Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Benedict Option: Rod Dreher, Christianity's own Trump Drumpkin

Rod Dreher - Drumpkin
The beatific purity of the Drumpkin

If, as Bret Stephens caustically suggests, retreating into a nirvana that rejects all but the purest of purities is the most direct route for Republicans to achieve their true, subliminal goal - electing Hillary - then I would submit that the parallel most direct route for Christians to achieve a similar goal - a Dark Age wasteland populated overwhelmingly by hedonistic seculars and homicidal Muslims - is to endorse and pursue our own trumpiest of trumpitudes, Rod Dreher's Benedict Option.

Indeed, the cynical demagogy driving Dreher's Drumpkin enterprise is nothing less than a schadenfreude I'll call the Great Omission (for obvious reasons) which requires that any opposition to the particular history he desires perish in internecine conflict or otherwise self-destruct without burdening him with external effort.

In a recent post following one revealing, among other things, a potential publisher's skepticism regarding his book scam, he ends with this priceless paragraph:

Me, I don’t trust the GOP, but I am resisting being pissed off, because anger is only going to blind us to what needs to be done, and may cause us to commit to futile causes. Trump is not my guy, and Trumpism not a credible answer. This is why I’m working on developing the Benedict Option idea as a creative, realistic way forward for small-o orthodox Christians. The GOP is going to do what it’s going to do, but it’s almost certainly not going to be doing much that defends my interests as an orthodox Christian — not only because its donor class and elites dislike bitter clingers like me, but also because the country is moving away from the things we believe in.

You can't rely on external politics to solve your external political problems, folks, and you sure can't rely on that false prophet Trump preying on your fears about America declining into a Dark Age while offering you hope about making America great again.

Instead, you should work with the true prophet Drumpkin - your idea cost, his publishing profit - to solve those external political problems involving others that nothing else can, endure the Dark Age and make Christianity great again. Face it, any alternative only spells your doom.

On the eve of our Savior's birth those of us still subscribing to the Great Commission rather than the Great Omission - the Rod Dreher's Benedict Option - and thinking Christianity's great enough just as it is, well maybe we're just losers.

I keep hearing this Great Omission Benedict Option thing is going to be yuge. We'll see. Maybe it'll depend on whether that publisher decides we're in a Dark Age or not.

Until then, Merry Christmas


  1. Dreher's writings continue to convince me that his Benedict Option is much less a religious thing than it is a political thing. As we know, he's discussed Catholic BenOpt instances, Orthodox BenOpt instances, and evangelical BenOpt instances, and has even touted Jewish and Islamic BenOpt analogs.

    So it is easy to wonder just what precisely is "orthodox" about his "small-o orthodox Christian" Benedict Option. The "o" seems very small indeed.

    OTOH, one constant in his BenOpt writings is how the US Republican Party no longer represents Dreher and his ilk (as if he ever had anything to do with it in the first place -- see his 2-minute hates of Bobby Jindal, his favoring of the Democrat for La. governor, his endorsement of Jim Webb back in the day, etc.). Rather, the BenOpt seems to me to be a convenient way of letting the Democrats win (which is what he wants anyway) in exchange for them leaving him and his happy few somewhat alone*. Convenient, in that he gets to snipe at various conservative and GOP politicians for a paycheck, while avoiding responsibility for a bad result.

    *Of course, progressives in power will never "leave alone" anyone who speaks contrary to the progressive party line.

    1. Pik, I agree that's political - in the same sense that the mean girls' table in the cafeteria is political, that is, it's completely personal ego-cliquish rather than political in the sense that it seeks to make X do/not do Y to whom/whatever by a means short of the sword or gun. What's political, though, about overtly or passive-aggressively mocking other Christians - Catholics, Evangelicals, etc. - for their perceived faults or inadequacies? That's pure Drumpism.

      One of our anonymous commenters very aptly pointed out the way that Dreher's BO functioned to describe a Safe Space writ large for our working snowflake, but against the backdrop of Trump as an index I see that more as just a designed in consequence.

      The two driving elements that make Drumpism in the theoblogosphere - for where else is he known these days? - the equivalent of Trumpism in the genuine public political sphere is, first and foremost, his demagoguery - if you don't listen to Drump, you'll get steamrolled by history, and only Drump has the plan to save you; and, a close second, his indiscriminate criticism of just about everything else but his narcissistic Drumpism - food being an exception, but only because it functions for him at a reptilian brain level in lieu of sex.

