Summary of eRumor:
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.
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.
Summary of eRumor: