God on the Box

The Church of England - - ENGLAND ON SUNDAY -

Mid­somer Mur­ders is no­to­ri­ous for not por­tray­ing Chris­tians and Angli­can priests in a sym­pa­thetic light. Some thought John Net­tles must have an aver­sion to re­li­gion but the bias con­tin­ued af­ter he re­tired. Blame was then at­trib­uted to Brian True-May, the pro­ducer. He was forced to re­tire as well af­ter he voiced ob­jec­tions to hav­ing black characters. Un­der a new regime, black characters are ap­pear­ing but the anti-re­li­gious bias re­mains. Last week we had a woman who wore a cross promi­nently dis­played around her neck and was zeal­ous in good works but who turned out to treat her hus­band badly and to have a pas­sion for a man many years her ju­nior. Anti-Chris­tian bias ap­pears to have en­tered the DNA of Mid­somer Mur­ders. Scriptwrit­ers adopt this par­tic­u­lar plot line with­out think­ing. But there was com­pen­sa­tion this week on BBC1, which showed a se­ries about Fa­ther Brown (al­beit at 2.10pm in the af­ter­noon). Fr Brown once de­clared he was really a ‘fisher of men’ and said that he caught one par­tic­u­lar man ‘with an un­seen hook and an in­vis­i­ble line which is long enough to let him wan­der to the ends of the world, and still to bring him back with a twitch upon a thread’ – a mar­vel­lous im­age for di­vine grace.

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