Being in seminary has made me think a lot about self-identity lately. Not in the deep, penetrating psychological sense but more in the "what labels fit me, if any?" kind of way. Like all good Americans, I'm in search of a demographic provided by U.S. News & World Report which my identity can easily be absorbed into (hee hee) and...voila! now I've found it. I...ladies and gentleman...am a "Crunchy Con". What's a Crunchy Con you might ask? It's a term which basically means right-wing valued people who eat, drink, shop, socialize, educate, read, etc. like left-wingers. Here's a link to the Crunchy Con Manifesto as well as a good overview in this article.
So what sets me apart from typical Christian Conservative types and lands me in the Crunchy Con camp? I drive a Subura, eat organic meat & produce, wear Birkenstocks and Burt's Bees, want to home school, always prefer local/small/family businesses to megaplexes, am a Bradley Method Dad, pick bluegrass, read First Things as well as Mary Jane's Farm, road bicycle and watch the Tour de France, live a sacramental life, am suspicious and skeptical of media-driven pop culture-laden suburbia, embrace the world's food/music/culture and listen to NPR especially Garrison Keilor.
In many Christian circles that description would qualify me as anywhere from "kind of liberal, isn't he?" to "a dirty hippie". No worries.
All in all does it really matter to fit into a demographic? Nah. Is it nice to know I'm not the only weirdo like me? Sure. Nonetheless, I encourage you to read the Crunchy Con Manifesto. It gives pause for reflection on a lot of things American Suburbanites take for granted. Such as "Why do we send our kids to public school? Just because everyone else does? Or because it's best for our specific child?" Or "Who's going to invest more in my community? Wal-Mart or Merton's farm up the road where I buy my eggs?" Or "What fosters the best in our kids? Nintendo? Or reading the Classics?" Of course I don't shun public school, Wal-Mart or Nintendo. But I do try to think about why I'm doing it and if it's the best choice. Crunchy Cons seems to value virtue, beauty, community, health and family. And they make those decision for themselves rather than letting the next summer blockbuster, Oprah and Dr. Phil, Starbucks and Old Navy tell them what values to pursue.
So raise yer freak flag high for Jesus, organic produce, home-schooled kids and Lake Woebegon.