Why do you think the internet Catholic culture tends to lean more on the orthodox (or “conservative” side) of the faith? I dunno… maybe we’re just lucky that one of the “good guys” was wise enough years ago to purchase the domain “catholic.com”… But, in my experience, it just seems like the most popular Catholic websites and blogs tend portray a more orthodox view than the mainstream, day-to-day parish experience.
Maybe it’s because it’s a lot easier to leave political correctness at the door when you’re typing from the comfort and safety of your home out of punching distance?
People generally are attracted to parts of the internet which they feel most strongly about. Those who would be inclined to type “I’m not sure”, aren’t likely to type anything at all. It seems natural that the more definitive opinions regarding religion would naturally be more popular at least among those who post places like here.
You’ll see the same in the political boards, hardline conservatives can be found at freerepublic, the arch-liberals at democrat underground. Ain’t any popular “moderate” political boards either. Yet, there are still a lot of folks with moderate views out there, they just aren’t online discussing it.
First, I think it depends on what you think is mainstream or day-to-day parish life. In my experience that varies parish to parish and diocese to diocese.
Second, I think it’s important to acknowledge that many Catholics today are under-catechized and in some cases were out-right lied to. In a diocese I’m familiar with the faithful were told, in so many words, that “we do everything right in this diocese” in reference to their liturgical innovations and that their diocese was one of the most progressive when, rather, it is stuck in the 70’s.
I think there are more orthodox sites because we have more of a leg to stand on. We can reference the scriptures, the catechism, canon law, early church fathers, encyclicals, etc. What can the heterodox offer? Impotent rage and musterbation as they tell themselves “the next pope will allow female priests, the next pope will allow female priests, the next pope will allow female priests…”
And those sites that are not one big Catholic reference site offer musings about family, faith, vocations, struggles, challenges, joys. Real stuff, not doctrinal impossibilities. Those would be way more interesting to read, don’t you think?
I do not think it does. Different Catholics go towards other boards. CA tends to attract more conservative ones than not but it alone (sample size of 1) is not representative of the entire Catholic presence on the web.
One example of this is ncrcafe.org, where the National Catholic Reporter’s main columnists allow comments to their editorials. Other Social Justice sites overlap with other denominations on common issues.