This weekend, Fox News contributor Brit Hume suggested that Christianity offers far more redemptive hope to Tiger Woods than does his Buddhism. Of course, that suggestion has left many fuming. However, upon closer inspection, the real outrage was not that religious advice was offered by a political commentator, but that in doing so, one religion was implied to be better than the other.
Tommy Christopher, columnist for Mediaite, in a piece entitled Ditch Buddha for Jesus Christ, notes as much:
On its face, Hume’s remarks do seem to suggest that Christianity is superior to Buddhism, and the idea that someone should abandon their own faith for yours does reek of arrogance. Those who are offended by Hume’s remarks aren’t out in left field somewhere. (emphasis mine)
Those who take offense at the notion that “Christianity is superior to Buddhism” — or that any religion is superior to any other — have not looked very carefully at religion. All religions make truth claims. Some of those claims overlap, many of them don’t. In fact, some blatantly contradict each other. Hinduism says there’s many gods. Judaism says there’s one. Christianity says sin is real. Buddhism says sin is an illusion. So how can they all be true when they all teach different stuff?
Make no mistake about it — The grail Hume trampled here was not Tiger Woods the golf legend, or Buddhism, but Americans’ vapid, illogical belief that all religions are equal. Pluralism is the altar Brit Hume profaned.
Those who take offense at the notion that “Christianity is superior to Buddhism” tend to see all religions as the same. It’s kind of like a smorgasbord with lots of beliefs to choose from — reincarnation, enlightenment, penance, ancestral worship, pantheism, monotheism, etc., etc. It doesn’t matter what you select, as long as you’re filled up. In other words, Truth is substituted for Taste. The problem is that most religions don’t see themselves this way; they hold that there are consequences to not believing them, whether it’s unenlightenment, unforgiveness, or in the case of Islam, threat of jihad.
Any religion that does not believe it is superior to another has no use existing. At least, there is no compelling reason for believing in it. I mean, if there is no real difference between Christianity and Buddhism (and remember, Buddhism itself was a reaction against Hinduism, thus inferring its own superiority!), if all roads lead to God, and if it’s just a matter of personal preference, then why believe in anything? Heck, in that scenario, Scientology makes as much sense as the Heaven’s Gate cult. A religion that cannot argue persuasively for its superiority over another is doomed to irrelevance, or hopefully, extinction.
The fundamental reason why people believe this relativistic nonsense is this: By claiming all religions are true, we release ourselves from the truth claims of any. Embracing a wishy-washy pluralism lets us off the hook.
Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” (Jon 8:24). That was before He claimed to be the only way to God (Jn. 14:6). Brit Hume crossed the line by inferring Jesus Christ was correct. And, in our pluralistic age, that, my friend, is the unpardonable sin.