religious literacy
Education

We need to focus on religious literacy – before it’s too late

“For religion to be taken seriously there needs to be an improvement in religious literacy across the media,” wrote the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby last year. The context was the BBC Charter renewal and debates around the ownership and purpose of Channel 4 – the State’s broadcasters. “Commissioners, editors and producers are essential in this respect. Religion is about the stuff of life. It’s about people and communities, and what drives them. And, as has been argued before now, religion needs to be treated with the same seriousness as other genres like sport or politics, economics or drama. If anything, they should make an articulate case for more.”

The BBC turned a deaf ear to the Archbishop’s entreaties, instead shutting down its Religion & Ethics Department (“This page is no longer updated”), ostensibly to increase competition, but everyone knows that it was really to dump the otiose and syrupy ‘God slot’ so they could focus on the real stuff of life, like the imperative of the European Union, indispensable sport chat, inescapable Gay Britannia, or the mandatory inculcation of a liberal-progressive worldview and the perpetual tolerance of everything except that which may be prefixed with ‘right’ (morally, politically and religiously). There’s nothing more offensive to British state broadcasting than the rightists’ reasoned articulation of the rightful inheritance of right-wing philosophy and moral righteousness.

Religion had been given a cursory glance in the BBC White Paper, which perhaps reflected the rise in irreligion and unbelief over recent decades. But no-one was really ever happy with the BBC’s religious output, whether it was led by an agnostic, a Methodist or a Muslim. Sometimes it was judged to be too Christian (the clappy-chorus or pappy-hymn type of Christianity: never the morally ‘robust’ type); and then it was too ecumenical, and then too multifaith, and then too Islamic. For every content complaint there was an equal and opposite content complaint: far easier to talk blandly about ethics and reduce everything to variations on a theme of ‘love thy neighbour’.

And let’s not forget the humanist-atheist-secularist contingent: the sceptics would rather ditch the ‘God slot’ altogether. Why on earth would an enlightened and progressive institution want to propagate ancient and regressive belief systems which darken minds and bind human behaviour? Are we not free from the Medieval oppressions of myopic monotheism to apply intellectual reason and to bring our liberating experience to the big questions of meaning and life? How can such questions possibly be addressed in shallow studio discussions dominated by the arid soundbites of religious types, each eager to proclaim that their fact-free belief is better than yours. No one really wants to watch that.

And so ratings fall, quality suffers, budgets are cut and prominence diminishes. ‘Religion’ becomes bland and boring, dull and predictable, devoid of all robust and reasoned debate, ill-equipped to navigate moral quagmires or articulate theological complexities. Paralysed by the fear of offending some minority, the decision to broadcast priests dancing a jig to a chorus of guitars and drums becomes the Religion & Ethics risk of the month. And even that elicits complaints. Religious literacy goes out of the window, and religiously-literate producers and journalists become scarce. Why not dump the depthless ‘God-slot’ onto non-specialist journalists who will at least make a competent milk-and-water job of it?

We are producing a postmodern generation of headless tadpoles; millions of slimy squirming spiritual tails, steeped in swampy moral relativism, completely unequipped and totally incapable of differentiating, discerning and divining global truth, universal light and eternal salvation.

This a national tragedy. Religious literacy is a ‘public interest’ imperative which should be at the forefront of public service broadcasting. How else might people learn the difference between the need for cross-cultural sensitivity and the right to express a robust theological truth? How might people begin to discern between orthodox religious belief and cultural history which has become tradition? What does the white man’s grey-bearded God have to say to the oppressed people of Africa? Where might we begin to distinguish subjective opinion from objective truth? How do white women feel about the chronically dominant heartbeat of patriarchy? What passion might change people to love and care more? What force can change the course of history and transform the world?

Religious literacy isn’t an ivory-tower luxury or an optional understanding: it is for something. It provides the building blocks of how we study and begin to understand what motivates individuals, communities and countries. It is about the meaning of life and the nature and doctrine of God. It is about how we peacefully coexist with our kaleidoscopic differences and intractable divergences. It allows us to perceive that the extraordinary man who split history in two to bring salvation to the world is different from the one who penned the Qur’an and spread his word with a sword. To be literate in religious history and contextual theology; to be mindful of scriptural criticism, scholarship and Sitz im Leben is to be better able and equipped to debate differences and discern deeper meanings.

Religious literacy ought to inform our politics. If it did, we would know that you can’t just march into Iraq or Libya, free the oppressed and then sit back and watch democracy flourish. Nor can you change fundamental definitions like ‘marriage’ or introduce the ‘self-identification’ of gender and then lecture the Church on the need to ‘keep up with modern society’. Religious literacy should cause deeper reflection of consequences and then enlighten our discourse, not just for academic, metaphysical or theological purposes, but for the enhancement of the pragmatic and prosaic human interactions of everyday life; for the practical realities; to nurture a better understanding of liberation, suffering and injustices of the human condition.

Religious literacy lays the groundwork of life: it is about finding coherence and clarity in a morass of experiences and motivations. It is about understanding human impetus and community rationale. It is a layer of bedrock by which we may discern the lessons of history and their relevance to the present. It equips us to operate more effectively, to think globally and act locally; to deepen spirituality, correct wrong attitudes and intensify the adventure of life.

Religious literacy won’t hinder political progress or hijack the secular enlightenment: it is for something. If we don’t soon recognise that, we will lose the fourth dimension of our entire future.

  • Sarky

    Kinda lost me after the first six words…

    However, why should i as a licence fee payer, contribute to programmes nobody wants to watch??
    The truth is people dont care anymore.
    You stick religious broadcasting against ‘cats do the funniest things’ and you will get hammered in the ratings.

    You dropped the ball, why should a commercial or state funded broadcaster pick it up for you??

    • Chefofsinners

      “Kinda lost me after the first six words.”
      Kinda illustrates the point.

      • bluedog

        Remember, CoS, sarky is nothing more than a Japanese rice whine, and fairly volatile.

    • The Snail

      They don’t care – because they think it doesn’t or wont’ affect them – but it does. Much of what is going on in the world is religiously motivated. The BBC and others ignore this thus missing a whole dimension of the problems that such religious thinking engenders. There is never any discussion of the religious thinking behind acts of terror, the otherhand birth control or euthenasiaetc.

      • Sarky

        Because it doesnt matter. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist.
        All that matters is catching them and stopping them. A few years ago it was the IRA, nows its radical Islam.
        With regards to birth control, euthenasia you don’t need religion to make a judgement. There are plenty of better arguments out there.

        • Merchantman

          Better arguments really? What makes you so sure?

          • Sarky

            Ive actually read them!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            But you never produce any good arguments here.

        • The Snail

          But if you know the religious motivation and how people think, then you might stand a chance of arguing them out of it. It’s a bit like flies – you can indeed swat them, but it is better to destroy the source in which they are breeding.

          • Sarky

            Could i argue you out of christianity??….thought not.

