January 06, 2010

On The Left-Wing Freak-Out Over Brit Humeís Public Christianity

I donít know that I would have made the assertion that Brit Hume did about Tiger Woods Buddhist faith and how he would do well to become a Christian. That is, though, a function of having had several years of theological education which included some comparative religious studies and having come out of a tradition which takes a more subtle approach to evangelization. However, I donít see anything all that outrageous in a professing Christian saying that someone needs to get a little Jesus in their life Ė indeed, there is this little directive in the New Testament that tells Christians to spread the Good News of Christ to the whole world.

Consider, for example, the over-the-top reaction of MSNBCís Keith Olbermann to this pretty mild expression of from a fellow commentator who has never made a secret of his Christian faith.

KEITH OLBERMANN, IN OPENING TEASER: Brit Hume and the attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity. He does it again. BRIT HUME, FROM THE OíREILLY FACTOR: You speak the name Jesus Christ, and, I donít mean to make a pun here, but all hell breaks loose.


OLBERMANN: BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: Brit Hume has tried to force Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian again. That in a moment.

Threaten? Force? I donít think so? Did Hume indicate that Tiger Woods should be physically harmed if he does not convert? Was there any suggestion that Woods should be coerced into changing his religion? Hardly! Yet somehow, Olbermann and his ilk make it sound as if Hume has suggested that Woods in an infidel who should be murdered! Does this sound like a threat of force?

"He is 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."

Or what about the follow-up statement on Bill OíReillyís show that struck Olbermann as even more outrageous?

What I`m saying is if Tiger Woods were to make a true conversion, we would know it. It would show through in his being. And he would know it, above all. And he would feel the extraordinary blessing that that would be. And it would shine because he is so prominent. It would be a shining light. And I think it would be a magnificent thing to witness.

I guess I miss what is particularly outrageous about what Hume had to say. And as a Christian, Iíll go so far as reject the notion put forth by Keith Olbermann that the original statement, if made by a Muslim suggesting a conversion to Islam, would be any more offensive to me or to most Christians if couched it were expressed in otherwise identical language. There just is not anything to be offended by Ė provided, of course, one is not offended by the very notion that believers in one religion might believe that their faith is superior to other belief systems.

And therein lies the problem Ė too many Americans (indeed, too much of the Western world) have fallen for the notion that public expression of religion Ė at least by Christians Ė is something that is in bad taste and is so intolerant that it should not be tolerated.

The Washington Times may have put it best in this editorial comment.

If there were doubt that much of the media is hostile to traditional faith, especially traditional Christianity, that doubt has been drowned in the wake of a vicious verbal assault on Fox News analyst Brit Hume. Histrionic fulminations against Mr. Hume's inoffensive expression of faith expose an ugly strain of anti-religious bigotry that is spreading inside this country's liberal establishment.

Exactly Ė and might I suggest that advocates of liberal secularism like those cited in the editorial have become so intolerant of religious belief, practice, and expression that they are a bigger threat to any concept of the fundamental human right to freely practice and profess oneís religion than a Christian like Brit Hume is for merely saying those things that Christians have been saying since the Resurrection.

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|| Posted by vijay, January 7, 2010 04:43 AM ||

Imagine for a moment, if you will if Tiger Woods had been Jesish. There is no way that any NEWS journalist would have said that a Jew should give up Judaism and had the support of his bosses. Or, even more so, imagine if a Muslim journalist had said that Rush Limbaugh should give up Christianity and become a Muslim.. can you imagine THAT being condoned? I certainly can't. That is one part of the issue. The other part of the issue is that it is just silly. The idea that Christians cheat on their wives less that Buddhists is just a joke. After all, if Christianity "shines through" in prominent Christians and their marriages, why is Mr Hume divorced? If you are going to set yourself up as holier than thou, then BE holier first

|| Posted by Donalbain, January 7, 2010 05:13 AM ||

Donalbain, I'm not saying that I think that Hume ought to have made the comment (I think it was ill-advised) or that I think his general assertion about the relative merits of Buddhism and Christianity is correct. I'm just saying that the reaction is more indicative of the level of animus towards Christianity among the opinion elite than of anything else.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, January 7, 2010 05:18 AM ||

Great post. You really hit the nail on the head. Hume was pointing out that the Christian faith offers a chance for redemption and forgiveness for transgressions, something we all need. He was not speaking as a journalist, but as a person on an opinion show. For speaking frankly about his faith, which he is free to do in this country, he is attacked, ridiculed, and mocked. The so-called tolerance of the left is mind-boggling.

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