Writing about Religion on the Internet is a Delight and a Nightmare

A Farewell to Medium, For Now!

Michael A Gold

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Hey all! I’ve got a new job with some new responsibilities, and I think it’s time for my Medium journey to come to a close. I’ve enjoyed writing on here for you all, but with my schedule filling up, I need to cut some stuff to make room for other projects I want to keep up.

I started writing for Medium in earnest a few years ago, as a continuation of a project I had started on Instagram. That project, though, it may be hard to believe now, involved an episode by episode review of the classic 80’s anime Dragonball. When I got to Dragonball Z, I switched to Medium in order to cover an arc at a time rather than an episode, and in a relatively short period of time, I was given the option to put my stuff up behind the paywall.

When the pandemic hit, I made it a goal to publish at least once a week. Though I had stopped publishing Dragonball Z reviews, I kept writing about pop culture and tabletop RPGs. I liked writing on Medium as opposed to a blog because I appreciated the fact that there was a built-in readership, as well as people running publications to provide some small amount of guidance. I’ll be honest, the thought of getting a little extra cash in my pocket didn’t hurt either. That was actually what precipitated a switch I made last summer, to start writing about religion, and to see where it lead me. I have a Master’s Degree in the Hebrew Bible and a lifetime of experience being in and thinking about the church and theology, so I wondered if maybe it would get me a bigger readership, which might, of course, translate to a little additional cash.

The good news is that I got more readers! The bad news is that I got more readers.

Religion is an incredibly tricky thing to write about. There’s a reason religion, sports, and politics are supposed to three taboo subjects on a first date: if someone has an opinion on them at all, it’s usually a strong one. My goal was simple: I was not interested in converting people to my religious beliefs or undermining anyone’s personal beliefs. I wanted to talk about the things I learned in grad school and share the things I wished I hadn’t had to go to Seminary to learn. I wanted to talk about translation, shed light on what was going on in particular texts, and generally help people understand the text and world of the Hebrew Bible, with occasional forays into other aspects of theology.

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Michael A Gold

Michael writes about history, religion, and the Bible. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and Netflix account.