Tiger Woods: Should he ditch Buddhism for Christianity? FOX’s Brit Hume thinks so. (With video.)

[PAST UPDATES: See Hume on O'Reilly video from evening of Jan 14 here. See how The Daily Show, Don Imus, and others have initially responded, here. Tuesday evening: new radio interview with Hume.]

[JAN 6 UPDATE: CNN's Rick Sanchez gets the Buddhist perspective on Hume's comments from Ethan Nichtern of The Interdependence Project. Click here for our report.]

Okay, I’ve tried to avoid getting into the whole Tiger Woods story. There’s been way too much of it.

But this, via The Raw Story, is just too notable to, um, not note:

“Buddhism is inferior to Christianity when it comes to forgiveness of sins, according to Fox News pundit Brit Hume. Tiger Woods should turn his back on Buddhism and become a Christian to be forgiven for cheating on his wife, Hume told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday.”

Click here for the rest. Or watch the video below. (Thanks, Steve Silberman, for the link.)

There’s so much that could be said here. So — what do you think of Hume’s statement?

Comment away! (The commenting has been really been amazing. Thanks, commenters, and please keep it up. Dialogue like this is fascinating.)

(And note that others in the press have now picked up on this story. For example, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Huffington Post and Mediaite. [And lots since, not to mention all the skippers of the Buddhablogosphere.] Will the mainstream media start to look at what Buddhism is, or what it isn’t? Hmmm.)

More/timeline:

Tiger Woods: Should he ditch Buddhism for Christianity? FOX’s Brit Hume thinks so. (Jan 3, 2010)

NEW video/update: Brit Hume addresses Christianity-versus-Buddhism flap on The O’Reilly Factor; O’Reilly doesn’t think Buddhism was denigrated; Pat Buchanan thinks otherwise (Jan 4, 2010)

Video: The Daily Show, Don Imus, Dan Savage, and Howard Stern weigh in on Brit Hume’s view of Buddhism (Jan 5, 2010)

Brit Hume-and-Buddhism update(s): New WTOP interview; Daily Show #2
(Jan 5, 2010)

Finally: Big Media goes for a bit of the Buddhist perspective on Brit Hume, via Ethan Nichtern and CNN (Updated with video link) (Jan 6, 2010)

Tiger Woods’ addresses his Buddhism in media statement: “I lost track of what I was taught” (Updated) (February 19, 2010)

“Mindful Divorce” judge on Tiger Woods: Buddhism can help (February 20, 2010)

121 Comments

  1. Simon
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    i think a "LOL" is in order

  2. Posted January 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Well, that's certainly true.

  3. Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    1) Why does anyone listen to Brit Hume?

    2) Hume is presenting an authoritarian/ethnocentric worldview – inherent in many forms of Christianity – which assumes (as do most worldviews) that anyone who does not share that worldview is doomed to some form of damnation. From his viewpoint there is only one (god-given) way to live and to do otherwise is to be wrong (at best) or evil (at worst).

    3) Buddhism tends to reject these limited ways of seeing the world, even at its lower (read: mythic and magical thinking) stages. Buddhism has authoritarian adherents, too, but they tend not to be representative of the religion as a whole, which is not true in Christianity. And most Buddhists seek a compassionate acceptance of other views, while Christianity tends not to do so.

    4) Finally, why does anyone listen to Brit Hume?

  4. Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Well, that's the kind of analysis I can go for. Thanks, W.H.

  5. Chrissy
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I say "go Brit Hume" for making the statement he made. The guy (Tiger Woods) had everything this world could offer but he lacked knowing God's ways and the saving grace of Jesus. Buddhism is a nice and peaceful tradition, but one must know Jesus in order to be in the glory and grace of the one true GOD.

  6. Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Perfect example of authoritarian, ethnocentric thinking (the "only one true way" approach) – thanks Chrissy!

  7. peacefulplace2
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Buddhism is "vast and profound" not just "nice and peaceful".

  8. James Fisher
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    What shouldn't be missed in Hume's comments — as well as much that one hears on Fox News — is the real fear flowing beneath the surface of such comments. They leap on an opportunity to try to "prove" the invalidity of beliefs and ideas that they most fear. Has anyone else noticed that Hume always looks like he's about to burst into tears? It would probably be a good thing for him if he could.

  9. Roman G
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Hume demonstrates ignorance of Buddhism. Of course there’s no forgiveness of sin in Buddhism. There’s no sin concept in Buddhism ! — only right and wrong actions of which one must endure the consequences. And, since there’s no creator god in Buddhism, there’s no one to do the forgiving.

    This ignorance shouldn’t be surprising, though. People who take the authoritarian, ethnocentric approach in religion tend to see no value in outside ideas and close their minds to them . . . even if understanding such ideas means a broader view of the world and other people.

    And now my inner 12 year old has something to say: Brit Hume is an arrogant tool !

