I have too many half-read books on my bookshelf (or in some cases stacked in piles in my office). One of them is Crunchy Cons, by Rod Dreher, with the subtitle “How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, … America (or at least the Republican Party).”
I don’t wear Birkenstocks, I’m not all that hip (and certainly not a mama), but I am an evangelical, right-wing nature lover who buys eggs from free-range chickens even though they cost more.
Dreher sums up what it is to be a “crunchy con” (crunchy for granola-eating, and con for conservative) in A Crunchy-Con Manifesto:
1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.
3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
4. Culture is more important than politics and economics.
5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.
6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.
8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.”
10. Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.
Things that are important: faith, family, community, beauty, nature, truth, wisdom.
Grace and Peace