      Where Trump at least is positively talking up Trump, Drump is formally going through the same motions for the sake of some sort of schadenfreude against the world he finds himself living in; pay no attention to the benefits he reaps from it which makes his enterprise possible in the first place.

      Shorter: Drump is Christianity's Anthony Fremont

      Wish it into the corn field.

    2. Pik, I agree that's political - in the same sense that the mean girls' table in the cafeteria is political, that is, it's completely personal ego-cliquish...

      Yes, yes, yes. This is made apparent by Dreher's statement in this post:

      I also believe that the economic elites who support both parties care more about their own narrow interests than the interests of their countrymen. This year, in Indiana, with the RFRA controversy, conservative voters saw for the first time business elites take a stand against social conservatives (as opposed to staying on the sidelines). They would rather see the nation and its history, its traditions, and its traditional liberties, dissolve than do anything that gets in the way of making money and pushing cultural revolution, both on this country and others.

      One may have many reasons to believe that the GOP is not in touch with the populace, especially the conservative populace, but I don't think that a few corporations toeing the LGBTQ+ line so as not to offend a few customers is Cause #1, or Cause #10 for that matter. Our problems and the dysfunction are far larger than that.

      However, it's the thing that Rod Dreher is most concerned with, and therefore it becomes the top political problem of the day -- ISIS and Iran be damned -- and one that requires an Occupy Yourself movement named the Benedict Option. So yes -- I agree it is indeed political in the "personal ego-cliquish" sense you note.

  2. Like Wendy, The Practical Conservative wants to believe in Peter Drumpkin, but she's having a bit of difficulty at present.

    1. I just use Benedict Option as a shorthand. I'm not pro-Dreher and recognize that it's a hustle on his part. I think it's a mistake to think of Dreher as a kind of Trump character. He's not larger than life or incredibly popular. Wendell Berry of all people is probably closer to a Trumplike figure as far as agrarian/distributist/trad sphere stuff goes.

      All I want is to live in a world where it's normal to have kids, be home with them and hang out with other women doing the same. That desire drives a lot of the hippie tendencies among conservatives.

      I did think that if conservatives were going to complain about how oppressed they were by their neighbors, that they should make their neighbors fellow conservatives and see how that goes. That was really the genesis of my blogging on "Benedict Option" traditionalist LARPing. The other piece was wanting to find respite and provide encouragement for all the exhausted Christian housewives I know killing themselves trying to live up to an unattainable ideal and being snarked at by, well, people like you guys for the trying.

      I'm pretty exhausted by my passel of energetic children, so I guess that's all I have to say about this in this space.

    2. I hear ya, and I think I understand. But, in my experience (as godmother to a convert who spent 23 years in a Catholic "charismatic covenant community"), ISTM that these parachurch communal experiments almost always end badly. Very, very badly, with broken marriages and ruined lives. Just the other day I was reading about BO-like compounds in evangelical-land, at a discernment blog called Spiritual Sounding Board. I can't relate to many of the perspectives represented there, but I must say that the descriptions of toxic, abusive communities struck a chord. Whenever a community thinks it's better than the Church -- or called to enlighten and rejuvenate the Church -- it's asking for trouble. It's one thing if it seeks and gets the Church's blessing (a la Saint Francis and his friars minor). But if it sets itself up as a spiritually superior, safer alternative to the Church, then Katie bar the door.

    3. I just use Benedict Option as a shorthand.

      Unfortunately, Practical, if you merely use the phrase "Benedict Option", Rod Dreher owns you as an explicit endorser. Hell, he's already so shamelessly into appropriating anything and everything he can as examples positively blessing and endorsing his hustle that you could use "Making Mudpies" and have an even chance of being tractor-beamed into his project.

      Your choice, but that's just how the intellectually dishonest and amoral realm of Rod Dreher operates.

      It's like I like to frequently point out, it's just amazing how many people signify their agreement with my commentary and gratitude for me making it by constantly wearing clothing out in public.

    4. Of course, the unfortunate aspect of it being possible to glibly and opportunistically suck things into the Benedict Option is that things can glibly and opportunistically get sucked into the Benedict Option - not all necessarily under Rod Dreher's control.

