We here at A Red State Mystic* believe in taking the work out of blogging. Sure, you could still aggregate and like Facebook pages and follow on Twitter, but you don’t have time for that. You’re busy writing a screenplay. Being a mother. You know, stuff. We understand. That’s why we’ve decided to boil down ninety-five percent of contemporary religious blogging into five categories. Now you can go back to doing the important stuff, like not caring when internet people internet. Hashtag: urwelcome.
The Let’s Get Real, Guys:
Exemplar: Rachel Held Evans.
Let’s face it. A lot of Evangelicals think x. I’m tired of arguing about x. Forty years ago, everybody else decided x was okay. I might feel better if I just let it go. But, I won’t. I won’t even. I won’t even stop writing simple sentences. I won’t even stop bolding the important ones so you can skim. I won’t even stop until I get another book deal. I’ll keep writing until every Evangelical realizes how radical x is. Because I’m so radical. Look how radical we Jesus followers are with our radical opinions. Here’s the Sunday Superlatives. They all sound like me, too.
The Consider the Brocade:
Exemplar: The New Liturgical Movement.
Behold pictures of a Pontifical Solemn High Vespers from a Cistercian Monastery in the Austrian Alps. Contemplate this medieval cope with a jasper morse. Consider these swaths of Latin poetry. Corpus Christi porn! Calligraphy? You better believe they’ve got Calligraphy. That’s right. Fuck you, 1970s, they do what they want! Never—I repeat—never read it for the articles. If you do, you’ll end up a misogynistic anti-Semite, say things like “It’s the rupture of hermeneutic continuity!” and will grow to doubt the Holocaust. Since the departure of Benedict XVI, you might end up believing the Sedevacantists had some interesting ideas. NO MANIPLE, NO MASS might become your motto.
The Painfully Self-Aware Secular Tie-In:
I like “The Game of Thrones” and crappy Indie bands you’ve never heard of and cartoons from The New Yorker and Kanye West and Louis CK and David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers and we totally liked Blue Like Jazz before it became a thing and sports—yeah, bro, we’re totally into sports—and pastors with sleeve tats. Here’s what all this stuff can teach us about Jesus. Because, you know, we’re hip. Like, yeah. Culture. (I can never tell if they’re trying to get me saved or convince me how cool they are.)
Engage the Rage, Ye Shills!
Exemplar: Every Christian on Twitter.
The Rage Machine is well-oiled and primed. I’m still convinced that in 2012 when Chick-Fil-A’s Truett Cathy went on record (yet again) of being against gay marriage, he knew that it would engage the rage. Predictably, the gays called for a (continued) boycott. A week later, Mike Huckabee encouraged Conservatives to engage their supposed free speech rage with a “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.” It was Chik-Fil-A’s single biggest day of business ever. The Police had to be called to the Johnson City store to direct traffic. So, whenever the Rage Machine is activated, always—always!—follow the money. Remember that social media is all free advertising and there is no such thing as bad advertising. If you’ve engaged the rage, most likely you’ve been an unwitting pawn in someone else’s war. Think before you share.
The OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE:
Exemplar: The Episcopal Café.
If we don’t sell our buildings and radically change SHIT WILL HIT THE FAN. Look at every congregation’s falling average Sunday attendance. Look at it. Do not look away. Christendom is dying. We are doing nothing to stop it. Lucky for you, this priest from Montana wrote five hundred words how you will reverse the death rattle by revising the prayerbook, divesting from Israel and inviting more transsexual lesbians of minority races to sit in the House of Deputies. And don’t even get her started on bishops. A few days later, a priest in South Dakota responds. At first reading, it will appear to be mostly in agreement, but the tone makes you think they vehemently disagree. Turns out they do. Unintentional hilarity from misguided passions ensues in the comments. “You can pry Wonder, Love and Praise from my cold, dead hands!”
*: By “we”, we mean “me”, of course.