The BBC's whole channel coverage of a minority religious leader is a step too far. I don't want to stop anyone supporting their faith, but I don't need the BBC – something I help to pay for – pushing religion down my throat. We are a multi-cultural society. We all have different views and opinions. I hope that we are all aiming towards complete tolerance in our society and in such a society there is no room for state owned broadcasters to force a moral religious views upon us. The recent commentary on the BBC of the Papal visit discussed over and over again how wonderful this one man is, how he represents all things good and how his faith is the cornerstone of society for 'many' people in the UK. If they needed to cover it, they could have done so in a more matter of fact way – there was no need to hype everything up, create celebrity and certainly no need to over indulge such a minority figure.
There are many other faith groups out there and many other religions – none of which seem to get the same 'how wonderful this is' approach by the BBC. In just one example, the Dalai Lama visited the UK in 2008 – there were a few news events but mostly covering the 'free Tibet' message. No whole TV channels blocked out to it, not 24×7 news coverage, no news reporters buying their stairway.
I think it is about time that either the BBC drop coverage (other than news items) of religious events; or they dedicate a channel to the subject (at least then people could choose to watch or not watch it).
OK rant over. For more see Paul Owens blog.