Rod Liddle

Tim Farron, an evangelical Christian, is the victim of a secular inquisition

This is why we do not see more ordinary people in politics: the elite do not approve of their opinions

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

I wonder who will win the battle for Tim Farron’s soul — the Guardianistas or God? This is assuming that God gives a monkey’s either way. I know that He is supposed to care very deeply about all of our souls, but this is the leader of the Liberal Democrats we’re talking about. ‘Eight seats? Eight seats? You want I should care about someone with just eight seats? Farron, schmarron.’ (Yes, I know, this is God as a slightly camp New York Jew. Apologies to all of those possibly offended.)

Either way, my money’s on the liberal lefties. God just does not have the heft these days: he’s too tolerant, that’s the problem. He has mellowed since running amok in the Old Testament and rarely gets around to any judicious smiting. He seems content just to let things lie. Say something which might offend God and you’ll probably be OK until your own Day of Judgment, when you will be politely turned away from heaven and re-directed towards a place the angels on the door refer to, sniggeringly, as ‘Tower Hamlets’. However, say something with which the liberals might take issue and you will rapidly come to understand the meaning of the word ‘smite’. Indeed, you don’t actually have to say anything. You could just not say something — and, for sure, the smiting will just as quickly begin.

Mr Farron is a Christian of evangelical persuasion. The battleground for his soul — the Belgium of this particular personal conflict — is gay rights. No sooner had Farron won his party’s leadership election, presumably held in a photo booth at King’s Cross station, than the bien-pensants were on his case. Channel 4 News was first, with the vacuous presenter Kathy Newman going at him hammer and tongs. ‘Never mind this guff about government surveillance and benefit cuts, tell us what you think about the poofs, you north-country weasel.’ I para-phrase, of course: that was the gist. Three times she asked him if he thought homosexuality was a sin and thrice he declined to answer, averring instead that we are all sinners in a very real sense, don’t you think, Kathy, m’kay?


This is what passes in Mr Farron’s mind for triangulation, I think, or maybe having your cake and eating it. A bad call, surely — for it left the shrill mentals of the liberal left convinced nonetheless that Farron couldn’t abide the homos. Sky News then got in on the act, while Mr Farron was trying desperately to articulate party policy about something which had nothing to do with lube and sodomy. (Welfare reform, I think.) ‘Never mind that! Tell us what you’d do with the queers!’ And the howl-round became a fugue. The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who is himself gay, described Mr Farron’s position as ‘illiberal’. The Guardian and the internet went into overdrive. And I will bet that every time poor Farron does an interview he’ll be harangued about his private beliefs relating to an issue of no consequence whatsoever to his leadership of the party. An issue — like race — about which the liberal left has a weird, obsessive, psychosis.

Farron is to blame for not having said: ‘Yes, I think it is a sin.’ And then maybe adding the bit about us all being sinners so what does it matter? Because I assume that is what he thinks — surely if he had thought homosexuality wasn’t a sin he’d have been more than happy to say so? But this is the battleground for his soul and God is already several wickets down and they haven’t brought the drinks out yet. Farron has been equivocal about gay marriage, either abstaining when the matter has been before parliament or voting in favour. He is torn between adhering to his deeply held beliefs and avoiding pissing off his party members, the Grauniad, Kathy Newman and the leftie cyberjabberati. My guess is that, sad to say, he will soon jettison all those problematic bits of his Christianity, the bits that don’t fit in with the mindset of secular liberal authoritarians. I hope I’m wrong about this.

Nick Cohen rightly pointed out that this is what happens when a party elects as a leader someone who comes a) from the north of the country and b) didn’t do PPE at Oxford and c) has a life beyond politics. And — I might add — was educated at a state school and therefore hails from a not especially privileged background. In other words, a fairly normal sort of person. The sort of person that we wished we saw more of in politics. This, I suppose, is why we don’t see more of them: the tiny liberal elite do not approve of their views.

Whether or not homosexuality is a sin is, pragmatically, not a matter of fact, but a matter of evenly contested dispute. Just two years ago, in the 2013 British Attitudes Survey, only 47 per cent of the UK population thought that homosexuality was ‘not wrong at all’. The rest thought it was either a bit wrong or horribly wrong. The same survey from 2007 showed a majority of people being opposed to lesbians being allowed to adopt children, and close to a split on whether same-sex marriages should be allowed.

It is true that the tide has been turning in the past 30 years; this is either because we have become more enlightened and progressive, or because we have a new establishment which will not tolerate dissent on this issue (as on many others). But a nagging doubt remains in the minds of at least half of the population — and tides, by their nature, have a habit of turning back again. I think it is valuable to have at least one politician out of 650 who shares the doubts of about half the population. To pillory a man for holding those views seems to me, Mr Bradshaw, rather illiberal.

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Show comments
  • Never trust a christian!

  • Davidh

    Rod, it might also be you that has an obsession with this topic. It seems to come up in your columns quite frequently.

    • rodliddle

      No it doesn’t.

      • Noa

        There was me thinking Rod was analysing the moral cowardice and unprincipled behaviour of politicians and their endless ability to hoist themselves skywards with their own petards.

    • Anti_Theist

      His column comes up quite frequently when he thinks about homosexuality. Sorry I’ll get my coat….,

      • Anti_Theist

        Seriously, the guardianistas, BBC etc really have a problem trying to promote Multiculturalism when that religion promotes homophobic and misogynistic beliefs in spades.

        • Suzy61

          But, they don’t have a problem with it at all.

          They just completely ignore it.

          Sorted.

        • MikeF

          Doublethink – Just read 1984. Orwell got it spot on over 60- years ago – which is why much of the left excoriates him even today.

          • The Bogle

            Spot on! Doublethink is the acceptance of two contradictory ideas or beliefs at the same time.

            And for the PC Brigade, to borrow one of the slogans from 1984, freedom is slavery.

    • blandings

      I seem to have missed these columns.

  • The Bogle

    Had Mr Farron been a Muslim, a religion that considers homosexuality an abomination, the bien pensants of the Left would not have interrogated him on his views of this topic. They would have regarded this as a cultural matter with which they could not interfere. In other words, they would not have wished to be deemed “racist”, the worst crime in their book. Long live hypocrisy!

    But why are the Christians always fair game? Because they turn the other cheek?

    • The Laughing Cavalier

      Surely not THE Bogle?

      • The Bogle

        Which bogle are you referring to?

        You’ll perhaps know that in Scots “a bogle” can be a ghost or also a scarecrow, as in “tattie-bogle”.

        According to Chambers Scots Dictionary, a bogle is “a supper-cake eaten in Shetland on Bogle Day, 29th March.”

        • The Laughing Cavalier

          I mean THE Bogle, the one and only, the fount of all knowledge and sole arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.

          • The Bogle

            And you are the inspiration for Frans Hals’s painting. I trust you are not showing your age.

          • The Laughing Cavalier

            Plenty of life in the old dog yet.

    • MikeF

      You could have come up with a better turn of phrase there.

      • The Bogle

        I can but quote Jesus’s words (Matthew 5:39):

        “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil (i.e. an evildoer): but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

    • Dexter vs Sinister

      Because of the Culture War, the one that iSlam is winning, helped by a left wing suicide squad, determined to win, or die trying.

      • Hamiltonian

        The Left allies with the Brownshirts to oppose the US and UK before Hitler’s invasion, and now they will do the same with the Holy Warriors.

    • van Lomborg

      Mate, is this your feminine way of proclaiming victimhood?
      You girls really are a phlegmatic bunch I tell you, first talking up the victimhood of others and now your own.

      • The Bogle

        All I want is equal respect shown to all religions. Is that too much to ask?

        • van Lomborg

          I beg your pardon, did I insinuate otherwise?

          • The Bogle

            I was not claiming victimhood and regret if I gave that impression.

          • irina palm

            You are not a Christian. What do you know about Christians then. This is getting weird.

          • The Bogle

            How do you infer that I am not a Christian?

          • συκοφάντης

            But why are the Christians always fair game?

          • The Bogle

            Because they do not respond violently to any perceived insult to their faith. Hence my question about turning the other cheek. Secularists in the UK think nothing of making fun of Christianity – see comments just below – but not of other religions, whose adherents often do react violently to perceived insults.

          • lurv & compassion

            Who cares WHY a response is violent?

            It is the violence that matters.

          • The Bogle

            Quite right. It reflects the perpetrator’s inner being, which is hardly a pacific one.

            Why, though, does the violent one need to resort to violence? Would employing reason not achieve a better outcome? Violence merely silences dissent. It does not allow for any alternative.

          • SocratesWept

            There are times when violence is a perfectly appropriate response.

        • IvanDmitrich

          It is too much to ask, yes. Because some religions are clearly less deserving of respect than others, and some religious beliefs are clearly deserving of no respect at all. I agree with your first post, but I also think its fair for the press to question a man’s personal beliefs if he is running for the leadership of a major political party. Suppose it turns out that his personal belief is that homosexuality is a sin, but he is willing to stand against his convictions for what he believes is the greater good (and the good of his party). In that case he would deserve commendation.

          • The Bogle

            It’s a tough call. He either resigns because he cannot stand against his convictions or he puts what he believes is the greater good first, for which he would attract commendation and also censure.

            As for equality of respect towards all religions, I’ve noticed on so-called comedy shows on the BBC how the only religion that ever gets mocked is Christianity. If the mockers are atheists and think that religious belief is tosh, then they could pick on another religion but they don’t; perhaps for the reason that I’ve alluded to in my first post.

          • IvanDmitrich

            Fair point, there’d be those willing to be offended by his personal beliefs even if he refused to act on them, even though some of the greatest figures in world politics (think Abe Lincoln) have stood squarely against their own beliefs for the greater good.

            Regarding your second paragraph; you’re right, I’ve noticed the same. And not only on the BBC but across general conversation as well. Christianity is a soft target. It’s easy to get a cheap laugh by making some wise-crack about Jesus because the wise-cracker knows that nobody is going to threaten his life afterwards, and because he is also nervous about insulting a religion with a largely non-white base in case his fellow chums call him a racist.

            I’m looking forward to the day when any religion is fair game for scrutiny and public ridicule, just in the same manner that political beliefs or any other ideologies are. The current picking and choosing is hypocritical not to mention cringe-inducing.

          • Maureen Fisher

            Indeed. I expect the dreary second rate tw*Ts on the News quiz have already been laying into Farron. Almost makes me feel inclined to vote Lib Dem again!

          • The Bogle

            Yes, if a person believes enough in a particular cause and that it can best be served through politics, then he or she goes into politics and has to make compromises and sacrifices.

            Your analysis in the second paragraph is most perceptive.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            They probably assume that most Christians have a sense of humour as they themselves would have been quite likely to have once been Christians originally.
            I’m still a Christian (can’t be unbaptised) but also an atheist.

          • greencoat

            No – he would be betraying his own soul, something more valuable than a million political parties.

          • Asmund Yngvar

            Yes, as an elected politician Farron’s Christian views are open to exploration but not at the expense of really important issues. Gay rights and abortion rights are not the most pressing issues of the day. Neither have been since 1967.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I think the deaths of 198,000 children in the womb in the last twelve months in England and Wales is indeed one of the most pressing issues of the day. What does it say about the nature of a society that can commit such an extreme act?

          • Hironimous Nostril

            It would certainly be a far greater issue if 198,000 unwanted children had been dumped on social services, or if hundreds of thousands of women had sought illegal abortions.

          • alframseyssexdungeon

            Or, if we got our act together, we could have 198,000 children in loving adoptive homes, laughing and enjoying a beautiful life. Better than dead in a clinic bucket.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Get our act together? And do what exactly?

          • Hironimous Nostril

            God will still kill far more and call it miscarriage.

          • Asmund Yngvar

            It is extremely disturbing. I am very uncomfortable with the concept of “post-conception contraception” which is what most of these abortions are. Some people are just not bothering with contraception because abortion is available “on demand”. Pure irresponsibility and laziness. My comment above was simply pointing out that the major battles for abortion and gay rights were “won” by the liberals in 1967 and so Farron can’t thwart them. In consequence he is not a threat to the liberal consensus and should not be subjected to aggressive cross-examination because of his Christian views. All he can do is tinker about the edges – for instance arguing for a reduction of the time limit for abortion, or trying to ensure that the law is obeyed to the letter, that is to say, abortion is not available on demand.

          • James M

            The liberals, being in thrall to a totalitarian ideology, won’t be satisfied with having their POV accepted by the majority. What totalitarians want is total conformity to their POV from all in society, and that conformity extends to people’s thoughts. Liberalism has become totalitarian.

            When a taboo of the importance of the importance of the taboo on abortion is broken, there is no natural stopping-place thereafter. If abortion is allowed – what is to remain permanently forbidden, and how can it not be arbitrary and “tyrannical” to forbid it ? It is very hard to believe that child abuse will not eventually be legalised, given how it allowed for years to continue unhindered in Rotherham. The liberal POV is deadly to the healthy of society – it eats away at its foundations, until the whole thing collapses in ruins. It is parasitic upon society, even while it destroys it.

          • alframseyssexdungeon

            It’s always struck me how “liberals” are tickety-boo with killing – sorry “terminating” – unborn innocent human beings, but freak the hell out over the death penalty for sadistic murderers.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Ok, I understand.

            However, do allow me and others to continue the fight – sometimes a battle that appears lost is far from over.

          • Asmund Yngvar

            As far as questions of morality are concerned, the pendulum swings, nothing is written in stone.

          • Dominic Stockford

            regarding “morality… nothing is written in stone”

            That is an absolutely terrifying thought – do you really believe that?

          • Asmund Yngvar

            Yes. “Liberals” will keep pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable until they reach an Emperor’s New Clothes moment whereupon there will be a sharp backlash.

          • teigitur

            The RCC is the only Church which battles against this with any force.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Simply because the denomination makes a fuss does not mean individuals on the ground get very involved. In 35 years as an RC I was never asked once to be personally involved.

            SPUC Evangelicals is a strong body. And many individual independent congregations, and individual Protestants, get very involved at a local level. Approximately 10% of the adults in my congregation are involved in actively opposing this through letters to/meetings with MP’s & councillors, prayer, and other actions.

          • teigitur

            We have a very strong local branch of SPUC. Almost all Catholics.
            We have pro-life prayers every single Sunday. I am not sure where you spent your 35 years as a R.
            C. But your experience is not something I recognise.
            I was never asked either. I just knew it was correct. Just like many others.

        • jim

          Of course it’s too much to ask. We must make choices about the things we approve of and would like to encourage and the those things which seem stupid and dangerous.It’s not just religion but ideology and people too.It is foolish to pretend that everything everywhere has equal weight and that the choices we make have no meaning.

    • Constantian

      Christians have always been fair game because they turn the other cheek. A Christian martyr is someone who is killed for their faith. A Muslim martyr is someone who kills others for their faith.

      • The Bogle

        A nice distinction.

      • Hironimous Nostril

        They turn the other cheek now because they no longer have the power to impose their nonsense on anyone.

        • Hamiltonian

          Christians gave up that power, and the bible does not order Christians to hold it in the way the Koran does for Islam.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            They had no choice but to give up that power.

          • Hamiltonian

            The power was given up slowly and over time. There were many occasions where Christians had enough political power both in the US and the UK, to the point where they could have imposed their will on society in the way you might see today in Saudi Arabia or Iran. They chose not to.

          • rationalobservations?

            Christianity was cobbled together in 4th century Rome and brutally imposed upon the 95% of Roman population who saw it as “heresy”.
            Christian theocratic totalitarian, anti-democratic regimes ruled through torture, terror, crusade and inquisition from the 4th century until the advent of free, secular democracy.

            Free secular democracy has brought with it prosperity equality for all citizens and education. All against the opposition of the taboos and anti-humanitarian discrimination of politico-corporate businesses of religion.

            Thankfully the time when religious tyrants held totalitarian power is long gone and the good news of free, peaceful, loving atheism spreads ever more rapidly and is held by the third largest and most rapidly growing cohort of humanity.

            When christians brutally obtained and held the power – they wielded that power without mercy. They had that power removed from them.

          • Hamiltonian

            Christianity was not cobbled together in the 4th century, that’s just an absurd theory.

            As for free secular democracy, it has only ever existed in societies that have been previously Christian.

          • rationalobservations?

            Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates within the 1st century.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.

            Ref:

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7651105.stm

            http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/

            http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/codex/production.aspx

            The Church agrees, saying:

            “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
            (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

            The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,

            “the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era”

            (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

            This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.

            In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,

            “the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”

            (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

            That is some 350 years after the time the Church claims that a Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine, and here the true story of Christian origins slips into one of the biggest black holes in history.

            Please note that merely recycling 1600 years of propaganda and long debunked bunkum is no substitute for evidence.

            Denial is never refutation nor rebuttal.

          • Hamiltonian

            You are definitely not one for rational observations, no matter what your name says. The quotes you use are from a branch of Christianity which stands to gain from any devaluation of scripture, and still do not suggest what you think they do.

