Brit Hume has been taking some flak for his remarks yesterday about Christianity and Buddhism. My previous post has the video of his full remarks in which he encourages Tiger Woods to become a Christian. In his own words,
“Whether he can recover as a person depends on his faith. He’s 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.'”
The negative reactions to Hume’s remarks generally boil down to two thingsâ€”that Hume was proselytizing and that he knocked on Buddhism in the process. In the video below, for instance, David Schuster of MSNBC went so far as to say that Hume had “denigrated Christianity” in what he said.
Hume appeared on The O’Reilly Factor tonight to elaborate on his remarks from yesterday (that video is at the top of this page). Among other things, he said this:
“He needs something that Christianity especially provides and gives and offers, and that is redemption and forgiveness. I was really meaning to say in those comments yesterday more about Christianity than anything else…I think that Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods badly needs.”
When asked by O’Reilly why some have responded so negatively, Hume said this:
“It has always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it, that you speak the name Jesus Christ (and I don’t mean to make a pun here) but all hell breaks loose. And it has always been thus. It is explosive. I didn’t even say the name in that way. I spoke of the Christian faith, but that was enough to trigger this reaction. It triggers a very powerful reaction in people who do not share the faith and who do not believe in it. Always has.”
What’s my reaction to all this? For me, the story here is not the controversy surrounding Hume’s remarks. That’s to be expected. What’s notable here is the fact that a senior news analyst had the courage to speak of Christ in a difficult place. Would that more of us might be so bold.
In 2008 when Hume stepped aside as a host and anchor at Fox News, he said that he no longer wanted to be a part-time Christian and that he was leaving to pursue Christ “more ardently.” It sounds to me like he is doing just that.