Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tony Blair's Issues with the One True Faith

St John the Baptist considers joining the Tony Blair Faith Foundation for the common good

Tony Blair's Speech at the Official Opening of the New Baptism Centre in Jordan. I don't mean to sound cruel, but while he did at least grant Our Blessed Lord, the title, 'Our Lord', he gives a hat tip to Mohammed as being 'the Prophet' as well. Am I being pedantic? Possibly...I know that his TBFF is about helping faiths to get along, which is a noble cause, of course, but St John the Baptist suffered for his witness to the Truth!

St Francis, though not martyred, preached Christ Crucified to all...he didn't hold back...This speech is indicative of a crisis in 'modern' Catholicism, whereby every faith and none is well, kind of equal and all are really talking about the 'common good'. This is utilitarianism, plain and simple. I did my political philosophy module at university, you know. I knew it would come in handy one day. 'The greatest possible good for the greatest possible number of individuals...' It is Rousseau-ism, social contract philosophy, Enlightenment thought, which created the French Revolution, which was not a happy time for the Church!' Thomas Paine, defender of the causes of the French Revolution even wrote a book called, 'In Search of the Common Good.' Here is Tony Blair's most recent speech...
"So this is where John the Baptist, [Come now, at least give him his St. title!] in his garment of camel's hair, fed on locusts and wild honey, preached and worked and baptised Our Lord. John, who called the people to repentance, called them to change their ways, called them above all to return and be true to God,

Not to worship by words but by deeds; not to offer sacrifice by burnt offerings, but by relinquishing selfish desires and seeking the common good. [Not sure the 'common good' was top of St John the Baptist's agenda...more the Salvation of Mankind and the coming of the Christ'] This Baptism happened on these banks nearly 2000 years ago. A moment in time with a consequence in eternity. What was it that John in his ministry and Our Lord Jesus Christ in his, represented to the world?

First, that doctrine may be a support but can never be a substitute for the essence of faith which is: the demonstration of God's love; of its power; of its mercy; of its plea to us to break free of the narrow confines of daily living and to discover the meaning of life [...] His Ministry was not bounded by race, or tribe; but boundless, a ministry of universal appeal and affection. His love reached out. It was not hoarded. It was freely given.

So here we are, 2000 years later, in this same spot. Except today, we are in a Muslim land. And a short distance from here lies Jerusalem and sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

It took courage and leadership for Jordan to allow us this site of baptism, here by this ancient river. But it took more. It took the same spirit that animated John and Jesus, and the Prophet Mohammed and all the Prophets of old. Each took the world as it was - alienated from God - and tried to make it how it should be - reconciled to God. Justice, mercy, compassion, the 'us' not the 'me', pure unselfish love. This is what they stood for. [Notice that Our Blessed Lord and Mohammed are starting to blend into a kind of holy soup of niceness and are really the same good teachers of the 'common good'. The common good...Hmm...Yes, now those disastrous policies of his tenure make more sense...Bomb Iraq: Why? For the common good. Vote pro-abortion: Why? For the common good...Drive home the 'Equalities Act': Why? For the common good!]

Back then, their world was small. But their message was not. And in the larger world we inhabit today, where we travel through continents and time zones, their message is the same message today, centuries later. Don't look inwards, but look outwards. Don't exclude, embrace. [Suddenly, behold! The wisdom! The esoteric knowledge! The message of Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, Moses and Gandhi was the same! The common good! Crikey, maybe Our Lord and His Apostles established the Rotary Club, rather than the Church and we just hadn't realised!]

Don't argue about your differences, but understand what you share and fulfil a common purpose blessed by God. This site is not a place of archaeology it is a place that now, as in John's time, is a place for renewal.

When Moses shattered the golden calf and called on the people to worship the one true God, he renewed the idea of faith, removing it from the realm of superstition to the realm of belief.

When Jesus opened our eyes to the true will of God, he renewed the idea of faith not as legalistic ritual, but as love, love of God and love of our neighbour as our self.