            The quotes are nothing more than the admission of what most educated (and even fundamentalist) Christians already know. The final text of the New Testament did not exist in the 1st century AD.

            However, the individual books themselves, which are all purported to be personal letters or accounts, are all dated much earlier than the 4th century. Even more secular and liberal scholars suggest 1st century dates for nearly the entire New Testament. Furthermore, there are known Christians from before the 4th century. Justin Martyr for one. You should do more research and utilize more resources before you make wild and outlandish statements like that.

          • rationalobservations?

            The question mark (?) after my cyber-pseudonym invites logic and evidence supported contradiction and debate. Shame you have none to offer.

            Your unsupported assertion (” The quotes you use are from a branch of Christianity which stands to gain from any devaluation of scripture, and still do not suggest what you think they do.”) implies that there was a form of christianity prior to the establishment of the Roman religion based upon a “god-man” they named “Jesus”?

            What is the evidence of this?

            You further assert: “the individual books themselves, which are all purported to be personal letters or accounts, are all dated much earlier than the 4th century.”

            Where are these pre 4th century texts to be studied?
            I have searched far and wide in many of the world’s greatest libraries and museums and can find only a few insignificant scraps of scrawl on pieces of papyrus that date from the 2nd century or much, much later.

            The texts that first appear in extant form between the 4th and the 14th centuries are merely attributed to authors who may (or may not) have lived in the 1st and/or 2nd centuries.

            If you know of the existence of evidence – please make this old scholars day and REVEAL IT.

          • Hamiltonian

            Since you claim incapable of using google,

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri

            Counter to your assertion that all of these are mere fragments, that’s certainly not the case. I would also not that papyrus is not really a great form of paper for withstanding 2000 years in any form of storage.

            Last, once again, there are multiple examples of real persons who professed the Christian faith before the 4th century.

          • rationalobservations?

            You appear to be incapable of reading and comprehending the content at the end of the link you include?

            I am aware of all those scraps and have personally inspected many (possibly most) of them.

            None hold conclusive proof af anything much later written within the very first 4th century bibles, or the diverse and significantly different versions of bibles that have proliferated since that time.

            Here is another link to manuscript evidence within christian apologetic web site:

            https://carm.org/manuscript-evidence

            Please note the numbers under the column “Earliest copy”??

            In any event. Your further recycled non-evidence fails to answer the challenge previously presented:

            Once again:
            “Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates within the 1st century.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.”

            You have failed in both cases to present any evidence.

          • Hamiltonian

            There is no way you have personally inspected most of them, that’s an unverifiable claim.

            Again, I have pointed repeatedly to the existence of actual Christians in the 1st century. Clement, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and many others. Not to mention the existence of Christianity outside of Rome’s orbit in forms that are close but not exactly the same as Roman Christianity.

            Plenty of atheists are atheists without making wild and outrageous claims like what you have made. Considering what you are saying goes against nearly all the scholars, the onus is on your to prove your absurd theorem.

          • rationalobservations?

            Once again:
            “Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates within the 1st century.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.”

            You have still failed in both cases to present any evidence.

            The people you list may ,or may not, have lived (mostly in the SECOND century CE). There is NO evidence contemporary to the claimed time in which the may have lived. Most of the texts merely attributed to the people you name originate no earlier than the 7th to 11th centuries of this common era calendar.

            It is you who appear to be making wild and outrageous claims that are totally without a grain of evidence to support them.

            There are traces of several claimed “messiahs” and messianic cults between Circa 4BCE and Circa 140 CE. None of them are similar to the confused and internally contradictory legends of a god-man Greek scribes employed in 4th century Rome coined the otherwise meaningless word “Jesus” as a name for.

            I make no claims. I merely point to the evidence of 4th century fraud and the total absence of any text, artifact or archaeological 1st century originated evidence that supports that apparent 4th century – and subsequent centuries – fraud.

            It is up to you to prove there is evidence that supports your improbable claims that gods and god-men exist and that the mythology that appears to commence in the 4th century has roots over 300 years earlier.

            Next?

          • Hamiltonian

            I said in my first reply that the Christian bible didn’t exist in the 1st century in the form we know it in now. My first post. Every Christian knows that.

            You are in fact the one making wild claims. Even the most anti-Christian scholars don’t have much respect for your ideas.

            Like I said before, these are verifiable records of Christians who were executed by the Roman authorities in the 1st and 2nd centuries, both of which are before the 4th Century. Nothing you have suggested proves anything other than the already known fact that the New Testament was not codified until much later.

          • rationalobservations?

            I know of records of rebellious members of Jewish/messianic cults being cured of their rebellions by the forces of Rome.
            None of those “messiahs” are remotely similar to “Jesus” and none of their stories resemble the confused and contradictory legends of “Jesus” that appear centuries later for the first time.

            You STILL fail to rise to the challenge you attempt to avoid or ignore:

            Once again:
            Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates within the 1st century.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.

            It is up to you to prove there is evidence that supports your improbable claims that gods and god-men exist and that the mythology that appears to commence in the 4th century has roots over 300 years earlier.

            Don’t become too suicidal that you have been caught out in the lies of “the church”. You are not alone.

            You have no evidence that the confused and internally contradictory, historically inaccurate and scientifically absurd legends of “Jesus” as god-man – because no such evidence exists.

            Your long debunked bunkum remains debunked.

            Please don’t continue to write “I believe because I believe” in different ways and don’t bother me with your denial unless you can back up that denial with authentic and valid evidence.

            As Mark Twain wrote – and you continue to prove:
            “Faith is believing what you know ‘aint true.”

            Next?

          • Hamiltonian

            Oh okay, you are just a crazy person (the folks I listed are not Jews and were referred to as Christians by contemporaries), so it all make sense now.

          • rationalobservations?

            Once again:

            Where is the evidence for your claims?

            Which contemporaries left contemporary evidence?

            You are in denial.

            You STILL fail to rise to the challenge you attempt to avoid or ignore:

            Once again:
            Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates within the 1st century.

            (Much, much later written legends just don’t amount to evidence)

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.

            References to persons living earlier than the 4th century that were written in the 4th century – or much later – don’t amount to evidence.

            It is up to you to prove there is evidence that supports your improbable claims that gods and god-men exist and that the mythology that appears to commence in the 4th century has roots over 300 years earlier.

          • rationalobservations?

            According to his legend, the apparently fictional character “Jesus” was a devout Jew?

            Who are these contemporaries and where are their authentic and authenticated 1st century testimonies?

            Once again:

            Please provide extant, authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates from within the 1st century.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.

            It’s little wonder that we “nones” are the majority in the democratic western world and are the fastest growing human cohort in the world, while christianity declines ever more rapidly.

            Keep up the good work of drawing attention to the single minded fatuous denial of religiots.

            You once again prove the quote that you cannot prove anything through evidence to a believer, for faith is blind and not interested in evidence based fact.

          • Russell Brown

            In 1982 I had two indepth conversations with an angel who revealed that Jesus was God and that the Roman Catholic Church was Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17. I also predicted the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 4 years before it happened (it is predicted in the Bible) and was proclaimed at the UN but there is a media cover up…

            http://www.answers.com/Q/Who_is_Wormwood

          • rationalobservations?

            You have my deep and sincere sympathy for your deluded and afflicted state.
            Please seek professional help.
            Best wishes and kind regards
            RO?

          • andytheonlyhammer

            So does that mean that Japan is not a free secular democracy ?

          • Hamiltonian

            Japan is an American colony, and their indigenous religion was wholly discredited when the US nuked them. Japan is also a one-party state and has been for decades. I’d also point out that the track record of democracy in Japan is quite short.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            First of all Japan is not an American colony any more than the UK is. Secondly even if Shinto was badly damaged post Hiroshima there continues to be a strong Buddhist presence in Japan that dominated Japan prior to Shintoism well as following it to the present day. Although it is clear that the end of the second world war changed how Japanese people practice religion significantly (and clearly for the better) the Japanese did not suddenly switch to Christianity in order to fit your theory they changed to follow Buddhism (also worth noting that many people continued to practise Buddhism even through the Shinto period) . Thirdly even though Japan does have one very dominant party there have been two periods over the last few decade when it has not been in power. Even if people vote for the same party over and over again in free elections that would not discount Japan from being a free secular democracy. If you have evidence that the elections were either not free or fair or secular please post a link to this.

          • Hamiltonian

            Japan essentially ceased to have a religion after world war two, which was my point. In the period where Japan democratized, it was a US colony.

          • rationalobservations?

            Yet again:

            You STILL fail to rise to the challenge you attempt to avoid,divert attention away from, or ignore:

            Once again:

            Please provide authenticated evidence of christianity in the 1st century that originates from within the 1st century.

            Much, much (300 years+) later texts hand written by anonymous scribes in Rome and “back dated” and merely attributed to folk who lived centuries before them – are NOT evidence of anything but fraud.

            Please provide details of a christian bible existing prior to the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus that were started in the late 4th century, in Rome.

            It is up to you to prove there is evidence that supports your improbable claims that gods and god-men exist and that the mythology that appears to commence in the 4th century has roots over 300 years earlier.

          • cd

            Oh dear…

            Never visited Rome then. The Catacombs contain Christian burials from the 2nd century.

            The St John’s Gospel is accepted as a 1st century text. There are other – apocryphal – texts from the 1st century (some even carbon dated) that refer quite clearly to Christ and his followers.

          • rationalobservations?

            Oh dear., you never understood what you were seeing IF you ever visited Rome.

            The Catacombs hold no clear symbols of the 4th century established Roman religion based upon a god-man they named “Jesus” (although no such Hebrew/Jewish name existed).

            There are many traces of several different messianic cults between Circa 4 BCE and Circa 140 CE. None of them bear any similarity to the much later written confused and internally contradictory legends of “Jesus”.

            Where can this 1st century extant edition of the many much later written versions of “St John’s Gospel” be studied?

            Many many centuries later written texts are merely attributed to the 1st century. None (NOT ONE) has ever been authenticated and forensically dated to originate within the 1st century.

            Claiming a thing, or “accepting” a thing is a long way from that thing being true.

          • cd

            Tell me do you just lie to yourself to protect your rather fragile world view or do you purposely try to mislead others. Or perhaps you’re so caught up in yourself, and if you keep repeating the mantra it will come true – I’m talking about your possible delusion here.

            You can look through the references if you wish…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christian_art_and_architecture

            As for the dating of relevant sacred texts I’ll leave that up to the experts rather than your proclamations and repetitions without any support.

            Here you might have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

            http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869Z/CHEM869ZLinks/www.physics.arizona.edu/physics/newsletter/summer95/deadsea2.html

            Your rationalonservations name is a misnomer going by the rubbish you spout here. One thing is for sure judging by the erroneous nonsense you repeat over and over again here, is that you’re very ignorant of the things you criticise which makes your proclamations embarrassingly naive and lightweight.

          • rationalobservations?

            Tell me: Do you just recycle lies to avoid the task of investigating the origin of those lies right back to first source?

            Or perhaps you are so brainwashed by nonsensical and long debunked bunkum that you keep repeating lies and nonsense in the hope that it may somehow be “true”? I am talking about your self evident delusion here.

            Your first link leads to a wikki web page that confirms no 1st century trace or origin of the 4th century inaugurated Roman religion they called “christianity”.

            The illustrations are common relating to miracles performed by a multitude of fake “messiahs” and assorted other historical “god-men”

            The second refers to an illustration dated to the 3rd century.

            You appear ignorant regarding the nature and content of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

            One of the scrolls is a quite detailed record of a messianic cult that has no connection at all with “Jesus” or “christianity”. None from the 1st century make any reference to anything similar to the much, much later written confused and internally contradictory legends of “Jesus”.

            Ref: http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/historical-background?locale=en_US

            You display you ignorance and gullibility as if it were a badge of honor. It isn’t…

          • cd

            First of all you are moving the argument in to new ground. Dishonest indeed. You lost the point even after spinning things -rather badly – with your many cults argument. If you can’t deal with the evidence…then spin it.

            As for the dating of the Scrolls look at the dates again. CE refers to Common Era and BCE is Before Common Era. Common Era is interchangeable with AD and BCE with BC. So the dates lie between 3rd Centure BC to 68AD. That is there is 95% chance that the scrolls come from sometine in that period. So ignorance prevails again with you. Given again your shallow knowledge base it seems almost certain that your take on anything you read will be rather confused.

            What even makes it more galling is the fact your link, which relies on what is called soft dating, is consistent with the article I linked. The hard dating puts it into a much tighter pre 2nd century date. Your article suggests 2BC to 2AD.

          • rationalobservations?

            Thanks for making me smile at your ignorance and predictability. I am frequently amused by the presumption that I am even more ignorant than those I seek to educate and inform.

            Thanks for overstating the bleeding obvious with regard to contemporary calendar dating that was first imagined in the 7th century CE and implemented in the 10th century CE.

            Now. Perhaps you could demonstrate some actual knowledge and name the documents, scroll, papyri or other authentic, original 1st century texts that specifically and in detail are similar to those that appear to become extant for the first time in the 4th century – with many (most) of the supplementary christian texts (letters of “Paul”, works of Josephus, writings back dated and merely attributed to “church fathers” etc) appearing for the first time between the 8th and the 14th centuries CE.

            Given your apparent absence of knowledge – please now put up, or shut up with your unsupported boasting based only upon propaganda, lies, assumptions and presumptions.

            Name authenticated original documents (not texts written much, much later and merely attributed to earlier times) that date from the 1st century here
            V
            v
            v

          • cd

            Stating the bleeding obvious….well there does seem to be a need to; you keep banging on about the 4th century and the absence of evidence before. The fact that the 3rd century fresco shows this to be false, and you not recognising the relevance of this to the point you were making, would suggest you need things spelt out to you.

            Perhaps you could demonstrate some actual knowledge and name the documents, scroll, papyri or other authentic, original 1st century texts

            14C dating produces a probabilistic range; the study I linked to suggested the upper limit within the given confidence interval to be at the latest 1st century. You scoffed with reference to an article that dated 2BC and 2AD based on other methods. This for some reason was meant to refute the article I linked to. Numeracy and simple reasoning is all that is required – I’m not joking here, but you seem not to be able to keep up!

            BTW look up Gnostic Gospels. Many have been dated to the late 1st century. Just do a search on Google.

            As for:

            making me smile

            I’d expected that gormless response. At what point did you get confused.

          • rationalobservations?

            I ask for evidence of the existence of the texts that appear for the first extant time in the 4th century and you drift off into a twilight zone of fantasy regarding a fresco from the time just before those 4th century texts appear??
            Your infantile attempt at diversion from your inability to defend or justify your unquestioning faith in a 4th century cult fails.

            Your recycled repetition of the propaganda regarding the “probabilistic” dates is mere speculation based only upon indoctrinated assumption and presumption.

            I did not “scoff” at anything.
            I referred you to some scholarly information on the Dead Sea Scrolls and requested the specific scroll or scrolls you claim originate in or near the time in which the much later written legends of “Jesus” are set.
            You still fail to do so.

            I am very familiar with the so called Gnostic (or “hidden”) “gospels”. None of them originate in the 1st century.

          • Russell Brown

            Christianity was cobbled together in 4th century Rome

            >
            That was not Christianity, that was Babylon (see Rev 17), Christianity is following the teachings of Jesus and living as He lived.

          • rationalobservations?

            What evidence is there of any religion similar to post 4th century “christian” religion of Rome?

            What extant evidence is there of a god-man named Jesus from the 1st 3 decades of the 1st century? Or originating from any time within the 1st century?

            The founding politico/corporate institution of “the Church” agrees, saying:

            “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
            (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

            The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,

            “the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era”

            (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

            This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.

            In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,

            “the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”

            (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

            That is some 350 years after the time the Church claims that a Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine, and here the true story of Christian origins slips into one of the biggest black holes in history.

        • Fulgentian

          No, true Christians have always turned the other cheek not because of their relative weakness or strength, but because of the example of Jesus, who did not retaliate when he was beaten, mocked and killed. In fact, these are the very reasons that Muslims cannot tolerate the Christian view of Jesus. In their mind, any true prophet of God would have turned around and smote the lot of them!

    • Abie Vee

      The Bible uses those very words “an abomination”. You should read your own holy book before you gob-off at others.

      • The Bogle

        You are splitting hairs. Substitute “lewdness” or “transgressing beyond bounds” (Holy Quran 7:80-81) if it makes you any happier. However, it all comes down to the same thing, a condemnation of a perceived sin.

        • Abie Vee

          Er, yes.

    • Maureen Fisher

      What hypocritical filth they are. Turns my stomach up!

    • Precambrian

      Therein is the problem.

      Insult Islam and Muslims defend it.
      Insult Christianity and you get savaged by a wet paper bag.

      Two extremes, neither healthy.

      Christianity needs a spine and Islam needs humility.

