This doesn’t have anything to do with gay rights or the ex-gay movement, but I think it’s revelatory of a certain worldview we deal with on a regular basis. This happened on Fox News this morning:
Brit Hume had some advice for Tiger Woods during this week’s “Fox News Sunday.” Woods will recover as a golfer, Hume says, but it remains to be seen whether he will recover as a person.
“He’s said to be a Buddhist,” Hume said. “I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. … Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery.”
This is the same worldview that beatifies Lisa Miller because she’s become a fundamentalist Christian. This is the same worldview that asserts that gay people can’t be Christians. This is the same worldview that worships Our Sarah Of The Perpetual Word Salad, even though they don’t really know what her positions are*, because she’s One Of Them. This is the same worldview that would never stop to question whether groups like the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for ‘Murka, as well as their assigned pundits, et al. might be lying to them through their teeth/playing their adherents for fools, because they know their followers will never factcheck them. Or if they DO factcheck them, they factcheck within the echo chamber: “Rush was a-talkin’ about it, and then I saw it on Hannity too, and then OneNewsNow had a press release about it, so I’ma gwine-a say this is probably true!”
Hume’s quote also references the obsession that many American Conservatives have with “the redemption story.” I’m all for changing course and righting past wrongs, but with these people it goes much further. Ted Haggard says he’s “redeemed” from Teh Gay? Well, praises be! Let’s not look at any of the science/question whether his claim is even valid. Nope, it’s a redemption story! Slurp, slurp, slurp. Convicted Watergate criminal Chuck Colson is one of the luminaries of the Religious Right. It’s a redemption story! Slurp. And again, since it’s a thread running through so many of our conversations these days: Lisa Miller. She can do no wrong because She Hath Been Redeemeth-ed!
Here’s the video, if you want to suffer through it. It’s kind of funny, because after Brit Hume says the weird thing about Tiger needing to find Jesus, Bill Kristol, who is usually the wingnuttiest of them all, sort of shoots this uncomfortable look because he’s sort of, um, Jewish.
*Yeah, that’s totally a Sarah Palin Parking Lot link. Watch it if you need entertainment for Sunday Funday!