          • The Snail

            Probably not – but would you agree with Bertrand Russell – an atheist who said:

            “The root of the matter (if we want a stable world) is a very simple and old-fashioned thing, a thing so simple that I am almost ashamed to mention it, for fear of the derisive smile with which wise cynics will greet my words. The thing I mean — please forgive me for mentioning it — is love, Christian love, or compassion. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide in action, a reason for courage, an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty. If you feel this, you have all that anybody should need in the way of religion. Although you may not find happiness, you will never know the despair of those whose life is aimless and void of purpose, for there is always something that you can do to diminish the awful sum of human misery.” – Bertrand Russell in “The Impact of Science on Society” (1951) Ch. 6 : “Science and Values”

          • Sarky

            Not really…you can have all that without god.

          • The Snail

            I admire your faith.

          • The Snail

            So why do you feel compelled to spend so much time and effort on this forum, trying to argue against so many things – if you don’t think you can change people’s perspective?

          • Sarky

            Just putting out a different perspective. Not actively trying to change anyone’s mind.

    • Inspector General

      However, why should i as an intelligent licence fee payer, contribute to programmes a daftee like you wants to watch??

      • Sarky

        Mainly historical documentaries, with a preference for ancient history…sadly only really found on sky.

        • Inspector General

          BBC 4

          • Sarky

            Yep, normally on i-player!!

            Fulfilled a lifetime ambition and went to pomeii and herculaneum last month!! Absolutely breathtaking!!!

          • And revealing. A morally bankrupt culture God destroyed. Just as he does in time all cultures that fall into moral decay as they rebel against the light they have.

          • Sarky

            Really??

    • People have since the 60’s been conditioned not to care anymore. It’s too difficult for them, they’ve become too lazy, watching cats or people cavorting in reality TV programs is easy escapism that serves to dumb down their brains and separate them even further from any deep meaningful questions they might have.

      • Sarky

        I dont believe that…they’ve just found different answers.

  • The Snail

    To the ignorant all religions are tarred with the same brush. Commonly they say that they are based on ‘fairy tales’. That is as the case may be, but the ‘fairy tales’ are very different!!!

    Most religions follow their founders, holding them as examples e.g. Chrisitans follow Jesus, Muslims Mohammed – saying anything against Mohammed is construed as blasphemy. Buddhists take the Buddha as an example to follow etc.

    The lives of these founders were very different and it is, a consideration of the lives of these founders of the religions, which would provide the greater understanding of religion by the unenlightened.

    Such a contrast of the actions and beliefs of these founders would also give the religiously illiterate an understanding of the actions and political stance of many regimes around the world and how current Western thinking has been influenced by religion.

  • John

    I never watch or tune into religious broadcasting because it only ever seems to focus on dreary, upper-class, traditionalist ritual worship, programmes about how wonderful and tolerant Muslims are and controversies about gays in the church. The vast majority of growing churches, and all that is encouraging and exciting about vigorous, youthful Christianity seems to be totally ignored. I am involved in a church with lots of young people, stories of healing and coming to faith, joy in worship that is contemporary and attractive. All the media are complicit in presenting to the nation a picture of Christianity that is thoroughly worthy of being ignored. It is literally a turn off.

    • David

      How very true.

  • Graham Wood

    But of course the BBC is the least qualified organisation to promote ‘religious literacy’ as it has demonstrated over decades that it is incapable of encouraging or broadcasting anything like original thought, let alone understanding biblical & Christian principles.
    The BBC is incorrigibly secular, made up as it is in it’s bosses of self appointed and self important guardians of opinion. This bloated bureaucracy
    needs to be urgently dismantled and returned to the private sector.

    • Chefofsinners

      Christians should urgently stop paying the licence fee. The impediment, of course, is the intolerable decree that in order to watch the output of independent companies, we must pay to support the BBC. If ever there was an anti-competitive practice, this is it. And where you have anti-competitive practice, you have every kind of disorder and delinquency, rewarded with multi-million pound salaries.

    • IanCad

      You’ll only miss it when it’s gone. True, it needs urgent reform; and that means starting at the top. The entire structure seems to be dominated by homosexualists, equalitarians, diversity warriors, as well as by an army of humourless, dense and perverted comedians.

      • They should have you in charge Ian, put yourself forward. Chef too and a few others here.

        • IanCad

          You’ve made my day Marie. Alas, as having never owned a TV, I would be only qualified to run Radio4. I’m sure Chef could help out there.
          Money’s pretty good, lots of perks, easy to become corrupted. I’m weak and try to avoid temptation.

  • David

    A splendid tour de force of an article, as Cranmer excels once again.
    Those who know and understand nothing of faith or philosophy are simply living their lives, following ideas of right and wrong (or their absence), as mere pawns in someone else’s game plan. In short they are being manipulated. This is precisely what the cruel borderless globalists want, to turn us all into free floating units of production and consumption, atomised individuals divorced from family, faith, culture and nation.
    But if you offer education in those things that allows us, as humans, to grapple with the deeper questions of both our wider reality as well as our daily lives, then truly we are set free to make our own choices, knowingly, as full human beings, and not blindly being used for other peoples’ projects.
    As The Gospel says, “The truth shall set you free”.
    Truly we live in a dark age, for juxtaposed alongside technological excellence, and material abundance, we have, by way of sharp contrast, moral and philosophical ignorance and darkness.

    • Sarky

      How arrogant are you??

      How dare you claim that those with no interest in faith are mere pawns and are are been manipulated. To then offer your own faith as the answer is truly staggering.

      People have lost interest in faith because at a click of a button they can see its claims destroyed. People are more informed now than at any point in human existence. It is no coincidence that as we become more and more informed, interest in anything religious goes down and down.

      • David

        Yes thanks to technology people have more information available, if they search for it, amongst the propaganda. But who is offering this information and why, those are the questions that are not being asked enough. Moreover mere information is not knowledge and it is certainly not understanding or wisdom.

      • A removal of health often changes this.

        • Manfarang

          Faith healing?

      • Martin

        Sarky

        You’re a mere pawn, being moved around the chess board of life by the loser who considers you expendable.

        And I’m still waiting for your best argument against the Bible.

        • Sarky

          I notice you haven’t replied to my last one.

      • Who are you being informed by? You’re being manipulated and don’t even realise it.

        • Sarky

          Of course i have.

      • cagedvole

        “…. To then offer your own faith as the answer is truly staggering….”
        Not as staggering as your staggeredness.
        Think about it – why would it be his faith, if he didn’t believe it gave the answer? Since he does so believe, what could justify not offering it?

