Politicians

It’s not that Christians can’t lead political parties; it’s that Evangelical Christians can’t lead the Liberal Democrats

“To be a political leader…and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me,” said Tim Farron as he resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats. He certainly had a tough General Election campaign, being hounded for his essentially conservative views on abortion (he thought it “wrong“) and homosexuality/same-sex marriage (he abstained at the third reading of the Bill over conscience protections). The fact that he changed his mind on both of these matters during the campaign only served to highlight the merciless bullying and intolerance of the liberal-left media (or, of course, the weakness of Farron’s moral conviction and faith).

“I am pro-choice. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal and that the limit should be set by science,” he told the Guardian on 16th May. “I don’t believe that gay sex is a sin,”, he told BBC News on 25th April. “I definitely regret it… I would vote for equal marriage,” he told the Observer on 17th May.

“Are there any matters of principle, do you reckon, that Tim Farron isn’t prepared to give up on under pressure from a television journalist?” asked Melanie McDonagh in the Spectator. But it’s easy holding to your devout Roman Catholic principles when you’re a practising Roman Catholic writing for a magazine edited (deputy/associate) by Roman Catholics and owned by Roman Catholics. It’s easy to condemn when you’re bathed in sympathetic commissioning fellowship and surrounded by moral affirmation.

There’s a lot of hypocrisy and crass journalistic comment surrounding Tim Farron’s resignation. The bulk of it runs with the line that there is simply no longer space in public life for those bigots, homophobes and misogynists who hate gays and women, as Tim Farron obviously does. Honestly, there’s not a hair’s breadth between him and the DUP, as far as the media are concerned, so good riddance.

But let’s not forget Brian Paddick, who did a bit of hounding of his own:

Paddick resignation

You see how intolerantly illiberal these Liberal Democrats actually are? And then this pious tweet from the LibDem Christian Forum:

LD Christian Forum - Farron resignation

So wonderfully inspirational and such a dear friend was he that these Liberal Democrat Christians didn’t tweet a single word of support while he was being hounded and bludgeoned by Cathy Newman and her co-illiberalists. We know why, of course. The LibDem Christian Forum disagreed profoundly with their leader on the issues of abortion, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, so they couldn’t be bothered even to defend his liberal right to have an opinion. “Thank you for your faithful service” is just sanctimonious LibDemspeak for ‘So long, farewell, we never really loved you anyway’.

In truth, Tim Farron has never been one to impose his moral views on others, but that doesn’t seem to matter to his party. When he says “we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society”, he ought to be saying that the Liberal Democrats are kidding themselves if they think they are a liberal and democratic party. If the LibDem Christian Forum and senior colleagues like Brian Paddick had robustly defended and encouraged their leader instead of heaping pink coals on his head, it might have been possible for him to have withstood the illiberal media onslaught. It is his party which is to blame for his downfall much more than ‘society’.

But then this comes in from the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Welby on Farron resignation

One can understand the Archbishop’s reticence to intervene during a political campaign, but Tim Farron was expressing his views (and being hounded for them) a few years before the 2017 General Election, and the Church of England was positively trappist not one episcopal word in his defence; not a whisper of encouragement. Is it not preferable to shield your brother in political life rather than tweet a eulogy at his passing?

Tim Farron is indeed honourable and decent, and he has honourably and decently concluded that it is not possible to be a Christian and lead a political party in the modern era (not, as the Archbishop of Canterbury states, that “he can’t be in politics”). Yet a Christian leads the Conservatives. A Christian leads the DUP. A Christian led Ukip, and Labour, and the SDLP and the UUP. But these Christians tend to hold a view of their faith which coheres with the majority of their party: some are more secular-liberal; others more orthodox and robust. What Tim Farron has established is not that it’s impossible to be a Christian and a Liberal Democrat, but that it’s not possible to be an Evangelical Christian and lead the Liberal Democrats. It’s an important distinction which appears to have escaped the journalistic commentary on this matter.

But here’s a thing. If, as the Archbishop of Canterbury states, the media and politicians have questions to answer over Tim Farron’s forced resignation for daring to think and believe differently on abortion and homosexuality, do not the media and bishops have questions to answer over Philip North’s forced resignation for thinking and believing differently on the ordination of women? Does his treatment not stem from the same totalitarian intolerance of theological difference, and form part of the same drive to impose a kind of gender-sexuality moral uniformity?

  • You kid yourself if you think this is a problem confined to Liberal Democrat Party – the s**t storm surrounding the DUP highlights this. There is but one party – the “Secular Regressive ilLiberal Party” and it has simply splintered into a number of sections with differing views about how we collect and spend the money.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Ah, but the DUP are happy with their position, and will continue in it despite the nonsense from the MSM. there won;t be dissension within the ranks, because anyone who does will rapidly find themselves NOT within the ranks.

      • Merchantman

        How does one join?

  • CliveM

    Just as a 50 years ago, Gay had a fundamentally different meaning to what it has today, so in less than 50 years time ‘Liberal’ will have a completely different meaning. It will come to mean everything that is ‘intolerant, self righteous,, bigoted and prejudiced’.

    • Anton

      ‘Liberal’ has had two very different meanings for a while. It’s not hard to see which meaning will win.

    • David

      “Liberal” has carried two meaning for some time now. Oddly the Lib-Dems pretend that they still operate under the original meaning whilst becoming ever more dictatorial. I guess they can’t bear to look in the mirror and admit it.

    • meltemian

      Indeed, I have an Auntie Gay……….

      • Dominic Stockford

        We have a lady who attends our evening service once every moon-cycle, she’s Gay, or maybe Gaye.

  • David L Rattigan

    Brian Paddick says he believes Farron is “absolutely and emphatically” not homophobic. I’m not seeing anything obvious to suggest Paddick was being “intolerantly illiberal” by resigning.

    • Dominic Stockford

      But he still doesn’t trust him. So we have to ask whether he believes him.

  • Inspector General

    Pink News commentators have welcomed his resignation.

    Yet Farron was an LGBT ally. He still is, in a not so obvious way…

    You see, for all his efforts on their behalf, he ended up committing cardinal sin and this long before his persecution at the hands of the media of late on matters of conscience.

    He voted for an amendment that would give Christian registrars an opt out with SSM. He dared to deny the LGBT movement their complete and utter grip on society. This cannot be allowed, although religious opt out is very much part of Britishness. But Britishness must bow to gay hegemony. And militant gays loath religion, or to be more accurate, Christianity. Yes, they’re not too keen on Islam, if the truth be known, but they save their best for Christianity.

    Pink News commentators have welcomed his resignation.

    • saintmark

      It’s not that they ‘save their best’ it’s that they want to save their necks

      • Inspector General

        Well yes, there is that. These militant organisations have offices in London, and they don’t want muslims making Charlies out of them as happened in France. However, Islam in the UK is very much a minority, and activist gays tend to back, or at least not stand in the way of, other minority interests such as Feminism and Black Lives people. In the hope that one day, the favour will be returned.

        • Dominic Stockford

          At least 4,000,000 of this minority.

          • Inspector General

            Shouldn’t think one will be around when Islam makes up 20% of the population. At that level, they’ll start demanding from us as a organised political group, with implied menaces, of course.

            As it is, all we have at the moment, gruesome that it be anyway, is enlightenment on how muslims behave amongst us. On top of that, demographics have it that they will continue to live close to each other, and not venture outside if they can help it. They themselves know that when it all kicks off they’ll be vulnerable as individuals outside the security of these packs. Rather reminiscent of medieval English cities and their walled fortifications.

    • gunnerbear

      Registrars are public servants….would you be equally relaxed if a Registrar said, “I ain’t marrying no white woman and a black man because I disapprove of it..”

      • Inspector General

        Would you be relaxed if religious exemption was disposed of and muslim shop-workers could be dismissed for refusing to handle alcohol.

