Has Liberalism eaten itself?

I have been wanting to write a post along the lines of this one by former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron for some time.

What do you think?!


5 thoughts on “Has Liberalism eaten itself?

  1. korhomme says:

    Is (evangelical) Christianity necessary or essential in a (mainstream) political party today? In GB, over half the population today ‘have no religion’. Such people probably have a vaguely ‘Christian’ outlook on life.

    I’d rather have secular politics, rather than a longing for the past.

    • To play devil’s advocate… surely the point is that, while it is not necessary as such, where it occurs it must be tolerated?

      Whether or not it is a minority view is surely immaterial?

      • korhomme says:

        Tolerated? Jacob R-M is by no means a ‘liberal’, but in terms of social policy he cannot, will not or dare not deviate from the Church’s teaching. Quite how this would translate to changes in legislation isn’t clear, but it suggests that there are those who ‘know better’ and who would wish to enforce their view. You might say the same for the secularists or the atheists; but they do not require others to follow them, rather they leave space for others; they do the tolerating. They would permit things, but not require them; the evangelical would tend to ban things considered ‘wrong’, and make no exceptions.

        We saw the sorts of problems that Tim Farron got into when his views on sexuality were questioned; it seemed that his personal opinions were inconsistent with the need for an inclusive public policy.

        Secularism is tolerant of those with faith and those without. That is where the liberals ought to go.

  2. I think – and again this is of course partly devil’s advocacy – that Mr Farron’s argument is that Liberals should be secular but actually aren’t… that in fact Liberalism has become pro-atheism. I guess that’s the challenge?

    • korhomme says:

      I reread his post, but remained confused about what he was trying to say.

      I think a definition of terms is necessary to be sure we are all talking of the same things.

      What is a ‘liberal’? Progressive, left of centre, tolerant?
      Evangelical Christian? Proselyting? More?
      Secularism? Freedom of faith, freedom from faith?

      Is secularism the same as atheism? (Can you be a Christian atheist?)

      And so on.

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