  10. Posted January 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Woods has already turned his back on Buddhism, and Hume has turned his back on Christianity. I'd say it's fair and balanced.

  11. Posted January 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That says so much in so few words!

  12. CharlieInCo
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    *sigh*

    Its like listening to an Objectivist talk about Buddhism — largely characterized by the amazing ability people have to develop an opinion on a topic without, like, actually knowing anything about a topic.

  13. linda
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Forgiveness as Jesus taught it would not be limited to a special group. He also taught not to judge others. Jesus was a buddha.

  14. Mary
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    From what I have seen, people (whether they are seen as horrible sinners or not) need a way of thinking that fosters personal responsibility, wisdom and compassion. Christianity is not the only way of thinking that will do this. We don't need a god to be personally responsible. It is just as simple as offering respect to oneself and others. The motivation for this kind of life does not have to be a god – it could just be happiness. I'm sure Tiger isn't feeling very happy right now…I'm not sure how he figured that getting into this mess would make him happy in the long run. Actions have consequences, and that is a lesson taught in Buddhism as well as Christianity. If one wants to have a happy, fulfilled life, one can try turning to Jesus, or one can try behaving in a way that produces lasting happiness. Dishonesty and lust are not the way to happiness in Christianity or Buddhism.

  15. Posted January 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    are we honestly surprised by this type of ignorance? it's much easier to denounce and talk down something you have no comprehension about…

  16. Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    There is no more room in this world for someone to spew such ignorance and not be called out on it. There is just no excuse, period.

  17. namaste
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Who is Brit Hume? You know why I'm really happy and have a great relationship? Cause I'm Buddhist and I never watch things like this. Or worry about Tiger Woods.

  18. Posted January 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    The only people Tiger needs to ask forgiveness from are his family and himself. But Hume needs to ask the Buddhist community for forgiveness for such remarks, and if he does so with sincerity, we will act compassionately and give it to him.

    My biggest concern is that he just completely misrepresented Buddhist ethics and morals to his viewers, further polarizing Buddhism here in the US.

    Also, don’t try and tell people what religion they should follow. That’s just duechebaggery at its lowest form.

  19. Posted January 4, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    The main problem I have with this whole story is that Tiger Woods has never claimed to even be a Buddhist! His mother, a Thai, is, but he has said on more than one occasion that he does not follow Buddhism. So that makes Hume look even stupider than he may have at first blush!

  20. Peter
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    So according to this man, if you're a Christian, it doesn't matter whether you cheat on your wife with 100 women or if you murder an entire school, you can always be forgiven for your sins. Sounds likes a GREAT religion.

  21. Posted January 4, 2010 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Actually, here's a SunSpace piece about Tiger, his mom, and Buddhism:
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=8119

  22. Posted January 4, 2010 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    First Noble Truth alert: "When my son died, I came to Christ in a way that was very meaningful to me." – Brit Hume http://bit.ly/4H9eqv

    Hume's son committed suicide.

    That said, I think that Hume's employer, Fox, has done more than any other big media organization in history to increase the amount of suffering, delusion, aversion, violence, rage, and just plain ignorance on the planet. Fox is not a news organization; it's a propaganda machine for the American equivalent of the Taliban. That fact shows itself in incidents like this. Not sure what to do about it, though; I don't believe this country has ever faced anything like it.

  23. James
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Boycott all advertisers on Fox Networks until an apology from Brit Hume!!!

  24. Posted January 4, 2010 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    Was Hume speaking for Fox News, or giving his own personal opinion?

    If his opinion is that Christianity is a religion that emphasises forgiveness and if his opinion is that Woods would do well to become a Christian (as he clearly didn’t do a great job in terms of morality as a Buddhist) – doesn’t he have a right to express that opinion?

    Of course we can disagree with him, but, why all the outrage? Why the letter writting campaigns? Why this knee-jerk defence of Buddhism that's going o all over the blogs right now? How long before we’re carrying placards saying “sack from the tv anyone who says Buddhism doesn’t ofer the same forgiveness and redemption as the Christians”

    Wishing Woods, Hume, Buddhists and Christians everywhere well,

    Marcus

  25. Posted January 4, 2010 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    What we're feeling is exasperation, kinda like when Pope John Paul II came out with his book that said Buddhism was nihilistic so you're better off being Catholic. These are people with VERY big microphones, and when they promote gross misconceptions about Buddhism, such as we don't the ethical systems through which an adulterer can get back on track and he'd be better served by Christianity which does, I think it's our responsibility as first generation Western Buddhists to offer correction.

  26. Posted January 4, 2010 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    As far as I can see, Hume was simply saying (a) he thinks that Buddhism doesn’t offer the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith and (b) that he thinks Tiger should turn towards Christianity.

    So why the exasperation? I've seen blogs talk about "disgust" and "offense" and Hume going "beyond the pale", and , of course, there is now a letter writing campaign to Fox News demanding that Hume make an on-air apology.

    If the concern is that Hume is wrong then perhaps people could ask Fox News for a few minutes of air-time to correct where he had made a mistake. Wouldn't that be much better than demanding through angry blogs and a flurry of outraged letters that he apologise on air?

    I mean, sure, we'll be onto something else tomorrow, but the lessons from this will go on for a long time. Are we to learn to respond to percieved insults by defensiveness and outrage? Or is there a better way?

  27. CamUhR1
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    What Hume meant was, "Tiger should convert so that I may forgive him". A buddhist would just forgive Tiger (and Hume too,lol).

  28. Mike B
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Watching this made me nauseous for some reason.
    But the fact that Hume obviously knows nothing of what makes a Buddhist a Buddhist – and then pushes his solution towards another “faith” is laughable. As Karen states before here, he already abandoned Buddhism…enough said. The “forgiveness” factor is only as good as those actions that follow the “forgiveness” – regardless of faith, religion, or personal ethics.

  29. beninabox
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It's the old "do unto others" thing, Marcus. This was a senior editor of Fox news, not some guest. How would you react if a NYT editorial said that if Tiger wishes to become a better person, he should become Jewish since Christianity merely offers 'get out of jail free' cards without requiring actual changes in behavior? (and yes, I know I'm distorting things, just as Hume distorted things. Problem is *I* know it, Hume doesn't). Would you be stomping around about the Anti-Christian Liberal Media?

  30. beninabox
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    What Hume meant was, "Tiger should convert so that I may forgive him"

    Hit the nail on the head!!

  31. Posted January 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    It's annoying when someone talks about something they don't know anything about. Buddhism is the repelling of all labels including Buddhism and Christianity. It's the same "God" after all.

  32. Brandon
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Marcus, I agree that there is a better way to respond. Some of the responses demonstrate that Buddhists, despite studying the Four Noble Truths, can be just as attached to something. That shouldn't be a surprise though, we are human after all. Your comment does have a very pragmatic element, namely angry responses regarding Hume's comments won't put Buddhism in a positive light.

    That said, many of us have turned to Buddhism because we think it offers something helpful or useful. I am, as I imagine a significant number of other posters are, very concerned that Hume would characterize Buddhism in this way because it could discourage people from learning about it.

  33. Posted January 4, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    > why the exasperation?

    Imagine if Walter Cronkite had said on CBS after Bernie Madoff was arrested, "Well, you know, Madoff is going to have a hard time redeeming himself if he keeps up with that Judaism thing. Jews just don't have the same access to God as we, as Christians, do. If Madoff really wants to make amends for the evil he's done, he'll convert."

    That's why the exasperation. Hume's remark was ignorant and unseemly for a major media figure. It's one thing to say "My life is better since I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior." It's another to criticize other people's religious lives, particularly when you don't know what you're talking about.

    Am I exasperated at Hume? Not so much, though it would be nice if he took this opportunity to, say, crack open a single book about Buddhism before he utters another word about it in public.

    But Hume's relentless promotion of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (sic!!!) did much more damage to this country than his comments about Tiger Woods.

  34. Mike B
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Couldn't agree more!

  35. Philip
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Tiger,
    I'm a christian bro from Pgh,Pa. Encouraging you to leave buddism because it has no
    freedom to give you. Jesus said, He who the Son sets free is free indeed. Your sins
    will be gorgiven if you turn your life over to him. I'm also a songwriter. I wrote a song
    titled, "What Must I Do To Be Saved" . It's on my CD titled, "Time To Get Serious"
    with my group singing it. Hope to hear from you. God Bless you bro! Philip!

  36. C K
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Who the f@#$ is Brit Hume? Who cares what he thinks?

    Religions are different paths to the same destination.

  37. Moss
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Arguments against Buddhism: http://kwelos.tripod.com/argumentsagainstbuddhism

  38. Mike
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I don't think we've thought all this out. When the monotheists figure out enough about Buddhism to see what it really does (removes questionable beliefs), they may come down on us like a hammer. The peaceful aspects of the dharma now holds them in check. The near future may be tough. We may need to learn to be content in the reality of that particular situation.

  39. jdizzle
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Those arguments are about as well thought out as Mr. Hume's.
    It looks like Mr. Hume is suffering (to me he looks physically ill) and its quite obvious that Tiger Woods is.
    Its important to remember that we are dealing with other sentient beings here. And just like us they are clearly experiencing samsara.
    Its easy for us to talk and become annoyed with public statements and behaviors but its also a bit too easy for us to get caught up in the discussion and forget that we are talking about real people with real problems.

  40. El Loco
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    There’s so much that could be said here

    Because we could say something doesn't mean we should. Mr. Hume expressed his supremely ignorant opinion about Buddhism and Christianity. If you let it go, it would just be one comment by some TV talking head. The more attention you give it, the more attention you bring to it.

    Just let it go.

