Christians are Deemed to be Dangerous – Tim Farron
Active Christianity is deemed dangerous and offensive, according to Tim Farron, who quit as leader of the Liberal Democrats in July saying he was impossible to be both faithful to the bible and a political leader.
According to the Guarding, Farron will on Tuesday deliver a speech in which he will say,
“If you actively hold a faith that is more than an expression of cultural identity … you are deemed to be far worse than eccentric. You are dangerous. You are offensive.”
Farron, an evangelical Christian, stood down as Lib Dem leader after two years following repeated occasions when he had been asked whether he considered gay sex to be a sin. He avoided giving a direct answer, saying his views on personal morality did not matter and “we are all sinners”.
Scrutiny of his religious beliefs persisted during this year’s election campaign. He resigned in July, saying: “To be a political leader and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible to me.”
Many evangelical Christians advocate a traditional reading of the scriptures without accommodation of changing social attitudes and practices. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said last month he could not give a straightforward answer to a question put by Alastair Campbell on whether gay sex was sinful.
Farron, who is giving the annual lecture of the religious thinktank Theos, will also say that the idea of a unifying set of British values is a myth. “People talk about shared values today. But when they do, what they mean is ‘These are my values – and I’m going to act as though they are also yours, and will demonstrate contempt for you if you depart from them’.”
Rather than mythical shared values, the only way to hold societies together is true liberalism, he will argue. But he will say, “Liberalism has eaten itself because it has eaten the very world view that gave birth to it, that made it possible, and which makes it possible.”
Christianity and faith lie at the core of liberal values, he will say, adding that to “relegate Christianity is to hollow out liberalism”.
Farron who became a Christian at age 18 said in 2013, “[Christianity] is either not true, or it is so compellingly utterly true, that almost nothing else matters … If it is [true], it’s the most important thing in the universe bar nothing; and if it isn’t, we should close all the churches and sell them off for something else. There is no middle way.”