TORONTO (AP) — Former British prime minister Tony Blair says his religious beliefs did not play a role in his decision to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq during a debate about the merits of religion in Toronto.
Blair spoke Friday night during a debate with writer Christopher Hitchens about whether religion is a force for good in the world.
Blair, a Catholic convert, said all his policy decisions, including supporting the Iraq war, were based on his genuine belief they were the right choices, not because of his religious ideologies.
Hitchens, an avowed atheist, Vanity Fair columnist and author of "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," argued religion forces people to do unspeakable things under the guise of their faith.
He is fighting final-stage esophageal cancer and has refused to embrace religion despite his diagnosis.
Editor's note: A full transcript of the debate can be found here.