      The nuns on the bus, for example - a prime example of the Benedict Option, until such time as Rod explicitly reads them out of it.

      Or the Castro Street Snoodling Club, all dedicated BenOppers, I hear. Aren't they?

      A concept so amorphous and spongy that it can easily appropriate the work of others can sometimes find it hard to maintain its borders.

    5. To Keith's comment at 11:19 PM, the BenOpt is following precisely the same path as did the Crunchy Con "movement".

      To recap (for those who may not be familiar with Crunchy Con): it starts off with a broad statement that many can agree with and sounds attractive -- but the more that Dreher writes about it, the more it becomes apparent that the idea is about Rod Dreher's personal tastes. We seem to now be in the middle stage of the process for the BO.

      Of course the BenOpt is more dangerous than Crunchy Con-ism because it co-opts religious faith, raising the stakes to the ultimate degree. And not just any faith, but a relatively strict one that many don't know much about, leaving the reader to rely on Dreher's "expertise" with no way to critically evaluate what he says. (On that, I especially appreciate our Orthodox commenters on this blog.) The underlying fear that one's soul may be in peril is a powerful motivator.

      Worse yet, I guess, is that Dreher is effectively crowdsourcing the BenOpt, while reserving his right to judge whether your particular instance meets muster.

    6. Worse yet, I guess, is that Dreher is effectively crowdsourcing the BenOpt, while reserving his right to judge whether your particular instance meets muster.

      Pik, once difference with the Crunchy Con era is that back then Dreher wasn't snatching hundred-word comments from his readers on the second page and offering them up with a few cursory notations as his own compensated front page blog production.

      But I think this exchange speaks to your concluding comments best; emphases mine.

      Pat concludes:

      That’s the rub, for me — these Benedict option discussions seem to be much about critiquing other folks’ choices and very little about what choices the option itself will involve and how they will be any better. Meanwhile, you get your own spiritual grounding from the Orthodox church’s traditions and choices. Why not just encourage people to join the Orthodox church, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel?

      [NFR: I would love for everybody to become Orthodox, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon, and besides, I know ex-Orthodox Christians who came out of churches that worshiped the tribe, and who lost their faith because of it. You can just as easily go to hell out of the Orthodox Church as any other if you refuse to follow Christ — and because you had the Sacraments and the Liturgy to guide you, you may have even less excuse. I will be spending the next half a year, as I said, going in-depth on the Ben Op. I won’t report back here on the blog everything that I learn, because hey, I’m writing a book. But it is past time to put meat on these bones. — RD]

      Rod built his BO marketing buzz, not by putting forth a thought-through concept the traditional way, but rather by cowd-sourcing responses to the marketing question "What does the phrase ____ mean to you?"

      Now, after hinting at having landed a contract, he is going full Pelosi: you will have to buy his book to find out what the official examples of the Benedict Option are, or even whether they're his.

      But as I already pointed out, like similar, non-falsifiable mass-buzz-memes (e.g., climate change is responsible for Syrian migration; and for Donald Trump), the notion that Dreher controls the concept is only a courtesy extended to date, neither a fact nor a necessity.

      Without the BO possessing an immutable conceptual spine, it would be very hard for Dreher to explain why the next Planned Parenthood shooting wasn't a consequence of the Benedict Option. His only conceptual basis - there being none - would be that he didn't want that to be true.

    7. One wonders what "spending the next half a year ... going in-depth on the Ben Op" can mean. Is he going to a monastery? Or maybe an extended Euro-vacation? (More likely.) Hiking the Appalachian Trail? (Not likely.) Playing Cub-Reporter by dropping in on potential Ben Op communities that already started without him to see if they meet his ex post facto BenOpt Seal of Approval standards, e.g., by mentioning him in their communications materials? (This one seems to me as most likely.)

      Whatever it is, it'll involve photos of fine food, and much name-dropping.

    8. The Benedict Tastes Option in practice: posting BenOppy Star Wars open threads to help us strategically withdraw from trashy secular culture that celebrates MTD vapidities like "the Force".

      I'm getting the image of Dreher as a coyote with a Benedict Option book deal rat finally cornered. That coyote is going to nail that rat one way or another, because it means shreds of rat meat in the bellies of its kits, if nothing else.