        • gunnerbear

          Yep….totally relaxed….

  • Dolphinfish

    As somebody helpfully pointed out when this story broke yesterday, Siddiq Khan ought equally to be hounded out, since Islam not only condemns gays to hell, but authorizes its followers to send them there, helpfully outlining ways and means (beheading, throwing from a height, burning, buried under a collapsing wall, or any combination thereof). As a Catholic, I’ll settle for them not calling it marriage, and apparently, this puts me in the same camp as ISIS. Khan is untouchable,of course, partly because he rejects this interpretation of Islam and is therefore one of “The Hypocrites”, but mainly because he’s a member of an ethnic minority, so even if he did support the nutters, that would be just fine with the Guardianistas since white liberals don’t expect the same standard of behaviour from brown types as the do from those they consider properly evolved. From white people, in other words. It’s why they have a problem with white Christians. We’re not supposed to exist anymore and the fact that we do negates their worldview. White Christian, black swan.

    • Anton

      Sadiq Khan advocated for gay marriage!

  • Retired Paul

    Why are we surprised by this? Jesus is quoted in Matthew, Mark and Luke, warning about just this situation:
    Mark 13:13 (New International Version)

    13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    We can debate whether Tim Farron has stood firm, but the final decision is not up to us. Perhaps he has had a ‘Peter’ moment, and Jesus has given him as many opportunities to repent as the number of times he denied his lord.

    • Dominic Stockford

      There’s not much debate about his standing firm – he’s given in on protecting the unborn, and he’s given in on homosexuality. Unless there is recantation we will be left knowing that he prefers his own thoughts to those of God’s Word.

      • Anton

        I regard the explanation of his resignation as clear enough recantation.

        • Dominic Stockford

          having read his full speech, I cannot possibly make that step.

      • gunnerbear

        How many people have you killed for working on a Sunday?

  • Father David

    Enoch was right when he said – “All political careers end in failure”. So who will be the next leader of the Lib Dems? I wonder if Mr. Gladstone will throw his hat into the ring this time round as he’s only slightly older than Vince Cable? Personally I think they should opt for Jo from North of the Border. Women political leaders from Bonnie Scotland seem to be all in fashion at the present time as the SNP, the Tories and the Labour Parties all currently have women at the helm in Scotland..

    • Anton

      Aren’t they all charming?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Knowing a couple of them, no!

    • Dominic Stockford

      Given that to be nominated an individual needs the support of two other MPs, there won’t be many contenders. And I imagine they will probably go for Swinson merely because she’s a woman. Imagine being the leader of UKIP in a debate with the “the Monstrous Regiment of Women” that will bring about.

  • Anton

    Unhappily Farron is largely right, Your Grace. It is not now possible to be a committed Christian and lead a major political party in Britain.

    • gunnerbear

      Err…TMs supposed to be quite big on Church and she leads the Blues….okay, leads is maybe putting it a bit strongly….

  • vsscoles

    It’s not just the LibDems. The comments which have been coming from so-called Conservatives about the DUP demonstrate that anyone professing an orthodox Christian faith must now choose between political office and their religion. If they are Christians, that is. It doesn’t appear to apply to other religions.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Nor to those who believe in no religion, which is just as much a belief as any other.

      • Dreadnaught

        Now don’t be silly it is no such thing. No belief in religion can not be a ‘belief’ in the same context as religious belief. ‘Man’ is born without a religion.

        • jsampson45

          He wrote “belief in no religion”, not “no belief in religion”.

          • Dreadnaught

            Edited: but what is the difference?

          • jsampson45

            That it is a belief. It is not one I share. We are born without religion as we are born without speech. As far as I know, wherever there is evidence of human occupation there is evidence of some religion. Some wag wrote that ancient Athens had more gods in it than men.

          • Dreadnaught

            No doubt a man would convince himself of the existence of some form of supernatural interventionist to explain the unexplainable until alternative evidence convinces him otherwise.
            The point of the meaning of ‘belief’ in respect of religious belief{s} can not be confused with simply ‘believing’ something that can be backed up by repeated, testable evidence such as say; ‘you cant make an omlette without breaking an egg’.
            Religion requires unquestionable faith in believing, before [even if it were at all possible] you test it – unlike belief in the statement re – omlettes.

          • Little Black Censored

            ..

          • Anton

            Everybody has a belief system, even if they do not acknowledge it. I think Carl said that you know clearly enough whenever someone violates it even if you can’t articulate it. Of course not everybody has a theistic belief system, meaning belief in a god, ie a powerful spirit being who may interact with humans, but ultimately every belief system is held by faith – for if you can’t prove anything from nothing.

          • Dreadnaught

            Again; you can have faith in a parachute to let you down gently, but that is totally different from faith in a particular religion that require of you faith, before disclosure. Its a circular argument that shuts down reason.

          • Faith is based on evidence. Christian faith rests on evidences given. It is not blind and irrational.

          • Dreadnaught

            ‘evidences given’? that which can’t be repeated is not evidence of the fact. What you are talking about as ‘evidence’ is 2000 year old hearsay.

          • A great deal of what we believe to be true in life rests on the reliability of the word of others. We ‘judge’ whether the person informing us is reliable and if we believe they are we accept their witness. Such discernment is a well honed skill in life. Christians are not gullible nor are they skeptics; they are persuaded by good evidence.

          • Dreadnaught

            You are entitled to believe what you will and if that’s what gets you through life that’s fine by me but my atheist position is making more sense than all religions that have been foisted on the human senses since time immemorial.
            There is not one religion that has died out or survives, without fearful threats to the individual’s well being in this life or in whatever dimension its god-head resides, to back up its authority.
            That record speaks volumes to me.

          • Atheism is your privilege. Just so long as you remember it too is a faith stand. You are weighing the evidence and it leads you to your conviction.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Right. Faith precedes belief – but when evidence confirms the faith, then belief can proceed undaunted. Some of us experience that type of confirmation once or twice in life – and if we have eyes that will see, we continue accordingly.

            Now Genesis tells us “6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul “(2:7; KJV).
            For some time I’ve thought it worthwhile to remember that the Latin “Spiritus” = “breath” as, also Old English “Gast” = “breath, soul, spirit, life” . . . and was applied also to the Holy Ghost.*
            Thus, those who’ve had genuine (not self-induced) spiritual experiences can view them in the light of Genesis’s “Breath of God” — They may consider that it is His Spirit within us which, perhaps in the form of Faith, guides us to recognition of the same. We can communicate our understanding within and without: for our own breath informs speech and language.
            Judging by the linguistics, I’m obviously not the first person to think this likely.

            Christ Jesus Himself, of course, had the purest and most powerful Spirit of any man – thus he had powerful communication with the spirits within those around him. This would enable his miracles of casting out ‘devils’, and of healing by His Word. All this not forgetting of course, the power of mind (which can connect to spirit) to link with the body: That is, the factual, psycho-somatic element of our being.

            ______________
            For confirmation see Cassell’s Latin Dictionary and Bosworth-Toller online, or Clark Hall’s “A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary.”

    • Dreadnaught

      Isn’t it about time so-called Hate Crimes [as this was Farron’s ultimate destination] of speech or expression were repealed. I have lost count of the number of times my posts on various websites have been removed and my access blocked. I have been called every derogatory name you care to mention simply because I spoke honestly about a religious philosophy, its founder and texts.
      Christianity can, is and has been, endlessly mocked and denounced which in my opinion is part and parcel of freedom to speak, but not so Islam and to a lesser extent Judaism.
      We are slowly being drawn backwards into a world where either the State or Islam silences all freedom as much as Stalin, Hitler, Mao did in their hay-day.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Yes – my own experience is exactly as you say. They just won’t let us be who we are – they refuse even to accept that our identities exist!!! Dehumanized we must be; reduced below the level of the beasts; and used or destroyed.

