Saturday, December 30, 2006

Book Review: Crunchy Cons

I just finished reading Crunchy Cons and I'm so glad that I finished it for two reasons. 1) I have a hard time making it through non-fiction books, and I'm glad to have one more under my belt. 2) It was a book well worth reading and I'm here to recommend it to you. My family and I already practiced many of the Crunchy Con principles, but it was eye opening nonetheless. For one thing, I’ll never again dream of eating meat that isn’t organic. What first caught my eye about this book was the subtitle: 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). This describes me and my family pretty good. No, I don’t wear Birkenstocks (have you seen the price?) and I don’t know the first thing about Burke, but I think I can safely say that I think guns are a necessary part of self defense. We don’t have an organic garden yet, but we plan to sometime soon. Though we do only eat organic food; we just have yet to grow it ourselves. We are definitely evangelical and only buy free-range meats. No we don’t have a farm either, but maybe someday. I can think of no better way to describe my mom than as a hip homeschooling mama. And yes, we’re definitely right-wing and we love nature. So I was very interested in this book, because I had no idea that there were enough people out there like us to give enough info to write a whole book about us. It turns out that we are not alone, and now I have a title for myself. I’m a Crunchy Con. Just as a side note, I don't recommend telling young kids if you're a Crunchy Con as my little sister though a Crunchy Con was a kind of French fry.

Rod Dreher does a wonderful job describing various aspects of the Crunchy Cons beliefs, including what they believe about food, the environment and education. I have to say, I disagree on some of what he says about religion. He puts Jews on the same level as Christians, but it is true that there are Jews in the Crunchy Con movement. He also thinks it’s alright to drink small amounts of alcohol, which I completely disagree with. One other con to Crunchy Cons is that he briefly says that he doesn’t believe that the world was created by God in seven days, which I believe to be fundamental to Christianity. He is a Catholic and considers himself to be a Christian, so he treats Christians very well in the book, if not completely accurately. In spite of these few drawbacks, I find this book to be a must-read for all Christians, if not all pagans too. His wife homeschools and he tells about the financial troubles one-income families may face, but he is a strong advocate for it anyway. He also logically points out that even if families with stay-at-home moms have a smaller income, they will save money and hardships by not sending their kids to school. Well, I think this is long enough now, so I'll just say that I'll raise my glass (of water) to the Crunchy Cons.

No comments: