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Does blasphemy exist anymore?

Paul Coletti | 10:47 UK time, Friday, 5 January 2007

After Dicky's initial thoughts, a meeting teeming with ideas, and a no smiles 'firm but fair' approach from Mark, this is what we'll be discussing.

And remember today the show will be co-hosted by Dan Moulthrop who'll help run things from the comfort of his studio at WCPN in Cleveland. Dan was the main man when we were at out in Cleveland in November - he had a better suit than me but less hair so we called it quits. It's great to have him back on the show.

Right here are the stories....

1. The blasphemy challenge.

Maria (a listener) has brought our attention to a challenge put out by The Rational Response Squad and filmmaker Brian Flemming. He offered free copies of his documentary examining the evidence for the historical figure of Jesus to the first 100 people to post videos picking up the theme. It's safe to say the majority are not fans of religion.

Maria writes...

'There's now over 500 people who have posted videos denying the Holy Spirit (the unforgivable sin, according to the Gospel of Mark) as part of a public statement in support of rationalism over superstition.

This is one of my favourites. Brian says the whole point is to start discussing the things we've always taken for granted historically.'

This is getting a massive response on blogs (those who love it, and those who are offended). We'll ask if religion should be fair game, or if blasphemy still exists? And of course we'll hear some of these videos.

2. THE WHYS SUMMIT ON SOMALIA

As I write, politicians, military men and diplomats from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, the African Union, the European Union and America are meeting to discuss what to do about Somalia. And we're going to do the same.

In the BBC's bureau in Nairobi we'll have a range of East Africans who'll have an hour to come up with a three point plan. We'll dip in and out of their discussions and you can email or talk to them during their deliberations. So if there's a point they must consider, let us know.

3. THE NYC SUBWAY HERO
Wesley Autrey is his name and people are lauding the Harlem hero after he saved a man who'd fallen onto the subway tracks in New York. He's fast becoming a worldwide celebrity in the space of two days... and has certainly racked up a serious number of high profile interviews.... and we'll do our best to hear from the city and about its reaction.

HERE'S THE STORIES THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT THIS TIME...

ROS: LIBYA BUILDS A STATUE OF SADDAM
Following on from the Monday and Thursday discussions about Saddam, do people care that Libya is building a statue of him standing at the gallows?

HASIT: Christian Union suspended
An Evangelical Christian Union at Exeter Uni is taking legal action after being suspended from the Students Union because it makes prospective members sign a declaration of their religious beliefs. The Uni says it doesn't accept organisations that have barriers to entry.

Should religious groups be allowed to practice freely in universities and other state-run organisations, no matter what their beliefs?

HASIT: Catholic Bishop
A catholic Bishop in Slovakia has said that life under Nazi rule was 'time of well-being'. Jews and Roma groups are of course very angry about this.

Paul: What now for the democrats?
Yesterday when I was researching political blogs for comment on Ashley X, I couldn't help notice the massive amount of "new dawn for the democrats"-type blog posts. So as Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female speaker of the House and Harry Reid takes the reins of the Senate just what should the Democrat strategy be regarding the big issues of the day, including of course Iraq? I'd like to hear from Dems voters all over the US and possibly a die-hard Republican to add some spice.

Listener Steve: BOMBS TEST IN THE STATES
See Steve in Utah's comment below about concern about bomb tests that are planned for Utah and Nevada. Do you know about this debate? Have a read of what Steve's written and let us know what you think.

THAT'S TODAY'S SHOW. IF YOU WANT TO HELP SET THE AGENDA FOR MONDAY'S PROGRAMME, CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW.

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