I realize I'm probably jumping in where it's not my place, but as a long-time member of this forum, I'll just throw in my two cents.
Internet forums are notorious for causing personal disputes for the rather ironic reason that there is an obvious lack of "personal" communication. Sarcasm and humor are difficult to read when all you have is text in front of you, and each person's interpretation is going to be vastly different. Until you get to know the people with whom you are having these discussions--for example, Saturn, malia, dks, and I have been here for years and understand each other's brand of communication quite well, if I may be so bold as to say so--it's best to assume the better of the people around you. I've always found that arguments and pinched nerves occur when the opposite happens: someone assumes insult in a comment when it wasn't necessarily intended, and then all hell breaks lose.
Obviously I'm not Saturn and am not privy to his reasons for locking threads, but my guess is that he is doing so as a preventative measure when he senses that a discussion is getting out-of-hand and escalating toward chaos. I'm not sure if it was you, [banned member], but I did notice a recent citation toward a previous board member with whom heated discussion became a serious issue, so such instances are not entirely foreign to us here. Things can get nasty quickly, so usually it's just better to drop a subject before it does. It's so tempting not to let the "opposing opinion" get the last word, but most of the time it's better to just let it go or risk irreparable rifts in the community. . . or worse, people choosing to leave it altogether.
Generally speaking, this board is the most genial, intelligent, and well-spoken online community I've ever been a part of. It's always tough getting into such a small, tight-knit online group that already has such an establish history, language, and rapport. We do our best to be open as possible, but we're all human and sometimes don't always follow our own typical rules of restraint. The way we choose to communicate with each other when it is impossible to hear tone of voice or read facial expression is touchy and takes time to learn. Considering how your words are interpreted by others is paramount. Disagreement does not usually anything personal toward the person presenting the opposite view, but it IS all too easy to make it appear that way by using strong language or presenting your side of a debate as an attack. Lately, it seems that this is happening more and more--likely due to the simple fact that there are so many new members and we're not all quite comfortable with one another yet.
We have quite an intimate environment of very impassioned members. I have to imagine that if we all sat down to dinner together, we'd have some pretty vibrant debates and all leave exhilarated! Unfortunately (and fortunately, simultaneously), we're writing from all corners of the globe and must content ourselves with our own abilities to express ourselves and interpret others' expressions through the written word alone. I think if we all continue to keep that in mind, and remember when it's time to check our own tempers, we can all move forward in a much more mutually educated and civil manner and make this a genuinely pleasant environment for all members.
Again, obviously I'm not Saturn, but I hope that eases your mind a bit on some of these issues, [banned member].