Millennial writer Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has a new review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option in Democracy:
Christians who engage in politics have reason to engage beyond their own interests; politics can’t save one’s soul, but it can decree that children receive health care, or that poor families be able to purchase food, or that mothers can take time off work after a birth without suffering poverty or unemployment. Building communities of virtue is fine, but withdrawing from conventional politics is difficult to parse with Christ’s command that we love our neighbors. Politics order our society on every level, from deciding property laws to housing codes to social welfare policy to war and foreign intervention. An individual Christian might comfortably abandon the whole filthy mess of it, but she can’t do so cleanly: Her neighbors still need her, and not just personally, but politically. So long as we live in a democracy, each of us has agency and a responsibility for the stewardship of our fellow citizens, and though we may not succeed in all our goals, we are obligated to try….
Because I believe all of nature does point to God, just as the Medievals did, I can’t seal myself away from society. Society is part of our nature; politics is part of our nature. Entering the fray is fraught just like walking into the surf is; you will be pulled and pushed and yet you know, because you love God, you will break above the waves with water in your eyes to see God’s glory bright as sunlight. His name is written on the wind. It’s inescapable. It’s inscribed into the hustle and jolt of democracy, if you look closely, and believe.
You can read the full article here.