If Ann Coulter still has followers among evangelical and conservative Christians, she may have lost them this week. Wednesday she stuck to the missionaries-are-Christian-narcissists argument (see her rant from last week) with lots of venom for all.
Many Christians are outraged and Coulter pretends that outrage is about all her critics have. She huffs:
I planned to respond to my critics this week, but, unfortunately, there’s nothing to respond to. They call me names, say I’m cruel, malicious, not a Christian, compare me to Howard Stern and cite the titles of my books as if they are self-refuting. (Zippy, aren’t they?)
In other words, it feels like a book tour.
Missing from these alleged refutations is what we call a “point.” What is with these Christians? I know God didn’t distribute brains evenly, but can’t they make an argument? Christian websites should start separating columns into “Arguments” and “Anger” sections.
It is jarring to read Coulter faulting her critics for a failure to advance an argument since her main approach is to just argue. She has an opinion, but I wouldn’t call what she has a point either. She likes America better than anywhere else and she wants Christians to stay home and do religion here. I get it, but I wouldn’t call it a principled argument supported by anything other than her own brand of outrage.
She contends that America is the most important country in the world and if America falls, then the whole world falls. Thus, all resources should be spent in America.
As it turns out, almost all of the resources are spent in America.
According to an article by the late Bill Bright, only 5% of church budgets go overseas. Former deputy historian of the House of Representatives Fred Beuttler wrote in a chapter on American missions:
For all the public emphasis on missions, it remains a small portion of evangelical budgets.
Beuttler cites Barrett and Johnson who assert that about $16 billion is embezzled in churches each year which is more than the $15 billion given to missions outside the U.S. It should really be obvious to anyone who attends a typical evangelical church that most money and time goes to maintaining existing ministries right here at home. Coulter already has what she wants, but she wants more.
Coulter advances a false dilemma for evangelicals – stay home or go elsewhere as missionaries. If you go on mission, then you are an idiot wasting yourself; if you stay home, you are helping save America which is good. The dilemma is an illusion. Clearly, evangelicals can and should do both. However, looking at the numbers, we are not doing both very well, with missions getting the tiny end of the stick.
This, Ms. Coulter, is a rebuttal and one which I don’t expect to see you include in your next column.