In a move sure to anger conservatives in the blogosphere and beyond, PBS is weighing whether to disassociate itself with any affiliate that carries "sectarian" programming.

From the Washington Post:
PBS stations are debating the limits of one of public television's basic commandments: Thou shalt not broadcast religious programming. The discussion, some station managers fear, could lead to a ban on broadcasts of local church services and other faith-oriented programs that have appeared on public stations for decades despite the prohibition.

The Public Broadcasting Service's board is to vote next month on a committee's recommendation to strip the affiliation of any station that carries "sectarian" content. Losing its PBS relationship would mean that a station could no longer broadcast programs that the service distributes, from "Sesame Street" to "Frontline."

I haven't seen much reaction yet today, but expect to hear complaints in the coming week that the move discriminates against religious groups.

Proponents of the ban contend that the government should not indirectly fund religious programming. Here's how WaPo describes the motivation for the change:
Under bylaws enacted in 1985, PBS stations are required to present programs that are noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian. The rules were put in place to ensure balance and fairness among PBS-affiliated stations, which rely on government funding, private-sector grants and sponsorships, and contributions from viewers.

But the definition of "nonsectarian" programming has always been loosely interpreted, and the rule has never been strictly enforced, according to PBS officials.