Comments: Opinion - 10 May 2017

Reading David Emmott's article brought to mind some words from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure:

Why all the souls that were forfeit once
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy.

"Where we are vulnerable and fragile, it is He who is wounded and broken." (Rowan Williams, Knowing and Loving)

Posted by Pam at Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 11:52am BST

David Emmott's article is beautiful and thought provoking. I've not been one to leave the banner in the Narthex, but these words give me pause about that...

David Hoyle is an awesome preacher.

Posted by Cynthia at Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 6:02pm BST

Re Holdsworth on Farron. Correct that it's more important to keep putting this question to the ABC. But I think it's sad that it appears Farron didn't have anybody on his team who could prime him to give an acceptable answer. Such as, gay sex is like heterosexual sex: it's only sinful if somebody is exploiting the other person.

Posted by Flora Alexander at Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 8:27pm BST

But Flora, would that not be the sin of hypocrisy, frequently criticized by Jesus himself.

A man giving one answer in public, as briefed by his media advisers, which is different to his own beliefs (that sex outside marriage is by definition sinful whether exploitative or not).

You said (whether ironically or not) "I think it's sad that it appears Farron didn't have anybody on his team who could prime him to give an acceptable answer."

Personally I think it sad that it is considered normal, even desirable, to have such media advisers. Because in such a culture those people who are perceived as authentic, those who say what they believe without worrying about what others might think, such as Trump and Farrage, gain popularity and credibility.

Posted by Simon Dawson at Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 8:39am BST

Simon, I should unpack this a bit. I've been assuming that in his highly-pressured life Farron has not had time to think carefully about the ethics of sexual behaviour. I thought that, just as Nicky Morgan has, apparently, moved on from her earlier position of opposing equal marriage 'because she is a Christian', Farron might progress in the same way if he gave himself time to think it through. But perhaps I'm quite wrong about this. I have had little contact with evangelicals since my student days a long time ago.
I wasn't being ironic about Farron's entourage. The whole situation seems to suggest that nobody on his team has a mindset that allows them to consider what the principles are on which we judge behaviour to be right or wrong - or on which we decide what is good and what is sinful.

Posted by Flora Alexander at Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 2:04pm BST

Flora--the same is true of most of human interaction. May and (eventually) Farron were right to give a straight answer to a straight question. (pardon the pun).

Posted by Turbulent priest at Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 2:51pm BST

I read the Farron situation rather differently. As a liberal, he defends the right of people to live and behave as they choose (within legal limits) irrespective of whether he personally approves of what they do. His voting record in Parliament supports that. He has consistently voted for gay and trans freedoms (the only time he appeared to vote against equal marriage was when the legislation included a spousal veto of trans people, and he was about to introduce an amendment removing the spousal veto).

As Farron said recently, he doesn't think politicians' private beliefs should be a matter of open discussion - it's what they do that counts. It's in the interests of other politicians to support him on that. How would Hindu MPs respond if asked if they believed their opponent might be reincarnated as an animal? Or Muslim or Jewish MPs, if questioned whether they ate meat from animals which had not been stunned before slaughter? Or Mormon MPs to enquiries if they had had long-deceased ancestors baptised as Mormons, and actually believed Joseph Smith was given the Book of Mormon by an angel, and golden spectacles to read it with?

It's easy to make someone belonging to any belief system appear unsympathetic to someone outside that system.

Posted by Janet Fife at Friday, 12 May 2017 at 4:33pm BST

When Farron became Liberal Democrat leader he continued to wear a Christian symbol in his lapel, thus inviting response, question.

As a gay person, I do wish to know, and understand that I have a right (or perhaps , 'the' right ?) to know what movtivates politicans' thought and action(s).

This is particularly salient, when I am seeking to gauge, whether they mean to do me and my lgbti communities more harm. Harm legislated against gays by the powerful is particularly frightening and bad for one's mental and physical health.

But many straight people have no idea what kind of lives, are forced on us - routinely and thoughtlessly.....

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Friday, 12 May 2017 at 5:23pm BST

'As a gay person, I do wish to know, and understand that I have a right (or perhaps , 'the' right ?) to know what movtivates politicans' thought and action(s).'

That's understandable. In Tim Farron's case, his actions bear out his claim to be a liberal who will defend to the utmost people's right to make their own choices and live their own lives, whether or not he would make the same choices himself. That's what true liberalism is. And that's what motivates Tim and other liberals.

I do worry that we're entering an era where people are not allowed to express or even think ideas which are different. That isn't liberal, and is creating a whole new set of victims. Jesus said we should judge people by their fruit - that is their actions and the results.

Posted by Janet Fife at Saturday, 13 May 2017 at 3:47pm BST
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