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graham

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Registered: 16/11/09
Posts: 64
Reply with quote  #1 
The announcement today that the BBC Trust will continue to support the Radio 4 policy of discrimination against humanists and atheists is outrageous.

The BBC has an obligation to fairness and impartiality as laid down in its charter. The remit of Thought for the Day (TftD) is to reflect on the moral/ethical implications of current events. The assumption that religion has an exclusive insight in this area is astonishing. I have yet to hear an apology from any of the Catholic speakers regarding their church’s disgusting abuse of children in their care. I have yet to hear a Jewish speaker denounce the Israeli government for their war crimes in Gaza, I have yet to hear a Moslem speak out against their faith’s obscene treatment of apostates and homosexuals.

What I do hear banal platitudes about god’s love and how religion is the sole bulwark against a tide of immorality. The truth is that religion in many of its nasty, prejudiced guises is the problem, not the solution.

It is no surprise that politicians are afraid to confront religious privilege. Their grovelling pursuit of votes is to be expected, but that the BBC, an organisation revered the world over, should also demonstrate such a supine response is evidence of the moral cowardice and intellectual bankruptcy of its controllers and its management.

The BBC Trust may think it has drawn a line under this issue, it hasn’t. In restricting contributors to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day (TftD) to those who subscribe to a particular set of religious beliefs, the BBC clearly breaches the Equality and Human Rights Act.

The Act defines Humanism and Atheism as systems of belief and yet persons holding these beliefs are explicitly excluded from contributing to the programme. The BBC seeks to justify the status quo by saying that TftD is produced by the BBC Religious Affairs department. It is thereby promoting religious belief at the expense of any other system of belief like humanism.

The fight continues, watch this space.
wheels5894

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Registered: 20/11/09
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #2 
How wide is the restriction? We all know the 'standard' religions are allowed a slot but do they ban Wiccans for example or Scientologists? I've never heard one of these and not allowing them on suggests they are only allowing religions they like which is certainly discriminatory.
PontiusPirate

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Registered: 30/11/09
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 
I think the BBC is digging a big hole for itself. Although I'm reasonably hopeful that this will resolve itself in time there is a need to ensure that the message is driven home that it is not acceptable to discriminate against the licence fee paying public on sectarian grounds.

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wheels5894

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Registered: 20/11/09
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #4 
I am not so sure, Pontius. The BBC reflects the established church in many ways and is unlikely to move away from purely religious ideas until the state decides to dump the Church of England and become a secular state.

I keep hoping it will as it would further marginalise the monarchy but I just don't see it happening for another generation yet.
graham

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Registered: 16/11/09
Posts: 64
Reply with quote  #5 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8344000/8344742.stm

The Today prog is conducting a survey of our views about the program and they have selected the time slot 7.45 - 8.15 which just happens include the time that TftD is on, coincidence, I think not.
wheels5894

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Registered: 20/11/09
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #6 
Great! Signed up and ready to complain!
gavin_orland

Registered: 18/01/10
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #7 
TFTD allows only "the major faiths" to be heard, even though no sound evidence backs any of them.

I filled in the survey too and spoke against TFTD where I could, but it certainly looked like more of a marketing survey than angled towards doing something about TFTD.


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gavin_orland

Registered: 18/01/10
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #8 
p.s. I like the forum!

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Gavin
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