time to debate. We will have them for the forseeable future. I still think a discussion and sincere interest beats a debate and defensive stance any day. Of course, I am also fond of the saying "you can't shake hands with a clenched fist."

It is good to have friends on the path. No matter how different our paths are. In meditation terms, it is "being alone, together." :)

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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