News commentator Brit Hume created a fire storm by suggesting that Tiger Woods should accept the forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. He did so without stuttering or wavering.
Hume’s colleagues in the media unleashed a barrage of accusations toward him, not the least of which is a charge against him for proselytizing. In this world filled with liberal media types, his words were determined to be worse than if he had let fly a river of the vilest foul filth ever broadcast. His offense was the declaration of his personal view (which is what a commentator does) regarding the power of the Christian faith to transform those who have sinned badly.
Television is filled with exposure of religious philosophy and ideologies proclaimed openly by a wide variety of people from a plethora of faiths. In fact, the most prominent faith on television is secular humanism or no faith at all. The Christian faith is openly mocked, and when Christian people are portrayed in sitcoms and movies they are most often made to look like buffoons and idiots.
Muslims are given special opportunities to soften the radical nature of Islam and espouse their beliefs with little recoil from the media. In fact, it seems to me there is a concerted effort to present Islam in a good light. By the way, I have no problem and indeed applaud the fair treatment of any religion by the media.
For many years liberal media types have declared that if we don’t like what is on television we should exercise our right to turn it off. They argue that the problem is not with those who produce programs we deem offensive but with our trying to dictate to others what is placed on the airways. So, tell me—which is it? If that is true, then why is it a mortal sin for a Christian commentator to express open commitment to Jesus Christ and suggest others would be greatly benefited by a personal relationship with Him?
Michael Gerson makes a powerful point in his news commentary: “Hume’s critics hold a strange view of pluralism. For religion to be tolerated, it must be privatized—not, apparently, just in governmental settings, but on television networks. We must not only have a secular state but a secular public discourse. And so, tolerance, conveniently, is defined as shutting up people with whom secularists disagree.” He goes on to point out that secularists gave advice by the bucketfulls to Tiger Woods. When a Christian does so, the media goes nuts!
Tolerance it seems applies only to liberal thoughts and ideas. So be it. But liberal protests do not change the reality of Hume’s words. Tiger Woods and all sinners need the life changing truth of the Gospel. Forgiveness of sin, the abundant life, and eternal life are found only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This powerful truth has always been at odds with the wisdom of this world. In the end, the wisdom of this world will be revealed as foolishness. Because it is so powerful, it has always met with intolerance by powerful people.
Thank you, Mr. Hume, for boldly declaring truth—even if your liberal media friends are intolerant.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.