Sunday, January 3, 2010

Letter to Fox News about Brit Hume's Comments - For the Record

Even though I have zero faith that Fox News will do anything much about either Mr. Hume, or their general heavily pro-Christian bias, the five minutes I spent writing this was still worth it.

To Whom it May Concern,

I seriously wonder how Fox News, or any news organization, would think it's ok in this day and age to allow a broadcaster to publicly promote one religion over another. Brit Hume's assertion that Tiger Woods should abandon Buddhism for Christianity might fit fine on a Christian news organization, but has no place on the broadcasts of an organization that claims to be "fair and balanced." The public dismissal and denigration of religion is one of the leading ways hatred and warfare are created in this world, and as such, there is no place for it in our news media.

If Fox desires to promote Christianity, then please come out and announce that this is your intention as an organization. If not, then I urge you to have Mr. Hume apologize to the millions of Buddhists out there who have just had their religion dismissed on a supposedly objective news broadcast.


Nathan G. Thompson
St. Paul, MN


Marcus said...


I didn't see many Buddhist blogs calling out Woods on his breaking of the precepts, but when one person offers his personal opinion on what Woods ought to do now from a Christian perspective, suddenly the Buddhist blogsphere is lit up with talk of "being offended" and letter-writting campaigns.

If one comment giving one person's opinion causes this outpouring of letters, where does it stop? Do we end up carrying placards saying “behead those who say Buddhism isn’t a peaceful religion”?

I mean, I thought you said in your last post Nathan that you were saving your outrage for something that matters?

With metta,


Marcus said...


Looking at the quote from Hume, what he says is (a) he thinks that Buddhism doesn’t offer the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith and (b) he thinks Tiger Woods should turn towards Christianity.

What is it about this that makes you think Buddhism has been "dismissed and denigrated"?

It is plainly true that Christiany emphasises forgiveness more than Buddhism and Hume has every right, when asked, to express his personal opinion that Woods (having acted so unskillfully as a Buddhist) turn to something else.

Why does this necessitate an Internet driven Buddhist letter writing campaign to a news channel demanding a public apology?

If your concern is that Hume is wrong then perhaps you could ask Fox News for a few minutes of air-time to correct where he had made a mistake. Wouldn’t that be much better than demanding he apologise on air?

And, you know, even if Hume had insulted Buddhism, what of it? Are people not permitted to insult religions when expressing their personal opinions? Is our role to identify possible insults and then rush to the defence of Buddhism? Where does it stop?

I mean, sure, we’ll be onto something else tomorrow, but the lessons from this will go on for a long time. Are we to learn to respond to percieved insults by defensiveness and outrage? Or is there a better way?

All the best,


Nathan said...


People should not be telling others to convert to any religion on a news station. I'd say the same if he told Tiger to convert to Buddhism. The letter I sent had no outrage in it, nor do I feel any outrage right now.

Marcus, I feel at a loss as to how to respond to every message you send defending Christianity or any comments made about Christianity. I do my best to be respectful of all religions on my blog - I sometimes fail, but I do my best.

Fox News may be a private company, but thy use public airwaves, supported in part by tax payer money, to get their message across. As such, I think there's no place for people telling others to convert to any religion to find forgiveness. If Fox clearly stated their mission to be a political one, religious one, or whatever, then I would have no issue with Hume's comments.

As for Tiger, I didn't even know he was a Buddhist until yesterday, so there's no way I could have made a post about him breaking the precepts.


Anonymous said...

Ah, the ignorance and the arrogance. He won't be the first and unfortunately not the last, to openly assert his beliefs are superior. There is little hope for people who actually believe their invisible being is real and yours isn't.

And many are already trying to rationalize this ILL Logic. If people go unchecked for bigotry and harmful speech, people can find themselves in a mini-Crusade or another kind of war. Once enough people become convinced their 'being' needs physical defending, there we go. I think people are mistaken to look down on other countries and their wars and beliefs all because we're technologically advanced. To think a Western war can't happen is kind of like ignoring tornado sirens.