God's Politics

God's Politics


Becky Garrison: Coulter Christianity?

posted by gp_intern

Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and other New Atheists cite Fred Phelps, Jerry Falwell, and Ann Coulter as ontological proof that all Christians are hypocrites. Using this logic, I could turn the tables around and pick out, say, the Marquis de Sade, Mao Tse-tung, and Marilyn Manson. I can use their stories to prove that all atheists are sadists, dictators, and really bad rock musicians. In the words of Dana Carvey (a.k.a. former President George H.W. Bush), “Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.”

While Phelps, Falwell, and Coulter clearly represent minority views, the Christian community still implodes in popular perception when it comes to the hot button issue of homosexuality. But as we pray about how to address this controversial topic, can we at least come to a consensus that proclaiming “God Hates Fags” during funeral services for servicemen killed in Iraq supposedly because they’re defending a pro-homosexual nation, blaming the 9/11 terrorist attacks on gays and lesbians, or, most recently, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” are moves that go directly against Jesus’ teachings?

Lest anyone think I am picking only on conservatives, I remember a nasty few run-ins I had with John Shelby Spong back in the early ‘90s. He stayed on my dorm floor at Yale Divinity School for a month while he was researching a book. Suffice to say, I got more than an earful of his diatribes against orthodoxy. Like Falwell and friends, Spong preferred to stand on his soapbox hawking his wares rather than engaging in genuine dialogue with those of us who dare to differ with his rather strident views.

So, what should Christians do when both the New Atheists and the media act as though the actions of extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are indicative of Christianity as a whole? Do we stay silent and hope they will just fade away? And if we should speak, how do we respond so that the love of Christ shines through?

Becky Garrison
Becky Garrison is author of Contemplating Coulter Christianity, an Amazon short.



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Payshun

posted March 6, 2007 at 10:47 pm


You all fell for it. No more Coulter please. I realize she was nothing more than a footnote in the post but why mention her at all. She’s not news, a fool but not news. p



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Paul

posted March 6, 2007 at 11:34 pm


Debbie, I too am dismayed at Ms. Coulter, but what you don’t seem to realize is that many believe that the other end of the spectrum which has done equally as much damage to the kingdom is not the athiests you cite, but the likes of Jim Wallis and others here.I am sorry that I don’t know a better way to express that, and I expect to get hammered for it, but I do pray that some day there will be an increase of selfawareness here. cheers, Paul



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Paul

posted March 6, 2007 at 11:36 pm


Becky, My apologies of not getting your name right. Wish there was a way of going back and fixing that. cheers, Paul



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 6, 2007 at 11:43 pm


Paul — I beg to differ. Coulter for years has literally made a living by slandering people, while Wallis et al have simply taken conservatives to task for what they have said (and don’t necessarily get paid for it). Only conservatives believe that Wallis is on the same moral plain, or depth depending on your perspective; in fact, they hate us for even disagreeing with them.



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jurisnaturalist

posted March 6, 2007 at 11:55 pm


Whenever political ideologies clash there will be name calling. These opposing sides are fighting over who gets a bigger slice of the pie. The potential material consequences are substantial. The potential power at stake is frightening. To act politically is to use the tools and methods of power and manipulation. As believers we are called to renounce political means, not necessarily abandon the political arena, but to be qualitatively different. This is how we can shine through, by ceasing to be taken for granted by any political party, but to be an irritant transcending their static spectrum pointing to the truth that confounds all politics, as it did Pilate. Coulter is entertaining to her audience. She is not convincing anyone new.



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Mark

posted March 6, 2007 at 11:59 pm


jurisnaturalist: “This is how we can shine through, by ceasing to be taken for granted by any political party, but to be an irritant transcending their static spectrum pointing to the truth that confounds all politics, as it did Pilate.” Well said! Mark



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Aaron

posted March 7, 2007 at 12:05 am


Coulter is new people… She is an extremist that needs to be made news for so long that everyone knows how far right she is and just how full of hate she is so that her advertisers leave her site (which is starting to happen) and that no news channels (Fox News doesn’t count, lol) will bring her on. The final goal should then be that no newspaper carries her column. The same goes for all those that are full of hate. The only way to stop them is with more speech and more action. That is the way that we should respond.



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Don

posted March 7, 2007 at 12:08 am


Becky: Ann Coulter is a shameless slanderer. She does not talk like a Christian should (what is that commandment about bearing false witness?) and she should be held to task for that by other Christians. The real sad thing is that some Christians are willing to listen to her and agree with her. I’m not sure which is worse–her spouting venom or others’ listening to it. Ann Coulter’s vitriol would die away, pretty quickly too, if she didn’t have an audience. Peace,



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Elmo

posted March 7, 2007 at 12:28 am


While I agree that the three things you mention are clearly wrong, when did “popular perception” become part of the church’s mission? It seemed to me that a positive “popular perception” was the opposite of our goal. Whether you look at the Pharisees, Sadducees, Roman gov’t, or Greek pagans, the popular perception of the church for it’s first few centuries was pretty bad. I’m not saying it’s bad for the culture to look well on the church, but we shouldn’t be thinking of that when we make theological, doctrinal, or political decisions. What we should be thinking about is the Gospel: how we respond to God’s grace.



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kevin s.

posted March 7, 2007 at 12:41 am


It seems a pity. Here is a woman who graduated from Cornell, edited the Michigan Law Review and founded the federalist society there. She was obviously considered a brilliant jurist. She could have become a brilliant jurist, or an articulate defender of conservative values. One thing that I think about her is that, while she always had a penchant for shooting her mouth off, 9/11 changed something in her. One of her best friends, Barbara Olson, was killed on United 93, and it was after this point that she became unhinged. That, or when she dated Bill Maher.



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Aaron

posted March 7, 2007 at 2:25 am


While Phelps, Falwell, and Coulter clearly represent minority views,… Phew, thank goodness I wasn’t drinking anything while reading that.



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Wolverine

posted March 7, 2007 at 2:41 am


Aaron, What do you mean by that? Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:10 am


The final goal should then be that no newspaper carries her column. The same goes for all those that are full of hate. The problem is not so much her hate but that she is willing to lie in order to promote her agenda. I think most newspapers are on to her — my own would never carry her.



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Mike Hayes

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:38 am


A very wise person I knew observed that “…the one with the most things to say, wins…”. Another version of that is that “…the last thing we hear is what we remember…”. Scary thought…



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 4:12 am


Rick Nowlin, Tragically, your assumption that only conservatives think of Wallis that way is a prime example of the ideological blindness I was refering to. I know people who have views very similar to Jim’s but who are ashamed of the way he conducts himself.cheers, Paul



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jeff

posted March 7, 2007 at 4:26 am


Although none can doubt Ms. Coulter s intelligence and ascerbism, her publicity stunt was in poor taste, and she it would be more than appropriate if all deny her the attention she so desparately wants by forever tuning this shrieking banshee out. Of course this won’t happen, as she like many others of both political bents are experts at manipulation of media. Ann Coulter is no idiot at all. Those words were not an innocent joke as she has recently claimed. She knew the impact they would have.



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 5:15 am


I’ve noticed the same oversimplification. One major variant is that atheists caricature the religious as stupid and the religious caricature atheists as immmoral.



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Joseph T

posted March 7, 2007 at 8:19 am


I agree with Aaron. I think it should be very hard for such hateful messages to find a forum, she has become a shame and embarrassment to those who sponsor her. I allow for a great range of communication in myself and others.More than once I have gone too far, but I believe that even some name-calling can be effective and provocative. Jesus used it. The prophets use it. There is a line, though. The more name calling and belittling is the message, and the less an actual message is presented in an honest attempt to persuade and enlighten, the closer one comes to that line. Hate has a deadening cruelty to it, a deep denial of the humanity of people with other ideas, races, religions or ways of living. It has a bitter taste, and produces bitter fruit.



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Marshal Phillips

posted March 7, 2007 at 11:36 am


The problem with the column is that too many so-called “Christians” agree with Ms Coulter. The fact that many in her audience of Conservative “Christians” where she used the other F word laughed speaks to this disquieting hateful fact. Target gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination must end. Jesus was not about establishing a kingdom on earth, but warning us not to judge or point fingers at others, but to live our own lives with probity and to love our neighbors. Ending all spiritual abuse and discrimination against our gay neighbors will be an important first step for all of us.



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Timbuktoo

posted March 7, 2007 at 1:50 pm


Ann Coulter should be ignored and forgotten. She is mean and her contributions to the public debate are harmful and useless.



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Mark P

posted March 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm


Great post Becky.



