21 June 2017
The wrong kind of liberal: can a committed Christian lead a political party?
Politics and faith
Is it no longer possible for a committed Christian to lead a political party? The resignation of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron fails
to answer the question one way or another / By Nick Spencer
Liberal Democrats do god. So ran the title of a short book published by the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum in 2013. It sounds a bit ironic now. A few have leapt on the honest and penetrating resignation speech of Lib Dem leader Tim Farron last week to draw the conclusion that Christians are no longer welcome in front- line politics. This is clearly not right. Theresa May might have teetered as Prime Minister since the election but that was not on account of her devout Anglicanism.
Indeed, it is not even right to claim that Christians are no longer welcome in front- line liberal politics, a conclusion that might seem warranted by Farron’s speech. Over recent years, the Liberal Democrats have been chock-full of believers, as the contents page of Liberal Democrats Do God testifies. Rather, it is more accurate to say that the wrong kind of Christian is no longer welcome in front-line liberal politics.
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