Letter: Tatchell's sermon

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Nigel Hawthorne asks if we would dare to hold somebody up to ridicule if they were Jewish, black or a member of any other minority group ("The dangerous bigotry of the BBC", 2 December). The answer is that we would if they belonged to the Church of England.

The freedom to protest is not a licence to abuse the inoffensive and cherished practices of a minority. Atheists and pagans are free to reject Christianity but in our democracy even Christians are entitled to have their beliefs and sincerity protected from violence.

To me as a Christian Peter Tatchell's disruption of our sacred, solemn and contemplative service of Holy Communion in the mother church of English Christianity was even more offensive than the endless journalistic mocking and deriding of our beliefs, and such jeering would indeed not be directed at Jews or blacks.