Letter: Ludovic and literalism

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JOHN MORRISH attacks the "literalism" of Ludovic Kennedy's book All in the Mind (Culture, 31 January), mocks him for saying he doesn't know what the Apostles' Creed means, compares it with "a baby's smile, or a piece of fruit, or a burst of Miles Davis", all of which are "mysterious and beautiful", and concludes that none of them "mean" anything, though this doesn't make religion "untrue".

This is disingenuous to the point of dishonesty. Christianity is a literal religion, the Gospels are literal stories, and the Jesus of the New Testament meant something. The creeds begin, "I believe...", and the people who composed them and the people who have repeated them week after week for hundreds and hundreds of years thought they believed something that had real meaning and which was true in a literal sense. If this is no longer the case, if religion is true in some other sense, if the creeds are meaningless, it would be more honest to amend them to begin, "I don't really believe..." Then at least we would all know where we were.

NICOLAS WALTER

Rationalist Press Association London N1

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