Dan recently wrote:
We should avoid the fallacy that we can somehow require diversity. We certainly welcome diverse perspectives, but what if some questions only have Christian perspectives? We can't control whether or not Jewish, atheist, and other contributors post answers or not. Neither should we expect every OP to find every perspective useful. The key is they we are respectful of other perspectives and acknowledge that other users may find them to be useful answers—even if we don't.
Many of the meta discussions over the last few years have roots to the fundamental question of how this site can live up to the vision of welcoming all hermeneutical perspectives. Breaking down Dan's answer:
- Respect other perspectives.
- Acknowledge that they may be useful to others even if you don't value them.
- There is no way to mandate diversity where it does not exist.
Quite a few of the things that have been proposed to encourage diversity (such as my suggestion to declare the word "heresy" as offensive) have focused on the wrong problem. There are dozens of biblical traditions (conservative estimate) which have disagreed with each other for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Eliminating any and all offense that one group might cause to another is not an achievable goal. Even within the broad categories (Jewish, Christian, etc.) there are deep divides over how the Bible should be interpreted.* We cannot solve that problem here.
The goal of this site is not interfaith dialog. We are not here to correct long histories of misunderstanding by fiat, nor change deeply-held beliefs. If one person disagrees with another person's hermeneutic, they may:
- Write another answer to the question,
- Ask a respectful question on the site, and/or
- Discuss the matter politely in chat.
Please do not use flags, comments, or meta to carry on a dispute between your tradition and someone else's. Be aware that some traditions are mutually offensive and yet both are welcome. Stack Exchange is a secular entity and has no interest in taking sides on doctrinal issues. As a result, we might get fringe, bizarre, downright wrong answers. Voting ought to work as well here as it does on the rest of the sites; good answers bubble up and bad answers get voted down.
There is a very strong consensus on type on answers we are looking for. Build on that. In prime position is the strong encouragement that answers show their work. Be aware that different interpretive traditions have different methods of operating, so "show your work" is defined within the context of each tradition. If you don't understand a tradition, you may ask questions in the comments (and/or downvote) but you may not belittle that tradition's standards. That's just rude.
I'm happy to discuss the issue here and welcome your feedback. But I'm firm in my position: from here on out, this site will welcome diversity by allowing answers posted in good faith from all hermeneutical traditions—even when this results in answers which are distasteful to those from other backgrounds. This is the only way this site can possibly thrive here without tearing itself apart; if you're unable to accept that, this may not be the right place for you.
* Within my own church, some people are deeply suspicious of my chosen hermeneutic, the inductive method. I've been told (in the nicest possible way) that some of the conclusions I draw are heretical. That's fair, I suppose. I think their views are heretical too.