Lib Dems choose a godly new leader

Lib Dems choose a godly new leader

Tim Farron, 45, newly chosen leader of the Liberal Democrats, “discovered” God when he was 18, but despite going on to becoming a full-blown blood-of-the-lamb believer, he’s a likeable fella.

When Farron said in an interview that he would give the Lib Dems two out of 10 for their work in Coalition (he previously compared the party to cockroaches for their supposed survival skills) one (unnamed) senior figure, according to the Telegraph, said:

Which bit of the sanctimonious, God-bothering, treacherous little shit is there not to like?

Written ahead of his election to lead the party, the Telegraph piece revealed that Farron’s faith:

Is a literal one. He believes every word in the Bible is true.

His faith wavered a little in his 20s, as he made his way as an academic at Lancaster University and concentrated on politics, standing unsuccessfully for Parliament in South Ribble in 1997 and the European Parliament in 1999.

But following his marriage to wife Rosemary – known as Rosie – in 2000 and shortly before becoming a father for the first time, he “recommitted himself to God” at the age of 30.

Although he is “born-again”, he rejects the term “evangelical Christian”, saying:

I just count myself as a Christian, and my faith is in Jesus Christ, I put my trust in Him. I count Him as my Lord and saviour, and I’m in no way ashamed of that.

The Times today described the man who replaces former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, as “illiberal”.

Pink News – in reporting Farron’s leadership victory over the agnostic Norman Lamb – said the paper criticised the new leader’s poor voting record when it comes to liberal issues, highlighting his rejection of the same-sex marriage bill and his strong religious beliefs.

The opinion piece – titled “Illiberal Democrat” – says that due to Farron’s beliefs, his party’s reduced influence in Parliament is a good thing for country.

This may be a good thing, for the new Lib Dem leader is not in all respects a liberal.

An evangelical Christian since his teenage years, he believes that every word written in the Bible is literal truth, that God has a precise plan for all of us and that heaven and hell are physical entities to which all of us are consigned after death.

The article goes on to list Farron’s “illiberal” voting record on gay rights, saying:

Mr Farron’s consistent failure to embrace the quintessentially liberal idea that every person has equal moral worth should trouble his party.

He not only abstained on same-sex marriage but also tried to weaken the legislation. He had previously abstained on the votes allowing adoption by gay couples and IVF treatment for lesbians.

Hat tip: Angela K


37 responses to “Lib Dems choose a godly new leader”

  1. Angela_K says:

    I posted this on the previous topic before Barry put it up here so sorry for the duplication.

    I’ve been a life-long Liberal then Lib-Dem supporter and have withdrawn my support and membership. I can’t understand Farron’s appointment as his crazy ideas go against the principles of the Lib-Dems; Jo Grimond must be spinning in his grave.

    I thought John Humphrys made Farron squirm quite well when questioned about about his god, Humphrys also mentioned that other religious nutter and war-monger: T.Blair former Vicar of Albion.

  2. Secular Humanist says:

    “The opinion piece – titled “Illiberal Democrat” – says that due to Farron’s beliefs, his party’s reduced influence in Parliament is a good thing for country.”

    — my thoughts exactly. And like the commenter above, I too have been a LD supporter. But no more.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Some very disturbing stuff here:

    I take it that left-wing LibDems voted for him because he seems to have no objection to the government spending money that it doesn’t have!

  4. Broga says:

    That a man with these weird beliefs – he believes every word in the bible to be true – should lead a modern political party is an abomination. Farron may see himself as a kindly Christian. The fact is that cruelty, intolerance and a rush to the most absurd judgements are built into his beliefs.

    How does this bigot cope with the many gay supporters in his Party, or the many atheists, or those who support assisted dying and so much else. I can guess. He will want to proselytise, bring them to God, change them to suit his weird opinions of the way to live life.

    Religious belief is in free fall and that is what will continue to happen to the LibDems. Whatever, criticism and challenge this man gets should not be restrained. He will not hold back on those who have different beliefs to himself.

  5. Broga says:

    My Gawd! What turmoil is Farron going to cause in my usual peaceful domestic life. My wife, after reading about Farron, has just said, “I would vote Tory before I would vote for a Party led by a man with Farron’s religious opinions.”

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    1 Kings 7:23 “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”

    Is the Bible true or not? Does Pi equal three (3 full stop, not 3.14… ) or not?

  7. TrickyDicky says:

    Trevor Blake says:
    Fri 17 Jul at 2:04 pm

    ” and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”

    It’s just a bad translation, it should read

    ” and a line of round about thirty cubits did compass it.”