      • Tim Morrison

        and both need to be forgotten

    • right1_left1

      It is quite possible, indeed even quite likely as suggested in the
      article, that if Farron did make an unequivocal stand on homosexuality
      he might get quite a lot of support.

      The homosexual lobby consistantly underplays the dark side of homosexual behaviour and presents it as ‘loviing partnerships’ in cottages (lol) surrounded by white fences and pink flowers.

      Whether homosexuality is a sin may be debatable.
      The dangers posed to health of enthusiastic back door penetration are not !

      Islamic apologists are biding their time re homosexuality.
      They know gay rights have a lot of support amongst the political establishment.
      One slow step at a time if you please.

    • Tim Morrison

      Turning the other cheek? How can you be serious? When have Christians ever done that? Torquemada was such a pushover as was Henry VIII and all those lovely warrior popes. Oh wait, you will all shout, they were not proper Christians but violence and cruelty runs through the generations – we are entitled to know if a party leader who is an evangelical thinks we are less than full humans,

      • Hexhamgeezer

        ‘When have Christians ever done that?’ You obviously don’t know any.

        • Tim Morrison

          I know plenty – that is why I am so amused.

      • Bob Hutton

        No Christian is suggesting that homosexuals are less than human, but true Christians believe that homos are doing what is sinful in the eyes of God.
        However, should they repent and accept Christ then He will change them.

        • Tim Morrison

          Indeed. You argue that being who we are is sinful and a normal life is closed off to us. Why on earth should we think that someone who holds views like that about us is worthy of respect or support. A creed that promotes those views is one of bigotry and hate, it is amusing to see language like ‘homos’ in a post that started on turning the other cheek. There is no credible evidence that faith changes sexuality any more than it turns water into wine on a regular basis.

          • Bob Hutton

            The devil has blinded you and hellfire awaits you.

          • Tim Morrison

            So I am to go to Hell because the Devil has blinded me. His actions will destroy me – hardly fair. I am losing so much sleep now over this

    • Fraziel

      True and i have a lot of sympathy with what you say but its but also irrelevant. Do we want any party having an evangelical christian as its leader? I would be curious to know his views on women too as most evangelicals consider a womans views to be secondary to that of the man in the household and thats before we look at his views on homosexuality. I will not even consider voting liberal while an evenagelical christian is their leader.

    • Alex Williamson

      The bible unequivocally states that homosexuality is an abomination too. However, the bulk of modern Christians appear to have abandoned the bible in favour of leftist liberalism.

    • Ian Young

      Also all Labour Muslims MPs in parliament voted for gay marriage while Tory Christians didn’t. This just shows how these foreigners are swamping our culture with their alien ideas of the secular European enlightenment .

  • Williamecornish

    Get It Now.-p-e-c-a-t-o-

  • Damaris Tighe

    It’s no longer enough to accept difference. You have to positively affirm, even fake it, if you want to be left alone. Thus, the new intolerance & witch hunt for even minute deviations.

    • Suzy61

      You are so right Damaris, acceptance is simply not enough now.

    • The_greyhound

      Sodomy is a new sacrament. Mr Cameron would assure you of that himself, if he weren’t so busy assuring us that nothing is to do with 1slam.

      • global city

        He also yearns for the day when a Muslim becomes prime Minister.

    • AJH1968

      Simon Hughes the first gay Muslim MP escaped any form of criticism, why does Farron warrant an inquisition. You are quite right homosexuality is a new form of virtue (in the eyes of the metro left), which begs the question, what about the rights of goat buggerers.

      • Damaris Tighe

        That’s a very serious question & one that I’ll forward to Farron’s office.

      • Fred Uttlescay

        Being gay isn’t a sign that one is a bit simple, but being a Born Yesterday Christian certainly is.

  • sir_graphus

    Does Tim Farron believe that hom05exuality is a sin? Probably

    Does Tim Farron intend to enact legislation to make hom05exuality illegal, or to change or hinder the rights of LBGTs in any way? Not in a million years.

    Once we were a Christian country; people would quote the bible in speeches. But if Tim Farron’s experience continues, we’ll be at the point where Christians are hounded out of public life.

    • Fred Uttlescay

      Christians and Muslims are deluded halfwits. They should stay in the closet with their nonsense if they don’t wish to be ridiculed.

      • Spock Puppet

        Still, the atheists are always good for a laugh.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          Indeed.

          “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”

          Gene Roddenberry.

    • serge

      Bishop Francis George had similar thoughts on this.

    • Maureen Fisher

      As far as I know, the Lord Jesus never uttered a word about sex or people’s sexual inclinations. He forgave the prostitute Mary Magdalene.

      • Dominic Stockford

        In fact he said to her “Go, and SIN NO MORE”. If you’re going to try to use Jesus, at least be honest about what he said.

        • Who started the rumour that Mary Magdalene had been a sex worker? It doesn’t say that in the bible anywhere.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I know not, but it is something frequently said, even by very orthodox commentators. The real issue, of course, for Maureen Fisher is the nature of what Jesus said about sexual matters. So I dealt with that, rather than go for an entire Biblical exegesis which would have put us in danger of hiding her real problem in the ensuing debate.

      • SocratesWept

        Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute.

  • CharleyFarleyFive

    As others have pointed out, had Farron been a Muslim Newman wouldn’t have gone near the question of his attitude toward homosexuality.

    This story sums up perfectly the lefts complete hypocrisy over homosexuality and Islam:- http://www.blazingcatfur.ca/2015/07/21/sweden-democrats-plan-gay-pride-parade-through-muslim-areas-leftists-and-gay-rights-groups-decry-the-parade-as-racist/

    ‘Swedish “Far-Right” Plans Gay Pride Parade Through Muslim Areas; Leftists and Gay Rights Groups Decry the Parade as Racist’

    • Suzy61

      There is no such thing as a right-wing gay.

      They are not ‘real’ gays.

      This was helpfully explained by the gay activists when they banned UKIP gays from joining the Gay Pride march.

      • MH50

        Excellent – genuinely funny.

      • The Bogle

        As in: All gays are equal but some are less equal than others?

        By the same token, some try to tell us that Islamists are not ‘real’ Muslims.

        • Suzy61

          Bingo!

        • I think you might enjoy “Nice curry, shame about the hate.” (If so, please “like” the post, and consider commenting.)

          https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/nice-curry/

          • The Bogle

            Oh dear, the problems Mr Cameron has squaring circles and making 2 + 2 = 5. At least President Obama said that ISIS was a perverted form of Islam.

            Your article is very subtle, but I could not comment in a similar vein.

      • Kaine

        They didn’t ban UKIP. Pride, which is essentially a business endeavour, didnt offer them a place to march in the parade. They could still have turned up. They also moved the trade union block to the back so as not to distract people from the corporate sponsors.

        The reasons for UKIP not being given a platform are more likely to have come from Citibank and Barclays not wanting to risk their CSR investment than from any radical gay activist.

        London Pride is not the apotheosis of gay people in the UK. It’s a corporate-sponsored party.

      • Bob Hutton

        The word “gay” applied to homosexuals is actually a misnomer; the word “gay” means happy and carefree, there is nothing happy and carefree about being under the eternal wrath of God.

        However, if they truly repent and accept Christ as their personal Saviour then He will change them. (I’ll probably be nicked for saying that but it’s the truth).

  • BillRees

    Rod, just a suggestion for Tim Farron.

    His reply to his inquisitors should have been: “To suggest that homosexuality isn’t a sin is Islamophobic. Do you realise how much you are offending Muslims by suggesting that it isn’t.”

    It would be great entertainment to see their responses.

    • The Bogle

      The same inquisitors who, including some Lefty feminists, would not condemn FGM as to do so would be offensive to the cultural practices of a minority and thus racist.

      • smoke me a kipper

        Specifically which inquisitors? Names please.

      • MikeF

        I wonder what their view is of President Obama telling African countries to change the laws that reflect their cultural attitudes to homosexuality.

        • The Bogle

          There was a piece in this week’s Sunday Times describing how a crowd of Kenyan males would parade naked in front of Obama in protest at liberal Western views of homosexuality.

          • Solage 1386

            Hopefully Obama will bugger them all, or at least tan their hides.

          • greencoat

            He might get a brown nose In another sense, I mean.

    • Maureen Fisher

      Brilliant!

  • Dai Jones

    Farron should be completely unapologetic about it. Not only would he gain much respect, he’d also give the lefties nothing to hit him with: if you can’t be browbeaten, their tactics don’t work.

  • Marcus

    Excellent. The last paragraph is sublime.

  • Marcus

    What about if they’d asked Farron
    ” Do you find homosexuality a bit gross? ”
    Can one say ‘yes’ to that?
    Or is that homophobic?
    Are you allowed to wish them no ill; but find it all a bit disagreeable?
    What if the idea of gay marriage excites you as much as polygamous or consanguineous marriage?
    i.e. You find no more illegitimacy in one than the other?
    Is this OK ?
    Or do you have to wave a rainbow flag and fain ecstaticness only when gay marraige gets rights?

    • Kaine

      If you find two men or two women kissing to not be your cup of tea then fine, feel free to look away.

      If you don’t think marriage between two people of the same sex is an institution you’d like to partake in, don’t marry someone of the same sex.

      I can’t imagine anyone will bother you, though if you choose to express your views you may have other people disagree, as is proper and healthy in a free society.

      I do appreciate that you accept that gay people were denied their rights prior to the equal marriage legislation

      • Ipsidixit

        If you are someone who can’t have a normal relationship so that you need to pretend to ‘be married’ to someone who is similarly dysfunctional, by all means go along with the pretence. I honestly don’t mind. It’s a healthy free society after all. However, don’t demand that I pretend alongside you.

      • Linda Smith

        Same sex marriage is not equal to heterosexual marriage. Can’t be consumated. Therefore the politicians changed the definiton to appease the same sex mafia. Therefore people with homosexual appetites were not “denied their rights” prior to the equal marriage legislation because they did not fulfil the criteria of traditional marriage.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          Marriage doesn’t have to be consummated.

          • Linda Smith

            Marriage legislation had to be changed to remove reference to adultery, etc. Same sex couples did not fulfil the criteria of marriage legislation as it stood.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            It never has been an absolute legal requirement.

          • Linda Smith

            what hasn’t? Adultery was part of the divorce paraphernalia and this all had to be rewritten to enable same sex marriage legislation.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Consummation has never been a legal requirement for marriage. It would be absurd if it was.

          • Linda Smith

            “It has already been announced that there will be no provision for adultery as grounds for single-sex divorce, for the obvious reason (though it was only belatedly obvious to the legislators) that same-sex intercourse, having no procreative purpose, cannot have any definition of consummation, and therefore cannot be adulterated.
            http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/charles-moore/2013/06/gay-divorce/

          • Fred Uttlescay

            What does that have to do with whether consummation is a legal requirement for marriage or not?

          • Linda Smith

            The question was not whether consummation was a legal requirement for marriage but the fact that same sex couples were not denied their rights in not being able to be parties to a civil marriage contract because they did not fulfil the criteria of being able to consummate a marriage. This fact is encapsulated in the criteria for dissolving the contract via divorce, adultery.

    • Maureen Fisher

      Why worry about what people get up to in their bedrooms? It’s none of your business or mine.

      • Marcus

        That’s really my point.

  • Bob Hutton

    As a street evangelist I am sometimes asked what I believe about homsexuality. My response is to suggest that people read the Bible for themselves as the answer is there in its pages.

    To say anything else would lead to an almost automatic arrest, such is the power of political correctness. Indeed, political correctness is the new Nazi party.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      “As a shouting pain in the arse I am sometimes asked what I believe about homosexuality”.

      Fixed.

    • Maureen Fisher

      So what did our lord Jesus say about homosexuality? Nothing.

      • pobjoy

        Nobody who has Jesus as lord would include anonymous posters as their fellows.

        If Jesus had said nothing about homosexuality, it would not mean anything more than the probable horror of the practice among the Jews prevented it from being an issue. Surely every reader of the Bible, from teen age up, realises that.

        But, for one thing, Jesus validated the whole of the Hebrew Bible, that deemed homosexuality sinful, according to moral law. For another, he used the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah as benchmark of the judgement of deity on homosexuality. He said that even the Sodomites would stand up at the judgement and condemn the likes of many ‘Christian’ hypocrites today, including the vast mass of clerics, who have never been known to tell the truth on this very point. (So if homosexuals got burned, what will happen to such people?) Which is one very good reason why this internet lie about him not mentioning homosexuality is so prevalent.

        The other reason for its prevalence is that it’s so hard to find homosexuals on the internet who don’t tell lies, along with committing other social evils. Presumably there are some honest ones, somewhere. It’s just that they don’t make themselves heard.

      • Fred Uttlescay

        Would that have something to do with being dead or imaginary?

  • goneunderground

    “… or because we have a new establishment which will not tolerate dissent on this issue (as on many others). ” As so often Rod you have hit the nail right on the head.

  • lakelander

    My guess is that, sad to say, he will soon jettison all those problematic bits of his Christianity, the bits that don’t fit in with the mindset of secular liberal authoritarians. I hope I’m wrong about this.

    He won’t. I know Tim Farron and he is a fully paid-up fish badge wearer who will stick to his beliefs. I disagree with him on most political issues but Tim is a fine man whose honesty and work ethic puts most MPs to shame.

    As for the oh-so-clever politicos and journalists who are trying to undermine him on red herring issues, these people (e.g. C4’s Newman) turn the stomach.

    You are right, Rod. We need more authentic human beings in politics. Fat chance.

  • Jugurtha

    Tim Farron is a Christian fundamentalist who opposes homosexuality as per the tenets of his religion. He thinks it’s a sin and should stop. He hasn’t expressed any desire as far as I’m aware to hurl homosexuals to their deaths from the tops of tall buildings. This makes him an unspeakable bigot in the eyes of the useful idiot liberal intelligentsia, naturally.
    I can only surmise, given the same group’s attitudes towards any number of Muslim spokespeople who share Mr Farron’s views and even expand upon them to the extent that they are quite relaxed about the hurling from roofs aspect, that there is a different threshold applied when it comes to bigotry in the Muslim world. ie. ‘We’ are not supposed to expect as much from Muslims.
    Clearly we can’t expect them to be as enlightened, nuanced and tolerant. Maybe they’re not as intelligent as ‘us’. Or maybe we’re just expected to accept that Muslims are…well…that’s how they roll…

    This surely demonstrates an appalling poverty of expectation on behalf of ‘our’ liberal elite towards Muslims, verging upon, if not entirely racist…if it weren’t for the fact that: “Islam isn’t a race blah yada yawn.”

    • davidshort10

      The Christian response is ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. I think sooner or later, there will be a resurgence of Christians saying what they mean and saying it loudly. It’s not so long ago when they did. Channel 4 should be asked how many Christians are on the staff and what C4 thinks Christianity is.

      • Jugurtha

        Christianity was just a staging post on the path to the real prophet and the true religion, obviously.
        The actual injunction is: hate the sin, stone the sinner.

        • davidshort10

          Well Christians don’t believe that, and the most successful societies in the world have Christianity as their base and arguably Christianity is part of the reason for their success. I am sure many people would be quite happy for Muslims to live in a desert caliphate, if that’s what they want. Most of humanity, however, around the world under different or no religions do not want to live in a medieval world with intolerance, killings and basic sustenance. If that’s what you want, fine. Why use western technology created by kuffars? Just go off and do it. Kill people, subjugate them, see if that gets you to Heaven……….

          • Jugurtha

            Well no, Christians don’t believe that but, as unenlightened infidels, they were never likely to were they?
            I don’t think your statement about the most successful societies pans out either unless you want to refine it. I’d buy Protestantism, but not Christianity per se. Japan, S Korea, Singapore and various others would give Catholic and Orthodox societies a run for their money. The latter seem to have issues with financial probity and a tendency to gravitate towards totalitarianism if the going gets rough.
            Muslim societies, on the other hand, may not figure too highly in Human rights, GDP or productivity league tables, nor set the academic or technological worlds alight but, after all, they’re not trying to. Muslim states are obviously aiming at higher goals: spiritual and personal fulfilment. That’s why Muslim nations always top those happiness index charts and why, no matter what you do, you can’t ever persuade the inhabitants of these places to leave, never mind relocate to the sinful godless West. I often wonder just how wonderful it would be if we could persuade a few Muslims to settle in the UK. We could learn much from their tolerance, fraternity, spiritual enlightenment and, above all, their peace-loving, laid-back approach to life and living.

          • davidshort10

            Now I know you’re joking. If not, just fuck off.

          • aspeckofboggart

            Christians in Singapore, the Protestants in particular, believe that Singapore owes her success to the ‘karma’ of their religion.

          • greencoat

            But South Korea is a Catholic society.

          • Jugurtha

            No it isn’t.

        • pobjoy

          ‘The actual injunction is: hate the sin, stone the sinner.’