        Actually my awareness has sharpened: I’ve just spent considerable time and effort on: “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written By Himself.” The more I look at the hypocrites there who claimed to be Christians – the more I understand some of their descendants. They haven’t changed. In short, the Spirit of Mr. Satan Ba’ahss is alive and well, and working through the same types everywhere.

        • Dreadnaught

          Quite so.
          Justification for slavery was entirely consistent with certain references and messages in the bible and used by those Christians at the time, to practise the same and resist its abolition.

          • betteroffoutofit

            In this book, plantation operators MIS-use the Bible. As when one Thomas justifies his whipping of a disabled slave-girl with: “He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.”(FD Ch. 9.4; Luke 12: 42-48) – – – In fact the cited passage and stripes refer to God’s punishment of a steward who ill-treats his servants. In other words, Thomas mis-reads the parable.

            Or …In his first chapter, where FD indicates their presumption that it’s their job to realise the “Curse of Ham” (Genesis 9:20-27), and he points out that slavers’ policy of breeding mulattos through slave-women is affecting demographics. Any Christian reader will remember that our job is to leave “Vengeance/ punishment” in God’s hands (Romans 12:19; Deut. 32:35). Indeed, FD approaches the end of his story by saying: “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord. Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” – when introducing an (atypical) abolitionist Methodist’s take on the situation:
            “A PARODY”
            “Come, saints and sinners, hear me tell
            How pious priests whip Jack and Nell,
            And women buy and children sell,
            And preach all sinners down to hell,
            And sing of heavenly union.

            “They’ll bleat and baa, dona like goats,
            Gorge down black sheep, and strain at motes,
            Array their backs in fine black coats,
            Then seize their negroes by their throats,
            And choke, for heavenly union.

            “They’ll church you if you sip a dram,
            And damn you if you steal a lamb;
            Yet rob old Tony, Doll, and Sam,
            Of human rights, and bread and ham;
            Kidnapper’s heavenly union. . . .
            . . .

            “They’ll read and sing a sacred song,
            And make a prayer both loud and long,
            And teach the right and do the wrong,
            Hailing the brother, sister throng,
            With words of heavenly union.

            It continues … The book’s on Gutenberg.

  • Andym

    I find your Grace’s references to the Spectator somewhat ironical – when the whole homosexual marriage debacle was being thrust upon us by Cameron, there were a series of articles in the Speccie supporting the move. On the basis that “three strikes and you’re out”, I cancelled my substitution at the third one (if memory serves me correctly messrs Parris (no surprise) Rifkind and Young were the guilty parties). The response I got from the Spectator on explaining my decision was “I am sorry you feel this way” – which I did not take as being sorry that I had decided to withhold my hard earned.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Try getting Tabletalk, from Ligonier Ministries. It has to be sent from the US and its’s all Christian, but it’s fabulous. The current issue (July) is all about ‘Entertainment’, both in the world and in worship.

      • Anton

        Ligonier distribute Nick Needham’s work and are clearly a fine ministry.

  • David

    Tim Farron has wrestled with his conscience and decided that obeying God is more important than obeying the ever changing standards of post- Christian secular Britain. Well done I say, for courageously making the right decision, and following Christ. Your earlier prevarication in the face of extreme pressures from the intolerant bigots is understandable.
    He has also rendered the country a considerable service by very publicly demonstrating, just how deeply judgemental and illiberal the new religion of secular atheism mixed with cultural Marxism truly is. It can tolerate no dissent for it demands nothing less than the control of everyones thoughts, beliefs and lives. The country has long been travelling through a cultural and spiritual dark tunnel. Tim Farron’s resignation brings out this fact very clearly indeed. Well done Tim – God bless you.

    • gunnerbear

      “It can tolerate no dissent for it demands nothing less than the control of everyones thoughts, beliefs and lives.” Bit like religion then….

      • grutchyngfysch

        Assume for a minute the two are similar in character. Where do they differ? Fundamentally in doctrine: the secularist holds that all views arise out of a solely material process, the religious that morality is defined by something above (greater than/pre-existing) any material process.

        If the secularist is right, any system of arbitrary values is the product of material conditions. Any value is not ontologically true but only contextually true. Necessarily there are no transcendent values. Illiberal secularism can therefore offer no persuasive argument that its preferred system of morality is preferable by virtue of being ontologically true: it can only exert force.

        The illiberal religious may also use force in the same way. But if the illiberal religious is correct then there is an overwhelming reason to prefer that one system of morality: because it is in fact transcendent and true.

        None of this makes much difference when your neck is beneath the blade of either but it does at least underscore the fact that illiberal secularists, of all the classes of illiberals, are in fact the most irrational by the standard of their own doctrine.

        • gunnerbear

          ” that illiberal secularists, of all the classes of illiberals, are in fact the most irrational by the standard of their own doctrine.” Interesting point!

  • Dreadnaught

    It’s symptomatic of the current vogue to attack anyone for having a private opinion on anything that runs contrary to current fashion for parading sexual orientation or preference. I am not homosexual or religious, but what other people do with consenting partners in their sexual life is of no concern of mine.
    But having to witness the misappropriation of marriage when civil partnerships concede all the legal benefits enjoyed by male-female church weddings is just plain idiotic and a calculated challenge to the accepted norm and an insult to church tradition.
    If the gay ‘community’ want a church wedding then go ahead and establish their own church. Have it as swingingly camp and over the top as they wish and good luck to them; non of my business, just get on with it and stop hounding those who may disagree with that kind of lifestyle.
    Life’s too short.

    • Anton

      They already have done; it’s called the Metropolitan Church. But they want the church that’s Established, as a trophy.

      • Dreadnaught

        I didn’t know that, then in that case the CoE should be making more noise about it and directing and deflecting calls for reconstructing their beliefs in that direction, loud and clear.
        But obviously they don’t.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The current leaders of the CofE simply don’t see the danger of what the Frankfurt School have begun in the UK. They don’t believe that socialism/marxism is problematic. So they don’t believe that the homosexual lobby are seeking to not merely overthrow, but take over, the CofE.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes, the US frankfurter types are very active in our higher education and other Establishment/management systems. And they do work closely with their allies back in the US — thus if I, an indigenous Brit,, and openly disagree with them – I am tossed aside as ignorant trash, unfriended, and even slandered and defamed: on both sides of the Pond.

            It’s a nasty business that requires us to say nasty things about our own culture, heritage, history, country, and people (Or Else …). And, of course, it’s all in league with the euSSR and its deconstructionists.
            What really nauseates me is when they get all righteous and say “I love England” – as if I don’t. They think they know more about us than we do; and they pretend not to understand that I can’t abide what they’ve done (and are doing) to us.

            The US frankfurters didn’t BEGIN the rot in Britain though. Herr Marx and his buddy Engels did that personally in the 2nd half of the nineteenth century. Then our very own Fabians took it up and established themselves through London and the Oxbridge universities.

            So . . . this is at the root of what trainee clerics are dealing with (and why they were so nasty to me when I tried to return to church in a mozzie-beset Yorkshire village, for instance – or when I make it clear that I’m pro-Brexit).
            This is what Farron is dealing with.

    • David

      Well said !

    • dannybhoy

      My main concern as a UK citizen is the effects this LGBT+ propaganda is having on our children and society in general. It is propaganda and it is affecting the emotional and mental well being of our children in the UK.
      I know you’re not a Christian but I would encourage anyone concerned about what is happening in our society to get hold of a book entitled “What are they teaching the Children?” put out by ‘Voice for Justice’ and published by Wilberforce Press. It’s a fascinating reference book put together by people in the educational system who are ‘practicing Christians…’

      • Dominic Stockford
      • Anton

        There is also “What on earth are we doing to our children?” by the Maranatha Community.

