Social and political commentator Ann Coulter strikes again, saying expressing any sort of compassion for the Central American and
Mexican refugees are “moral show offs” and thus not true Christians (see story below). I explained this story to my family last night and my 15 year old son, who has never been to Church and has little exposure to Christianity, said, “Isn’t taking care of them exactly what Jesus was say to do?” I nodded my head.
Evidently my son, in that one comment, knows more about Jesus and Christianity than does Ann Coulter.
Michele Bachman. Rick Perry. George W. Bush. Sarah Palin. The list, I am sure, goes on, but these are the names I most readily associate with politicians saying stupid things about religion–the faith the all share, Christianity, they clearly know little about. While I want to rant and call Ann Coulter a whole bunch of (^)%&% &^$% #*$ %(%^)^&)…I will refrain from doing so as best I can.
But such ignorance of the Christian faith by Christians does not surprise me. As a Religious Studies professor at a Catholic university, I have taught students who hold a variety of faiths, including non-Catholics, Jews, and Muslims and one thing I have learned is this: my Christian students by far are the most religiously illiterate when it comes to knowledge of their faith. Many will admit they rarely, if ever, read the Bible, let alone know anything about Christianity’s long, complex, and sometimes sordid history.
Hypocrites, Ann Coulter calls those expressing compassion for the children. Let me scan my Bible for a moment…Oh, here, what does Jesus say on the Sermon on the Mount? “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye…You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your own eye first” (Matthew 7: 3-5).
Yes, Ann Coulter is hypocrite. Maybe she reads the Bible, maybe she doesn’t. If she does, she is guilty of selective reading–choosing that which informs her political views to give them biblical precedence. Herein lies the problem, particularly for America: The separation of church and state on which America was founded was not, as many believe, to keep religion out of politics, it was to keep politics out of religion. Coulter and others like her are guilty of putting politics into religion.
In these respects, wouldn’t that make Coulter “anti-American?”
Not taking care of the children? Poor and hungry children?
Yes, my son, again you are exactly right. What did Jesus do in the Gospels? He took care of the poor, the weak, the needy, the hungry, the sick.
Because that is what the Covenant said one should do. He was not doing anything new in taking care of those who needed help. This was God’s law and Jesus was not only following it (“Do not think I have come to abolish the law”), he was just taking it a step further (“I have come not to abolish but to fulfill”). Fulfilling the law means going the extra mile. What is that extra mile? Looking inside oneself and changing what needed to be changed.
Perhaps Ann Coulter is thinking about Jesus’s teaching on almsgiving–“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them” (Matthew 6: 1) when she declares such people as “moral show offs.” Now does giving some sort of humanitarian care mean everyone is going to show it off? No, of course not. And then to suggest if Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick “isn’t willing to let 50,000 children stay at his home, he isn’t allowed to work towards finding any solutions for the children and should just be quiet” (see story below). As ridiculous as that is, wouldn’t something like that garner a lot more attention? As such, Ann Coulter is again guilty–guilty of suggesting someone do something she has already criticized.
Ann Coulter is a rich woman, having a net worth of 8.5 million, and thanks to her media presence, is somewhat powerful. 8.5 million in my eyes is pretty god-damn rich. Hm…Let’s see what Jesus says on this topic:
“Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19: 23-24).
Yet Coulter, the good Christian she is, continues to amass her wealth, despite Jesus’s demand to the rich official in Luke: “There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor…and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (18: 22).
And what about the powerful? Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven/God is coming. What did that mean in Jesus’s time? In Jesus’s time the Roman Empire was the Kingdom of God and Caesar was believed to be its lord and savior. The Kingdom of Heaven coming implied the end of Rome–it was a political statement. The end of power.
Back to the children.
If Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies as Matthew says he is, let us look at said prophets, particularly Isaiah. Condemning the people of Jerusalem for what he saw as breaking the covenant: “Woe to those who enact unjust statues and who write oppressive, decrees, depriving the needy of judgment and robbing my people’s poor of their rights. Making widows their plunder, and orphans their prey” (Isaiah 10: 1-2).
