Humphrys right to label ‘Thought for the Day’ ‘inappropriate’

John Humphrys is absolutely right to label Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, dedicated five days a week to religious commentary on current affairs and events, ‘inappropriate’.

BBC’s Thought for the Day, which completely excludes the voices of humanists and others with nonreligious beliefs, lags behind the makeup of the society the BBC is meant to serve, with latest figures showing that the majority of people in the UK have no religion. The non-religious are an even bigger majority of those under 25 – at 73%.

There are many worldviews that serve to offer a frame of values or meaning through which to consider important events of the day. Religions serve as such a frame for some, but so does humanism and other non-religious approaches. If a programme exists to offer such frames, there is no reason for it to exclude the non-religious.

And the matter is not trivial. Maybe if humanists and religious people could enter into dialogue on equal terms through a medium such as Thought for the Day, we might make progress as a society towards greater mutual understanding, something which is so needed.


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