TV and RADIO
OLD principles applied to new conflicts was the subject of the last in the present series of Credo 6.30 pm Saturday Channel Four. This programme specialises in the examination of topical issues through a religious perspective , and has often succeeded in bringing a fresh insight into topics made wearisome by other programmes.
Saturday's programme on political violence exposed the difficulty of seeking to justify conflict in moral terms — one person's just war is another person's unjust rebellion.
The first part of the programme, somewhat reminiscent of an Open University lecture, sought to explain the unbreakable rules laid down by St Thomas Aquinas which gave mediaeval rulers a moral framework for their conflicts_ The case for those rules was demonstrated by the breakdown of the principles by , which modern rulers seek to justify violence. Modern political movements used the end to justify the means, as illustrated by the justifications used for the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and the blanket bombing of Dresden. The dominance of the end cannot however be based on any moral framework and thus the head of state, is driven to justify his actions by the same argument as the terrorist.
The expositions of the moral philosophers provided the backdrop for an examination of some of the conflicts of today: Sinn Fein leader Jerry Adams, and youths from the Broadwater Farm Estate both sought to justify their actions in terms of the modern ethic.
Home Secretary Douglas Hurd, was likewise called on to defend the British Government's actions in Libya and Argentina. The programme was a fitting finale for a challenging and sharply presented series.
Saturday May 31 Radio 4, 4 pm, Celebrating G K Chesterton. Hugh Burden plays Chesterton in this production which looks at the development of the man and his thoughts.
Sunday June 1 Radio 4, 8.15 am. Weekly religious news programme 10 am ITV Morning Worship. From St George's Roman Catholic Church, York. ITV 2 pm Revelations. First in a new series presented by Eric Robson in which people from all walks of life, talk intimately and frankly about moments that have had a profound effect on the rest of their lives. Heart of the Matter BBC 1, 10.15 pm. David Lomax looks at the moral issues behind the latest news stories. Seeds of Faith Radio 4, 11 pm. Late evening office of Compline led by the Reverend Richard Bewes. The Power of the Preacher Radio 4, 11.15 pm, looks at three remarkable Methodist ministers who were renowned for the power of their preaching, and drew large congregations in central London just after WW II.