This past Sunday on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume offered some commentary and advice for Tiger Woods in the wake of his scandal. I have no comment about Tiger. Brit suggested that Tiger should become a Christian because it offers a better path for redemption than Buddhism, which allegedly Tiger Woods adheres to. Hume suggested Tiger would have a better chance at pulling his life together if he became a Christian.
I’ve read that Brit Hume is a committed Christian, and for that I consider him a brother in Christ even though I have considerable worldview difference with him regarding his socio-political commentary. But when I saw the video of him suggesting that Tiger become a Christian, I cringed. This is not the way to engage people in private and much less in public.
America is not a Christian country even though Christians are still in the majority and therefore in power. That means that we have to use our power wisely. In Christ we have been given the model for how to use this power, and it looks like service. Christians in the spotlight should use their positions of power to shine light on the weak and vulnerable. Instead of using our positions of power to prop ourselves up or just hand out advice, we should use our power to protect others and look out for the interests of the weak around us.
Brit used his position of privilege not to help Tiger, but to tell him what to do. It was so offensive because it was an abuse of power. Tiger, who is in a vulnerable situation — he has been repeatedly berated by the media — was once again put down, this time in the sphere of religion, by Brit. A more Christ-like, servant-oriented method, would have been for Brit to defend Tiger. If he would have protected Tiger, the one who is weak, from the media, the ones who are strong — they are the group in power since they control the airwaves — I believe his actions would have been much more winsome. He could have said something like, “Tiger may have made a mistake, but the real sickness is in our media and in our American culture that feasts on the failure of its celebrities. I’m ashamed of the coverage this thing has garnished…” By doing this he would have embodied Christ to Tiger and to the watching audience which ultimately would have been much more attractive. And who knows, that might have actually had the effect Brit was looking for.