Belinda Brown: Liberals ignore their debt to Christianity

Liberalism has been very good at expanding the list of things we must tolerate. But, as we saw with the demolition of Tim Farron, a politician of utmost integrity, they have been hopeless at teaching tolerance itself.

Tolerance does not come naturally to us flawed human beings. It needs to be cultivated. And while Liberalism appears intent on stamping out Christianity, the development of tolerance and magnanimity is something Christianity helps us do.

Yes, it is true that Christians regard homosexuality as a sin. So is sex outside marriage, so is hating Sophie Walker, so is being impatient with our loved ones – things that we all regularly do.

Wondering what God makes of our different behaviours helps to develop mindfulness, but as we saw in the repeated bullying of Tim Farron, it is not the Christians, but the liberal interviewers who have a problem with sin.

In fact, Jesus tells us repeatedly to not worry about anyone else’s sin – only our own. If only Liberals would look at the plank in their own eye, their own persistent intolerance, they might be a bit more circumspect about throwing the first stone.

Not only that, but when it comes to other people’s behaviour Christianity constantly reminds us that we are not in a position to judge: "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged."

It is God who knows the full facts and only he can really take that call.

So while the likes of Polly Toynbee are intent on portraying Christians as intolerant – liberals would do well to take a leaf out of our Holy Book.

Part of the liberal hostility towards Christianity may be because they don’t want to recognise their large and unacknowledged debt.

For while Christians recognise the family as God’s holy institution, and Jesus was very clear on the sanctity of marriage, it was Jesus, not the liberals, who freed people from potentially stifling kinship ties:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household."

This message is challenging for us social conservatives, but is no doubt music to liberals’ ears. However, once upon a time the family was a dominant, all-encompassing institution, which effectively controlled the person. What Jesus was really trying to drive home is that we should put him first: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Unfortunately, the liberals were happy to go along with subordinating the family but have forgotten about the God bit. They have put the self-fulfilment and self-actualisation of the individual in his place.
This is unfortunate. The family can act as an everlasting boot camp for teaching tolerance (and patience), but not where it becomes so disparate and fragmented that its members no longer share common time and space.

But where they do, the family throws together different generations to learn each other’s foibles, and different ways of thinking, far more effectively than could be achieved if we spent all day at work.

It teaches us the difficulties of different cultures getting together where parents or in-laws are from different countries or even a different class.

It gives us contact with the high and lowly and with those who achieve differently. For example, my sister is the only businesswoman I have ever known.

We may be lucky and have family with whom we get on easily, but all too often our families contain people, who, if we had the choice, we would absolutely studiously avoid. Instead we have to manage to get along.

Jesus did help dethrone the family, but this was in a specific framework which ultimately helps preserve it. The liberals forgot about that framework and took that liberated individual which they build on now.

Also essential for the evolution of Liberalism was the separation which Jesus made between Church and State: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God’s."

This establishes the template for a private realm where we are free to believe what we want to believe as long as we pay obeisance to the State and the law.

This is the bread and butter of liberalism, and Jesus helped to establish this framework. No wonder Tim Farron described himself as “A liberal through to my fingertips”.

Liberals have a debt to Christianity which generally they studiously choose to ignore.

It is precisely Liberalism’s Christian roots that make it such a thoroughly idealistic, possibly naïve philosophy. Only where liberals at least attempt to practice Jesus’s teachings, can liberalism as a political philosophy possibly survive.

(Image: Lib Dems)

Belinda Brown

  • timbazo

    If Tim Farron was ‘bullied’, it was not by Lib Dem members who had elected him leader despite knowing that his views on homosexuality were well out of line with theirs.

    If Farron was bullied by anyone, it was by the media and most of his interrogators were not Lib Dems, but Tory and Labour. Farron could also have helped himself by telling the truth, which is in line with Christianity, and not lying, which is not.

    • DespiteBrexit

      He was also stabbed in the back by LibDems, not least the absurd Paddick. Who I believe lives up to his name,

      • MorganCourtenay

        XD Brilliant!

  • Colkitto03

    Christianity from the start, preached true equality for women.
    Liberals never acknowledge this.
    In the eyes of God men and women are completely equal. The Bible is very clear on this being this case and also clear in that this equality should happen in practice.
    It is no mistake that modern equal rights for women only in practice exist in Christian countries (and Israel).
    Feminists and Liberals would have you believe that equal rights only started 100 years ago. In truth without the bedrock of Christian values most of today’s liberal values would never have had the chance to exist. A big thanks is in order! (I wont hold my breath)

    • MorganCourtenay

      Well, most feminists and liberals do not read Church history. Christianity appealed to women for a variety of reasons: 1)- the sanctity of marriage provided women with real security, 2)- the institution of marriage was grounded in love, rather than political/economic expediency, 3)- sexual immorality, often used to objectify/degrade women, was forbidden for men as well as women. Also, early Christianity opened up the path to education for women, as those who took religious orders learned to read and write, and they often had a chance to serve their communities.

