Lib Dem leader an atheist

Posted .

This is excellent news. I’ve always voted Liberal Democrat anyway (well except that time I helped vote Tony Blair into power1,) but now there’s another reason to do so. Their new party leader, Nick Clegg, has come out in a radio interview and confirmed himself as an atheist. “Do you believe in God?” was the question, and “no” was the answer.

The show’s quick fire interview format forces short, unequivocal answers like that, so we shouldn’t read too much into the brevity of the answer, but it’s reassuring to note that he hasn’t gone back on the position when questioned about it afterwards. Unfortunately, he has said that he has enormous respect for religion (which must, surely, be a lie to soothe the religious voters — how can he respect such a vast, byzantine social construct, with all of it’s rules and regulations and restrictions of liberty and downright wackiness, when he doesn’t accept the one fundamental assertion they use to justify the whole sorry mess?) and, more worryingly, that since his wife is a Catholic, their children will be raised as Catholics. I don’t understand how anyone free from the mind-virus of religion could willingly allow their own children to be infected with it.

But never mind; I can draw some comfort from that fact that if my vote ever leads to a landslide victory again (which is, admittedly, a very long shot with the Lib Dems,) that I won’t be handing power to someone who’s so far from my mindset that he’s actually afraid the country at large will think him a nutter if he’s honest about his degree of religiosity.

[^1]: I was a student, and only just old enough to vote when the 1997 general election came around. I can vividly remember sitting around with all my friends as the results came in, all of us buzzing with excitement as the Labour landslide became apparent. We’d obviously all voted for them, because students tend to vote left and because after chafing under 18 years of Tory rule, we just knew that a Labour victory would change the country for the better. When we saw those results come in, we really felt that our generation had made the difference, that we’d done what our parents never could; we’d kicked out the corrupt, right-wing, authoritarian Tories and given power to a more honest, democratic alternative. We felt like we’d changed the world, and that it was a change for good. Ironic, really.

  1. I was a student, and only just old enough to vote when the 1997 general election came around. I can vividly remember sitting around with all my friends as the results came in, all of us buzzing with excitement as the Labour landslide became apparent. We’d obviously all voted for them, because students tend to vote left and because after chafing under 18 years of Tory rule, we just knew that a Labour victory would change the country for the better. When we saw those results come in, we really felt that our generation had made the difference, that we’d done what our parents never could; we’d kicked out the corrupt, right-wing, authoritarian Tories and given power to a more honest, democratic alternative. We felt like we’d changed the world, and that it was a change for good. Ironic, really. []

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