Ash Wednesday Disputes

The BBC has been accused of being dismissive of Christianity after questioning whether a Parliament member should have attended a government meeting with an Ash Wednesday cross on her forehead.

BBC Politics’ Facebook site asked, “Was it appropriate for this MP to go to work with a cross on her head?” A photo showed Glasgow MP Carol Monaghan with an ash cross still visible while she answered questions during a Parliamentary Committee session, and a remark by Monaghan that she was not ashamed to appear with the cross.

Ann Widdecombe, a former member of Parliament and a convert to Roman Catholicism, said she thought the question reflected a dismissive attitude and said it showed the BBC’s “complete ignorance” on matters of faith.

The Rt. Rev. Pete Broadbent, acting bishop of London, tweeted: “Is it appropriate for people working for @bbcpolitics to be so ignorant about the Christian faith that has shaped this country?”

On another Ash Wednesday front, a keen debate centered on whether it was right to mix glitter with the burned remains of last year’s palm crosses.

The Rev. Sally Hitchiner, a university chaplain and founder of Diverse Church, tweeted, “I don’t care how supportive you are of LGBT people, glitter in the ash on Ash Wednesday is just wrong!”

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