Tony Blair - a Catholic

  anskyber 21:57 22 Dec 2007

I do not want to provoke religious intolerance between faiths here. I am completely agnostic myself so the issue is of little importance to me.

I raise it because, if this report is to be believed the former PM sought God's "agreement", or perhaps counsel before invading Iraq. click here

Can we really accept these days that there should be a PM who is not secular, free from such Divine "influences"? It all has a feel of many centuries ago and the wars against the infidels?

  CatTrading 22:22 22 Dec 2007

Will Gordon make him a Knight as well on the 31st?

  Totally-braindead 22:33 22 Dec 2007

I don't really see the problem. He says he prayed to god before the Iraq war. Surely thats a good thing, whether he was a Catholic, Protestant or even a Moslem, at least it shows he was very concerned about making the decision.

If there was a Prime Minister who said he prayed to god and then heard voices telling him to do this or that then that would concern me.

Some of the other bits in the article concern me more though. Miss Widdecombe who I personally don't like or trust seems to be saying that if you are a member of a particular religious group then the way you vote should be decided by your faith. I think thats wrong. I'm not saying that you should have to vote against your conscience but surely if you are voted into a position of power, whatever that may be, you are meant to represent the views of the people who voted you into power. Is that not what you are meant to do?

If this is not the case and being a member of any religious group means you will automatically vote in a particular way because a church says thats what should happen then I think we should be examining the religions of the people we vote for as well as what they make in the way of campaign promises.

  rdave13 22:53 22 Dec 2007

'I don't really see the problem. He says he prayed to god before the Iraq war.'
Religion can be a terrible thing.

  Totally-braindead 23:11 22 Dec 2007

rdave13 don't quite follow the logic there.

He says he prayed, presumably for either guidance or that he was doing the right thing. Whatever he prayed for, surely its a good sign that he was concerned enough to worry about whether he was doing the right thing or not. I'm not supporting the Iraq war or saying I am against it.

He does not say that god spoke to him or anything just that he prayed. Thats all he said.

Don't actually like Mr B but that aside I see no problem with him or any other politician praying before making any major decision.

If he or she starts hearing voices then thats completely different.

I hope you are not trying to say that politicians shouldn't be allowed to pray because surely everyone should be allowed to worship as they wish.

  Forum Editor 23:57 22 Dec 2007

Tony Blair avoided doing this while he was in office because he knew what would happen. Whether a Prime Minister prays to a god or not really isn't of any importance, but TB knew that here, in the UK we seem to think that anyone in public life who talks about religion is, in his own words, "a nutter".

Totally-braindead is right - the fact that Tony Blair prayed for guidance does at least demonstrate that he was deeply concerned about what he was contemplating.

That's in the past, and there's nothing he, or anyone else can do about it. TB has now converted to the Catholic faith, and that's nobody's business but his.

  rdave13 00:14 23 Dec 2007

click here Way over my head, totally braindead, but shows how difficult religion is and in history created many wars.

  DrScott 00:15 23 Dec 2007

that what a minister does in his personal life is actually rather irrelevant.

When it does become an issue is when a leader uses religion to justify a certain course of action. George Bush allegedly referred to the invasion of Iraq as being motivated by his Christian beliefs.

This is terribly dangerous and I would argue unacceptable in a modern government.

  DieSse 00:44 23 Dec 2007

We're all motivated by our beliefs, whatever they are, and our beliefs stem primarily from our upbringing, our education, our family, etc.

PS - I am atheistic in outlook, so don't take that as support for George Bush's decisions or specific motivation - rather a view that our beliefs are an integral part of our decisions, whatever they are.

If what you meant is that christian beliefs are dangerous and unacceptable, I may incline to agree - but I don't think that's what you meant.

  DrScott 01:02 23 Dec 2007

is that using religious argument to justify war is unacceptable. I probably wasn't very clear.

Moral arguments are slightly different, but moral values are broadly the same across religions and in aethiests alike.

  DieSse 01:16 23 Dec 2007

"What I meant is that using religious argument to justify war is unacceptable."

But surely in trying to reach/justify any decision, ones beliefs must necessarily play a part - so how can that be unacceptable?

If it was the only criterion used, then I would accept that that in itself would be unacceptable - but I can't think it ever was so, nor has George Bush claimed it to be so.

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