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Home > Christian Urban Legends

Madalyn Murray O'Hair Trying to Get Religious Programming Off Radio and Television

Claim:
Email warnings say that famed Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take religious music and programs off radio and television.  A petition number is mentioned, RM-2493, and people are encouraged to call or write the FCC to protest the petition and urge the FCC to reject it.

Example that appeared on the Internet
THIS IS IMPORTANT AND WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE I THINK.....

Madeline Murray O'Hare, an atheist, successfully eliminated the use of Bible reading and prayer from school fifteen years ago.  Her organization has now been granted a Federal hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C.   Their petition, No. 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the Gospel on the airwaves of America. They took this petition with 287,000 signatures to back their stand. If this attempt is successful, all Sunday Worship services being broadcast either by radio or television will stop.

This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs, Christmas songs, and Christmas carols from public schools.

You can help! We need one million signed letters. This would defeat their effort and show that there are many Christians alive, well, and concerned in our country. Please print this letter, then cut off and sign the form below.

PLEASE DO NOT SIGN JOINTLY, such as "Mr. and Mrs." Each person should sign one letter separately, and mail it in separate envelopes. Be sure to put "Petition 2493" ON THE ENVELOPE when you mail the letter.

This has to go out "regular mail."

It's important that you do it right away!

Please e-mail this letter to all your friends and relatives and to anyone you feel led to or have it photocopied and mailed.

Christians must unite on this! Please do not take this lightly. We did once and lost prayer in schools and in offices across the nation. We cannot let this attempt succeed.

DETACH HERE **************************************

Date:_______________________________

Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20054
RE: Petition 2493

Dear Sirs:

I am an American and am very thankful for my American heritage.  Our forefathers founded this country under the premise of a strong belief and faith in God and His principles. I am also very much aware of the role that our Christian faith has played in the freedom that we Americans now enjoy.

Therefore, I protest any effort to remove, from radio or television, programs designed to nurture faith in God, or to remove Christmas programs, Christmas songs, and Christmas carols from public airwaves, schools, office buildings, etc.

Sincerely,

Your Name:_________________________________________________
Address:___________________________________________________
City, State, Zip code:_________________________________________

The Truth:
The FCC says, "Since 1975 to the present time, the FCC has received and responded to millions of inquires about these rumors." In 1985, the FCC averaged 100,000 letters per month protesting this non-existent petition. Madalyn Murray O'Hair has never submitted any such petition and has been missing and presumed dead since 1995. The FCC cannot prevent or inhibit the broadcasting of religious programs.

No such petition has ever been presented to the FCC by Madalyn Murray O'Hair or her organization of American atheists.  In fact, this eRumor is more than 20 years old and has produced more mail response to the FCC than anything in its history.  

An interesting twist is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair has been out of the picture since she disappeared in August, 1995.  In January, 2001, authorities in Texas found her remains in a shallow grave and the question then became what would happen to the Madalyn Murray O'Hair eRumors?  We got our answer less than a month later when we started receiving versions of the rumors that began with, "THOUGH SHE'S DEAD AND HAS JUST BEEN LOCATED AFTER 5 YEARS, THIS LADY CONTINUES TO HAUNT US FROM HER SHALLOW GRAVE. - GET THIS:"  So, it looks like the Madalyn Murray O'Hair eRumors will survive for a while.

One of the reasons this FCC rumor is so believable is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair shocked the nation more than two decades ago by participating in legal action that resulted in the United States Supreme Court decision pulling prayer and Bible reading out of the classrooms in public schools. 

There is a petition RM-2493, but it was filed by a couple of fellows who felt that churches and religious organizations should not be operating so many FM radio frequencies that are classed as "educational."  They asked the FCC to take several actions including freezing all new applications from religious organizations seeking educational frequencies and regulating the content of religiously operated stations.  This prompted religious broadcasters to ask for public response to the FCC on the matter and the FCC eventually issued a ruling that was favorable to the religious broadcasters.   

Another version of this eRumor warns that O'Hair is trying to remove references to God on the television program "Touched By an Angel."  Click here for those details.

 

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