The British Humanist Association (BHA) has written to the BBC heads of religious broadcasting, and to Sir Michael Lyons, Chair of the BBC Trust, following an announcement by the Controller of Radio 4 that the Trust would be looking into including humanists as speakers on the Thought for the Day programme on Radio 4.
Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer, said, ‘We have written to the BBC Trust, making the case for the inclusion of non-religious contributors to the programme. We have also asked Aaqil Ahmed, BBC Head of Religion and Ethics, and Christine Morgan, BBC Head of Religion Radio, for their support. To aid the Trust with their deliberations on this matter, we’ve put together a paper which draws together the main arguments for an end to discrimination against humanists in Thought for the Day.’
Ms Phillips continued, ‘In our submission to the BBC Trust, we provide reasons based on law and policy to support our position, as well as making the case for what Thought for the Day loses with its religious exclusivity. By including only religious speakers, the huge body of philosophical, artistic, scientific, ethical, moral and much other thought drawn from the humanist tradition is ignored. The consequence of this is an impoverished Thought for the Day, which benefits neither listeners nor the BBC.’
For further comment or information, contact Naomi Phillips on 020 7079 3585.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious, campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief and is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society.