Memorandum by B Clayton
1. Religion is seeping into more areas of
broadcasting. Since the death of Communism people are seeking
other hate or love causeslittle of it backed by any logical
analysis. Religions should be looked at in a historical context.
Accounts of how the various myths and religious belief systems
developed down the agesusually they were established by
men concerned about their power to dominate society who explained
with fairy stories the inexplicable events of the day. To keep
the groundlings with their place and fill them with fear of the
future and hope of some dreamworld heaven, with an ancient male
god being benign. Down the ages male-dominated religious establishmentsbe
they churches, synagogues or mosques etchave held on to
their power and committed some most abysmal acts in the name of
their deity: witch burning,, the inquisition, public hangings,
the holocaust. Each event based on a ludicrous "eternal truth"
which is a dangerous delusion.
2. Religious broadcasting should not be
left to religious people. There should be atheists, humanists
and agnostics working in executive positions, helping to balance
the conflict between science and myth. Richard Dawkins has a place
in the making of such programmesthough I think the established
religions would refuse to work with him.
3. We are entering a period when people
are talking about bringing back laws against blasphemy, against
promulgating religious hatred, etc. We have a play knocked off
the stage in Birmingham. Some kinds of Christians were "deeply
offended" by Jerry Springer. Bone-brained Bigotry walks abroad.
Any religious broadcasting should always remember that the large
proportion of British people are agnostics or even atheists who
hardly ever go to church. Their views should also be reflected
in programmes which explore the growth and decline of belief systems.
4. As far I am concerned, Thought for
Today is an instant turn-off. Cosy chats ending with a mealy-mouthed
religious cliché! They never have anyone who is not a religious
practitioner of some kind. Such items have no place in a current
affairs news programme.
5. am a regular listener to Radio 4's Sunday.
Nothing serves to strengthen my life-long atheist convictions
than listening to people clinging to their particular brand of
"revealed eternal truth" against people who have been
conditioned to believe in a totally opposite set of myths.
Nauseating but stimulating.
6. Bring on the rationalist atheists. We
need them now more than ever!!
7. Religious Schools should be discontinued.
Young people should not be indoctrinated with too many myths!
1 September 2005