Gay sex and Tim Farron are back in the news again to entertain us all. It feels a bit like watching a farce – you know, the kind where you want to hide behind the sofa as the excruciating plot unfolds and the hapless lead digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole from which his dignity has no hope of escaping intact. Oh no, what will he say this time? You don’t want to watch, but you can’t take your eyes off it – you have to know how it ends.

Tim Farron does seem to be his own worst enemy. By all accounts an irrepressibly Nice Guy, he is an adherent of a very marginal political position these days – highly socially conservative personal beliefs alongside highly socially liberal policy commitments. To most people this seems plainly incoherent, but to him and others like him (a small group found mainly in the Lib Dems) it makes perfect sense – to them, liberals are people united not by personal beliefs on things such as religion and morality, but by a commitment to defending one another’s freedom to live according to their own personal beliefs and morals (including conservative ones).

In an age where to be less than fully signed up, heart and soul, to the ultra-PC, multicultural, feminist, pansexualist agenda is practically a hangable offence, and certainly a sackable offence, this kind of position is incomprehensible and reeks of hypocrisy and bad faith. You might have thought that the PC ‘progressives’ would be pleased to have allies amongst social conservatives and evangelical Christians, but that would be to underestimate the imperative they feel to ensure conformity of belief in their progressive creed and not merely support for its public expressions. They don’t just want your vote, they want your heart. If you thought Britain abolished its Test Acts in the 19th century, think again.

Farron had obviously decided that the way he was going to deal with questions about his unfashionable personal beliefs was to refuse to answer them directly and claim it didn’t matter because he always voted as a good liberal should. This might have seemed like a good strategy when it was cooked up over skinny soya lattes in Lib Dem HQ, but with an illiberal PC mob out for the blood of anyone suspected of harbouring socially conservative views on anything, it turned out to be disastrous. The witch-hunters could not be appeased with what looked very much like evasion and would not let up till their quarry had made his confession. Which way would he go? In the end he gave the ‘correct’ answer – but was so traumatised by having to traduce his own conscience that he resigned as party leader immediately following the election, and has now gone on public record as saying he regrets giving an answer so clearly contrary to his actual beliefs (for the sake of his party, we can presume).

Surely it would have been much better to have been upfront in the first place. It’s always hard to deal in hypotheticals, of course, but you have to say it is difficult to see how it could have been worse. At least if he’d been honest straight away and explained why his personal beliefs didn’t affect his policy commitments, he’d have looked like a man of honesty and principle, albeit principles which most people these days find difficult to comprehend. As it is, he just looked embarrassed and evasive – never attractive traits in a leader.

What is surely most objectionable in all this, however, is not Farron’s excruciating equivocation, but his insistence that social conservatism is merely a matter of personal opinion – how some people choose to live, not something which should be given serious credence at the table of public policy-making. Farron has been consistent in defending people’s right to hold socially conservative views and express them in their personal lives, but has also been consistent in failing to defend the right of social conservatives to influence public policy with their social philosophy. To be fair to Tim, this is a very common attitude amongst social liberals, who have been airily dismissive of social conservatives as advocating merely private morality since at least the 1950s (starting with the Wolfenden report). Common or not, though, it is grossly unfair, and as a man who believes in God and the moral law Farron should really know better. Social conservatives, when they engage in public debate, are never merely stating their own personal preferences on a matter – otherwise they would keep their views to themselves. They are always setting out public considerations for public policy based on their best understanding of what is good for society and what is right.

Thus when social conservatives point out that abortion involves the destruction of unquestionably human life and thus is morally dubious, to say the least, they are not merely voicing a personal opinion about how they would choose to conduct themselves, but presenting facts and moral conclusions with consequences for public policy. Likewise, when they point to the obvious design of human beings as male and female with biological and psychological differences which need to be respected and acknowledged, they are not just saying how they personally feel about distinguishing between men and women; they are setting out the basis of a public approach to issues involving sex and gender. Again, when they are explaining the advantages of marriage, commitment, sexual restraint and chastity for society and family life, backed up by copious and unambiguous research, they are advancing a view about what is best for families and for society as a whole to form the basis of a public policy agenda.

