Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume has come under fire for suggesting that scandal-plagued Tiger Woods should "turn to" Christianity in order to achieve "total recovery." Although Hume's remarks that Woods' Buddhist beliefs don't "offer the kind of forgiveness and redemption offered by the Christian faith" have been savaged as both unprofessional and uninformed, he isn't backing down — reiterating his claim on "The O'Reilly Factor" and responding to critics by saying, “Tiger Woods has an opportunity here and my prayer would be that he would take it." Does he owe Woods an apology? (Watch Brit Hume stand by his comments)
Yes, Hume should absolutely apologize: The Fox News analyst's comments were "boorish and inappropriate," says the Boston Globe in an editorial. Despite what Hume would like you (and Tiger Woods) to believe, "Christianity and other major religions" are "not enough" to keep people from cheating on their spouses. (Think Bill Clinton, Sen. David Vitter and Sen. Larry Craig.) "Staying faithful to one’s spouse is a test of character, not faith."
"Brit Hume: Christians can be adulterers, too"
It's the media that owes Hume an apology: If anyone should be apologizing, it's members of the media for their "vicious verbal assault[s]" on Brit Hume, says The Washington Times in an editorial. The "histrionic fulminations" about Hume's "inoffensive expression of faith" have exposed an "ugly strain of anti-religious bigotry that is spreading inside this country's liberal establishment."
"Throwing Brit Hume to the lions"
Hume should check his facts before he proselytizes: Ironically, Christians are "just as bad as everyone else when it comes to marriage," says David Gibson in Politics Daily, whereas Buddhists make the most reliable spouses. According to Southern Illinois University sociologist Darren Sherkat, "Buddhists in the U.S. are less likely to stray [from marriage] than any other religious group." So maybe Brit Hume should start "preach[ing] Buddhism" — and Woods start becoming a better Buddhist.
"Maybe Brit Hume should preach Buddhism"
Hume wasn't wrong, just pushy: On a "factual level," Hume made a valid point, says Paul Mirengoff in Power Line. Buddhism doesn't acknowledge sin, so it can't offer Christianity's promise of redemption and forgiveness. And Hume's counsel isn't so out of line with other unsolicited advice Tiger's received from talking heads. That said, next time Hume wants to convert someone, "I hope he does it privately."
"Brit Hume on Tiger Woods, no big deal"
What if Hume were a Muslim? It "seems kind of obvious to me" that it's rude for people to go about "disparaging other people's religions and touting their own as superior," says Jonathan Chait in The New Republic. What would Hume's conservative defenders think about, say, "Muslims going on television to blame Mark Sanford's Christianity for his adultery and urge him to convert to Islam"?
"Man's inhumanity to Hume"
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF BRIT HUME AND TIGER WOODS:
• Brit Hume: Tiger must find Christ
• Video: Brit Hume: Tiger Woods should be a Christian
• Tiger Woods' mistresses: A complete guide
• Early opinion: CGI "reenactment" of Tiger Woods' crash