Presenting the work of Quaker atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who practice Quakerism without supernatural beliefs

Email List Purpose, Guidelines, and Role of the Moderators


The purpose of the Nontheist Friends email list is to provide a safe and friendly space for nontheist Friends, and other Friends and non-Friends with a genuine and friendly interest in the subject, to discuss the experiences and challenges of being nontheists in the Religious Society of Friends. We hope to strengthen the Quaker tradition of welcoming people of diverse religious experience, and to show by example that this can include nontheists.


  • Remember: people are more important than ideas
  • When offering a difference of opinion, do so with respect for the other person and regard for their feelings.
  • When criticizing the views of someone on the list, be sure to criticize the views, not the person.
  • No name-calling or insults, direct or implied.
  • Cultivate an attitude of live-and-let-live; agree-to-disagree.
  • Be clear, but gentle.
  • Do not take offense easily.
  • Hold your views, but do not criticize others for not holding them.
  • Try to stay on topic

Role of the Moderators

Should the moderators determine that one or more list members are unable to abide by the spirit of the purpose and guidelines noted above, the moderators may take any of the following actions, in whatever sequence they see fit depending on the circumstances.

  • Communicating with the list member/s off-list, describing the behavior and requesting that they discontinue the behavior.
  • Posting a message to the list directly describing the behavior, if the moderators feel a number of list members are unclear about expectations. This message may or may not name individuals.
  • Placing one or more members on “moderated” status, where all their posts must be approved by administrators, for a cooling-off period.
  • Temporarily disabling posting to the list by all non-moderator members for a cooling-off period.
  • Removing individuals from the list.