Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Christian answer to sin

My homepage for the past several weeks has been Ann Coulter's blog, for which click here. She is primarily into politics, of coure, and was once a very young aid to Ronaldus Magnus, which ought not be surprising to learn, because brilliant minds think alike. Her most recent post carries an interesting analysis of the differing reactions of people to their sins, and, I think, explains a lot of political thinking. Actually it can be applied to a lot of theological thinking too, I think. You might want to check it out.


Michael James Hill said...

Serious conservatives rank AC right in there with Michael Moore and Rush L. That is to say, you don't read her in The Weekly Standard.

You need to find a better use of your time.

Father Eckardt said...

So you didn't even bother to read her column (April 19, "Lie Down with Strippers . . .")? How does that make your response a serious one?

Lawrence said...

I read Ann's web-column every week. Does this mean I am really a "Humorous" conservative?

I think Ann's column today is one of her recent best.

Father Hollywood said...

Just my two cents (and I'm sure I'm in the minority here, and fully expect to take a pounding from my dear Gottesdienst brethren):

She's an entertainer. She is, at times very funny (as is Limbaugh, Savage, Boortz, et al.). But I find that conservative entertainers are a one trick pony - and the schtick just gets old. I don't find Ann Coulter to be particularly deep - but then again, there's nothing wrong with comedy. I mean, is it really a stunning intellectual conclusion that being a stripper (or hiring them) is a bad idea? There is also the danger that such personalities whose income derives from speaking engagements become too timid when it comes to offering criticism of conservatives (we're hardly a monolithic group). In other words, they become cheerleaders rather than independent thinkers - and then engage in namecalling when someone (even another conservative) expresses disagreement with them.

Clyde Wilson, the noted historian and essayist from the University of South Carolina, is more my idea of a substantive conservative thinker. And though he is mesmerizingly articulate and deeply intellectual, he can be every bit as funny as Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh - though in a more dry sort of way.

As far as an entertaining conservative - one who is a true intellectual, who actually served in the Marines in combat, and also served as a big city cop - and has a vocabulary that will knock your socks off (and will make you laugh until your belly hurts), try Fred Reed at: Fred On Everything (click on the "Fred Columns").

I find that even when I disagree with Fred, he makes me think... and laugh. I daresay Fred makes Ann look like Jane Fonda - both in wit and in politics.

Okay, I'm ready to take my pounding...

Father Eckardt said...

OK, here's what I like about Ann Coulter, since you press me for more. I'm guessing you haven't given her her due, which I guess is because you haven't paid too much attention. She is refreshingly honest and quick-witted. It isn't just humor, though there is that; and of course one does have to realize that she intentionally goes over the top somtimes. But timid? Come on: she certainly does not appear to be afraid to speak her mind to anyone, ever, no matter who it is. Monolithic? I believe she has occasionally expressed opinions regarding our president that suggest he is a bit of a moron. But of course she thinks the democrats are even more moronic. And if you ever watch her debate with people on Fox -- which isn't too often, mind you, although they often have her on and just throw her slow pitch easy stuff, which is dull -- but on the rare occasion she gets to debate Charlie Rangel or some live wacko, it's really great entertainment. This is a rare gift, I think. And that is my own tuppence.

Lawrence said...

Question is, is she right?

She says what she thinks, isn't wishy-washy, and doesn't pull any punches.

A few months back I had the opportunity to see Ann live. Her dialogue was pro-constitution-(originalist), anti-abortion, anti-secular-feminist, pro-morality-(being respectful to religion). Pretty much de-constructing the influences of secular intellectual liberalism, with her own intellect.

And yes, she was entertaining.

Michael James Hill said...

I do not expect to find gentlemen in "Gentlemen's Clubs," virgins in brothels or inteligent commentary from Ann Coulter. I do not think it is necessary to appeal to experience to defend the reasonableness of those judgements.

Lawrence said...

I think it very reasonable to ask if we have anything specific to back up our claims.

I asked the question once, is she right?

I challenge you, Michael, a second time to present one statement within this article where Ann is factually wrong, moral unsound, or Biblically incorrect.

Father Eckardt said...

Ahh, the glove is thrown down . . .

Michael James Hill said...

Dear Lawrence: I began by saying that AC is a lightweight not worth our time (any more than Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, or a host of others). You have thrown down the gaunlet and challenged me to take time to prove she is a waste of time. Not going to happen.

It is interesting how conservatives can quickly become liberal. It is the worst kind of liberalism to hold that one cannot speak with any kind of authority unless it is validated by experience. Will I am not that kind of liberal.

I return to my original point: serious conservatives are only annoyed with AC.

And add this additional point. Lutheran theology makes a distinction between the kingodm of the right (the Church) and the kingdom of the left (the State). This distinction is particularly important in matters of pastoral care. A pastor should be very careful making political statements or manifesting any political stance. It is indeed possible that a Lutheran pastor could be called upon to minister to a liberal parishioner.

This should be obvious. It should also be obvious that pundits who make a career out of demonizing their opponents should be avoided.

In this polarized country it is all to easy for people to take offense. It remains important for a pastor not to give offense.

Pastor Beisel said...

I'm 30 years old and I find Ann Coulter refreshing, to say the least. She appeals to my theology-of-the-cross convictions because she "calls a thing what it is," in a secular way, of course.

What's more, if you actually read her books, she is great. Treason is the best, according to my wife. Slander is another good one, and How to talk to a liberal, if you must. "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" is also very interesting.

