Friday, August 29, 2008

Long-running Hoax Resurfaces

Petition 2493, originally known as Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s Religious Petition, has resurfaced ? again!

This new round of the hoax erroneously states that an organization has been granted a federal hearing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C. “to remove Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, A.R. Bernard, TD Jakes, and other pastors from the airwaves.” It goes on to say that Petition 2493 would “ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior on the airwaves of America” and that this “group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools.” The e-mail further states that “we are praying for at least 1 million signatures.” Among many other pleas to “stand up for your religious freedom” and unite as Christians, the e-mail further tries to legitimize its contents by using Dr. James Dobson’s name, stating that he is going to appear on CNBC to urge every Christian to get involved. It then asks the recipient to add their name to the list of previous signers and forward the e-mail. Or, if the recipient is not “comfortable” with signing the petition and forwarding, it asks the person to return it to the sender. Once all 1 million signatures are obtained, the e-mail asks the last signer to forward it to a particular name and e-mail address.

The contents of such an e-mail are false and have been perpetuated for the past 30+ years using different variations of the “threat” and different names, but the originator seems to particularly like using Dr. Dobson’s name the last few years and usually does include the petition number (but not always).

For the truth, visit the following links to the FCC, NRB, and Focus on the Family, and please... pass it along:
FCC Explanation
FCC Memorandum & Order
Q & A About Religious Petition 2493
Focus on the Family & Petition 2493