So I gotta call Summit Ministries out on this one. I noticed an interview on the homepage of their Web site in which Anne Coulter was chosen to represent a “decidedly biblical perspective” on David Wheaton’s Christian Worldview RadioProgram. Coulter was described as a favorite guest of the show, which is sponsored by Summit Ministries.
In the interview, entitled “The Victimization of America,” Wheaton describes concern for the hurting and oppressed as an anti-biblical worldview held by secular humanists and “religious humanists,” and goes on to promote Coulter’s new book Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America.
Having once worked for Summit Ministries as a counselor, I was disappointed to see this. I contacted the director about it, but have not heard back.
I feel that the interview represents a broader problem within the conservative evangelical subculture—that there is a high tolerance for un-Christlike behavior/anti-biblical perspectives so long as they are presented by someone representing Republican Party values.
Coulter’s perspective on the self-inflicted “victimization” of the poor and oppressed not only lacks biblical support; it is anti-biblical. The Bible consistently teaches that God’s people are to care for the poor and marginalized, the widows and the orphans, the sick and the oppressed. The law commanded it (Ex. 23:6). The psalmist prioritized it (Psalm 72:1-4). The prophets announced destruction for rulers and nations who withheld it (Amos 5:10-15). As John F. Alexander has observed, the fatherless, widows, and foreigners each have about forty verses that command justice for them. And throughout the gospels, Jesus flocked to the poor, and spoke consistently of caring for them. He even went so far as to say that the nations of the earth will be judged by their treatment of “the least of these.”
I cannot find a passage in the Bible that teaches us to discriminate between the poor who “deserve” our care and the poor who do not. Jesus said, “If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?...Lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Furthermore, I struggle to see how someone like Anne Coulter represents—as the radio show claims— a “decidedly biblical perspective.” In the Bible, James wrote that believers are to care for orphans and widows in their distress. But Coulter, describing widows of the September 11 attacks who were critical of the Bush administration, said publically “I have never seen people enjoying their husband's deaths so much." Jesus taught that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. But Coulter has said that her only regret with Timothy McVeigh was that he “did not go to the New York Times Building.” Jesus taught that we are to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. Yet Coulter says of Arab nations, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
To invite someone like Anne Coulter to represent the teachings of Jesus Christ regarding the poor is as offensive to me as a Christian as inviting the president of Planned Parenthood to represent the Bible’s teachings on the sanctity of life. What this communicates to the world is that part of having a biblical worldview is saying hateful things about people, celebrating violence, and ridiculing liberals for their concern for the poor.
The same can be said for Rush Limbaugh. I’ve heard the guy quoted by Christians as an authority on family values, despite the fact that he has had multiple wives and a drug problem...not to mention his foul, dirty mouth. They even sell Bibles on his Web site!
My concern is that, for Summit (and many evangelical organizations like Summit), it no longer matters whether or not a person has a truly “biblical worldview;” as long as he or she is a Republican, evangelicals will provide a platform.
Which begs the question—Has evangelicalism turned into nothing more than a political party?
The audio link no longer works from the Summit site; here's a link directly to the radio show's website if you would like to hear the entire audio broadcast (thank you Micah)
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