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The Bible says a lot about how to treat your “neighbor,” but there’s not a very clear definition of what a “neighbor” is. The Old Testament seems to imply only those of your local religious community are “neighbors,” and even at times calls for different action when dealing with fellow Jewish “neighbors” versus non-Jewish outsiders.
Jesus seems to redefine “neighbor” with the parable of the Good Samaritan. He implies that even those of different tribes and beliefs are worthy of respect.
Some modern believers don’t feel this way. Take Tiger Woods as an example. Christians preach forgiveness, but apparently only for fellow Christians. I couldn’t possibly care less if Tiger Woods slept with a million women out of wedlock. It’s not illegal, just immoral, but only because his wife clearly didn’t condone it. I am more fascinated as to why people even care who celebrities sleep with than by the story itself.
Then religion came up, and suddenly I had to pay attention. Tiger Woods is a Buddhist, and apparently Brit Hume at Faux News is very concerned about his soul. Apparently Tiger will find forgiveness if he finds Jesus (they’re next to each other on the shelf at Christian Concepts Unlimited).
I think what Brit meant to say was that Tiger will be viewed by his white-bread fan base with more sympathy if he leaves his heathen faith and joins the winning side with Team Jesus (mascot: The Fightin' WASPs). Sure, maybe Tiger Woods will be forgiven if he is a Christian. It seems to have worked for Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, Larry Craig, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Joe DiMaggio, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter…
On another note: Is Tiger Woods the first Buddhist celebrity to cheat on his wife? [Does the Richard Gere hamster incident count?]
I find it strange (and kind of sad) that a Christian would suggest being Christian will make one forgivable. Will Christians one day all change their last name to “Neighbor,” so they only have to treat fellow Christians fairly? “It says in the Bible I only have to treat Neighbors with respect, you heathen bastards!” It sure would make the in-breeding less obvious among Republicans (I'm talking to you, Giuliani).
Even if there is a God, and Jesus is standing next to Him in heaven judging us when we die (although not really, cause they’re the same person… otherwise it’s not monotheism…), I’m pretty sure there’s a special place in hell where they send you if you convert to Christianity in order to maintain your popularity and sponsorships.
Besides, Tiger already has a religion. People don’t just change their faith in moments of crisis. If anything, they hold onto their faith even more tightly. So straighten up, Tiger, or you’re coming back in your next life as a caddy.
And to America: it’s embarrassingly pathetic to care so much about the personal life of a guy who hits balls into holes with a stick for a living.