November 14, 2015

Goodbye, Mr. Dreher

O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.
For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.

May the Lord bless the souls of those departed in France. May He show them mercy and love. May their sins and ours be forgiven in the Face of the Most High. May His angels and saints always guide us in the paths of life and eternal life.
Rod Dreher, at the American Conservative, has long been a favorite of what could be called the "paleo-conservative granola right" or MacIntyrean right or some such. From books such as "Crunchy Cons" and "How Dante Saved My Life" to oft-linked blog posts about his home-location to Louisiana from NYC, and his somewhat amorphous (although no less discussed) "Benedict Option," he is one of the most visible public intellectuals of this group. This has remained true even with his relocation, and even with his conversion from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, he seems to have no fewer Catholic followers for that.

Mr. Dreher is usually thoughtful and considered, and his blog posts on "The American Conservative" reflect this, as do his books. With that said, I think he went a step too far last evening, before the Paris attacks were even confirmed over, when he tweeted this:

This was amidst other tweets of his offering support in various ways for the people of France, as well as a blog post entitled "Solidarité." In this post, he defends the above tweet, saying:
UPDATE.2: Some people on Twitter have their noses out of joint because I tweeted earlier saying that Angela Merkel’s generous refugee policy is going to guarantee much worse than what happened in Paris tonight in Germany. They had the idea that I’m blaming refugees for the Paris attacks. I am confident that refugees had nothing to do with this attack, nor do I expect that genuine refugees would carry out the same in Germany, or anywhere else. Merkel will have accepted over a million refugees by the end of this year, and her government is expecting millions more by 2017. 
It is difficult to say how long after such a tragedy one should wait to begin discussing the political ramifications of it, and various causes and effect. However, this reeks of political opportunism. The blood was barely dry on the streets of Parish when Mr. Dreher tweeted this. Was it absolutely necessary that he take the time, right at that moment, to reiterate what many people already suspect and know? Was not the disaster enough? Had he said enough prayers that it was time to begin prognosticating about future tragedy?

And then to be told, as if he knows the motivation of every twitter respondent, that it's because we "had the idea" that he was "blaming refugees for the Paris attacks." While that is, without doubt, what some people believed he implied (and, it would be a logical extension, without further clarification), perhaps it is that many of us feel that leaping to politics so soon, making a prediction of further attacks while not even sure the current ones have finished, using the bloodbath as a means to further one's own thought so quickly, was in some way unnecessary and imprudent; perhaps even disrespectful and hectoring. I abhor it when the Left takes an opportunity at every tragedy to immediately point a finger rightward; it is no less opportunistic and saddening for the Right to do the same.

Frankly, I expected more from Mr. Dreher. I should know better, however, than to expect that from a professional journalist. Journalists thrive on controversy, and bloggers thrive on hits. Mr. Dreher is both, and I suspect that his tweet will indeed bring more people to his website. For me, I am done with Mr. Dreher for a time. I read and review a great many articles (300+) for my links on a daily basis, and try to post thoughtful and intelligent ones. However, I do not have time to read in-depth every post by every author, and must depend on trust of website and author. This tweet, and the accompanying "double down," reduce my level of trust in what Mr. Dreher may post, and so for the time, he will no longer be appearing here.

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