UPDATE: I’m told that the TV station is called TVN, and that the program’s name in Polish is ‘Dzien dobry TVN. My interview will start at about 9:30.
I am astounded that this is even happening, but what I’m told is a fairly large nationwide t.v. station will interview me tomorrow morning (Monday) at about 9:30 a.m. The show is called “Good Morning, Poland,” and the amazing thing is that they want to talk about—atheism!
Remember, this is a country where “insulting religious feelings” is a crime punishable by a fine and, in principle, jail. Right now, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s big news that a nonbelieving policeman has asked that a crucifix be removed from his office (crosses are everywhere!), and for that simple request he’s being prosecuted. He may be fined, lose his job, or even incarcerated, though I doubt he’ll see jail time.
Religious education–always by priests or nuns—is obligatory for two hours a week beginning in kindergarten (!) through high school—and although students can opt out, it’s done in a way that stigmatizes them. The religious instructors are chosen by the local bishop and they can neither be fired nor told what to teach. This forced indoctrination, and the blasphemy laws, are the two biggest things obstructing the secularization of Poland.
So atheism is pretty much a taboo subject in a country whose inhabitants are 95% Catholic, and a t.v. interview is good opportunity for me to spread the gospel (so to speak) in a way that I hope will be persuasive.
The t.v. folks have submitted a lists of questions that they might ask me, and suffice it to say that those questions are both straightforward and provocative.
I believe the interview will take place outdoors, in the lovely town square of Cracow, so if there are any Polish readers who watch t.v., let me know how it goes. I have no idea how it will be translated, but it will be broadcast live.