The Null Device
This Christmas Day, Britain's Channel 4 is continuing its annual tradition of courting controversy by broadcasting a documentary questioning the authorship of the Bible and suggesting a link between Christian theology and the troubles in the Middle East.
He declares the New Testament a 'masterwork of spin written by people who were nowhere near the events they describe, all gathered by powerful editors who kept out ideas they did not like'.
One of the most revealing moments comes when Beckford visits the US state of Georgia to talk to President Bush's spiritual adviser, baptist minister Richard Land. Land dismisses as 'rubbish' suggestions that the Bible is inaccurate and cannot be the basis for political decisions. 'When you stand in judgment of scripture, that is a theology of death,' says Land, who has called for Iraq to be 'flooded' with US troops.
Again, it's probably nothing most educated people in the secular world haven't heard of; nonetheless, evangelical groups are up in arms about the timing.