Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tony Blair interviewed

There was an interview yesterday, in the London Evening Standard, with Blair. You know: Blair. Tony Blair. The unindicted class war criminal. That Blair. Who let out the bombs? Blair and Bush, Bush and Blair. That Blair. Anyway, he was interviewed by the paper's editor yesterday.

I'm confused. She seems to have risen to her position by not pursuing the truth. She says:

What concerns him is the rise of “aggressive secularism” in Britain. “There is an aggressive secularism here — the aggressive secularism actually has a common link with the aggressive view of religion. Both want to define religion in a way that a large part of the middle ground would find abhorrent. So that is why people of faith have to stand up and be counted and say this is not what we think religion is.”

What does he mean by “aggressive secularism”? She didn't ask him. But I recall reading a post on some discussion list or other where it was remarked that it is usually aggressive people who accuse others of being aggressive. That is, they think it is aggressive to disagree with them.

What does he mean by “an aggressive view of religion”? The first thing that occurs to me is that it should mean people who force religion on others; but I don't think that can be it.

Whatever he means by these two waffly phrases, he thinks there's a link between them, presumably more of a link than that he thinks there's a link between them. He doesn't say what the link is; and, of course, she doesn't ask him.

I think if I ever get dementia or brain damage that I'll become a newspaper editor.

The link's nature includes / shares, he implies, an abhorrent definition of religion. That sense of abhorrence is, he says, the middle ground; but he doesn't say where that leaves those whom he regards as aggressive. Or perhaps, by middle ground, he just means: "like me". She doesn't ask him.

And then he comes out with this stuff about people of faith – are they the ones who have religion? – standing up and being counted.

I am grateful to Mr Blair. Until now I thought they were shouting a lot of assertions because many people are beginning to lose faith, if they ever had it. I find them very aggressive. I find it aggressive that we cannot express our views on religion without being censored and censured in case we cause offence. Why shouldn't we speak? Why is it that people who believe they are going to live after they have died are taken seriously?

Kindness, by all means. Limited toleration. Counselling perhaps.

It is quite wrong to deliberately mock people; but what's going on now is a way of smuggling blasphemy back in.

They need to give us reasons for their faith. Their recent nonsense about doubt being part of faith by which they seek to co-opt lack of belief as a kind of belief is unscientific and vandalistic of thought. If they can't explain themselves then they should just keep quiet and get on with their hobbies the same as everyone else. That includes Blair.

No comments: