or, to put it another way, how can someone get the situation absolutely correct, and yet miss the point completely?
Blair says Politicians sidestep questions on God because…
“You may be considered weird. Normal people aren’t supposed to ‘do God’,” he said. “There is an assumption that, before you take a decision you engage in some slightly cultish interaction with your religion. “Third, you want to impose your religion on others. Fourth, you are pretending to be better than the next person. And finally, and worst of all, that you are somehow messianically trying to co-opt God to bestow a divine legitimacy on your politics.”
And what do you know – he’s right on every point.
Normal people don’t talk to voices in their head, or look for fantastical explanations for everything. When I see some murderer on the news, I don’t think “wow, the devil must have made him do that”. People like Blair who see god in everything ARE weird, and it’s questionable whether someone who suffers such delusions should be in charge of, oh, nuclear weapons for instance?
There is, indeed, an assumption that these people engage in a cultish interaction with their religion before taking a decision. Otherwise what was all that business about demanding a “free” vote over the Human Fertilisation and Embryo bill for catholic MPs? It was precisely to allow them to have a “cultish” interaction with their religion, so that they could be told how to vote by a priest, rather than the labour whip.
Third, they DO want to impose their religion on others. That’s why Blair allowed people like Vardy to get control of Academy schools for a paltry donation, and push their own religious doctrines. If they didn’t want to impose their religion on others, why do the MPs with “faith” insist that I have to suffer a painful death rather than opting to end my own life with dignity? Why does their religion mean that I cannot choose the health care options that I wish to use?
And of course, the religious DO believe that they are better than everyone else!! witness Hypocrite Cardinal O’Brien, lecturing scientists about basic morality (this from an organisation which presided over the sexual abuse of children, and covered it up). These people believe that their belief in the supernatural gives them a straight line to the moral high ground, when frankly nothing could be farther from the truth.
Finally, and most troubling of all… Blair says that the religious politician can “somehow messianically trying to co-opt God to bestow a divine legitimacy on your politics”.
And of course, Tony, when you prayed with George W Bush for guidance before launching an illegal and ill conceived invasion of Iraq, then tried to justify this on UK television by indicating that you answer to God, not the people, that’s now what you were doing, was it?
Ironically, in trying to rally support for the cause, Blair shows us in the clearest possible terms precisely why we do NOT need more faith in public life.