          Not since the thick curtain of the Temple in Jerusalem was torn in two, from top to bottom. That temple itself soon followed, and was never rebuilt. All the 612 Laws of Moses were permanently terminated at that moment. The penalty for homosexuality in an afterlife may be a lot worse than stoning. Some people are so full of folly and hormones that they do not see that this was the real lesson to be learned.

          Though it is unlikely that stonings were ever much deployed in Israel; one simply had to declare oneself not an Israelite in order to avoid (or evade) them. The very sensible principle was that, if you professed a faith (and there was no obligation), you kept its rules. The cult of Asherah (whose following remains in the word ‘Easter’) encouraged sexual libertinism, including homosexuality, and at times, Israelites, kings and all, abandoned their deity to join this cult.

          The principle of the church is that, if one voluntarily claims to have faith (Catholicism cannot be Christian), you show the ‘fruits’ of faith, and that excludes sexual liaisons outside marriage between man and woman. The consequence of failure to show the fruits? One is merely excluded from association. Not stoned, or even given a parting kick. One is politely asked to leave, like an anti-semite in a meeting of Jews in Golders Green, or a prodigious consumer of meat burgers in a vegetarian society.

          • Jugurtha

            I thought there were 613 laws of Moses.
            My favourite’s the one (or two) about wiping out the Amekekites. I’ve never liked Amelekites. Have you ever noticed how when you go into an Amelekites shop or bar or cafe, everything goes quiet and they all stare at you and when they start talking again in it’s in Amelekites so you haven’t got a clue what they’re on about. That lot are definitely up to something. My cousin Paul works with a couple of Amelekites. He reckons they always knock off early on a Friday….know what I’m saying?

          • pobjoy

            ‘I thought there were 613 laws of Moses.’

            Opinions vary. But it’s an even bigger mistake of yours, if you’re right! 🙂

            ‘I’ve never liked Amelekites’

            Amalekites. Possibly descended from Amalek, son of Esau, he who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.

            You’re looking very well, considering.

            The Amalekites made an unprovoked attack on the Israelites, whose moral example doubtless made them itchy, and they never improved their ways. So they are an object lesson in the ways of the Bible deity, whose existence has never been disproved.

            Would you have been an Amalekite, poster?

          • Fred Uttlescay

            “the Bible deity, whose existence has never been disproved”.

            LOL. So on a par with the Loch Ness monster then.

          • Fred Uttlescay

            Christians and Muslims. As fruitcakes we shall know them.

          • You’ve always had a problem separating wheat from chaff, Fred. Never mind, we can’t all be bright.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            In fact the main difference is that Muslims are like Christians were 500 years ago. They take their fairytales far too seriously and haven’t leaned to ignore the nasty bits yet.

      • Fred Uttlescay

        Hate the religion, love the deranged lunatic that believes in it?

      • greencoat

        Yes, it’s high time right-thinking people sharpened up their thinking and lit a fire or two (metaphorically of course) under the Kathy Newmans of this world.

    • Dexter vs Sinister

      Surely he must be in the wrong party?????

    • Spock Puppet

      “Fundamentalist” is an odd word to use. Just an orthodox Anglican. Not even Catholic.

      • Jugurtha

        Just an ‘orthodox’ Anglican? How do you work that out? Anglicans don’t believe anything do they? Not even God in most cases. He’s actually got a few principles. By Anglican standards, that makes him a hardliner.

        • pobjoy

          You used the word ‘fundamentalist’ as a hate word, because you hate yourself. You wish you had the guts to do as you know you should.

          • Jugurtha

            Shit man. It’s like you’re reading my mind. How do you do that?
            How do I find the guts though? I’m afraid of heights and have a phobia about armour plated, laser trip-wired vaults in secret volcano bases on isolated islands surrounded by genetically enhanced great white sharks.
            So how do I pull it off? You’re right. I know what’s gotta be done but how the f**k do I retrieve the micro film when I’ve only got a Swiis Army knife, £6.54 to my name and a 16 year old transit? How do I even get to the South Pacific.
            PS
            I can’t swim.

          • pobjoy

            ‘It’s like you’re reading my mind.’

            It’s not at all hard. There are thousands like you posting daily.

            We hate what we irrationally fear, we fear what we know to be the truth. You wrote ‘Christian fundamentalist’, referring to one you suppose to be, or could be, an evangelical. The second word ‘fundamentalist’ is abuse in this context. So you are afraid of real Christians, therefore Christ, who you believe died for you. You wish that you had the guts to follow him in gratitude, but because you don’t, you hate yourself. That makes you afraid of anyone you perceive as reminding you that Jesus died for you.

            Though maybe you will find the guts, before you die.

          • Jugurtha

            So the reason I’m not a Christian is that I lack the guts…hmmm? Interesting. I’ll have to consider that; you see I always thought it was the other way around. I always thought that those who chose to bathe in the blood of the lamb did so because they were so terrified and insecure that they needed the redemptive message of some sordid Middle eastern fantasy as an intellectual and emotional prop. Seriously, I thought it took far more grit and resolve to face the terrible truth of the uncaring, unfeeling, soulless abyss ungirded by delusion and wishful thinking; these latter two being the natural province of children and the feeble minded.
            Clearly I had it all arse about…cos you say so?

          • pobjoy

            I was right.

          • Jugurtha

            Erm…OK. So presumably you’ve been praying for my conversion, yeah?
            Thanks for that but nothing so far. Any suggestions?

          • pobjoy

            ‘OK’

            OK, so far. But TF may be one of the 53% who say that homosexuality is wrong, irrespective of religion. They are not all evangelicals.

          • Jugurtha

            Wrong for whom? Do you mean ‘wrong’ as in ‘I don’t like the idea that it happens’ or like ‘sinful and a stain upon creation’? I can accept that 53% agree with one or both of those, but I’m guessing that of that 53%, 95+% of the evangelicals who were asked said both.

          • pobjoy

            People think that homosexuality is wrong before they become Christians. Just get used to the idea that some people think, maybe everyone thinks, that homosexuality is wrong, just as they think that theft, drunkenness, lying, violence, adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest and discourtesy are wrong. Get used to the idea that people don’t need any book to tell them what their consciences are supposed to be telling them. Even illiterates can tell right from wrong.

          • Jugurtha

            “…what their consciences are supposed to be telling them.”
            Consciences are supposed to operate in a certain way? What is their purpose? You see, in the absence of a divine commandment to perform in line with god’s decree, the only way I can conceive of a purpose for a conscience is that it tries to optimise an individual’s evolutionary endowment. This, in turn, would (or might) lead to an individual’s engaging in adultery, fornication, lying and violence. Now most people manage to avoid resorting in the above without a belief that they are divinely proscribed. Why is that?

          • pobjoy

            ‘This, in turn, would (or might) lead to an individual’s engaging in adultery, fornication, lying and violence.’

            … and buggery.

            So what’s the problem? You may of course lie when you reply.

          • Jugurtha

            The problem is that most people’s consciences are not doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to do and many of those whose consciences do act in line with what you suggest is their ‘purpose’ are doing so for reasons unconnected with divine law. I think we can dispense with the idea of God altogether and lose nothing useful.
            I’m still intrigued by your concept of conscience as having a set function however, as though it were simply an organ of the body. We can readily identify what organs are ‘supposed to do’ and even take steps to remedy the situation should they fail to perform adequately. I was hoping you’d outline a similar set of basic functions for the conscience and perhaps a few strategies that could be employed in the case of a faulty conscience. Can you do that? You see, if you can’t, I really think you’re the one who’s being less than candid about your real beliefs.

          • pobjoy

            ‘The problem is that most people’s consciences are not doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to do’

            Not yours, because you say it’s ok to lie. Nobody else has ever said that, afaik.

            So there is no purpose in you posting again, is there.

          • Jugurtha

            Only to cast doubt on the sincerity of the beliefs you seem to wear so prominently upon your sleeve yet which you won’t defend or even expand upon. I’m not even asking for that. I simply want to know what a correctly functioning conscience is supposed to do and who or what determines its purpose…and to what end. As for the lying business, I would make a stronger case but I’m kinda bowled over by the thought that I’m the only person who ever thought there might be occasions on which it was advisable to avoid the truth. That makes me pretty special and suggests that I might write a book to exploit my unique moral standing. I think people would be interested. Would you like a copy? I’ll autograph it if you like and add a pithy little dedication.

      • Perhaps ‘fundamentist’ is the word that applies here.

  • davidshort10

    He should divert the conversation and say many Christians have certain beliefs about homosexuality as do (all) Muslims and take it from there. He should say his personal beliefs are not relevant and are not therefore to be subject to debate. He should refer to the Muslims who are killing Christians and throwing homosexuals from tall buildings and stoning them and say that Christians do not do that. He could do a Tony Blair and say ‘Hey, if your’e askign if I’m going to throw homosexuals off a high building then stone them? No of course I’m not!’

  • The_greyhound

    While I think Rod’s analysis shrewd enough, he doesn’t make the obvious point – more fool Farron for associating with a bunch of dogmatic bigoted small minded holier-than-thou creeps such as the ridiculous LimpDumbs.

    • Fred Uttlescay

      More fool the LibDems for electing a deluded chump as leader.

      • The_greyhound

        What would you say if you could talk?

  • Rob Harris

    Oh dear, one really doesn’t know which way to turn!

  • jim

    All these poofs are just a pain in the arse.

    • Fred Uttlescay

      So you must be one.

      • jim

        Did I hurt your feelings?

        • Fred Uttlescay

          You are the one with the pain.

          • jim

            Another Country heard from. It obviously bothers you when the re-programming fails to gain traction with one of your units. How dare anyone not find you lot delightful.!

          • Fred Uttlescay

            English people?

          • jim

            Another Country: playfilm sympathetic to gay public school marxist traitors.

    • The Dybbuk

      There are products you can use to help you feel more comfortable with your position.

      • jim

        Never takes long for the gaystapo to step in whenever they spot a programming failure in one of their subject units. Failure to find sodomites delightful will not be tolerated.You’ll just have to get used to the fact that the brainwashing doesn’t always work.

        • The Dybbuk

          Ooh. Get you. I have no desire to brainwash anyone and it may come as a surprise that many ‘poofs’ are as unconcerned about being tolerated as they are about being seen as some community in need of affirmation by the gender and identity police. Gays are just like everyone else except that maybe they are not quite as bigoted as some who post here.

          • jim

            No of course that’s not you.That’s the other Pink Nazis.Nothing to do with you at all

          • The Dybbuk

            Pink Nazis are a very recherché group whose tastes are too extreme for even the most dissolute poof

          • jim

            I stand corrected.You are plainly able to speak with some authority on these matters.

          • You protest too much. I see lots of need for ‘celebration’ never mind ‘affirmation’ never mind such a decent lowly quiet modest thing as tolerance.

        • Maureen Fisher

          Well I have a gay son. For the most part, gays want to be left alone, lead a normal life and have the same civil rights as the rest of us. The “gaystapo” are pretty much a minority.

    • aspeckofboggart

      What’s the term for guys who like to be ‘pegged’ by their wives and girlfriends? ‘Peggy’s’?

      • jim

        No idea but so long as there is no more than a single penis in the equation……

  • smoke me a kipper

    Maybe Jesus was gay. He hung around the desert with a bunch of guys he affectionately called disciples. He didn’t have a girlfriend.

    • blandings

      I thought he had some chick name of Mary

      • aspeckofboggart

        And descendants.

      • smoke me a kipper

        Mary was his mum!

        • blandings

          Er…the other one

          • smoke me a kipper

            Ah, some girls like gay males for platonic friendships

    • Always_Worth_Saying

      He’s a prophet in Islam also. Sleep with one eye open after posting that One Eye.

      • pobjoy

        ‘He’s a prophet in Islam’

        That’s only to patronise, to feel superior. He’s quite safe.

    • Clive

      According to the Gnostics – who were as early as the early Christians but got lobbed out, a bit like the Shi’a without the war – Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen.

      Christians have a view that Mary Magdalen was a prostitute completely unsupported by anything in the Bible. In fact it was a calumny spread by early Christian misogynists – also directed at the Gnostics who had women priests.

      • Hironimous Nostril

        Would it matter to anyone if Jesus was gay? I don’t see why it should.

        • Clive

          It would not matter to me in that I am not a practising Christian. It would certainly matter to a lot of Anglican clergy who at the moment are openly gay but ‘don’t inhale’ so to speak.

  • global city

    Quite ironic really, as Farron sees himself as someone to the Left of Corbyn.

  • cd

    It is incredible that if you’re a devout muslim politician you’re never pressed on these same issues. But then it is just virtue signalling on the part of the interviewer.

  • Callipygian

    I shall Recommend you, Rod, till the cows come home. Mind you, they are right next door to me at present so you may take that promise as you will. Brown-and-white, black-and-white, mummies and babies, in the blessed Baptist woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains (I’m not a Christian, but there seems to be a church every five miles or less).

  • pobjoy

    ‘ a Christian of evangelical persuasion’

    There is no other sort.

    ‘Farron is to blame for not having said: ‘Yes, I think it is a sin.’’

    True. A Christian would say so, so it now looks as though he is antichrist, having denied Christ three times. But there is a world of difference between believing that an activity is sinful and enforcing that view onto everyone else; so there is no conflict between saying that homosexuality is sinful, and saying that homosexuals may be married (or ‘married’, according to one’s perceptions). Though of course anyone may adjudge homosexual marriage to be potentially sociopathic and fundamentally illiberal, particularly if adoption of children, whose rights are over-ridden, is involved.

  • LaurenceBoyce

    You can be a real bore sometimes Rod. Quite often in fact.

    We get the whole tedious spiel about how the establishment are out to control all our thoughts on gay marriage. But not a word about how Farron’s own thoughts might be being controlled by his religious masters.

    As for “one politician out of 650,” there were loads of MPs who opposed gay marriage, mostly Conservatives.

  • Suriani

    Some years ago the Scottish government opened ‘a conversation’ with the public on the topic of legalizing same sex unions. The resulting discourse indicated that the majority were against. The right-thinking Holyrood politicians went ahead nevertheless. This is an example of the type of politically opportunistic, PC state sponsored social engineering Mr Farron is up against.

  • Solage 1386

    Homosexuality is a heinous sin, which is precisely why one indulges in the practice so very often. If one does not commit at least one sin every day, one is unable to sleep well at night. That God dislikes this sinful practice merely adds to the pleasure one experiences when one engages in it. One sins. One smiles. One is content. Replete, one falls asleep……..

    • Damaris Tighe

      Tsk tsk Solage, naughty boy …

    • pobjoy

      ‘That God dislikes this sinful practice’

      Like the practice of theft and violence? Do you do those every day, as well? Along with telling lies? Most people commit hundreds of sins in a day, only they don’t realise it. There’s no need to make a special effort, really.

      Maybe deity is interested in people causing no harm to themselves or others. ‘Do as you would be done by’ would sum it up in a nutshell.That seems to be the evidence of the Bible, that does indeed say that some people become homosexuals because they hate deity. Which is another way of saying that they hate their own existence, because they want an existence where they can do ‘what the fucking hell they like, and sod everyone else’. If you know what they mean.

      So surely the sin, or the folly, is in hating deity, not in buggery because one hates deity. And if one hates deity because one hates oneself, isn’t that more than a bit naff?

      • Solage 1386

        Naff? You speak Polari? Bona!

        • pobjoy

          ‘You speak Polari’

          To native speakers.

  • Jeffreyoore

    <❶❷❸.%@^@^@^!^!^!^!^.. ??????????+blogs+. < Read more info here='' ……..''

  • Linda Smith

    I’d also like to know Tim Farron’s views on the abominable practice of donor egg surrogacy to feed the appetites of a male homosexual couple to be parents. In fact I’d like to hear ALL our politicians’ views on ths abomination – with respect to the emotional wellbeing of the child who is deliberately deprived of its mother, and biological grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and biological family history.

  • Innit Bruv

    Mister Piggy knows what a fugue is!
    Who would have thunk it?

  • lindzen4pm

    He should have informed Ms. Newman, the be-permed Deirdre Spart of Channel Four, that he disapproved of homosexuality, but that in itself did not mean he was keen to lob Tatchell and co off the top of the Gherkin, for example. Funny how benign disapproval by Christians gets the gander up of militant atheist newsreaders, whereas Islamic death threats, haranguing and ostracism are studiously ignored.

    • Linda Smith

      They have too much attachment to their heads to risk losing them.

    • Always_Worth_Saying

      Thousands of muslims tweeted the vilest abuse at Newman after she was chucked out of the mosque. Did she compain? No she appologised. Appeaser.

  • jim

    Half a century from now we’ll be up to our t***s in trannies because of gay marriage adoption.. There will have to be trannie quotas…a trannie Bond…we’ll be expected to “celebrate” trannie pride…a trannie PM. Something for you all to look forward to in your dotage.

