Friday, January 19, 2007

Aut Blogi Aut Mori

I've been surfing through the amazing world of mom blogs, and I ran across this motto under a clip-art-style graphic of an old-fashioned revolver, pointed out at the viewer. It's Latin, and means, Either Blog or Die. On a mommy blog. Wow.

So what's this about?

A couple of observations so far.

One is, momblogging is the current equivalent of 90s MOPS groups or 80s Sesame Street watching: intelligent, educated women, staying home at least part time, doing what they need to do to keep from going stir-crazy babbling with the precious delicate flower with all its lovely, poo-forward qualities.

The second is, this is the reasonable postmodernizing of mother discussions. For the thing prized in this world above all appears to me to be honesty, authenticity. One way to define the postmodernizing culture is to spot contexts where people value authenticity over expertise, genuineness over qualifications. There are problems with this approach--in the 70s and 80s the onset of this lifeview turned educated Californians into New Agers, which percolated out into the rest of the society in the 90s and is now just part of the operating system. But on the other hand, it has the laudable effect of enshrining the taking of personal responsibility as a virtue. It also is a salutary reminder that children are not a product to be optimized. More to the point, what else would actual contemporary women sound like, if left to their own devices and given a technology that gives them a voice?

So props to dooce and alphamom and all the rest, as unedifying as some of that reading is. The point for a guy like me is not to critique them: I'm not doing any momming right now.

Of course, I'm glad I'm married to Dawn and got to raise kids with her when I did (although even there, we would rather have raised them in Lusaka). But if there is any wisdom or godliness we've acquired in that, we won't get it to these women by shooting them down, identifying them as the enemy (which the New Testament forbids us doing in any case), or presenting ourselves as experts.

The question for me insofar as I am a Christian parent is, how do I authentically and genuinely share whatever combination of wisdom and honest failings that I have to these people? The question for me insofar as I am an evangelical Christian is, not are there problems there and things to object to in these blogs, but how do you imagine that these people would look and sound seven months from now if we injected Jesus into that conversation in a way that was winsome and compelling?

In any case, surely we could agree that flaming their posts with critical comments will not very likely get them any closer to the Spirit's fire.

How about this instead?

Ecce Agne Dei, qui tollit peccata mundi--behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world...


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