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Ann Coulter Gets One Right (Sort Of)


Ann Coulter, Christian Cross, and Dr. Kent Brantly
We like Ann Coulter, and we particularly like to use her as a foil and example of how some people with good conservative instincts get it wrong when they stick-up for the Republican establishment, such as Ann does with her regular defense of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
 
So, in our version of “fair and balanced” we want to give Ann Coulter a shout out for getting it right (sort of) in a recent column and Fox News appearance.
 
Ann’s column “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic” takes to task Dr. Kent Brantly, the Christian missionary doctor currently being treated for the Ebola virus in Atlanta, for doing his missionary work in Africa instead of right here at home.
 
Coulter makes a case that Christians who go on foreign missionary trips are doing so in a form of “Christian narcissism” and that “They're tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots. So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works…”
 
We’re not buying that part of Ann’s analysis. American Christian missionaries were doing good works and preaching the Gospel overseas long before American culture crashed into its present state of turpitude.
 
To say Christians who leave America to do their good works leave because they are too weak to fight the culture war here or are narcissistic and looking for recognition from popular culture just doesn’t square with our personal experience of these Godly men and women.
 
But we do think she got one thing right in that column: “America is the most consequential nation on Earth, and in desperate need of God at the moment. If America falls, it will be a thousand years of darkness for the entire planet.”
 
Ronald Reagan said much the same thing in his speech “A Time for Choosing” that he delivered in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.
 
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness,” said Reagan.
 
The question is how best to keep America from falling?
 
A good number of Americans of a conservative bent seem to think that the best way to keep America from falling is through politics, and that if we just elect the right people to the right offices we will stop the decline of America.
 
Coulter’s column reminds us that such thinking is folly.
 
“About 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year. More than 38,000 die of drug overdoses, half of them from prescription drugs. More than 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Despite the runaway success of "midnight basketball," a healthy chunk of those children go on to murder other children, rape grandmothers, bury little girls alive -- and then eat a sandwich. A power-mad president has thrown approximately 10 percent of all Americans off their health insurance -- the rest of you to come! All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity,” says Coulter. “So no, there's nothing for a Christian to do here.”
 
Back in 2008 Cal Thomas wrote a column on this topic that we will summarize and paraphrase here.
 
“Social movements that relied mainly on political power to enforce a conservative moral code weren’t anywhere near as successful as those that focused on changing hearts. The four religious revivals, from the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s to the Fourth Great Awakening in the late 1960s and early ’70s, which touched America and instantly transformed millions of Americans (and American culture as a result), are testimony to that,” Cal Thomas said.
 
“Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?
 
I opt for trying something else,” concluded Thomas.
 
Thomas went on to make the point that too many conservatives have put too much faith in the power of government to transform culture. The futility inherent in such misplaced faith can be demonstrated by asking these activists a simple question: Does the secular left, when it holds power, persuade conservatives to live by their standards?
 
Of course they do not. Why, then, would conservatives expect people who do not share their worldview and view of God to accept their beliefs when they control government?
 
Too many conservatives, said Thomas, “mistake political power for influence. Politicians who struggle with imposing a moral code on themselves are unlikely to succeed in their attempts to impose it on others.” What is the answer, then, for conservatives who are rightly concerned about the corrosion of culture, the indifference to the value of human life and the living arrangements of same- and opposite-sex couples?
 
Conservatives were at a junction, said Cal Thomas. “They can take the path that will lead them to more futility and ineffective attempts to reform culture through government, or they can embrace the far more powerful methods outlined by the One they claim to follow. By following His example, they will decrease, but He will increase. They will get no credit, but they will see results.”
 
If conservatives choose obscurity and seek to glorify God, they will get much of what they hope for, but can never achieve, in and through politics, concluded Thomas in a strange presage of Ann Coulter’s conclusions about overseas missionaries.
 
Many conservatives may not like Ann Coulter’s tough and almost personal attack on the motives of Christian overseas missionaries, like Dr. Brantly, but hidden behind the over-the-top language is a point others have made in more easily digested terms: Scripture teaches, as Cal Thomas noted, that God’s power is not exercised through governments – it is manifested in each of us.
 
Ann Coulter was right. If we want to save America we need to buck up, serve our own country by preaching the Gospel and leading one American at a time to Christ, and as we do so remind ourselves every day of Christ's words: "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you."

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