Conservative gadfly Ann Coulter drew widespread condemnation for attacking a Christian missionary who contracted the Ebola virus while serving in Africa.
Coulter suggested in her column Wednesday that Dr. Kent Brantly chose to help the poor in Liberia instead of the United States because “serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn’t have been ‘heroic.’”
“American Christians go on ‘mission trips’ to disease-ridden cesspools [because] they’re tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists, and bigots,” Coulter wrote. “So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.”
Conservative blogger Rod Dreher agreed that Christians could do much more to help poor Americans, but he strongly rebuked Coulter for questioning the motives of those who go overseas to serve.
“It’s revolting that Coulter accuses this man who, with his family, risked their lives to serve poor Africans, of doing so for the personal glory,” Dreher wrote for The American Conservative. “Something is deeply wrong with that woman.”
Coulter also argued that Hollywood was worse than the Ebola virus.
“If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia,” she wrote. “Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.”
Conservative blogger Bryan Preston described the column as “cruel and terrible” and questioned Coulter’s political motives.
“Coulter doesn’t seem to understand anything about mission work if it doesn’t fly the Stars and Stripes and preach Reaganomics in charter schools,” wrote Preston for Pajamas Media. “What about the Japanese missionaries I knew in the 1990s, who spent their time and treasure smuggling Bibles into China, at great risk to themselves? Were they risking everything because of America’s culture war too? What about American missionaries who planted churches in China decades or even centuries ago. Were they narcissists too?”