Ann Coulter to Jesus: Fix Bethlehem First!

People keep telling me that I don’t understand Ann Coulter’s tone: that she speaks tongue in cheek, deliberately exaggerating her point so as to make us think.

Well, here is what I think about her piece Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to Idiotic. As is often the case with a Coulter piece, it’s hard to tell what her main thesis is, so I’ll just focus on one paragraph:

If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.

It seems that she believes that Dr. Brantly, who is a medical doctor, has some mysterious power as a Christian to evangelize “Hollywood power-brokers,” and it’s only his vanity (“Christian narcissism,” she calls it) that sent him off to the third world with his medical supplies, rather than — what, trotting up to Quentin Tarrantino’s gate, introducing himself as an M.D., and suggesting that Mr. Tarantino repent? And this would have been more effective than ministering to the dying in Liberia.

Let me explain something. The man is a medical doctor. He heals people’s bodies. He apparently felt the call to go far, far out of his way to minister to people in horrible need of his expert help. This is, in general, how good people operate: rather than always doing what is obvious or easy, and rather than doing something they are neither suited, nor trained, nor able to do, they do what they think they are being called to do.

Was Dr. Brantly truly called to travel to Africa and work with ebola patients? Who knows? That’s between him and God. But Coulter seems to believe that the very act of stepping across the border marks an unforgivable sin of . . .  pride, I guess? Show-offiness?

But that short paragraph of hers contains a second, even more hideous idea. Coulter says,

Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.

Yes, isn’t that just like those benighted third world ninnies? So obsessed with this childish, petty desire to stay alive. Why can’t they think about important matters, like the spiritual state of people watching movies in America? No, all the time it’s, “Wah, wah, my eyes are bleeding” with them.  Ugh, foreigners.

Here’s the deal, for anyone who thinks Colter is kinda sorta mean, but kinda sorta has a point: yes, it is true that there is such a thing as missionaries who do more harm than good. Yes, it is true that some people claim to be serving God, but really they’re just trying to make themselves look good.

Is there any evidence that Dr. Brantly is guilty of any of that? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t been following the story. Coulter doesn’t give any evidence in this piece that she knows any more than I do from reading headlines.

Coulter is playing to the crowd who always say, “Fix America first.” And I always say, “Why?” Are Americans more important than citizens of other countries? Is their suffering more meaningful? If we evangelize them, does their conversion give less glory to God than the conversion of an American? If they die of starvation and disease, do their families grieve less than the families of dead Americans?  And if not, then what could possibly be wrong with going to help them in the way that you know how?

Xenophobia is just racism for people who think big. There’s nothing noble about turning your back on people who suffer, even if they’re people who speak a different language or live in places with silly names. If we were all just supposed to hunker down and play to the home crowd, then the apostles themselves were off to a pretty bad start, gallavanting all over Greece and Ethiopia, Persia and Turkey. Didn’t they realize there were still some people back home — their own countrymen — who could have used their help?

For that matter, why couldn’t Jesus just stay put? I guess he never heard of Fix Bethlehem First. Instead, He had drag Himself all the way to Jerusalem, and then climb all the way up on a hill, and then all the way up on that cross, as if to say, “Look at me! I’m saving everybody!” And meanwhile, I suppose His mother and his friends had to think about the hotel bills, the travel expenses  . . .

Talk about a Christian narcissist. Yeah, Dr. Brantly is just like that. What an idiot.

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  • NurseTammy

    Maybe Im stupid, but I don’t take her column as hyperbole-for-effect at all…I think she is saying what she means and it bothers me too. Last night I saw a report on TV that said that there are only 50 doctors for the entire population of Liberia…wouldn’t it make sense for a person hoping to serve would go there?

  • Laura Worosz Malnight

    This is brilliant!

  • KarenJo12

    She’s not just wrong, she’s very, very stupid. Dr. Brantley’s travel to Georgia was under protocols that make the moon landings look haphazard. He is now in the hands of the best doctors in the world, being a human guinea pig for a new and effective treatment. We will learn an immeasurable amount from his treatment. The alternative to Dr. Brantley’s treatment is not Fortress America against the disease; it’s having the first Ebola case in North America from a tourist who exposes hundreds of people in airports, who expose their friends and family days before anyone knows what happened. Either we learn from one patient in the most controlled circumstances or we learn from an epidemic. I knew she was horrid, but she is also an idiot.

  • The Screenwriter’s Wife

    For the record, Dr. Brantly always felt called into medial missions even as a youth and it’s specifically what he got his degree for. When he first went to Liberia it was as a family practice doctor. It was only once he was already there that he was asked to head up the Ebola hospital.

  • Eileen

    I had seen the headline, but I didn’t bother to read the article as I so often find Ann Coulter’s columns vile. Thanks to this writeup, I went and read the original in full. I must say my opinion of Ann Coulter has been somewhat altered – I now believe she is a racist and eugenicist. She is the very worst face of the Republican party.

    • donttouchme

      She’s also opposed to women’s suffrage.

  • $51060174

    The Poor: a tool used by liberals to bash over the heads of conservatives.

    • chezami

      Jasper: You have an infallible ability to make the absolute wrongest judgment call, to back the lamest horse, plump for the stupidest position, and cheer for the vilest and worst ideas. How do you do it? What’s your secret? A person could make a fortune simply betting against you.

    • the lost emperor

      Yes, I agree, it’s just so inconvenient for Right-Wingers that there are real problems in the world that require progressive solutions.

      • Howard

        Maybe, maybe not. The good doctor was acting as a Christian, not as a progressive.

        • Petey

          imagine he did it as a progressive. would his Liberian patients be any less helped?

          • Howard

            That’s called “making stuff up”. Do you have to make stuff up to argue that “there are real problems in the world that require progressive solutions”?

          • Petey

            its called a hypothetical.
            so what’s your answer Howard?

          • Howard

            My answer is that your hypothetical is off topic and irrelevant. “The Lost Emperor” suggested that “there are real problems in the world that require progressive solutions” and that something about this doctor’s case supports that idea. However, this doctor was not acting as a progressive, so that case cannot support “The Lost Emperor”‘s idea that “there are real problems in the world that require progressive solutions”. He would need to find some other example or argument to back up that idea.

            If you want hypotheticals, imagine that the doctor’s motivation was to make Africa safe so that all African-Americans would return there and leave the good ol’ USA to whites only. Would you accept that such a hypothetical suggests that “there are real problems in the world that require racist solutions”? My guess is you would not, and that you would insist, as I am doing here, that false assumptions are useless evidence for the value of an idea.

          • Petey

            no, now, you’ve changed the terms. if he did it for even racist reasons, you should posit, would the Liberians he treated be any less cured?

          • Howard

            What does your question have to do with “The Lost Emperor”‘s comment? Show me a valid connection, and I’ll give you an answer.

    • Beadgirl

      Yes. Much better that we ignore the poor, not mention them at all, so as to not offend anyone.

  • Tori

    People like her forget how we are each a different part of Christ’s body. We aren’t going to be called to the same things. There are people who are suited to mission work here, and people suited to it elsewhere. A financial Bible study course I took talked about being aware of our neighbor in a threefold way: in our own community, in our nation, and globally. That has stuck with me in a big way. If we waited to offer help to people in other nations until our own was all in order, we’d never offer them help at all.

  • $1028912

    She’s an entertainer! Just like Rush. They will say ANYTHING, to get a rise out of people, and attention. It’s just what they do.

    • KarenJo12

      This comment is the equivalent of the sexual harasser or racist claiming that anyone offended at their hideous comment “can’t take a joke.” Limbaugh and Coalter do a very good job at pretending they should be taken seriously; until they themselves indicate that their careers have been an elaborate LARP as pundits, I will continue to believe they mean every horrible thing they say.

      • $1028912

        You can do whatever you like, but I figure, why dignify them by taking their bizarre statements seriously? They just want our attention — I try not to give them mine.

        • Eileen

          I agree with this approach. That’s why I normally don’t bother to read Ann Coulter. It’s best for me personally to marginalize these opinions rather than trying to take them seriously and dignifying them with a response. Before I read this piece I just figured she was some blowhard tool, now I think she’s a racist blowhard tool.

          • $51060174

            I love Ann Coulter. I think she is exactly correct and I’ll bet she gives more to charity than any of you. Poll after Poll say that conservatives give away more of there money than liberals.

          • $1028912

            I bet you’re wrong. But we’ll never know, will we? And if you believe polls, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

          • Maeva

            Omit church tithes; they are usually just country clubs where christians get (bad) counseling and ‘praise reports’. Those same polls say 3/4 of conservatives’ charity goes to their personal church.

          • StealthGaytheist

            Churches are not charities.

      • $1028912

        I should add here (after I was compared to sexual harrassers and racists — hey, that was a first for me!) that it’s never wrong to point out that a joke is not funny.

    • Ken

      The problem is they pretend like their an entertainer when they say something horrible like this but that their some sort of philosopher when they say something of merit. It’s great to have it both ways. They can never lose.

