March 4, 2006

Tony Blair mentions God.

Shocking!
Tony Blair says God and history will judge whether he was right to go to war in Iraq, according to the transcript of a television interview to be broadcast Saturday.

In a rare reference to his Christian religious faith, Blair told broadcaster Michael Parkinson he had struggled with his conscience over the decision.

When asked about sending troops to Iraq, he said: "That decision has to be taken and has to be lived with, and in the end there is a judgment that -- well, I think if you have faith about these things then you realize that judgment is made by other people," he said.

Asked to explain what he meant, Blair replied: "If you believe in God, it's made by God as well."

Parkinson asked Blair if he prayed to God when he decided to go to war in Iraq.

Blair replied: "Well, I don't want to get into something like that."

Pressed on the subject he answered: "Of course you struggle with your own conscience about it because people's lives are affected and it's one of these situations that I suppose very few people ever find themselves in.

"In the end you do what you think is the right thing."
That is a very minor reference to God, dragged out of him by the reporter.

The BBC analyzes the press response:
His submission to the judgement of God goes against years of warnings from advisers, says the Independent - not to mix politics and religion.

The Daily Mirror sees his TV interview with Michael Parkinson as "remarkable".

"The Judgement Day is some way off," it says, "but the judgement of the British people is critical of a bloody invasion as the death toll mounts."
The real issue here is whether we were right to go to war and, more importantly, how best to deal with the current state of things. Worrying about Blair's slight reference to religious belief shows either an aversion to religion or the usual pointless grasping for political arguments.

23 comments:

Troy said...

What else would you expect in almost completely secular post-Christian, pre-Muslim Europe (England too)? They have slidden so far away from Christendom (even as a cultural reference point save for the tourism aspects and the talismanic respect for a Pope most didn't really care for) that the bare mention of "God" send many Europeans into apoplexy. It would be high-larious if not so scary.

Bezuhov said...

And Blair's fearful evasion of discussing the clear contents of those beliefs is of a piece with the appeasement of Militant Islam. The fact is that a lot of people believe God will judge their actions, and it is not inimical to public service. Indeed, it is likely to improve the quality of that service, by reinforcing the conscience.

The only way to eliminate the sort of "chilling effect" intimidation implied by the BBC article, as with the intimidation of militant Islam, is to defiantly stand up to it, not appease it.

Jacques Cuze said...

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war!

AJ Lynch said...

Ann, since you this posted this, it appears Blair's comments created a furor among the 24x7 unhinged media.

Semanticleo said...

Ann;

I know this is OT, but would you
explain why you have not posted on
the SD 'Rapist Rights' law?

A feminist such as yourself, I would
think, would find State Senator
Napoli's scenario of what would
constitute an 'exception'.

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Since you mention God in this post,
I thought it might be a good time
to bring him up. What would HE/SHE
think of that?

Ann Althouse said...

Semanticleo: Try actually reading the blog you're criticizing. You embarrass yourself once again.

jakemanjack said...

So politicians can't mention "God" or anything about their private faith, but Radical Islamists can torch embassies in response to a cartoon.

Dave said...

So Blair is religious.

So what?

PatCA said...

So the media are horrified by Blair's mentioning the diety, but they nod approvingly at the Muslims calling for death in the streets?

How precious.

hoosthere said...

Ann,

Lots of God references this morning...any particular reason? I do like how you go in themes...robots and now Christianity. Any connection there?

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, by all indications, Blair is quite religious. His problem, as noted, is that that doesn't play well in the U.K., and so he keeps it well under wraps. But apparently, he is fairly unique as a British politician in this regard - and some have suggested that this facet of his is one reason that he gets along as well as he does with President Bush, given his political leanings.