All of this should be obvious, but liberals like Farron so often think they can dismiss conservative contributions on social issues by arguing that morality is optional and private. And anyone who thinks otherwise is an illiberal, moralistic bigot set on imposing his puritanical personal views on everyone else. Yet it is surely obvious by now that the attempt to purge public life of all social conservatism and all social conservatives is no less illiberal and draconian than social conservatism is alleged to be. Besides, there is no reason to think that social conservatism actually does lack respect for personal freedom and privacy. Social conservatives also hold that the protection of the unborn, upholding marriage, and maintaining respect for what it means to be male and female are crucial supports for a free and happy society.

So then, Farron has now been lynched by the very mob he and his party have helped to arm. It’s tempting to feel sorry for him. But call me a draconian moralist, I still think some temptations ought to be resisted.


  1. Like any modern politician, Farron will tell you what he is supposedly against. He won’t tell us what he is really for, because he never knows what his party colleagues are really for. They are all working to a personal agenda, hoping the others have the same aims.

    • Jacob Rees Mogg will tell you.

      He sticks to his Catholic position on moral issues yet makes clear that he accepts and does not seek to change majority made laws that are different.

      As I said to him recently

      “Cometh the hour; cometh the man.

      What time is it?

      • I’m not sure that’s entirely logical though it may well be what he said.

        What is the point in a politician who doesn’t try to change laws that he doesn’t like?

        If he was saying that as PM, he wouldn’t overrule the HoC and outlaw abortion etc, then I am not sure he could anyway as the HoC would stop him if there was a majority to do so.

        If he is saying that he won’t try to get anyone to see his point of view and then democratically vote to change the law, then he is a waste of time and space.

        Or did he mean something entirely different?

        • I think he simply accepts that the position forced on him by his faith is not the will of the majority and feels that such issues of conscience are things where we should each be free to make our own choices.

          So he pursues more important issues.

          • So are you saying that he is forced by his faith to believe that abortion is murdering a child but doesn’t actually believe it?

            Or that he does believe it, but that murdering children is too unimportant an issue to try to change people’s minds over it?

            Or something else ?

          • It is not something I have discussed with him. My own view, FWIW, is that “life” undoubtedly starts at the point of conception. So by accepting abortion I accept the termination of life. I don’t choose to equate this early stage termination with the murder of a fully formed human being.

            If our abortion law was enforced as it is written abortion would be rare. We only have abortion by choice because the law is abused.

  2. Hold on. ‘Social conservatives also hold that the protection of the unborn (sic), upholding marriage (sic), and maintaining respect (sic) for what it means to be male and female are crucial supports for a free and happy society.’ This is a blatant contradiction given we know what this all means. We will make you free and happy by preventing you from doing what you believe will make you free and happy!

    • So you believe that by pandering to the smallest minorities in society and ensuring that they are free and happy whilst demonising and restricting the views of the majority to do so, makes for a free and happy society?

    • Try reconsidering your position after bearing in mind that it is likely to be fallacious reductionism to argue from an assumption that there are only simple binary choices freedom and un-freedom and between being happy and being unhappy.

      • I would gladly – but I would find myself blocked by the reality that you either allow for same-sex marriage or you don’t; you either permit the termination of pregnancies or you don’t and you either respect people’s own gender identification or you don’t.

        • So, what you seem to be arguing is

          1. Freedom requires that anyone is allowed to do whatever he or she wants to do, at all times, in all places, and irrespective of what the consequences of these actions may be on other people.

          2. Anything more restrictive than this, even though it may allow complete freedom to choose in 99.9% of decision-making situations, is non-freedom and should be considered to be exactly equivalent to any other situation in which perfect, 100% freedom does not prevail.

          Can’t you see that this is just sophistry?

          • The burden is on you to demonstrate that the restrictions you seek – which may actually represent 100% loss of freedom to some individuals – do have deleterious consequences for others. And you cannot appeal to some ‘moral fabric’ argument whose validity is not shared by the majority.

