Atheist Clegg says humans ‘are spiritual beings’

Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has described humans as “spiritual beings”, despite his own atheism.

The Liberal Democrat leader said he was “constantly questioning” aspects of spirituality and hit out at “vociferous secularism” in society.

Mr Clegg, whose wife Miriam is a Catholic, said he attended Mass with her and their three sons “with great joy”.

In an interview with Premier Christian Radio, the Deputy Prime Minister opened up about his “complex attitude towards faith”.

He said: “My family is infused with faith - my grandmother on my father’s side was devout Russian Orthodox, my mother converted to Catholicism in adult life and is a devout Catholic, my brother studied theology and is a devout Anglican and Miriam is, of course, a Catholic - and I committed to bring my children up as Catholics, that was what I undertook to Miriam before we got married.

“I now accompany Miriam and the children, and do so with great joy, to Mass pretty well every weekend.

“I sometimes think it must be the most wonderful thing to be infused with faith. It’s not something that’s happened to me, it’s not happened to me yet and I would embrace it.”

He added: “I know labels get attached to you, but I’ve never had that much time for what I call vociferous secularism. I’m always a bit sceptical of anyone who acts with raging certainty about anything.

“I suppose in that sense I’m liberal to my fingertips. I’m constantly questioning.

“I still question, including about one’s spiritual life. I believe we are spiritual beings as well as physical beings and I hope I’ll continue to search and think about that and grapple with that until my dying day.

“I think that is what it is to be human, so I remain and always have been very sceptical of people who think they have got all the answers and there’s nothing more to be asked.

“Life is a journey of question marks and that’s as much, perhaps more, relevant to faith and spiritual life as it is to almost any other aspect of life.”

With the prospect of another hung parliament after May 7’s general election, Mr Clegg restated his opposition to forming a government with either Ukip or the SNP.