From USAToday: "For Christ's sake, stop!" declared the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Rev. Frank Page, pleading for civility in the Baptist blogosphere. Episcopalians and Anglicans duel incessantly over their faith and future in the Anglican Communion. Catholics focus on every topic from liturgy to law to spirituality. These are faith bloggers - uncountable voices who contest, confess and consider religious beliefs, doctrines and denominational politics in their posts. Although every faith has its bloggers, U.S. Christians may be among the most vociferous of the watchdogs, philosophers and ecclesiastical groupies...
"You can change minds and form hearts. You can bring to light the best humanity of the Church, which rarely gets covered - the people who get up every morning and give the best of themselves because they believe,” says Rocco Palmo, 24, of Philadelphia. His blog, Whispers in the Loggia, covers the U.S. Catholic church and Vatican minutiae, down to the lace on the pope’s vestments.
“Everything, even the lace on top, has a meaning. Everything is a signal on where things are going.” says Palmo, whose posts are hot with Vatican-istas from California to Rome.
Other sites are more inclined to give their opponents hell.
Southern Baptist leader Frank Page discovered this when bloggers, notably at SBCOutpost.com, boosted his campaign for presidency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in 2006.
Within a year, Page soured on the blogs’ incendiary approach to issues of church governance and religious expressions.
Page fretted in a Baptist Press column that battling bloggers frighten off “lost souls and new believers.” He wrote, “Lost people are seeing the deep division and sometimes hatred that is flowing forth among churches and among those who are involved in convention discussions. For Christ’s sake, stop!”
But the Rev. Ben Cole of SBCOutpost is unrepentant. An assistant pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., he says SBCOutpost is a “dissident blog” that’s “very intentionally harsh and provocative.”
In August, a counter-blog called SBCToday, edited by four pastors including the Rev. Wes Kenney, 36, of Trinity Baptist Church in Valliant, Okla., sprang up. He describes it as “less bitter than Outpost,” and more focused on how the distinct theology of Southern Baptists can be lived out in modern times.