      I’m converting to Judaism, and I would argue that some of these principles stretch back further than the Christian Bible. Several women are accepted as prophets in the Hebrew Bible, including Sarah, Deborah and Huldah (who was consulted above other (male) prophets of her time). In the Ten Commandments, the children of Israel are told to “honour your father AND your mother”. In the Mishlei (Provebs), there are at least two references where Solomon speaks of listening to the “instruction” of your mother. Indeed, the value of Wisdom and Understanding is always referred to using the female pronoun. Many Jewish scholars believe this is because women were considered to have greater “binah” (intuitive wisdom) than men. Proverbs Ch 31 extols the virtuous woman, praising, amongst other things, her business acumen: (verse 14- JPS Tanakh) “She is like a merchant fleet, bringing her food from afar… (verse 16)- “She sets her mind on an estate and acquires it… (verse 18) “She sees that her business thrives…” Later on, it speaks of her selling cloth (again, productivity/hard work/business acumen), overseeing the household, charitable nature and “kindly teaching” (verse 26).

      So yes, a big thanks is in order. But like you, I’m not holding my breath.

      • Colkitto03

        Well said.
        I come from a Scottish protestant and Irish catholic background (love conquers all with my parents) Anyway both my grandmothers were matriarchs. Don’t tell me that there is some patriarchy ruling the world! Women were very much running things in the rural homes of my parents even back in the 50s. Their faith gave them strength and did not hold them back.
        Best of wishes for your conversion journey. Judaism seems like one of the most eminently sensible and genuinely equitable faiths there is.

      • JabbaPapa

        +1 from a Catholic

    • MorganCourtenay

      Oh by the way, according to the experts at the UN, Israel is the only violator of women’s rights. Yes, you heard that correctly.

      • Colkitto03

        That is simply astounding. Though knowing the UN quite believable, A paradox if ever there was one.

      • Belinda Brown

        And this seems to be the result! (I think there is a lot of stuff about this – not just on Russia Today) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahZTWBB26Cw

  • Bik Byro

    Basically, you can cherry pick out of the bible a quote somewhere that supports any point you wish to make. It’s like Nostradamus’s prophecies except more wide ranging.

    • JabbaPapa

      Yes — that’s called “misreading the Scriptures”.

      • Bik Byro

        Yes — it’s called reading the Scriptures. They say what they say.

        • Belinda Brown

          I think Jesus is actually always pretty clear.

  • MorganCourtenay

    One of the (many) reasons I left the liberal bubble, which wasn’t apparent to me then, but has become clearer to me now, is that they threw God out of the equation. When they successfully characterized Christianity (and Judaism) as the innate oppressor, and called for emancipation thereof, they stopped understanding the meaning of justice. It became a self-serving tool for whatever brand of me-culture was currently popular. All the while, they still liked to invoke the names of past Civil Rights activists in various fields to lend credibility to their cause, happy to ignore one glaring difference between the two. They wanted to believe that they still had a moral cause, whilst believing that there was no such thing as an absolute moral arbiter, nothing above our understanding, and nothing to be learned from any teaching, let alone Biblical teaching. All tradition and scholarship was to be ignored. So if there is no God, there is no right and there is no wrong. Everything is relative. Nothing can be judged.

    Hence, you have a recipe for utter moral confusion, which is what the Left brings. Even whilst a left-winger (and agnostic), I constantly found myself questioning the complete lack of judgement towards things that I considered to be objectively wrong. Any objective absolute (which I subconsciously believed because of my Christian upbringing, even though, by that time, I had rejected religion) was considered a sign of close-mindedness. So, I thought, am I close-minded? It took a LONG time for me to realize that I was simply from a different side of the coin. When I turned back to religion, I began to have a new and far BETTER appreciation for concepts like justice and equality and harmony and tolerance. It was not the aggrandized and devalued concept spewed by the Left, which was based on personal wants, but a deeper concept motivated by a higher, better plan. And when liberals invoke the names of REAL rights activists like Martin Luther King (a devout Christian), they are subconsciously acknowledging a debt to the Christian faith in promoting equality of persons. It was, after all, thanks to many Christians that evils like racism, slavery and many other injustices were challenged.

    • JabbaPapa

      They wanted to believe that they still had a moral cause, whilst believing that there was no such thing as an absolute moral arbiter

      Yes, exactly.

  • Terry

    Tim F was the kind of Christian who is utterly useless in politics. He threw his lot in with a party who are secular/anti-Christian and when it came to it he backed down on one of the man Christian-related issue of our times: the promotion of gayness. He failed to say, this is wrong and if you don’t like what I say don’t vote for me.