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PBS board members, who for 25 years have turned a blind eye to religious programming at some of their member stations' religious programing, have decided to enforce a rule banning the broadcasts -- a move that spells the beginning of the end for religious shows on public television.
Six PBS stations currently broadcast "sectarian" programs produced by local religious groups, including the morning "Mass for Shut-Ins," which is popular among elderly and ailing Catholics who cannot attend the daily service.
From the same article:
Under the terms of a decision reached by the PBS board Tuesday, those stations can retain their current shows. And all stations can air programs and documentaries that cover sacred topics -- even a newsworthy service, like a papal Mass.
From the WaPo http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/16/AR2009061603201.html
The Public Broadcasting Service agreed yesterday to ban its member stations from airing new religious TV programs, but permitted the handful of stations that already carry "sectarian" shows to continue doing so.
The vote by PBS's board was a compromise from a proposed ban on all religious programming. Such a ban would have forced a few stations around the country to give up their PBS affiliation if they continued to broadcast local church services and religious lectures.
Until now, PBS stations have been required to present programming that is noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian. But the definition of "nonsectarian" programming was always loosely interpreted, and the rule had never been strictly enforced. PBS began reviewing the definition and application of those rules last year in light of the transition to digital TV and with many stations streaming programs over their Web sites. The definition doesn't cover journalistic programs about religion or discussion programs that don't favor a particular religious point of view.
Bolding mine. I'm not sure what your point is. The rule stating sectarian shows are not allowed has been on the books since 1985, but current shows will continue to be aired.
That's great! I'm glad that PBS is not in the business of being a religious channel or a political channel, but an informational and educational channel. That makes me much more likely to consider donating to them. There are plenty of religious channels and radio stations that people can use for religious sermons.