Just as a coda to Sue's post...
Jim Al-Khalili, Dan Snow, Adam Rutherford, Natalie Haynes, Dr Alice Roberts, Richard Herring, Tony Hawks et al are surely engaging in a spot of either confirmation bias or sleight-of-hand when they write...
Repeated surveys, polls and studies show that most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities
...because such surveys also show something else - and something that runs completely counter to their line of argument.
YouGov's most recent survey on the topic Is Britain a Christian country? backs up their claim that most British people aren't religious, but it also shows that most people disagree with them about whether Britain is a Christian country and, even worse, that most British people actually believe that Britain should be a Christian country.
Now, that's something they forgot to mention in their letter, didn't they?
According to that YouGov poll,
76% Britons say they are 'not religious', but 56% say Britain is Christian, & 61% agree it should be.
Most Britons say that they do not belong to any particular religion and are not religious, our poll shows, with just 5% of Britons saying that they are 'very religious'.However, most say that Britain is a Christian country anyway, and almost three in five Britons feel that Britain should be a Christian country in any case. Just one in five people says that Britain should not be a Christian nation.Even among those who say that they are not at all religious, there are sizeable numbers who feel that Britain is, and should be, a Christian country.
Yes, just one in five people in the United Kingdom agree with Polly Toynbee, Dr Evan Harris, Peter Tatchell, Terry Pratchett, CJ De Mooi & Co.
I myself am 'not religious', but I would also say that Britain is Christian and that it jolly well ought to be Christian. I'm, therefore, much more in tune with the mood of the nation than Tim Minchin or Ken Follett (which is nice).
Whatever David Cameron's motives (and cynical electioneering would be a good guess), his contention that Britain is a Christian country and ought to be a Christian country is one, therefore, that is shared by most British people. The view of these letter writers, in contrast, is shared by only a small minority of people.
So that's that then. Sorted.