  • Spock Puppet

    Ben Bradshaw. Something not quite right about him, I think you’ll have noticed. Funny that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He surely can’t be one of those nancy-boy types?

  • Malcolm Stevas

    This reminds me of that amusing R4 interview yesterday in which Eddie Mair, quizzing some bigwig Kenyan businessman prior to Obama’s visit, raised the topic of “gay rights”. It was charming to hear the Harvard-educated Kenyan state directly, with none of the shuffling prevarication that is standard here, say simply that while he didn’t think homosexuals should be persecuted it was simply not African to regard homos as normal: rather, homosexuality was abnormal, and normal people should not be so preoccupied with it. He was too polite to say the West had its priorities in a twist, and we were a bunch of decadent oddballs, for being seemingly obsessed with the “rights” of homosexuals…
    He has a point.

    • Always_Worth_Saying

      Mair is a nasty piece of work with father of the house incinations. Avoid.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    Of course the best retort to impertinent questions, because it surely is impertinent to ask somebody who wants a job what they think is a sin, would be ” why do you ask”? But then of course ” who am I to judge” ?

  • Maureen Fisher

    He should have said he was a devout Muslim and the leftie scum would have grovelled at his knees.

  • Maureen Fisher

    Do these numbskulls think their Islamic pals are gay friendly?

    • Always_Worth_Saying

      Common Purpose. Hatred of Britain and British people is their highest priority.

  • Andrew Smith

    Why didn’t he simply state that in his personal opinion homosexuality is sinful (but that we are all guilty of various sins) but it is also sinful to treat people who engage in homosexual behavior differently than those who engage in heterosexual relationships and that he has no wish to see (A) discrimination or prejudice directed towards homosexuals or (B) any changes to the existing legislation regarding homosexuality. One of the things I dislike about the current political climate is this obsession with homogenizing personal beliefs under the mistaken assumption that anyone who holds a controversial belief will behave in a controversial way.

    Take racism for example. Racism is the belief that there exist inherent differences between racial groups and that these differences mean one group is superior to another. Now, plainly there do exist inherent differences between racial groups. The question is whether or not racial differences are merely superficial or exist with respect to intelligence quotients or behavioral dispositions. Personally, I do believe that differences in average intelligence exist and persist between racial groups.

    However, I would never discriminate against someone based on their membership of an ethnic group. Just because I believe that, say the average IQ of the population of Ashkenazi Jews is higher than that of the Caucasian population and that a higher IQ is better than a lower IQ (Which makes me a racist) it does not follow that if I was asked to choose between a white person and a Jewish person, selected at random, for some role in which high intelligence is advantageous I would automatically choose the Jew. Why? Because I am dealing with two randomly selected members of two populations that whilst I believe display certain statistical traits the individuals themselves are not the populations (Just as “you are not your ancestors”, which should be written on every classroom wall in the country, alongside with “you are not your ethnic group” and “you are British” )

    • pobjoy

      Scum.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I think your intelligent & well-reasoned response to Andrew Smith’s post (sarc) completely confirms his point in the first paragraph.

        • pobjoy

          ‘I think’

          You only feel.

  • Peter Stroud

    I’m quite content that homosexuality is legal, but I’ll fight tooth and claw anyone who tries to make it compulsory!

  • pobinr

    Liberal Democrats – The party of liberty, democracy and equality who are anti having the liberty to decide on Europe via a referendum and anti democracy in being EUrophiles. Pro equality yet they want to treat EU citizens preferentially!

    But that’s the opposite of liberty and democracy & equality isn’t it?

    LibDems the Party for people that don’t believe in liberty, democracy or equality
    The ideal party for seriously confused people who don’t know WTF they want & WTF they’ll get when they vote for it!

  • Precambrian

    Oh come off it.

    You know damn well that the moment he says that homosexuality is sinful he will be hounded out of a job by the illiberal liberals who believe in the freedom to do anything that they agree with.

    • So: you are saying Tim Farron is a liar …. That’s why I never trust a christian.

  • pobjoy

    KN: Is homosexuality a sin?

    TF: What is a sin?

    KN: I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me?

    TF: Why should I? It’s you who asked the question. Why are you asking a question if you don’t even know what it means?

    KN: Ok, then, a sin is an offence against God.

    TF: So does God exist?

    Pause.

    KN: Can we change the subject?

    TF: Of course. It’s your interview.

    How to deal with the vacuous.

    • sidor

      “KN: Ok, then, a sin is an offence against God.”

      A perfectly pagan statement. How can transcendental God which is beyond space and time be offended by a creature living in space and time?

      • pobjoy

        What a genius. If only you’d been around thousands of years ago, before history, you could have made sure that the billions of people who have worried about this, since then, didn’t need to.

        • sidor

          St. Augustine explained this point in the 5th century AD. May I redirect your compliment to him?

          • Clive

            I believe transcendence is part of the Gnostic heresy

          • sidor

            The heresy of paganism consists in believing in anything that is not transcendental, that is a material object of a real world. It is also logically inconsistent with the concept of God’s creation of the world. God who created space and time cannot exist in space and time.

            Concerning Gnosticism: the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls includes a number of quite clear Gnostic statements. The first lines of John’s Gospel are clearly Gnostic.

          • Clive

            I believe that the Gnostics were eventually rendered completely heretical through the attacks of Irenaeus on Valentinus, the major figure in Gnosticism.

          • sidor

            Following Newton’s advice, we should discuss facts and logical arguments, not opinions. Facts in this case are the original texts.

          • Clive

            Which original texts ? The Gnostic gospels discovered at Nag Hammadi appear to have been made part of the Apocrypha by the early Christians, otherwise they would be part of the New Testament.

            The Nag Hammadi texts may pre-date – they are at least contemporaneous with – the earliest texts we have of the New Testament.

            You are simply of the same opinion as the texts that made it into the New Testament, which were approved by a certain faction of early Christians.

          • sidor

            Here is the text :

            John.1
            [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
            [2] The same was in the beginning with God.
            [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
            [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
            [5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

            The Word (Logos) and the concept of pure Light separated from the Darkness are basic Gnostic principles. The Dead Sea Scrolls too include remarkably similar statements. They also mention the coming war between Sons od Light and Sons of Darkness.

          • pobjoy

            ‘The Word (Logos) and the concept of pure Light separated from the Darkness are basic Gnostic principles.’

            The separation bit is Genesis. The Logos notion came from Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria, and it is a synthesis of OT prophecy.

            The demon-possessed are only good at being bad.

          • sidor

            Nice that you don’t disagree with me.

          • pobjoy

            Every ‘sidor’ word a lie.

            Public Warning

          • pobjoy

            ‘Here is the text’

            By some miracle, John wrote in 17th century English.

          • Clive

            You are only citing your chosen text from the New Testament created by a faction of early Christians.

            At some point, similar authorities may decide that documents like the Gnostic gospels and others yet to be found are part of the New Testament

            Here is a piece of the Gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic text discovered at Nag Hammadi.

            Simon Peter said to Him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.”
            Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her
            male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

            So there is Jesus advocating homosexuality and transgender people.

          • sidor

            Let me understand. Do you reject the Gospel of John?

          • Clive

            As much as you reject the Gospel of Thomas.

          • sidor

            Shall I take it as yes?

          • Clive

            You may take it that the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas were written at about the same time. Neither is contemporary with the Synoptics.

            The words in the Gospel of Thomas probably refer to the secret ‘knowledge’ which the Gnostics say that Jesus gave to certain of his disciples. They are nothing to do with homosexuality or transgenderism, which was my merry quip.

            It also illustrates that women were recognised as equals in Gnostic tradition, despite Simon Peter’s assertion which Jesus corrects.

            Simply taking Light and Darkness to indicate Gnostic mysticism does not come close to the Gnostic philosophy.

            You might as well say that John foreshadows the invention of the light bulb.

          • sidor

            1. The Dead See Scrolls containing similar passages have been written much earlier.

            2. You don’t seem to be aware of the basic concept of Gnosticism.

            3. I still didn’t get your answer: do you reject the Gospel of John? Yes or no would suffice for the answer.

          • pobjoy

            So are we to believe that Christian teaching is self-contradictory? Or are we to believe that ‘sidor’ prefers that idea?

          • sidor

            Which Christian teaching? There are many, and they are indeed mutually logically inconsistent. In the 17th century peoples of Europe following different Christian teachings were killing each others by millions.

          • pobjoy

            ‘Which Christian teaching?’

            You referred to the Bible. Sorry if that cramps things a bit.

            So are we to believe that Christian teaching is self-contradictory?

          • sidor

            Second time the same question: which Christian teaching? Nestorian, Arian, Lutheran, Calvin’s, Mormons’?

          • pobjoy

            Following Newton’s advice, we should discuss facts and logical arguments, not opinions. Facts in this case are the original texts.

            So what do Newton’s own texts say that is self-contradictory?

          • sidor

            “So what do Newton’s own texts say that is self-contradictory?”

            Nothing.

          • pobjoy

            So the Bible’s teaching is consistent, and all the arguments of history you mentioned are merely evidence that the Bible was correct about many false teachers to come. John’s Gospel was rooted in the OT, though some OT ideas found legitimate expression in Judaeo-Greek culture, and John took advantage. It should not be taken for Gnosticism; particularly if the agent is ‘sidor’, another obviously false teacher.

            Your notion about transcendental deity vs. temporalism is non sequitur and spurious, sidor.

          • sidor

            Could you please specify your statement: do you disagree with me, with John or with St. Augustine?

          • pobjoy

            ‘St. Augustine’

            Beware the toxic ‘sidor’. He calls shit holy.

          • pobjoy

            ‘St. Augustin’

            Satan’s little helper, full of perfectly pagan statements. Yet even that dimwit realised that a transcendent agent was more than capable of understanding mortals. He even recognised, with great despondency, that the shit bastard transcendent agent had come to earth just to upset his cosy world view.

            So is ‘sidor’ two people, or just one, taking too many substances?

        • Fred Uttlescay

          God exists entirely outside common sense, in the la-la land of stupid.

  • The point is — and leftists don’t get it because they are essentially illiberal — that what he privately thinks is his own private business. What he understands in his heart is between him and his God. As long as he upholds the laws of the land, while attempting to change them democratically if he thinks they are wrong (we all know that they often are), it is no one’s right to hound him on his most deeply held views. For the personal is NOT, as the left has tyrannically insisted, the political. As a Christian in particular, this man and all such are perfectly capable and indeed they are instructed to render unto Caesar what is the state’s due, and to keep the spiritual realm pristinely beyond it.

    Comes a point when we need to turn the finger around. By what right does a lefty hound a man for not being exactly like him/her? How does the lefty have any grasp of the truth, never mind a supposed monopoly on it? Given that homosecksuals are equal in the West (pardon the spelling, I have to avoid auto-spike), what on Earth do these people want NOW?!

    I think it’s time for the Left to justify, explain, and examine its own assumptions and dogmas, rather than the other way around.

    • pobjoy

      ‘The point is’

      Now I’ve made it, Callipygian, home to demons, has to pervert it. He wants to blame the left for the assault on privacy, but it’s actually the right who do all the attacking. The left never get a word in edgeways on TV.

      ‘instructed to render unto Caesar’

      Have you noticed? The gas company gets paid, the supermarket gets paid, but Caesar always gets rendered unto.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Beautifully put Callipygian.

      • Callipygian

        Thank you very much, Damaris. A compliment from you: like a rose!

  • Evaacolton

    NNow Get It -ssppeectator

  • tigerlily

    Well he also may well believe that cohabiting is basically fornication. It’s a tricky one really….I have some sympathy with both ‘sides’….politicians probably have all sorts of non-mainstream(?) attitudes they keep to themselves….and sometimes some of them are paedophiles. Is it ok to hold an opinion so long as you promise to keep it to yourself and not let it influence your decisions? One day we will probably invent a machine that reads minds.,,

  • Dominic Stockford

    To the question, ‘Is homosexuality a sin?’ his answer ought to have been ‘One of many…’
    This gives the anti-Christian attackers nothing to misquote, partially quote, or otherwise misuse until they go blue in the face and collapse from lack of breathing…………..

    • pobjoy

      ‘ his answer ought to have been ‘One of many…’

      That would have been the reply of one who could not have called himself liberal, or even democratic. If the question is “Is homosexuality immoral?” there is no religious implication, so no attempt to force religious context onto those who do not recognise that context. This thought coercion is the habitual mindset of those who find themselves unable to come to terms with their own moral turpitude, so seek to create a fake societal morality so that hypocrisy will displace a society in which their own evils will be exposed. The inevitable imperative of their mindset is fascism, in which there can be no dissent; so democrats will always be alert to attempts to insinuate religious assumptions into their own thinking such as this one.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      The answer is of course no, because an innate characteristic cannot be a sin any more that being a different colour can be a sin.

      • Clive

        I think I agree in that I believe a sin is an offence against one’s own moral code. That is probably not the religiously preferred definition, though.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Tim Farron is a Christian who holds to Bible teaching – therefore, whatever spin you choose to put on it, he will also believe that homosexual activity is sinful, and is but one of many sins.

        The extreme danger of your argument is that it is an innate characteristic for sociopaths to kill people, and thus it is fine for them to get on with it unhindered, and so on and on, for whatever ‘crime’ someone commits – for most of them are argued to be ‘innate characteristics’ of the person committing them – and you cannot ‘prove’ otherwise.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          I was talking about one’s innate sexuality, not about having sex. Obviously.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Ok. Simple theological outline of sin.
            Disregarding what you think personally, please follow the thread as far as what the Christian church should teach.

            1.Sin divides us from God, because…
            2. Sin is not only acting contrary to God’s law as written in the Bible, but also thinking contrary to God’s law as written in the Bible – basic Christian position (see also point 4 and Creation ordinances).
            3. Sin came into the world as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience of God.
            4. Sin is contrary to God’s law and is a change to the Creation Ordinances of the Bible.
            5. Sexuality, as laid out in the pre-fall ‘perfect world’ of Genesis 1 consists only of man with woman.
            6. Anything else simply was not. Thus when such ‘innate’ thoughts come along after the fall they are contrary to God’s Creation ordinances before the fall.
            7. Therefore, homosexual inclinations are a direct result of the fall, the coming into the world of sin. They are contrary to God’s intentions (as with many other sinful inclinations people may have) and are also therefore sinful (see point 2).

          • Hironimous Nostril

            God and Kim Jong Un have much in common.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes, one is the perfect and loving Creator and Sustainer of all, the other is a created being who suffers from total depravity more clearly than most. Very similar indeed.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            They both condemn people for thought crime.

          • rationalobservations?

            I hope you are following “god’s” other directions from the bible?

            Killing your own and all children who show disrespect to adults?

            Murdering your neighbours if they fail to worship your “god” in your church?

            Never eating shell fish?

            Never wearing clothes made from a mixture of fibres?

            selling off surplus daughters into slavery?

            So much barbarism!

            In the mean time – the majority of us consider what harm is done to another individual or group of individuals before drawing conclusions regarding what is good or bad.
            Most of us these days recognise the barbarity to be found within bibles and prefer to conform to the diktats of our well developed human conscience and the ever more humanitarian and egalitarian secular laws of our land.

  • Clive

    Well this (as if it mattered to anyone) is why I like Rod Liddle. This is a serious issue. The last kerfuffle of this nature was Ann Widdecombe whose Christianity and consequent views on abortion compromised her ministerial career.

    Morality and Law should not mix. That should be a rule. There is no place for morality in Law – and thus in the behaviour of legislators. The private views of legislators are another issue.

    Law is about social order, not morality. Every time law and morality occupy the same space, confusion ensues. That has been true of blasphemy; obscene publications; abortion and other issues.

    Of course politicians have backgrounds and their backgrounds may influence their positions – thus they are open to question.

    The point is, though, that it is as relevant whether Tim Farron went to a public school (he didn’t) and ever worked for a living in a proper job (he was a’senior manager’ in education, so he might have, might not) as it is whether or not he is a Christian.

    • pobjoy

      ‘Morality and Law should not mix.’

      Law is an expression of morality. What is illegal is immorality that the state can catch up on (in theory). Every legislator, ergo every politician, is fundamentally a moralist, whether they like it or not. That is why personal immorality of politicians is regarded as important, because if a law-maker takes a lax view of morality, he or she can hardly be relied upon to make good law.

      According to the stated tenets of the Established religion that she, being a legislator, presumably read and accepted in full knowledge, Ann Widdecombe was *not* a Christian after leaving Anglicanism. There are many Anglicans who oppose abortion, many who are non-religious, too. So one does not need to be religious to oppose, or approve, abortion, or belong to a particular organisation. Religion or its lack is irrelevant. The only qualification is the possession of nerve endings. So it does not matter tuppence whether TF is a Christian, or not, but not because law is separate from morality. It does not matter because everyone of woman born is moral.

      • Clive

        We differ fundamentally.

