The BBC says there have been calls from militant secularists for Thought for the Day to be abolished. This is the three-minute pretend religious harangue on its flagship programme, Today, every morning. For once I am on the side of the militant secularists. There is nothing authentically religious about TFTD. It is an anodyne, multi-faith pep talk from the soft Left and so politically correct as to be beyond satire.
The presenters always try to link their ‘thought’ to an item in the news:
‘Jesus didn’t go in for binge-drinking but, after a long day chastising the money-changers and the greedy City bankers, there was nothing he liked better than the quiet enjoyment of a few beers with his disciples…’ ‘Guru Nanak did not stigmatize obese people but showed his love for them by distributing low calorie curry dinners…’ ‘In one of his many speeches about global warming, the Buddha…’
The array of TFTD presenters is like Grand Guignol. Anne Atkins, formerly the terrifically scary Bible-basher, now mutated into a terrifically scary agony aunt and post-modern novelist. The faux-proletarian Dr Giles Fraser, fully paid-up member of the Church Militant Tendency.
Lord Harries comes on every few weeks to support embryo research and always justifies the killing of embryos by saying that many of them die anyway – a vivid demonstration of TFTD’s non-sequiturial style: like arguing that because some people fall under buses, it’s OK to push them.
There is a tremendously progressive Muslim with a name and an intonation that sounds like Moaner Sid Eekie. They still nostalgically wheel out Rabbi Lionel Blue now and again to tell us that he’s not very well, gay and trying his best to exorcise his Woody Allenish obsession with the Grim Reaper.
There is no need for a religious ‘slot’ these days. The BBC relentlessly preaches its own syncretistic religion, ecumenically combining anti-Americanism, hatred of Israel, multiculturalism, and an obsession with climate change. Amen.
Good morning John, good morning Sarah and good morning Jim…