My wife, who has passed, was an atheist. Her brother, who is still living, is atheist. I'm a practing Jew. I love her brother very much, and he and I are very close. We are the best of friends.
There is a very big difference between him and his atheist friends, most of whom are scholars and academics, and the atheists on this board. My atheist friends are not anti-religious. Most atheists here are very anti-religious.
And yet, this is not an anti-religious board. It is an ex-Jehovah's Witnesses board. Over the years, it has become very intolerant of religious thought and people.
I'm very supportive of atheists, even those with an anti-religious slant. Being a Jew I am often subject to religious persecution by the same religions that persecute atheists. We generally have the same enemies in common. Even if we didn't, I hate the fact that anyone would treat another human as a second-class citizen just because they don't believe in God. My experience with atheists has for the most part been positive, and they have been some of the closest family members of mine.
This forum has of late become an anti-religion forum. But it is advertised still as an ex-JW forum. And though I understand that people are hurt by the Watchtower, and know what that is like because I was a JW too, people focus their anger and hate at anything and anyone religious.
In my case, that is often me and my culture. And it hurts, it hurts a lot. It's insulting, and often anti-Semitic. But I come back again and again.
This isn't an anti-religious forum. There are forums on the Internet that are for anti-religious discussions and jokes. You can rant and rave there. But I understand the need of people to do that here, and I just go ahead and let it happen.
But the opening page of this site reads that this is a place that will...
...provide a friendly, tolerant and informative environment where you can ask questions, share information and make new friends.
That isn't really true anymore. People aren't tolerant of things religious. People are intolerant of it. It's just a joke, and often it's a target and something to insult.
You are in the outside world now. Outside the Watchtower, the God of Abraham originates from the culture of the Jews, so does the Old Testament part of the Bible. You make fun of that or say bad things about God, you are saying bad things about a culture and a people, and me. It's called "intolerance." It amounts to "anti-Semitism." This isn't the closed-off world of the Watchtower anymore. You can't say things like some of you have been saying of late without hurting me or a lot of people. You have to learn to stop and think before you type. You need to find healthier ways to deal with your anger and hurt. Some of your speech is boardering on hate speech.
The fact that some of you don't see certain subjects as anything more than a joke says a lot about not realizing how things are really like in the outside world. You want to be outside in the real world. Okay, you are. But now you have rules out here. You can't say certain things. God is not the exclusive property of the Christians. God is also tied to the Jewish culture, a persecuted minority, one that suffered during the Holocaust.
You are outside in the very real world now. I understand the hurt, the pain from the Watchtower days. It's not like I don't feel it too. But there are proper ways to act now. We aren't in the Watchtower anymore.