Another Coulter Kerfuffle

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Oct 15, 2007 12:16 PM
I was on CNN last night, talking about the newest Coulter uproar. This is an interesting uproar, in that yes, Coulter is selling her book; yes, she has a reputation for saying outrageous things; yes, she usually does it on purpose and delights in it. But...

In this case, I don't actually think she meant to offend anyone, and her speech isn't actually all that offensive. A little clumsy and indelicate, as I say in the video, but it's a clumsy restatement of what Christians believe about Christ and what most Jews understand Christians believe about Christ. Had any regular, American, committed Jew and any regular, American, committed Christian had this conversation, it would have turned out fine, but it's a conversation that requires a little bit of sensitivity and manners.

Instead of a conversation about religious doctrine happening between two polite, regular Americans, however, it happened between a pundit with a reputation for saying outrageous things that occasionally offend people and a TV host who was just rarin' to get offended by her to up his name recognition and bring in some ratings. Voila! Instant political firestorm!

Coulter was being good-natured about the conversation, ribbing Donny about coming to church with her, and she even came back from the commercial break intending to clarify her comments. Now, Ann Coulter usually says what she means and doesn't go backtracking to please Donny Deutsch. In this case, it looked like she honestly felt that she and Donny should be able to have a conversation about religious differences without getting all super-offended, so she tried to fix the situation.

The headlines about Coulter wanting "a world without Jews" are more than a bit overwrought. On the bright side, a lot of folks, Jewish and Christian alike are having that polite, interesting conversation about religious doctrine that Ann and Donny were incapable of having.

The Anchoress on the time and place for such discussions:

Coulter obviously did NOT say Jews should be wiped off the planet, that was her host’s interpretation and the left, of course, will run with it. I don’t think she is an anti-semite at all, she is simply trying to express an idea, and doing it very badly, in an environment that is not going to help her do it better.

If you read that transcript to the end, you can see where Coulter tries to clarify her meaning, but she can’t, partly because a sound-bite forum is NO PLACE for that sort of deep and too-easily-misunderstood discussion, and partly because her host is, from his perspective as a Jew, unsurprisingly appalled by what he is hearing, by what he thinks Coulter is saying. This is a discussion best left to someone with a gift for diplomacy, a deft tongue and a loving, civil and collected mien. It is is absolutely not a discussion that should be undertaken by someone who has the deftness of a hammer and the mien of a German Shepherd. Coulter tries to explain, but keeps sinking further because she’s in deep waters, weighted down by time constraints and her own clumsiness; rather than rescuing herself, she’s taking down a whole ship!

The American Thinker on God's people:
Hasn't it occurred to anyone other than myself that God has a very vested interest in maintaining faithful Jews as a people set apart by Him, for Himself, until the very end of time?  Whether it was a plan from the very beginning, who knows?  But we do know that God is constantly having to call up new recruits and adopt new battle plans to work out His divine will for a human race that uses its free will to run things amuck again and again -- and again.
The atheists are with her! Or, you know, this one atheist.
You all would know better than I but that is, basically, what the New Testament says, isn’t it? She’s not talking about forcible conversion; she’s saying Christians believe the Judeo-Christian tradition is The Way and those who don’t follow the path all the way to the end aren’t quite where they need to be. (There are even Catholic prayers to this effect.) The word “perfected” is dicey insofar as it implies Christians’ superiority to Jews but she’s only referring to doctrinal superiority as far as I can see, which isn’t exactly a bombshell assertion coming from a Christian
Via Allah, Omri has a piece on it that you must read:

First of all, there's only one answer to willful obtuseness like "are you seriously saying right here in public that I should convert?" or "are you like the head of Iran because you're saying we should wipe out Israel?" And that answer is obviously "yes, you moron, that's exactly what I'm saying."

What else are you going to say to this guy? "No, you're obviously and intentionally taking the single dumbest interpretation of my argument - albeit an interpretation suggested by your own pathological obsession with never saying anything even mildly controversial - and making it even dumber?" Honestly - how else can you begin to untangle this level of incandescent stupidity? Plus, the line about how she wants to bring him to church is objectively funny (at least as you're a confident Jew who's not afraid to have someone poke fun at you). Our gut check would have been to try to reraise with something like "thanks, but we'd rather stick with a Messiah who's powerful enough to get the whole 'peace on earth' thing right the first time." But then again she'd crush us like a bug in a game of take-it-there, so maybe not so much with the whole battle of wits thing for us.

And, Baldilocks, in comments at HotAir, sums it up shortly and beautifully:

So, basically, the Jews say that “He didn’t arrive yet” and the Christians say “He did, but y’all just missed it” and both say “we’ll see who’s right later.” But both also say (now) that “it’s not worth killing each other over or not worth being enemies over, since the Lord in whom we both believe has long had a plan for all of us” and “let’s be friends, etc.”

These ideals are what make us different from them.

Many folks, myself included, find it interesting indeed that Ann Coulter's perceived anti-Semitism in one comment on one TV show needs to be dealt with far more firmly than any Middle Eastern dictator with nuclear ambitions and a tendency toward Holocaust denial. Or, perhaps, real anti-Semitic rants in one of the Left's favorite places. Or, the actual forcible conversion problem posed by Islamofascists.

But, by all means, demand Coulter be banned from the airwaves and pelt her with bagels forthwith. That'll help. Here's the vid.