Why start an argument if you can’t stretch it out? Greg Hengler clips this vid from today’s Morning Joe, in which Scarborough manages to annoy everyone else on the panel by defending Brit Hume and his advice to Tiger Woods. Or is he?

I watched this a couple of times, and I couldn’t be sure whether Joe was actually defending Hume or doing a satire of a defense of Hume. He starts off by noting that there is nothing wrong with talking about the transformative power of faith, which is certainly true.  However, he drops that argument to start dropping non-sequiturs from “Amazing Grace” when his panelists attempt to debate whether Hume meant to argue that or suggest that only conversion to Christianity would keep Tiger Woods from philandering, which seems more like a bad satire of how the non-religious believe that Christians debate theology, philosophy, and politics.  The clear annoyance of the panel at this tactic suggests that Scarborough was sincere … which may be worse.

For a better example of how Christians debate, read The Anchoress’ take on the Hume testimony:

Should Hume have said what he did, on the air? I am a little ambivilent about it.

On one hand, as a Christian, I admire it; Hume put himself out there, as “a fool for Christ,” willing to face ridicule and scorn for his faith. On the other hand, I’m not comfortable with the venue. I don’t think I would like it if, for example, Christopher Hitchens suggested to Tiger, “don’t worry about it, there is no God, anyway,” or if some Muslim used a news broadcast to suggest that Woods should turn to Islam. As the writer at Americablog suggested, minding the salvation of Tiger Woods this is not Hume’s job as a newscaster.

It is his job as a Christian, however, and Hume might have done better, in a host of ways, by contacting Woods privately, and offering to pray for him (as he is likely already doing) and perhaps introducing Woods to the Good Shepherd, in the process.

I’m a bit ambivalent about it as well; Kevin McCullough and I debated yesterday on TEMS.  Normally, as The Anchoress notes, this kind of testimony and conversion would take place privately if it was directed at an individual, even one as public as Woods.  However, I see the moment as a fairly powerful opportunity for Hume to share his own personal journey as a Christian.  Whether or not that was appropriate to the venue would be Fox News’ call to make.  And as for the analog to Hitchens, I doubt that Hitch would be reluctant at all to make that kind of a statement on national TV, given the opportunity, regardless of the circumstances.

On the whole, I think I’d rather have Hume than Scarborough making the argument — but if Joe was being sincere, then good for him for defending Hume.