By Elizabeth Tenety
In his long-anticipated press conference Friday, Tiger Woods mentioned his failure to live up to his Buddhist faith’s teaching of self-restraint:
“Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.”
Woods is hardly the first remorseful adulterer to find his faith during a press conference.
Jim McGreevey, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton and Mark Sanford all made references to their spiritual lives during their public admissions of guilt. Do their acts of contrition seem genuine or convenient? And why does it take a scandal for them to remember their religious values?
“I do not believe that God tortures any person simply for its own sake. I believe that God enables all things to work for the greater good. And this, the 47th year of my life, is arguably too late to have this discussion. But it is here. . . I am a gay American. –Jim McGreevey
Eliot Spitzer alluded to Luke’s Gospel in his press conference: “Those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
“This matter is between me, the two people I love most – my wife and my daughter – and our God.” –Bill Clinton
“I’m here because if you were to look at God’s laws, they’re in every instance designed to protect people from themselves. I think that that is the bottom line of God’s law, that it’s not a moral, rigid list of do’s and don’ts just for the heck of do’s and don’ts. It is indeed to protect us from ourselves. . . . But I guess where I’m trying to go with this is that there are moral absolutes and that God’s law indeed is there to protect you from yourself, and there are consequences if you breach that. This press conference is a consequence.”-Mark Sanford
Does Tiger’s religious reference ring true? What about McGreevey, Spitzer, Clinton and Sanford? Why does it take a public scandal for these guys to get God?