On Thursday, Radio 4 came back to the subject of this scottish pressure group (Christian Voice) who forced a charity to to refuse "tainted money" for the Jerry Springer, the Opera show (See my previous post on this for details). They did a 2/3 minutes slot on the group claiming to wanting to find out more about them and there activity. A rather shoddy uninformative (and, coming from Radio 4, disappointing) piece of journalism to be honest. After a few meaningless words from their leader about "King Jesus", we got an interview from a bishop opposing their views who had organised a charity concert in support of the tsunami victims in which members of the Opera's cast (described as good practicing christians) took part. Then the report turned to the subject of the group's membership, trying to find out how many members there are. The leader of the group refused to give a specific number only making some obscure biblical reference implying they had more than 600 members. An expert was brought in from an independent charity monitoring religious groups funded by the Home Office and based at the London School of Economics. The result of this (and the only real piece of information in the report) was that they probably were a very small group for the reason that they did not want to tell how many of them there are and because if they were numerous there would be traces of their activites (which Inform monitors) such as rent venues for their meetings.
This morning, the Today Programme (as every Saturday mornings) was reading letters and reactions from listeners they have received during the week. Apparently the above story got the most mail with people, thankfully, condemning Christian Voice's stand (and the charity's for that matter). There was however one letter from a christian complaining, in an argument we seem to hear a lot these days over here, that Christians are fair game for journalists to criticise. Do they not give the stick to beat them though with behaviours and statements of the kind Christian Voice makes?
The worrying result of all this, appart from the fact that cancer patients in London will remain longer with some useful help they probably need, is that Christian Voice seem to have managed do wiggle their way into the consciousness of journalists as a legitimate christian voice. I can understand that their extreme views make for good copy but this is dangerous game. I caught a mention of them about a different subject in the press review later on the same Today Programme.