A thread that is sure to be locked if not used carefully, but one I could not find, and one I think this site deserves.
Besides, since my brillian thread over here was locked, I figure we deserve another, perhaps less sarcastic, look at religion.
Clear rules should be set up and followed here. Of course I have no way of enforcing such things, but they are sensible guidelines to prevent this thread from being locked.
1) Be respectful. You have the right to disagree with anyone's belief system. You may even think it worth nothing but doodoo. But when addressing the largest single religious organization (The Catholic Church) or a cult followed by a single individual, speak respectfully. Again, this does not mean you cannot point out aspects with which you disagree. It simply means that when you disagree, do so with respect. Have I been redundant enough?
2) No personal insults. Pretty obvious, but since we're dealing in a particularly sensitive topic, things could be easily misconstrued.
3) Take time out. If a conversation becomes heated, don't be afraid to agree to a break in discussion till heads are cooler.
4) Be cautious in humor. While you may feel you are being innocently playful, be aware that your comments may still offend. I have no problem with people making jokes (go ahead and make some multiple wife joke at me, I promise I'll smile and go home and tell my wife about it; and my other wife; and my concubine; and my betrothed; and my mistress). Just be cautious, and if you do offend someone, don't be afraid to apologize.
5) Don't tell my one and only wife about the above made joke, or I won't even have any wives to joke about :)
That's it for the rules, guidelines, suggestions, etc. Let's have a good, clean brawl.