      • Dreadnaught

        I really don’t know what they [the teaching profession] are teaching but people of my generation have stood by and allowed the left to dumb down the state educational system to the extent that today’s teachers/educationalists, are themselves the product of that very failure to engage.

        • dannybhoy

          This is also true, but in part we allowed it because we grew up believing that national bodies and authorities wanted what was best for our country and by and large knew what was best.
          Plus we were taught our responsibilities rather than our rights, and our freedom to vote was reactive rather than proactive; so social transformation was carried out not so much by political parties, but ‘social engineers’.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not wrong Dan.

      • Dreadnaught

        The drawback to this is that is that it is immediately open to accusations of bias. There has to be a way or investigation that is truly objective in establishing that society is being damaged by gay ‘propaganda’.

      • Merchantman

        Just as worrying is that the UK Embassies overseas project the idea that Gay is good, is the British way. This is hugely damaging to the vast majority of nations that haven’t lost their sense of direction on this matter.
        Makes me ashamed.

  • Chefofsinners

    Do not try to limit this to the LibDems.
    Any political leader in the current climate will face the same hounding over their views.
    But Tim Farron need not think that he will escape by resigning as leader. The harrying will be merciless: next he will be forced to resign as an MP, then denied a peerage, like Anne Widecombe. We have already seen social workers and psychologists thrown out of their professions for expressing these views privately. No-one is safe from the intolerance of the tolerant and the rules of the liberals. People of faith are being forced out of society. Our salt stings even as it preserves, and we are hated even as Jesus was hated. The darkness hates the light. Thus it was, is now and evermore shall be, until this passing world is done.

    • Anton

      The salt reference is to the salt put on the sewage-and-rubbish tip to stop it stinking, not mere food preservative (Luke 14:34). That’s a much stronger image, more in line with God’s view of matters post-fall.

      • Pubcrawler

        Sounds to me like one of those ‘in mediaeval times people used to’ false etymologies that once plagued the internet. Contemporay source for that practice?

        • Anton

          Just read Luke 14:34 and the other ‘salt’ references, using the original for key words (“savour”), without presumption as to whether food or dunghill is referred to.

          • Pubcrawler

            Still taking this with a pinch of salt.

          • Anton

            What do you think Luke 14:34 means?

          • Pubcrawler

            My question relates to actual historical practice, not exegesis.

          • Anton

            I think you mean “other evidence”, for doesn’t Luke 14:34 constitute evidence? And, whatever the finer meaning of this verse, doesn’t it instantly knock over the idea that Jesus was referring to salt in food?

            A high concentration of salt would certainly kill the bacteria that make sewage stink, which it otherwise would in that climate. Salt cannot lose its saltiness except by dilution with other things, for sodium chloride is an exceptionally stable compound. A quick google suggests that salt was also a fertiliser for soil in those days (clearly applied at the same time as manure to save effort), although I find this surprising as build-up of salt in soil due to long-term irrigation by tap water containing only trace amounts of salt is a problem in America today.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, I meant evidence from, say, Pliny the Elder or some other writer on ancient agriculture (which could include a passing reference in Lucretius or Virgil’s Georgics). As I usually read it, Luke implies no more than that it’s so useless that it’s not even worth throwing on the dung heap (for whatever purpose), and is thrown completely away (ἔξω). But I must confess I’ve never really thought about it that much as I tend to read John and Mark more than Matthew and Luke.

            I too found something about salt being use as a fertiliser. This surprised me because the Romans used to plough salt into the fields of conquered towns precisely to prevent future cultivation. But as it does seem to be the case from what I found, then I am content with that as a reading here. It would explain why γῆν is included alongside κοπρίαν, too.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            I agree: we need more info here.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Here it is:

            34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14: 34/35; KJV)

    • Dominic Stockford

      Why will they continue to harry him? Because he believes abortion is right and same-sex marriage is right, and gay sex isn’t a sin? Because that is still his public position on all these matters…..

      • Chefofsinners

        You know why. Because once the pack has the scent of blood it will not rest until the fox is torn limb from limb. Because Satan’s servants are evil to the core, merciless and without conscience. Because the heart of man is desperately wicked and at enmity with God, hating and being hated.

        • Dominic Stockford

          In one sense, yes. I think they are more likely to regard him as fatally wounded and leave him to die in ignominy. Meanwhile finding a new target, whether that’s me, you, Ian Blackford, or the DUP remains to be seen.

          • Chefofsinners

            The DUP will not make the same mistake as Tim. They know their constituents are rock solid behind them. Let the media try. They will soon give up.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I’m interested in your proposition ABC. Are you saying that Tim Farron really *is* an evangelical Christian, or that *if* he were he couldn’t lead a political party? The former is something that many of us would disagree strongly with, the latter is a debatable point.

    Interesting, however, that Ian Blackford has become the leader of the SNP group in the House of Commons. He’s a ‘proper’ Christian. And an evangelical. But not of the happy clappy variety.

  • ecclesiaman

    The fact is that the term, “Evangelical” has been hijacked for years, probably longer than I know, and can mean what you want it to mean. I am not sure what exactly Tim Farron believes, as the piece demonstrates there has been some vacillation. What is clear is that the road to Sodom is promulgated/acquiesced by the MSM, politicians in general and a gullible public, and woe betide any who have another belief.
    For myself I need to be wise when putting my head above the parapet but not avoid doing so.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Pretty much, except for your last line. I simply don’t self-censor in that way, its too tiring and I’m getting more blunt as I grow older.

      • ecclesiaman

        I want to be clear and unequivocal too and am not afraid of being blunt. But if we are to “cut through” it must be with the sword of the Spirit. I think you would agree.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Absolutely. It is a good day when people go on about you quoting from Scripture all the time.

          • Is it? Jack finds it’s far better to inform people of the common sense behind scripture and demonstrate Gospel values in one’s interactions with others, than to alienate folk by beating them over the head with the bible and using scripture to attack them. Jesus’ main method of reaching ordinary people was through His parables and the use of metaphor. He saved scriptural quotes for the hypocrites and Satan.

          • Chefofsinners

            But His parables are scripture.
            Do you really know think your words are better than the words of God, which are living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword?

          • Of course not but simply quoting key passages from scripture, often without context and without background information, is unhelpful. The scripture available to Jesus was the Old Testament and He captured its truth and spirit without browbeating His listeners. There’s a lesson there.

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes, of course, we are careful not to cut off the ears of our listeners. ‘The scripture available to Jesus’ is an odd phrase when He is Himself the Word of God. All the wisdom of the Godhead was ‘available’.

          • It was available and was used according to the needs of His listeners. One can’t just quote scripture at people. Jesus didn’t.

  • Royinsouthwest

    How many times have any Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Sikh public figures been asked about their views on homosexuality and, which is not the same thing, homosexual behaviour? Next time any Christian is asked about his/her views on this subject by the BBC or any mainstream TV or radio channel or newspaper he or she should ask the interviewer why the media show so little interest in the views of followers of other religions? After all, it is obviously discriminatory to ignore their views and only focus on the views of one particular group.

    • dannybhoy

      Well in the main they won’t will they?
      Because they are not the bogey man who has to be beaten back; our own Christian influenced culture is the real enemy which has to be defeated at all costs.
      Minority groups are by and large inviolate.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I agree that interviewers won’t but their hypocrisy should be exposed.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Which was Farron’s real failure. He should have answered the question with a question, much as Jesus did.

          • Anton

            Good idea. Suggest one.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I did.

          • Anton

            I know; I was asking Dominic. The more the merrier. I think i’d say that I’d give a clear Yes/No whether I regarded it as a sin but that the interviewer would have to be prepared to listen to a few minutes of context first, and did he want that? Or say that the Bible regards it as such and I am an evangelical Christian. But then, I don’t think anybody taking such a line could get to lead a major party today, which is where we came in.

