Say what you will about Tony Blair, but he has a way with words. And his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast are dead on:
'I recall giving an address to the country at a time of crisis. I wanted to end my words with “God bless the British people",' he said.
'This caused complete consternation. Emergency meetings were convened. The system was aghast.
'Finally, as I sat trying to defend my words, a senior civil servant said, with utter disdain: “Really, Prime Minister, this is not America you know.”
Free from the shackles of power today, he threw off those inhibitions and said: 'I believe restoring religious faith to its rightful place, as the guide to our world and its future, is itself of the essence.
'The 21st century will be poorer in spirit, meaner in ambition, less disciplined in conscience, if it is not under the guardianship of faith in God.'
First, how sad is it that Blair had to fight with people about "God Bless the British People"? And if that wasn't bad enough you have the arrogant anti-Americanism. Interestingly, Peter Hitchens blames Blairism for the Abolition of Britain and yet here he is getting lambasted for the mere suggestion that God's blessings shine on the British people! And the perfect insult is to label this oogedy-boogedy language as American. The ignorance of their own history and culture is staggering.
Second, allow me to scandalize our British friends, but Blair is - IMHO - dead on in his remarks. It is important enought that it is worth repeating.
I too believe that "restoring religious faith to its rightful place, as the guide to our world and its future, is itself of the essence." And I wholeheartedly agree that "The 21st century will be poorer in spirit, meaner in ambition, less disciplined in conscience, if it is not under the guardianship of faith in God."
This is an idea worth fighting for and I will take allies wherever I can get them; even from Tony Blair. If President Obama could say such a thing and mean it (mean more than increased government services and timid moves toward faith-based initiatives) I would applaud him too.
Oh, and God Bless America and God Bless the British People (and save them from their leaders).