Peter Mandelson to advise on Conservative election strategy
Yet it has been announced that an Atheist (and member of the British Humanist Association) is to join the board which advises the BBC on its religious output. Andrew Copson is the BHA’s director of education and public affairs. He will join the new Standing Conference on Religion and Belief, an independent committee chaired by Bishop Graham James, which replaces the Central Religious Advisory Committee. But since one of the BHA’s declared objectives is bring ‘an end to the privileged position of religion’ in public life, the appointment of Mr Copson by the BBC is bemusing. Atheism is not simply another religious option in the free market of spirituality: it is anti-religion; seeking to contend against and eradicate all expression of God from the public sphere.
So what programmes might Mr Copson propose? ‘Self Belief’? ‘The Gospel according to AC Grayling’? ‘Secular Thought for the Day’? ‘Songs of Mind and Body’?
The changes will be subtle, if only because the agenda towards pantheistic spirituality with a hint of Islam is rather more covert. But make no mistake, this Standing Conference will be a cabal of unconvicted fence-sitters and compromised ecumenicals. Except, of course, for the secular humanist, to whom all things are known and all truth has been revealed, and who shall criticise and demean all religions – except one.
This is one anti-discrimination policy the BBC ought to re-consider. If religious broadcasting may not discriminate against those who wish to bring about its demise, they really ought to appoint ill-informed, unintelligible and manifestly partial people to be their political correspondents in (say) Israel or at Westminster.
O, hang on.