Sunday, July 12, 2009

PBS - No Religion, But Partisanship Is OK

The nation's public broadcasting network, PBS, recently made an announcement that it would eliminate religious programming. It said it must do so to obey its own rules (from 1985, I believe), which said that programming must be non-sectarian. Note that the same rule says its programming must be non-partisan.

If they are truly striving to be a "neutral" organization, they must be every bit as non-partisan as they are non-sectarian. But even casual observers notice a clear lean to the left. I often tune in on Sunday evening, and several times I have heard intellectual discussions about religion, but much, much more often they are coming from a skeptic's point of view. For example, recently I was treated to a Sunday night discussion about how Jesus Christ could not be divine because he was wrong in saying that the (then) current generation would not pass before he returned to this world.

In an article in the Washington Post, the following quote was given as an example of left-wing commentary that seemed not to offend the powers-that-be at NPR. The snippet is from the Bill Moyers show:

"The entire federal government -- the Congress, the executive, the judiciary -- is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich….And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture."

Now all this is not going to make much difference in religious content on television. PBS has no national programming and precious little local content that is sectarian. But is seems another example where we find censorship no so bad when it is blocking religious speech in America.

Read the whole Washington Post article here:

PBS's New Ban on Religious Programming

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