Sunday 28 December 2014

Celebrating women bishops

This morning's edition of Sunday was a celebration of the Church of England's historic decision to appoint woman bishops. 

It was guest-hosted by the BBC's religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt. Her studio guests  - two Anglican vicars, a Jewish Orthodox feminist and the vice-president of the Islamic Society of Britain - were all women too. There was also an interview with Justin Welby. 

Everyone was highly enthusiastic about the move. There was much talk from Caroline of "diversity" and whether the Church "is finally an equal opportunity employer", plus considerable use of the word "conservative" to describe those still opposed to the move.

Indeed, traditionalist opponents of women bishops were much talked about but largely absent. Liberal voices dominated the discussion to the almost total exclusion of that other point of view. The brief exception came during a report from Trevor Barnes during which the BBC reporter talked to two such 'conservatives' and adopted a very different tone to that prevailing elsewhere - a more questioning, challenging tone, putting them both firmly on the defensive. (They got about two minutes or so in total).

I see that several 'conservatives' have already taken to Twitter to condemn this edition as "unbalanced" and "particularly partisan" and it's hard to disagree with that. 

Such broadcasting doesn't do much to confront the perception that the BBC - and its flagship Radio 4 religious affairs programme above all - has a very pronounced liberal bias on such matters. The fact that most of society and the Church and, very probably, both you and I may strongly agree with them here still doesn't make it right, does it?


  1. The BBC's latest non-campaign to change public perceptions appears to be on transexuality. We are now being required to become positive cheerleaders for transgenderism, transvestism and such similar traits. There have been any number of programmes on over the last couple of weeks on the subject.

    1. Am I right in thinking that one of the programmes you have in mind is 'The Boy in the Dress', prime-time BBC One on Boxing Day?...

      ...the tale of a white boy, whose best friend - a black girl (changed from the original book, where she's white, for extra BBC brownie points) - encourages him to be true to himself and wear a frock..which he does and then wins a football match - thus proving that it's fine to be transgender if you win at football.

      The book's author, David Walliams, oh-so-tastefully starred as an ultra-camp version of John Inman's 'John Humphrys' from 'Are You Being Served, Prime Minister'. (Mr Grainger: "Are you a laidee, Mr Wallliams?" Mr Walliams: "I'm a laidee!!!")


    2. That was one of the progs. But every time I've turned on the radio recently there's been a drama or news item on the subject.

      I'm not incidentally arguing "against" trans behaviour, just noting that there is a lack of "trans"parency about the ways these campaigns get approved by the BBC.

      There is clearly some sort of editorial clearance given for such campaigns in my view. Somewhere there's probably been a meeting involving the BBC equalities officers reporting on pressure from LGBT groups for greater prominence to be given to trans issues - and this is the result.

  2. Given how Christians and Jews are being treated in the so-called Holy Land, you`d think that the BBC-the Church-and the likes of media rentagobs you cite above-would have some sense of priority or proportion.
    But no-gay priests, women bishops, paedophilia, food banks and eco-crap...that`s all the BBC will want to know-and all that the church seem to speak out upon.
    As for Islam or being pushed to the edge of the abyss as a "faith option"?...the Christians on Radio 4 or in the Press say zippo.
    Gods got plans-but they sure as hell won`t be including the so-called church as portrayed by the BBC, modelled by the likes of Giles Fraser or Clifford Longley.


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