If there is one programme on the radio which is guaranteed to turn just about anyone into a militant atheist it is Radio 4's Sunday Programme which bills itself as a weekly look at religious and ethical news. And boy is religion creating a lot of news at the moment.
I try not to listen to this programme more than once in a blue moon because replacing radio sets which have been hurled at the wall or smashed with a sledge hammer can get a bit expensive.
The final item on yesterday's programme involved a woman called Vicky Beeching. Probably like most readers I'd never heard of Vicky before this week, but she is a bit of a star on the evangelical Christian rock scene, and this week she announced that she is gay.
Vicky is 35, eloquent, attractive, intelligent and clearly someone who has a very strong Christian faith. Earlier in the week she was interviewed on Channel 4 News, and the programme brought one of those good 'ole American evangelical pastors into the discussion. He began by saying that he has a sister who was (note the past tense) a lesbian.
That's right, she had been 'cured'. In Scott Lively's words, she had overcome her homosexuality. He felt sorry for Vicky Beeching because she had given into the "lie that she is homosexual".
Rev Lively didn't mince his words, and seemed pretty convinced that Vicky would not be joining him in heaven unless she changed her tune.
Roll forward to Sunday where the BBC had found a rather more mealy-mouthed, home-grown fundamentalist to go up against Vicky Beeching in the form of Susie Leafe, director of an evangelical campaign group called Reform. Reform is part of the Church of England and also active in the Church in Ireland, although thankfully not it seems in the Church in Wales.
Ms Leafe, who describes herself as a "radical feminist", is strongly opposed to woman bishops. What followed was a fairly lengthy exchange in which Ms Leafe made it clear that, like Pastor Lively, she thought that Vicky could overcome her affliction. Farcically she refused to utter the words "gay", "homosexual" or "lesbian", and insisted on describing Vicky Beeching's "problem" as "same sex attraction".
The distinction between homosexuality and same-sex attraction is probably lost on most of us, but the idea seems to be that homosexuality does not really exist ("a lie" according to Pastor Lively) and that it's just like a headache or cold. All of that dressed up as theology.
As a small boy in the 1960s I remember asking my mother about Miss Pugh, a lady who used to go to coffee mornings in the Congregational Chapel with us. Miss Pugh was tiny, and she always wore trousers, a grey gaberdine mac and had very short cropped hair. Tucked under her arm was a very snappy Pekinese.
I can't remember what my mother said, but Miss Pugh lived with another lady, and nobody batted an eyelid. Whatever it was, Miss Pugh was not going through a passing phase.
Vicky Beeching grew up in a pentacostalist family, and she realised that she was a lesbian as a teenager. The response of her family and her church was that demons were the cause, and at the age of 16 she was put through a public exorcism at a church summer camp. Unsurprisingly this had left psychological scars, she said, but she was still passionate about her faith and her love for her family.
It is not clear what is happening to Towy Community Church's plans to set up a Mercy Ministries hostel for young women in Carmarthen, although the last we heard from the pastor just after the opening of the bowling alley was that the hostel was back on the agenda.
Since then the church has all but disappeared from the internet, preferring to keep its activities and plans out of the public gaze.
There are plenty of young men and women in Carmarthen with drug and alcohol problems, and some of them will be gay. We owe it to them to make sure that these peddlers of pseudo-science and theological mumbo jumbo aren't given a chance to mess with their minds.