Thursday, October 30, 2008

Religious Broadcast Rumor Denied

A couple times of year I receive an e-mail telling me that the Federal Communications Commission is going to remove religious programming from the airwaves.

This is based on a rumor, which has been circulating since 1975, that the late Madelyn O'Hair, a widely-known self-proclaimed athiest, proposed that the FCC consider limiting or banning religious programming.

These rumors are untrue. According to the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, in December 1974, Jeremy Lansman and Lorenzo Milam filed a petition (RM-2493) asking the FCC to inquire into the operating practices of radio stations licensed to religious organizations, and not to grant any new licenses for new noncommercial educational broadcast stations until the inquiry had been completed. The FCC denied this petition on August 1, 1975. Ms. O'Hair was not a sponsor of this petition.

Since that time, the FCC has received mail and telephone calls claiming that Ms. O'Hair started the petition and that the petition asked for an end to religious programs on radio and television. Such rumors are false. The FCC has responded to numerous inquiries about these rumors and advised the public of their falsehood. There is no federal law that gives the FCC the authority to prohibit radio and television stations from broadcasting religious programs.

As christians, we always need to be alert to things that could happen, however, this is one rumor that is totally false.

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