  • bluedog

    A wonderful post, Your Grace. This writer believes that the BBC is more important than ever, and that the great national tragedy is its current misuse. As the conventional mainstream media declines, with newspapers shrinking and folding, and as the reach of unaccountable global corporations like google and facebook grows by the day, a national broadcaster becomes relatively more important. We have a situation now where politicians like Donald Trump can bypass the media and communicate directly with the electorate through twitter accounts, itself an important advance and something that all politicians will be forced to emulate. But in this multi-polar world of different forms of communication, it does seem important that there should be an independent and balanced source of advice to which the electorate can turn in order to assess the competing claims with which they have been bombarded.

    Alas, the BBC has long departed this Reithean ideal, and has converted itself into an unaccountable yet tax-payer finance political movement of the Left. Recent scandals involving the BBC, including of course the rampant hypocrisy implicit in its under-payment of women broadcasters, present an opportunity which an astute government could use to play a vital reforming role. It astounds this writer that a Prime Minister who proclaims her faith in Christ is apparently unable to exploit the opportunity offered by these failings of the BBC to implement a purge of personnel and subsequent reform of attitudes, the imperative of trans-gender identity not withstanding.

  • IanCad

    Superb YG!!! The light of the gospel is being dimmed by a once great institution. Actually two great institutions if we consider, apart from the BBC, the capitulation of the CofE.

  • carl jacobs

    Religion isn’t taken seriously (in the West) because people no longer recognize that it has explanatory power. What do people think is the fundamental truth? (As in “What fundamentals do they hold?”) They think the material universe is wholly contained and wholly sufficient to explain itself. They arm wave the unknowables (like first causes) and ignore the inconsistency about the authority behind morality. That way they can live as they want. This is all about justifying human autonomy and moral freedom. No Creator means no moral accountability. Increasing religious literacy won’t change that reality just as increasing readership of Aesop’s Fables wouldn’t change that reality. It’s not caused by lack of knowledge. It’s caused by unbelief. The lack of religious knowledge is a derivative problem.

    The problem with the modern West is not that it is ignorant of religion. The problem with the modern West is that it has adopted a competing religion – the Religion of Autonomous Man – that renders all other religious knowledge irrelevant. The West must discover the hard way that its new god is a failed god. That will be a painful and humbling process.

    • Sarky

      Carl, the “no moral absolutes without god” argument, has been shown to be fallacious over and over again.
      However, i do agree that increased
      Religious literacy wont make the tiniest difference.
      Christianity has had two thousand years to get its case across and has failed. There is no god to replace it and what we are seeing are the growing pains of a new era of enlightenment.

      • len

        No, its just another deception.Humanism is already a failing religion.

        • Sarky

          Erm, its not a religion Len.

          • Martin

            As you espouse it, it is a religion.

          • cagedvole

            “Not a religion”-?
            The first Humanist Manifesto
            “…talked of a new “religion”, and referred to Humanism as a religious movement to transcend and replace previous religions…”
            Even Wikipedia knows that.
            It was only later they realised they would get more traction by pretending it was NOT a religion.
            You can’t, in fact, change the essence of a thing simply by re-labelling it.
            But the humanist constituency – probably carried away by the success of that first fraudulent redefinition of their own movement – has gone on to try the same trick with ‘marriage’, ‘men’, ‘women’…
            No matter
            Naturam expellas furca : tamen usque recurret.
            It’s only a question of time.

          • The Snail

            It is a faith though. Sarky I admire yours.

          • Sarky

            I dont have faith. Its whst you have when you can’t prove your claims. If they can be proven you don’t need faith.

          • The Snail

            Of course it is a faith. You have not proved any of the theories that you hold yourself – none of us has. In a court of Law also we exercise faith in the scientists that have assessed the forensic evidence – we didn’t do the test ourselves. We also hear the evidence of witnesses etc. Your trust (faith in them) or disbelief in what they say, comes down to a matter of trust or non-trust. Your atheism is just as much a faith as is deism. Just the opposite sides of a coin.

          • Sarky

            I go on evidence not faith.

      • carl jacobs

        You are correct, sarky. The world is filled with absolute statements. Any man can make one, be he fool or saint. The trick is to make an absolute statement with authority. I defy you to name the authority behind these absolutes to which you refer. Remember. For a moral statement to be absolutely true the authority behind it must be orthogonal to man. Otherwise, the statement becomes subject to man’s will and can no longer be considered an absolute.

        So tell me. What binds the conscience of a man to obey these absolutes whether he wants to or not? What prevents him from asserting a counter-absolute and enforcing it with a gun? He is after all free to absolutely assert that the best counter-argument is a bullet in the back of the head. And how will you gainsay him?

      • Notforinfants

        Sarky. You answer Carl: Carl, the “no moral absolutes without god” argument, has been shown to be fallacious over and over again.”
        I disagree. Atheists cannot justify absolute moral standards inherent in Biblical Christianity. They can of course act morally and judge some actions as being moral, or immoral, but they can provide no objective standard by which to judge any of it.
        For atheists their worldview which denies God’s absolute standards and laws, any extreme immoral acts can theoretically be permissible – rape, abortion, child abuse, and etc.
        Logically therefore, only an unchanging authoritative being (God) who can prescribe and enforce objective morality here and beyond the grave is an adequate standard.
        The alternative is a moral/immoral free for all, or law of the jungle.

        • Sarky

          If you’re looking towards god as some kind of ultimate justice, then again you are wrong. If a child is raped and murdered and the perpetrator is never caught, christianity states that should this person repent at the end of their life then they will be welcomed in heaven. However, an atheist who lives a good life is condemned to eternity in hell. Where is the morality and justice in that??
          As for objective standards to judge morality on, wellbeing is a good start. If we agree that mine and your wellbeing is paramount and that over time rules are put in place to protect that wellbeing then you can see that extreme immoral acts are not permissable. Simply put, you do not need god for morality.

          • Notforinfants

            Sarky. You are completely wrong on two counts.

            1. ” If a child is raped and murdered and the perpetrator is never caught, christianity states that should this person repent at the end of their life then they will be welcomed in heaven”

            Wrong. Christianity does not teach that. It is too late to “repent at the end of life”

            God’s Word is clear: “It is appointed to men once to die and after that the judgement”.

            2 ” However, an atheist who lives a good life.”

            Wrong again.
            . No atheist, or indeed anybody else, does or can lead “a good life”, for the Bible is clear again. “For ALL have sinned (Against God and His law) and come short of the glory of God”

            You then say “rules are put in place” The question is: Whose rules? Those of men, or those laid down by God?

          • Sarky

            1. Ok, not the end of life but anytime, the result is the same.

            2. Why would i consider a religion whose starting point is ‘all people are shit’. When i look at a baby i dont see a dirty sinner and i find it repugnent that you do.

            3. Well i don’t believe in god so go figure.

          • cagedvole

            “…..2. Why would i consider a religion whose starting point is ‘all people are shit’. When i look at a baby i dont see a dirty sinner and i find it repugnent that you do….”
            You’re judging Christianity by what standards exactly?

          • Sarky

            The standards of a sane human being.

          • cagedvole

            bah. I’ve only got your word for it that you’re sane.