        I believe morality is a set of beliefs peculiar to each individual – although the morality itself is absolute. Socially based views change frequently as social fashion shifts.

        Thus if you hold the view that homosexuality is immoral that belief is absolute (as long as you hold to it, you could change your mind), not relative to social context and climate.

        If you believe that homosexuality is immoral but then move to a society where homosexuality is permitted, you may continue to hold to your moral view whilst consenting to social law.

        It may thus be perfectly moral for an individual to kill someone but it can never be allowed by law because that individual’s morality cannot be completely known to the law. An example was a man (call him ‘Philip’) whose daughter had been killed by a man already under a driving ban for several offences, who killed Philip’s daughter by dangerous driving. Philip attempted to murder him.

        A collection of individuals with similar moral beliefs may be a religion. Such individuals may cross religions, as they appear to with the coincidence of moral views in Islam and Christianity.

        The law applies equally to all individuals and is concerned with social order. Thus law which conflicts with social order – whether for moral reasons or not – undermines the use of law in society.

        The outlawing of homosexuality and the banning of obscene publications are examples of laws with an apparent ‘moral’ basis which were in fact social in nature.

        The personal immorality of politicians is relevant only insofar as it could affect their governing or legislating function. That could happen through apparent dishonesty or poor judgment, for instance.

        • pobjoy

          ‘I believe morality is a set of beliefs peculiar to each individual’

          Nerve endings make violence and theft immoral, as well as illegal, for everyone from Anchorage to Osaka. And that’s irrespective of any religion that may obtain locally.

          ‘Socially based views change frequently as social fashion shifts.’

          Of course they do, but that is not a function of morality.

          ‘the view that homosexuality is immoral’

          Who disagrees with it? Perhaps people ‘commit’ buggery because it’s immoral; as the Bible says, incidentally.

          Religions attempt to deal with bad conscience in an immutably moral world; and bad conscience is almost invariably caused by homosexual acts, in almost all religions, old and new.

          • Clive

            I am afraid that I believe all that you said is wrong except the quotes from me which were, of course, Shakespearian in their wit and culture.

            …and on the view that homosexuality is immoral – I disagree with it and presumably you disagree with the law which from your point of view must, for this reason and others, frequently be immoral

            So how do you reconcile that with your apparent view that legality and morality are the same thing ?

          • pobjoy

            ‘I am afraid that I believe all that you said is wrong’

            You’re afraid that everything I wrote is correct. Because if you had a correction, you would have applied it.

            ‘the view that homosexuality is immoral – I disagree with it’

            Can you prove that you disagree with it? Can you prove that any disagree with it? Saying so isn’t proving so. People tell lies, almost as soon as they learn to talk.

            ‘So how do you reconcile that with your apparent view that legality and morality are the same thing ?’

            That’s not my view. Law is an expression of morality. What is illegal is immorality that the state can catch up on (in theory).

            That’s my view.

          • Clive

            You are still saying that all law is moral because by saying

            …Law is an expression of morality. What is illegal is immorality that the state can catch up on…

            …you are saying that Law is a subset of morality.

            Yet you believe that homosexuality is immoral – unless you are lying – so you must believe the UK law on homosexuality is immoral since it permits homosexuality.

            …You’re afraid that everything I wrote is correct. Because if you had a correction, you would have applied it…

            You quoted my correction. It was I am afraid that I believe all that you said is wrong

            I believe that homosexuality is perfectly moral. I am afraid you’ll just have to suck that up.

          • pobjoy

            ‘you are saying that Law is a subset of morality’

            That’s not what I wrote. As another poster has also stated, it is absurd to say that law and morality cannot mix, because the great majority of global law concerns the sanctity of persons and property, which are universal moral values. That does not mean that all immoral acts are illegal, or that immoral acts may not be legalised. The legality of immoral acts may be modified in the light of experience, so no firm conclusions may be drawn about even their legal status.

            ‘Yet you believe that homosexuality is immoral’

            Where did I write that?

            ‘I believe that homosexuality is perfectly moral. I am afraid you’ll just have to suck that up.’

            You’ll just have to suck that up? How can any intelligent person believe that such an absurdly immoral person as you can be believed about anything? Writing that another poster who quotes Shakespeare merely copied your own quote is theft. Why believe a thief?

            The biggest problem that homosexuals seem to have is lack of intelligence.

          • Clive

            The biggest problem that homosexuals seem to have is lack of intelligence.

            Ah, invective. You are moving your argument about and now the old standby, invective. Misplaced invective but nonetheless, invective.

            Time to stop

          • pobjoy

            ‘invective’

            No insult; simple, and completely uncontested observation, for all sensible readers to note. But it is predictable that it will be taken as excuse to back out.

            ‘Time to stop’

            Oh, I’m such a prophet.

          • pobjoy

            ‘you are saying that Law is a subset of morality’

            That’s not what I wrote. As another poster has also stated, it is absurd to say that law and morality cannot mix, because the great majority of global law concerns the sanctity of persons and property, which are universal moral values. That does not mean that all immoral acts are illegal, or that immoral acts may not be legalised. The legality of immoral acts may be modified in the light of experience, so no firm conclusions may be drawn about even their legal status.

            ‘Yet you believe that homosexuality is immoral’

            Where did I write that?

            ‘I believe that homosexuality is perfectly moral. I am afraid you’ll just have to suck that up.’

            You’ll just have to suck that up? How can any intelligent person believe that such an absurdly immoral person as you can be believed about anything? Writing that another poster who quotes Shakespeare merely copied your
            own quote is theft. Why believe a thief?

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Moral values don’t come from religion. The moral values in religion are merely a reflection of the moral standards of the society that produced the religion.

      • Clive

        If I said anything to suggest that morality comes from religion, I apologise. The role of religion in this is to suggest the morality of the individual who is a member of it, since religion suggests certain types of morality.

        Please see my comment below. I believe morality belongs to each individual. The moral standards of the society means nothing to me. A number of people may coincidentally have the same moral view. Society is amoral.

    • LaurenceBoyce

      “Morality and Law should not mix.”

      That’s too bad because virtually every law which isn’t entirely trivial will have a moral dimension to it.

      • Clive

        …but will fulfill a social purpose and that should be its only purpose

        A council byelaw on parking has a moral dimension in that not everybody will be equally able to pay it and who should be pursued thus causing distress, etc..

        It is irrelevant to the purpose of the law, which is social – to whit, to stop streets being congested.

        • LaurenceBoyce

          But you said they should not mix at all. And what of the prohibition against murder? That is 100% moral.

          I have absolutely no idea how it came to pass that some think morality and law should not mix. I can only assume that it is some sort of unthinking application of what secularism ought to mean.

          In a world of limited resources, where choices have to be made and priorities set, it is inescapable that these choices will have moral consequences.

          It is only in the very rare win-win cases that there is no moral question to answer – a moral no-brainer if you like. Such cases are of course largely uncontentious.

          P.S. I note below that you say individuals possess morality whereas society does not. But society is comprised of individuals. Demise of argument.

          • Clive

            I acknowledge the looseness of my wording – I mean the law should have no primarily moral purpose. All rules of social order have a moral dimension as does any interaction between humans.

            Society consists of individuals who have conflicting moral views. Society therefore only ever possesses a pseudo-moral view by coincidence when a large number of these moral views coincide. Like people standing to form the shape of a horse from an aerial view. They are not a horse.

            The prohibition of murder is social. The word murder is itself a social word allowing judicial killing when there was capital punishment and killing by soldiers when there is war. For many, these two forms of killing are immoral. Above all, it protects society from rule by might.

            I am not suggesting society must be secular, as the French. They have made secularism a form of religion. I am saying that the law should be pragmatic in creating social order.

            Making law which has a moral purpose – as with the Obscene Publications Act; Blasphemy law, etc. just does not work because it is socially incoherent.

            Taking this approach has many consequences. It means that there should be no concept of punishment involved in prison, for instance. Because punishment is a moral word.

            Instead prison should pursue the social functions of rehabilitation; deterrence and defence of the populace. This is more effective and less expensive for the good working of society.

            So, for instance, violent criminals should go to jail because it is what the populace fears most. Rapists should get longer sentences because they have a much higher rate of recidivism.

            On the other hand, non-violent criminals should almost never go to jail because it is expensive and wasteful. They should perform some kind of community service.

            Drugs should, in principle, be legal but based on some physical/mental damage scores so that the NHS will not be overwhelmed and society can still function. The outlawing of drugs is one of the stupidest applications of morality in law.

            And so on.

          • LaurenceBoyce

            It is possible that our drugs laws are misguided. I’m not convinced myself. I think the damage to wider society caused by freely available drugs would be far greater than than the advocates for this position imagine. But I could be wrong.

            And if I am wrong, then legalising drugs would then become the moral thing to do. It would be a moral calculation based on minimising the harm done to individuals and to society (which is a collection of individuals).

            It seems to me that your distinction is very moot. The purpose of the law is only to promote social order you say, but social order is a moral imperative, because the opposite – social disorder – would be harmful to many people.

          • Clive

            Yet many people – not least Islamic State (or so-called Islamic State, to give them their BBC name) – believe that social disorder is the moral thing to create. Many have believed it before them and many will again in the future.

            You can argue that the UK wishes to create social disorder in those states which follow Sharia law because there are aspects of it of which we do not approve.

            Morality is a belief based on right and wrong. I believe the law should be based on ‘will this work to make society function well or won’t it’. That along with a lot of considerations like is it politically feasible.

            Alcohol was originally banned during American Prohibition for moral and social reasons. Apparently, Henry Ford did not want people drunk on his production lines and there was the Temperance Movement.

            I take no drugs as far as is possible – that includes caffeine and alcohol – but their effects seem to me in many cases to make people more alert, not less, so ole Henry’s argument does not work.

            Anyway, most people take drugs outside of work I believe.

    • Ipsidixit

      Ever since the Roman Emperor, Theodosius, we have believed that Law should have moral purpose. You are so ignorant about what you are writing that there ought to be a law against you using the Internet.

      • pobjoy

        What desperation. What irony.

        Law was the result of morality since the beginning of law, many centuries before Theodosius. Law is always the result of morality, not its means, because the rule of law is what *makes* any and every society. Evil people have preferred societies in which morality is seen as a public virtue, because it serves to cover private vice. Greed, child abuse and many other scandals have characterised this inversion of the truth. Those are the true fruits of ‘Catholicism’, that ceased to be catholic precisely because it became morally notorious.

        So a murderous tyrant would disguise his intentions with that inversion. One like Theodosius, who threatened with death any who failed to follow his state religion. Any educated poster who supports that tyrant may therefore be supposed to be unworthy of life, to be a threat to society; never mind have a right to post on the internet.

        • Ipsidixit

          you may not have noticed but not all laws are moral. Take the requirement for Jews to wear yellow armbands in Nazi Germany (I assume you don’t think that was well intentioned). Not only evil people prefer morality to be accepted as virtuous. I don’t support any tyrant. I am merely pointing out that we live under a system of law that requires the law to have moral purpose and have done for two millennia.

          • pobjoy

            ‘not all laws are moral’

            Not obviously. Driving on the LHS is not obviously moral, but a moment’s thought reveals that it is a very moral requirement. Law invariably arises out of disputes, that may have arbitrary outcomes, but the cessation of disputes is ultimately of moral value.

            ‘the requirement for Jews to wear yellow armbands in Nazi Germany (I assume you don’t think that was well intentioned)’

            That shows *why* you don’t deserve to live. It was your own papist vermin who devised that law, law that was indeed reckoned, and indeed stated, to have moral value.

            ‘I don’t support any tyrant.’

            Falsehood. Catholicism is predicated on tyranny. Every educated Catholic deserves to live in a concentration camp. Briefly. Take as you give.

            Be warned.

          • Ipsidixit

            No idea why you think I am a catholic. On the other hand I have very good idea why I think you are a clown.

          • pobjoy

            ‘No idea why you think I am a catholic.’

            Who writes:

            ‘Ever since the Roman Emperor, Theodosius, we have believed that Law should have moral purpose.’

            but denies Catholicism, must be a mendacious coward of a Catholic, or a clown. Unless demented.

      • justejudexultionis

        Ita vero.

  • right1_left1

    posted elsewhere.

  • sidor

    The discussion has to separate three basic linearly independent issues: religion, moral standards and law.

    Indeed, one doesn’t need to believe in anything to have clear moral principles. And the law should be obeyed regardless of one’s principles and faith, to avoid punishment.

    There are many examples of actions which are not forbidden by law but are regarded as inconsistent with public moral principles. Like having affairs with close relatives or with animals. Homosexual behaviour too can be regarded as immoral in some societies, and inconsistent with the principles of faith is some religious communities. In a tolerant society it shouldn’t be persecuted by law. On the other hand, it is extremely stupid and counterproductive on the part of the people who exercise this kind of relations to challenge the public opinion about it by noisy and provocative actions. Tolerance must be mutual.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Although not gay myself I know several gay people that can, at last, feel they can be open about it. They want nothing more than to not be treated as inferior beings but as people of equal worth, and the very fact that many of those with imaginary friends do treat them as inferior beings will continue to produce the gay militancy that so many on here dislike so much.

      • sidor

        But isn’t this “militancy” whereby a minority is trying to impose their understanding of moral behaviour upon majority (a) a bit idiotic (b) undemocratic and (c) inconsistent with the principle of tolerant society? Just an example. Someone is having a relation with a goat. It is not a criminal offence and, being liberal and tolerant, I don’t mind as long as he is doing it behind the closed door. However, if that person will (militantly) request public respect to what he is doing, I shall (militantly) explain him my right to have my own opinion.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          It is backward thinking like this that causes the reaction that is gay militancy. Sex with a goat is equivalent to being gay and is consensual is it? My what a chump.

          • sidor

            In what sense do you mean equivalent? As far as sexual satisfaction is concerned it is. And what kind of consent do you expect? A verbal statement from a goat? I am so liberal and tolerant that I would accept it in any case. But I am prepared to defend my right to have my opinion about its moral aspect.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            A goat cannot give consent, so the relationship cannot be consensual. Sex with a goat is akin to a believer’s relationship with Jesus. Satisfying to the person that imagines it but consent from Jesus is just not possible.

          • sidor

            As a religious person, I find your comparing Jesus with a goat highly offensive. If this is an example of what you call “gay militancy”, you shouldn’t be surprised that people react negatively to it. One cannot expect one-way tolerance.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            It’s obvious to me that Jesus, like any pile of old bones that only exists in a story, is somewhat less than any sentient and existent animal like a goat, or even a hamster. He, despite his lordly God pretensions, is therefore of considerably less worth than a gay person that only wants to be treated as an equal in society, which is actually all that any of them want.

          • sidor

            I suggest you visit a local mosque and make there a similar statement about Mohammed. In this way you will have an opportunity to learn what is tolerance, if happen to survive the lesson.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Overtly religious folk, as opposed to true Christians, always appear to relish the thought of the suffering of others that don’t believe as they do. A true Christian is one in the manner of gentle Jesus meek and mild and would not have said your nasty words.

          • sidor

            Do you mean meek and mild as a goat? You should stop your religious offences.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            “I suggest you visit a local mosque and make there a similar statement about Mohammed. In this way you will have an opportunity to learn what is tolerance, if happen to survive the lesson”.

            Why do you relish the thought of me being physically attacked, even killed, by Muslims? I wouldn’t relish the thought of you being physically attacked. Perhaps it is I that more closely matches the moral ideal that is commonly termed a Christian attitude.

          • Hironimous: well,there you have it … a true christian (supposedly so) can’t take criticism and wishes you harm … thank “god*” we’re not putting them in charge of our laws any more.
            (* god: doesn’t exist, I was just being nasty … 😉 )

          • sidor

            Shang Yang said: “Clever people invent laws, stupid people obey”. Pray to God that those who invent laws for you will be clever.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Praying to something that is clearly a product of man’s imagination doesn’t seem very sensible to me. How can a relatively recent invention, the Christian God, possibly have created space and time? You make no sense.

          • sidor

            “Otherwise intelligent” is the key point defining the difference between a Puff believer and Newton, Einstein and Dirac who believed in God.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Nobody really believes in Puff, that was just an example of an imaginary being. If you prefer to have God as an example of an imaginary being that is perfectly fine.

          • sidor

            That is exactly the point: imagination reflects the cognitive capacity. Newton could imagine transcendental God while others’ imagination is limited to Puff (or Santa).

          • Hironimous Nostril

            That’s the great thing about imaginary beings, they can have any attributes you can dream up. Like Batman.

          • sidor

            Another reliable indicator of insufficient cognitive capacity of pagans is unintelligible language usage. “Imaginary being” represents an apparent contradiction in terminology. The noun being implies the verb be (to exist). There is no need to imagine what is known to exist. Expand your vocabulary.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            OK, I will be sure to use the terms fictional or non-existent character when referring to God or Puff in the future.

          • rationalobservations?

            Albert Einstein – “a believer”??

