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I’ve received an e-mail about prayers and signatures needed to stop Petition 2493. Is it true?

I've received an e-mail petition requesting that I sign a petition. It says:

  1. Christian broadcasting is going to be removed from radio and television or,
  2. Christmas carols and Christmas programs will be removed from all public schools or,
  3. Dr. Dobson is going to be on CNBC requesting prayer or,
  4. Madalyn Murray O'Hair has Petition 2493 in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is attempting to have all religious programming banned or,
  5. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was behind the removal of "Touched by an Angel" from television programming or,
  6. Joel Osteen and other pastors will be removed from public broadcasting or,
  7. a combination of any of the above, or something that sounds similar to any of the above.

The Message Is a Rumor
The messages mentioned above are all related in that they are all absolutely false. This “petition” has evolved several times, but the bottom line is that every single one of them is a false rumor based on a few truths from the past. Please continue to read for a more thorough explanation of the facts.

Dr. Dobson and Petition 2493
Focus on the Family recently learned of a version of the rumor that said that Dr. Dobson himself was asking for people to respond to the e-mail by signing a petition and circulating it to their friends and family. Please be assured that this is not true; Dr. Dobson did not initiate and does not endorse the e-mail petition.

The Late Madalyn Murray O’Hair Is Not Behind This Petition
Rumors about Mrs. O’Hair have been making the rounds among well-intentioned people for years.

An older version of the rumor said that the program “Touched by an Angel” was removed from CBS programming due to Mrs. O’Hair’s influence. Although the show was cancelled in 2003, its removal from CBS programming did not have anything to do with Madalyn Murray O’Hair and the American Atheists.

In recent years, many people have raised concerns about Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s alleged activities. The truth is, nearly everything you’ve probably read or heard about Mrs. O’Hair, “Touched by an Angel,” petition 2493, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is untrue. Not only that, but Mrs. O’Hair was a missing person for a long time, and was declared dead a few years ago after evidence of her body was discovered.

The Federal Communications Commission Addresses the Rumor

  • Go to the FCC website to read what it has posted information about this rumor and petition.

Additional Information

  • A related answer may help you identify other urban legends.
  • Truthorfiction.com keeps updated information about urban legends and true stories. You can also subscribe to the newest information on the website.

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