Wednesday, 4 June 2008

US pro-lifers likened to “Saudi extremists” by panellists at American launch of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

Last week saw the American launch of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, an international organisation founded by the former prime minister to ‘promote respect and understanding between the major religions’. At the much-publicised event, two of the panellists showed their respect and understanding of believers by comparing pro-life Americans to “Saudi extremists”. According to an op-ed in the Washington Post, Mr Blair distanced himself from the comment whilst talking to a journalist afterwards with the promise that that ‘could not be what they intended.’

I would have more faith in Tony Blair’s reported promise if he had repudiated his own extreme voting record on abortion, destructive research on human embryos and other such matters.

Some Catholic commentators have suggested that it’s “extreme” to expect him to repudiate his voting record on life issues. But as I’ve blogged in another context, if Tony Blair had voted for laws permitting the killing of Catholics or Jews or people from ethnic minorities or lethal experimentation on them, would Catholics be right to expect him publicly to renounce such laws and to repudiate his role in passing such legislation before being received into the Church?