Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.

Donald Trump speaking at Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 10, 2011. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons


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(RNS) Prominent conservative voices are criticizing the decision to bring two medical missionaries who contracted Ebola back to the United States for treatment.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson were both critical of bringing the infected missionaries back to the U.S. Columnist Ann Coulter went further, questioning why the missionaries were working in the “disease-ridden cesspools” of Africa.

Dr. Kent Brantly, with Samaritan’s Purse, and Nancy Writebol, with Service in Mission, are medical missionaries who were infected with Ebola while working with patients in Liberia. They are being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Columnist Ann Coulter at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Columnist Ann Coulter at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Photo courtesy of Kyle Cassidy via Wikimedia Commons


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If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia,” Coulter wrote in a column.

But the professional provocateur is facing a backlash from the mainstream Christian establishment, especially evangelicals, for whom overseas missionary work is an article of faith.

Conservative columnist Erick Erickson also shot back at Coulter:

Samaritan’s Purse, which is run by Franklin Graham, declined to comment on the criticisms directed at Brantly and others. Service in Mission was unavailable for comment.

Coulter was also denounced by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Denny Burk and Andrew Walker from the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Last week, Trump sent a series of tweets about the missionaries being treated in the U.S.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tried to restrain himself on Instagram: “I have no words for this. Actually I think I do but the Holy Spirit won’t let me say them.”

Conservative Minneapolis preacher and author John Piper wrote a poem for World magazine in reaction: “‘Why bring them home?’ Though you be stumped, This grace will not be trumped,” Piper wrote.

Carson, who is flirting with a White House run after taking on President Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, said it was a mistake to bring the missionaries back for treatment and doctors could have flown overseas to treat them.

The head nurse at Emory, where the missionaries were taken, wrote that Americans stand to benefit from what medical professionals learn by treating the patients.

Ben Carson speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.

Ben Carson speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons


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“These Americans generously went to Africa on a humanitarian mission to help eradicate a disease that is especially deadly in countries without our health-care infrastructure. They deserve the same selflessness from us,” wrote Susan M. Grant. “To refuse to care for these professionals would raise enormous questions about the ethical foundation of our profession.”

Before they returned to the United States, Samaritan’s Purse arranged for the missionaries to receive an experimental drug, prompting debate among Africans over why Americans could receive the drug when Africans couldn’t have access.

Brantly was doing a Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program before joining the medical team responding to the Ebola crisis. He received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola under his care. Brantly reportedly insisted that Writebol receive treatment before he did.

An elderly missionary became the first Ebola patient to arrive in Europe for treatment early Thursday (Aug. 7) when Spain’s government flew a 75-year-old Roman Catholic priest back from Liberia.

Missionaries have sometimes received backlash for their involvement in other countries. Evvy Campbell, a retired professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College who once served as a medical missionary in Sierra Leone, said a similar epidemic of fear surrounded the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980s.

“It’s driven by ignorance and self-protection,” Campbell said. “Missionaries have always gone into these kinds of situations and have often been on the front line.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its highest-level alert for a response to the Ebola crisis. Ebola has claimed more than 900 lives in West Africa since the start of the latest outbreak.

KRE/MG END BAILEY

 

42 Comments

  1. Jonathan J. Turner

    One reason to bring these individuals here for treatment has not been mentioned, and that is, to save their lives, they may require dialysis if their kidneys should begin to fail.

    Their experience is valuable, so saving their lives will contribute to each of them saving even more lives.

    Mr. Trump, Ms. Coulter, and even Dr. Carson are obviously spinning and stretching their second guesses beyond their medical or moral expertise. Mother Theresa once remarked that she would prefer the company of lepers rather than spend time with journalists.

    • DEAR JONATHAN,
      PRAISE BE TO GOD – FALL ON YOUR KNEES TO CHRIST, FOR WE ARE NOTHING.
      IF IT BE GOD’S WILL LET THE SICK PASS ON TO HEAVEN AS CHRIST CALLS THEM TO THEIR DEATH. WE MUST NOT INTERCEDE.

  2. Ann and Ben are both wonderful Christian spokespeople and I always appreciate hearing what they have to say. I don’t know about Donald Trump’s religion, although I know he is a good Republican so he is probably Christian, or maybe Jewish as he is very good with money.

    Ann in particulare makes a good point that is often overlooked. So many people think that missionery work is about serving people, but they have forgotten it is really about SERVING CHRIST. People think, Oh, it is good to go to Africa because the people there are starving or whatever. But the point is not to help people but to help CHRIST, and you can do that right here in America. You could stay here and do missionery work by, for instance, protesting gay weddings, or just by voting Republican.

    Ben Carson also makes a good point and I am sure that a retired neurosurgeon would know more about the spread of diseases than the liberal athiests at the Disease Control Center. I have been a fan of Ben’s ever since I saw the acclaimed and award-winning film about his life, “Gifted Hands,” starring Morgan Freeman. He also gave a very good speech about Obamacare, pointing out that Obamacare was part of John Lenin’s plan for worldwide socialism.