    9. And right after the Star Wars OT, we get another pointless Benedict Tastes Option post -- the old warhorse of pretty church buildings.

      Like those in Italy. Never mind that they're empty -- as Dreher reminds us in this same post, it's the buildings that are important because the people will come back after the Dark Times are over or somesuch. Because, as he tells us, the "material culture" is all important, "not to communicate the gospel to an alien culture but to nurture the Church’s inner life" (emphasis in original!).

      So then what is to be done under the BO? Build new churches in the proper style as "strategic withdrawal" and in lieu of evangelization, I guess.

      I don't get it, but as we know there's no "it" to get.

    10. Well, I'm all for pretty churches, but it does seem to me that full ones are preferable to empty ones, even in these benighted pre-BenOp times. And as Anonymous observes, Dreher's own Deep South is neck-deep in non-empty churches, so where's his beef? Meanwhile Christianity is booming in Africa, without any assistance from Dreher or his BenOptOut. Go figure.

    11. Diane, I suppose Africans and the peope of Latin America and the Southern hemisphere dont count. When Dreher describes civilizational decay due to his angst-of-the-week he seems to imply that places like China Japan, South America Africa etc are not civililzed. His visions are so utterly myopic that he cant even recognize that he lives in the middle of a huge BO community called Dixie. The blinders on this man are either the size of a an aircraft carrier or the whole thing is some hustle and jive talk designed to remove money from someone's pockets You know the worship of Mammon and all that. I think one reason why Dreher mainly quotes dead sociologists and reads out of date anthropology books is that the dead social scientists can't smack him upside the head and tell him what an idiot he is for completely misreading their work.

    12. A passage of Evangelii Gaudium came to mind when I read that Dreher post on pretty churches with no one in the seats. And not to cast stones, but it says something larger to me about the BenOpt in general:

      The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism. It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity.

      This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes which appear opposed, yet all have the same pretence of “taking over the space of the Church”. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the concrete needs of the present time. In this way, the life of the Church turns into a museum piece or something which is the property of a select few.

      This way of thinking also feeds the vainglory of those who are content to have a modicum of power and would rather be the general of a defeated army than a mere private in a unit which continues to fight...

      Those who have fallen into this worldliness look on from above and afar, they reject the prophecy of their brothers and sisters, they discredit those who raise questions, they constantly point out the mistakes of others and they are obsessed by appearances. Their hearts are open only to the limited horizon of their own immanence and interests, and as a consequence they neither learn from their sins nor are they genuinely open to forgiveness. This is a tremendous corruption disguised as a good. We need to avoid it by making the Church constantly go out from herself, keeping her mission focused on Jesus Christ, and her commitment to the poor. God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings! This stifling worldliness can only be healed by breathing in the pure air of the Holy Spirit who frees us from self-centredness cloaked in an outward religiosity bereft of God. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the Gospel!

      Again, not to cast stones. But ISTM that this spiritual worldliness is a significant vulnerability of the BenOpt, and will be a large temptation to those drawn to it much less its creator.

    13. Thank you! I had never before seen that "neo-pelagian" quote in context, and I think I see exactly what the Holy Father is talking about. I know few or no ultra-rad-trads in Real Life, but I've encountered plenty online, and they do exactly what this passage describes: spend all their time judging and labeling their fellow Catholics rather than spreading the Gospel. I declare, if I see one more rad-trad dismissing faithful, devout, orthodox Catholics as "neo-Catholics," I'll spit bullets. No wonder Dreher attracts that type! All they wanna do is diss and b*tch about the Church -- they fit right in at Dreherville, and of course Dreher gloatingly encourages them.

    14. Pik, I think you've hit upon the sharpest and most damning indictment of the BO from the perspective of Christianity itself to date.

      Christianity is not something to be weaponized in some Force-y Jedi way by pouty, disaffected nerds against an evil cultural empire they have marked and listed for crimes against their psychic sensibilities.

      Moreover, for a King and a Kingdom explicitly not of this world, a "Dark Age" (or an Age of Tweets, or an Age of Nerf Socks, or an Age of Whatever) is supremely irrelevant.

      This passage you quoted should remain Exhibit A whenever the BO vanity raises its head or is otherwise cited.

