Monday, November 26, 2007

Tony Blair

It is refreshing to see Tony Blair talking about faith. As he says, 'Mention God and everyone thinks you are a nutter.' And he is right. There is an insane hush around the subject of religion in the media and politics.

Still, it will always be a mystery to me how Tony Blair and I can apparently both be Roman Catholics, when I was one of the 2 million or so that took to the streets to express our disagreement with the war in Iraq. Who knows what the eventual decision was in the upper echelons of power, whether Blair even had a choice about going to war in Iraq. (Never, never, never get out of step with America, as Churchill said.) But I was fairly sure that God was telling me to be amongst that grey river of people who drearily trod through London on that cold day. Which is why generally people in power don't mention their hotline to God. They may well believe that God is telling them to do something, but they know that they are fallible and that they might have got it wrong. There is something innately unhinged about someone who expresses absolute confidence in their ability to hear the Divine Being and act on His wishes. Did Jesus intend me to march? Did he intend Blair to go to war? Who knows. I wouldn't dream of pronouncing on the matter.

So when (if) Blair does at last enter the Catholic Church I shall be glad to welcome him. He may not be particularly truthful but his heart is in the right place I feel. I shall still not be pro war, but that is one of the great strengths of Catholicism - to unite people of widely disparate viewpoints through the institutionalised miracle of Christ's Eucharist. We are all one body because we share in the body and blood of Christ, not because we voted for Blair.

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