          • Terry Mushroom

            My starting point isn’t that “all people are shit”. I don’t see a baby as a “dirty sinner”. You are possibly rejecting your Baptist background. But I don’t recognise your description of my starting point or religion.

            (I’m one of those pesky Catholics that float around here!)

          • Dominic Stockford

            Interesting. So you deny someone the ability to repent of such a sin/crime, to change from being ‘bad’ to being ‘good’ – and yet at the same time you glory in the idea that the same man could change his mind about what gender he was born. All a bit confused, what?

          • Sarky

            Two totally seperate issues.

            And what I’m talking about is the loophole in chritianity that allows evil to escape justice.

          • The Snail

            All it says is “no-one is perfect” – unless you think that you have no blemishes? None is perfect morally, spiritually or physically. Many people acknowledge this and are trying to become less ‘blemished’ by various means from cosmetic surgery (physical), spiritual exercises of various kinds(spiritual) and adhering to various codes of morality. The message of Jesus addresses all these aspects of one’s recognition that none is perfect by offering wholeness. This recognition of imperfection leads to repentance – which means recognising mistakes have been made and then setting off in a different direction. This is how human knowledge increases in any field from a Scientific excperience to a Religious experience and even politically – e.g Diesel Cars which were once considered as the answer to certain aspects of global warming now the government have repented and are setting off in another direction – I am not quite in which direction!!!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            No one lives a good life and the punishment for the sin of the those saved is paid for.

            As for wellbeing, you do not deserve it, so how can that be something on which to judge morality?

          • Sarky

            And that comment is why i dislike christianity.

          • However, Sarky, such rules cannot claim anything other than utilitarian logic. They still do not account for the deep instinct that some behaviour is objectively evil. There is behaviour against which we revolt not simply for pragmatic reasons such as society cannot function if it is permitted but because we ‘know’ it is evil and ought to be punished. There is evil that we think worthy of punishment even worthy of death and our thinking flows from a conviction that is much deeper and righteous than a mere utilitarian ethic; we feel it is not merely a threat to sociatel order but is an outrage to humanity.

            Your first point falls at the hurdle that no one lives a good moral life. No one lives by their own morality far less God’s. Further, if we look from God’s perspective (assuming for arguments sake there is a God) the man who has abused the child is guilty but is he so much more guilty and evil than the man who has defied his creator. When God hears all your murderous invective against himself, denying his very existence, and mocking all he seeks to do, are you really better than the rapist? Is cosmic treason, and hatred of the highest being in the universe, living a good life? Put yourself in God’s shoes for a moment, what must he think of your claims to ‘goodness’. And as you compare yourself to the rapist does God not hear the voice of a Pharisee? Is the parable of the Pharisee and publican not speaking into this very claim?

            Our moral impulse flows from a conviction much deeper than merely the need to preserve our own well being and the need to live together in society. Indeed it’s voice, tells us we too are guilty, though we desperately try to find ways to blank this voice… such as atheistic arguments.

          • Sarky

            So an atheist is as guilty as a child rapist?
            Are you actually serious??
            Any god who would put me in the same bracket can kiss my ####.

          • Your own words condemn you. An attack on any person is culpable but an attack on the supreme personl, the most majestic and most good, is the most culpable of all. To attack the Kings subjects is perverse but to attack the King in person is a deeper level of depravity.

            If God exists then to deny his existence and rights is the greatest of all evils.

          • Sarky

            Oh well, when I’m sitting in hell I’ll have a big smile on my face knowing I’m morally superior to the god that sent me there.

          • Sarky

            Sorry that the medium doesn’t really allow for the tone that a face-to-face conversation would do. There’s a danger that I make my point to clinically or that it is heard more clinically than intended.

            These are big statements I know. As I’ve said no doubt before the real question we must all face is what we think of Jesus, how do we react to him. Although there are other powerful pointers to God and his nature the most powerful and clearest witness is Jesus. It is him to whom we must respond. And how we respond to him reveals most clearly our heart.

          • Sarky

            So non believers cant have a goid heart??

          • They can’t. To reject Jesus is to reject God and all that is good and true. If God is light and light and love then clearly to reject him is to choose darkness and death and hate. Thus the heart is revealed.

          • Sarky

            Absolute rubbish. I dont choose darkness, death and hate. My whole life revolves around my love for my family, friends and fellow human beings.
            Your world view is absolutely horrific.

          • bluedog

            Might is right, Sarky. My wellbeing trumps yours and it is immoral of you to suggest otherwise. So, understand that what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own. Suck it up, dude.

          • Sarky

            Maybe, but your wellbeing cant trump mine.

      • len

        “It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind the law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power—it is after all this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk.”
        ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

        • Sarky

          Cant hear it.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s correct. The deaf can’t hear. The blind can’t see. The dead can’t raise themselves to life. Where then is the locus of the incapacity?

          • Albert

            Nice to see you back, Carl.

          • Sarky

            Pardon?

          • carl jacobs

            Exactly.

          • carl jacobs

            Btw. Are you going to answer the question about authority or should I register your non-response as a tacit admission that you can’t answer.

      • cagedvole

        I would say that the “no moral absolutes without God” argument is proved afresh every time you open a newspaper or switch on the tv.
        For those with minds to see it, I suppose

        • Sarky

          If you look at the facts, we are actually in one of the most peaceful and prosperous times in history, but i suppose that doesnt fit your narrative.

          • Watchman

            Then that prosperity has become your god. And surely you’re joking about peace.

          • Sarky

            Not statistically.

      • Albert

        the “no moral absolutes without god” argument, has been shown to be fallacious over and over again.

        Personally, I would prefer to say “no moral absolutes on secular naturalism”, but I’d be interested in hearing how the “no moral absolutes without god” argument has been shown to be fallacious.

    • David

      Nicely put, Carl.

    • Martin

      It pretty much started with Darwinism followed by the Downgrade & Reason movements in mid 19th century. Once churches abandoned God there was no stopping the slide we are at the downstream end of.

      • Dominic Stockford

        the ‘Higher Criticism’ that came from Germany also enabled many people to reject God’s Word without even thinking through things for themselves.

    • magnolia

      “No moral accountability” for themselves; yes, but it tends to come back full force for anyone who annoys them. The hypocrisy of this is rarely acknowledged.

      Hence all the neighbours at each others throats programmes.

  • dexey

    Your Grace,
    I do not believe that Clappy – chorus or pappy – hymn equates with less morally robust. Is that what you intended to infer?

    • dexey

      Ignore me, please. I think that I read it wrong. Sorry.

  • Hi

    I think that part of the BBC charter includes reference to helping to educate people , so yes it can be a part of educating the masses regarding religion in a GCSE sense of basic facts type way. There’s song of praise etc . However the BBC is not there to be a prop or evangelistic tool for one particular faith or denomination of faith.

    • No, but Christianity is or was our main faith until we got swamped by foreigners who are now trying to take over. The BBC should be first and foremost Christian, then a smattering of all the others.

