Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pope for Thought for the Day?

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The Guardian reports that the BBC are in talks with the Vatican to have the Pope appear on Thought for the Day when he comes to the UK in September for the Liturgical Mystery Tour. And they seem keen to secure his signature – they've even despatched director general Mark Thompson (or should that be he's despatched himself?), who is a devout Catholic, to Rome to lead the negotiations.

For many British secularists, a combination of Thought for the Day and the Pope would represent a two-for-one on bêtes noires, giving further credence to the notion that the BBC will go to any lengths to accommodate religious voices. It's an ongoing debate, and one on which both sides have distinctly contrasting opinions – just last week, secularists were complaining of too much religion on the BBC, while at the same time the Church of England's general synod was complaining that there isn't enough.

So what do you think? We thought we'd put it to a poll – is the BBC right to tap up the Pope for Thought for the Day?

a) Yes – if you can't get Jesus (and let's face it, who can?), he's the next best thing.

b) No. Just, no.

Vote at the top right of this page.


The_Hydra said...

For some reason, with the Pope's thoughts on our equality laws, the concept of giving him ANOTHER platform to address the people of the UK on leaves me cold. And don't even get me started on the BBC...!

Besides, with the inevitable coverage on TV, the papers, radio and the net regarding his visit I think maybe Richard Dawkins and Robin Ince should do TFTD during the Pope's visit? Try and achieve at least a LITTLE balance? Hell, I might actually listen to it then!!

Harry said...

I'd be happy to see the back of TFTD, but as long as it exists the Pope seems a completely appropriate booking. If you're going to have a daily religious pontification section on the Today Programme, you might as well get the world's most famous pontiff to do a guest slot.

Joe Hayhurst said...

Well said Harry. The Beeb has consistenly refused to drop TFTD so at least get one of the big boys to do it rather than the nobodies who currently get to go on every week.

Next time the Dalai Lama, after that: Bin Laden.

Eiskrystal said...

Lets hope he doesn't "think" too hard about aids prevention or how his rapist collective are all so very moral.

Or will he once again tell us how stupid, weak and obsessed with material things we are...
...and will he bring his Prada slippers?

PaulJ said...

The Beeb's reasoning for disallowing non-theist viewpoints on TftD is deeply flawed. It's tied up with their failure to comprehend that values and morals aren't the exclusive purview of religion.

So, although I don't like the idea of Pope Benny ranting from my radio at 7:45 one morning, it won't surprise me if he does. I'd be more concerned about the Director-General's expenses incurred in "negotiating" those three minutes of random platitudes in a German accent.

Hugh Caldwell said...

Unless the Pope has had lessons recently, his English is really too awful for TFTD.