Friday, June 12, 2015

Safe Spaces for Benedict Option BOppers

Are you a Benedict Optioneer, or, the abbreviation I feel best captures your essence, a BOpper?

Then you'll need a Safe Space in which to do your thing, whether it's to thoughtfully discuss the many possibilities of what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ could even be on the Internet - oh, and for that you'll also need an Internet and someone to keep it up, won't you - or simply to pray hard, eat crawfish, drink beer, and keep singing, because "as long as you can still make a roux, everything’s going to be alright" anyway (because, as everyone else knows, this whole charade you've been gulled into is nothing more than a marketing campaign for an unwritten book).

Of course, you won't be capable of creating and maintaining that Safe Space yourself, sillies. Don't be ridiculous. If you were that strong-willed and capable, you wouldn't be retreating into playing Dungeons & Dragons for Christians (D&D/C) in a vain attempt to overcome your post-Modern ennui, would you, you would just be another real Christian making his way through life as he finds it.

But since you are one of those fluffy, fantasizing BOpper lambs instead, let me introduce you to two guys who will be creating and maintaining that Safe Space within which you can safely let your eyes roll back in your head as you await that time after the collapse when you will miraculously emerge from your fantasy and restore moral order on Earth.

The one on the left is Mr. Police Officer (po-LEECE OFF-ih-sir) and the one on the right is Mr. Soldier (SOUL-djer).

Neither of them have the luxury of chatting on the Internet between eating crawfish, drinking beer and singing, because they have real and important jobs to do, little lambs, which is to keep your self-indulgent, post-Modern Christian hippie asses safe at the risk of losing their own while you complain about how the food out there is so ordinary, the choices on TV are so poor, and how everything that's wrong with your children is someone else's fault while you play Dungeons & Dragons for Christians as a way to escape the horror of it all.

Don't you worry, little BOpper lambs, they'll be there to keep your Safe Spaces safe while you await that far eschatological moment in history reserved just for you.

And while you wait, look! I've created a badge to honor you, special little BOpper lambs, yes you!

Unlike real Christians who throughout history simply played the cards they were dealt and soldiered through on their faith and will until this glorious moment to give birth to you finally, finally arrived, I know how you so detest the "culture" that you find yourself so cruelly born into. And so to signify your rejection, I've enclosed that hateful landscape in a big red no-no circle and slash. I've even distilled your essence into a motto for you.

Sleep tight, little BOpper lambs, and then awake, refreshed, to pray hard, eat crawfish, drink beer, sing, and play another round of Dungeons & Dragons for Christians on the Internet with your friends. Mr. Police Officer and Mr. Soldier will be there to protect you from your enemies and keep you safe, and now you even have your very own badge to represent you.

Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™: what people like you are saying

Christians thoughtfully considering Rod Dreher's Benedict Option

Don't you be left out or, even worse, Left Behind. Are you considering Rod Dreher's Benedict Option™ like your fellow Christians pictured above? It's what the popular, topical Christian is doing these days, you know.

UPDATE (as they say): This just in: residents of Rod Dreher's old East Dallas stomping grounds awoke this morning to find hand written notes warning of the end of the world affixed to their doors. Although the notes were ostensibly from Jesus, one respondent clearly notes that this was "not Jesus' style".

To date, Rod Dreher's efforts to invent and promote a subject for him to write another book about himself about has largely been confined to the Internet and those communities whose credulity makes a Snopes a perennially valuable online asset, but to drive interest in apocalyptic fearmongering deep into the heartland, a more individually tailored, one-on-one effort may be needed as well.

With not only individual messages of outreach but ones personalized to the point of being hand written as well, Rod Dreher is certainly to be commended for going that extra mile, if indeed these thoughtful missives are a part of that additional tactical effort.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


This is an example of why I haven't been wringing my hands about the upcoming synod. It turns out that Cardinal Kasper did some exaggeratin' about the Pope being on board with his proposal of greater complacency mercy towards adulterous couples and homosexuals.

