Only a decade behind us


A bit over ten years ago, a bunch of us faced a dilemma: National Geographic had taken over hosting of our blogs, and they were sending not-at-all subtle signs that they did not like people who criticized religion, and they were going to start imposing new restrictions on what we could write. That’s why you’re reading this on freethoughtblogs.com — Ed Brayton and I decided to set up this independent site and move our blogs here, and host other godless bloggers. Others, like David Gorski, just set up their own independent blogs. A few were seduced away by the giant group blog, Patheos, who swore on a stack of Bibles that, while they were primarily a religious site, they’d allow atheists to have their own subdomain, with no severe restrictions on their content. They also had money and could provide a reasonable revenue to their bloggers.

I was never invited to join Patheos (I guess I was too atheist for them) and wouldn’t have been at all tempted to go under the wing of such a site — I wouldn’t like the company I’d have to keep, and I didn’t trust them at all. I’m not surprised at all that now, after a decade of tolerance, Patheos management has decided to change the rules on everyone.

Efforts to reach Patheos’ management team were unsuccessful, but the departing bloggers and their channel manager, Dale McGowan, said that about a year ago, Patheos decided to change its editorial direction. Bloggers were advised they could stay at Patheos so long as they stopped writing negative or critical posts on religion or politics and instead focused on how to live a good life within their own worldview.

All my suspicions are confirmed, and the temptation is great to say, “I told you so!”. We were snookered too, though — for many years we hired Patheos to provide our ad services here. You don’t see any ads now, do you? That’s because their ads were so obnoxious and intrusive that we finally canceled them altogether. So the bloggers that are now departing en masse have my sympathy, and I wish them the best of luck at their new site, OnlySky.

Well, except maybe Heman Mehta, who has been sticking his foot in his mouth for a while.

There aren’t any media outlets that cater specifically to atheists,” he said. “All the other atheist specific blogging networks are run by volunteers and people who are passionate about the subject but don’t do business-savvy anything, so they falter and die. This one has digital expertise.

Oh, really? No other atheist media outlets? Freethoughtblogs is a media outlet, it’s also explicitly atheist/humanist. What about The Orbit?

We are “volunteers and people who are passionate about the subject”, but I’ve never considered that a negative.

We “don’t do business-savvy anything”, because we’ve worked on being independent of any capitalist control, whether it’s NatGeo or Patheos ad services. I presume OnlySky has learned the same lesson we accepted years ago.

What’s this about “falter and die”? We’ve been doing well for over ten years, and even weathered a $2 million lawsuit, with the assistance of our most excellent readership. It’s rather foolish to declare that all other atheists networks have died off, when a) we’re standing right here as a refutation, and b) you’re about to start a new atheist network in what you’ve declared to be such a hazardous and infertile field. We aren’t going to disappear just because Hemant Mehta doesn’t think we exist.

Good fortune, OnlySky, but I hope Mehta isn’t your spokesperson in the future.

Maybe reserve your hope that anyone “falters and dies” for Patheos.

Comments

  1. says

    So that’s why some of the Patheos blogs I occasionally visit are closing up shop. Given the Trump era it’s kind of surprising it took Patheos that long to change things. I’m guessing a lot of the liberal religious blogs will jump ship as well.

  2. Alverant says

    I wonder if this is one of those cases where “religion = Christianity” because part of the Christian blogs is to condemn other faiths. My main attraction to Pathos was that it used Disqus so I had the same account there as I did for other comment sections. With regards to Mehta, I’m not sure I agree with your assessment. In any case, I believe he’s local (he spoke at DuPage County, where I live) and he posts about religious news which is what I’m more interested in. So I can look past the mistakes you said he’s made. Plus, Mehta is more willing to boot the trolls than other bloggers.

  3. says

    You must be kidding. It’s been a few years since I visited his site, but back then it was as bad as Coyne’s blog for allowing slymepitters to run loose.

  4. Erp says

    I wonder how long Slacktivist will last then on Patheos. On the conservative side Gene Veith is quite political.

    I note that Warren Throckmorton, on the evangelical channel, was dumped from Patheos on almost no notice a while ago. No explanation given but the suspicion was it was because he was pointing out the faults of some fellow evangelicals (i.e., that a couple of them were power/money hungry to the point of probably committing illegal or unethical acts).

  5. Bruce Fuentes says

    The onlysky thing seems to be a bit of a joke. First of all, it isn’t even up yet. Secondly, they want you to register before you can access their ‘early access site. Seems the priority is monetization. Atheistic grifting and fleecing of the rubes?

