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Describe the variety of specifically religious programmes on the four main television channels in the UK.

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RE GCSE COURSEWORK-Religion and the Media

Describe the variety of specifically religious programmes on the four main television channels.

In the UK the four main television channels are BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five. We are influenced a lot by the media for example fashion, appearance, violence etc. In magazines we are influenced quite a lot by size zero. The internet is also a major source that influences many people. As well as the news and newspapers.  It helps us form view and opinions about a variety of things. Sometimes the things shown in the media are over exaggerated and stereotypical especially some of the programmes on religion. Some of the information we take to be accurate may not actually true but we believe it just because it’s broadcasted or written in a magazine.

There are many different religious programmes shown on the television most of them are on Sunday since Sunday is the day of church for the Christians. Many religious programmes are to only one specific religion. Some of these religious programmes include Songs of praise, The Big Questions and religious documentaries such as Everyman, Story of God. These are aimed at Christians. There are also some children’s religious programmes such as Stop, Look, Listen; Animated Bible stories and Baby Bible Bashers which are both shown on channel four. Most of the religious programmes shown on television is aimed at Christians and shown especially on Sunday although there are some channels for only religious programmes on only one different religion such as the Islam channel.

One of the religious programmes shown on television is Song of Praise, a BBC program with over three million viewers weekly. The program is about worship and music and shows different churches and chapels in the UK.  The episode of Songs of Praise that I watched was in a church near Trafalgar square. The church was called St Martins in the fields. It is a well known church in London. The program is usually broadcasted on Sundays since this is the time when most Christians are at home and watching television and Sunday is a time of worship. Diane Louise Jordan presents the program. The program was approximately thirty five minutes long. Diane also interviews Nicholas Holtam, he is the vicar of the church since the past ten years. He raised £80,000 by doing a ninety eight mile walk for the church’s redevelopment.  The mission of the St Martins in the field is to serve the homeless. Usually the hymns are sung by the St Martin’s choir and congregation.  In my opinion I think that the programmes target audience is people who are aged 26 years old and above since young people don’t usually watch religious programmes full of hymns but maybe people in family’s get together and watch it together. It could be improved by maybe adding in information about the hymns rather than just singing them they could add information and tell heir audience where the hymn came from and why they are singing what they are.

According to wikipedia many newspapers have accused Song of the Praise into tricking their audiences even thought the Broadcasts are not live.

Analyse and explain the way in which a religious or moral issue, of concern to Christians, has been dealt with in a television soap opera Or the national daily press.

The religious moral issue that I will be talking about is Euthanasia. Euthanasia is the killing of a person when the person asks to be killed. Most people who do ask to get killed are terminally ill people who can’t be cured and are in a lot of pain such as paralysis. So they ask a person to kill them to have an easy death without having to suffer any longer. Euthanasia is illegal in the UK although people who are terminally ill and want to end their life go to Netherlands where assisted suicide (Euthanasia) is legal.

The soap opera that I watched was called Eastenders. Ethel had a terminal illness which was brain tumour and wanted to die easily without any pain. She asks Dot to help her to do this. She asked Dot to help her because her and Dot had been lifelong good friends. Ethel knew that her health wasn’t well and she didn’t have long to live and she was soon going to get mental health in which she wouldn’t be able to remember her family or any of her friends. Ethel took morphine tablets to ease her pain but instead she started collecting them until Dot found that she wasn’t eating them but collecting them.  Ethel told Dot that she will eat them at once which will kill her because she wants an easy death. Dot took the bag of morphine tablets away from Ethel saying how wrong she was. She did this because she was a very religious person and thinks any form of suicide is wrong.  Ethel begged Dot to give her the bag of tablets Dot one day finally gave in and gave her the bag of tablets to help her die. In the morning Ethel was dead. Dot feels bad after giving Ethel the bag of tablets she thinks that she has committed suicide.

There are different Christian’s views on Euthanasia. The general Christian views on euthanasia are that Euthanasia is wrong because God has given life so only he has the right to take it no one else or that person. They also believe that birth and death are created by God and son no one should have the right to interfere with them. The Roman Catholic view on Euthanasia is that they believe that Euthanasia is totally wrong and this is what is taught in Roman Catholic churches.  The Roman Catholic churches say that the killing of anyone regardless of its age is wrong even abortion is wrong because it’s killing.  They also say that if a person is terminally ill they still do not have the right to kill themselves or get another person to kill them.

Protestants and Catholics have similar views on Euthanasia since some are in favour of Euthanasia and some are not. The orthodox are mainly against euthanasia they also think its wrong just like the Roman Catholics.

The soap Eastenders dealt with euthanasia quite well since it showed a catholic point of view it showed both sides of the argument because at the beginning Dot was against Euthanasia then she decided to help her friend Ethel in committing suicide but felt as if she committed murder. Dot is a catholic a strong one. I think the soap looked at the moral issue quite fairly but it could have been improved by showing different views too such as a person who thinks Euthanasia is totally wrong or another person who thinks Euthanasia is absolutely right.

