Read the first few paragraphs of this AP story on Catholic bloggers, and see if anything in particular strikes you:
Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it’s not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn’t Catholic enough.
Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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-In the Archdiocese of Boston, parishioners are dissecting the work of a top adviser to the cardinal for any hint of Marxist influence.
-Bloggers are combing through campaign finance records to expose staff of Catholic agencies who donate to politicians who support abortion rights.
-RealCatholicTV.com, working from studios in suburban Detroit, is hunting for “traitorous” nuns, priests or bishops throughout the American church.
“Enraged,” “unsettling,” “dissecting,” “hunting” — strong language for a story about… blogging. Even the title — “Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters” — gives the impression of some shadowy cabal of extremists who are slowly taking over the Church… when the crux of the story is essentially, “Some Catholic bloggers get fired up about things they don’t like.” Which describes 99% of bloggers, period.
As Deal mentions in his article this morning, there are always going to be people who go to extremes when broaching issues dear to their heart — like what they see as dissent and the breakdown of the Church. Certainly there are bloggers out there who do see conspiracies in every chancery, and I don’t necessarily agree with some of the approaches described in the article.
But that applies to the left as well as the right. Meanwhile, the article goes too far in lumping together a wide range of conservative/traditional/right-wing/insert-adjective-here bloggers under this shady “new breed” banner. You can find extremists everywhere, left or right — but I’m not sure how that’s new, or newsworthy.