You may have heard that Brit Hume found the perfect solution to Tiger Woods’ troubles. Jesus. As we all know Jesus believers have a fantastic track record of not cheating on their wives, especially if they’re televangelists. So Brit Hume’s recommendation that Tiger Woods climb on board the Jesus express made huge sense.
Except Brit Hume wasn’t recommending that Tiger Woods find Jesus so he can stop having sex with women who aren’t his wife. Brit Hume was recommending that Tiger Woods find Jesus, because only Jesus (not Buddha) can forgive him for being a giant sleazeball.
“I don’t think that faith [Woods’ Buddhism] 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.'”
No one doubts that Tiger Woods has a better shot of getting a dead man from 2000 years ago to forgive him for sleeping with a bunch of white trash, than getting his wife to forgive him for it. But maybe instead of recommending that Tiger Woods jump on the Jesus Express in order to get Instaforgiveness from Jeebus, maybe Brit Hume should suggest that he actually reconcile with his wife and fix his family first.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that if Tiger Woods wants to learn to keep it in his pants, he should give up on Christianity, and go for Judaism instead. Because we’re not about forgiveness, we’re about slapping you upside the head and telling you to stop cheating on your wife.
If you want a longhaired hippie who goes around proclaiming LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN BLAH BLAH, which gives Tiger Woods a blank check to go back to screwing anything blonde with cleavage that walks past him, then by all means, Tiger Woods should find Jesus. If you want a religion that’s actually intolerant of sin, there’s us. Not that I want Tiger Woods converting to Judaism. Because that’s the difference between me and Brit Hume.
Brit Hume sees a celebrity in the sewer and can’t wait to drag him into a church and teach him to testify about how finding Jesus changed his sinful ways. Then he can beg viewers to send in money on CBN or TBN or whatever it’s called now.
On to American Thinker then, which explains to us why trying to convert people all the time is so great.
But let’s cut through the nonsense here. I’m always amused when people object to others’ efforts to convert them, especially since it’s a daily occurrence. What I mean is that conversion is the business of most of the world — and it’s especially the business of the commentators criticizing Hume. Democrats want to convert others into Democrats, liberals want to convert others to liberalism, Muslims to Islam, Coca-Cola to Coke-drinkers, Ford to Ford-drivers, dairy farmers to milk-drinkers
Which one of these is not like the others? When Christians compare the seriousness of worshiping one god over another, by comparing it to switching to Diet Coke or driving a Ford Taurus, you can see how seriously they take their own religion.
Also there’s the whole legacy of converting people through conquering and murdering them, or just plain intimidation. Or how about shaming them on national television and then telling them that only Jesus can help them redeem their career.
“By any measure, we are grossly inefficient in health-care delivery compared to our industrialized competitors.” Is that like Buddhism being grossly inefficient in salvation-delivery compared to Christianity?
Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but at least they understand the difference between a commodity and religion. Evangelicals don’t even know the difference anymore.
What is far more offensive — at least, to any discerning intellect — is the profound stupidity and prejudice reflected in a double-standard that denies only Christians (and perhaps a few other groups) the right to advocate their beliefs.
Who denies Christians the right? But if you’re going to suggest that Tiger Woods can fix his pants problems by finding Jesus, other people will advocate their beliefs by mocking you for it.
And if Katie Couric had suggested that Scientology could fix Tiger Woods’ problems. Or if Richard Gere recommended ultra-Buddhism, or any famous person recommended any other belief system, do you think they wouldn’t be mocked for it too?
Yet something must now be asked about this notion that “faith is a private matter.” If secularists are so adamant about it, why do they never admonish the Richard Dawkinses and Christopher Hitchenses of the world to mind the principle?
And if Christians are so adamant about faith being a public matter, why do they get upset about Dawkins and Hitchens, and skits that mock Christianity?
In reality, though, if there is no reason for religious proselytization, there is also no reason for the political variety.
Again diet coke vs jesus. Fundies can’t seem to tell the two apart. But let’s start by pointing out that political arguments are debates over facts. Religious arguments are debates over beliefs. You can win a political argument, but you can’t win a religious one, except with a stupid person or with a sword. This is why we don’t usually have them anymore.
Many people are uncomfortable with this, as they fear the messy business of actually determining what Truth is. Thus do they embrace religious-equivalency doctrine and claim that all faiths are morally equal. But since different religions do espouse different values, they cannot all be morally equal unless all values are so.
I’d love to see the author cite the differences in moral values between religions. Except for abortion, which is a split inside Christianity, there aren’t many real values differences. Oh yeah, except some people value wanting to be left alone, and other people have the value of dressing up in starched white shirts and come to their doors and annoy them.
The author still can’t seem to use the G word. God. It’s not the values that are different. It’s the divine revelations that are. It’s the entire idea of God. By not mentioning it, the author displays a frightening ignorance of religion, the subject he’s supposed to be talking.
Perhaps politics should be a private matter, too.
Maybe it should.
Of course, settling these matters really is messy business. This is why we hear, “Never discuss religion or politics,” an admonition as stupid as the counsel “Faith is a private matter.” Both are prescriptions for superficiality because logically rendered, they mean, “Never discuss anything of importance.”
Actually they mean, don’t start pointless arguments that can never be settled. Or don’t be a jackass. Advice lost on the author.
So today, we live a contradiction. We seek to convert politically while condemning as intolerant those who seek to convert religiously. Thus we fail to realize that politics and religion are inextricably linked. After all, politics is about putting into practice what is good, and this is impossible unless there is a knowable good.
So now the author is claiming that politics can only derive from religion. So why bother with politics at all then? Let’s jettison politics and just have each church elect representatives to run the country.
And there cannot be good in a real sense unless there is moral Truth — something outside of and above man that is the yardstick for making value judgments — and this implies God. Thus, we cannot determine good as a society unless we discuss Truth and God — those things categorized under “religion.” Ergo, faith is not a private matter.
Do we have to determine good as a society at all? Isn’t government about running the institutions we need, not about telling us how to live our lives? Maybe that’s why politics should be private too. And then we wouldn’t have idiots from both sides breathing our necks.
And that’s the point. When people decide they can speak for God, they begin playing God. They begin telling others they can be saved and redeemed. They can begin deciding who should live and die. And then they decide that politics is just religion by another name.
But let’s get back on topic. When did Tiger Woods ever promote his political or religious beliefs to Brit Hume? Sure he peddled everything from Gatorade to sports watches and magazines, but when did he ever try to convert Brit Hume to Buddhism? And as nasty as the details of his private life might be, does anyone really think that if a FOX news anchor was caught in a whorehouse, Tiger Woods would have gone on TV to advise him that Buddhism might be better for controlling his pants.