A couple weeks ago, I decided the time had come to leave CHRefugee, a Christian humor forum where I have hung my hat as a moderator and regular contributor for the last three or maybe even four years.
My reasons for doing so are largely personal, so I won't get into them here, but I can't help but notice an interesting chain of events that began about two months ago. At the time, another forum moderator was having some marital difficulties and his wife asked him to leave the forum as a sign of his commitment to doing whatever it would take to save their marriage.
Here's how things progressed:
- My friend's wife tells him he needs to leave the forum.
- Moved by his farewell post, I start reassessing my involvement in the forum, and then leave.
- Prompted by the departure of two other forum regulars, two other forum members, including a third moderator, each start re-evaluating the amount of time they put into the forum that could be spent on real-life relationships. One leaves the forum, and the other vastly scales back his Internet time.
- Frustrated by the sudden departure of three forum liberals and the forum's ensuing tilt to the Right, two more forum members begin mulling their own possible departures. Not clear if that's happened yet, but judging by her blog entry and stuff she's written to me, Indigo is really frustrated.
It's looking at though my friend's wife single-handedly has managed to destroy a forum that survived being displaced by About.com, some pretty heated political debates, a number of forum-rocking personal crises, and a wide range of beliefs within the Christian spectrum.
As a side note, I can't help but be amused by one aspect of this: The Right usually claims to be the guardians and embodiment of family values, but it's all the liberals who are leaving the forum to spend more time with their families.