That unlikely self-appointed champion of tolerance and ironically titled 'Communities Secretary' Tory Eric Pickles has said that militant atheists need to be more tolerant.
'This is a Christian country with an established church and atheists just need to get over it' - he says in a characteristically conciliatory response to people who have quite reasonably tried to prevent local councils having prayers at their meetings.
Now I am a pretty tolerant for a militant atheist - I mean some of my best friends are believers. And I acknowledge that of all the challenges to peace justice and the pursuit of happiness that mankind faces in the early 21st Century religion is but one of many. In fact with the collapse of anything like social democracy these days, it seems to be left only too often to church leaders to mildly question the worst excesses of unfettered market forces.
But after a weekend spent in which I self-indulgently watched the wonderful 1970 'Cromwell' movie (a chap who was hardly a stranger to strong religious belief himself) championing the essentially individual and private nature of conscience and belief, it is simply unbelievable that we are still arguing about the separation of church and state.
Especially when we are arguing with a man like Pickles who looks like he would have been so at home as a bloated bigoted and corrupt Tory squire.