Did you receive an email regarding FCC Petition 2493 and the movement to ban all religious broadcasts from radio and television?
Here is what you need to do if you are concerned. Nothing. It is a hoax, a rumor, and a miscommunication but read on because the story is fascinating.
The claim is that atheists are petitioning the FCC to get religious broadcasting banned from American airwaves. Some versions of this re-circulated email claim that Madalyn Murray O’Hair petitioned the FCC to ban all religious programming. Madalyn Murray O’Hair never petitioned the FCC nor was she ever granted a hearing which is not surprising since there is no law or federal regulation that gives the Federal Communications Commission the authority to prohibit religious programming on radio or television.
The real RM2493 was neither brought forth by O’Hair, nor did it have anything to do with with a ban on religious broadcasting. RM 2493 was put to the FCC in 1974 and was turned down by the FCC in 1975. The original petition asked that channels reserved for educational purposes were used for only that purpose, and not for religious groups or any other group to use for their own purposes.
Because of the wide-spread rumor concerning RM 2493, Madalyn Murray O’Hair became more than ever the “Most Hated Woman in America” as she was dubbed by Life Magazine in 1964. She played a major role in getting organized prayer banned in schools. But O’Hair could not possibly have petitioned the FCC, at least not recently because … well … we hate to break the news but the woman is dead.
The mystery does not end there. In August 1995, O’Hair, along with her son and granddaughter, vanished from their home while cooking their breakfast and were never seen nor heard from again. Rumors spread like wildfire that they had extorted millions of dollars from groups associated with American Atheists and disappeared with the loot.
The mystery of their disappearance was solved when, in June 2000, Gary Karr was convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion for his apparent participation in the plot to kidnap O’Hair and her family for their money. As part of a plea bargain, another party to the crime, David Waters, led police to the graves of three bodies which were later identified as the remains of the O’Hair family.
So before you sign the ‘angry mob petition’ remember the old saying – “Ready, fire, aim! – FCC Petition 2493 is just a hoax.Tags: FCC, FCC petition 2493, Madalyn Murray OHair, politics, religion, RM 2493