In December 2002 Trent Lott resigned as Senate Majority Leader in response to the furor and outrage over inflammatory comments he made at Strom Thrumond’s 100th birthday party.
Although Senator Lott's remarks were broadcast live on C-SPAN and
reported in the mainstream press, it took almost a week before the media devoted significant coverage to Lott’s comments. The Economist, in its analysis of the Lott fiasco concluded:
The mainstream media was initially blind to his [Lott’s] remarks perhaps because it is used to such comments. But the “blogosphere” – websites of opinion and news, first known as weblogs – denounced the remarks vigorously, and would not let up, finally forcing others to take notice.
THE POWER AND POLITICS OF BLOGS is a well written online article co-authored by Daniel W. Drezner, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Henry Farrell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. In the abstract of this article the authors make a very interesting, possibly prescient statement:
"Under specific circumstances – when key weblogs focus on a new or neglected issue – blogs can socially construct an agenda or interpretive frame that acts as a focal point for mainstream media, shaping and constraining the larger political debate.
I wonder if future Southern Baptists will not one day look back at 2006 and consider it a turning point in the Southern Baptist Conventon. Will future church historians say the SBC shifted course in 2006 because of the involvement of grassroot Southern Baptists, who through their blogs, web discussions and resourceful use of technology set the agenda for all Southern Baptists?
That question can only be answered by a future generation, but it is one worth considering. Why?
If it is a possibility that a shift has occurred in 2006 within the Southern Baptist Convention, with the convention tending toward a more irenic (peaceful) conservatism, including a desire to participate with all conservative evangelicals in world missions ministry, intentionally ignoring minor doctrinal differences, then just maybe some good has come to the SBC through blogs.
In His Grace,
P.S. My wife, Rachelle, will be guest posting on her reflections of this past year tomorrow (Saturday).