My First Blogger Interview

September 18, 2009

I fancy myself a hard hitting news reporter man.

And there’s a lot of great bloggers out there. Really, a lot of awesomely funny and intelligent people who you need to know about. I decided to start a new series here at The Church of No People by reaching out to some people who I look up to as a blogger and I’m sharing with you our conversations. I’m kicking off this series with an interview I had with one of the best.

She was gracious to answer my questions, first because she’s awesome, second because she was a very pregnant lady when I asked her for an interview. Her natural humor combined with what are no doubt gallons of pregnancy hormones raging through her make a first rate interviewee.

First, can you share any vital stats with us to introduce yourself?
Well, I like being a woman of mystery, name-wise. But I am a professor of theology at a small Catholic university, I am a wife and mother of three born children, and one very much on the way, and I live in Minnesota. I grew up mostly in the South and am 42 years old.

I like mysterious women. When did you start blogging and what got you interested?
I started blogging in March 2006, inspired by a post by another woman with a pseudonym, “Maureen Martin”. She used to post at a blog full of Catholic satire, and one day I read it, laughed until I cried, and then thought–hey–maybe this would be a fun thing to try to do. I was a huge fan of Crummy Church Signs as well (I’m still in mourning on that one–excuse me–I have to go weep now).

Crummy Joel was a titan of the industry…whatever industry that is. But it’s a great moment when we look at our heroes and say, “Well big deal, I could do that!”
Blogging is a release, mostly escapist fun for me. My husband often works nights, and I don’t watch TV or run a meth lab, so obviously I needed to do something in the evening. I like some things I’ve written and am lukewarm on most of the rest. I guess my current favorite series is the Talk Like a Pirate series I do every Sept 19th (TLAP Day, matey!).

I’d like to fold the best pieces into a book, but these past few months have been physically challenging with my pregnancy, and I haven’t been writing as much lately. I hope to pick up the pace again soon.

Yes, I too have not yet published my book, nor opened my meth lab, though I am still a man, still not pregnant, and thus without excuse.

Do you consider your real-life person to be as ironic as your online person?
I’ve had students figure out who I am based on what they say is “a blog that sounds like me,” so I think that means–probably I am. But people who’ve met me in real life after first meeting me online tell me I’m way more serious than they expected. I have a serious article getting published soon, and I think it will shock the living daylights out of some people to see me be all seriously theological and stuff.

“Serously theological…and stuff.” Sounds groundbreaking.

You seem to have a bit of a crush on the handsome Steven Colbert. What’s up with that?
OK, crush is a bit strong. I just think he can be really funny, and if you’re Catholic, I think you get some of his theological subtext more than if you’re not. There was a skit about human cloning that basically made the US Bishops’ case for why it was an ethically horrible idea, but with humor. I love that he could do that and actually get away with it on TV.

Your family is growing with the birth of your fourth precious little irony. Congratulations! Are you planning any rivalries with a neighborhood Mormon family?
I think we’d need more than four to make a serious run for that–and my age is working against us in that regard. No, it’s just part of that “being open to accepting children lovingly from God” that is part of our Catholic marriage promise. That, and there is the unfolding Ironic Catholic Conspiracy to take over the world. Or at least my town in Minnesota.

I think fewer than 10% of the students at my Baptist seminary had actually met a Catholic person, and I think most were scared of meeting one. We were told by an expert that if we met a Catholic, don’t panic because Catholics really are just as scared of Baptists as Baptists are of them. Is that really true?
First, you’re all scared of Catholics? Meek little old humble Mother Teresas that we all are? (heh.) Truly, nowadays, we come in peace. The Inquisition was more of a state thing and is pretty well long gone.

Really? Maybe I should make sure they know; they’re usually behind the times on stuff like this. Please go on…

Second question, are Catholics as scared of Baptists? In the South? Absolutely. The very question “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? When?” presents a freezing moral conundrum for many southern Catholics I know: “Oh no! Are they going to have me sign a Chick tract or something? If I say ‘at my infant baptism,’ will they begin quoting John’s gospel at me about needing to be born again?” But honestly, I’ve never been scared off–I used to be involved in the Baptist Student Union at my state college in VA, and I mostly got friendly curiosity questions. That, and people would ask for the pepperoni on my pizza on Fridays. It was an ecumenical win-win. Seriously, we’re all Christians, people.

“Gang of religious zealots attempt viscious pepperoni theft, baptism of Catholic college student! Swift revenge planned with plot to overpopulate small northern town!” You heard it here first!

Thanks so much, IC! Be sure to give her a cheer in the comments for a great interview and a new baby, and then visit her at The Ironic Catholic