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Brit Hume gets really weird even for Fox News, urges Tiger Woods’ conversion to Christianity

We evangelize, you decide:

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Whether he can recover as a person depends on “his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

Well, first of all: I’m certain that Brit Hume has studied Buddhism deeply.

Second of all: Weird as it is to see a newsman urging religious conversion on a news analysis program — and hey, maybe this incident reveals how deeply weird and even distorting to our national dialogue it’s been that we spent much of December obsessing about Tiger Woods — I think, oddly, Brit was trying to be nice, sincere and heartfelt in what he did. I’ve spent my time around evangelical Christians. They never think they’re being intrusive into a private sphere of your life when they urge Jesus on you; they just don’t want you to go to Hell. Which is nice … but still intrusive, despite the intentions.

And in the context of a supposedly secular news analysis program it’s distinctly unhelpful. If you figure that the Christian God is running the entire universe, and you feel free to make that idea the crux of your news commentary, why wouldn’t it become the basis of all the rest of your news analysis? I understand Iran is moving closer to having nuclear weapons — but that’s OK, John, because Jesus will return and take the believers to heaven with him. Publicizing your faith in a news analysis context doesn’t really illuminate anything for your viewers, except alert them to the fact of your faith.

I don’t begrudge Brit Hume his Christian faith, nor his right to proclaim it publicly. Certainly, it’s something that should appeal to much of the Fox News demographic. (Bill Kristol, of the Jewish faith, might feel a smidge uncomfortable participating in a televised revival meeting, but what the hey?) This isn’t so much troubling as it is … deeply weird.

  1. JesusChristSuperstar Says: Jan 3 10:50 PM

    Brit Hume is not “urging” religious conversation, but simply sharing his POV. I personally thank him for doing so, as his message was very much needed! The times that we are living in are a clear sign that God is not “wanted” anymore in the very country that was founded upon God. Let’s not forget the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation Under God.” Let me close by saying that I’m proud to be an American as well as a Christian. What an amazing place America would be if people who hate God so much truly understood just HOW MUCH He loves them instead of turning their backs on Him. (1 John 4:19)

  2. Joel Mathis Says: Jan 3 11:07 PM

    Um, Jesus, these are Hume’s words:

    So my message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

    That’s urging a religious conversion.

  3. Stephenson Billings Says: Jan 3 11:46 PM

    It’s saddening how much the liberals in this country hate religion. Bring up the idea of Christianity, and they run for their saddle bags of rhetoric and suppression. Honestly, what’s wrong with offering Tiger Woods a little advice? The man has messed up his life so bad, he really needs someone to set him straight. As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ is the one true path to redemption and salvation and I would offer Tiger the exact same advice as Mr Hume if I ever met him in person. Accepting Jesus into your heart is an important moment in any man’s life, it is the beginning of a revolution in your spirit! For Tiger, I know that Christianity can lead him to understand how he betrayed his family and the young people of America. He has a responsibility as a public figure to seek redemption and to try to absolve his sins. Publically pronouncing his faith would be a great and inspiring thing for Tiger to do. It would heal the wounds he has made. I wish him and his family the best in 2010. God Bless you.

  4. Greta B Says: Jan 4 1:24 AM

    Nice one, Joel, well written. Thanks for the chuckle.

    And, er, JesusChristSuperstar, why do so many Christians say, “I’m proud to be a Christian”? I’ve always found this rather perplexing – isn’t pride a sin? I hear a lot of this and it’s very confusing. Jesus would never have described himself as proud. He was humble and encouraged his followers to be humble as well.

    There is really no such thing as people who hate God. There are people who love God, people who don’t believe in God and people who hate other people telling them how they should believe in God.

    And by the way, this country wasn’t “founded upon God” (how many times do we have to say this?) The words “Under God” didn’t even appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until the 1950’s. I’m not trying to be mean but seriously, please look this stuff up – it won’t mean that you hate America. Really, it won’t.

  5. Clark Hanne Says: Jan 4 4:39 AM

    Galations 6:14 says that Christians are to boast in Christ. So, no, boasting in Christ is not a sin of pride.

  6. Yearight Says: Jan 4 10:39 AM

    Yea right, urge people to worship a god that you believe is capable of sending billions to burn in hell. I’d rather worship Darth Vader.

  7. beninabox Says: Jan 4 10:45 AM

    Stephenson Billings: I object to Hume’s on-air prosceletyzing and I don’t hate G-d. I’m Jewish (got a problem with that Steph?) I find it disgusting that he puts down another religion (Buddhism) to, egotistically, plug his own particular brand. People like him do not understand that, while they think they are helping someone, they are coming off as presumptuous and arrogant.

  8. pilgrim Says: Jan 4 10:46 AM

    hmmm….yea, well, that didn’t work for Ted Haggard.

