Monday, December 24, 2007

Blair a Catholic

Tony Blair has been admitted into the Catholic Church, this despite deliberately downplaying his Christianity during his premiership so as to not sound like a 'nutter'. I am not a Catholic, but I am a little surprised as the reaction of some prominent members for that Church who instead of treating a new convert as a matter for rejoicing are suggesting that past policy decisions should have disbarred him. Even if you accept that he did things in office against the teachings of the Church then the parable of the Prodigal Son pretty much covers that situation, so maybe a little more quiet reflection and Bible study is called for and a little less carping. As for the 'nutter' thing, he sort of has a point. Politicians in the UK don't tend to advertise their religion because it gives rise to the suspicion that their political decisions are filtered through the literal interpretation of some book or another. The Atheists in British public life do not help by trying to equate jam-making Anglicans with the Taliban in terms of fundamentalist irrationality. So, Blair probably made the right call. Of course there are lots of religious people in politics. There are even lots of religious people on Basildon Council. I am a Christian, as are several other Councillors, and there are probably other religions as well but no-one actually talks about it. Is that good? Well, if the alternative is the US model where Christ is a regular running-mate at election time then maybe we have got it right.