First a bit of context, who the heck are “Revelation TV”? Well, they are a UK Christian television channel that broadcasts on SKY and also via FreeSat (since I don’t subscribe to TV stations run by Bond Villains, I’ve never heard of them). Anyway, I guess you could consider them mainstream evangelical (whatever that means), but if its any help, then lets just say that that have had a bit of bother in the past from the broadcasting regulator Ofcom with regards to their views about homosexuality. After complaints from gay rights campaigners and members of the public, Ofcom warned them that they must in future be fair and express all points of view when approaching this subject, or they face mandatory sanctions. So perhaps that in itself tells you all you really need to know about their ethics.
OK, so the news here is that they Persuaded Richard Dawkins to be interviewed for an hour, and here now is that interview …
They did not do a Bill O’Reilly and rant, but its still everything you expect from the God squad, evolution of the eye, etc.. and all of it is handled politely and factually by Dawkins, so its fun to watch.
What happens afterwards? Well, they posted the video on You Tube, and of course it attracted “comments”. Since the comments were not all pro-belief, they quickly changed their minds, purged all comments, and disabled the comment section. If curious as to why, well, somebody just happened to have his browser open and captured a chunk of them, you can read them here.
They did however leave one note that reads …
“Richard, has kindly agreed to return to Revelation TV studios for further debates with Creationists”
Really? Nope, not actually true, as explained by Richard himself …
That (from the few words that are left under their YouTube posting of the interview now that the Comments have gone) is not true. Howard Conder invited me to come back and I was very careful to say only, “I’d be happy to receive an invitation” (Minute 58:20). That is what I always say when somebody invites me face to face, or over the telephone. I never agree on the spot but always say, “I’d be happy to receive an invitation.” Of the invitations that I subsequently receive in writing, I turn down the great majority, usually because I am too busy.
The Producer at Revelation TV then repeatedly asked me, while I was still at the studio, whether I would come back, and again and again I declined to say yes but said he was welcome to send me a written invitation and I would consider it.
If I do receive a written invitation, I shall indeed consider it. I must admit, however, that I am somewhat surprised they want me back, considering that they seem to have seen good reason to take down the Comments that were accumulating under their YouTube posting of the interview with Howard Conder, and to close the thread to further Comments. While I do not offer any strong indication that I shall accept their written invitation if it comes, my very minimal condition for doing so would be that they would NOT disable or remove Comments from the subsequent YouTube posting of the conversation. And as an earnest of good intentions the very least they should do now is immediately restore all the Comments (other than gratuitously offensive ones) that they removed from the existing thread, and re-open the existing thread for new Comments.
So there you have it then, full blown Theist censorship in action when the comments don’t go their way.