Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blair Ne'er Well

John Speaton, SPUC director, comments over at his blog on the seeming emptiness of Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair's conversion to Catholicism.
Tony Blair (pictured) has now teamed up with one of Canada's best-known pro-abortion figures. Belinda Stronach (also pictured), a prominent businesswoman and former MP, has joined her foundation with Mr Blair's Faith Foundation in order to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The British government under Tony Blair interpreted the MDGs as including a universal right to abortion on demand. When an MP, Belinda Stronach said that women's groups should only receive government funding if they are pro-abortion. The Blair-Stronach partnership will also promote the Faith Acts Fellowship, which the Tony Blair Faith Foundation runs in partnership with the InterFaith Youth Core. The InterFaith Youth Core is bankrolled by major pro-abortion foundations.
The obvious question is: why convert? If you don't subscribe to all that the Catholic Church teaches, why would you willingly put yourself in a compromising position? It seems odd. Yes, I've heard of people who were still working on "issues" even after their conversion, but wouldn't you want to "work it all out" first?

Another curious trend with public figures who have taken "Conservative" social positions: a number of their wives have taken more liberal positions, sometimes quietly, sometimes not so quietly. Offered as evidence: Laura Bush on Roe v. Wade, Nancy Reagan and embryonic stem cell research, and a bit notoriously Cherie Blair and Planned Parenthood (ok, this article seems to indicate that she's not so far off from Tony, just from what you'd expect from a Catholic).

This pseudo-religiosity stands in marked contrast to the constitutional crisis provoked by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg who was recently stripped of his last remaining law making power by that country's Parliament over his refusal to sign a bill legalizing euthanasia.

Blair's conversion to Catholicism in this context seems to be more of a formalization of a modus vivendi since he has been attending services with his wife, Cherie, (who was born a Catholic) for several years. There does not appear to be much conviction behind it, since both he and his wife have publicly advocated for positions contrary to Church teaching, notably abortion, birth control, and homosexuality.

Blair is not completely devoid of faith, however; note published reports of the "importance" of his faith and ethics guiding his political life. He's just not very public about that faith (partly to avoid the label of being a "nutter"). So the guy does believe in God, does have an active faith life, and is involved in "faith-based initiatives" (as we would say in this country); but from this side of the pond it just seems a bit vacuous and not particularly Catholic.

The Blair Faith Foundation seeks to promote the Faith Acts Fellowship along with the InterFaith Youth Core, etc. which all strive to achieve "consensus" in a "neutral" environment to discuss "faith" and "common ground". Now I'm all for inter-religious dialog and consensus, etc., but politicians and religion are uneasy bedfellows these days and so what you usually end up with is a meaningless soup that is vaguely spiritual and not much else.

Fare thee well, Blair, but I'm afraid that you may be a ne'er-Blair-well.

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