  41. Posted January 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    That's true. But giving it attention isn't necessarily a bad thing. Speaking of which, here's Pat Buchanan and MSNBC on just this. Note the quote of a Buddhist blogger! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34691708%… . Go, Buddhist blogosphere!

  42. Posted January 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    We also got a TON of comments on Facebook. See them herE: http://www.facebook.com/notes/shambhala-sun/tiger

  43. JayhooRay
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I don't think what tastes so weird for me here is really the false duality of Buddhism v. Christianity. It is the evangelism. And reading through the posts is creepy because there are evangelist appeals peppered in here. The idea that there are Christian evangelists lurking on a Buddhist community web site is a little spooky…if the intention is to convert rather than understand. That's really it for me. It is always harder for me to interact in relationship with others who seek to convert rather than achieve mutual understanding and respect. That applies to Buddhist and Christians…and anyone else who trends toward absolute views that allow for judgment and ultimately the beginnings of dehumanization of the other. So easy for us all to do…silly human.

  44. Bren
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Most Christians believe after they die they will RIP, because of this belief they are a rule unto themselves. They do what they want when they want. Christians you may meet your enemies again after you die. Please be more careful of your actions.

  45. Posted January 5, 2010 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Just curious… how has Woods "turned his back" on Buddhism?

  46. Posted January 5, 2010 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    It's like the Pee Wee Herman quote… he said when he was little he used to pray to God for a bike, but then he learned that God doesn't work that way, so he stole one and asked for forgiveness.

  47. Posted January 5, 2010 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Brit Hume is a fake Christian… or at best one who uses his Christianity to feather his own nest. A "real" Christian would have called up Tiger and asked if he needed a shoulder… or just prayed for him.

  48. Linda
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Simply, Brit Hume does not speak of himself, he has a knowledge of an " Higher Power" His Name Is Jesus Christ.. "You who are weary, tired and need rest are free to come to Me" Jesus Said this in Matthew 11: 28-30 don't know why you have a problem that, Jesus is offering help & love in the purest form.

  49. Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    This guy is apparently googling for this conversation and dropping this link. I've run into it three times this evening.

  50. Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Brit's a joke. I took it as such: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/01/unforgivin

    Other Buddhist writers didn't, understandably, and one was featured in USA Today and on MSNBC where Pat Buchanan argued in Brit's defense: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/01/pat-buchan

    Sound and fury! With a side of ignorance.

  51. Jim
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that Hume has a point. If you're planning to cause pointless suffering to others, it IS convenient to believe that you have an automatic guaranteed pass for it.

  52. Paul Belserene
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    The two religions in my experience that do confession and absolution really well are Catholicism and Buddhism. The first with a priest, the second with a preceptor. I'm not sure that Brit Hume is talking about the Catholic sacrament of confession, though.

  53. Joe Cummings
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    This is why Christianity is a fool's religion. You can do as much evil as you like, because Jesus always forgive. Such a world view is hugely detrimental to world peace, environmental conservation, personal and family relations and civil society. It's why most wars, historically, arisen in lands dominated by monotheistic mentalities, ie Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These three Middle Eastern religions are the scourge of humanity.

  54. 10chan
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    technically, even Christians aren't monotheists. Father, Son and Holy Ghost? (Hell, sometimes Mary mixed in?) Sounds like Polytheism to me…..

  55. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    NEW VIDEO: http://is.gd/5MuQv (Hume on O'Reilly Factor)

  56. David
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The 'forgiveness' of a vengeful god seems far more likely to provide remedy for the rampant narcissistic entitlement in our society that Tiger's behavior would seem to reflect than does the effort to develop true compassion for all other sentient beings? I hope that Brit Hume's beliefs provide some comfort to him but have little sense that either he or Fox News have much respect for most beliefs outside their limited world view. Or care much about actual solutions to the underlying societal problems which are really of concern to most compassionate and thoughtul human beings that I know.

  57. Posted January 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I'm with you Marcus — thanks for saving me the trouble of creating my own comment.

  58. Rand Gaynor
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    It is painfully obvious that the three big theistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) have contributed nothing but lies and hatred to our world. The sooner they are eradicated, the better off we all will be.

  59. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Of course, you are doing what you denounce. You have no idea if Hume knows anything about Buddhism.

  60. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    If you're distorting things, you're a nuisance to this conversation. If you *know* it, then you're even worse. Guess you're the only one entitled to your opinion and to voicing it. Left-wing silliness…..

  61. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    VIDEO: Daily Show takes on Hume: http://is.gd/5MW23

  62. peacefulplace2
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    duechebaggery!? LOL LOVE IT!

  63. peacefulplace2
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Boil this pot dry and you will see the residue — ignorance.

  64. Posted January 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I'm torn.

    I'm not sure if Hume chose the right forum for his remarks, but if he was legitimately trying to offer help or solace to someone else the best way he knew how,..I find it hard to condemn him for that.

