I am ashamed to admit that I wasted ten bucks on this book on CD, but curiosity got the best of me. Ann Coulter is clearly the most pessimistic person in the media; she is not happy. According to her in The Church of Liberalism:
Liberals love to boast that they are not religious, which is what one would expect to hear from the state-sanctioned religion. Of course liberalism is a religion. It has its own cosmology, its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own priests, its own saints, its own total worldview, and its explanation of the existence of the universe. In other words, liberalism contains all attributes of what is generally known as religion.
Funny, but I see liberals as those who manifest social, gender, economic, and racial progress; I think back to the 1960s when white liberals, black liberals, and Christian liberalism advocated for social equality. Her take on what defines a liberal and liberalism is very unclear to me. Moreover, I feel sorry for her cult followers who too are misguided in the rhetoric of ideology.
But through her long misguided rant, it was her chapter on education that bothered me the most; I will admit that I agreed with one or two points, but much of her rant was off target. Essentially she states that public school teachers are the high priests of liberalism. Democrats protect public school teachers at all cost. And if one speaks ill of a teacher, he or she is a heretic. Much of her argument(s) center(s) around teachers’ union, particularly the NEA. This organization allows a band of teachers to nurture students into a state of stupidity. Teachers are an overly glorified band that complain about being paid too little, when in actuality, they make more than a number of white-collar professionals that do not get holidays, summers, and snow days off. She goes on to state that teachers are responsible for 32,000 sexual abuse cases per year — making catholic priests look innocent.
Coulter asserts that teachers are always presumed heroes, and are spoken of in “reverential terms,” but are busy “inculcating students in the precepts of the Socialist Party of America—as understood by retarded people.” She cites Jay Bennish, the high school teacher caught on tape comparing Bush to Hitler and saying the U.S. is the “single most violent nation on planet Earth,” as evidence. She also lists a number of schools busy banning Christian faith references, while forcing students to participate in activities of other faiths. Coulter uses information from David Salisbury of the Center for Education Freedom at CATO Institute to illustrate the failure of public education. “Throughout the twentieth century, the scores of preschool age children on IQ and kindergarten readiness tests have climbed steadily upward….It’s not until they move up through grade school and on to high school that their performance declines.”
I do agree with Coulter in that too many public schools have too many administrators. She states that “over 80% of the faculty at private schools do indeed teach, only 50% of public school faculty members do such.” Thus, public schools are nothing more than a bureaucratic factory pumping out stupid kids. She argues that in American public schools, the longer one is in school… the dumber one becomes.
It is hard to believe that my college, Harding University, invited her to be a guest speaker. The only reason she did not make it is because too many students protested. Seeing the number of public school teachers Harding produces, I am assuming they did not read chapter six of this book. Good job Harding students.
Inside Higher Education, an academic news journal, noted:
“If one were to draw up a list of American colleges and universities to characterize as Ann Coulter country, Harding University would almost certainly be on it.” Ouch!!! The article, which can be read in its entirety here, also stated:
That view was echoed by Greg Kendall-Ball, a graduate divinity student at Abilene Christian University. He cited comments Coulter had made about countries that harbor terrorists — “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity” — and about campus radicals: “When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”
In inviting Coulter to the campus, wrote Kendall-Ball, whose father and sisters are also Harding alums, the university had “failed to uphold the Christ-like spirit that Harding seeks to embody.” It troubled him, he said, that “someone advocating violence, forced conversions, physical intimidation and who has routinely expressed anti- or non-Christian views is welcomed and given one of the more prestigious speaking engagements on the school’s calendar.”Perhaps prodded by the bloggers, who saw visits to their sites shoot up from their standard levels in the last two weeks, alumni sent a slew of e-mails and letters urging Harding officials to reconsider.
And Tuesday, they did. In an e-mail message to faculty members, David Crouch, the director of public relations, said that the administration had “re-evaluated” its original decision to include Coulter in the 2005-6 lecture series, and replaced her with Jose Maria Aznar, Spain’s former president.
“Harding and Ann Coulter are probably on the same page on many issues,” Crouch said in an interview Wednesday. But he said that the alumni agitation — and seeing some of Coulter’s more outrageous comments, which he said “we did not know about” — had prompted “second thoughts” on the part of administrators. “We grew concerned with the manner in which she presents her ideas. We believe that some of her comments are very controversial and confrontational, and we just weren’t confortable with that.”
Yet in the days after Harding’s announcement, a small group of Harding alumni began voicing their discontent on their blogs. Mike Cope, a minister at Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Tex., complained that Coulter lives in a “black/white ‘I’m-right-and-you’re-an-idiot’ world. If you don’t agree with her then you’re a bleeding heart liberal who doesn’t deserve to live here.” The problem, he said, was not that Coulter is conservative, but that her views are un-Christian.