Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tony Blair tells the Pope: you're wrong on homosexuality

AOG, London

I have just read this article about Tony Blair and the Pope on The Times online. Link here.

It reports that the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, a recent convert to Catholicism, told Pope Benedict that he was wrong about his anti-homosexual stance. Well done, in my view.

Mr. Blair is quoted as saying:

We need an attitude of mind where rethinking and the concept of evolving attitudes becomes part of the discipline with which you approach your religious faith.

German-born, 82 year old Pope Benedict XVI, remains firmly opposed to any relaxation of the Church’s traditional stance on homosexuality, contraception or any other area of human sexuality.

He is not known as "Nazinger" for nothing. Yes, that is a picture from his youth.

The Pope has described homosexuality as a “tendency” towards an “intrinsic moral evil”, according to The Times.

Rather than concentrate on the Pope's homophobia, well documented as it is, I took the liberty of copying and pasting some of the comments left on the Times Online on this article.

Some of them I find scary, but for the most part, I think they reflect the religiously-induced ignorance of many people who seem to think that the Christian message is Jesus loves you...unless you are gay.

Here they are. I have taken the liberty of jotting down on this post (my blog, my rules) my thoughts to some of them.

I thought the portion of humanity who read The Times was a bit more evolved. Faced with this level of hatred and homophobia, I beg to differ...

Do have a look.

Thank you Jesus for Pope Benedict. May he remain strong in the faith despite outside pressures. Surround him with your angels and protect him always.
Elaine, Cumberland, USA

Ed. This is not particularly homophobic, thought the reasons for asking for divine protection of the Pope, probably are.

Blair is a couple years a Catholic and now has all the answers. It seems to me that his life's expertise has been in the worldly realm ruled by the spirit of the power of the air. There is plenty of that (air) to go around. True wisdom comes from being able to see what is not apparent.
John, Hayward, USA

Ed. "the spirit of the power of the air"...I don't even want to ask.

Some truths can't be changed because someone says so. Laws of physics, i.e. gravity, temp water boils at etc. Laws of God, Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. I don't read a man shall cling to a man,do you?
Dan, Marquette,

Ed. Christians always find these universal truths. Do they ever think that what they think is universal, is to others, provincial?

I think we should all have a cup of tea and ignore this irrelevant little man (Blair that is!)
Stewart, London,

The Church has switched its position every time science and society has proven it wrong and when it became impossible to hang on to a falsehood e.g. the earth made in 7 days. Blair is just stating the obvious, but then some do believe the earth was made in 7 days.
Ian, london, uk

Ed. Hear! Hear!

Hard to know what kind of preparation Tony Blair underwent as a convert to Catholicism. He is an earnest fellow, I am sure, but is out of his depth theologically. Only a genius, though, would be able to identify 3,500 years of error
John Thom, Charleston, USA

Ed. I totally disagree. It does not take a genius to know what's right, what's wrong, and what is just plain at odds with modern society. Why do Christians think that what the Bible says about homosexuality is spot on and contemporary, but its tenets on Slavery, women, adultery, etc, are not? Odd.

It surprises me that someone so widely read as Tony Blair could make such a comment. The Pope has no more power over the Church's teaching on sexuality than he does on the Trinity. Whats done cannot be undone even by a Pope. Thats basic Catholic Theology.
Myles Bailey, London, UK

Ed. What has been done? And by whom?

After reading this article about Tony Blair, a recent liberal Roman Catholic convert, I can understand why the Holy Father beieves in a smaller Roman Catholic Church. I say, "let the liberal catholics bow out". I love this Holy Father who upholds the true teachings of Christ.
Angie Beans, Hilton Head Island, SC, United States of America

Ed. If only the Cathooic Church were smaller! Imagine how much happier the rest of the planet would be!

After all the wrongs, this might be the right one for Mr. Blair. Be more "open-minded", don't just follow the book word by word, do you know how many versions of books are there? how do you know if that the authors are right on every details. The world will be better if all people are more liberal.
Sunny, London, UK

Mr T. Blair: do you want to be a new modern pope?
Mirek, Nowy Sącz, Poland

There is nothing metaphorical about the text of Romans, chapter one, Mr. Blair. Read the book. Learn the teachings of the Bible and find a mentor.
John, Austin, Texas

Ed. Sorry, the entire Bible is metaphor. Or are we to believe in all that fable and myth as actual events? The only thing missing is unicorns!

Perhaps the Pope can reciprocate and tell Blair he was wrong about Iraq.
Louise, Brussels, Belgium

Ed. I'm so with her on this one.

