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Religion is the new politics: Blair reveals philosophy at launch of faith foundation

Original post made by robin s, Stanford, on May 31, 2008

On May 30 in New York, Blair, 55, formally unveils The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which, among other things, is dedicated to proving that collaboration among those of different religious faiths can help address some of the world's most pressing social problems.Web Link

"Faith is part of our future," Blair says, "and faith and the values it brings with it are an essential part of making globalization work."
For Blair, the goal is to rescue faith from the twin challenges of irrelevance—the idea that religion is no more than an interesting aspect of history—and extremism.
Blair and those working with him think religion is key to the global agenda. "You can't hope to understand what's happening in the world if you don't know that religion is a very important force in people's lives," says Ruth Turner, 37, formerly a top aide to Blair in 10 Downing Street, who will head the foundation.
"You can't make the world work properly unless you understand that, while not everyone will believe in God or have a spiritual life, a lot of people will."
Blair, she says, has been thinking about these issues "for decades and decades and decades."
Over time, says Blair of the foundation's work, "this is how I want to spend the rest of my life."

Comments (9)

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on May 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Good idea...unless there is an attempt to deny Islamic intollerance of non-Islamic religions and peoples. If, however, there is a buy-in by Muslims that religious tolerance, including the allowance of atheists within their midsts, without threats, this could be the start of something good.

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 31, 2008 at 4:56 pm

The Church of England News:

> If recent reports of trends in religious observance
> prove to be correct, then in some 30 years the
> mosque will be able to claim that, religiously
> speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation, and therefore
> needs a share in any religious establishment to
> reflect this. The progress of conservative Islam in
> the UK has been amazing, and it has come at a time
> of prolonged decline in church attendance that
> seems likely to continue.
> This progress has been enthusiastically assisted by
> this government in particular with its hard-line
> multi-cultural dogma and willingness to concede to
> virtually every demand made by Muslims.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Tony Blair is on the right track. Here we can't even mention religion in our schools, let alone teach what the different religions believe. In the 21st century, religion is one of the strongest motivations for events all over the world and unless we understand the reason why certain groups of people do what they do, then we are not going to understand worldwide politics.

The US must educate its people on this subject of religion because understanding is going to matter. Without this education politicians are going to look ill-informed and the people will be the laughing stock of foreign nationals worldwide.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on May 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm

One crisis they could focus on is this
Sex-selective abortion is a fact of life in India, where the gender ratio has declined to 1,000 boys to 900 girls nationally, and as low as 1,000 boys to 300 girls in some Punjabi cities.
In China, the state-enforced "one child" policy has brought about the most gender-distorted demographic cohort in global history, the so-called guang gun– "bare branches."
If you can only have one kid, parents choose to abort girls and wait for a boy, to the point where in the first generation to grow to adulthood under this policy there are 119 boys for every 100 girls.

In practice, a "woman's right to choose" turns out to mean the right to choose not to have any women.

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Posted by Wish Tony were running for Pres here.
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2008 at 7:55 am

Umm..this is nothing new. Religion has always been a driving force in politics. Even 5,000 years ago people fought over whose God was the right one.

Now, back to today..I am delighted with this organization. I hope it doesn't turn into yet another Christian bashing pseudo helpful group,, but with Tony at the helm, I trust it will be well run.

As for no religion is allowed to be taught in our schools...yes it is. Many schools teach Islam and read the Koran as part of "tolerance" studies, and atheism is taught in the for of denigration of any Christianity, and anti-Catholic bias permeates virtually every history, English and modern issues class.

So, don't be fooled...religion is taught, just not correctly. I have to correct my childrens' studies all the time.

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Posted by sue mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2008 at 8:40 am

I can't believe the political calculation of Barack Obama and the unbelievable "belief" that the leftwing (i.e. the more than 90% of all media outlets) media are expressing about this "sad and sincerely regretful (please don't abandon me in the voter booth, Black Liberation Theology supporters) decision".
Come on.
The guy and his wife have been listening to this radical garbage for two decades.
It's what Obama (and probably even more so) Michele Obama think, it's what they are and it's what they always will be. Please.
So now his campaign and the media can fend off criticism by saying Trinity is "his former church" just like they've been calling Wright his "former pastor".
Please. When will we get a responsible media that actually reports the truth and what is actually happening.
I can't believe that the vocally anti-religious press corps is suddenly tiptoeing around feigning respect for and an unwillingness to question or probe into the heart or mind of a person regarding the sincerity of their convictions because they are somehow associated with faith.

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Posted by sam
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2008 at 8:51 am

A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned.

The incident will fuel fears that "no-go areas" for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed this year.

Like this comment
Posted by sally
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 1, 2008 at 9:30 am

"Pews you can lose " [Mark Steyn]

"As one of the early trailblazers for the Rev Wright put it, greater love hath no man than to lay down his friends for his life.
In among all the usual presidential ditching of inconvenient associations, I can't think of anything to compare with Obama's dumping of Trinity.
It's like Jimmy Carter renouncing his Baptist Church in Plains, Ga - although Carter never went so far as to title his campaign-launch promotional book after one of his preacher's sermons.
Perhaps it's closer to Howard Dean quitting the Episcopal Church in Burlington, Vt over its objection to a proposed bike path -
although even that arcane theological dispute seems more principled than Obama's wholesale abandonment of Trinity,
its congregation,
and the man who married him and was entrusted with the spiritual education of his children."

Like this comment
Posted by stomp out hate
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I sure hope England wakes up...a "hate crime" to preach Christianity in a Muslim area? God help all of us if Democracies don't stomp out this nonsense, and HARD.

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