Via Gulf Stream Blues I’ve come across some of the utter rubbish Tony Blair has been saying about religion over the past few days. “Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st Century as political ideology was to the 20th Century.” Eugh! It makes me feel sick.

How does that tally with the fact that in western democracies religious affiliation has actually been decreasing? In the UK the percntage of people that belong to a religion and attend services in 1964 was 74% and in 2005 was 31%! (source)

Then there’s Blair’s rather revisionist approach that flies in the face of the historical evidence: hundreds of thousands of people have died across the centuries in religious conflicts. How could it possibly be any different in this coming century?

I suppose this approach is a logical next step from the Third Way to which Blair devoted himself as a politician: constantly tell yourself that you can reconcile the free market and social justice and it will happen. So tell yourself that you can reconcile mighty religions and peaceful co-existence and you might start to believe it… Yeah, right.

One Comment

  1. Jon, you know we are not going to agree on religion, but as the vast majority of the world’s population are people with a religious faith I would’ve though looking for points of common interest was vital to seeking peace and social justice, and probably more effective than telling them that you think they have imaginary friends they should grow out of.
    I think the Blair foundation idea is really interesting, but as he’s still seen as Mr Iraq, its job is potentially more difficult than he thinks…
    Here’s a link to a blog entry by a co-blogger on, Journeyman, with some democide stats which might be of interest.

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