          • No, the burden is on you to demonstrate that a binary choice between “perfect freedom” and “unfreedom”, which embraces everything else, is a valid way to consider right and wrong, and that the alternative way, of considering “unfreedom” to be a multitude of different positions, all with different values of right and wrong, to be invalid.

            What you have done is to assume the unarguable correctness of Utopianism to create an impossible settlement as being the only one acceptable to mankind – thereby giving yourself licence to assert superiority over all those who consider our moral targets should be restricted to the possible and the real.

          • I wouldn’t assert my superiority over those who wish to seek impossible and unreal moral targets, but in opposing them I think I’d be on the majority side of the debate most of the time.

          • What tripe. The left seek impossible and unreal moral “targets” all the time, forcing others to comply by a combination of connived at legislation and intimidation.

            And the very fact that you boast that you think you on the majority side of the debate (what debate?) is asserting your superiority.

          • I don’t speak for ‘the left’, which is a pretty nebulous concept, only for myself. Predicting an outcome, about which I accept I may be wrong, is hardly asserting superiority. There’s nothing superior about being in the majority anyway, but democracy is the best tool we have.

          • Who’s doing the coercing? But you have to expect that if you express a view on other people’s actions that have no impact on your own ability to lead your life as you wish, particularly if that is accompanied as it often is with attacks on individuals for what they are, you will get quite a robust response.

        • If all of the items mentioned were a natural ground up outcry by the majority demanding change then you could perhaps argue this but none of this was. It was all ideological change, forced on people by an apparently enlightened, virtue signalling elite who view the rest of us as deplorables.
          And to say that all these decisions are binary is just false.
          It wasn’t enough to have civil partnerships because that doesn’t bring the church to heel, so therefore it wasn’t just about being legally joined.
          So permitting termination when the mothers life is in danger automatically means the woman should be allowed to terminate her baby up to the point of birth does it?
          Allowing adults to choose their gender morphs into 2 year olds being questioned and their unformed choices enacted on with drugs and surgery irrespective of the will of the parents or sometimes with it!

  3. Progressives would never allow a social conservative to survive in either the LibDem or Labour parties. In the fight for causes like gay marriage and late term abortion which have the weight of history aganst them, it’s basic politics to frighten dissenters into silence. It may not be possible to change people’s private thinking but you can demand and enforce public conformity. Altogether now – four legs good, two legs bad and all that. As far as sex is concerned, Conservatives are hammered when they stray from family values and the Left has always gone after gay Tories with a ferocity that would excite the admiration of your average skinhead. Jones is right that people should be able to differ from the herd but it is not practical politics in a polarised public arena where the majority could well be against you if freedom of speech were allowed. It is forbidden to anyone, let alone Tim Farron, to say aloud that gay sex is sinful without being branded as a homophobe. Opponents of immigration are racists and Islamophobes; opponents of abortion are misogynists who are careless of women’s rights over their own bodies. Academics say we hate the Other. The fact is that despite paying lip service to it, we also – and political activists most of all – hate democracy and its ideals of tolerance and plurality and the possibility of defeat for our own ideas. I suspect that most people dislike the idea of homosexuality even if they wouldn’t call it a sin and for social progressives, it is absolutely imperative that as few of them dare say so as possible and certainly not the leaders of political parties that are supposed to be on their side.

    • ‘It is forbidden to anyone, let alone Tim Farron, to say aloud that gay sex is sinful without being branded as a homophobe. Opponents of immigration are racists and Islamophobes; opponents of abortion are misogynists who are careless of women’s rights over their own bodies.’

      Apart from the fact that no-one is actually obliged to call Tim Farron a homophobe, even though he is, these things are generally true. But despite the complaining, there is no shortage of outlets for these views – this website being one example – so why not just own them for what they are?

  4. As the government interferes more and more in peoples personal lives, to the extent of legislating to coerce approval of their shibboleths and to deny the right of individual conscience, these sort of quarrels will increase. It is becoming more like a totalitarian communist state where individuals must comply with the state ideology and not express personal dissent or be ruined.

