Tuesday, April 14, 2015

At last: David French calls out self-dealing sellouts like Rod Dreher

At last.

David French at NRO says what I've been saying all along, in a higher profile venue with better credentials than I can muster.

Ever since the Battle of Indiana, Rod Dreher has been quoting anonymous e-mails and other conversations with conservatives in higher education. The message from each of them is roughly the same: It’s worse than you think, if our views were known, we’d have real trouble on campus, and the campus is closing to Christian thought — with even Christian campuses bowing to the PC gods.

And concludes:

Every single person who is a Christian who stays “in the closet” — who’s timid about his or her faith — provides fuel to the PC fire, contributing to the notion that there really is something to be ashamed of, that what he believes is somehow wrong.

In reality, the timid Christian has already lost. Without a single act of overt censorship, the forces of PC intolerance end debate, silence a thoughtful voice, and make other Christians feel more isolated than they should.

The courageous Christian (“courage” is a strong word when there’s no physical danger), however, not only calls their bluff, he or she finds allies, and also discovers that even individual Christians still have extraordinary legal and cultural power to impact their campuses (and the broader culture). In real war, it’s typically safer inside the foxhole — huddled outside the sight of the enemy. In the culture war, the foxhole is exactly where the other side wants you, while they roam free, unopposed, across the cultural landscape.

Timid Christians are the masters of self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, things are getting worse. Partly because of you.

Like the native African brokers on the docks in Ghana singing "Sail Away" to their captive fellows as they ushered them aboard the cruise ships to their own Benedict Options, when someone is selling you out the way Dreher is, they're usually getting some kind of personal cut out of it for doing so.


  1. We have Christian students being killed in Kenya. In Egypt, Coptic Christians are massacred daily. In Pakistan a dozen or more Christians die in a church bombing. The Holy Father takes the world media to task for ignoring the plight of these suffering and dying saints.

    Meanwhile a simpering snot-nosed crybaby publishes another volume of whining about how his family spoke badly about him after he threw a fit and left his hometown. In between blegs about his new book he whinges about how Christians need to put on their Birkenstocks, grab their granola and head to the sheltered communities with nice air conditioning and swimming pools, where they can read all of his books in safety.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    1. I'd admire the "Holy Father's" stance if the "Holy Father" did something more than talk -- like cancel all "ecumenical dialogue" with Muslims or sell some of the billions the Vatican owns in stocks, bonds, securities, real estate and other financial properties, and donates the proceeds to organizations that help persecuted Christians regardless of whether they're Catholic!

    2. One more thing: What's the Vatican ostensibly influential diplomatic corps doing about the problem?

  2. “Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This [taking a rosary from his pocket] is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative.”
    - Hilaire Belloc, 1906 speech in Salford

  3. I just wanted to add that a couple of hours ago I had the most marvelous Benedict Option on what must have been some sort of hoagie roll with a spicy brown mustard that really brought out the flavor of whatever I'll invent next to have been inside it.

    Because being a non-timid Christian is fairly cut and dried: first you become a Christian, then...well, that's about the whole of it, isn't it.

    But the Benedict Option! It's a floor wax! No, it's a dessert topping! No, it's a floor wax and a dessert topping!

    It's a baby wildebeest, just rising on it's tiny, wobbly legs. It's a gondola cruise in the moonlight with your amore. It's time to take that hill, Marine. It's a rainy Wednesday afternoon when it seems you don't have a friend in the world, and then a little lost puppy comes up to you and looks up with hope in his enormous brown eyes. It's that tough steak you sent back to the kitchen, because nobody's gonna treat your girl that way.

    But mostly it will probably be about the steps Rod took next in his cozy corner when his town decided not to give his Dante book the same welcome it gave its predecessor.

    Meanwhile, being a Christian. You mean that's all? That's all you get? Just that?

    Not even a baby wildebeest?

    1. It's the view from your table!

  4. Speaking of views from your table, today he's having a histrionic fit about a Sizzler commercial from 1991. Because something about Wellbutrin and the Sex Pistols. I have no idea.

    1. I saw that. He's a joke. A sick joke. He makes a living from being a writer...

      And the way he cycles between food porn pictures and whatever topic of the day is making him crazy. It's nuts.

    2. Today, he again posted an article and pontificated all over it before noticing that it's 3 years old. Then he "Updates" to say, well, someone just sent it to him today, but it's still important, So There. I can't count how many times he's done this. Wants to be taken seriously; can't remember to notice the dates on things before writing a couple thousand words about them and posting. Tiresome. (Well, he wrote very few of the words. Mostly, as usual, he cuts and pastes most of the article in question with a few of his comments thrown in.)

    3. Yes, and that article he yammers about is the same article he yammered about last year.


      And then, when called out on the age of the original story, wrote this "apology".


      "Bottom line: all of us have to do a better job of checking the dates on these stories before we post them. I’ll do better on this. What Saletan observes here is an unfortunate thing, but it’s not a right-wing media conspiracy; it’s just carelessness and the pressure to pass on information without checking it out. Many of us are guilty of this. The after-birth abortion story is still outrageous, but the fact that it was reported two years ago and nothing much came of the proposal it discussed significantly diminishes its heat. Had I known it was two years old, I wouldn’t have put it on the blog — not because it’s any less offensive a concept, but because it was nothing new."

      Yet today, when this is pointed out to him he updates:

      "It’s all connected. The passage of three years since the publication of the British paper does not obviate its relevance to the present moment."

      Of course, his excuse (offered in the comments) is that he is in a hurry going through an airport, and that he gets SO MANY articles e-mailed to him each day, and anyway this is still an important article since something else altogether different is happening in The Netherlands.

      To borrow a phrase from one who is far wiser than Dreher: "What a maroon!"

    4. ...it’s just carelessness and the pressure to pass on information without checking it out...

      O, the pressure he endures for us!

      P.S. One guy's definition of pressure.

    5. I've now seen the post you mention, caille, and it makes me wonder just how cynical someone has to be to have that reaction to it, much less make all the effort to publicly post that reaction (especially under such pressure).

      I really despise cynicism.

      As the old saying goes: cynics have no heroes.

  5. And then there is this, highly relevant moment in modern history.


    I wonder...if I sent him a picture of the last bite of meat loaf from my dinner as I eat it in front of Aunt Ethel Bailey's old farmhouse down in SE Kansas, would that get the same adoring reception? It's a real pretty farmhouse with a nice garden and classic barn out back. Do you think I'd merit a post on the Great One's "Foodie and Forgetfulness" blog?

    1. With regard to that picture, I really thought it was the "Leaning Tower of Pizza".

    2. The kitsch, it burns.
      Poor Dante.

    3. If you notice in that picture there is a security camera on the building. It is likely capturing the moment when Dreher's correspondent is taking this picture.

      I can only imagine the conversation that would take place should someone actually review that piece of security footage.

    4. If one didn't know better already, one would get the impression from that professionally-crafted post that Dante lived for awhile in Philadelphia.