By EVE MacADAM
MICHA EL REDINGTON, head of religious programmes for ATV, tackled a most difficult subject, the religious interpretation of Heaven and Hell, in "About Religion" on Sunday.
In the second programme of this series Archbishop Roberts, S.J., was one of the three speakers. Archbishop Roberts, formerly Archbishop of Bombay. recently returned from six months teaching at a Catholic University in the States. As a personality he came over strongly on the TV screen.
Now and again he broke away from the profundities under discussion to illustrate ideas with a light-hearted anecdote. After stating " Hell is deprivation of God ", he pointed out`that nothing has been revealed about the human
population of Hell, with the exception of Judas the apostle.
The archbishop went on to tell a story of a missionary who tried to explain Hell to some fierce Red Indians. He gave them a picture
Archbishop Roberts, S.J.
to study in which sinners were depicted being burnt in the fires of Hell. The Indians looked at it and then started to laugh. " Look," one of them told him, " everyone in Hell—a paleface." The story illustrated the archbishop's point that for many people Hell is where your enemies go to. "We must get away from that idea," he concluded.
NOW that the novelty of television is wearing off audiences are discovering that visual entertainment with little or no intellectual content is making them hungry—hungry for something on which to feed their minds. And so, gradually, sound radio is winning back audiences. Switching on at random to two sound programmes last week I experienced intense satisfaction afterwards with what I'd heard. This could not beaccounted for by the mere tucking-in of a starved mind: it was more than that. It was rather that a sense of propriety. long insulted by television, had been assuaged.
The two programmes were Thursday's edition of "Woman's Hour " and a twenty-minute talk by a King's College lecturer, Mr. J. G. Weightman, on the Third on Saturday. " Woman's Hour" went like a bomb, full of variety and served up without gush, the bane of women's programmes. A psychiatrist and a sceptic agreed to disagree on extraordinary perceptions: motorists offered tips for continental touring — " remember all Italians are racing motorists"; and Marjorie Westbury turned herself into five different people.
THE impact of Mr. Weightman's talk was heightened because he gave it on the evening following Granada's presentation of SirRoger Casement's trial. Both programmes were concerned with treason. Weightman spoke of the treasonable activities of a Frenchman, Francis Jeanson, who is at this moment inciting French soldiers to desert in Algeria and French students to join the F.L.N. The focus of this talk and of Granada's trial was why an intelligent patriot bites the hand that feeds him. Weightman did not have the programme to himself but shared it with a French politician. All the same, he managed in the space of twenty minutes to give audiences a clear, fresh psychological and political explanation of Jeanson. why he had turned against de Gaulle (" because by his coup ctetat of May 1958 de Gaulle had
accepted power from mutineers, and therefore has no basis of legitimacy for his regime "), why Jeanson considered France's real enemy the army, and how de Gaulle was trying to combat the moral malaise of France by creating a synthetic nationalism, A highly compressed and intelligent study of the French political scene which gave one plenty to think about.