It seems an incredible thing for me to contemplate, but ten years ago today, in a decision that I could not possibly have predicted would have as far reaching consequences on my life as it has, I signed up and created my RedState account.

I was motivated to first start reading blogs by the public de-pantsing of Dan Rather over the TANG “fake but accurate” story at the hands of the blogs, and was fascinated by the promise of citizen-activated journalism. I was led to RedState by, of all things, Hugh Hewitt’s book on blogging which indicated that anyone could sign up for RedState and start their own diary. And so I came and signed up, and wrote diaries. In July of 2005, the Directors asked me to become a regular front page contributor. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Throughout the years, my fellow co-bloggers have come to be counted among my closest friends. Although we have been a rotating group of usually 10-15 people, I can say with pride that I have now met all the RedState contributors I have served with, with the exception of the current Repair Man Jack. In addition to writing together and seeing each other at conferences, we talk with each other all day long over the Internet on all sorts of topics, almost none of which are political. Our discussions frequently devolve into epic, brawling disagreements that can drag on for days. All of us, to a man, have disagreed pointedly with things that all the rest of us have done, and yet it is a credit to the collegiality and friendship that this site has built and fostered that people who read the front page regularly would have no idea how infrequently we have consensus about anything, except the notion that human life is sacred, both within and without the womb.

I think I can speak for almost all of my colleagues when I say that over the years, we have become more than a group of co-bloggers. We have become a sort of family. When I need prayers, the first place I go is to my RedState family. When I want to share joyous news, the same. When I got married this last fall, I was privileged to have five people in my wedding party who were people I met through RedState, and an additional number of guests I met through RedState who traveled a long way to be there in support. That is to say nothing of the times that the connections and friendships I made through this site helped me and my family to avoid starvation when I lost my job in the worst part of the recession in 2010 at the same time that I was going through painful personal and family struggles. It is not an exaggeration to say that the decision to sign up at RedState was easily one of the most momentous, and ultimately positive, watershed moments in my life.

And so, while I frequently disagree with my colleagues on matters ranging from politics, to tactics, to religion, to philosophy, to whether Firefly was an entertaining show, I will gladly take them and this site over any others out there. And although I am often frustrated by the foibles of our commenters, please know that I am also eternally grateful for the people who have committed to opening this site every day and seeing what is on offer. I can only hope that I have played some small part in making the effort worthwhile over the years.

Thanks and God bless.