From Mr. Scratch's post - excerpt from MADB Mod's post on MADB:
"New mgmt doesn't have the same constraits or purpose for the board that FAIR did. What do you guys want? I don't think critics have quite got used to the idea this is an LDS board and not a critic board so there is a lot of resentment from some of them when we tell them to have some respect. FAIR gave them a lot freer hand when it came to how they could talk to LDS than the new mgr is willing to do."
This is definitely interesting. At least it does explain somewhat what their purposes and intents are. What I also find helpful is the new (to me?) approach of mods in that they often explain now in a post they find objectionable what is wrong with it or why a thread is being closed, etc. This does help you to learn the board guidelines and how they are modded. At least it's better than not knowing and having to only surmise, in my view. We may not understand it or like it but at least they are explaining it more.
I've read some of the posts here that are analyzing that board and what's going on. It would seem the main thing to consider is that the "constraints and purpose" of the board have changed from FAIR days. (I was just getting used to the FAIR board and how it worked and now it's changed; i.e., non-existent). It's very informative to know now that it's not FAIR and it is "an LDS board". That would explain to me what's up with it. I had the impression back on FAIR (I registered there a year ago but didn't read or post much until just a few months before they closed it) that they were inviting "critics" to the board. That is why I couldn't understand the cold reception of non-LDS (myself included). I even posted there a few times about how they invited non-LDS to the board so there is an inherent expectation there that they wanted us. At least, that made sense to me. But now, if new mgt is saying outright that it's for LDS and there are severe constraints on "critics", maybe they really just don't want any non-LDS there. Again, I've posted a couple of times there about how to a non-LDS who is an honest questioner (which is allowed, is it not?) they may very well not intend any offence at all but LDS take questions about certain topics to be offensive and LDS posters there assume the questioner is an "anti" or a "troll" with very little benefit of doubt being given. This is not a good way to encourage open discussion or non-LDS participants to come to the board. (Understatement, I know).
In fact, it absolutely reminds me of my overall impression as an adult convert to the church (yes, I know, unforgiveably lame in the eyes of some ex-members, especially perhaps some that post here). Anyway, my consistent experience in the ward I was assigned to attend was that questions were decidedly not allowed and that together with many other consistently negative experiences led to my departure. My conclusion then was that local LDS really don't actually want converts. I mean, if they did, they would treat them with more sensitivity and hospitality. Yeah, the church wants "growth" ("numbers") but at the guy/gal in the trench level, they are already so busy for the church they can't handle converts coming in and would prefer not to deal with them.
It's the same kind of experience to me - that local LDS don't really want actual converts in the flesh to deal with (they like the ideal of church growth but not the reality that it is extra work or hassle for them) and that the MADB board now (perhaps differently from FAIR) doesn't want non-LDS "critics" there, especially ex-members. Perhaps what they want, which I would not have expected or believed but now agree with a lot of you about, is a nevermo questioner, perhaps including people from other religions, who want to ask questions and join in discussions but without strong opinions on LDS issues. Or even better, perhaps many there want the board to consist only of the fellowship forum. In fact, if they got rid of the discussion forum altogether that would seem to automatically get them the board it seems they want, according to what the mod wrote (excerpted above), to wit: an LDS board.
My question to the Mormon Church as a convert who couldn't fit in was: why do they get people to convert if they don't want converts?
My question to MADB as a person interested in discussions re Mormon issues is: why do you have a discussion forum if you don't actually want a discussion?
I'm not even trying to be snarky there - I'm just saying that according to what the mod said about the board's purpose and the owner's intent, it does not sound like they want a discussion board in which non-LDS participation is welcome. So why do they have it? I am not getting who it is that is going to be welcome and comfortable there?
I am not a scholar (obvious, I know) and also don't want to constantly have to overcome, with every post I write, the knee jerk reflex animosity that pervades most replies I happen to get, so there I am, a non-confrontational person interested in Mormon topics not comfortable yet, a year later, with what the board is about or whether I'm welcome or not (I could take a good guess on that one). And yet, I don't understand it. I can have perfectly civil discussions with people who used to attend my (now non-mo) church but decided to attend another, even in a different denomination. What is it about Mormon theology and practice that brings in auto defence mode with many interactions with non-LDS? Again, I found this being a new convert - any question, no matter the topic or how innocent and well meaning I truly was, activated the defence mode. I even asked if the biggest unwritten rule in Mormonism is "don't ask questions". That certainly seemed to be the case. I might have thought it was only that ward but other experiences have disproved that theory.
I do like things to be black/white I admit. So I say if Mormons don't want to deal with converts - don't convert people. If MADB doesn't want discussion with non-LDS - don't have a discussion board. Or at least, make one of the rules that it's only for LDS.
Then at least people would know clearly what is up.
"Apparently you can smear critics in the Fellowship folder, but don't even think about saying that the apologists don't have a good answer for polygamy. That doesn't belong in the Fellowship folder and constitutes a "smearing" of Joseph Smith's character."
Ha, I noticed you got redlined (again!) I didn't realize that either until I learned from your experience. It's hella hard to read an obviously incorrect statement and not be able to dispute it. I honestly don't even want to argue or score points but I'd sure like to be able to point out flaws in the thought processes or areas in which a double standard obviously applies. I think some people would actually like to hear that kind of analysis and discussion. One area I'm particularly thinking of is the obvious misconceptions that many LDS posters have about Christians. I could find 10 misstatements in just a few threads in the next 30 seconds. Eg: No Christian forum would self-analyze like we do; Most Christians don't know their church's history or doctrine like we do; We have priesthood authority and no other Christians do; "Why do Christians criticize and offend us and say our church is wrong, we never do that to them; [uh, continually stating that you are the only true, have the exclusive authority, etc is the same as what they complain that Christians do to them].
I would like to discuss some of those types of issues but now I know that (1) you can't answer those kinds of statements in the fellowship folder and (2) you are labelled a critic or an anti if you do it in the discussion forum. Not that you can live in fear of labels you don't like but it irks me to get the negative labels when they're false (I'm not overly critical or anti, in my view) and especially if they lead to instant banishment without warning, which they seem to quite often.
I guess in the initial reworking of MADB now that it's not FAIR and has changed its "intent", best to just stand back and see how it shakes out?
Especially in view of the MAD mod's comment above that "FAIR gave ["critics"] a lot freer hand... than the new mgr is willing to do".