Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Imus Schools Hume

It's not exactly a good moment when a once-good White House reporter-turned-political-pundit has to be schooled on the accuracy of religious analysis. It's even more shocking when the schooloer is Don Imus -- who's put his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion -- and the schoolee is Fox pundit Brit Hume.

Nonetheless, that's what happened yesterday when Imus explained why Hume was off-base in his Sunday urging that Tiger Woods convert from Buddhism to Christianity:

I'm curious what Hume's advice would be to "out" Christian politicians -- like Mark Sanford and John Ensign, for example. They both campaigned as good, God-fearing men. Both cheated on their wives; Sanford's has already left him and filed for divorce. Ensign is still with his, seemingly -- but also got his parents to help pay off his mistress and her cuckolded spouse. The point is that Christians also fail to uphold their vows. Given Hume's background -- and that he's on a panel that analyzes politics more than pop culture or general current events, it would seem more appropriate that, if Hume wanted to make a point on the power of Christianity to redeem sinners, giving advice to those politicians -- instead of a golfer -- might have been more appropriate.

One last thought: For all of Tiger Woods' actual and imagined sins (from adultery to being too profligate a salesman), one thing it's hard to condemn him for is trying to force any personal beliefs -- political or religious -- on the public. He vies away from making partisan statements because, following the Michael Jordan example, "Republicans buy sneakers [or watches or razors or whatever] too." Similarly, Woods wouldn't want to be seen as a proselytizer for being Buddhist -- any more than he would appear in a commercial promoting the Obama agenda.

In short, Woods has deserved a lot of the societal approbation that has come his way over the last six weeks. Having a weekend political pundit urging him to convert to Christianity isn't one of those things deserved.

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