I really went all out this time, Googling myself under different versions of my real name as well as several different online names. There was a single intriguing fact that emerged as I took in the length and breadth of these myriad online references. It seems that there is a particular quotation of yours truly that has been incorporated into a surprising number of blogs and news sources.
It was in an article I wrote some months ago for my currently-dormant job as Chicago Skepticism Examiner for examiner.com. The article concerned the controversy surrounding the Shroud of Turin. The specific quote that many folks have borrowed (and quite properly credited me for, thank you!) is the following:
“…It seems to me that any intelligent person of faith would have to agree that if someone has based their faith in Jesus on the presumed legitimacy of the shroud, then there is something profoundly flawed about their understanding of their faith…”
It makes me happy to think that this concept, out of all the countless bits of silliness that bear my name, would be so widely quoted, because it is very much in harmony with some of my basic feelings about religion. That is, I am not bitter about religion or religious people; I will respect their beliefs as they respect mine. I believe that would be a form of something I read about long ago – something called the Golden Rule. The quote also represents another strong theme for me – the notion that we should focus on, and build upon, the things we can agree on. To put it into more poetic language: Bridges make the world a larger place. Walls make it a smaller place.
So do try Googling yourself sometime. You may not find that anyone is quoting you, but you may find out something about yourself or your family that you didn’t know!