          • It’s even more complex if one is a Catholic as there is a difference between “objective sin”, which homosexual sex acts always are, and “subjective culpability”, which homosexual sex acts may or may involve, depending on the individual and his/her circumstances.

            An inclination towards same sex attraction is always “intrinsically disordered”, (i.e. evil) because it goes against our Creator’s intention and design and is against nature. This disordered inclination is not “sinful” unless acted on freely with full cooperation and knowledge that it is wrong.

            The quieter the Church becomes about sin, the duller man’s conscience becomes and the easier it is for those experiencing temptation to “persuade” themselves what they are doing is acceptable. However, according to scripture, this delusion is no excuse as God has implanted His moral code in us all and unless one is suffering from an uncontrollable compulsion there is no escaping responsibility. Even then, we know from scripture that God gives us sufficient grace to overcome whatever obstacles we might face.

          • Anton

            I’ll remember that difference between objective sin and subjective culpability next time I’m pulled over for speeding. Thanks for the tip.

          • It doesn’t apply to the civil law but to the moral law, smart arse. If you’re a compulsive fast driver, you’re unsafe on the road. Driving a car requires passing a test and remaining up to date with the law and regulations.

          • Anton

            I bow to you over matters of legalism.

          • It was you who adopted a legalistic approach to morality with the comparison you offered. Catholicism is far from legalistic. We don’t rely on a rote interpretation and implementation of Mosaic law, for example. Some (ahem) are quick to condemn and short on understanding.

          • Anton

            Aren’t they just!

          • chiaramonti

            The late Gore Vidal once said that there are no homosexuals or heterosexuals, only homosexual and heterosexual acts. Tim should have answered the question, loaded as it was with a theological slant, that homosexual and heterosexual acts are capable of being sinful because they are inconsistent both with scripture and the Magisterium of the church. That would have put them off!

          • Indeed, except as an evangelical Christian he has to rely on his personal understanding and interpretation of scripture as he recognises no Magisterium. The nuance, of course, is that homosexual acts are always sinful, whereas heterosexual acts are not.

          • Anton

            Farron’s RC?

            Interesting to see gay Gore Vidal taking a different view from the “born this way” insistents.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I agree that Farron should have explained that whatever we put in God’s place is sin and that although the Ten Commandments are still important you can never completely define sin by trying to list everything that is wrong because God demands perfection.

            The interviewer would probably regard this as waffle, keep interrupting and demand “yes/no” answers whereupon Farron, or whoever was being interviewed, could reply that anyone who wants a system of rules going beyond the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule does not really understand Christianity and if they really do want to be governed by rules about outward behaviour they should examine the doctrines of those religions in which such rules are regarded as important.

          • Dominic Stockford

            How about, “Of all the questions you could ask me, about all the serious issues and problems which we have to face up to in the UK and the world today, why do you ask me about that?”

          • saintmark

            How about “how do you define sin?”

      • Chefofsinners

        Yes, our culture’s immune system has turned on itself.

  • Stephen Heard

    It’s probably not now possible for a *conservative” evangelical Christian (like Tim Farron) to lead the Lib Dems. There are plenty of “open” evangelicals who would take more liberal view of these troublesome issues, and who would thus find themselves less at odds with the zeitgeist.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      It is always possible for the unprincipled to do anything and call themselves anything.

    • Dominic Stockford

      But then Tim Farron clearly isn’t a conservative evangelical if he thinks abortion is fine, same sex marriage is a goer, and gay sex isn’t a sin. Conservative evangelicals are committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and believing all three of those things means he discards Scripture’s teaching like a soiled rag.

      • Anton

        It’s clear that he doesn’t think those things and has repented of cravenly saying otherwise. Let us recall St Peter the night before the crucifixion before condemning him.

        • Dominic Stockford

          No. He hasn’t repented of saying them as far as I am aware. Evidence please, specific. His resignation speech contained nothing of that sort whatsoever.

          • Anton

            Clearly we disagree about this. His very act of resigning because he is a Christian, after being given a hard time over the subject, is more eloquent than any words he could speak.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Then he should have the courage to make that clear. Otherwise his resignation is another betrayal. He wants to hint at it for sympathy but not to uphold the view which (it is being assumed) he privately holds.

            Christ forgave Peter, it’s true. But it’s also true that the next public occasion where Peter was questioned over his faith was one which he grasped boldly and clearly to proclaim the Gospel at risk of his own life. None of that courage is evident in Farron’s resignation. Until he makes clear publicly his supposed secret beliefs there is no reason to take him at anything other than his word that he is pro-choice and pro the solemnization of sinful unions.

          • Peasant Farmer

            I think at this stage you’re being too harsh, he’s been forced out of his job, made a pretty decent job in a brief speech of explaining how untenable his position had become, and stated via quoting the old hymn that his faith came before all else.

            In the fulness of time i’d like to see him clear up the ambiguities, but give him a break, he’s been dragged through the national media and forced from his job, coupled to the fact I suspect he feels wretched about they way he capitulated to the pressure.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Maybe you’re right. But like Thomas Cranmer exampled, a public recantation of faith by someone in a position such as his should be undone by a public de-recantation.

    • Chefofsinners

      “Open” evangelicals? The implication being that the alternative is to be closed, I presume? ‘liberal’ as opposed to restrictive, progressive rather than regressive. Perhaps we could replace these perjorative terms with some scriptural ones:
      Self-centred. Compromising. Vacillating. Unfaithful. Adulterous. Sinful.
      Take your pick.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Now there’s good thinking!!! Commonsense and scriptural challenge to Buzzwording can, at least, open the way to reason.

        On the business with “liberal” I’ve long had a problem. How did ‘lefties’ convince participants in democracy that ‘Communist’ existence is either ‘generous’ or ‘free’ – unless it’s “Give and share between us, that’s what its all about/You’ll do all the giving, and we all share it out” ?

        As for the ‘left’/’right’ garbage itself – I don’t know how the ‘sinister’ ones cloaked themselves in such Righteousness!. As we now see anyway, those who take either L or R to their limits meet in the middle – it’s just that the blind can’t recognise the Truth when they see it face on: they all think WE ARE. [What’s Left is Right and Right ain’t got no end . . ]

  • James Bolivar DiGriz

    The commentators on the Guido Fawkes blog would no doubt be regarded by the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, at al, as “right wing headbangers”.

    So I thought that it was interesting that many of those commentators (on the piece about Farron resigning) said things like:
    – “The UK is in a shit place when a political leader has to resign because of their Christian beliefs whether you agree with them or not. Meanwhile intolerance of fundamental religious beliefs that advocate killing homosexuals, female subjugation and the killing of non-believers is allowed to flourish. Welcome to Britain 2017 and beyond.

    I’ve no time for Farron’s political views, and I’m an atheist, but this is simply not right.”

    – “I’m an atheist, but I hate the double standards here. If he was a Muslim and said being gay is wrong, that would have been fine and we should respect his religion, but a Christian, well you’ve got to resign.”

    – “Indeed – disliked him and disagreed on Europe but to push him out for his Christian belief (I’m atheist) when other religions with same views would have free pass is just wrong”

    • Andym

      Contrast these with two comments read out by the BBC presenter at about 07.50 this morning – two comments on “social media”, both from gays basically saying politics and religion should not be mixed. Apart from the crass view that one’s religion is nothing to do with how one views politics, there was (as usual) no balance from countervailing views or the stance of other religions.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        So in BBC Newspeak anyone who toes their ‘elite’ ‘metropolitan’ line is a liberal, anyone who take an opposing view is a ‘fascist’ who should be shouted down and anyone who accepts that different people have different views is clearly not a ‘liberal’.

