Happy Birthday, Patheos!

I’m very pleased to join many blogging colleagues in wishing our site a very happy birthday: today, Patheos turns 5 years old!

This from the website today:

Since launching in 2009, Patheos has grown to be the largest independent religion and spirituality website. Many of the site’s faith channels have become the largest online space for that community, so that Patheos now contains the largest Catholic website, the largest Atheist website, and the largest Progressive Christian website – all at the same time.

Patheos went live in 2009 to meet the growing demand for credible, engaging information on religion and spirituality. Husband-and-wife entrepreneurs, parents, and 20-year internet technology veterans, Leo and Cathie Brunnick were inspired to develop Patheos in 2008. “Our goal was to be the premier online destination for engaging in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality, and to provide a place for people to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. We are thrilled with the amazing growth of Patheos and its ability to reach so many people in the U.S. and around the world,” said Cathie Brunnick, Patheos COO and Founder.

“The world is calling for intelligent, civil conversation about faith, and Patheos meets that need,” said Leo Brunnick, Patheos CEO and Founder. “Our writers provide a unique perspective on what’s happening in the world. From Atheists and Muslims to Pagans and Christians, Patheos is a model for how the world’s divergent belief systems can not only co-exist, but engage each other in meaningful dialogue.”

Be sure to check out reflections from staff, readers, and writers, and browse the site’s history using the links below. Wish us a Happy Anniversary via Twitter at #Patheos5yrs

Patheos bloggers like me were invited to highlight five of our best/favorite posts in honor of this momentous occasion. I gave it some thought, and am happy to share five that seem noteworthy to me (and Patheos helped me by picking two of mine to share with readers today, both on the website and on Facebook). Enjoy — and please share your favorite past posts with us if I didn’t mention them.

  • “We Know What Happens Next” (This piece was written fast-and-furious in the hours following news of the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, near Milwaukee in 2012. I’m not sure I got everything quite right — looking back, I might have restricted the conversation to just guns — but this one seemed to strike a chord with folks. It even got a mention from Shambhala Sun.)
  • “Let’s Talk About Sex…” (I feel like I put my finger on something important here: the failure of many in the Buddhist community to distinguish sexual assault, a violent crime, from other issues regarding boundaries and sexuality in the sangha. Another post, “Misogyny and Sexual Assault are Still Missing Links in Conversations about Sangha Scandals”, is a sequel of sorts.)
  • “Five Steps for Buddhist Leaders Willing to Accept Mandela’s Challege” (Barely a day after Madiba’s passing, Patheos approached me about participating in their Public Square roundtable on the question, “How can faith communities help alleviate poverty?” I agreed immediately, recognizing it as the best possible way to honor a man who would probably find addressing the topic a more fitting tribute than spending time on yet another eulogy. I was happy, then, to see this post get shared a lot on social media.)
  • “Five Buddhist Lessons in Light of the U.S. Government Shutdown” (When the government shut down last fall, I found myself reflecting on relevant teachings from Buddhist leaders and teachers. The result was this post, which was good practice for me in terms of trying to become more and more intentional about “connecting the dots” when it comes to Buddhist theology and social problems.)
  • “Your Practice is Not All About You” (This post has its messy qualities — in retrospect, this feels like it really should have been at least two separate posts — and yet, this was something I really needed to write. I had been mulling over these issues for ages, and it all finally formed and spilled out in response to the two articles I mention at the top of the post. This was definitely one of the most satisfying writing experiences I ever had, regardless of how the final piece came out. The kicker: it got a lovely mention from Marianne Elliott in her wonderful talk at the 2013 Buddhist Geeks Conference.)


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