A new phobia – Christianophobia?

Tory MP, Mark Pritchard, will lead a debate today in the House of Commons to discuss what he calls Christianophobia. It follows research revealed almost 80% of primary schools will not hold a UPDATE “traditional” (Hat tip TG) nativity play for fear of offending non-Christians. The Daily Telegraph defines Christianophobia as:

These are the poor souls who break out in hives at the sight of a dog collar and develop a nervous twitch when they hear Tony Blair talking about God (although that is admittedly a normal response to hearing Mr Blair speak in the first place).

One blogger on the Ogra Shinn Fein blog shares the MP’s and Telegraph’s concerns but the Guardian’s Andrew Brown argues whatever the concerns, Christianity is safe enough. Do Christianophobes exist? Are non- Christians offended by such things as nativity plays? Is it an example of over-sensitivity rather than genuine complaint? Is ‘offence’ even a legitimate basis for withdrawal or does the public nature of most schools mean they should take a different approach? UPDATE: In the debate the Community Cohesion minister has called on Christianity’s role to be celebrated.