March 12, 2007

Ann Coulter Spouts More Hate: How to Respond?

I guess I'm not sure what to think about Ann Coulter's recent indulgence in hate speech. Well, I guess that is not entirely true. I know what I think about her calling John Edwards a homophobic slur. The part I'm not sure about is how the rest of us should respond in this and similar cases. I have addressed this topic before and will almost certainly continue to do so in the future.

Anyone who was surprised by Coulter's statement has not been following her very closely. Her hatred of gays is well known, and she has made similar statements before. Thus, I think it is safe to say that any organization which invites Coulter to speak is explicitly condoning this sort of bigotry.

Case in point, after her comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference, she was an invited speaker at the Center for Reclaiming America, an organization affiliated with Christian extremist D. James Kennedy and his Coral Ridge Ministries. Coulter was there for the Center's "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference. During this presentation, she repeated what she had previously said about John Edwards. Not only that, but she appeared to condone the murder of personnel at clinics where abortions are provided.
"Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I'm not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade — about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going."
Clearly, the woman knows her audience.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is calling on the Center for Reclaiming America to disavow Coulter's statements.
"Ann Coulter's statements can only be described as loathsome," said Lynn. "It is astounding to me that this type of vitriol was unleashed before a religious organization that claims to be 'reclaiming' America for Christ. This rhetoric must be repudiated immediately."
There seems to be at least some public disapproval of Coulter since her original comments about Edwards. A handful of politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed outrage. She has experienced the loss of some advertisers and a few newspapers have dropped her column. Perhaps she will finally be banished to the extremist fringe where she belongs.

I worry that the more outrage Coulter generates, the more popular she becomes with the Christian extremists to which she appeals in the first place. And yet, if we ignore her, are we not guilty of implicitly condoning what she says?

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