Jacob Rees-Mogg has highlighted how liberal ‘tolerance’ will only tolerate views which it agrees with, as he challenged a BBC television presenter.
Rees-Mogg accused Daily Politics host Jo Coburn of singling out Roman Catholic views for criticism during a discussion touching on abortion and marriage.
The Conservative MP went on to defend religious people’s right to “accept and believe” their faith’s teachings in public life.
During the BBC interview, Coburn quizzed Rees-Mogg on his view of the engagement and pregnancy of Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson, who is in a lesbian relationship.
And she refuted his claims of bullying, saying she was simply reflecting concerns within the Conservative Party and among “many people”.
The problem with liberal tolerance is it’s got to the point of only tolerating what it likes
He replied that he made “no criticism of any of my colleagues” and challenged her about whether her line of questioning was “stretching into religious bigotry”.
“You’re saying tolerance only goes so far and that you should not be tolerant of the teaching of the Catholic Church”, Rees Mogg said.
He continued: “We are a very tolerant nation. And the act of tolerance is to tolerate things you don’t agree with, not just ones you do agree with.
“The problem with liberal tolerance is it’s got to the point of only tolerating what it likes”.
He concluded that it was “absolutely legitimate for Catholics in public life, in private life, to believe and accept the teaching of the Catholic Church, as it is for Muslims to believe the teachings of Islam, and likewise for Anglicans but also for agnostics and atheists”.
Scale of abortion
Later in the programme, he also mourned the ‘tragic’ scale of abortion in Great Britain which saw over 200,000 abortions in 2016 alone.
“It is one of the great tragedies of the modern world and I think it would be a wonderful thing if society came to a different view on abortion”, he said.
Last year, Rees-Mogg said those with orthodox views on social issues are facing intolerance in society.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Rees-Mogg said life begins at the point of conception and that he holds to the traditional view of marriage being between one man and one woman.