Douglas LeBlanc

Happy 12th Birthday, GetReligion

Happy 12th Birthday, GetReligion

So we have reached the early days of February, once again.

My name remains on the masthead as GetReligion begins its 12th year of publication, but that is testimony more to Terry Mattingly’s deep loyalty to his friends and religion-beat colleagues than to anything I have done for several years.

My helping Terry launch GetReligion was a happy convergence of free time, basic comfort with the tools of weblogs, and an abiding love for the Godbeat. We knew that this was an important topic.

Terry and I became friends in the 1990s, when we both lived in Colorado, and working on GetReligion was the first chance I had to work with him. Because I have been drawn, moth-like, to the perpetual opera that is the Anglican Communion (which kept affecting my job status in journalism), I have drifted in and out of GetReligion’s orbit of writers.

I have enjoyed learning about the strengths and challenges of the weblog platforms behind GetReligion. We started on TypePad, which offered a certain elegance of design. At the encouragement of our friends and former hosts at Gospelcom.net (now Gospel.com), we switched to the free and versatile version of WordPress. Now GetReligion publishes through SquareSpace, thanks to the Herculean efforts of Loosely Related. I expect GetReligion’s affiliation with The King’s College will give us a solid foundation in the years ahead.

What I have enjoyed most about GetReligion is watching its sauntering parade of contributors.

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Adieu

This last Friday of August 2009 marks the final post of my third stint with GetReligion. I am grateful for each of my excursions with GetReligion since February 2003, and I thank my longtime friend Terry Mattingly for making each one possible.

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Vogue's squirm factor

As a magazine fan who does not consult Vogue about anything, I am quite happy to see that magazine give lengthy coverage to Jenny Sanford, First Lady (for now) of South Carolina.

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Stubborn facts on Episcopalians

Jon Meacham has occasionally cited John Adams as saying facts are stubborn things, but apparently some facts aren’t stubborn enough to be noticed by Newsweek under Meacham’s editing.

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Robert Novak finds peace

Late last year I thought about blogging on a Q&A with Robert Novak in Washingtonian magazine. Now, with Novak’s death after a long battle with brain cancer, I’ve found that the reporter in that Q&A, Barbara Matusow, also deserves credit for recording one of the best quips about Novak. Matusow did this in a remarkable — and at times painfully candid — 5,000-word profile published in the June 2003 Washingtonian. She describes Novak’s baptism at St. Patrick Catholic Church in downtown Washington:

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Gingrich as anti-evangelical icon

When a story’s headline is as ambitious as “Why Newt Gingrich Converted to Catholicism,” a reader might hope for a meaty report that addresses the question with insights from friends rather than with speculation. Amy Sullivan’s report for Time mostly does not deliver, except for a few good quotations from the convert himself and from his third wife, Callista.

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