    You can still think it but you can’t say it. So public discourse becomes a “chilled” pretence. This, in a country which people once called free – “It’s a free country!” – to express any personal opinion, however “offensive” some might find it. How sad that inherited freedom, bought with the blood of millions, has been destroyed in less than a generation.

    If those 650 idiots in the House of Commons can’t see where this is going they are even more idiotic than their behaviour suggests.

    • “You can still think it but you can’t say it.” But I believe we’re drawing very close to thought control as well. From not being able to say certain things we’re being forced to ‘celebrate’, for example, gayness or diversity.

      We’re now in a period of forced affirmation of minority lifestyles and one religion. Farron was required not only to defend the freedom of gay people but to affirm their lifestyle. And if the young are never able to say certain things then their interior thought processes are impoverished. Only the most critical (always a minority) will have the capacity to think alternative thoughts. The erasure of unauthorised thought was, of course, what newspeak in Orwell’s ‘1984’ was designed to achieve.

    • I’m not sure this is right. I think that the principle characteristic which distinguishes the progressive Left from its critics is that the progressives see winning as all that matters, and as a result are prepared to embrace insincerity in order to weaponise moral positions with which they can damage their opponents, yet which they themselves recognise as being positions which are contrary to what is required to maintain a successful and prosperous society.

      In a nutshell, the Left are more than willing to campaign for anything which promises to destabilise the position of the non-Left, no matter that what they are campaigning for would be outlawed and eradicated from any future society controlled by the progressive Left itself.

      • Exactly. The position of what is called the Cultural Marxists. The point is that in the confusion created they expect a “vanguard” of those unencumbered by any “false ideological consciousness” to be able to lead the “masses” to the future. This idea is so pervasive that I think the Bush/Blair axis quite genuinely believed that simply toppling dictators would pave the way for an almost spontaneous outbreak of western democracy. There is a form of religious belief that does indeed believe that the ends justify the means and the chosen means of the cultural Marxist inspired is social breakdown, a sort of “year zero” or Cultural Revolution. Its seductively simple allowing one to ignore past history, culture etc. in favour of engineering chaos from which a perfect society will emerge. At its smallest level is the idea that teaching is allowing children to “discover” knowledge.

  5. Part of the problem is you can’t say anything socially conservative without the BBC and Guardian devoting multiple journalists and reams of pages and digital space to denouncing you as a thought criminal.

    It’s very easy to call someone a bigot or racist, even when unfounded, but much harder to explain the moral positions and practical solutions that accompany social conservatism. Hence journalists favour these terms as it allows them to convey something lazy in a headline instead of try to actually understand what is happening.

  6. Until this episode I hadn’t realised that there were social conservatives within the Lib-Dem party. I now understand this ‘tightrope’ balancing act of a stance of theirs, but consider it untenable at both a personal and political level.

  7. He isn’t socially conservative for one minute. Simply a practitioner of ‘triangulation’ as introduced to us by Peter Mandelson

  8. More Christian blather. Anyone arguing that morality includes denying the freedom for women to have an abortion is distorting the very concept of freedom. Freedom is the right not to have something done to you which could affect your freedom to pursue your own happiness-forcing a woman to go to term and have a child is precisely the negation of the right to be free to choose something that affects no one else except religious bigots.

    • But if you believe that a foetus is a human being possessing its own identity then an abortion is not an exercise of rights over one’s own body.

      • It isn’t a human being, which is why it is referred to as a foetus. It is, for all intents and purposes, part of the woman’s body and hence she should have the choice on how she acts in her own best interests and not that of the clergy.

        • That’s your view and one I don’t share. But if you weren’t so bone headedly anti religious, you would at least be able to understand that there isn’t some religious fundamentalism driving those who disagree with you.

          • Of course there is, because it certainly isn’t rational to condemn someone for a concern regarding the treatment of their own bodies. You would understand that someone’s body is their concern, not yours, nor any mythical super naturalism that you aspire to worship.

            The heart of this obsession comes right down to busy mums comment. Religion despises any form of human pleasure as sin of the flesh, it’s only tolerated if it serves some godly purpose as ordained by the magic books of theologians.

