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August 17, 2006

What Ann Coulter Knows

So far, with one minor lapse, I've done a pretty good job of avoiding mention of Ann Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism . Has, even with the gigantic sales, something of the fish-in-a-barrel about it. I've held off despite what Ben Vershbow calls the book's "Bizarro World" version of the title of this blog. (Were it, for the sake of my own sales, only intentional.)

However, this recent New Republic review of the book by Jerry Coyne (forwarded by Ben) is not only big fun but raises some interesting questions.

Here Coyne wields, against Coulter, among other things, the so-why-are-there-so-many-religions line of attack (the argument Darwin credits for his own disbelief):

What's annoying about Coulter (note: there's more than one thing!) is that she insistently demands evidence for evolution (none of which she'll ever accept), but requires not a shred of evidence for her "alternative hypothesis." She repeatedly assures us that God exists (not just any God -- the Christian God), that there is only one God (she's no Hindu, folks), that we are made in the image of said God, that the Christian Bible, like Antonin Scalia's Constitution, "is not a 'living' document" (that is, not susceptible to changing interpretation; so does she think that Genesis is literally true?), and that God just might have used evolution as part of His plan. What makes her so sure about all this? And how does she know that the Supreme Being, even if It exists, goes by the name of Yahweh, rather than Allah, Wotan, Zeus, or Mabel? If Coulter just knows these things by faith alone, she should say so, and then tell us why she's so sure that what Parsees or Zunis just know is wrong. I, for one, am not prepared to believe that Ann Coulter is made in God's image without seeing some proof.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at August 17, 2006 3:46 PM


For me it is always a battle between not wanting to contribute to her publicity and being drawn to point out her idiocy. The problem is that I really don't believe that she's insane. Instead, I think she's one of the many on the right who has decided that any publicity is better than no publicity.

Posted by: vjack at August 17, 2006 3:48 PM

There is no reason in discussing A Coulter.
You have stepped in her emotional/promotional quicksand.
Stop squirming and let me pull you out.
There, now get on with it.

Posted by: Jay Saul at August 17, 2006 4:31 PM

Quite right! She's hardly worth a mention -- all vitriol and no brain!

Posted by: whymrhymer at August 18, 2006 3:13 AM

The question then is, how to employ effective political tact for cause unlike her own? One thing I'm not willing to ignore is that she is effective at popularizing the phantom liberal scapegoat. Her book sales say much over how anti-progressive people are bent on being. It is unfortunate, because it leads me to conclude that vitriol is precisely what people so much prefer.

However, I must disagree with some of the ideas brought up in Jerry Coyne's review. For one, Atheists (sociopaths like Stalin, and Mao) too have contributed MAJORLY in the recent past century to some of the biggest democides this humanity's ever experienced, much beyond even theists like Hitler, and medieval Christians. So it must be concluded that not all atheists have been a model of ideal ethical character. I hope for the sake of consistency, Professor Stephens doesn't neglect mentioning this in his now work-in-progress. This is something I think Jonathan Miller should have covered in greater depth in his recent excellent BBC4 documentary: "A Brief History of Disbelief".

Now, I'm saying this as an Atheist, only because the main thing I think that should be made clear is that Atheism alone says nothing of behavioral ethics, no more so than Theism alone does, so it's categorically incorrect to compare religious doctrine, inclusive with proposed morality, with Atheism, an ethical-neutral idea. If Atheist popularizers are to convince future peoples that non-belief is the more rational path to take when considering choices to make in life, they should also consider providing not only base ethical humanist ideas, but reasons why such ideas are more efficaciously preferable in the politics of the modern world, something like Sam Harris (lite) comes to mind.

Another strange thing I find of Coulter in her lack of consistency is that I've heard her revere people like Ayn Rand for her staunch right-wing idealism, yet Ayn Rand is not to be considered part of this so-called Godless phantom, even though Rand openly declared herself an Atheist (Rand was very critical of Christian principles). Does this mean that right-wing proponents of Darwinian evolutionary ideas, including those who are also Godless, are beyond Coulter criticism only because they aren't so-called "liberal"? I wonder if people who buy her bull so gleefully ever consider these kinds of holes in her lack-of-logic before peddling her talking points.

