"The Catholic blogosphere is probably one of the most orthodox parts of the American church, in large part because there were so many people who feel like the church is being attacked and they want to defend it," said T.J. Burdick, a Catholic educator who edited the new "One Body, Many Blogs" e-book.
In this collection, a circle of Catholic writers provided their "10 commandments" lists for blogging about religion. In addition to the need for prayer before clicking "post," these blunt recommendations included:
-- First, said Marc Barnes of the Bad Catholic blog: "Don't suck. There is a tendency within the Christian world to think the work we do will be good work, if only we do it for God." Anything less than excellence "is no service to God, no matter how well we think we are witnessing, giving testimony, or whatever Christian euphemism we want to use to disguise the fact that we can't be bothered to make something awesome."
-- Never assume "everyone who reads your work has the same viewpoint on issues of faith," wrote Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom.com. "Find a Jewish, Protestant or even atheist friend or acquaintance and invite them to join you for a cup of coffee and a peek at your blog. While they view it, watch carefully how they interact with your content and what lasting impressions they have in reading your work."
-- Along that line, but in pews, Deacon Greg Kandra advised: "Keep an open mind to the many ways there are of being Catholic. Not everyone loves the Latin Mass. Not everyone adores strumming guitars and liturgical dance." When in doubt, he added, "Ask yourself periodically: WWJB?"