In the past few weeks, three different readers of GetReligion have shown an exemplary commitment to discussing ideas. They have asked GetReligion's editors to pass along their email addresses to other readers, so they may continue debating Proposition 8, missionary work and other volatile topics. The editors discussed this happy development, and we've agreed to create an additional forum for readers to pursue ideas to their hearts' content. We have launched GetReligion Coffeehouse on Google Groups. Discussion on GetReligion Coffeehouse will not be moderated, so you're free to wander in whatever direction you like.
This new group offers a useful outlet for GetReligion's editors. We have sometimes closed comment threads when they stray too far from this blog's mission of evaluating the mass media's coverage of religion. We now have the option of inviting readers to take their discussion to the coffeehouse, rather than only shutting down what may be, for some of our readers, a perfectly enjoyable argument that has broader implications than media criticism.
Readers will have the freedom to start their own threads at the coffeehouse, or invite one another to move a discussion there.
I like to think of the new coffeehouse as a Web version of the friendship between G.K. Chesterton (pictured) and George Bernard Shaw.
We hope you'll visit the coffeehouse and make it your own Web space, even as you continue to offer comments here.