  6. Dunc says

    We “don’t do business-savvy anything”, because we’ve worked on being independent of any capitalist control, whether it’s NatGeo or Patheos ad services. I presume OnlySky has learned the same lesson we accepted years ago.

    I wouldn’t presume anything. It’s possible they’ve got themselves a sugar daddy who is promising editorial freedom, in the way they tend to do at first… It’s a sad fact of modern life that one of my first questions about any new atheist venture these days is “which rich asshole is behind this, and what are they up to?” (Actually, that’s not just true of atheist ventures, now I come to think about it…)

  7. says

    I’m happy that we don’t have a sugar daddy other than all you wealthy multi-millionaires who donate to the site. Right now, our operating expenses are covered by my Patreon revenue, so maybe I’m the rich asshole pulling the strings.

  8. raven says

    Actually IIRC, the Patheos situation is a bit more complex.
    The web site was sold to another group, rumor has it that they are fundie xians.

    AFAICT, half of the traffic at Patheos at least was their atheist domain. The xian sites don’t post much content and usually don’t allow comments because their claims are counterfactual and unprovable.

    Well fundie xians. You don’t expect them to host atheist blogs do you?

  9. raven says

    Wikipedia Patheos
    In September 2016, Patheos was acquired by BN Media, LLC.[5] In 2021, BN Media LLC announced that the company would be doing business as Radiant.[6]

    and

    Beliefnet Announces Acquisition Of Patheos – PR Newswirehttps://www.prnewswire.com › news-releases › beliefnet…

    Sep 6, 2016 — 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Beliefnet is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Patheos.com, in a merger that marks the joining of two of …

    Actually Patheos was bought out by their main competitor.
    And who is beliefnet anyway?

    Beliefnet is a lifestyle website featuring editorial content related to the topics of inspiration, spirituality, health, wellness, love and family, news, and entertainment.

    About all I can get out of this is that Beliefnet doesn’t like atheists.

  10. PaulBC says

    Bloggers were advised they could stay at Patheos so long as they stopped writing negative or critical posts on religion or politics and instead focused on how to live a good life within their own worldview.

    That sounds like a snooze fest. The Family Circus comic might be a little too edgy. Where would they even find readers?

  11. says

    Interesting article.

    Some 20 bloggers left the site in the last days of 2021. On Tuesday (Jan. 4), the top story on the homepage read, “Don’t Stop Believing: Faith for the New Year.”

    Perfect.

    Patheos is owned by BN Media, which last year created a new umbrella organization called Radiant. It includes Patheos, the lifestyle site Beliefnet and three other wellness and spirituality platforms with a mission of helping people “live their most fulfilled lives.”

    Beliefnet, once a vigorous journalistic site, underwent a similar transformation after it was twice acquired, first by the Fox Entertainment Group in 2007 and later BN Media, where it became an inspirational site focusing on spirituality, health and wellness.

    By the looks of things, Beliefnet is now…ridiculous. Radiant is extremely creepy in general: “YOU WERE BORN TO SHINE: Radiant is dedicated to growing the innate light within each person by helping them connect more meaningfully to God, to their loved ones and to their best self.”

    Further consolidation of the Christian Right, the increasingly rightwing spirituality nonsensesphere, and the wellness industry.

    McGowan, the author of 10 books about nonreligious life, including “Parenting Beyond Belief,” had already been talking with investors about creating a new platform for nonreligious people.

    The new media platform is envisioned as a site that combines storytelling and commentary exploring the breadth of the human experience from a secular point of view, said Shawn Hardin, its founder and CEO.

    A Bay Area entrepreneur who has created several media products for AOL, Yahoo and NBC, among others, Hardin said he envisions a space that explores a wide range of secular values.

    Mmhm.

  12. says

    Re Erp’s #4 and raven’s #s 9 and 10 above, here’s a post about Throckmorton being dropped in 2018 (disclaimer: I know nothing about this site and can’t attest to its accuracy).

    After nearly eight years of independently hosting a variety of religious and nonreligious blogs, in 2016 Patheos was purchased by BN Media, LLC. Along with Patheos, BN Media also owns Beliefnet and Affinity4.

    – Beliefnet is an “online resource for inspiration and spirituality” that BN Media purchased from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Entertainment Group in 2010. In 2013, Beliefnet refused to host a blog that included the word “feminist” in its title because “we know our readers are offended by the word.”

