Introducing ‘Hot Dogma! The Belief Blog’

New Website Pairs Former Religion Beat Writers Susan Campbell and Tom Breen

The Independent Media Network is pleased to announce the launch of its latest member website in collaboration with two of Connecticut’s very best journalists in former Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell and former Associated Press reporter Tom Breen.

Hot Dogma! The Belief Blog can be found at and will include news and commentary on religious issues and institutions and how faith impacts all of us here and around the world.

Campbell and Breen were paired by the iMN because they are career journalists who had transitioned out of the industry with a lot more left to cover. Their combined expertise on religion is second to none in Connecticut and is sure to be well received by readers all over the Internet.

Breen authored “The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus: Dispatches from the Intersection of Christianity and Pop Culture” (Baylor) and Campbell is the author of “Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl” and the upcoming biography, “Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.”

Why are they blogging? Here’s their take on that question:

Once upon a time, an editor told Tom to contrast the resources and energy his newspaper devoted to covering primary elections (substantial) with the equivalent time we spent covering religion (insignificant). The editor then asked Tom to contrast the number of people who vote in primaries (few) with the number of people who regularly attend some religious service (many).

Ever since then, Tom’s been convinced that religion is one of the great, important stories of our time, and that very few people are trying to tell it except from a range of understandably partial viewpoints. Hot Dogma! is an attempt to rectify that, but not in a bland, eat-your-vegetables kind of way. Instead, the hope is that we can tell the stories of religious believers with good intentions, genuine insight, and the willingness to tell jokes that comes from years of defusing tense situations with humor.

Susan? She was raised a fundamentalist Christian. She just likes to argue.

More about Susan Campbell:

For more than a quarter-century, she was a columnist at the Hartford Courant, where her work was recognized by the National Women’s Political Caucus, New England Associated Press News Executives, the Society for Professional Journalists, the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the Sunday Magazine Editors Association. Her column about the shootings at lottery headquarters in March 1998 was part of The Courant’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage.

The mother of two adult sons, and the grandmother of seven, she has a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, and a master’s degree from Hartford Seminary, and she lives in Connecticut with her husband.

More about Tom Breen:

Tom Breen worked as a journalist for more than a decade, first as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and then as an Associated Press writer in West Virginia and North Carolina. At some point in a career covering everything from school board meetings to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he converted to Catholicism. No longer a journalist, he is once again a resident of Connecticut, where he attends church, roots for the Montreal Canadiens, and works in an office. He is the author of ‘The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus,’ as well as a regular stream of passive-aggressive Twitter updates about people in coffee shops who behave badly.

More about the Independent Media Network:

Launched in January 2011 by and LocalOnlineNews.TV, the Connecticut-based iMN has a goal of helping professional journalists build sustainable business models on their own after they have either been downsized or otherwise transitioned out of the industry. The network ( now has more than 70 members, including (George Gombossy), (Dan Lovallo), Jonathan Pelto’s Wait, What? blog,,, and many others.

For more information or to arrange an interview with either Susan Campbell or Tom Breen, please contact Doug Hardy by email or call 860-543-9453. You can also try Lon Seidman by email or call 860-227-4566.

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