On this new site I don't think blocking threads is a good idea. I don't like the idea of blocking things in general. On a forum that seems like it is being set up for good discussion I would hope that everyone keeps open all the threads and is willing to explore issues they don't usually look at, especially religious discussions which we all like to hide from. Remember that whether there is a God or not is the most important question we can ask in our lives - it changes everything. No matter what side you are on it is only helpful to not block out information about this fundamental question.
I think you are a little too worried about closed minds, Padre. People block threads for a number of reasons. But mostly it is to whittle down the things they may not be interested in, or reduce the temptation to get into a discussion they would rather avoid. For example, if there was a discussion about the NBA I will block it because I simply do not care about it, and having it on my screen just clogs things up. I would wager most blocks are for similar reasons.
Quality is more important that quantity of posts.
Maybe this idea will be a flop, like a pizza restaurant on the other side of town. However, I bet at sometime the founder of Pizza Hut or Dominoes faced such a decision, and took the chance. My philosophy in business has always been to not be afraid to take a risk, and expect some of them to succeed and some to fail. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
You wont flop, take the risk and focus on REVENUE. The WOV & WOO sites are fantastic and I have always appreciated the variety and quality of the opinions. I proposed a poll once about sharing demographic info with you (I saw that you at one time posted them for your WOO site). It seemed most were against sharing info but "if you don't ask you don't get" and info about subscriber income, education and interests would hopefully give you some leverage with advertisers/sponsors. I realize you have a sponsor but I have found it curious your sites don't leverage common revenue opportunities - bookstore, supplies, premium membership,donations,etc. I respect you more that you haven't...but will respect you even more if you have been building for a bigger payoff.