The BBC have been told to put more Christian presenters on children’s TV to ‘familiarise’ youngsters with different denominations. The study said Christian presenters would ‘validate’ the feelings of Christian children. It said this was important for young people in their ‘ formative years’.
BBC children’s programmes should include more Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal Christians, a report of the corporation recommends. A panel of nine experts said youngsters should be introduced to the diversity of Christian denominations in their early years. While there has been a gradual increased in the representation of these people, they remain ‘still relatively invisible’ in the media, they said.
Demonstrating positive experiences and outcomes will stop Christian children feeling isolated, it said, particularly in rural areas. The report commissioned by the broadcaster, which drew on audience surveys and nine ‘faith experts’, concluded that all genres of programming should regularly feature diverse denominations, with news and drama currently the biggest problem areas.
For dramas and soaps, she recommended bolder storylines featuring Christian characters, while documentaries were deemed to need more Catholic presenters and portrayal of the Orthodox in history. As for comedy, the report concluded that the ‘biggest risk’ was Anglicans being the focus of a joke. This was judged as only truly acceptable when the comedians themselves were Anglican.
Acting director general Tim Davie, chair of the BBC Working Group which commissioned the review, said: ‘The BBC has a fundamental obligation to serve all its audiences. In fact, it’s one of the BBC’s public purposes to reflect the diversity of UK life, especially when 55% of the UK describe themselves as Christian according to the recent census.
Of course the above is a parody of this news item.
But it does make me ask the question as to why someone feels it’s important to have different Christian denominations as Children’s TV presenters? I mean, how do you know if they are Christian, and even if they are what denomination? Are we expected to keep an eye out for how they make the sign of the cross, or whether they genuflect or bow their head?
It’s madness, or as someone else has said:
I don’t want gay presenters, I don’t want straight presenters, I don’t want northern presenters, I don’t want southern presenters, I don’t want black, white, male female, able bodied or disabled presenters. I want competent presenters which seems less and less likely from an increasingly incompetent organisation.
I read the letter below and very nearly fell off me chair! Imagine that, MPs in the House of Commons, one from each of the main parties defending a group (HOTS) that had fallen foul of the Atheist Standards Authority, Sorry Advertising Standards Authority.
Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury
Chairman, Advertising Standards Agency
21st March 2012
We are writing on behalf of the all-party Christians in Parliament group in Westminster and your ruling that the Healing On The Streets ministry in Bath are no longer able to claim, in their advertising, that God can heal people from medical conditions.
We write to express our concern at this decision and to enquire about the basis on which it has been made. It appears to cut across two thousand years of Christian tradition and the very clear teaching in the Bible. Many of us have seen and experienced physical healing ourselves in our own families and churches and wonder why you have decided that this is not possible.
On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based this decision?
You might be interested to know that I (Gary Streeter) received divine healing myself at a church meeting in 1983 on my right hand, which was in pain for many years. After prayer at that meeting, my hand was immediately free from pain and has been ever since. What does the ASA say about that? I would be the first to accept that prayed for people do not always get healed, but sometimes they do. That is all this sincere group of Christians in Bath are claiming.
It is interesting to note that since the traumatic collapse of the footballer Fabrice Muamba the whole nation appears to be praying for a physical healing for him. I enclose some media extracts. Are they wrong also and will you seek to intervene?
We invite your detailed response to this letter and unless you can persuade us that you have reached your ruling on the basis of indisputable scientific evidence, we intend to raise this matter in Parliament.
Gary Streeter MP (Con)
Chair, Christians in Parliament
Gavin Shuker MP (Labour)
Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament
Tim Farron (Lib-Dem)
Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament
Source : Total Politics
A bit of a debate going on about whether Christianity is being marginalised in British society.
The Daily Mail highlights a few of the recent cases that have hit the headlines. It does make one wonder.
- Gary McFarlane, 48, a former elder in a church in Hanham, Bristol, lost his fight at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in London to prove discrimination by the relationship charity Relate in 2009. McFarlane lost his job after refusing to provide sex therapy to gay couples has failed in a further attempt to prove religious discrimination by his former employers.
- Nadia Eweida, 58, lost her appeal against a ruling which cleared British Airways of discrimination by stopping her wearing a cross visibly at work. The tribunal, held in 2010, was told Miss Eweida was sent home in September 2006 over the display of the small silver cross on a chain around her neck, which she wore as a personal expression of her faith.
- Hannah Adewole complained that wearing trousers goes against her religious beliefs. Mrs Adewole, 45, cited a command in the Bible that women should not wear men’s clothing, and claimed she was banned from wearing scrub dresses in theatre. She pointed out that Muslim midwives are allowed to vary official uniform with their own hijabs and tops. She sued Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust in 2011 for religious discrimination and harassment, but lost the case.
- A homosexual couple who successfully sued the Christian owners of a hotel who refused them a bed are withdrawing a claim for more compensation, it was revealed today. Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall had said Cornwall B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull were let off lightly and had called for their £3,600 damages to be increased.
- Earlier this month, Christians and politicians reacted with dismay after a judge overturned centuries of custom by outlawing a town hall in Devon from putting prayers on the formal agenda. Atheist former councillor Clive Bone started the case against Bideford town council in July 2010, claiming he had been ‘disadvantaged and embarrassed’ when religious prayers were recited at formal meetings.
- Also this month, Celestina Mba, 57, lost her claim for constructive dismissal after a judge ruled her employer could make her work on the Sabbath. The Baptist mother-of-three claims she was forced from her job caring for disabled children after clashing with bosses over the issue. But the tribunal ruled that keeping Sunday as a day of rest was not a ‘core component’ of Christianity.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107642/Bath-crematorium-sparks-anger-removes-glass-window-featuring-4ft-cross-avoid-offending-religions.html#ixzz1nm5a2200
See also the Telegraph’s article. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9074643/Religion-in-modern-Britain-ten-recent-conflicts.html
It would seem that just reiterating that statement of Christian faith is enough to bring down the wrath of the Advertising Standards Agency. If you believe that statement is true then please sign the new e-petition here.
The statement goes:
I believe that God can heal
Responsible department: Department for Culture, Media and Sport Whether or not we believe that God can heal, we call on the Government to ensure that publishing statements of faith is not banned. This petition is put forward following cases where the Advertising Standards Agency has banned Christian groups from publishing material with the words ‘God can heal’, for example in Bath.
Fears Christians are being targeted by radical Muslims as 20 are killed in Nigerian town hall massacre
Read more: Daily Mail
Please pray for those Christians living in the Northern states of Nigeria. It must be awful knowing that there are people who will target you with death just for being Christian.