Both Aaron and I have at times been peeved, other times prit'near enraged, by posts of varying levels of wrongness at the internet's preëminent collection of localists, Front Porch Republic. There, it is taken for granted that any "true" "localist" must be against evangelicals/abortion/same-sex marriage/Obama. (And this is only in writings by editors. Various commenters—Mr Cheeks chief among them—reach teabaggity levels of craziness on a regular basis.) Now, it is true that I am against some of these things. But I have difficulty accepting that they are all inimical to the idea of community. Take my local farmers' market (which I visited today), for example: what difference to that community would it make if my waitress at the market café attended the Praise Jebus Bible Temple? Or if the woman selling specialty salts happened to have spousal benefits with the woman selling scented candles a few booths down? Or even if the apple-seller man voted for Obama? (Abortion, I admit, may be a different case—it certainly is, from a moral standpoint. But I suppose the odds are quite good that some woman I saw today once had a safe and legal abortion. Did that affect the community?) Yet all of these things would be heavily discouraged, if not verboten, in the idealized community envisioned by one or another of the Front Porchers.
This, I think, may be the chief problem with FPR: every contributor has a differ'nt idea of what the basis of localism is. So you have Médaille ranting about distributism while Peters bemoans the utter failures of Protestantism while Fox tries to reconcile the localist impulse with the Democratic platform. And meanwhile, in the peanut gallery, we have comments extolling the One True Faith (be it Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, or Calvinist), defending the "localism" of multimillion-dollar sports franchises, and damning Obama's socialism and Kenyan nationality. The only thing we can agree on is that Wendell Berry happens to be right (at least, some of the time).