Thursday, 15 June 2017

Tim Farron's political liberalism was broad enough and true enough to its philosophy not to try to force his beliefs on others, as not only his rhetoric but also his voting record shows very clearly. It's sad - and worrying in a free society  - that the same thing can't be said for his opponents on the left and the right and even from within his own party.
However, the media has had a crucial role to play in seeking to direct questions during the general election campaign to the former Liberal Democrat leader which would not have been (and were not) asked of a devout Muslim or, for that matter, of a Roman Catholic, or an Anglican from a non- conservative evangelical tradition.
I don't share Mr Farron's fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian faith or of the Scriptures,  but I can't help thinking both that he has been shamefully and irresponsibly treated, and that there has perhaps been another agenda at work in seeking to distract at all costs from his and his party's essential message about our future in Europe and the continuing need for internationalist values  in the face of a destructive and isolationist populism...

A few links to the story from a wide spectrum of sources:

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/tim-farron-was-given-a-hard-time-for-being-christian-says-cardinal/

http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2017/06/15/the-illiberal-persecution-of-tim-farron

https://capx.co/tim-farron-was-true-to-his-faith-is-that-such-a-bad-thing/

And this from Cranmer who, of course, as a committed Conservative supporter, has little love for the LibDems or political liberalism generally, but nevertheless manages to raise some vital questions for all political parties:
http://archbishopcranmer.com/christians-lead-political-parties-evangelical-christians-lead-liberal-democrats/

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