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Saturday, 7 November 2009

How the churches seek to control

The churches have for years been ensuring that nonreligious voices don’t get a say on BBC Radio 4’s “Thought for the Day” slot in its flagship morning news programme Today.

So says the think tank Ekklesia. A new paper released yesterday by the think tank highlights “how, since its origins in the wartime programming of World War Two, the extension of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ (‘TFTD’) beyond their own voices has been resisted by Church leaders”. Ekklesia says in a news release:

Ekklesia co-director Jonathan Bartley was a Christian contributor to “Thought for the Day”, but was dropped by the producers of the slot after he appeared on the BBC’s Today programme and called for the non-religious to be included.

The new paper traces how the origins of “TFTD” came in a context of BBC religious broadcasting which was originally viewed as “evangelistic and missionary”.

It’s hardly surprising that the churches and other religious organisations would wish to hold onto all the publicity-grabbing machinery they can. Organised religion is largely about seizing and keeping power. Anything spiritual is incidental. That’s not to say churches don’t do good works in the charity sense or give people a place to gather, but people’s spirituality doesn’t need to be organised by hierarchies of priests, the more senior of whom spend half their time keeping hold of the ear of government and the media.

If groups and individuals wish to do good works, they can do so – as many nonreligious organisations do – without kowtowing to men in frocks who run around expending needless energy not doing much for the lot of their fellow human beings, while holding onto their power and privilege and the exalted status afforded them by the Deluded Herd.
Related links:
Nonbelievers need not apply
Thoughts on the Thought
Thoughts on “Thought for the Day”
More thoughts on “Thought for the Day”

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