Blair warns of ‘dark side’ of religion

Last night Tony Blair warned against the “dark side” of religion and said the world’s faith community had issues it must “confront and overcome”. He also said that it was not enough to “tolerate” people of different faiths. Muslims, Jews, Christians and members of all faiths must treat each other as “equal”.

Mr Blair, speaking at the Royal Society for the Arts in London, said that in recent years most mainstream religions had been “prey” to the influence of extremist groups. These had seen faith as a “badge of identity” in opposition to those of a different faith.

“Even a short stay in Israel and Palestine, where I now spend a lot of my time, would show you that, all too graphically,” he told an audience of faith leaders and development workers at the seminar, the first of six sponsored by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Department for International Development and Islamic Relief.

“But this, in a sense, is the dark side of strong belief,” he said. “People who hold deep convictions about life and its purpose necessarily can be prone to holding those views to excess or the point of prejudice. That danger is inherent in faith.” He cited a report published yesterday by the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, which found that development work is helped when faiths acknowledge the spirituality of religions other than their own. The report recommended greater collaboration between different faith agencies and called for staff working for faith charities abroad to be given training in the beliefs and practices of other religions.

He also said it was not enough any more to speak of tolerating other religions.

“Though we may disagree with those of another faith, though we hold true to our own faith, we should not have the arrogance merely to tolerate a person whose faith is different; but instead respect them as equals.”

timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6825788.ece

:eek:

is there any way to revoke a conversion?

Four words: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

Pax.

that’s a bunch of hooey…

there is only one right religion…

a religion that advocates jihad, for instance, is automatically wrong because it condones murder of those who don’t believe t he way proponents do. Are we supposed to be, as Catholics “equal” to people who believe THIS??? i think not. Ecumenism with this kind of person??? not me…

religion is just another way of saying We want to Do things God’s way… the right way… in my definition, the way of Love and Justice… Its really not all that complicated but of course, the godless ones make it complicated…

i think we can all agree on certain things being God’s way and other things being man’s way… &/or the devil’s…

but then, we don’t all agree or there wouldn’t be all the problems in the world…

All i know for sure is that if everyone in the world was a practicing Catholic thye would be too busy working out their salvation w/ fear & trembling (Phil 2:12) to get involved w/ , say, trying to steal land from those on their borders and all the other crazy things ungodly people do…

so don’t tell me, atheists, etc… that it doesn’t matter what religion you are and that we are all “the same” or whatever… beliefs translate into actions and actions into gov’t policies, etc… and those that condone such things as murder… well, are not on an equal level as those who don’… (and if atheists are honest, they will say they would rather be governed by Christains than atheists)

some Catholic Mr. Blair turns out to be… :rolleyes:

Well of course we should treat all people as equals, but you cannot treat all religions as equals because frankly you really have to pick one. Why would I pick Catholicism if all the other religions were just as good in my eyes?

I do get what he’s saying about prejudice though. That can be a struggle when you have such strong convictions that you are right.

In a democratic society, all religions must be treated equally before the law. This has nothing to do with theology or which church is the “one true church” or which religion can be traced back to what founder. That is a matter for theologians and prelates. But to put any one religious group into a separate inferior or superior legal category does an injustice to members of all faiths.

i agree… but opinions lead to death

i’m thinking Roe v Wade… etc…

opinions have consequences…

people should be free to have them but not enforce them on others… .like the helpless unborn…

no it doesn’t.

if a protestant said, in effect (as many of them do)that his religion is superior to mine, i would not feel that an “injustice” had been done to me. He is enttitled to his opinion…

this does NO injustice to anyone…

If one is sure of his faith, he will not even FEEL that some kind of “wrong” has been done by such a comment…

he will do as i do: feel sorry for him for not being Catholic… :smiley:

I believe that’s exactly what Blair was trying to say-although you did a better job! :smiley:

Treating all religions equally under the law protects Catholics as much as it protects members of any other faith.

All religions are equal?
In other words, that means that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was entirely void of sense, fully useless, since everybody may be saved, even the faithfuls of the atheist religion.
Mr Blair recently claimed to have converted to the catholic religion: In my opinion his aim is mainly to sow a bit more trouble and confusion among the catholics and to contradict the Pope as if he was himself more patented and skilled in theology than all the the theologians and RCC’s doctors the Church got for 2000 years, only because he was England’s prime minister for some years. His head is inflated with the void of his hollow theories.
I recommend the Pope to get rid of such faithfuls, with love and in all charity, of course. If not, even the most obscure politicians and bureaucrats will follow his example and teach him how to rule the Church.

“Though we may disagree with those of another faith, though we hold true to our own faith, we should not have the arrogance merely to tolerate a person whose faith is different; but instead respect them as equals.”

Should we not respect other people as having equal human dignity to ourselves? Or do we only have the duty to respect other people if they are the same faith as we are?

I fail to see the horror in treating people with respect no matter what faith they profess.

Should we not respect other people as having equal human dignity to ourselves? Or do we only have the duty to respect other people if they are the same faith as we are?

I fail to see the horror in treating people with respect no matter what faith they profess.

There is a difference, which everyone else in this thread has recognized, between respecting and treating as equal another human being, and treating as equal another religion.

It’s basically saying that falsehood is equal to pure, unadulterated truth, which is, of course, a logical fallacy. Truth is infinitely greater than any falsehood. Not all religions can be true - they contradict each other. If one is true, the contradictory ones are therefor false. They are thus not equal to the true religion.

This is what I got out of the article. I don’t think Blair was trying to demean the faith:shrug:. We shouldn’t be so quick to condemn the man without fully understanding what he meant. Even then, it’s not our place to condemn anyway.

Blair is a syncretist. There are bright lines that divide the religions of the world, which however some people prefer to obscure. One of my favorite poems by Robert Frost inclues the line “good fences make good neighbors.” Friendly mending of those fences is what keeps the tribes of this world from collision. Those who tear down soldi walls are called invaders.

Don’t fail to remember that the USSR Constitution provided for such equal treatment. Indeed, it equally denied all the freedom to act except in accord with the dictates of the State. There is a strong element in our society, centered in academia, that has only contempt for religion.

Indeed they do and I think you either missed the point or chose to ignore it. Mr. Blair was pointing out that persons of different faiths should show mutual respect and good will towards one another and focus on the things which they have in common. Most religions have qualities to be universally admired; a fact which John Paul The Great pointed out on numerous occasions. Nothing in the teaching of the Catholic Church gives Catholics a license to snub everyone else.

why? what is wrong with struggle???

wasalam

Semantically, we could argue that the “dark side” of religion is not religion at all, but a distortion of the truth. That, however, is being unfair to Mr. Blair, who was clearly referring to those distortions of the truth. After all, God knows that someone from the United Kingdom has probably seen more than enough religious-based violence and hatred in a certain region of that country.

Worst. Conversion. Ever.

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