      • Sarky

        What have foreigners got to do with it??
        Typical christian attitude, blame everyone but yourselves.

        • It’s true though isn’t it. Christianity in the UK is being drowned out by all the others and especially non-religion. But the decline in Christianity is also happening in other ‘advanced’ Western countries, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe. It seems like one country started the decline and we and others latched on.

          • Sarky

            People just wised up.

          • No, I think people rejected it because it was inconvenient, they wanted to do as they pleased. God & Jesus became an inconvenience.

          • Sarky

            Or you didn’t put the case across well enough.

          • Manfarang

            Outside of Northern Europe religion is fairly strong.

    • HedgehogFive

      It does seem, though, that those at the top of the BBC seem as if they belong to a Brotherhood of Non-Believers, who have recited a formula (not in Arabic, of course) to the effect that there is no God.

      And so many characters, quite unnecessarily, keep slipping in things like “I don’t believe that” or whatever, when they are playing some relgiously based music (Bach for example.)

      There also appears to be a school who believe that there is no god but Sex, and for whom Kinsey is the prophet.

  • len

    Secular Humanism is the religion of man who believes he can solve all the problems that confront him with ‘reason’ and’ science’.
    ‘You can be as god’ is the oldest lie in the universe
    .But man in his arrogance believes he can be ‘ god’.
    So God will withdraw and let man be ‘ god’ for a period of time. This will be the worst time for mankind since the Creation.
    Secular Humanists know nothing of the spiritual world and the forces that are lined up to destroy mankind and their ignorance allows these evil spiritual forces to act unchecked.
    Mankind will only learn by direct experience the folly of his actions.

    • David

      Sadly I agree.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Ditto the sadness, ditto the agreement.

  • Coniston

    From a recent book:

    ‘Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing…..Postmodern society rejects the past and looks at the present as a cheap consumer object; it pictures the future in terms of an almost obsessive progress…..Quite often “truth” is nothing more than the pure and misleading creation of the media, corroborated by fabricated images and testimonies…..The tragedy of our world is never better summed up than in the fury of senseless noise that stubbornly hates silence. This age detests the things that silence brings us to: encounter, wonder, and kneeling before God…..In killing silence man assassinates God.’

    • Chefofsinners

      Good stuff. What book?

      • Coniston

        The Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah. Africa today produces far more orthodox Christians, Protestant and Catholic, than Europe. They should send missionaries to our benighted continent.

        • David

          We should welcome them. But no doubt the supremely arrogant secularist media would condescendingly dismiss them as backward, not like our ‘progressive’ societies.

          • Manfarang

            Since 2003, the most vocal international proponent of “Back to Jerusalem” has been the exiled Chinese house church leader Liu Zhenying, also known as “Brother Yun”. Yun intended for “Back to Jerusalem” to evangelize fifty-one countries by sending a minimum of 100,000 missionaries along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that winds from China to the Mediterranean Sea.The ongoing work of evangelism, both within China and beyond its borders, are being done anonymously by Chinese church members, who make no appeals for money or seek any publicity for themselves.
            Brother Yun visited the UK last June.

        • The Snail

          They would be classed as illegal immigrants.

    • Chefofsinners

      Ssssh!

    • David

      Well said.
      I am currently reading Proverbs and my thoughts were also heading in the same direction.
      Everywhere you see people transfixed by their electronic devices, which although entirely neutral of themselves, use up so much of peoples’ non–working time, thereby obviating reflection, thoughtfulness and even healthy social exchange. Thinking deeply is hugely unfashionable. There’s ever more information, created by the media, the Masters of the Universe, but little to no understanding let alone wisdom.

  • John

    A speaker at the New Wine conference a couple of years ago stated that the BBC was founded with a stated vision for Christian service. The first Director General, John Reith, was a Christian who felt he should apply for the job while on his knees in prayer about it. And when they appointed him, he said right from the start that the airwaves were a national asset that should broadcast Christian values to the nation and the world. In the first Broadcasting House in Upper Regent Street there is a Latin inscription that says “This temple of the arts and muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director-General. And they pray that good seed sown may bring forth good harvest, and that all things foul or hostile to peace may be banished thence, and that the people inclining their ear to whatsoever things are lovely, honest, and of good report, may tread the path of virtue and wisdom.”

    The very first Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC said Sunday should be set aside for broadcasting the kingdom of God to the British nation. They saw radio and later TV as a means of bringing Christian opinion to the widest possible public. One of his successors in the Religious Broadcasting department, James Welch, said: “I want to reaffirm the centrality of Christian faith and the survival of Christian civilisation. He even secured an obligation as a matter of BBC policy that they shouldn’t just preach the gospel, they should allow the opportunity for conversion to Christ. He said that this particular point should never be omitted from the BBC’s charter.

    If you want a benchmark of how far this nation has fallen from grace this is it.

    • RobinHMasters

      Thank you for posting this. How art the mighty fallen!

  • IanCad

    BTW. What a superb banner to go with a profound OP.

  • Well said YG.

  • dannybhoy

    BE HEARD
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    66%-87% of Christians in Syria and Iraq have fled or been exterminated. But with ISIS expanding its jihadist genocide, where can they run?

    It makes my blood boil. As Christians, we must do more.

    At the ACLJ, it’s our sacred duty to act. We’ve expanded our global legal advocacy – the largest effort for the persecuted Church we’ve ever undertaken – to 1) stop the genocide and 2) protect Christians.

    We’ve presented directly at the U.N. and we’re in federal court in an effort to change U.S. policy. Today, we’re sending 12 vital legal letters demanding key world leaders engage this fight.

    Will you defend dying Christians with us?

    Sign Our Petition: Stop the Genocide. Protect Christians.

    Jay Sekulow
    ACLJ Chief Counsel

    In just hours, we’re taking direct action for Christians facing extinction.

    ISIS has beheaded 21 Christians in Libya, bombed Christians in Lebanon, slit the throat of a Christian priest in France, and bombed 49 Christian worshipers (its “favorite prey”) in churches on Palm Sunday in Egypt.

    66%-87% of Christians in Syria and Iraq have fled or been exterminated. But with ISIS expanding its jihadist genocide, where can they run?

    It makes my blood boil. As Christians, we must do more.

    At the ACLJ, it’s our sacred duty to act. We’ve expanded our global legal advocacy – the largest effort for the persecuted Church we’ve ever undertaken – to 1) stop the genocide and 2) protect Christians.

    We’ve presented directly at the U.N. and we’re in federal court in an effort to change U.S. policy. Today, we’re sending 12 vital legal letters demanding key world leaders engage this fight.

    Will you defend dying Christians with us?

    Sign Our Petition: Stop the Genocide. Protect Christians.

    Jay Sekulow
    ACLJ Chief Counsel

    You can sign here folks….
    https://beheardproject.com/

  • Martin

    Seeing that most of the population is religiously illiterate & the bishops of the CoE seem to have abandoned religion for politics while being ignorant of both, who will instruct the ignorant?

