For context, I personally am religious and am a practicing Christian and I love learning about other belief systems. Because of this, I joined a forum on Disqus focused on open discussion of religion and religious customs practiced around the world. All members are welcome regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, which is a policy I actually really appreciate.
Unfortunately, it has had the unpleasant side effect of allowing people who seem to have no genuine interest in learning about other belief systems and instead post rhetorical questions that are heavy with inflammatory and often antagonistic language. These include questions like the ones below (these aren't verbatim as I can't remember the exact wording, but convey the spirit of the posts):
Isn't is odd how demonic possessions and hauntings only ever happen to Christians? Are they inherently more fragile or just more imaginative?
How many Christians here would abandon their faith if they admitted Jesus was black?
Is there a valid reason why religion should be taken any more seriously than flat-earth theory?
And in most instances when trying to explain what I understood of Christianity in an effort to answer their questions, the conversations inevitably devolved into them demanding that I defend my faith in a way that is satisfactory to them, with the starting basis that we both know I'm wrong, that I'm inherently unintelligent and/or brainwashed, and that they would refuse to accept anecdotal or personal life experiences which have strengthened my faith. I was a pretty regular member and I think many users recognized my user handle because even when I stopped responding to these types of posts they would contact me. It was these encounters that ultimately caused me to leave the forum as it was incredibly exhausting being confronted by such antagonistic people with the expectation that I owe them nothing but the utmost respect while they intentionally attacked my faith, intelligence, and character.
Here's what I've tried:
Giving them the benefit of the doubt and answering their questions as legitimate curiosity. This led me to the conclusion that they don't want answers, they simply want to find a way to make demeaning statements about religion in a way that provides deniability
Leaving responses to some of their public comments reminding them that the forum is for learning and offering explanations, not arguing a case for or against any specific belief system. Some other users would back those up with references to the community rules but their behavior never changed
Personally messaging one or two of the more hostile offenders explaining how their behavior is making an uncomfortable experience for some other users. These messages either were ignored or responded to in a very aggressive manner
I don't want to contact the moderators of the forum because I feel like everyone should be free to use it and I don't like the idea of getting anyone banned or removed. I still haven't yet returned to the forum because their activity has become so pervasive that it's actually rarer to see a post made to the forum that hasn't been hijacked by them than one that has and it's sadly ruined the experience for me