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Joseph T

posted March 7, 2007 at 2:54 pm


I agree with Aaron. I think it should be very hard for such hateful messages to find a forum, she has become a shame and embarrassment to those who sponsor her. I allow for a great range of communication in myself and others.More than once I have gone too far, but I believe that even some name-calling can be effective and provocative. Jesus used it. The prophets use it. There is a line, though. The more name calling and belittling is the message, and the less an actual message is presented in an honest attempt to persuade and enlighten, the closer one comes to that line. Hate has a deadening cruelty to it, a deep denial of the humanity of people with other ideas, races, religions or ways of living. It has a bitter taste, and produces bitter fruit.



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Joseph T, “There is a line, though. The more name calling and belittling is the message, and the less an actual message is presented in an honest attempt to persuade and enlighten, the closer one comes to that line. Hate has a deadening cruelty to it, a deep denial of the humanity of people with other ideas, races, religions or ways of living. It has a bitter taste, and produces bitter fruit.” Truer words have not been spoken. Sadly, the irony will be lost on most. Matthew 12:37 comes to mind. I wish the implications of Matthew 12:20 were truely understood here. I would commend Tom Sine’s “Ceasefire” for your consideration. http://www.amazon.com/Cease-Fire-Searching-Americas-Culture/dp/0802843344 cheers, Paul



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t.mc.cool

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:17 pm


I cringe everytime Falwell, Dobson, Coulter, et.al., open their mouths. And the media are right there to document their every word. Media relations has been part of my professional career for over 20 years. I know how this game is played, and who’s to blame isn’t always clear. Coulter and others have paid publicists whose job is to get their clients in front of reporters. After all, they have books to sell, and media exposure enhances the bottom line. The media love controversy, and seek extremist views. Plus they will put on air anyone who claims to be Christian and has a tendency to make outrageous statements. It’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. Is it the fault of person throwing the gasoline (the religious right) or the person who started the fire (the media)? What really dismays me are the Christians who say, “The Christian message is one people don’t like to hear, but we have to say it anyway.” They point to the persecution of Jesus as the way it will always be. But who did Jesus rail against? The religious leaders of his day – the predecessors of Falwell, ect. – while he partied with the ones whom the religious leaders hated the most. Christianity has a bad public image, and it’s the so-called Christian “leaders” of today who are to blame. I’m sure you’ll say it’s “always been that way because our message is hard to take.” Calling people “faggots,” criticizing fellow Christians because you don’t agree with them, and advising those who follow you to do the same, is not what I learn when I read my Bible.



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t.mc.cool

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:26 pm


Marshall Phillips, I disagree with only one thing in your previous post. Our Lord’s prayer says, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”I think it is our duty to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth through us, outposts of the kingdom of God, where the Holy Spirit dwells within us, each of us a temple of the Spirit, where God dwells and heaven and earth overlap. What trips people is how they define “kingdom” in the earthly sense and not the spiritual sense. McLaren has written on this, as has many others, including N.T. Wright who is slightly more conservative in his theology. I suggest you read (or re-read) their thoughts on the kingdom of God/heaven.



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anonymous

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:29 pm


Thank you for pointing out that reactionism exists on ALL sides; from the religious right, to the religious left, to the not religious. Any time we are motivated by reaction against other people, other doctrines or movements–and especially when that reaction is an angry or disgusted one–I believe we are on the wrong path. We take our focus away from pursuing truth, and once the things we are so desperately trying to avoid are no longer an issue, there is nothing substantial or positive that is left. People like Spong who dedicate their entire life to publicly denouncing the human flaws in Christendom do a major disservice to the name of Christ, and really miss the point as well. In fact I think many on this website have fallen into the same trap. It’s easy to see how Coulter’s name-calling is unattractive (although I think she is more associated with conservatives than with Christianity), but let that be a warning to those here who solely in the name of Christ would do the same to their brothers & sisters. The names used might be different but the spirit is often the same; or sometimes worse for the bitter anger and lack of humor.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:38 pm


Aaron posted a reflection on the comment: “While Phelps, Falwell, and Coulter clearly represent minority views,…” To whit, “Phew, thank goodness I wasn’t drinking anything while reading that. Aaron | 03.06.07 – 9:30 pm | #Wolverine doesn’t seem to get it, and asks, “Aaron, What do you mean by that?” Wolfie, it means in an ironic sense that although Phelps, Coulter, Falsewell et al DO represent minority views, they represent themselves as the, ahem, “Moral” (bigger AHEM) “Majority”.And here all along I thought you were smart and could have figured it out. Glad to be of help.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:41 pm


Rick Nowlin, “The problem is not so much her hate but that she is willing to lie in order to promote her agenda.” How is this different from Foulwell’s ‘pronouncements’ that gays ’caused’ 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina? How is it different from those on the “right” who constantly compare gay people’s committed relationsihps to beastiality, incest, rape, necrophilia, child-molestation, cannabalism, etc.? These are ALL hateful lies and promote their agenda.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:45 pm


Joseph T, “There is a line, though.” Why are so many on the “right” willing to cross it? “The more name calling and belittling is the message, and the less an actual message is presented in an honest attempt to persuade and enlighten, the closer one comes to that line. Hate has a deadening cruelty to it, a deep denial of the humanity of people with other ideas, races, religions or ways of living. It has a bitter taste, and produces bitter fruit.” Agreed. See above references to beastiality, necrophilia, etc. for ample, demonstrable proof. Their comments are MEANT to be “a deep denial of the humanity of people with other ideas, races, religions or ways of living”. They diminish, demean and debase gay people on purpose. And it is my belief that, in the end, it will be the cause of their downfall. Thinking people KNOW better.



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kevin s.

posted March 7, 2007 at 3:48 pm


“How is it different from those on the “right” who constantly compare gay people’s committed relationsihps to beastiality, incest, rape, necrophilia, child-molestation, cannabalism, etc.? ” I have seldom heard this comparison. What you are referring to is the argument that the logic that is often used to support legal gay marriage could be attributed to what you describe. It is a vehicle to point out faulty logic, not a moral equivalency.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm


Tragically, your assumption that only conservatives think of Wallis that way is a prime example of the ideological blindness I was refering to. I know people who have views very similar to Jim’s but who are ashamed of the way he conducts himself. There’s a difference. Many conservatives don’t like him because he doesn’t agree with them, period; they believe that they should have the only word when it comes to religion in the public square. On the other hand, I would think that Jim might accept some criticism from time to time.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 4:29 pm


How is this different from Foulwell’s ‘pronouncements’ that gays ’caused’ 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina? It isn’t. On the other hand, my own pastor, whom I totally respect as a man of God, rejected that analysis concerning 9/11 but did say he believed that Katrina may have done so — but, after talking with him, primarily in the context of “who was going to get all that money” the “Southern Decadence” convention would have brought in. Certainly not the poor, which has always been his concern.



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 5:23 pm


Rick Nowlin “There’s a difference. Many conservatives don’t like him because he doesn’t agree with them, period; they believe that they should have the only word when it comes to religion in the public square.” And if you had been paying attention, you would know that I am not defending them at all. My concern and that of many others I know is not the postion so much, as the unchristian ways it is continually expressed. You really don’t get it. If this were simply about ideology, I would simply let well enough alone and say to myself, let them continue to alienate people. If you and Jim et al would listen to the valid criticism made against the “way” you communicate you would probably find yourselves much more effective in persuading people than you currently are. I am willing to bet that the only people who find Jim et al persuasive are those who already hold their left wing views. For many of us we now simply say “a plague on both of your houses!” I WANT to be able to hear this point of view, even though I disagree with it, but having to wade through all the garbage all the time, makes it seem like it is really not worth the effort. If you were really interested in effective communication, (or dialogue as I have seen reference to here,) rather than debate which is now much more about proving onself right, rather than informing, you would take heed. (I really suspect that I am waisting my breath here.) “On the other hand, I would think that Jim might accept some criticism from time to time.” Would that this were true. In the 30 years I have known Jim, I have seen no evidence of this. cheers, Paul



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 5:44 pm


In the 30 years I have known Jim, I have seen no evidence of this. You know him personally? Then take it to him directly.



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justintime

posted March 7, 2007 at 5:58 pm


Attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee clapped, cheered and generally approved when Ann Coulter insinuated that John Edwards is a “faggot”. Watch the clip: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sx9Bi3C4rs8 This says a lot about the conservative movement in America. Coulter thrives on lies, bigotry and slander. Conservatives eat it up. It’s their substitute for political dialogue. But Kevin S and Wolvie are above this, right? Coulter’s advertisers are bailing out on her since her ill advised slander of Edwards. .



