In this Beliefnet interview conducted by Charlotte Allen, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter references the work of Acton senior fellow Marvin Olasky:

Is it possible to be a good Christian and sincerely believe, as Jim Wallis does, that a bigger welfare state and higher taxes to fund it is the best way in a complex modern society for us to fulfill our Gospel obligation to help the poor?

It’s possible, but not likely. Confiscatory taxation enforced by threat of imprisonment is “stealing,” a practice strongly frowned upon by our Creator. If all Christians and Jews tithed their income as the Bible commands, every poor person would be cared for, every naked person clothed and every hungry person fed. Read Marvin Olasky’s “The Tragedy Of American Compassion” for further discussion of this.

Very often Coulter comes off sounding crazy, and her rhetoric would certainly be more at home in the sixteenth rather than the twenty-first century. Even so, I found this interview eye-opening on a number of levels, and in her answer to this question she makes a lot of sense. Ron Sider makes the same point about tithing a number of times in his recent book, The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience.

Also, Rod Dreher doesn’t approve of Coulter’s “schtick”.

HT: GetReligion

  • http://www.hubsandspokes.com marc

    Regarding the “schtick” – Florence King had a piece in the latest [url=http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=OTdlZGYzODgxODQxMzZhOTRkYTQzM2U2Mjg1Y2JjNjE=]National Review[/url] on that topic. An excerpt:[quote]I may disagree with what Ann Coulter says but I will defend to the death Oscar Wilde’s right to say it. Describing the same kind of widow that set Coulter off, he quipped: “Her hair turned quite gold from grief.”

    Wondering what life in America would be like if Coulter used a stiletto instead of a sledgehammer is a tempting but futile excursion into dreamland. Suppose, for example, she was confronted, like Jennie Churchill, with a pompous young man who boasted that his financ?e’s virtue was “priced above rubies.” Without missing a beat, Jennie said, “Try diamonds.” But if the young man said the same thing to Coulter?

    “The godless liberals are trying to link Pat Robertson to Charles Taylor’s diamond-smuggling cartel in Liberia while they cry crocodile tears over the poor starving Africans they’re helping to starve by conniving with radical ANC goons trained by Winnie Mandela who controls every mine in South Africa, all because they hate Robertson’s Christian beliefs so much they’ll be cheering and dancing in the streets if Taylor and the God-hating Marxists succeed in smearing him!”[/quote]There was a time where I was a marginal member of the “she tells it like it is! Go get ‘em, Ann” brigade, but now I just find her, well, tiresome and annoying.