Everybody has a hobby. For a very long time, mine was arguing with people on the internet. Yes, everybody does that, but let me tell you, I was dedicated. I had my favorite forum, and I wrote big long messages, and I made personal enemies and developed my very own snarky style. Eventually, around the time my first son was born, I realized that the hours of my life were finite, and I was spending a large number of those hours with people I didn’t really like, acting like someone I didn’t really like. I didn’t ditch the forum, but now I take time off for the Great Fasts, and I’ve tried to upgrade from “arguing with people” to “having interesting discussions with people.” The line between the two is sometimes quite fine; those Great Fast breaks help me keep sight of it.
Anyway, all this is just a long-winded way of saying I’ve heard, if not all the arguments, at least a good many of them; my forum was and is a gathering place for intelligent people with extremely strong opinions and moderate-to-weak social skills. And, much of the time, those arguments were about religion. I first started this blog as a way of expressing whatever lessons I ostensibly learned from all those hours of argument. That was back in 2011. I made one short post, and never came back. Part of the reason was simply the tone: it was a religion blog (like this one), so I tried to make it a Religion Blog, with the standard pious atmosphere, including the twee title “The Little Doxology” (if you don’t get it, don’t bother asking; it’s not worth knowing). Which, of course, was a kind of lie. I’m simply not a standard-pious person. I couldn’t write like that if you held a gun to my head. Looking back, that one first post is just painful to read. Continue reading