    The cubit is not a very accurate measurement.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    My parents live in Farron’s constituency and think the man is wonderful. I shan’t be raising the subject of politics with them again any time soon in case I can’t resist going off on one!

  9. Barry Duke says:

    Time, methinks, for a dose of Mark Twain on the Bible:

    It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.Letters from the Earth.

    See more of his words of wisdom regarding the Bible here.

  10. Dave Godfrey says:

    So now have a leader of a major political party who thinks that the likes of Stephen green and bob Hutton are sane, rational people. The lib dems have suddenly become totally unelectable.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Tricky Dicky: That must be what one of the modern, colloquial “translations” says. I still own a Young’s Literal Translation, which is about as close as you can get to the original (though it obviously doesn’t allow for the nuances of idiom, etc), and that says:

    “And he maketh the molten sea, ten by the cubit from its edge unto its edge; it is round all about, and five by the cubit is its height, and a line of thirty by the cubit doth compass it round about.”

    It doesn’t matter that the cubit’s not a very accurate measurement, the statement is just plain wrong!

  12. barriejohn says:

    There’s a useful list of Biblical contradictions and errors here, though I know from personal experience that they have an explanation for all of them:

  13. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Someone, may have been my religious relative, explained to me that there are no contradictions if you read the bible “prayerfully” and “with faith.”

    Read like this what seem like contradictions “just melt away.” The problem was mine because I read the bible without “opening yourself up to Jesus.” The fault was all mine. Or as she put it, “You caused the difficulties yourself . Anyway, you are getting all that stuff out of books.”

  14. jay says:

    cubits etc

    I’m not defending the Bible thumpers,but I think that is a bad example. How often do we say something is ’30 feet’ or (10 meters) high when it’s easily 20% more or less. There’s plenty of REAL contradictions in theBible without making a big deal about such a triviality.

  15. AgentCormac says:

    I retract what I said earlier – in the end I couldn’t resist sending the ‘Which bit of the sanctimonious, God-bothering, treacherous little shit is there not to like?’ quote to my 80-year-old mother. (Stands well back with fingers in ears awaiting incandescent matriarchal response.)

  16. Broga says:

    I’m told, but didn’t see it myself, that Tim Farron refused three times on Channel 4 to say whether he thought Gay marriage was a sin. He is going to have a difficult time as he is a sitting duck in every interview as he will be asked about his religion based opinions.

    He sounds like a man who lacks the courage of his convictions. His faith and religious beliefs must be fragile when he is so determined to avoid stating what he thinks.

  17. JohnMWhite says:

    Oh good. Lib Dem put their head in the noose with Clegg, now this cretin will kick the stool.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Here’s a link.

    He’s going to be in real trouble if he can’t lay this to rest, as you say. I’m beginning to question whether he will be able to stay in the post for long. I didn’t like the way that he refused to take a position in the coalition government, but kept popping up Sunday after Sunday to let Andrew Marr know just what he thought the LibDems should be doing. Typical self-righteous Christian attitude!

  19. AgentCormac says:

    But who would replace him? I really do despair of British politcal parties – isn’t there a single, serious politician out there with the vision, humanity and decency to be someone I’d actually want to vote for? (Rhetorical question, BTW.)

  20. AgentCormac says:

    Sorry to go horribly, totally OT, but I just stumbled across the full version of John Lennon’s controversial quote about the Beatles being more famous than Jesus – so I thought I’d share it just in case anyone else hadn’t seen the whole thing before. Powerful stuff, and seemingly becoming more and more prophetic.
    ‘Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first — rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.’

  21. AgentCormac says:

    And then there’s always this. The best and most powerful song ever written.

  22. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Thanks for the link to Pink News. Farron is already looking weak as he begins to shuffle, slide and equivocate. He must think gay marriage is a sin. If he did not why did he not say so?

    He has got the top job in his Party and wants to keep it with the media attention and fame that goes with it. So watch him develop the smoke and mirrors tactic; answer a different question to the one asked and any other ploy to avoid saying what he believes. He dare not out himself on his fundamentalist beliefs but he cannot escape public and media scrutiny.

    I agree with you on the doubt about him being able to keep the job. He will try and as he seems spineless I think he will, in public, soften his religious opinions in exchange for the job. He is a disaster for the LibDems and, in my view, it is a disgrace that he presumes to represent people’s views in Parliament.

    I think Oscar Wilde (of whom Timmy will not be a fan) said, “There are two tragedies in life: one is to lose your heart’s desire and the other is to gain it.” Farron is going to discover the wisdom of that comment.

  23. Broga says:

    Sorry, not the sainted Oscar but George Bernard Shaw for that quote. I’m trying to get my retaliation in first (Bill Shankly made that one) as I’ll never get away with that wrong attribution on this site.

