BBC presenter Jeremy Vine has spoken about the difficulties he faces in openly discussing his Christian faith on air.
In an interview with Reform magazine, the Radio 2 and Panorama presenter admitted he found it difficult to reconcile his beliefs with his job.
“I'm living a strange life aren't I? A journalist is paid not to have views. But we all know that we do. We're all made of different things. We all think different things,” he told the magazine.
“One of the things I think, which may sound bizarre, is that Christ is who he said he was. I don't think I'd put that out on my show; I suppose there is a bit of a firewall between thinking that and doing the job I do.”
Vine, who converted to Christianity in his twenties and is a practicing Anglican, went on to say it would be problematic for him to share his beliefs during discussions on his radio programs.
“Just blurting it out would be destructive. Just because something's true doesn't mean you can say it. That's quite an important principle. Once I put my cards on the table about my faith in discussions, it becomes problematic.”
He continued, “You can't express views that were common currency 30 or 40 years ago. Arguably the parameters of what you might call ‘right thinking’ are probably closing. Sadly, along with that has come the fact that it's almost socially unacceptable to say you believe in God.”
Although he does not share about his own faith on air, Vine said that discussions about God always generated a huge response. “The energy goes up,” he said.
He admitted, however, to tussling with himself over the morality of the programs he presents.
“I'm trying to work out whether any part of the BBC Jeremy Vine is the Christian Jeremy Vine. I would never claim that being a Christian would make me a better person, let alone a better broadcaster," he explained.
“I would never ever say that. For me it's family, church, prayer, hoping – and then the job is something else. From time to time I've asked myself, 'Is the program moral?' and I'm glad I can't answer it.”
Addressing the state of the church today, he commented, “I know it gets attacked for being in a muddle but we are the muddle. And the muddle is our life.
“I feel sorry for the church because it keeps bumping into walls and it's full of good people. But a pain-free church would be a really spooky, unpleasant space.”