Atheist Richard Dawkins says he supports the Department for Education’s drive to make sure every public school in the nation has a copy of the King James Bible.

“A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian,” said Dawkins in a column for The Guardian.

The author and evolutionary biologist even went as far as to say he would have donated to the cause had he been given the opportunity to do so.

The books are being distributed to the schools in celebration of the translation’s 400th anniversary last year. The plan is being spearheaded by education secretary Michael Gove, who wrote the letter that is being included with each of the Bibles. While some have enthusiastically supported Gove’s goal, others say it is unfair to people who hold to beliefs other than Christianity.

“This is not simply another piece of literature, it is the holy scripture of one particular religion,” Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society. “Is it really the job of the Government to be promoting one particular religion in schools that are increasingly multi-faith?”

But Dawkins is backing the distribution plan, albeit with an “ulterior motive”.

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