Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Where’s Dreher?

Whatever happened to Rod Dreher? As a writer he wasn’t everybody’s cup
of tea. Actually, he wasn’t my cup of tea. But he had a distinctive
voice that made him into Beliefnet’s premier blogger, and seems to have
earned him his current gig as director of publications at Templeton. On his arrival, he moved his blog to Templeton, and then, two months ago, it was shut down. Apparently he’s responsible for Templeton’s Big Questions Online, which features some variety of voices, but on which his own prose cannot be found.

Shortly after he went dark, some serious snark was directed his way. But there’s not been a peep since that I can find.

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posted October 28, 2010 at 12:30 am

For better and worse, he was one of the more interesting voices around here. He inspired some of my best rants…

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posted October 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

I enjoyed Rod’s open and curious mind, even though I often disagreed with him. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that he is probably writing another book, in addition to his day job. That wouldn’t leave much time for blogging.

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posted October 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

I somehow stumbled on a blog about a month and half ago in which he made a comment that he was on a blogging sabbatical.
Yeah, I enjoy reading his blog and wish he would have been more up front when he stopped (At Templeton, he simply said they would make a few changes to the site BQO and he’d be back).

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posted October 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I’m having Dreher withdrawl. I read as much Roger Scruton as I can in the meantime.

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Charles Cosimano

posted October 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I miss Rod. We almost never agreed and go to the point of joking with each other about our eccentricities, but we are poorer for not having his often crazy-as-a-june-bug voice out there quoting every lunatic he could find.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 28, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I found him to be extremely selective in what he allowed in his comboxes (allowing vile anti-gay, anti-semitic posts but deleting much of opposite views), and never very informed on many of his topics. Error-prone, mean-spirited, and simply came across as not a very nice person.
Always got a closeted gay vibe from most of what he wrote – and he wrote about gay topics over-much for many.
He is not missed, at least by me.

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posted October 29, 2010 at 3:33 am

Grumpy Old Person,
I, too, found my gaydar pinging like mad whenever he got going on one of his just a tad too defensive rants about how my marriage was the #1 threat to life-as-we-know-it.
Maybe it’s because he’s very bright, very cute and not over-tall, except I know quite a few straight men who are cute and bright and cuddly who don’t have a hissy fit when the topic of love between two men comes up. And that was his main problem, lesbians and the transgender left him cold.
Well, be that as it may, when he threw me off his blog for saying Ross Douthat was just about the only intelligent conservative journalist left still opposed to gay rights he made the passing comment I was two smart and too well read to have my views on gays having civil rights and that was what made me especially dangerous. Or so, I don’t have the exact wording to hand.
He’d ignore horrible things like the mess in Uganda (that legislation is still on the table and still supported by conservative Republicans and Christian preachers in the US) until forced to acknowledge how bad they were – for the image of Christians.
Well, too long of a post already. I do miss his agile mind and recipes. It would be nice, though, if he could find some peace with whatever it is that causes him to be so hateful to gay men. The tolerance of racists was, I think more a case of blowing raspberries at the political correctness police.

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posted October 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

My Dearest Beloveds –
I get the impression that the Templeton Big Money dudes at BigQuestionsOnline put the beatdown on Dreher.
Templeton seeks a world in which the burly Man of Science has stopped slapping around his sweet Church Ladybride quite so much, and the two find they can live happily ever after despite their unending nagging and petty differences.
As a purity-driven religionist/Christianist who has abandoned both Protestantism and Catholicism because they weren’t quite pure enough, the Orthodox Dreher has to be galled at this “forward-looking”, happy-happy joy-joy world he sold his soul and pen for. Putting Dreher at Templeton is like dressing a perfect Prime Rib with a cat litter glaze and both sides have to be searching for a face-saving way out of that mess. Let’s wish them good luck with that.
The effete Dreher did poke his head out of the muck long enough to toast Sullivan’s 10 year blogging anniversary:
Otherwise, for Rod, Silence is Golden – he is being paid now to shut the heck up, and we can be grateful to God for that – the Bibo Sez “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1st Peter 2:15).
And that is what the Bibo Sez.
Bless you!

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posted October 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I enjoyed his blog even though I (North East left of center agnostic) disagreed with much of what he wrote. I particularly enjoyed his anti-enlightenment benders written on and distributed by the products of the pro-science enlightenment mindset. The irony was just too delicious.
His anti-gay wig-outs did strike me as weird, but I attributed it to his religiosity and not latent desire.

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Mark Silk

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Could TheBiboSez be Dreher himself writing under a pseudohandle? A cri de coeur from a vox clamantis in deserto? A desperate call de profundis for rescue from the God of Templetondom? Nah.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm

“very cute”??? Shurely you jest. As a gay man, I’m attracted to other men. Manly men. He was among the most effeminate typists I’ve ever seen.
And we all know what the Bibo sez about the effeminate not inheriting the kingdom.
Honestly, when he mocked raped lesbians, laffed at the guy who police gave a concussion to, allowed comboxers to compare gays to beastialists, rapists, necrophiliacs, “Satan’s minions”, “sons of Molech”, child-molesters, murderers, and our marriages to “marryin’ a rock”, “a bicycle” and “a plant”, I knew he was no Christian.

