Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
Melissa welcomes Nathan and Leon to the show to discuss a little football and of course, politics.
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A couple arguments surround the Brit discussion: One, should anyone be talking about Tiger’s relationship to God? Two, can Buddhism “save” Tiger like Christianity can save Tiger?
Charlie Martin and I both write pieces for Pajamas Media today talking about this issue. Here’s a bit of what I say:
There was a time when discussing one’s Christian faith may have been less controversial, but I don’t know. Even fifty years ago, there would have been a presumption that people would view Tiger Woods’ actions as immoral and a sign that he had some sort of emptiness in his life. Back in the day, such wanton infidelity was simply not spoken of publicly. It would be too shameful. Now the media spreads every sort of salacious detail of a celebrity’s life, and everyone is free to comment. Why should there not be a comment on his faith, too? We know that Tiger likes rough sex and sex without condoms and sex with porn stars and has super-human, possibly steroid-enhanced endurance. Should his spiritual beliefs be off-limits while his sexual exploits are fair game?
Discussion about either seems unseemly. Tiger’s sex life should be personal, and his relationship with God is even more intimate than that. His own careless actions made his sex life public. Does that free people to speculate about his spiritual life? It seems a personal relationship with Tiger would give a friend some cause to talk with him about God. A calling out like Hume’s seems destined to fail.
Then Charlie says:
Hume’s right that Buddhism doesn’t offer Tiger forgiveness from a deity or redemption. All Buddhism can do is remind him that he’s responsible for his actions and the consequences of those actions (the real meaning of karma) and remind him that his suffering now is one of those consequences. With that comes the recognition that you need to make amends to those you’ve hurt and try to remedy your behavior in the future.
Maybe that’s not as good as being forgiven and redeemed, but to me it seems a lot more productive.
To which I respond:
As to Brit’s theological assertion that Buddhism would not offer Woods the sort of redemption that a relationship with God and Jesus would offer, Buddhists like Charles Martin admit that Buddhism won’t give redemption or a relationship. The emphasis is on karma — what goes around comes around — and how Tiger is reaping the rewards of it.
In Christianity, the karmic notion is nothing new. Galatians 6:7 makes clear that God is not mocked and that we reap what we sow. The Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis noted a “Tao” of belief that most great religions share, and how this is centered around some version of the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Charles implies that in Christianity, there is no attempt to “make amends,” while in Buddhism that is the core tenet. As for remedying faults, the Greek word metanoia — translated as “to repent” — means to change. It implies a before and after. A Christian demonstrates his change by actions. “By their fruits you shall know them.” (Matthew 7 is a good book to read about condemning and discernment and repentance.) It’s not repentance or forgiveness of sin. It’s both.
Please go read both of our full articles.
Also, Brit Hume on O’Reilly said something interesting last night. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, that just mentioning Christianity is inflammatory, that no one wants to hear it. Do you agree?
The topic has produced obscene interest. Different theories are put forth: Yes, Americans like to see achievers fail. Yes, people are petty, small and voyeuristic. Yes, it’s a relief for some people to focus on the travails of others rather than their own miserable existence. I think Tiger counted on Americans being just this way, since his behavior seemed rather indifferent to the inevitable consequences. I mean, the guy didn’t have one woman, he had more than you can count on fingers. Never mind the handlers, the hotel staff, etc. People talk. He knows this. He didn’t care.
My take: Tiger tired of appearing perfect. Tiger wanted to be and feel human. Tiger is rich and accomplished and entitled. Couple emptiness and feeling robbed of a normal life with money and power to fill the emptiness, add in resentment and those who will cover and coddle him and there’s a recipe for Tiger Tantra. He’s a competitive man who lived an emotionally ascetic life to serve his father’s dream. Was it Tiger’s dream? Does he even know?
Tiger Woods reminds me of Michael Jackson, actually. Child prodigies, dominant fathers, deprived of adoration, driven by discipline, cowering mothers (thus the contempt for women and simultaneous desire to screw them so the bifurcation madonna-whore thing –good mothers protect, whores are meant as sexual objects), materially indulged, in service to an image created before the age of consent, resentful, trapped. [Thinking of Britney Spears here, too.] This combination of drives can be crazy-making.
One way to take power back behind closed doors is sex. But Tiger got reckless. He is probably sick to death of serving this robotic image. It was killing him. It was a lie.
So now, he’s exposed. He is free to be more real, if he’d like to be. Michael Jackson ended up doped and dead and more than a little freaky. Britney Spears ended up doped and rehabilitated, one hopes, for the sake of her children.
Tiger Woods is now real. Flawed, human, mixed up, more than a little warped (but probably no more than anyone else who had his means) and it’s exposed.
