PBS station managers made a big push last year to drive any trace of "sectarian" Christianity out of the taxpayer-funded broadcasting system, banning any church services or religious lectures that appeared on a handful of stations. They ultimately compromised and banned any new church programming. But on at least one program, PBS sounds like it's declaring war on Christianity, including smears on Christianity that are not based on reality.
If that sounds shocking, imagine what the average Christian PBS viewer might have thought as he watched Tavis Smiley's weeknight talk show on May 25. The guest was ex-Muslim and atheist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, there to promote her latest book, "Nomad." Smiley claims to be a Christian, but he attacked Ms. Ali for "idealizing Christianity" and recklessly turning people away from Islam.
Right out of the box, Smiley was out to make a point. "You say unapologetically and rather frankly that your mission here is to inform the West about the danger of Islam," he began. "What danger do we need to be made aware of?"
What? Did Tavis Smiley somehow sleep through 9/11? Is PBS keeping him locked in a closet where he remains unaware of the ongoing terrorist attacks on Americans -- successful and unsuccessful -- made by Islamic radicals? When Ali brought up the deaths of 13 at Fort Hood and the failed Times Square bomber, Smiley unloaded a literally unbelievable statement: "But Christians do that every single day in this country."
Ali replied: "Do they blow people up?" Smiley: "Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is -- I could do this all day long."
Smiley is not only wrong, he's perversely wrong. The boys who shot up Columbine High School were not Christians; they were just violent psychopaths who, among other evils, mocked students who cried out for God to save them. There aren't Christians walking into post offices or schools every single day in America and blowing people up. Anyone in charge of journalistic integrity at PBS should see this as a blazing inaccuracy, in addition to a religious smear. Men this dishonest should be kept from microphones, not hired to speak into them.
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