Monday, July 17, 2017

The Benedict Option: Introduction

You would not believe what the library wait list was like for this next specimen. You'll believe it a lot less when we get into it and you realize that, statistically speaking, the author thinks that most of the people reading his book are barbarians.

It would be very, very easy to just call Rod Dreher a fundie and leave it at that, but that wouldn't be terribly accurate. It's true that Dreher is a straight-up theocon of the type who believes that gay people getting married is the worst thing to happen to the country in a decade. On the other hand, Dreher is a highly irregular theocon. He's certainly nothing like the Mrs. Lovejoys I knew and avoided back my rural western Kansas childhood. He's actually something of a worldly aesthete who reads Dante, drinks fine wine and goes on yearly foodie tours of Europe. There are probably a lot of those filthy secular types who wish they could live as fancy as Dreher.

But that's just the surface, let's talk about Dreher as a writer. To start with, he's smug. So very, very smug. He's probably the smuggest writer I've ever read, in fact. That Dreher considers himself superior to liberals is not at all unusual, but he maintains a similar level of derision for most conservatives. Put it this way - do you consider yourself a rock-ribbed conservative, but don't really care much about who gets married? Then get the hell out.

Gay marriage was the inspiration for The Benedict Option, the thing that convinced Dreher that Western civilization was doomed (although Dreher also believes that it's all been downhill since the Renaissance). It's the end of a long and not especially interesting journey that saw Dreher flitting from Christian denomination to Christian denomination in search of one to feed his unquenchable need for control. Alas, though that diabolic Obergefell decision seems to have put his search into a tailspin, and now he's instead decided that the future for his kind is more monastic.

...Well, maybe not literally monastic, but I'm sure we'll get into that.

I wasn't kidding when I said that there was an impressive waiting list for this thing, and there still is. Consequently, I'm going to be sprinting through this thing in hopes of wrapping it up before the middle of August. Yeah, it wouldn't cost much to keep it a week longer, and I'd probably be doing the next sap in line a favor, but such trickery goes against the morals I can't have since I'm not an according-to-Dreher "orthodox Christian." Did I forget to mention that Dreher also specifically looks down on most of his co-religionists? He does, and to understand why we first need to get a handle as to what the hell an "orthodox Christian" is and why none of you pricks qualify regardless of what you believe...


  1. your return to dissection is awesome

  2. I can't decide if he's going to end up an evangelical for the money (despite the lack of religious bling) or some kind of Wiccan, convinced he can summon the Dark Lord and the Dark Lord can't wait to obey.