    – Affinity4 is a fundraising organization that has raised funds for a variety of conservative Christian groups, including the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the National Rifle Association.

    But who owns BN Media?

    Although this information has now been purged from their website, in 2013 BN Media publicly listed their Board of Directors as Joseph Gregory, Steve Halliday, Jay Sekulow, T.D. Jakes, and Michael McKinney. In 2013, Mr. Gregory sold his interest in BN Media. Mr. McKinney also ceased his involvment with the company at that time. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Halliday, Mr. Sekulow and Mr. Jakes continue to be part of the company.

    I can only read a preview of this Christianity Today piece about the sale of Beliefnet in 2010, but it also mentions Sekulow’s involvement, and includes:

    Halliday says the editorial control will be left to the discretion of Beliefnet editors. Sekulow and Jakes serve as Affinity4 board members and Cross Bridge advisors, but Halliday says the company will create a separate multi-faith advisory board for Beliefnet.

    LOL.

  13. billseymour says

    I’ll probably continue to check out Mehta’s blog once it comes on line; but most of the posts seem to be about the most wackaloon and/or disgusting “Christian” statements that he can find on the internet (which doesn’t strike me as being particularly difficult), with the implication that “this is what Christians think”.  The comments are generally not worth wasting time on.

    I might check out James Croft’s blog if that moves, too.  Croft gave what I thought was an interesting talk at Skepticon a while back…either the first or second one in St. Louis.  (I think it was the same one where PZ gave a talk that included a hands-on exercise involving nuts and bolts.  I was the guy sitting in back who couldn’t figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing.)

  14. says

    Yeah… it’s hard to imagine that it was a sustainable business model to host a bunch of atheist blogs and serve their readers ads for Pureflix.

  15. Alverant says

    @3 Nope, not kidding. We had some regular trolls get banned only to have them come back with a new name just to get banned again. Tlipping had it worse, I’m not sure what had to be done to get them to drop the ban hammer. But using Disqus meant I could block them.

    @14 It isn’t just Christian (and no need to put it in scare quotes), he did it for other faiths in the US as well. And yes, it is what they think, otherwise they would have done something about it and/or stop following such people.

  16. says

    #12 SC (Salty Current) mentioned:
    ‘Radiant is dedicated to growing the innate light within each person ‘
    But, isn’t that the ‘shine a bright light inside the body’ that T.rump was proposing??
    That worked so well on the virus that America has now reached “full herd stupidity”
    Two of the greatest evils in this world are capitalism and religion. They pander to irrational thought, greed and stupidity.

  17. rorschach says

    Clearly atheists need to open OnlyFans accounts. And advertise them on TikTok with some hip melodical recital of a Hitchens quote while sitting in a car in a PCR test queue putting on makeup or trimming their beard.

  18. jenorafeuer says

    PZ@3, Alverant#16:
    I suspect the issue here is more that Mehta likely had a different definition of ‘troll’; it wasn’t that he didn’t ban trolls, just that he didn’t necessarily consider the slymepitters as trolls as long as they could keep to vaguely apparent civility.

    (Me, I haven’t read comments on Patheos at all in years despite still regularly following Slacktivist, because Disqus was this horrible Javascript monstrosity that caused my browser to drag to a halt. Three cheers for NoScript.)

  19. says

    Yeah, I stopped reading Friendly Atheist because a) the commenters are horrible, and b) most of it seemed like the most useless news about some ridiculous thing some religious person said somewhere, like @billseymour #14 says. Reading stuff like that is bad for you, it mucks with your availability heuristics.

    Still, my distaste for one blog aside, I can still sympathize with the bloggers getting chased out by corporate overlords who don’t like criticism. I don’t even begrudge them trying to monetize their new blogging network. Good for them.

  20. says

    A brief cancel-culture timeline:

    2010: BN Media, apparently a rightwing white evangelical front, is founded in Virginia Beach and acquires Beliefnet. Despite promises of editorial independence, content is restricted. Beliefnet begins to decline, eventually becoming a Christian/woo garbage site.

    2011: NatGeo takes over hosting Scienceblogs, “sending not-at-all subtle signs that they did not like people who criticized religion, and they were going to start imposing new restrictions.” Many bloggers leave. By 2017, Scienceblogs is essentially defunct.

    2016: BN acquires Patheos.

    2018: Warren Throckmorton’s blog is ejected from Patheos.

