Fox News analyst Brit Hume said "widespread media bias against Christianity" was to blame for criticism of his suggestion that Tiger Woods should embrace Christianity to find redemption. "Instead of urging that Tiger Woods turn to Christianity, if I had said what he needed to do was to strengthen his Buddhist commitment or turn to Hinduism, I don't think anybody would have said a word," Hume told Christianity Today. "It's Christ and Christianity that get people stirred up."
Sarah Palin and other conservative Christians have made similar claims. Is there widespread media bias against Christianity? Against evangelicals such as Hume and Palin? Against public figures who speak openly and directly about their faith? Against people who believe as you do?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on January 11, 2010 2:18 PM
To some extent, I think Brit Hume and Sarah Palin are correct in their views about the mainstream media, which has a tendency to depict committed Christians, especially conservatives, as narrow minded, dim witted, somewhat ignorant, and often bigoted.
Posted by Ramdas Lamb, on January 17, 2010 4:16 AM
Their interpretation of people's negative responses to their uninformed and pious conclusions are not from an anti-Christian bias, but because their remarks reveal how uninformed both of them are about the Christian faith as well as the psychology of human behavior.
Posted by John Shelby Spong, on January 14, 2010 12:26 PM
"God" will continue to be challenged by prideful hearts, my own of which is chief; and Jesus will continue to be scandalous, because in an ever-increasing humanistic society, there is no room for good news of unmerited grace, mercy, freedom, and affection.
Posted by Matt Maher, on January 13, 2010 12:23 PM
Brit Hume used the airways to proffer a latest version of Christian exceptionalism, and Fox News became an apt vehicle to allow millions to hear the basic dogma of evangelical Christianity: there is only one Truth, and only Jesus Christ can take you there. Left unsaid--"everyone else is doomed to hell."
Posted by Aseem Shukla, on January 13, 2010 9:57 AM
The constant bombardment of anti-Christian negative imagery attempts to persuade the American populous that this community stands against change, embodies intolerance and poses a danger to a possible John Lennon utopia. Yet, I am convinced the vast majority of Americans can discriminate between truth and propaganda.
Posted by Samuel Rodriguez, on January 13, 2010 3:09 AM
Maybe one day I will understand why evangelicals insist upon whining so much. The world is not against evangelicals. People just do not like to be judged, as so many evangelicals do, as being "less than" those who believe a certain way.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on January 12, 2010 4:44 PM
Hume's critics would do well to acknowledge that their objections were based on issues far larger than his honest suggestion about using the gifts of a tradition he loves. And Mr. Hume would do well to acknowledge that while his critics are being unfair and overly sensitive in their response to his comments, they are not crazy to have concerns about them.
Posted by Brad Hirschfield, on January 12, 2010 12:36 PM
Hume made the kind of choice American society affords, even encourages one to make, and later encouraged another person in crisis to make a similar choice. In a way he is right to ask: what is so surprising about that?
Posted by Greg M. Epstein, on January 12, 2010 11:48 AM
You can tell how biased the media is against Christianity by the number of broadcasters who ridicule it and speak openly about how their lives improved after becoming atheists. Well, there's Bill Maher. And then there's Bill Maher.
Posted by Herb Silverman, on January 12, 2010 9:57 AM
I have experienced criticism for my beliefs as a Christian and sometimes mean-spirited forms of retaliation from critics, but never persecution. Persecution of Christians is not present in our beloved nation.
Posted by Welton Gaddy, on January 12, 2010 9:33 AM
Suppose, on the other hand, that Oprah had publicly recommended that Tiger join a New Age group in order to achieve an inner harmony that would restore his relationships. I doubt that there would have been an outcry.
Posted by Richard Mouw, on January 12, 2010 9:10 AM
Religious leaders and apologists should accept that since their institutions are so influential in American life, we have the right to hold their every move up to the light. If they detect that the media are giving them a harder time today than in the past, that is because the bias that protected religion from scrutiny is beginning to dissolve. High time.
Posted by Daniel C. Dennett, on January 12, 2010 8:57 AM
If Hume is really concerned about media bias with regard to religion, he need look no farther than Fox news. Should Fox coverage of Islam, the bias and provocative statements of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and their programs, be attributed to their politics "or widespread media bias against Islam"?
Posted by John Esposito, on January 12, 2010 8:54 AM
Things like bad media don't just happen to people according to Buddhists. No, the law of moral causation means Palin and Hume need to look to their own past misdeeds to figure out why they may get bad press. From the perspective of the Christian faith, the closest parallel to Karma is the teaching that "you reap what you sow." In other words, those who sow pious criticism and religious shaming may get some back in return.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on January 11, 2010 8:21 PM
A journalist who promotes one religion over another is like a pastor, rabbi or imam who endorses a political candidate from the pulpit -- by conflating the Bill of Rights with Articles of Faith, damage is done to the integrity of both sets of values..
Posted by Jack Moline, on January 11, 2010 4:45 PM
Hume said what he said because Christianity, despite America's growing religious pluralism (including an increase in the number of Americans who reject all religion), still occupies a privileged position in the United States. He said what he said because he could get away with it. At least on FOX.
Posted by Susan Jacoby, on January 11, 2010 2:34 PM
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sherminta: I don't think there is a religious bias in the media, they just don't know how to discuss it. It's a touchy subject and the media has a hard...
firstname.lastname@example.org: What angered many about Hume's comment is not that it was about Christianity, but that it was about proselytizing - telling someone, "My rel...
MHawke: The media is supposed to remain unbiased. It was Brit Hume who crossed the line. Many Christains are so convinced of their own pont of vie...