      • $1028912

        On the other hand, we can’t lose, either, if we view them as primarily as pathetically laughable clowns. Every once in a while, they might say something interesting that makes us think, but the rest of the time, we can just roll our eyes and change the channel, or read something else.

  • Fr. Denis Lemieux

    Well, you see, Simcha, it’s very simple. The apostles weren’t in AMERICA! So it doesn’t matter that they went to other countries because it was all NOT AMERICA(!) in those days. But now that AMERICA (!) has been invented, the rest of the world doesn’t matter. It really is quite simple once you start off with the right premise.
    On a more serious note, my community had a house in Liberia for a number of years, and so we know a little bit about the sufferings of that poor country, which even by the standards of African poverty and suffering is extreme. This doctor was doing the work of God, and nobody from Coulter on down knows one thing about where his heart was in doing it. Shame on her.

  • $51060174

    look at me! look at me! I care about the poor! and you don’t!

  • Ken

    I’m sure Ann Coulter did a detailed analysis on how much charity work Dr. Brantley does in Texas in comparison to his work in Africa. She wouldn’t just write a column for shock value. I can just see these pansy liberals sacrificing their lives by cleaning the vomit and bodily fluids off of these horribly sick people with a smug look of superiority over the rest of us.

    • Tony

      >>She wouldn’t just write a column for shock value.<<

      LOL. Welcome to our universe, sir. Which one have you been living in prior to this…

  • donttouchme

    Quick! Everybody jump on the newest Coulter-hate meme to peddle your wares to the Feminine Genius while she peddles her wares to conservative men who like a woman with long blonde hair, a high-jumper physique, and a girlish voice who opposes women’s suffrage! The real issue behind the issue is that men know what they like and Feminine Genius worshipers have to pretend to be all enlightened and thoughtful but while still doing basically the same thing as Coulter but with a different, more “complicated” demographic. haha.

    • simchafisher

      I was with you until “haha,” hon.

      • donttouchme

        You gotta develop some better chicknip to sell your book like Coulter. You gotta go Eat, Pray, Love on them.

        • simchafisher

          I thought JP II and his message of sissymen was all the rage. I’ve only read a few of his works, but I don’t even remember there being any pictures, or large print, or scented bookmarks, or anything. What is a lady author to do.

          • donttouchme

            Wrong! That’s the age quickly fading of Mulieris Dignitatem. We’re looking at the age of Fifty Shades of Grey and cat ladies trying to rediscover themselves after divorce. The sissymen meme has been completely assimilated and is now passe.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Being a fedora is sooo 2010, man.

      • donttouchme

        I don’t get that reference and my work computer won’t let me look at UrbanDictionary.

  • asecularfranciscan

    I completely and strongly agree with what you say here but please, please stop linking to her content. Links and clickthroughs are the most important things in the world to these people. In fact, I have an inherently contradictory wish that we could somehow expose these people for what they are without focusing any additional attention on them.

    • conspiracygirl

      Here’s what you do when you want to share a terrible article but don’t want to improve its rankings in the Search engines. Enter the URL at

  • mm

    In the meantime, who is Ann Coulter converting?

    • pagansister

      She is converting folks to the Democratic party—or no party at all, with her hate filled spew.

  • Ezbs

    Im not an !!!American!!! but this Anne lady sounds like a twit. I think she is a twit beause Ive seen her a few times on The View with all those other twits. Yep come to think of it, thats the airhead Im visualizing.

    Im wandering how many Speilbergs and Tarantinos she has converted with her useless credentials?

    Throwing donations in the direction of the Republican Party doesnt pass as “money to charity”, because the Republican Party is not a “cause”.

    But….If she wants to put her money where her fat mouth is, I would suggest she trade places with the good Doctor, and go door-knocking through the Hollywood Hills, with her Cross, Holy Water and garlic.

    I mean, seriously Simcha, why did you waste an hour of your life giving this moron airtime. Ive wasted 10minutes deriding this embecile. Thanks!

    Write about more important things, like the Christian genocide in Iraq. We all have to desperately pray for these people. Its heartwrenching, not being able to physically help them. God Hear our Prayers for Your suffering children!

  • tt

    From the great philosopher/theologian/rock star Bono: “Where you’re born shouldn’t decide whether you live or whether you die”.

  • StealthGaytheist

    People like Coultergeist make me ashamed to be white and from the US.

  • uuberdude

    Coulter’s game is Trolling For Dollars. Nothing more, and nothing less.

  • truth hurts

    Ann should go talk to a doctor to find out why her mom took nine months to take a dump. lol.