Songs of Praise, the Island of Lewis, Donald Trump and the Religion of the BBC


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It was wonderful to hear that Songs of Praise, the flagship BBC religious programme, was to come from the Island of Lewis – the home island of my wife and apparently more significantly the home island of President-Elect Donald Trumps mother.    I looked forward to hearing some Gaelic psalm singing, traditional hymns and perhaps a couple of Celtic praise songs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08bb6rg/songs-of-praise-isle-of-lewis

So what did we get?   On the positive side there was some stunning film, Rev James MacIver of Stornoway Free Church, the journalist John Macleod talking about the Iolaire disaster (something that has been grievously underreported in the mainstream UK press), a tiny snippet of Gaelic psalm singing as background music and the wonderful Sally Magnusson, probably the best presenter on the BBC.search-3

But it was a surreal and somewhat bizarre programme.   I watched it with a growing sense of perplexity and bemusement.   Why did we have hymns from…

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