Please allow me to respond to the letters from Chris Birch (M Star January 12) and Karl Dallas (M Star January 19).
Chris regards my views on the history of Christianity (M Star January 9) as "simplistic."
This is a very perceptive response.
It is indeed a simple matter - the history of the official churches is one of continuous mistakes based on ignorance and reaction and this continues to the present day.
The fact that the Dean of Canterbury, Hewlett Johnson, encouraged Chris to join the Communist Party was surely a result of Johnson's support for Marxism, not his Christian background.
To address Karl's claim that self-criticism has been part of church dialogue for centuries on the basis that some individuals - like Charles Kingsley - have been critical of the official churches, does not absolve those churches of the mistakes they have made and the human suffering they have caused, and continue to cause.
It is very unfortunate for Christians like Karl that they are members of a movement which has such an inhuman and autocratic history, including the Crusades, witch-burning and the Spanish inquisition - and that these Christians are, by definition, comrades of Tony Blair, George W Bush and the pope of Rome.
In spite of progressive Christians like Hewlett Johnson, Charles Kingsley, Karl Dallas and many others, Christianity will continue with its ultra-conservative attitudes towards true democracy, socialism, Marxism, gay rights, the equality of women, and other social phenomena, until evolution renders the churches' ultimate demise, which will surely be a case of theism's loss, humanity's gain.