A minority of ‘ignorant’ secular liberals in the media is seeking to drive religion from the public sphere, says a leading composer.
Roman Catholic composer James MacMillan, who conducts the BBC Philharmonic orchestra, has urged religious people to resist “increasingly aggressive attempts to still their voices”.
He said that “campaigning atheists” were working harder to sideline religion because “they recognise that they are losing; the project to establish a narrow secular orthodoxy is failing”.
Mr MacMillan made his comments in a lecture celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sandford St Martin Trust, which promotes radio and television programmes about religion.
He said that only a fifth of those working in television describe themselves as religious, compared with seven in ten members of the public.
“If this is the case with the TV industry, you can be sure it is the same for the metropolitan arts, cultural and media elites,” he said.
“These are people who speak only to themselves and have convinced each other that the rest of the country thinks just like them. They are wrong.”
Urging religious people not to become silent in the public sphere, Mr MacMillan said: “A smug ignorance, a gross oversimplification and caricature that serves as an analytical understanding of religion, is the common intellectual currency.
“The bridge has to be built by Christians and others being firm in resisting increasingly aggressive attempts to still their voices.”
Mr MacMillan’s comments follow a number of recent exposures of the media’s anti-religious bias.
G P Taylor
Last month a Christian best-selling author said he was blacklisted by the BBC. G P Taylor says a BBC producer told him the publicly-funded broadcaster could not be “seen to be promoting Jesus”.
A few weeks earlier, newspaper columnist Stephen Glover accused the BBC of over-the-top coverage of the recent Large Hadron Collider experiment in Geneva.
He said: “The BBC represents a materialist, mechanistic consensus which has rejected God, and deludes itself that science is capable of providing a complete explanation of existence.”
At the beginning of September, Sky News reporter David Blevins revealed the media’s bias against Christians, describing the task for groups like The Christian Institute to gain fair coverage as “an uphill struggle”.
“It’s important to remember,” he said, “that what appears in the newspapers is not an objective summary of the significant things that happened yesterday but an ideological selection based on the prejudices, agendas and assumptions of a relatively small group of people.
“Their ideology could be loosely defined as ‘progress will one day meet our needs.’ So as with other forms of thought that deviate from that ideological view, evangelical Christianity is either dismissed out of hand or reported in a manner that serves to reinforce the ideology!”