All label and no content

Blair doing God.

Issues of faith have clearly been consuming Mr Blair. Since leaving office, he has converted to Roman Catholicism. This requires much thought and reflection. After confessing serious sins, a convert must make the “Rite of Reception”, including saying that: “I believe and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church believes, teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

And saying that requires thought and reflection? Wouldn’t you think it requires something more like the avoidance of thought, the abdication of thought? To say you believe all that the ‘Holy’ Catholic Church proclaims to be revealed by God is to say you believe something very all-encompassing, very broad, very dogmatic, and very evidence-free. What does that have to do with thought? Dogmatic belief is not the same thing as thought, and in many ways it’s the negation of it.

While Mr Blair may have changed the subject to talk about religion, he remains to his fingertips a politician. He knows that, while the fact of his religious faith is essential to making his initiative work, the content of it might get in the way.

Ah – well that would explain it. The fact of his ‘faith’ is essential while the content is a nuisance. That so often is the case, isn’t it – the word ‘faith’ is used as a self-congratulatory lapel-pin, while the actual literal things people are supposed (by clerics if no one else) to believe are tactfully not discussed. Blair’s ‘faith’ is all label and no content, at least for purposes of public discussion.

But if that’s the case – why call it faith at all? Why attempt to eat your cake and have it? What’s it all about – just having a place to go with the spouse and kids on a Sunday? If the actual content is too awkward to talk about…why hang on to the exoskeleton like grim death?

Who knows. The ways of the faithful are mysterious.

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