Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has gone through a spiritual evolution since leaving office. He has launched a religious foundation, converted to Roman Catholicism and made vibrant and bold statements about his views on the role of faith in society. He uttered his most powerful sentiments to date yesterday when addressing a massive congregation in England, The Independent reports.
On Monday, Blair spoke at the Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, where he said that a world without faith would be one marred with immense pain. In fact, the former leader said, "I think a world without faith would be a world on the path to tragedy and disaster, I really believe that."
While Blair didn't speak much about faith while he was in office, on Monday, he was pointed and overt in declaring the strength of his beliefs. As he addressed the audience of 4,000 people, he said that something "bigger and more important" is crucial for the health of society.
"For a long period of time, what people thought was that as society became more developed and as we became more prosperous, that faith would be relegated, that it would become a kind of relic of the past," Blair said. "I think that essential obligation of humility for humanity is deeply important. It is what allows us to make progress, it is what keeps us from ideology or thought processes that then treat human beings as if they were secondary to some political purpose."
Additionally, the former prime minister spoke about his own faith journey and his father's atheism. For Blair, his religious pilgrimage commenced when his dad had a stroke. He was 10-years-old at the time.
"The headmaster of the school called me into his study and he said 'I think we should kneel and say a prayer for your father.' I said to him, 'I should tell you my father does not really believe in God,'" Blair recalled, as he addressed the audience. "I will never forget what he said to me – he just said to me 'but God believes in him, so let us kneel and pray.' That made a big impact on me."
For Blair, this address seems to be a natural progression following his founding of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation four years ago. The organization works to foster inter-religious dialogue.
(H/T: The Independent)