Tim Farron is not just a former leader of the Liberal Party; he has become a mirror in which we see our reflection as a society. He is gagged and sacked.
I have never quite got my head round why it is that the romantic and erotic behaviour of two people has become a test case for public belonging, instead of a private matter. I have come to think that it is mostly because we have sexualised society – that is, we have begun to define who we are in terms of our sexual appetites rather than our values or ideas.
Seeing ourselves primarily in terms of our sexual identity or erotic appetites seems to me a very poor and shallow reflection on our potential as human beings.
Perhaps it’s part of our consumerism? ‘We are what we want’ – and we want sex. If so it’s an expanded version of the veggie’s ‘you are what you eat.’ And it’s a long way from Descarte’s ‘I think therefore I am.’
The question on sexual ethics that ought to have been put to Tim Farron, as a public politician who held Christian views, was “do you believe in sex outside marriage?” As a Christian he would have said “no.”
Not because he was a prude or a spoilsport, but because sex outside marriage dislocates sexual desire and affection from the miraculous process of having children. It turns our most vulnerable intimacies into a recreation.
So this really ought to be more about the appetites and behaviour of straight people (98.3% of the population) than of homosexuals or bisexuals (1.7%). But it’s been turned into an attack on Christians for supposedly being unfriendly to gay people.
There is another part of the narrative which doesn’t make sense, if this is only about trying to make counter-cultural politicians accountable. There are 15 Muslim MPs and the Mayor of London is a Muslim. Islam is uncompromisingly against homosexuality.
In fact ISIS goes so far as to post YouTube videos of homosexuals being executed by being thrown off tall buildings. Yet none of the Muslim MPs or the Mayor of London are being asked the questions that Tim Farron was hounded with.
So why is the liberal media pursuing this tactic against Christians and not against Muslims (who would make the same response)?
The answer appears to have something to do with the liberal media adopting neo-Marxist values without any discrimination. It’s to do with a hierarchy of so-called victims – and white straight Christian men, in this new dogma, are seen as the worst violators of the new moral order. Just by belonging to the category, of course – not for any personal misdemeanour. Because this leftish creed links thought-crime to group crime. You sin simply because you belong.
Tim Farron made a claim that should have shocked our society to the core. He said he could no longer lead a political party and be faithful to Christ.
“I seem to have been the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in,” he said, “in which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.”
At this point I would have hoped that all open-minded, tolerant people would have protested on his behalf. I would have expected the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the bishops of the Church of England to have publicly backed his right to have a Christian conscience and maintain a public office.
But there was silence. Except for Archbishop Welby. He went so far, in his defence of freedom of speech and Christian conscience, as to wonder if Farron’s forced resignation “raised questions.”
Nazi Germany suppressed freedom of speech and specifically Christian beliefs. So did the Marxist Soviet Union.
Whatever else we can discern about our society in its distaste for freedom of speech and conscience, we see it drawing steadily closer to the practice of the two most totalitarian states of modern times.
Where is the outrage? Where are the cries of dissent? Why is the Church of England, which is the national Church, neutered and silent?
Martin Niemoller, a Protestant dissenting pastor who ended up in a concentration camp, summed up an earlier struggle when he wrote:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
This time they have come for Tim Farron.
You don’t have to be a liberal to speak out and protest – just a human being who values your own freedom of speech and conscience.