You’ll see on our sidebar that Religion Dispatches has done a follow-up article on the debate over the relationship between Mormon Mom blogs and the ‘nacle. While I believe that the reporter misread the debate that occurred over her initial article (I’m not sure many people were really arguing that Mommy Blogs should be excluded from the ‘nacle, but rather that the initial article had ignored and obscured the origins of the ‘nacle), I’m not all that eager to revisit that debate. Rather, I’m interested in interrogating some of the other claims made in the two Religion Dispatches articles.
The first article argued that Mormons are “natural storytellers,” and so blogging is “natural” for us (whatever that means). Is it common to describe Mormons as natural storytellers? I have to admit I’ve never heard it. I have heard Native American communities described in this way, due to the prevalence of oral, rather than written, traditions in Native America. But in my experience Mormons are described as great record keepers, which doesn’t necessarily imply anything about our abilities to tell a good yarn.
The second article utilized quotes from Jan Shipps to cast Mormon blogging as a form of gathering. This implies that there’s something unique about the way Mormons go about blogging. Is there? And does blogging about our faith have similarities to the nineteenth-century idea of the Gathering of Zion, but in a digital sense? I’m not sure yet what I think of these claims, but I’m interested in what others think.