I’m a big fan of Andrew Sullivan and his “Daily Dish.” That doesn’t mean I agree with him on everything by any means, but engaging with his blog for the last 12 years, has shaped me. The Dish is one of the poles against which I’ve grown up. Sure, I’ve spent time in the Partisan shallows of DailyKOS, Democratic Underground, and Samizdata. Sure Nate Silver fascinates, Slate is still pretty good, and Facebook/Twitter turns heads and seduces eye balls, but the one place on the internet that consistently drags up interesting and thought provoking things from the sludge and the muck of popular culture, religion, politics, and current events is The Dish.
I intellectually grew up with the Dish, it was a stable pole to hold onto.
I was first introduced to Andrew and the Daily Dish my senior year of college at the University of Oregon around the time of the 2004 election.
When I moved to East Anglia the Dish was, ironically considering Andrew’s country of origin, a place to go to check in on the pulse of America. When I studied at Cambridge I thought from time to time that there was an intellectual connection between Andrew and I, even though he attended The Other Place.
Then in Philly, during the Democratic Presidential Primaries, I was a Richardson guy, but Andrew’s endorsement of Obama made me take a second look at the man who is now the twice elected President of the United States.
During seminary some of my faith struggles were tinged with “The Conservative Soul.” For that matter, The Dish introduced me to the writings of Ta-nehisi Coates, whose neighborhood in Baltimore I moved into during my Vicarship.
Finally, as a fully formed Lutheran Pastor living in Suburbia, NJ, the Dish has kept me rooted in a world beyond my own. In order to be connected with both word and context Karl Barth recommended preachers, “preach with a Newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other,” but I say unto you, “Read The Dish and Preach the Damn Gospel!”
In short, Andrew was a sort of electronic professor and friend for over a decade. He’s folding up The Dish in order to get healthier and re-integrate himself with a slow and deep life. I hope and pray he finds good health and the gentle depth he is looking for.