Wednesday, June 17, 2009

PBS' bad decision

Paul Fahri wrote in the Washington Post that PBS has reached a compromise about religious programming.  Programming at PBS should be non-sectarian.

KBYU in Provo, therefore, was granted a reprieve.  It will be allowed to broadcast the types of religious programming it has broadcast, but no new religious broadcasts on other PBS stations would be allowed.

I suppose that this is a good decision for KBYU -- but not that major, KBYU could simply begin to broadcast BYUTV content and be fine had this decision gone against it.

What is frustrating here, however, is the overriding principle -- getting religion off public television unless it is discussed in a sectarian way.  Otherwise, it seems, people worry the brand of public television will be hurt with religion.

Here is the trouble.  Public television should be challenging.  It should have profound discussions of religion -- even seeming to have the effort to convert at times.  Why?  America needs its religions to be part of the national conversation.  It needs religion to have access to the masses.  Otherwise, religion will seem sinister, even evil, because it is treated with silence and deference.

Let's continue to find new says to approach this issue.

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