Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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FCC head of Broadcast Licensing a dominionist?

Project Tocsin has a very interesting article on their blog page regarding godcasters that is in reference to a recent article on the main group in the US coordinating "godcasting" groups, televangelists and the like. (The original Harper's article is available here as part of their "Soldiers of Christ" collection on dominionism.)

Specifically, the Tocsin article details a national conference of "godcasting" broadcasters by the National Religious Broadcasters, which included an awards ceremony at which an FCC employee received an award:

The convention opened on Saturday evening with an awards ceremony highlighted by the prestigious Chairman’s Award which was something of a paradox as it was “for serving the Christian community in a distinguished and exemplary manner,” but it was given to a nonbeliever, homophobic talk radio host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who received a standing ovation. She acknowledged the award by saying she was “just a Jewish girl from the Bronx,” and that “we both serve the same God.”

Another award which one would think raises conflict-of-interest issues was given to Federal Communications Commission Chief of Media, Roy Stewart, the senior staff person who handles all broadcast matters. He accepted his award saying, “It is you who should be honored.”

FCC spokesperson David Sisk said the bureau had no policy about FCC employees receiving awards from those whom they regulate that everyone including the FCC commissioners receive awards all the time. Also honored as TV program of the year was Pat Robertson’s 700 Club.

This so far makes two confirmed dominionist-friendly regulators in the FCC--the other being advisor Penny Nance (whose connections to dominionist groups are thoroughly documented here.

The really worrying thing, however, is that Roy Stewart is head of the Media Bureau of the FCC (which is the division that regulates both radio and television stations, including LPFM stations). Per the FCC Phonebook he is still employed there, and per the Media Bureau's bureau chief listing he is Senior Deputy Media Chief of the Media Bureau. Roy Stewart is also--notably--Chief, Office of Broadcast License Policy. (In other words, the very guy who accepted the award from the National Religious Broadcasters is the very guy who sets official FCC policy for who gets and who doesn't get an FCC broadcast license.)

Disturbingly, the FCC also apparently sees no conflict of interest in receiving awards from dominionist "godcasters" (many of whom are blatantly hijacking LPFM licenses to set up barely regulated "godcasting" networks and would in fact be applying for LPFM and translator licenses from the Media Bureau itself).

We may have just found direct evidence of collusion between dominionists (and the hijacking of LPFM licenses) and the FCC itself. I'll keep you all posted.

Reference links for the NRB and its involvement in dominionism (and with the FCC in particular"):
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/nae/nrb98.htm
http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/nae/nrb.htm
http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/HowNRBHelpMakeU.S.ChristianNation
http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/FeelingTheHate.html (mirror of Harper's article)
http://www.seekgod.ca/cnp.a.htm (notes on how head of NRB is member of Coalition for National Policy, secretive "think tank" for dominionist causes)
http://www.seekgod.ca/cnp.htm (more on CNP and NRB links to same)
http://watch.pair.com/cult-scp1.html (notes on how NRB is *de facto* "Avengelical"/dominionist only; NRB is essentially media division of National Association of Evangelicals, which is presently run by head of dominionist New Life Church in Colorado Springs; more info on New Life Church here)
http://www.religioustolerance.org/fcc_sepa.htm (how NRB has bullied FCC in past regarding practically any rulings on religious broadcasting, including a ruling by the FCC allowing religious discrimination in hiring by dominionist "godcasters" (yes, possibly UNIQUELY of any group regulated by a federal agency, you can be forced to sign a "statement of faith" to work at a TV station)
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewReligion.asp?Page=/Religion/archive/REL20000128c.html (how the NRB has fought proposed FCC requirements to have educational content on nonprofit radio/TV stations)
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/126/42.0.html (on how the NRB has been one of the major bodies lobbying the FCC for deregulation of radio rules, including for educational/nonprofit stations)

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