    • Sarky

      Well volunteered.

      • Martin

        Sarky

        I do my best but we need many to educate others who, unlike you, do not read what I write.

        • Sarky

          I read it…its just not very good.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            No, it’s just that you’re unwilling to be corrected.

          • Sarky

            Not by you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            God will do so in due course. 2 Corinthians 5:10.

          • Watchman

            He sounds more like a Revelation 20:11-15 candidate to me.

          • Sarky

            So there are second chances in hell then? Otherwise why judge for a second time those already condemned?

          • Sarky

            So, entry to heaven is based on deeds. No need for me to believe then.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And since I know better than you, that makes you a fool.

          • Sarky

            Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Well done for demonstrating your folly, now go and apply it.

          • Sarky

            They’re your rules, not mine.

  • Where does the responsibility for religious literacy lie?
    Some years ago I spoke about the Gideons (of which I am a member) at an Anglican church that purported to be evangelical. During the talk I mentioned a man who was saved from suicide by reading 1 Timothy 1:15 in a Gideon Bible. At the close I gave just a 5 minute Gospel talk from that verse, asking people if they had seen themselves as sinners, because that was whom Jesus Christ came to save (cf. also Luke 5:32).
    After the service, a lady came running up to me and said, “Thank you so much. I never knew before why Jesus came!”
    Now who is to blame for that level of ignorance? Is it the woman? Or the ‘evangelical’ vicar who doesn’t preach the Gospel? Matthew 15:14 comes to mind.

    • Sarky

      What worries me is why join a club if you don’t know the rules?

      • Manfarang

        :”I never knew before why Jesus came!”
        Maybe the woman thought Jesus came to drive the Romans out and set up a new kingdom of Israel.

    • Hi

      Surely it is the responsibility of your community to make sure its members know their basics ? And NOT the state.

      • Absolutely none of the state’s business.
        It’s the responsibility of the church, but also of the pew-sitter. If a flock of sheep found itself in a field with no grass to graze upon, how long would it be before one or more of them found a way through the hedge and into the next field?
        How come the human sheep don’t realise they’re being starved?

  • CliveM

    To be honest I’m suspicious of the idea of the state promoting religious literacy? What would the state mean by that and who would be chosen to represent that? From experience of schools trying to promote a level of religious literacy amongst our youth, you would be likely to be fed religious, well mean mush at best.

    • Hi

      There’s TBN UK, channel 65 on free view. That’s a Christian channel. Came across it accidentally after watching “killer clergy” on one of the CBS channels.

      • Sarky

        Revelation tv is much more fun!!

        • len

          ‘Rev TV ‘ was good once as was ‘God TV but they both seem to have sold out to the prosperity Gospel(which is no Gospel at all) quite frankly the Christian channels are awful and must turn people right off Christianity.’
          I find these channels an embarrassment.

          • Sarky

            Come on Len you gotta sow that seed to receive your bountiful belessings.

        • Hi

          I watch / listen to “Tenak Talk” instead, too Jewish for some maybe!

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yup. But sadly it is full of the prosperity Gospel, and other notable departures from the Biblical truth. The channel next to it (can’t remember which way) has the odd decent Christian programme on.

      • len

        ‘The Bonkers Channel? its not Christianity Hannah,

        • Dominic Stockford

          I have occasionally watched, right through a programme. When I do I find that what can have some Biblical sense to it never gets to the end without losing the plot and going astray.

          • len

            I used to watch occasional.Then this creepy guy came on and started asking for money so he could’ enrich you,’ and I expect some people fell for it?.
            Peddling the word of God for money is an extremely distasteful thing.

        • Chefofsinners

          I think there is enough bonking on the BBC.

          • len

            Channel 4 is the place to see all that……apparently.

    • Royinsouthwest

      If the state did decide to take on the task of promoting religious literacy the task of laying out the broad objectives would probably be given to the “equalities minister” Justine Greening. We already know what her priority would be.

      Tory Cabinet minister Justine Greening piles pressure on religious leaders to let gay couples marry in church
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-cabinet-minister-justine-greening-10855840

      A senior Cabinet Minister piled pressure on religious leaders today to let gay couples marry in church. Equalities Minister Justine Greening urged faith chiefs to “keep up” with 21st Century attitudes.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I prefer Anglo-Saxon attitudes. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

    • I know where you are coming from Clive and I largely agree. I do think the State, however, has the responsibility to explain the central place faith has in the human experience and in particular explain honestly and in some depth the Christian faith that has shaped our history. Airbrushing it out of our education and media is irresponsible and of course sends its own message.

      • CliveM

        Maybe John, I just don’t trust it to do it fairly.

      • The problem is John that in order to “explain honestly and in some depth the Christian faith that has shaped our history” the State would need to turn to an authority on the Faith and Church history. Who would this be? The Archbishop of Canterbury? The Pope? The Patriarch of Constantinople? Who? Protestantism, let alone the Church of England, is divided. Catholicism appears to be fracturing. Even if someone could be found to honestly present the beliefs and history of the three main divisions of Christianity, what of the serious theological differences between Canterbury and Rome – and the issue of Papal authority between Rome and Canterbury?

        See the problem?

        • Yes. I agree there are difficulties. Though I think if there was a will and integrity theological definitions of the gospel could be reached (such as the Apostles Creed) that when placed within the wider biblical narrative would be acceptable to all. Of course part of explains the faith is to acknowledge the differences that have existed over the centuries.

          However, the will and integrity are both missing. The responsibility exists but the will to meet it is absent.

          • Jack believes the will and integrity are present. The differences are just too profound. A day may when come when Orthodoxy and Catholicism are reunited but Jack can’t envisage Protestantism being reconciled with either.

  • Albert

    The problem with the BBC is that it behaves as if Christianity is understood in our culture, so it rarely bothers to broadcast about it. When was the last time there was a BBC programme just explaining what Christianity is about? But then when you’ve got Love Island you don’t really have time in the schedules for the love of God.

    • CliveM

      In fairness love island is itv

      • Albert

        🙂 Oh well, at least no one will think I watch it.

        • CliveM

          It’s not the worst

          • ‘Gay love island’ is on its way, I’m sure.

          • Albert

            Gosh. I don’t think I’ll be watching that. What about “trans love island”?

          • I am an equal opportunities watcher. I shall watch the ‘gay’ version just as much as I have watched the original.
            ‘Trans Love Island? The mind boggles, but it’s only a matter of time, I’m sure.
            Quem deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Be careful or the BBC will offer you a job with a title such as “Director of Vision.” Mind you, the salary would be very tempting even if you tell the BBC that you identify as female.

