Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A secular Thought for the Day? - I'll believe it when I see it

The BBC Trust is apparently considering calls for Thought for the Day to include non-religious speakers, and this morning the call was discussed on Today, the programme on which TftD airs:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8151000/8151168.stm
"Christina Rees, a member of the Church of England's General Synod, and AC Grayling, a philosopher and atheist, discuss the future of Thought."
Christina Rees perpetuates the misunderstanding that godless people have nothing to offer in commentary on the ethical aspects of current affairs. She also seems to think that the call for TftD to be opened up to secular speakers is a call for theists to be excluded from the slot. What we are complaining about is that TftD is monopolised by theists, when there are equally valid non-theist viewpoints that are entirely appropriate for this brief segment of the Today Programme. It's called "Thought for the Day", not "Religious Thought for the Day", so I think our protests are valid.

The argument isn't new - it comes up every six months or so, is chucked around a bit, and then forgotten until the next time. I'll be very surprised if the BBC does an about face on this.

If the flash player doesn't work for you, download the mp3 from RapidShare:
http://rapidshare.com/files/341825485/Today_ACGrayling_ChristinaRees_TftD_BBCR4i-20090715.mp3
(2.6 Mb, 5'34")

Later:

Perhaps there's hope after all. Check out this post by the National Secular Society:
New hope for an end to religious monopoly on Thought for the Day | National Secular Society
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