When I found this forum, I was excited to find a safe place to explore questions I had about my faith in dialogue with others. However, the more I use this forum, the more appalled I am at the treatment of those who are posing honest questions by members of this forum. They are accused of being “atheists” or unfaithful, they are accused of stupidity or laxity in their faith, and many other sharp insults are often hurled at someone who, for all we know, is posing an innocent question for the sake of discussion. Many of these questions are important, and something that many Catholics that are true in their intentions, as well as those of other faiths or even of no faith, contemplate. These harsh reactions from forumites do more to turn people away from the forum than to encourage honest research and discussion.
Also, by treating people of other faiths in this way, forum members are discrediting the Catholic faith as a whole. Please, try to be considerate of other people’s opinions and beliefs, because you want them to show the same respect for yours. In order to truly communicate with someone, you must understand why they hold the values that they do, and where exactly they differ from yours. This means that you need to understand WHY someone is an atheist, and WHAT an atheist is, and not just call anyone who doesn’t appear to follow all the rules or take their faith as seriously as you think they should an “atheist.” If you come to understand them, you can have a compassionate discussion that is enriching to both of you.
If you can not do this, you should seriously think before you respond to posts, particularly those of a person from another faith. If you can not respond with a modicum of respect for them as a person and for their right to search for truth in the way they are called to do, then you may be doing more harm than good. Remember, if you seriously offend them, they will have a bad (or worse) opinion of the Church and its members, that will take a long time, if ever, to be repaired. Do you want to be the one responsible for this?