* 85 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians
* 224 million Americans are Christians
* The United States is the top country in the world of self-identified Christians (where we have solid, reliable numbers)
Certainly, the number of Americans who go to church each week is much smaller than those who self-describe as Christian. However, these numbers have been fairly steady for decades.
And for those who might be tempted to point this out for me, like most, I’m a terrible Christian. But the Brit Hume controversy is worth taking a look at.
First, Hume retired from the anchor chair of Fox over a year ago. He’s now serving as a political analyst for the network. As a (much lesser) political analyst who does an occasional TV gig, I’ll let you in on a secret. Political analysts offer their insight, opinion and views on the topics at hand. As Deion Sanders once said on an NFL pregame show (this is from memory but is close to his exact words), “This game doesn’t matter. Both teams will be in the playoffs at the end of the season. But we will analyze it anyway. We are analysts. It’s what we do.”
Secondly, although there is a lot of discussion about this point, Buddhism isn’t a religion in the sense of belief in a higher being from whom to seek forgiveness. Instead, Buddhism says you get this from within. I’m no religious scholar, but that would put Hume’s analysis pretty much on point. In Christianity, you do seek forgiveness and redemption from a higher being, something not offered in Buddhism. You may disagree with whether or not it is necessary — if you aren’t a Christian — but his analysis was correct.
Finally, to have a better understanding of Hume’s faith and worldview, read this interesting interview with The Hollywood Reporter. It was done about the time he retired from anchoring "Special Report" on Fox.
THR: WHAT OTHER THINGS WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO IN RETIREMENT?
Hume: I certainly want to pursue my faith more ardently than I have done. I'm not claiming it's impossible to do when you work in this business. I was kind of a nominal Christian for the longest time. When my son died (by suicide in 1998), I came to Christ in a way that was very meaningful to me. If a person is a Christian and tries to face up to the implications of what you say you believe, it's a pretty big thing. If you do it part time, you're not really living it.
It is always interesting to see the long knives come out when the topic turns to faith.