Ah, when television news and sports personalities collide—over religion!
This today at National Review:
Brit Hume’s comments on Fox News Sunday — “I don’t think that [Buddhism] offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” and, “My message to Tiger [Woods] would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world” — have unleashed a torrent of criticism from the Left, including the various circus acts over at MSNBC and the Washington Post’s Tom Shales.
Indeed, the Left has been engaging in criticism—and so, as a liberal, I’ll play too. Here’s a simple question: If Tiger Woods was Jewish, do you think it would have been good form for Brit Hume to publically invite him, on national television, to come on over to Christianity to get the proper sort of forgiveness and healing? In other words, why do Eastern religions yield to such patronizing and dull observations, but (presumably) Western religions do not?
I’ll tell you why: Eastern religions, because unfamiliar to the insular Fox News crowd—and therefore, like Barack Obama, scary and alien to them—constitute yet one more “axis of evil” in a world of “evil axes” that must be eliminated to make the world right (in all senses of that term). A plural world is a world gone bad.
But I think it’s fair to assume (perhaps to the surprise of the smug and patronizing Mr. Hume) that Tiger Woods, as an adult, knows how to read, and if he is unhappy with his own religion, can go in search of a different one without any public (and humiliating) invitations from Fox News “commentators.” But the reality is that Brit Hume’s message is not really directed to Tiger Woods at all. It’s not the kind of statement that you make, in a public forum, to an adult that you have respect for. Rather, it’s the kind of statement you direct at a political base—in this case, the religious right (which eats this sort of thing up).
Oh, and are we finally done with secular Republicanism now? Is the party completely purged yet? Should we just go ahead and start calling the Republican party a religious party—like the ones they have in India (the place where Buddhism got started)?