“Unfortunate” depends on viewpoint, Guy. Even more common than the “Deconversion Testimony Genre” is the “Unjustly Banned from Website Trope,” which is used by a number of different types to paint ones opponents as unreasonable. It seems commonest with Fundamentalists and with Anti-theists - you bomb a site whose position you oppose with unreasonable posts calculated to offend or disrupt, and when you are inevitably banned, it (a) gives you victim status to confirm your own position back home and (b) leaves the target website talking about your hurt and your agenda, rather than their own. For example, a website dedicated to bringing Christian positions on science together might find a majority of its posts discussing atheism instead, and scarcely notice that its raison d’etre had been undermined.
On my site, my few bannings were mainly of the same person under different aliases, who happened to be an anti-evolutionist. The only atheists I’ve banned were the occasional drop-ins cleverly making an irrelevant comment with f-words. But in other ways my Fundamentalist resembled Keith a lot.
Keith’s case is worth examining for other reasons too. His disagreement was entirely on the right to absolute freedom of speech on his own terms, and this he treated as if it were a moral absolute. This seemed, in his mind, to be closely related to the very nature of atheistic freedom of will over religious authoritarianism, at least to judge from the “protest” of posting gratuitous (and puerile) blasphemy to prove the point that he wasn’t going to be censored.
The internal coherence of that philosophy is one thing, but that it is purely culturally conditioned, or personal psychology, rather than a logical outcome of atheism is shown by contrasting it with atheism elsewhere. To quote the Chinese director of the State Adminstration for Religious Affairs, writing not long ago to Communist party members, he said that they:
…should be firm Marxist atheists, obey party rules and stick to the party’s faith … they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion.
So atheism in China, where it is the official doctrine of some 89 million party members, is all about obedience and discipline, and not about freedom of speech in any way. One might even say that it is about the suppression of free will amongst the 50-100 million Christians.
In the end it seems to be more about the assertion of power rather than freedom of speech or will: if you make sure your hackles rise regularly when responding to people usually disposed to turn away wrath with a soft tongue, you’re pretty much guaranteed to put the meek on the back foot. You have the satisfaction of having thema apologise to you for your own faults. Most people will have experienced that as a management style at some stage in their lives, with or without some misplaced appeal to Darwinian “survival of the fittest” ideology.