The Truth About the GOP Can No Longer Be Denied

Brian BeutlerSometimes it’s difficult to conjure a clear memory of US political life before Donald Trump. But one of its most salient oddities was that the establishment elite considered it crass (if not outright slanderous) to suggest, in ideologically mixed company, that only one of the two major parties drew upon the support of bigots for political power.

In quarters where racism wasn’t denied or diminished, it was regarded as a diffuse problem, delinked in most ways from the biggest political flash points of the day. Homophobia, while more identifiably political, was frequently characterized as misunderstood religiosity, or as an eroding anachronism of well-meaning but old-fashioned geriatrics. Vitriol toward Mexican immigrants was interpreted as a response to labor competition from unskilled, undocumented workers — an outgrowth of zero-sum economics rather than of xenophobia.

This was true until about a year ago. That’s when Trump, who makes a habit of repurposing neo-Nazi propaganda for messaging on social media, began his march to the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and Occam’s razor finally sliced through the more strained explanations.

—Brian Beutler
Conservatives’ Silence After Trump’s Anti-Semitic Attack Is a Bad Omen

Ann Coulter Christians and Easy Salvation

Ann Coulter ChristiansAlmost ten years ago, Ann Coulter was on The Big Idea and she got into trouble for saying, “We just want Jews to be perfected.” In that sentence, “we” means Christians. It is a bigoted thing to say and so entirely typical of Ann Coulter’s pointedly offensive and submental act that you may wonder why I’m bringing it up. Well, it’s what she said afterwards that really struck me. And the fact that she was not burned in effigy by Christians says a lot of really bad things about American Christians.

To justify her statement (which doesn’t really mean anything — so whatever), she added, “That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we’re all sinners…” She gets to clarify her remark later and then just makes matters worse. What she was getting at was that in the old testament, God was always angry at the Jews because they kept screwing up. But then God came up with this one weird trick that made it all better! This is what I call Christianity on the cheap. And those who practice it should rightly be called Ann Coulter Christians.

The Great Pumpkin and the Ann Coulter Christians

It’s funny that Charles M Schulz was raised Christian and maintained his faith far into adulthood. You see this quite clearly in A Charlie Brown Christmas. But less than a year later, he created the perfect parody of American Christianity in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In that show, Linus is like all the Ann Coulter Christians. If only he believes sincerely in this mythical being, he will be rewarded. His pumpkin patch has to be sincere and so does he. But nothing else is required.

Ann Coulter — and the millions of Christians just like her — believes she can commit adultery, bear false witness, actively encourage murder. It doesn’t matter! She knows that one weird trick. Just believe! God will reward her just because she believes the fables she was told as a child. I am personally offended for the hundreds of millions of Christians over the centuries who actually took their religion seriously.

There is an aspect of Christianty of allowing Jesus into your heart. But this was not meant to be the whole deal. And certainly the loony morphing of this into a “personal relationship” with God has effectively destroyed the religion for millions. It is the height of hubris. God as pal?! Whatever.

Is Jesus in Ann Coulter’s Heart?!

But could anyone mistake Ann Coulter as someone who had allowed Jesus into her heart? If you slapped her on the right cheek, who she offer her left to you? Of course not! She’d take one of her bony hands and smash you in the face. And I’m fine with that. But then, I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

It’s funny, because I was listening to a lecture by Terry Eagleton yesterday. It wasn’t about Christianity, but it touched on it. Whenever he talks about Christianity, I find it appealing. That’s generally true when I hear serious people discuss the religion. The problem is that there are so few of them. When I see Ann Coulter Christians, it just makes me sad.

I’ve been strongly effected by this quote from a Muslim scholar in the middle ages:

If one could combine Arabic faith and Jewish intelligence, with an Iraqi education, Christian conduct, Greek knowledge, Indian mysticism, and a Sufi way of life, this would be the perfection of humanity.

Yes, Christian conduct. Because, I assume, the religion meant something to them. Instead, I’m inundated with with the Ann Coulter Christians who think that just to believe in Jesus gives them license to be some of the worst people on the Earth.