Faith-Free Spaces Must Also Be Hate-Free

Yesterday, authors Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins released a joint statement opposing certain language used in the context of political and personal disagreements in the secular community.

Grief Beyond Belief spaces are open to any grieving nonbeliever, regardless of political beliefs. However, in order to keep those spaces safe, welcoming and comforting we maintain strict Conditions of Participation for our community.

The passage in the Grief Beyond Belief Conditions of Participation that states, “Any post or comment that a moderator interprets as harassment, abuse, bigotry or commercial use may be removed without warning and the poster banned,” is intended to include — and will be interpreted as including — any of the appalling behavior listed in this quote in Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins’ joint statement:

It should go without saying, but this means no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets.

The only distressing language Grief Beyond Belief has encountered with any frequency has been that of chronic evangelism coming from outside of our community. We have, however, deleted racist and sexist comments and will continue to do so. Faith-free spaces should also be free of harassment, abuse and bigotry.

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