Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Written Evidence

Memorandum by N Day

  The question, "Do different faiths (including no faith beliefs) figure sufficiently in BBC programmes and services?" is posed.

  As a regular listener to the Today programme on Radio 4, I am continually outraged that the Thought for the Day, slot is reserved for religious submissions. With many polls showing that a very significant number of people in this country don't count themselves as religious, why are non-religious thoughts for the day not included.

  The British Humanist Society has applied many times, unsuccessfully, to get a chance to fill one of these slots. Why has this not been allowed? I suspect that most of the representatives of the various faiths that do broadcast in this slot have not been directly elected by their faith groups to speak for them, so why would it need to be any different for those from outside these groups? I'm absolutely certain that the sort of speaker and topics that the BHA could provide would be well received by any open-minded person that listens to the slot—and for any other faith, ethics and moral issue programmes.

  Please press the BBC to allow non-religious, and especially BHA, representatives onto programmes such as this. With the decline in organised religion in this country, it's even more important that inclusive, responsible non-theistic moral and ethic-based thoughts and views be aired.

2 September 2005

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