A Case Against Blair

Stephane Mot’s reasons for opposing Blair, whom he labels a “fundamentalist”:

Unsurprisingly, Tony Blair came out in the open as a candidate for the Presidency of Europe.

The problem is that previously, he also came out in the open as a newly converted Catholic. Some – including yours truly – would rather say “born again fundamentalist”.

After palling and praying around with a fundamentalist imposteur (George W. Bush), after courting a fundamentalist pope (Benedict XVI), The Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair will be welcomed by people like fundamentalist Luc van den Brande, the man who a couple of years ago censored a report denouncing creationist / Intelligent Design lobbies at governmental levels across western Europe.

So this man can campaign on consensual and noble causes as much as he wants on his website (he just published “Technology for a Low Carbon Future” – tonyblairoffice.org), make no mistake : his job is to boost fundamentalism and to turn Europe into a safe haven for US style cults and megachurches.

  • Evangelos

    If you ask me, that’s a fairly weak argument to oppose a candidate; it’s the equivalent of the conservatives branding Obama a socialist and a friend to terrorists despite the extremely dubious proof they provided. Because a man has come out as a Catholic convert, there is absolutely no reason to assume that he would allow this to influence his policies. There are many excellent reasons to oppose a patsy like Tony Blair, based on his political actions as Prime Minister. His recent conversion is not one of them.

  • Dan Fincke

    Yes, I don’t think the conversion is the issue. But I think he has come out as an explicit political advocate for religion in a way that makes me a bit wary. I understand that he is trying to be part of the necessary tug of war helping to pull the centers of religions (particularly Islam) closer to moderation and compatibility with liberal institutions.

    But I’m queasy about such a high profile politician becoming a bullish propagandist for the necessity and value of faith when there are so many theocratic forces within both Christianity and Islam looking for opportunities to expand religion’s governmental power.

    So, yeah, I think you’re right that this bit of rhetoric I quoted argues from weaker premises (guilt by association, guilt by private conversion, etc.) I think I seized on it because of my larger concern with pro-faith propaganda coming from a politician.

  • Evangelos

    That I whole-heartedly agree with. I was always a little embarrassed for him when he would come out and speak on his new-found religion because that possibility of re-entering politics was still there. It’s definitely bad form.

    By the way, I finally got around to getting my feet wet in some of Hannah Arendt’s work. Like I’ve said before, it’s going to be a fun summer!

  • Dan Fincke

    I think I recommended some Arendt to you last fall, if I remember correctly. I haven’t read her extensively but I have definitely read her profitably. She’s a deeply insightful thinker. One of 20th Century philosophy’s jewels.