Fox News commentator Brit Hume certainly has started something with his unexpected advice to Tiger Woods that he drop Buddhism (if, in fact, he’s still practicing it) and embrace Christianity in order to recover from his personal problems. When Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked the show’s roundtable to predict the biggest sports story of 2010, Hume said:
Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation for him. I think he’s lost his family, it’s not clear to me if he’ll be able to have a relationship with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out of this scandal — the extent to which he can recover — seems to me to depend 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.”
Whoa! Talk about unsolicited advice.
Predictably, wonders what Christians would think if someone advised one of the evangelical community’s fallen public figures (he mentions Mark Sanford and John Ensign) to ditch Christianity for a better religion.on Hume. And Tommy Christopher, at Mediaite.com,
Hume, who rededicated himself to Christianity who takes a Washington Monthly blogger to task for his criticism of Hume’s comments.ten years ago, does find some defenders, among them popular blogger La Shawn Barber,
Speaking about his Buddhist beliefs in 2008, Woods told Reuters (according to the Huffington Post):
I practice meditation. That is something that I do, that my mum taught me over the years. We also have a thing we do every year, where we go to temple together. In the Buddhist religion you have to work for it yourself, internally, in order to achieve anything in life and set up the next life. It is all about what you do and you get out of it what you put into it.
Though we probably wouldn’t have used a Sunday morning news program as a platform to announce it, we do think there’s some truth in Brit Hume’s assessment of the situation. Woods’s personal crisis is certainly an opportunity for him to discover the forgiveness and redemption that can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. But rather than judge or publicly thrash him for his failures, we should continue to pray that Woods and his family will find true healing and peace as they move forward with their lives.
What do you think? Was Hume correct in saying what he did on that Fox program? Is it ever appropriate to publicly compare and contrast the value of one’s religious beliefs to that of someone else who holds different beliefs?