Monday, November 26, 2007

Nuts anyone?

From "The Age" 26/11/2007:

TONY Blair has sparked controversy by claiming that religious people who speak about their faith are viewed by society as "nutters".

Well, that's as it should be, so what's the problem?

The former prime minister's comments came as he admitted for the first time that his faith was "hugely important" in influencing his decisions...

Oh I see, he's embarrassed about it. Well, that's as it should be too. But it seems the poor boy doesn't want to be embarrassed about it...

Mr Blair complained that he had been unable to follow the example of US politicians, such as President George Bush...

Hang about! I thought he did a pretty good job of following Georgey boy around while he was ensconced at No. 10, at least he seemed to.

...in being open about his faith because people in Britain regard religion with suspicion.

Oh I see, he wants to be able to use his office to evangelise, or am I reading to much into this?

Peter Mandelson, one of Mr Blair's confidants, said the former premier "takes a Bible with him wherever he goes" and reads it last thing at night.

There you go. The man's a complete nutbag, so that pretty much explains it. He would like to evangelise, is using his current celebrity to do so, albeit in a circumspect manner and he would like to have been able to use his previous office to do the same thing, or so it would seem. Shame on you Mr. Blair and big well done to the British for having a general attitude toward religion that precluded him from doing so.

But the article continues:

His comments.....have been welcomed by leading church figures, who have warned of the rise of secularism pushing religion to the margins of society.

If that's true (I'm not a Brit, my mum is so I take an interest), another well done to the British people, please keep up the good work and set us colonials a good example. But I don't see any need for warning here, do you? A warning generally means there's some kind of danger, if lower crime rates, less teen pregnancy, less transmission of STD's, etc is the result (see here), then what's the problem? Well there's more:

The Most Reverend John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, said: "Mr Blair's comments highlight the need for greater recognition to be given to the role faith has played in shaping our country. Those secularists who would dismiss that faith as nothing more than a private affair are profoundly mistaken in their understanding of faith."

Give me a break. A greater need to highlight some completely sordid history of bigotry, state sanctioned violence, witch hunts, heretical crimes and the various torturous pass times of some of the "greatest" popes and kings? I don't think so. And I hate to have to remind the old boy but we don't so much regard it as a "private affair" as a complete lunacy.

Now I'm as reasonable as the next man and I'm quite happy to admit that when I became an apostate I felt just a little embarrassed at having been duped all those years, not mention a little annoyed at all the wasted time, effort and money, so I can understand Tony's dilemma. But let me reassure him, and any other bishops or clergymen that may read this, that the secularist community will welcome you without so much as a hint of scorn, there really is no need to be embarrassed at all. I can say from personal experience that there is only one group that will ridicule and insult you for your decision and it will include but will not be exclusive to, the congregation of the church you once attended.

7 Comments:

Dikkii said...

I must admit to be rather surprised at this. Blair's faith always struck me as a bit of a flirtation with the religious vote for opportunistic purposes, much like what Dick Cheney's is rumoured to be.

I stand corrected.

PsychoAtheist said...

It's also rumoured that Blair is about to convert to Catholicism. That won't really endear him to the Protestant fundamentalists in th US who literally see the Pope as the antichrist.

Blair's right about one thing though, we Brits do tend to view the overtly religious with a great deal of suspicion (and derision usually), a state of affairs I am more than happy with.

Now if we could just get them damn bishops out of the House of Lords!

Plonka said...

Dikkii: Yeah, I always thought the same which is why that story piqued my interest. I had no idea...

Psychoatheist:

That won't really endear him to the Protestant fundamentalists in th US who literally see the Pope as the antichrist.

I see your point there, but does he still work with Sinn Fein?

Blair's right about one thing though, we Brits do tend to view the overtly religious with a great deal of suspicion...

In that case, as I said in the post, a big well done. From that article it seems that that's all that stopped him from using the PM's office as a pulpit.

tina said...

I can't wait for Bush and Co. to be gone!

Plonka said...

Tina:

We managed to get rid of Howard last weekend so that's a start. Not much of one on the world stage I'll admit, but we're happy...:)

CyberKitten said...

Tony was always careful never to answer a direct question regarding his faith and could only really 'come out' after he was no longer PM.

I'm not sure if it would have made him unelectable... but professing a strong faith would've certainly lost him lots of votes. With our religious history we're *very* suspicious of 'leaders' who are publically religious.

A very healthy attitude I think as religion and politics *really* don't mix!

Plonka said...

Cyberkitten: Thanks for stopping by...:)

He was very careful indeed. Like Dikkii above I was under the impression that he just paid a bit of lip service to get the vote, how wrong was I?

I wish we had a similar attitude. Mr. Rudd, our new PM, is a full on catholic. I think he's more sensible than to make it a big part of his tenure or to use his office to advertise, but time will tell I guess.

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