Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I sent to Fox News

Below is what I sent to Fox News to express my disappointment with Brit Hume's comments today on Fox Sunday. I urge that you also send something to Fox, but as others have noted, use sensible and reasonable language because whatever you send will be viewed as representative of all Buddhists. Remember, if you write from Right View using Right Speech, you can't go wrong.

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I would like to express my extreme disappointment at Brit Hume's comments regarding Tiger Woods and the suggestion that Mr. Woods ought to give up on Buddhism and seek forgiveness in Christianity. Mr. Hume is a news man and I am surprised by his display of ignorance over what Buddhism is all about before he makes a comment implying that Buddhism is incapable of offering forgiveness. In doing so, Mr. Hume has insulted Buddhists not just worldwide, but the more than 1 million within the United States (current estimate is there are from 1 to 4 million Buddhists in America).

Buddhism is a supremely moral doctrine that provides practitioners very concrete guidance on moral behavior, as well as very precise descriptions of what would likely happen to someone who fails to behave with rectitude. The Buddha taught his son, Rahula, a mere child at the time, the following: "...Rahula, when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, ‘I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.'"

Rather than seek forgiveness, we Buddhists focus on correcting the immoral mind so that we do not commit further wrong acts, as all action - thought, speech and behavior - arises from the mind. The Buddha teaches us to cultivate a sense of shame when we commit an immoral act so that we can correct the wrong way of thinking that led to the act's commission and not commit the same or similar act again.

I do not know whether Mr. Woods is a practicing Buddhist. But I do know that his infidelity broke Buddhism's Third Precept, which is to refrain from wrongful sexual acts. By following Buddhist teachings, Mr. Woods is fully capable of redeeming himself through learning how to turn his mind away from immoral thoughts and deeds.

I could go on a great deal more about Buddhist morality, but suffice it to say that Mr. Hume should be certain of his words and their truthfulness before speaking them. That is also a lesson the Buddha taught his son Rahula, who was only 7 years old at the time.

Richard Harrold
Chicago, IL


  1. Great post... Tiger is not a Buddhist, his mother is:

  2. I appreciate your comment to Fox News with Right View and Right Speech. I will do the same but will have to first get back on the cushion and practice Metta.

  3. This silly squabble between Christianity and Buddhism is, in the long term, completely irrelevant. Ultimately Islam will dominate: