Have you heard the one about the comic who took on the establishment that loves him? Frank Skinner, the comedian, has accused atheists of threatening humanity. Interviewed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Skinner, a practising Catholic, urged fellow believers to stand together against secularists who undermine religion.
Even if it had been Dr Rowan Williams issuing this call to arms, the audience at Canterbury Cathedral would have stopped fanning themselves with their programmes, sat up and taken notice: turning the tables on, rather than turning the other cheek to, atheist bullies represents a sensational departure from the script British Christians have recited for generations.
But the man advocating that we “stop giving in” to atheists is a popular entertainer, the football-loving king of “laddish” humour. The issue is no longer a surprising rethink; it is a breathtaking act of subversion.