I've recently begun reading Rod Dreher's book, Crunchy Cons. In a few days, I'd like to write about my impressions, but since I haven't been able to get very far in the book as yet I don't have too many thoughts to share.
One thing that keeps striking a somewhat painful note is that this book appears to have been written at a time when Mr. Dreher was more optimistic about certain things in his own life, and by extension, by the influence he thought that crunchy conservatism might eventually be able to have on mainstream conservatism, and perhaps even on the Republican Party. This optimism seems to have had a somewhat evanescent quality: Mr. Dreher's enthusiastic plans to homeschool his oldest son fell apart, he and his family left the Catholic Church to become Eastern Orthodox, and in recent days on his blog he's seemed quite defeatest about social conservative positions, and willing to abandon any attempt to seek a political solution to such problems as abortion and gay marriage.
None of this, of course, means that the book has no merit. But it's hard to separate the eager voice of the man talking about embracing permanent values, preserving and protecting the family at all costs, and seeking to live a sacramental life, with the realities about Mr. Dreher's experiences in the recent past.
This apparent contradiction may end up being solved in later chapters. I'll let you know if I think it is.