Cameron's use of the King James to oppose multiculturalism is an attempt to reverse one of its greatest legacies.
Towards the end of his speech on Friday celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, David Cameron told his Oxford audience: "Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism. A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them."
If you think you recognise these phrases, then you're right. The fact that this passage was transferred – word for word – from his February anti-multiculturalism speech in Munich, suggests that literary commemoration was not the prime minister's primary objective.
A year ago, on 20 December 2010, the then canon chancellor of St Paul's, Giles Fraser, wrote in these pages of his fear that the King James Bible's anniversary would be hijacked by American fundamentalists, nostalgic public-school bores, and atheists who seek to claim it as merely a cultural resource.