And Rush Limbaugh...a lightweight? How cow, that is just an ignorant statement of someone who does not listen on a regular basis.

Lawrence said...

Michael says: "You have thrown down the gaunlet and challenged me to take time to prove she is a waste of time. Not going to happen."

Then your opinion is nothing more that just that. And there is no reason for me to continue reading beyond that, (which I haven't).

However... Actually, you did not call Ann a lightweight. You did, in fact, identify her with Michael Moore, Gentlemen's Clubs, and brothels. Any one of these three are a direct insult.

Michael James Hill said...

Dear Lawrence:I am afraid that you have learned your rhetoric from Ann Coulter.

Yes I did "identify" her with Michael Moore. That is to say that is to say I look upon Moore, Coulter, Limbaugh, Franken as all practicing the same kind of political posturing. They all drag political dialogue into the cutter with name calling and falacious statements.

Like saying I identify her with Gentlemen's Clubs and brothels. Nope I did not do that at all, in the least, by implication, whatsoever.

What I said was that the same kind of reasoning that makes judgments about avoiding Gentlemen's Clubs and brothels can be applied to avoiding flamethrowers like Coulter and the like. So yes, Pastor Beisel, I do not listen to Rush Limbaugh on a regular basis. I do not listen to him at all. I do not listen to him because he is a political lightweight. I do not think you can produce one serious conservative pundit who would say otherwise.

In fact, Pastor Beisel, you make my larger point. Practicing theologians should stay out of political mud wrestling --- they are too quickly over their heads.

Pastor Beisel said...

Should theologians simply ignore what is going on in the secular world? Is that what you are suggesting? I find that listening to people like Limbaugh and reading Coulter is like a hobby of mine. I find that, on a purely secular level, they have good arguments for what they (and I) stand for. They make me think. They deal with ideas, and they are not afraid to say what they think, whether it offends someone or not. I value them for these and other reasons. As a theologian, I often find their views on religion usually somewhat distasteful and ignorant, but what would you expect? They would no doubt find my views on religion unacceptable too.

Michael James Hill said...

Pastor Beisel: No I am not suggesting that practicing theologians ignore what is going on the in world. Cetainly there are moral issues which the Church speaks to (abortion, homosexuality, etc).

I would however, suggest that pastors learn nothing good from certain eristic pundits and would do better to avoid them.

If you want be informed about what is going on in the world there are far better sources. I would suggest the 91 year old liberal weekly The New Republic and the 10 year old, conservative Weekly Standard.

After one year you would discover that: 1) thinking liberals and considerate conservatives actually agree an amazing amount of the time, 2)when there is disagreement there is surprisingly little invective, appeals to emotions, appeals to simple traditional values, ad hominem and a host of other fallacies the eristics employ.

Lawrence said...

Michael: They all drag political dialogue into the cutter with name calling and falacious statements.

And who herein is drawing falacious statements? Not I. Not Pr. Echkhardt. Not Pr. Beisel. Nor has Ann in the article quoted.

Michael: "Like saying I identify her with Gentlemen's Clubs and brothels. Nope I did not do that at all, in the least, by implication, whatsoever."

Oh no? Then who wrote this from above?

"I do not expect to find gentlemen in "Gentlemen's Clubs," virgins in brothels or inteligent commentary from Ann Coulter."

Don't try to weasel out of this one by changing the argument. I got you cornered by your own words, checked and mated.

Anonymous said...

Lawrence said,
"Don't try to weasel out of this one by changing the argument. I got you cornered by your own words, checked and mated."

Fr. Eckardt, forgive me for jumping in with a complaint, but I can't take it (even though I know you like to tweak people, so you're probably enjoying this thread).

Either Lawrence and Fr. Hill know one another, or Lawrence is just being rude.

Why is it that confessional Lutherans are so intent on winning the argument? It seems they are more interested in being the victor than in discerning the truth through dialogue and opinion. Are the commentors on this blog even interested in learning from one another for the benefit of themselves and those around them, or are they merely interested in "winning the day?" What's the point of winning if you stand victorious with everyone around you saying, "I don't want to celebrate with him." If this is the normal M.O. of current Lutherans, why would anyone else want to be a Lutheran?

Lawrence, if you're so disgusted, why don't you e-mail Fr. Hill personally, instead of dragging your anger out in the public for all of us to see.


Lawrence said...

First of all, until today, I did not know that Pr. Hill is a Pastor.

Pr. Hill, who I do not know and does not identify himself as a Pastor herein started off with a rather political statement. It was my assumption that he was purposely pushing buttons, so I thought it might be funny to push back.

Apparently I'm the only one amused by this, so my appologies to Pr. Hill for being disrespectful.

Anonymous said...


I too then offer you apology for "jumping the gun." Lately I am colored by the constant ad hominum attacks and aggressive rhetoric currently found on so-called "confessional Lutheran" blogs.

Lord have mercy on us all.


p.s. I expect Fr. Eckardt to respond with something like, "aww, isn't this nice! or something trite such as only he can do." :)

Lawrence said...

I'm not sure you have anything to appologize for. Under the circumstances, I understand why you jump to Pr. Hill's defense. I would do the same in your shoes.

No one here could possibly be a worse sinner than me, so yes, I am very grateful for the Lords Mercy.


Father Eckardt said...

To oblige: Aww, isn't this nice!