    15. The quote from Pope Francis is a great corrective. It would be one thing if we had already sorted out every other problem in the Church and then said "What next? Oh, yeah... liturgical abuse. Let's have at it." But there are people who haven't been taught what an altar, a tabernacle or transubstantiation is and who can't name the four gospels.

    16. You don't overcome liturgical abuse by reading the rules louder, you overcome it with good liturgy. You don't confound someone who would rather be the general of a defeated army by tweaking his nose about his preference, you do it by being a private in a unit that continues to fight.

      As we keep telling each other, it's a mug's game to attack the BenOp phantasm directly. Just be a better disciple of Christ today than you were yesterday, and leave the burden on the BenOppers to come up with something you ought to do that you aren't doing.

  3. I hope that in saying this the readers and blog contributors who are not Orthodox (most of you by far, I estimate from my previous readings and discussions here) will not be offended: Mr. Dreher's insistence on this explicit statement of "small-o orthodox" as his comrades in this quest is troubling. He, not an Orthodox assembly of bishops or a bona fide Orthodox theologian, is putting together this "Benedict Option," and he himself is Benedict, guiding the mostly heterodox faithful while vaguely cloaking himself in his newly found and poorly understood Orthodoxy. It is indeed political. There is more of the disaffected Republican than the pious Orthodox Christian at work here. I cannot think of a single Orthodox ascetic or theologian who put it upon himself to "develop … a creative, realistic way forward for small-o orthodox Christians." The man is, as I noted in response to his praise of a security guard beating a teenage girl, a disgrace to my beloved Orthodox Church. That comment got me blocked on the Twitter too. Anger does not blind him indeed.

    But forgive me. I know I mostly just leave the occasional comment here for the somewhat sympathetic milieu. Perhaps I should not let myself get so vexed as I do from time to time about such an aberration in Orthodoxy as Rod Dreher.

    1. Dreher is really a conservative SJW wrapped in the mantle of a particularly harsh and judgmental approach to chrsistianity. He continually scans the net for signs of microaggression against right wing christians so he can then proclaim the cultural apocalypse. The BO is merely a safe space where christians can be insulated afgainst the cnstant barrage of microagressions to which they are subjected by being forced to live in a pluralisttcic society.

      Dreher does not even write like an Orthodox christian. Instead he writes like an augstinian with a sevre anxiety disorder. The problem is that his analysis of the endless microaggressions he perceives is based on either a poor understanding of the facts or through the use of hihly suspect source material ... and this coming from a man who used to be a professional journaist. Most of his blogging would not past muster in a newspaper or magazine where an editor would require accuracy and the use of vald source material. But Dreher does not need to use the gournalistic standards he may have once adhered to. He instead produces thinly vielded political commentarym thinly vieled promotion of his books because mammon is to be served above all else , or irrational emotion laden ranting rooted in structural fear and terror. Its impossible to take anything he says seriously. Sadly, he represents the obly Orthodox Christian on the national scene and his irrational and unOrthodox ranting make him a very poor representative of our shared faith. The best thing Dreher coud do for Orthodoxy is to stop writting his blog.

    2. One thingDreher has not managed to address is why anyone would want to enter a BO community in the first place. As an Orthodox christian I understand the appeal of living in a place like Eagle River Alaska where there is an informal Orthodox community near the cathedral there. But frankly I would have zero motivation to move to a community surrounded by members of different churches. I live in the deep south and am already in a devoutly religious community, almost fanatical in some ways. If the BO is successful you would likely have people segregating along confessional/denominational lines. What purpose would that serve. If the BO is supposed to happen at the parish level then the BO is what we should be doing anyway. In general formal parachurch communities have a very poor track record and I don't see Dreher being able to come upwith any viable solution. He should be consulting with some socioogists who study intentnional religious communities before setting forth ideas that or not inchoate but incoherent.

