08/31/2003: "Sorry, Ann – You and Your Big-C Friends Don’t Own God"
Ann Coulter has been quite visible of late hawking Treason, not the crime but the book that furthers the contributions she made to Western Civilization in her earlier works High Crimes and Misdemeanors and Slander. Doubtless she’ll be back next year with a spotlight on further Liberal crimes, maybe Moral Turpitude (or is that a Big-C Conservative specialty?). In any case, her talking head, perched high on that amazing giraffe neck, has been virtually omnipresent on the tube this summer. (Oops – I’m getting a little too personal for an Advocate of Moderation! Let’s try again). In any case, there’s a certain practice she’s been displaying that really grinds my gears: ascribing ownership of God to her kind of folks, the extreme right wing. For example, on a recent appearance where she was the token “conservative” she brought up out of the blue how devout people are more orgasmic. I myself don’t doubt that this is true, but the clear implication was that the words “devout” and “religious right” were interchangeable. Sadly, the attitude she had so clearly on display is entirely consistent with many interactions I have had with the political religious right, whether through media outlets, emails, message board postings, and particularly my personal participation in religious observances. I mentioned previously how I was shocked when visiting my Grandfather’s church in Florida at the naked political partisanship on display there, without any consideration whatsoever that a participant in a Bible study group, even a visitor, would not hold extreme right wing political views. (Fortunately this is a less prevalent situation where I live, outside of the Bible Belt). From such experiences sprang many of the Devil’s Dictionary Big-C definitions relating to religion, for example, the universal Big-C assumption that God is a Republican (as Republican is defined by Big-C Conservatives: a right-wing zealot with thirst for Liberal blood). Unfortunately, Ann, there are a number of problems with your presumption that Heaven looks with favor only on those with Big-C Conservative political views. First is the problem of numbers. America is an extremely devout country, and there are many more believers than there are those self-identified as hard-right conservatives (as opposed to little-c moderates with conservative inclinations). Most people in America are not prepared to accept Joseph McCarthy as an unsung hero, as Ann does in Treason. Also, there is a huge disconnect between right-wing policies and basic religious teachings on toleration and compassion (and, no, mere mouthing of the c-word doesn’t count. “Faith without works is dead.”) If anyone feels like a laugh based on this particular right-wing pretension, check out the earlier Sunday blog entry on “The Church of the Big Sea.” I can certainly understand why Ann wants to position herself as having a readership that is exactly equivalent to one of the very largest demographic groups in our country, but, as my kids might say, “Sure, Right!”