If it looks like the Angelus… Jane Donnelly on RTE’s Beyond Belief

Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland was on RTE’s Beyond Belief last Monday discussing RTE’s daily broadcasting of the Angelus. Also on the show was Roger Childs, head of religious programming on RTE. Please email Roger to let him know your opinions about RTE broadcasting the Angelus at roger.childs@rte.ie

In this extract Jane rejects RTE’s claim that the broadcast is a moment of reflection for everyone, arguing that if it looks like the Angelus, sounds like the Angelus and is called the Angelus, then it is the Angelus.

In this extract Jane and Dil Wickremasinghe argue that RTE should replace its daily Angelus with a moment of reflection for all, and Jane Donnelly argues for wider change towards a secular Ireland.

In this extract Jane argues that opposition to RTE changing the daily Angelus broadcast reflects the privilege that the religious majority currently have.

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  1. Minister Dermot Ahern, for Communications, issued submissions in favour or against religious advertising on TV. I with, others, supported it provided (a) it was paid for at commercial rates, (b) it was labelled ‘religious’; (c) it did not undermine respect for civil or secular laws of the land and (d) there would be no free editorial advertising of religion, with the exception of church services for the sick or minority disparite groups. He didn’t budge. Why do we have a Religious Affairs corr at all employed by the State broadcaster? Providing free access to propagate religion – to ambush listeners with religious propaganda during religion-free programming – is offensive and constitutes both endowment of religion by the State and discrimination on the ground of religion. We had, while Storm St Jude went on, repeated references on RTE, in association with legitimate weather forecasting, gratuitous references to St Jude, patron saint of hopeless cases and depression, whose feat day is tomorrow/Monday. No apology or undertaking not to repeat these or similar sentiments has been forthcoming by Met Eireann.
    The Angelus is put on at a prime commercial spot, just before the news. Let the successors of John Charles McQuaid, who bullied the State into broadcasting it, reimburse RTE for the opportunity cost of it. And as long as RTE persists with it, when are they going to offer corresponding rights to U T Cobbley et al?

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