Another liberal messiah having trouble selling his messiage

Tony Blair, universally considered a very smart fellow, but in reality a cliche-spouting liberal moron, has since his retirement as prime minister exacerbated his liberal moronism by heightening it into liberal Christian moronism. For the edification and improvement of us humans, he has created the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. The organization’s mission statement is too generic to derive any useful information from it, but one of its projects, the Abraham House, where members of the “three Abrahamic faiths” will meet in a “spectacular setting” in central London and talk about their commonalities, gives a flavor. I don’t have hard information on this yet, but according to a terrible article in the Guardian, the Blair Faith Foundation is demanding “wholesale changes in Catholic belief and practice”, adding up to “remaking the major religions,” and, accordingly, its efforts to establish a relationship with the Vatican have been rebuffed. Hugh O’Shaughnessy, author of the Guardian piece, doesn’t bother giving us the slightest clue what these sweeping proposed changes in Christianity and other religions are, though he does, starting in the second paragraph, fire off irrelevant cheap shots at Blair for his support of President Bush’s Iraq policy and his resulting shared responsibility for the deaths of “more than a million Iraqis.” (By the way, the last time I saw a figure like that for civilian Iraqi deaths being credulously touted, it was at Randall Parker’s paleocon website Parapundit, see this and this.)

However, while O’Shaughnessy doesn’t tell us what Blair’s demands consist of, knowing what I know about Blair, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to change Christ’s words in the institution of the Eucharist into,

Take, eat, this is humankind’s body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of diversity.

Here is the Guardian piece. American journalism is often a disgrace, but no U.S. paper would have published an article this slanted and this uninformative as to the basic facts at issue.

Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation inspires ridicule
Wednesday 13 May 2009

Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation has been criticised in no uncertain terms by senior Catholic academics in Rome

The wheels are coming off the Tony Blair Faith Foundation following his demands for wholesale changes in Catholic belief and practice. He, his wife Cherie and the foundation were firmly rebuffed in Rome this month at a meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences where he was compared to Cromwell and his good faith was impugned.

As architect, with George Bush Junior, of the invasion of Iraq and the consequent death of more than a million Iraqis, the man unwilling to condemn the Israelis’ invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and the destruction wreaked in Gaza this year, he has lost credibility among Arabs. He is under attack for failure to achieve progress on Middle Eastern peace as representative of the UN, the EU, the US and Russia. “He is—at best—a total irrelevancy”, says Jerusalem-born Dr Ghada Karmi of Exeter University.

Now his newly created foundation has confirmed it is losing its director of policy. William Chapman, a 57-year-old Anglican who worked in Number 10 on appointments in the Church of England, is leaving to become secretary to Ian Luder, the Lord Mayor of London.

The Tablet, a Catholic weekly, quoted Stephen Pound, Labour MP for Ealing North and himself a Catholic, correctly forecasting Blair’s hubristic attitude would damage him among Catholics, Muslim and Jews. “It is extremely counterproductive. Entrance to the Vatican is only gained through a series of iron-clad, hermetically sealed, heavily padlocked and bolted doors, and I can hear them creaking shut as we speak.” Pound warned Blair against “dictating to the pope through the media”.

Much worse news came this month from the Vatican where the couple came under sustained fire at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a group of scholars which includes the economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Hans Tietmeyer, former head of the German central bank. The meeting (pdf), convened by the pope, was organised by Roland Minnerath, once Vatican diplomat, now archbishop of Dijon.

The attack was spearheaded by Professor Michel Schooyans of the Catholic University of Louvain, a specialist in anthropology and political philosophy. Speaking uncompromisingly, Schooyans accused Blair and his wife of supporting a messianic US plan for world domination [LA notes: as usual, lefists such as the Guardian writer see a hyper liberal like Blair as a right-winger]:

One of the aims of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation will be that of remaking the major religions, just as his colleague Barack Obama will remake global society. With this purpose, the foundation in question will try to expand the ‘new rights’, using the world religions for this end and adapting these for their new duties. The religions will have to be reduced to the same common denominator, which means stripping them of their identity …

This project threatens to set us back to an age in which political power was ascribed the mission of promoting a religious confession, or of changing it. In the case of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, this is also a matter of promoting one and only one religious confession, which a universal, global political power would impose on the entire world. [LA replies: Well, maybe the left-wing critique of Blair is at least not internally incoherent. The universalistic liberals, such as Blair and Bush, want to unite mankind under a single idea; and the left-liberals, such as the Guardian, which are anti-West and pro Third-world cultures, see this liberal universalizing project as a threat to the type of world they favor, one dominated by explicit anti-Westernism, rather than by the merely implicit anti-Westernism of the more moderate liberals.]

The Belgian all but ridiculed the former prime minister. “The fresh ‘convert’ does not hesitate to explain to the pope not only what he must do, but also what he must believe! Is he a Catholic? … So now we are back in the time of Hobbes, if not of Cromwell: it’s civil power that defines what one must believe.”

Given the hostility expressed towards Blair in Rome he will be lucky to recruit the outgoing archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, to the foundation as he promised. The hostility—and ridicule—that the Blairs and their associates stir up mean he is increasingly unlikely to achieve his ambition of becoming president of the EU.

However, as Paul Belien points out in an e-mail, the fact that Blair’s proposal has been ridiculed by Mgr. Schooyans, who is an advisor of the Pope, suggests that it must be real clinker.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 01, 2009 02:31 PM | Send

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