  • Arden Forester

    I have never really been attracted to the Liberal Democrats. I think David Owen was right to stay away. Somehow the old Liberal Party and social democracy don’t sit well in this party. It is now run by secular types or those with a veneer of Christianity about them, and they appear mostly to be illiberal. Lord Paddick resigning was just an example. He is openly homosexual and that is fine in a pluralist society. But he made a sly dig at Tim Farron suggesting that a Christian with orthodox views was not acceptable to him. As Farron said quite rightly, this is not the hallmark of a liberal, tolerant society.

    This is not the party of Gladstone or even Lloyd George. Nor Grimond or Thorpe. It changed under Paddy Ashdown who sneered at tradition and even more at Christian orthodoxy. By their fruit will they be known. And it is not just the LibDems. The Conservative Party is getting to be intolerant of orthodoxy. David Cameron, egged on by his wife, tried hard to force the Church of England to abandon belief in favour of nuanced secular novelty. When it came to discussing religion, which he tried to have a control over, he could only say his knowledge and belief was like a fluctuating radio wave over the Chilterns. So the unchurched and the lapsed on both sides of the House berated churchmen for not bowing to their new creed.

    The Gospel speaks many times of those wishing to stir the flock against the Shepherd. The Shepherd wants one fold, and we are yet to be that, but He does not want the goats in the fold disturbing the peace.

    • Merchantman

      See my post below asking how to join the DUP. I wouldn’t do this because its probably inappropriate for someone not wishing to stir the Irish pot and who isn’t resident in Ulster.

      You can however become a supporter as they are now the only party I can see apart from UKIP (who mostly) supporting traditional Christian Values. The only one with a chance now of effecting a conservative traditional Christian view at Westminster.

      This is a traumatic turn of events for Traditional Christians and one wonders what place one has.

      Cameron et al have a heavy responsibility for their bizarre decision to legalise ‘gay’ marriage and foist it on the UK.

      • Anton

        Perhaps Eton bears the responsibility?

        • Merchantman

          An Eton Mess of Bunter size portions. Yes.

      • Manfarang

        But do you remember 1690 and good King Billy?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Yes but it was an EU Policy forced under Single Market Rules

      • Chefofsinners

        By all means support the DUP. Sinn Fein has no problem accepting vast amounts of financial support from self-styled ‘Irish Americans’.

        • Merchantman

          By a quirk of policy the DUP seems to be closer to the RC position on sex (!) than Sinn Fein. One has already seen various Scots Conservatives call the DUP on their Traditional stance which is probably causing ructions in the cabinet. Quite where all this is headed is anyone’s guess.

          • There are Catholics in Belfast who vote DUP. Sinn Fein are a socialist, Irish Nationalist Party.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Marxist really. They’re to the left of most mainstream socialists.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It isn’t a quirk, SF have little to do with Romanism, more to do with independence from the UK, flying all flags that might help that.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The only party of size. However, both the Christian Party and the Christian Peoples Alliance are conservative and Biblical.

  • wisestreligion

    The C of E leadership’s feebleness in not upholding scripture is heaping persecution on faithful Christians. Covering Farron’s resignation, Christianity Today interviews a former press aide to Blair, Matthew Doyle, who says opposition to LGBT rights is outside the mainstream of most people of faith, let alone the wider community. Since our bishops will not speak up on sexuality those who are faithful are cast as extremists and delegitimised. For an atheist liberal to consider the Christian perspective he need only listen to liberal views that coincide with his own.

    Archbishop Justin remarked on religious illiteracy among politicians a few days ago. Why does he not speak out to let our ignorant nation know that there is an alternative to the low view of sex? God’s high view of sex supports marriage, strengthens families and nurtures healthy children – let’s not keep it a secret.

    • Anton

      If Archbishop Justin had a liberal agenda but disguised it more than most church liberals, would he look any different…?

      • Royinsouthwest

        I think that on the whole his theological views are fine but they tend to clash with his political views and unlike Farron he seems to be unaware of when they do. However we all have our blind spots.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Matthew Doyle is wrong.

  • len

    Perhaps liberal democrats need to drop the’ liberal’ in their title.

    • David

      They also need to drop the “democrat” part.

      Why ? Because I have seen not a jot of recognition from them that the public voted to Leave.

      • jsampson45

        Also because they believe in world government. I do not see how this can be compatible with democracy. From a world government there would be nowhere to run.

        • Little Black Censored

          They should be called the ……………….. Party. Then people might stop talking about them.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Or just ignore them, whoever they are. Who are they anyway?

          • Manfarang

            Just as the churches are ignored today.

      • Chefofsinners

        No-one left of the Conservatives believes in democracy anymore. The truth is slowly dawning in the dimness of the progressive mind, that comrade Corbyn has not in fact won a glorious victory, but that democracy has delivered a Conservative government which will be pulled further to the right by the DUP. Who to blame? Ah! No-one. Let us blame democracy. And so a popular article on the BBC website over recent days has been ‘Has democracy let the British people down?’, as if a theory of government can be held personally responsible for disastrous outcomes, such as Brexit, Trump and men in dresses not being allowed into the ladies’ toilets.
        Here is a faithful saying, which is worthy of acceptation by the Left: ‘To the victors the spoils’.

        • Dreadnaught

          The loudest proclaimers for ‘democracy’ are those who demand it; only to use it to destroy it by silencing dissent. The People is the State; the State is the People.

          • Mike Stallard

            I would like to expand this thought:
            Conservatives
            Labour
            Working Class
            Progressives
            Communists
            All of these ideas represent a group of people who believe precisely the opposite of their name!
            Ministry of Justice… Ministry of Truth…

    • Royinsouthwest

      While at it they should also consider adopting the prefix “Anti-.”

      • Manfarang

        Anticlerical?

    • CliveM

      Also ‘democrats’ bit as well.

    • cybervicar

      Cultural Marxistocrats perhaps?

    • Linus

      Opposing the illiberal prejudices of Christianity is by definition a liberal act. The Libdems deserve their name more than ever. Forcing religious prejudice and obfuscation out and pushing it to the fringes of society is the duty of every liberal.

      Bravo Lord Plod!

  • David

    For the avoidance of doubt and the promotion of truth, the Liberal-Democrats should be renamed The Illiberal Anti-Democrats.

    • To be fair, it wasn’t the LibDems who hounded him out of leading them. He was selected by them when his views were no secret. It was the MSM. He stumbled because he believed his honest views would be an electoral liability and so he attempted to avoid answering the questions. Something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as it turned out.

      • Inspector General

        Jack. Before the GE, the Inspector is on record for doubting Farron’s re-election. He survived the 2015 cull of Lib Dems because he was active at local level, which of course finished when he became leader. One understands his majority now is seven bundles of votes. What a come down!

        He probably wants to remain an MP. That would be his first concern…

      • Anton

        No; if his party was solidly behind him the mainstream media could have been safely ignored.

        • Doubtful. Even now Fallon is prevaricating. Why not simply say “Yes, I believe homosexual acts are sinful but my Christian faith and Liberal views means I won’t seek to impose my morality on others.”?
          Of course, in Jack’s view, a Christian politician would put God’s will first, promote Christian values and seek to persuade others against normalising behaviours that are damaging to society.

          • Yes, love the sinner loath the sin.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Can we really divide the two?

          • Yes, I think we can. We are all sinners in some way or other, but most Christians try their hardest to keep themselves in check and to overcome sinful and harmful behaviour.

            Are you trying to say homosexual activity is now not a sin or are you rejecting those who are disordered?

          • grutchyngfysch

            Jude would have us believe so. Its hard to love sinners in that way though. The closest I think we come to understanding it when we realise a loved one is dead in sin. If we truly love them and truly believe what Bible teaches then it is the most dreadful agony to bear. I am ashamed not to feel it more instinctively and more often.

