Thursday, November 16, 2006

Radio and its best ... and worst

Have heard two bits of radio that have been truely amazing. The first was 'The Archers.' I know I am turning middle-aged when I start wanting to know how the Ian/Adam Civil Partnership story is coming alning. Interestingly, I read an article that the gay couple in Ambridge are the of the longest-lasting of all soaps which is a tribute to the rural soap. However, there was a particularly good bit of radio when David found out about Ruth falling for Sam the milkman. Oh, I tell you, it all goes on in Borcetshire. Tuesday's episode was particulary good and ended with a six minute scene (can you imagine that in any other soap?). It showed the anger, hurt and illogical nature of discovering an affair. This was truely radio at its most powerful: simple, uncomplicated and moving.

This is in comparison to Stephen Nolan's programme on Sunday on BBC Radio Five Live. It wass looking at Elton John's claims that religion attacks and 'hates' gays. They had a woman from, a man from 'Changing Attitudes' and Matthew Parris. The debate started in the normal way with no-one really listening to eachother and the American bible-basher sharing the bible in the most aggressive, unpleasant and hateful way. She seemed to miss the fact that Jesus came in love and reconciliation. This wass radio at it's worst where nothing was said, nothing listening to and at times nothing heard as people talked over eachother.

Then a woman rang in from Ireland and my heart broke. The woman's daughter had just come out to her as a Lesbian and was now feeling suicidal. The American lady attacked the daughter as being on her way to hell. As the host pointed out, there was no Christian love there. Then the woman from America attacked the Mother for not teaching her child correct moral values. This Irish lady was so upset, unable to talk that it was awful. The panalists tried to comfort, arguing that this was infact a blessing but it might take a while to appreciate it. Despite the problems of the debate, this was radio at it's best. The human story came through and summarised a debate far better than any debate or discussion would.

So, today, I pray for our common humanity and interest in the story over the issue, not just on the radio but in everyday life,


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