“A young man from a small town with a very large imagination ...”
Ten years ago today, the weblog known as MAN WITH BLACK HAT began publication.
In the year of Our Lord two thousand and two, there were many new voices among those who practiced the Catholic faith, who discovered an emerging medium known as the “weblog” (or “blog” for short). Many of them were inspired by the outrage, at the news of scandalous behavior on the part of the clergy that was originating in Boston. It was less that we were unaware of such indiscretions before, either there or elsewhere, as much as there being sufficient numbers of Bostonians who were convinced, that their city and its environs was the center of the known universe, to call our attention thereto. As ridiculous as it may seem, their plan (or lack thereof) worked.
But it brought something more.
At a time when the Faith was under attack by those who were using the Scandals to fulfill their own nefarious ends -- we will speak of them later, won't we? -- and at a time when the same Scandals were shaking that Faith on the part those who would otherwise remain steadfast, these new voices emerged with the medium, and became the message.
It was in consideration of the above, that this writer did not know where to begin. So many pressing issues of the day. So many matters for reflection from the past decade. So many church chat pundits competing for attention. So. Little. Time.
Fortunately, the American bishops have come through with an inspiration for us. Beginning today, and through the Fourth of July, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring a Fortnight For Freedom, to protest the government mandate that would force religious institutions to violate their sacred principles for the illusion of health care. (No, Virginia, birth control pills and the slaughter of unborn children is not health care, and even if it was, you can pay for it your damn self!)
The point (and we do have one) is that every day leading up to the Fourth, we will offer reflections on the blogospheric experience over the last ten years, the collective musings of faith and culture, of life and love, of fun and games, of a song and dance man who is keeping his day job.
That would be me. Stay tuned ...
UPDATE: Effective today, we are also introducing labels for every post, to facilitate searching by subject matter. You may also notice some tweaking of the page features now and then. Remain calm.