On the naughty step

25th May 2012 at 01:00
Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: Richard Dawkins

It all used to be so simple. Arch-atheist Professor Richard Dawkins used to hate God, and God used to hate Richard Dawkins. But now this lovely, simple, almost symbiotic relationship has been blown asunder by the professor's assertion last weekend that he supports Michael Gove sending a copy of the King James Bible to every school in the country.

"What?", journalists up and down the land said to themselves, scratching their heads. "Dawkins hates that kind of thing. What's going on? Hold the front page! Dawkins has been converted!"

Of course, it isn't as simple as that. The don hasn't seen the light. He's being clever, see. He wants kids to read the Good Book for two reasons. First, he believes it's a landmark bit of literature (some suggest Shakespeare penned whole chapters), and second, he thinks pupils should understand just how bonkers whole swathes of it are.

The point Professor Dawkins is making is that the whole thing is rather more nuanced than one might first have thought.

Bah. Nuanced, you say? The massed ranks of journo-land don't have time for nuances, Professor Dawkins. They need you to tuck in to anything to do with God whenever you're asked.

It's off to the naughty step until you understand your place in the Great Order of Things.

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