When Fox News analyst Brit Hume made a plea to Tiger Woods to turn to Christianity in order to seek forgiveness, a firestorm ensued.

Anyone who doesn’t understand the premium that Christianity puts on forgiveness is badly educated, but that is no excuse for the kind of vitriol that was spewed against Hume. For advising Woods to consider Christianity, Hume was roundly condemned by those whose highest virtue is being non-judgmental. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC compared him to Islamic extremists; he was the subject of endless blogs ridiculing him and his religion; and he was counseled by Tom Shales of the Washington Post to apologize.

None of Hume’s critics, of course, seem to have any problem with the increasingly aggressive campaigns launched by atheists seeking to proselytize Christians. During this past Christmas season, we were treated to a slew of atheist evangelizing efforts, ranging from billboards in towns across America to posters on urban buses, all designed to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity.

In England, author Philip Pullman is pushing for an atheist curriculum in the elementary schools, and his fellow countryman and cohort, Richard Dawkins, wants summer camps aimed at weaning kids away from Christianity. These examples, of course, are seen by Hume’s critics as nothing more than exercises in free speech. But when he speaks, as an analyst, not as a reporter, he’s put on the liberal watch list as a closet Taliban.

When George W. Bush was reelected in 2004, all we heard from this gang was about the coming theocracy that threatened to engulf America. Even they didn’t think that the worst that would happen was a soundbite from Brit Hume touting the teachings of Christianity.

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