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Once again, the true intolerant are exposed

I knew when Brit Hume made his innocuous (to me) comments that a strong backlash would develop... I knew because I know the leftist mind and particularly the mind of those who find bigotry in any exclusive claim and yet thankfully, there are those who see through the charge of intolerance and in fact see it for what it is.


After urging Tiger Woods to accept the "forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith" -- and comparing Buddhism unfavorably to that hope -- journalist Brit Hume insisted he was not proselytizing. In this, he is wrong. His words exemplify proselytization.

For this, Hume has been savaged. Post media critic Tom Shales put him in the category of a "sanctimonious busybody" engaged in "telling people what religious beliefs they ought to have." Blogger Andrew Sullivan criticized Hume's "pure sectarianism," which helps abolish "the distinction between secular and religious discourse." MSNBC's David Shuster called Hume's religious advice "truly embarrassing."


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 also on television networks. We must have not only a secular state but also a secular public discourse. And so tolerance, conveniently, is defined as shutting up people with whom secularists disagree. Many commentators have been offering Woods advice in his travails. But religious advice, apparently and uniquely, should be forbidden. In a discussion of sex, morality and betrayed vows, wouldn't religious issues naturally arise? How is our public discourse improved by narrowing it -- removing references to the most essential element in countless lives?

True tolerance consists in engaging deep disagreements respectfully -- through persuasion -- not in banning certain categories of argument and belief from public debate.

In this controversy, we are presented with two models of discourse. Hume, in an angry sea of loss and tragedy -- his son's death in 1998 -- found a life preserver in faith. He offered that life preserver to another drowning man. Whatever your view of Hume's beliefs, he could have no motive other than concern for Woods himself.

The other model has come from critics such as Shales, in a spittle-flinging rage at the mention of religion in public, comparing Hume to "Mary Poppins on the joys of a tidy room, or Ron Popeil on the glories of some amazing potato peeler." Shales, of course, is engaged in proselytism of his own -- for a secular fundamentalism that trivializes and banishes all other faiths. He distributes the sacrament of the sneer.

Who in this picture is more intolerant?

It is the left that are the intolerant ones... it is the left that are filled most with hate... it is the left that are the most judgmental and narrow-minded... it is the left whose ranks are stock full of bigots, racists and dogmatists...

Remember this the next time you hear them make their claims against people like you and me, people with traditional values, people who do nothing more than attempt to make sense of their Christian faith and who attempt, in fits, starts, and at times failure, to live that faith out.

And thank God for a faith that offers forgiveness and redemption, uniquely, necessarily and yes, exclusively.



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Comments (14)

Check it out:<a hr... (Below threshold)

Check it out:


Hume went on national TV an... (Below threshold)

Hume went on national TV and said that Wood's religion wasn't good enough to redeem him.

Shales, Sullivan, and Shuster said _Hume_ was wrong to say that.

Hume put down an religion, the others put down Hume.

Do you see a difference?

Unless you see Brit Hume as the incarnation of Christianity on this earth, an assault on the statements of Hume is not an attack on the whole of Christianity.

A few years ago I attended ... (Below threshold)

A few years ago I attended a wedding that was a hybrid Wicca, Jewish, Quaker and Lesbian affair. It was interesting... esp the Beanie Babies on the altars, and I am pretty sure the the athames were from Calphalon

A few points, in no particu... (Below threshold)
James H:

A few points, in no particular order:

1) Gerson is right about one thing. Hume did indeed proseltyze, and any attempt to deny that is bogus.

2) If Hume were only interested in Tiger Woods' soul and welfare, he could have expressed that concern in a private letter. Doing so on national TV was a naked grab for publicity. And it worked.

3) What would be the reaction if somebody told Hume (on national TV), "Brit, you are a prisoner of a outmoded, false philosophy. You have shackled yourself to a system of beliefs that is responsible for so much evil in this world. You blind yourself to your own strenght through obeisance to a faith that no longer has a place in the modern world. I challenge you to cast off this false religion, stop enslaving yourself to Christian philosophy, and recognize that -- for better or for ill -- you and your fellow man create all the good and all the evil in this world!" I doubt people would like that.

4) Calling out Woods on national TV was disrespectful toward Woods and his chosen faith.

Rick,What should I... (Below threshold)


What should I do the next time someone on the right claims that I am "intolerant, filled with hate, judgmental and narrow-minded, bigoted, racist, and dogmatic"? I have a pretty good idea of what people would say on this site. It does make it hard to agree on anything. Absolutes divide absolutely.

