Last weekend on Fox News Sunday, anchor-turned-commentator Brit Hume stirred up trouble saying that golfer/adulterer Tiger Woods should convert to Christianity from Buddhism, because Christianity uniquely offers the chance of redemption. Yesterday, in an interview with WTOP radio (h/t Ken Tucker), Hume stuck to his guns.
Personally, as a half-Catholic-half-Jewish-pretty-much-totally-secular nonbeliever, I reject Hume’s suggestion that Christians are uniquely equipped to overcome their failings and become better people. But you know what, he believes it, he’s a commentator now, and he’s free to say it. I am not a religious judge. (That is to say, I am not Brit Hume.) And I at least admire his sticking to his argument rather than walking it back with some publicist-approved damage control.
What is ridiculous, though, is Hume’s implication that he’s being picked on solely because he’s a Christian.
After addressing the controversy and explaining himself to the WTOP hosts, Hume goes on to say that he doesn’t believe his remarks would be as controversial if he had espoused another religion. Specifically, he said, if he had instead advised Tiger to instead deepen his commitment to Buddhism, it would not have been nearly as controversial.
Um, you’re right, Brit, it wouldn’t have: because then you wouldn’t have been trying to convert him. That’s going to bother people whatever religion you’re advocating. You would think at least that Hume would acknowledge that people were offended that he was arguing, on a news program, that his own religion was better than Woods’. Instead, he claimed, in pretty uncertain terms, that he was the victim of P.C. persecution of Christianity (a rhetorical tactic he must have picked up at the “war on Christmas” network). “You could argue,” he said, “that the most controversial words in the English language are ‘Jesus Christ.’”
Give me a break. (And not just because, say, “Allah akbar” gives them a run for their money. Or because “Christ” is arguably Latin/Greek.) The fact that there are actual persecuted Christians in the world makes it even more obnoxious that Hume would try to latch on a bogus culture-war flashpoint to defend his remarks.
If you believe your religion is superior and want to stand by the argument, fine. But crying anti-Christian persecution when you’re criticized for making that case on a news show? Get off the cross.