Britain Culture Media

BBC Bias, Faith Behind Bars and How to Get to Heaven in Montana

I remember when the BBC used to produce quality documentaries –  I still recall the brilliant How to Get to Heaven in Montana.   Occasionally they still do – but sadly they are far too often of the standard of last night’s ‘Faith Behind Bars’ 

The programme is only available from the Iplayer for 29 days – but you can see a clip here…..

What was wrong with it?  Whereas How to Get to Heaven in Montana just told the story and let the participants speak for themselves – far too often BBC documentaries are about the story that the producers want to tell, rather than the reality of what is.  I find them increasingly pretentious, shallow and lacking balance.

safe_imageSo it was with last nights.  We had the Masterchef style narrator….the lack of any real questioning and in depth analysis and of course the BBC bias.  There were four chaplains featured – three of them were given considerable time.  The RC and C of S chaplains were well covered and of course the Imam was given plenty room to speak and very favourable coverage (virtue signal alert –  ‘see, no Islamaphobia here’), but Bob Akroyd, the evangelical Free Church minister, got 30 seconds, part of which was a snide remark commenting on even the C of S and the Free Church working together and a bit of banter from Bob about he and the C of S minister not even liking each other – which left out of the context gave a really wrong impression.

I understand that Bob gave hours of his time to this film crew and this is all they used.  Of course they did.  This was the ‘safe, on message’ documentary style of the modern BBC.  Nothing to challenge the shibboleths of modern society and nothing to reveal anything of real depth.  And absolutely nothing of the Gospel to be permitted!

But here is a real treat for you….thanks to the wonders of the internet I found How to Get to Heaven in Montana….its not the greatest quality but you will love it…if you go to the 41st minute you will see where I got the title for Magnificent Obsession

This is not the whole programme which you can get here – but it is of lower quality…so best to watch the one above and get the last 3-4 minutes in this one…


Was Billy Graham a homophobic, Christ denying, antisemitic and bigoted failed evangelist on the wrong side of history?





  1. I have watched the programme the whole way through. I’m not sure I would agree with the criticism of the programme makers. You may want to criticise the small part given to the Free Church minister but apart from that I think that they did a fair job of reporting what goes on. I have more serious criticisms regarding what the chaplains said.
    For instance, the following exchange:
    Interviewer: And is it for you, and I guess ..God.. regardless of what they have done?
    CoS chaplain: Yes. I mean a person is a person no matter what they have done.
    Interviewer: People watching this will find it frankly hard to get their head around that.
    CoS chaplain: I think it comes down to this basic outlook you see the person as a person of worth in themselves irrespective of what they have done.
    There was no reference to God in her answer.

    Again, in an exchange between the CoS chaplain and a prisoner the issue of forgiveness comes up. Afterwards the interviewer asks: But how can someone find forgiveness when they have committed the most serious crime and taken someone’s life? Instead of talking about the mercy of God, the chaplain talks about the problem of prisoners forgiving themselves.

    The Catholic priest talks about Confession. Some viewers might have the impression that all a person has to do to receive forgiveness in Confession is to say what they have done. This would be a false understanding. The priest should have made it clear that forgiveness in Confession comes only with a firm purpose of amendment, a serious commitment never to commit that sin again. (However, a CoS chaplain does point out that forgiveness is part of the process of transformation.)

    So I don’t think that any non-Christian watching this would get any real understanding of the mercy of God and his willingness to forgive anybody who sincerely repents of what they have done. It was, however, interesting to hear the Minister of Murrayfield Church raising the question of the sinfulness of his congregation. That is one of the spiritual benefits of Confession. You have to admit the specific sins you have committed, not some general vague statement that could apply to anybody. You have to seriously examine your conscience and think carefully about the sins you have committed since your last Confession. And you have to have a firm resolution not to commit those specific sins in the future. That is not to say that we won’t commit them again but we must at least have the intention. For example, if a person goes to Confession and confesses to living in an adulterous relationship there is no forgiveness if the person fully intends to continue the relationship.

  2. “The RC and C of S chaplains were well covered and of course the Imam was given plenty room to speak and very favourable coverage (virtue signal alert – ‘see, no Islamaphobia here’“

    This reads like you think any good portrayal of a Muslim is virtue signaling and evidence of BBC bias which seems like an absurd thing to say.

      1. Just saying how the article sounds. Of course it’s biased, anything but the monotonous and boring repetition of agreed facts is bound to be biased. What I think you’re saying is that now instead of being biased in favor of your views as it had been for years, it’s now biased in favor of someone else’s. So it goes.

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