Tuesday, January 5, 2010

He can't say that!

Mollie Hemingway at GetReligion.org posts about the splenetic media reaction to Brit Hume's recommendation that Tiger Woods ought to consider converting to Christianity which, Hume said, has something to offer that isn't available from Buddhism. Obviously advocating the Christian faith [as Tebow could also testify] is far less acceptable in public than the denunciation of those who do. She reports that Keith Olbermann [I know, I know] "apparently said Fox News and Brit Hume were trying to force conversions and were 'just like Islamic extremists'" and Tom Shales of the Washington Post instructed Hume that if he "wants to do the satellite-age equivalent of going door-to-door and spreading what he considers the gospel, he should do it on his own time, not try to cross-pollinate religion and journalism and use Fox facilities to do it."

For engaging in comparative religion and making a recommendation, Hume gets accused of intolerance, proselytizing, and bigotry. This is another example demonstrating that many, especially in the media, don't get out much among people unlike themselves.

Hume, by the way, moved from reporting and anchoring to commentary the year before last.

This is what Brit Hume said:

The GetReligion site that Hemingway is writing for was created because of the sense that most journalists actually don't "get religion," i.e. they haven't a clue and are immediately out of their depth when reporting stories about religion — any religion. The site hasn't gone wanting for material.

She comments on several of the news accounts, including a favorable reference to the reporting of Cathy Grossman at USA Today and also this blog post from Grossman:
...Grossman quotes a Buddhist journalist simultaneously criticizing Hume and conceding that he’s right about the differences between Buddhism and Christianity vis-a-vis forgiveness:
However, Mr. Hume is right, in a sense, that Buddhism doesn’t offer redemption and forgiveness in the same way Christianity does. Buddhism has no concept of sin; therefore, redemption and forgiveness in the Christian sense is meaningless in Buddhism. Forgiveness is important, but it is approached differently in Buddhism…
Hemingway goes on to say:
I would love more discussions of the substantive differences between religions. The religious literacy in most newsrooms and, indeed, throughout the country, means that many people are unable to articulate the differences between major world religions. People who are religious or even simply religiously literate probably don’t have a problem acknowledging that each religion has different teachings.
Read the whole thing — it's instructive.

Hume can’t say that! » GetReligion

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