Sir: Mary Kenny alleges that:
Christmas is a rotten time to be an atheist: but then atheists embrace such a bleak view of life (in my experience) that perhaps they do not care for the "sentimentality" of Christmas anyhow. ("Meanings of Christmas", 28 December).
I confess that, as an ex-Christian, I miss out on the enchantment of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve; but this is just a trick of candlelight, choristers and the smell of ancient stones. In the cold light of day, Christianity preaches an accursed ethic of self-denial (see John 12.24) of which I, for one, am overjoyed to be free.