Saturday, March 04, 2006

Godspy sayz "Crunchy Cons Rising: An Interview with Rod Dreher, by Angelo Matera"

Get the interview here!

Here's the money quote:
The Republicans focus on economic liberty and the Democrats focus on sexual liberty—both of them are materialist-oriented. The quest for happiness is either through sex or the pursuit of riches. They presume that human happiness will be satisfied through material gain. But when Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone, it wasn't just a nice moral thought. He was telling an anthropological truth. We, as conservatives and as Christians, know that we are ensouled creatures and our souls are restless until they rest in God.

Wendell Berry has written pretty movingly about how liberals and conservatives work today to enrich themselves by exploiting the basest of material desires, and this works to destroy the community. I think there are an awful lot of conservative business people getting rich off the spiritual destruction of individuals and communities in part by encouraging people to believe that fulfilling their desire for material satisfaction is not only their right, but their salvation. This is a lie. I do look forward to the day when honorable liberals and conservatives can come together to work on a civic republican ethic and sense of community. We have to stop seeing people as merely the sum of their sexual desires and consumer impulses. That is a radical thing to say in this society, and something I can agree with liberals on wholeheartedly.
Many American Catholics would benefit from taking Mr. Dreher's counsel to heart. Part of being in the world but not of it is facing this fact. Catholics in America will never truly be at home in either the Democratic or Republican party. Neither party fully proposes CST and allows Christians to witness to Christ in the public square, in the ways that truly matter, at least.

We're not autonomous individuals. We're not mere cogs in the great Machine of Humanity. We're are people that live in relationship with each other and with our God. When we live who we truly are, we order society in the ways that truly honor ourselves. When we don't, we get the world as it is.

I'm not fond of the label "crunch conservative"--or "crunchy liberal." However, I admire the lifestyle Mr. Dreher encourages. It reminds me of the particular distributism that G.K. Chesterton championed in Edwardian England early last century. I hope my family and I have the courage to align our lives more closely to this vision of life in the future. I'm not seeing a serious downside. Yet.

Update: Paul over at Thoughts of a Regular Guy weighs in!