In my opinion I think that Euthanasia is also a religious issue because most religions would say that Euthanasia is not advised and is committing the same sin as murdering someone. In my opinion I think that Euthanasia is wrong and even if a person is in severe pain and terminally ill they should just deal with it and bear the pain because only God has the right to give and take life not humans.

Analyse and explain the way in which a religious theme, of concern to Christians, has been dealt with in a film or television drama

First of all I will be talking about life after death. Most Christians believe that after they die there is still life this is also known as afterlife. Christians believe that when a person dies the soul still live on and GOD raises a new life for it. In the Christian teaching Jesus was raised from death three days after his crucifixion. Christians believe that GOD will judge a person on his good deeds and bad sins and then either punish them in hell or send them to heaven. They believe that GOD is fair to all and that all that matters is how many good and bad deeds they have done. In the Bible heaven is mentioned but it is hardly described of how it is. This is why Christians now have different views on heaven. Some people believe that Heaven is a place where only the body goes whereas some believe it is just the soul and the soul is united with GOD. The Bible has very little on hell also. This also creates different view with Christians. Some believe hell is fire and people with bad sins will be punished others believe that there is no such thing as hell and everyone will go to heaven regardless of their good deeds and bad sins. Some Christians such as the Roman Catholics believe in Purgatory which is a state for people with good and bad sins equalling or in-between heaven and hell. It is a place for clearing all your sins and going to heaven.  Some believe in Resurrection which is the day of judgement for all the dead and living.  

A film that shows life after death is ‘Ghost’. The Story is about two lovers Molly Jensen and Sam White; they are a couple and live in New York. Sam White is a banker and one day he thinks that something strange is going on with people’s bank accounts, He tells his friend Carl about this. One day he is walking back to his apartment after going to the theatre with Mollie, whilst walking back they meet a thief named Willie Lopez, he gets a gun out and shoots Sam, Sam chases after him but he doesn’t manage to get him he then sees Mollie with his dead body, he realises he is a ghost.  This represents that he is trapped between the worlds. The story then goes on and at the end Molly can hear Sam and realises too that he has come as a ghost. Sam then walks into bright light and goes. This shaft of light is the light from heaven coming down to put him into heaven.

In this film the Christian views are shown as the good deed people going to heaven and the bad deed people going to hell. This is showing what will happen to people after death through the Christians viewpoint. In Christianity there sometimes is people talking about near death experiences meaning that they have experienced and felt death whilst they were unconscious. Nobody really knows whether such things can happen unless they experience it for themselves. Some Christians say that they can communicate to the dead ones and see ghosts. For this scientists have had no proof so nobody can tell what is true. In the film ‘Ghost’ Sam is a ghost and at the end Molly can hear him.

Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’ John 11:25-26 this means that whoever dies will continue on living. In the film ‘Ghost’ Sam continues on living although he got shot he continues living as a ghost then taken to heaven by a shaft of light beaming down from heaven. Christians also believe that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’John 3:16 Eternal life meaning life after death in either heaven or hell just like in the film ‘Ghost’.

Some people in Christianity believe that certain people known as psychics can contact the dead. Some believe that the way they do this is through a board called the Ouija board. The board contains numbers and letters on which people use to communicate with the dead. This board is usually used fro people to communicate to their loved ones. This is also called spiritualism.  The board was usually mainly used during the 19th century. Although the movie ‘Ghost’ does not show an Ouija board being used it shows Molly communicating to the dead who is Sam. A film that does show an Ouija board being used is the 1973 film ‘The Exorcist’. In this film there is a child who accidentally awakes the spirit of the dead. In Christianity there are Spiritualist churches which usually get their traditions from Christianity long time ago they believe they can contact the dead through meditation and sitting in a circle with other people.

The topic life after death has been shown quite well in the film ‘Ghost’ since it shows the basic ideas of life after death in Christianity. It shows that the soul will still live on and go to heaven or hell depending on the good and bad deeds. Another religion where this could be compared to is Islam because in Islam the views on life and death are quite similar as to what’s shown in the film they also believe that a person will die but the soul will live on and go to either heaven or hell. This movie will appeal to a lot of people since the storyline is interesting and shows the issue life after death which many people don’t now what will happen after death and a curious to knowing as to what will happen after death. It might not appeal to people who think that after life no one is going to live on and there is no heaven and hell and they will just disappear into the soil.

Television always presents religious people as out of touch with the modern world

To start off with I will talking about how in television programs they sometimes portray religious characters as being out of touch from the modern world. Firstly the character in the soap Eastenders Dot Cotton she is presented as being quite out of touch because everything she does even to making simple everyday life decisions she will recite and refer to a bit of the bible after her decision to explain her actions. Another example of an out of touch program portrayed in television programs is Father Ted which is a comedy showing three Irish catholic priests. Some other programmes with out of touch people include the vicar Of Dibley.

Mostly in the media the religious characters are tend to be the older ones and there usually is a comedy side to these religious people portrayed in soaps. Sometimes the media does not portray religious people as being out of touch for example magazine programmes are usually for getting youth people into their faith rather than just aiming at elder people. Some such as the Heaven and earth show.

There are some fairly trendy religious people such as Kanye West , Madonna, tom cruise. Some of the religious comedy programmes include Vicar of dibley in which the vicar is a girl.

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