There was a deadlock in the final vote at the LICC debate last night: “This House Believes that Humanist speakers should be included in BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day."
Dr Andrew Copson, British Humanist Association.
Ariane Sherine, Atheist Bus Campaign.
Canon Giles Fraser.
Rt Rev Nick Baines.
Chairing: Radio 4 Today presenter, Edward Stourton.
The closing count was 21 for, 21 against and 10 abstentions. The network manager for Radio 4 was there and, of course, he abstained and kept his real opinion private.
I voted for the motion on the assumption that a humanist thought for the day would be philosophical rather than divisive.
Some members of the audience assumed that a humanist take on Thought For The Day would eventually become a series of platitudes, rather like listening to Imagine being played over and over again on the slot every week. The criticism followed an example of a humanist Thought For The Day by Ariane Sherine (founder of the Atheist Bus Campaign), which was very benign in its promotion of kindness, tolerance, forgiveness and plaurality of beliefs. She also argued that secularists had been marginalised for centuries. Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon, said: “I was nearly in tears when Ariane was saying how deprived humanists have been.” (This was all the funnier when Ariane rolled her eyes.)
I think that we don’t know what we would hear so it would be interesting to find out.
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4 months ago