Don't Mention Jesus: BBC Bans 'Innocent Lyric' on Radio 2
BBC management banned singer Eliza Doolittle from using the word 'Jesus' in a performance of her love song 'Walking on Water'. She was forced to change the lyric from "Sometimes I wish I was Jesus, I'd get my Air Max on and run across the sea for you" to "Sometimes I wish it was easy..." when she appeared on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2.
Both the singer and the presenter say they are baffled by the decision. The Mail on Sunday quotes the singer as saying: "It was weird because I’m not being blasphemous, I just meant 'I wish I could run across water and see you', but maybe wishing for the power of God was blasphemous enough for them."
Presenter Chris Evans added: "Lyrics and the Beeb have always bamboozled me. We often play Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side. Check out the lyrics in that song." The song in question mentions transexuality, sex acts and drug use.
It remains unclear as to whether the BBC took the decision to avoid upsetting Christians over potential blasphemy, or to avoid upsetting secularists over the mentioning of a religious figure.
The decision has angered former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, however, who said he was "totally appalled" by the decision: "I'm not surprised the BBC is behind this because their attitude tends to be to dumb down the Christian message.
"I am sorry the lady agreed to this because the sense of the song is lost. Walking on water and Jesus go together."
A BBC spokesman confused the issue even further by saying: "We never ask any artist to change the lyrics to their songs.
"It's the decision of the record company and the artist. We have clear editorial guidelines in place to deal with religious or contentious issues and to avoid causing offence to our audiences regardless of their faith."
This is the second instance of politically correct censorship on the BBC in just one week. On Thursday it was also forced to defend a decision to postpone a discussion on BBC Three's 'Free Speech' show about being gay and Muslim.
The discussion was due to take place in a Birmingham mosque, but had to be suspended after local Muslims raised concerns.