It's time for an update on the status of one of the other blogs that tries to monitor life on the Godbeat (or, perhaps, the beat of the gods). That would be the Jeff Sharlet (5Q+1 file here) project at New York University called The Revealer. Thanks to the omnipresent Ted Olsen over at CT's Liveblog for his tip on this one. GetReligion and The Revealer have been at this for a long time and we often get mentioned as flip sides of the same coin, when it comes to trying to watch what is happening in the mainstream press. In a way, we disagree a bit on whether there is a mainstream press and who is in it and who should be and whether any of this matters when it comes to religion news. These are all topics worth arguing about, and we are happy to take part in all of that.
Their mission is both a little bit and enormously different than The Revealer's. They're tracking the mainstream media and its Christian counterparts; The Revealer was reminded yesterday of its responsibility to the smaller stories and its interest in finding new ways to write about religion. But that's tomatoes and tomatoes compared to the main distinction, as hinted by GetReligion.org's title -- they want you to get God. Their God, to be exact, although they're smart enough to know that there's a huge range of understandings within evangelical Protestant theology.
Well, actually, we don't spend much time worrying about Christian media and the "evangelical" label is certainly problematic for me as an Orthodox Christian and probably for the Divine Ms. M.Z. as a confessional Lutheran. We also think there are fine, talented, informed religion-beat pros out there who are not believers of any stripe.
Whatever. There are certainly differences in the worldviews of the two blogs and that's a good thing. We will continue to let know readers where we stand (see "Is GetReligion a 'Christian' blog?") and we hope The Revealer does, too.
This brings us to a new Sharlet post in which he updates his readers on the status of the weblog, after its usual summer-break slowdown. To cut to the chase, he is looking for some new volunteer writers.
Check out the appeal. Some of you might be interested.
And, while you are there, it's interesting to mull over this provocative passage in this new, updated, mini-anti-credo of sorts for Sharlet and crew. Jeff wants to hear from some of you, but not all of you.
Don't bother to write him if:
... You want to write primarily about your own religion or lack thereof; you think religion can be explained with terms like true and false; you believe religion must include belief; you're a fan of Sam Harris or Rick Warren; you're too sweet; you're too cruel; you care passionately about the fate of the American newspaper. Such sentiments don't make you a bad person, of course but they will make you a bad fit for The Revealer. We're not trying to disprove religion or prove that "true" religion is peaceful or "fix" mainstream media's religion problem. You should know what we're trying to do: It ought to go without saying that you're a Revealer reader, and equally obvious, I hope, that you don't need to agree with everything you read here to write here.
Well, OK. We don't apologize for caring passionately about the fate of the American newspaper and we do think that there are elements of mainstream coverage that can be approved.
So may both sites carry on. Amen.