Republican Showwoman Ann Coulter appeared on Donny Deutsch's "The Big Idea" the other day - I hate to summarize then I can just show you the transcript, so I'll post a little bit of the conversation. Remember. She was there to talk about her book about politics, but the conversation wandered here. We join the conversation mid-stream:
DEUTSCH: That isn't what I said, but you said... we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or
DEUTSCH: You can't possibly — you're too educated, you can't —
COULTER: Do you know what Christianity is? We believe your religion, but you have to obey.
DEUTSCH: No, no, no, but I mean —
COULTER: We have the fast-track program.
DEUTSCH: Why don't I put you with the head of Iran? I mean, come on. You can't believe that.
COULTER: The head of Iran is not a Christian.
DEUTSCH: No, but in fact, "Let's wipe Israel" —
COULTER: I don't know if you've been paying attention.
DEUTSCH: "Let's wipe Israel off the earth." I mean, what, no Jews?
COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.
DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?
I don't know much about Ann - I just figured she was another republican in the "shockJock" vein of Rush Limbaugh... but this kind of rhetoric and thought process confounds me. One, the New testament clearly states that Christians are saved by grace and not their own works. Two, it's rude. Three, it's ridiculous.
The other day, Trixie and I had an e-mail conversation that should teach Ms. Coulter a thing or two about interfaith dialogue. It began after I photographed a Bar Mitzvah. Being Gentile, I never had a bat mitzvah - so I thought I'd ask Trix, who converted to Judaism later in life, if she felt cheated:
Kell: Ever stop to think, "Hey. I never got a Bat Mitzvah?" I'm thinking it now - because I looked here (and shouldn't have):
Trix: Holy Ark of the Covenent! Thems some baaad invitations, no doubt. My kids will be lucky to have soda and pop corn at their BMs. Ha! Now blow outs like this! Why were you even looking at this stuff?????/?
Kell: It was some link from a design site - and then I got carried away thinking, "Why don't protestants ever get the good parties?" The Catholics have First Communion - and I never got a bat mitzvah because I'm not Jewish - and you made a change too late for a bat mitzvah, so I thought I'd talk to you about it.
Maybe one day, when we meet, we can throw ourselves a bat mitzvah. I'll learn some Hebrew to mark the occasion.
Trix: You can have Dave play us some tunes! On the flip side, all the Jews think the evangelical Christians are lucky because they get their own radio stations and lots of cool Jesus music. Our music doesn't rock. Why didn't we get Amy Grant?
Maybe Dave and you could convert and start a Jewish rock band?
(Oh yes, I am full of ideas tonight!)
Kell: Oh that made me laugh! I never thought about how lucky I am to be able to flip to a radio station that plays Amy Grant!!!!!
Occasionally - just for a few people, I leave phone messages as my altar-ego (no misspelling there!) Margie Finkelstein... I don't give Margie much forethought - she just sort of ... emanates while I'm leaving messages. At one point, she converted (much to my surprise) and sang "Gloria Nobis Pacem" to the tune of Hava Nagila... She's also sung her favorite song (badly might I add. Kell is the singer, Margie is not) - "I Will Always Love You" to my friend John... It's weird maybe, but sort of fun. It's hard to pinpoint what she'll say next....
BTW, Amy Grant's "Baby Baby" Was neither cool NOR Jesus Music....
TRIX: Yes there are many things that Jews wish they had....we'd like to borrow the whole Sunday religious event instead of having services on Friday Night (Shabbat), Saturday for 4 hours straight, and then religious school on Sunday... which we actually call..."Sunday School" Our weekends are a 72 hours of religion as opposed to 24 hours. We'd like to take the express bus please.
Also we don't have any faith. Yep. Jews have a religion - but no faith. We have common sense and free will. We also don't have an afterlife. No kidding. You die. We move on. Very matter of fact. The closest with get to angels would be the Kabbalah (mysticism) which apparently rock stars and actors equate with "real" Judaism....which is like calling a spiritualist..a Christian. Not at all the same thing.
FYI: Margie is welcome at the Naming Ceremony/Bris for our child. She can mingle and utter lots of Yiddish phrases. Of course Dave will have to wear a beanie and look suitably cowed....as I don't see Margie being overly delicate and wallflower-ish.
Kell: Oh! Here's another thing: We both had our own summer camps... However, when I was in high school, there weren’t many Jews – so they just took their holidays off – and we were stuck at school (now, everyone in my old HS gets those days off) – It never seemed fair that the few Jewish students in my school got both THEIR holidays AND MINE!
TRIX: Vastly amusing although we never got the Jewish holidays off.
Christians could celebrate both holidays you know (there's actually several sects that do this) but Jews can NEVER celebrate Christian holidays. Christians have the potential of being all-inclusive whereas Jews absolutely draw the line at Jesus being anything other than a very good Rabbi.
Kell: That's true - one of the ministers at my church once gave a sermon that went into Christianity's deep Jewish Roots - and said we have a lot more in common than we think... I'll have to see if I can track his notes down.
Oh yeah. And you have Mel Gibson. And lots of holiday movies! When was the last time you saw a movie about Purim?
Kell: I don't have Mel. Mel is pre-vatican2 Catholic... He built his own church so he could hear mass in Latin.... I've been taught that when a person is such an "independent thinker," he is setting himself up to be a cult of personality. Now, I know this is extreme - and I'm not accusing Mel of anything at all - it's just that when you have your own church that doesn't ascribe to the universal church, where's your accountability?
I could be a little jealous of the Catholics too... They have first communion - and presents (like the Bat Mitzvah I never had...)
Trix: Oh with their mini-wedding dresses! and veils! They get bracelets. And it is way earlier than a BMitzvah. What about the Latinos with their celebrations at 14 or is it 15? *sigh* They get to wear fabulous dresses. A BMitzvah is turning more rock party than prom. I like prom dresses better than nightclub clothes. And Greek Orthodox? WOW. Have you been to one of their events? Amazing.
Kell: Nope. Now, I do get Easter. Easter is nice.
Trix: Easter. Ah the holy spirit! I can't get behind the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jews would be more likely to say Mother, Daughter, and Macys. We're a maternal religion not paternal. It actually passes through the mother. A child born to a Jewish Father and other mother must be converted. Paternalism is passe.
Now see? Was that so bad? Trixie and I are not going to come to terms with Paternalism, Jesus - or the Kabbalah - but at least we can talk about it...
I guess this is my way of saying, Donny Deutsch? I'm really sorry you had to be so nice to Ann Coulter - and I'd like to further note that you're far more perfected than I...