Sometimes, we publish articles that are really good but draw oddly insufficient readership. Usually, I chalk this up to the whims of Facebook and Google algorithms. But as an editor and writer who is a campaigner for justice at heart, I hate to see excellent content languish.
Online news outlets like BNG are dependent upon the unknowable ways of social media and search engine sites that control how many people — and who — are served our content each day. Sometimes one of our pieces hits the flywheel and goes everywhere, and sometimes we spook the censors and go nowhere fast.
To illustrate, here are two of my own opinion pieces published this year that, based on what I know of our readers, should have gained a lot of traction. But didn’t.
- “When Voting Based on the Economy is the Wrong Thing to Do”
- “What’s Wrong with the ‘You’re Being Divisive’ Argument”
It’s not just me the algorithms don’t like, however. Many of our most popular authors face the same situation, depending on the day and week, the political climate and what other content we’re competing with.
Because I believe social justice is such an important issue for our times, and because I suspect many of our readers simply missed seeing some great pieces, here are eight more somewhat overlooked pieces — beyond my own two listed above — from the year gone by that I hope you’ll go back and read:
“The Sacred Work of White Discomfort,” by Robert P. Jones. The head of Public Religion Research Institute takes apart a Florida bill intended to make it illegal to cause discomfort to white people. And in so doing, he illustrates the moral bankruptcy of modern-day white supremacy and Christian nationalism.
“White Resentment is Like an Abusive Lover Who Would Rather Kill than Lose Control,” by Susan K. Smith. The author compares the death hold on white supremacy to a boyfriend or spouse who would rather his lover be dead than not be in his control.
“The Politics of Nothing and the Enabling Church,” by Rodney Kennedy. One of our most prolific contributors dares to say the emperor has no clothes, exposing the popular political movement of our day that has no policies and no positive solutions behind it.
“A Plea to People of Faith on Behalf of Our LGBTQ Friends,” by Danette Kong. From the shores of Hawai`i comes a real-life story of why the LGBTQ community needs allies in today’s political and cultural climate.
“What If You’re Wrong,” by Sid Smith III. Writing to white evangelicals in particular, the author asks those who vote for and empower today’s conservative social agenda to consider the possibility that they are wrong.
“A Conservative Case for Why the Church Should Lead the Way in Being ‘Woke’,” by Steve Baldwin. This is a compelling argument for why conservative Christians, of all people, ought not reject the label of “wokeness.”
“When a Teenager Gets Kicked to the Curb by Christian Parents,” by Dan McGee and Linda Francis Cross. The authors tell the true story — one that could be told over and over — of a teenager who was kicked out of his home by his parents because he’s gay. The article exposes the danger of conversion therapy, which is still alive and well today and taught in too many churches.
“It Is a Lie,” by Dwight Moody. After the first draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, the author zeroed in on what has indeed become an important note from Justice Samuel Alito: “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” That, Moody rightly said, is a lie.