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The ‘society’ that former LibDem leader Tim Farron says is 'intolerant' of his Christianity is in fact supremely tolerant of it. It supports Tim’s right to be a Christian of the denomination of his choosing, and to change his religious belief or not have one at all. It supports his right not to be gay, not to have a same sex marriage, and not to seek abortion services should such a need in his life ever arise.


It also supports his right to raise his children in his own faith, and to express that faith in the public sphere, and to observe the Sabbath. It even allows 26 representatives of Tim's faith to sit in the House of Lords to shape all our lives. It is in fact a socially liberal society, last point notwithstanding.


What this ‘society’ doesn’t do is mandate that Tim’s views be imposed on everyone else just because they happen to be views based on his religious belief, or that those who hold different views shouldn’t express them or challenge Tim's views because that would be ‘persecuting’ him on the grounds of his faith.


Tim Farron has belatedly made his choice as to his personal identity that trumps all, and he's made it in a society that ensures he is free to do so. That his views appear to be at odds with what the Lib Dems or Society stand for, if we are to read between the lines, is not their fault. That Tim's views may not be popular in Society doesn't prevent him holding them or living his own life in accordance with them. Nor apparently does it prevent him remaining as a Lib-Dem MP.


Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

5 Atholl Crescent



Letter:  Tolerating intolerance

16 June 2017