Being someone who does a lot of (perhaps too much) thinking, I like to know that my news source is either unbiased or as obvious in its bias as possible, so that I can know the angle that it is covering the news from. Sadly, the former is impossible – for there is no such thing as a lack of bias, even to the divine (toward the poorest – God is always on the side of the oppressed).
The latter option is preferable, which is why I shun options such as the Daily Mail, The Sun, or indeed the Times. The BBC makes effort to be impartial but makes no effort to show its bias. However, the Guardian and the Telegraph newspapers are both opinionated and open about their opinion. I read both, but I’m generally left leaning, so I prefer to read the Guardian (because we all prefer to have our own opinions backed up rather than challenged).
The one thing that frustrates me about the Guardian, however, is the very thing that causes me to read it in the first place. The liberal slant that the Guardian takes is one of tolerance, justice for the oppressed, championing of minorities and championing the poor – all attitudes I believe that Jesus would have been comfortable with.
So why does this frustrate me? The very liberalism that allows the Guardian to speak out against the established system also allows the Guardian to speak out against religion.
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Ben, don’t you despise religion? You’re always going on about that”
You’d be right. However, whilst the paper will challenge religion time after time – and rightly so in my opinion, this simply seems to encourage its ‘liberal’ readership to show that they are not tolerant after all. They despise religion, they despise faith, they refer to God in the context of the tooth fairy and generally have an attitude not too dissimilar to religious fundamentalist beliefs on atheism.
It’s a great irony that the champions of freedom of speech and of freedom of expression and belief are so, well, religious about their hatred of anything religious, and it really winds me up! The great paradox of liberalism is that it is illiberal towards those who disagree with it, and I don’t like that.
I sometimes wonder if God is the ultimate liberal (ooh, yes, I did just say that. Have that, Conservative Christianity!). What do I mean by that? Well, God is tolerant of all sorts of beliefs, ways, thoughts, deeds, ideas, practices, religions and so on. The whole reasoning behind the life, death and new life of Jesus was to point out to humanity that there was nothing that could be done to earn the love of God. A love of God that is ours in spite of who we are.
Now that’s something to aspire to…