As Arroyo continued to question him, the cardinal appeared to be increasingly exasperated and defensive, and at one point denied that he had made any proposal at all. Responding to Arroyo’s observation that priests were contending with divorcees and even homosexuals who were demanding that they receive Communion because “this is clearly what the pope wants,” Kasper responded: “Well this is a misunderstanding, and first of all, it was a question, and I put the question to open the debate. It’s not a proposal. And therefore, of course a couple can come and want Holy Communion. I spoke about a penitential process, a penitential way, it needs time.”

“But you do understand, when a churchman like yourself, a theologian, an esteemed international figure, a curial official, says ‘here is my proposal and the pope agrees with me,’...”

“Well I did not say that,” retorted Kasper.

“Well you did say, and the quote is: ‘Clearly this is what he wants’ and ‘the pope has approved of my proposal,’” responded Arroyo.

“No, he did not approve my proposal,” the cardinal replied. “The pope wanted that I put the question, and afterwards, in a general way...before all the cardinals. He expressed his satisfaction with my talk, but not in the end, not in the special question. I would not say that he approved the proposal, no, no no.”

"No, no, no." I hope this development doesn't surprise anyone here. Pope Francis condemned "gender ideology" again recently, this time comparing it to the Hitler Youth. Maybe that was a message delivered to the German Cardinal?

Kasper’s new attitude regarding the pope’s position dovetails with the pope’s own increasing public reticence regarding Kasper’s proposal. Following a massive and sustained outcry from clergy and faithful against the proposal, the pope no longer makes statements urging more laxity towards people in illicit unions and has increasingly spoken in favor of traditional marriages, urging larger families and denouncing gender ideology. His statements about the second synod, scheduled for this October, have become increasingly vague, and he has recently hinted that he no longer seeks to give Communion to the divorced and “remarried.”

There are already actions that the Church mercifully makes available to divorced persons. Confession, annulment, and then full communion and the ability to get remarried in the church. No one ever said this was easy.

My advice to Catholics and others: don't strain too hard rubber-necking at the train wreck named Kasper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Preemie first 80 days

Ross Douthat provides an "effective example of the Benedict Option"

I fact checked the following passage from this source, and it seems to be true.

The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has called Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where Tim Keller serves as senior pastor, an effective example of the Benedict Option for our twenty-first century, post-Christian context. Like other TGC-inspired communities, Redeemer aims to blend countercultural biblical faithfulness with a Christ-exalting, city-embracing vision.

It took me awhile to figure out that TGC stands for The Gospel Coalition. It is obviously part of the growing coalition of Benedict Option compliant organizations, abbreviated as BenOpCoOp, which is in turn abbreviated BOCO. Here's the passage from the aforementioned Pastor Keller which provides the fact check.

Near the very end of this book, Douthat (whom I have not met as of this writing) very kindly used our Redeemer Presbyterian Church as a good example of some of the things he proposes for the church in our time. When I read it I was startled, then humbled, then strongly overwhelmed by a sense that, for all God's kindness to us over the years, we at Redeemer are so far from realizing our goals and aims. It actually discouraged me for several days until I noticed a little quote by G. K. Chesterton that Douthat cites near the end of his book. In The Everlasting Man Chesterton surveys the many forces over the last 2,000 years that threatened and should have destroyed Christianity.

“'Time and again,' Chesterton noted, 'the Faith has to all appearances gone to the dogs.' But each time, 'it was the dog that died.'”

So I don't know why we're waiting for a book about the Benedict Option when it's already being lived out by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, anyone who home-schools their kids, people who grow their own food, Catholic integralists, people without cable television and anyone disgusted by Bruce Jenner and the Kardashians. Feel free to add your own definitions of the Benedict Option in the comments below. The more reasons everyone has to not waste their money on a senseless book, the better.