Friday, October 12, 2007

A Rare Ann Coulter Non-Controversy Controversy

So, Ann Coulter said on the Donny Deutsch (really, somebody watches it?) show that everyone should be a Christian. Normally I wouldn't touch this story, but would there be any controversy whatsoever if:

-A prominent atheist, say, Christopher Hitchens, said that everyone shouldn't believe in God?
-A prominent Muslim, say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that everyone should believe in Allah for salvation?
-A prominent Jew said that the true route to God is through the Torah?

C'mon, now. This smacks more of anti-Christian or anti-Coulter backlash than anything else. I'll let this blogger make a couple of the major points being overlooked:

In reality, Coulter shows a pretty liberal Christian perspective. Deutsch says to her “So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place?” Her answer: “Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you’re not.” Catch that? Her view is that a better America would be a more religious America.

She also says, “We believe your religion, but you have to obey.” Judaism isn’t wrong according to her version of Christianity (as I said, she is pretty liberal). She doesn’t say Judaism is wrong. She says Christianity is “a lot easier. It’s kind of a fast track.” Guess what? Christianity is a lot easier than observing 613 Commandments. And she believes it works.

Is this a surprise? In the words of Iago, the obviously, stereotypically Jewish-sounding parrot in Disney’s Alladin—the Jewish character is the one with the mile-long shnozolla, and no one gets upset at that—“I think I’m just going to die from that surprise!” [Yeah, he’s Jewish all right.]

For this, Deutsch attempts to compare her with Iran, and wiping Israel off the map. She then clarifies that this isn’t what she said at all, but that, as Christians, “we just want Jews to be perfected.”

It’s completely acceptable to think your politics are right and everyone else’s is wrong, but to think your religion has it right is evil and backwards—even if she acknowledges that practicing Judaism would contribute just as well to making America a better place. Again, the true target here isn’t Coulter, but religion, and the true intolerance here is coming not from Coulter, but from Deutsch.

I'll say this much-on this issue, he is right: Coulter is liberal. I personally did not grow up in a church that believed that there are other routes to salvation than through Jesus Christ. Coulter seemed to leave that possibility open. But even if she didn't, saying that others should believe what you believe does not mean that you cannot display tolerance towards others who are not like you, and to pretend that Coulter's comments mean that she thinks Jews (or anyone else) should be wiped out is disingenuous at best.

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