Coulter's book should more correctly be titled "Specious: The Propaganda of Ann Coulter".

Posted by: X% at August 18, 2006 11:40 AM

X%, appreciate your thoughtful comments, most of which I agree with. My disagreement derives more from this statement: "If Atheist popularizers are to convince future peoples that non-belief is the more rational path to take when considering choices to make in life, they should also consider providing not only base ethical humanist ideas, but reasons why such ideas are more efficaciously preferable in the politics of the modern world."

It's the 'base ethical humanist ideas' that concern me, really. What are these? Who decides? Humanism as it's been derived from Enlightenment values is, for me at least, one of the major obstacles to opening up 'efficaciously preferable ideas' in politics, whether that humanism is judeao-christian, marxist, or existentialist...

Posted by: JM at August 18, 2006 2:35 PM

JM, well if you think you have an ethical system you'd like to popularize, you have that right as well. I never said it had to be any absolute set, so long as it could be shown that there is such a thing as an ethical Atheist, point being that a political plan could be formulated to the general benefit of people in society. I'm not saying this is a simple matter, but there are better things to invest monies in other than perpetual war, and faith-based scamming. Better open standards of accountability for one, so people know where their monies are being spent. The point is instead of having politics in which one is encouraged to say "God told me this was good." Have it directed back on the individual deciding the plan. Have it be "I think this is a good political platform because of the following pragmatic reasons: ... Now let's deliberate, and act based on logical conclusions." Practical encouraging discussion is better, I think, than faith-based closure on a matter.

Posted by: X% at August 18, 2006 5:17 PM

X%, it's plans and systems that I seek to get out from under, as much as it's possible to do so; i strive toward an ethics of the social that is dialogic, that honors the situational context, rather than a system of morality imposed from 'above' or derived from 'human nature.' We have no disagreements about war or faith-based politics or the importance of pushing the current political order to be more open, deliberate, responsible. But the vestiges of theism that remain deeply imbricated in the discourses of humanism make humanism, as its been practiced since the 18th century to the present, unacceptable, to me at least; as a friend of mine recently expressed it, "the power expressed by and through religion has reached its height at the point where, ironically, secular discourse has grown dominant, grown into the discourse of humanism itself". Humanism, in other words, is merely another version of ontotheology (Heidegger's term), the discourse that brings us perpetual violence and calls it salvation.

Posted by: JM at August 19, 2006 1:56 PM

Ann Coulter. An interesting, un-nerving, and hard to ignore topic. : -)

A. She is pretty. Not beautiful, but pretty, so she is hard to ignore.

B. She speaks well, so she is hard to ignore.

C. She is not discussing with you. Period.
She is evangilizing. Period.
She is calling you stupid if you do not totally agree with her. Period.

D. She is important to study and note in that she influences many people. Anyone who has that kind of influence is important or dangerous. Many Islamic terrorists share many of the same traits as A.C.

Hey, just my 2 kopecs worth.

Elder Norm "www.aro-religion.org"

Posted by: Norm e at August 24, 2006 10:11 AM

Gag, Norm-e, on A ... no wonder we never get anywhere.

Posted by: JM at August 24, 2006 6:39 PM

Just the garbage you people spew out at this site proves Ann's points. Additionally, all you can do is launch personal attacks on her and when you do mention her substance you skewer and falsify what she says all the time.(I'm sure you don't mind me hijacking some of your sacred space here for this post, do you?)

Norm e, you definitely are such a person, comparing Miss Coulter to Islamic Nazi terrorists. You also say she's dangerous - well, to atheists like you and liberals who hate the truth, hate her and what she says, because it rips your bizarro-world to shreds.

