The Tony Blair Faith Foundation aims to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world.
Faith is vitally important to hundreds of millions of people. It underpins systems of thought and of behaviour. It underpins many of the world’s great movements for change or reform, including many charities. And the values of respect, justice and compassion that our great religions share have never been more relevant or important to bring people together to build a better world.
So Blair wants us all to respect other religions, of “faiths” to use the namby-pamby ecumenical mot du jour. But hang on, isn’t Tony Blair a Roman Catholic? And don’t Catholics believe that if you’re not a Catholic (or at any rate not a Christian) you’ll be tortured for eternity in Hell after you die? That being the case, surely Catholics shouldn’t “respect” other religions at all, but should regard them as deadly serious errors?
For example, if Blair saw a friend about to drink weedkiller, mistakenly believing it was blackcurrent juice, he would say “No! Stop! Don’t do that!” And so it should be with religion, if Blair is truely a believer in the Catholic faith: if he notices that one of his friends is a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu, and he really cares about his friend, he should say “Stop, friend! Don’t do that! You’re risking being tortured for eternity!”
That would be the logical thing to do. But religion isn’t about logic or truth, it’s about believing things because you want them to be true. Or pretending to yourself that you believe them. As I’ve pointed out above, if Blair really believed Catholic doctrine, he’d want to warn all his non-Catholic friends of the terrible danger that they’re in. But he doesn’t do this. Why not? Probably because it would be socially embarrassing, which wouldn’t make Blair feel good.
The TBFF aspires to do good work, such as preventing people from dying from malaria. This is creditable, but it’s a shame they have to wrap it up in irrational superstitious nonsense.