Sunday, January 03, 2010

Brit Hume

Check out this link, which is an article with accompanying video of Brit Hume suggesting that Tiger Woods should become a Christian because he can be forgiven. Of course he doesn't explain how that escapes the consequences of his actions, which I guess is the hidden premise of his comment, but it would be a popular move probably in terms of keeping or regaining his sponsorship, probably. Does Brit Hume really think this naked statement isn't just a plug for Christianity. It's the kind of drastic action that seems like he's doing something, when the reality is that he's tarnished his public image, hurt people close to him, and lost millions of dollars. He's revealed himself as human, with clay feet.

I think what Tiger did was against the precept of sexual misconduct, looking at it from a Buddhist context. When the scandal came out, I asked myself, "why would Tiger get married?" He can sleep around and that's OK if everyone knows what the score is. Sexual misconduct is avoided by being honest and open. You can shag as many multiple partners as you want as long as you don't hurt anyone, not hurt anyone beyond the disappointments of usual relationships. But when he commits to a marriage, he's locked himself in. Why would he do that? My answer is that he wanted it all, to sleep around and have a wife and children. His wife didn't agree to that, and he was duplicitous in hiding it from her, in conducting these affairs. I really don't know enough about the situation, but what the heck, I have an opinion on what Brit Hume said.

My response to Brit Hume is that converting to Christianity will have consequences, just as what Tiger Woods did, but I'm not sure they will be what he expects them to be. Perhaps Brit Hume should talk more about his own spirituality and connect that to why he said that, explain how concerting to Christianity evades consequences, or if he just thinks it's a good idea in general because of the forgiveness.

It's not clear to me that having metta, you wouldn't be forgiving, and that Christian forgiveness is superior to Buddhist forgiveness. Is Mr. Hume hoping for a metaphysical evasion of consequences? I find his comments confusing on many levels. Is Brit saying Christianity is an easier spiritual path? Is that how you choose your spirituality? I can honestly see the attraction of that, I sometimes feel the Buddhist path is hard. I still find it easier than the other ones. Is it that Christianity has loop holes? I remember a friend, who when he found out that you could give yourself supreme unction if no priest was around and clear your sins before you face God, he stopped confessing and holds out for doing that when he dies. Is that the kind of loop hole Mr. Hume is looking for a superficial cleansing? Or wouldn't Tiger Woods have to really convert, not just out of a venial desire to evade justice, and really be sorry? I suppose talking heads on political shows can say what ever they want, but I wonder if naked expressions of unselfconscious superficial spirituality are what the people tuned in for. Of course in this Christian country of USA, he will probably be more popular with unselfconscious superficial people.

In my post I thought it was silly to bring Bjork to trial for blasphemy, it was 14 years ago, and she was making a point out of ignorance. I hope Brit Hume learns from this comment, I hope people respond to him, and let him know what a naked kind of proselytizing his comment was. Perhaps that's what he intended. I'm genuinely curious about why he said what he said. Perhaps he could elaborate in public.

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