    2021/2022: Atheist bloggers are “advised they could stay at Patheos so long as they stopped writing negative or critical posts on religion or politics and instead focused on how to live a good life within their own worldview.” Many leave to form their own network with private backing.

  21. jrkrideau says

    Conservative Christian groups, including… the National Rifle Association.

    Only in America?

  22. jenorafeuer says

    @jrkrideau:
    Yes, well, as you may have noticed already, for most of these groups the ‘Conservative’ (actually reactionary) part is far more important than the ‘Christian’ part they use as a figleaf to lend a ‘moral’ justification to their panic over who has power.

    Not that it’s a new thing… as many have pointed out, the Southern Baptist Church essentially exists as pre-U.S. Civil War attempt at building Biblical justifications for chattel slavery to undermine religious Abolitionist arguments. So even back then the political tail was wagging the religious dog.

  23. Reginald Selkirk says

    but the departing bloggers and their channel manager, Dale McGowan…

    I want a channel manager! That’s someone who works the TV remote for me, right?

  24. billseymour says

    Alverant @16:  yes, the Friendly Atheist bloggers (not just Mehta) do sometimes criticize folks who are not Christians; but the posts about Christians seem to be the most numerous.  That might well be justified since they have a bigger effect on US politics.

    My use of the quotes around “Christian” was intended to point out that the people being blogged about described themselves as Christians.  I should have been clearer about that.  And anyway, I was probably thinking that they weren’t representative of the majority of Christians.  Could I have been thinking that maybe they weren’t really Christians and so making a no-true-Scotsman error?  I guess so.  My bad.

    I haven’t read the comments in ages because I turn off Javascript whenever I read anything on Patheos and so don’t even see them.

  25. Alverant says

    @28 ” I was probably thinking that they weren’t representative of the majority of Christians.”
    I get what you’re saying, but even if they don’t represent the majority of Christians, there are still millions of them. I don’t think I’m stepping out of line by saying that many of them vote and are probably armed. Also, I don’t see much of other Christians doing a whole lot to stop those they see as tainting their religion.

  26. hemidactylus says

    I don’t follow Mehta as much as I do here and don’t comment there. I have followed comments on some of his posts with mixed results but his traffic level is so high it becomes tedious. Plus the hijacking ads issue.

    I’m not up on all the rifts of the past. Mehta posts some good content per church/state and covers a bunch of different topics. Some bore me to tears and I often just skim previews. I don’t dig down into everything here either but feel more connected.

    Mehta wasn’t the only content creator on FA. And he at least more recently matured toward views more in line with FTB. He has skewered Dawkins repeatedly and has gravitated away from Coyne.

    But I don’t know where Mehta was going with the comments PZ objected to. Seems he’s overlooking other venues like FTB and the Orbit, though I haven’t followed the latter for a while. I read Heina’s stuff across Skepchick, here, and the Orbit. But the posts became so infrequent.

  27. John Morales says

    Alverant @2:

    My main attraction to Pathos was that it used Disqus so I had the same account there as I did for other comment sections.

    Disqus is bloated. It is slow. It uses up a shitton of bandwidth. It forces embedded advertising. It forces logging-in. It injects third-party trackers And they can use all your comments as they see fit.

    This license authorizes Disqus to make your User Content available, to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. You agree that this license also includes the right for Disqus to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make User Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion, publication, or otherwise of such User Content on other media and services.

    (https://help.disqus.com/en/articles/1717102-terms-of-service)

    Basically, you’re either clueless or weird.

  28. hemidactylus says

    Yeah I read the article PZ linked and tried to do the proper steelmanning (sarcasm) and wondered if maybe PZ was magnifying a perceived slight, but as charitable a reading as I could muster I see it as dismissive of other networks however perhaps unintentional (?). I’m thinking he’s read and been influenced by stuff if not posted before in the comments. Ughh!

  29. jenorafeuer says

    @John Morales:
    As I said above, I haven’t followed the comments on Slacktivist for years despite being part of the original community from before he went to Patheos, because of the way Patheos eventually forced Disqus and lost all the previous ported-over comments, and Disqus would make my browser practically unusable.

    So, yeah, not a fan.

    Though I have seen a few trolls caught via Disqus, because they commented on one thread on one blog while joking about how they were winding things up on a different blog, using the same Disqus ID. (Which I suppose falls under your ‘clueless’ descriptor.)

