Hume Decries Persecution By Critics, Reiterates It Would Be ‘Magnificent’ To ‘Witness’ Tigers Woods’ Conversion

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"Hume Decries Persecution By Critics, Reiterates It Would Be ‘Magnificent’ To ‘Witness’ Tigers Woods’ Conversion"

On Fox News Sunday last week, Brit Hume became the focus of controversy for saying that golfer Tiger Woods should convert to Christianity to deal with his marriage infidelities:

HUME: 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.”

Many Buddhists quickly criticized Hume’s dismissal of their faith. “I don’t like to point out other’s faults, but given the record, I would think Christians would show a little more humility about offering advice to the sexually wayward,” wrote Barbara O’Brien on her Buddhism blog. Yesterday, Hume went on The O’Reilly Factor and complained about all the negative feedback he has received, saying that it amounted to religious persecution of him for being Christian:

HUME: I’ve heard a lot of terrible comments from people who claim that I was a pompous jerk who had no business mouthing off on the subject and that I shouldn’t have belittled the Buddhist faith and so on. I really wasn’t trying to belittle and demean. [...]

O’REILLY: But what do you think drives the negative comments about Christianity?

HUME: It has always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it, that, you know, you speak the name, Jesus Christ, and I don’t — and I don’t mean to make a pun here, but all hell breaks loose. And — and it has always been thus. It is explosive. … It triggers a very powerful reaction in people who do not share the faith and who do not believe in it.

Although Hume tried to back away slightly from his initial comments by saying that he never meant to denigrate Buddhism, he still insisted that Christianity “especially provides…redemption and forgiveness” and said that Woods should convert because “he would feel the extraordinary blessing that that would be.” “It would be — it would be a shining light, and I think it would be a — it would be a magnificent thing to witness,” added Hume. Watch it:

Many conservatives have been rushing to defend Hume’s on-air promotion of Christianity, saying that it’s “wise and caring” and “pretty conventional” advice.

Fox prides itself on being “fair and balanced.” Will it now give equal time to other religions for proselytizing, or is it comfortable becoming the next Christian Broadcast Network?

Transcript:

O’REILLY: Now, on FOX News Sunday you got into a subject that was pretty interesting. It’s non-political. It’s a social embarrassment for Tiger Woods. And you said this about Mr. Woods. Roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUME: 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 — Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O’REILLY: Was that proselytizing?

HUME: I don’t think so. I mean, look, Tiger Woods is somebody I’ve always rooted for as a golfer and as a man. I greatly admired him over the years, and I always have said to people 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. I — my sense is that he has basically lost his family, and there’s a lot of talk about the endorsements he’s lost. But that pales, I suspect, in his mind, with what he’s lost otherwise.

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 — 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 — I think that the — Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods badly needs.

O’REILLY: Now, if he does go that route, then he would be accused of — remember in the Bill Clinton years, he got in trouble, he had the Bible and Jesse Jackson and they were praying and, you know, wouldn’t Americans –

HUME: That’s true, Bill. That wouldn’t — and that wasn’t the first time. Remember Chuck Colson, who is one of the leading lights of Watergate, if you will.

O’REILLY: But he made a true conversion.

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

O’REILLY: Now, what kind of reaction did you get when you said that? A lot of letters and e-mails and things?

HUME: I got some letters and e-mails from people who were like me, who are believers who said, Great. Right on. Right on. Way to go.

I’ve heard a lot of terrible comments from people who claim that I was a pompous jerk who had no business mouthing off on the subject and that I shouldn’t have belittled the Buddhist faith and so on. I really wasn’t trying to belittle and demean.

O’REILLY: I don’t think so either. What drives — what do you think drives the negative comments about — Buddhism aside, I don’t think we’re trying to denigrate Buddhism. But what do you think drives the negative comments about Christianity?

HUME: It has always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it, that, you know, you speak the name, Jesus Christ, and I don’t — and I don’t mean to make a pun here, but all hell breaks loose. And — and it has always been thus. It is explosive.

I didn’t even say the name in that way. I simply 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.

O’REILLY: All right. Brit Hume, everybody. Thanks very much. We appreciate it. Happy New Year.

Update

This morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough expressed his approval of Hume’s proselytizing. “Amen is all I gotta say,” Scarborough stated.

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Badmoodman says: “I wonder how people who agree with Brit Hume would feel if Tiger was a Christian, and a Muslim said that Tiger should convert to Islam.”

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