26 May 2012     

Not in his name

By W. Owl

The 15 May edition of the Irish News published a report on a speech given by the former prime minister Tony Blair to four thousand people at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was a conference on leadership organised by the Holy Trinity Brompton Church, at which Blair declared: “A world without faith would be a world on the path to tragedy and disaster.”
     Such a declaration is basically breathtaking when you consider that “tragedy and disaster” has been the lot of humanity over the centuries, with “faith” (or what passes for such a thing) at its core on many occasions.
     History, it seems, counts for nothing with Blair. His own “faith,” that of Catholicism, which he converted to in 2007, has been responsible for some of the most appalling actions. It has supported some of the worst dregs of humanity in the name of “Christianity” in recent times, something Blair didn’t acknowledge.
     His other comments included a claim that some people thought that as society became more prosperous “faith would be relegated, that it would become a relic of the past.” This is what “ignorant” people would do, but not what “civilised, educated people do,” he added—comments that are again breathtaking, showing that tolerance was never one of his strong points but arrogance certainly is.
     He then stated: “I think that an essential obligation of humility for humanity is deeply important.” He is really on his high horse now, because he then goes on to state: “It is what allows us to make progress, it is what keeps us from ideology or thought processes that then treat human beings as if they were secondary to some political purpose.”
     “Keeps us from ideology,” as though he was above it. His ideology was that of the imperialist order.
     This is the man who boasted, on taking office, that the UK had the strictest labour laws in western Europe, and then had the cheek to state he had no ideology. He was so much up Rupert Murdoch’s backside you could barely see the soles of his shoes.
     Then we have “secondary to some political purpose.” In his tenure as leader of the Labour Party his actions were to relegate the party and its members to one secondary political purpose, that of his own aggrandisement.
     He should take a look at the Ten Commandments, one of which relates to false testimony, which he did by lying to Parliament to unleash, along with another “Christian,” the devastating war on Iraq.
     He may not have contravened the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment by his own hand but he certainly bears responsibility for the deaths of thousands.
     He talked about Jesus Christ and “his place in our lives.” I’ll bet a pound to a penny that if Jesus was around he’d be crying out, “Not in my name !”
     This brings me on to an article that appeared in the Guardian on 5 March but is relevant to the Blair story. It was headed “A Jesus for left and right” and was based on a study by Stanford University in California that found that the Jesus of liberal Christians is very different from the one envisaged by conservatives.
     The two groups were asked about what they thought Jesus would have to say about such contemporary issues as taxation, immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion. Not surprisingly, those who would be in the Republican Party camp “imagined” a Jesus who tended to be against wealth redistribution, illegal immigrants, abortion, and same-sex marriage.
     The Democrat-voting Christians, again not surprisingly, thought Jesus would have had far more liberal opinions, although both groups recognised that their own views were not always identical to those of Jesus.
     To cut a long story short, the report asked how Christians from all shades of the political spectrum could reconcile their diverse views with the teachings of a single man.
     The report concluded that whilst the Bible may claim that God created man in his own image, this study suggests that man created God in his own image.
     In answer to Tony Blair, we would quote the last paragraph of the Guardian article, which stated that the most striking aspect of the study turned on its head the claim by many religious politicians that their politics is inspired by God. It suggested instead “that their God is inspired by their politics.” 

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