It is my sincere hope that the first thing Brit Hume said a couple of weeks ago – in expressing his compassionate desire that golfer Tiger Woods might give serious consideration to the Christian faith – will have a powerful impact on the life of that young man.
That said, it’s the second thing Brit Hume said, the following evening, that resonated most profoundly with me.
Interviewed on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program about his comments and the virulently hostile response they have drawn from so many quarters, Mr. Hume made an observation that any honest observer of the current culture – whatever his or her religious inclinations – would have to acknowledge.
“It has always been a puzzling thing to me,” he said, “and the Bible even speaks of it, that you mention the name of Jesus Christ – and I don’t mean to make a pun here – but all hell breaks loose. It is explosive. It triggers a very powerful reaction in people who do not share the faith and who do not believe it.”
That explosive reaction is at the heart of an increasingly audible antagonism that is being expressed across the country…in classrooms and courtrooms, on the floor of state legislatures and the editorial page of newspapers, on TV broadcasts and radio call-in shows.
You hear it in the voice of the California college professor who – having encouraged students in his speech class to give an informative talk on the subject of their choosing – called the young man who spoke about his Christian faith a “fascist bastard,” urged the other students to walk out, and scrawled “Ask God what your grade is” across the evaluation form.
That anger foments everywhere…against a Wisconsin high schooler who drew a cross and a Scripture reference in his drawing for art class…against some Tennessee parents who prayed for the teachers in their children’s school…against the people in a Texas senior recreational center who wanted to say a blessing before meals.
I know, because the organization I help lead has represented these people and hundreds like them in recent years, how blurred the line is becoming in our culture and our courts between those who take offense at any expression of Christian faith and those who sincerely believe they’ve been persecuted, wounded, or damaged irreparably simply because they’ve witnessed that expression.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.