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3 Oct 2014
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cross worn by a Church of England Bishop Thought for the Day
Rabbi Lionel Blue, the Bishop of Oxford, Indarjit Singh, Anne Atkins. Do you look forward to their thoughts for the day, or does the slot find you reaching for the off button of your radio? Should there be an opportunity for those who are not religious believers to share their thoughts?

More than 100 public figures have written to the BBC board of governors protesting at the exclusion from the slot. Those signing the letter include the playright Harold Pinter, the broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy, and 20 MPs as well as the former Labour leader, Michael Foot. They say the ban is discriminatory and unjustified. The letter says that the campaign to end the exclusion of non-religious contributions has been going on for over 30 years and the ban discriminates against the non-religious who now amount to 30-40% of the population.

You can hear more about the letter by selecting the link on the right.

The BBC says Thought for the Day is "a slot for reflections on topical matters from the perspective of a religious faith" and have no plans to introduce secular contributors.

So, what would a secular Thought for the Day sound like? We asked the scientist Professor Richard Dawkins to give us his Thought for the Day. Listen to his broadcast by clicking on the link on the right, read a transcript and his response to listeners' emails.

What do you think of Thought for the Day? Click here to send an email or join the discussion on the message board.

Links Thought for the Day page in BBC Religion

Regular contributor Rabbi Lionel Blue
Listen - Rabbi Lionel Blue and philosopher AC Grayling respond to the debate (15/08/2002)
Listen - Calls for atheists to be allowed to contribute to Thought for the Day (14/08/2002)
Listen - George Melly and Thought for the Day producer, Christine Morgan, on who should be allowed to contribute (14/08/2002)
Listen - Atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins gives us a secular Thought for the Day (14/08/2002)
Richard Dawkins, a not so devout sceptic
Listeners' Emails
...evolution and God are not mutually incompatible. If this thought makes me infantile, pass the rattle!

Vince Owen, Staffordshire

The BBC still seems to believe that those who call themselves 'religious' can somehow think more clearly, deeply and meaningfully than those who call themselves 'non-religious'. How can the BBC defend that bigotted view?
Amanda Baker

Click here for more e-mails
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