I just finished writing this, with the intention of sending to the WCC, NCC, Beliefnet.com, and other parties that might be interested. On second thought, I don't think it will accomplish anything and it might be best to work on more worthy projects. Nevertheless, it felt good to write:
Greetings in the Name of the Lord!
For the past month, many members of the discussion boards at http://christianity.com
have been censored for Terms of Service(TOS) agreement violations. Many of these were members of those boards for well over a year. The reason their posts were deleted, their threads locked down, and their accounts banned was not because they were espousing non-Christian religions. It was because they wanted to participate in these discussions as members of historic Christian bodies such as the Anglican, Byzantine Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. This participation was viewed by the moderators of this board to violate in particular TOS#17 which states:1
"Do not make statements either by posts or posting URLs to other Websites which advocate activities, beliefs or teachings contrary to those of Christianity as articulated by the historic creeds, as understood by Evangelicalism, and as interpreted by ChristianBBS.com/Christianity.com its sole discretion.
Refrain from making statements or URLs which promote the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle, adult entertainment, sexual immorality or pagan and false religions. No repeated posting of URLs to sites which have content that would violate the Terms of Service, the Nicene Creed or other majorly accepted scopes of Christian beliefs as interpreted by the owners of this site at their sole discretion. If you are unsure about a site or content please direct your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
. This rule also applies to any material whether it be on the web, in print, on video, or on audio. (No telling everyone to go check out Anton Lavey's latest published audio speech.)"
By enforcing this TOS against posts made by Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox, etc articulating the positions of their doctrine in the Doctrine and Relgion board is clearly seen in the same light as posting a speech by Anton LaVey, a writer and leader of the Chruch of Satan.
Near the end of TOS#17 it states that no one can post a message or a link to information that violates teachings held by historic creeds. It later goes on to name specifically the Nicene Creed. The members that have been censored have violated neither the Nicene Creed nor Christianity.com's statement of faith.2
This is being enforced now when it has not before as now there is a sizable minority of members of these historic Christian groups that are censored from speaking of their church's doctrines in every board including the Religion and Doctrine message board because they are not "evangelicals." This is interpreted by those in authority on these boards as Baptist, Charismatic, and Reformed only. Whenever we post even prayers for the sick and suffering on the Prayer discussion board, we are censored because we violate TOS by using liturgical prayer.
Those members who have not been banned outright are reduced to responding to attacks on their churches(many using vicious insults like "Whore of Bablylon" or "pit of deceit") by saying "I disagree but due to this board's TOS I am not able to reply further. I pray for all of you."
We the undersigned feel that the administration of this site does not represent Christianity in any sense beyond that held by a handful of communions. We ask that everyone who reads this message please consider discontinuing support for the Christianity.com website until such time as it reformed to allow the civil discussion of faith between all Christians or the webowners change the name of the site to something more descriptive to the positions the site actually holds.
1 The full Terms of Service(TOS) may be found at: http://www.christianity.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID1000
2 Christianity.com's Statement of Faith may be found at: http://home.christianity.com/local/60478.html