This community is meant to be a place where you can state your beliefs and have other people challenge them. While these beliefs could pertain to anything, they tend to be mostly about religion here.
Keep in mind that if you accept the challenge to submit your beliefs to rational scrutiny, you should also be prepared to offer a vigorous rational defense of them. If you're the sort of atheist who thinks that mocking American fundamentalists is an adequate intellectual defense of atheism, then you probably won't like the response you get here. Likewise if you're the sort of theist who thinks that atheists don't believe in God because they want to have sex, drink alcohol and listen to rock 'n roll. Caricaturing your opponents might be amusing, but it doesn't count as an argument in favor of your position. The point is to be able to rationally defend your beliefs.
In addition to the challenges you will receive simply by participating in this community, there is a more concrete challenge that we encourage all members to accept. The convert_me Challenge is a hallowed tradition in this community and over time the following guidelines have been established for it:
(a) State your current belief system. (b) Provide an explanation for why you believe what you believe. (c) Explain what it would take for someone to convert you away from your current belief system. (d) State your willingness to let other people attempt to convert you.
Further elaboration on what makes a good convert_me Challenge has been provided here and an exhortation to embrace the full spirit of the challenge has been provided here.
Tempers often become heated in the course of a debate, which easily leads to sarcasm and snarkiness. There's nothing inherently wrong with this as long the participants refrain from flaming, ad hominem or any other form of maliciousness. If you get your toes stepped on or your feelings hurt, try to just get over it. Remember, this is only a debate forum on the internet. Keep things in perspective.
In addition, you will be expected to act like a rational adult at all times in this community. Acting like a rational adult precludes a vast spectrum of social behaviors, and all decisions relating to conduct are made by friedenswacht at his sole discretion.
If you have a problem with another community member, take a deep breath and try to work it out on your own. If, however, another member is making you uncomfortable participating in the community, please notify friedenswacht.
friedenswacht removes drama on sight. It's nothing personal; the community has suffered enough whining and histrionics.