Fox News’ Brit Hume threw a religious gauntlet towards Tiger Woods yesterday claiming that his buddhist faith is inadequate for his lifestyle. He urged him to become a Christian:

“The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith,” said Hume. “He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, ‘Tiger turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

Now I’m not one to argue that Catholicism indeed offers redemption to others very intentionally through the sacrament of reconciliation–and that this indeed is a good thing. But frankly, Mr. Hume’s comment gives me the willies and strikes me as being religiously intolerant and perhaps even bigoted.

Would Hume have uttered the same comment if Tiger Woods was Jewish? Secondly, does he even know if Tiger practices Buddhism faithfully? I doubt that Woods practices his religion in a manner that could be equated with say, the Dali Lama or even Richard Gere for that matter. To lump an entire religion into the same boat with the immoral practices of an individual who claims to profess that particular faith and then to denigrate the religion for their tenets based on ignorance of how much redemption the religion offers is simply stupid.

I wonder what Buddhism’s response to the comments might be? Most likely their response will be a non-response which I would say is the best one at this juncture. After all, stupidity needs no response.

However, journalist Barbara Hoetsu O’Brien wrote smartly,

“Buddhism doesn’t offer redemption and forgiveness in the same way Christianity does. Buddhism has no concept of sin; therefore, redemption and forgiveness in the Christian sense is meaningless in Buddhism. Forgiveness is important, but it is approached differently in Buddhism.”

Hume backpedaled today:

“Look, Tiger Woods is somebody I’ve always rooted for, as a golfer and as a man… and I’ve always said to people that it was the content of his character that made him beyond his extraordinary golf skills so admirable. Now we know that the content of his character was not what we thought it was. He is paying a frightful price for these revelations. My sense is that he has basically lost his family… and my sense about Tiger is that he needs something that Christianity especially provides and gives and offers and that is redemption and forgiveness. And I was really meaning to say in those comments yesterday more about Christianity than I was about anything else. I mentioned the Buddhism only because his mother is a Buddhist and he has apparently said that he is a Buddhist. I’m not sure how seriously he practices that. But I think that Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods badly needs.”

Yeah, because that’s so much better stated.

0 thoughts on “Brit Hume says Buddhism is Inadequate”
  1. via facebook

    from Beth Renaldi

    Mike, I read about this on, and it's just so strange. It gave me the willies too.

  2. Va Facebook: From Joanna Rice

    A couple of my best friends are Buddhist. And because they're Buddhist, this won't anger them. LOL. They'll most like chuckle about this and then chant for him.

  3. Via Facebook: From Dan Harla

    I really never liked Hume to begin with. This nation was founded on the basis of freedom of religion. Tiger Woods can choose whatever he wants to believe. We do not have the right to bully people into believing in Christ. We have freewill to choose Christ or not.

  4. via facebook: from Tony Rossi

    Brit Hume became a Christian after his son's suicide in the late 90's. I saw the clip and he didn't come across as a bully. He was offering his opinion on the situation based on his personal experience.

  5. via facebook: from John Sorrentino

    As if Christians aren't sex addicts or unfaithful to their spouses or partners. Ridic.

  6. via facebook from Roger Mella:

    So Tiger Woods having this special place in Britt Hume's heart gets him an exclusive offer of Christianity's healing power? What, did Charlie Sheen's invite get lost in the mail along with the millions of like-minded lost souls that could benefit from the faith? I don't doubt Mr. Hume's sincerity and I thought he made a good point about Christianity but as a true believer, the tent for Christianity's contrition, forgiveness, and redemption should be open to all regardless of faith or status.

  7. Mike Hayes Roger, the Charlie Sheen comment made me LOL and I saw the clip too, Tony. It was snarkyness designed as sincerity.

  8. Roger, the Charlie Sheen comment made me LOL and I saw the clip too, Tony. It was snarkyness designed as sincerity.

  9. via facebook from Tracy Garrison-Feinberg:

    nice piece, Mike, but I wouldn't say "possibly bigoted". Hume is treading into some very scary water here, and folks who respect other religions don't get into the comparison game. Perhaps Hume is the inadequate one…

  10. via Facebook from Anthony Cavaliere

    Maybe you just don't like Mr. Hume or the conservative point of view. I do not know the level of Mr. Hume's faith and yes he may seem "snarky" if you do not agree. Yet as a Christian I would agree that Mr Woods' religious worldview is inadequate, but then I believe that any worldview that does not maintain that Jesus is Lord, God, Creator and Savior is inadequate. In fact such world views are useless. All humans are sinners by nature. THe only way to correct this is to accept the finished work of Christ on the cross by faith alone. It is only by grace working through faith that sins are forgiven and we can inherit eternal life.

  11. via facebook from John Sorrentino:

    But it doesn't take a religious person to live with honor – you don't have to believe in God to be faithful to a spouse or partner. In fact, it's inadequate if you only go about doing good in the world because a religion tells you to instead of doing so because it is simply the right thing to be true to your word, cause no harm to others, etc.

  12. via facebook from Anthony Cavaliere:

    Fine: people can live by their own code of honor but no one can do it to perfection or with any degree of consistency or in the long run without ulterior motives. As God's word tells us: there is no one who is righteous. Our own righteous acts are as filthy rags because if not done to honor the Lord, they are inadequate. Paul says this in Romans 1, 2 and 3.

  13. via facebook from Eileen Byrne Richards

    I am a big fan of Hume's and truly believe he was being sincere, as he found Christ after his son's death, but as I watched his statement during the Sunday panel, it did kind of come across like choosing a new toothpaste.

  14. Via facebook from Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    It made me uncomfortable and angry – too preachy and I did not find it sincere.

  15. via facebook from Butler Miller

    Shouldn't Woods's wife be asked to find forgiveness, if Woods is truly sorry/repentent? That is a big IF. Who is Woods forgiving? Possibly himself, but he has to prove himself worthy of forgiveness by being sorry.

    Given with the normal caveat that no one can know what it is like on the inside of a relationship. Offering forgiveness in this situation is more than can be expected, by me, from his wife.

  16. via facebook from Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    Since when do we have to prove ourselves? I am not trying to be a smart aleck, but grace is freely given, we don't prove, we receive forgiveness.

  17. From your esteemed blogger:

    I would say the following:

    1) Love Butler's comments!

    2) Uncle Anthony…the point is that nobody's going to live by any individual code of honor, Catholic, Buddhist, Fundamentalist, or Hayesian…to any kind of perfection. We all sin and in that we need God's redemption. I agree with you that I find the completeness of that redemption in Christ. But I don't abhor the fact that Woods may find it in the Buddha.

    3) Eileen…you still got it. Always was able to make me laugh.

    4) Lastly, it's not Mr Hume's conservatism that I'm not in favor of here. I share many of his views and think some others well off the mark. I think he is favoring one religion over another here which, by the way, is against our constitution.

  18. Via Facebook: from: Mike Young

    Other professional athletes fool around, I think the wife is just as "guilty" for assaulting him with a club and chasing him out of the house and keeping the children away from him.

    She has hired superstar divorce lawyers, and took the kids to Switzerland for Christmas and will not allow Tiger to see his own children. Is she a gold-digger? perhaps.

  19. Mike Young…that doesn't give Tiger the right to cheat on her. Perhaps she removed the kids from the media spectacle.

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