Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thoughts on American Buddhism.

Fox News analyst Brit Hume set off a bit of a firestorm recently, when he suggested that Tiger Woods would be unable to find forgiveness and redemption in Buddhism (Tiger's professed faith) but rather, Tiger should embrace Christianity.

Hume said. "So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.' "

Naturally, Hume's statement greatly upset the secular humanist slash atheists in the media who believe that Christianity should not be mentioned in the public arena unless one is criticizing and denigrating the faith. There's really no surprise in that. As Ann Coulter points out,
"Someone mentioned Christianity on television recently and liberals reacted with their usual howls of rage and blinking incomprehension."

Washington Post writer,Tom Shales, went so far as to say that Hume had "....dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet..." as if Shales really gives a rat's patootie about anyone's religion being dissed. Shales says that Hume should apologize for his remarks. That's nonsense, of course. From his viewpoint, Hume made a legitimate argument. We can agree or disagree with any or all religious arguments. Disagreeing with a tenet of a particular religion is not an insult to that religion. It isn't like Hume submerged a statue of the Buddha in a container of urine or spread elephant dung on a likeness of the Bodhisattva.

What was surprising to me was the reaction of some Buddhists. [Comments by Fox's Brit Hume upset some Buddhists.]
I would suspect that those Buddhist who have their robes in a tangle aren't authentic Buddhists, but American New Age Buddhist wannabes that make up a goodly portion of the Liberal fringe. I can't imagine the Dalai Lama being too upset with Hume.

A good many, so called, "Buddhists" are simply pretenders. Many have concluded that there is a spiritual component to this life, but, heaven forbid - if you'll pardon the expression - that they would look to something as provincial as Christianity. They can, more than likely, name the eightfold path or the five precepts, but actually observing these tenets is something altogether different.

We all know that many American Catholics are only Cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose what they wish to believe. There are American Buddhists who are exactly like that as well. ( "I believe in Buddhism. Not every aspect, but most of it," Woods told Sports Illustrated in 1996. "So I take bits and pieces. I don't believe that human beings can achieve ultimate enlightenment, because humans have flaws." )
Yes, there are Cafeteria Buddhists too; we just don't have a clever alliteration to describe them.

5 comments:

Amanda West said...

Tiger Woods is a Buddhist? Don't they believe in karma and reincarnation and all that? What's he gonna come back as now, a piss ant?

Al said...

Another example of how intollerant those who call for toleration really are. Christians are expected to shut up & not say a word, even to defend the faith. Other religions can prosylitize & evangelize all they want however. & while they are exempt from any criticism Christianity & esp Catholicism (authentic) is open game.

That having been said, I suspect you are absolutely right in describing those who have their saffron robes bunched up in a knot as " American New Age Buddhist wannabes that make up a goodly portion of the Liberal fringe."

Robert said...

@Amanda....
Tiger is already a piss ant.

LarryD said...

How about the "Buddhist Buffet line"?

Dominique said...

Darned, LarryD beat me to the alliteration. I was going to say "Buffet Buddhists."

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