How could this happen !!  Reaad the last sentance first for the shocking truth !! :-)

Nick Clegg (b. January 7, 1967) is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, a British political party. Clegg is an atheist.

Early Life

Nick Clegg was born Nicholas William Peter Clegg in Buckinghamshire. His father was half-English, half-Russian. His mother was dutch. He speaks English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish. His wife is Roman Catholic. Aged sixteen, Clegg was arrested in Germany and charged with arson. He and his friends destroyed a priceless collection of rare cacti while he was drunk.[1]


Clegg describes himself as liberal and is in favour of handing over further powers from British soverignty to the European Union. The European Union is far more liberal than mainstream British politics, but they can legislate over Britain.[2][3]. He is in favour of significantly higher taxes for the rich, including a mansion tax - a fixed annual levy on all houses worth more than two million pounds. As a self-described liberal atheist, he could have more power in the next Parliament than the Prime Minister. He would be able to call the shots, because without him the Prime Minister would lose his majority and have to stand down.

He is unlikely to become Prime Minister, as the Liberal Democrats are not in a place to win an overall majority. However, in the case of a 'Hung Parliament', he would be very powerful. He could effectively select the Prime Minister, because if he supported Gordon Brownor David Cameron, then they would have an overall majority and become the Prime Minister. This is dangerous because Clegg is an atheist.[4][5]

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It speaks well of the UK that an atheist politician could get this far, regardless of whether you agree with his policies. Over here, you have to at least pretend to be religiously retarded to have a chance of getting elected to anything. I have this personal conviction that Obama is actually a closet atheist, but who knows - it would be suicidal for him to ever admit it.
Ahhh, yes. My cacti-destroying days. Good times!

If this is the worst they can find about him, he must be pretty clean!
He's back-pedalled a lot on his atheism and expressed it as "agnosticism" - probably because he was keen for it not to become an issue. Wikipedia is all-too-often abused. But while the Lib-Dems now have the role of kingmakers, overall they have lost seats in the election, and one of the key losses was notable atheist, skeptic, pro-stem cell research, pro-euthanasia pro-gay rights Lib-Dem front bench science spokesman Dr Evan Harris in one of the Oxford seats. He was much more staunch and outspoken than Clegg has ever been, and was defeated (by an extremely narrow margin of just 176 votes) by a Conservative candidate largely campaigning on a Christian platform. The Christians have been celebrating this vote as anti-secular and seem more pleased about that than the majority vote they achieved.

Here and here is some of the vitriol and here is a little more perspective.
And now shamelessly cutting and pasting that final link (from the New Statesman). Excellent quote dug out by Ludovic Kennedy (it's also worth checking the link for further comments by George Pitcher and Evan Harris) ...

Secularism silenced
Posted by Sholto Byrnes - 09 May 2010 12:30
Evan Harris losing his seat is not just a blow to the Liberal Democrats.

Evan Harris and Rowan Atkinson join forces over the proposed Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, June 2005. Credit: Getty Images
A few prayers of thanks will be offered up today over the departure from the Commons of the Liberal Democrat Dr Evan Harris, if this extraordinarily personal and vitriolic column by the Telegraph's religion editor, Rev George Pitcher, is anything to go by.

"Hallelujah," writes Pitcher, whom I know in normal circumstances to be highly agreeable and level-headed, but who now describes the defenestration of Harris as nothing less than "the best result of the election." No danger of understatement there.

What has he got against Evan? His accusations are these:

A stranger to principle, Harris has coat-tailed some of the most vulnerable and weak people available to him to further his dogged, secularist campaign to have people of faith -- any faith -- swept from the public sphere. The Lib Dems served the purpose of providing him with a parliamentary seat, but his true love was the National Secular Society. For a doctor, he supported the strange idea that terminally ill people should be helped to kill themselves. He pretended to defend Roman Catholics by attacking the Act of Settlement, with the real aim of undermining the established Church of England. A drab, secular determinism was his sole motivation; his parliamentary career consequently a one-trick pony.

Well let me, as someone who first met Evan 20 years ago when he was a postgraduate and I an undergraduate at Oxford, put another point of view.

If more MPs had been like him, it is highly unlikely that politicians would have come to have been held in such low regard. If more Liberal Democrats had been like him, I suspect they would be doing much better and might even have stood a genuine chance of replacing Labour as the main party of the left.

A consistently strong voice for the NHS and for science, he shared the title of "Secularist of the Year" with Lord Avebury in 2009 for their work in helping abolish the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. He has campaigned against faith schools and argued courageously in favour of abortion, euthanasia, immigration and gay rights.

Some readers -- especially those who have described me as being "an apologist for religion" -- may be surprised to see me praising him. On the contrary, although I may disagree with some of Evan's stances, I think he has been one of the most principled MPs in parliament, sticking to his convictions and standing up for a true-liberal view of free speech and of the idea of liberty itself.

The fact that some of the policies he advocates led "one Labour MP" in this peculiarly nasty Daily Mail profile to say "he's way to the left of us", only serves to show that Evan -- or "Dr Death" as the Mail's Leo McKinstry calls him -- has not trimmed and tacked to the centre-right as New Labour did. (And doesn't that tactic look tattered and shameful now?)

Evan lost Oxford West & Abingdon by less than 200 votes after being the target of campaigns by at least two priests, one of whom was behind a leaflet distributed in his constituency that again described him as "Dr Death". Such blatant and ad hominem interference in the political process demonstrates how much voices for secularism are needed in parliament, although that message evidently did not get through to the voters.

I came across a quote that provides a far better -- and, I would have thought, more Christian -- way of debating with a man such as Evan in a book by another atheist, euthanasia-supporting Liberal, the late Ludovic Kennedy.

"There is only one way of dealing with people of different opinions; answer them. If the Christian faith can only reply... with personal abuse and can find no compelling answer, it deserves to fail and will in fact disappear."

Guess where Kennedy took the quote from? The Church of England Newspaper, in 1955. It was right then and it's still right today. Surely you wouldn't disagree, George?




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