Faith In Tony Blair?

Former prime minister Tony Blair has called for faith to be given a central role in tackling the world’s problems.BBC News

What’s that, Tony? You had faith that sending the country into an illegal war with Iraq (that had — as at August 2007 — resulted in over a million violent deaths) was the right thing to do?

Or did you just have faith that we’d believe the spin?

Or did you just have faith that it would all turn out all right for Tony Blair in the end?

Of course, what Tony is actually attempting to say is that many people have religious beliefs and he feels that they should be discussed openly, as part of government strategy. Well Tony, I disagree. I respect religious beliefs, and I think that government should respect religious beliefs where possible, but I want to live in a society where people can choose their own beliefs (or non-belief) and the state is neutral to that choice.

I think for someone who, once he’s stepped down as Primer Minister to suddenly decide that religious beliefs are important but wasn’t prepared to talk about them while in office because he was worried people might think him ‘weird’, this stance is in itself ‘weird’. It shows that he’s either changed a lot since he was PM, or that he was hypocritical while in office…

I don’t think you’re weird, Tony. I just think that the way you’ve handled your own beliefs indicates that religion was never as important to you as succeeding in your chosen career. Otherwise you would have been open and honest about it, instead of taking an approach which looks hypocritical…

What happened to me was a minor blip in my life compared to the continuing plight of Iraq and the way ordinary Iraqi citizens have suffered so much.

I feel it is partly Mr Blair’s fault and I don’t like the idea of him talking in a church. I feel what he did was un-Christian.

former Iraq hostage Norman Kember, quoted on BBC News

Well said, Norman. You are either true to your beliefs, or you aren’t. People shouldn’t assume that just because someone says that they are Christian, Muslim, Sikh or whatever that their personal beliefs are exactly the same as everyone else claiming to have that religion; but whatever your beliefs are, if you’re not prepared to be open about them, then your beliefs are obviously less important to you than whatever it is you fear might happen if you are open and honest…

Is it possible to reconcile that with this:

If you are someone ‘of faith’ it is the focal point of belief in your life. There is no conceivable way that it wouldn’t affect your politicsTony Blair

…without thinking that if he held religious views whilst in office, he was being deceitful to the whole country by not being honest about them?

If you’re concerned that people with religious views will be thought of as weird, doesn’t hiding your own religion show that you condone that approach? Unless people actually declare their beliefs, how is the world to know whether someone with belief is weird or not?

2 Responses to “Faith In Tony Blair?”

  1. E.T.Cook responds:

    Oh boy, here we go…more politics shoved down my throat from a design blog.


    Guess it is time to unsubscribe.

  2. JackP responds:

    Design blog? Where did you get that idea?

    The tag line is “standards, accessibility, ranting, and general stuff”. As in, I make no pretence of this being a design blog, any more than I say it’s a site about politics, or about the media, or whatever. Surely the fact I have a “politcs” category was a clue that it’s something I’ll talk about from time to time…?

    It’s about what interests me. If it doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. Either don’t read it at all, or don’t read those posts. But I’ll write about whatever I want to write about, thank you very much…

    Besides which, I felt that post was more about ‘religion’ than politics :-)

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