          • But you dodge the issue of whether a foetus is part of a woman’s body or a separate human. Seen an abortion of a 20 week foetus recently? The rest of your post is the usual string of fact free anti-religious assertions we’re all become used to from you.

          • It’s not seperate because, it isn’t seperate. A is A a thing is what it is. A 20 week foetus is still a foetus. It isn’t a foetus when it becomes independent of the mothers body.

            Fact free LOL – because you know for a fact there is a God and you have actual, factual evidential proof of such a being ? Believe what you like, but don’t try and make laws in the real world around a belief in the supernatural that affect actual human freedom here on earth.

          • So it’s still a foetus before the moment of birth? Even the current abortion law doesn’t accept that. But you’ve clearly not seen a 20 week foetus being aborted so you won’t understand. And then more of the same old same old.

          • Can you understand that I don’t condone abortion ? I don’t think people should relinquish all sense of responsibility and get pregnant then t have a routine abortion. I don’t think that kind of attitude is good for people generally. However, I believe in freedom for actual, as opposed to, potential human beings.

            As to aborted foetus, whether I am happy with that sight or not is immaterial. I’m sickened by seeing two men kissing, but I don’t deny them the freedom to indulge in homosexual activity whatever I may think of it. I’m not that partial to seeing an animal shot with a bolt gun and gutted, but I enjoy a steak. I don’t want to witness an amputation but I know it’s necessary to save a life. I think war is barbaric horror, but sometimes such things are necessary, regardless of our revulsion, if we wish to maintain our personal freedom to own our own happiness.

        • The life contained within the mothers womb is not a pig or a giraffe. It is also commonly referred to as a baby. ie the royal baby, which we know would be a baby human. The growing life can feel pain at 21 weeks. It is now a scientific fact. If that life, which is contained as an independently forming organism supported within the mothers womb, has a being capable of feeling pain and it cannot possible be anything other than human, how can it not be a human being? At the very very least is it reasonable to say the life is a human being at a bare minimum of 21 weeks gestation, surely. If not, then when and why?

          Arguments have been given for post birth infanticide because the human being cannot talk. Is that something you agree with? Also why would you assume every woman knows a clergy or is subject to it. Is there any evidence you have used to base your assumption on?

          • There is a difference between feeling pain and knowing pain. Pigs and Giraffes feel pain too. We also know that the mother does know pain-that continuing with the birth of an unwanted, unplanned and sometimes deformed infant can be a major challenge to her life.

            I’m not a biologist, or doctor, so I can’t answer questions regarding gestation. If a doctor tells me it’s a week, a month, or six-months then I trust that they know.

            There is no argument for infanticide unless there is some great suffering. I don’t assume every woman knows a clergy ?

          • Both feeling and knowing require being so that cannot count as a reason to deny the life in a womb from the category of being. The fact pigs and giraffes feel pain says nothing about the life being neither human nor a being.

            A major challenge does not mean pain is necessarily part of it. A wall can be a major challenge to climb but that does not mean it necessarily is painful. Some mothers do not view their deformed child as a painful imposition to be eradicated, but as human being to be loved. It’s true that all mothers know pain but this says nothing about the life contained within the womb is not a human being.

            You say the life in a woman is not a human being. If you are prepared to take the word of an expert that the life is capable of pain at 21 weeks and that pain, either known or felt requires being and that the life can only be human then it still holds that at minimum the life at 21 weeks is a human being.

            It is contradictory to say there is no argument and then go ‘unless’. You are saying there is an argument for infanticide in the case of ‘some great suffering’. In other words you support murder of a post birth human.

            I may have missed an earlier part of the thread but you say that the woman (any woman) ‘should have the choice on how she acts in her own best interests and not that of the clergy.’ I take it that you are somehow speaking for all woman and that all would know a clergy. If all women chose to abort as a choice we die out. It is a bad choice. This is not to do with clergy but our survival as humans in the age of the pill and industrial pre-birth human destruction.