X%, you are wrong about Hitler because he was not a theist, he was an atheist like you and all the godless Communist and fascist dictators (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Franco, etc.)because he, like them, embraced Darwinism, the godless creation myth propagated in science today. Communism and Nazism both were ideologies of state-sanctioned atheism and aggressive anti-Christian behavior and still are today. Coulter clearly discusses Hitler's devotion to Darwinism in Chapter 11 of her book, which none of you have read. Not to mention, more people have been killed in never-before-seen savage fashion as a result of Darwinism than anything else, including the worst polytheist groups in history, Islam, and the pseudo-Christian, anti-Semitic medieval crusaders. Have you people heard of World War II, Nazi death camps, Soviet gulags, Pol Pot's skull pyramids? This all resulted because these freaks were completely devoted to Darwinism.

Also X%, if Ann reveres Ayn Rand somewhat, guess what? Rand is an example of what Ann Coulter already knows: that one can be right-wing, even conservative, and not be Christian (much more atheist), and the similarity ends there. Ann Coulter publicly defends Christianity more valiantly than anyone else in the public political arena, and that completely distinguishes her from all the other conservative writers, pundits and talking heads, and this is clearly revealed when you read her book, which you obviously haven't. Godless is absolutely masterful in its indictment of liberalism, and no matter what garbage you or anyone else puts out, her arguments are irrefutable, because she speaks the truth. Your panties are in a wad because liberalism gives your religion a real name with all the attributes of a religion, another assertion Miss Coulter proves in her book, when you claim God does not exist. The Bible calls people like you fools. In the Darwinist world, God does not exist, and you are no better than that.

You people become hysterical because Ann Coulter is a serious threat to you, and rightly so. She flies in direct opposition to what you believe and is not afraid of what anyone will say or do to her for believing what she believes, and this drives you idiots even more up the wall! Miss Coulter told Jay Leno she wears all the hatred and contempt poured on her from liberals and people like you as "a badge of honor." Get it, she is not afraid of any of you because to her truth matters more than popularity and she doesn't care if someone gets their toes stepped on if it comes to it! Also, your intelligence levels are those of ten-year-olds compared to Ann's brilliance, for the record.

Ann is amazing, brilliant, witty, humorous, pulls no punches, is bold and uncompromising in what she believes, and a very beautiful woman, a combination none of you stand a chance against. Like liberals, you try to stop her, but as long as freedom reigns, you never will. Way to go Ann!!!!

Posted by: Mark at August 26, 2006 8:57 PM

Mark is lost.

Posted by: Jay Saul at August 26, 2006 10:26 PM

If saying "Mark is lost," is all you have, Jay, then it truly shows how bankrupt of thought you are, as you or anyone else at this site have no coherent argument against any point Ann Coulter makes, or anyone who chooses to defend her, for that matter. No wonder liberals deliberately ignore the entirety of Ann's book except for her comments on the Jersey Girls- er, harpies, you guys have been crushed!

I would have thought you would have more to say for someone enraged at Ann Coulter and be even more provoked at a defender of her invading your site, but that's all you have. You want to ignore Miss Coulter, but I won't let you; you'll have to just keep attacking her and me like you have done and prove her points over and over again.

All you atheists do is deny the obvious about the truth and engage in the same smear tactics utilized by the other liberals against Ann Coulter for a long time.

Mitchell, you have erred greatly in your skepticism over Ann's belief in the existence of God, asking how she knows it isn't the same one for all religions, and she were to read this thread, she would say she knows the one true God and only one true God and that she does take it on faith. She does prove that Darwinism is a hoax, though, but still rather defiantly is the liberal creation myth.

You say you are "not prepared to believe that Ann Coulter is made in God's image without proof." Those who reject God make such statements, for you were made in His image as much as Ann Coulter was, as God made all men in His image. You demand proof, but when God says it, the issue is settled.

The discussion of evolution in Godless is a point-by-point refutation of it on Darwin's terms and Coulter is in close enough territory to say she takes Genesis literally in the book, and personally she does, though it is only implied in the book.

Point taken, though you refuse to admit it, you people are wrong on every point she makes, and you are wrong on Ann Coulter. A beautiful, intelligent woman not afraid to stand for what she believes and contend for the truth the way Ann does will always irk you because she fears no one and counts her tribulations for future joy to come. You are powerless against her, despite what you think you can do. Again, way to go Ann!!!!

