Tony Blair’s legacy
In a recent interview with the Church of England Newspaper, ex-prime minister Mr Blair said: ‘I hope and believe that stories of people not being allowed to express their Christianity are exceptional or the result of individual ludi-crous decisions. My view is that people should be proud of their Christianity and able to express it as they wish’.
He went on to say: ‘The real test of a religion is whether, in an age of aggressive secularism, it has the confidence to go out and make its case by persuasion’. His comments followed his wife Cherie Blair’s appearance on a Channel 4 documentary about Christianity in which she said Christians were being marginalised.
But journalist and author Melanie Phillips has taken issue with Mr Blair. Writing online for The Spectator and quoted by the Christian Institute, she said that what has hammered Christianity in Britain in recent years is human rights law. This has effectively handed every minority a judicial weapon to upend majority or Christian values. ‘And it was Tony Blair who, as soon as he took office in 1997, made human rights law the key element of his radical and reforming agenda’.
She added that human rights doctrine intrinsically promotes ‘aggressive secularism’. It explicitly detaches itself from specifically Judeo-Christian values by claiming to promote ‘universal’ values, which trump the particular. It emphasises rights over duties, promotes the extreme individualism of the ‘me society’ and the religion of the self. The resulting moral, spiritual and social chaos in British society ‘have given radical Islamism its opportunity to move into the vacuum’.
Melanie Phillips concluded that Mr Blair ‘now looks upon the ruins – and walks by on the other side’.