I’ve just watched the clip of Tim Farron on Channel 4 News last night. I think Tim gives a very good response indeed – especially the last bit where he says that being a liberal means that you do not force your views in others.
“Do not judge or you too will be judged” – is central to the Christian faith. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” is another. Both these are written by the gospel writers reporting the words of Jesus.
The bit of the bible that Cathy Newman quoted is from the old testament – Leviticus – (in a long list of things God apparently said (unwitnessed) to an old chap called Moses 1400 years before Christ was born) where the “do not lie with a man” is alongside entreaties to not wear garments of mixed cloth, not eat seafood and not cut the hair on the sides of your head.
And, as I never tire of doing, let me quote Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the matter, from an article in Pink News entitled “God makes me fight for gay rights”:
The former Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, has said that he fights for gay rights because “It’s God catching me by my neck.”
Speaking to Charisma News, Archbishop Tutu said: “Anywhere where the humanity of people is undermined, anywhere where people are left in the dust, there we will find our cause. Sometimes you wish you could keep quiet. It’s the kind of thing you heard the prophet Jeremiah complain of where he says, “You know God, I didn’t want to be a prophet and you made me speak words of condemnation against a people I love deeply. Your word is like a fire burning in my breast.”
“It isn’t that it’s questionable when you speak up for the right of people with different sexual orientation. People took some part of us and used it to discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it’s precisely the same thing for sexual orientation. People are killed because they’re gay. I don’t think, “What do I want to do today? I want to speak up on gay rights.” No. It’s God catching me by my neck.”
Asked what he felt about Pope Francis’ comments on homosexuality, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”, Archbishop Tutu said: “He’s taken a selfie! He’s a tremendous breath of fresh air. The things he has done in a short period of time: the fact that he does not live in a huge papal mansion and just dropped by in the dining room where ordinary people have meals. You think of his background, where he didn’t use limousines in South America, that he used public transport. I’ve got to say to you that I’m so, so thrilled that he is there at this crucial moment in the history of our world.”
Jesus spent his life working for the down-trodden and marginalised in society. That is why Desmond Tutu says, in relation to fighting for gay rights:
Anywhere where the humanity of people is undermined, anywhere where people are left in the dust, there we will find our cause.
From what I have heard from people like Zoe O’Connell, Tim Farron is right there with Desmond Tutu, fighting for gay rights:
Finally, can I remind the media that Tim Farron is a leader of a political party? He is not a priest.