Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Personal secession" advocated by rural Christian groups; "intimate strangers" are not to be trusted, perhaps

CNN has an article about “personal sustainability” or even survivalism today, “Unplugged Christians living off the grid”, a story by Misty Showalter, link here.

The story describes communal living in Oregon, with Christian groups whose values seem to resembled those of the Amish somewhat. The piece describes a process called “personal secession”, where one accepts personal loyalty and emotional connections to family and community and gives up access with or interest in the outside world except as it directly affects the family.

The lifestyle seems to demand total commitment, and seems to reject the idea of “intimate strangers” that has developed with the Internet, as was discussed yesterday.

Of course, to me it seems like a good thing when one finds a “stranger” on the Web whose thought processes and outlook (judging from the person’s Web content) resemble one’s own. That’s actually a positive thing about the “online reputation” problem. One can believe that “in another universe” with closer ages someone could have become a life partner.

Of course, that’s not good enough in Christian thought. “Real life” is important, and everyone in the community is committed to taking care of one another, with some emotional enthusiasm, including the childless. The outside world is not reliable and is not to be counted on. That’s particularly true of big government, which this type of religious community says didn’t even exist a couple centuries ago.

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