I think Mr Blair is on to something, but then again I would classify myself as a liberal Catholic. All religions have evolved to some degree over the centuries, and it is very unlikely that humanity's understanding of God and faith will be the same in 100 years, let alone 2000 years.
Mike, Waterloo, Canada

So forget theological scholarship, we will just set Christian doctrine by public opinion.
Peter, Grantham, Lincs

Ed. Like that has never happened!

No one is forced to become Catholic. If you choose not to follow the Church doctrine, find another Church. Tony Blair needs to back up off the Pope and join a religion he agrees with. Easy as 123.
dara, florida, usa

Ed. I'm amazed people defend the Church's even when they are morally wrong. The same thing happened in the 1960s with the Civil Rights movement in the US. The Bible also said the races should not mix. Yet today this argument would be preposterous, as well as inhuman.

The Pope is so out of touch as to be a waste of space to the modern world.First he criticises gays and then he says that Africans shouldnt use condoms to save themselves from dying of HIV.
john, woking, UK

Ed. Exactly!

I find Mr Blair's utter state of denial on his own self and public image fascinating; the man really appears to think he is a moral shining light, and that his views on religion, no less, are significant. Tony, what about some public contrition for the countless killed in Iraq thanks to you?
Mike, Buenos Aires,

Metaphorical, Mr Blair? So the CoE is right about transubstantiation?

You see the the problem.
Jim Guest, G. Manchester,

Whilst I agree that being Gay does not exclude you from religious faith I have to wonder what an upstart Blair has become. He has only just joined the church and now he wants to run it. If you don't like the club, join another. Oh by the way, find us those weapons will you. Still looking?
Joe, Geelong, VIC Australia

Do we really know who is responsible for writing most of the world's religious texts & how the word of God only came to the fore thousands of years ago? Does God not speak to humanity today - men, women,of all abilities, ages & sexual orientations? Something conceived 2k yrs is not relevant today
Tom F, Leicester, UK

Ed. Obviously the voice of reason. So chatty a few millenia ago, and so silent these days. And we have the internet and everything!

It's no suprise to me. For many years now, Blair thinks that he is the Pope!
Colin Moon, Portsmouth,

And Tony Blair's opinion still matters... why?

He's responsible for what Great Britain has turned into. Arrest him.
A. Kolb, Vienna, Austria

At least Blair is right on this....for a change. No wonder so many view him as a pseudo catholic!
W.Wallace, NY,

Francis Cousins:
You forgot to mention those who were forced to RENOUNCE their faiths by the Catholics around the world, through the centuries.
adam, Oldham, uk

In what sense is Blair a Catholic if he doesn't believe Catholic doctrine? I think these two people deserve each other.
James Edward, London, UK

Ed. Catholic doctrine says it is ok to be homophobic? So by this argument, you can't praise God, Jesus, the Saints and the Virgin Mary or the Holy Spirit unless you hate homosexuals. Yes, this makes perfect sense.

Behold! The Lord has brought you a British Jimmy Carter.
John, Connecticut, USA

Religious bodies have their believes and principles which believers must abide by them. And if Mr Blair does not subscribe to those principles then he is not a practising catholic and should join a liberal church. He thinks he can change views from within. Why not join Islam and change their views
Frank Achaw, London, UK

Ed. Somebody should change Islam's views too.

If you knew any thing about Prophet Mohamed,you would have thought several times before recalling his life in such a dirty argument !!
homosexuality is without doubt a psycho-social disorder
and all relegions stand against it. So, what is new you want to tell us about it ??
Good job pope..
Alfrazdaq, Cairo,

Ed. No. Not all religions stand against it. Only the three main monotheistic ones do. The rest of the planet is not of their opinion.

The pope is dead right and most people in the world think so. It seems one of those issues that all the 'take the moral high ground' liberal luv vies like to bang on about while choosing to ignor the views of the vast majority of religious people. Blair's arrogance is breathtaking!
D Case, Newquay,

Ed. Wow, I have never heard of someone who has met most people in the world! How did he/she manage that? It must have been very tiresome to do so. Especially if when you meet most of the world, you only ask them if they hate gay people.

Tony Blair is as wrong on this issue as he has been on everything else he has been involved in. Homosexual behaviour is not widely accepted at all. It is tolerated, that is a big difference.
Jonny B, stortford, UK

Ed. What, I wonder, is homosexual behavior? And what, pray tell, is tolerance? Is it something we are meant to have for Christians?

Blair is lecturing the Bishop of Rome on faith and morals? Who cares? Why is this a headline?
Marshall, Oakland, U.S.A.

Ed. The bishop of Rome! This made me laugh.

The most dangerous times in history have been when religious leaders and politicians agreed.
Mark, Maidstone, UK

Ed. Those times are over? Where?

