From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Pat Buchanan today defended Brit Hume’s comments that Tiger Woods should abandon Buddhism and become a Christian if he wants true “forgiveness.” Buchanan said that Hume gave an “uninformed opinion,” but that it doesn’t necessarily matter that he was denigrating Buddhism, because “there are not a lot of Buddhists watching Fox.”
Today on MSNBC, Pat Buchanan defended the remarks, which have since generated some controversy.
Buchanan began by admitting “I don’t know what the Buddhist religion is, but there’s no doubt that Christianity is a religion of mercy and forgiveness.”
He continued: “I’m not bothered by Brit Hume doing that. I think he means well.”
Host David Shuster pushed back, pointing out that he was “denigrating Buddhism in the process.”
Buchanan responded: “Well, there are not a lot of Buddhists watching Fox.”
Shuster then read a post from a Buddhist blogger, who commented that Hume could not get away with saying the same thing about Judaism or Islam.
Buchanan fired back by … saying the same thing about Islam: “I don’t agree. Let me say, suppose you said things about the Muslim faith and that it tends to be in a lot of areas very intolerant of other religions. And it does.”
He went on: “I don’t know the Buddhist faith as I said, but I think this is Brit Hume’s view of it. I don’t know if he’s right or wrong about it.”
Tamron Hall then interjected that since Buchanan admittedly doesn’t know anything about Buddhism, and Brit Hume indicated that he too does not know anything about Buddhism, then perhaps neither of them should offer their opinions on the subject.
Buchanan responded: “That’s his opinion! OK, you say it’s an uninformed opinion. OK! it’s an uninformed opinion.”
From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Reactions to Hume’s comments have been unsurprisingly shocked, with The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan commenting that “the pure sectarianism of this comment – its adoption of the once-secular stage of political journalism to insert a call for apostasy – is striking.”
The Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen was also appalled:
It’s hard to even know where to start with something like this. How many high-profile Christians have had damaging sex scandals of late? Why is Buddhism deemed inadequate for those with family problems? Why is a senior political analyst for a so-called “news” network proselytizing, on the air, during one of the network’s “news” programs?
The folks on Morning Joe took a more jovial tone about the comments, with Mika Brzezinski snarking: “So find a religion that forgives you for your idiotic behavior. Change your religion and you’ll be OK!”
Andy Serwer piped in: “It’s also interesting that Brit Hume is an expert on Buddhism,. I mean that surprises me.”