Whacking at Straw Men 

Whacking at Straw Men

Yes, as you may have guessed by the title, this entry is about Ann Coulter.

In a recent column, Ann Coulter bashes secularists. Nothing new there. Whatís interesting, though again, not new, is she bashes them not for anything theyíve done or said, but for what she imagines them to feel. She believes we are, or at least ought to be, as secularists, disapproving of Ashley Smithís disarming of Brian Nichols. She thinks (or wants us to believe she does; itís almost inconceivable that any sentient being could really believe the simple-minded blathering she produces) that weíre disapproving of any actions that reveal or are driven by somebodyís spiritual beliefs. Such people no doubt exist, though Ms. Coulter probably cannot produce any evidence of them, but they are certainly far rarer than those who are mortally offended by those of us who choose not to and resist the use of the bible and other religious texts to promote intolerance and bigotry.

Most people recognize and accept without being offended, or really even giving it much thought, that peopleís religious beliefs may animate and guide their actions. Many of us though, Christian and non-Christian alike, arenít impressed by those who feel the need to overtly display their religiosity. Some, like me, may have come to feel this way through exposure to this,

ďAnd when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.Ē

I know, thatís just crazy talk.

The other interesting thing about this is that there is nothing in Annís writings or actions to indicate that she actually holds or is compelled by Christian religious beliefs; their existence in others just make a handy cudgel with which she can beat those people whose actions she disapproves of. Of course, most of these people, and their actions, exist mostly only in Annís mind.

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