Godless: The Church of Liberalism
With the recent elections that have occurred, the Republicans losing the majority in the Congress, and the pending election in 2008, there is a great division in the United States between the Democrats and Republicans, and between liberals and conservatives. The United States is the most divided over issues it has been since the Civil War. Some of the current issues at hand are abortion, crime, creationism versus evolution, education, taxes, welfare reform, and numerous others. These issues are also very polarized, and how someone lines up on these issues will determine their vote in the next election. Another major issue is the issue of religion, and how it relates to government, politics, and many other critical issues. Citizens in the United States today have a difficult task of lining up their religious beliefs with their political beliefs, which has not been easy. Ann Coulter, a conservative author, in her book, Godless, the Church of Liberalism, discusses how liberalism could be defined as a religion in itself. This is one of the first times an author has written about how the political beliefs can be the religious beliefs, which could be construed as the same thing, depending on how someone explains and interprets them. Coulter highlights some of the major issues and interprets how she believes liberals incorrectly interpret them. She then states her evidence as to why those interpretations are incorrect and how they should be interpreted. This paper will review the book and then the author will state his personal opinion and interpretation.
Coulter starts out the book by explaining that liberalism could be construed as a religion as it has, “its own beliefs, churches, high priests, saints, total worldview, and explanation of the existence of the universe.” Coulter then starts laying out the evidence that liberalism could be defined as a religion by comparing it to Christianity, Judaism, Druidism, and Islam. Coulter highlights the main differences between Christianity and liberalism by discussing five main differences:
1. “Christianity says that human progress proceeds from the spark of divinity in the human soul; liberalism holds that human progress is achieved through sex and death.” Christians feel that it is God who leads man to progress and grow. Liberals feel that God has no part of it, and humans are responsible for all growth and progress through procreation.
2. “Christians believe in invention and creation; Liberals catalogue with stupefaction the current state of our diminishing resources and tell us to stop consuming.” Christians believe God takes care of the Earth and us since he created it and us. Liberals track the failings in the world and the environment and, without understanding what is causing it, tell us to stop consuming. It is a very “glass is half full, half-empty” kind of view.
3. “Christians say humans stand apart from the world and their charge is Planet Earth; Liberals say we are part of the world, and our hubristic use of nature is sinful.” In the Bible, God charges Adam with being over the animals and plants, and taking care of it. Adam was also told to use them for food. Liberals believe that we are equal to the world, and by using the world’s resources, we are doing wrong to it.
4. “Christians say humans are in God’s image; Liberals says we are no different morally from the apes.” The Bible states that God made man in his own image, which makes him unique and divinely inspired. Liberals believe in evolution, which makes apes, chimpanzees, and humans all the same. This is evident by a news story in several news sources about people in Austria trying to get a 26-year old chimpanzee legally declared a person.
5. “Christians believe in populating the Earth until there’s standing room only and then colonizing Mars; Liberals believe humans are in the twilight of their existence.” In the Bible, God tells man to be fruitful and multiply to fill the Earth. Christians believe that we need to populate the Earth and look to other parts of God’s creation in order to continue future growth. Liberals believe that we are not going to be on the Earth forever, so we need to take care of it for whatever remains after we are gone.
