Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Krista Tippett, host of American Public Media's Speaking of Faith, on Buddhism, Christianity, and forgiveness in the context of Brit Hume's suggestion that Tiger Woods should convert to Christianity.


Krista Tippett

Comments [40]

still wants to know

In response to: Trent Gilliss, online editor/producer for SOF from Saint Paul, Minnesota,

You directed me to your website for information on your shows funding sources,, but I could not find any link to such information.

Jan. 13 2010 01:53 PM
gaetano catelli from downtown manhattan

@4: re: "Can you imagine ANYONE on a news program daring to malign Christianity? All hell would break loose."

can you say i-r-o-n-y?

can you imagine a *Hollywood* movie in which a male Christian cleric isn't a child abuser?

compare and contrast with the huffing and puffing over "An Education", notwithstanding that its female subject recently told a BBC interviewer that her real-life seducer was far worse than he was portrayed in the movie.

Jan. 12 2010 10:43 PM
yvonne from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I am always amazed that there is so much well-intended confusion about Buddhism:

Yes, it is a religion though not at all with the same assumptions as the Judeo-Christian-Islamic which is actually rather unique in its definition of god and experience of the cosmos compared to all that went before it. If you only define as religion those belief systems that are similar to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic, you end up excluding EVERYTHING ELSE! The word religion comes from "religare" (to bind together) and is about both creating social cohesion and providing answers to the incomprehensible and frightening.

Buddhism may sound extremely self-involved to some but the reality is the opposite as Buddhism centers around compassion for the other. Yes, the primary vehicle for self-transformation is the process of meditation and, to some, the process of meditation seems a self-involved one but, actually it is the opposite as it is a process of developing compassion for self with the understanding that this self contains nothing that is not true for all others; developing compassion for self leads us to compassion for all others and understanding of self leads to understanding of all others.

I was always taught in my own meditation practice (since 1986) that my practice was aimed first to remove obstacles between self and self and, then, to remove obstacles between self and other.

Those obstacles are rooted in attachment and it is attachment, not existence, which is the source of suffering. Attachment to what?? Could be attachment to using sexual affairs as an ego-boosting, stress-reducing, escapist drug ... Bill Clinton? Tiger Woods? It could be attachment to our own anger, opinion, etc. could be attachment to anything that becomes instead of being fully in the moment and we are never fully available to others if we are not fully present. The antidote for attachment in Buddhism is letting go.

Jan. 12 2010 05:03 PM
Eric Toro from Bronx

I am a Buddhist for almost 30 years. When I heard Brit Hume make those ignorant comments the first thing that came to my mind was "how could people who are paid millions of dollars on television be so ignorant". But then I realized it was Fox Five. Fomenting division and pandering to their far right conservative base is exactly what those commentators are paid to do. He is just doing his job.

This country is in serious trouble people! No outside force will save us. We need to look deep within and be honest with ourselves. This is our only hope.

Jan. 12 2010 04:35 PM
Zahid from Brooklyn

Did the call by a cable news analyst for Tiger Woods to convert to Christianity go too far?
NY Times Column : Let’s Talk About Faith (by Op-Ed Columnist Ross Douthat)

Jan. 12 2010 04:27 PM
Peg McMahon from Kansas City, MO

Obviously I can't know Brit Hume's intentions but it may have been as simple as one individual sincerely trying to help another person in trouble. Why is this so terrible? I am beginning to wonder if people are not somewhat prejudiced against Christianity. Considering some of Christianity's public voices, I don't blame them. But Jesus has always been more attractive than his followers. Don't let them obscure the real good in his teachings.

Jan. 12 2010 03:57 PM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

Hume's comments were ludicrous and insulting. Even William Kristol looked pretty uncomfortable--wonder if Hume thinks he should convert too.

Jan. 12 2010 02:13 PM
greg caulfield from New York


Jan. 12 2010 12:39 PM
Judith from Greenwich Village

I highly recommend a wonderfully funny and very wise little novel, by a very funny/wise author, Susan Trott. A Buddhist allegory, "The Holy Man" a sort of modern "Canterbury Tales", humorously takes on all personality types and Joe, the holy man posits, " If you look upon everyone you meet as a holy person, you will be happy."
You will want more, and there is even a sequel!

