Chuck Colson

This de-emphasizing of “stuff” is another hallmark of Dreher’s Crunchy Cons. It’s not because they reject capitalism or seek to appear “holier-than-thou.” It’s because they understand the importance of postponing gratification in building character. They know that people accustomed to satisfying every material want are not likely to exercise restraint in any area of their lives.

This emphasis on restraint cuts across the grain of a culture where people are taught to regard anything that stands between them and their desires as a kind of “tyranny.” So it comes as no surprise that most of Dreher’s “crunchy cons” are Christians.

That’s because Christians understand—or should, at least—how pervasive what writer Dan Knauss calls the “porno-culture” is. This pervasiveness is why protecting our kids requires diligence and commitment. Dreher’s “crunchy” conservatives—mostly “crunchy” Christians—are reminders of what the apostle Peter meant when he called followers of Christ a “peculiar people.” And it’s why these “hip homeschooling mamas” and “right-wing nature lovers” are worthy of our respect, no matter what they wear on their feet or how much granola they eat.

For further reading and information:

Ten Conservative Principles” by Russell Kirk (from The Politics of Prudence).

Rod Dreher, Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-Loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and Their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America (or At Least the Republican Party) (Crown Forum, 2006).

Visit the Crunchy Con Blog.

Rod Dreher, “Birkenstocked Burkeans,” National Review Online, 12 July 2002.

Rod Dreher, “The New Conservatism: It’s Crunchy,” Dallas Morning News, 21 February 2006.

William McKenzie, “New Ideas Are Welcome, But . . . ,” Dallas Morning News, 21 February 2006.

Eric Weslander, “Local Conservative's Web Site Catching on Nationally,” Lawrence Journal-World, 20 November 2004.

Terry Mattingly, “National Crunchy Cons Day,” Get Religion, 21 February 2006.

Crunchy Cons,” Reveries Magazine, 21 February 2006.

George H. Nash, “The New Counterculture: Meet Rod Dreher, a Conservative Who Is Critical of Capitalism,” Wall Street Journal, 21 February 2006.

Gerald Russello, “The Rise of Bohemian Burkeans,” New York Sun, 28 February 2006.

Kelly Jane Torrance, “Birkenstocked Republicans,” American Enterprise, 16 February 2006.

Catherine Seipp, “Whole Foods Conservatives,” New York Post, 12 February 2006.

Patrick W. Gavin, “Crunchy Conservatives: Republicans in Birkenstocks?Washington Examiner, 2 March 2006.

Charles Colson with Harold Fickett, The Good Life (Tyndale, 2005).

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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