According to a survey of BBC viewers, conducted by the Corporation itself, the BBC is regarded as anti-Christian. The survey found that Christians are portrayed with 'derogatory stereotypes' and presented as 'weak' and 'bigoted'. Arrogantly, the BBC has dismissed the findings of its own report. A spokesman says it 'has strict editorial guidelines on impartiality' and that it 'does not have anti-Christian bias'.

The Mail cites a recent character in the popular soap, "Eastenders", as proof of the shitty way the BBC portrays Christians on their channel.

Thus a prime time series, such as EastEnders, offers a story line of a Christian preacher, Lucas Johnson, who leaves his ex-wife to die, murders his wife's ex-husband, drowns his son's dog, and strangles his wife and locks her in a basement, kills another woman who looks like his new wife.

And then it asks the reasonable question:

Where are the equivalent pro-Christian story lines in their soaps?

In conclusion the Mail points out:

Much of the abuse heaped on Christianity from the BBC - for instance from 'alternative' comedians and soap opera script writers - is the work of Guardianista atheists. But, of course, part of the formula for political correctness of this group is to combine their insults of Christianity with an uncritical approach towards minority faiths. BBC executives have admitted that although they would show a scene where a Bible was thrown away, they would never do the same with a copy of the Koran.

Although the Mail is maligned, with good reason, by politically correct liberals (as opposed to politically incorrect liberals like myself) as being the newspaper of lower middle class, grumpy old reactionaries, it does have a point here and the bias against Christianity is not just restricted to the BBC. There are very few documentaries fronted by Christian scholars on any of the British channels and when a Christian does get a crack of the whip they are invariably closer to Unitarians in their beliefs than the beliefs of an average churchgoer or even an average reader of this blog.

But most of all it is the constant belittling of Christians and even their most innocuous beliefs by comedians on the box that is most damaging to Christianity in my country. Most of our comedians rely on adolescent humour to get their laughs and so they appeal mostly to adolescents and young adults. Of course, being called stupid by a celebrity is the last thing any young person wants and the barrier that the BBC and their co-conspirators in the other TV companies are building between young people and the gospel by employing the Stephen Frys and Eddie Izzards of this world, without employing equally brilliant Christian comedians like myself and Father Christian, is becoming unbreachable.



  1. Occasionally I venture over to Daily Kos, and yesterday, I was really dismayed to find multiple Christian-bashing posts elevated to the Rec List. I made the mistake of joining the discussion to one particularly nasty diary. The ranting is really unflattering to us atheists.

    Ironically, then, I’m functioning as a CHristian apologist at DK which has become so toxic on this issue, I won’t really go there any more.

    I have decided I’m a “post-atheist” so I prefer to simply be “non-believer”. As I explained on the series Living with Church over on Friends of Jake, I’ve been through my anti-religion phase and got over it.

    The real problem is that the identification of “liberal” with “anti-religion” hands the religious right a tremendous weapon, and injures the efforts of liberal Christians to join effectively in political coalition.

    One sees the same thing in the comment threads on your UK papers to articles about religion.

    It’s unpleasant to admit that htis is another victory by the bad guys: the ability to turn the left into Christian bashers.

  2. I’ve just about had enough of the Christian bashing I have noticed among most UUs, pagans, New Agers and whatnot right here in the US. And what those people don’t realize is that they’re just conforming to nonconformity when they do all join in the chorus of “Christians are unenlightened bastards, hi-ho.”

    This may sound very odd, but I have noticed that a Heathen believer like Joe actually does have more in common with a sincere Christian believer, than he does with most other pagans, non-believers, New Agers, etc.

  3. is it worth asking what Christians have done to encourage this sort of behavior? could we begin to wonder why intelligent people who write for television programs feel that Christians might be due for a few metaphorical punches in popular media? Could a lot of Christians have been up to anything over the past few years that makes people want to take a few licks at the faith?

    just wondering.

  4. And if you’re a “NALT” Christian (Dan Savage’s phrase, meaning “Not Like That” re the Wingnuts), there’s then the accusation “Well, why don’t we ever hear from you? Why aren’t you LOUD????”

