Wednesday, 9 October 2013

CUT News Issue 3 - Feb - March 2004

                                                                  Catholics Unplug your Televisions                                            

Issue 3   -   February/March 2004

Saint Elizabeth Seton
In the mid 1800s she had a vision she did not understand and saw a black box in every American home, through which the devil would enter.

Is the BBC so full of its own virtue that it has lost the plot?


CUT does not wish to make any comment on the wider issues involved for we have supporters of many views and political persuasions. However, we are in general agreement with the Hutton report and the statement that the BBC has a ‘defective editorial system.’
    We have been exasperated by the way the BBC has treated the Catholic Church in past few years. These attacks have gone far beyond the attack on the government. Perhaps the BBC should apologise to the Catholic Church and practising Catholics for the injury caused to us by so many of their programmes. We only ask for fair and balanced programmes but as one CUT supporter pointed out they always give the last word to the quasi liberal or anti-Catholic.
    Now there is a Catholic, Mark Byford, installed, as Acting Director General perhaps there will be a greater degree of sensitivity directed towards Catholics. We were impressed by his total acceptance of judge’s verdict; perhaps we now have a gentleman in charge.
    Greg Dyke on the other hand seemed to instigate a tabloid form of journalism more reminiscent of the Sun newspaper than the BBC. There is an old saying ‘when the fish begins to smell the rot starts at the head.’


If anyone needs evidence of how anti-Catholic moral teaching the BBC has become you need go no further than the ‘Panorama’ programme ‘Sex and the Holy See’. For the programme has prompted Chris Smith MEP to try and persuade Catholics to turn against the teachings of Church. His and ‘Panorama’s’ views fly in the face of the actual evidence. That it is the mainly Catholic countries that have the lowest rate of AIDS of all the Christian countries in Africa and the third world. Abstinence, self-control and no sex outside of marriage are the only ways of controlling AIDS not the condom culture. Some BBC presenters and MEPs seem to have condoms on the brain. Perhaps they have condoms over their brains? However as the things are only 85% effective its not surprising that unhealthy statements escape.
                Should Catholics need further persuasion to stop funding the BBC visit the sexwise web-site which they provide in partnership with International Planed Parenthood Federation. Fr Marsden of the Catholic Times on 1st February wrote they are the ‘World’s biggest abortion and contraception provider, and partner in Chinese forced abortions.’ Read their Strategic Plan, they state that in countries where abortion is illegal, they will campaign to remove restrictions against abortions.’

We recommend that Catholics give up the TV or just receive EWTN
Even though we are asking Catholics get involved in the Charter Review we strongly urge them to give up the TV and not fund the BBC. Paying the licence fee has meant we are funding attacks on the Catholic Church and her stand on moral issues. If a household just receives EWTN no licence is required for it is broadcast from outside the UK. (Note: The government changed this law so that all live TV  needs a licence in April 2004)

My studies with the Open University required radio and television programmes, which I acknowledge were very well produced. Having got my degree I had a TV set, some years old but in good condition, seeing that it had not had a lot of use. I thought the best thing to do would be to give it away. Several people had mentioned to me that they were upset at many of the programmes on TV – the language, sex and violence etc. Complaints to the BBC and/or ITV got nowhere. I did not say so, but I wondered why they bothered to watch. At the same time seeing that they paid a licence fee they had a right to complain.
Before giving away my TV it seemed wise to check on what many had said to me. First I made a careful study of all the programmes as advertised for that week. There were those, which sounded innocuous enough or even entertaining. Some I rejected immediately for containing nudity. Others I watched for a brief time and rejected those also. Some took a little while longer before they got around to the portrayal of excessive violence and foul language or misuse of God’s great gift of sex. Almost every programme in the evenings confirmed what those people had said.

Switching channels did not bring any relief. They all showed deceptive distortions of the truth. Greed and avarice were presented as virtues. Violence was excessive, gratuitous and relentless. Every form of sordid lust was portrayed as honest love. And all of this was bespattered with distasteful loathsome language. I could say a lot more about all these things, but there was one thing, which disturbed me more than all these put together – blasphemy.

“…there was one thing, which disturbed me more than all these put together – blasphemy.”

Blasphemy is the misuse of the holy name of Jesus Christ. That name which is above all names and at the sound of which, all should bow in reverence. The Catechism of the Church reminds us that blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It also says that the prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. Where does the BBC stand in that regard?

“I must not pay for those programmes to be made or broadcast.”
Having got that far in testing what was on TV it seemed wise to stop. I was appalled to think that some of that which I had paid for in a licence had been used to produce programmes or to buy them ready made which contained such blasphemy. Switching off was not sufficient. I must not pay for those programmes to be made or broadcast.

“I took it (the TV) outside and broke it into pieces and immediately took the remainstoan official rubbish dump as being the appropriate place for them.”

I did not give away the TV set. I took it outside and broke it into pieces and immediately took the remains to an official rubbish dump as being the appropriate place for them. I dropped the pieces into a large container which was already half full of other trash.  The plastic back of the TV was kept as it was just the right size to cover a grid and thus helped to keep dirt out of the house instead of bringing it in. When I received a rebate for the TV licence I gave the money to a Catholic charity.

I am not able to make a direct or detailed comment about the recent attacks on the Church. I have not seen any of them! But from what I hear it sounds as though the BBC in attempting to improve its ratings has only succeeded in making its programmes more rank. If this trend continues the BBC will wind up with the type of audience it deserves.

The Decree issued by Vatican II on the means of social communication, and Pastoral Instructions from the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, and also many statements by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, have all set high standards both for those who work in the mass media and those who are the recipients of that work. For example, ‘The description or the representation of moral evil can lead to a deeper knowledge and analysis of mankind and to a manifestation of that which is true and good in all their splendour.’ In other words virtues should be shown as virtues and vices as vices. Unfortunately, many in the mass media demean their own profession, and to them can be applied the words of Isaiah: ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness.’

‘Love your enemies, and pray for those who insult you,’ said Jesus. As an expression of the love we have for those who work in the mass media we should pray that they use their God-given talents in such a worthy and honourable manner so as not to be ashamed on the day they hear the voice and see the face of Jesus Christ.  - From  Fr P. R

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