The picture on the television screen and the audio of reporter Brit Hume’s words struck me as contradictory. Just below the image of the reporter’s face, the insignia “Fox News” appeared in three different places. Yet, the content of Mr. Hume’s comments was not that of a news reporter so much as that of a televangelist.

Speaking about Tiger Woods on “Fox News Sunday” January 3, 2010, Mr. Hume observed that Mr. Woods’ recovery “depends on his faith.” Was that a personal opinion of the reporter, a theological belief, or a “breaking news” story? After telling his audience that Mr. Woods is a Buddhist, Hume said, “I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is (sic) offered by the Christian faith.” Evidently the reporter has expertise in both Buddhist and Christian thought. With such self-assumed authority, Hume addressed Woods personally, “Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

Having served as a Christian minister for 50 years, I am delighted to see my faith discussed in public. However, I am not pleased to see my faith used in a utilitarian manner whether the issue is personal forgiveness or national politics. Unfortunately, the manipulation of faith has become so common that to many it now seems acceptable.

I have two problems with Mr. Hume’s comments.

First, a news program should deal with news, not evangelism, whatever religion is involved. Even though Mr. Hume’s remarks occurred during a portion of the program devoted to commentary, a news anchor should not assume an authority to compare “redemption” in various religions. That is a legitimate subject for inter-religious dialogue, but not for a news report. Mr. Hume was delivering an opinion, not the news regardless of how many “Fox News” insignias adorned the screen.

Second, the implication of Mr. Hume’s suggestion to Mr. Woods is utilitarian–you will get a better deal related to forgiveness in Christianity than you can get in Buddhism. Christianity is not a means to an end; it is a holistic faith to be embraced and lived. Seeking the easiest form of forgiveness–though such a description of forgiveness in Christianity is woefully inadequate and misleading–is not a reason to become a Christian. The life of a Christian involves far more than a response to wrongdoing.

I would hope that, as a reporter of the news, Mr. Hume would report truth to people of all religions with mutual respect and not use the cover of “a news cast” to engage in proselytization. Ironically, Mr. Hume is engaging in a practice that most religious leaders in the nation try to avoid.

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  • Sam

    What Mr Hume said is true. Only Jesus Christ offers true forgiveness. Jesus said he is the way, the truth and the life and no one come to the father but through him. There are many who believe in God but few who believe God. The name of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed and not be politically correct

  • leslie edwards

    Thank you for your concise and thoughtful response to Hume’s comments on Fox news. I was appalled and saddened at Hume’s remarks. The desire to convert Tiger via a news broadcast may appeal to some, but I think most Americans recognize that attempting to convert a sportstar on a national TV news program is entirely inappropriate and borders on being laughable.
    To debase religion and Jesus’ message to this degree shows a shocking lack of understanding of spirituality. In the future I hope that Mr. Hume keeps his opinions on other people’s spiritual needs to himself. Fox should censure Mr. Hume for crossing a line from journalist to evangelist.

  • Essence's response

    Jesus the man came as the embodiment of The Christ Spirit. His teachings were to let all know that the same spirit lives in us. Jesus the man did not put himself above any other. He allowed this inner Spirit speak to the Spirit that God created in all. He also instructed us that all the things that he has done can be done by all and greater things we shall do. That is why one should not limit themselves to a religion this can cause divisiveness. The one thing we all have is this Christ Spirit that dwells in us. God gave us the will to choose the use of this great power. Some choose for good as Jesus did and some choose for bad like the ones who chose to crucify Him. What we witnessed is not the man Jesus being resurrected but the Christ Spirit that lived in Him. He never told any one to worship Him. He guided us to worship God through The Christ Spirit that dwells in us, which resided in Him and all of us. We are to strive to live as He did through The Christ Spirit which is the Son of the Living God. Many many in the past, in the present and in the future is being guided by The Christ Spirit, which resides and have done and is doing great things. No one has the authority to question another’s way. Observe the action through righteous eyes. Through the eyes of the Christ Spirit and maybe just maybe we can see the good that God has created. There will always be those who choose not to do the right thing. Put your faith in the one who sees all and knows all, The Christ Spirit that resides within.

  • Essence's response

    I aggree with you Leslie Edwards. I am not against the church, but I do not affilliate myself with religion dogma. God the creator have gave us the guidlines to live by. The person in the pulpit should deliver it as it was dilivered by Jessus The Christ.

    PEACE

  • Essence's response

    Mr. Humes faith is not a religion. Faith is a belief in a power that is greater than what is seen outside of ourselves. Christianity is not a faith it is a religion. Show me where in spiritual doctrines that says Christian philosophy is the only way. Jesus did not come to start a religion. He was a working living messenger of God the Creator of all. He was not a religion. I wonder who or what are you worshiping or serving. It is thinkers lke you the contribute to divisiveness in the world.

    PEACE

  • Terry Byrd

    I often wonder when Christian leaders will step up and speak out more about the politization of their religion. The mission is to bring people closer to God instead of driving them away with their (talking heads) opinions on condemnation and forgiveness.
    My inner voice, from God, tells me that proselytizers need to rid themselves of condemning other peoples. “Judgement is mine sayeth the Lord.” needs to be adhered to. There is way too much accentuating the negative rather than the positive.
    It is the attraction of positive and negative that holds the entire universe together, from the largest celestial bodies to the smallest part of the atom. It is this positive/negative that God has made available to all. If you choose to tap into the positive, you will lead a positive life. If you choose to invite the negative into your spirit, be prepared to have a negative life.
    To me, religion is as simple as that and all other opinions are just that, opinions. I can not, in good conscience, condemn any one for how they believe for that would be tapping into the negative.
    Here is a simple prayer I use every day: “Oh Great Creator, fill my heart, mind, body, and soul with your positive energy and let it chase the negative out and let this positive energy manifest itself in whatever way it will on this day.”

  • Erwin

    …Even though we are sinners, God can only forgive us. He is always there when you need him. God the creator have gave us the guidlines to live by. So always pray to God…Jesus did not come to start a religion. He was a working living messenger of God the Creator of all……

  • REV. JACK OWENS

    GOD ,, JESUS HOLY GHOST JOHN 14:6 JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN. THIS OTHERS ARE SO CALL DOCTRINES ARE LIES THE BIBLE TELLS IN THE LAST DAYS THERE BE PEOPLE TURN FROM THE BIBLE.

pingbacks / trackbacks
  • […] On Rev. Gaddy’s blog, “State of Belief,” he wrote of the incident, “I would hope that, as a reporter of the news, Mr. Hume would report truth to people of all religions with mutual respect and not use the cover of ‘a news cast’ to engage in proselytization. Ironically, Mr. Hume is engaging in a practice that most religious leaders in the nation try to avoid.” […]

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