    I think there’s some conspiratorial thinking going on: not unlike (some forms of) anti-Semitism.

    According to this conspiracy, if you’re a Christian, you’re automatically POWERFUL. One of the In-Crowd. Pulling the Star-Making Machinery.

    Ergo, if Wingnutty Christianity continues to get all the headlines, it’s only because you, “NALT Christian” aren’t even trying to make a difference. And ergo, you’re No NALT at all!

    Re Paganism and New Age and Buddhists: it used to be perfectly respectable in the greater LGBT community, to be one. Now, even *they* are condemned as “woo” and irrational and not serving the great god Secular Atheism (which is basically Nihilism)

    [Just a theory: too many gay men have given up on love, and in so doing, have given up on LOVE? O_o]

  5. The “professional atheist” crew is simply the same folks who are fundamentalists when you give them an angry little godling.

    Most fundie-faithers I’ve ever known were once militant secular humanists, if not atheists, and most “professional atheists” I’ve ever known were once fundie-faithers.

    Both are what they are because whatever they were didn’t give them everything they wanted, and, after all, they are just such great, glorious, deserving folks, it has to be the rest of us who are the problem keeping them from everything they want! Look at the bitter old queens like Stephen Fry.

    Then, there are those like Dawkins, who’s using all of them to gradually get everything he wants by becoming their high priest – the L. Ron Hubbard for the 21st Century. And, of course, our boyish little hipster, Cox, who probably is an atheist most when it gets a student in bed with him – if atheism ever did become the norm, he’d have to find some other gimmick, as hipsters rely on being “outside” for their coolness.

  6. And, IT, I do NOT mean you!

    I do feel pain at saying anything, because it necessitates referring to “atheists” and that is such a broad brush it must, necessarily be taken to imply you. It doesn’t.

    I feel just as bad about saying things like “Except you, IT!” because then it makes you sound like our “pet” atheist.

    I accept and respect you as a true atheist, because there is so much more important to you than God’s existence or non-existence. I find that you have helped hone and redefine my faith in God by seeing that, ironically, that same attitude indicates a healthy faith! In both, the true believer is more concerned about getting on with the business of being what a human is supposed to be.

  7. I’m an average churchgoer and reader of your blog and quite Unitarian.

    So here’s the deal. I want all those Anglican blog writers who are really Unitarian to come over to the denomination I attend. This way, Mad Priest, you might find yourself rather (even more) lonely.

    And I don’t mean people who tip their hat to some concept of the Trinity by which they mean people getting along with each other or a social view of God, which could be Trinity, Quadity or Quinity for that matter.

    The reason so many Christian theologians sound Unitarian is because most of the intellectual arguments for Christianity as was are pretty bust.

  8. Now that’s ironic. The first time in five years that there has been proselytising at OCICBW… and it comes from a non-realist.

    To be honest, Adrain, you are probably wasting your time. Leaving aside my sincere atheist friends, the only non-realists I have regular contact with around here are John Shuck and yourself. One of the things that has really surprised me since I started this blog is the orthodoxy of my reader’s beliefs. But then, although most of us are often accused of being liberal, OCICBW… is in essence a radically inclusive blog and for many of us the doctrine of the Trinity is a defining concept for our inclusive views, although we differ on our understanding of the doctrine.

    I have great respect for the original Unitarians because their beliefs were based on an honest and valid reading of scripture. But your type of modern Unitarianism, Adrian, would be the same as attending a university lecture on ethics, as far as I’m concerned. It would be intellectually stimulating but completely devoid of mystery and transcendence.

    If I stopped hoping in God, then I would become an atheist.

  9. Dennis: if you’re seriously asking, I can give you an alphabetized, cross-referenced list. It only *starts with* the ugly way Christianity treats gay people and women. Another problem is the exclusivism – the idea that there is only one TRUE way to God, through Jesus Christ. Oh, and the literalism with which so many mainstream Christians seem to read the Bible and the way they use that book to beat people over the head on moral issues.