    Unfortunately, only Hume knows what was in his heart.

    And while I think he made a lot of errors in his speech, in a larger context, I agree with his point about looking for redemption or working to become a better person by taking a spiritual approach. I just don't think it needs to be necessarily a Christian (or even Buddhist) path.

  65. Paul
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    FOX News = Hate Speech

  66. Jan
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    The ignorance displayed is disappointing, but not surprising.

    First, is Tiger Woods even a practicing Buddhist?

    I don't imagine too many devout Buddhists regularly cheating on their spouses. If you go to any sangha, I'm sure you can find couples who've been happily married 20 years or more. But I'm sure there are plenty of Christians, Wiccans and atheists who've messed up and gotten divorced. I'd like to see one religion that didn't have less-than-upstanding adherents!
    Just because someone claims to be member of Religion X doesn't mean they are automatically perfect.

    Too bad this board has become a place to bash other religions than Buddhism!

  67. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh, nonsense. Really.

  68. Posted January 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Is Woods a practicing Buddhist? Well yes and no: http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=8119

  69. Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Uh, no.

  70. Jan
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    According to the "news" his mother is very disappointed.

    But then again like I posted, every religion has members who have made mistakes (sometimes spectacularly bad ones), or who haven't lived up to its highest teachings.

    What has really rubbed people raw is that Brit Hume, a public figure, used this moment to call on another to convert, implying one religion as ineffective and inferior to another. He used national broadcast time to do what should have been done, if at all, personally and in private. There's no excuse for that!

  71. Andy Bee
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Who listens to Foxx, anyway?

  72. MystiuqeLotus
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but Hume's comment clearly shows that he has NO IDEA of what Buddhism is.

  73. MystiqueLotus
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Not only does Hume not understand Buddhism, he doesn't truly understand Christianity either — I think he also owes the Christian community a big apology.

  74. Nick
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    What a difficult situation we've been thrust into. How do we respond? Part me desires to educate; another part of me says there's nothing to respond. Maybe, we should respond with silence, simile and nod our head.

  75. Philip Rodgers
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Marcus,
    That the most Buddhist sentiment I've seen written. I actually admire Brit Hume for speaking from his heart. He believes that is the way to save Tiger. He is Christian. He basic believe is that Jesus is the "Way, the Truth, and the Light" so I would expect him to express his views in exactly the way he did. We as Buddhist should be accepting of him and just express our views and not castigate him for his.

  76. Jan j
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Then maybe people would think Buddhists agree with Brit Hume?

    If someone is deliberately perpetuating a falsehood about Buddhism, then someone should speak up, not with hatred but just saying, "No, Buddhism doesn't imply that its ok if you habitually cheat on your spouse" or "Thank you, but I prefer not to convert to your religion."

  77. Posted January 6, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    It's hardly the same "God". Jehovah is unlike anything found in Buddhism. Thankfully.

    Apuleius

  78. Posted January 6, 2010 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    Yeah, like, you know, Tiger should really needs to learn about those Christian Side Hugs:
    http://egregores.blogspot.com/2009/11/god-purpose

  79. Posted January 6, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Passion, aggression, AND ignorance!

    Brit Hume hits the samsara trifecta!

  80. Matt
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Like other Buddhists, I cannot help but feel some indignation at Brit Hume's remarks. But it seems more fruitful to focus on the questions that this raises about our own religion. What is the place of forgiveness in Tibetan Buddhism, or of sin? I am a little bothered by the comments of some posters, which I have seen here and elsewhere, that there is no forgiveness in Buddhism since there is no sin. That seems too glib to me. Of course Buddhism does not have the Christian notion of original sin (though the idea that we have been in samsara for countless lifetimes would seem to be a related concept). But to simply dismiss the notion of sin altogether makes it sound as if a Buddhist blithely accepts instances of misconduct as little "mistakes." We don't want to diminish the weight and the seriousness of wrongdoing in this way. Likewise, forgiveness–of ourselves and others– is extremely important in Buddhism. Yes, ultimately there is no wrongdoing and no wrongdoer, but it is important to do more than merely mouth slogans; we have to work with our relative perceptions of these phenomena. So when one does Vajrasattva practice, we are encouraged to feel strong regret at our past misconduct and to seek forgiveness. Of course, it must be emphasized that it is not some external deity that is forgiving us, but the experience of being forgiven is essential to spiritual progress.

    I suppose what I am really reacting to here is the sort of pseudo-sophistication that one sometimes sees in Western Buddhist circles–as if we Buddhists have transcended all those silly Judeo Christian notions of sin and forgiveness. Buddhism may conceive of these notions differently, but we have to deal with them and indeed, the Dharma gives us highly effective ways of doing so. After all, in the end, aren't we here really talking about the process of freeing ourselves from karma?

  81. Posted January 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    CNN, between 3-4 EST: Ethan Nichtern will address the Hume controversy on Rick Sanchez's show.