          • They do not. An organism, any organism experiences sensations, but, without consciousness it isn’t possible to classify such a thing as pain. It is the equivalent of being under a strong anaesthetic during an operation.

            Is it your right to decide what challenges another individual should face ? Should they decide for you ?

            I’m happy to have a doctor tell me when the child is a fully conscious and viable human capable of an independent existence apart from the mothers body.

            I can conceive circumstances, just the same as an adult, that is suffering unnecessarily. A doctor has the experience to know- I don’t.

            I meant that religious busy bodies have no right to impose their version of morality on individuals. Religion is faith-it should be ignored as such, but it has the right to free speech and to voice it’s opinion and to be robustly challenged.

            If we die out as a race, through lack of babies then so be it. You are concerning yourself with things beyond your control.

    • Morality isn’t so much about condemning the abortion as it is about condemning the fornication which preceded it.

        • You seriously wish to live in a society where all lust must be indulged? And where lust is controlled, abortion is unnecessary.

          • Pathetic straw man. I will answer for clarity. No, because paedophile is committing an act of violence against an actual human being. Argumentum absurdum would suggest that you would deny a man the right to masturbate due to the death of sperm-indeed it was against Catholic doctrine at one time and punishable.

          • It may not be an act of violence, and legally, it may be a paedophilic act one day but not the next, due to the arbitrary age of consent. ‘Paedophilia’ is just another human construct in an attempt to draw lines in the sand in other places from where God has done.

            Just because the Pope has given up on enforcing an unenforceable law doesn’t mean to say that God has.

          • What ?

            Are you unable to see the difference between an action of violence against another human being and actual concentual sex ? Do you hold that rape is just an arbitary action because the victim did not refuse to comply ? These things are self evident. Granted we can argue if the age of sexual consent is arbitary, but we do have a sense in which some young adults are still vulnerable children that need protection.

            So you actually believe that masturbation is a sin ? And ‘impure thoughts’ ? Do you regard them as a sin too ? What do you believe that God will do to unrepentant sinners ?

          • Have you ever asked yourself the question ‘what if all that burning malarkey is nothing but scaremongering?’ You know, like the Remain campaign told us how things would be catastrophic if we dared to go against the prevailing elitist opinion.

            Do you just believe it because someone told you it was true ? Has it ever occured to you that consciousness is entirely part of the material human body, that when the body dies, then so does the spirit ? To put it philosophically, existence exists and consciousness is the faculty of grasping that existence. Therefore consciousness is not independent of existence, there can be no such thing as a non-existent consciousness, or a consciousness that isn’t conscious of something. When we die, that’s the end of both body and consciousness, it’s over.

          • Have you ever asked yourself the question, ‘What if all that burning malarkey is true after all?’

            How do you know if your last sentence is true? One thing for sure, we will not know until it is too late.

          • You have a mind, you can reason.

            So, let’s say that you were right and one say I turned up at Gods reception area and the Angel on reception read out all my sins and told me, should I continue to stick with my principles, that I would for certain be going to the hotter place. You know what I’d say ? No way.

            Now say they shackled me up and dragged me down to the lake of fire and screaming agony and God himself told me I must repent or continue with the torment- well I might just agree to put a stop to the pain, but then you see, God is initiating force against me to make me say something that I disagree with. This is the ever merciful God we are talking about and his prime means of getting obedience is to threaten them with horrible visions of fire and chains. He is powerless to change my mind through reason, so he is left with brute force and torture-doesn’t that sound weird to you ? God is so hopeless at arguing that all he has is a big stick to hit people with-one wonders why God gave us reason and free will if his only method of achieving a goal is violence.

          • You make the mistake of thinking that the offer of mercy is available after death. It isn’t.

            God’s mercy is proved by the fact that we are both here right now, and that the world still exists, rather than in hell.

            Since Jesus died, it has been a period of grace consistent with His death reconciling God with sinners. That ‘open door’ closes when you die. You also make the mistake of thinking that even after death you would not acknowledge God as God. You will because, at that point, once you have passed out of this world, you will have no choice at all. We are told that ‘every knee shall bow’ and ‘every tongue shall confess Him’….