            “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

            — Albert Einstein, in a letter responding to philosopher Eric Gutkind

            “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

            — Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955, quoted from James A Haught, “Breaking the Last Taboo” (1996)

            “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere…. Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

            — Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

            “I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.”

            (Paul Dirac was a notable theoretical physicist and quite a sensible chap by the sounds.)

            Source: Heisenberg, Werner (1971). Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations. New York City: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-131622-9.

            The totally mad genius of Newton and his religious mania affliction are well documented.

          • sidor

            I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…

            Einstein to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929)

            One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe. Our feeble attempts at mathematics enable us to understand a bit of the universe, and as we proceed to develop higher and higher mathematics we can hope to understand the universe better.

            Paul Dirac, Scientific American, May 1963

            I think your problem is twofold.

            First, you confuse faith with the performances organised in churches to entertain the public. The fables written in Bible have the same purpose. According to Maimonides this is necessary since most of the people are unable to comprehend the concept of transcendental God.

            Second, you need some education in math and theoretical physics to discuss the subject.

          • I am so not confused.

          • sidor

            I am confused to. A technical error in posting. Ignore.

          • 🙂

          • rationalobservations?

            “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful”

            __ Attributed to Seneca

          • Mary Ann

            Jesus sounds OK it’s his fan club which are the problem, holier than though.

          • Spoken like a “true christian”. 😉

          • sidor

            True Christians are now fighting in Syria against the enemy of their faith. I presume you disapprove it.

          • I see what you did there. Won’t work on me. Stay with the subject.
            You suggested Hironimous would go in a mosque and get assaulted, that was a very christian thing to say of you. You religious are all the same: get violent if you don’t get what you want. … and, you think you are better than others.
            Well, I think you lot are mentally ill for believing in a sky-fairy (ps: do you also believe in unicorns, leprechauns, Harry Potter, and the tooth fairy?).

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Once upon a time Christians were just as barbaric as ISIL. They are in denial about it.

          • justejudexultionis

            Not really. I doubt whether many of those so-called ‘Christians’ were in fact really anything of the sort. Many people, rulers included, have feigned conversion to achieve purely worldly, or secular, aims. Henry VIII, for example.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Christianity was invented to further political aims. Why else?

        • Damaris Tighe

          Exactly.

        • rationalobservations?

          You failed to prefix your diatribe with; “In my personal opinion….”

          “a bit idiotic”??

          By what standard?

          “undemocratic”??

          In lands where any consensus of public opinion has been tested – around 3 in 4 folk are in favour of equal social and civil rights in the matter of lawful marriage. Most recently in the Republic of Ireland.

          “inconsistent with the principle of tolerant society”??

          The constraint upon intolerance, persecution, discrimination and segregation – can never be considered another form of intolerance.

          Your childish attempt at the old “slippery slope” or “thin end of the wedge” non-argument has no validity since there is no plan to add inter-species marriage to any statute book.

          Resorting to a “slippery slope” or “red herring” is usually the sign of an already lost argument.

          • sidor

            So, what about goat loving? Don’t hesitate to express your opinion.

          • rationalobservations?

            What about “goat loving”??

            Is there any nation or parliament in the world proposing legislation that would permit, condone or encourage bestiality??

            Is this something you advocate or participate in??

            Meanwhile:
            How about returning from the twilight zone and getiing back to the subject of equality in lawful marriage?

          • sidor

            Using your terminology: and in what way is legislation encouraging sodomism better than the one encouraging loving relations with goats?

          • rationalobservations?

            What legislation do you refer to?

            Some 30%+ of heterosexual women report (in anonymous surveys) enjoying frequent/regular anal intercourse and that must by necessity involve some 30%+ of heterosexual males who also participate and enjoy that particular expression of physical love making. 30% of the heterosexual population is a much, much higher number of citizens than the total same gender oriented population and that makes anal intercourse a predominantly heterosexual pastime within the whole of the population.

            I still know of no legislation that mentions anal intercourse, let alone encourages it. Perhaps you could refer to and reveal that legislation??

            You still also ignore the question:
            Is there any nation or parliament in the world proposing legislation that would permit, condone or encourage bestiality??

          • sidor

            You never heard of legislating same sex marriage? In what way do you think they are supposed to carry out their sexual intercourse?

          • rationalobservations?

            I’m not concerned with what any consenting and loving human couple do in the privacy of their own home and/or bed. Neither is the law with regard to real and lawful marriage.

            I’m not sure if lesbian wife and wife couples are as keen on anal intercourse as some 30%+ of their heterosexual sisters are either.

            Why are you so obsessed with the sexual practices of your fellow citizens? Are you afraid you’re missing out?

            Meanwhile: Have you anything relevant to assert with regard to the unaltered contract of lawful marriage?

  • licjjs

    I am completely and utterly sick to the back teeth by everyone’s having to pass the ‘gay’ test. Who on earth do these people think they are?

    • Hironimous Nostril

      I haven’t passed such a test. What is it exactly?

      • justejudexultionis

        I dread to think!

  • Michael North

    My opposition to same-sex marriage has nothing to do with religion.
    It is because it is an absurdity which will corrupt all the other institutions of society as they are forced to accommodate it.

    • Fred Uttlescay

      It’s OK. You don’t have to have one. Relax.

      • Michael North

        I don’t have to have one what?

        • Fred Uttlescay

          A gay marriage.

          • sidor

            He doesn’t have to have it where? In his neighbourhood? In his office?

          • Fred Uttlescay

            At all.

          • sidor

            In the global scale?

          • Michael North

            I only replied in order to confirm what I suspected, that you are an obtuse, patronising twerp.

          • Fred Uttlescay

            In the absence of a reasoned argument out pops the last resort, the old ad hom.

      • sidor

        A medical question: can you relax without having one?

        • Fred Uttlescay

          Of course!

          • sidor

            Then don’t hesitate to do it when nobody asks for your marriage advice.

    • justejudexultionis

      Maybe your opposition is something to do with your own unresolved issues in relation to sexual orientation?

      • Michael North

        And maybe you’re a twerp. Who knows?

        • Hironimous Nostril

          Could you explain why other people being allowed to be married upsets you so much? I realise you will probably just call me a twerp.

          • cd

            It is called democracy. They’re allowed to lobby government and the electorate that’s how it works. But then this is probably the problem here; you just don’t want anyone who doesn’t share your world view to take part in democracy. That’s horrible.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Nonsense. It’s because I don’t see how other people being married can affect those that aren’t involved or connected with it. Perhaps you can outline your grounds for objection.

          • cd

            It doesn’t matter whether you can see it or not – why do you think you’re so important that others must explain themselves to you. The point about a pluralist society is that people can lobby the government and electorate on whatever grounds they wish. If enough agree then the law changes. That’s how democracy works – something that obviously bugs you.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            As you refuse to answer I assume you have no reason.

          • cd

            Firstly when did i say i was against gay marriage. I couldnt care less it is just that i dont try and shout others down or expect them to explain themselves to me. In a pluralist society there is a diversity of world views all with the right to expression. That is the basis of a healthy deomcracy. But since you have a problem with this and would rather others are frozen out of this process I doubt you will understand that – as we can see here. You seem to want a privileged position because you hold a certain world view.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            What a pile of steaming nonsense. Of course I don’t have a problem with democracy. What problem do you have with other people unconnected with you being allowed to be married thanks to democracy?

          • cd

            Of course I don’t have a problem with democracy.

            So you have no problem with people lobbying the government and the electorate to stop changes in the law?

            If so then why are you demanding they justify their stance? Who made you so important?

            Your apparent incredulity at the mere notion that someone might oppose a change in the law, as if they were chopping kitten heads off, is coming across as “how dare you!”

            What problem do you have with other people unconnected with you being allowed to be married thanks to democracy?

            As I stated earlier, perhaps your verbal reasoning is as low as your tolerance level for the opinions of others, I don’t have a problem with it.

            BTW if you think marriage is right bestowed by democratic processes then you’ll have no problem with those that would like gay marriage banned. After all if it is just the product of due process than that rather arbitrary notion can be just as easily reversed and that was Liddle’s point at the end.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            On what grounds would anyone seek to ban the marriage of two people that are unconnected with them?

          • cd

            Oh lets see! It is a social experiment playing with a valued institution; history; it has only arbitrary value etc.

            Who knows? But whatever the reason, unlike you, I am happy that they should make their case without harassment from people like you who appear to detest democracy and pluralism; zealots like you wish to deny to others the privileges you demand.

          • rationalobservations?

            I personally have no connection with anyone who is naturally same gender sexually oriented and no specific interest in what has been called “gay rights”.

            The move toward equality in lawful marriage is merely a further extension of social and civil rights.

            I am very much in favour of equal social and civil rights.

            I guess you also consider that equality of the sexes and equality of the races and equality in voting are all a social experiment playing with a valued institution; history; it has only arbitrary value etc.”?

            In most lands where equal marriage has been approved and implemented – the democratic will of the general public remains around three to one in favour – and that ratio was also reflected in the UK parliament when it voted in favour of equal marriage. Democracy in action.

            Those against equal rights for women and blacks had a right to express their bigotry and prejudice. Fortunately, and at last, they were out voted by a less barbaric and prejudicial democratic majority.

          • cd

            I see here I can add verbal reasoning to the list of areas with which you’re are struggling.

            At what point did I say I was against gay marriage? I’m not!

            Then you go on to conflate – in a very alarmingly flippant way – racial equality with the legal status of someone’s life-partner relationship. The fact you think they have moral equivalence shows that you have a poor sense of propriety or don’t mind debasing absolute social exclusion and the lack of all legal rights (slavery being one such form) in order to make a point – and poorly made too since you didn’t bother to actually read anything I said. Those that oppose gay marriage highlight that the legal standing of marriage vs civil partnership is the same.

            My issue here is that there seems to be some notion that folks that don’t agree with some zealot, should somehow be refused or at least barked at for practising their democratic right to lobby government or the electorate; just because said zealot disagrees with them. BTW Liddle’s argument is a good one. We’re always hearing – from the liberal Left – that Parliament should look and represent the population of the country here is a man who represents a portion of the electorate and the liberal Left seems aghast that he should be allowed to act in Parliament.

            We get all types of nut jobs, such as the greens stopping the use of GM crops in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary of their arguments, lobbying government. I don’t expect them to support their arguments in a way I’d like, or them to justify themselves to me; they have every right even if I think they’re wrong. You on the otherhand seem to think this is ok – if you don’t agree with them. If not then you could outline hwo you stand on this issue.

            BTW those against gay marriage include atheists too. One atheist made (B ONeill), what I thought was the only reason why I might’ve went against it, is that it could open a back-door to polygamy. And before you say it won’t there have already been cases in British Columbia, Brazil and the Netherlands.

          • rationalobservations?

            I am delighted to learn that you are not against equality in marriage. (There is no such thing as “gay marriage” any more than there is any classification that includes “lesbian marriage” or “religious marriage”). In the UK: There is only one form of lawful marriage that is recognised in law and that is legislated by the state, enacted by the state and registered by the state.

            You state that you consider that civil partnership is equal to marriage and therefore must be happy that marriage is now also available to those ordinary, law abiding, tax paying citizens for whom the (according to you) redundant classification of civil partnership was previously only available.

            You rush off burning straw man arguments of your own invention when you assert that I would ever assert the “slippery slope” nonsense reflected in this sentance of yours:

            “And before you say that all loving relationships should be treated the same that is simply not the case with this new law. Bigamous and incestuous relationships between siblings are not recognised even though those involved in such relationships may claim to be equally in love with each other -as much as any other type of relationship.”

            1) Lawful marriage is a legal contract between two people that attaches certain rights and obligations to those two people for as long as both parties wish it to.

            There is nothing within the contract (marriage certificate) or the short legal formalities required in obtaining that contract that mentions or stipulates that the two persons involved should love each other.

            2) You are quite correct that NO ALTERATION to the terms and conditions attached to entering into lawful marriage has taken place. Those previously excluded on grounds of being bigamous, committing incest or being siblings (or being of unsound mind, or being coerced etc) remain excluded.

            No one is debarred from lobbying government on any subject – including equal marriage. That lobbying failed during a totally democratic process that resulted in 3 in 4 citizens supporting equal marriage and a very similar majority in the parliamentary vote that removed discrimination against some 4 million of our ordinary fellow citizens. You’re probably right that the minority who opposed equal marriage included atheists. There are an awful lot of us in the UK and the democratic western world now. Within the majority who supported equal marriage were a lot of christians and good folk in thrall to other religious businesses.

            It is pointless to ramble off topic into “GM crops” etc.

            If you were truthful in your assertion, quote:
            “I’m not!” (against equal marriage) – you must be very happy that the non-arguments “of others” that you imagine, are proved to be non-applicable.

            Thanks for your agreement and support in the matter of equal social and civil rights and the abolition of discrimination within the unaltered terms and conditions attached to lawful marriage.

          • cd

            against equality in marriage

            But as stated that is not the case. For example close relations cannot marry; even though they’re tax paying citizens (I prefer to be a human being BTW; the state serves me not the other way around I owe them nothing and certainly not my allegiance to be a predefined citizen). Perhaps you agree with this or not. But be careful you could be accused of being against equality in marriage.

            There is only one form of lawful marriage that is recognised in law and that is legislated by the state, enacted by the state and registered by the state.

            In law may be but the arguments, and those made during the parliamentary select committee on the issue is that marriage only has value in legal terms when it it comes with legal privileges. At the moment that’s not the case, so it is really just a lifestyle choice and has been for quite a while, so why not grant it to others. Marriage on the otherhand as a social construct has real value if it is considered to be more than just a legal arrangement. Most religions don’t recognise civil marriages for this reason – they say it is principally a legal arrangement. Why then all the fuss with gay marriage in the first place? In short the Church’s stance is inconsistent and even churlish. Hence I couldn’t care less.

            You rush off burning straw man arguments of your own invention

            Verbal reasoning again. But then that’s an aptitude and it’s not your fault if you’re struggling. As I said, I was discussing the arguments made by others against it; one of which I found worth considering. In the end it didn’t change my mind.

            As for making things up…

            http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/301

            It is pointless to ramble off topic into “GM crops” etc.

            Why? The discussion I was having with someone else was about having the right to lobby government without harassment or having to justify themselves to someone else before making their case. I’m glad you agree.

            The Guardian seems to take license to harass others that don’t sign up to a particular world view as parroted by others here – hence Liddle’s article content. Why shouldn’t a parliamentarian have devout beliefs and to use his faith to inform the way he votes. He has an electoral constituency he has been elected and can be unelected. Caroline Lucas has what I consider to be loony notions on how a modern economy should be run, she also broke the law while taking money (as an MP) to make laws for the rest of us. Do I have a problem with such an ideologue taking part in parliament without harassment, of course not then why should others be so shrill about TIm Farron. I think the analogy is quite apt.

          • rationalobservations?

            You seem to agree that nothing has changed in the UK regarding qualification for, or terms and conditions attached to; lawful marriage.

            Only around 4 million ordinary UK citizens who were previously discriminated against, are no longer discriminated against and can enter into lawful marriage on exactly the same terms and conditions as the rest of us.

            If you think it is viable to alter those terms and conditions attached to marriage and really consider that we should all be free to marry whosoever or whatsoever we wish – maybe you should lobby government for that to be considered?

            (I strongly recommend you do that incognito or the men in white coats may soon be knocking on your door.)

            Meanwhile ordinary citizens have been entering into lawful marriage as husband and wife, husband and husband and wife and wife for over a year while no interference with the meaningless rituals of any religion has taken place so all your apparent worries appear to be groundless.

            Like Winston Churchill and his ilk who vehemently opposed universal suffrage and votes for women, and the bigots who opposed equal civil rights for any ethnicity; your opposition to this further move toward equal social and civil rights will be considered entirely normal in the next generation and the barbarity of the discrimination applied by previous generations will appall and amaze them.

            If you are so strongly against same gender marriage, simply don’t marry someone of your own gender.

            Meanwhile back in the real world……….

          • cd

            You never dealt with any of the points being raised as to whether Tim Farron should be allowed to inform how he votes by his faith. In the same way that others do based on different ideologies such as environmentalism.

            You seem more interested in making unfounded accusations and trying – with rather puerile and inane insults – offend people with faith.

            If you think it is viable to alter those terms and conditions attached to marriage and really consider that we should all be free to marry whosoever or whatsoever we wish

            I never was suggesting I should or would. The point being made is that while you’re blowing on about your virtuous fight for equal marriage, you might be considered as just as backward and bigoted if you don’t support the legalising of other forms of marriage that I mentioned. You never gave your explicit opinion though (not that I care). But then it should make you stop and think why others may have objected to changes in the law in relation to gay marriage. After all you see it as a matter of equality.

            I strongly recommend you do that incognito or the men in white coats may soon be knocking on your door.

            Despite a painfully lame attempt at wit, this does suggest you would wish to deny others equality in marriage. Not so open minded are you.