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:11 pm


Rick Nowlin, You assume I haven’t tried. Since we met 30 years ago, when I was doing graduate work in Theology, any attempts I have made to communicate directly have gone unanswered, which has given me a distinct impression of how willing the Sojourners crowd is to listen to views different from their own. Wish I was wrong. cheers, Paul



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:18 pm


You assume I haven’t tried. Since we met 30 years ago, when I was doing graduate work in Theology, any attempts I have made to communicate directly have gone unanswered, which has given me a distinct impression of how willing the Sojourners crowd is to listen to views different from their own. You dodged my question — do you know him PERSONALLY? Apparently not. How do you thus know that he’s simply ignoring you when, considering the volume of communication he receives, he can’t reply personally to every piece of correspondence? My views on the right, on the other hand, come largely from with specific experiences I have had with conservative media figures, since the 1980s.



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Wolverine

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:24 pm


Justintime: Maybe you’re talking about another clip? I heard at least as many groans as cheers at Coulter’s remarks. I’ve never been an Ann Coulter fan. She reminded me of Pat Buchanan — she always seemed to enjoy being angry just a little too much. And while she continues to have a lot of fans I know I’m not alone among conservatives in thinking this way. Wolverine



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neuro_nurse

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:32 pm


What difference is there between Ann Coulter and Anna Nicole Smith? Anna Nicole Smith got attention for her outrageous behavior; Ann Coulter gets attention for her outrageous statements. Both of them receive[d] financial rewards for their behavior as well as the psychological reinforcement of receiving public attention. If Ann Coulter is as well educated and has (had) as much potential as billed, why then does she spend her time and talent on destructive behavior? (If anyone can tell me of any redeeming qualities of the likes of Ann Coulter or Fred Phelps for that matter, please enlighten me) It is true that Anna Nicole Smith lived a self-destructive lifestyle the eventually led to her death, but Ann Coulter certainly seems to have had a distinct advantage over Anna Nicole Smith (by objective criteria, gentlemen). I think liberals may be more to blame for the attention Ann Coulter receives than anyone else. We love to hate her. I find her absolutely repulsive, yet I find myself reading any news article about her that I find like a person who slows down to gawk at a traffic accident. My assessment of Anna Nicole Smith and Ann Coulter are the same: they are very tragic individuals whose lack of self-esteem has driven them to seek attention in the most sensational ways they could concoct. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. From this perspective, they both deserve our compassion and prayers. If you don t plan to pull over, get out of your car, and help the victims of a traffic accident, or the EMTs are on the scene, then please don t stare as you drive by.



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Paul

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:57 pm


Rick Nowlin, Sorry to have misunderstood you. I thought the thrust of your question was that I should take my concerns to Jim directly, which I have tired to do. When we spent time together, we actually got along well. I have been very saddened by how things have developed since then. cheers, Paul



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kevin s.

posted March 7, 2007 at 6:58 pm


That was a less than enthusiastic response to the joke. And yes, I am above it. Are you above the disgusting bigotry of Amanda Marcotte?



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carl copas

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:05 pm


who is Amanda Marcotte?



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Litz

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:08 pm


Perhaps the reason that the culture lumps ALL Christians into the same camp as the Rev. Phelps and Ann Coulter is because the religious community continually fails to respond when hate speech like this is used. I have yet to hear any religious leaders denounce Ann Coulter.



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Litz

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:11 pm


Amanda Marcotte is the liberal blogger John Edwards hired to run his campaign blog. Marcotte resigned after Catholic extremist Bill Donohue started hitting the news shows complaining about some of the things she’d said on her personal blog. I’mtold that Bill Donohue does not speak for all Catholics, that he’s as much a fringe voice as, say, Rev. Phelps is to Baptists. But … Donohue hits CNN and I don’t hear anyone denouncing some of his intolerant views.



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Ted Voth Jr

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:20 pm


Ms Garrison?To your question: ‘So, what should Christians do when both the New Atheists and the media act as though the actions of extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are indicative of Christianity as a whole? Do we stay silent and hope they will just fade away? And if we should speak, how do we respond so that the love of Christ shines through?’ Jesus’ answer? Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.



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kevin s.

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:26 pm


“Amanda Marcotte is the liberal blogger John Edwards hired to run his campaign blog. Marcotte resigned after Catholic extremist Bill Donohue started hitting the news shows complaining about some of the things she’d said on her personal blog.” Donohue isn’t anywhere near the league of Phelps. Get real. Further, pressure came from just about everywhere for Marcotte to resign, including the Christian Alliance for Progress.Marcotte’s statements about Christians and Catholics are not repeatable on this blog, and were more disgusting than even Coulter.



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Another nonymous

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:28 pm


To answer Becky’s question: What we should do is proclaim as loudly as we can, and as often as possible, that homosexuals are loved and are welcome in the Kingdom of God. Period. What we believe about whether this disposition is chosen or inborn, whether it’s possible to hate the sin and love the sinner, etc., should be a distant second. First we need to redefine the debate to make it clear that these – not the radical, unconditional nature of the Gospel – are the issues on which it is possible to disagree.



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Stephen

posted March 7, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Becky, I appreciated your post but was dismayed at your dissing of John Shelby Spong. In my journey out of Ann Coulter-like fundamentalism Spong has been one of my most trusted guides. Many things we have assumed to be true about God, Jesus, and the bible are nothing more than fables. Few have been as effective as Spong in directing me and thousands more to a more spiritual, non-literalistic, and human understanding.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 7, 2007 at 8:58 pm


When we spent time together, we actually got along well. I have been very saddened by how things have developed since then. Well, I can think of a Christian talk-show host whom I used to challenge from time to time and whom I still remain friends with. (The last time I saw him he bought me lunch because he lost a bet he made with me on the air!) Also, there have been a few posts referring to Bill Donohue — I knew him personally; he helped me get on that show precisely because I got in his face, figuratively. It’s thus important not to take these things personally — you may be on different sides of the issue but still able to communicate.



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Esther

posted March 7, 2007 at 9:45 pm


t.mc.cool wrote: “Our Lord’s prayer says, ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.’ …[O]ur duty[is]to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth through us, outposts of the kingdom of God, where the Holy Spirit dwells within us, each of us a temple of the Spirit, where God dwells and heaven and earth overlap.” Well put. Those of us who dare to represent Christ in this world should keep this in mind at all times. If we follow Jesus, we should not only advocate loving others, we should actually discover what there is to love about every person we meet. When we have learned to love instead of judge, we will have discovered that we do indeed live in the Kingdom.



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Joseph T

posted March 7, 2007 at 10:10 pm


Amanda Marcotte is a good example that vitriolic poison can come from the left, and is even fairly typical of the kind of anger from this direction. I think it unfair to allow her behavior to discredit Jon Edwards ,who asked her to resign upon discovering her offensive speech.We must also allow these people the possibility of change. I think this kind of anger often starts with genuine moral outrage. Who is not outraged at the Abuse of children by priests, or the murder of political opposition by Pinochet, the mass Killings of Stalin, the murder of anabaptists by other protestants and Catholics etc. There is sometimes a legitimate comparison to be made between current atrocities and past atrocities. The problem comes with the demonization of entire groups, nations, religions, races etc for the crimes of a small part of that group. Harsh criticism, to be morally sound, must be specific and limited to those who commit or promote atrocious behavior. It must be accurate within the best attempt to know the facts and ideas involved. Again , I think sometimes ridicule is useful and effective. Some people are so bombastically puffed up and willing to bully and castigate that sarcasm and ridicule is one way to deflate their power,and replace anger with laughter. Molly Ivins had this gift.It is always a matter of pointing sharp words at behavior, ideas, and hypocrisy rather than at the soul. Jon Stewart does it well. I don’t think Marcotte or Coulter are funny, or effective because they have fallen into both of the errors I have tried to describe.On this blog we are engaged in a dialog about life and death issues. Passions run deep around such things. Some here hold views I find offensive, and deeply disagree with. I can be pretty smart-alecky as my mother used to say, but there is not a single person I hate or wish ill toward. I have many personal friends who are conservative and whom I deeply respect for their inegrity, the way they live and the way they relate to their neighbors. This is about politics and religion, the things one is not supposed to talk about. But I think we can if we are willing to learn from the process. I have made errors of judgement and will probably never be free of such. I have probably offended some though I have tried to avoid directing my smart aleck stuff to any I thought might be personally injured.Becky has given us something worth thinking about. I do sense a core dialog here that is improving, if ever so slightly. There seem to be a few more middle range voices, all to the good.



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Aaron

posted March 7, 2007 at 10:18 pm


Marcotte’s statements about Christians and Catholics are not repeatable on this blog, and were more disgusting than even Coulter. True, but Coulter’s been spewing vile crap for years yet is still invited and applauded at such events as CPAC whereas Marcotte had 15 minutes of fame.