Jan. 12 2010 12:29 PM
Kathryn from Brooklyn

I have long wished that SOF would delve more deeply into Buddhism. While monotheism has been given deep and broad coverage in the show, it seems to me that episodes regarding Buddhism tend towards very general and even shallow viewpoints. Buddhist sects differ much more extremely from one another than sects of Christianity or Judaism. My particular Buddhism - which is considered a religion - has nothing to do with Monks, the Dalai Lama, Zen, meditation, celibacy, the 8-fold path, vegetarianism, or denial of any kind. It would be nice to hear these differences addressed.

Jan. 12 2010 12:11 PM
gerald from brooklyn

What I'd like to know is which branch of Buddhism are we talking about. Depending on which, the discussion can be very different.

Jan. 12 2010 12:05 PM
the truth!! from BKNY

Brit wHom??? Stop watching Fox New people.

Jan. 12 2010 12:00 PM

also, hume should see a shrink about his own feelings about his son, who committed suicide. i imagine someone in hume's position might be feeling a lot of guilt about not having saved a loved one.

Jan. 12 2010 11:57 AM
a. Mcnamara from Elizabeth, NJ

Ms. Tippet gave some very esoteric replies but the bottom line is that Buddhism - be it considered religion or philosophy - does have a very strong concept of right and wrong behavior and a strong structure of confession, regret, redress and repentence for those who practice the faith. The key concept in Buddhism is the Law of Cause and Effect, known as karma. You do wrong and it comes back on you, but you can mitigate it with particular prayers, meditations and other practices, depending upon your Buddhist denomination. If you do not mitigate it you get the results full force, now or in the future. It's that simple.

Jan. 12 2010 11:54 AM

here's a comment from hume's wikipedia page that makes it perfectly clear that hume WAS proselytizing.

[[Hume commented on part of the impact of his son's death: "I want to pursue my faith more ardently than I have done. I'm not claiming it's impossible to do when you work in this business. I was kind of a nominal Christian for the longest time. When my son died, I came to Christ in a way that was very meaningful to me. If a person is a Christian and tries to face up to the implications of what you say you believe, it's a pretty big thing. If you do it part time, you're not really living it."]]

so, in addition to sounding dull and pompous, hume has also lost his journalistic bearings. if he's going to impose his religious beliefs he should get a different kind of pulpit than the one he has.

Jan. 12 2010 11:54 AM
Moneek2008 from Upstate NY

buddhism sounds extremely self involved... perhaps that's what lead to Tiger having to satisfy his 'needs'?

Jan. 12 2010 11:49 AM
Rev. Mark Peake from South Jersey

One thing my buddhist friends might remember is this statement from Lao Tzu: s/he who says does not know, and s/he who knows does not say...

Jan. 12 2010 11:48 AM
nick from brooklyn

This comment is just a result of ignorance.

Ultimately, in any religion, it is up to the individual to take stock of one's actions and to undergo personal "redemption" or correction of mistakes on one's own. No outside influence can do this for someone, entirely. Buddhism, like any religion, is a vehicle wherein an individual is provided with lifestyle guidelines and practice to help arrive at personal clarity and responsibility.

Jan. 12 2010 11:46 AM
nick from brooklyn

This comment is just a result of ignorance.

Ultimately, in any religion, it is up to the individual to take stock of one's actions and to undergo personal "redemption" or correction of mistakes on one's own. No outside influence can do this for someone, entirely. Buddhism, like any religion, is a vehicle wherein an individual is provided with lifestyle guidelines and practice to help arrive at personal clarity and responsibility.

Jan. 12 2010 11:46 AM
GW from Manhatan

There is no Buddhist "law"against open sexuality. This is a myth. There is no Buddhist "law" against open sexuality. This is Christian and Biblical morality grafted onto a Philosophy by those that just don't get it and refuse to see things from a different point of view. In Tantric Buddhism, open sexuality is part of the path to liberation... monk or not. The celibacy path is actually a hold over from patriarchal morality.

Jan. 12 2010 11:46 AM
ronnie from harlem

one thing to observe: a buddhist would never chide another religion and bait someone over to their "side" so to speak, promising something swpiritual to them. Inner resource. Inner. TV host?

Jan. 12 2010 11:44 AM

I wish Ms. Tippett would speak to these questions rather than giving double-talk.

