PBS TV stations to air three-part documentary on atheism


Christians are criticizing a decision by Public Broadcasting Service stations to broadcast a three-part television documentary series on atheism, calling it "an evangelistic piece."

"A Brief History of Disbelief" is by British producer Jonathan Miller. It was first broadcast on the BBC in 2005.

During the first hour-long episode, Miller visits the site in New York City where the Twin Towers once stood.

"The spectacle of September 11 is a forceful reminder of the potentially destructive power of the three great monotheistic religions [Christianity, Judaism and Islam] that have dominated the world one way or another for nearly 2,000 years," Miller states.

According to a report by Cybercast News Service, Miller interviews several leading atheists and examines theories regarding the psychology of religious belief. The second episode discusses the re-emergence of atheism in the 15th and 16th centuries and "the perils of challenging religious faith." The third segment looks at the impact of influential thinkers, such as Thomas Paine, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud, on the way religion is understood today.

Janice Crouse, director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute for Concerned Women for America, told Cybercast News Service that "airing the program gives credibility and cohesiveness to individuals who seek to undermine the beliefs and values on which democracy and the American dream are founded."

"One has to wonder why it is so important to them for everyone to understand their 'disbelief,'" she said. "The program is not a dispassionate, positive voice as they claim. Instead, it is clearly demagogic and propagandistic."

Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, told Cybercast News Service that blaming the horrors of 9/11 on "faith in God in general is absurd." "They have to be attributed to the particular ideology that drove the terrorists, which is a radical form of Islam."

Sprigg said he first thought the documentary would offer an objective history of atheism. "But when I actually watched it, I realized that it's really an evangelistic piece for atheism," he stated.

Sprigg said PBS’ decision to air the documentary actually reveals the network’s bias against Christianity and traditional faith.

"If they really want to be objective, they need to have a three-part series documenting the evidence in favor of Christianity," he added. "If they present propaganda for Islam, if they present propaganda for atheism, I think it's only fair they present propaganda for Christianity, too."

He underlined that the two most horrific regimes of the 20th century were the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, both atheistic regimes.

The documentary premiered on May 4. It will premier on public TV stations in other markets over the following weeks.

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