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Rhonda

posted March 7, 2007 at 10:46 pm


My question is “Does Ann Coulter profess to be a Christian?” I certainly don’t get that idea whenever I listen to anything she has to say. She seems like a very angry individual. I don’t see any humility or gentleness of spirit. Whether you agree with anything Jim Wallis has to say or not, he always does it in a spirit of humbleness. I can understand being passionate about the things that you believe in, but as Christians shouldn’t we have some respect for the individuals who have differing opinions? I think that you can have a lot more of a Christian influence if you don’t try to beat people over the head with your ideas and beliefs.



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justintime

posted March 7, 2007 at 11:20 pm


Wolvie, Maybe you’re talking about another clip? I heard at least as many groans as cheers at Coulter’s remarks. That was an auditory hallucination you were experiencing, Wolvie. .



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Dr. JHP

posted March 7, 2007 at 11:39 pm


It is clear from reading and listening to Ann Coulter that her maturity level is sophmoric and she lacks self-differentiation. Respect, consideration, empathy, dignity, honor are all missing in her approach. Unfortunatey, it hooks those base attitudes in others. All honest debate rises above it. However, if others keep giving her rope – well, we know what will eventually happen. Let her talk herself into a corner. She will “slander” herself out of popularity.



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buck0

posted March 8, 2007 at 12:29 am


I agree with the person who stood up for Bishop Spong. He was out there calling attention to fundie-christian hypocrisy long before Wallis had a bestseller. Furthermore, I’ve met him several times, heard him speak publicly, and found him to be kind very kind and gracious. I don’t like the way many emerging church leaders are distancing themselves from Spong, especially since he has done so much to clear the way for the emerging church in the first place.



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Gary

posted March 8, 2007 at 3:54 am


I’ve generally enjoyed Ann’s writings, which are for the most part extremely insightful and brimming with pertinent and very good points, but like lots of conservatives I cringe when she says things that I know will be misunderstood and pounced upon. I have a hard time though getting too outraged about her usually joking comments when I think of the volume of truly hateful and demeaning non-joking comments made by the left about conservatives, and all Christians. But while we’re busy bashing Ann Coulter, we’re forgetting that the butt of her joke is one of the biggest moral hypocrites in American politics. He sucked millions out of the health care system by defrauding well-intentioned doctors, keeping a generous share for himself of course, and then goes on to whine about the poor state of American health care. Meanwhile malpractice insurance premiums force us to pay more for health care, and doctors are leaving the profession. He owns the largest home in the county, and dares to speak about “Two Americas”. He hires a writer for his blog who refers to Christians as “Christofascists” and “Godbags”, refuses to fire her at first, and then she conveniently resigns. But only after pressure is brought to bear. One would assume she otherwise would still be there. Ann’s joke was a little awkward, she was trying to make a point about people having to go into rehab simply for speaking their mind, relating it to a current entertainment scandal, (Grey’s Anatomy) and her comment was not in any way directed at gay people. But it’s really pretty minor compared to some of the moral hypocrisies that Edwards engages in, for which the media basically gives him a pass. But thanks Ann. You’ve successfully distracted everyone from Edward’s record, transformed him into a victim, and insulated him from further attack. I bet he was jumping up and down with glee when he heard about it, and then quickly put his hair back in place. Has he sent you your check yet?



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Gary Schrag

posted March 8, 2007 at 3:54 am


Coulter Christianity Sure this is an oxymoron!! Gary



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kevin s.

posted March 8, 2007 at 4:35 am


“I think it unfair to allow her behavior to discredit Jon Edwards ,who asked her to resign upon discovering her offensive speech.” Is this really the way it went down? Marcotte was hired to be a blogger for Edwards. Why was she hired? Because she is a blogger, yes? So, if we buy into this narrative, then we believe that Edwards’ staff knew she was a blogger, but had not, in fact, read her blog. That strains credulity, ot say the least. Here is what I think happened. Edwards peeps, who are completely and utterly sympathetic to the views of Ms. Marcotte, asked her to be the blogger, partly as a means of catering to the far left. In doing so, they hoped that the blog’s readership would consist of the crazed Dailykos types who are accustomed to histrionic ranting. Unfortunately, for them, conservative bloggers started informing their readership of the rhetoric commonly found on the Pandagon blog. As such, normal people caught wind of what was going on. Then, and only then, was Marcotte fired.



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Stephen Davidson

posted March 8, 2007 at 11:17 am


The Leftist medai and the “New Atheists,” are one and the same. While Phelps is repugnant in terms of the New Testament (the Book that Lefties and Atheists share a hatred for), Coulter is just a pop icon of the people tired of being bashed by deviants. Falwell? Reverend Jerry Falwell? Where does he err? He’s absolutely right about decadence, hedonism and sexual perversions destryoing nations. Now, children little bitty childrem MUST BE TAUGHT to embrace homosexuality, transexualism and bi-sexuality????? BY LAW??? If Falell is a bad guy than add Ezekiel and Moses to your Leftie list of “haters.” Atheists are idiots that truly believe something can come from nothing. They should be denigrated and marginalized. 0 x 0 = Harris and Dawkins. Two men who should be laughed off any stage they pander on if they weren’t so dangerous. Atheists HAVE proven to be the deadliest version of human being the world has ever seen. Although Islamic tendencies are gaining ground in genocidal numbers. The Gay Agends is OUTLAWING ANY Christian voice against sodomy and Pederasty. What list should we put the vocal hordes of Liberals and Progressives in, who are teaching children to embrace what NO one in the Bible ever can or would? It certainly isn’t with the Christians?



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Donny

posted March 8, 2007 at 12:23 pm


“Reprobate” is an even worse word to describe those of the more liberal sexuality bent. What Ann said was just fristration from living in a world gone insane. Do we expunge Paul from Christianity too?



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Pacific231

posted March 8, 2007 at 2:57 pm


As we have seen from postings on this very discussion board, Coulter certainly has her followers. To those I call their attention back to the basic point of Becky Garrison’s blog post: (C)an we at least come to a consensus that proclaiming God Hates Fags during funeral services for servicemen killed in Iraq supposedly because they’re defending a pro-homosexual nation, blaming the 9/11 terrorist attacks on gays and lesbians, or, most recently, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” are moves that go directly against Jesus teachings? How about it, Stephen Davidson, Donny, and any others who relate to their above posts? No long-winded diatribe skirting around the above simple and basic question. No faux umbrage over being forced to answer this question with a clear YES or NO. Then write whatever you wish to support your answer. Begin.



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Donny

posted March 8, 2007 at 3:01 pm


John Shelby Spong is a Progressive. Like it or not. So the question should be about Jim Wallis Christianity. There’s no difference between Spong’s religion and that of Wallis and his progressives. Ann Coulter is rude but people like Wallis want Christianity altered and changed into some new wierd religion with no ties to the truth of scripture. Write about that some day soon.



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Pacific231

posted March 8, 2007 at 3:08 pm

anonymous

posted March 8, 2007 at 3:55 pm


Why do people always bring up the dead soldier picketings and not the picketings of the funerals of regular gay people? Those had been going on for years with barely a word from the media. I can only guess it’s simply more offensive to insult a dead soldier than a gay person.



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kevin s.

posted March 8, 2007 at 5:04 pm


“I can only guess it’s simply more offensive to insult a dead soldier than a gay person.” It is more offensive to insult a dead soldier than anyone. Really, I think the protests were few and far between. This became an issue when the Harley Patriots (or whoever those motorcycle people were) started counter-protesting. They distributed press releases, which got it in the news.



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Donny

posted March 8, 2007 at 5:41 pm


I oppose the Kansas Church that pickets funerals. I received the flag that draped my fathers casket after the Marine Corps buried him. I would need to be forgiven by Reverend Phelps when I kicked the #$@% out of him if he were ever to have picketed my fathers funeral. I feel the same way about Liberals and Progressive Christians teaching children to embrace homosexuality under the sick and perverted guise of diversity and tolerance. BUT Jesus teaches me to peacefully deal with both disgusting situations and horrible people without becoming like they are. Christians need to heed Paul’s advice for dealing with horrid people that dwell within and around Christian culture. As Paul says: “Why not rather be wronged?” For certainly Phelps and Liberal-Progressives are wronging many people, but are hurting more Christians than any other. Man up enough for you Pacifc123?



