Those not hiding in a cave or immersed entirely in Torah study for the past two days — and in either case, why would you then be reading Cross-Currents? — are undoubtedly aware that Ann Coulter has it out for the Jews, insisting that we all need to be “perfected.” And for this, Coulter — no stranger to controversy — is being pilloried in the media. CNN said that she “took a sharp swipe at Jews — that’s at least the way a lot of people are interpreting it.”
The only problem is, that’s not what happened, she demonstrated not an iota of anti-Semitism, and the media is taking her to task for being nothing more nor less than a traditional Christian, and quite a tolerant one, at that. The media’s true target is traditional religion, and it would do for traditional Jews to be part of setting the record straight.
What happened was that Donny Deutsch, a Jewish talk-show host, asked her what her dream America would look like. And she said it would “look like New York during the Republican National Convention.” Note, of course, that for her to want everyone to be Republican is not considered offensive. No one would dare condemn her for thinking her political ideology is correct. After all, Teddy Kennedy and MoveOn.org have the same flaw in a very different direction.
But Deutsch isn’t satisfied with the answer. He says no, no, not just the politics, what’s the country going to look like. And she says “Well, everyone would root for America, the Democratic Party would look like Joe Lieberman, the Republican Party would look like Duncan Hunter…” Hey, did you notice? Her model Democrat is a kike! Some anti-Semite she’d make… which, of course, explains why the edited videos skip this passage. Deutsch isn’t done, so he keeps after her until she says “Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They’re Christian. They’re tolerant. They defend America, they…” and we’ll never find out what else they are, because that’s when Deutsch leaped down her throat.
In reality, Coulter shows a pretty liberal Christian perspective. Deutsch says to her “So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place?” Her answer: “Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you’re not.” Catch that? Her view is that a better America would be a more religious America.
She also says, “We believe your religion, but you have to obey.” Judaism isn’t wrong according to her version of Christianity (as I said, she is pretty liberal). She doesn’t say Judaism is wrong. She says Christianity is “a lot easier. It’s kind of a fast track.” Guess what? Christianity is a lot easier than observing 613 Commandments. And she believes it works.
Is this a surprise? In the words of Iago, the obviously, stereotypically Jewish-sounding parrot in Disney’s Alladin — the Jewish character is the one with the mile-long shnozolla, and no one gets upset at that — “I think I’m just going to die from that surprise!” [Yeah, he's Jewish all right.]
For this, Deutsch attempts to compare her with Iran, and wiping Israel off the map. She then clarifies that this isn’t what she said at all, but that, as Christians, “we just want Jews to be perfected.”
It’s completely acceptable to think your politics are right and everyone else’s is wrong, but to think your religion has it right is evil and backwards — even if she acknowledges that practicing Judaism would contribute just as well to making America a better place. Again, the true target here isn’t Coulter, but religion, and the true intolerance here is coming not from Coulter, but from Deutsch.
UPDATE: We all know that Coulter has said things which are outlandish, outrageous, and/or just plain dumb. Please don’t take us off topic by going there. The question was and remains if what she said in this instance was at all offensive.