Crossed the Tiber… UK Edition

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees on the news wires that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has gone and crossed the Tiber. Apparently, Cherie Blair is Catholic. The Blair children are Catholic as well. The article goes on to say:

Political commentators have also suggested Blair had been unwilling to make the move while he was still in power because some lawyers believed that 19th century laws could actually prevent a Catholic from becoming prime minister.

It was also thought a conversion could have provoked a conflict with his role in appointing Anglican bishops and he might have also felt the need to tread carefully while mediating in the Northern Ireland peace process between the province’s Catholic and Protestant communities.

European Union Trade Commissioner and political confidant Peter Mandelson said Blair was “not an exhibitionist” about religion but was “a man who takes a Bible with him wherever he goes and last thing at night he will read from the Bible.”

However Ann Widdecombe, an opposition Conservative member of parliament who converted to Catholicism herself, said Blair would have had to have changed his mind on a number of issues such as abortion and civil partnerships for gay couples.

“If you look at Tony Blair’s voting record in the House of Commons, he’s gone against church teaching on more than one occasion on things for example like abortion,” she told the BBC.

Playing the Devil’s Advocate here… Wouldn’t one say that Blair’s past voting record doesn’t really matter in this context… He was Anglican afterall. Wouldn’t one hope that his heart be in the right place from now on?

Your Maximum Leader admits that he can see the troubles that a “Catholic Politician” could face when political issues are imbued with religious issues. It comes down to that old government class question, should the politician represent the view of his constituents (on the whole) or should the politician do what his convictions tell him to do - constituents be damned. All too often politicians (John Kerry and Ted Kennedy first come to mind here) say that they have strong personal faith, but their job is to do what is best for the nation. Perhaps your Maximum Leader is being squishy here when he says that he understands the argument they are trying to make. He doesn’t argee with it, but he sees what they are trying to do. (Is that squishy? Is that something akin to sophistry?) Your Maximum Leader isn’t in the business of warning politicians about the motes in their eyes; the plank in your Maximum Leader’s eye is quite severe and doesn’t allow him to be too critical. Even if he were mote-less, he will leave final judgement in such matters to the appropriate Authority.

Your Maxmium Leader wishes Mr. Blair all the best in the rest of his life’s journey of faith. He hopes that Mr. Blair finds comfort, strength and wisdom in the Catholic church.

Carry on.

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