by Peter Hitchens, Mailonline:
I doubt anyone was surprised when the BBC’s Songs Of Praise featured a same-sex wedding last week. Like lesbian kisses, same-sex weddings are now more or less compulsory in all radio and TV programmes, and I fully expect to encounter one, or both together, in the early morning Shipping Forecast any day now.
After failing to shock anyone, and perhaps disappointed at the lack of fuss, staff at Songs Of Praise said, in words that sound a bit petulant to me, that they were ‘not afraid of controversy’. Aren’t they, though? I’ll come to that in a moment.
These events are all about turning things upside down. They are always aimed at anything which has until now been traditional or conservative. This is why such huge efforts were made to get women to sign up as firefighters or to go to sea in warships, but I have never heard of a similar scheme to persuade women to work on other mainly male tasks, such as crewing council dustcarts, or keeping the sewers running.
So poor old Songs Of Praise, once a tiny refuge for the Christian elderly amid all the swearing and violence of modern TV, was long ago measured up by the Commissars for a new role. It’s years since it adopted a ‘magazine format’ (fewer hymns, less religion).
In the end, it will no doubt be replaced by another panel show, in which Christianity will be just one of many religions, occasionally mentioned as an odd thing that other people do and generally mixed up with child abuse.
But if it’s really ‘not afraid of controversy’, may I suggest that it commissions some special editions with the following themes: