Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Time for atheists on Thought for the Day?

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Today presenter Evan Davis would like to hear atheists
on Thought for the Day
It is, perhaps, the ultimate bĂȘte noire for Britain's atheists and secularists (or at least those who listen to Radio 4) – each morning, they tune in to the Today programme, and in the middle of three hours of otherwise weighty current affairs content, they must endure three minutes of religious platitudes in the form of Thought for the Day.

Humanists have long called for the BBC to open Thought for the Day to non-religious contributors and, although the powers-that-be at the corporation have repeatedly refused to do so, they have at times gained support from Today programme presenters, with veteran anchor John Humphrys suggesting in 2009 that it was time for atheists to feature in the slot.

Now, the non-religious cause has received the backing of one of Humphrys colleagues, with Today regular (and professed atheist) Evan Davis telling the Independent he thinks Thought for the Day should be opened up:
"I think there's a very serious debate about whether the spot – which I would keep – might give space to what one might call 'serious and spiritually minded secularists'. I don't think "Thought for the Day" has to only be people of the cloth."
Those wishing to hear atheists Thought for the Day will surely welcome Davis' remarks, but they do raise one question – what's a "spritually minded secularist", and do you have to be one of those to be serious?

I'll leave you debate that one.
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