The conservative defenses of Brit Hume have started to roll in. Hume, of course, upbraided Tiger Woods for his Buddhist faith and urged him to convert to Christianity. (On the air.) Former George W. Bush Minister of Propaganda Peter Wehner writes:
Some people obviously disagree with Hume; that is certainly their right. They can offer a different remedy to Woods if they so desire. They may think that a commitment to materialism, or atheism, or pantheism, or something quite different, is what Woods needs. Or they may think what Woods did was not problematic, and that he should be free to indulge his appetites and passions. If so, let them make their case. But Hume, in the context of the discussion he was having, should be free to make his case. And one cannot help but think that if Hume had recommended that Woods embrace Transcendental Meditation, the philosophy of Deepak Chopra, or the New Age movement, instead of Christianity, [Washington Post television critic Tom] Shales would not have been so offended.
and Ramesh Ponnuru argues:
If non-Christians are really offended that many Christians believe that Christianity is true and wish that other people would adopt it, well, they need to get out more. If the argument is that they're offended because he openly stated his view, then the question is why we should maintain an informal rule of social etiquette that forbids people from proclaiming their faith superior in important respects to other faiths.
Why should we maintain an informal social etiquette that discourages people from openly disparaging other people's religions and touting their own as superior? Gee, that seems kind of obvious to me. I strongly doubt that Wehner and Ponnuru would be happy to see, say, Muslims going on television to blame Mark Sanford's Christianity for his adultery and urge him to convert to Islam. Of course, I can't prove this, because no major television network would ever allow it. But I'd at least like to hear them say that they'd be happy to see their rule applied to all religions. Otherwise, they need to admit that what they favor is not some wild theological free-for-all in our public discourse, with all religions touting their superiority and disparaging others, but rather a privileged place for Christianity.
By the way, Aaasif Mandvi of the Daily Show makes the same basic point in a very clever way: