Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, January 18, 2010

God Forgive Us

McArdle is McBoring me today, so let's see what's happening elsewhere.

Ross Douthat's old column on Tiger Woods' lamentable lack of Christianity was predictably stupid, but there is one especially interesting paragraph.

Christians believe in a personal God who forgives sins. Buddhists, as a rule, do not. And it’s at least plausible that Tiger Woods might welcome the possibility that there’s Someone out there capable of forgiving him, even if Elin Nordegren and his corporate sponsors never do.

Why should Woods use the Christian model of sin, forgiveness and repentance? It's not exactly the most successful model in the world. Tell someone he is born bad and can't overcome his bad nature. Tell him is is absolutely bound to sin because of the sinful actions of his earliest fictional ancestor. Tell him that his loving, all-powerful god will hand him over to his enemy in the fiery pits of hell where he will suffer for all eternity. Then say that all he has to do is beg his god for forgiveness and his sins will be wiped clean and he will have eternal life as a reward. Finally, tell him he is a sinner who is bound to sin again, and must be ready to ask for forgiveness again.

That's a nice soul there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

The underlying reason for the bad actions is almost an afterthought. It's not that Tiger Woods was controlled and molded by his father into the image his father wanted him to have. It's not the obvious issues with power, self-respect, pleasure and human dignity that Woods has. No, he breaks the Christian laws and therefore must beg the Christian god to forgive him. And when he breaks the Christian laws again he can be forgiven again, just like a good Christian--over and over and over.

But at least he honors his father. It would have been terribly sinful for him to do anything else.


M. Bouffant said...

Whatever the quote (Oscar Wilde?) is that being McBoring is the greatest sin.

Substance McGravitas said...

Tiger Woods might welcome the possibility that there’s Someone out there capable of forgiving him

Nobody in the entire world will ever forgive Tiger Woods. Everybody knows, everybody is angry, I tell you what. Tiger will walk the land wearing a dead albatross around his neck, and people will know to turn away.

Batocchio said...

Yeah, I posted on that one, too. Douthat mostly defends Hume, and often echoes him as well - but doesn't want to take responsibility for that. There's plenty of room for intelligent discussion of religion, but Hume and Douthat don't provide it.

Euripides said...

Why is the whole world blabbering on about Tiger Woods?

Why is he held to a greater standard than Newt Gingritch?

Why does the fact that Himalayan salt mine owners regularly impose indentured servitude not surprise me in the least?

blivet said...

"That's a nice soul there. Be a shame if something happened to it."

Very well put, Susan.

satch said...

Y'know...I'm thinking that Tiger would have known how to entertain "Chunky Reese Witherspoon", Bhuddists being the fun-loving bunch that they are.

bulbul said...

Here's the problem: as a wise man once said, Christianity is the right religion for you, if you do feel/know that you are a sinner. Both Hume and Asshat automatically assume Tiger Woods does, that there is something he should ask forgiveness for. But does he?
Also, both Hum and Asshat essentially advise Woods to convert to achieve a goal. Not, you know, because its dogma are true or something. That alone should tell you a lot about how Hume and Asshat see their own faith.
Alsoalso: "The idea that religion is too mysterious, too complicated or too personal to be debated on cable television"
Dude, ANYTHING outside of perhaps sports, is too mysterious and too complicated to debate on cable TV. A discussion of the fine points of Calvinist dogma or modern tomism vs. simple catchy slogans, which one is really productive and which one is more likely to take place on FOX?
What a dipshit.

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, blivet.

No doubt Douthat's biggest problem with Woods was that the latter was able to have sex without scrunching up his face and thinking of Jesus.