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Blair told: "we don't do God"

 Tony Blair has been advised to stop talking about his religious faith - according to two newspaper reports. In a behind-the-scenes account of the Iraq crisis published in The Times Magazine on Saturday the Prime Minister told Peter Stothard that he was ready to meet his Maker and answer before God for "those who have died or have been horribly maimed as a result of my decisions". His declaration of faith came on April 2, the day after seven Iraqi women and children were shot dead at a checkpoint. The Prime Minister nevertheless also accepted that many others who believe in "the same God" may assess that the final judgment will be against him. The Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman was rebuked for asking the Prime Minister if he and Mr Bush prayed together before meetings, but the centrality of Mr Blair's faith to his actions is apparent from the Times Magazine account. Mr Blair apparently had to be persuaded to drop the phrase "God Bless You" from his broadcast to the nation at the start of the war. By contrast, American President George Bush frequently invoked the blessing of the Almighty at the end of his speeches. But one adviser told Blair that invoking God's name would be a mistake because "you are talking to lots of people who don't want chaplains pushing stuff down their throats". Mr Blair responded by telling his aides that they were a "most ungodly lot" - but he was finally persuaded and closed his address with the words "thank you". The Daily Telegraph reports that the bar on religion at Westminster is now so rigid that Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair's director of strategy and communications, intervened in a recent interview to prevent the Prime Minister from answering a question about his Christianity. "We don't do God," Mr Campbell interrupted. Source: Ekklesia/Church Resources