Given my own biases, I'd be delighted to have lots more Douglas Murray and Richard Dawkins on the BBC. Preferably together.
That's not something that's likely to happen.
So in lieu of that, and whilst I'm waiting for the BBC to oblige (and for pigs to fly), there's always Douglas Murray's recent interview with the blessed Richard in the Spectator.
(The first part of his autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder: the Making of a Scientist, is out within the next couple of weeks.)
What struck me most, as a lapsed but grateful Anglican, is Richard's take on his own Anglican inheritance. It reflects my own way of thinking.
I’m kind of grateful to the Anglican tradition for its benign tolerance. I sort of suspect that many who profess Anglicanism probably don’t believe any of it at all in any case but vaguely enjoy, as I do… I suppose I’m a cultural Anglican and I see evensong in a country church through much the same eyes as I see a village cricket match on the village green. I have a certain love for it.
[If there weren't any churches] I would feel deprived in the same spirit of the English cricket match that I mentioned, that is close to my heart. Yes, I would feel a loss there. I would feel an aesthetic loss. I would miss church bells, that kind of thing.
I am thoroughly in favour of educating people in this country in the Bible, so you know where phrases like “through a glass darkly” come from.
I don’t think you have to [learn to Koran] actually, because if the justification for it is a literary one — since in this country we are on the whole not studying Arabic literature — it’s enough to know the King James Bible, like you have to know Shakespeare. European history you can’t begin to understand without knowing about the perennial hostility between Catholics and Protestants so I suppose for history we need to. But I don’t buy the feeling that because we have Christian faith schools we therefore have to have Buddhist and Muslim and Hindu faith schools as well.’
Now, come on, all you Richard Dawkins haters out there, doesn't that make you want to agree with Douglas Murray, that "As we say our goodbyes it guiltily occurs to me that Richard Dawkins is a man more sinned against than sinning"?
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