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National ‘Wear a Cross’ Day

Today is, apparently, ‘national cross wearing day’ – Christians are being encouraged to wear a cross. 

Fiona Bruce and cross.bmp 

Fiona Bruce caused a stir recently by … wait for it … wearing a cross when presenting the Ten O’Clock News.  For heaven’s sake, this PC business has gone too far.  The BBC hasn’t banned the wearing of crosses (or veils, crosses, hijabs, scarves, skull caps, turbans or burkhas, for that matter) but, according to editor Peter Horrocks, there has been discussion what is appropriate for newsreaders to wear, ‘especially at a time of heightened religious tension’.  Apparently, Fiona has worn a cross for some years, but only now has it become an issue and considered a ‘potential mistake’ to give the impression of her having a religious affiliation.

Peter has said ‘The BBC is a supporter of freedom of expression.  Equally we want our newsreaders to be seen as entirely impartial.  Any religious clothing or insignia they wear could make some viewers question their impartiality.’
So, does this mean that it is okay for people to have a religious conviction as long as they cover it up?  Isn’t it better for people to be open about the matter – transparent and open to judgement about any bias?  Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with a person of another religion reading the news.  I would respect them, despite any differences of opinion.  Surely, openness is better than deceit!  Perhaps ‘deceit’ is a bit strong, so let’s say ‘hidden truth’.  Alternatively, I can see the PC brigade arguing that no-one of religious conviction can read the news which is utter prejudice.
I think it is about time Christians started being more confident and secure in our faith.  Without being deliberately awkward, provocative, or insensitive, we should wear our crosses and live out our faith without shame, or fear.  We should be prepared to ‘give a reason for the faith that is in us’, but carry out our work professionally and with integrity.  

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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