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.

19 thoughts on “Ann Coulter Christians and Easy Salvation

  1. I work with a lot of doctor’s offices and medical groups, including a number of plastic surgery practices. I was amused to find that “submental” doesn’t actually mean what you think it means – it means “under the chin”.

    • I never thought it meant anything at all, and I certainly won’t let a medical dictionary stop me! It’s meaning as I use it is obvious. And it goes along with my own special definition of subgenius. I wrote about that in, Genius and Subgenius — Harris and Maher. Although I might change my mind about Sam Harris. Had he never become so famous, he certainly would fall into the genius category. But money, fame, and power tend to make everyone consider themselves far greater than they really are. No amount of meditating is going to fix Sam Harris. It’s one of the more obscure reasons for fighting inequality — one that most hurts people like Sam Harris the most. In a more fair world, he might have been a really great man. (Note: film reference.)

  2. I love that quote. It sums up what I feel about religions. Each has its strong suit and weak points. To take Hinduism, for example, I love the polytheism, and the notion that one’s future incarnation depends on one’s progress towards enlightenment in the previous life — no deathbed magic words are gonna help! And then, OTOH, you have conservative jerks who believe it’s alright to treat poor people badly, as in a prior life they must have been rotten of they wouldn’t be suffering today.

    The Christian notion of salvation can also have its good side, which you’ve written on before. It’s the ideal of forgiveness — if God can accept someone as flawed as yourself, certainly you have no right to judge what may be in the hearts of others. This kind of “big tent” attitude is really apparent in Chaucer, and it probably was always more prevalent among the poor than the powerful. The bad side (ever a hit with the powerful or those who wish to become so) is tribalism and self-righteousness. God loves me so f you; I don’t need no stinkin’ people who aren’t just my kind. God is my co-pilot, and we’re going on a bombing run!

    Anyhoo, here’s a fun clip the SO showed me tonight. It’s from an atheist comedian. In his act, he makes the usual tirades about believers being morons, yet follows that with a nice observation. The reason many atheists shove their beliefs down the throats of others is anger; they’re mad that they were lied to for so long. I think in many cases that’s true, and he jokes about being less of a dick about atheism now.

    But this isn’t that clip. This is about “God’s love,” and he takes it to a fun riff about a rude guest. (WARNING: HUGE CUSSING!)

    • I’ll watch it this evening. But what I’ve noticed is that most obnoxious atheists used to be fundamentalists. I get it: fundamentalists suck. But that gets back to one of my favorite sayings, “All Indians walk in single file; at least the only one I ever saw did.”

      The biggest problem I have with atheists is that they don’t seem to know what it is they are against. They seem more anti-religious to me. I’m an atheist, but only in the sense that many Buddhists are atheists. I certainly don’t believe in gods the way a lot of people seem to: as something connected to our reality. But I believe in a universal paradox and that there are things that will always be beyond the understand of anything that is of this universe. I suspect that you could prove something along those lines mathematically: that the information in a subset can never fully describe the mother set. And that’s great! Because if we ever ran out of questions, we truly would be damned.

      • Warning: this ain’t sophisticated stuff. I just found it amusing. And it’s short.

        That IS the problem with aggressive atheists. It’s fine to spread conversation about what you think is right or wrong. It’s essential! But are you trying to spread conversation, trying to reduce the harm caused by closed mental systems, or are you simply trying to affirm how “right” you are?

        As Burroughs once wrote, the surest mark of an asshole is someone who always needs to be right.

        • I know Jim Jefferies rather well. I both love and hate him. He’s like the Aussie equivalent of Dylan Moran. And there’s a reason why I am much more interested in living in Ireland than Australia. But he is very funny. And that is one very common conception of the Abrahamic god. It’s sad that it has become the default one — at least here in America.

          • Yeah, I watched some other clips of his, and he does like to be “in your face,” as it were. I have a feeling in the “drunk party guest” bit he’s speaking both from the experience of meeting that guy at a party and being that guy at a party! But at least if you know you can be a pain in the butt sometimes there’s some hope for you. It’s the rude & insulting people who think they’re being perfectly reasonable who are the real jerks.

            Speaking of which, some cops got major jerky at a local WNBA game last night. I typed a thing about it, see if it’s something you can use.

    • While Slacktivist is no doubt on my side in many political matters, I don’t and probably never will accept his frequent claims that the fundamentalists and others like them are ‘incorrect’ in their interpretation of religion. Because there are no criteria; Slacktivist’s religious views are far more humane and grown-up than Ms. Coulter’s, judged from a secular viewpoint. But there are no grounds for calling one ‘correct’ and the other ‘incorrect’.

      I like the guy, and much of me would love to agree that the fundies are ‘not reading the Bible properly’. But they have equally good grounds for saying he is not reading it properly. Because there are no criteria.

      I’m not impressed by Eagleton either. He’s a veteran strawmanner, and I don’t see him as serious.

      • RJ, you’re right as far as judging someone else’s theology goes – the best we can say about fundies is their way of reading the Bible is inconsistent, ignorant of the culture in which it was written, etc. There is no being right or wrong about God, and you’re right to point that out.

        But there is such a thing as accurately identifying another’s beliefs and practices, and that’s what the link above is about. As Fred himself as said, more or less: “God maybe ineffable and unknowable, but people are everywhere, they’re easy to study.” So you’re right as far as you go, but it’s provable that Ann Coulter’s view of Judaism – and mine too, back in the day – is objectively wrong.

        • Right. We’re not under any obligation to like or understand anyone else’s theology. But her view is that Christians are morally superior to members of any other faith on Earth (because they’re saved, God makes ’em better) and that’s nonsense. It may be nonsense believed by many people, but it’s still nonsense. And bordering on hateful to boot. No thoughtful member of any faith (or nonfaith) believes such a thing, although they may think their truth is more helpful than others.

          • Coulter is much like Trump: someone of very mediocre intelligence or thoughtfulness or whatever, who has developed a successful shtick. But it is precisely the fact that I take theology seriously that people like both of them offend me on this account. Christians don’t need to read Aquinas, but Coulter isn’t even a fideist because that would at least require that she know something of what she is supposed to believe. Even today, Christianity isn’t just “Sign up here!” and you’re in.

    • Even what I consider good Christians today practice a religion that Thomas Aquinas (much less very early Christians) wouldn’t recognize. But here in America, we’ve taken a religion seriously on the decline in theological terms, and turned it into one that has basically no theology. Although there is no doubt that the Catholic Church was unbelievably corrupt, I think the Reformation has been catastrophic for Christianity generally.

      But thank you! I quite liked the phrase when I wrote it. If that’s what she’s remembered for (especially among more serious Christians), it would be great!

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