Something about that name . . .

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The secular left — and some self-described Christians — criticize Brit Hume, the Fox News commentator, for suggesting that the solution to Tiger Woods’ problems is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Hume made his remarks on “Fox News Sunday.” Disclosure: I also appear on Fox News.

Hume said, “My message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.”

That is a message shared for 2,000 years by those who follow Jesus of Nazareth. It apparently continues to escape the secular left that Christians feel compelled to share their faith out of gratitude for what Jesus has done for them (dying in their place on a cross and offering a new life to those who repent and receive Him as savior).

In a day when some extremists employ violence to advance their religion, it is curious that many would save their criticism for a truly peace-bringing message such as the one broadcast by Brit Hume.

Criticism of Hume has taken two forms. One is that it is hubris to presume the Christian faith is superior to other faiths. The other criticism is that Hume used Fox as a pulpit and if he wants to preach he should resign from the network and go door to door like a Jehovah’s Witness.

Tom Shales, a TV and culture critic for The Washington Post, wrote, “Darts of derision should be aimed at Hume, not at his employer or at Fox News as a social force.” Shales said it’s, “worth a Google or two to investigate the origins of Hume’s seemingly newfound fervor.”

Shales discovered that the “cause” of Hume’s conversion was his son’s suicide in 1998.

Many people can testify to an event that leads them to focus on the meaning of life. For me, it was being fired from a job in which I had placed my “faith” that success would bring peace and purpose.

People use the name of Jesus Christ every day. For many, it is employed as a curse. Few seek to silence those who blaspheme using His Name. Speak ill of the Prophet Muhammad and you risk a fatwa and crazies storming your house. Speak ill of Jesus Christ and no one will come to your door. He may be the last “religious” figure one can still crucify without penalty, at least in the short term.

Christians like Hume are not trying to impose anything on anyone. They know the difference Jesus has made in their lives and they care enough about others to want to share His message in the hope that other lives will be similarly transformed.

When he was president, Jimmy Carter shared his faith with South Korean President Park Chung Hee as the two rode in a limousine on the way to the airport. The New York Times ludicrously editorialized about a possible violation of church-state separation.

It was Jesus of Nazareth who accurately predicted the hostile reaction to people who spoke well of Him. He said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.” (John 15:18-21)

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.] ©2010 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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