Message Raughton Head Parish Magazine Rose Castle
To mark the 60th anniversary of Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, its presenters – John Humphrys and Justin Webb – gave an interview to the ‘Radio Times’. In it, they launched an extraordinary attack on ‘Thought for the Day’ declaring it to be “inappropriate” and “deeply, deeply boring”! What they were attacking was a 3 minute slot for religious reflection within a 3 hour programme of secular news! “Dear God”, sneered John Humphrys, “we’ve got to cut a really fascinating programme short because we’re now going to hear somebody tell us that Jesus was really nice…” With a comment like that, I wonder if he ever listens to what is being said in that slot and by whom! Contributors from a wide spectrum of religious beliefs often offer careful reflections on items that are in the news, and I have heard many people express their appreciation of ‘Thought for the Day’.

Justin Webb stated that he was “passionate” about “allowing people to tell their own stories. That’s what the ‘Today’ programme does at its best.” “Even when we have certain vies, I think all of us work really hard to find another point of view”, added Mishal Husain, and ‘Today’s’ top team insists that it strives to present “different styles and genders”, “different voices regionally”, and “different races and different classes”. However, different religions didn’t even enter the equation! The presenters and their team were truly amazing in their inability to see the contradiction between their intolerance of religion and their boast of open-mindedness on everything else!

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 17.46.12

We are approaching the Christmas season as I write, and many would have us take the ‘Christ’ out of ‘Christmas’ in a similar show of ‘progressive thinking’. Yet, what would that time of year be without the Christmas story? It would become yet another self-indulgent orgy of materialism without any meaning whatsoever! This is the time of year when we celebrate one of the most important and mind-blowing events in human history – God himself deigning to divest himself of all his glory to live on earth as a mere human being, and a poor one at that! Only the Easter story is more important and mind-blowing than that! It’s an event worth celebrating, and our gifts to each other should be a reminder of God’s all-surpassing gift to us of himself in Jesus!

It’s sad to think that the John Humphrys and Justin Webbs of this world are missing out on such an incredible story, and even more disturbing to think that they regard the amazing things that God has done for us as “deeply, deeply boring”!

May this Christmas, with its reminder of what God has done for us, be very real to you and all whom you love, and make you excited with the enormity of it all!
Steve Carter – 01228 710215