BBC campaign update and April demo

The absurdity of excluding humanists from Thought for The Day is sometimes highlighted by hearing a religious person deliver a ‘thought’ on the Today programme that could just as easily have been contributed by a humanist. Such was the recent speech by Church of Scotland Minister John Bell from the Iona Community, who spoke in favour of humanist weddings in England and Wales having legal effect (humanist marriages in Scotland already do.). Thank you, John! Their time will come…

We ploughed on with our campaign at the BBC on 12th March, despite the cold that seeped to fingertips and toes, though we had to give in to the forces of nature after one and a half hours. Nevertheless it was heartening to receive lots of positive support and take part in the occasional conversation about the incomprehensibility of the BBC’s refusal. 

Solidarity with like-minded humanists from Greater Manchester Humanists, who also continue their campaign!

Our next demonstration will take place on Tuesday 9th April from 8-10am. A hot drink of your choice is on offer to all who attend! The morning slot seems to be a better opportunity to spot BBC correspondents and canvass their views. Many offer support, but say they can’t do that publicly.

Mike Shallcross, a Humanists UK member and regular supporter at the demo, will hand in his letter to James Purnell, BBC Director of Radio and Education.

Mike says “…apparently the BBC’s explanation for TFTD is that it wishes to “keep Thought for the Day a unique offering of a faith perspective within an otherwise entirely secular news programme” and I’ve commented that if this official explanation is intended to suggest that ‘secular’ content somehow needs to be seasoned with a dash of religion, this is as ridiculous as suggesting that there should be a three-minute slot for poetry in the middle of the BBC Inside Science programme, to be explained as “a unique offering of a literary perspective within an otherwise entirely prosaic science programme”.