Friday, January 11, 2008

On the passing of Ann Coulter's father

Ann Coulter has written a eulogy in praise of her father, who just passed away.

Coulter clearly adored her father, which is always nice to see; and she has my genuine sympathy. My father passed away 1/1/1993, leaving a hole in the way things should be, and I miss him all the time. Like Coulter's father, Dad was a representative of a different generation and a different culture, and a remarkable man.

I'm sure some of you will part with me in this, but I like Ann Coulter quite a lot, in general and most of the time. At least in writing and in person, she demonstrates an unapologetic, convicted fierceness of which I wish "our" "leaders" would show even 25%. (Some of you will assume I mean "our" = GOP; others perhaps "our" = "evangelical," and to both groups I return a predictable "Yes!")

Coulter has said some things I think have needed to be said, and said them effectively and well. And she doesn't back down.

At the same time, I also have thought the opposite of other of her sayings. (And there's the disturbing possibility that, as with Rush Limbaugh and others, it could all or partly be an act.)

Having said that, some of her remarks troubled me. For instance, she lauds her father thus:
John Vincent Coulter was of the old school, a man of few words, the un-Oprah, no crying or wearing your heart on your sleeve, and reacting to moments of great sentiment with a joke. Or as we used to call them: men.
Hm. Well, Ann's often called herself a Christian, and I won't dispute that. But she isn't getting her definition of masculinity from Scripture here. Not if Ezra, Jeremiah, David, Paul, and the Lord Jesus are illustrative of godly men. They "cried." They openly revealed deep feelings about matters of great depth. I daresay many of the best men ever to live "cried." And personally, I don't think much of anyone who characteristically reacts to moments of great sentiment with a joke. Cheapening or trivializations never impress me favorably.

Family jokes often cannot survive being ripped from their context, and I'm sure my own children will have a too-rich store of (apparently or really) horrid things I've said. But Coulter speaks fondly of her mother quoting something her father said on every wedding anniversary: "54 years, married to the wrong woman." Hm. Not exactly Proverbs 31:28-31, is it? But then her father was a lifelong Romanist, so he literally may never have opened a Bible.

In spite of that, Ann pronounces him to be in Heaven "with Joe McCarthy and Ronald Reagan" — and she hopes that they will "stop laughing about the Reds long enough to talk to God about smiting some liberals for me."

"Smiting" — not convicting and converting, nor opening their eyes or softening their hearts.

This is the saddest Coulter column I've read, and not merely because it's about her father's passing. It sheds some light on a fair bit about her. It tells me I should pray for her.

And certainly not that God would "smite" her.


DJP said...

Yes yes yes, I know she's supposed to have broken up with the guy. Don't miss my obvious point.

Kay said...

It's all a bit of a jumble, but I am going to cut her some slack given the timescale. I thought some fairly mixed up cobblers when my mum died.

Praying for her, definitely.

DJP said...

Of course you're right, Libbie.

I hesitated to say anything, but decided to do so because it's a public statement, and I hope my comments are moderate and reasonable, and certainly not critical of her love nor grief for her father.

FX Turk said...

I think it's exactly right that this turns out to be a multi-dimensional portrait of Ms. Coulter.

I also think that I agree with almost everything Dan said here -- not sure how to call this a portrait of Biblical manhood, but it's a portrait of a greater generation than ours.

threegirldad said...

But she isn't getting her definition of masculinity from Scripture here. Not if Ezra, Jeremiah, David, Paul, and the Lord Jesus are illustrative of godly men. They "cried."

Thank you for saying this. I'm weary of being considered wimpish or effeminate because I cry when crying is a perfectly appropriate thing to do.

David A. Carlson said...

Regardless of what she says at this time, it is churlish to go after her.

And I don't like A.C. I think .... well, what I think of her would break my own rule.

so on this day, she only has my condolences.

DJP said...

Well then, we disagree on two out of three points.

CR said...

Ann Coulter is one of the most wittiest commentators out there. I have two of her books being Godless - the church of liberalism and it is a great book.

My only regret is her Christian testimony which is a bad one on public with her disparaging remarks. I guess that really says more about the church she goes that won't discipline her than what it says about Ann Coulter.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Just say it like it is folks, Ann ain't regenerate.