    There’s so much I could go into, but it’d really be easier to just purchase a copy of the book “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller. He is a Presbyterian pastor in NY who wrote this book addressing the objections many people have to Christianity. I also understand that the book “unChristian” also addresses this, but I haven’t read that one yet.

    I think JCF may have a point about pagans and New Agers, etc, being “woo” and “woo” has been looked upon with increasing scorn, esp. since Hitchens, Dawkins, et al have published their books and presented the idea that atheists are more tolerant of gay people, etc. And the “woo” charge is not entirely undeserved, either. There can be some strange goings-on there; I ran into one of them many years back, a guy who used his spirituality to prey on lonely women. It can get scary.

    I’m not sure why Adrian would be a non-realist. Can you clarify, Jonathan?

    Since reading Boston Unitarian’s blog, wherein he quotes a lot of the old-school, late 19th century New England Unitarians, I think I have a great deal of respect for those Unitarians.

    Not much for the current 21st century American version of UU, which is very different.

  10. Srsly – I should think I would be the most non-realist person who reads this blog. LOL!!

    But since I don’t know what a “non-realist” is in Jonathan’s eyes at this point, I can’t say anyway. 🙂

  11. Are you saying that “progressives” don’t like people poorer and less educated than themselves?

    Hey, I’LL say it!! Many of them don’t! Joe and I have had this thought for a long time now.

  12. But your type of modern Unitarianism, Adrian, would be the same as attending a university lecture on ethics, as far as I’m concerned. It would be intellectually stimulating but completely devoid of mystery and transcendence.

    I’d like to second this comment. Unitarians really seem to have lost mystery. BIG TIME. It’s like….a big sociology 101 class these days.

  13. My type of non-realism and Unitarianism has plenty in the way of mystery – in the don’t know, in the arts, and in a remythologising. I have a lot of time for the Unitarian Universalists, and concern the way that connections are being made to create a biblicist Unitarianism. That Unitarianism was not a biblical critical Unitarianism of the German School but an earlier literalism, and the German School folks realised where it was going and embraced subjectivism and a form of liturgical conservation – the latter having gone under pressure of the subjectivism – that which leads on to non-realism. The Unitarianism of the biblicists was also denominationalist and competitive, and quite an irony now that mainstream people should embrace it as somehow ‘honest’. That’s not the relationship that existed between Anglicans and Unitarians in the late 19th century, which was liberal/ radical Anglicans and Unitarian ecumenicalists and subjectivists, progressives in other words. Unitarian biblicism is essentially a theological museum, and many Unitarians might have museum buildings but some of them, at least, are away from museum, transitory, definitions of Unitarianism.

  14. OK, so mystery would be something like…

    …the NT story of Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. That’s a mystery (or what people in the Northern tradition would call a “rune”).

    Is that sort of what you’re getting at, Jonathan?

    I always find it really interesting to see where people encounter mystery.

  15. No, Tracey. The mystery is not the changing of water into wine. The mystery is in the narrative that the water and wine story alludes to.

  16. That’s kind of what I was getting at. I don’t phrase it as elegantly as you do.

  17. Dennis,

    I have watched a lot of television. Most of the anti-religion that I see on television in the United States and on BBC does not cause me to believe that the writers are intelligent people.

    I was at a lecture given by a dutch scholar who teachs at the local university regarding Islam. One thing that she said that was particularly interesting was that when she is in Europe a majority of people were astonished to find out that she, a highly educated scholar, is a christian. She was essentially required to defend her faith.

    When I read the defense of christianity by the episcopal writer at Daily Kos it seems to be a particularly weak defense. Maybe I was misreading this but he seemed to say that the Bible is a collection of myths and fables that make his life more interesting. He is, it seems, a Christian because being a secular atheist would make things more boring for him.

    I would hope a Christian could affirm his or her belief on factors such as the life affirming teachings of Jesus and faith in our eventual union with God.