Posted by: Mark at August 28, 2006 3:04 AM

Are you guys conceding defeat already? I have not heard from you, and that's what you're implying and why you want to ignore what I say and what Ann Coulter says.

Another huge misconception you have about Miss Coulter is thinking she's "heartless" (Hillary, shut up!), "mean" and every other name in the book you want to call her. This is primarily because she is very aggressive in what she says and how she says it and is unapologetic for saying it, but she does care about people. She criticizes outrageous behavior, but she cares about people, honestly, and you would see it if you took the time to read her book.

In particular she discusses violent murderers Stanley "Tookie" Williams and Dennis Dechaine and the stunts undertaken by liberals zealous about setting these killers free. What she says on page 55 is rather heartbreaking. "Instead of allowing fallen men like Tookie Williams to confess, repent, and ask God for mercy, liberal busybodies rush in and lock the men into a lie, damning their souls forever. They are like a Bizarro-world version of Christian missionaries, promoting eternal damnation. Surrounded by earnest 'Innocence Project' groupies, the guilty will never confess, never repent, never get right with God. No! No! Don't repent! Tell a lie right before you die, Tookie!"

Ann goes on with a similar sentiment concerning Dechaine and the liberal groups dedicated to denying his obvious guilt in his brutal rape and murder of a child and thus their preventing of a repentance and salvation opportunity for Dechaine.

She also believes many liberals would run from their church if they really understood the religious dogma and principles undergirding liberalism, and believes they need to have the light shone on what they are believing. I mean she gives them sympathy here in declaring the truth.

God loves you so much he gave his only Son to pay our sin debt and bring salvation to your souls and is waiting for you to accept Christ. You can either accept or reject Him. I love and care about you, that's why I write this, and that's why Ann wrote what she wrote there in her book, because she loves and cares about people, even you who profess to be atheists.

Liberals don't care about your eternal soul. In fact, many of you deny the Christian belief in man's immortal soul, and liberals don't care if their actions keep you from having a chance to repent of your sins and accept Christ. If they didn't care about Tookie Williams, Dennis Dechaine or Christopher Reeve, they sure don't care about you. They don't care if it ends up with you dying without Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and you burning in hell forever. They care about no one but themselves. What do you think Ann's trying to say?

It would bring great joy to my heart and to Ann Coulter's heart also, if you repented and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, for you will come to know the freedom we have in Him from sin and eternal death. Give what we say a chance. Thank you Ann for saying what needs to be said much more often and for being gracious enough to say it. These people need to hear it so desperately.

Posted by: Mark at August 29, 2006 2:16 AM

Mark, as a member of the "I love everything about A.C. fan club" I am sure that you are taking everything said here personally. Sorry to hear that. Its just life.

I have watched A.C. several times. I always tried to watch with a neutral and open approach. A.C. always came across the same.
She was right.
She had all the answers.
You are wrong and stupid if you do not agree with her.
You are wrong. If in doubt, see above. :-)
She does not see anything right about Democrats (any democrats anywhere,any time, etc) See above.
If she seemed to be open to other ideas, then I would be more open in my opinion of her. But ever, repeat everytime she opened her mouth, it was -- She was right, you are stupid because you are wrong, you are wrong because you are stupid.

Hey, thats just my (and many other peoples) opinion. If you don't like it. Oppps too bad.

PS. actually I had a chance to hear the head of Iran recently. Except for the words he used, he sounded just like A.C. i.e. You are wrong because you are stupid and you are stupid because you are wrong.

Elder Norm

Posted by: Norm e at September 20, 2006 2:07 PM

Mark is right,,, ANN is right. It is so sad so many do not understand. But actually those that do not understand are falling in number. Ann did not influence me to feel and think as she does,,she expresses me and she simply expresses what an ever growing number feel.
For christmas,, YES christmas I am giving a liberal democrat friend two books,, Godless and Souless.
I already know on which side this friend will side,, but after they read both books, they will know what I know. Ann in right.

Posted by: dan at October 26, 2006 8:00 PM

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