    3. What you said, Anonymous! A good, healthy parish is the answer, not an intentional parachurch quasi-cult.

  4. Actually Diane, what pussles me too is the justification for this whole BOidea. Living in the Deep South like Dreher I live in a region that is devoutly christian (albeit baptist and pentacostal) to an almost fanatical degree. Outside the major cities, the south is thousands of square miles of territory that stands in firm opposition to the things dreher despises. We have thousands of smaller towns and cities filled to teh brim with devoutly conservative christians. What practical purpose would moving to a BO communitty mean since for all practical purposes most of the Southeast *is* a BO communitty. I imaging that much of the midwest and West is teh same way outside the major cities. Dreher needs to get his head out of his a@@

    1. Lol!!!! I hear ya. "Most of the South is a BO community." That cracked me up, and it's so true. When we first moved to North Carolina over 26 years ago, we observed jokingly that it was too bad we weren't Baptist. There seemed to be a Baptist church on every corner, so we had our pick, and we'd never have to drive far. Lol!

  5. forgive the spelling too early in the morning for my diabetic eyes!!

  6. What keeps DreRod up at night is the too obvious to him fact that we Orthodox basically ignore him. He pretty much screwed himself when he got involved in the Met.Jonah foolishness and we also saw how he turned on his former Catholic Church.
    If his beloved BO is so wonderful why isn't it working in his ROCOR parish which is in danger of shutting down because of lack of members and money.

    1. Actually most Orthodox who know about Rod find him an embarrassment.

    2. Anon, that's the impression I've received, too. But when I said something to that effect on some blog combox or other, an Orthodox blogger who goes by the moniker "As Orientem" told me I was wrong and that Rod is actually highly regarded by his fellow Orthodox. He made this point much more snarkily than that, but that was the gist. I still find it hard to believe.

    3. Diane, this Ad Orientem person may be the Orthodox convert from Catholicism who runs a Blogspot called Ad Orientem. I have come across it from time to time, but it is not in my news reader. That might be telling. The Orthodox materials online I read regularly I try to tailor to some level of quality. This is just us folk in another comment box talking here, so take it for what it's worth, but I find most of the Orthodox blogs and columns that seem most popular online to have little to do with the faith I have known since infancy. That a moderately well-known convert Orthodox blogger (I think Ad Orientem is among the names folk know online among folk who know names online) gives any seal of approval to Rod Dreher is worthless. I suppose my own native Orthodox censure could fall under the same criticism, but, again, we're just chitty chatting briefly in a combox.

      One note about Anonymous's comment:

      Actually most Orthodox who know about Rod find him an embarrassment.

      This reminds me, most Orthodox (and I mean the vast majority) have no idea who Rod Dreher is. Orthodoxy is lived in real life. As I say perhaps too often, what one finds on the Internet is not the most true or accurate copy of real-life Orthodoxy.

    4. Diane: Nah. Most Orthodox have never heard of Rod. Of the small subset who have, only a sub-niche think he's all that.

    5. This reminds me, most Orthodox (and I mean the vast majority) have no idea who Rod Dreher is. Orthodoxy is lived in real life.

      I think this is telling and to the point. There is Christianity, and then there is the business of Christianity, and then there is the writing beat "Christianity & Culture".

      Dreher's writing beat used to be Peak Oil. Now it's Peak Christianity. Whatever floats his profile. Meanwhile, the Theology of Pigs and its sacrament, Parisian oysters, reigns eternal.

  7. If you want to read something really cringe-worthy, look at old Rod pimpin' his books. No one else does this. No one. His narcissism knows no bounds:

    1. Wow. That is no ordinary book-pimping. That is really unique, as you say. It's . . . so multi-faceted in its cringe-worthiness. What do you suppose the other TAC writers who contributed to that feature think? Is it possible that Rod, seeing his piece among all the others, would even consider that he committed a boorish faux pas with it?

      Why wouldn't the editor simply have told Rod to re-write it and take out the embarrassing self-promotion? Why would he let that, um, foreign object sit in the punchbowl of a feature clearly meant to be about TAC writers honoring others' works?

      - Different anon

    2. I'll see your "cringe-worthy" and raise you this Dreher post on Jungian dream analysis and "synchronicity", and how much they have meant in Dreher's life. I myself felt embarrassment merely in reading it.

      Of course, the post comes with the bonus of more book-pimping, with a l-o-n-g excerpt from The Little Way of Ruthie Leming about symbolic dreams he had in Norway etc.

      It is amazing to me that one would publish such a thing as that for the general public.

  8. Christians are being persecuted throughout this world and do you know what Dreher talked about? This restaurant that serves Oysters.

    Nice to see his priorities are in order.