Jan. 12 2010 11:44 AM
michael from new york

Samuel Johnson's most famous quotation is "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

Today, it is obviously "organized" religion.

Jan. 12 2010 11:44 AM
Barbara Lewin from Yonkers, New York

Sadly, Hume seems quite ignorant of both Christianity and Buddhism.

About forgiveness:

Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side. - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Jan. 12 2010 11:43 AM
JK from Midtown

would brit hume say the same thing about judaism, and what would be the aftermath of that?

Jan. 12 2010 11:43 AM
Matt from UWS

With all due respect to Krista Tippett & SOF (I'm a fan), I think the best analysis of the Brit Hume fiasco aired 1/4/10 on the Daily Show:

The Best F**king Theological Team helps Tiger Woods find forgiveness by recommending the best religion for redemption.

Surprisingly informative and as expected, hilarious!

Jan. 12 2010 11:43 AM
pordy from Florham Park, NJ

I'm an atheist and have come to really enjoy SOF and Krista Tippett. Nice job

Jan. 12 2010 11:41 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Religion is NOT to be debated!

Jan. 12 2010 11:41 AM
GW from Manhatan

Buddhism is a philosophy and not a religion. Ask any Tibetan and they will tell you that. Hume on the other hand is just pompous, ignorant and shameless.

Jan. 12 2010 11:41 AM

Why does ANYONE need the framework of religion in order to be a moral person or to atone and to be forgiven?

Some of the most moral and responsible people I know are agnostics, non believers, etc. I've met more well adjusted and genuine people in my yoga class than I ever met in church.

Jan. 12 2010 11:40 AM
Cory from Planet Earth

Ask her if Hume's comment shows any knowledge of Christianity. He may be an equal opportunity idiot.

Jan. 12 2010 11:38 AM
scnex from harlem

buddhism is not a religion....

Jan. 12 2010 11:38 AM
JK from Midtown

lm from long island... im in the same boat as you. or is it an ark?

Jan. 12 2010 11:37 AM
JK from Midtown

are we even remotely surprised that drivel like that is aired on fox news? their ratings probably even went up after that statement, knowing the stupidity of their audience.

Jan. 12 2010 11:36 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

OK A: ignorant B: IF you know anything about Buddhism you don't have to convert to another religion.
C: Many innocent African lives were destroyed in the name of Christianity!

Jan. 12 2010 11:36 AM
LM from Long Island

I just thank God I am an atheist :-)

Jan. 12 2010 11:35 AM
Lori from Montclair, NJ

Thank you for doing this segment and what a great resource (SOF)!

Brit Hume clearly went off his meds -- how can he not realize that what he said is deeply offensive and inappropriate? Can you imagine ANYONE on a news program daring to malign Christianity? All hell would break loose.

Maybe Hume thinks Tiger should join Mark Sanford or David Vitter's church? Spitzer's temple? Morality resides within the individual -- not in a building, or a book, or a doctrine.

Jan. 12 2010 11:21 AM

Considering the continuous swirl of embarrassing behavior conducted specifically among the most judgmental, self righteous and vocal among the Christian religion, a less forgiving religion, if that's what this truly is, seems to me as a breath of fresh air.

WAYY too many get-out-of-h@ll-free-cards have already been passed out among American politicians and the assortment of bigheaded talking machines, in my humble opinion...I actually appreciate the accountability that Brit Hume apparently refuses to consider as legitimate, let alone holy.

Jan. 12 2010 11:13 AM
Trent Gilliss, online editor/producer for SOF from Saint Paul, Minnesota

@wants to know: Thank you for the compliment. We take a lot of pride in our online efforts and try to build on the quality conversations taking place on the radio with rich, relevant conversations online; striking imagery and multimedia features; complementary materials; behind-the-scenes production realities; original reporting; and more audience contributions. We often wish we could do more to serve our audiences.

We build and maintain our site within the SOF staff and have tried to make it an integrated effort. No outside vendors or contractors. It's an SOF staff team effort. With regard to your question, we list all our sponsors and funders on our home page at Cheers!

Jan. 12 2010 10:49 AM
wants to know

Where does Speaking of Faith get its funding?
It has an unusually highly polished website for a public radio show.

Jan. 12 2010 12:32 AM

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