I think the major problem with Hume was the forum. If he had gone on the 700 Club there would still be people who criticize, there always are, but it would have been a more appropriate place.

I suppose now the Sunday pundits will offer up their faith based take on the stories of the week?

Divide and conquer. That is the bin Laden plan. To a T. Let me help you, there appears to be a sinker in your mouth.

A further reflection:... (Below threshold)
James H:

A further reflection:

I generally make no bones about my chosen theological position -- atheism -- when I am asked about it or challenged to discuss it. But I also don't go around wearing a button that says, "I'm an atheist and your wrong," "Proud to be godless" or even "Ask me about atheism." I've occasionally thought about writing a book or similar about atheism -- mainly as a counterpoint to the Angry Atheists -- but I generally figure religion is best kept private.

Occasionally, yes, faith intersects in the public sphere. Think creationism in schools, Ten Commandments displays, school prayer, noise regulations and neighborhood prayer calls, and so forth. But in general, I figure it's better to be courteous and not try to proselytize at people. Saying, "You're wrong and I'm right" is inherently rude. And that's what proselytizing is. A rude gesture that is inherently disrespectful to another person.

We'll its a good thing nobo... (Below threshold)

We'll its a good thing nobody else on TV does any proseltyzing for their particular beliefs of causes. Global Warming, Green Jobs, Universal Health Care ... nah, nobody pushes those false and irrational beliefs on TV.

So who can trust these libe... (Below threshold)

So who can trust these liberal secular left-wing journalists anyway and skunks like BRITT HUMME are no different then the rest of those stinkholes

It is the left tha... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
It is the left that are the intolerant ones... it is the left that are filled most with hate... it is the left that are the most judgmental and narrow-minded... it is the left whose ranks are stock full of bigots, racists and dogmatists...

I use the word "moralphobic" to describe the same thing. Nothing is more reprehensible to the left than the idea of immutable moral values. The left argues they have moral values, but what they are talking about is the kind of moral values that each person makes up for themselves as they go. If one of these personal moral values gets to be too much of a burden it's changed or even discarded.

I'm thinking of inventing a device called iMoral to make it easier for progressives to keep track of their current moral values. It will come preloaded with the liberal version of the Ten Commandments, such as don't get caught cheating on your spouse, don't get caught murdering, and don't get caught stealing.

WC -"What shoul... (Below threshold)

WC -

"What should I do the next time someone on the right claims that I am "intolerant, filled with hate, judgmental and narrow-minded, bigoted, racist, and dogmatic"?"

Look at why they're saying that, instead of immediately dismissing it by claiming they're full of hate, judgemental, and narrow-minded. Try introspection for a change - examine what makes them claim that, and see if whether your pronouncements pass the smell test. It can be fun AND educational!

If Hume were Paris Hilton a... (Below threshold)

If Hume were Paris Hilton and suggested that Tiger become gay, no one would have blinked. But instead, Hume, as a person of faith, recommended that Tiger convert to his ideology so that he may find redemption for his moral and ethical failings.

Sorry, I meant to say Perez... (Below threshold)

Sorry, I meant to say Perez Hilton.

Rance "Hume went on na... (Below threshold)

Rance "Hume went on national TV and said that Wood's religion wasn't good enough to redeem him."

Not surprising you'd come to that conclusion considering you started with a false premise.

He didn't say Buddhism "wasn't good enough," he said he didn't think the religion offered the same type of redemption as Christianity.

A vast difference that's apparently lost on you.

My objection is is only to ... (Below threshold)
Howard Mirkin:

My objection is is only to Hume's lack of knowledge about Buddhism, which contrary to Brit, Ann Coulter and her "Buddhists" who make claims that there is no forgiveness. Buddhism as practiced in Thailand, where Tiger Woods was born, is a merit system. If you screw up you get demerits and the only way you can make up for it is by doing good deeds, or making merit. There is thus forgiveness, but one has to work for it. As freedom loving Americans what can be wrong with that? Buddhism stresses tolerance for others, being respectful and not starting conflicts, again, what is wrong with that? There are however a number of different Buddhist sects with different views, like th Japanese believe Buddha is a God, while the Thai revere him as The Great Teacher. In one sense Thai Buddhism is not a religion, rather a way of life, a way of getting along with others. Its precepts are similar to the 10 Commandments in many ways. When I read that Christianity believes that forgiveness is automatic, that sounds like an entitlement, and there is plenty wrong with entitlements. But as I said, Buddhism is very tolerant, thus Brit is forgiven.






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