Is this an option for everyone? Dreher calls his idea “the Benedict Option”, but is it really an option for all people? Or is this available only for those with privilege?
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
Dreher’s choice of the Rule of St. Benedict as the tool to frame his essay on Christian community seems to me a major reason for interpretive misunderstandings of how radically separated he intends this community to be. What he is actually proposing is no different from the basic strategies Christians have employed to create and influence local communities for centuries.
As I, like the narrators of his albums, work out the big questions, Springsteen’s music has been both a puzzle and provocation. Not every album was a home run, but for him, that wasn’t really the point as much as it was a true chronicle of his own questions and pursuit of better answers.
Like many of the writers in the collection, it took leaving the church I grew up in to find my way to a new understanding of God. But in fact, this “faith journey” was a kind of return—to something my childhood church community had once known, but forgotten.