Sunday, January 24, 2010
Well, here we are. Happy Sunday. A cold has sidetracked me today- to my way of thinking "Do unto others" includes not sharing The Virus in public meetings- so I am home instead of being at church.
Our local AM talk station, the birthplace of the Loathsome Toad, runs radio preachers on Sunday morning. Some are good...Arvid McGuire does a yeomans job of sharing the Bread of Life, some are nominal, and some make me think of Samson- how many conversions are slain with the jawbone of an ass? I got a surprise this morning: a preacher whose voice and style make me think that Pat Buttram is preaching from Beyond The Grave, began talking about Brit Hume. I do not know how we missed even hearing about the Hume / Tiger Woods Christian faith/Buddhism debacle, but we did! Not a word did I hear.
So Hume makes the earth-shattering gaffe of daring to suggest that if one's belief does not provide forgiveness and redemption, then maybe one should look into one that does, especially if one is in apparent need of those commodities. Oh, mercy! How insensitive, how closed-minded, how very FOX! Let the kneejerks begin...and such jerks there were.
The Dread Dormomoo (whose natal-day is today, so Happy Birthday!) said that what Hume did was perhaps the most altruistic act on the planet. All the Christian wants is to bring someone along on the way to Eternity. He wants to share the good things in his life with another. As Lisa Miller wrote in Newsweek: "I'm not at all sure why the liberal left is always so shocked that evangelical Christians want other people to become Christians."
The Sturm und Drang over Hume's comment betrays a complete ignorance of either Buddhism OR faith in Christ, which I'm sure comes as a shock. Hume was correct in his comparison: Buddhism offers a karmic balance sheet, with paybacks for all. The Gospel offers forgiveness, cancellation of debt, and a restored relationship with the God Who made the universe. The newsies of the MSM would look at a comparative religions course and scream "religious bigotry!!", except that the course would likely be taught by a bearded agnostic with suede patches on his elbows.
I have issues with back pain, because I tend to do stupid things with it, most of which involve not lifting with my knees- they hurt, too! - so I take OTC pain relievers from time-to-time. Tylenol is as effective as water to me, so I checked out a generic version of Doan's pills (I LOVE the old brands that identify their pills by their inventor: Doan's pills, Carter's little liver pills...) which are specific for back pain, They work, so the next time I hurt my back, I'll go back to Tylenol, because I don't want it to feel bad. Behold the reasoning of the MSM.
You can comparison shop ANYTHING except belief-systems.
Barry McGuire, the Eve of Destruction cat, was converted in the '70s, and said on a live album: "If you drop a rock on your foot, you don't go 'Oh, Buddha!'." The name of Jesus Christ is divisive and potent. The man who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." leaves no room for anything but contention in the religious marketplace. The world therefore does its best to make the name of Christ Jesus an empty thing, either an expletive, a punchline, or just another religious thing.
Brit Hume found this out, and was surprised. I am very happy that he was man enough, disciple enough, to make a clear statement, a prescription that would do Tiger naught but good.
(I was more than amused, and less, to read comments on Tom Shales WashPo piece about this. They were divided between "attaboys" to Hume, and jerks who repeated the tired old, phony gossip that Hume had carried on with a Fox newsbabe, and then accused him of being a hypocrite. Tell the lie enough....)
Being a Christian today is much like being a red shirt in the original Star Trek. To be one in the news media is to have a bullseye printed on the red shirt. Pray for Brit Hume, and other men and women, disciples of Jesus all, who labor in the thorny fields of the news.