            ‘It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment.’ Death heralds the sentence; the trial is while you are alive, and that’s why you need to ‘seek Him while he may be found’ i.e. while you are alive on this earth, and ask forgiveness whilst it’s on offer.

          • You make the mistake of thinking I would compromise my principles even were mercy on offer.

            God can have no mercy, you need only consider how alien a concept that would be to an indestructible being. The only reason for human values is because living entities have two possibilities; existence and non-existence. It means that we can place life as the prime value and judge other values-such as mercy-in the context of sustaining our existence. God cannot do that. An indestructible being has no choice and hence no values are possible.

            The universe has always existed, it needed no creator, our existence is, because it is, if it were not, then it wouldn’t be. Its in the nature of things within the universe and causality that we exist and that we do not exist apart from the universe makes that case.

            Ive made the argument that the spirit cannot endure once the body has died. Consciousness or spirit IS something, with a specific identity, which implies existence. A consciousness or spirit that does not imply existence -unsurprisingly, does not exist. That should be obvious to you as no one has ever been able to show proof of a disembodied spirit-that, of course, does not put off the Mystics who don’t require proof.

            Why do you accept the words of a book, conceived by men, written by men, of which every concept is human ?

          • But one man who wrote part of the Bible said that the reason he wrote it was so that we ‘might believe that Jesus is the Son of God’. And another man who wrote part of it said that all scripture had been given by God’s inspiration. And many human beings have died at the hands of other human beings, rather than deny the Bible.

          • Busy Mum, my purpose here isn’t to try and talk you out of your belief system. I really don’t have any passion for that, despite many comments suggesting that I’m Christian bashing.

            For me it’s evident, it’s settled, it’s like I’m trying to argue with a child who is convinced there are monsters in the wardrobe-the only point of discussion would be if your own specific aim was to disavow yourself of the notion of spiritual mysticism, just as a child would want to rid itself of the fear of those monsters. That’s not realistically ever likely to be the case.

            I’m only looking to challenge assertions which Mystics consider should be political policy and that I consider an attack on rights. Beyond that, what you believe, or don’t believe is quite frankly none of my business. If it works for you then fine and dandy, but I won’t let you get away with imposing that belief through the political system-nor advocate, argue, or lobby for it without opposition.

          • So what ? I have never said that Mystics have never done any good. Believing in God and the principle of rights is not exclusive. It is rights which must now dominate-here and now on this earth whilst we are alive and not for some mystical, supernatural dimension only to be accessed after death.

          • You say that ‘believing in God and the principle of rights is not exclusive’. Yet I notice that the decline in belief in God has gone hand in hand with the growth of the ‘principle of rights’…..which comes from where, precisely? From where do these nebulous ‘rights’ come?

          • Thats too broad a discussion. Define and specify ‘rights’ as you interpret the concept then ask a specific question. I can only give a theoretical reason for the decline in Christian belief and the rise of what is termed ‘human’ rights-which is a fraudulent alternative to rights. Rights, as far as Objectivism is concerned, are individual rights (though the term individual should be redundant) is purely the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

            Socialist/Communists -referred to by Rand as ‘muscle mystics’-have skewed the term rights and now includes everything from ‘a right to equality’ to ‘a right to be recognised as gender fluid’ they tell men they have a ‘right to an education’ and a ‘right to healthcare’ but more serious is the right that they deny ‘the right to property’. They say that human rights are a superior kind of rights to property rights, which, in a nutshell boils down to ‘some human beings have the right to make property out of other human beings’.

            All objectivist individual rights rest on the fact that a mans life is the moral standard.

            I can hazard a theory that the rise of collectivism (muscle Mystics) was directly responsible for the decline in spiritual mysticism in the West. Rand blames Kant for the eventual growth of communism/ fascism, but only because he began his charge to restore Christian altruism by discrediting reason-his directly stated intention. Kant identified the primacy of consciousness -not in the spiritual as Christianity, but in the social (collectivist) variant-and the rot, one might say, spread from there. I’m leaving out an awful lot here.m

          • I had apostrophised ‘rights’ because I don’t really recognise it as a concept as such. Absolutely with you on life, liberty and happiness. ‘Rights’ as they are now are about A promising something to B but making C pay for it, but B thinks it comes out of thin air.