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted March 8, 2007 at 5:51 pm


Some people are determined to turn politics into a blood sport and whether it is Ann Coulter or John Edwards, they should be told to “Cool it!”However, I find it odd that when John Edwards earlier hired two obscenity spouting, vulgarity spewing viciously anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bloggers to work on his campaign, he refused to fire them when it was brought to his attention (if he did not already know it). The story was all over the internet-heavily, but virtually none of the mainstream media picked it up, and -very oddly– didn’t even mention it when they were busy excoriating Coulter and sympathizing with the wronged Edwards. It is also interesting that no Republican candidate has hired Coulter while Edwards defended keeping the potty-mouthed bigot bloggers on his payroll. It is this double standard (where things don’t even get reported in the mainstream media– their greatest power to manipulate their readers and viewers) that is so infuriating to many and why in some polls respect for the MSM is down to the level where organized criminals dwell.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:23 pm


kevin s, Me: “How is it different from those on the “right” who constantly compare gay people’s committed relationsihps to beastiality, incest, rape, necrophilia, child-molestation, cannabalism, etc.?” You: “I have seldom heard this comparison.” That is mere willfull bindness to/ignorance of the problem on your part. It is not uncommon for people who are NOT the targets of the lies and the hate to “seldom hear” of such. Why, not so long ago, very polite southerners would refer to black people using the “N”-word epithet, and thought nothing of it. THEY “seldom heard” the lie, the hate in what they said either. I have heard these comparisons for at least a decade and a half now. I invite you to go to Let’s focus On YOUR “Family”, or to Jerry Falsewell’s site, or “Real” Women of America. The religionists think it is acceptable to compare homosexuality to alcoholism and othere deseases and hence our ‘need’ for “curing”. Gwendolyn Landolt (in Canada’s “REAL” woman movement) said equal marriage “will lead to men having sex with BABIES!!!” The necrophilia and beastiality comparisons I first heard in the early 90s. Visit the NY Times Gay Rights discussion board where currently the incest “comparison” is in vogue. “What you are referring to is the argument that the logic that is often used to support legal gay marriage could be attributed to what you describe.” HUH??? “It is a vehicle to point out faulty logic, not a moral equivalency.” HUH??? again. These people are quite serious in their equating my loving, committed, adult, consenting, HUMAN relationship to ALL of the above. How is that NOT ‘moral equivalency’ (whatever the heck THAT means)?(though I agree it is faulty logic – on THEIR part)



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm


Rick Nowlin, Me: “How is this different from Foulwell’s ‘pronouncements’ that gays ’caused’ 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina?” You: “It isn’t.” Thanks for the, er, ‘agreement’. Too bad you had to go despoil it with your proviso… “On the other hand, my own pastor, whom I totally respect as a man of God, rejected that analysis concerning 9/11″ Good for him. Too bad the more vocal ‘mainstream’/RRR disagree with your pastor. But then again… “but did say he believed that Katrina may have done so” Oops, eh? Sorry, I dismiss your “southern Decadence” “money” irrelevancy as not worth pursuing.



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Pacific231

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:29 pm


I oppose the Kansas Church that pickets funerals. I received the flag that draped my fathers casket after the Marine Corps buried him. I would need to be forgiven by Reverend Phelps when I kicked the #$@% out of him if he were ever to have picketed my fathers funeral. Yes, we are making progress. A military funeral in the northeast was scheduled to be picketed by this nutbag. MANY people were searching up and down the main street looking for them, ready to do something to the would-be protesters they would need to be forgiven for later. Now, can we also agree on the other two poinbts Becky made: that Falwell’s blaming the 9/11 terrorist attacks on gays and lesbians and Coulter calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” are moves that go directly against Jesus teachings?I think you can, Donny, and you can do so without fear you are crossing Jesus Christ in any way shape or form. On the contrary, those who stare down the Falwells and Coulters are bravely witnessing for Jesus. Yes, I count this as some progress…



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:29 pm


justintime, “Attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee clapped, cheered and generally approved when Ann Coulter insinuated that John Edwards is a “faggot”. “This says a lot about the conservative movement in America. Coulter thrives on lies, bigotry and slander. Conservatives eat it up. It’s their substitute for political dialogue.” “But Kevin S and Wolvie are above this, right?” No, kevin s has “seldom heard this comparison” too!



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Pacific231

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:29 pm


I failed to mention: the “God Hates Fags” wingnuts were no-shows. Lucky for them, trust me.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:31 pm


However, I find it odd that when John Edwards earlier hired two obscenity spouting, vulgarity spewing viciously anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bloggers to work on his campaign, he refused to fire them when it was brought to his attention (if he did not already know it). The story was all over the internet-heavily, but virtually none of the mainstream media picked it up, and -very oddly– didn’t even mention it when they were busy excoriating Coulter and sympathizing with the wronged Edwards. I’m myself in the mainstream media, and I’ve known for a while that you never believe anything you hear about on the Internet. If we didn’t pick it up there may have been good reason. Besides, Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, one of the accusers (and whom I know personally) isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue in that arena himself. It is also interesting that no Republican candidate has hired Coulter while Edwards defended keeping the potty-mouthed bigot bloggers on his payroll. She’d have to take a cut in pay to work for someone else! :-)



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:33 pm


neuro nurse, “If Ann Coulter is as well educated and has (had) as much potential as billed, why then does she spend her time and talent on destructive behavior?” It’s called playing to the base. Mr. Bush does it, Why shouldn’t ALL “conservatives”. It WORKS! Hate and lies WORK. How many States “amended” their Constitutions to deprive gay citizens of equal treatment before the lw? And they based their “arguments” on the lies, the hate. And it WORKED. WHY are you surprised?



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:35 pm


ks, “Marcotte’s statements about Christians and Catholics are not repeatable on this blog, and were more disgusting than even Coulter.” Hmm, THAT’s odd. It’s okay to repeat “FAGGOT!!! FAGGOT!!! FAGGOT!!!” ad nauseam in this blog, but Marcotte’s statements aren’t “repeatable”??? Now THAT’s the pot calling the kettle beige.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Joseph T, You ask a good question: “Who is not outraged at the Abuse of children by priests”? The answer? Um, the Vatican. The pedophile-priest protecting Bishops and Archbishops and the Pope. THAT’s who. Crimens Solicitationes, anyone? Thanks for asking.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:41 pm


Rhonda, “My question is “Does Ann Coulter profess to be a Christian?” and an excellent question it is, too. And the answer is, YES, of course she does. And the rest of us are, you’ll do well to remember, “Godless”! In fact, I think she even wrote a book about this very thing, though the title escapes me ;{O) “I certainly don’t get that idea whenever I listen to anything she has to say.” Me neither.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:43 pm


Dr. JHP, “Let her talk herself into a corner. She will “slander” herself out of popularity.” What makes you think that? It certainly hasn’t proved to be the case for Dobson, Falsewell, Robertson, Perkins, et al.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:45 pm


Gary, “I cringe when she says things that I know will be misunderstood and pounced upon.” Then you must be a pretty selective cringer. HOW can calling someone (falsely, btw) a “FAGGOT”!!! be in any way “misunderstood”?



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:55 pm


Stephen Davidson, “While Phelps is repugnant in terms of…” Mr. Phelps is repugnant PERIOD. “the New Testament (the Book that Lefties and Atheists share a hatred for)” Whoah, back up there bud. I am a “lefty” AND a Christian. I adore the message of the New Testament which is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. this is the SUM of the laws and the prohets.” Yours is just another slanderous lie. “people tired of being bashed by deviants.” Ah, so calling us “FAGGOT”!!! is ‘bad’ but it’s still okay to call us “deviants”. Jeez, with that attitude, pretty soon “perverts” and “sodomites” and, oh, I don’t know, maybe beastialists, necrophiliacs, etc. will come back into vogue. (I wonder if kevin s has ever heard of gay people being called such things? Nope, apparently not. Thanks for your proof.) “Falwell? Reverend Jerry Falwell? Where does he err?” In blaming 9/11 on gays. In blaming Hurricane Katrina on gays. And on several other counts. Thanks for asking. “He’s absolutely right about decadence, hedonism and sexual perversions destryoing nations.” Wrong. He is a simpleton buffoon in cleric’s garb, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. “Now, children little bitty childrem MUST BE TAUGHT to embrace homosexuality, transexualism and bi-sexuality????? BY LAW???” Glad ou used questin marks because your assertions are compeletely false. But then again, we’re used to the bearing of false witness against God’s gay and lesbian children from people calling themselves right-eous. Be healed. “If Falell is a bad guy than add Ezekiel and Moses to your Leftie list of “haters.” Actually, it was the Prophet Ezekiel who delineated the TRUE “sin of Sodom” (and it wasn’t homosexuality, btw), so sorry, I can’t include him in the list of haters. You, otoh,… “Atheists are idiots that truly believe something can come from nothing. They should be denigrated and marginalized.” So much for freedom of religion, eh? I just love it when you folk go berserkers. It is no wonder that more and more, YOU ARE NOT BELIEVED. “The Gay Agends is OUTLAWING ANY Christian voice against sodomy and Pederasty.” Go read Ezekiel again. But don’t come back here with more lies.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:56 pm


“Do we expunge Paul from Christianity too?” No, Donny. We ought, instead, to ENFORCE into LAW Paul’s proscription against women preaching or teaching. Why so selective?



