Thursday, May 14, 2009

Remake religion? Remake Christianity?


Sando Magister has this very interesting analysis of the Blair Faith Foundation by (Mgr?) Michel Schooyans, it is part of a longer article entitled "Obama and Blair: Messianism reinterpreted".

President Obama can count on support for these programs from Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Booth. One of the aims of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the think tank founded by the former British prime minister, will be that of remaking the major religions, just as his colleague Barack Obama will remake global society. With this purpose, the foundation in question will try to expand the "new rights," using the world religions for this end and adapting these for their new duties. The religions will have to be reduced to the same common denominator, which means stripping them of their identity. This cannot be done without establishing international law as inspired by Hans Kelsen (1881-1973), and charged with approving all of the laws of sovereign nations. This system of law will also have to be imposed on the world religions in such a way that the new "faith" may be the unifying principle of global society. This new "faith," this unifying principle, must allow the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals. These goals include "Promote gender equality and empower women" (number 3) and "Improve maternal health" (number 5). We know very well what these expressions cover and imply. The launching of the Foundation's program has been announced with a campaign against malaria. This is part of goal number 6: "Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases." The announcement was made in such a way that subscribing to this campaign will mean subscribing to the Millennium Development Goals as a whole.

In fact, Tony Blair's project extends and amplifies the United Religions Initiative, which appeared several years ago. It also extends the Global Ethic Declaration, one of the main proponents of which is Hans Küng. This plan cannot be realized except at the price of the sacrifice of religious freedom, of the imposition of a "politically correct" interpretation of the Sacred Scriptiures, and of the sabotage of the natural foundations of law. Machiavelli had recommended that religion be used for political purposes . . .

The former British prime minister's highly propagandized "conversion" to Christianity, as well as his interview with the gay magazine "Attitude" in April of 2009, make Tony Blair's intentions concerning religion even more clear, beginning with the Catholic religion. The Holy Father's statements, especially about condoms, belong to another generation. The fresh "convert" does not hesitate to explain to the pope not only what he must do, but also what he must believe! Is he Catholic? Blair does not believe in the authority of the pope.

So now we are back in the time of Hobbes, if not of Cromwell: it is civil power that defines what one must believe. Religion is emptied of its distinctive content, its doctrine; nothing remains but a residue of morality, as defined by the Leviathan. It is not said that one must deny God, but from now on God has nothing to do with the history of men and their rights: it is a return to Deism. God is replaced by the Leviathan. It is up to this to define, if it wishes, a civil religion. It is up to this to interpret, if and how it wishes, the religious texts. The question of the truth of religion no longer has any relevance. Religious texts, in particular the biblical ones, must be understood in their purely "metaphorical" sense; this is what Hobbes recommends (III, XXXVI). At the most, only the Leviathan can interpret the Scriptures. Religious institutions must also be reformed to adapt them to the changes. Some religious figures must be taken hostage and made to approve the new secularized "faith," that of the "civil partnership."

The rights of man as understood in the realist tradition are here put to the sword. Everything is relative. There are no rights left, except for the ones defined by the Leviathan. As Hobbes writes, "The law of nature and the civil law contain each other and are of equal extent" (I, XXVI, 4). Nothing remains of the truth, except for what the Leviathan says. It alone decides how the change should take place.

15 comments:

Londiniensis said...

Even the Grauniad is useful sometimes - a good article headlined "Tony Blair's Faith Foundation inspires ridicule"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/may/13/tony-blair-faith-foundation

George said...

My response to all this 'one world religion' nonsense is spherical and in the plural!

After having taken part in the Tyburn Pilgrimage last Sunday and listened to some great Catholic speakers (including Bishop PO'D!)at the FLI conference in Westminster hall on Saturday all I can say is "roll on the persecution", because that is when the Catholic Church will be at its strongest and best.

Barrack and Blair, what are they but puppets of the prince of this world. God help them.

I.P. said...

Henry VIII as the civil power in England in the 1530's and 40's claimed the right to say what his subjects should believe. He and the Lutheran Rulers thought of themselves each as a Godly Prince. Perhaps Messrs Obama and Blair share their delusion.

Elizabeth said...

As St Thomas Aquinas said, a situation that is not natural simply cannot last. Very much like the Greek and Roman Empires. This one world religion will come and go unfortunately taking casualties with it.
People in prestigious positions forget that they have been given that position from God, instead they themselves believe that they are gods, as Jesus said to Pontius Pilot. "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above".
Foolish, foolish men, full of pride and self love!!

mafeking said...

It's heartening to see such a strong attack on Blair and Obama from inside the Vatican. I was beginning to think they were falling asleep on the job. It's a great analysis of where it could all be going.

Blair and Obama are definitely anti-Christ prototypes. I wouldn't trust either of them. Blair in particular is just so vain.

gemoftheocean said...