      • I seem to get accused of that a lot. St. Paul spoke of being “fools for Christ.” Perhaps I am one of these “holy fools!” In this fallen world, wisdom is stupidity and stupidity is wisdom.

      • No he is not a idiot.. You just don’t agree with what he said .

        do you honestly think you can win him over to think like you.. By being rude?

        do you think that’s a smart approach?

    • Christian Marble

      Is this a joke? Africa as a continent has less than 10% the GDP of America as a country. There is so much good work to be done, especially for doctors who can bring treatment to people who otherwise have little access to effective healthcare. We in America are collectively rich beyond our wildest dreams, and we can afford to extend charity to our global neighbors rather than selfishly wine and moan about our own problems. How about this – you and Ann Coulter can do missionary work in America, AND these charities can do missionary work in Africa. Everybody wins!

    • “He also gave a very good speech about Obamacare, pointing out that Obamacare was part of John Lenin’s plan for worldwide socialism.”

      I thought it was all part of Groucho Marx’s plan for the destruction of Capitalism.

    • Ann Coulter is no way a Christian. No person in the history of Christianity has ever been so proud of being an utterly vicious b*tch. She surpasses “good” Queen Isabella when she was expelling (excuse me, “perfecting”) the Jews. In fact, it is amazing to most Christians that the crucifix she wears hasn’t burned a hole through her! To denigrate the work of ANY missionary (which she did wholeheartedly) is beyond contempt.

      Ann Coulter is not for Christ, not for Christianity, but for herself. ONLY for herself. She would appalled if she thought that Christ had not read (and paid for) her books.

      • You seem very judgmental, yet Christ calls upon us not to judge. He says we must attend to the log in our own eye rather than the mote in our brother’s.

        Please rethink your attitudes toward Sister Ann in a spirit of prayerful humility, good reverend. How you can lead a congregation when you harbor so much spite? What kind of spiritual sustenance is your flock receiving?

      • IF IT BE GOD’S WILL LET THE SICK PASS ON TO HEAVEN AS CHRIST CALLS THEM TO THEIR DEATH. WE MUST NOT INTERCEDE. FOR AN ANGEL IS GOD’S WILL.“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Mt. 13:22).
        LET THE SICK DIE IN CHRIST FOR THEY WILL REIGN FOREVER.

      • @Rev.

        “To denigrate the work of ANY missionary (which she did wholeheartedly) is beyond contempt.”

        Well. I would say missionaries utterly misguided
        by the Christian institution which sent them. I would call them victims of a lie.

        But I agree with you that denigrating these people who certainly meant well and believed they were only doing good – is contemptible.

        • Chaplain Martin

          Bro Max
          Max I didn’t comment on this article to begin with, because I thought that any writing about the missionaries who had contracted Ebola while doing such medical good that would include criticism by such people as Coulter, Trump and Carson was not worthy of response.

          I responded to your comments because they are at least not attacking other than stating the missionaries were believing the Christian lie. Yes, I do think they felt “called” to the work. To put it a way we can probably both agree, they each had a heart felt conviction to help others.
          I agree with you when you wrote: “But I agree with you that denigrating these people who certainly meant well and believed they were only doing good – is contemptible.”

          Of all the contemptible comments I have read the one by Ronald in which he wrote that Dr. Carson “would know more about the spread of diseases than the liberal atheist at the Disease Control Center.” Crazy, man, Crazy. Boy we are in trouble if that’s true. In a church I served not far from CDC there were a number of scientists of the CDC who were members. One scientist, was a woman who looked like someones grandmother, She and her mother knitted my wife and I afghans, she was a microbiologist at the CDC. We did worry about her and other scientist there as they began the very dangerous work studying the Ebola virus.

  3. I am a committed Christian Conservative, but I’ve never had much use for ‘The Donald,’ and Ann Coulter is too caustic, too off the cuff, and a little bit too smug for my taste. Ben Carson I have tremendous respect for and a great deal of regard, however, I believe he may be a bit premature in this judgement. If any set of medical facilities can be used effectively to treat Ebola victims, certainly the isolation centers of the best university hospitals in America can do it. These two individuals risked their lives for others in the cause of Christ, they deserve the best chance for treatment. If we are careful and the proper protocols are followed it is probably worth the risk in terms of the victim’s lives, and the knowledge that can be gained in fighting this deadly virus.

  4. I’m sorry…Ronald; ‘John Lenin’s plan for worldwide socialism.’ I appreciate your fervor on behalf of the cause of Christ, you really need to be more careful and thoughtful in your arguments on His behalf.

    • Diogenes,
      You may wish to consider heading your own advice.

      Although Ronald tragically stereotypes Jewish people, appears to be ignorant that being Republican does not necessarily mean someone is Christian, and thinks what he claims to believe is a God needs help, among other equally ignorant things. In reading his other posts, I am starting to think he is being Tongue-in-cheek, rather than just that far off of reality in his thinking.

      You on the other hand seem serious in your comments. In the latest comment you argue that “These two individuals risked their lives for others in the cause of Christ, they deserve the best chance for treatment.”.