          • Albert

            I wouldn’t be so retro as to identify as female.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You need to identify as a star, with leftist tendencies, that is attracted to other stars, but especially to black holes.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            How about ‘Self-Identification Island?’
            “Shelley, from Sevenoaks, prefers to think of itself as a she-tiger: Mark from Derby enjoys life as a potted palm, and Randolph from Tintwhistle was once a steam locomotive called ‘Sir Nigel Gresley.’ Stay tuned and find out which one falls in love with Doris, a speaking-clock who self-identifies with a human of indeterminable gender”

          • Albert

            Superb Mrs Proudie. And do you identify as the Bishop (after all, you frequently tell us his opinions and that you agree with him)?

          • Many a true word said in jest Mrs Proudie.

          • CliveM

            Could be worse, what about Polysexual love island?

            A word I hadn’t heard of until recently.

          • Albert

            I had to look it up.

          • CliveM

            The Channel 4 program ‘educated’ me.

          • Albert

            Well if you will watch Channel 4.

          • CliveM

            Its not a regular event!!

          • Albert

            That’s what they all say.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Polysexual”

            Calls to mind a joke:

            OAP and Punk with multicoloured mohican standing at a bus stop. OAP keeps staring in puzzlement at punk.

            Punk: Sumfink wrong, mate?

            OAP: Oh no, not really. You see, many years ago, when i was stationed overseas I had sex with a parrot once, and I was wondering if you might be my son.

            *Gets coat, goes back to wilderness*

          • CliveM

            Come in from the wilderness.

          • Inspector General

            Was that a shot in the dark, or did you know. If the former, well done sir!
            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/07/24/love-islands-creator-reveals-he-wants-to-make-a-gay-version-of-the-show/

          • Albert

            Really? What could be worse? Everything I hear about it (and I haven’t seen a second of it) sound utterly appalling.

            And anyway, how do you know?

          • CliveM

            Channel 4 does a program where a person chooses their date by contestants revealing a bits of themselves behind a screen. Starts with the genitals. Simply soft porn. Our Church parenting group advised us to watch it so we understand how cheaply teenager can now view sex. Watched 10 minutes.

          • Albert

            Starts with the genitals.

            What?!

            Our Church parenting group advised us to watch it so we understand how cheaply teenager can now view sex.

            I understand the logic, but asking anyone to watch such stuff is probably asking for trouble.

          • CliveM

            Well it certainly gives an insight on current sexual (im)morality.

          • Albert

            Yes, but not realising the danger of temptation shows a lack of insight.

          • CliveM

            I can promise you Albert, I found it not at all tempting. Pathetic and pitiable more like.

          • Albert

            Good for you. But what people do find tempting is astonishing, hence the need for caution in this area.

          • Dominic Stockford

            How did you manage 10 minutes, just the principle put me off (no matter the ideology that I agree we might benefit from understanding)?

          • CliveM

            Shock.

          • Hi

            The Jeremy Kyle show?

          • Albert

            Never seen it. Is that on ITV too?

          • Hi

            Yes it is on itv . It usually revolves around benefit type working-class people who have DNA testing to work our who is father or mother of their babies or lie detector tests e.g. over theft or cheating on someone. It’s a more up market version of the American Jerry Springer show.

          • Albert

            Wonders never cease.

          • Sarky

            Got to be big brother??

          • Hi

            True. At least love island doesn’t even pretend to be anything other than sex etc.

          • CliveM

            Corbyn has taken to tweeting his support for one of the contestants.

          • Dirty old man!

          • Albert

            Really? What did he say?

          • CliveM

            He was urging people voted for a contestant.

            Such are our politicians today.

          • Albert

            He’s so with it!

          • CliveM

            Pathetic isn’t it. What people will do to grub for a vote.

          • Royinsouthwest

            He probably thought he had better make sure he does it before Trump does!

          • len

            Corbyn will do anything, say anything, to get a vote.
            It worked in the election , the election in which he identified as ‘the winner’.

          • Mike Stallard

            Naked attraction – Channel 4.

          • Albert

            Extraordinary.

  • Manfarang

    RE in schools is a complete failure then.

    • Albert

      It depends on its purpose. If the purpose is to inoculate children against religion, then it’s doing pretty well.

      • Anton

        That is exactly what it does, because it never states where its criteria for saying what it good or bad about any given religion come from; the answer being, of course, modern secular culture.

        There is no spectators’ gallery. What is needed is a Christian’s view of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, secular humanism; a Muslim’s view of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, secular humanism; a practising Jew’s view of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, secular humanism; and a secular humanist’s view of view of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and secular humanism. That is the only honest way to teach these four faith systems.

        • And just who would you turn to present “a Christian’s view of Christianity”? All the main faith systems are fractious and divided internally.

          • carl jacobs

            Men cannot interrupt the construction of the Church, Jack. We do not stand between God and the Elect. Is there even one who will be forgotten? No. Why? Because God has sworn it on oath.This is the solid foundation upon which we may stand even as everything collapses into rubble about us. The Word of God will go forth, and those who are chosen for eternal life will receive it. Nothing can prevent that. So we proclaim with halting stammering tongue to those who will listen and do not worry about the divisions of men. It is God who gives the increase. One man at a time.

            Even as the rubble falls upon our heads.

          • Mike Stallard

            The best way to encourage Theology in schools it to ban it!

          • This crosses into the deeper mysteries of predestination, Carl, which no man can fathom. It’s the great divide between us and so much flows from it. Why does God choose to create individual souls and place them in particular moments in time, foreknowing both the condition of the world, the divisions in His Church and just how that man will respond to His call?

          • Anton

            Not you.

          • Point proven.

          • Anton

            You are seldom content to stress here what we have in common, eg Nicene Creed, but almost always add something sectarian about your denomination. Hence your unsuitability.

          • Jack tends to return like for like. Of all the serious and intelligent commenters on here (by definition this excludes the likes of Carl, Dominic and Len) you are the one on a hair-trigger ready to condemn Catholicism.

          • Anton

            Why should I let go nonsensical insults aimed at my part of the body of Christ?

            There are several people in our congregation who believe that the universe is 6000 years old but only one of them tries to push it at the congregation. I believe that the earth is several billion years old and I never advocate my views but I always respond.

        • Albert

          Absolutely. The need to study a position from a sympathetic point of view is vital.

          • Sarky

            No, vigorous interogation is vital.

          • Anton

            Yes, you get that when you hear, as part of my proposal, the Muslim’s view of Christianity and vice-versa, for instance.

          • Albert

            I agree with that as well, but one needs to understand the object before one can interrogate it. The trouble with the present way is that one does not understand the object, but only interrogates it from a secular point of view, a point of view which is never properly interrogated itself.

          • Sarky

            Fair point. However, I’m against putting religion (any)
            on a pedestal.
            I don’t think kids should be taught any particular religion as truth. All the unpleasent and contradictory parts should be shown fully.
            As I’m writing this I’m actually thinking what is the point?? Kids dont actually gain anything from RE at school. They just get a muddle of ideas and differing views. How confusing?
            Better to keep it out i think.

