Petition to Stop the Removal of Religious Services and Teachers From Airwaves – Fiction!

Petition to Stop the Removal of Religious Services and Teachers From Airwaves Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A forwarded email warning readers of an organization that is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove religious teachers and pastors from the airwaves.  The email goes on to urge readers to sign another petition to keep the broadcasters on the air.

The Truth:

This eRumor is Fiction and is a variation of an old myth that dates back to 1975 about self proclaimed atheist Madeline Murray O’Hair trying to remove religious content from the airwaves.  Click here for original findings.

New versions have appeared over the years naming popular religious leaders and teachers in an attempt to freshen the myth up.  There is even a Roman Catholic version warning that the Mass is being removed from Catholic TV Network EWTN. 

According to the Federal Communications web site, there was 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.” In December of 1974, 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.  Click here for FCC statement

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 for this version

updated 12/14/09