This is a challenging blog to write. It’s very personal. The funny thing about being a Christian in this country is that, while Christianity is the dominant religion, I find it difficult to say, “I am a Christian.” I feel some people jump to conclusions, few of them flattering. Many will assume that if I declare my faith, I’m trying to push my faith on them, and that Christians are often narrow-minded and self-righteous. Well, a lot of them are. Including me, sometimes.
I always find Ann Coulter provocative and, occasionally, highly entertaining. I feel she delivers most of her outrageous remarks with a wink, as if to say, “It’s all about selling the book.” Perhaps her latest comments to CNBC’s Donny Deutsch about Jews and Christians are in the same vein. But for those of you who think she’s going public with what many Christians secretly think--she doesn’t speak for me.
And since she made those comments on CNBC, I think I'm justified in responding here.
Coulter says Jews need to be “perfected,” and that Christians are, in essence, “perfected Jews.” Ok, maybe there’s some technical definition of “perfection” that means something other than…perfection…but it's like when your company tells you "outsourcing" doesn't mean "you're fired." Let’s get real. The rational person sees her comments as a theological version of “I’m better than you are.”
First, no one’s perfect. In my opinion, the only perfect being who walked this earth happened to be a Jew! We all need to be perfected. Look, even Mother Teresa wasn’t perfect (and she’d be the first to tell you). I go to church almost every Sunday to get inspired so that I can launch into the work week a new woman! Kind! Generous! Nurturing! But somewhere around 9:05 am Monday morning I’m back to gossiping, criticizing, judging, saying mean things, and even lying once in a while. I am a Christian. News Flash: I am also a hypocrite. The point is to keep trying, to keep striving for perfection.
Coulter also told Deutsch that Christianity is a “FedEx” version of Judaism. While Jews must follow a litany of laws in the Old Testament, Christians need only believe in Christ and confess their sins, and, bingo! Heaven for you! Except I don’t think it’s quite so “absolutely positively” easy. Ask the saints. Christians do believe we are saved by God’s grace, not by good deeds. But that doesn’t buy us a free pass to break the Ten Commandments. Christ commanded us to “Love the Lord your God...and...Love one another,” (Matt 22:37-39--oh no, she's quoting scripture), which is the best summation of the Commandments I can think of.
We are supposed to strive to do good because God told us to, because we have chosen to follow Him. And for some, it is a life-threatening choice. The Christians being murdered in places like Darfur most likely don’t view their faith as a “FedEx” shortcut to anything except a shortened lifespan.
I’m no theologian, just a broken believer who fears this blog will make me sound defensive or smug. Well, I probably am defensive AND smug, so have at it. But, for the record, this Christian does not think Jews have to be “perfected.” I think we all need to work towards perfection. I do not believe Christians are “perfected Jews” because Christians aren’t perfected anything.
I do not believe that Christianity is a “FedEx” version of Judaism because trying to follow Christ is no picnic. And as much as I’d like to criticize and judge Ann Coulter, that is not what Jesus would do (Yes! I said it!). Truth is, I have my hands full at the moment just trying to love my neighbor. Literally, the guy next door. He is really ticking me off.
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