Addendum: One of our readers has alerted us to this Snopes report, according to which Rod Dreher—in his article of May 8, 2017, “When Is It OK to Kill Whites?”—falsely accuses African-American professor Tommy Curry of advocating the murder of white people. According to Snopes, “After [Dreher’s] blog post was published, Curry started receiving death threats that were serious enough to warrant what he described as a constant police presence near his home.” Dreher remained unapologetic when Snopes reached out to him for comment.
This morning Rod Dreher published “Miguel Monjardino’s República” at The American Conservative. In it he glorifies the West’s colonial past, adds 21st-century African barbarians to the list of people who terrify him, and finds yet another opportunity to plug The Benedict Option. (For critiques of the latter, see Giacomo Sanfilippo’s here, George Demacopoulos’ here, and Adam DeVille’s here.)
Our readers are encouraged to read Mr. Dreher’s piece in full to form their own opinion. Here we offer only a few of his more salient points:
One of the best things — the very best thing, in fact — about traveling is getting to meet extraordinary people.
We met Miguel and Kika at a picnic table down by the harbor in Angra do Heroismo, the capital city. We arrived on Terceira for the island’s annual St. John festival. Over platters of limpets (sea snails) grilled in their shell, in olive oil and chopped garlic, we got to know each other.
Miguel explained to us how the city was vital to Portuguese trade in the East Indies, and how much money had passed through the place during Portugal’s heyday as one of the world’s great colonial powers….
But the challenges the US faces are relatively small compared to the massive problems coming hard and fast at Europe, in the form of African migration.
Where are those Africans going to go? They’re going toward Europe, which is depopulating. Miguel said that given the geography of the Mediterranean, it’s going to be very, very hard for Europe to keep African migrants from entering.
Will the latter-day descendants of those Europeans be able to hold back the “barbarian invasions” from Africa in the 21st century?
Miguel Monjardino…is a secular Benedict Option abbot, working to keep tradition alive through the new Dark Age.
Be of good cheer, reader. The times are dark, but there are men and women of good will working to guard and spread the light in the hidden places of the crumbling Empire.
A number of preliminary thoughts come to mind:
- Mr. Dreher and his family get to travel in the comfort of modern airliners, meet extraordinary people over platters of limpets grilled in their shell with olive oil and chopped garlic, and fret with their new friends about how to save Europe from the “barbarian invasions” of Africans drowning in the thousands upon thousands in a desperate bid to reach the same shores in inflatable dinghies. If Dreher and company had googled “how many have died crossing the mediterranean” on their devices between bites of oily, garlicky limpets, Google would have completed the search terms for them and brought them to this page.
- Mr. Dreher seems not to grasp the causal relationship between nearly six centuries of colonial violence perpetrated by “the world’s great colonial powers” against the planet’s non-European, non-white, non-Christian populations and the massive sociopolitical unrest, armed conflicts, and migratory movements in those same places today.
- Mr. Dreher’s scare quotes around “barbarian invasions” do nothing to mask the fact that he calls Africans “barbarians” and their desperation to cross the Mediterranean at all costs—such desperation that potential drowning seems better than what they are leaving behind—as “invasions.” (“Infestation” and readings of “The Snake” seem the next logical step in the safety of his cozy BenOp communities.)
- Mr. Dreher characterizes the arrival of Africans in Europe—those who manage not to drown—as “the New Dark Age.”
- “Be of good cheer” is normally followed by “for I have overcome the world”—the fallen world which Mr. Dreher seems so panic-stricken to preserve.
We conclude with two questions:
- Where does Mt 25:31-46 fit into Mr. Dreher’s ideology, especially I was a foreigner and you welcomed Me?
- On what basis has Mr. Dreher attracted such a fervent following among Orthodox Christians?
With this brief commentary we invite others to write a more thorough response to Mr. Dreher’s piece. Check our Submission Guidelines and reach out to us at our editorial email address.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue seeks to promote the free exchange of ideas by offering a wide range of perspectives on an unlimited variety of topics. Our decision to publish implies neither our agreement nor disagreement with an author, in whole or in part.
A blessed Apostles Fast to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
Use our PayPal Button if you wish to support our work.
Click here if you would like to join our editorial team.
Check our Letters to the Editors and The Marketplace often.
Click here to participate in an important parish life survey/research project.