5 Years in the Bloggernacle: Some Random Thoughts

December 16 marks my 5 year anniversary on the bloggernacle.

It all started on a December morning in 2005 at Utah Valley State College. I walked into the adjunct instructor workroom and was greeted by my colleague John Crawford. John and I talked a good bit in that room at different times over the years. We had also team taught a class together. That morning John asked me if I wanted to join a blog he had started. It was call Faith-Promoting Rumor.

My very first post was on…John Rawls.

At first, blogging was ackward for me. Then I got very comfortable. Maybe, too comfortable. I have commented at many blogs over the years, and I still do at a good many. I am not sure what value comes from being a frequents commentator on blog threads. Probably not much. Either way, I have driven up the comment counts on many a thread. Just doing my part.

I have taken shots at Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, and Kenny Rogers.

My favorite post would like be my first post of the redistribution of wealth. Though, I further articulated the idea in posts both here and at BCC. However, it was that first post that staked out my philosophical position. It also started a bit of a firestorm. I like firestorms.

I have quit the bloggernacle twice. Once this year even. However, I cannot stay away.

This last year, I have actually met a number of people from the bloggernacle. Some of those meetings were…uncomfortable. Yet, others were like being reunited with long lost friends.

While FPR is my blogging home, By Common Consent is my blogging church. It is where I go to make sense of the world. I once called them the cool kids, I regret this now because of the tension it caused. I said it because I was jealous. When it comes down to it, I do not like a lot of Mormons and I disagree with very few…but I often remind myself that it cannot be that bad. Kristine, John C, Kevin Barney, Mark and Aaron B also belong to this Church. I want to belong to the same Church as them…even if they are not like the people I see at Church.

In some ways, the ‘nacle is big family. Ardis of Keepapitchin is my big sister on the bloggernacle. Do not mess with my family. The guys at Juvenille Instructor are my blogging cousins, not the distant cousins that you hope to avoid (that would be M*), but the favorite cousins you cannot wait to see again.

One of the reasons that I love Faith-Promoting Rumor is because they have loved me. I am not easy to love. Well, the blogging me is not easy to love.

What has blogging done for me? It has given me a circle of associates even when I have felt abandoned in Provo or when I have felt cultural isolated in Casper. Once, while serving as Elder’s Quorum president outside of Rexburg, the assignment came down from the stake to get volunteers for a phone bank that would call voters in California and ask them to support Prop. 8. This is the closest I have ever come to vomiting as an adult. My wife sympathized with my awkward situation, but I had no body else to turn to. I emailed the back channel FPR group. I wondered if I should resign my calling. Responses from Smallaxe, TT, Mogget, and John C helped me though it. In the end, I turned the assignment over to my secretary in the quorum. I told my bishop that I would not have anything to do with it. He told me that neither would he. I clashed with the RS President a bit in ward council about the information that was circulating about Prop 8. But because of the wise advice of Smallaxe, TT, Mogget, and John C…I stayed in my calling (which I loved), I kept my job and I stayed in the Church.

The phone bank never actually came about. Somebody on the political side of things must have realized that Mormon stakes organizing in other states would be a bad idea.

When asking my Facebook friends how they would describe my blogging, one said that I had a certain bellicose charm. I think that works. Nitsav once described me as an “eye poker” and he was right. That said, my blogging aggression has a purpose. I like to think of it as a breeching experiment. I am actively defying the norms of blogging behavior at times, other times defying the political and theological norms of Mormonism. This is not to say that I do not believe what I write, but a primary purpose in writing what I do and acting like I do…is to see how others react. Many of you have made it all worth it.

Here are some of the highlights:

My First Post

My favorite “Why the Redistribution of Wealth?”

My MLK (at BCC)

Equality, Social Unity, and Cooperation (at BCC)

Socialism! (at BCC)

Elder Jensen and the Exploitation of Sacred Moments

Patrick Henry and Right-Wing (Anti-) Constitutionalism

Student Comment on Social Justice, Rawls, and Chris H.

Cosmopolitanism: An Alternative to Patriotism

On the Saying “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

Rawlsian Social Justice Themes in Mormon Thought

BYU-Idaho College Democrats-in-Exile

The Good Samaritan as The Other

Reject and Denounce: Obama and his church

I know that Mitt is true.

