Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Propriety and Brit Hume

The circus maximus regarding the affairs of Tiger Woods has entered into an entirely new universe of silliness thanks to the recommendation made by Brit Hume that Woods look to Christianity (apparently instead of Buddhism) if he seeks redemption from, and foregiveness for, his sins.

I'll refrain from exploring the (doubtless fascinating) question of which religion offers serial adulterers the greatest succor.  I'd like to consider instead Hume's comments themselves, the context in which they were made, and the reactions to those comments.

I think it's fair to say that there was nothing in the nature of the TV program in which he was participating which would lead anyone to expect that he, or anyone else involved, would indulge in religious commentary or recomendations when asked about Mr. Woods.  I think it's fair to say that most were surprised by his comments, and that they should have been surprised by them.

His comments were surprising, I suggest, because they were gratuitous, inappropriate and presumptuous.  A reasonable person in his place would neither expect to be asked how Tiger Woods should seek religious redemption, nor think it his place to point out the benefits of Christianity when asked a question regarding the future of any golfer, however skilled and popular.

So, I think it is quite reasonable for people to point out that Hume made himself appear foolish and pompous (granted, he always looks rather pompous) and that his comments were, at the least, a breach of propriety.

It's important to note, though, that in doing so one is not criticizing him for being a Christian, or voicing his (apparently) sincere beliefs.  Instead, one is criticizing him for conducting himself like a sanctimonious idiot on national TV when there was no reason to even consider conducting himself in such a manner.  In short, he was stupid and pretentious.  It was inappropriate for him to make such comments.

There should be nothing more to say than that.

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