I must take issue with Robin Jervis's defence of Christianity (M Star January 3). When the Star indulges in "mocking of the faith," it merely shows its contempt for the contemptible and ridicules the ridiculous in a way that an ever-increasing number of rational individuals will surely support.
Robin claims that "the church … has made mistakes in the past and on occasion has wrongly invoked religious pretexts to excuse itself." The fact is that this really is all the church has ever done.
From the Crusades through the witch burning and the Spanish inquisition and right to the present day, when the church remains misogynistic by refusing women the right to hold the office of bishop, and homophobic where it fights the right of gay people to marry, the church has been a force for reaction and opposed social progress.
Robin repeats the hoary myth that the church was instrumental in the abolition of slavery. According to this thesis, he would no doubt claim that the US civil war was a conflict between the Christian north and the atheist south!
The fact is that slavery was rendered historically and economically obsolete by the development of capitalism. The Christian church not only accepted slavery until the mid-nineteenth century but was itself a major slave owner.
I hope that our paper will continue to respect individual Christians for their beliefs but be ready to criticise all religions when they deserve it.