Many American conservatives have unique and unconventional perspectives, and one such example is Rod Dreher. Previously a columnist for The American Conservative, Dreher’s move to Hungary and departure from the publication have blurred his identity as an “American conservative.” However, his views on digital fasting have piqued interest among readers.
Fasting is not a new concept and is observed in various religious traditions such as Lent for Catholics, Yom Kippur in Judaism, and Ramadan for Muslims. However, the idea of digital fasting has not been widely embraced within religious communities.
Dreher, who has a diverse religious background, including Methodist, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox influences, authored a book titled “Crunchy Cons,” which shed light on a lesser-known faction of American conservatives. This subgroup, referred to as “crunchy conservatives,” emphasizes a natural and sustainable lifestyle.
According to Dreher, saving America and the conservative movement involves addressing often-taboo topics like sex openly. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of digital fasting as a means to disconnect from the overwhelming stream of information and negative influences found online.
Reviews of Dreher’s book “The Benedict Option” highlight his suggestion to implement purposeful periods of abstaining from technology, or “digital fasting,” to redirect one’s focus towards spirituality. This idea resonates with his Eastern Orthodox background that places significance on turning the mind towards God through intentional practices.
A particularly controversial recommendation made Dreher is the limitation of smartphones among adolescents due to the detrimental effects of online exposure, including pornography and the negative impact on brain development and perspectives of daily life.
While digital fasting is gaining attention as a spiritual practice, it remains to be seen whether religious communities will fully adopt this concept. However, its potential effects on mental well-being and the ability to focus on more important matters have been acknowledged.
Ultimately, the allure of fasting lies in the sense of accomplishment it offers, even if it only temporarily interrupts our usual routines. Whether it is turning off our devices or disconnecting from the cultural noise online, the act of fasting provides a moment of respite and reflection in an otherwise fast-paced world.
– Original Article Rod Dreher on The American Conservative (no URL provided)
– “The Benedict Option” Rod Dreher
– Book review Thomas R. Ascik (citation unavailable)