Source: Science Editor Robert McKie in The Guardian, (May 19)
It sounds like one of the most unlikely alliances of recent years. Richard Dawkins (pictured above), arch-atheist and scourge of the praying classes, has announced support for education secretary Michael Gove’s plan to send free King James Bibles to every state school.
The proposal aims to help pupils learn about the Bible’s impact “on our history, language, literature and democracy” and will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the authorized version’s publication, Gove said earlier this year.
Church leaders have approved, but the plan has fallen foul of most non-believers. An online Guardian poll showed an 82% opposition, while the National Secular Society said the £375,000 proposal wasted money and favoured Christianity in multi-faith state schools.
Nevertheless, several rich Tory party donors agreed to back the plan and the first Bibles were sent out last week, to the derision of secularists – with the exception of their most prominent and pugnacious recruit: Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and critic of all things clerical.