Is there no subject about which Blair doesn't know better than everyone else? Why the media continue to pay any attention to him is a mystery to me.
Patrick Williams, Cardiff, Wales

Dear Tony: Look into the mirror and repeat this 100x: "I am not the second coming",.....
Adrian, London, UK

Approximately three quarters of the world's population told Blair he was wrong on Iraq. Did he take any notice?
Neil, Gloucestershire, England

I agree with Adele. And at least Mr Blair is doing something to promote peaceful understanding instead of just sitting back and judging everyone else based on their fears and ideas that have been spoon-fed.
Suzy, Oxted,

Maybe he should go to Iran next and tell them the same thing.
John, London, UK

Ed. Again, somebody should.

outdated, wrong, dangerous and fuelled by misconception, hearsay and text that is 2000 years old. that is todays religion.
Liam, Aberdeen, Scotland

Ed. Exactly.

How fortunate for this man to be granted an audience with such a hallowed revered figure. The Pope is indeed very fortunate.
AndyM, Sheffield,

Catholics don't think homosexuals are lesser beings than heterosexuals. I am Catholic and was taught that people (whether gay or not) are God's children and should be treated with respect. It is a case of condemning the sin (homosexual acts) than condemning the sinner. Tony Blair is utterly wrong.
Becky, Manchester, UK

Ed. If people think being gay is a sin, then we still have a long way to go. Unfortunately.

Bill Vancouver. You couldn't put it better mate!
Eddy, Toledo,

This is beyond belief!! The convert of a day telling the Pope (and one who is one of the most outstanding theologians of his day) to change the Church. Why is Blair - or Cherie for that matter - a Catholic? I have asked myself that question on many occasions. Nemesis follows Hubris.
Josephine, Doncaster, UK

perhaps blair shouldnt have joined the catholic church, perhaps they should have joined him.
brian, newcastle, uk

John, Raleigh, USA: so a physical act for the sake of "regeneration" is the "the most powerful, poetic and beautiful act in the social order". How about loving one another, or is that some lesser consideration? Or even the exercise of reason and fairness?
Adele, Frankfurt,

Ed. Indeed.

One can see why Blair's attempts at interfaith dialogue have been such a spectacular failure. The more confident his ventures into religious discourse, the more quickly he will get out of his depth.
Paul, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

Pure electioneering - nothing more or less.
J Jenkins, York,

WHAT fantastic things does this pope stand for?
dee , london, england

Ed. I wonder that myself.

If you are born into a church you can criticize it. If you convert you must be taken to have accepted it all. You must also accept the Roman Churches stance on the use of condoms, abortion, gay people and the infallibility of the pope. You can't cherry-pick, Mr. Blair. That's why I won't convert
Bill, Vancouver, Canada

Ed. What privililege is this? Is this on the Bible? Privileges of the converts vs. privileges of those born unto the church? Nonsense.

The sexual union between a man and women is the natural method for regeneration of human life and as such is the most powerful, poetic and beautiful act in the social order. Protesting the equation of same-sex acts to this most sublime human activity is not based on fear, but on love for the Truth.
John, Raleigh, USA

Ed. You lost me there.

And just who is this fellow Mr Tony Blair?
Just because a thing is fashionable does not make it right.
Should the church accept binge drinking, celebrity culture worship, dependency on hoping to win the Lotto every Saturday night?
We need steadfast figures who are guided by morality and decency
Rory Wiltshire, Swindon, UK

Ed. Ethics will guide you. No need to pray to transcendental invisible beings. Try ethics. So much healthier.

Thousands of Roman Catholics suffered torture, humiliation and death because they would not RENOUNCE their faith.

Mr Blair would not ANNOUNCE his faith until he left office because he feared it would cause him to suffer at the ballot box.

How can we take him seriously ?
Francis Cousins, Wrington, UK

Ed. Does it matter? Why do Christians always play the martyr? Boring.

About time that one of our other international high profile respected citizens took a stand with this out of touch attitude from the leader of the catholic church. Well done Tony.
Robert, Sydney, Australia


Blair should know. He is, after all, God's personal representative on earth.
Lezl Taubler, Londion, UK

I think there is much more that Mr blair should concern himself with.

Is an illegal war in Iraq with hundreds of thousands dead is more important than the sexual predilections of some of our community.

Don't think so,
willie mac, arden, scotland

Funnily enough, from any angle, and according to the gossip on the ground in Rome, the Pope himself is gay.

And according to this site, the Mossad say so. So it must be true then.

So his homophobia is even more of a surprise.

This is a photograph of the Pope's red Prada shoes. Red Prada shoes.

If you have any views on this, do let me know.


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