Letter: God knows why William rushed out of church . . .

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The Independent Online
IT IS A pity William Leith, in his attempt to challenge the undoubted naivety of John Patten's approach to Christianity, should be so hard on an ordinary Christian congregation (Sunday Review, 30 August). He and his friends are obviously very superior beings, who look down upon those not dressed in the height of fashion, despise the ideal of duty, delight in being 'layabouts and slobs', and dismiss all practising Christians as 'third-raters, oily little tinpot careerists or neurotics afraid of the modern world'.

That is saddening. What is worrying is Mr Leith's deliberate twisting of the baptismal liturgy to serve his Olympian journalistic needs. As a skilled wordsmith, he must be aware of the difference in meaning between 'evil ' and 'evil spirits'. Evil is a reality, well reported on your pages. Mr Leith, I hope, is not too exalted to wash his hands of some responsiblity for opposing it.

I am not surprised that he dashed out of church. If he had stayed, he would almost certainly have been met with greater generosity than that evident in his article, and his position as master 'slob and layabout' of the universe might well have been gently challenged.

The Rev Canon Christopher M Smith