Brit Hume: Ignorant Televangelist

5 Jan

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You know those people who are total and complete assholes 167 hours in the week, and think it’s all ok if they ask for and seek forgiveness in church on Sunday?  This is the very embodiment of that, as far as I’m concerned.  And I don’t for a second think that all Christian people are like this – but I’ve known (past tense) quite a few who are.

A Buddhist blogger replies:

I don’t like to point out others’ faults, but given the record I would think Christians would show a little more humility about offering advice to the sexually wayward. As Jesus once said, let those who have never sinned throw the first stones (John 8:7).

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 are meaningless in Buddhism. Forgiveness is important, but it is approached differently in Buddhism, and I’ll get to that in a bit.

f one has failed, can Buddhism help one “recover”? I’m not sure “recovering” is a word a Buddhist would use, but let’s go on … the practice of metta, loving kindness, is essential in Buddhism. Metta is extended to all beings, including those who have wronged us — even Brit Hume — and also to ourselves. (See also the Metta Sutta.)

Sharon Salzberg said, “Metta means equality, oneness, wholeness. To truly walk the Middle Way of the Buddha, to avoid the extremes of addiction and self-hatred, we must walk in friendship with ourselves as well as with all beings.”

Destructive behavior is understood to be driven by tanha, thirst, which the Buddha explained (in the Four Noble Truths) was the cause of dukkha, unease or suffering. Buddhism itself can be defined as a path of practice that helps us see through the delusions that give rise to tanha. And people have successfully applied these practices for 25 centuries.

So, in the end, Brit Hume embraces ignorance – he confesses ab initio to know nothing about Buddhism, yet feels free to make wide, sweeping generalizations about it, and in so doing insults Buddhists and Buddhism.

But it’s ok.  Hume can be a colossal asshole until Sunday, then ask and receive forgiveness, and have a clean slate for next week’s assholedness.

12 Responses to “Brit Hume: Ignorant Televangelist”

  1. Greg Sheremeta January 5, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    When I was in grammar school, the nuns taught us that Catholicism was the one true way, and all other religions were wrong and would land your ass in purgatory. My belief in God as a young child was always tainted — I believed that I must believe in God, because if I didn’t, I would go to hell or purgatory when I died. I can’t recall how much influence my Catholic priests and teachers had over this thinking, but there must have been some.

    As a semi-practicing Buddhist, I appreciate that Buddhism teaches not to force your religious (or other) views upon others.

    Unfortunately, most of the Christians I know tend to want to preach and convert. Hume falls into that category. I don’t think he’s necessarily being an asshole — he’s compelled to be a virus and is using this ridiculous situation to do it.

    And yes, he is ignorant about it.

    • Joe Blow January 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

      I too, was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic schools in the 1970s and early 80s. I did hear a lot about Catholicism being the “one true” religion, but never any implications that protestants were unable to enter Heaven.

      I no longer practice Catholicism due to what I believe are inconsistent applications of Catholic doctrine. One example being that you can’t be in favor of legalized abortion, but it is perfectly OK to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite the fact that Pope John Paul II was a vehement opponent of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is but one example.

      You can disagree with and even actively oppose the official positions of the Church on capital punishment, the rights of unions to organize and prosper, universal health care, environmental stewardship, war, the role of government in aiding the poor, etc, etc. That’s all OK. You aren’t a cafeteria Catholic for repudiating the Church on those issues. But if it happens to be abortion that you disagree with the Church on, the you are denied communion and potentially excommunicated. I wouldn’t have such a problem with the Catholic Church’s position on abortion if it held members’ feet to the fire on those other issues with the same veracity.

      Now having said all of that, one thing I cannot accept is that most Catholics are fire-breathing zealots that want to convert everyone else. Sheesh, Catholics have lawn fetes with cheap beer and gambling, and if you go to one, you are never confronted with crazies telling you to convert or even to go to mass. I consider mainstream Catholics to be about the most easy-going of the Christian denominations. Even the Unitarians don’t like to polka and drink beer like the Catholics.

  2. Chris Smith January 5, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Being christian sure helped Larry Craig, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, David Vitter, etc. all stay on the straight and narrow path. I’m sure their wives are glad they weren’t godless buddhists as well!

  3. Gabe January 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Thank god I was raised in an agnostic household!

    Having said that, Brit Hume is a worthless fucking douchebag.

    • hank January 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

      Gabe–if you look at Brit Hume’s career, and his standard of living, yours in comparison might half fill a thimble. Looking at what you call a life compare his, he’d probably tell you to look in the mirror to find the douchebag. Or maybe–after you have 30 years reporting the news from around the world, And you become a network managing editor come talk to me, sonny!

      Sorry Alan, this one wasn’t about you.

  4. STEEL January 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    So it is he saying that it is OK to be a shit head if you become a Christian ? Or is he saying that if you are going to be a shit head you should join with the Christians?

  5. Joe Genco January 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    “ignorant televangelist”? Isn’t that redundant?

  6. BrianS January 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    I will NEVER understand how anybody can manage to reach adulthood still believeing in religion fairytales. ALL of it is so clearly made up for the sole purpose of surving different individuals’ personal preferences at a given point in time, depending on the culture/society they lived in at the time.

    To religion I say, bullshit.

  7. ccruckus January 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    I don’t like a lot of the ‘Christian bashing’ going on here, I’m a progressive who believes in social justice and tolerance and I have been ‘born again’ in the name of my savior Jesus Christ.

    Will I try to force my religion down your throat? No. Will most Christians? No.

    • Jon Splett January 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

      When someone tries to tell me the free market will fix every problem we face on health care, I attack that persons position because it’s ridiculous and stupid.

      You believe in a zombie. Some of us find that just as ridiculous and stupid regardless of what political positions you hold.

      And really, find me a branch of Christianity that doesn’t believe us ‘non-believers’ are evil sinners awaiting a fiery eternal doom. On any given Sunday anywhere in this country you can find a preacher condemning what most rational people don’t believe.

  8. ccruckus January 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Brian, your just as big of an ass as John Hagee or Brit Hume.

  9. BrianS January 6, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    @ccruckus

    I take that as a compliment. Many religious people have their foundations rattled when anyone points out the obvious: Religion—ALL religion—is a fairytale that the weak-minded grab onto like a security blanket. It’s sad and pathetic, not to mention extrememly deterimental to all societies around the world. People need to get their head out of their ass.

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