          • Manfarang

            “A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.” Tim Farron

          • Anton

            The media move on. Had his party been behind him he could have weathered the storm, because the media know that people would soon get bored of a story in which nothing happens.

          • Mike Stallard

            Christian values:
            1. Marriage between a man and a woman who become one flesh (in the form of a child?)
            2. Gay sex is so outrageous that it is barely mentioned directly.
            3. Gay marriage is not mentioned at all. But neither is drug abuse or air transport.
            4. Women and St Paul need looking into.
            5. Divorce is wrong. Anyone who marries a divorce/e commits adultery.
            6. Anyone who harms a child faces a terrible fate: it is better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone round your neck!
            7. Discuss the position of St Joseph in the early life of Jesus.

      • He should have taken courage and been more open and honest about his beliefs to the media and when they condemned him for having good honest Christian beliefs, turned the table and accused them of being intolerant to him. He’s a Christian and proud. We are supposed to be a tolerant nation.

      • Paul Greenwood

        electoral liability with “media types” whose self-interest is paramount

  • Inspector General

    It would be interesting to know, while our politicians are advocating a homosexual accepting society, almost at sword point, the full cost of treating HIV therein. For those who are in any doubt about this particular virus, don’t be. Unless treated as soon as possible, it is a slow killer. Victims can expect around ten years after contracting the disease. It kills all the time. Of note is the UK black male community whom are in constant denial of it. Homosexual AND heterosexual.

    Your Inspector has always thought that if man cannot work within Mother Nature’s bounds, we are finished as a species. Unfortunately, the sexually perverse have no time for such truths. Neither it seems, our politicians…and we have to ask WHY….

    • Paul Greenwood

      but to address HIV you would need to address drug abuse and that is a taboo

      • Mike Stallard

        And also it would need to address a number of other things too. The result? Tumbling birth rate which creates the vacuum which allows our civilization to be taken over by a lot of people who come from very different traditions indeed.
        Or aren’t you allowed to say that in a liberal society.

      • Anton

        It is not the only cause… while legalising and taxing drugs might be a good start.

        From the purely scientific view, it might be best to say there is no cure for HIV yet.

        • Paul Greenwood

          I doubt anyone would legalise the drugs in question for the use they are put to. It is the drugs consumed that makes HIV such a problem.

  • Martin

    So when did we last have an Evangelical Christian in leadership in the Conservative or Labour parties?

    Come to that, when did we have a Evangelical as a bishop in the CoE? And don’t tell me that Justin Welby is an Evangelical.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Timothy Dudley Smith? Though he was only a suffragan.
      And that flying bishop at the moment, Nick McKinnell? Maybe?

      Genuine Evangelical leader of political parties? Can’t think of one in my lifetime.

      • Chefofsinners

        Yes, Deadly Smith fits the bill. The current Bishop of Bristol, Mike Hill, is also an evangelical.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Mike Hill is also a suffragan then?

          • Chefofsinners

            No, Mike is one of the longest serving diocesan bishops. Unfortunately due to retire in September.

    • Peasant Farmer

      The Bishop of Maidstone?

      • David

        Correct. Strictly speaking he would probably describe himself as a conservative evangelical. But he is only a suffragan bishop, which in plain speak is a deputy bishop to the head or diocesan bishop.

    • Royinsouthwest

      George Carey?

      • Dominic Stockford

        No. Not whilst in office, though since he left he seems to have reverted to being one again.

    • Anton

      St Margaret of Finchley prayed nightly to God in her own words.

  • Chefofsinners

    It is difficult to discuss this issue while there is such suffering in London. Tim Farron’s resignation appears relatively trivial, and many would accuse us of fiddling while Rome burns. But which issue is the greater? The changes in society affect us all, threatening the basic freedoms of life. These freedoms have cost the lives of many, including the original Archbishop Cranmer, in the flames of martyrdom.

    • Paul Greenwood

      If you resign because you are seen as Dr Stockmann in Ibsen’s “Enemy of The People” it is self-evident why you get neither innovation nor honesty in public life. It might also explain why it is better to keep stumm when bad decisions increase fire risk

      • Anton

        The Independent claims that Grenfell Tower was clad to make it less of an eyesore for wealthier residents living nearby, while the Daily Mail says it was to help the council meet CO2 reduction targets to mitigate climate change!

        Probably they are both right, but it should be added that making an eyesore less of one is good for everybody provided that it is done safely, and that reduction of the heating bill which the council pays on behalf of many residents is a moneysaver regardless of climate change. The cladding used at Grenfell is apparently illegal in the USA. The fireproof version cost just 10% more but it is beginning to look as if the real failure is in the cladding regulations. In that case somebody in the council will be scapegoated for some minor infringement of the fire regulations, and the cladding regulations will be tightened – but the civil servants who drafted the present regulations would be untouched…

        • Those who were penny pinching putting profit before safety should be punished as well. Whose decision was it to use the cheaper less fire retardant cladding I wonder?

          • Anton

            If it it permitted under the regulations then they can’t be touched. They’d have got the sack for wasting money if they’d ordered the more expensive stuff.

          • grutchyngfysch

            To answer that question you’d need to know where else it has been used and if it was signed off by inspectors at the time.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Illegal in USA above a certain height. Germany has pumps installed in high rise above a certain height so fire services can get pressure at high levels.

  • Manfarang

    Pastor Alan Campbell, who founded the now-closed Open Bible Ministries, died suddenly in hospital on Sunday at the age of 67.
    A biography on his Facebook page states that he was “born in Belfast on 7 August 1949 into a staunchly Presbyterian home, in a Roman Catholic area”.
    It adds that his grandmother was a “very firm adherent of the doctrine of British Israelism, and thus he was exposed to this teaching from a very early age”.
    However, it states that he didn’t truly convert to Christianity until September 19, 1965, when he heard Ian Paisley preach at Ravenhill Free Presbyterian Church.
    Campbell, known for his ultra-loyalist views, claimed that Ulster Protestants and the whites of South Africa were lost tribes of Israel, given their own homelands by God.

  • IanCad

    An episode to give one hope; That decency, honour, and principle, shall not perish from the earth.

  • dannybhoy

    From the Christians in Education website..
    “SOCIAL LIBERALISM AND THE NATIONAL DNA”
    http://christiansineducation.co.uk/social-liberalism-and-the-national-dna/

    • David

      Superb article, thank you for the link.

      • Mike Stallard

        Same here – thank you. It is just what I believe too.

    • Manfarang

      How things change. Fifty years ago teachers were joining the British Humanist Association because they felt pressured into becoming Christians.
      Social Liberalism is about adopting a welfare state instead of having a simple free market which deals with citizens needs.

      • Anton

        What is the evidence that 50 years ago teachers were joining the British Humanist Association because they felt pressured into becoming Christians?

        • Manfarang

          The membership of the BHA was made up of a large number of teachers. Teachers in those days were required to do school assemblies and the like.

      • dannybhoy

        Hm,
        I would have been in my 20’s and I don’t remember any outcry about teachers being pressured to become Christians….?
        I do seem to remember that teachers’ unions were keen on the abolition of corporal punishment?
        Interesting article here
        https://www.corpun.com/counuks.htm
        and here..
        http://schoolsweek.co.uk/when-did-schools-ban-corporal-punishment/

        • Manfarang

          Why would there have been an outcry.? Religion was widely seen as a good thing in those days.

          • dannybhoy

            True religion is always a good thing!
            I see what you mean, but I have never heard anecdotal or official evidence regarding teachers being under pressure to convert.
            By the same token I don’t remember much talk about homosexuality or the need to ‘re-programme’ them.
            It just wasn’t talked about, and homosexual folk kept quiet about their lifestyles.
            Apart from the bullying and blackmail that went on, I think society was better for it.
            My father did 20 years in the Royal Navy and never had much to say about it either, although obviously he knew of it.

