In the end, her message was lost in the fallout

first_imgDeutsch: We should all be Christian? Coulter: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donnie? Deutsch: So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place? Coulter: Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you’re not. Deutsch: I actually am. That’s not true. I really am. But – so we would be better if we were – if people – if there were no Jews, no Buddhists – THE pundit industry saw a nice uptick recently thanks to Ann Coulter’s appearance on MSNBC’s “The Big Idea,” hosted by Donnie Deutsch. Seems an ignorant and offensive statement about religion was made in the course of the interview. Too bad the pundits hit the wrong target. Saying that Ann Coulter is not nuanced is like saying lye does not remove rust. Duh. But we could all stand to think more, and emote less, about objective differences between different worldviews. The latest tempest, of course, was Coulter’s teapot use of the word “perfected” to describe Jews who would believe in Jesus. The context was Deutsch’s line of questioning about what America would look like if Ann Coulter’s dreams came true. Fair enough. But when, in the course of her answer, she dropped the C-bomb, the normally affable host turned surly and promptly charged her with first degree IWC, Interviewing While Christian (italics mine): Coulter: Whenever I’m harangued by – Deutsch: – in this country? You can’t believe that …. Why don’t I put you with the head of Iran? I mean, come on. You can’t believe that. Coulter: The head of Iran is not a Christian. Deutsch: No, but in fact, “Let’s wipe Israel” – Coulter: I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention. Deutsch: “Let’s wipe Israel off the Earth.” I mean, what, no Jews? Coulter: No, we think – we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. Is it really a shock to learn that Christians – by the hundreds of millions, actually – believe everyone would be better off Christian? And did I miss where the New Testament teaches that Jews are somehow exempt from the message of the Gospel? The right word to describe Donnie Deutsch’s comparing his guest to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his pondering whether she plots to have a Jew-free world, is chutzpah. She has just finished telling him that in her “dream America,” the Democratic Party would look like Joe Lieberman. Strange that a closet anti-Semite would hold up as her exemplar the most conspicuously religious Jew in American public life. This doesn’t matter. She was talking theology, not politics; and her host literally did not understand what she was saying. Oh, Coulter could have filled out what she meant by “perfected,” or chosen words like “fulfilled” or “completed” (both of which are used proudly by many Jews who become Christians); and she might have added that Jews do not cease being Jewish if they accept Jesus as the Messiah, or that she didn’t mean Christians are somehow “perfect.” But this doesn’t matter, either. All that matters, as Deutsch inadvertently demonstrated, is that the dogmas of secularism are rigid, and brook no dissent. One angry guest on an L.A. talk-radio show labeled Coulter, among other nasty things, “divisive” and “bad news for the Republican Party.” Why is admitting substantial differences divisive, and not merely candid? Answer: indifferentism, aka relativism, is today called tolerance; orthodox religious faith is labeled fanaticism. Deutsch’s claim to practice his Jewish faith is counterintuitive, to say the least, considering that the world got its monotheism from the unshakable conviction that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one true God. The Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians were not amused by this then, as their ideological successors are not amused today. Paradoxically, the unique truth claims of Judaism and of Christianity, especially regarding their respect for the family and for the dignity of the human person, are a source of unity between church and synagogue. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched arm in arm with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., famously said that the first prerequisite for interfaith dialogue is faith. In light of the hysterical reactions to Coulter’s unvarnished observation, that advice is as rare as it is wise. Patrick Coffin is a writer in Santa Clarita. Contact him through his blog, local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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