So what if Tim Farron thinks homosexuality is a sin?
by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:
The media’s interrogation of Farron’s soul is a despicable spectacle.
There’s something deeply sinister in the media and celeb pile-on against Tim Farron over his views on homosexuality. On Channel 4 News this week, Farron, leader of the Lib Dems and a Christian, was asked if he thinks being gay is a sin. The presenter Cathy Newman, coming off like a gay-friendly Witchfinder-General, fancying herself the interrogator of men’s souls, pressed him again and again over his innermost thoughts on homosexuality. It was an ugly spectacle: what business is it of hers, or Twitter’s, or anyone else’s, whether Farron thinks being gay is good or evil?
Farron should have said, ‘Mind your business’, but he got flustered. ‘I’m not in the position to make theological announcements’, he said. Media people and celebs went crazy. TV personality Sue Perkins reminded him that ‘It’s 2017’ (Current Year Fallacy!), seemingly unaware that two people alive in the same year can hold different views. The true sinner is Farron himself, said David Walliams: ‘You are definitely a sinner for your continued intolerance and prejudice.’ Others bandied about the word ‘bigot’. Former funnyman turned Twitterbore David Baddiel branded Farron a ‘fundamentalist Christian homophobe’. Never one to miss out on a bit of Twitter outrage that might boost his flagging party’s fortunes, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it is ‘appalling’ if Farron thinks homosexuality is sinful.
No, what’s appalling is the idea that it’s acceptable to haul a man over the coals, to slam and humiliate him publicly, over his private convictions. Whatever Farron thinks of homosexuality, it appears to have had no impact whatsoever on his public life or political decisions. He supports gay equality. The Lib Dems are big backers of gay marriage. Farron is being demonised for his private thoughts, for the contents of his soul; not even for something he did in private but for something he thinks in private. The bigotry is not his; it’s his critic’s, who believe, with magnificence arrogance, and genuine intolerance, that they can build a window into our hearts and minds and make a spectacle of a man for believing something they don’t believe.