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06/13/2007

PBS doc: Is there a separation of fact and propaganda?

by Jeremy Hooper

Over at the official blog of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, that organization's Barry Lynn has written an eye-opening piece about a church-state documentary airing this month on PBS stations nationwide. Apparently the producers, writer, and director of the film, titled "The Wall of Separation," have a questionable agenda underlying their work.

Here is what Lynn has to say about the writer-director of the documentary, Brian Godawa:

Godawa did movie reviews for a time for the Chalcedon Foundation's Web site. Those of you who follow religion and politics will recognize Chalcedon as the nerve center of Christian Reconstructionism, the most militant wing of the Religious Right. Godawa also was a featured speaker at the American Vision's "2006 Worldview Super Conference," a Reconstructionist event.

Reconstructionists detest democracy and hope to usher in a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in America based on their reading of biblical law. They are best known for seeking to impose the harshest penalties of the Old Testament penal code: the death penalty, for example, for gays, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible teenagers and those who spread false religions.

I don't know if Godawa calls himself a Reconstructionist - his reviews have been removed from Chalcedon's Web site -- but his perspective is definitely pretty far out. His Chalcedon review of the critically acclaimed movie, "Brokeback Mountain," calls it "a brilliant piece of subversive homosexual propaganda." By depicting gay men as "manly" instead of "fey queens," he said, "It's the normalization of the freakish minority." He charged that "homosexualism" is "an ideology and religion whose goal is to overthrow the Christian paradigm of morality."

Godawa added, "Society SHOULD suppress immoral behavior and it does so on many fronts. So if homosexualism is immoral, then yes, it should be suppressed, just like child molesting, its ugly step-brother hidden in the closet, just like adultery, just like promiscuity."

Wow, we're sure he's going to be fair about the nature of church-state separation. Or at least just as fair as Ken Burns would be if he were to produce an examination of the righteousness of zooming in on black-and-white still photographs in the medium of documentary film!

::Writer rolls eyes::

Now, of course we respect the right of PBS to distribute content that reflects varying outlooks and viewpoints. We just hope that they have taken some lengths to let people know that what they are seeing is not an unbiased debate on a crucial subject, but rather one side's views on the matter. And if not -- then it's crucial that we all get the word out!!

For more on why this is of concern:

PBS Revelation: Network’s ‘Wall Of Separation’ Has Religious Right Genesis [AU - -Wall of Separation]
(H/t: Dispatches From The Culture War)

**The doc is not listed on this writer' PBS schedule, so if anyone happens to catch it, please let us know!

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Your thoughts

I will be quite surprised if PBS acknowledges that this is merely a viewpoint. Con-servative views are welcome at the network, while other views are subject to approval by the Right.

They certainly had no problem canceling a Buster episode simply because it featured two moms.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 13, 2007 7:09:13 PM

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