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 8, 2007 at 6:59 pm


“BUT Jesus teaches me to peacefully deal with both disgusting situations and horrible people without becoming like they are.” Apparently you haven’t yet learned Jesus’s lesson, Donny.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm


WHY are you surprised? curiouser and curiouser… I’m not. I’m disappointed that we create these media darlings. The media in this country have one agenda – it is neither liberal nor conservative. The agenda is profit (this is not an attack on capitalism).The media publishes the sensational because that is what sells. That’s why the extreme voices are heard the loudest. That s why we end up with people who generalize their feelings about the religious right to all Christians, that s why we end up with people like Stephen Davidson and Butch (sorry man, I feel your pain) who cannot differentiate the people from the issues and equate a political/social perspective different from their own as being the epitome of evil. Christians in this country have gotten a bad reputation in this country because of the insensitive voices of Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter (if you accept her profession of Christianity), Bill Donahue, et alia. The same point could be made about liberals and conservatives. The media doesn’t publish stories about Christian works of charity because of a ‘liberal bias,’ it’s because it’s not interesting – it doesn’t sell. We get what we pay for. We paid Anna Nicole Smith to be a tramp, we pay Ann Coulter to be a – whatever you want to call her. We pay the Bill O’Reillys, Pat Robertsons, Amanda Marcottes, and the like to open their mouths and spew their ignorance and hatred. Don t blame the media for doing what we pay them to do. There are voices of reason out there, but it doesn t sell because it s more interesting to listen to the extremists.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 8, 2007 at 7:20 pm


BTW, if Katrina was God’s vengeance on New Orleans for [insert iniquity here], then He must have lousy aim, because he missed Bourbon Street completely! (Greetings from New Orleans!)



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted March 8, 2007 at 7:38 pm


According to what I read on here NY TIMES discussion boards on gay issues are bringing up a comparison between gay sex and incest a lot today. This may be because of a German lawsuit being reported on a lot of news and blog sites today. Apparently a brother and sister over there are in court demanding the right to be married and are using gay precedents and arguments to promote their case. They say they are in a loving, committed, stable relationship which should qualify for marriage. This, of course, is what those who defend traditional marriage have said right along–that approving Gay marriage would logically make mandatory the recognizing of many other types of living arrangements including everything from incest to polygamy.



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Saadaya

posted March 8, 2007 at 7:48 pm


Let’s not be disingenious: She is a PUBLIC SPEAKER, BY PROFESSION. That is, she gets paid to say what she says by a group of Christian fascists who have it in their agenda to create a culture of open hatred and hostility against gay people. And they ARE Christians: they cite Leviticus 18, where there are explicit instructions to murder two gay men if you find them having sex. This is all the proof they need for their agenda. You may think I exagerate, but She *DOES* get paid as a public speaker, by clients, by her constituency. To deny this fact is to lie.



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Saadaya

posted March 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm


“What Ann said was just fristration from living in a world gone insane.” -!!!! Spare me the apologetic rhetoric! Ann Coulter is promoting a culture of open and public bigotry and hostility towards gay people. She is convinced that gay people should not have a right to exist. This is literally the NAZI doctrine just before they murdered thousands of gays and lesbians in WWII. It sickens me to see people defending her inexcusable use of that word – a word which originated when gay men were burned alive by the Catholic church in the dark ages. “Do we expunge Paul from Christianity too?” – Sure, let’s also reinstitute slavery. He told slaves to be obedient to their masters as, he said, ‘this was a sane doctrine’. By the way, he also argued that ‘idolatry’ is the cause of homosexuality in 1 Romans, which we also know to be a lie. Paul never met Jesus, nor did he share his values. Yes, you should expunge Paul from Christianity. I also share Stephen’s assessment of Bishop Spong. Spong has a rational, healthy, intelligent, liberal approach to the gospel. He is only considered a radical by those on the far right. To me, he is fair. He embraces the insights from the last 500 years from science. He knows the Earth is not flat. He knows it was not made in six days, unlike Falwell, and therefore he’s willing to concede that Genesis is a myth instead of concocting mental gymnastics to legitimize inexcusable, embarassing doctrines. This is all only fair – there’s absolutely nothing radical about these notions. It’s 2007 already. Another point I do wish to point out is that I’ve noticed with Ann Coulter a trend which is similar with the muslim community: the muslims in general do not confront their bigoted, violent leaders who hate Jews and Americans. The Christians, I don’t see them confronting head on this crazy, dangerous fascist and very outspoken so-called Christian. This is bad for the Christian community. This gives them a bad name and it promotes the image of Christianity as a fascist religion – I know there’s a long history of Catholic clergy supporting fascist and oppresive regimes, and although Ann Coulter is a nutcase she does scare me because she has a (not as outspoken) constituency and I’d like to see more direct challenges to her and her kind coming from Christian leaders.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 8, 2007 at 8:35 pm


There is nothing in what I wrote that suggests that Ann Coulter, or any of the other extremist attention-seekers I mentioned, do not receive an income from whatever following they have. I will suggest that the term Christian fascist is an oxymoron. I also believe that people may call themselves Christians, be able to quote scripture (usually for their own benefit, not to benefit anyone else), may even believe they are Christians, and yet completely misunderstand the heart of Christianity and live in a way that is, as my wife says, a poor testimony to Christianity.I would like to think that the number of Christians who are fans of Ann Coulter are a minority. I m a liberal married to a conservative, we go to a conservative church, and yet I cannot recall a single person in our circle of friends and acquaintances who has ever indicated that she or he has ever read anything by Ann Coulter. For the record, whenever Pat Robertson comes up in conversation, which is seldom, he is regarded as an embarrassment. This is, of course, strictly anecdotal. (I stand corrected. My wife says we do know someone who professes to be a Christian and has read Ann Coulter, but has not darkened the doorway of a church in over 15 years) We ve allowed to voices of the extremists to dominate the political landscape. I have found in my marriage that while my wife and I have different backgrounds and political philosophies, our values are the same. We both love the Lord and have committed our lives to His service, and when we discuss our perspectives with each other we learn and grow. The extremists will not permit that process to occur.



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Nick Hoover

posted March 8, 2007 at 8:41 pm


While I enjoyed your article, I also must come to the defense of Bishop Spong. His ministry is to those who have rejected church doctrine and therefore the church because they can not reconcile it with their rational world view. His goal is to bring these people back to the life of the church not to convert the converted. Also, he has actively engaged in debates with fundamentalists and is willing to do so whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’m sorry that your experience with JSS has been so different from others. Peace, Nick



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted March 8, 2007 at 11:02 pm


I find it interesting that a number of commenters here love to throw around the word “fascist” and “Nazi” in reference to Christians when complaining about Ann Coulter’s rhetoric debasing political discourse. However, a number of independent voices in the MSM have complained that what has started political discourse on its descent into swamp-like depths has been the loose and frequent use by liberals of these two words: “Fascist,” and “Nazi” to attack opponents. Apparently this became common early in Bush’s first term and has become much worse since then. It reminded the columnists I read of the 1950’s McCarthy era when the “right” threw around words like: “Red,” “Pinko,” “Commie,” and “fellow-traveler.” Fortunately, by the 1960’s the right had learned that such muck-tossing didn’t work. But now we have the liberal McCarthyism of the left. Oddly it is not roundly condemned in the media as was the old-fashioned McCarthyism of the “right” which is still brought up frequently as the great “boogeyman” of political discourse. Though noone should defend Coulter for this reason, liberals have been using incendiary and gutter language against many groups, including Evangelical Protestants and traditional Catholics for almost a decade now. I have even seen Pope John Paul II equated–repeatedly– by liberals with the murderous Ayatollah Khomeini for merely upholding (without any nasty, vituperative words) 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian morality.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 12:42 am


I m not an exemplary Christian by any means. I take comfort that Jesus said he had not come to call the righteous who have no need of repentance but the sinners, and that there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over the one sinner who repents than the 99 who have no need of repentance. I m too concerned about my own sins and how I live to give much thought to other people s sins. When I read about Lazarus and the rich man, I wonder if I have turned my back on the poor, or the parable of the sheep and goats, I wonder if I have not responded to the needs of the least of these. Before I even begin to think about what other people are doing, I want to make sure my own house is in order. How well am I responding to my wife s needs? Is the love of Christ reflected in my life? Or do I hold bitterness against others. The answer is yes, but whose fault is that, theirs or mine? (External vs. internal locus of control) How should I respond to my gay neighbors? (Yup, on the other side of the duplex okay, they ve never told me they are gay, but I get very strong readings on my gaydar) My wife, the good Republican conservative-Christian-pastor s-daughter, is much better at it than I am. She bakes cookies for our neighbors and invites them over for tea. (Yes, we let them sit on our chairs and eat off our plates & silverware shocking, I know) My wife has befriended an alcoholic single mother who is seeking God, but has received nothing but scorn and rejection from other Christians. The point is that I see too many Christians who seem to spend far too much time and effort concerning themselves with other people s sins and wonder if they spend as much time and effort agonizing over their own sins.You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10 I don t see much wiggle room here.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 9, 2007 at 1:58 am


But now we have the liberal McCarthyism of the left. Oddly it is not roundly condemned in the media as was the old-fashioned McCarthyism of the “right” which is still brought up frequently as the great “boogeyman” of political discourse. Because it was never a unified force the way it was on the right — the “left” doesn’t yet have its own think tanks, media and the like the way the right has for the past couple of generations, funded by wealthy conservatives. To say that they are equal does violence to the historical record.