I think that it has been quite awhile since overt religiousness has played well in Englan (and note that I am intentionally distinguishing England from the UK because of, in particular, Northern Ireland, where faith is apparently still professed openly). Besides, the general anti-Christianity of western Europe, I would suggest the the following may also have some impact:
- a lot of their religious zealots came here. Given the timing, I have no doubt that that was one reason my ancesters immigrated here some 375 years ago.
- Religion, esp. Catholic v. Protestant, has a fairly bloody history in the UK, starting with Henry VIII's break with the RC church.
- And then there is Northern Ireland.

vbspurs said...

Actually, by all indications, Blair is quite religious.

Here's a scoop, in case you all haven't read it here in the States:

It is rumoured Tony Blair was converted to Catholicism last year.

Obviously, there are no official press releases from Number 10, because as mentioned by me and others at length in the previous, recent thread on the topic...

...mentioning aspects of your religious beliefs is not socially acceptable in Britain.

and some have suggested that this facet of his is one reason that he gets along as well as he does with President Bush, given his political leanings.

It's possible.

But Tony isn't a born-again Christian Methodist-type that President Bush is.

If he has indeed been converted to Catholicism, you can bet it's a very deep, but not pentacostally "showy" conversion.

Cheers,
Victoria

Alexandra said...

All Things Beautiful TrackBack God Will Be My Judge:

"Ann Althouse as usual cuts to the chase: "Worrying about Blair's slight reference to religious belief shows either an aversion to religion or the usual pointless grasping for political arguments."

Semanticleo said...

Ann said;

"Semanticleo: Try actually reading the blog you're criticizing. You embarrass yourself once again.'

Sorry. Did I miss the post?
Help me out.

BTW When was it I embarassed myself?

Semanticleo said...

Ann;

I have blogged at numerous sites both left and right wing and have never seen
such a display of self-importance and disregard for the opinions of those who
differ from your own.

You embody every negative aspect of Academia available rolled into one
piece of work carved from the dead wood of meglomania. You apparently
fear thoughts which counter your own, and scrub them from your comments
and your grey cells, apparently. That sort of mentality belongs buried
with the radioactive material, and Soviet methodology, at Chernobyl

You are a despicable, and raunchy paragon of denial and have no place
in a public University where young minds need open and honest
reality, not your brand of closed-loop faux-feminism and egregious
self-aggrandizement.

Perhaps you've noticed your posts average about 12 comments per.
I shouldn't wonder if that doesn't concern you, as the pap you administer
relates mostly to popular entertainment and drivel that others say and
you, like your alter ego Instapusillanimous, merely reference, to avoid
the untidy results which sometimes accompany a principled position.

Go feed your ego and bank account. Enjoy them while you are able.

Semanticleo

jic said...

"raunchy paragon of denial"?

jic said...

And what's so pusillanimous about Instapundit?

Ann Althouse said...

What do you think, should I put "raunchy paragon of denial" in the banner?

Johnny Nucleo said...

"pap you administer"

I once had to undergo that procedure. It hurt real bad!

Johnny Nucleo said...

Ann Althouse said: "What do you think, should I put "raunchy paragon of denial" in the banner?"

Yes!

jic said...

That definitely should be in the banner.

Semanticleo said...

"What do you think, should I put "raunchy paragon of denial" in the banner?"

No, No. We don't want you to begin
walking on the slippery slope of
honest and open communication

No. It's better if you pretend
there isn't a grain of truth to
the charge that you would rather
post anything, except an honest
challenge to your professorial
perogatives. Yes, it is harder
for for we mortals to assail the
human foibles of you demigods while
you sit perched high on Mt Olympus.

Bezuhov said...

Semanticleo, care to back up your accusations with some examples so we can help remove the first of many scales from your eyes?

"But Tony isn't a born-again Christian Methodist-type that President Bush is.

If he has indeed been converted to Catholicism, you can bet it's a very deep, but not pentacostally "showy" conversion."

Vic, there's (a lot) more to it than this. Here's what Bush reads every morning:

http://www.myutmost.org/

The connection between the two is a deep and as far as I can tell real piety.