My second piece of news is only loosley related to the first, although I imagine Thompson will have something to say about it on his blog in due course. Gay rights campaigner and prominent humanist Peter Tatchell has this morning announced that he will be fronting a Channel 4 documentary on the Pope, to be broadcast shortly before his visit. Here's what Tatchell has to say about it:
"My aim is to make a robustly factual programme that explores the Pope's personal, religious and political journey since the 1930s, as well as the motives and effects of his controversial policies.Tatchell is, of course, a fierce critic of organised religion and the damage it can cause, but he's also respectful of people's religious beliefs, and has campaigned widely over the years against the opression of religious minorities around the world. So I expect that, while his documentary will pull no punches, he will also deliver on his promise to provide a balanced view.
"I intend to ensure that we hear the voices of the Pope's defenders, as well as his critics. I would be like to interview the Pope himself. It would be ideal for Pope Benedict to be able to explain himself in his own words. But I doubt that I will be granted an audience."
In any case, the documentary is sure to provide some relief for the atheists who feel the media is hopelessly biased in favour of religion, while stoking the anger of those religious commentators (as represented in this Telegraph article) who feel that the media is hopelessly biased against religion.
Do you ever find yourself thinking that the reality could lie somewhere in the middle?