In Britain, the Liberal Democrat party sits on the center-left. Currently the fourth largest party in Parliament, it was recently (from 2010-2015) the junior partner in a coalition government headed by the Tories.
In June 2017, however, Liberal Democrat "liberalism" carries an important caveat. To borrow from Animal Farm, All Liberal Democrats are equal, but Christian Liberal Democrats are less equal than others.
This truth was evidenced Wednesday afternoon, when Liberal Democrat leader and devout Christian Tim Farron resigned.
Farron's rationale for quitting?
"To be a leader, particularly of a progressive liberal party in 2017 and to live as a committed Christian and to hold faithful to the Bible's teaching has felt impossible for me."
Consider what Farron is actually saying. Because his words are highly significant. Coming from a longtime liberal politician, they speak volumes about the tension between religious faith and contemporary left-wing politics.
Farron's words prove the Left's intolerance for those resist the infinite orthodoxy of the LGBT movement.
Still, Farron's resignation didn't come out of the blue. Prior to the leader's resignation, on Wednesday morning, another Liberal Democrat official stepped down. Openly gay home affairs spokesman Brian Paddick tweeted his reasoning. "I've resigned as Liberal Democrats Shadow Home Secretary over concerns about the leader's [Farron] views on various issues that were highlighted during [the General Election]."
Paddick's resignation was clearly the final straw for Farron.
But this showdown proves how utterly dogmatic the Left has become.
After all, Farron is no mouth-frothing Westboro Baptist Church-style "burn the gays" fanatic. On the contrary, during the recent U.K. election campaign, Farron was asked whether he believes gay sex is a sin. Farron refused to answer that specific question, but repeatedly stated his support for expanded LGBT rights. Moreover, Farron has a record to match to his words: He has voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage and transgender marriage rights. Farron segregated his private faith from his public policy positions.
Given his record, it says a lot that Farron had to resign.
It says that liberal ideology is dominated by LGBT absolutism. The Left is now a political realm in which divergent opinion on LGBT issues, however privately manifested, are absolutely intolerable. It's a realm with an entry sign:
"All are welcome. Except for persons of faith."
Conservatives have a real opportunity here. Balancing respect for individual choices and legal protections, we should work to broaden our appeal with different faiths (such as Islam). And we should make it clear that our tent is one that is open to all, LGBT folks and Christians alike.
Nevertheless, that doesn't change the sad truth. They may veil themselves in the cloak of equality, but today liberals are an increasingly bigoted bunch.