Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Two points on Tim Farron and Christianity

I made two points on Twitter about Tim Farron's recantation of his view on gay sex that seem worth repeating here.

The first is in that interview, as he often does, Tim told his interviewers "what Christians believe".

But there are, says Wikipedia, more than two billion Christians around the world. They vary from the Russian Orthodox church to the Wee Frees of the Western Isles.

It is simply wrong to suggest that they all share the conclusions of Tim's slightly home-made Evangelical faith. 

Christians believe all sorts of things and, in Britain at least, many of them are more relaxed about gay sex than Tim appears to be.

The second point is that Tim said in the interview that Christianity is always "radical and counter-cultural".

Not in England it isn't. 

We have an established church and bishops sit in the House of Lords - and you can't get less counter-cultural than that.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceAgain, Tim is talking about his particular variety of the faith, not Christianity as a whole.


Anonymous said...

A lot of evangelical Christians refuse to recognise other Christians as Christian - it would not surprise me if Tim subscribed to this view. It also matches his characterisation that there is only one other Christian in HQ.

Anonymous said...

The big problem with Tim Farron is not that he has religious views about the morality of homosexuality (though that would still be difficult for many liberals to understand - even if he could manage to keep those views to himself).

The big problem is that his parliamentary voting history doesn't at all support the narrative he has tried to project of someone who has defended the rights of sexual minority groups. Not only did he abstain on same-sex marriage, but much more importantly he voted against banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

If a Lib Dem MP had voted for racial discrimination to be legalised, it is impossible to imagine that s/he would have retained either the whip or party membership. Yet Tim Farron went on to lead the party. And indeed, many Lib Dems are still defending him and praising his voting record.

That is a problem for the party at large, not just for Farron.

Unknown said...

To blame all Christians for not being "progressive and counter cultural" because of the strange set up of the Church of England is ridiculous. I was bought up as a Congregationalist,with a minimal hierarchy of clergy, and certainly not "established". The Church in Wales while being part of the "Anglican family" is also not an established Church. But even the dear old Church of England has spasms of revolt, and has written several influential reports that are critical of Government policy, and like many other Christian organisations is running food banks for people that have been disgracefully abandoned by the political establishment.
AS to the Christian view on homosexuality, the example give by Jesus is of love and forgiveness of all sinners, so even if homosexuality is still regarded as sinful, Christians should be dealing with the person before the sin.
In the New Testament, homosexuality is only described as a sin in one of St Paul's letters, but we have the disadvantage of not knowing anything about the circumstances that gave rise to his comment. IN the old testament homosexuality is described as sinful mainly in Leviticus, which usually describes things that might cause illness as sinful, because self evidently God would send the illness as punishment. Food hygiene and medical science have made most of these crimes somewhat less sinful.
AS to Tim Farron, I think that he does seem to lose his composure when asked questions that have a personal significance for him, and is much happier when he can stick to agreed policy. Having been badgered about this question in the past, I can understand why he has this problem. It is true that in strictly fundamentalist terms - taking the Bible as "the word of God" homosexuality is a sin. But most Christians follow the example of Christ who when asked about the 10 commandments said that his commandment, "love" was the greatest of all commandments. When faced with the execution of "the woman taken in adultery" he thought about the situation and said "let he who is without sin, throw the first stone." I think that we should all take that lesson with respect to Homosexuality, and to Tim Farron.

Jonathan Calder said...

I am not blaming anyone. I am just describing the world as it is.

Unknown said...

OK! The C of E IS a strange beast. Sadly its position as the established church does make it eccentricity more visible. I think that we can agree on that!