Commentary: Evaluating Tiger's Evaluators
Driven By Humanism
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 12-Dec-09; 8 minutes
In the midst of all of the very important international, national and local crises, reported by radio and television, came what seems to be—outside of the worldwide economic problems—the biggest news of the year: Tiger Woods is an adulterer. Apparently, if the news reports are to be believed, not merely an adulterer but an adulterer on a very high level. In his own postings, he spoke—First, it was his "transgression," then it became his "infidelities"—plural.
Judged by the measure of time and space this news item is being given, it is easily the entertainment world's biggest news since the OJ Simpson trial and verdict. This news arose from a man who gave every public appearance of being morally as squeaky-clean as one can get. For him to be exposed in this manner—as having feet of clay to this extent—has been very discouraging to many. People thought, "At last, an athlete who is a role model for young people to admire." Well, brethren, there are some of them, but apparently not here.
What I thought most interesting in all of this were the evaluations that were given Tiger by those in the sports media. I think that a large number of sports writers and broadcasters are what I would consider hardened, cynical and jaded regarding their opinions of athletes in general. That is, that most athletes of this caliber I have been given almost constant adulation since their youth because of their skills, and the effect in some of them has been that they are spoiled, immature, and believe they can do pretty much what they please, relying on others to clean up their messes.
When his alleged adultery was first exposed—and at that time, his adulteries had been revealed with somewhere between one and three women—that's when the initial evaluations by sports reporters were made. The overwhelming majority of them that I heard gave him a pass. What they were basically saying is, "Everybody's doing it, so what's the big deal?" Among the stronger charges by them against him was that he made "a mistake." I heard that one a number of times, or read it on news sites.
Well, I beg to differ. A mistake is something that one does not intend to make, and it usually results from faulty judgment, carelessness, or deficient knowledge. From what we know already, his "mistake" was not a mistake, but a predetermined, deliberate course of action. His pattern of living had become a lifestyle. There is absolutely no doubt that he lacked knowledge from God's point of view, but at the same time, there is no way that he could fail to have knowledge of the way of the culture he grew up in and how it viewed adultery. As deficient has our culture's view of adultery is, he has still not lived up to that level of faithfulness.
I know one well-known sports writer who apparently took him to task. I did not read the article, but I know the man's writing. He really took him to task for his careless stupidity, even when he first heard of it and only one woman was then involved. (The latest I have heard, the number is now up to twelve.) Well, do you know what happened? The sports writer was railed upon by other sports writers who called him narrow and self-righteous. But who was right? That man may have known more about Tiger than the others did even before this thing blossomed, and his judgment was much better.
Also on Thursday, I received another email. It had the result of a Gallup poll of the standing of fourteen American professions in terms of people's opinions as to whom it is they trust. The rating of the clergy has dropped again. This year, out of fourteen professions, they are right in the middle. They are number eight. Don't you think that they should be the ones who are most trusted? Do you know who the most trusted professionals in America are? Nurses. Do you know who the second are? Doctors and pharmacists are tied for number two. In last place are used car salesmen. But the clergy is number eight and it's going downhill. It's not going up; it's going down. This year, from the Gallup Poll, only fifty percent of respondents highly trust the honesty and ethics of clergymen.
What's driving this culture—the American culture—is humanism. Here is a little definition for you. Humanism is a title of a spirit or intellectual movement of our times in which God and His absolutes are deprecated and invalidated, while man and his reasoning apart from God is elevated in importance. Humanism is a system in which there are no absolutes. Each person is free to determine for himself what acceptable conduct is, and this leads to everybody doing what is right in one's own eyes because no authority exists to say what conduct is absolutely right and absolutely wrong.
This is why those writers could only go so far as to say that Tiger made "a mistake," implying that it was rather innocuous. They believe essentially the same as Tiger does. Eventually, this no absolutes morality (or immorality) and ethics will lead to chaos and revolution, and that is where this culture is headed. Tiger's conduct is just one vivid example of what is producing this chaos, because eventually the sides are going to come to fight one another—those who believe in God and those who do not.