There's a one-room schoolhouse down the road from where we live. When I drive by, as I do almost every day, I think about the girls and boys who sat near the coal stove, studied at the old wooden desks, played outside in the shade of the huge old trees. More than a century of learning has occurred in that white stucco building.
Having only been on the Get Religion team since October, I was a little reticent to choose five of my favorite posts.
But then I thought of the old schoolhouse and pondered--what have I learned over the past four months? What's been fun? What interesting feedback have I gotten from the wonderful folks who read us? Looked at this way, the past few months have been very instructive, indeed.
An early post, "You think you want some evolution?" gave me and some of our readers a chance to chuckle and muse about the antics of some of the over-the-top British press and their codependents in the Church of England.
We also had a field day with the Obama Antichrist story picked up on cable and in print and discussed in the post "Apocalypse...Now?
"The Art of Covering Christian Science" wasn't a huge story but I was fascinated by the way reaction continued to trickle in--obviously, people have very strong feelings about the topic of health and healing as practiced by Christian Scientists.
We can count on evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to provide us with material (and perhaps we do the same for him). His musings on Harry Potter and fairy tales and the flap they created prompted the post "Do they believe in magic?"
Lastly, I was very intrigued by our reader's comments on the post that detailed media reaction to the actions of Pope Benedict with relationship to the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. "What was he thinking?" aroused strong opinions and much reader dialogue. It's been fascinating to watch this unspool in the media, prompting some very good and some holey (sic) media coverage.
I just want to add that I'm grateful not only for our fabulous readers, but for my colleagues and for the journalists who provide us with opportunities for praise and for what we hope is helpful criticism. I know very well that a lot of the time your work is exhausting, sometimes dangerous, deadline-driven, and prey to the vagaries of editors, publishers, and advertisers. I, for one, am grateful for what you do-and love it when you join in or toss the ball back at me.
Etching of an old school is from Wikimedia Commons