  • I disagree with Farron’s views on gay sex, but it’s obvious he’s been defenestrated for being Christian in a public place.

    • Linus

      Defenestration involves a great deal more harm than wounded pride.

      And anyway, as a Christian, Farron must welcome this opportunity to be a martyr for his faith.

      Isn’t that what all Christians aspire to?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Do you think that the original Cranmer wanted to be burnt at the stake?

      • Plasterer

        It’s not because of Christians that defenestration has returned to literal rather than metaphorical use…

        • Linus

          Henri de Guise would be so proud to think that his preferred method assassinating Protestants was back in fashion among other religious bigots.

      • This isn’t about martyrdom, it’s about a political party chasing out of its ranks all who dare to think outside the range of views prescribed for them. It’s a sad illustration of how liberalism has migrated from the polity of free thought to a cloned member of the political cartel, a neofascist “superparty” with liberal, conservative and labour wings.

        • betteroffoutofit

          To say nothing of the damage they’re doing to language . . .

          • Too right! Language was always the first target because of the postmodern perception that if you can’t say something then you can’t think about it.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes. Someone who had to study the filth in froggish told me that it’s just as bad in their own language . . .

          • Dreadnaught

            Exactly: I can’t say that I am opposed to an incompatible over representation of an alien religious presence without being condemned as a racist infidel, fit only for death. Worse still, my own culture is prepared to legislate against me exercising my democratic freedom of speech. Offended? bloody right I am, but I am a white native of these islands and equates to being someone to the Right of Vlad the Impaler.

          • betteroffoutofit

            The Right being the site of the Judge’s Executive Arm, by some strange quirk!

        • Linus

          So Christians who moan about heretics and unbelievers in their churches think that heretics and unbelievers should be welcome in political parties.

          There’s consistency for you. Exclusivity in religion. Promiscuity in politics.

          Go figure…

          • many Christians have been moving towards classical Liberalism at the same time that liberalism has been joining the contemporary Left at the stagnant waters of intolerance of any view outside the prescribed range. As I say I don’t agree with Farron’s views, but the response from the left in general and the lib dems in particular speak far more of intolerance than his views do.

    • Paul Greenwood

      “I disagree with Farron’s views on gay sex”

      It is “imperative” to have a view apparently

      • Dominic Stockford

        A Christian should have a view, the view that correlates with the teaching of Scripture. There is a Biblical imperative to have a view.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Yes but the godless might be beyond Redemption. Why do you think all souls are available for Salvation ?

  • Albert

    What Tim Farron has established is not that it’s impossible to be a Christian and a Liberal Democrat, but that it’s not possible to be an Evangelical Christian and lead the Liberal Democrats.

    You think that an orthodox Catholic could do the job then? Anyone who is not liberal is precluded from running the Illiberal Democrats, not just Evangelicals. That’s obvious.

    The funny thing is that anyone is surprised. If you watch the film of Farron’s speech, the moment he says “we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society”, the woman in green behind him gasps with horror and then shakes her head. I suppose that being called out for your illiberalism is quite shocking when you’ve built your whole identity on being liberal. These people are fundamentalists. Liberalism is their orthodoxy.

    • dannybhoy

      There’s a very good book doing the rounds entitled, “The inTolerance of Tolerance”
      by DA Carson.
      But the reality is that ‘we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ Ephesians 6 (RSVCE)
      The war is primarily in the spiritual realm but it plays out in the physical realm too, through all aspects of fallen man’s rebellious activities.
      Psalm 14.

    • Gareth Matthews-John

      Surely, the issue is that Farron was wrong regarding the New Testament’s position on homosexuality – not much there of note, really. He allowed himself to be hoisted on the the few points made in the Old Testament – Sodom, in particular. What is the major problem here is Farron’s lack of knowledge regarding the Bible. If the teachings of Jesus are anything, then they are that which would bring hope to all, regardless of sexuality.

      • Albert

        You mean to say that the NT’s position on homosexuality is one of approval?

  • CliveM

    Before Farron is considered as a candidate for Beatification, let’s remember the LibDems, the party he led and still supports was as dogmatic and illiberal on social issues in the run up to the GE, as it was during it and as it still is. See recent comments from David Laws. Nothing has changed and Tim Farron has worked, supported and campaigned for this party his whole adult life. If it has at all been influential on these issues, if it has been in a position to dictate on these issues, to some extent it’s because Tim Farron has helped it to be and at no time has he stood out or spoke against these illiberal attitudes and behaviour.

    Certainly at least in how it affected others.

    It might be said it’s only when in had an impact on himself that it became a concern.

    If he campaigns within his party for a change in attitude and stands out against this Liberal fascism, then he will start earning respect. What’s the likelihood?

    • Zilch.

    • Manfarang

      You were the ones saying he couldn’t be a Christian and lead a mainstream political party. Make up your minds.

      • CliveM

        Actually he said it. But even so, you don’t seem to be making any recognisable point.

        • Manfarang

          “From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I’ve tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.
          At the start of this election, I found myself under scrutiny again – asked about matters to do with my faith. I felt guilty that this focus was distracting attention from our campaign, obscuring our message.” Tim Farron

          • CliveM

            And?

          • CliveM

            Ps why did you miss out this

            “To be a political leader…and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me,”

          • Manfarang

            Not impossible for others it seems- Blair and Brown.

          • CliveM

            Is this the same Blair who famously didn’t do religion?

          • Manfarang

            Tony Blair’s most senior advisers intervened to prevent him discussing his faith in public, according to two profiles of the Prime Minister.
            The bar on the topic is so rigid that Alastair Campbell, Mr. Blair’s director of strategy and communications, intervened in an interview to prevent the Prime Minister from answering a question about his Christianity. “We don’t do God,” Mr. Campbell interrupted.

          • Anton

            Blair could have over-ridden Campbell any time he wished.

          • Manfarang

            But he didn’t.

          • Anton

            So?

          • CliveM

            Blair had a choice.

          • Manfarang

            He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

          • CliveM

            I really have no idea what point it is you are trying to make.

          • Gareth Matthews-John

            Blair was characterised by his religious beliefs as soon as he made it into John Smith’s shadow cabinet, if I remember correctly. 1992, Shadow Home Secretary??

          • Royinsouthwest

            Brown boasted about being a “son of the Manse” since his father had been a Church of Scotland minister but in so far his religious views influenced his politics it seems to have been in tackling poverty by raising benefits when it might have been better to tackle the causes of poverty.

            Blair became a Catholic (after he ceased to be prime minister if I remember rightly) but he was in charge of the government that was responsible for forcing successful Church-run adoption agencies to close by insisting that they had to offer children for adoption to same-sex couples instead of ensuring that the children would have both a mother and a father to bring them up.

  • Anton

    Tim Farron’s tormentors should be ashamed. There is no justice in severing religion from politics – John Sentamu

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/tim-farrons-tormentors-should-ashamed-no-justice-severing-religion/

    • Manfarang

      Tell the French.

      • Anton

        You tell them. I’m busy.

  • Rhoda
  • Lucius

    In the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders peppered a low-level political appointee in a routine confirmation hearing with questions about his Christian faith. Specifically, Sen. Sanders questioned him as to whether non-Christians are “condemned.” The appointee responded: “I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs,” but he also emphasized “the centrality of Jesus Christ in salvation.” To which Sen. Sanders responded, “This nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/09/532116365/is-it-hateful-to-believe-in-hell-bernie-sanders-questions-prompt-backlash

    The slow banishment of Christians from the public square continues. If you think that an attack on the private practice of the Christian faith will not follow thereafter, then you are living in a fool’s fantasy.