Maybe you thought we were making a fuss about nothing, but BBC Producer and Radio 4 Presenter Roger Bolton has now also warned that the BBC is ‘coming up short’, and failing at a time of global crisis to take religion seriously. As reported in The Telegraph on 28 November (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/28/bbc-coming-short-religious-broadcasting-does-not-take-faith/) the outspoken presenter thinks it’s essential for the public, and in particular young people and immigrants, ‘to understand the crucial role of Christianity in the formation of British culture, and for the public to have enough knowledge of the Shia/Sunni split to navigate current affairs in the Middle East.’
As he went on to stress, religious programming isn’t about promoting faith, but it is about promoting knowledge and understanding.
VfJUK wholeheartedly concurs, but would add that the BBC’s programming policy should reflect the core values of this nation – as unique to, and derived from, Christianity – and that because of this Christianity should be give correspondingly more air time than minority faiths. It is beyond argument that Christianity has been ‘ideologically’ downgraded and marginalized in recent years. But at a time when religious tensions are growing, both in the UK and abroad, it is foolhardy in the extreme to try and impose so-called secular neutrality out of the misguided belief that we can somehow lessen the influence and impact of faith. Similarly, the exploitation and promotion of ‘multi-culturalism’ so as to make Christianity only one religion among many can only weaken our society, betraying both our heritage and values. Such shortsightedness will in the longer term endanger both the security and peace of our nation.
Controversially, but accurately, Bolton has also said that ‘the lack of an experienced, dedicated head of religion and ethics was a strange contrast within a BBC which has “editors for almost everything under the sun”.’
It is time for the demonstrated anti-Christian bias evident in recent attitudes of the BBC hierarchy and programming strategists to go. We therefore repeat our call to the BBC to respect and protect the UK’s Christian heritage and character – ideally by restoring a Christian Head of Religion and Ethics. – and to give due and proper attention to the broader issue of religious programming.
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