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The Editorial

Showing us the door

Is politics to become a ‘no go’ area for Bible Christians?

John Benton, Editor

Figure Image
image: saamvisual.com

In the run-up to the snap General Election, called by Theresa May for 8 June, Rico Tice was interviewed for Radio 4’s Today regarding the issue. If Christians are seen as inherently unfit for public office because of their beliefs, it would effectively mean that we are excluded from the ‘inclusive’ society.

Gay sex?

The matter was brought into focus first in press interviews with Tim Farron the Lib. Dem. leader, who is known as an ‘evangelical.’ Back in 2015 someone had asked him if homosexuality was a sin. He had answered: ‘We are all sinners.’ That response was not good enough, it seems, and in late April, with hustings in full swing, the same question was raised (with the threat of a social media storm etc. waiting to descend on him if he answered unacceptably). This led to him ‘clarifying his position’, declaring that ‘I don’t believe that gay sex is a sin.’ This, of course, is not the traditional Christian belief.

Asked why he had not said this before, he told The Guardian the he had not wanted to ‘get into a series of questions unpicking the theology of the Bible.’ (Muslim politicians never seem to get questioned on this issue?) Mr Farron went on to reject the suggestion that he had changed his public statements in order to curry favour in the light of the election. Interestingly, a recent ComRes poll for The Christian Institute found a clear majority of people (64%) support the right of politicians with traditional views to express them.

The gay issue does highlight the deep fissure between secularism and faith that runs through our society. Embracing homosexuality makes perfect sense for most secularists /atheists, for in their worldview the autonomous individual is guided only by the reasonable maximisation of his or her own happiness in this brief life. But for those who believe in a Creator (whether the God of the Bible or Allah) such an outlook is untenable. The collision of outlooks is not necessarily inevitable, but it is happening and will be devastating to the nation.

Lessons

There are a couple of things to learn here.

First, it shows that human beings cannot shake off the compulsion to be seen as morally upright. Why is the Christian politician pressed on the issue of gay sex? Mainly the answer is that philosophical liberals (the media elite) want to expose him as ‘morally inferior’ (in their view). Despite saying they espouse an outlook where morality comes down to a matter of opinion, they can’t help acting as if it weren’t. In line with Romans 7, we are all intrinsically ‘married to the law’ because we are made in the image of God.

Second, it shows that secularism never was ‘neutral’, as it has always claimed to be. Mr Farron commented: ‘I don’t think people want political party leaders telling them what is and isn’t a sin. People’s faith is private, and it’s up to them to decide how they make these interpretations. For me, separating faith from politics means you shouldn’t be trying to have a running commentary on these things, and also shouldn’t be trying to impose one’s beliefs on others.’ But actually that is precisely what the LGBT lobby are seeking to do. We have already had the closing of adoption agencies which don’t sign up to their agenda. We may well have compulsory LGBT teaching in schools while, ironically, the daily act of worship is being shown the door.