  30. chrislawson says

    Disqus is a dismal failure of a comment platform. It has a couple of good points such as cross-site nyms, but they are more than outweighed by the awful combination of poor UX and bloat/resource hogging (seriously, if they’re going to chew up that much bandwidth, why is their interface so goddamned terrible? — answer, the resource chewing is to maximise Disqus’s monetization algorithms, not the user experience), not to mention their awful, awful moderation system that seems to randomly decide that some much respected longtime commenter gets shoved into the greys for no ostensible reason while known trolls post freely because a fellow troll (sometimes the troll’s own sockpuppet) liked them.

  31. Silentbob says

    Well, except maybe Heman[t] Mehta, who has been sticking his foot in his mouth for a while.

    [“]There aren’t any media outlets that cater specifically to atheists,” he said. “All the other atheist specific blogging networks are run by volunteers and people who are passionate about the subject but don’t do business-savvy anything, so they falter and die. This one has digital expertise.[“]

    Oh, really? No other atheist media outlets? Freethoughtblogs is a media outlet, it’s also explicitly atheist/humanist. What about The Orbit?

    I give up – what about the Orbit? Dude, seriously! It’s a graveyard.

    I’ve nothing against the Orbit, but as I write there has been one post for the entire network in the last month. About the author’s breasts: Some Nice Hecking Tits.

    I counted the number of post for the past year: sixteen. That’s less than a post every three weeks – not per blog – for the entire network! Three of those posts were recipes.

    Again, I’m not knocking the Orbit, they don’t owe anyone any output at all. I’m just saying that to speak of the Orbit as though it were some extant “atheist network” Hemant should be aware of is being very silly.

  32. John Morales says

    Silentbob, huh. I had a look at the post you linked, and noticed they’re still claiming they need money to fight the Carrier suit.

    ($80,627 USD raised of $115,000 goal)

  33. Silentbob says

    Right. The site’s not maintained. Like I said, graveyard. (Again, not knocking it.)

  34. says

    Silentbob, huh. I had a look at the post you linked, and noticed they’re still claiming they need money to fight the Carrier suit

    They likely still need money to cover the costs of the suit. Just because FTB has covered its part of the costs, doesn’t mean that the Orbit has.

  35. Alverant says

    @31
    “Basically, you’re either clueless or weird.”
    Or I had a different experience and different priorities than you. Disqus’s bloat has rarely been an issue for me. An annoyance at best. Forcing logging in isn’t a big deal. You need to do it here too. And I need a separate account for any other WP site. For me, the convenience of having one account for multiple sites is worth the occasional outage. As for using my comments, well that’s a big “so what”. I’m not writing the Great American Novel in comment form. They have to make their money somehow and since this is free I’m willing to compromise. If you’re not, good for you, but that’s none of my business.

  36. says

    “There aren’t any media outlets that cater specifically to atheists,” [Mehta] said.

    I think he’s missing the larger point. First, Patheos previously removed a religious blog that was highly critical of some Christian leaders and churches. Second, non-religious/atheist bloggers were told they could remain there “so long as they stopped writing negative or critical posts on religion or politics and instead focused on how to live a good life within their own worldview.” It’s not atheism per se that’s unacceptable – it’s the negative and critical perspectives on religion and politics (which appear, incidentally, to be among the most popular offerings on all of these networks).

    Religion Dispatches isn’t an atheist publication, but I imagine most of the articles there wouldn’t be acceptable at Patheos.

  37. davidc1 says

    I started to follow The Friendly Atheist when Ed Brayton died,as far I can see both he and Mehta post the same kind of stuff.
    And all the people who commented on Ed’s blog now do so on The Friendly Atheist,they are a great bunch.
    As for trolls,there are a few,but they get shouted down for a while then they get banned.
    As for Dr Coyne,he has his own group of followers who post remarks about the Doc and his followers.
    All rather childish,I used to comment on there until just after the GE in 2019.I wrote something about how I
    hated all right wing gits,or something like that.He gave me the choice between saying sorry or being banned from commenting ,so I wished him all the best and left.

  38. =8)-DX says

    I used to read a bit of Adam Smith on Patheos, but for the past few years he’s been hosting articles from an utter centrist liberal asshat sophist. Bleagh. =8)-DX

  39. says

    #36: yes, we divvied up the debt equally among several groups. We pushed really hard (and probably a bit annoyingly) to pay it off as quickly as we could. The Orbit is taking their time and doing it a bit more organically, so it’s taking them longer.

  40. John Morales says

    Alverant @39:

    Forcing logging in isn’t a big deal. You need to do it here too.

