The Tony Blair Faith Foundation - the Gospel according to Tony
Presumably His Holiness the Pope was otherwise engaged.
In addition to being the Middle East
Mr Blair said there was ‘nothing more important’ than creating understanding between different faiths and cultures. He said the Foundation is ‘how I want to spend the rest of my life’ – it is his ‘vocation’ (presumably literally) to help people to become ‘global citizens as well as citizens of our country’ because ‘idealism (is) the new realism’.
But Cranmer was intrigued to read that ‘one of the goals of the foundation was to counter extremism in all six leading religions’. Mr Blair said: "Though there is much focus, understandably, on extremism associated with the perversion of the proper faith of Islam, there are elements of extremism in every major faith."
Setting aside that 'extremism' is far more frequently an attribute of minority faiths and cults, Mr Blair’s definition of ‘extremism’ in the major faiths is essentially that form of faith from which he personally dissents. And extremist Buddhism (the Buddhaists?) is known to pose a very great threat to world peace. Mr Blair has in the past spoken of ‘Protestant bigots’ (never Catholic), but it is invidious to equate the Islamist suicide bomber with the views of Pope Benedict on homosexuality. And that is precisely what he is doing. Tony Blair’s ‘extremist’ is the one who holds ‘entrenched attitudes’ or adheres to any dogmatic theology particularly strongly; the one who refuses to heed ‘public opinion’ and ‘rethink the issues’ in light of the latest fad, however ephemeral it may be.
There is no rock in the Gospel according to Tony: it is proudly built on shifting sand. There is no anchor to secure it during a storm; it ebbs and flows with every current of opinion.
Former President Clinton said that Tony Blair is “a good man as well as a great leader", adding: “his own religious faith is genuine, deep and shapes his life".
One wonders how ‘genuine’ and ‘deep’ a faith may be when it is kept hidden under a bushel for 10 years in order that one is not branded a ‘nutter’ so that one’s political career may progress unhindered.
It takes a charlatan to sing the praises of a charlatan.