Although Blue is a child of the East End, Oxford has had its own role to play in the spiritual and personal development of the national treasure he surely is, now in his seventy-eighth year. A Balliol man, Rabbi Blue, is no stranger to the Playhouse having trod its boards when the Experimental Theatre Society saw his huge college room as the ideal place to hold rehearsals, and thus lured him into membership with the promise of a small part. This return engagement comes after a gap of fifty-eight years. He tells a touching story of coming into religion during his time as an undergraduate, when, in the torments of burgeoning sexual identity, he took refuge during a torrential downpour one Thursday afternoon outside the Friends’ Meeting House in St Giles. Invited to shelter inside, he found himself attending a regular Meeting for Worship for Quaker farmers who could not attend Sunday morning meetings due to commitments on their farms. Listening to the testimony of those who felt moved to speak at this meeting, Blue testified himself as he began to see a faith in what he called throughout much of the evening ‘whatever or whathaveyou’ and which allowed those he was amongst to ‘see their problems inside out’.
Hearing this story directly from the mouth of Blue, who sees his mission as a broadcaster to give people the courage to get out of bed in the morning, makes one feel fantastically happy, and so much slots into place. Blue freely admits he lost his faith at five when, praying for the death of Hitler and Oswald Moseley, he found his prayer answered by their continued presence on the front page of his grandfather’s Daily Herald. After finding it again in Oxford, and coming closer to God whilst contemplating what he was, and was not (gaining from a visit to a Gay Sauna in Amsterdam in 1956) Blue’s message that religion should only be used to make oneself happier, kinder and more forgiving, should be shouted from the rooftops. This evening it provided nothing more than a context - it was a wonderful entertainment rather than a religious meeting, full of jokes and anecdotes, not to mention tips on how to make life easier for oneself and for others. Of course, this is how Rabbi Blue has made his name, outside the realm of Reform Judaism, on ‘Thought for the Day’. His message coincides with the central theme of Carter’s ‘One More Step’ which Blue, succinctly, describes as ‘his religion’.