I am calling this post 'Buddhists vs. Brit' in accordance with the open call request -- but I need to add that when we use the term 'vs.' as part of anything relating to spirituality, we're beginning our journey on very shaky theological ground -- whether it's OS vs FOX, or Buddhism vs Christianity.
In general, when we speak of religion, conversations tend to become this-or-that, right or wrong -- even within our own denominations -- and we don't get very far.
When we move beyond the institutional idea of the faiths, and into the more mystical ties that unite us, we see that Buddhists need no proof of worth, and that Christians require no defense.
As an author on the saints, who embody for me the mystical life of the church, I can see the overarching themes of love, forgiveness and transcendence that flow through and enliven all the world's faiths. But they may materialize in different ways. And these different ways are... beautiful...and not pitted against each other.
Christianity is known in part for its sharp conversion of heart. Many spiritual leaders and masters have come to help and guide humanity through the centuries (Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, etc) and have offered us tools to live a better life closer to the Source, whatever we may call it.
What Jesus did in particular was to demonstrate death and resurrection in a vivid, shocking way -- the kind of change that takes place when there is no one else, no where else, nothing else to turn to; when we are cornered and surrounded; when friends have become our enemies (like Woods); when we have to turn ourselves over in a manner having nothing to do with a process or practice, and become a new creation, in one moment surrendering our former life. This change applies to souls from St. Paul getting knocked off his high horse, to St. Francis of Assisi suffering as a prisoner of war, to down-and-out Bowery drunks who -- one day -- look up from the gutter.
It is a death to self, or emptying of self, as Buddhists might say, and perhaps the same experience of awakening as when Buddha touched the earth in enlightenment.
But in Christianity this shift can be as sudden and jarring as all the new life and elements that explode into the universe when a star dies. This is what is 'unique' about Christ, and perhaps why the 12-Step Programs of recovery found their beginnings in the Christian tradition, regardless of the openness to the inclusive images and terminology of a Higher Power that evolved. Recovery would require such a surrender to new life. And it would seem that Tiger Woods is in need of some kind of recovery.
While Brit Hume may have blundered into Tiger Woods' personal beliefs and practices, perhaps his suggestion came from a genuine place or (who knows) personal experience.
In any case, Hume considered that the solution to Tiger Woods' problems might be spiritual in nature -- and for that, he was correct.