In defence of Thought for the Day: why Britain needs the BBC’s religious slot more than ever

Nov 1, 2017 by

by Joseph Hartropp, Christian Today:

Shots have been fired at the religious slot ‘Thought for the Day’ (TFTD), the weekday feature on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Presenter John Humphrys called the segment ‘inappropriate’ and ‘deeply boring’; a ‘sermon’ not relevant to the news programme surrounding it.

But as several commentators have hit back, the slot plays a crucial role in dignifying Britain’s diverse religious heritage and making rare space for life’s spiritual dimension. In a time when religion remains decisive but frequently misunderstood, TFTD is needed now more than ever.

Humphrys suggested that ‘three minutes of uninterrupted religion’ was not appropriate for the Today schedule, but others would see three minutes as a meagre concession amidst otherwise dominantly secular content. Religion has made so much of the world we live in today, and certainly hasn’t vanished yet – TFTD offers a nod to that past and present reality. Its ‘sermons’ are hardly incendiary or proselytising pieces, but give a (often challengingly) brief ‘reflection’ on faith in the present day.

Read here

Read also: Here’s my Thought for the Day: stop sneering and keep the faith, BBC by Giles Fraser, Guardian

‘Excellent comment’: Archbishop of Canterbury praises article accusing BBC of sneering attitude to religion, Harry Yorke, Telegraph

Pastor agrees that religious Radio 4 slot needs reformation, Premier

Sarah Vine (Mailonline) comments  ‘The problem with Radio 4’s Thought for the Day is not that it’s too ‘religious’. It’s that all the views expressed are so predictable, they’d be better off playing a recording of paint drying.’


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