Ross Douthat of the New York Times weighed-in yesterday on the Brit Hume controversy. He writes:
“What Hume said wasn’t bigoted: Indeed, his claim about the difference between Buddhism and Christianity was perfectly defensible. Christians believe in a personal God who forgives sins. Buddhists, as a rule, do not. And it’s at least plausible that Tiger Woods might welcome the possibility that there’s Someone out there capable of forgiving him, even if Elin Nordegren and his corporate sponsors never do.”
His conclusion is right on point:
“When liberal democracy was forged, in the wake of Western Europe’s religious wars, this sort of peaceful theological debate is exactly what it promised to deliver. And the differences between religions are worth debating. Theology has consequences: It shapes lives, families, nations, cultures, wars; it can change people, save them from themselves, and sometimes warp or even destroy them.
“If we tiptoe politely around this reality, then we betray every teacher, guru and philosopher â€” including Jesus of Nazareth and the Buddha both â€” who ever sought to resolve the most human of all problems: How then should we live?
“It’s reasonable to doubt that a cable news analyst has the right answer to this question. But the debate that Brit Hume kicked off a week ago is still worth having. Indeed, it’s the most important one there is.”
Read the rest here.
(HT: Justin Taylor)