  24. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Jerry Coyne posted a thread recently regarding the death of Omar Sharif. Someone commented that they don’t make films like Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia any more and I replied that they don’t make actors like Omar Sharif any more either. (Someone added that they don’t make directors like David Lean now either!) There was a recent article saying that Hollywood increasingly looks to Britain for actors with the necessary gravitas, and my observation was: can you think of a present-day James Cagney or Edward G Robinson, because I certainly can’t (those who come closest, like Jack Nicholson, are senior citizens now). The same is true of politicians, and I am not the first to have said the same. Who amongst the present crop can you think of who would be in the same league as Nye Bevan, Joe Grimmond, Harold Macmillan, Barbara Castle, Dennis Healey, or Michael Heseltine, to name but a few? Love them or loathe them, they all packed a punch, which you don’t get today. Some have suggested that living through the Great Depression or the World Wars gave them a depth of character which others lack, and I think there is a lot truth in that. My father’s character was definitely formed by his experiences from 1920 to 1945, and he was a better man than I am by far.

  25. Broga says:

    Films now seem to be made for shallow thinking young teenagers who like watching a serious of improbable car crashes driven by invulnerable drivers.

  26. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Broga:
    You’re not the first to experience this:

    If, with the literate, I am
    Impelled to try an epigram,
    I never seek to to take the credit;
    We all assume that Oscar said it.

    Dorothy Parker. Page 220 in my edition of the Penguin Dorothy Parker.
    Note to younger readers: although she is now famous for one couplet (which I shall not quote) Parker’s verse and short stories are like sugar-coated cyanide. If you haven’t read them, do. If you have, re-read them.

  27. Angela_K says:

    I’ve just emailed the Lib-Dem HQ and expressed my disgust at Farron’s appointment. If you feel so inclined, vent your spleen here:

  28. Stephen Mynett says:

    My last experience of contact with the LibDems was a lengthy reply from my MEP that completely ignored the question I had raised. I may well contact them out of spite.

    As for the actors. My mum mentioned how bad a film was the other day, can’t remember what it was but she said the acting was awful and at times they appeared to be reading from cue cards. We both agreed that older actors had the benefit of having worked on stage, where they had to know their part, there was no option to cut and redo a scene. I think there is a lot to this, all the greats so far mentioned would have worked on stage or in films where the lengths of shoots were longer, forcing them to know there stuff.

    Patrick Stewart may be famous as captain of the star ship Enterprise but he is also a very good Shakespearean actor, a friend saw him in Godot a year or so back and said he was brilliant. I dread to think what Tom “All hail L Ron” Cruise would do to Hamlet.

  29. Broga says:

    @Vanity Unfair: Brilliant. I love it. And it is so true.

  30. Brian Jordan says:

    Biblical literalist, eh? I wonder where he stands on evolution and the age of the Earth? Google doesn’t seem to know. Surely we should be told!

  31. Broga says:

    @Brian Jordan: Christmas has come early this year. First, a bible literalist leading the LibDems so that the biblical nonsense he believes but attempts to hide will be exposed in his interviews.

    Second, photographs of the royal family in private, including the head of the Church of England, practising Nazi salutes. Why factual pictures should be regarded as “exploitation” I don’t know.

    I haven’t seen any comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury yet or other top clergy. Probably too busy dealing with these pesky women who want to be bishops and the gay marriage thing.

  32. Laura Roberts says:

    Any adult human should be ashamed for saying “I count [insert any name you like] as my Lord and Savior”. Nobody who longs to be a slave has any business trying to act as a leader.

  33. dennis says:

    just a question, is putting Tim Farron in charge of Lib Dem like putting a fundamentalist christen in charge of the American democratic party.
    seems to be some nuance information i am missing on British politics.

  34. dennis says:

    @AgentCormac YES, the greatest song and the most powerful song. I had to go listen to it. humans just can not deal with its wonderfulness. its just to scary and simple yet they believe in heavens and hells.

  35. Broga says:

    @dennis: I suppose that is a fair analogy although the LibDems are not the main opposition which is Labour. The LibDems have a record of radical thinking and their previous leader , Nick Clegg, was an agnostic. They curbed the Conservatives but lost seats at the election. The Conservatives are now unrestrained and it shows.

    Tim Farron is so fundamentalist that he is open to challenge every time he gives an interview. His recent comment was that God knows every hair on his head. That led to comments about Farron’s increasing loss of hair.

  36. Bubblecar says:

    Bye bye Lib Dems. How they managed to stray so far from the concept of liberalism is one of life’s depressing mysteries.