As someone who badly wants to see a really successful liberal-left blog to counter the right's contunued dominance of the political blogosphere, I was delighted to be asked to join the Liberal Conspiracy group blog when it started up last year. But I always feared that as a Christian I would find myself in a distinct minority when it came to issues such as abortion and embryology.
I accept this, much in the way that pro-life Labour MPs have always accepted their party's majority position on such issues, in the interests of building a broader coalition on the kind of society they would like to see.
I do however take the view that when it comes to faith-related matters, people should be careful not to use inflammatory language and to try to respect the other's sincerely-held point of view. Up until now, this has by and large been the case on LC.
However yesterday I was finally moved to protest following an intemperate post by Kate Belgrave entitled Jesus H. Christ Rides Again which referred to Christians as "Jesus freaks" and "Holyrollers" and likened Christ to "a made-up figure like Big Bird and Po."
As you will see from the comments thread, the consensus on the site appears to be that LC bloggers should feel free to make such attacks on the grounds of "free speech," which is, after all, a perfectly respectable liberal point of view. After sleeping on it for a night, I've decided to go along with that and let it lie for now.
But if the general verdict is indeed that freedom of speech is king, I will of course expect the same degree of licence to be shown to anyone who criticises the adherents of any other faith in similar terms. Not that I have any particular intention of doing so.
Jan 31 Update: Mike Ion has now written this excellent piece on LC explaining much more eloquently than I ever could why so-called "progressives" need to be more ready to engage with people of faith.