          • Yes, that’s ‘human rights’. The twisted version. You didn’t include property on your list of rights – was that a deliberate omission ?

          • Have you conversed with Jabba Pappa ? I call him a pure Christian spiritual mystic -very different from you. I also believed in God for a while, although I certainly didn’t hold with Christianity. Indeed I reference a book in my own writing called ‘God without religion’. I would have considered myself a pure spiritual mystic at the time-directly in communication with God in the sense that those who are pure faith. I found it interesting that Jabba Pappa is that way, but through the church, where as, you appear more of a dogmatic kind of rule book Christian quoting scripture to support your belief.

          • Aha – the whole point of being a protestant is that I am not a member of any organised religion… I’ll see you on another thread, no doubt!

          • A Victorian-era chapel, so no spire/steeple. Every village round my way has a domestic residence called ‘The Old Chapel’ – the one I attend is one of the very few still in use for its original purpose.

  9. I can just imagine Tim Farron being involved in a rather notable historic event…

    Play the man, Master Farron; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

    To which Master Farron would likely respond: Errrr on this occasion I’d quite like to lie….

  10. Unlike the writer, I’m not seeing the tension between Farron’s faith and his politics.

    He is a liberal in the classic tradition, being perfectly prepared to allow people to engage in (almost) whatever behaviour they want, but not wishing to engage in that behaviour himself or thinking it was a good idea. I have no wish to drop acid or have gay sex, but in neither case would I want to prohibit people from doing either, provided that they recognised that, like all behaviours, there are consequences which they might not like. Someone who hurls themselves from the top of a car park during a trip, for instance, has nobody to blame but themselves.

    Farron should have articulated this when he was asked and that he didn’t is perhaps suggestive of moral cowardice but also says something faintly damning about the state of political culture, at least since Blair. Every idea has to be distilled into a soundbite, no matter how complex, and if the soundbite becomes ‘it’s complex,’ the politician is instantly accused of dissembling or lacking a clear moral vision. Prevailing in the face of this and taking any kind of a nuanced position is hopeless.

  11. It’s just another example of the anti White racism of the Left. No one ever asks a Muslim such as Sadiq Khan if his religion condemns gay people, let alone gay sex, and different treatment is discrimination and therefore racism.

    Recent polling amongst Muslims showed 100% of them believed a Gay lifestyle to be Unacceptable. Over half wanted being Gay to be criminalised and over a quarter believed the appropriate penalty was death.

    Why is it so important to get an answer out of Farron when it is not so important to get one out of other Muslim politicians and senior public figures?

  12. I do though sympathise with Tim Farron. Most of us are both conservative and liberal and there is a tension between what we believe is morally right (the path we try to follow in our own lives) and what is socially right (which we tolerate). We have muddled through for centuries helped by a good doses of hypocrisy (the tribute vice pays to virtue) and charity (love the sinner, hate the sin). That doesn’t seem to work now when there are no ideals or precepts we can agree on. Sadly there is not even scope for compromise or debate, where traditional ‘values’ are just about permitted in private so long as they are not articulated or allowed to influence public debate.

  13. Dr Jones

    Was it not Gladstone who taught Farron a lesson?

    We, the people, long for a righteous leader who believes what is morally right is politically right.

    • You, an individual person, long for a leader whose politics align with your own.

      Unfortunately for you, your politics are so marginal that nobody with any leadership potential will touch them with a barge pole.

      But by all means, keep on longing. The world is full of people who long for a return to some kind of idealised past. They never quite seem to be able to turn that longing into anything approaching reality, but if it gives them something to live for, why not?

    • And I see your homophobia as an illness. So do many other people. That is why people like you are being quarantined away from power.

      • I like the totalitarian streak in you. Will you be running the re-education camps or will you just go straight to charging him for the bullet?

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