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Gary

posted March 9, 2007 at 3:49 am


curiouser and curiouser wrote: Gary, “I cringe when she says things that I know will be misunderstood and pounced upon.” Then you must be a pretty selective cringer. HOW can calling someone (falsely, btw) a “FAGGOT”!!! be in any way “misunderstood”? Herein lies the problem, though. I don’t she was really calling Edwards a Faggot, in terms of him being a homosexual, because he obviously is not one. I think she just found herself being a little bit too smart by half, thinking she could tie in the speech code PC issue with a current event to dodge a question she maybe didn’t want to spend time on. I don’t think she has anything against homosexuals themselves, but like a lot of Christians on all sides politically, in fact the majority of all people, she doesn’t think our society should put homosexuality on par with he-she relationships in terms of marriage, bringing up kids, etc. I honestly don’t think she was even thinking about homosexuality when she used the word. Perhaps far from her best thinking on her feet, but hardly worthy of all the misplaced knee-jerk condemnation. I believe I remember Kerry getting some pretty high-profile support and understanding from the media when he “botched” several attempts to mean one thing that was generally perceived another way. At the same time, we on the right are expected to humbly submit when we’re called “Nazi Fascists”. That doesn’t make any more sense than what Ann said, and they really seem to mean it, in the strongest terms. They’re not trying to get laughs at a pep rally.



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Donny

posted March 9, 2007 at 2:35 pm


There is a big difference in being a sinner, and being an unrepentant sinner encouraging and promoting others to sin. There are no Adultery Pride Parades. But there is a Gay Agenda. And it is squarely aimed at destroying Christians. Since Gay culture and community is antithetical to Christian culture and community this will always be the case. And we have the proof: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200703.tim-gil No matter the mocking and hatred directed towards Christians. We were told to expect this. I just didn’t expect it so soon, and from the political party of my father. I never thought there would be a reason I would find anything good about his passing away. As a good and decent family man, my father would be unhappy with what the Democrts have become.



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GL

posted March 9, 2007 at 4:03 pm


“can we at least come to a consensus that proclaiming ‘God Hates Fags’ during funeral services for servicemen killed in Iraq supposedly because they’re defending a pro-homosexual nation…” *sigh* This may have been mentioned before but they were doing those GHF protests at OUR funerals (queer funerals) and weddings long before they attacked servicemen and servicewomen. Why do people only mention it when it happens those in the military? Why did Congress only try to act at that point? Are WE, as gay and lesbian human beings, not deserving of that respect and attention? Would your argument have been less effective if you’d asked your readers if they could agree that proclaiming such hatred at funerals of lesbians and gay men was not in line with Jesus’ message? And if it would have been less heart-tugging had you framed it that way… how sad.



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GL

posted March 9, 2007 at 4:05 pm


Donny, You have some serious study of the Greatest and Second Commandment if you believe a Gay Pride parade is analogous to an Adultery Pride parade. Please study on the Law of Love and then get back to me on how loving somebody with similar genitals is the same as breaking one’s promise to remain faithful to one’s spouse.



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GL

posted March 9, 2007 at 4:09 pm


Look, folks, if Ann Coulter was using “Faggot” to mean homosexual… well, I wouldn’t be insulted! Because if you believe homosexual people are just as wonderful and worthy as heterosexual people, then it shouldn’t be considered an insult. The problem is that she used the word “Faggot” – a word quite analogous to the N-word in how it has been used to promote violence against us. If you’d study the history of the word, you’ll see why it is an insult when used by somebody outside the queer community, somebody who does not see queer people as just as human and deserving as she is.



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nancy parker

posted March 9, 2007 at 4:23 pm


Why would you even wonder how to respond to Coulter, et al.? I don’t remember Spong ever being malicious. Did I miss something? He doesn’t agree with literalist, neither do I. He says to love uncondionally. Nancy Parker



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kevin s.

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:16 pm


” Please study on the Law of Love and then get back to me on how loving somebody with similar genitals is the same as breaking one’s promise to remain faithful to one’s spouse.” That one can commit adultery without being married is pretty well established in the scripture.



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kevin s.

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:17 pm


“*sigh* This may have been mentioned before but they were doing those GHF protests at OUR funerals (queer funerals) and weddings long before they attacked servicemen and servicewomen. Why do people only mention it when it happens those in the military?” I mentioned above that this became a news sotry when the motorcycle folks started counter-protesting, and PR folks got involved.



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kevin s.

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:24 pm


“You may think I exagerate, but She *DOES* get paid as a public speaker, by clients, by her constituency. To deny this fact is to lie.” Here’s the thing in politics. Somebody shoots their mouth off. Virtually everyone is, by some measure, offended. Those who hold an opposing viewpoint try to cast the widest net in terms of how indicative the offensive remark is of those with whom they disagree.I don’t know of any prominent conservative who thinks that what Coulter said was okay. She gets paid to speak because she is famous. She is famous because she says offensive things, yes, but famous nonetheless. It might make you feel better to say this comment represents the conservative viewpoint on homosexuality, but that is an act of self-delusion.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Donny, The link you provided for proof of an anti-Christian gay agenda results in a page not found on the Atlantic Online website. Could you at least provide the title of the article and the name of the author so I can search for the document on the Atlantic site? I m very interested to see what your proof is. In my opinion, the greatest dangers to Christianity come not from outside the church, but from within. Just as in Christ s time, we have people who use their status within the church to promote their own agenda. Let s stop looking for other people to blame for our problems (external locus of control) and look at the way we live our lives. I don t feel threatened living next door to a gay couple. I m not afraid I m going to catch something from them, and I certainly don t get the slightest impression that their sexual orientation, lifestyle, or anything else about them is a threat to my faith. As a matter of fact, I see our proximity as an opportunity to demonstrate Christ s love and in so doing, grow closer to our Lord. It is my belief that your alleged anti-Christian gay agenda is nothing more than a response to the derision many, if not most homosexuals have experienced from people who are supposed to be Christ s ambassadors in the world. Remember, Jesus was criticized by the religious elite for dining with tax collectors and prostitutes. When was the last time you sat down to a meal with a homosexual? Let me ask you, what are you really afraid of? How is it that you personally feel threatened by your homosexual brothers and sisters? What are you afraid of losing? God knows your heart. Why don t you examine your heart to find out what s really behind your homophobia and if that s really the attitude Christ would want you to have?



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:33 pm


Did you all see the Non Sequitur in the paper today (March 9th)?http://news.yahoo.com/comics/nonsequitur



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 6:56 pm


Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It? http://www.almohler.com/blog_read.php?id=891 Posted without comment Peace!



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Don

posted March 9, 2007 at 7:14 pm


Thanks, Neuro-nurse: I have in my hand a journal entry written by a student in response to our discussion last week about gossip. We had just read Anna Quindlen’s Newsweek column on Anna Nicole and gossip. My prompt for the students was to tell me of a time when they either had gossiped themselves or had been a victim of gossip. One student told me of the gossip some women who ride the bus to work with heer had engaged in after they found out she was in a lesbian relationship. She talked about how they were whispering among themselves when she got on the bus. Eventually, one of them “confided” to her that the other women had been disgusted when they learned about her relationship and thought she needed to “find God.” After reading this stuent’s very touching story, I thought about Jesus eating dinner with tax collectors and prostitutes. I wondered what Jesus would have said to those women if he been riding the bus with them. And I wondered which of them he would have invited to lunch. Thanks for the Non Sequitur cartoon, too! It’s going to class with me tonight. Peace,



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 10:44 pm


Afterthought: IF there is an anti-Christian homosexual agenda, and homosexuals are enemies of Christianity, Then, what is the Christian response?”You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45



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Payshun

posted March 9, 2007 at 11:21 pm


Did anyone know that gays could destroy Christians? The next time I see the LGBTQ community creating a roman colliseum and feeding Christians to lions is the minute I will buy that argument. I did not know gay community had that power. Wow. p



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neuro_nurse

posted March 9, 2007 at 11:49 pm


kevin s. “Here’s the thing in politics. Somebody shoots their mouth off. Virtually everyone is, by some measure, offended…” Very good point. I wholeheartedly agree with your post. I suspect that most conservatives pay about as much attention to Ann Coulter as liberals pay to Michael Moore. There are people who have posted on this thread who have vilified as a whole those at the other end of the political spectrum from themselves. They are not doing either side or the middle ground any service. They stifle meaningful conversation. Peace!



