by Paul Goodman
"Be that as it may, his resignation statement was remarkable. “To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.” That sideswipe at his party was extraordinary. It can be read as meaning that orthodox Christian belief and the Liberal Democrat worldview are currently incompatible. Not all Christians will share Farron’s views – or perhaps what were once his views – on abortion and gay sex. Liberal Anglicans, for example, would have no intrinsic problem with the second. But churchgoers and others should ponder what he said.
Farron yesterday put his finger on a problem that this site identified when he was first quizzed about his beliefs. Social conservatism, for want of a better phrase, is not only unfashionable amongst the elites that shape our public culture, but is increasingly treated by them as somehow illegitimate. That the DUP is currently under fire for its stance on abortion and gay sex is a reminder of this (even though the SDLP takes much the same position on the first). That Farron is an evangelical Christian leading a party with a strongly secular ethos was always going to make him a target for media smart alecs and alices. They have pursued him relentlessly."