So today is it. No, not Guy Fawkes day. It's my last day blogging - or at least blogging the way I have been.
When I started this blog, it was from advice given by my then priest who had taken me and promoted me as an educator and lecturer over subjects like church history or the Bible. He was impressed by my presentations, and the response was usually positive. It was nothing for us to have to move to the sanctuary to accommodate the crowds (I was always a better speaker and teacher than writer).
He encouraged me to write a book, focusing mostly on history. He also said my background of Americana Christian/agnostic/Protestant/Catholic would bring interesting insights. Unfortunately, the bishop at that time had something about Protestant clergy converts. Nobody quite knew why, but he seriously seemed as if he'd rather the Church slip into the 8th Circle of Hell than see a former clergy convert sweep the floors, much less hold any other position.
As a result, and as a result of shifting priorities and pathways in the 21st Century Church, I ended up going nowhere with my efforts. As that happened, I nonetheless, by his advice, began a blog in 2010 to shore up my writing skills, such as they were.
I decided to do what most blogs do and just comment on this or that, with possibly writing articles on ethics or church history or spiritual reflections and the like. By the time the blog was up and running, however, things had already taken a turn. I was informed by more than one priest that a blank resume with no experience would be preferable to one with feeding multitudes and walking on water, but also including former clergy convert. I had been let go from the Coming Home Network. I was pretty much in a big nowhere at that point, and the pinch of the economic collapse was beginning to wear on us.
As a result, I did little in the 'deep reflection' or even 'whimsical reflection', and more and more 'look at the latest news story that shows where we're going!' Yes, in those days some who read my blog told me they thought I was becoming jaded, if not a bit paranoid. All my writing about a coming storm, and assaults on religious liberty and that someday we'd see Christians or Americans accused sans evidence, seemed the ravings of someone needing to get out more. In fact, some early readers took their leave because they felt I was getting a skewed vision of what was happening in the Church, if not in the world as a whole.
In some ways, I do feel vindicated. Most of what I predicted has become worse faster than I ever imagined. In 2010 I certainly didn't think people would propose regulations that could punish a person for calling a boy a boy. Not in my most off the wall paranoia. And yet, here we are.
Nonetheless, somewhere along the line society was changing, and the developments in society seemed linked to the evolution of social media. If things seemed crazy fifteen years ago, today they were becoming dangerous, if not deadly. And Social Media was becoming a vehicle for the witch hunts, lynch mobs and digital book burnings that are becoming more and more common (and increasingly endorsed by the institutions that should protect us from the same).
When we witnessed some of the ugliest sides of the internet following the Dayton shooting (in stories not covered in our national propaganda outlets), I decided it was time to bring back my initial decision to set blogging aside.
I will still blog. When the spirit moves me. It will be this or that, a family photo or outing, or just something that piques my interest. Right now I'm looking at Christmas carols and what it might say about where we are as a society. I'll likely take my time, since one of the things that won't be happening is daily blog posts. If it takes me a week or more to get around to it, that will have to do. But I'll post on things that interest me. If there is some grand crisis that defies all expectations (which would take a lot at this point), I may mention it. But I'll try to keep it from a Christian point of view and avoid the politicizing of it.
That's the goal. I'll be around. How often? No clue. But hopefully it will help my boys, who are struggling with a world where everyone is doing things that everyone can see is a net negative, by me stepping back myself. Lead by example they say.