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Religion in the Media :Analyse and explain the way a religious/moral issue has been dealt with in a TV soap opera or national press

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Aii: Analyse and explain the way a religious/moral issue has been dealt with in a TV soap opera or national press I've chosen to write about an episode of the TV soap Eastenders which was aired on BBC1 on Thursday the 7th of September 2000. The moral issue dealt with is euthanasia. Ethel and Dot have been friends for most of their lives, and are very close. Ethel is terminally ill and asks Dot to help her die before she becomes unable to help herself. She knows she's going to lose the use of her body and eventually will become completely dependent on other people's care, and wishes to die before that happens. The setting of the scene in which Ethel asks Dot to help her die is key to how Eastenders chose to portray the situation. The scene is set in a small, cramped room with Ethel in a bed. The bed which Ethel is in is quite central in the room, which draws the attention of the viewers to her Dot is the perfect person for Ethel to ask for help. She's extremely religious, whereas Ethel is not. By asking Dot for help, the BBC can show the two sides to the dispute over euthanasia and if it is right or not. They can do this because Dot strongly believes that God created life and therefore only he can take it away, but Ethel doesn't believe in God and so says that it is her choice whether she lives or dies. There's a strong contrast of opinions, which represents society's disagreement over whether euthanasia is acceptable or not. Dot tells Ethel "It aint up to you to decide when, or how...we don't choose how we come in to this life and we can't choose how we leave." In her opinion, euthanasia is against the will of God. However Ethel who is already in a lot of pain wants to die before she becomes completely incapable of speaking and doing things for herself. ...read more.


Percy is extremely angry, and when Mr Jingles, the mouse runs out into the corridor Percy stamps on him. He's dead but John then asks to see him. He holds Mr Jangles in his hands and breathes in. Mr Jingles' tail which is poking through his fingers starts to wiggle and his hands start to glow very brightly. He opens up his hands again, and My Jingles is alive again and runs back to Del. Like when he healed Paul, John opens up his mouth and lots of insects fly out. When asked what he did, he replies "I helped Del's mouse... I took it back." Another religious theme in the film is faith. One of the inmates (asks Paul that if he truly repents what he's done then would he go back to a time when he was happiest in his life and live forever, and would that be what heaven was like. Paul reassures him that yes he will go to heaven because by dying his sins are being washed away. He also reassures him that "you'll be fine, you'll do fine." Another theme in this film is the repenting of sins. In one scene when Paul is explaining to Percy the importance of not being aggressive towards the inmates, Paul says that death is the ultimate forgiveness and that in dying they are being forgiven for their crimes and will go to heaven. After the first inmate has been put to death and Percy pokes the body and says "drop us a card from hell" Brutus grabs his arm and pulls him away forcefully and says "he's paid what he's owed, he's square with the house again so keep your goddamn hands off of him." This represents the theme of repentance because all his sins have been forgiven and now he is innocent so Percy has no right to disrespect his body. ...read more.


In the Vicar of Dibley, Geraldine tries to get Kylie Minogue to sing at the opening of the church fair. Although religious people are often at the centre of jokes, in programmes such as the Vicar of Dibley the audience are laughing with Geraldine, not at her. The character of Geraldine Granger is based on a real London vicar who was a Hell's Angel and wore biker clothes to church. Religious people such as John Sentamu are never the butt of any jokes, and are taken extremely seriously. John Sentamu is the Archbishop of York and the first person of a racial minority to ever become an Archbishop. Nelson Mandela is another character who is never the centre of any jokes on television. And although the majority of religious programmes are shown in "the graveyard slot," some of them are shown at viewable times. For example, Songs of Praise is shown at 6pm on a Sunday. Also, in the run up to Christmas, the majority of religious programmes were not shown at 2am, and were in fact often shown just before, during and just after prime times. In conclusion the television often portrays religious people as being out of touch with the modern world. Often, news programmes show religious figures such as priests doing things which would be acceptable if it was any one else, but not acceptable for religious figures. For example the news doesn't report every single homosexual relationship, but if a priest fell in love with another man then it would be all over the news. Religious people are often the butts of jokes and are also often stereotyped. However in my opinion they are not always portrayed as out of touch with the modern world. Mother Theresa, who helped people who would have otherwise died was extremely religious and definitely not the butt of any jokes. Also, although the majority of religious programmes are on at unsociable hours, there are some religious programmes like Songs of Praise which are shown during periods when people will be watching TV. ?? ?? ?? ?? 4 ...read more.

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