Gay Sex and Politics. Sinful?

Is a politician, in a Western liberal democracy, who believes that gay sex is a sin, fit to hold public office?

I only ask because of the hue and cry which has gone up in the UK because the leader of one of the smaller parties, the Liberal Democrats, prevaricated in interview after interview before finally saying he does not think it’s a sin. His stock answer until then was to say that being gay was not a sin. He was forced into ‘clarifying’ his position because, during what is an election campaign, the issue was not going to go away.  The leader, Tim Farron, is a Christian, evangelical to boot.

Does this matter?  I don’t believe gay sex is a sin, but I do think Mr Farron has the right to believe it is or it isn’t. Ah, but as a politician he is in a position to be prejudicial against gay people due to his views, and on record as saying that his Christianity and politics are fused. But has he been prejudicial in supporting legislation against gay sex? No, and it’s doubtful he would be.  Therefore, does it matter what his private view is?

Would it matter if his Christian views led him to believe that sex outside of marriage, between an adult woman and man, was a sin?

Would it matter if his private view was that interracial sex was a sin? Whatever his reasons for this view, be they religious, supremacist, pseudo-scientific, it would certainly betray a mind-set which would lead many people to feel they could not vote for him, or even support a party he led.

I’d certainly want to know if the leader of a political party held these views as it would tell me a lot about them. I could agree, or disagree with these views, and decide if my level of agreement, or disagreement led me to be able to vote for them or not.

On these grounds, I think it is fair to ask Mr Farron his views on gay sex, and indeed, other matters, since he has stated that his political views are influenced by his faith.

However, I think it is unfair to ask only him these things. The United Kingdom is full of people who profess allegiance to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (other faiths are available) and who are seeking, or in, public office.  These religions all have things to say about homosexuality.

So, if we are to ask Mr Farron these personal political questions, should we also be asking Prime Minister Theresa May?  What about London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Bolton MP Yasmin Qureishi, Congelton MP Fiona Bruce, Lord Jonathan Sacks, etc.

And if your answer to the question in the first sentence is ‘no, they are not fit to hold office’, then how many people do you think should be removed from positions of power?

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5 Comments on "Gay Sex and Politics. Sinful?"

  1. Balogh Krisztina | 26th April 2017 at 8:56 am | Reply

    As he stated that his political vues are influenced by his faith how does he manage to have one kind of idea as a political leader and supposedly the opposite as a private person? This is just discrediting one or the other, as I learned through Brexit “you can’t eat your cake and have it”.

  2. Dear Mr Marshall,
    I’m glad to read someone who’s finally got the the heart of the matter – why has the media spent 2 weeks harassing Mr Farron but haven’t said a peep to candidates from other faiths? To me the answer is that if for instance a Muslim was asked then some idiot would cry islamophobia whereas Christians are easy targets, Christianophobia is acceptable.
    In the short time since Farron has come out & said he doesn’t think it’s a sin I haven’t heard any extremist Christian respond publicly calling him a heretic. However I’m pretty sure if Mr Khan or other said it they’d already be on an IS hitlist & have their constituency office burned down.
    Mr Farron’s voting history suggests he votes liberally despite his conservative Christian beliefs – by saying you would vote or not vote for someone due to their personal beliefs is surely just as discriminatory against him as it would be for him to vote against something because of a personal view (DUP style).
    Regards.

  3. Balogh Krisztina | 26th April 2017 at 9:23 am | Reply

    …so once this discrepancy came to light, it would be interesting to listen his views on this double identity. As for all of the politicians? Why not, let’s see and face the eventual surprises.

  4. Is anyone engaged in this debate even curious what (if anything) the disputants mean by “sin”? Theologians distinguish kinds and degrees of sin and it’s a pretty basic postulate of Christianity that all men are sinners in need of redemption. As is well known, it is generally the greatest saints, not the greatest sinners, who are most conscious of their own sinfulness.

    This debate seems to be about nothing but an emotionally loaded word of no precise significance for anyone who uses it. Much heat and very little if any light.

  5. The point is surely not what his personal views are but whether he believes those views should guide policy and determine how British citizens should live their lives. It is when both the personal and the professional coincide that we need to take notice.

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