Conservative columnist Ann Coulter used her Wednesday column to excoriate Dr. Kent Brantly for going to Africa to attempt to treat people with the Ebola virus, thus coming down with it himself, risking making his wife a widow, his children orphans, and costing the Christian charity he worked for millions. The theory is that here is much work to do in America for medical missionaries without going to a foreign country, Fellow conservative Erick Erickson responded more in sorrow than in anger.
Coulter stated in her column:
“About 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year. More than 38,000 die of drug overdoses, half of them from prescription drugs. More than 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Despite the runaway success of ‘midnight basketball,’ a healthy chunk of those children go on to murder other children, rape grandmothers, bury little girls alive -- and then eat a sandwich. A power-mad president has thrown approximately 10 percent of all Americans off their health insurance -- the rest of you to come! All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity. “
While conceding the point that there is certainly much to do in America for Christians like Dr. Brantly, Erickson gently choose to disagree that there is naught that should be done overseas. Erickson suggested that Christians can certainly do good works both in America and abroad. To buttress his argument, he cited the early history of Christianity.
“I also think had St. Thomas stayed in Jerusalem instead of journeying to India, many Indians would have never found salvation through Christ. Had Paul stayed in Tarsus instead of going on his missionary journeys, we would not have his contribution to the body of faith or the churches he planted along the way.
“I also think that American Christians can do more than just domestic missions. It should not be a binary decision. We should emulate the apostles who went into all the world to share the gospel instead of only focusing on our own.”
One might also make the point, besides the notion that Christians believe that both the bodies and souls of Africans have equal worth in the eyes of the Almighty as those of Americans, that the suffering of Brantly and of his nurse Nancy Writebol is likely going to have a beneficial effect far and beyond the current outbreak of Ebola. Research and testing for treatments of the deadly disease have been fast tracked because of them having been infected. This means that many thousands of lives will likely be saved from an agonizing death as a result of their sacrifice.
Coulter has often gotten outrage from the political left for some of her columns and statements in the media. Her latest column is now causing a social media firestorm among the faith community. The consensus seems to be that she is missing a basic tenet of the Christian faith, that one is called to go and do good wherever one is called to go, no matter where in the world, no matter where that happens to be.