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Labrador

posted March 10, 2007 at 1:42 am


What is your problem with homosexuality? the same biblical writers who inveighed against it said women should be silent in church and much else that you would reject. You equate Coulter, who spews the most vicious contempt, with Spong, who thinks homosexuality is a form of love. Are those equally wrong? What’s your advice to men and women who are gay? Phony therapy? Prayer? you are demonstrating the hollowness of supposedly progressive evangelicalism by clinging to these outmoded prejudices. if tyou really think homosexuality is immoral, you are just a politer Coulter.



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Ms. Cynthia

posted March 12, 2007 at 1:29 am


Coulter Who??? Is she that dead blond person that every body is fighting over on the pop news station?



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Ms. Cynthia

posted March 12, 2007 at 1:48 am


I forgot to ask. What affliction is she over medicating for?



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 12, 2007 at 9:32 pm


Deacon John, “According to what I read on here NY TIMES discussion boards on gay issues are bringing up a comparison between gay sex and incest a lot today. This may be because of a German lawsuit being reported on a lot of news and blog sites today.” No. It’s because RRRers feel free to demonize gay people with irrelevant comparisons. It is NOT because of a stoopid German lawsuit that purports to show links, causes or similarities between a brother and sister marrying; it is because they are illogical in their thinking. “Apparently a brother and sister over there are in court demanding the right to be married and are using gay precedents and arguments to promote their case. They say they are in a loving, committed, stable relationship which should qualify for marriage. This, of course, is what those who defend traditional marriage have said right along” And they were just as incorrect then as the ‘argument’ being made in this lawsuit is. First of all, gay people are trying to ener into the institution of marriage. There is no necessity to “defend” marriage – it isn’t under atack. Secondly, gay marriages do not produce inbred children like an incestuous heterosexual marriage would. “that approving Gay marriage would logically make mandatory the recognizing of many other types of living arrangements including everything from incest to polygamy.” This is utter nonsense. Approving gay marriage simply recognizes gay marriage. If the incest crowd and the polygamy crowd want to make their own cases, let them, They have NOTHING to do with 2 people committing to each other. Brothers and sisters produce such wonderful children for society too, eh DJ? Why not throw in the beastiality argument too, Deacon John? It makes about as much sense – which is ZERO. “including everything”!!! Yeah, like we’re gonna legalize cannabalism (another oft-made comparison to gay marriage). Oh yeah, let’s also ‘legalize’ child-molestation. And rape. Understand this one thing, Deacon John. They have NOTHING to do with the subject, no matter how many times you try to make the odious comparison.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 12, 2007 at 9:37 pm


“There are no Adultery Pride Parades.” Sure there is, Donny. It’s called Congress. “But there is a Gay Agenda.” Sure is. It’s calle dequality under the law, aka the Constitution. “And it is squarely aimed at destroying Christians.” Laff. How’s that coming along? “Since Gay culture and community is antithetical to Christian culture and community this will always be the case.” You’d beter not tell that to the United Church of Christ. Or the Quakers. Or the Unitarians. Or the Metropolitan Community Churches. Plus a whole whack of non-christian religions (ever hear of Reformed Judaism? Conservative jews? They too are okay with God’s gay and lesbian children, donny. Feel free to try again. Or not. Y-A-W-N!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 12, 2007 at 9:39 pm


kevin s, “I don’t know of any prominent conservative who thinks that what Coulter said was okay.” Gee, not even the ones in the CPAC audience that laughed and applauded??? Methinks you are wrong. Again.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm


neuro nurse, Thanks (I think) for the Al Mohler link to the what would you do if your baby were gay story. Kinda gives the lie to the “pro-life” argument that they wouldn’t/shouldn’t interfere with genetics but they’d make an exception if the baby’s gonna turn out gay!!! Besides, I am not the only person who’s gaydar goes off whenever I see ‘Miss’ Mohler. And here all along I thought the “effeminate” would not inherit the kingdom ;{O)



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted March 12, 2007 at 9:48 pm


Gary, “At the same time, we on the right are expected to humbly submit when we’re called “Nazi Fascists”. No. You are not supposed to “submit”, you’re supposed to stop with the facistic behaviours like, say, tryin’ to kick gay people out of the protections and guarantees of the Constitution. Or stop trying to deny us medical coverage for our spouses. Stop tryin’ to take away our children. Stop firing us from jobs (can YOU say ‘Arabic translator’?) just because we’re gay. Stop Phred Phelps’ lies. Stop Jerry Falswewell’s lies about us. Etc. etc. etc. You stop doin’ those kinds of things and, gosh, pretty soon, you’re going to be seen as logical and compassionate, maybe even patriotic. “ALL men [and presumably women too[ are created EQUAL”, not ‘all except the FAGS. “Liberty and JUSTICE for ALL”, not all except the queers. “the right to life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of HAPPINESS” shouldn’t just apply if you’re heterosexual.



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DJH

posted October 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm


The problem with Christians and hypocrisy, is that hypocrisy is explicitly un-Christian; Jesus himself explicitly ordered his followers never to be hypocritical (see e.g. Mt 6:2, 5 7:5; Lk 6:42, 12:56) and elsewhere Christians are enjoined not to be hypocritical (e.g. Rom 12:9).
That it’s possible for ANY Christian to be nevertheless hypocritical, therefore presents a hurdle: How much value can a religion have, if its core precepts are dismissible? We are not, of course, talking about a lone Christian who happens to be hypocritical; by this article’s admission there are at least several such examples.
Moreover, the idea that Coulter et al are abberations, is belied by their popularity. Coulter is a popular author and sells a lot of books. When he was alive, Falwell had a huge following, enough to fund a university and a media empire. These people are looked up to, by many other Christians. This means their hypocrisy is shared by many more Christians than just themselves.
Sure, it’s easy to say “Coulter doesn’t speak for Christians,” but really, how true is this? She sells tons of books and makes a lot of money on people who clearly agree with her, and the vast majority of them are clearly Christians. It’s not enough just to claim she doesn’t speak for Christianity. In the minds of many … a lot of them Christians … she clearly does!
So what does one do about it? Mouthing protests is not sufficient. One must actively argue against her. Write books competing with hers, which argue against her hypocrisy, and promote them among Christians. Take out ads in papers and on TV stating unequivocally that what Coulter said is un-Christian and not acceptable in someone who claims to speak for Christianity.
In other words, be as vocal against her hypocrisy, as she is for herself. Until you’re willing to go to these lengths to make clear to the entire planet that Coulter does not speak for Christianity, it’s not reasonable just to assume that people will know this … because they won’t. Her popularity amounts to a tacit admission that she does, in fact, speak for Christianity, so making the opposite point will take more effort than just whining that people are misjudging Christians.



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C

posted October 29, 2007 at 1:20 pm


Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters. – Rom 14:1 Why do some Christians (I don’t mean all, but there is a vast number that do this) attempt to destroy the work of God for the sake of food? As Christians we are to follow the Greatest Commandment – Love God – which sums up the first four of the Ten Commandments, and the second Greatest Commandment – Love your neighbor – which sums up the remaining six of the Ten Commandments. If you claim to be Christian, then you have no right to point the finger at someone and condemn them (regardless of the argument over whether or not homosexuality is inborn or choice); to do so is not acting out of love, and if you aren’t acting out of love… you get the picture. If you don’t, I recommend reading Romans Chapter 14. Paul tells us that we are not to judge, and that those that do so are indirectly (possibly unconsciously) making a statement that Christ died in vain (which I for one, know isn’t true).
Is it really any wonder why the LGBT community (even the Christian portion of said community) shies away from Christian organizations that spread this kind of blatant bigotry and hatred?
For God so loved the world, He gave His One and Only Son, so that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but receive eternal life. – John 3:14
It doesn’t say “everyone, except for the LGBT community”. It says “whoever”, which means ANYONE.



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C

posted October 29, 2007 at 1:36 pm


“Blessed is he who is persecuted against”
I must say, I feel really blessed. Not only am I persecuted for being a Christian, but I’m persecuted for being transgender.
Unfortunately, for most, the irony of being taught love, compassion, understanding, acceptance, knowledge, and courage are oft overlooked in favor of allowing hatred to control ones’ life. It perplexes me how easy it is for a fellow believer to show such hatred.



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