As someone who is part of the same tiny, tiny minority as Ian O'Doherty (the non-religious Irish right) may I express my horror at his joking about the most brutal child abuse ("Well, they do call it tough love", 9 Feb). A man in the US is accused of repeatedly torturing his 4 year old daughter by pushing her head underwater. He barred her grandmother (who raised her) from access, and the poor thing was so overcome when she got to talk to her loving grandma on the phone that she cried with happiness. She was covered in bruises, which she said were inflicted by her father. And O'Doherty (for comic effect) congratulates the abuser. For shame, Ian.