When the Prophet Mohammed took the stone of Ka'aba and made it the place of Hadj, he transformed it from a place of pagan idolatry and transformed it into a testament of submission to God's will. [Crikey...He knows his world religions and the texts doesn't he? Anyone could be forgiven for thinking he was a m- ...Better not say it!]

So, in dedicating this site, let us too renew. Renew our faith in our God [Go on, pick a God, any God!], in our Lord, and in his message: that true love is not measured in the receiving but the giving; and the giving, not limited by human prejudice but enlarged by the infinite possibility of the love of God."
Unfortunately, for Blair, every Article of Faith in the Church has to be set aside for 'the common good'. Now, who said this?
"The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
It was Barry Obama of course! No wonder these two are getting on so well!

In conclusion...No, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor. You should not join Tony Blair's Faith Foundation, because he's not interested in the Catholic Faith. He's only interested in the 'common good' and history suggests that people into the 'common good', usually have to bump off a few people to achieve it. But then the Cardinal, who is said to be in "two minds" as to whether to enter that bastion of Freemasonry, the House of Lords did recently say,
"Our life together in Britain cannot be a God-free zone and we must not allow Britain to become a world devoid of religious faith and its powerful contribution to the common good."


Physiocrat said...

Oddly enough, the Vedic OM sound is written Alpha-Omega in Greek and is often inscribed on Christian altars so make of that what one will.

My own interpretation of this is that Catholicism embraces both Judaism and the Eastern Vedic and Buddhist traditions, and all three can be regarded as foreshadowing the ultimate Christian revelation.

A corollary of this is that it is right for Catholics to study the mainstream Eastern religions for the insights they can give into Catholic practice and theology. Which does not mean that they are interchangeable or that all are as good as each other.

There is known to have been a Buddhist community in Alexandria around the time of Christ. Some commentators have identified this with the Jewish sect called the Therapeuti, which may be a Greek rendering of Theravadi, which is one of the Buddhist schools. It is generally thought that the Therapeuti were a particularly observant group of orthodox Jews, however, many of the fresh ideas which Jesus introduced into Judaism could well have been of Buddhist origin.

Islam is another story. Mohammed was a local warlord and bandit with a few spiritual insights. According to the Qur'an (Surrah 17:1, Isra) and Hadith, Muhammad and Gabriel were taken on winged mules from Mecca to Jerusalem, where they ascended through the seven heavens to the presence of Allah. Which sounds like a bad trip or perhaps someone had forgotten to give him his medication. Olanzapine is the usual thing these days.

Dorothy B said...

I can't decide from this speech whether he is toning down his full belief in the divinity of Christ, for the sake of his audience, or if it expresses the summit of his belief. But it seems to present Christ as one inspired man among others who were equally inspired in their own ways.

I'm very much against referring to Mohammed as a prophet. It misleads Muslims, Christians and everyone else. It should certainly not be done out of a misguided sense of courtesy. I think it is perfectly courteous, and factual, to refer to him simply as the founder of Islam, or "the founder of your religion", or even "your Founder" when addressing a Muslim.

Anonymous said...

How I wish that liberal Catholics, as well as liberal Protestants, would refer to Mohammed as Mohammed and not as 'the Prophet'; alas it is all part of the mealy-mouthed politically correct culture which is now the norm.
As a Brit I can assure you that no one takes Tony Blair seriously.
His fawning manner before the media hid a tyrannical and narcissistic personality.
His former teacher in Edinburgh said, at the time of Blair's illegal war in Iraq, 'How I wish I was there to clip his wings'.
Blair's love of big money is only equalled by the shallowness of his theology and his ignorance of history, including the history of the Arab world.
I should think his future lies in being a New Age charlatan.
He has no one now to flirt with except himself and a small band of blind Blairites such as the odious Peter Mandelstam, all of whom destroyed the real Labour Party and its social democratic ethos.
J Haggerty

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