DUIN: Stepping up to the challenge

Not long ago, I learned I would get a twice-weekly religion column, a real luxury in these days of newspaper cutbacks.

The challenge was: What to name the thing? It took awhile for my editor and me to agree on “Belief Blog,” our religion blog that premiered last December.

The new religion column would be in a more formal setting, so it could not be too flip or preachy, nor appear to make light of people’s faith. But it had to be interesting and a bit offbeat to grab readers.

It could not be partial to any religion since our readers belong to a multiplicity of faiths. So, nothing like Buddha Blogger, Bible Beat or Quran Queen.

Encyclicals, one of my favorites, was construed as too Catholic. Benedictions, another good one, was too pope-specific.

The title had to be original, thus I could not steal from the London Times’ “Articles of Faith,” still the best title out there for a religion column.

The title had to be theologically accurate - plus, it had to be something I personally liked.

Surveying a few friends and fellow employees, I came up with some nominees: Faith-o-meter, Holy Cow, God Beat, Between Heaven and Hell, Frozen Chosen, Spirit, Soul and Body, Creed and Commandments, Anathemas, Angels and Demons, Epistles and Thinking Theology.

None of those quite took, so I sent an e-mail to more reporters and editors saying, “Help me.”

There were the celestial suggestions: From on High, Eternity in Print, Divine Inspiration, In Spirit or InSpiritation, eTernity, Out of the Silent Planet and Thoughts from Above. Those would be great were I a Delphic oracle or canonized saint.

Then there were the cosmic nominations: God Only Knows, Going with God, Running with God, Soul Tracks, Cloud 10, Pathways, Beyond Belief, Trust but Verify, Soul Chatter, Soul Matters and The Other Side.

I got a lot of “faith” nominations: Simply Faith, Keeping the Faith, Joy of Faith, Faith Matters, Faith Files and Faith Beat. A big favorite was Life in the Faith Lane.

From the sports department: Sunday Morning Quarterback, Pew Points, Realigion and Crucifictorious.

From my cats: Meow Mercy, Aslan’s Children and EuCatastrophe.

The prophetic ones: Repent or Else, Turn or Burn, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and Paradise Lost.

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About the Author
Julia Duin

Julia Duin

Julia Duin is the Times’ religion editor. She has a master’s degree in religion from Trinity School for Ministry (an Episcopal seminary) and has covered the beat for three decades. Before coming to The Washington Times, she worked for five newspapers, including a stint as a religion writer for the Houston Chronicle and a year as city editor at the ...

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