Tony Blair on God and Politics

Tony Blair (Picture: Time)

I have admitted already that I have always liked Tony Blair, even if I have never understood his support for Bush jr and the war in Iraq.

Now, that he has published his memoir, titled Tony Blair: A Journey, that I can hardly wait to read, we can find out more about his life and office.

Der Spiegel has just published an interview with Blair on this book, in which he also talks about faith and politics. Here is the beginning of it.

* * *

SPIEGEL: Mr Blair, you write in your new memoir “A Journey” that religion has always been more important to you than politics. Yet you rarely mention in your book how religion has shaped your political views. Why?

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Tony Blair: Contrary to some popular wisdom, I never thought God could substitute for political judgment. I was a political leader, not a religious leader.

SPIEGEL: So God never spoke to you directly?

Blair: Your faith gives you strength to do what you think is right and obviously it gives you values. But that’s it. You can’t go into the corner and ask God what the minimum wage should be next year.

SPIEGEL: Did your shared faith help you form a closer bond to former US President George W. Bush?

Blair: No. We agreed on one central issue and that had to do with security, not religion. On 9/11, when 3,000 innocent people died in the streets of New York, the whole foreign policy of the US pivoted, as it certainly also did for me. We agreed that you simply cannot take chances with this security threat. If they could have killed 300,000 people on that day, they would have. The calculus of risk changed. That was the view I took then and hold on to now. Apart from that, I disagreed with President Bush in lots of areas, for example on climate change or on the Middle East, from time to time.

Read on…

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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