Good morning/afternoon/night to all and sundry,
First of all, I'd like to reiterate that this is a moderator request for a different forum to this one, so I humbly ask for the patience and understanding of the FSM Forum moderators.
The Forum in Question
I am a regular on the http://www.thenarrowroad.com
forum, a Christian-based support forum for teenagers and young adults looking for help with issues relating to drugs, sex, running away, suicide and the like.
There are 6 registered moderators, 4 of whom lost all interest in their duties to the forum long ago and have not been seen since approx. 2004. Other than those 4, there is the forum founder (named The Narrow Road), who very rarely makes his/her presence known on the forum, and Lyn, who has recently given up attending altogether for reasons I'll come to later (or at least, she's given up posting; the forum is a basic one and doesn't log lurkers).
Although the moderators have little, if any, interest in the forum, it still receives a fair bit of through-traffic and we get several new queries per week from people seeking help.
As I previously said, the forum is a Christian one. I, however, am an atheist, and therefore my own beliefs (and the answers I therefore give to queries) are sometimes at odds with the beliefs held by the visitors to the forum.
We do occasionally get an atheist or agnostic visitor and I believe passionately that those people should be helped just as much as the Christian visitors; when I first arrived on the forum two years ago, pretty much every answer to every question was, 'pray and read the Bible and God/Jesus will make it better'. This comforted some, but left a lot to be desired for others, as you can imagine.
Occasionally somebody would post a passage about how only God/Jesus can possibly understand your pain and only belief can make any difference to your suffering. This I have always challenged on the forum as I believe that such a doctrine may be dangerous if left unchallenged, especially considering that there have been several visitors who have complained of being abused by their pastors/parents.
At first, Lyn would respond to my challenges by calling them 'typical responses by a non-believer', with the tone of me obviously being wrong and there being no further need for discussion.
But I continued, one day she decided that enough was enough and accused me of flaming, which I always make very sure that I do not do. TNR's visitors are very often emotionally charged enough without needing over-emotional angry assaults about cosmic matters, and it has always made sense to me that, if you're going to prove that it's possible to be separate from religous beliefs and happy, flaming Christians is not the best way to go about it.
Therefore I was able to defend myself calmly, and was even supported in my stance by several Christian forum members. Lyn disappeared at this point and has not made a single post since perhaps 3 months ago.
Which Brings Us To The Present Day
We now have no moderator and have since had a trio of people visiting the site who have treated it like a chat room and have occasionally been mildly abusive to regular forumites. We have also had posts made out of place and requests from regulars for a new part of the forum to be put in place, none of which can be responded to properly without a moderator.
A while ago I put together a petition for members to say 'yay' or 'nay' as to whether they want a new moderator or two, and there has been a resounding 'yes'.
More specifically, there has been a request for me to be a moderator, and, for balance's sake, a religious one too. I concur with this. A Catholic, in particular, has been requested.
Now, we don't have any Catholics on the TNR forum who I would consider particularly promising moderators, as many are still very young or very much in the thick of working through their own issues. But I am on the lookout for a Catholic who would be keen on being a moderator on this forum.
The individual I am looking for needs to be:
- flexible enough in their religious beliefs to tolerate the conflicting beliefs of a staunch and verbally active atheist (ie., me. And I answer almost everything).
- able to frequent the forum at least three times a week.
- to have been through the mill somewhat and be willing to bring their life experience to the forum.
I have already sent an email to the founder requesting two new moderators, but I am not convinced I will receive a reply as I have previously sent a request for the new forum section as mentioned above (Sex and Relationships, for the record) and received no reply. So it's possible all this will come to nought. But I will try my best, and I wonder if the right applicant might prove a comfort to the founder, who, if the content of TNR is anything to go by, has some very strong religious beliefs.
Where to Start
If you are interested in this position, probably the best place to start would be to join the forum and start posting. As I say, I can't promise that a moderator position will result out of this, but I think it's the best place to start. And I for one would be glad to see the forum finally resided over by somebody with some administrative clout.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing you on the boards,
All the best,
Miss. Bolognese aka "Satine" on TNR.