I went home over Easter (sorry for not posting but I didn’t take my laptop with me), and spent a while (which I’ll never get back) watching Coronation Street with my mum, who watches it regularly. One of the storylines was about an Easter service at the local church with a pet blessing afterwards. Here’s more or less how it goes…
A kid and his dad are putting the rabbit away in the garden. The nice old bag from next door compliments the rabbit and the hutch which the dad built, and after a conversation tells them about the pet blessing which they could take the rabbit to if they wanted. She thinks it’s a good harmless way of getting more people to go to church, even if it is just a novelty. Later the kid, his dad, his turkey-necked grandmother and narky (but surprisingly funny) old bag great grandmother, as well as the rabbit, are getting ready to go to church, when this scene happened, and my new hero Ken Barlow spoke out about the kid being indoctrinated, and after the service tried to teach him about humanism, albeit somewhat badly.
I didn’t think about it that much at the time, but apparently a load of fuddy duddies have complained! Seemingly, they called what he said “anti-Christian”, and said it was a disgrace to air such a thing on the holiest day of the year. (As I’m sure I’ve blogged before, theologically it may be the most significant day of the year, but in practice it takes second place to Christmas in terms of observance). 23 people complained to OfCom, the broadcasting watchdog, and 100 complained directly to ITV!
I fail to see how this is greatly offensive, as one viewer put it. When else are they going to run a religious storyline like this, just at any time of the year? It’s entirely appropriate to screen this storyline (alongside another one about the girl over the road becoming a Born Again, I might add) on one of the few days when attendance at church spikes. That’s when a non-Christian would be likely to go to church! At this time of year religion is also fresh in some people’s minds. I think some people need better things to do with their lives.
So if you want to speak up in favour of these comments, feel free to contact ITV with your views.