CUT’s tenth anniversary
CUT was formed ten years ago, in late September 2003. I can’t remember the actual date but it was after an Irish friend came to visit me when I was living in the uplands of mid Wales. We discussed the secular media as I had just a week or two earlier disconnected my TV and would only use it to watch inoffensive videos from then on. I had conducted a 9 month study whereby I would make a note of every time the Catholic Church was mentioned on any TV or Radio programme. I would make a quick reference to the Channel, the subject, and the nature of the programme, whether it was hostile, and fair or unfair. I found that the Catholic Church was only mentioned on the BBC and occasionally on Channel 4 but never in a positive light. I didn't recognise the Church they were protraying. Over the past 10 years things just got worse. I suspected all the mediated Catholic bashing had an ulterior motive - to change Catholic doctrines especially on morality.
CUT has supported other initiatives and sometimes gives links to other websites as long as they are in line with Catholic teaching. Though we usually receive support in return it surprises me that some simply do not return CUT the favour. Is the telly so strong?
Vatican II or the media
I firmly believe that the problems of the modern Church are not caused by Vatican II but by modern secular society, and by many in the laity and hierarchy who look to the modern world and not to the teachings of the Church but to the spirit of the age. We find a left/liberal dictatorship prevalent in the modern media and in modern secular society. Its voice is amplified by the TV, where people - including Catholics - get their views, their knowledge, their values and their beliefs. Modernists have always been there, as St Pius X knew and wrote in Pascendi Dominici Gregis They didn’t just come into being after Vatican II. Some say Vatican II should have expressly forbidden much of modern secularism. The problem is, Satan is very innovative. But the Church already has in place all her teachings on morality and they are very much needed today. The hard teachings on sin, especially on sex, abortion, and homosexuality can never change, but change is often promoted by the secular media. This of course has an impact on the laity who on average spend four hours per day in front of the TV and yet only an hour in Church per week.
The TV agitprop
Let’s have a quick look at one of the TV innovators, just to give a snapshot of what’s happened. Sydney Newman, TV producer and the head of BBC drama from 1962 to 1970 knew that the television was the single most powerful tool for social change in the hands of those who know how to use it. Remember, by 1962 almost every household had a TV. Families would gather around the TV every evening and it is there they would receive the new anti-gospel. The new good news as Newman saw it was to liberate people’s minds and to make his audience take action. Some of the programmes Newman established were very innovative and popular such as Dr Who and the Avengers. He was also behind the enormously influential The Wednesday Play. For this he collected a core team of like-minded producers, writers and directors such as James MacTaggart, Tony Garnett and Ken Loach. This team was to produce special plays that would challenge the social norm, plays like Up the Junction whose central theme ranged around the new liberal attitude to sex among the ‘proletariat’ and the need to stop them breeding too much. The most powerful scene was a backstreet abortion; some credit this with the change in the abortion law. Another was the Horror of Darkness which had an underlying homosexual element. Many social scientists credit the above TV programmes as being interventionist in the political arena and that they helped, to a large extent, to change the law and people’s values on morality.
Sydney Newman’s maxim was agitational contemporaneity, his philosophy of socially engaged TV: television to change people. This is virtually the same as the eastern block’s use of film to cement the Soviet version of socialism, known as agitprop, ‘agitational propaganda’, in the use of film to control people’s views and values. It’s the same with modern TV.
Sometimes close to giving it all up
I have quite a few times said to my wife (to her delight): that’s it, I’ve had enough, this is just too hard, no one or at least very few are listening and it all takes up such a lot of time. But usually something happens; some piece of media nonsense or anti-Catholic trip particularly on the BBC, or a kind letter from a supporter helps me keep going, so I will not give up as long as we have a core group that supports our aims. We have in fact grown, if very slowly, over the years, and it’s getting to the point where it’s difficult to organise the blog, the website, the briefings and the newsletter on my own. I am very grateful to our proof reader and to everyone who writes for us, distributes the newsletters and makes donations to help fund us. 100% of every donation goes into CUT and all work is voluntary. It has always surprised me how little support we get from other orthodox groups and traditional blogs and websites. The liberals on the other hand just hate us full stop!