I did not watch the news last night as it was barely worth the effort of keeping my eyes open until half past eleven for a meagre fifteen minutes worth.
As it was the missing girls birthday, I would imagine that it was more of the same although I see from the newspapers that further "celebrities" have contributed towards reward monies.
Given that, I would like to have a quick run down of what seems to be happening in the name of news. I appreciate that a young girl has been abducted and feel extremely sorry for the family.
However I cannot understand why so much time has been devoted to this unless there is an ongoing agenda by the media for some other purpose.
Surely if anyone steps back and looks at the situation from a logical and emotionless viewpoint then they can see that all the media attention is unlikely to lead to the girl being found. The features we have seen this week have told us very little, we have seen the Portugese authorities being blamed together with the parents. We have seen countless images of the missing girl. Countless images of church services and prayers. Pictures of women and children grieving and upset.
This could be said to be the major news story of the week almost overshadowing Tony Blair's resignation in which terror and war were the dominant themes, allowing the news channels the opportunity to bring up past war "glories" and the recurring "war on terror", by showing images of military aircraft taking off etc.
Lets turn to the issue of God here. Surely a church is expected to be a place where one can go to do ones business (whatever that may be) without the intrusion of the TV cameras, especially when dealing with a subject as emotive as that of a missing child. This week we have seen many images of churches, in connection with Madeleine McCann and her mother etc praying, special prayer services. In most of these images the camera normally scans round the church, pausing momentarily on religious artefacts, statues etc before lingering on people suffering, almost broken with grief.
Over the last two weeks there have been four other instances of churches being featured. One was in connection with a murder in Glasgow where the body was found under the floorboards of the church. The parish priest was an alcoholic, a proven liar under oath to God and claimed to have had sexual relations with several parishioners, including the poor dead girl although it was not him who killed her. The second was in relation to a "man" of God abusing choirboys. The next and same night was a footballers funeral when the camera appeared to linger over images of choirboys during its "church scan". The last, this week again, was a feature on a Hindu cow which "is" to be destroyed as it has TB. The Hindu's are not happy and we saw their sacred cow in its alter, within their temple, their house of God.
Now I can see why religious leaders may wish to have cameras within their respective places of worship. They may feel that it improves the "self image" of the particular religion concerned and would perhaps attract potential followers to their faith. It may be however that the media simply put pressure on. I do not know.
What I do know though is that when put together as a whole, the image being painted of religion and church is not exactly favourable. We see the church images being used in a variety of stories which include murder, emotional suffering, sexual abuse, funerals (and their emotions) and finally, with the Hindu cow, an almost open mockery of a faith. We are told that the McCann's are seeking faith in their church. Not in God. Also, if the child is not found does that not somehow, unconciously, reduce ones faith, especially if continously reinforced by similar cases, where on a tangible, external level, the prayers have not had the desired outcome.
In addition, it could be said that religion is to blame for current wars and threats of terrorism. Last week on the news we were told that British peoples main fears were immigration and the Muslims. The Muslims have been painted as religious nutters, something to be scared of. If this fear story is really true then the media are simply adding to it's truth by way of featuring it.
It is the media who are perpetuating this whole Madeleine story and turning it into an emotional circus. Sadly, people seem to get caught up with the whole emotion and become part of it. The media seem to wish this to happen, their images are specially selected to do this. It is exactly the same "crowd manipulation" that happened with Princess Diana when the emotional ourpouring was featured over and over, causing more and more.
It is also almost a hypnotic rhythm that is employed, emotion , church, terror, war, emotion, church, football, terror etc etc etc. Is it good to show so much emotion all the hugging etc
We are surely turning into a frightened crowd and that is the worry. Yet the cameras are allowed into God's house, is this not symbolic and frightening, whatever your beliefs.