Saturday, March 5, 2005
Faith blogs in the New York Times.
Debra Nussbaum Cohen suggests that the "best religion-driven blogs . . . [offer] a peek into lives that many are curious about but that relatively few lead" — like feminist Mormon housewives or conservative Catholic Gen-Xers. She also suggests that they "seem to be created by people on the extremes of the religious spectrum."
Hmm. How does this line of thinking apply to Unitarian Universalist blogs? Since religious liberalism is seen by many as outside the mainstream, does that mean the whole lot of us already stand on the edge of the religious spectrum? (Granted, my one and a half seconds of TV fame yesterday were as a political "arch-liberal," not to mention that business about "obscure and literary." If there's one thing I'm all about, surely it's building a movement of obscure literary people. Viva Phi Beta Kappa! Them's fightin' words.) Or, to take the idea a step further, do those of us who feel drawn to publish UU blogs stand on various extremes even of Unitarian Universalism?
I don't think so. With a handful of peculiar exceptions, most UU blogs seem to represent fairly non-"extreme" expressions of Unitarian Universalist faith and practice. Apart from the disproportionate number of UU Christians among the bloggers (all of whom are pretty obviously dedicated to serving UU communities and institutions), for example, we seem a fairly moderate bunch. Not too many flamethrowers or rabble-rousers, in other words.
Despite the more or less mainstream UUness of the "Interdependent Web," however, I haven't seen a UU blog decide to take on the role of direct evangelist, which is another kind of faith blog the Times mentions. Shawn Anthony's Progressive Ink! has explicitly pedagogical ambitions, but not as a missionary of Unitarian Universalism.
It would be interesting to see someone decide to launch a missionary-minded UU blog, a UU 101 blog or Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Unitarian Universalism But Were Afraid to Ask blog, that kind of thing. It could easily grow out of work parish ministers are already doing with visitors and new members in their own congregations, but wouldn't it be interesting to set it up in such a way that other interested people could find and use it?
The Times article also mentions an upcoming Christian blog conference in October, GodBlogCon, which at least a few members of the Progressive Christian Blogger Network will be attending. UUs, however, are not invited.
Although a handful of us UU bloggers have met informally — three of us having lunch, or two of us introducing ourselves at the General Assembly — I haven't even begun to imagine what it would be like to meet specifically about Unitarian Universalist blogging. Some of the rest of you probably have. I'll bring this up again later, but I wonder if enough of us will be attending the UUA General Assembly in June to justify scheduling some time to meet simply in order to talk about UU blogging. Thoughts?
("Faithful Track Questions, Answers and Minutiae on Blogs," Debra Nussbaum Cohen, New York Times 3.5.05, reg req'd)
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 5 March 2005 at 9:31 AM