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JOURNALISTIC FASCSIM

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Here I am in France, sitting under a parasol quoiffing a Martini and Perrier when in comes a most distressing e-mail from Tim Farron. He has resigned as leader of the Lib Dems; nothing abnormal in that except for his reason. Tim is a devout, orthodox Christian who during the recent election campaign was hounded by the media to admit that he considered homosexual sex to be a sin; that is what the Bible and the Quoran teach as I understand them; at least that is what the Christian and Muslim faiths have traditionally taught. But for Tim to confess to such a belief as leader of a modern, mainstream political party would have been, he thought, politically suicidal. And so he has resigned because he cannot reconcile politics with his faith. What nonsense. Had he been a devout Muslim, the media woud not have dared to hound him over his faith beliefs.

Tim and I are Liberal Democrats. He is a Christian; I am an atheist. We share a belief in liberal democracy, tolerance and co-operation with those who do not share our views. He has never attempted to impose his religious principles on Party policyIn mainly Catholic France, religion has long since been separated from the State. All Tim needed to do was include in his public biography, Wikipedia or such like, that he was a practising Christian - end of.

So what were the motives of the media in hounding him? I suggest that either they sniffed some lurid copy on homosexual sex, wished to undermine him as a political opponent or else gay activists were at work. Whatever the reason, it was immoral, illiberal and anti-democratic.

For my own part, I don't give a monkey's over what another's faith or sexual practises are - as long as they don't impact on me. Tolerance is the key word.

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