"Let everyone who is Godly pray to you while you may be found"  (Psalm 32:6)

THE CAPITOL HILL PRAYER ALERT

January 12, 2000

FCC DICTATES NEW LIMITS
ON CHRISTIAN TV PROGRAMMING
One More Effort to Restrain Christian Influence

OVERVIEW:

"More than 125 non-commercial television broadcasters may be forced to drop religious programming after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled [12/29/99] that broadcasts 'primarily devoted to religious exhortation, proselytizing or statements of personally-held religious views or beliefs' are prohibited under the agency's educational programming licenses" (Justin Torres, Conservative News Service (CNS), 1/5/00).

  • Cornerstone Television, which broadcasts from WPCB in Pittsburgh, can be seen nationally on the Sky Angel Satellite Network. Some time ago, WQED, a PBS broadcaster and holder of two public TV licenses in the Pittsburgh area, applied to the FCC for authorization to swap one of its stations for Cornerstone's commercially licensed station. In a three-way agreement, Cornerstone and the PBS station agreed to sell the Cornerstone TV channel to PAX TV, a "family friendly" commercial TV network owned by Christian broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson. (Cornerstone TV would then take ownership of the other PBS channel and both Cornerstone and WQED would share in the proceeds of the sale to PAX TV.) The deal would be a win-win-win situation for each of the parties, providing much needed capital improvement funds for Cornerstone and the public TV station, while a new family oriented station would be added to the Pittsburgh community.

  • The FCC, which took two years to make its decision, granted permission for the three-way deal, but imposed strict limits on Cornerstone TV's future programming, issuing new "non-proselytizing" guidelines which will affect not only Cornerstone, but non-commercial Christian broadcasters across the nation.

  • Protests by a local alliance of liberal activists clearly helped shape the FCC's far-reaching ruling. A spokesman for the group told CNS that they objected because Cornerstone "did not represent the entire community÷ They lack diversity÷ A lot of their programming is actually very hateful in many people's opinion; it's disparaging of other religions, of gays. That's not what public television is meant to be."

  • Cornerstone is now in a very difficult position, since it has contractual agreements -- executed in good faith -- with two groups. Its leaders face a trial of conscience akin to the situation faced by Daniel when he was forced to choose between worshiping a man (instead of the one true God) or be thrown into a den of lions.

  • Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH) will introduce legislation to reverse the FCC's new guidelines when Congress reconvenes January 24. Christians should ask their Congressman to cosponsor Oxley's bill (Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121). Letters of protest to the FCC may be addressed to: The Honorable William E. Kennard, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

Our forefathers took pains to be sure Congress could make "no law prohibiting the free exercise" of religion or "abridging the freedom of speech." Satan's goal is to keep true Christians out of the "public" square. The FCC has overstepped. Will Christians stand up to this? Or will we stand by, passively, while bureaucrats regulate us, not just out of the public square, but out of existence? (Neh 4:14)

Lord, teach us to Pray:

  • Pray for the Board of Cornerstone TV, that God will give them wisdom and courage to stand up for Him (1 Chr 22:11-13; Acts 5:28-29; Rom 1:16).

  • May God fearing Americans be stirred to take ACTION, and to call their Congressmen, asking that they stop the implementation of this FCC ruling (Jdg 5:15b-18; Neh 4:14).

  • May God give Cornerstone and all Christian "public" TV stations across America a great victory by preserving their liberty to proclaim THE TRUTH (1 Sam 7:8-10; Ps 68:11; 94:16-22; 2 Tim 4:1-5).

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Alan Keyes is one of America's most articulate spokesman for the sanctity of life. He speaks with great passion and wisdom concerning the divine nature of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. And he is a man of faith and prayer. His campaign is asking for Christians to pray for him and his family during the coming months. If you would like to pray for Dr. Keyes in an informed manner, please send an e-mail message to grassroots@keyes2000.org with Prayer Volunteer in the subject heading. You will then receive weekly prayer updates concerning his campaign, family and himself.



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God bless!"


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