Benedict Option stuff, for sure. I saw the same dynamic play out in our homeschooling co-op circle in Philadelphia. Some families were better able to afford to have mom at home teaching the kids than others, but there were some families in our schooling program who were making a huge financial sacrifice to have mom at home. I know too that the open scorn these women, including my wife, sometimes got from other women was a real burden to carry.
As Rod’s reaction confirms, the impression the article would give social conservative readers about Mormon practices is mostly a positive one. So I suppose it isn’t surprising that the same article sent Jennifer Rubin into a fit of gibbering outrage:
The BuzzFeed piece is misleadingly titled, “Why Ann stayed home.” In fact the reporter, McKay Coppins (who has identified himself as a Mormon), reveals nothing about her motivations. That, rather, appears to be the “hook” for a discourse asserting the Mormon faith is discriminatory and oppressive toward women.
Of course, this isn’t Coppins’ purpose at all, and that isn’t what his report says. He is providing context for some of the latest campaign nonsense that probably leaves the average reader with more understanding of Mormon beliefs and practices than he had before reading it. It highlights an aspect of Mormonism that the vast majority of likely Romney voters would admire or at least respect. I don’t assume that Coppins was writing the story to benefit Romney, but I don’t see how it could possibly do anything but help him.
Rubin ignores the parts of the story that describe the LDS support structure available to mothers, and it is Rubin, not Coppins, who has concluded that report portrays “Mormons as condescending and backward thinking.” Rubin wants to appear very concerned that Romney’s religion is being used against him while simultaneously attacking the beliefs and practices of his co-religionists. All in all, it’s a very weird “defense” of Romney in response to an article that isn’t attacking him or his religion. The radically different reactions to this story show just how huge the chasm is between Rod’s conservatism and what often passes for conservatism in Washington.