Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Internal Exiles

Lewis M. Andrews writes for RealClearPolicy about the extent to which entrepreneurs and the seriously religious have withdrawn from participation in the broader American culture. Both view it as inimical to their interests, albeit in different ways.

I found his description of the "Benedict option" taken by the religious particularly interesting. Named for St. Benedict, it refers to withdrawing from participation in the broader culture as much as possible. Well-known historical examples of this would include the Amish and Mennonites.
Having concluded that the culture war has been lost to secular forces, leaving it its wake laws and institutions increasingly hostile to Christian values, growing numbers of Protestants and Catholics are electing to withdraw from civic life and focus on developing their own communities — through homeschooling, limited exposure to popular media, the shared reading of religious classics, creating alternatives to public assistance and healthcare programs, and even self-sufficient farming. (snip) Many Christians are effectively "living as exiles" in their own country.
People I know slightly (relatives of in-laws) live this life to varying degrees. Many have large families, homeschool, and base their lives around evangelical churches. They live within our society but are not "of it."

In their separation from mainstream culture, they are to varying degrees internal exiles, by-design social isolates. Another example, if one was needed, of birds of a feather flocking together.