  82. Posted January 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    CNN, between 3-4 EST: Ethan Nichtern will address the Hume controversy on Rick Sanchez's show.

  83. GWR
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Hume's comments prove that he knows little about Buddhism. Using the word "Sin" to describe Wood's actions may work in a Christian context, but not in a Buddhist. There is "Suffering" and "Non-Suffering." Woods, IF he is a Buddhist, certainly is guilty of "Sexual Misconduct", which violates one of The Five Precepts, and ,it can be argued, veered from the Eightfold Path.

    Hume's comments serve no purpose. Karma will out.

  84. Face In the Crowd
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    There’s nothing to respond to. Those who wish to find out what Buddhism teaches after hearing Brit Hume will search out information to learn. They will then find out what the Dhamma is. Brit Hume speaks, and those who are interested enough to learn will do so, those who already have opinions and fixed minds will not.

  85. Jerry
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Let he who is without "Zen" cast the first "Koan."

  86. CCM
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    While his statement definitely displayed his ignorance of Buddhism I do not really see any reason to be offended by it. He did not insult Buddhism. He just said that (in his view) christianity offers forgiveness where Buddhism does not. While it is an ignorant claim, it is not outrageous. As a christian, he believes in forgiveness coming from a higher being. Why should he say otherwise? As a Buddhist, I believe in nothing to forgive as we have no concept of sin – only cause and effect. Why would I say otherwise? That doesn't mean that stating my belief is a slam on Christianity.
    Rather than reacting out of 'outrage' and acting like we Buddhists have some higher understanding of truth (i.e. putting ourselves at a higher level than christians), this could be seen as a chance to correct some misrepresentations and misconceptions about Buddhism in the public forum. I for one welcome the opportunity.

  87. Posted January 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    As we knew, Tiger Woods is only "kinda sorta" Buddhist. This USA Today piece explains: http://is.gd/5RGn6

  88. Andrew Werling
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Christianity does not have representatives, though some sects do. Each Christian kind of becomes a representative on his or her own. I consider myself a Christian (if a very unconventional sort of Christian) and I can say emphatically that Brit Hume does not speak for me. I believe there are many paths and they all lead to the same place. Enlightenment, salvation, the next phase, whatever. They are all valid, unless people are getting hurt.

  89. Jonathan
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    1) Let's leave Fox out of the discussion – has been beat to death by the Left.

    2) Yeah! , for a fair and balanced discussion of religion in the United States.

    3) Both sides should take this as a rare chance to educate the other without ad hominen attacks.

    4) No sins in Buddhism?

    5) The Hume opinion was offered during the COMMENT section of Fox News Sunday.

  90. Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Even if Brit's dream comes true: Tiger converts to Christianity and get's forgiven by God, he still has to answer to a higher power — his wife! And she won't forgive him no matter what religion he chooses. Like the bumper sticker says: "Jesus may love you, but I still think you're an asshole!" If they both wind up in heaven they'll need separate rooms!

  91. David Chapman
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    As the central tenet of Buddhism is not to increase the suffering of others, I will not go on the attack against Brit Hume. I always thought he was fabulous at ABC and I still like him now that he is at my favorite network. He voiced an opinion I do not agree with, but as the one email I received yesterday stated quoting The Buddha, "People with opinions just go around bothering each other." His comment bothered me at first, but ask yourself the question, how does this affect me? As I am not proselytizing and attempting to convert others to Buddhism in my daily life, who cares what Brit Hume said? I make no comment on which faith on the path through life is the right or better one and cannot say mine is better than Brit's. If Brit's comment made him feel good then so be it–it really does nothing to me. Today's society seems to take to much offense at past comments and too little notice of the present. One cannot stuff the words back into Mr. Hume's mouth so forget it. You ruin the precious present when you dwell on the past.

  92. Kim Cochrane
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of whether Tiger believes in a Buddhist approach or whether he follows a Christian tradition, he has made some terrible mistakes and needs to look inside himself to find out why he would be behave in such a way and try to get on a path that will bring him to fulfillment. His transgressions have more to do with his family of origin than on what he might or might believe right now.

  93. Doris
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I suppose you presume that there are no Christians that have strayed in marriage? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  94. Doris
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I suppose he presumes that no Christian has ever strayed in marriage? How many huge scandals we have seen of your Christians?

