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Tiger Confesses, Apologizes; We’ll Wait for Repentance

Feb 19, 2010 — Categories:

Why did I watch Tiger Woods statement to the press today? I guess because I continue to be intrigued by how high profile public figures address their misconduct publicly.

Why did I watch Tiger Woods statement to the press today? I guess because I continue to be intrigued by how high profile public figures address their misconduct publicly.

I admit I was impressed. No wife standing by his side. Rather family and friends seated, listening to him, and his mother in the front row looking him in the eye. No attempt to make this all go away to spinville.

Rather confession, apology, and here’s how he has begun to deal with his problems. No one else to blame except Tiger. No attempt to explain any of it away. Except to say that he had strayed from the values his parents and his Buddhist faith had taught him.

Two things struck me in his statement. Although he has not addressed his Buddhist faith publicly in the past, for him it is important and he now turns to it in this crisis. Further, I thought the most important insight he shared was the acknowledgement of his entitlement: "I thought the rules didn't apply to me. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted . . . I felt I was entitled, thanks to money and fame."

Whether it is the politician or CEO, professor or rabbi, televangelist or President; it’s the same story. Powerful men (and some women) assuming sexual access to everybody else. And they can have whatever money or status will buy.

In our work at FaithTrust Institute, this is the persistent story from clergy and religious leaders who violate boundaries in their congregations. And they usually pick those who are most vulnerable.

From his words, it sounds like Tiger has taken the road less travelled here, a long road to getting his emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual life together. A very long road towards rebuilding trust with so many whom he has betrayed.

We wish him well. But we will wait to see if he makes it to repentance, what Ezekiel calls “a new mind and a new heart.” We will wait for actions to match his words.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

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