Soon after reports emerged that golfer Tiger Woods had engaged in extramarital affairs, Fox News’ Brit Hume declared that the only way for Woods — a Buddhist — to achieve “forgiveness and redemption” would be to convert to Christianity. “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world,” he said.
After he received considerable criticism for the insensitive remarks, Hume refused to apologize and said again that Woods should convert. But in his public apology last week, Woods indicated that he was rejecting Hume’s advice, citing his faith’s guiding principles. “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security,” Woods said, adding, “Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”
“I believe that was in direct response to you,” Bill O’Reilly told Hume on Fox News last night. Hume continued his televangelism, expressing a patronizing disdain for Woods’ faith:
HUME: I thought Tiger Woods showed himself in that presentation to be a shaken, chastened, and contrite man. And gone was the swagger. Gone was all of the radiant self-confidence that we used to see in him. This was a pretty shaken guy up there.
Now look, I think, because I’m a Christian and I believe that Christianity is true, that Tiger Woods and his wife Elin would be a lot farther down the road toward forgiveness and redemption if they were both Christians, but they’re not. And I — they’re going to do the best they can with what they have. And I wish Tiger Woods well.
The Dalai Lama commented on Woods’ scandal shortly after his apology. Professing that he has not heard of the golf star, the Buddhist high cleric said when it comes to adultery, “all religions have the same idea.” “Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important,” he said. “Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.”