On forgiveness and redemption

14 01 2010

I don’t really keep track of the news, so my own sense of urgency when it comes to posting about “current events” on this blog is almost non-existent. Brit Hume’s recent exhortation to the unfaithful Tiger Woods to embrace Christianity only caught my peripheral attention at first. But just like everyone else in this society, I too am a media junkie, and I finally broke down and looked up the controversial video clip on Youtube. My own reaction to it was quite mixed. On the one hand, someone becoming a Christian is a good thing in itself, I suppose. But what flavor Christianity are we talking about? That is a whole can of worms I will chose not to open here.

Mr. Hume thought that embracing Christianity would mean that Mr. Woods’ would then find “forgiveness and redemption”, and thus be a good example to the rest of the world. What this forgiveness and redemption would mean in the context of a kingdom not of this world is beyond me. I could not help but suspect the cultural Puritanism that has always been at work in American Christianity: show yourself to be among the predestined “elect”, and blessings will be showered upon you. I can’t pin such a subtext on Mr. Hume’s pithy media statements since they only have the depth of a transitory soundbite. But his words nevertheless take me back exactly ten years, to a place and a time where I lived side by side with other confused, broken people in similar circumstances.
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