As the delightful giggles on crunchy-con Twitter indicate, Rod Dreher is very pleased that the forthcoming French translation of his most popular and lucrative work, The Benedict Option, was at least temporarily trending this week as the No. 1 book on Amazon.fr.
Having made the rounds in the American press this year, it was apparent to all that Dreher’s Benedict Option is a white flag in the culture wars. Dreher’s main point in the book is that “serious Christian conservatives” are no longer able to live “business-as-usual lives in America.” After making a rally during the reign of George W. Bush, Christians and other social conservatives have suffered defeat after defeat in the Obama era.
As a result, Dreher suggests that Christians completely cede the public sphere to the left, retreating into “intentional communities” of conservative Christians living, working, praying, and studying together. In The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher provides the examples of Catholic schools implementing a classical curriculum in Elk County, Pennsylvania, and the olive-farming members of the Italian Tipi Loschi community as models for the “hands on localism” of which the Benedict Option consists. Dreher’s hope is that unlike the French, Mexican, and Bolshevik revolutions and the Spanish Civil War, this time the left will largely leave Christians alone to procreate with abandon, attend the Latin mass, and homeschool lots of homophobic and racist kids.
Dreher might be a little neurotic and too revealing of his personal life, but he is not an idiot. He knows that his crunchy-con, overwhelmingly white Christian audience won’t stand a chance in a 21st-century America seething with ethnic tension under the umbrella of an increasingly totalitarian and coercive state that does not take lightly dissent from its doctrine of degenerate sexuality.
During his tenure at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher has made a living vacillating between liberal and conservative positions and has mastered the art of penning gushing, effeminate blog posts for consumption by equally neurotic, left-leaning conservative Christian women with secretly gay husbands.
When he is not white-shaming, boasting of his 0.6% black ancestry, or wearing outrageously ornate eyeglasses and women’s boots, Dreher spends his columns (often filled with more copy-and-pasted writings of other people than his own thoughts) taking his readers on an interminable emotional roller coaster back and forth between white guilt and pride in “the Western tradition” (depending on the week). Like a therapist who profits from his patients never getting better, Dreher has no real solution to any of the critiques he presents, because if he did, the drama would be over and millennial crunchy cons would not be able to share a cry with Rod over coffee and Ativan in the morning.
Maybe a bit over the top, but Dreher has certainly brought this on himself. 🙂