As far as I am concerned the day can't come soon enough when "zero" drops dead. His kind are as persistent as cockroaches, however.

Henry said...

I used to think that Blair was just plain mad, imagining he was the Messiah, and there are lots of people in places like Millview who think the same. But now it seems as if he is (also) part of a bigger project. I hesitate to make an allegation of conspiracy because NuLab have been so incompetent that they could not conspire their way out of a paper bag. But the facade of good intentions are a hallmark of something very nasty working in the background.

I have growing doubts too, about things called "Novus Ordo" as on the US $1 bill and elsewhere. The Holy Father's ruling on the Tridentine rite may turn out to have come in the nick of time. I had not thought this before, but with things going on like the Blair/Obama project which is merely a continuation of the Bush/Rumsfeld/Blair New World Order project, it could be time to take stock.

mafeking said...

If Blair gives more "interviews" that means he's got a plan. If other people start joining it will start smacking of co-ordination. No seasoned politician gives interviews like that by accident.

nickbris said...

Do we really want to be lectured to by any Politicians? All they are in it for is to "fill their boots" Tonykins is earning a fortune talking a load of old cobblers,Obama says anything that comes into his head before he has to recant and all the rest of them on both sides of the pond are "at it"

If the turn-out in the next General Election is more than zero it will be a surprise.

I.P. said...

I wonder if the morality revealed by the MPs expenses scandal owes anything to the new religion that what the law allows is therefore morally right and that morality should be decided by law rather than vice versa. How else could our representatives feel comfortable with their consciences unless they believed that provided an action was within the rules it was therefore ok?
I do not live in Brighton but wonder how many of its MPs have a second home in London at public expence.

nickbris said...

To answer the question of IP.Our MP's commute to London.Celia Barlow & David Lepper

Elizabeth said...

Dear Father,

I have finished my blog - at least for the moment - but would certainly have mentioned the news item about a Church in our Diocese with its 'Jesus in Jeans' statue. I put down my thoughts on it here - and on someone's combox - the only place I could find it mentioned on a blog, although the dreaded DT may have had it somewhere.

I'm not, obviously expecting you to publish this - I'm just sending it to you as I wondered if you were going to mention it at all? Anyway - thoughts below.


Jesus in Jeans statue (Uckfield)

I find this objectionable on several levels.

Firstly, I find it excruciatingly embarrassing - the 'trendy' priest trying to 'reach out' to the 'yoof' of today. The Church deserves more dignity than that.

Secondly I find it worrying that Christ is remade in our image, as if the time and place he chose for his Incarnation - which included all the culture and style - were not good enough for us.

Thirdly, I dislike the idea of a kind of Tony Blair look-alike Jesus, with all its 'Jesus is my boyfriend' connotations.

And lastly, I dislike the lack of truth displayed. Jesus here is reduced to a kind of symbol - who is Jesus for you? - instead of a real person who lived at a certain time in history and wore a certain style of clothes. Yes, of course he might have worn jeans if he had been incarnated today - but he didn't. He, the Son of God, chose that time, not ours.

Protestants often accuse us of 'making graven images', but we refute this by telling them the images are to recall people and events to us - for instance, a crucifix reminds us of what Christ did - a statue of Our Lady reminds us of some event or title or attribute of hers we wish to recall. This statue clearly does not have a specific purpose like that and as such leaves us open to the graven image charge. The point has been made that other eras also had Jesus dressed in the clothes of their day - this is true, but the statues and pictures also had a clear purpose which detracted from the inaccuracy of the clothing. The only purpose here seems to be just that - to show Jesus in different clothing.

"Father Buckley said: "You are always looking for new ways to enrich people in the experience of Christianity and it is good people can be open-minded to appreciate it." Well, I believe it was GK Chesterton who said, "The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." There's not much that's solid there except whatever the thing is made of. I believe in an open mind too, but as Sulzberger said, not so open that your brains fall out.

Henry said...

IP - I thought the same till I saw the list of named and shamed - it is unfortunately the case that several of the named and shamed MPs are known to be Christians of some kind or another so it is no guarantee just because they might have been expected to know better.

I,P. said...

Thank you Nickbris. I wonder if the present MPs are of the calibre of David James whom I remember as a devout person who sent his son Peter to Stonyhurst?

Henry said...

People in the Middle East generally did not wear trouser-like garments until relatively recent times. It would not have been suitable either for the climate or lifestyle. According to Wikipedia, the wearing of trousers began amongst warlike tribes where horse-riding was common, which makes sense. The Germanic tribesmen also adopted that type of clothing, which is naturally suited for colder climates.

The notion of Jesus in Jeans is bizarre. You can listen to the 1962 hit Venus in Blue Jeans here