I write as one who became a devout atheist at the age of nine, and has encountered nothing since – with the two exceptions of the globe artichoke and the mango – that hints at the work of an intelligent super-being. And yet whenever I hear Dawkins on the car radio, spluttering lividly at the stupidity of those who cannot see the truth as clearly as he does, the instinct is to do a handbrake turn and drive like a maniac to the nearest church, synagogue, temple or mosque. He preaches so conceitedly, and with such poisonously illiberal scorn for those who follow the great faiths, that I want to worship alongside every one of them. While the new Pope seems a genuinely holy kinda guy, and the new Archbishop of Canterbury an absolute sweetheart, Dawkins is more repressively dogmatic than the Ayatollahs. Give him such comedy props as a milky eye and a hook, and he’d come across as crazier than Abu Hamza.