Which hat is Blair wearing?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
THE FAITH-BASED community seemingly takes pride in demonstrating an aversion to objectivity and inclusiveness. This position is apparently supported by Bishop Herro Blair's recent pronouncements from the pulpit that parishioners should quiz their political candidates about their moral beliefs and "what they defend".
Implicit within the context of this instruction is a prejudice towards a Judeo-Christian moral code and an exclusion of those whom Christians misguidedly claim God burnt down two cities to eradicate. I wasn't aware that political representatives had an obligation to their constituents to espouse the value system of evangelical Christianity, but as evidenced by the frenzied applause and 'amens' such diatribes usually receive, I am apparently in the minority.
I urge Bishop Blair to clarify what exactly he means by "we have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud". This to me sounds like a thinly veiled incitement to some sort of violence in order to protect this 'good Christian nation' from the infiltration of the iniquitous. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war?
In response to these views, I expect to hear that criticism of what comes from the pulpit is the first sign of the end of times and that next "they" will want to stop prayer in schools, marry their goats, and walk naked in the streets. Clerics such as Blair are, of course, the most entitled to freedom of speech because they are conduits for the infallible word of God and as such any opposition to whatever nonsense they may spew is opposition to God and is, therefore, anti-christian.
I wonder which skin the good Bishop was in when he made these recommendations to his parishioners in the presence of the incumbent member of parliament and his rival. Was he bishop first and political ombudsman second?
Bishop Blair ought to be responsible with what he says, where he says it, and must be aware of the conflicts of interest his pronouncements as bishop may bring about with his position as political ombudsman. If there is incompatibility with the two then he should do the honourable thing and resign from the latter.
Brian-Paul N. Welsh