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posted October 30, 2010 at 4:48 am

Grumpy Old Person,
I think lots of thinks look cuddly – many of which I would not care to cuddle with. Men who make a big deal about how heterosexual they are always switch my gaydar from standby to warning status. Men who make a big deal about how important it is to be exactly the same as the American cultural stereotype of heteronormative masculinity set it beeping hard. Turn the sound off on a video with Dreher excited on some topic or other and tell me whether he’s elaborating on the fall Dior collection or how to degunk your GTOs carbs.
This is, I think, part of why Dreher is so obscenely vicious towards gay men (and why he is considerably less so towards lesbians and the transgender) – his appearance, his interests, his mannerisms do not fit within the hetronormative straight-jacket which is the standard for the conservative Christian circles in which he moves.
It was painful to see the video interviews on gay rights he gave with Tony Jones. It was embarrassing to see his defense of racism and attacks on gays in Uganda.
His behavior is very uncharitable in many ways. Isn’t that, though, the definition of conservative Christianity? Saying “hate the sin, love the sinner” when in truthspeak, “love is hate” and “hate is love”?

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NY Barrister

posted October 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I was not a regular reader of this website (primarily because it struck me as less about religion and more about touchy-feely pseudo-religion. Sort of an Internet Sedona.), but whenever I took a look I read Dreher. Did I always agree with him? Hardly, but I thought he tolerated a wide diversity of views and was nowhere near as dogmatic or mean-spirited as some of you allege.
He left Catholicism for what I perceived as valid reasons, but as one who also left I admit bias. He rejected both evangelical Christianity and mainline Protestantism. He saw the former as, at its worst,narrow-minded, anti-science and fundamentalist, and the latter as mushy, morally compromised, and terminally ill. You may or may not concur, but those are not out of left field views. As to his alleged homophobia, he believed in the Orthodox view on that subject and why not, for that was his faith. It is so tiresome (and predictable) for the LGBT commenter to roll out the canard that if you are not a knuckle-dragging redneck, you are obviously a “self-loathing closet case”. Doesn’t the activist wing of the rainbow flag crowd ever retire its tired overused insults?

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posted October 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I miss Rod’s thoughtful posts-especially those with an agrarian tilt. As an Orthodox Chritian, I slso miss his posts on faith and culture.I wish him well in his current endeavors.

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posted October 31, 2010 at 5:03 am

NY Barrister,
I was going to quote Clint McCance in responding to you, but my spelling checker had a nervous breakdown and crashed.
It’s really very simple. Gays, lesbians and the transgender have had their civil and human rights abrogated in the United States. Until our rights are fully restored, we will continue to be second class citizens and sub-human in the way we are treated.
Unsurprisingly, we object to this appalling breach of the principles upon which the United States is based.
Now that science, medicine, psychology (which is a social science, not a natural science), and the Supreme Court in the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas case are all in agreement that there is no secular basis to continue to deny us our rights, all that is left is for those conservative Christians who hate us to either get out of the way or be told to get out of the way by the courts.
Dreher frequently would post on a topic which was absurd, trivial and only touched upon the queer community tangentially at the same time as he would ignore the situation in Uganda or the beatings and deaths transgender, or the bullying of a child right around the corner from him in Dallas.
You used the same purportedly deep Christian faith to argue for slavery. You used Christian faith to argue against full human status for Negroes. You used Christian faith to argue against equal heterosexual marriage rights for all races.
To Dreher’s credit, he exposed the overlap between conservative Christians and support for the use of torture. The same for the death penalty.
It’s not “love the sinner, hate the sin” with you folks. We are simply your latest hate-on, now that you no longer get to abuse the Roma, Sinti, Jews and Negroes. That is the definition of your Christianity: You show your love of God through your hatred towards us.

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Not as good as YOU, apparently

posted November 1, 2010 at 10:01 pm

NY Barrister,
“nowhere near as dogmatic or mean-spirited as some of you allege”
Clearly, you were never the target of Dreher’s venom. When your spouse is referred to as the equivalant of a “plant” or a “rock” or a “bicycle”, or when you, yourself are referred to as the equivalent of (or less than) a “murderer”, a “child-molester”, a “rapist”, a “beastialist”, a “necropphiliac”, a “Son of Molech”, as “Satan’s minions”, when your spouse gets raped and then called “a twit” for it, when you are given a brain injury by the Dallas police and that gives a nationally known blogger a good laff, then you’ll understand what Panthera speaks of when he mentions our dehumanization at the hands of nominal “Christians” like Dreher.
NOT “mean-spirited”??? Blow it our yer azz.

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