Tim Farron: Why I put Christ ahead of my career

Aug 8, 2019 by

by Sam Hailes, Premier Christianity.

It’s two years since Tim Farron was caught up in the mother of all media furores. The then leader of the Liberal Democrats hoped the 2017 general election campaign would be an opportunity to make the case for remaining inside the EU. Instead, the media became fixated on repeatedly asking him one very specific question.

“Do you believe gay sex is a sin?” Farron was asked over and over again – in almost every interview he gave for weeks on end. Initially, he avoided giving a direct answer, but as the question refused to go away, the leader was faced with an unenviable choice: let his party down or compromise his faith. In the end, he gave a BBC interview in which he uttered the words he hoped would end the scrutiny: “I do not believe gay sex is a sin.” (Later, he told Premier Christian Radio he regretted that answer. “I attempted to push it away by giving an answer that frankly was not right,” he said.)

When he resigned from leading the Liberal Democrats one week after that election, Farron admitted his answers to journalists “could have been wiser”. “Even so, I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in. In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society,” he said.

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