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Narnia, no thanks


By David Mitchell - Posted on 17 April 2009

I never thought I'd live to see a TV documentary that made 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' look balanced but the BBC managed it, and on the flagship channel, with The Narnia Code (BBC1 16th April) a blatant 'puff' for Dr Michael Ward's book 'Planet Narnia'.

Whilst Ward's theory about an inner meaning behind C.S Lewis's Narnia Chronicles was an interesting one, the last 20 minutes of the 60 minute programme were pure Christian propaganda, with a series of scientist/Christians wheeled out to spout the most outrageous nonsense. There was not one dissenting voice and atheists were continually accused of being incapable of the sort of higher feelings and thoughts that those who believe in myths enjoy so much.

A lot was made of a visit by Ward to the Wade Centre at Wheaton College in Illinois where there is a Lewis archive, or perhaps shrine would better describe it. Few details were divulged during the programme about the nature of Wheaten College but its internet home page is headed 'For Christ and his Kingdom' and it also hosts other establishments such as 'The Billy Graham Centre', 'The Christian Ethics Centre' and 'The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals'. No agenda there then.

Of course Richard Dawkins was mentioned but he wasn't apparently asked to contribute. He and his opinions were portrayed as being strident but any reasonable person watching a Dawkins documentary would have to admit that he invariably comes over as quiet, polite and thoughtful. Dawkins, being confident of the intellectual rigour of his case, always features dissenting voices and they invariably end up bolstering his case and damaging theirs. Small wonder the makers of The Narnia Code didn't want to disturb the fairy tale world they inhabit.

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