April 12, 2010
Generally, I don’t pay much attention to the Masters’ Tournament, not being a golfer. However, this year I spent the Masters’ weekend with some pretty avid golf fans. Needless to say, we watched a bit of the action on the television. As so often happens in our guilt ridden and judgmental society, attention was focused on much more than just the game of golf.
For months leading up to this event, the news media had fanned the public’s fascination with the story of Tiger Woods’ anticipated return to tournament play. This, of course, was happening in the aftermath of his sex scandal, with all the attention that had been generated by the news media. Media types of every description had taken full advantage of the hype which the fall of any public figure always creates.
I have witnessed, and undoubtedly you have also, numerous conversations in which Tiger has been psycho-analyzed and vilified based on what has been communicated in the media. In one particular case, an entire evening’s dinner conversation was devoted to railing against Tiger’s sins.
Most likely, even the loudest critics of Tiger’s behavior would admit that the criticism directed at him does nothing but complicate the situation for him and his family both. Being continuously in the critical eye of the public only increases their suffering and lessens the chance of any positive outcome.
The essence of Jesus was His message about the power of love and forgiveness. Our national pre-occupation with a running judgment of one another is, therefore, a direct denial of Jesus and a repudiation of His message. In that regard, those of us who claim Jesus as our example are too often the perpetrators and perpetuators of the very judgments which Jesus condemned. Christianity needs to make a u-turn in its attitude toward the wayward in order ever to mirror the mind of Christ and set our society on the transformative road Jesus intended.