  95. Matt
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Well I already posted on this issue yesterday, but I think it is worth repeating. Brit Hume's remarks I believe are an opportunity not only to educate non-Buddhists about our beliefs, but also a good occasion for (Western) Buddhists to clarify our own understanding of the dharma. As I said in my previous post, It seems to me that the distinction between Christianity and Buddhism is overstated with regard to the notion of sin. No, Buddhism does not adhere to the idea of original sin, or that wrong doing is a transgression of God's law. But to hold that there is no sin, only cause and effect gives a very misleading impression–especially to non-Buddhists. It makes it sound as if avoiding the negative acts of body, speech, and mind is a kind of scientific calculation: just as I refrain from putting my hand in a fire to avoid getting burned, so I should avoid wrong doing,as otherwise I will cause myself pain. Yes, Buddhist teachers will sometimes talk this way to emphasize the inevitability of karma but I do not believe this (or the similar idea that there are only "skillful" and "non-skillful" actions) constitutes an adequate presentation of the Buddhist view in this context. It makes it sound as if wrong doing is morally neutral from a Buddhist perspective–as if the only reason to avoid it is to avoid suffering for oneself. That cannot be the case. Part of the process of waking up is feeling genuine regret for the negative actions we have done. You feel bad just because you have caused pain for yourself and others (not for violating a law of cause and effect). Would I have that same feeling for having misunderstood a scientific causal law–say gravity? Now of course the teachings tell us that we are not to hold on to those feelings of regret, to indulge in guilt. That is where forgiveness comes in in Buddhism: we acknowledge our wrongdoing in the presence of awakened mind, repent of them, and vow never to repeat them. Then we can let them go. Is that SO different than what we find in Christianity? I am not suggesting we should identify the two–of course the larger framework is different in each case–but why exaggerate the difference? I believe that doing so does not adequately bring out the transformative power of the dharma.

    Am I the only one who is having this reaction to the discussion? It is not just you, CCM; I have seen variations of the same point made again and again in the last few days.

  96. Andy
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Some comments from a novice on all of this. Most of the comments seem to carry tones of criticism or superiority either in ideology or logic. I suppose that is understandable as this is a blog from a Buddhist magazine. One blogger posted a link to an interview of Tiger on his thoughts about Buddhism for him. One of his remarks was that he accepted for himself some concepts within Buddhist thought but not all – stating in particular that he did not accept the concept that humans can reach nirvana for the simple reason that all humans are imperfect. I saw this as a very interesting comment given his awareness of the world's perception of him as the greatest golfer (the closest to perfect) that ever lived. Obviously, to him – having struggled for perfection at one task since early childhood – reaching perfection (nirvana) was itself an illusion.

  97. Andy
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Picking up from my last post …I would note that, as I understand it, from a Christian perspective, one reaches perfection at the moment one is released from their sins and sits with the Christian God. I think that many Christians believe, like Tiger, that humans are fundamentally flawed (the original sin) and that, therefore, attaining perfection in one's lifetime (or a multiple of lifetimes) is an impossibility and a belief in such is an illusion. Being a Buddhist, taking responsibility for one's choices and condition in life, may be seen as too difficult and ultimately leading to failure as one, no matter how hard one tries, can never reach perfection (salvation / nirvana) merely by doing good. I understand Jesus said as much – that good acts alone were not enough, that salvation required acceptance of Jesus and the Christian God as one's personal savior.

  98. Marc
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I've always liked this quote: the less people know – the more stubbornly they know it.

  99. sandokai
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Words no longer mean what we think they mean.

    What Mr. Hume really said was: "I would like to have a cup of tea with Mr. Woods and I'd invite the Buddha and Jesus. It would be inadequate to have one without the other."

    You see — it's all a matter of translation. We must listen more carefully.

  100. JasanK
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Why is Tiger Woods' marriage or behavior any of our business? Or Brit Hume's for that matter?

  101. Andy
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Final – In Buddhism, there is no God and certainly absolute devotion to the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh nor Buddha himself, taking one on as one's savior, will insure the attainment of nirvana – Milrepa notwithstanding. The point being that there is no issue between a Christian view of life's experiences and a Buddhist one – only different ones, different fine points in existential conditions.

    I am sure there are some teachings on this question – the inherent imperfection of human beings as making attainment of nirvana contradictory and an illusion itself – which is fundamental to the Christian view, and I wouldn't mind someone sharing them with me. I am a idiot when it comes to any real knowledge of these teachings and I apologize to you for my ignorance and any misstatements. I just thought Tiger's comment given his life experiences was interesting.

  102. Pomponette
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    They listen to him because: He's there

    A Buddhist

  103. Pomponette
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Phillip, Way to promote (foist) your religion and your record at the same time, bro!

  104. gotta go
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Maybe he's an "American Buddhist".

  105. Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    This week, while everyone’s been getting worked up about Brit Hume’s personal opinions on Tiger Woods, the Chinese have sentenced Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche to eight and a half years in prison on what, in my opnion and that of most of the rest of the world, those who are bothered to look, are trumped up charges in an unfair trial.

    http://savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-report

    And yet, while Buddhists and Buddhist monks are being tortured and sent to prison on a daily basis, the western Buddhist blogoshere don’t even notice, they are too busy writing letters to Fox news demanding that someone apologise for giving their opinion.

    Wouldn't it be lovely if, when Buddhists raised their voices, it wasn't to express outrage and offense against an individual giving his own opinion on a TV channel. It'd be so much better if instead of Hume, everyone this week had been talking about Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche and writing letters not to Fox but to the Chinese government.

