Jean Dublog

Monday, November 07, 2005

Life of Ben

I was thinking of penning a post about how religious subject matter may not be the best fodder for blogging -- it seems like most get weighted down and drown in their own slowly gelling sermons before they quite get going. And then I dived into They Will Know Us By Our T-Shirts. My faith has been restored -- virtually anything can be made interesting and fun in the hands of a good blogger.

Ben, a seminarian from Minneapolis, has a pretty entertaining and often insightful blog that lampoons many religious traditions without mocking core beliefs. His probing, playful eye is perfect for making religious matters appealing to the blogosphere. Check out How May I Serve You," or "It's All In My Mind." His posts offer both the appeal of humorous personal musings while working in a Christian bookstore and a probing of some troublesome issues for a 21st Century Christian.

Like any truly conversational blog, T-Shirts also proves interesting by finding a network of similarly provocative blogs and websites that lampoon the serious-minded and smug. Some might call them blasphemous or even sick, but I marveled at the boldness of sites like J2K-five. Man, it's irreverent -- "who cut the jeeze?" The Jesus pictures of the week have been lambasted by many readers, but they say it loud and clear in the blogosphere, lampooning the sanctimonious and the blatantly commercial tendencies among many Christians.

These sites appeal primarily, it seems to me, not to those who dismiss religion but to those who see their faith shackled by ridiculously outdated traditions and even corruption. These sites poke serious fun at religious conventions and the conventional while leaving room for faith a whole lot more accommodating to the cynnical unwilling to drink the Kool-aid. It seems like a humorous, perhaps ribald, way of convincing others in the blogosphere that there are plenty of others out there who don't buy it all but remain connected by a tether of faith.


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