The Problematic Anne Lamott
Take for instance, an interview with Christianity Today published in the January 2003 edition of the magazine, in which Lamott admits to being pro-abortion and to dating a non-believer, about whom she says, "he loves God. It's just that he doesn't quite commit. He's been sober as long as I have, and we both have a higher power. I call mine Jesus." In the article, the author tells of sending Lamott a later email to ask her the question, "Do you think that people from other faiths who don't believe in Jesus are God's children and will go to heaven?" Her response: "Yes". And she goes on to add, "I think Jesus is divine love manifest on earth, as it comes through the community of Christians." The author says she describes Jesus as the "beautiful Jewish uncle" who says, "Well, I can show you the way." She continues, "Only Jesus has come to me, and I experience God's love in an immediate and personal way through his companionship." And finishes by adding that non-believers in unevangelized countries "feel Divine Love come to them through more local teachings, through other expressions of that love." In summary, she's a classic universalist.
Going back to the point about her being pro-abortion -- she is adamantly so. An article by Albert Mohler entitled, "Anne Lamott and Her Evangelical Audience", expresses her fervor even more clearly as he addresses an op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times in which she recounted a recent panel discussion of which she was a part. She expresses unwavering, unilateral support for abortion on demand, stating, "fetuses are not babies yet; that there was actually a real difference between pro-abortion people, like me, and Klaus Barbie."
What brought me to write this post is the most recent article by Albert Mohler on Anne Lamott, entitled, "Anne Lamott Kills a Man -- And Writes About It." Mohler discusses Lamott's essay in her July 26, 2006 op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times, "At Death's Window," in which she "traces her involvement in the assisted suicide of a close friend." I encourage you to read the article, but I think Mohler sums it up well when he says,
With the ease of an author beginning to write on a clean sheet of paper, Lamott effectively jettisons Christian concern for the preservation of life and dismisses centuries of Christian conviction on the questions of life and death. She describes herself as a Christian, but there is nothing even remotely Christian, in any distinctive sense, to be found in her essay on a matter as serious as ending a man's life.Anne Lamott's popularity is due much to her willingness to describe herself as wretched, dirty, and in need of God. But what I, and others, find most disturbing about her is that in the areas where she most needs to seek God's counsel, she sides instead with a "culture of death" and the ease of a universalist understanding of salvation, both of which are views that fall very far from the worldview the Bible teaches. Anne Lamott is no doubt a gifted writer, but her positions and actions are areas her Evangelical readers should find problematic and thus, in which they need to be concerned.
Dr. Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Executive Director of the Henry Institute has highlighted Mohler's article on his blog, Moore to the Point, and asked a very poignant question, "...why is Anne Lamott not in prison after confessing murder?" After all, unless the event occurred in North Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, or Utah, it is illegal for someone to assist in a suicide in this country. And if I am correct, Oregon only permits physician-assisted suicides, but no others. It is likely though, that the event took place in Calfornia, where she resides. If this is true, then Lamott is guilty of a crime and could face prosecution for her open admission of guilt in the LA Times.