|The Benedict Option is not like this at all, except to get you to buy it.|
You can't judge a book by its cover.
Or its contents.
Or reviews of its contents, by people who have bought the book, read what's in it, and told you what's in it. They might have misread it. So who can you trust?
When it comes to this book, the only person you can trust is you and Rod. And, frankly, you probably put too much trust in yourself as well.
You see, Rod Dreher's a professional writer, but are you a professional reader? Of course not; there's no such thing. So you probably misread it, too, whether or not you think you "get" the Benedict Option.
As George Weigel says,
There has been a lot of talk about a “Benedict Option” recently, and while no one seems to know precisely what that might mean, the Ben-Op, at least as advertised, does suggest a certain withdrawal from public life for the sake of forming intentional communities of character.
But there's a 50/50 chance that George Weigel misread the book as well, and since reading Ben-Op-type books is his business, what chance do you have of getting it right?
That's right, flatfoot - none at all.
So why even take the chance of embarrassing yourself by becoming confused over details you will almost certainly misread and misunderstand? Just leave the book out of it entirely.
Instead, send an Interac e-transfer for $14.98 (the Amazon hardcover price) with the subject line "I get the Benedict Option!" to
Now, you, too, can be officially on record as someone who "gets" the Benedict Option, but, even better, you have now perfectly insulated yourself from the all too likely charge of having misread it.
UPDATE: A law professor at one of the country’s elite law schools - I'm going to call him "Professor Kingsfield" to preserve his privacy - just emailed me to ask,
But, Keith, this misreading plague...is no one immune from it? What about Rod Dreher himself? When we read his blog, which amounts to little more than links to his readings of others stitched together with his commentary - is it possible he could be guilty of misreading, too?
The professor was clearly rattled. After all, like Wile E. Coyote and his precipitous dash off the cliff, the good scholar knew he had just opened a void of nihilism beneath his feet, one where no one ever read things correctly, and the world was nothing but a compound horror of misreading piled upon misreading.
But I was happy to reassure him: only other people misread things. As with the research behind his Benedict Option, and going back to the very first note he copied from a kindergarten mate to stick on Mam and Paw's refrigerator, Rod Dreher always gets it right.