  9. Muhammad Says: Jan 4 1:03 PM

    My advice to all of you Christians is that yours is a false God, that salvation only lies through Allah, and that the best thing you can do is to convert to Islam. I know many of you hate Allah, but I love Him. Allah akbar!

  10. Wry Mouth Says: Jan 4 1:29 PM

    Intrusive isn’t a problem, for me. Well — I try not to let it be a problem, as the only way to avoid it (in my experience) is to avoid interacting with other people.

    Still — you may have touched on the crux of the weirdidity: “news analysis” of Tiger Woods, and his personal life. Given this as a premise, the conclusion of Hume proselytizing isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

    But I’m pretty sure the premise is flawed. ;o/

  11. Moss Says: Jan 4 4:37 PM

    Arguments against Buddhism: http://kwelos.tripod.com/argumentsagainstbuddhism.htm

  12. Stephenson Billings Says: Jan 4 5:08 PM

    beninabox: Well, I doubt Tiger would turn into a Jew. Christianity is much closer to his ethnic background and upbringing. I know those of the Jewish Faith don’t prosletize, but we Christians do. Again, what is so wrong about sharing the joys of accepting Jesus Christ as your own personal savoir? Have you ever thought about joining the Church? You really shouldn’t criticize it until you’ve tried it. Furthermore, Buddhism is not really compatible with golf and all the money this man has made.

  13. Joel Mathis Says: Jan 5 12:32 PM

    Stephenson says:

    “Furthermore, Buddhism is not really compatible with golf and all the money this man has made.”

    Neither is Christianity: http://bycommonconsent.com/2006/04/07/a-camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle/

  14. Josh Powers Says: Jan 5 1:15 PM

    @Stephenson – I don’t think liberals hate Christianity; what we hate is the uninformed condescension of people like you. You love Jesus? That’s just super. I don’t care, and don’t need to hear about it. Most importantly, this was an instance of a supposed journalist, on a supposed “news” network, pushing his brand of religion on someone via the airwaves. You don’t have a problem with that, right? So it would be ok for Mr. Muhammad above to say the same thing, except with “Christianity” replaced by “Islam?”

    The worst thing, to me, about people with your mindset, is that it certainly seems that you don’t even understand the tenants of the religion that you seem to love. Otherwise you wouldn’t be saying things in a public forum that so contradict your own religious philosophy.

  15. Josh Powers Says: Jan 5 1:19 PM

    “The times that we are living in are a clear sign that God is not “wanted” anymore in the very country that was founded upon God. Let’s not forget the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation Under God.””

    Hmmm. You realize, I’m hoping but doubting, that “One Nation Under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954? The original pledge made no mention of your, or any, God. And any idea that this country was founded on your conception of “God” is ludicrous.

  16. Stephenson Billings Says: Jan 5 7:51 PM

    “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12

    Read it and weep, fellas.

  17. Joel Mathis Says: Jan 5 8:24 PM

    Stephenson: I don’t begrudge you your faith, nor the right to proclaim it. You even get to do it in the comments section of my blog!

    But:

    • There’s something about the “read it and weep” comment that smacks more of a kind of domineering triumphalism than a gentle and loving sharing of the Gospel that is done with concern for the fate of our souls. It’s like you’re more interested in winning than in caring. Which makes your case for Christianity somewhat less compelling because…

    • …if you’re dealing with people who don’t really believe in Scripture as a source of authority, quoting Scripture as a source of authority isn’t going to have quite the same “game, set and match!” finality you think it is — at least within the context of trying to persuade us to your point of view. Maybe you’re right, but the way you go about being right (at least in these comments) ends up making your faith less attractive to nonbelievers. Which, according to your worldview, makes us more likely to suffer eternal torment.

    Just sayin’.

    • Finally, your “don’t criticize it until you try it” comment from earlier suggests you believe that we — or I — simply don’t have enough exposure to the church. In my case, you’re wrong. I grew up in the church, attended a Christian college and spent most of my adult life in churches before I decided (for a host of reasons that don’t need elaboration) to walk away. I know what I’m rejecting, and the reasons why.

    That said: I’ve never been one to want to undermine anybody else’s faith. I continue to have a number of Christian friends and family who still hold their faith dear, and I would never ever want to cause them — as your Scriptures say — to stumble. I think my first appraisal of Brit Hume stands in that spirit: I clearly went out of my way to understand his worldview and not to condemn his faith; I merely questioned the setting of his comments.

    I don’t think faith has to be blinkered or unthinking. But Stephenson, the picture you have presented here of yourself is, to my mind, blinkered and unthinking — although cheerful. Rather than consider how others might view faith and attempt to persuade them on that basis, you simply assert Christianity’s goodness and superiority. It’s not enough. You’re doing it wrong.

  18. Josh Powers Says: Jan 6 10:09 AM

    Speaking of “game, set, match,” that was just about perfect, Joel.

    “Blinkered, unthinking, and cheerful” just about sums it up.

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