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Home > Christian Urban Legends

Madalyn Murray O'Hair Trying to Get References to God Removed from the Touched By An Angel TV show-

Claim:
Email warnings say that famed Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take references to God out of the Touched By An Angel TV show.  A petition number is mentioned, RM-2493, and people are encouraged to call or write the FCC to protest the request.  Some versions also say that O'Hair has petitioned the FCC to take all Christian broadcasting off the air and that radio psychologist Dr. James Dobson is is appealing for your help to stop her.

A later version says that the reason CBS cancelled Touched By an Angel was because of references to God on the show. 

Example that appeared on the Internet

Version #1

CBS will be forced to discontinue "Touched by an Angel" for using the word God in every program.  Madeline Murray O'Hare,an atheist, successfully managed to eliminate the use of Bible reading from public schools a few years ago.  And now her organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington DC.  Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America.

They took this petition 287,000 signatures to back their stand!  If this attempt is successful,all Sunday worship services being broadcasted on the radio, or by television will be stopped.  This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs, and Christmas carols from public schools!!  You as Christians can help!  We are praying for at least 1 million signatures.  This would defeat their effort and show that their are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country. 

As Christians we must unite on this.  Please don't take this lightly.  We ignored this lady once and lost prayer in our school and in offices across the nation.  Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard.  Together we can make a difference in our country while an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord.  Now, please sign your name (1st or last which ever you choose) at the bottom by highlighting this whole letter with your mouse and clicking FORWARD.  Don't delete anything, just go to the next number and type your name.  Please do not sign jointingly,such as Mr.  & Mrs....  Each person should sign his/her own name.  Please e-mail this to everyone you know, and help us defeat this organization and keep the right of our freedom of religion.

Version #2

They got 287,000 signatures to back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped. This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas
programs and Christmas carols from public schools!!

You as a Christian can help! We are praying for at least 1 million signatures. This would defeat their effort and show that there are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country. As Christians we must unite on
this. Please don't take this lightly. We ignored this lady once and lost prayer in our school and in offices across the nation. Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard. Together we can make a difference in our country while creating an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord.

Please press "forward", CLEAN UP THE MESSAGE, and forward this to everyone that you think should read this. Now, please sign your name at the bottom (you can only add your name after you have pressed the "Forward").

Don't delete any other names, just go to the next number and type your name. Please do not sign jointly, such as Mr. & Mrs. Each person should sign his/her own name.

Please defeat this organization and keep the right of our freedom of religion. When you get to 1000 please e mail back to:

The Truth:
This is a false eRumor and 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.

In the Fall of 2002, a new version appeared as an appeal from radio psychologist Dr. James Dobson for your help in fighting O'Hair and that in addition to the Touched By An Angel threat, she was also trying to take all Christian broadcasting off the air.  That was a combined version of the two major eRumors about O'Hair and is a hoax.  Dr.Dobson has made no such appeal. 

The end of Touched By An Angel was not a mystery and had nothing to do with the show's religious content.  It was a very successful program that ran for 9 seasons and simply ran its course.

The Touched By An Angel is a variation of another Madalyn Murray O'Hair rumor that is more than 20 years old.  The petition number, "RM-2493", is from a false rumor that Madalyn Murray O'Hair was appealing to the Federal Communications Commission to take all religious broadcasting off the air.  

A petition filed in December 1974 by Jeremy D. Lansman and Lorenzo W. Milam which was routinely assigned the number RM-2493 added further confusion regarding the issue of religious programming. They had asked, among other things, that the FCC inquire into operating practices of stations licensed to religious organizations.

The petitioners had also asked that no new licenses be granted for any new noncommercial educational broadcasting station, until the requested inquiry had been completed. The "Lansman-Milam petition" was DENIED by the FCC on August 1, 1975. The Commission explained then that it is required by the First Amendment "to observe a stance of neutrality toward religion, acting neither to promote nor to inhibit religion." It also explained that it must treat religious and secular organizations alike in determining their eligibility for broadcasting channels.

Periodically since 1975, the FCC has received mail indicating that, in many parts of the country, there were rumors claiming the petitions of RM-2493 had called for an end to religious programs on radio and television. Such rumors are false.

Additional mail and telephone calls came in from people who thought that Ms. O'Hair was a sponsor of RM-2493. This rumor is also false.

Since 1975 to the present time, the FCC has received and responded to millions of inquiries about these rumors. Many efforts have been made by the FCC to advise the public of their falsehood. The laws and the FCC's policies on the broadcast of religious programming have appeared in numerous publications (including newspapers, religious publications, TV Guide and Time Magazine) and have been discussed in religious group meetings.

 

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