In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving
This was posted on The Seeker today.
Religion can be a very powerful force for transformation, both positively and negatively. Religion can take a mass murderer and turn him into a saint; Religion can also – if used incorrectly – turn a saint into a mass murderer. Indeed, if an evil outcome is traced back to religion, it is because it was twisted, misused, and misunderstood. For me, religion is always a force for good when used correctly.
Should Tiger Woods turn to religion to help his rehabilitation? That is up to Mr. Woods. No one but he knows the extent that religion guided his conduct and action. Indeed, he has credited Buddhist teachings – his purported religious faith – to aid in his self-improvement. Yet, given the revelation of his marital infidelities, I wonder whether he took all of his religious teachings to heart.
Nevertheless, no one is perfect, and religion can help Mr. Woods climb from the abyss he has created for himself and into which he has fallen quickly and forcefully. It can be the analgesic to treat the pain of his wounds; the plaster cast to set his broken bones; the bandages to dress his gaping wounds; the antibiotics to treat the infections that may lurk in the darkness; and ultimately, it can be the ladder he can use to climb out of the darkness and into the light.
Which religion should he choose? Once again, that is up to Mr. Woods. Indeed, I am particular to one specific faith (as is Brit Hume, incidentally), but I reserve any judgment against whatever faith path Mr. Woods would choose, were he to do so. While we are on the subject of Mr. Hume’s comments, it is true that there has been an outcry (mostly on the left) against Mr. Hume for his advice to Tiger Woods to “turn to the Christian faith” because the Buddhist faith does not offer “the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith.”
Yet, what would be the response if a Muslim had declared on TV that Mr. Woods should convert to Islam because Islam offers “forgiveness and redemption” that Buddhism does not? Would Tucker Carlson equally defend such a statement? Or, would it be denounced as “terrorist propaganda”? One can only wonder.