TBC NewsWatch | thebereancall.org



Christian Voice, 1/9/13, “BBC3 Suicide Comedy Row” [Excerpts]: An Member of Parliament has criticised the BBC for planning to air a situation comedy which treats assisted suicide as a “matter of fun,” reports the Sunday Express.

Way To Go has three young men building a machine that can kill people. They offer their services for money to those who wish to end their lives. The show is written by US-based writer Bob Kushell and stars Blake Harrison, Marc Wootton and Ben Heathcote.

But Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has slammed the sitcom, planned to go out on BBC 3 this month. He said: “This is a sensitive and complex issue that should be handled with compassion and understanding.

“It is a sad fact that assisted dying is now regarded a ‘revenue stream’ to some foreign clinics and clearly as a matter of fun by some parts of the BBC.”

In one scene the lever of the machine is pulled to inject a fatal dose. Harrison’s next-door neighbour dies in a matter of seconds.

Later a friend phones from a pub with another client for the assisted suicide machine.

He tells him: “He’s got stomach cancer. How fantastic is that!”

BBC 3 controller Zai Bennett said: “Bob Kushell’s scripts are in turn dark, poignant, absurd, moving and brilliant, but mostly they are very, very funny. I’m thrilled that Way To Go is coming to BBC 3.”

Comedy producer Jon Plowman, responsible for shows such as The Office and Little Britain, said: “Way To Go is a show about a current and difficult issue but it treats its serious subject in the same way that Arsenic and Old Lace dealt with old lady poisoners or Kind Hearts and Coronets dealt with aristocratic murders.”

Government figures show that three-quarters of suicides in the UK are by men with those aged 30-39 at highest risk of suicide, followed by men aged 40-49.

However, teenage suicide is a serious and growing problem. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in people aged 15-24, behind accidental death.


[TBC: In Plowman’s attempt to compare Way to Go with old productions such as Arsenic and Old Lace, he forgets that the reaction of the secular participants was to stop the old lady poisoners from doing what they were doing. There was a message that it was wrong. That message has vanished today.]


Baptist Press, 1/9/13, “Islamic extremism dominates persecution list” [Excerpts]: Islamic extremism, especially in Africa and the Middle East, dominates the latest annual report on global persecution of Christians.

Eight of the top 10 persecutors of Christians—and 24 of the top 30—are countries marked by militant Islam, according to Open Doors’ 2013 World Watch List released Jan. 8.

Meanwhile, North Korea, a non-Islamic country, maintained its hold on the No. 1 spot in the Open Doors list for the 11th consecutive year.

“Islamic extremism is the prime persecutor of Christians in the world today,” said Ron Boyd-MacMillan, Open Doors’ chief strategy officer, at a Washington, D.C., news conference. Among 24 of the leading 30 persecuting countries, “it is Islamic extremists, either in government or in violent opposition forces, that are the source of the persecution,” he said.

The new list of the world’s most severe persecutors of Christians includes five African countries that were unranked last year but reached the top 50 because of the impact of Islamic extremism: Mali (No. 7); Tanzania (No. 24); Kenya (No. 40); Uganda (No. 47), and Niger (No. 50).

In addition, militant Islam in Ethiopia helped catapult that East African country from No. 38 to No. 15. The Muslim state of Sudan, Ethiopia’s neighbor, jumped from 16th to 12th.

The uprisings against totalitarian states in North Africa and the Middle East that began about two years ago have produced greater persecution for Christians.



The Christian Post, 1/10/13, “Is it a sin to bake a cake for a gay couple?” [Excerpts]: Thanks to our progressive government, Christians are suddenly confronted with conundrums that once belonged in the category of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

Conundrum #1: Due to new laws allowing gay marriage, Christian bakers, innkeepers, florists, photographers and caterers are suddenly forced to answer a question once thought unthinkable, “Is it a sin for a Christian business owner to provide a service for a gay couple?”

It is a Sin: Discover Annapolis Trolley Cars has determined to go out of business rather than compromise their Christian convictions. They believe it is a sin to provide a trolley ride to gay couples as they believe they would be participating in a sinful activity: gay marriage.

It is Not a Sin: Some would argue that providing a wedding service for a gay couple is no different than providing a service for any other sinner. Certainly Discover Annapolis Trolleys has provided a ride for some couples who were having affairs. We can assume that Discover Trolleys gave a wedding tour to couples who were unequally yoked, therefore, providing a service for a gay wedding couple should be no different.

Conundrum #2: Health and Human Services insists that Christian owned Hobby Lobby provide insurance for employees who can purchase abortifacient birth control pills.

It is a Sin: Hobby Lobby concluded they cannot comply with our government’s demand and they are willing to face draconian fines for their stance. They simply cannot violate their Christian conscience as they believe that providing abortifacients for employees is a sin.

It is Not Sin: Some would argue that Hobby Lobby already “pays for abortions” every time they pay their taxes to the government which provides 1/3 of Planned Parenthood's revenue. Furthermore, employers provide compensation to employees who use that money for other nefarious purposes. This is no different.

What Does the Bible Say? There is not a specific Bible verse that tells us exactly what to do in this situation. Therefore, we must examine all of the indirect verses that apply and draw careful conclusions. Let’s examine two verses: Verse One: Jesus responded plainly to the question of paying taxes to a lousy government. We are to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s" (Mark:12:17). It is certain that the Roman government was using tax dollars to commit atrocious sins including the murder of Jewish people.

Verse Two: When Peter and John were commanded by the authorities to stop preaching the Gospel, they refused (Acts:4:18-20). If the government commands something God forbids, we cannot obey...if the government forbids something God commands, then we cannot comply.