Tim Farron resignation casts doubts over future of Christians in public life, says leading religion and society think tankFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The resignation of the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has cast significant doubts about the future of Christians in public life, according to the think tank Theos.
Farron’s resignation speech chose to highlight what a growing number of people in Britain now recognise: that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to hold public office.
In spite of Farron’s voting record and his determined and public commitment to political liberalism, he found himself “the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in.”
Being a political leader and especially – ironically – the leader of a liberal party, while living as “a committed Christian”, was, he felt, impossible.
Nick Spencer, Acting Director of Theos and editor of The Mighty and the Almighty: How political leaders do God, said:
“Farron’s resignation is powerful, honest and alarming.
“Christianity was fundamental to the formation of political liberalism in the West. Liberalism seems now to be hacking away at these roots.
“Liberalism has a much-needed role to play in contemporary society, but it is increasingly being hijacked by those who think that liberal tolerance is only for tolerant liberals.
“Tim Farron’s conviction that the Christian faith is no longer compatible with leading a liberal party is both an indictment of, and warning to, our public life today.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1.Theos is the UK’s leading religion and social affairs think tank and is based in London. It was launched with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster but is not affiliated to any denomination.
2.The Mighty and the Almighty: how political leaders do God is published by Biteback Publishing and is available for purchase.
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