Top Posts of 2020
As 2020 winds down — and many seem eager to give this year a push out the door — here are the five most read posts published at this blog in the past twelve months.
Far and away the most read, shared and responded to was my September 3, 2020 blog titled, “Turns Out the UCC is Mostly White.” That title had a bit of sarcasm to it, sorry. Anyone, paying attention would know this about the UCC. The blog was prompted by the apparent perplexity of folks in the UCC national office who couldn’t figure out how the many statements/ pronouncements of the UCC on racial justice, racism and white supremacy hadn’t translated into a less white church. I offered some thoughts on why that might be the case.
The second most read also dealt with matters of race, but from a different angle and with a different author. I invited my wife, Linda Jambor Robinson, to contribute a guest blog based on the work she had done over many years on these issues. “Dear White People” was the title of her June 10 piece, written as we all responded to George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed.
You knew we had to get to Trump before long. Number 3 of the most-read blogs was entitled, “Why Trump’s Base Never Doubts,” which appeared in April. Even as it was becoming apparent that the President was not up to the leadership challenge posed by the pandemic, his base hung tight, standing by their man. Of course, in the end, it turned out that steadfast base was not enough to get him a second term and his pandemic leadership, or lack of same, may well have been what cost him re-election.
Another one that addressed the pandemic, fairly early in the experience, was titled “By Stages.” I theorized about the stages we’d been through at that point in late March. I also included Lynn Unger’s memorable poem, “Pandemic” in that post. How long ago March 2020 now seems!
Number five touched on the other big event of the year, the election, but indirectly. It was a 2020 archive edition of a piece written in 2018, “Your Crown Has Been Bought And Paid For.” It was prompted then by the candidacy of Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia and was about voting. But it was also about the gospel, and how our crowns have already been bought and paid for by Jesus Christ. But just as we needed to exercise the vote which others had sacrificed for and won for us, we need to to put on the crown of salvation and to wear it as the regal sons and daughters of God that, by grace, we are.
A few other notes about this blog and the past year. As I made a change over to Constant Contact for distribution during the fall, I invited your financial support for this venture. Many of you made generous contributions. Thank you. Often you accompanied them with notes of appreciation which meant the world to me. Again, thank you. I’ve pretty well covered my additional costs for the next year.
That change-over process has coincided with some diminishment in readership numbers, although I’m not entirely sure it was the change-one that accounts for it. I used to pick up a fair number of new subscribers through my contributions to the UCC Daily Devotional. But I’m not writing/ contributing there any longer, so that tap was turned off.
To reach folks and keep readership growing or stable (it’s about 720 subscribers at present) I rely on you sharing my posts with friends, family and posting them on social media. I really appreciate it when you share a blog you especially like, or mention my blog to others who you think might enjoy “What’s Tony Thinking?” (or as my kids like to call it, “Is Tony Thinking?).
Most of all, thanks for being readers, occasional respondents and conversation partners in this effort to explore the intersections of faith and culture. That’s been “my beat” for a long time now, with occasional contributions to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, a regular column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, later at Crosscut.com and now here. These days PostAlley.org does also regularly publish my work. You might enjoy that site. Check it out.
As I noted in one blog on writing earlier this year, I write as a way of sorting out my own thoughts. My friend, David Laskin, said that his friend, the wonderful writer, Ivan Doig, called that, “thinking through my fingertips.” Like that.
All the best in 2021.