“My Husband is a Socialist”

My Ideological Journey

About JJ Rousseau

JJ Rousseau is dead. This is his ghost.

  • http://www.faithpromotingrumor.com TT

    Congrats on this milestone!

  • http://www.faithpromotingrumor.com Chris H.

    Thanks! And thanks for putting up with me.

  • http://juvenileinstructor.org David G.

    Congrats, cuz!

  • http://juvenileinstructor.org Christopher

    Congrats, Chris.

  • http://www.keepapitchinin.org Ardis E. Parshall

    Awwww! I need brothers.

  • oudenos

    Boy. After this heartfelt post I feel really awful for my low brow ditty.

    I too was an eqp during the Prop 8 thing and it was a brutal time for me also. I had a great support group in my ward that got me through it; I am glad that you had FPR to see you through it.

  • http://juvenileinstructor.org Ben Park

    Thanks for being around, cuz!

    (I swear I was going to say that even before I read David’s comment!)

  • http://juvenileinstructor.org Jared T.

    Congrats, Chris!

  • g.wesley

    this was enjoyable reading, chris h. we ought to have more of these reflections.

  • http://inmedias.blogspot.com Russell Arben Fox

    Congrats on the milestone, Chris! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you online. I hope we’ll have the chance to do so face-to-face, one of these days…

  • http://boaporg.wordpress.com W. V. Smith

    *o8i3 6974 w57rrk dy48w yl (code)

  • http://bycommonconsent.com Tracy M

    Congrats, Chris. I value you and your contributions…

  • http://rameumptom.weebly.com Rameumptom

    Congrats on the 5 year mark. Now we know you aren’t just an eye poker, but also narcissistic! ;-)

    While I’m not a liberal, I am libertarian, and so I also would have had a problem pushing Prop 8….

  • http://www.smallsimple.wordpress.com Eric Nielson

    Here’s to another 5 years.

    Welld done.

  • http://johnsenclan.com jjohnsen

    Congratulations. Over the past couple of years I’ve really grown to admire you for your stance on a variety of subjects as well as some really great posts.

  • http://exerciseinselfimportance.blogspot.org B.Russ

    Man that Socialism! post had a great thread. Reading and commenting on that post was one of my first experiences in the bloggernacle. (I was 152 back then, before Steve and Scott insisted I change my handle to something more conventional)

  • JohnE

    Thanks for some good links. I see the name Chris H all over the blogs that I visit and I am always interested in reading what your saying. Keep it up.

  • http://ldsscience.blogspot.com Jared*

    I, too, am glad you’re still around.

  • http://velska.wordpress.com Velska

    I loved the one on redistribution, and also MLK. They also revealed the true character of some among us.

    Sometimes I think you’re the kind of guy who’d yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater for kicks, but you’re actually not. You’re trying to shock us into actually using those little grey cells.

    Besides, your kind of socialism we need more, not less of.

  • Kevin Barney

    I enjoyed meeting you IRL in SLC this summer! Congrats on the milestone…

  • http://www.bycommonconsent.com John C.

    Now I feel like how Ronan must feel whenever I say how he got me involved in all this. A bit sheepish. Nonetheless, I’m glad you are around, Chris.

  • http://www.faithpromotingrumor.com Chris H.

    Thanks to all.

    John, since your are apparently responsible for the downward spiral of BCC, it must not be just me.

  • Fred

    Chris: Good for you on the action you took. The issue of gay marriage and prop 8 was the my most difficult obstacle in deciding to become a Mormon. My wife (lifelong Mormon) refuses to believe that it was the church itself that was actually involved. I know the church was involved as evidenced by your situation in your blog post. I look at this way. While yes, the Mormon church was involved and I feel it was wrong, there were probably many other churches and religious people that were involved in it as well. The Mormon church got singled out.
    I believe that two adults should have the right to marry who they want at a city hall or church that wants to marry them (I attended one for six years). However, I respect the right of individual churches to make their own decisions on who they want to marry.
    That being said, had I been placed in your position, I would have done the same thing.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/approachingjustice/ Chris Henrichsen

    Fred, at the time it did not seem that the Church was hiding there involvement in any way. Other may remember it differently.