A man called Andrew Fleming on Biddeford Council in Devon has mounted (and won) a campaign to stop prayers being read at the start of council meetings. This used various legal arguments, including his human rights having been violated by having to listen to them.

Now, I’m not a religious man, but human rights? Surely even in Devon, there are more important things to fret about – shortages of cream tea ingredients, being adjacent to Cornwall or something.

I have a weak basis to form a view on this as my religious exposure has been fairly small. My wife was brought up as a Catholic though and we did marry in a service called Disparity of Cults, intended for Catholics who have fallen by the wayside and are marrying a non-Catholic.

My active participation in the religious side of that was pretty limited, aside from the regular ‘do you take this woman… ‘ and so on. At one point, the priest waved his hands over my head dismissively and muttered Beelzebub or something though.

There is also, I discovered, a point in the regular Catholic service at which everyone turns round and shakes hands with the other people around them. That’s all very well in Rome, but this is Britain – some of these people are strangers for God’s sake. It’s only a small step from that to making eye contact with complete strangers and that must surely impinge on our human rights a little.

All a bit odd, but what I didn’t do was the act of the fool from Devon and decide to whinge about it. He was, however, egged on by Richard Dawkins, the humanist with a mix of high intelligence and stupidity which are rarely seen operating in tandem. Enoch Powell was another with the same mix.

Most obvious feature of both is that they are/were just profoundly tedious, humourless gits.

Seems to me that benign slightly religious people are generally a good thing. They do no harm, and periodically one of them will find something good to do.

Conversely, religious fundamentalists tend to blow people up and fundamentalist of the Dawkins/Fleming ilk just drive us to end it all ourselves.

If you really feel strongly enough to protest about them, at least make it interesting. I refer you to the genuine case of a man in the Midlands a few years ago. He was prosecuted for common assault on a Jehovah’s Witness who had knocked on his door to spread the word.

He was seen to floor the unfortunate Witness then stand over him shouting ‘did Jehovah witness that then?’

That is the way to do it