Brit Hume’s Christianity comment -updated
1/9: politics daily, CT interview links added
You may have heard of the flap regarding Brit Hume advising Tiger Woods to embrace “the Christian faith”. Here’s an update on the initial story.
Was Brit proselytizing?
1. To induce someone to convert to one’s own religious faith.
2. To induce someone to join one’s own political party or to espouse one’s doctrine.
He certainly wasn’t pressuring Woods to convert. He was offering sincere, well-meaning advice. And I’m not sure what’s wrong with that. He was asked his opinion and gave what he thought was sound counsel that could save someone’s life, let alone a marriage. And it was advice the overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe in.
I do think Hume’s statement was offensive to many, and that’s because the message of Christ is inherently offensive to our flesh. The implicit message of Christ is that we are not sufficient unto ourselves. That we are morally and spiritually flawed enough to keep us out of God’s holy presence without Christ’s atonement on our behalf.
There is no way to get around the offensive aspect of the message. It has been present from the very beginning, and if it’s not part of our message we’re not being true to the Gospel. But Hume offered his advice sincerely, and after all, he was asked. I think we need to consider very carefully that we are actually pressuring people not to comment from their deepest moral and spiritual convictions. That’s a constraint we certainly do not place on secularists.
Especially considering that maybe 80% or so of the population understand and accept the tenets of Christianity, you have to wonder at a cultural dynamic that allows a few to dictate social mores to the many.
As for the Buddhists who were offended, I can understand that. I think what’s needed is a public discussion of faith. Let all the faiths offer what they can, and let the best faith win. It’s time we took faith out of the penalty box and allowed it back into the game.
But the West is on a suicide course that disallows our mentioning the most important thing in life – God. We live in a sterile secular bubble, while enemies seeking our destruction are inflamed by deep religious passion. Guess who wins that one? If we don’t start drawing down on the power of faith we are going to be annihilated.
So yes, Brit was proselytizing, but it was the good kind of proselytization. Our problem is that in our religiously saccharine public square we no longer distinguish between good and bad proselytization.
I doubt we would have heard this on any other network but Fox. Someone has said that Fox actually has become the new mainstream media; because the others have moved so far to the Left. Maybe that’s why Fox’s ratings positively demolish everyone else’s.
Update: Politics Daily has a good survey of the reaction to Brit’s comment, and some background on his conversion.
Christianity Today interview with Brit.