Most of us lead such hectic lives that when our
publicly funded television affiliate nixed a show on intelligent
design, we breathed a collective sigh of relief: one less
challenging idea to clutter our minds.
making the decision to cancel the show "Unlocking the Mystery of
Life," derisively referred to as "creationism" by the rabidly
anti-Christian voices that squeak like greaseless wheels in the
so-called science community, KNME-Channel 5's radio marketing
manager Joan Rebecchi said "Life's" producers had not just an agenda
but a religious agenda.
KNME's decision was cheered by a
group called New Mexicans for Science and Reason. The Science and
Reason folks slammed the show as "religious propaganda" and made it
clear we all benefited from their and KNME's collective protection.
This is censorship. I can understand this from the science
group. After all, their name is "New Mexicans for Science and
Reason," not "New Mexicans for the First Amendment."
though, doesn't get off that easy. Isn't "public" broadcasting -
funded to a large extent by our tax dollars, thus the whole "public"
thing - supposed to afford us a wide variety of views on a wide
variety of issues?
Perhaps the discussion spawned by KNME's
decision to discriminate against shows with a potentially religious
theme should lead us to a broader discussion about public
broadcasting in general. That conversation might go like this: Cable
and satellite television have made PBS as obsolete as a
black-and-white console television set.
When PBS hit the air
in 1969, much of what it offered wasn't available. Today, however,
stations like the Learning, Discovery or History channels and many
more afford us access to virtually all the subject matter PBS has to
offer, and then some.
And while some will counter that cable
and satellite television access costs money, it's a myth that PBS
delivers its programming for free. We're shelling out more than $300
million annually in state and federal tax dollars for shows like
"Charlie Rose" (name the last conservative you've seen yucking it up
with Chuck), "Frontline," "American Experience" and "Nova" - all
agenda-less programs, I'm sure.
I think that's why the
blatant religious discrimination KNME proudly practices is all the
more galling. We're a nation rooted in religious freedom. Tolerance
in the public forum is required.
New Mexicans for Science
and Reason claims to "promote critical thinking."
worth noting that at nearly the same time the group and its friends
at KNME were deciding what you and I should critically ponder,
prominent British atheist philosopher and writer Antony Flew
announced that "evidence" indicates a creator-God probably does
exist. Flew hasn't jumped for joy for Jesus by any stretch, but he
reached his conclusion by virtue of what he'd learned about
You and I should have had the
opportunity to examine the same evidence Flew did. After all, we're
paying for it.