“Talking about Christians in Soviet Eastern Europe offers Dreher and his audience both a villain that is ideologically other (namely, communist) and a protagonist who is ethno-culturally self (European and Christian). The story of Christianity under racial apartheid in America, democratic retraction in contemporary Europe, or criminal and failed states in Latin America would require Dreher and his readers to face the possibility of identifying with the persecutor or being estranged from the persecuted.
There was a time, even as recently as that anguished reaction to the EJI report on lynching, when Dreher demonstrated the ability to see his own cultural identity as entwined with and complicit in grave evils. Now he invokes “redlining” in reference not to the actual American practice that created housing segregation and massive wealth inequality but to a future possibility that right-wing influencers may not be able to bank at JPMorgan. He describes the hardy Christian resistance cells under communism as “sanctuary cities” at a time when literal sanctuary cities—meant to keep immigrant families intact and limit the power of the federal government to invade and destroy lives—are being dismantled. He devotes a chapter to “Standing in Solidarity” while writing on his blog that George Floyd was a victim of his own refusal to obey police and Breonna Taylor would have been just fine if she’d internalized good values like Dreher’s father had.”
The bad news is that Dreher’s book is, predictably, a NY Times bestseller, because there is nothing the conservative cult of self-pitying narcissism loves better than posing in the mirror and admiring its own courage in the face of imaginary overwhelming odds.
The good news is that Christians who write reviews like this still exist and see the phony, grifting BS. As the reviewer summed up the Game: “For all his avowed devotion to Christianity, it’s clear that Dreher would rather be the lone Christian in a neighborhood of atheists who put up Christmas trees for cultural reasons than the only White person in a neighborhood of Senegalese Christians.”
Dreher has made an entire cottage industry of telling butthurt white conservative Christians without a worry in the world that their imaginary persecution is the Center of All of Time and Space, all while turning a blind eye to their victims and sucking attention away from actual persecuted Christians in brown skins across the world. It is a massive narcissistic grift, as all of the American conservative project now is. Nothing but ME ME ME as far as the eye can see.