Notes In Defense of Rod Dreher

Notes In Defense of Rod Dreher April 4, 2017

Prof. Dr. Photogenic
Prof. Dr. Photogenic


My review of Rod Dreher’s book, The Benedict Option, has been replied to by the author. I will compose write a reply to it tonight, but before I do, I think it is important for me to mention some reasons why I think Dreher should be defended from some of his critics online right now.

  1. Credentialism – I don’t care how many degrees or diplomas someone has or doesn’t have. MacIntyre, for instance, does not have a Ph.D., and good for him. To put down Dreher for credentialist reasons is not something I will stand for. As a first generation college student, I do not welcome accidental put-downs of my family or heritage.
  2. Ad Hominem – I don’t think the ad hominem fallacy works here. I wrote about Dreher’s book being personal and I tried to show how personally I took it. That he then attacks me as a person is a fair game. I think I was critical of him within the context of his book, but his less contextualized comments are not beyond the pale here. Plus, they are really funny.
  3. Links – There are some unwritten rules in online sparring and argument. One of them is a principle of credibility and generosity, which means linking to people’s stuff. Dreher knows very well that a link to my forthcoming book by him is value-added, regardless of what he thinks of its value or merit. That he did link to it is generous and I thank him for it.
  4. Wit – I don’t care what you think of Dreher or me personally, but I hope you can appreciate the exchange of wits that real conflict brings. I would have personally preferred more substantive responses to my claims, but he took the route of being entertaining and fun, with numerous memorable moments. The dialectic is set. I only wish his title would not have been so matchy matchy with his image. But free trade kombucha and daiquiri music is really worth a golf clap.
  5. Photogenic – Dreher thinks I’m pretty. I’m aware that he was calling me vain but I am vain enough to take it as a compliment anyway.

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