Christmas Voices: Tony Blair explains his conversion to Roman Catholicism
His excuse for postponing his conversion until after his resignation as prime minister is because there would have been a ‘palaver’ if he had acted while in office.
Well, Jesus said people will hate you because of him (even more than they instinctively hate politicians), and they might even kill you. So a bit of a ‘palaver’ might seem a small price to pay for ‘coming out’ in one’s faith. And speaking of ‘coming out’, does he really believe it would have been more of a ‘palaver’ for him to cross the Tiber than it was for him to appoint such an ‘out’ contingent of homosexuals to ministerial rank, leaving the nation not only bemused by the number of Scots running England but increasingly persuaded that heterosexuality was becoming distinctly passé?
But Cranmer just loves Mr Blair’s assertion that his conversion to Roman Catholicism was not a rejection of the Church of England.
There are a thousand reasons why one might reject the Church of England in its present state of terminal decline and inexorable decay, and quite a few things one could do to support it. But converting to Roman Catholicism is not only a rejection of the Church of England; it is an utter repudiation of its theology, ecclesiology and soteriology. Every silent falling away of a single member of the flock is a tragedy for which the leadership of the Church will ultimately be accountable. But Mr Blair made a very public and highly-publicised decision to convert to Rome, and that was a damning indictment of the Church of England, which he purposely shackled with Archbishop Rowan Williams, and then abandoned for orthodoxy.
Mr Blair batted away suggestions that he may have held off from converting earlier in his life for fear that Catholicism would exclude him from the highest political office.
But this is precisely what he did fear. He had been attending Mass for 25 years and was raising his children as Roman Catholics. If he believed that salvation is only to be found in the Roman Catholic Church, and he did not seek that salvation himself for fear that he might be viewed a ‘nutter’, which would in turn bar him from the highest political office, one wonders why priests, bishops and archbishops have fallen over themselves to associate with the man. He has placed his worldly status above his God, and his present regrets that he did not ‘do God’ more while in office ring awfully hollow.
By their fruits ye shall know them.
Abortion, the Iraq war, attacks upon faith schools, the closure of Catholic adoption agencies, iniquitous embryology and fertilisation legislation, civil partnerships, decreasing marriage tax breaks, 'equality' and sexual orientation regulations...
While Mr Blair insists that his ‘spiritual values’ were Christian, Christians of all hues observe a distinct diminution of the influence of Christian values during his term of office. And not only were they diminished, but on occasion overtly ignored and set aside.
Cranmer presumes that, since his conversion, Mr Blair has spent many long hours in the confessional.
That is, if he has had time to fit God in between being the Howland Distinguished Fellow at Yale University and a Middle East peace envoy. He is now persuaded that religious faith and economic and social globalisation are partners, and that ‘globalisation requires values to succeed’ because it involves ‘pushing people together’ into multicultural and multi-religious societies, such that ‘spiritual capital’ and ‘human capital’ fuse to produce multi-faith dialogue. And he declares, with no irony whatsoever: ‘It's the force of argument, and not of arms, that will cause us to succeed.’
Whatever ‘spiritual values’ these may be, with the exception of the latter, they are not recognisably Christian. They strike one as a kind of cosmic consciousness, an ecumenical multi-faith mish-mash of take-it-or-leave-it theology, developed by the Prophet Tony, and propagated by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation Dot Org for the lining of his pockets and the exaltation of his name.