John Edwards And Ann Coulter

[Updated below] 

With which of the following statements do you agree?

1) Former John Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte ought to be anathemetized for writing “the Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.”

2) Amanda Marcotte ought not be anathematized for that statement.

3) Ann Coulter ought to be anathematized for calling John Edwards a faggot.

4) Ann Coulter ought not be anathematized for calling John Edwards a faggot.

I’m Catholic and straight, but I’m strongly inclined to pick 2 and 3.

It isn’t that I agree with Amanda Marcotte, but you can at least defend her statement. First, with people like Bill Donahue as standard bearers for the Church, I’m really not surprised that folks attribute ill-will to the Church. Second, the statement is at least an attempt to discuss a position taken by the Church: Opposing a law in Chile that would have allowed the distribution of contraceptives to teenage girls.

Go read all the “anti-Catholic” posts by the two defrocked Edwards bloggers. I posted what I saw as the worst of the lot. For the rest, sure they use some, uhh, colorful language, but they concern specific issues, issues on which certain Catholics have taken very public positions. If you’re going to make an argument about some public policy, I don’t know why you ought to get a pass on criticism just because your argument has a religious basis. A dumb idea is a dumb idea, whether or not it’s religious. If your religious faith can’t handle criticism, than don’t try to make your faith the basis of public policy.

Again, I’m not saying I agree with them, or that the way they expressed their disagreements with Catholics is a good way to have debates. I’m not even denying that underneath their vehement disputes over policies might be some real anti-Catholic hatred. I’m just saying that what they wrote is at least defensible.

But calling John Edwards a faggot? Patent bigotry, that.

[Update]

Two more issues here.

First, the party line post-Coulter craziness is always the same: “Not representative of conservatism, improper, unwise, yada yada yada.” But check out the response to her comments when she made them at a gathering billed as an event “where thousands of conservative activists and leaders from across the country join together for a three-day event to discuss current issues and policies and to set the agenda for the future of the conservative movement.”  

Now, I’ve heard it said that character is what you do when no-one is looking. And what were all those conservative activists and leaders doing in response to Coulter’s statements before the press, the bloggers and the rest of the country began looking them? They began with a few laughs, and proceeded to clap and cheer, requiring Coulter to pause for several seconds and bask in their approval. There were no awkward silences, no condemnations, just hearty approval. It was as if the audience members each thought momentarily “she can’t say that” before realizing no-one in the room would object and then fully revelling in their angry ignorance.

Second, she made the comments about John Edwards on the same weekend that other Democratic candidates were in Selma for the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. I can’t help but notice a few similarities between Ann Coulter and the scum beating the marchers on that day.

Faggot and Nigger are words of the same species. Neither tells anyone anything about the group they are supposed to describe, but they do reveal the user as an ignorant, hateful p-o-s. Black, negro, gay, queer: These all may be inappropriate. But Faggot just as much as Nigger says “I don’t know you, but I hate you, you are not worthy of life, nor a place in my society.” These aren’t just impolite words, words that go beyond what’s “politically correct,” these are words designed to degrade, humiliate, and if they could, kill.  

Just like the words are the same, so are the people who use them. There’s no difference between Ann Coulter, the cowards who laughed at her “joke,” and Fred Phelps, just like there was no difference between White Citizens Councils and the KKK. Bigotry dressed in a nice suit is still bigotry. MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail forced respectable folks to make a choice: Bull Connor and George Wallace or Justice? The same choice is before us today: Justice or Fred Phelps and Ann Coulter? The video reveals what the conservatives at CPAC chose. I’ve got  more faith in the rest of us.

That’s my view, anyway. But I’m a middle class white guy who only knows about the civil rights movement from books. It sure would be nice to hear someone who experienced it make these connections.

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7 Comments on “John Edwards And Ann Coulter”

  1. Willie Says:

    Wheeler, you can’t use these words like anathematized and expect to get 17 postings in Alabama. I will be back after I research this.

  2. Willie Says:

    Ok, I was anathematized a few years ago, but I got the Episcopal priest here in the village to de-anathematize me for a bottle of good single malt scotch.

  3. Brian Says:

    You do understand that you’re giving her exactly what she yearns for and needs to stay relevant (if she ever was relevant): notoriety and free publicity.

    I consider her to be the Brittany Spears of conservatives. As soon as her popularity begins to wane she “reinvents” herself by throwing out some absurd statement. People on the right emphatically say, “I don’t agree with her.” Then they buy her book.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Brian, I completely agree that she loves publicity and will do anything to get it, but I can’t dismiss her so easily when she’s invited over and over to speak as a representative of the conservative movement. She seems to have a real hangup with homosexuality — she said on Hardball last year that Bill Clinton was a latent homosexual, and when Chris Matthews called her on it, she backpedaled but then called Al Gore “a total fag”. Ha ha, just a joke, very funny — and, hey, Mitt Romney thinks it would be a great idea for her to speak at this year’s CPAC. So, as much as I’d like to ignore her — and wish everyone else would do the same — she provides a glimpse into the real face of the hard-core religious right in this country, a face we all need to see.

  5. KC Says:

    I think you’re reading way too much into this….

  6. Sailer Says:

    Conservatives always need to be worked up about something otherwise they might become rational. In the good old days all they had to do was say that the Russians were coming to create a frenzy. Abortion is always good as is homosexuals. A bunch of queers are going to kidnap you son and “convert him”. Abortion doctors are out stalking pregnant women at the mall. Something to work out the masses and encourage contributions. What would Pat Robertson do for a living without abortion ,queers and communists? The answer may save the est of us. Once religous fanatics kill of the obvious they turn on each other. Once the catholics and protestants are at each others throats again the queers can relax a little. Personally I don’t believe in the supernatural but if there was a loving god would he approve of all of this hate?? And doesn’t the concept of free will imply choice??


  7. Sailer, they use ter’rists instead of commies, these days. Pay no attention to the fact that more people were killed by lightning strikes in the last 50 years than by a terrorist attack on U.S. soil within the same amount of time… The ter’rists are going to get you unless you do exactly what we want. Oh yeah, and bird flu.

    This is humanity at it’s ugliest and using God as an excuse. God had nothing to do with it. It’s like me robbing a bank and then saying that my brother calling me a “gooberhead” meant that he wanted me to do it.


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