      If their action to help people were just simply humanitarian, and not in the service of Christ, would they not deserve the best chance for treatment?

      Doesn’t everyone deserve the best chance for treatment regardless if they were trying to help people or just going about their normal lives?

      Although I am not a believer in your God, I do appreciate the parts of the Bible where Jesus acts in a compassionate manner to other humans and urges those that follow him to do so, as if the person they were helping were him.

      So, you may want to carefully consider how you represent your God as well. Compassion for our fellow humans should not be contingent on what they believe, but rather just because they are human.

      • yes all people have a right to expect Christians to treat them in the very best way with out looking down on them as if Christ did not die for them to..

        Christians however should not expect non Christians to treat them well..
        its very nice however when non Christians do treat them well.

  5. Americans, you people are just talking as if you are God! I love you guys for that. You don’t need to help anyone if you choose not to, you can just stay in your country and live with what God bless you with. Somehow, the cure for Ebola will be out with ir without America.
    That is the live we all found ourselves. Either this or that, that is the way it is

    • I think its great American Christians want to help people.. Its fruit of faith in Jesus
      I don’t think though they them selves should” expect” to be helped because of that fruit.. its really nice though when they receive help that’s for sure..
      such as permission to be treated here.

      • ROB,
        BE WITH GOD. GET ON YOUR KNEES
        AND LOVE THE LORD, NOW. DO NOT HESITATE IN YOUR FAITH TO PRAY TO HIM WHO DELIVERS US BELIEVERS TO HEAVEN.
        “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Mt. 13:22).
        LOVE GOD ONLY AND DO AS HE SAYS. THERE IS NO WRONG IN LETTING THE SICK DIE WHERE THEY LIVE. AS HEAVEN IS WHERE THEY ARE CALLED UNLESS THEY DIE IN SIN.

  6. It is good to be American and it is also good to be a Liberian or Nigerian too. The issue is, America need neither Liberia or Nigeria and Africans also need America. It is in Africa today, who know what will be happening tomorrow? After all, BABYLON THE GREAT WILL FALL ONE DAY! Maybe it will shift to Africa or maybe Nigeria.

      • ..My Lutheran Pope “The holy bible”
        makes it clear Jesus died for the sins of the whole world . He took the punishment of sin for every single man women and child ..
        God does not punish people for sin ..He punished Jesus..

        God allows sickness death and disasters to come to his disciples lives also ..
        so they could witness to people having these things in there lives .. God uses even disasters to draw people to him. Because children of God never really die. Saint Paul was no stranger to A AILMENT that plagued him ..
        most of Jesus disciples died horrible deaths.. yet were talking the flap of a eagles wing compared to eternity with out pain and suffering When this short temporal life is over.

  7. WOW. If this represents Christians in America than God have mercy on us. This one truth I know, Jesus would be with the humble, sick, oppressed and hurting. No regard to State. He would not be on national television in America or writing articles bemoaning the merits of the assistance offered to the people really serving Him.

    • BETSY, JESUS WOULD NOT BE WITH THE SICK, HE WOULD RELEASE THEM AND IN DEATH TAKE THEM TO HEAVEN FOR HIS LOVE IS INFINITE AND THIS LIFE IS A NOTHING AND IS WORTHLESS.
      LOVE THE LORD JESUS WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND DO NOT FEAR HIS WRATH OR PLAGUES WHICH COME TO PUNISH THE WICKED.
      GET ON YOUR KNEES AND DO AS THE LORD WISHES – LOVE HIM ONLY.
      PRAISE BE TO JESUS CHRIST.

  8. Someone once said that when the Devil arrives for America, he will be carrying a Bible and wearing the flag. The observation seems to have left out the trademark short black skirt, and implies that the Devil would be male.

    Ms. Coulter does all the Devil’s work that Glenn Beck doesn’t have time for. She might have the most amount of evil per pound of body weight that has ever existed.

  9. It was nice that they were able to come home and be treated here for there sickness.. I just would caution those of a smaller Christian denomination medical missionary efforts .. if you get into trouble just
    don’t expect the same treatment as the large Baptist Samaritans purse,, their people received..
    it more than likely is not going to happen ..

  10. I live in Atlanta, and at first thought selfishly. Oh no, not Atlanta or the USA, but quickly realized that there is a much larger picture here than these two peoples lives. I am satisfied with the precautions taken to prevent an epidemic in the USA. The CDC is on the verge of developing a cure and vaccine for Elboa and this would save millions of lives. Shameful, unintelligent remarks by both Trump and Coulter, but this is not a first for either of them.

  11. Its a good thing Gods holy angels are going to harvest the wheat if it was left to us we would think its was mostly weeds and burn the good wheat up with the bad
    weeds..

    we would put such a religious test on every one no one could be spared not even our selves..

    this is also the exact reason confessional Lutherans have always been against
    a Christian state.. as Jesus says he wants the weeds left with the wheat knowing full well . what we would end up doing and that would be pulling up wheat as well burning it with the weeds .. Jesus says no thanks to us harvesting his wheat his holy angels will take care of that Job .
    We CANT SEE PEOPLES HEARTS..

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