In Chapter 2, Coulter starts discussing how liberals adore violent criminals. She states that in the last 50 years, liberals have refused to be tough on crime, and due to their influence, several major legal decisions and domestic policies have been enacted to alleviate harsh punishment of violent criminals. She dissents on several points: “We’re the only modern democracy with the death penalty; Innocent men will be exonerated; The death penalty does not deter; It is applied unfairly; Capital punishment must be suspended until the exact same percentages of blacks and whites are executed; It’s a primitive act of retribution; Life in prison spent thinking about the crime is worse than death; It diminishes us as a society.” Coulter then discusses a number of criminal cases where liberal judges have voted against punishment or voted for early release. She also discusses how the liberals on the Supreme Court succeeded in repealing the death penalty, and how democrats have traditionally favored trying to rehabilitate criminals, which she states has been statistically proven ineffective, instead of them serving long sentences. She concludes the chapter by discussing the drop in crime in New York City, and how Bill Clinton tried to take credit for it, and not give credit to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In Chapter 3, Coulter discusses the case of Willie Horton and the fallout that occurred during the 1988 presidential election because of it. The background is that Michael Dukakis, while he was Governor of Massachusetts, instituted a program of releasing criminals on furlough, which means they get to leave prison for the weekend. They are released on Friday and have to be back on Sunday. Dukakis allowed all criminals to be recommended and approved for furlough, no matter what crime they had committed. One such criminal was named Willie Horton. Horton had been convicted of a brutal murder of a 17-year old, Joey Fournier, who was killed while Horton was trying to rob the store Fournier was working at. Dukakis had previously vetoed a bill to reinstate the death penalty, so the maximum sentence Horton could receive was life without parole, which he received. After serving 7 years, Horton was furloughed. He fled to Maryland and captured a couple, committing rape and other numerous felonies. He was captured and convicted in Maryland, and Maryland refused to send Horton back to Massachusetts for fear he would be released again. The main issue came in during the election when George Bush ran an ad regarding Willie Horton and Dukakis’ failed furlough policy. Democrats were furious and accused Bush of being a racist due to Horton being black. She concludes that the issue of Willie Horton probably helped cost Dukakis the election due to him being associated with a murderer and rapist.
In Chapter 4, Coulter discusses abortion. She discusses the ruling by the liberal Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, and discusses the ramifications of that decision throughout the years since. She also points out how liberals are against killing violent criminals, but are in favor of killing millions of unborn fetuses every year. She also discusses the hypocrisy of the liberals in how they state that they are not in favor of abortion, but they are in favor of women having a choice, which says they are in favor of abortion. Coulter then states how liberals talk about how they represent the voice of the people on the matter of abortion, yet she points out that there have been numerous polls conducted that show the majority of Americans do not agree with abortion. She also states how liberals will defend abortion no matter what, and it is their rallying cause. No other issue is more important to liberals than the defense of abortion.
In Chapter 5, Coulter discusses how liberals have turned to using sobbing women to make their points, as it makes it harder for someone to debate with that person, as they will be seen as being insensitive. She brings up the case of Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq. Sheehan has been used as the cover girl for anti-war sentiments in this country for months, and Coulter points out that the liberals accuse anyone who disagrees with her as being insensitive to a mother who has lost her son.
Coulter discusses education in Chapter 6, and how liberals have used education as the battling ground to teach evolution, and prevent teachers and schools from teaching creationism. She also makes the case that public schools are failing, and that teachers are underpaid, but also overpaid.
Coulter discusses how liberals like science, but really don’t like science as it singles out people. Coulter says science can prove women and men have different intelligences, which gives them different abilities. She also states that liberals don’t like science because it has been used to single out homosexuals in regards to HIV, so liberals managed to spin HIV into a disease for all, instead of a disease that primarily affects homosexuals. She goes on to discuss stem cells, and how adult stem cells could be used for many things that liberals claim embryonic stem cells have to be used for.
Chapter 8 and 9
Coulter concludes the book by talking about another science issue that is important to liberals: evolution. She states that evolution can be summed up into three points:
1. Random mutation of desirable attributes. Coulter states that most mutations that occur produce undesirable attributes.
2. Natural selection weeding out the “less fit” animals. Coulter explains how liberals use anything being better as being evidence of evolution.
3. Creating a new species is still on evolution’s “to-do” list. She states that liberals believe that if you put the first two unbelievable points together, you get the third.
She concludes in Chapter 9 by stating that evolutionists only have a story to tell, and they don’t have any proof to back it up, so they invent and distort truth to prove it.