"Mark Damazer or God as we call him."It isn't clear at this stage if Mr Mayer will be struck by lightning or just a reprimand for this blasphemy. He was being flippant (at least I HOPE he was) but I would be surprised if some rent-a-quote like, oh, S. "Burdshite" Green didn't have something to say.
On the same slot, Director of Christian Think-tank, Ecclesia Johnathon Bartlay, called the automatic inclusion of Bishops in the upper house, "absurd". Further noting how he had been quietly removed from the panel of "Thought For The Day" when he argued that non-religious speakers should be allowed a voice.
Presumably this is why Mayer referred to Damazer as God and not just the "baldy bastard from upstairs."
Damazer eloquently spews vitriol on the Today programme's audience on the iPM blog, where he writes:
Obviously, he's talking shit as anyone of an atheist persuasion would be able to tell you if they could sit through this five minute interlude, which is effectively a short sermon, every weekday for a couple of weeks.
"I regard this as a genuinely difficult question. There may be a case for widening the pool of contributors on Thought for The Day by having someone with an avowedly non-religious perspective. However on balance the BBC's position is that it is reasonable to sustain the slot with believers. Let me now set out the reasoning.
Thought for the Day is a unique slot in which speakers from a wide range of religious faiths reflect on an issue of the day from their faith perspective. In the midst of the three hour Today programme devoted to overwhelmingly secular concerns - national and international news and features, searching interviews etc - the slot offers a brief, uninterrupted interlude of spiritual reflection. We believe that broadening the brief would detract from the distinctiveness of the slot.Within Thought for the Day a careful balance is maintained of voices from different Christian denominations and other religions with significant membership in the UK. We are broadcasting to the general Radio 4 audience which regularly engages with the comments and ideas expressed by our contributors from the world's major faiths - whether they are believers or not."
I have - and I can't bear the Archers. ("Oooooo Arrrrr. Look at the udders on that, baby!")
What Damazar refers to as "secular concerns" is, in fact, the real world. The tangible. But let's not forget, as he seems to have, that many of the wars - and certainly the bloodiest conflicts that are happening right now are - you guessed it - religious in nature. Jews and Muslims are fighting in Gaza and US Christians sending forced to pound Muslims in Afghanistan.
As a second point, and this will form part of my own argument to BBC management, why do we need "a brief, uninterrupted interlude of spiritual reflection" anyway?
If Mr Damazar is, as I suspect, a bible following Christian that is his own concern and he has no respect for the wishes of the largely secular R4 audience by continuing to bang us over the head with introspective, Abrahamic naval gazing.
TTFD is there to please a small minority of people who cling fearfully onto the notion that there is an afterlife and it'll all be better rather than having the guts to face what the future brings or the courage to change it.
Today would be better off without it.