Conference to Gather Online Bloggers

July 18, 2006

Source: The Times Union Albany

On July 18, 2006 The Times Union Albany reported, "Faith bloggers from across the country will meet at Montclair State University in New Jersey this weekend for the first Progressive Faith Bloggers Conference. Leaders from the faith Web log community will meet to discuss faith, politics and their role in the Internet community. More than 40 progressive bloggers from diverse religious backgrounds, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam, will attend the three-day conference. 'This is the first time an event has been planned specifically tailored toward the progressive religious blogging community,' said David Buckley, assistant to the director of Faith in Public Life. 'The majority of the leading voices in the religious blogosphere will be there.' The intersection of faith and politics is a hot topic on and off the Internet. The progressive religious blogosphere, a burgeoning sector of the online community, has flown largely under the radar for years, but focus on the impact of bloggers on public discourse has intensified recently. Sen. Barak Obama's recent editorial on faith in USA Today caused an uproar on the Internet, with more than 300 news articles and 1,700 blog posts focusing on the controversy. The editorial, titled 'Politicians need not abandon religion,' delighted some bloggers and infuriated others. In it, Obama said 'My faith shapes my values, but applying those values to policymaking must be done with principles that are accessible to all people, religious or not.' Because faith and politics have the capacity to both divide and connect the progressive faith blogging community, as evidenced by Obama's editorial, organizers hope this conference will be a chance for bloggers of faith to unite and learn from collective perspectives."