Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The anti-Anglicanism of the BBC

Cranmer has long observed the rise of anti-Anglicanism, but scarcely has he come across such an overt example as that provided by the BBC. In a news article headed ‘Henry VIII love letter exhibited’, we read the following comment:

“When he came to the throne, Henry was the pious prince who ruled an England at the heart of Catholic Europe.

"When he died, he was the great schismatic, who had created a national church and an insular, xenophobic politics that shaped the development of England for the next 500 years."

This is priceless religio-political impartiality.

The BBC is constitutionally established by a Royal Charter which begins:

ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith...

That would be an insular and xenophobic faith

Accoring to this Charter, the BBC ‘exists to serve the public interest’ by:

(a) sustaining citizenship and civil society;
(b) promoting education and learning;
(c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
(d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;

One might expect some impartial appreciation of the contribution of the National Church to five centuries of civil society, especially from the ‘Trust member for England’, who is supposed to be qualified by virtue of:

(a) his knowledge of the culture, characteristics and affairs of the people in the nation for which he is to be designated;
(b) his close touch with opinion in that nation.

Whoever be the Trust member for England is plainly out of touch with both. Indeed, if he or she were in ‘close touch’ with the opinion of England, one might expect to hear more about England’s attitude towards the EU, or its desire for and English parliament.

Perhaps the explanation for the omissions are found in the preamble to the Charter, in which Her Majesty states that ‘it has been represented to Us by Our right trusty and well beloved Counsellor Tessa Jowell, Our Principal Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport...’

Well beloved Tessa Jowell she may be. But right and trusty?


Anonymous Andrew Lilico said...

Your Grace,

Perhaps worth noting that the comment you attack is not from the *BBC*, but, rather them quoting what David Starkey said, and since he is the curator of the exhibition the article is about, a quote from him does not seem entirely out of order...

18 February 2009 at 09:50  
Anonymous Gnostic said...

Tessa Jowell right and trusty? Your Grace's cynicism is well placed. I think the lady's description is more like trite and crusty.

As for the BBC, it apparently ceased to be impartial around the time Edward Heath lied to the country about the wonderful benefits of joining the Common Market.

18 February 2009 at 09:50  
Blogger berenike said...

What is wrong with the quote? I completely fail to see the problem. Please explain!

18 February 2009 at 09:57  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Dr Lilico,

The BBC are content to quote Dr Starkey without any balancing opinion or without any editorial of their own to challenge his rather warped perception.

Could you imagine the BBC tarnishing the Catholic Church with the 'insular, xenophobic politics' of Europe. Or daring to juxtapose 'insular, xenophobic politics' with Islam?

The BBC may quote Dr Starkey, but it is important to note that they are content to do so without qualification.

18 February 2009 at 10:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beeb are a discredited bunch of arseholes.

Give up on them. You're flogging a dead horse.

Leave the dead to bury the dead.

18 February 2009 at 10:11  
Blogger Indigo said...

Morning Cranmer

18 February 2009 at 10:54  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

I have never noticed the BBC being enthusiastic about Presbyterianism either.

18 February 2009 at 11:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More developments on Alfiegate according to today's Mail. Looking forward to his Grace's next moral discourse on the subject.

18 February 2009 at 12:07  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 February 2009 at 13:47  
Anonymous Andrew Lilico said...

Your Grace,

I was not suggesting that there was no worthy comment on the BBC's reportage here. But I do think it was important to note that it was not the BBC itself that had made the quote that offended you.

18 February 2009 at 15:37  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Dr Lilico,

His Grace is not remotely offended by the words of Dr Starkey, who is manifestly entitled to his opinion and certainly quite free to express it.

It is not, after all, an 'incitement' to 'religious hatred'.

To clarify: the quote offended only because the BBC reproduced it without question or qualification.

18 February 2009 at 16:02  
Blogger berenike said...

But where's the opinion? As far as I can see, he just stated the facts.

This is a genuine question!

But then, for some reason Anglicans never seem to answer my questions :-(

18 February 2009 at 18:59  
Anonymous mouse said...

berenike -

Are you serious?

19 February 2009 at 02:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

insular, xenophobic politics

Still looks better for the world than the broad-minded Catholicism of Austria-Hungary, Spain, France and Italian statelets that did not follow the British model.

Starkey of course forgets Cromwell's offer to merge with The Netherlands in a formal union....

19 February 2009 at 03:56  
Anonymous Game Over said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

19 February 2009 at 09:26  
Blogger berenike said...

Mouse - yes. I don't know about the xenophobic politics part, but given that Cranmer is complaining about anti-Anglicanism, I assume that can be set aside. The rest is just fact, no?

“When he came to the throne, Henry was the pious prince who ruled an England at the heart of Catholic Europe. When he died, he was the great schismatic, who had created a national church."

What on earth is there to complain of in that?

19 February 2009 at 10:12  
Anonymous E.B. Pusey said...

--“When he came to the throne, Henry was the pious prince who ruled an England at the heart of Catholic Europe. When he died, he was the great schismatic, who had created a national church."

What on earth is there to complain of in that?--"

Plenty. Rather than 'creating' a national church, he confirmed it. Secondly, the charge of schism can equally be levelled at Rome.

19 February 2009 at 22:43  
Blogger berenike said...

Don't forget the Culdees! I'm sure you can work them in there somewhere too!

21 February 2009 at 14:35  

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