Sunday 6 April 2014

Lent Talks

Well, this week's edition of Lent Talks was little more than a political speech.

It was from Labour's Lord Adonis, arguing that our present system of democracy is a good thing but that young adults need to be involved in it from an early age by voting at school, changing voting registration procedures and lowering the voting age to 16. [He also sneaked in a little dig at the coalition government for good measure]. Oh, and Jesus. 

Last week's one was very political too, with Telegraph reviewer Nicholas Shakespeare relating the Easter story to the those struggling against brutal right-wing dictatorships in Latin America.

Next week it's feminist, myth-weaving novelist Marina Warner. I can hardly wait. And then 'left evangelist' and Obama advisor Jim Wallis.

All of which calls for a list, of course.

Who's been on Lent Talks over the years? 

Despite the occasional Tory MP and Christian apologist, it's as good a demonstration of BBC Radio 4's general left-liberal bias as it's possible to get - though the severe bias of the first few series has slackened somewhat. 

Please see what you make of it.

1. Bonnie Greer
2. Catherine Fox
3. Nicholas Shakespeare
4. Lord Adonis
5. Marina Warner
6. Jim Wallis

1. Baroness Helena Kennedy
2. Alexander McCall Smith
3. Benjamin Cohen
4. Loretta Minghella
5. Imam Asim Hafiz
6. Canon Lucy Winkett

1. The Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford
2. Prof Linda Woodhead
3. Prof John Lennox
4. Martin Wroe
5. Prof Tariq Ramadan
6. Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ

1. Lord Ian Blair
2. Austen Ivereigh
3. Feisal Abdul Rauf
4. Professor Stephen Reicher
5. Madeleine Bunting
6. Mark Oakley

1. Will Self
2. Andreas Whittam Smith
3. Maajid Nawaz
4. Sr Elizabeth Obbard
5. Rev Prof Alister McGrath
6. Rev Dr Giles Fraser

1. Martin Bell
2. Richard Holloway
3. Sister Frances Dominica
4. Professor George Pattison
5. Frank Field
6. Melissa Raphael

1. Jude Kelly
2. Terry Eagleton
3. Mary Loudon
4. Clive Stafford Smith
5. Ann Widdecombe
6. Tom Wright

1. Armando Iannuci
2. Chas Bayfield
3. Cherie Booth QC
4. Shami Chakrabarti
5. Douglas Hurd
6. Jeffrey John


  1. Thanks for putting this lot up.
    Could not be clearer what the direction of travel here is.
    Let`s see if a Christian ever gets a chance to pontificate on the meaning of Ramadan as Tariq once did.
    The only one on this list I recall actually BEING scriptural and having the point of Easter to give us was John Lennox.
    Terry Eagletons was better that I`d have expected too...but the likes of Cherie Blair? Helena Kennedy?Bonnie Greer?
    And there was me thinking that Jesus cleared the Temple (Bar).

  2. Gave Marina Warner as long as I could.
    But it was nearly all about HER and a few name drops like Seamus Heaney.
    This despite a promising start about the Stations of the Cross, which could have taught us something.
    But -like so many of these types-Jesus provides an excuse for them to emote to no purpose....classic C of E, sadly these days.
    Happily, Channel 4 had Shola Ameobi(Lent Diaries 7.55) on to explain his faith-which was far more relevant to serving Christ.

    1. That bit about the Stations of the Cross really held my attention. She described it very well.
      Then she dismissed it as a fiction and began going all 'holistic' on us: Visiting Disneyland, tracing the steps of union activists, creating eco-pilgrimages, all being the same as Catholic rituals; and believers and disbelievers being bound by the mind's ability to pull place through space-time and allow us each to build our own Jerusalems here...though she stopped short of saying "in England's green and pleasant land"!
      On the 'something understood' principle of Herbert's Prayer I and Radio 4' Something Understood', I guess it was all meant to be poetically suggestive, and deep in some way.
      Next week it's Barack Obama's left-leaning spiritual advisor.


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