This morning Quentin Letts suggested that Tim Farron had ‘sold his soul’ over the question of his views on homsexuality.
He doesn’t have one to sell.
The story is a little old now, but it oughtn’t to be, for Tim Farron has some questions to answer; alas nobody would let the likes of me ask them.
Apparently, Mr Farron has ‘clarified’ his views according to Christopher Hope:
‘Tim Farron has finally clarified his view on gay sex after admitted that it had come a distracting “issue” for his general election campaign. The Liberal Democrat leader said in a BBC interview that gay sex is not a sin, after five days of pressure to clarify his stance on the issue. Mr Farron had faced criticism for days for failing to answer questions about his position on homosexuality. Mr Farron refused to say four times in an interview with Channel 4 News last week whether he believed being gay was a sin.’
The most interesting story is missed.
Consider the debate between writers Andrew Sullivan and Douglas Wilson on the question of same-sex marriage. Douglas Wilson is significantly Christian. Andrew Sullivan claims to be a Catholic while being significantly homosexual. Sullivan gives me the impression he is significantly unafraid of God.
In their debate it was asked of Wilson what his position would be if, for instance, his son told him he was gay. Sullivan – after Wilson offered the slippery ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ line, asked an odd question. (The question was odd because if Sullivan is a Christian, one wonders why he didn’t already know the answer to a question which relates directly to his own sexuality.)
He asked Wilson:
‘What if he said “I’m gay and I’ve never had any sex with any other man”? What sin did he commit?’
‘I don’t believe that homosexual orientation is a sin.’
This reasoning should be obvious as sitting under the ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ line. Wilson’s reasoning seems to come straight from the Bible, specifically Leviticus (20:13) which states:
“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.”
It is plain that homosexual acts are the problem. This formulation gives the Christian (if they know their Bible) the ‘get out’ clause which allows them to state, no, they do not think ‘being gay’ is a sin.
This is why the fuss made about Tim Farron misses the point.
Why didn’t Farron immediately state that ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin? Why refuse, four times in an interview, to answer this question using the get-out clause above? It would have ended things right there. His refusal to answer was the strangest of the strange reactions.
Days later, he says that ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin – something the significantly Christian Douglas Wilson knew straight away.
Why didn’t Farron close the entire line of questioning down immediately by saying the same thing? It was Farron’s refusal to answer which got the press excited. By the time he popped up saying ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin, the hounds have worked out that isn’t the same thing as homosexual acts being sins, which is why the hounds sharpened their question to ask about ‘gay sex’.
And now Farron has been forced to state that he doesn’t think ‘gay sex’ is a sin, when the Christian book states it is. What of Farron’s position now? He looks like the lamest of the lame.
Is he lying about his views to avoid being battered by the press as a homophobe? Would a professional politician do that? If he is, what does that say about his Christian convictions?
And the answer to that might be why Farron didn’t immediately play the sin/sinner card to begin with.
Is Tim Farron genuinely a Christian?
Here’s the problem from the atheist angle:
If he isn’t, he thinks telling people he is won’t hurt is election chances; if he is genuinely a Christian, then he believes that after a person is dead, that person will continue to be alive in another dimension. Yet he wants the nuclear codes?