A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We do too!! (Or not?)

Over at Evangelical Outpost, Joe Carter has attempted to demonstrate fallacies of the "Godblog Wars" while also (jokingly) insulting his blogging friends. It's all in good fun, and it's pretty darn funny, even if one doesn't recognize all of the bloggers in question.

He doesn't take a poke any particular Catholic bloggers, but he does make this comment about St. Blog's Parish:

St. Blog’s Parish -- With such numbers on their side you’d think the Catholic wing of the Godblogosphere would be primed to invade on evangelical turf like the Bloods moving in on the Crips (or at least the Sharks invading the space of the Jets). But we hear nary a peep out of them. We could even throw out vicious insults—“The Pope wears a funny hat.”--but they wouldn’t even notice since they don't read our blogs. It’s almost like we don’t exist or something. This apathy toward us may explain why we end up squabbling with each other, rather than with those Christians we might have substantial disagreements with. (By the way, he really does. The Pope. His hat. It’s kinda big and goofy.)

So, on behalf of all the members of St. Blogs, I'd like to take the time to say "We do too read what ya'll write!" After all, I read this post at Evangelical Outpost, didn't I? See, I check that blog quite often! Of course, I generally only skim the Yak Shaving Razor posts to see if there's anything useful, and I just glance at the headlines of the longer entries to see if anything big and important is going down. Oh, but I always read the "Ask Joe" posts. Those crack me up.

Yeah, I admit, I don't really read Protestant blogs that much. (With the new-found exception of Christian Book Reviews. That site rocks!) But who can blame me? Those Evangelical bloggers so seldom talk about anything of interest to me. They talk about their own pastors, and their own church problems, and their own theological nitpicking.

And that's the problem I want to talk about today. When I am only interested in reading blogging by Christians of my own denomination, something is rotten in the great communion of bloggers. Let me begin with me. (The best place to start in any criticism.) Should I be interested in the concerns of other Christians? Heck, yeah! Even if their political infighting has nothing to do with the polity of my Church. Even if I think that the entire doctrinal squabble they are engaging in is totally pointless because both views are founded on a basic misconception. Even if the blogger in question doesn't really care about what I think, because he/she thinks I am in a false church. The very fact that these issues are of concern to other thinking Christians means that they deserve at least a brief moment of attention from me.

What can I say: I am the hypocrite of hypocrites when it comes to grass-roots ecumenism. I think the strength of the Church depends on Christians from all different traditions being willing to talk together, work together, and most importantly, pray together. Do I do any of this? Well, sometimes, in a limited way. I worship at my husband's church each week. I attend an interdenominational fellowship group. I had well-meaning intentions to revive a local ecumenical reading group but, sadly, they fell by the wayside.

In general, I think big and perform small. I start things without following through. You'd think, though, that an easy way to participate in this great communal building of the kingdom (I'd rather not call it a "co-belligerancy," thank you; I think that metaphor is limited) would be for me to take a few minutes each day to read what other Christians are saying. I could resolve to do that here and now, but we all know what happens when I resolve things. Well, ok, I know what happens when I resolve things: they don't happen.

So rather than making a resolution, I'm going to lapse into the subjunctive: wouldn't it be nice if I were familiar with blogs from outside my own tradition? Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of merely recognizing names like The Thinklings, I was familiar with their work? Wouldn't it be nice if I actually understood more of the jokes Joe Carter was making about his fellow bloggers?

But, while we traipse around in the lovely world of the subjunctive, let me suggest this: wouldn't it be nice if more evangelical bloggers mentioned Catholicism in positive ways, rather than arguing about whether or not the Catholic Church was a real church, or whether or not Catholics are real Christians? Wouldn't it be nice if sincere and otherwise charitable defenses of Catholicism didn't ever have to be prefaced by "I hate Rome and her lies, but you're going too far when you say. . ." ?

Enough "wouldn't." How about some other contractions? I can't do anything about the rest of the blogosphere. I'm only a miniscule molecule here, anyway, or whatever the smallest speck in the ecochain is. But I am taking seriously (perhaps more seriously than intended) the charge of isolationism. It may or may not apply my co-religionists and co-bloggers, but it certainly applies to me.


Blogger Leopoldtulip said...

Yeah, I admit, I don't really read Protestant blogs that much. (With the new-found exception of Christian Book Reviews. That site rocks!)

Hey, what about my Protestant blog!!?

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

Maybe you don't count?

Teresa, don't you think, though, that maybe as Catholics we need to worry about our own "ship" rather than worry what's going on in the other boats out there? I have enough trouble just following Catholic news. . .but then I have 2 1/2 kiddoes to worry about.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Teresa H.T. said...

Teresa, don't you think, though, that maybe as Catholics we need to worry about our own "ship" rather than worry what's going on in the other boats out there?

No, I don't. I mean, I don't think there's anything wrong with prioritizing the Catholic Church in terms of what we read and what news we follow, but I do think there's something wrong with doing so to the complete exclusion of the rest of the Christian world.

Part of why I think this is that I think we need to be able to communicate with other Christians, and we can do that more easily if we understand what their concerns are.

But I say this as someone who does still remain blissfully ignorant of most of what goes on in American Christianity! Reading Touchstone is helping a little with that, I guess, but I do think a lot could be gained by following Evangelical bloggers.

On the other hand, I have zero children, so what do I know?

Oh, and "Tulip"? You don't count because you don't usually blog about faith. ;-)

12:11 AM  
Blogger Mara's Child said...


Very well said, Teresa. I often wonder why as fellow Christians, Catholics and Protestants aren't more willing to engage in more substantial dialogue. I guess that apart from the theological differences, even cultural differences seem to get in the way... but just taking the time to read, and really try to understand what people are saying when they're not arguing theology (or only arguing with each other!) can help us to understand each other's values... and help us see how much we really do have in common. Yes, the differences are certainly there, but I know that what we share is enough that I've gained a great deal from reading various Protestant blogs (one of which led me to your blog)

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Albert said...

Thanks very much for the kind words and link. I've added you to my list of Catholic links.

As for being one of the priveleged few Protestant blogs you like, you might try attending my parish sometinme - you might get confused :>). I attend a very traditional and conservative (in the theological sense) high Church Anglican parish that does a high mass every Sunday with incense and full chausibles and choir, bells, gregorian chant, etc. Our former rector (prior to his joining Rome) was Fr. George Rutler of EWTN fame. Maybe this explains why you like my site.

2:25 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home