Dear Ann: Please Shut Up

I suppose I was holding out hope that Ann Coulter’s idiotic diatribe on soccer was merely a provocateur’s desperate cry for clicks. I didn’t want to entertain the idea that Coulter, an unfortunate representative of conservatism to many of Fox News’s less informed viewers, was genuine in her asinine logic, fallacious analogies and downright trollery.

I was wrong. Coulter has bottomed out as a sentient being, as evidenced by this piece which is offensive to the sensibilities of all Christians everywhere, regardless of political worldview. Her takedown of Dr. Kent Brantly is mean spirited in a manner usually reserved for the darkest alleyways of internet message boards. I have no doubt she means what she says, which is why it is officially time for conservatives to vote her off the island for good.

Coulter thinks the American missionary doctor was acting supremely selfishly when he went to Africa and worked among Ebola-afflicted patients. “Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore,” she asks. She then offers this little nugget:

If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia.

Yes, Ann, yes. That’s exactly what Jesus meant when he said whatever we do for the least of these is done for Him. I’m sure that the Bible teaches us to associate with the influential and not the lowly (Romans 12:16). I’m sure that the Lord’s command to proclaim the Good News to the uttermost parts of the Earth was just a hyperbolic way of telling us to set up shop in LA.

As a rule, I try to presume good faith of even the most moronic or abrasive personalities. I try to avoid accusing people of not believing what they write. With Coulter I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place: Either she’s illiterate and honestly has no idea what the Bible says, or she’s not a Christian. Seeing as how she has made a pretty penny through books, articles and interviews, I’m going to go with the latter option.

I know it’s not nice to say that someone who professes Christ is not a Christian. But here’s the thing: I want to be consistently confessional. I don’t believe a person who stands up and says “Jesus did not rise from the dead” is a real Christian, because I believe Christianity itself entails that proposition. Why would I grant more leverage to the idea that Christians should keep the Gospel from those who need it in order to preserve their health and wealth? Is that belief less brazenly heretical than non-Resurrectionism?

The reason shunning Coulter is important is because conservative social values are so often understood as a monolith. Because I believe in free trade and capitalism, my progressive friends expect me to defer to Rush Limbaugh on race. Because I believe that most of mainstream media carries a significant (and sometimes vicious) bias against traditionalists, some who read my opinion would associate me with Ann Coulter. But as an evangelical Christian who tries to consistently apply Christian principles to my politic, such association is anathema to me. If the choice is between walking the party line in Republicanism or keeping avenues for Gospel conversation open, I choose the latter every time. And I can assure you: To the extent that a Christian seeks association with people like Ann Coulter, those Gospel conversations will be few and far between.

Back in 2006, Editor and Publisher quoted Coulter as saying: “I’m a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it.” She was being facetious at the time. Sadly I think the joke has become reality.

Dear Ann Coulter, for the sake of everyone, everywhere: Please shut up.

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