I need to ask your help by writing an important letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As you may know, I am the President of the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) (www.secular.org). SCA's attorney has filed a Complaint with the FCC protesting the granting of certain satellite television channels to televangelists. The TV channels in question were set aside by the FCC to be used only for "educational or informational" programming, but instead many of them have been turned over to religious programmers, who are using them for proselytizing, fundraising, and spreading religious propaganda on a nationwide level. In fact, some of the religious groups that now control these channels have even accepted advertising, in violation of FCC rules. You should understand that, when religious groups get these channels, they are free to operate them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - to millions of viewers nationwide. This nationwide TV channel, a public property worth millions of dollars, is given to the religious group to use at minimal cost!!

SCA's position on this issue is clear - while we do not deny that religious groups have the right to voice their opinions, they should not be handed TV channels that were specifically set aside by the FCC for "educational" television to do so.  Televangelism is not educational! Because religious groups are using these channels, real educational broadcasters are being kept off the air. The public should not subsidize televangelism!

SCA has learned that the FCC sometimes acts on certain issues only if numerous complaints are received. Therefore, we want you to write to the FCC and tell regulators that you support SCA's position.

Please help defend the rights of our secular community by writing a letter right away. Below is a sample letter, though I expect it will be more effective if you write your own letter. Thank you in advance for helping.

Herb Silverman

Ms. Rosalee Chiara
Room 3A802
445 Twelfth St. SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Ms. Chiara:

It has come to my attention that a Complaint of great concern to me is before your agency. The Complaint, filed by the Secular Coalition for America against satellite television provider DirecTV, brought to your attention the fact that DirecTV has been improperly granting "public interest" television channels, intended for "educational" purposes, to religious groups that have been using the channels for non-educational and improper purposes (including advertising).

Please be advised that I fully support the position of the Secular Coalition on this issue, and I hereby join in its Complaint. The channels in question should be used for their intended purposes - to provide educational and creative programming. The FCC should do the right thing - tell DirecTV to abide by their legal duty to the public and take religious groups off the public interest channels. Please let me know how the FCC decides this important issue.