Broken – a TV series with plenty of religious content to learn from

The six-part series called Broken, which stars Sean Bean and Anna Friel, first aired on Tuesday 30th May. If you missed the first episode go to BBC iPlayer to catch up (until mid-July). Why? Well for a drip feed of Catholic religious beliefs, teachings and practice for the AQA Component 1 exam, this TV series is a ‘godsend’!

You will be able to see in the first episode the role of a priest in the local community; the preparations for First Holy Communion; the Eucharist; the importance of prayer; the last rites for a dead person and confession. If you’ve never been inside a Christian church before, or it has been a long time, then just by watching this drama by Jimmy McGovern you’ll see how the place of worship is used by a community in Northern England.

To top it off there is also a mention of Food Banks – perfect GCSE content!


Social Media is a Minefield

There is an interesting story by the BBC about how social media photographs of girls or women which in the West might be completely common place would in other parts of the world be deemed highly inappropriate and could result in harsh repercussions.

All of this makes you wonder about social media decorum here in Britain and how to stay safe. The BBC has a WebWise page with an eye opening video showing a mum and daughter hearing from an online security expert. He had never met them before but just by researching them online knew a whole lot of personal information!



7 minutes or less – short videos on belief

BBC Bitesize has some useful short videos for you to watch and learn about religious beliefs. A relaxing way to start your revision before hitting the past exam question trail!

You can start on the contents pages of BBC Bitesize GCSE Religious Beliefs or use the links below to particularly useful videos:

Another BBC series called Matters of Life and Death has some other really interesting programmes lasting approximately 10 minutes, including ones on animal testing, assisted suicide, abortion and the death penalty. However it advises that you are over 16 years old.


Sacked for being male and white

BBC presenter Bob Holmes who’d appeared on Radio 4’s the Now Show for 18 years has complained that he was sacked because he was male and white.

“Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?” he asks. “Arguably, yes. You may well think I’m crap on The Now Show, and that’s fine, but to be told it’s because I’m the wrong sex and colour? I’m just not sure that’s helpful to anyone’s cause. If we are now openly giving jobs to people based on the colour of their skin, surely that is only emphasising just the kind of social division that the equality that I was brought up to embrace strives to eliminate?” he writes.

“So what if – and I know this is radical – but what if everything and every job in all walks of life was open to everyone equally, and we all just agree that everyone’s the same, by which I mean – you know – ‘human’?”

The BBC are not completely agreeing with his version of events.  A BBC spokesman said: “While the government’s new charter for the BBC does set us diversity targets, we always hire presenters on merit. We’d like to thank Jon Holmes for his contribution but our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it was simply time to create opportunities for new regulars when The Now Show returns this autumn. Jon’s contract was lapsed and wasn’t renewed and this was a creative not a diversity decision.”

Should some areas of public life such as the media, the police, the NHS and education, have positive discrimination where racial groups or genders which are not fairly represented with an open employment policy, can get a leg up and extra support to succeed in getting a job? Or should it be completely equal chances for all?


Why do people commit mass murder?

When you read about terrorists killing people on mass and their names being linked to extremism you still question how anyone could do it – take innocent people’s lives.

On the BBC Frank Gardner looks into why people go about committing mass killings and attempts to find out whether they have anything in common.

A forensic psychoanalyst believes the clues are all in their dysfunctional backgrounds.

“It is a psychiatric problem,” he says, “and such planning [as the Nice or Munich attacks] indicates a disordered personality. With such premeditation there is a desire to enact a form of revenge, and with such intent on causing major terror.” Yet there are a large number of people with these psychiatric disorders but only a few of them go on to do mass killings. Peter Aylward goes on to explain that there are many small particulars that have to be present and when all in place – the lock opens and people find no problem in killing large numbers of innocent people.

Perhaps this will help us all get our heads round these atrocious acts of terrorism.