07 May 2016

Ann Coulter, Christian Sage

Ann Coulter's star seems to be fading but for several years she was not only one of the most extreme Right-wing commentators but considered one of the most overtly Christian.

This is ironic considering her demeanour in terms of the way she speaks and conducts herself as well as her whole packaged persona. But in some ways I suppose it's not all that surprising. Some Christian women might consider her inspirational. I consider her presence and popularity a form of Divine judgment.

These commentators always strike me as little more than proponents of worldly wisdom and power couched in Christian lingo. Over time they are corrupted by it and Coulter is no exception. I don't want to spend a bunch of time writing about her but this article recently caught my eye.

When speaking of Trump who she apparently supports, or at least did until recently, she seems to defend his adultery. She suggests there are gradations in adultery. We often speak of sin in terms of magnitude. There's a sense of course in which this wrong when viewed vis-à-vis the perspective of God, guilt and eternal consequence.

There's another sense in which we can speak of degrees of sin. It's wrong to commit adultery in your heart but even under the Old Testament you were not subject to physical or judicial punishment for your thoughts, but your actions. In God's eyes, our heart is actually paramount and where we are most corrupted.

But in terms of our relationships with fellow man and the state (whether covenantal or not) there is a difference. We're guilty for murdering in our heart but the state only takes notice if we act on it.

Coulter though seems to be suggesting that there are degrees in terms of culpability in the realms of motive and circumstance and that somehow Trump is less guilty because his marriage was rotten or that the foundation for the adulterous relationship was in the context of church. Even if this is true, which apparently it isn't, it could be argued the church context actually might make the whole thing worse. You can add sacrilege on top of everything else if you utilise the Church as a cover for sin.

Nevertheless she is severely mistaken and instead reflects the values of the wealthy empowered class to which she belongs.

And yet, she's considered a font of Christian wisdom by many and last I knew attended an ostensibly Reformed congregation in the Manhattan area. Of course it might be noted the congregation she's associated with promotes what we would call a very compromised and bankrupt form of Dominion Theology.  

Will no one call her out on her statements? Will no one hold her to account? I hate to sound like a Prelate or Ecclesiastic at this point but is she accountable or not? She has set herself up as a teacher of doctrine and wisdom and in fact is far more powerful in terms of her influence and audience than the pastor she supposedly sits under... who is pretty famous as well. Not a few Tim Keller fans are upset by her words and the quality of her character and believe that she's at odds with Keller's overall message. Of course there's some debate as to whether or not she even shows up to church. Nevertheless while Keller comes across as soft-spoken and intellectual his words all too often drip with doctrinal poison and Coulter while tacky and lame merely represents their outworking.

It's amazing how many ways politics works to subvert the order of the Church and undermines it. While championing 'Conservatism' it actually lets Theological Liberalism and Consequentialist ethics have free reign in the Body of Christ. Political and pragmatic considerations end up casting down Biblical ideals. While the veracity of the Text may be upheld it is cut into a thousand pieces by expedients and necessary tactical positions. I'm glad the Christian Right rejects Evolution and rightly so, but in their zeal for power they've also rejected a host of additional Biblical teachings.

On the same website Pat Boone is cited for his outrage over an SNL skit. He's right the skit was blasphemous. I didn't see it but I heard about it and that was enough. And yet Pat Boone is going to levy this criticism? Pat Boone's life is one of virtue and Christian witness? You'll pardon me for doubting if Pat Boone is really on the same side as the New Testament. He seems to be offering some great real estate deals though.

Like it or not Christian Conservatives have facilitated not only the rise but the authority of Ann Coulter and those like her. She's one of their spokesmen and leaders. Will they reconsider? I doubt it very much.

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