Strange Bedfellows: Ann Coulter & Tony Jones?

Now what could Tony Jones, a controversial populist theologian and Ann Coulter, the controversial right wing conservative pundit possibly have in common? Both have recently faced threats and censorship by university officials.

However, at least Ann got a letter.

Coulter displays obliques

Coulter was invited to speak on campus by a conservative student group at the University of Ottawa, spurring the university provost to issue a stern warning to the incendiary culture warrior.  The letter cautioned her to watch her tongue since the freedom of speech is not as free in Canada as it is the U.S. of A. The resulting furor over the published letter and comments Coulter made at another Canadian appearance forced the University to withdraw it’s invitation.

...and Jones tricep

In ironic juxtaposition; once it had sunk-in that emerging church guy Tony Jones was to be a presenter at the national conference for an academic guild (the Society of Pentecostal Studies), the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God threatened to pull their support from the organization and the leadership of  North Central University categorically  banned Jones from speaking on North Central’s campus. Fortunately, SPS refused to whither and relocated Jone’s events away from the university’s grounds. The background to this kerfuffle is chronicled here and here.

I post about this, first because I am becoming increasingly disturbed by the paralyzing polarization that is occurring in the realm of discourse that seeks to exclude those with contrary voices. It could be argued that the difference between Jones and Coulter was that Coulter received pressure for what she would say and Jones did so for who he is. Are our arguments so weak and viewpoints so fragile that we simply cannot bear dissension? Secondly, how could I pass putting these two together, as I doubt there will be another opportunity that they will ever be on the same side of any other issue.


About johnmusick

revealist, writer, speaker, consultant, life-coach, polymath
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5 Responses to Strange Bedfellows: Ann Coulter & Tony Jones?

  1. Brent says:

    Why I am no longer AG–this is one of the main reasons even though I am probably closer to A/G theology than I am to Tony’s. I would have liked to have been there to watch this! The A/G could really learn from Emergent how to invite people to live well with Jesus in the world without prejudging and some sharp Pentecostal scholars could have taken Tony down the few rungs in his theology where he needs to be taken down. Just my two cents worth

    • johnmusick says:

      Keep in mind that the whole point of the SPS inviting Tony was to hear and learn what Pentecostals could learn from emergent and vice versa. It wasn’t intended to be a theology showdown. And for the record as part of Tony’s presentation, a really sharp pentecostal theologian did have the opportunity to reply and the whole thing was very cordial and generous. Most of the bricka bracka existed outside of the conference. Tony is a friend of mind, so I really don’t view him in the terms of someone who needs to be de-runged. I don’t agree with everything any of my friends profess and Tony is no different. He did a great job in his presentation and was incredibly generous toward Pentecostalism. In fact, at certain parts of his presentation I felt quite proud to be a part of that tribe.
      Thanks again for reading Brent!

  2. Brent says:

    The reason that I left Emergent was that I continually found more and more theological issues that I disagreed with at the Porch the more I investigated their beliefs by reading blogs like Tony’s. To put it bluntly, I believe that they are departing from orthodoxy and continue to be with the more things that I read and hear. Emergent looks very much like the liberal Christian theology of the 60’s that I left when I had a real encounter with Jesus. May not sound exactly cool, but that’s my experience.

  3. Brent says:

    Actually, I wish I could have been there to listen to the interaction. My concerns come from my experiences and unfortunately most of my experiences have done more to fuel my doubts than assauge them.

    • johnmusick says:

      Well Brent, when I choose to be in relationship with others I do so regardless of whatever differences we may have. And when I see injustice, I don’t respond only if I agree 100% with that person. Nor do I seize every opportunity afforded to express what I don’t like about a person as if my opinion about them was a vacuum seeking release. The article was about censorship and ultimately about fear. Juxtaposing Ann Coulter and Tony Jones was supposed to be comedic irony. Maybe it was lost on you. Nevertheless, have a great weekend!

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