He might as well be authentic. He has an opportunity to reevaluate everything. Does he want to be married? Does he just want to be a sexual conquistador? Does he want to golf? Does he want to be a businessman?
He can choose. The illusion, I’m guessing, is that he felt he never could. He believed that he was stuck in this life created for him, maybe to an extent by him. He could have chosen differently. He can choose differently now. He can, because of his prodigious gifts, really decide to do just about anything.
I hope he redeems himself….it would be nice for his talents to not go to waste. When I see Robert Downey Jr. act, I’m thankful that this man I don’t know decided to get his life together. He’s really good. Tiger is really good at what he does, too, but he’s more than just a robot golfer conquering titles and courses. He’s a human. It is possible to be human and great. It’s a choice like any other.
More thoughts from a sex therapist here.
The AP also informed me that anyone interested in the Tiger Woods story is quite clearly racist as well:
As one blogger, Robert Paul Reyes, wrote: “If Tiger Woods had cheated on his gorgeous white wife with black women, the golfing great’s accident would have been barely a blip in the blogosphere.”
See, y’all are only interested because he’s boffing white ladies! Um, AP — what about those of us who don’t give a rat’s arse who he is philandering with or even that he is philandering at all; those of us whom are NOT paying attention to the Tiger Woods non-story? I’m funny like that. I’m shockingly not shocked that a rich sports dude is totally a big old slutty pants. I prefer to focus on things that affect our country and our real lives. You know, instead of worrying about loose zippers, worry about stopping Congress from being so loose with our wallets, and our Rights. Is that better or worse? Are we, therefore, not racist? Or are we worse — racist-racist?
This sordid mess isn’t about a flawed human being, it is, as everything is these days, about skin color.
Go read the whole thing.
So there is a sordid story after all:
Tiger Woods broke his silence on his bizarre car crash last weekend and the following barrage of allegations of infidelity in a statement today, admitting “transgressions” and “personal sins.”
“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart,” Woods said in the statement on his Web site. “I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.
Should all public figures just remain silent about this sort of thing? What would happen if he had said nothing–even if some woman posted his texts to her?
John Hawkins joins me to discuss the latest culture and politics stories.
Tiger Woods is in the deep rough today. He’s avoiding talking to the police. They’re seeking search warrants for his medical records. This is a disaster of monumental proportions for the golf star. No matter what he loses.
He was either under the influence of some controlled and crashed his vehicle. Or, he was beat by his jealous wife and trying to escape. If it’s the former, his squeaky image is tarnished (though less so if it’s by pain medication). If it’s the latter, he’ll have the ignominious reputation for being an abused husband.
Women initiate physical contact in relationships but rarely do the damage a man does..unless the woman is wielding a golf club, say. Glenn Reynolds writes late yesterday about the implications of the abuse:
Rosin also writes: “It is impossible to imagine Tiger occupying the same cultural brain space as Rihanna, with Nordegren playing Chris Brown. If Tiger had been chasing down his wife with a golf club and she had shown up with bruises, even if she had cheated with, say, K-fed, we would be a lot less ambivalent and complacent.” That’s probably correct, for certain values of the word “we,” but why is that, exactly? Cheating men deserve to be beaten, even with weapons, while cheating women do not?
Or could it be, you know, sexism? But that’s not possible, because Hanna Rosin can’t be sexist, and neither can those who agree with her. If you’re Hanna Rosin, “sexist” is a name you call other people. You know, bad people who believe in stereotypes and stuff.
Here’s the thing: While it’s just as bad for the woman to beat the man as vice versa, the consequences for this story coming out will not benefit the victim. In fact, the victim will be re-victimized. Tiger Woods will be the butt of jokes; he is already. Again, this is wrong. And maybe his case will help change the culture around husband abuse, but I doubt it. The more likely outcome will be further humiliation.
In this case, Tiger Wood’s fame works against him. As others have pointed out, a regular guy would have answered the police questions. The wife would be arrested. It would be her first offense. Very likely the charges would be dropped. And this would go away.
But Tiger Woods didn’t talk to the police after promising he would and now, irritated at his elite star status, they’re going after him….ostensibly to come to justice, but just as likely because they don’t like being put off by the star.
Howard Kurtz blames the media for the circus and asks this:
Is all this, well, news? Edwards’s romance with Rielle Hunter, which he initially denied, took place during a presidential campaign. Is there a compelling public interest in the private life of the world’s top-ranked golfer?
The public is interested because Tiger Woods has everything: fame and fortune. Does he have the same sort of messy life as average Americans? Inquiring minds want to know.
Can Woods hit a miracle shot and save his reputation? That remains to be seen, but I’m doubtful.