So Mr Clegg is an atheist. He is also an honest man - although I would wish he had been so frank during his contest for the party leadership.
People may say that Mr Gladstone should be bothered about this but I am not. I championed the right of Mr Bradlaugh to join our party ranks in parliament as the first declared atheist to represent the Commons. It is far better that a statesman should be honest about their inclinations and both instances indicate how true liberalism can create a climate of honesty in politics rather than the humbuggery that so often accompanies it.
The Liberal party by its nature embraces people of all faiths and none, united in agreeing tolerance for each other. I am not surprised that it is now populated with atheists and have no complaint with them, provided they do not obstruct the right of the people to enjoy their traditional Christian faith. I would however wish, in a personal capacity, such people to keep open minds and hearts to the Gospel, but that is not a matter for the political realm. My complaint is rather with Christians, who have abandoned the public realm or chosen to pursue their own interests within it, rather than the interests of justice and the common weal, the expression of the compassion of Christ, who declared that God only is the judge of mankind.
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