Virtual drinking guilds and smoking-fraternity group blogs are all the rage these daysespecially those devoted to picking fights about theology and religion. Here's a step-by-step guide to everything you need to start your own similar frat-house-cum-religious-debate blog. Follow my advice, and you and your coterie of compadres can soon be starting your own theological food-fights in the virtual realm, just like the Big Boys:
- You have to have a clever name. Pub-names (as well as names of famous writers' brotherhoods who once hung out in pubs) have been done to death. Yawn. Try something fresh: adapt the name of your favorite sports team ("Manchester Separated"), motorcycle club ("Heaven's Devils"), fast-food joint ("Bloggo Bell") or something similar. (I don't think "Posse Blogitatus" has been used yet. Whoever takes it first can have it, courtesy of the PyroManiac.)
- Recruit five to ten contributors with major attitudes. They don't necessarily have to be able to think; but they must be outspoken. Some of the über-bad-boy bloggers use copious amounts of brew to achieve the desired effect. I don't recommend this. Your blogger-team can include women, but they must be kept mostly in the backgroundand it's good if they at least try to be cruder than the guys.
- Always blur lines. Especially blur the lines between humor and malevolence; between cleverness and bad taste; and between fresh thinking and old heresies. Mock what is sacred and celebrate what is worldly, but never do this overtly or without a disclaimerno matter how insincere the disclaimer.
- Speaking of fresh thinking, be careful to guard against affirming any old ideas. You don't want to be thought of as too staid. You must be provocative if you are going to compete in the cutting-edge religious-frat-house-blog marketplace. If you are concerned about retaining your good standing in your church or some Christian organization that you work for, you don't really need to advocate anything unorthodox to accomplish this. It's sufficient just to question the old orthodoxies.
- In fact, be careful not to affirm too much of anything. Instead, ask questions; raise doubts; stir controversy; foment scepticism. Again, always include the requisite disclaimers.
- Tolerate no criticism from readers. You might have to turn off the comments at your blog if your blog-team isn't clever enough to answer detractors. (By "answer" I mean, of course, that you need to insult and belittle them with personal put-downs.) One blog ran out of insults before running out of critics, so they devised a brilliant all-purpose answer for every criticism: Just tell people you are having a "private" conversation, so would-be critics of your ideas should pay you no mind. Inventive, huh?
- Now, here's the coup de grâce a virtual cheat-sheet so that when you can't think of anything truly clever, you can still sound theologically erudite: Do-It-Yourself Impressive Theological Constructs®.
Voila! Your own group blog.
Now get blogging.