          • Albert

            I don’t think kids should be taught any particular religion as truth.

            I’m in favour of faith schools because I believe that parents have the right (rather than the state) to decide the philosophical/religious worldview of their children’s education.

            The danger of your position is that it elevates non-religion as the position by which everything else is judged. Now of course, the non religious person regards religion as irrational because it is then judged from the non-religious perspective. But then again the non-religious position appears utterly irrational when judged from a religious perspective. So the final problem is that in this topic, there is no neutral position from which to judge everything else.

            If I judge the metaphysical claims of a naturalist worldview from a Catholic philosophical standpoint then I would say it looks somewhat more superstitious than Hinduism and bleaker than Buddhism. Indeed, it doesn’t look that much better from its own standpoint if judged by its own rules. So why especially should this non-religious standpoint be the standard by which everything else is judged? Why should it be imposed on my children? And why especially shouldn’t it be judged by its own standards and the standards of everyone who disagrees with it?

      • Manfarang

        RI ‘s purpose was to inculcate Christianity. That didn’t seem to work either

        • Albert

          I don’t have the experience, however, my feeling of people who did was that at least they had a kind biblical literacy, and a general sense of Christian culture.

  • Inspector General

    It’s for the best, Cranmer. This distancing of religion by the BBC. You can’t blame them.

    If you are expecting Christianity to be given it’s due prominence by this organisation, it’s never going to happen. Islam would receive just as much coverage and consideration. We both know that, don’t we? It would NOT be acceptable in a civilised country. And then the screaming at the BBC will really start…

    Religion is not of this physical world. That’s where modern types in the CoE have gone wrong. By insisting it is. But it is not, and that message needs to be got across to the political powers that be. That religion is not theirs to tamper with, or rein in, or sanitize even. Much the same thing happened in the middle ages, when monarchs eagerly eyed up Christianity. Fortunately, better men than us such as Becket saw off these dictators at the time, though Henry VIII’s success was a grievous blow.

    • Mike Stallard

      Do you personally listen to the BBC? I no longer can, I am afraid. Neither can a lot of other people. The Mail yesterday was full of complaints about the BBC and a lot of demands for it to lose its licence fee after the pay scandal (neatly changed into a battle between the sexes). Why should a poor old grannie pay for the rich plutocrats who organise this pathetic twaddle? Or the reformed drunks, sacred gays and illiterates who compere the programmes?

  • Albert

    Glad to hear you’ve been refreshed. You remind me of Psalm 78.65

    • Albert

      I’m going to clarify that. I have in mind the BCP translation:

      So the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, * and like a giant refreshed with wine.

      • carl jacobs

        I would resist that comparison.

  • Inspector General

    Hangs head low…

  • Martin

    Heaven forfend.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “…no-one was really ever happy with the BBC’s religious output… …Sometimes it was judged to be too Christian (the clappy-chorus or pappy-hymn type of Christianity: never the morally ‘robust’ type); and then it was too ecumenical, and then too multifaith, and then too Islamic”

    Notable that it was never accused of being ‘too Protestant’, more’s the pity.

  • CliveM

    For what possible reason? You can’t actually argue that you thought it good viewing?

    • Sarky

      Curiosity….youre right though it is awful!!

      • CliveM

        But a whole series of curiosity!

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Three men went a-hunting,
    To see what they could find;
    They came across a lamppost,
    Somebody’d left behind.

    The Englishman says “Lamppost”,
    The Scotsman he says “Nay”,
    Says Paddy “It’s a póliceman
    And his clothes have blown away!”

  • Terry Mushroom

    I intended no discourtesy.

  • Nobody in America is Talking About This (2017 – 2018)
    Rising violence and division in society. The feminisation of boys and men, gender neutrality, gender neutral preschools in Sweden, Canadians can go to jail for incorrect gender pronouns, messing with the God of creation – scientists playing God, Jennifer Doudna says they can control human evolution now with CRISPR. They can change evolution by gene editing.
    As the preacher says “If you have a design there’s a designer, if you have information there’s an informant, something or somebody designed the design that I’m looking at”.

    Fascinating video following current world trends. We need God, Jesus and a strong Church now more than ever.

  • Mike Stallard

    We have had two Catholic priests in our little Church.
    One was cold, thoughtful, excellent at pastoral visiting and stressing the family – lots of commemorations of marriage, baptisms and funerals. Lots of appeals for more money which was used to make the Presbytery (tr Vicarage) better with a new fence. Lots of short thoughtless and dogmatic homilies (tr sermons). And, above all, a complete denial of anyone and everyone who menaced his centrality. He hurt a lot of deeply Christian people who have given their lives to God, the Holy Trinity. The Church emptied.
    The other was a man who threw away the rule book. He just loved people. Lots of hugs. Lots of smiles. Lots of invitations to come and have coffee. When a divorcee came (for the first time in a decade) to confession, he threw his arms round her and told her that God loved her. She has been a faithful member of the Church ever since. Trusting in God, he rebuilt the Parish Hall and filled it with unwanted immigrants. He was then forbidden to enter it by the Committee which he had appointed! That hurt. But he battled on, through cancer, until he could battle no longer.
    I know which one I prefer. And the Church simply filled to overflowing.

    • Sarky

      Brings to mind that famous quote by ghandi:-

      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”

  • Terry Mushroom

    My lack of humour!

    • Sarky

      You’re forgiven.

  • Coniston

    Another thought: I’m sure that the present Western ignorance about the Israeli-Palestinian situation (many believing Israel has no right to exist) is largely due to the fact that very few people, apart from Christians, have any knowledge at all about the Old Testament (or the New Testament for that matter).

    • Sarky

      They do, but see it as irrelevant.

      • Coniston

        Indeed, such is their myopia.

    • Manfarang

      A number of people in the West have knowledge of the Tanakh.

      • Coniston

        Very few, apart from Jews.

        • Manfarang

          About 15 million.

  • bobo

    Whoa! Steady on there, Nellie!

    ‘…….the one who penned the Qur’an and spread his word with a sword. ‘

    Insinuating that the Holy Qu’ran was not inscribed in Paradise in letters of gold and that a certain chap, whom peace be upon, was not whisked up there on a blue horse with a human head for a private viewing thereof is exactly the sort of inflammatory and hurtful rhetoric which can earn you a visit from Diversity Plod.

    And death threats from a conspicuously peaceful Community within our larger society.

    • Dominic Stockford

      So keen on peace are they that they will do anything to ensure that such peace continues, anything at all.

  • Albert

    Excellent. It’s always nice to have one’s prejudices confirmed.

  • IrishNeanderthal
  • andrew

    Forgive me if I’m missing the elephant in the room here, (and to offer a disclaimer I despise the BBC) – however can any of us really expect the BBC to allow, and even promote clear, intellectual and PC free religious discourse, without any pressure to bow and appease to the agitation and demands from members of our favorite, imported religion ‘of truth’?