Yet again, Coulter is guilty of hypocrisy in her condemning of those who want to help the less fortunate.
Let’s see just a couple examples of the Gospels themselves say on the issue of children:
He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mark: 7:27).
Matthew 19: 13-15 reads: “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked him, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ After he placed his hand on them.”
Coulter, that good Christian she is, is a disciple of Christ. In other words one, who through most of the Gospels, doesn’t understand Jesus one bit and in this particular case, rebukes Jesus for taking care of children.
You go Ann.
The Original Story
Ann Coulter: Helping Migrant Children Makes You A Bad Christian
AUTHOR: JAMESON PARKER JULY 24, 2014 12:36 AM
In Ann Coulter’s unending race to outdo her own awfulness, she has now begun labeling anyone who shows compassion for the Central American child refugees as “moral show-offs.” In short, she wants people to cut it out.
In an hour long rant on Twitter, Coulter managed to be both insulting to the religious and nonreligious alike. After reading a New York Times article which covered the many religious organizations and ordinary people who have come to help alleviate the suffering of the over 50,000 undocumented children being held near the border, Coulter became incensed that anyone would do such a thing. For a person like Coulter, the idea that people would see children who were not their own and whom they had never met and feel sympathy was unfathomable. So, in textbook Coulter hyperbole, she claimed that anyone who helps or speaks up for the undocumented children cannot be considered a Christian (for some reason she never fully explains).
Of course, that can be insulting to just about everybody. Religious people of all faiths are capable of seeing the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the border and feel the urge to help. At the same time, by labeling these people nonbelievers, Coulter is insinuating that atheists can’t be motivated by altruistic motives. In fact, across the country people of every creed have pitched in to help or show their support.
Coulter also had a bone to pick with the Catholic church. Apparently, she had read the Pope’s remarks in which he decried the treatment the children were getting at the hands of the United States. He called on U.S. lawmakers to help the children, not demonize them.
“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain,” he said. “They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.”
Making matters worse in Coulter’s mind, Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the face of the Catholic church in the United States recently stated that he officially opposed efforts to hastily deport the children, calling the idea “un-American” and “un-biblical.” Coulter – who has hated the idea of these children from day one – obviously felt that her interpretation of Christianity was more valid than the Pope’s and blasted the church for, what she claimed was hypocrisy.
Stephen Colbert is Catholic and she doesn’t like him, which are the only two reasons Coulter needed to drag him into a story in which he was not mentioned nor involved with.
Coulter’s premise is that if anyone who speaks up for the children doesn’t personally invite those refugees to live at their house, then they are a hypocrite and should shut up about it. Sadly, Coulter isn’t the only one pushing this fallacy-laden nonsense. Recently, the idea that liberal support of child immigrants is only skin deep has gained traction within the conservative opposition to them.
Coulter reiterates that stance again when she calls out Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick (D) using the same exact argument:
Again, the argument is that if Patrick isn’t willing to let 50,000 children stay at his home, he isn’t allowed to work towards finding any solutions for the children and should just be quiet.
This isn’t the first time that Coulter has felt the desire to police how people think and act in regards to immigration. Earlier this year, Coulter told a crowd of conservative supporters that the day Republicans allow amnesty for the millions of undocumented workers in this country is the day she begins ordering “death squads for the people who wrecked America.” Her message was clear: You cross the line I have drawn, you die.
Among many other things – including, plain old racism – Coulter is worried that Hispanics will vote Democrat and therefore states which used to be unwaveringly red are going to turn blue. It’s why she screams with such frenzied desperation about why Republicans cannot allow the undocumented people living in the United States today to get citizenship – they’ll remember how poorly Republicans treated them when they were still considered “illegals.” Of course, this holding the tiger by the tail by a political party which hopes to stay relevant is patently absurd (it didn’t work out well when the Founding Fathers tried it with slavery, either), but it also means Coulter and other conservatives don’t have to change anything about their ideology to become more inclusive – not yet. As long as she can keep these people disenfranchised, they can’t do anything about it. In the mean time, she just wishes Christians would stop helping them so much.