Saturday, February 07, 2009

Tuning In, Turning On, Dropping Out

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I read Rod Dreher's Beliefnet blog "Crunchy Con" from time to time to try and gain some insight into the religious/political conservative mind, to keep myself honest, and because I actually do enjoy Dreher's commentary on the crunchy lifestyle. (This coming from someone who likes to send frissons of fear into my partner with remarks like, "I wonder what it would be like to build our own little chicken coop behind the garage," or "Do you think we could grow enough potatoes to feed ourselves for a year?")

With that in mind, soon-to-be economic dropout that I am I actually found myself feeling some affinity for Dreher's latest post, where he muses about the desireability of simply cutting one's attachments to a dominant society on the brink of collapse and embracing a kind of Christianized old-hippie anarchy...following in the footsteps of the ammas and abbas fleeing Byzantium and their spiritual children.

Dreher has also recently posted, with approval, about a small group of young Roman Catholics who independent of any parish or religious order have shunned their peers' popular-culture value system to adopt a monastic lifestyle in the big city, practicing voluntary poverty and service to the poor.

But...I can't help but notice that religious conservatives -- and, to be perfectly honest, religious liberals as well -- seem to want it both ways: They want to be countercultural, but they want to control the dominant culture. They want to drop out, but they also want to be class president and prom queen.

Can't have it both ways, people. You can't "not give a damn" and want to win.


Beth said...

Well, you can want to win, but you have to be willing to accept leadership by example rather than by either coercion or force ( including legal force). It has to be more of if you build it or live it, they will come type thing.

southernbooklover said...

There was an interesting article in the NY Times last week about people who have stopped using their refrigerators in order to help reduce their carbon footprint. What was most intriguing was not that some are successful and content w/ this change, but that some folks who scream environmentalism and living green said living without a fridge would be just too inconvenient. But, isn't that the point?

Loved your post about your beautiful Gertie.