About, oh, NINE months ago, I started a new gig as the Faith & Values columnist for the Orange County Register in Southern California. No, I never expected to return to writing for newspapers. But not unlike Don Corleone, the Register‘s editor made me an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. My first day on the job was the day before Pope Benedict XVI retired and a week or so later, I found myself standing in St. Peter’s Square staring at the same smoke stack on top of the Sistine Chapel that I had spent many hours surveilling for signs of white smoke eight years earlier when they fella who had just ridden off into the sunset (by helicopter and not figuratively this time) had been elected Pontifex Rex.
A few days later, the world met Papa Frank and, well, as some of you have read or heard me say a million times, he had me at Buona Sera. I LOVE HIM.
And then about a month or so later, I went on assignment to Africa – South Africa, Malawi, and Zambia – with the ONE Campaign and brought Vasco (my son) with me. Epic trip resulting in a seven-or-eight-part series in the Register and on ONE.org.
I write a couple of columns a week for the Register and my columns usually appear in Monday’s Faith & Values section, although occasionally elsewhere. Then often, though not always, my ol’ pals at Religion News Service pick up my columns and make them accessible to the rest of the free world. Thanks, Kevin. I love you long time.
As some of you also know, the Register has a PAY WALL. Dun-dun-duhhhhhh. I know. I KNOW. Stop kvetching at me, I KNOW!
But here’s the thing: You can pay $2 and get access to the ENTIRE ARCHIVE – i.e., you can see everything I’ve written for Register since I got there. So that’s option A.
Option B is to wait for the (shorter) version of my column to (usually) move at www.religionnews.com and read it there for free (but you may not post it in full or the RNS clandestine forces will knock down your door and seize your laptop, tablet, and your Bible/Quran/Book of Mormon. So don’t do that.) You can quote 250 words and add a link to read the rest. That’s the common fair use these days for blogging, as I understand it.
I’m about to add a page up above at the top of the blog’s home page with all the links to all my columns at the Register and via RNS since the end of February 2013 and will continue to update them as well as post a wee excerpt and link when each new column moves at the Register and RNS.
Thanks for hanging in with me during this transition. I’m planning on getting back to regular blogging (see new feature @PONTIFEXCELLENT!, which will, insh’allah, be a daily thang, and look for other new stuff, too.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: I’ve got a new book coming out next fall called DISQUIET TIME: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels, co-edited by Jennifer Grant (my homesizzle) and yours truly (and Eugene Peterson wrote the foreword – SQUEEE!) Learn more about it HERE.
It’s great to be back in my own space. I’ve missed The Dude. And all y’all.