Fox News right-wing commentator and religious expert Brit Hume (on the Sunday, Jan. 3 edition of Fox News Sunday) offered golfing phenom Tiger Woods, experiencing no shortage of marital problems these days, some religious advice. Hume, reminiscent of Europeans who went into Africa to colonize and civilize blacks (by introducing and imposing their religious beliefs), was strong in his words of advice toward Woods.
HUME: Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question. And it’s a tragic situation. . . . But the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out of this scandal, the extent to which he can recover, seems to me to depend on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’
Hume seems to be engaging in what is little more than religious bigotry by taking it upon himself to define Buddhism and suggest Woods just abandon it and embrace Christianity.
Check out this video of the historic Alex Haley film “Roots.” Fast forward to about 6:55 of this clip to see the relevance (below the video is the transcript).
Hume’s comment made me think long and hard about this particular scene from that film.
CAPTAIN DAVIES: What are they like…the blacks?
MR. SLATER: They’re just a different kind of breed, sir. A man breeds a dog for hunting…and breeds another sort of dog for his family. Blacks are slow-minded but strong. They’re made for slavery like you’re made to run this ship. The natural order of things, eh?
DAVIES: Yes. Yes, I could understand that, I suppose.
SLATER: It’s good for them, us taking them like that. They’re better off for it, sir.
DAVIES: I’m not sure I understand that part, Mr. Slater.
SLATER: For one thing, there’s Christianity. We’re bringing them to a Christian land. That’s got to be better for them than the heathen Allah they got now. That’s the first thing. Second is…we’re saving them from being eaten by their own kind. They do that, you know. Cannibals, all of them.
DAVIES: As I said before, Mr. Slater…below decks, you’re the expert.
Maybe Hume feels like he is civilizing Woods by trying to convert him to Christianity … much like Mr. Slater believed in “Roots.”
The religious bigotry from Hume, however, displays a shameful form of ignorance and bigotry. It also shows that Hume has learned nothing from the bigoted beliefs (symbolic of intolerance) of some people 400 years ago.
It’s not to say Hume is exactly like slave masters, but it is sad he has not learned a little something about religious bigotry from that horrible legacy.
Check out how a few conservatives are predictably coming to the defense of Hume: