Tagged: Thought for the Day

Thought for the day.

BBC Trust says no to non-religious Thoughts for the Day

The BBC Trust today announced its findings on a number of appeals about the broadcast of Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and BBC editorial policy on non-religious content.

The Trust found that the editorial policy of only allowing religious contributors to participate on Thought for the Day does not breach either the BBC Editorial Guideline on impartiality or the BBC’s duty to reflect religious and other beliefs in its programming.

Lords call for more Humanist broadcasting

While the BBC Trust deliberates today on whether to allow more Humanist broadcasting, including Thoughts for the Day, Humanist peers debated the issue last night. One of the speakers, Baroness Massey of Darwen, said,

Humanism is growing in strength. It has growing public recognition in non-religious ceremonies such as marriages, funerals and baptisms. This has made significant contributions to public policy. The moral values held by humanists are weighed and considered. Humanism is a philosophy in its own right and is not a negative response to religion. The BBC needs in its programmes to give a perspective from the non-religious viewpoint.

There’ve been Humanist Thoughts for the Day on BBC Radio Suffolk since 1995, though the slot has been cut to Sundays only for a while now, presumably because it wasn’t popular.

Should Thought for the Day be scrapped?

While the BHA gets excited at the prospect of the BBC including Humanist thoughts in Radio 4 Today’s god-bothering slot, I’m not keen on the idea. Yes, I know I did T4TDs on local radio for years (necessitating early risings that totally messed up my metabolic clock – I don’t do mornings), but I’ve gone off them since then. How many people take them seriously?

Darwin Day Thought for the Day

This was supposed to be broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk on 12 February 2008, after being recorded. I didn’t hear it, so I’m not sure if anyone else did.

DarwinToday is Darwin Day, the 199th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection. On Darwin Day we celebrate the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity, and in particular we celebrate the achievements of a great man.

If he were alive today, I‘m sure Darwin would be fascinated by the current BBC TV series, Life in Cold Blood, with Sir David Attenborough, some of which was filmed on the Galapagos Isles, where he made the discoveries that sowed the seeds of doubt about the conventional biblical explanation for the origin of life.

Votes for Women

Thought for the Day, BBC Radio Suffolk, Saturday 2 February 2008

Millicent FawcettThirty-odd years ago, I met a suffragette. She’d known the Pankhursts – Emmeline and her daughter Christabel, who led the Women’s Social & Political Union, popularly known as suffragettes. Although Mrs Birnberg was an old woman when I met her, she still felt as strongly about women’s rights as she’d ever done and was scornful about the young women who didn’t use the vote that she and other women had fought for. I thought about her when, during election campaigns here in Suffolk, women would say they couldn’t be bothered to go and vote.

“Fluffy” Humanism

BBC Sfk logoI make a mental note of new words I hear or read if I think they may come in useful. Last week someone used the word “anthropocentric”, and I had to look it up because it had been used in connection with Humanism.

Multicultural midwinter

Listeners who are, or have been, parents or teachers might have experienced the problem of fair shares, when a child has a sweet or a treat, and the others get wind of it and demand one too. It’s no good trying to sneak a treat to one child, without setting off wails of “O-oh! That’s not fair!”

Irrepressible information

Earth-monitorIn mid-August, a few hundred people took to the streets in Burma’s capital, Rangoon. Since then, the world has watched an unfolding drama on its TV screens. At least, those that have TV are watching. Others are listening to their radios, or reading newspapers, leaflets, emails and blogs (or web logs).

Over fifty years ago, when they wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they didn’t anticipate the World Wide Web and its effect on international communications. Article 19 says, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” It’s become harder to conceal human rights abuses since then, as there are an increasing number of ways to spread information.

Life isn’t all neat and tidy

Have you noticed how often the word “closure” is used these days? A policeman or woman might say, when being interviewed on TV about a case, that they want to find the perpetrator so the that the victims can have “closure”. A verdict, a funeral, a divorce, or any event that marks a significant setback in someone’s life, and he or she may be expected to find “closure”. It’s one of those words that seems to mean something, but doesn’t.