            Meanwhile ordinary citizens have been entering into lawful marriage as husband and wife, husband and husband and wife and wife for over a year while no interference with the meaningless rituals of any religion has taken place so all your apparent worries appear to be groundless.

            Yeah, a year is a short time. And I’ll state again – you really do lack a decent level of verbal reasoning – countries where these laws have been established (such as Holland), are now facing calls for extension to legal marriage to all types of relationships. In short, legal marriage is a lifestyle thing nothing more.

            Like Winston Churchill and his ilk who vehemently opposed universal suffrage and votes for women, and the bigots who opposed equal civil rights for any ethnicity; your opposition to this further move toward equal social and civil rights…

            Right you’ve done this again; you need to calm down and read carefully. If you can’t understand something get someone to help you. If you understand fully, and wish to make baseless accusations then that’s fine, but then it will be clear to anyone following this thread that what you’re really doing is throwing your toys out of your pram.

            If you are so strongly against same gender marriage

            That is completely opposite to what I said. As I said, and I’ll say it again, I couldn’t care less who marries who in a civil ceremony. Most nonreligious heterosexual couples I know don’t bother anymore at least not until they actually start a family – it’s just something to do!

            Religious ceremonies matter a great deal to those with faith. The contract between man and woman in this context is something sacred, blessed by God and exercising a tradition 1000s of years old. As far as the religious are concerned this is what makes marriage special more so than something cold like a legal contract. But then you don’t see it like that. Fine! I don’t really care. But this is a fact in the real world and Tim Farron belongs to that group. He has every right to make his case without little zealots having a go.

          • rationalobservations?

            You once again express a whole lot of purely hypothetical irrelevances and your personal opinions. You have a prefect right to express those but don’t expect the democratic majority – or those who are elected to serve and represent us – agree with those personal opinions regarding hypothetical irrelevance.

            Dealing with one specific point:

            You write: “Religious ceremonies matter a great deal to those with faith.”

            Only to those of the particular minority faith involved.

            I very much doubt if the diverse and very different rituals of minorities in thrall to other businesses of religion have any real meaning, significance or relevance to non-members of the faith group involved.

            I once again remind you that there is no such thing as “civil marriage”. There is only real, lawful marriage and a large number of diverse and very different religious “wedding” rituals that are meaningless in law and to all non-members of the religion involved (that’s the vast majority of the population).

          • cd

            You once again express a whole lot of purely hypothetical irrelevances and your personal opinions.

            In this from someone who tried to conflate the issue with racism – in a cheap and flippant way I might add!

            I can see your vocabulary is very small as well. Hypothetical – are you referring to the article I linked to where others are now trying to expand the legal definition of marriage to more than two persons? That’s not hypothetical – you do know what hypothetical means don’t you? BTW it was you that claimed I was making these issues up.

            You have a prefect right to express those but don’t expect the democratic majority

            So it is not about rights it’s about the majority. So which is it? It seems rights are quite plastic with you.

            Only to those of the particular minority faith involved.

            Not really the minority though are they? But that’s by the by.

            I very much doubt if the diverse and very different rituals of minorities in thrall to other businesses of religion have any real meaning, significance or relevance to non-members of the faith group involved.

            Even if that were true, it doesn’t change the fact that if they wish that this world view should be extended into law then so be it. That is how democracy works. After all it was you who mentioned democratic majorities here. BTW the environmentalists do a very a good job of thrusting their mumbo jumbo on the rest of us. If you want to deal with unwarranted privilege and disproportionate power then start there. They make the religious look feeble.

            I once again remind you that there is no such thing as “civil marriage”.

            Wrong again…

            https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-marriages-and-partnerships-approved-premises-list

            Note they refer to civil marriages

            There is only real, lawful marriage and a large number of diverse and very different religious “wedding” rituals that are meaningless in law and to all non-members of the religion involved

            Wrong again, religious ceremonies perform the same function in law as civil ceremonies.

            https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/religious-ceremonies

            You don’t really have a clue what you’re talking about. All your attempts to make any point on any issue just sound like rants about how you want the world to be not as it is.

          • rationalobservations?

            You obviously either haven’t read, or failed to understand the information you link to.

            UK Citizens advice bureau information:

            Religious marriage ceremonies (England and Wales only)

            The Church of England and the Church in Wales are allowed to register a marriage at the same time as performing the religious ceremony.

            You won’t have to give notice of the marriage to the Register Office unless you or your partner are a non-EEA national. If this is the case, you will need to give 28 days notice to the Register Office.

            For other religious marriages you’ll need to give 28 days notice of the marriage to the Register Office. Ministers and priests of all other religions can be authorised to register marriages and must have a certificate or licence to do so from the local Superintendent Registrar. For Jewish and Quaker marriages, the authorisation is automatic. For all other religions, if the official performing the ceremony is not authorised, either a Registrar must attend the religious ceremony or the partners will need to have separate religious and civil ceremonies.”

            As I informed you before: NO religious wedding ritual is recognised as lawful marriage until the brief formalities are completed and registered by a licensed and authorised official registrar.

            A problem was foreseen in the case of the Church of England/Wales as their ministers are the only ones automatically authorised to register real marriage in addition to any meaningless in law rites or rituals they undertake”. It is for that reason that CofE/W ministers are specifically excused from the obligation to marry same gender couples while all other authorised and licensed registrars now have that duty.

            Some ministers and priests of non CofE/ religions employ someone licensed to undertake real marriage, or bring in a licesnsed registrar to do the formalities (back stage) after the pantomime “wedding”. Yet others have the meaningless in law ritual and a separate real lawful marriage registered by an authorised and licensed registrar at another time.

            Ref: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/relationships/living-together-marriage-and-civil-partnership/getting-married/#h-making-a-marriage-legally-valid

            As usual, you are wrong in almost everything you write.

          • cd

            No you said that religious ceremonies carry no legal weight. You cannot register a marriage without an expressed marital ceremony – hence the need for witnesses. The signing of the register has no value without a service (whether religious or civil) and witnesses to the declarations made therein. So when you said that religious ceremony have no legal weight you were clearly wrong.

            There is only real, lawful marriage and a large number of diverse and very different religious “wedding” rituals that are meaningless in law and to all non-members of the religion involved (that’s the vast majority of the population).

            You get married in the ceremony not in the signing of the bloody piece of paper – that is called registration in the same way that when a child is born it’s birth is registered – whether registered or not it is still born.

            If you cannot see that, even from what you’ve quoted in your most recent post, then there seems no point in continuing.You are clearly wrong and the fact that you can never admit it makes you a tiresome bore. Furthermore, I notice a trend with you when you’re shown to be wrong you make inane insults and then try to project your own failing on someone else.

            If you wish to make unqualified and inaccurate claims as to the state of religion in this country that’s fine, if you wish to make feeble “fairy tale” like arguments in order to dismiss someone’s arguments even when the other person hasn’t invoked religious faith to make a point then fine again. It is actually quite reassuring – and I’ll assume by the frustrated bitterness with which you refer to others that don’t share your world view that you’re a secularist – then I think that religions will continue to grow and flourish in the UK. With opposition like you, it makes for easy fishing.

          • rationalobservations?

            Do you ever actually read and comprehend what you C&P??

            “the marriage must be conducted by a person or in the presence of a person authorised to register marriages in the district the marriage must be entered in the marriage register and signed by both parties, two witnesses, the person who conducted the ceremony and, if that person is not authorised to register marriages, the person who is registering the marriage.”

            Any of the many diverse and very different religious “wedding rituals” are NOT lawful marriage until and unless the brief formalities required by law are undertaken by a LICENSED AND AUTHORISED REGISTRAR.

          • cd

            Any of the many diverse and very different religious “wedding rituals” are NOT lawful marriage

            But that is not what you were arguing. You said that religious ceremonies had no legal recognition and that is clearly not the case. Notice even in the quote you supplied refers explicitly to a ceremony. The registration is there for public record for the benefit of civil law – it is the legal recording of marriage it is not the marriage itself. It is there to protect each party for the purposes of things such as probate. In terms of the law you could call marriage a banana.contract.civil union etc. if you wish. In short it should be clear to anyone with half a brain that a religious ceremony must be recognised by the registrar as a binding declaration else they wouldn’t sign the darn register afterwards. Jeez…

          • rationalobservations?

            I have never written anything about “religious ceremonies”.

            Not only don’t you read what you cut and paste., you apparently don’t read the entries you fail to answer or refute.

            The rites and rituals of none of the hundreds of christer cults and sects has any recognition as lawful marriage.

            The rites and rituals of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wicca nor any other business of religion has any standing in law.

            The religious bit is meaningless to everyone except the active members of the cult or sect involved.

            A marriage is not a real or lawful marriage until the brief non-religious formalities are completed by a licensed and authorised registrar. Those non-religious formalities can be incorporated with a meaningless religious ritual, but without those formalities the ritual has no meaning in law.

            The marriage formalities carried within a UK register office (or other secular venue registered and licensed for the purpose of formalising marriage) may not include any religious allusions by law.

            The format of brief declarations and affirmations in the presence of an authorised and licensed registrar and two witnesses is required by law before that state authorised and licensed registrar may make an entry in the register and subsequently issue a marriage certificate.

            You may not have noticed the inclusion of the declarations and affirmations within a CofE/W wedding – or the fact that the bride and groom disappear “backstage” for ten minutes or so with a licensed registrar after an RC or other religion’s meaningless ritual. That says more about your ignorance and misunderstanding than the actual meaninglessness of all religious rituals to all but those involved.

          • rationalobservations?

            Once again your straw man burns.
            As refuted and corrected elsewhere…

          • rationalobservations?

            Yet again you reveal your ignorance and another of your straw men burns.

            I have never written anything about “religious ceremonies”.

            Not only don’t you read what you cut and paste., you apparently don’t read the entries you fail to answer or refute.

            The rites and rituals of none of the hundreds of christer cults and sects has any recognition as lawful marriage.

            The rites and rituals of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wicca nor any other business of religion has any standing in law.

            The religious bit is meaningless to everyone except the active members of the cult or sect involved.

            A marriage is not a real or lawful marriage until the brief non-religious formalities are completed by a licensed and authorised registrar. Those non-religious formalities can be incorporated with a meaningless religious ritual, but without those formalities the ritual has no meaning in law.

            The marriage formalities carried within a UK register office (or other secular venue registered and licensed for the purpose of formalising marriage) may not include any religious allusions by law.

            The format of brief declarations and affirmations in the presence of an authorised and licensed registrar and two witnesses is required by law before that state authorised and licensed registrar may make an entry in the register and subsequently issue a marriage certificate.

            You may not have noticed the inclusion of the declarations and affirmations within a CofE/W wedding – or the fact that the bride and groom disappear “backstage” for ten minutes or so with a licensed registrar after an RC or other religion’s meaningless ritual. That says more about your ignorance and misunderstanding than the actual meaninglessness of all religious rituals to all but those involved.

          • cd

            I have never written anything about “religious ceremonies”

            You’re either dishonest or delusional. Again anyone following the thread will see that you have. And you were quite insulting about them too – again you declare them in the affirmative as meaningless rituals (if not the ceremonies then what were you referring to here). You seem to care little for other people’s values or world views and what they might hold dear. I find zealotry like yours distasteful.

            The rest of your post is the same squirming, trying to get out of the mistakes you’ve made. You got a number of points wrong and seem unwilling to accept that. Are you always so belligerent and pig-headed or do you just not like others exposing – even when your anonymity is guaranteed – your short-comings (as if a narcissistic bubble has been burst). And despite, the likely inane barrage of false claims I’ll get in response, my synopsis of you seems quite apt as far as I am concerned – at least based on what you’ve written here.

          • rationalobservations?

            “Not really the minority though are they? “

            I doubt even you consider that Jews, Hindus, Islamics, Jains, Wiccans etc etc et al; form a combined majority within the UK population.

            The two major christian cults are is such rapid and steep decline as to provoke speculation regarding the imminent demise of those politico-corporate institutions of business in Britain.

            Good statistics here:

            http://www.vexen.co.uk/UK/religion.html

            http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/12/11/article-2246436-167624DA000005DC-625_634x508.jpg

            Here are some other news reports you appear to have missed:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/census-figures-show-christianity-in-sharp-decline-while-belief-in-islam-dramatically-increases-8621271.html

            .http://www.secularism.org.uk/unprecedented-decline-in-christi.html

            If you haven’t noticed the rapidly growing number of empty redundant churches littering the country, or those already sold and redeveloped into something that is actually useful – you probably don’t get out and about much.

            https://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/pastoralandclosedchurches/closedchurches/closed-churches-available.aspx

            More below:
            V
            V

  • rtj1211

    The Liberal Democrat party is the victim of 5 ears of brutal, psychopathic Labour+Tory Press spite. What is required is for Free Speech advocates to learn that there can be CONSEQUENCES to Free Speech. Any attempt to say that what went on would not have led to expulsion from school means you need sectioning as mentally incapable.

    What is required is 50 eight wing thugs being castrated. Decent requests to desist have no effect. Stage two is genital mutilation of journalists and editors. Stage three is murdering your children.

    What is sauce for disciplining children is sauce for right wing psychopaths in the Press….

  • justsomeone

    He also thinks everyone ought to be a Christian, but I don’t see him going door to door trying to convert people and I don’t see him spitting on gays so maybe we can just let it go and pay attention to his party’s ridiculous political agenda instead.

  • Frank

    Ah, but we have to remember that Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster, therefore the presenters of its news programmes (Jon Snow, KGM and Kathy Newman) can do no wrong even though they always behave like demented ferrets.
    People always complain about BBC news and its perpetual bias, but Channel 4 news is aggressively right-on.

  • Russell Brown

    Rod, ask for the Holy Spirit (in the Name of Jesus) and you will be visited by an angel. Make sure it is in the Name of Jesus, not Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Ask for Odin (in the name of Thor) and you will get a thunderstorm.

      • teigitur

        You , clearly, have already been struck. Several times.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          I’ve been struck by just how simple god believers are.

          • sidor

            That is correct. Believing in single God is by far more simple than the pagan’s believing in the whole crowd. Including your Odin and Santa.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Santa is very like Jesus, wouldn’t you say?

          • cd

            Yes he is. I’m glad you recognise that St Nicholas was indeed a real historical character, and divinely inspired to make the world a better place. Well done you’re getting there.

          • cd

            I think Hiron is a “wannabe” intellectual. You get thousands of them in our universities these days – one of the herd of the independent minded. I think they get some narcissistic delusion that because they go to University they are Descartes (although he was Christian). In order to consolidate the delusion they proclaim themselves atheist as if this signifies (without any qualification) that they’re enlightened. Honestly, it is embarrassing to listen to them.

            In truth, and I know as I worked in one, that universities these days are businesses that refer to students as customers. That’s right customers – like any other business they’ll take just about anyone although on their Prospectus they’ll pretend otherwise.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Belief in the superstitious twaddle that is religious faith was obligatory at one time. We no longer need to pretend we are gullible idiots.

          • cd

            You have really put a lot of research and thought into your position I can see

            Anymore cliches. How about fairy tales etc.You sound like you’re parroting someone else all the time. Do you construct your own thoughts?

          • justejudexultionis

            Yes, except for those who are Oxbridge and Ivy League educated, and people like Augustine, Luther, Edwards, Chalmers etc. etc.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Back to cognitive dissonance or perhaps partial insanity. Either that or they were using religion for its intended purpose at a time when it could wield some power. Luther’s imbecilic ravings about Jews strongly suggest that.

          • teigitur

            Nope, just struck.

  • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

    He represents the arrogance of preachers.

    • cd

      Nice nebulous waffle there.

      • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

        No it is the religious folk who talk a load of waffle.

        • cd

          Nah…see your comment above!

          • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

            I do not understand your response. You surely understand that that those who believe in the gods are totally certain that they are not able to be mistaken.As such they waffle on and on without end.

  • Ian Young

    Rod is on the mark as usual, you can’t even have a go at poofs and nig-nogs these days with the political correct Guardian readers getting on their high horse. And look what happens the brave anti-establishment rebels like Nick Griffin who tried to speak for ordinary working man; the trendies shut him down by not voting for him.

  • neilpeace

    Son: Dad, I have to tell you something, but please promise not to tell my other Dad.
    Dad One: OK, son, we’re very tolerant in this household and don’t mind at all if you’re straight. Some of my best friends are straight. How is your girlfriend Sophie?
    Son: Very well, just graduated in nuclear physics. She’s a Seventh Day Adventist and would like me to marry her.
    Dad One: Oh, that’s wonderful son. Your Dads will be delighted to come.
    Son: That’s the problem. They only believe in sex between a man and a woman.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Seventh day adventists are so gay.

  • Andrew Macpherson

    A substantial proportion of the great british public would happily castrate peadophiles and garrote junkies, i’m not sure that makes it ok though or deemed worthy of respect.

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