  106. Joan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    D'accord!

  107. Joan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Nicely said. Thank you.

  108. Joan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the laugh.

  109. Cat
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I just wanna know when did Brit Hume become God!?

  110. Joan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for passing on this link.

  111. Posted January 9, 2010 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Hume is dumb…he is a closed minded Christian, a closed minded man and what more he works for Fixed News, the hate people on the air or in the air, using fear at every step to create hatred and fear in their listeners. Peace be on him and I need to go sit awhile, peace ko shin, Bob Hanson

  112. Brinda
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    If Oliver O'Grady was forgiven for his sins, I love being an atheist.

  113. Mathu Venkat
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Buddhism is in existence for about 2500 years old before christianity and it is Siddhartha or Buddha ( The enlightened) who first proposed compassion and forgiveness in to religious practice (Dharma). It is a historical fact that when the great Ruler of India at that time, King of King Asoka realises all his conquest of territories has only resulted in deaths, destruction and suffering for the people ,he renounce everything and embrace buddhism and ask the monks for forgiveness of his sins.
    Too bad there is no Jesus Christ at that time to ask for forgiveness. Is britt Hume stupid and arrogant or totally ignorant of history?

  114. Marius
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Any publicity is good publicity. If it gets people talking about Buddhism, I think that is great. Plants a good seed.

  115. Leslie
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Marcus, Hume does have a right to hold that opinion. My guess is that the outrage on this forum is rooted not in Hume's Christianity being of value for him, but the misrepresentation of Buddhism AND the appropriateness of an influential news source, in many of its stories, preferencing one religion over another. FOX does preference Christianity and to a lesser degree Judaism.

    My personal observation as I read the story is the collective tendency to reduce Buddhism, Christianity or any religion to one generic soup when in actual expression, there is a countless variety of each of the traditions and all have a developmental component. While I self-identify as Christian, my Christianity is not ethnocentric and traditional which Hume's Christianity is (and this is not a bad thing…I see traditional Christians doing amazing things on the planet…and destructive things on the planet). Rather, I'm oriented towards a cosmocentric view which holds that all religious traditions are fingers pointing to the moon with each rooted in the cultural milieu out of which it sprung. And, all have practices that can invite practitioners into their own evolution. Each tradition is a refraction of the Wisdom that has no religion at all.

    Yes, Hume does have a right. And Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and atheists have a right to name a bias if they see one…the manner in which we name it is a whole other topic.

  116. Posted January 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    New comments from Hume: http://gawker.com/5445889/brit-hume-needs-to-stop

  117. Deb
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Steve. Really?
    Spewing that kind of hatered, and lack of compassion toward someone (anyone – even those whom you disagree with) who lost a son to suicide (i.e. mental illness) certainly can't be a precept of Buddhism. Sounds like you are confusing religion with politics.

    Peace!

  118. Posted January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Not sure how closely you read my comments, Deb. I don't hate Hume. Having lost one of my best friends to suicide, I know how much pain is involved for everyone. But I sure despise Fox as a destructive force of mass delusion. I wish Hume luck in freeing himself from it someday.

  119. Nathan
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    This is nothing but the wickedness of the Heavenly Devil (Papiyas, Mara) at work. This is the "fundamental darkness" described by Nichiren at work in American society. Fox News is nothing but a propoganda channel for fascist right wing Christian fundamentalists who seek to make Christianity the national religion and disenfranchise other faiths by making their adherents second class citizens. Brit Hume's statement is nothing but straight propaganda designed to obscure the true nature of "salvation" (read: liberation) in Buddhism and to slander it's doctrines.

    He and those like him are misguided vandals who seek to deface the palacial refuge of the Law. They will grasp the flames of hell in the next life if they do not lay down the sword of the cross and repay their debts of gratitude to humanity and all living beings by upholding compassion. He, his bosses, and his network, are enemies of Buddhism.

  120. J.A. Tiamson
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hume’s statement shows that he knows nothing about Christianity. Jesus himself, the founder of Christianity, warned people against judging others. There is no problem with Buddhism and Christianity. These are two great religions followed by countless peoples. The problem is when people like Hume masquerade as a Christian and then negate other religions. People have to re-assess their beliefs once in a while and study if what they are following are the core ideas of their founders, or just the manufactured dogmas of their religious leaders. Because of his statements, Hume showed that he is nothing more than a desperate echo of dying institutional religions like institutional Christianity.

  121. Sinha
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Palzang.. just cause he never did pander a religion doesn't mean he said he "wasn't" a buddhist. Proof is in the pudding, if you check his book on golf, where a close up of his Golf grip with call outs on the grip position, fingers etc. shows a white strand around his string. It also has a call out saying that it was given to him by a buddhist monk for protection… The book was published long before his scandal. So it's safe to say that he did practice buddhist way a while back.

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