Friday, February 8, 2008

Am I being forced to support religion?


First let me say I live in an area where there is no television reception by any other means than satellite. And I basically have choice of two providers: Dish or DirecTV. So there is no such thing as free television for me. Just to get local news (local being 3 hours from here) I have to pay for television. And the way I see it I pay twice: Once with the subscription fee and once by all the commercials I am subjected to.

That bothers me to begin with but there seems to be nothing I can do about it. I don't even have good radio reception. I have been, however, more upset with the packages I am forced to pay for. In order to get Turner Classic movies which I do watch I have to get seven ESPN channels I never watch. In order to get the Discovery channels I am forced to get all the kid channels which as a senior citizen with no kids are totally not me. I think there should be a "Woman's Package" or even a "Senior Woman's Package" that has all the history and discovery channels and Lifetime and all the old movie channels like TNT and Hallmark, but no sports and no Disney channels. My complaints and pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

But the most recent turn of events has made me look seriously at subscribing to satellite television at all: Religious channels. Yes, some will say just don't watch them. The same thing I do with kids and sports channels. But I basically believe in kids and sports. I do not believe in these religions (now up to 9 on my programing package). And yet some portion of the money I send to DirecTV every month is going to these religions to support their broadcasting of their beliefs which I do not believe in. I looked at changing my package and even cut some costs but the cheaper package actually has more religious programing.

Is this a violation of my freedom of religion of my choice? Or a violation of separation of church and state? I am currently considering deleting television from my life entirely and getting all my news from the Internet.