Friday, August 8, 2014
Ann Coulter’s American Christianity
In a recent article, Ann Coulter, a politically conservative author and Fox news contributor, lambasted the Ebola doctor, Dr. Kent Brantly for what she apparently thinks was irresponsible and narcissistic behavior. Coulter contrasts the value of Dr. Brantly’s service in Liberia with the cost now to treat his condition and questions his motivation for missionary work. Coulter wonders why Brantly had to go to Africa to begin with and points out that there are needs right here in America. Coulter lists numerous consequences of the sins of America and condemns Brantly for supposedly ignoring them in preference for some third-world country. Coulter then implies that Brantly’s trip was to garner heroic attention from such liberal media outlets as the New York Times.
Coulter even has the audacity to refer to Liberia as a “disease-ridden cesspool.” In addition, Coulter wonders why Brantly did not stay in his own town and engage in his good deeds right there. She thinks that such a move would have been boring and not very heroic in Brantly’s way of thinking so he had to wonder off to Liberia. In the middle of this rant, Coulter refers to this small town in Texas as a “deadbeat town.”
Coulter, in her rant, was terribly insulting to Africa, Liberia, and every third-world country on the planet. She was almost equally insulting to Dr. Brantly’s hometown, calling it a town of deadbeats. Finally, she was incredibly insulting to Dr. Brantly, accusing him of being a Christian narcissist. I must admit that I like Ann Coulter on most days. But today, I don’t like her very much. All I can guess is that Ann was upset with something or a number of somethings and in knee-jerk sort of way, wrote and posted before she had time to reflect. I may be wrong, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and see if an apology is forthcoming.
How should a Christian respond to Coulter’s criticisms? First, we may seek to understand her underlying quibble with Dr. Brantly and other Christian missionaries who take the gospel out of America to the world. Ann is disturbed by what she sees in American culture, and she should be. I am happy that Ann is alarmed by the degradation of American morality and the tyranny and chaos that is sure to follow. There isn’t a Christian worth their salt who can look at American culture and not be stirred in their spirit at the lust, the arrogance, and the idolatry in which it is submerged. On this point, we agree with Ann even though our remedy and hers are likely to be radically different.
While we can empathize with Ann’s concern over the pathetic conditions in America, we cannot follow her in her personal criticisms of Dr. Brantly. I do not know Dr. Brantly. I cannot speak to his motives for service. I can only speak to the service itself. It is honorable and admirable for a man in Dr. Brantly’s position to make the kind of sacrifice he did to help the otherwise helpless. I have the highest regard for Dr. Brantly’s work in Liberia. Moreover, I think every Christian must recognize that sort of work for what it is: respectful.
Ann Coulter has presumed to know Brantly’s motives for the work he did. And from that basis, she offers her stinging criticism of Brantly and not just Brantly, but now every American missionary that enters the foreign mission field. Ann is flat out wrong. In fact, she could not be more wrong. She is arrogant on a number of fronts. She is arrogant when she portends to know Dr. Brantly’s heart motives. The fact is that she hasn’t a clue as to anyone’s heart motives. No Christian can follow Ann in this line of criticism.
Ann is also why so many in our culture view conservatives as cold and uncaring. Just look at her attitude toward third-world countries! She places them in an entirely different category than Americans as if God does the same thing. She refers to these human beings as a cesspool! How could any Christian ever love God and see helpless women and children as a cesspool? Add to this her description of the small struggling town in Texas as a “deadbeat” town. What? Clearly there is nothing godly about an attitude that pretends to know the motives of Christian missionaries, and that categorizes people less fortunate than them in the way Ann Coulter does in her article. Here is a man who put himself in harms way and he is classified as a Christian narcissist. Liberia is a third world cesspool. And the doctor’s little town in Texas is a deadbeat town.
In her attempt to preach to Dr. Brantly, Christian missionaries, and other Christians living in America about the evil that resides in our culture, Ann Coulter has demonstrated in so many ways that that very evil resides in her own heart as well. The only difference is that Ann’s evil displays itself differently from the evil she doesn’t like. And that is what we call self-righteous hypocrisy. The only evil that is really evil is the evil I don't like.
Ann has turned America into her god, like so many other American Christians. I have written about this on numerous occasions. America is not God’s favorite nation. This nation does not have special privilege before God nor should it have for the Church. Christians are members of one another, not of America. Our duty is to God, not to country. Our loyalty is to the Christian community in the world, not just in America. There is no order of priority. Feeding an orphan in America or in Liberia accomplishes the very same thing! It meets the need of a human being and when done to glorify God, it honors God regardless of where the child might be! How dare we imply that America children are somehow more valuable than non-Americans! How dare we!
Christians are not concerned with the darkness that will enter the world should America fall. I think that America has fallen and most ignorant Americans are just too dense to realize it. The world embraced darkness 2,000 years ago when the Light came and men preferred darkness. What is darker, a nation with no gospel and no churches, or a nation with more churches than any other in the world and still very little gospel and nearly no morality to show for it? America has made her decision regarding Christ, regarding Scripture, regarding Christianity and sooner or later, she will pay for that decision. America is a god-hating, Christ-hating, gospel-hating, truth-hating, sin-loving, arrogant, and idolatrous nation. She shall reap the whirlwind of God’s wrath for her display of pride and arrogance that, in my view, is unsurpassed even by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
As Christians, we remain in Christ, loyal to God, to Christ, and to one another. Our concern is the will of God, the glory of God, and bringing honor to His name by serving each other and by helping those in need wherever they may be found. There is nothing in Scripture that tells us that we must complete the work in our town before we expand to the next town or nation. God calls men to serve where it pleases Him. If we are not careful, we will find ourselves not only hypocritically questioning the motives of good men, but questioning the will of the Divine Himself!