    Kevin K

  18. There is mystery in signals of transcendence and any possible transcendence – that’s a lot of not knowing.

    Having you accuse me of wanting my cake and eating it too, given your position in your church, being the ram at the dam, is a bit rich. You refuse to see the finality of the writing on the dam wall, and folks like you (and me at times) become a kind of market boundary for the others to see that they haven’t crossed the line. Your appeals regarding your position are less appealing the more you do nothing about it – your attachment to one denomination is baffling, when if you cut the rope and really went independent you might be liberated. You could still do all you do now.

    The Church of England can say ‘You are no longer a priest representing this Church’ but they can’t stop you doing what you have been doing, but let’s take away the illusion that you are one of theirs – that’s having your cake and eating it. But do carry on eating and perhaps get liberated.

    When the C of E adopts this Covenant I want to see how many of its liberals carry on bleating, because that really will show the cake and what it is.

  19. What can I say, Adrian – I’m an Anglican. I have been all my life. If I left the Anglican Church I would have about as much clout as… well, an independent priest. And although I may have dug my own grave I can still work to free others from the graves that my church has thrown them into. Independent priests have their own valid ministry but it is not mine.

    I have only just found out how incredibly popular my blog is. If I was to throw that advantage away I would be letting other people down and I don’t do that.

    And I have done my research. I have checked out every independent catholic, Anglican and orthodox group in England and many of the American ones as well. My conclusion is that they are all a little too eccentric even by my standards.

    You see, I’m boringly orthodox. I really do believe all the God stuff. It’s not just an intellectual pursuit for me. I shout because I believe Jesus is God.

    And, above all, I believe the Church of England belongs to me. My ancestors built the churches with their bare hands and my family has worshipped in them since Christianity began in my country. I’m not going to bugger off and leave my inheritance to a bunch of careerists who want to give it to Italy or some barbaric African nation.

    I moan a lot but that’s so I have the spunk to keep on fighting.

  20. That last is a jolly good post. I feel exactly the same sense of loyalty and the same need to defend this great inheritance from bigots and lunatics.


  21. I wish you the best in your sacrificial quest so that others don’t land where you have landed.

    But let me ask you this? In what way are you now, still, Church of England?

    You have its ordination but you are inactive within it; you don’t attend a C of E church either. Your activity is your own, using C of E rites but online. You are already acting independently because in that it takes two to tango, you have no tango partner other than the online.

    While the C of E promotes capitalists instead of intellectuals, it is also saying a no to you (and a number of others – like Rev. Horseman, though he took it as mutual). In the end your partner for the dance will be your own, imagined, continuing C of E.

    Personally I think the Open Episcopal Church is too boring and ordinary for me. I can’t see the objection. At least you wouldn’t have to reinvent the reinvented wheel.

    But you know: I’d say it’s your bed and lie in it, but you are not in that bed and that’s my point.

  22. You cannot be thrown out of the Church of England. That’s one of the rules of establishment. The Church of England belongs to me because I am English. I have never once thought that I have been ejected from my church, just that I have been rejected by its bishops.

    One of my heros is Saint John Mason Neale. He spent most of his life banned from celebrating the sacraments by his bishop. Not for one moment did he consider quitting. And who remembers the name of his bishop?

  23. …I believe the Church of England belongs to me. My ancestors built the churches with their bare hands and my family has worshipped in them since Christianity began in my country. I’m not going to bugger off and leave my inheritance to a bunch of careerists who want to give it to Italy or some barbaric African nation.

    I wish you knew how much I respect you for this, Jonathan. I can’t even put it into words. This is a holy thing, and I’ll toast this in a heartbeat. Hail all your ancestors on both sides of your family, and their hard work and dedication. Wassail.

    Oh, and Neale’s bishop was a Dr. Gilbert, was it not? I don’t know much about him, but I think it was a Wilberforce who interceded for him and smoothed over that inhibition thing, do I have that correct?

  24. Or, “waes thu hael”. Take your pick. I’m a little rusty on my Anglo-Saxon but I can work a few things out. 🙂