This is my brief "editorial" ['pretentious' - Ed.] on the resignation earlier this evening of Tim Farron as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party:
If religion hadn't historically tried to impose its will on society, often by physical force and often by social pressure (very often even more powerful in controlling a gullible population), sceptics wouldn't be so fearful of the menace it has too often represented when it gains the upper hand.
Tim Farron [may feel he] has been harshly treated or at least "misunderstood", and to a certain limited extent even I, as a gay man, would tend to agree that he has, but one cannot divorce what has happened from the historical context of how religious dogmas have always behaved if they thought they could. It's not so long ago that one of the country's greatest heroes (Turing) was chemically castrated, because at that time merely being homosexual was a crime, largely based I would argue on the influence of the Christian religion in framing the country's laws then, and now another of these wacko religions (Islam, lest there be the merest scintilla of doubt to what I refer), because it can, is throwing gay men off of buildings, and consigning women to slavery.
To be clear, I don't think Tim Farron is any kind of danger as an individual, but the kind of thinking his beliefs represent, if they had the upper hand, petrifies me.
So Tim Farron has taken the, in my view, somewhat petulant decision to stand down from the Leadership of the Liberal Democrat Party and ended with the jibe that this is because the country is not truly 'democratic', nor 'liberal'. This is nonsense. The harsh reality is that a significant proportion of the population in many of what are self-described as "advanced societies" no longer 'believe in' nor are prepared to be dictated to by religion. If he had clearly said what his own personal views/beliefs are, when asked about it, but that this would not be used to influence his views on public policy, I think that would have defused the matter completely, indeed his own voting record in Parliament is pretty "respectable" in this regard. Instead however he repeatedly shied away from simply stating what his views are. So he has been somewhat harshly treated, but his own reaction to the pressures he has felt he has faced have been "sub-optimal", to put it mildly. And so he "exits stage left" from the political stage of party leadership.
NB/ I have deliberately avoided touching on his views on 'Brexit', by the way (about which he never stopped speaking); if he had been similarly open about his views on certain aspects of his religious beliefs, I do not think he would have landed up in this dilemma of his own making.