Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The BBC, the Jeer Crowd and my loss of faith temporarily averted

Did the BBC website pull an article today?

Earlier today, I read an article on the BBC website about (I think) the US State Department's report on religious persecution worldwide. The banner headline was "Persecution of Jews and Muslims on the Rise".

The problem is that I can't check it because I can't find the article. Did the BBC pull it?

If the BBC did pull it, it might be because it was bad reporting. The persecution of people of any (or no) religious persuasion is alarming enough, but if you leave out the Christians, you leave out a large, or even a majority, of the story of religious persecution world-wide.

The body of the BBC article cited several cases, including one of a Christian girl with mental difficulties who faced the death penalty in Pakistan because of her alleged apostasy. Whereas the body of the article acknowledged the persecution faced by Christians around the world, the banner headline did not. So, what was the BBC trying to say? The persecution of religious Jews and Muslims is unacceptable, but it's OK to bully Christians because we western Europeans are riddled with white post-Christian guilt?

Another reason could be that the article’s comment thread became an echo-box for the Jeer-Crowd of Angry Atheists. Their tone can only be described in terms of the bullies blaming their victims. Yes, we've brought this on our own heads because we're stupid bigots who have an imaginary friend in the great flying spaghetti monster. No other narratives tolerated here, thank you.

Enough, I thought. I have lost faith in the BBC’s capacity to report on religion with any semblance of balance, and it had shamelessly played to the gallery. I was about to vent on an angry blog, when I found the article had apparently vanished.

Now, if you visit the BBC website, you'll find an entirely different article - How Religions Change Their Mind. For the record, I find the tenor of this article quite engaging, and I might even give Karen Armstrong's comments my qualified agreement.

I can't post a comment, though, and neither can you. Maybe the BBC has had enough of the Atheist Jeer-Crowd hijacking its threads. On one hand, I'm glad, but I'm also mightily ticked off that their lack of civility has, again, denied me a voice.

1 comment:

  1. From Andrew via FB 22 May 2013

    As an atheist myself, I get saddened by the intolerance of the angry-atheists out there, who seem to have much in common with the holier-than-thou reformed smoker or suddenly tee-total wowser. It's a big world, despite what the internet says, and freedom of religion is as important as the freedom to have none.