Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pro-Christian BBC?

Iain Lee the comic, TV and radio broadcaster has been fired from his job on BBC three counties radio over comments made during a robust debate with Christian Lawyer Libby Powell. The topic of the debate was the recent case of a Christian prison gardener (Barry Trayhorn) who decided to "remind" prisoners about the injunctions and judgements that his particular deity is claimed to have made regarding homosexuality, sin and general wrong doing. Apparently some prisoners complained and the prison authorities gave Trayhorn a warning which he claims led to him leaving the service and then the lawyers got involved and he's now suing the Home Office for constructive dismissal.

During the interview Lee made the comment that the prohibitions against homosexuality in the Bible were bigoted, and by association Powell was also bigoted for restating them as "true" and preaching this to others. Powell did the usual Christian thing of sidestepping responsibility for this bigotry, i.e. when Lee asked her to confirm what the passages said and meant she replied "these aren't my words, they're God's" - to which Lee quite reasonably pointed out that the Bible was not "God's words" but in fact authored by Humans (lots of different ones over hundreds of years and in many languages).

You can hear the interview here. In my opinion it's a reasonable interview, I have no objection to interviewers giving Christians a hard time for things like this, just as they do with politicians and football managers. No one at any point said that Powell couldn't or shouldn't hold these views, clearly it's everyone's right to be a bigot if they so desire, they just have to keep them out of publicly funded government and educational establishments where there exists a plurality of views and religions. Claiming that "my God said so" is simply not a legal (or rational) defense! (you'd have thought a lawyer would have understood that point?)

I'd love to hear the BBC's side of this, I wonder exactly what grounds are they dismissing Lee on? I can only imagine what would have happened if Powell had expressed equally judgmental opinions on Islam for example (as discussed on the Christian Concern WEB site), no doubt Lee would now be a hero rather than a villain. It seems that our state broadcaster supports bigotry so long as it's sugarcoated in the right religion.

In other news John Kettley has been been fired for offending viewers by describing water falling from the sky as rain.

No comments: