Lord Patten attacks 'intolerant' secularists
By JONATHAN WYNNE-JONES - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Added: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 18:00:40 UTC
The new chairman of the BBC has waded into the growing row over secularism by warning that atheists are "intolerant" of religion
Lord Patten of Barnes, the former Cabinet minister and a practising Catholic, said that he felt he was regarded as "peculiar" over his faith.
His comments come amid a deepening battle over the freedom of religious belief, which last week saw a Christian electrician threatened with the sack for displaying a cross in his van.
Lord Patten, a Conservative peer who will take control of the BBC Trust next month, is the highest-profile political figure to enter the debate over what is seen as a creeping attempt to remove Christianity from public life.
But his comments angered secularists, who last night expressed concern that his faith could affect his ability to remain objective in making decisions.
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Their assault illustrates the extent to which defenders of religion still dominate our press, the brutal retaliation exacted on clever opponents of faith and the incorrigible stupidity of Sayeeda Warsi's claim about "militant secularism" last week.