Monday, 30 November, 2015, 07:46 AM - AtkinsAnd the Big News today from a Faith Perspective is that I went to an Advent carol service, not a Christmas carol service but an Advent carol service. Advent carol services are really the most important things in the world right now, because Advent carol services come before Christmas carol services, thus looking forward to a time of Christmas carol services which will happen in the future, after Advent carol services.
Let's face it, the News is just awful, so let's be grateful for advent carol services, which enable us to look forward to Christmas carol services, after which things will be so much better.
Sunday, 29 November, 2015, 06:49 AM - TFTDReference CAS-3574495-S4B181
Thank you for contacting us about ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4.
I understand you feel this programme is outdated and biased and ought to removed from the schedules.
First and foremost, ‘Thought for the Day’ is a unique slot on the BBC in which speakers from a wide range of religious faiths reflect on an issue of the day from their faith perspective.
In the midst of the three-hour 'Today' programme devoted to overwhelmingly secular concerns - national and international news and features, searching interviews and sometimes heated debate on issues of public policy - the BBC judges it appropriate to offer a brief, uninterrupted interlude of spiritual reflection, at a point in the morning when most of the audience are embarking on their day.
At its best the short talk plants a seed of thought, a spark of spiritual insight that stays with listeners during the day. At times of national event or crisis it also has the capacity to catch the mood of the nation and speak to it.
Although the number of UK church-goers has dwindled in recent decades, the policy remains in place because a significant majority of the UK population (around 70 per cent), including increasing numbers from non-Christian faiths, claim a belief in God or describe themselves as "spiritual." Also, the level of attendance in religious activities among the Radio 4 audience is higher than the national average.
Broadening the brief would detract from the distinctiveness of the slot.
‘Thought for the Day’ has been a regular feature on BBC Radio for nearly 40 years and therefore the programme's remit and approach is very well known by listeners and we therefore feel the programme's title is appropriate and should remain.
The BBC believes that all licence fee payers have the right to hear their reasonable views and beliefs reflected on its output. Within ‘Thought for the Day’ a careful balance is maintained of voices from different Christian denominations and other religions with significant membership in the UK. Speakers are expected to make brief references to their faith and its scriptures, but are not permitted to proselytise on behalf of their religion or to disparage other religions.
‘Thought for the Day’ speakers are not questioned or interrupted on air, but their choice of subject and the content of their scripts are subject to careful scrutiny and frequent re-drafting in collaboration with an experienced producer working to strict BBC guidelines on impartiality.
In addition, the mix of regular contributors to the slot represents a wide range of theological, social and political views to ensure further balance across a period of time.
Non-religious voices are also heard extensively across the general output. Occasional programmes give voice to atheist and humanist viewpoints. The vast swathe of general programmes makes little reference to religion, but approach the world from an overwhelmingly secular perspective: news, current affairs, documentaries, talks, science, history; which includes, of course, the other 2 hours 57 minutes of the Today programme.
Outside ‘Thought for the Day’, the BBC's Religion & Ethics output maintains a balance of religious and non-religious voices, through programmes such as ‘Sunday’, ‘Something Understood’, ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘The Moral Maze’. In these programmes, atheists, humanists and secularists are regularly heard, the religious world is scrutinised, its leaders and proponents are questioned, and the harm done in the name of religion is explored.
We do not suggest that the only people with anything worthwhile to say about morals or ethics are religious people but that does not mean that the ‘Thought for the Day’ brief is not a legitimate one for listeners of all faiths and those of none. Some of the programme's strongest support and most positive feedback comes from people who begin, "I am not a religious person but I do enjoy ‘Thought for the Day’…
I hope my response helps to clarify our position on this programme however I appreciate you may continue to hold an alternative view.
All complaints are sent to senior management and programme makers every morning and we have included your points in this overnight report. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.
Saturday, 28 November, 2015, 07:49 AM - JenkinsWhat's the solution to the constant bombardment of charity appeals? How does our unique belief in an Invisible Magic Friend help us deal with funding fatigue?
I don't know. I really hope someone thinks of an answer.
And that is the Big News today from a Faith Perspective.
Strikingly Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds, West Yorkshire, the Dales and any other bits that can't afford their own bishop any more Nick Baines
Instead, I want to bring you a different message. Go buy Adele's latest album! It's really good and is exclusively available from all shops and online retailers that sell CDs.
Thursday, 26 November, 2015, 07:57 AM - TilbyThere's nothing interesting in the news today, so I thought I'd mention that the monks of Glastonbury just made up all the stuff about Jesus visiting the place. I know what you're thinking, religious people making stuff up, how terrible. You only have to read the New Tasty mint, a reliable and not at all made up source, to realise that widespread international travel by the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend is a very silly idea.
The monks tales are not fraud however. This is faith spreading, being relevant and, by religious standards, counts as true.
Great Uncle Dr Lord Indarjit Singh JP, CBE, Baron Wimbledon, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations
And another thing, Guru Nanak thought there was too much fighting between religions, so he invented a new one. Yes, the solution to inter-religious slaughter is always more religion.
How do we reconcile the Invisible Magic Friend of this unbounded generosity with the Invisible Magic Friend who instructs his followers to ruthlessly gun down innocent people? It turns out that the will of the Invisible Magic Friend always seems to reflect the will of the believer. Who'd have thunk it?
My point, I think, is clear.
Unbelievably Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds, West Yorkshire, the Dales and any other bits that can't afford their own bishop any more
Friday, 20 November, 2015, 07:49 AM - BainesSt Francis, Paris, god, god, god, pray, god, god, god, pray, pray, god, god, god. Repentance, Greek, Jesus... hope.
And that is the Big News today from a Faith Perspective.