Anne Frank, protoblogger

October 25, 2009

Anne Fran at desk

Anne Frank, protoblogger

Because the current state of affairs in the US has some parallels to Germany in the 1930’s, I’ve been thinking about Anne Frank.  Her diary is really an early form of a blog, just not using the digital format. People have been reading her diary for years and now that we have technology available, it’s easy to see her in video as well as visiting her hiding place. I’m pleased to know that Anne Frank now has a channel on YouTube and that her hiding place is also available virtually.

Imagine how powerful her diary would have been if it was available in realtime as a blog while she was in hiding. Yes, her hiding place is likely to have been discovered sooner but think of all the technology available to obscure the location of origin of any post; think of Twitter and the lengths people went through to obscure their locations when the Iranian Vote took place recently.


Evangelicals: Change of Heart toward Catholics

July 28, 2008

Evangelicals have been going through a major change of heart in their view of Catholicism over the past 15 years or so. In the 80’s when I was in college I lived in the Biblebelt and had plenty of experience with Evangelicals–much of it bad experience. The 80’s was the height of the “Are you saved?” question. In Virginia, the question often popped up in the first 10 minutes of getting to know someone. As I look back, Isurmise that this was coached from the pulpit or Sunday school as it was so well coordinated and almost universally applied. It was a good tactic for putting Catholics on the defensive even before it was known that they were Catholic—“ummmm, uhhh, well no, I’m not sure, I’m Catholic.” Then a conversation about works righteousness or saint statues would ensue. Yeah, nice to meet you, too.
Thankfully, those days are pretty much over. We now have formerly rabid anti-Catholics apologizing and even praising the pope. Catholics and Evangelicals have both learned that we have much in common and need each other to face the secular culture with a solid front. But, where did this detente come from? I think there is a real history to be told here and a book should be written. Let me give my perceptions of 7 major developments since 1993, which I regard as the the watershed year for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the United States.

1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1993. When this document came out, it was uncertain that even Catholics would read it. We should have known that something was up when the French version hit the top of the bestsellers charts in France and stayed there for months. The English version did the same in the US. Catholics were reading the Catechism, forming study groups and challenging errant professors in the classroom. Read the rest of this entry »