Monday, January 4, 2010

Did you see this?

Watch the above clip first. 

I have to tell you.  I watched that clip, and even though I am a Christian, and even though I actually believe what Hume is saying about forgiveness, I am still offended by this. 

First of all, Fox News devotes it’s news commentary on Right Wing Conservative stuff.  This is no secret and even Fox knows and admits that the pundits that they employ are Republican, right wing folks.  (OReilly, Beck, Huckabee, Hannity, VanSustern, and the Fox and Friends Crew.)  It’s fine, it is who they are, Fox has every right to air conservative political commentary.  Fox has argued forever that CNN and MSNBC are biased towards the liberal side of things.  And personally, I agree that MSNBC is as liberal as Fox is conservative and CNN falls somewhere in the middle.  Whatever.

But, here is the respected news anchor at Fox, speaking on air about a religious issue.  Slamming Buddhism and touting Christianity. 

What is offensive here is the lack of knowledge about Christianity, Buddhism, the people he is speaking about and the people he is speaking to.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to hear a person who calls himself a devout Christian act as if choosing a religion should be based on looking at the benefits like a consumer.  It’s like Hume is making the statement, Buddhism is OK if you only want coverage for minor sins and normal person stuff, but if you need forgiveness for the big nasty sins, you’d best hit Jesus up for that. 

It’s not a comparison and it’s not a competition.  Christians who make faith sound like a supermarket misrepresent what Jesus was talking about.  It’s not Jesus versus Buddha.  It’s Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you.  Period.  Buddhism is not about forgiveness, it is about enlightenment.  Hume’s type of consumerist Christianity has a feeling to it that you can just take forgiveness when you need it and grace when you want it, and throw in a little peace or comfort if that suits you.  Buddhism would actually talk about Tiger’s responsibility to make amends for his wrongdoing and to seek redemption with the people he has hurt.  This is one of the things that I believe Tiger would need to do if he wants to be a role model or find true recovery and forgiveness.

Don’t get me wrong here.  I know full well that Jesus does not advocate a consumerist Christianity.  I know that the faith of Jesus would have Tiger doing whatever it took to make things right, even if it meant never playing golf again, or giving up his massive fortune.  I actually whole heartedly believe that no matter what the cost, Tiger should decide that if he does have to sacrifice everything, every dollar, and every trophy and achievement; it would be far more worth it to do whatever it took to make things right with his family. 

When Christians stop competing with other religions and start living as ‘Sermon on the Mount Christians’, you will see a difference in the way we are seen by non Christians.  If we continue to try to attract people to our consumerist faith salad bar, we misrepresent Jesus and lead people to a powerless religion rather than a relationship with Jesus.

What Hume said is basically right, real forgiveness can be found in Jesus alone, no question.  This should never be used to disparage whether or not Buddhists are good, or can be forgiven or can understand this concept.  I would want Hume to know that if Tiger is a Buddhist, which is something I have never really heard, and I had the chance to talk to him about forgiveness; I would not tell him to reject any Buddhist thing he has learned, and call himself a Christian before he can find forgiveness.  I would try to introduce him to Jesus.  Forget, whose faith is better or bigger or righter; arguing and dissing a person’s faith formation is not any answer.  Tell him about a relationship with Jesus.  Period.  You don’t have to call it a conversion, if he starts a real relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit will start to convict him to what was right and wrong about what he has already learned. 

Obviously based on Tiger’s choices, there are a lot of changes that he needs to make.  People with comments like Hume’s will make it more unappealing to choose Christianity because of the judgmental and elitist attitude.  AAANNNND… Did you notice how flat his affect was?  He sounded like the whole faith thing is the most boring and solemn subject you could possibly talk about. 

I’d love Hume to look at his Wikipedia Page to see what someone wrote about him: Brit Hume (born June 22, 1943) is an American commentator and television journalist. He is also a television evangelist who is insulting to hundreds of millions of Bhuddhists in order to offer easy, no questions asked forgiveness for golfers worldwide from a two-thousand year old corpse.

Nope, of course I don’t agree with the Corpse thing.  But Hume did a disservice to his faith, and to Christians who want people to know Jesus and not be turned off by the marketing of consumerist, elitist, colonizing Christianity.

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