By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, Western Center for Journalism
Brit Hume let lose while discussing the Tiger Woods scandal with this statement, “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.’”
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This straight-forward commentary by Hume lit up left leaning pundits like a bunker buster over Bagdad. And as a result, a too often ignored debate over the proper role of religion in America was reignited.
Overlooked in the uproar surrounding the incident was this simple beauty: Brit Hume spoke the truth. Christianity is the only religion in the world based on grace. What other religion features a deity giving his life to die on the cross as recompense for the sins of men? None. Most other religions are based on the idea that individuals must make sacrifices to please a deity. Christianity starts with this simple premise; we love Christ because He first loved us. This is the compassionate message that Brit Hume shared with Tiger Woods.
Hume was immediately called a bigot for expressing his heart felt viewpoints. Keith Olbermann compared him to Islamic jihadists. Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution called Hume, “rude and crass.” And MSNBC anchor, David Shuster, maintained that Hume had somehow “denigrated” and “diminished” Christianity.
Evidently, tolerance is a one-way street. Christians are told to tolerate nudity, violence and profane language on TV. Christians are told they ought to tolerate homosexuality and other types of sexual promiscuity in the scripts of cable and broadcast TV shows. We are expected to sit by, as our children are taught what we believe to be deviant behavior, is normal. We are told to sit in silence as secular pundits promote a belief in evolution and worship at the altar of manmade global warming. These types of value statements are tolerated. Almost every religion besides Christianity is tolerated, but in America today, a Christian who speaks out in compassion and love, is bigoted.
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Things weren’t always this way in America. The founders understood the impact of the Christian faith on private and public morality. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” John Adams wisely noted.
George Washington states in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports…A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.” These leaders understood the link between the liberty that Jesus Christ brings, and civil liberty. Public declarations of God, including national days of fasting and prayer, days of thanksgiving, and speeches about God, were commonplace throughout America’s history.
As we have morphed into a radically secular culture, America has morally decayed. When people begin to believe that they are just evolved mammals rather than beings made in the image of God, a fundamental underpinning of civil society collapses. Is it any wonder that teen pregnancies, school shootings, suicides and a sense of purposelessness are rampant amongst our youth?
They think, “If I am just a glorified ape, why shouldn’t I sleep around, party all the time, end my life at will or even pull a gun on the classmates who pick on me?” People forget that the history of eugenics was based on Darwinism. Hitler, Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood, and those promoting forced sterilization in the United States believed and justified their beliefs using Darwinism. When we cease to believe in a Creator, we cease to believe that we are all created equal. As Thomas Jefferson said, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?”
As Christians we would do well to follow the courageous example set by Brit Hume. As the Bible says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
It is our job to speak the truth in love no matter what the consequences. While the world may call us bigots, our message is not of judgment, but of redemption. Radical leftists get the wrong view of Christians. We are certainly not perfect in ourselves as our public and private failings have illustrated. Christians are just sinners saved by grace, and we are offering the source of that grace to a world in dire need.