Tony Blair has been criticised for “walking by on the other side” as Christians suffer under laws brought in during his premiership.
Journalist, commentator and author Melanie Phillips was responding after the former Prime Minister warned this week that Christians in the UK are being sidelined by aggressive secularism.
Writing online for The Spectator, she said that “one of the things which has hammered Christianity in Britain in recent years is ‘human rights’ law, which 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; and by promoting rights in the absence of duties, establishes ‘human rights’ as a mechanism for delivering the demands of claimant groups, thus promoting the extreme individualism of the ‘me society’ and the religion of the self.
“The resulting moral, spiritual and social chaos and squalor which now characterise British society have given radical Islamism its opportunity to move into the vacuum.”
She concluded that Mr Blair “now looks upon the ruins – and walks by on the other side”.
In an interview with the Church of England Newspaper earlier this week 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 ludicrous 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.
Dominic Grieve, the shadow justice secretary, gave a speech earlier this week in which he blamed a decade of ‘equality and diversity’ legislation for causing problems for Christians.