Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy birthday, Rod Dreher!

Readers of Rod Dreher's old blog will recall that today is his 44th birthday. I recall Rod's various birthday posts over the years, and miss that sort of writing; he is very gifted at the blend of poignance, reflection, honesty, and wry, self-deprecating humor that has characterized many of the best American writers.

Since Rod isn't blogging at present, I hope that some of his former Crunchy Con readers will join me here in wishing him a very happy birthday. Rod, a blessed and happy birthday to you, and God grant you many years!


Amy said...

I LOVE the Crunchy Con book!! I'm looking at it on my bookcase right in front of me. Maybe time for a re-read!

Happy Birthday to him!!

Anonymous said...

I miss the old site too. Best wishes to Rod and the family. Hope they are all doing well.

I suspect that not blogging will be good for him. He was a blogging machine and people need a break.


Nancy said...

I really miss Rod's blog too! But I think anonymous is right, it's probably been a great break for his family and his sanity!

Happy Birthday Rod, and best wishes to you and all the family.

Rod Dreher said...

Thanks Erin! How very kind of you to remember me. Julie made a wonderful dinner for me tonight, and I told her how much I hate not having a blog, because it's just like me to want to go to the blog and talk about how good the food was, and how much I love her and my family.

I was just down in your part of the world this weekend. I've had a hard last few months -- not being allowed to blog as part of my new job has really been tough, especially because I was hired in large part because of my blog -- and I really needed to see my old friends, and go to Sunday liturgy in my old parish. Fortunately, American Airlines announced a weekend fare sale in the middle of last week, and I got a last-minute cheap ticket between Philly and Dallas. Rushed down on Saturday afternoon, and flew back home this morning. It was so good to be back in Texas, and in my home parish, with my dear, dear friends. And it was SUNNY! And there was Tex-Mex food! When I flew home today, Julie and the kids showered me with love, and birthday cake.

I really hope in the months to come I can work out some way to start writing again. I miss you guys.

Erin Manning said...

Sounds like you had a great birthday, Rod! You definitely picked a glorious weekend, weather-wise, to be in the DFW area.

I also hope you get to start writing a blog again soon--because I know, from the emails I still get every now and then from old CC readers, just how much you are missed in the blogosphere. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Erin, for reminding us of Rod's birthday.

And, yes, I join with you and all of us in wishing him a Happy Birthday!

How much I miss Crunchy Con! (Even though my political and Catholic religious views are a bit left-of-center!)

I miss Rod and hope we will hear from him in the future.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Happy Birthday Rod! I miss the freewheeling content that somehow sustained a high level of intellectual integrity (set in bold relief by the inevitable nonsense). Just now the one I remember is "Communis mess with raw oysters!"

Hector said...


Let me say, first of all, that I wish you a very happy birthday, and hope your family is doing well. I was born in Philadelphia, actually, and though we moved when I was a year old, I still retain an attachment to the city. You should definitely make a visit to Pittsburgh if you get the chance, it's the kind of city that I think would appeal to you (it certainly appealed to me) and to other crunchy types. Baltimore is also a much underrated city, with more churches then I've ever seen in one place.

I write for the multi-author blog Alexandria right now ( and I've made quite a fuss over there over what I consider the utterly shameful and outrageous way in which the political-correctness brigade at the Templeton Foundation suppressed your blog and censored your speech. It was a perfect example of the repressive tolerance of our time, in which social conservative voices are silenced in the public square. God knows I disagreed with you on a number of issues, but even so I felt you were expressing a compelling and thoughtful point of view that needed to be heard, and that you were worth a hundred Michael Shermers, who as far as I know still hasn't been censored. While it seems you've taken the event in stride with Christian charity, I regret to say that Christian forbearance is not one of my natural virtues, and I'm still extremely angry at the Templeton Foundation for what they did to you. I've endeavored to persuade my co-bloggers at Alexandria to share the same view. I hope that you get the opportunity to blog again soon, and I hope that the yahoos at the Templeton Foundation one day come to regret the fact that they treated you so shabbily.

scotch meg said...

Happy birthday, Rod.

Please let Erin know how your sister is doing, so she can tell the rest of us - I keep her (and all your family) in my prayers.

I have passed your thoughtful post on your tenth wedding anniversary on, not only to my oldest son, but also to a friend for her stepchildren. I wish I could read more.

SAF said...

Happy belated 44th, Rod! My husband and I (the ol' EMF) really miss your blog.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Rod. Glad to hear that all's well and that blogging may be in your future - you're really good at it!

Rod Dreher said...

Thanks you all. Tomorrow (Feb 16) will mark one year since Ruthie's diagnosis. Eighty percent of patients with her kind of cancer don't make it to the 10 month mark. She has beaten the odds, thanks be to God and to her doctors and supporters. She's been on an intense chemo regimen this past year, but it stopped the tumors' growth cold. Sadly, last month she went in for a check-up, and the tumors have begun to grow. Her oncologist started her on a new chemo cocktail. All we can do is pray and hope.

Hector, I really can't say much about my situation, except that my blog wasn't shut down for political reasons. Dr. Templeton, the Foundation president, strongly believed that the things I blogged about did not reflect the priorities of his late father or the Foundation, and was therefore not something he wanted the Foundation to sponsor. This had nothing to do with politics.

We continued to publish BQO columnists (e.g., Shermer) these past few months because we had contracts with them to fulfill, but we have not commissioned new pieces. We are going to begin soon publishing a few new things on the site, but we will not have blogs.

While I have had at least two offers to restart my blog elsewhere, the terms of my employment here that I cannot write outside the Foundation without prior approval. It is impossible to write a blog under that condition, obviously. So, I am blogless for now.

I thank you for your kind thoughts and continued support.

Anonymous said...

Rod, yes, I have been wondering about Ruthie.

Thanks, for updating us.

My prayers are with her!


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I have a sense that whatever is going on with the Templeton Foundation is much bigger and more generally introspective than shutting down Rod Dreher blogging. For instance, they have a site called Templeton-Cambridge, which I checked out after Rod blogged about it, where you can apply for an annual seminar. In 2010, I applied, but was not one of the lucky few selected. In 2011, the site has not opened for applications. It seems they are rethinking their entire operation.

(I don't think Erin will mind my saying that. The Master of Alexandria somehow found it a personal affront to mention it.)

L said...

At least you're still allowed to make comments on blogs, Rod. Happy Belated 44th birthday. Your take on things cultural and culinary is greatly missed!

Stef said...

Hi, Rod, and happy belated birthday. I too miss your blogging voice, although it's all for the best at present, of course.

Thanks also for the good news / bad news about Ruthie. I hope there's more good news coming in 2011.

Hope Julie and kids are well, too. And thanks, Erin, for thinking of this thread - it was a great idea.

tammy swofford said...

A bit late, but Happy Birthday, Rod! Yes, you are missed in the blog world. Good to see you make an appearance.

Best always,