    Huh. I just logged out and, indeed, it tells me I have to log in to comment.

    In the past, I could just put in a name and an email and post a comment.

    (Wonder when that changed?)

    PZ @43, fair enough. Informative. And kinda sad, that the system is what it is, and that being in the right still costs $$$ — don’t dispute the claim, pay the lawyers; dispute the claim, pay the lawyers.
    Worst of all, this applies even (or especially!) when the claimant has fuck-all assets, because there’s no point in getting costs awarded where there is no recouping them.

    (Not much better here in Oz, either)

  41. PaulBC says

    I think for most users, Disqus is adequate. It may be bloated, but provides a consistent identity across comment boards. Most users also just accept it as a fact of life that they’re being tracked and targeted for ads.

    That said, I have noticed a problem with Panda’s Thumb in which long threads eventually become nearly unusable as you’re waiting for each keystroke to appear. I am not sure if that’s because of Disqus. Normally, feature-rich and bloated software wins over streamlined software with more limited functionality, but there are limits.

  42. evodevo says

    Now I know…I WONDERED why all those blogs I usually visit were suddenly jumping ship … should have known Patheos would tighten up the rules on flaming the religionists…Well, I wish them all luck at their new venues…means I will have to change all my bookmarks now.

  43. evodevo says

    I’m so glad I resisted the impulse to subscribe to Patheos or contribute to them…

  44. Silentbob says

    (off topic)

    @ 44 John Morales

    In the past, I could just put in a name and an email and post a comment.

    (Wonder when that changed?)

    Hahaha. This made me laugh. I couldn’t give you a year, but it was when Jason Thibeault was still doing the techie stuff here – I’d guess 2013?

    Have you seriously been logged in on the same device for eight years? :-)

    It was because of slimepitters and deep rifts and all that stuff back in the day.

    (/off topic)

  45. sophiab says

    Does this change anything with no longer active blogs? I really liked “love Joy feminism”, and hope the content remains accessible one way or other.

    Anyone not familiar with it, it has so many good informed pieces on homeschooling, quiverfull philosophy/upbringing etc from some who grew up in that environment.

  46. abb3w says

    Huh. I remembered the password to this account.

    Scienceblogs, FTB, Patheos, OnlySky… it looks like there may be a social oscillation between competing poles of “more revenue” and “fewer editorial restrictions”.

    If PZ’s Patreon is the primary source of operations funds, I expect that most bloggers at FTB are reliant on another source of income, and that FTB likely does not hold much hope for anyone wanting to blog as their sole or even primary income. Patheos might have come closer to enabling blogging careers, but in pursuit of revenue and to reduce annoyance to one (religious, likely larger) demographic the editorial board has chosen to annoy another (irreligious, likely smaller) demographic, resulting in an exodus by the irreligious. Patheos traffic and revenues seem likely to suffer somewhat as a result. (ScienceBlogs isn’t quite dead, but seems to have become more than a bit of a ghost town. Additionally, many of the more religious blogs at Patheos also seem to have had post and comment traffic declines of late.)

    The FTB collective may want to keep an eye on the OnlySky experiment, either to imitate interesting elements of their success or to offer potential refuge for future emmigrants. (I don’t expect many from FTB will be interested in moving to OnlySky.)

  47. StevoR says

    I really miss Ed Brayton’s blog there.

    That was, by far, the best blog there – although they also used to have some other really great ones.

    Also really miss Ed Brayton. I owe him a lot and never met him in person.

  48. StevoR says

    ^ Plus some of the other regular commenters on Dispatches from the Culture Wars. Some truly good human indviduals there and they had more influence on me and making me better than they know.

  49. StevoR says

    @ 49. sophiab :

    I really liked “love Joy feminism”, and hope the content remains accessible one way or other.

    Anyone not familiar with it, it has so many good informed pieces on homeschooling, quiverfull philosophy/upbringing etc from some who grew up in that environment.

    Seconded and agreed.

    Laughing in Disbelief and Fred Clarks Slacktivist and fra few other ex-FTB blogs like Camels wuith Hammers – esp for the Star wars philosophy movie reflections get honourable mentions from me too as well as Friendly Atheist.

    Mind you, the infuriating random net-nanny there, inability to post links and it being really slow to load and painful at times .. yeah. Patheos used to offer a very mixed metaphorical bag indeed. A lot of things that drove me away from there ages ago despite really loving some of those blogs too.

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