Ours, apparently, is a secular West. But, darn, if we don’t retain some awful Christian quirks. The nobler customs, such as loving one’s neighbour uncritically, disappeared along with the Tridentine Mass. But, more dreadful Christian traditions persist -- even, and especially, among avowed atheists.

Penitence is so hot right now. Someone is always adopting a Jesus Christ pose. We can barely read a publication of the present where someone is not dying a little for our sins: She apologises on behalf of all white women; He apologises on behalf of all men. Here, a bloke writing at News Corp is personally sorry for the dispossession, theft and massacre white Australians enacted on Aboriginal peoples, but argues simultaneously for no address to this past. Feeling guilty is enough. Sorry seems to be the easiest word; say it like a prayer, then return to everyday, non-neighbour-loving behaviour.