BBC’s Head of Religious Programs Reveals He Is An Atheist
by Mark Jeffries
The BBC was engulfed in a holy war of words today after the man in charge of religious programmes admitted being a non-believer.
James Purnell was speaking on (Link): Radio 4’s Today programme to promote the Beeb’s commitment to setting up a new unit for improving religious coverage.
But the ex-Labour MP, appointed BBC director of radio and education last year, stunned many of the audience when he admitted having no religious beliefs.
Presenter Nick Robinson asked him, “Are you a religious man?” to which a flustered Mr Purnell replied: “I’m not.
“I’m an atheist but I think the issues around belief are incredibly important to how we live.”
Robinson asked him: “Is that not a problem though? You are head of the BBC’s religious programming, you got the job because the BBC decided to abolish the post of head of religious programming as a separate post usually held by a Christian, recently held by a Muslim.”
… Listeners were outraged, with some calling for Mr Purnell to resign from his role of scheduling religious output.