Imagine that you have become heavily involved in some community -- a social club, a non-profit organization, or a congregation, for example. You've poured a lot of time and energy into it, donated some ritual objects you'd made yourself, and made a ten-year pledge to the endowment campaign. But some things happened and the group changed direction, and decisions were made that posed moral difficulties for you, and you could no longer in good conscience support them. But you'd made those donations, both the future pledge and the work of your own hands, and you feel conflicted. On the one hand a promise is a promise and it would be wrong to take your stuff and renege on the pledge; on the other, knowing that your handiwork is now being used for purposes that you have a problem with drives a knife into your heart every time you think about it (or write that annual check). So perhaps you might ask to negotiate your way out of that pickle, knowing that the organization does not have to do anything to help you.
This is the situation I find myself in with BH. I came here on the promise of a religiously-neutral site, where we do text and not theology, where we engage in heremeneutics and exegesis in an academic manner, like many of the other science sites on Stack Exchange. (This doesn't mean everybody is expert; I'm describing an approach.) Everybody had the best intentions, but somehow it didn't work out that way. We have a lot of people who are more interested in religion-based answers, who bring their theology into everything they write, and from their perspective, asking them to stop is like asking them to deny the most important thing in their life. We expect people to show their work and support controversial or offensive claims, but even that is causing problems. Maybe it's not even possible to be religiously-neutral and we had to try it to learn that.
The result of all this is that, regardless of anybody's intents, BH feels and looks like a Christian site. Not just to me, but to uninvolved people who've looked in on it at the request of somebody here. And maybe you don't think that's true or you don't want it to be true (I sure don't want it to be true), but the reality is that between demographics, prolific posters who take every opportunity to bring their religion into answers, and inertia, this is where we are and it seems unlikely to change significantly.
Back when we all thought we could build a religiously-neutral site, I donated gifts in the form of answers -- lots of them. Doing that in a neutral space (like BH was then, or on a blog, etc) is fine -- people publish on the internet all the time. But teaching torah on a Christian or Christian-seeming site poses difficulties of both halacha and propriety. In the site's current form I should not be posting here. My answers should not be here. I have done harm by posting them. (I know that's hard to understand.) Knowing that drives a knife into my heart. That these answers were once appropriate (before the site changed) doesn't matter; a visitor sees the site that is, not the site that was.
The terms of service that we all signed grant an irrevocable license to our work to Stack Exchange. I do not intend to violate that user agreement, any more than I would simply stop writing those endowment checks. A promise is a promise. Nonetheless, I am here to ask for a way to undo the damage I've done.
The Request (Plea)
I would like the community's permission to seek deletion of my answers. Stack Exchange may still tell me "tough luck", but maybe if I have the support of the community, support you in no way owe me but I'm asking anyway, then maybe they would consider the request seriously.
I am in the process of reposting most of my answers to a personal blog, a site that could never be mistaken for Christian. (This is slow going because I have to summarize or rewrite the questions, but I'm getting there.) In a few cases either my answer didn't contribute much or the question was weak, and in those cases I haven't ported the content, but most of it will be there. I would do this anyway (hey, it's my work and I don't want to lose it), but I offer this as small mitigation to those who are concerned that I would take away the gifts I made. (I've been told they're seen as gifts, anyway.) I'll share the blog link, of course.
Would y'all go along with a request to delete my answers? Is there something more I need to do to gain your support?
Note: I'm not talking about the few questions I've asked. Deleting them would take something away from the people who invested effort in writing answers; they can stay. It's the answers (on main) I'm concerned about.
What say you?