At times in my life my anti-theism has taken on a proselytizing tone. I’m not particularly proud of it, but there you are. I don’t ever remember a time when I believed in God or a god. To me it seems kind of a no-brainer, but the Dawkins approach ain’t mine since I also have come to know that there is a difference between what acts as the “sigh of the oppressed” and what acts as an institutional and ideological reinforcement and of that oppression. So where does Tony Blair’s God fit in in that spectrum?
At this week’s Washington “prayer breakfast” Obama, also a believer, said that Blair, or Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara as Robert Fisk has ennobled him, was “somebody who did it first and perhaps did it better than I will do. He has been an example for so many people around the world of what dedicated leadership can accomplish. And we are very grateful to him.” Oy vey.
What exactly did Tony Blair do so well that other politicians should emulate? Who is the “we” that is so grateful and for what? Systematically lie to get into and then justify a vile imperial war in Iraq for one- and only one. I believe that Obama says he was opposed to that war. I wonder if he voiced that opposition to Blair, an architect of the war.
Blair’s speech is pure obscurantist wingnuttery that seeks, with conviction, to overturn more than a few of the basic precepts of The Enlightenment. No I am not going to run around and trash any one’s personal “faith”, but Blair has decided not to keep his faith personal. He has decided to lecture us on it. I don’t want a lecture from Tony Blair on any damn thing let alone my need to “humble myself before God.” My old, robust, anti-theist comes out at times like these and I feel like quoting the Dead Kennedys’ song with reference to Anita Bryant. Ram it up your hole Tony.