ANOTHER DAY, THE SAME OLD ROD DREHER

Rod Dreher and friends fretting over the African barbarian invasion of Europe

A number of Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers felt deeply touched for a few seconds before they realized that their brother Orthodox Christian Rod Dreher’s latest piece at The American Conservative—Trump Summons Demons—falls short of anything like a change of heart. Who wouldn’t be moved by his profession of concern for the life of Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN) in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s latest of many, many Naziesque rallies this past Wednesday in Greenville NC?

Yet Dreher’s own record of telling life-threatening lies about people he doesn’t like casts doubt on his sincerity. As we noted a year ago in the addendum to Rod Dreher Glorifies Colonialism, Adds African Barbarians to List of People who Terrify Him:

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.

Dr. Curry can be forgiven for thinking that Dreher summons demons.

Dreher has been lying publicly since at least April 2002. In The Gay Question: Amid the Catholic Church’s Current Scandals, An Unignorable Issue, which appeared in the National Review and on Father Johannes (aka Hans) Jacobse’s Orthodoxy Today, he equates male same-sex orientation with the rape of teenaged boys. As recently as this week we have seen, with Father Lawrence Farley, how this dangerous trope figures in the standard repertoire of career homophobes both within and outside of the Orthodox Church—dangerous because it incites discursive, verbal, psychological, and physical violence against LGBTQ persons.

Homophobic discourse and bullying have also been shown statistically to increase the incidence of suicidal ideation—and, far too often, suicidal deaths—among LGBTQ children, youths, women, and men. 

In the aforementioned Rod Dreher Glorifies Colonialism, Adds African Barbarians to List of People who Terrify Him, we offer choice excerpts from his report of feasting on platters of limpets grilled in their shell, in olive oil and chopped garlic, while panicking over “the ‘barbarian invasion’ from Africa” (his words). This is how he sees Africans to whom, in their desperation to cross the Mediterranean at all costs, the possibility of drowning seems better than what they are leaving behind.

Wednesday’s Trump Summons Demons is no different: Dreher reduces the horrors taking place at the US-Mexico border under the “laws and policies that are important to me” to yet another lie, that a Democratic president would favour open borders.

The “open borders” dog whistle is predicated on the further lie which characterizes refugees fleeing from chaos and violence—created in large part by American foreign policy—as mere “migrants.” As we noted last year:

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.

Another of Dreher’s facile lies consists of his false equivalence between the likelihood of left-wing and right-wing violence. Perhaps he hasn’t seen ADL’s White Supremacist Murders More than Doubled in 2017 of January 2018 or CSIS’s The Rise of Far-Right Extremism in the United States of November 2018.

It seems clear that Dreher supports the Trump administration’s diabolically xenophobic, sabre-rattling, anti-Gospel, anti-Christian, anti-Christ, anti-humane, anti-environmental agenda. What alarms Dreher is Trump’s “psychotic” inability to couch all of this in more genteel terms. 

Please, Rod, spare us your “concern” for other people’s lives.

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