Subject: Re: American Family Association censors this is in response to a somewhat meander

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Subject: Re: American Family Association censors this is in response to a somewhat meandering message thread posted to misc.consumers a few weeks ago. Specific charges were made, and I have researched those claims. In article <23000011@uxh.cso.uiuc.edu>, vac@uxh.cso.uiuc.edu (Vann Clark): > hnewstrom@x102a.harris-atd.com said: >>What would happen if a bunch of people got together and decided that we >>didn't want religious programming coming into our homes? > Well, it just so happens that Madlyn Murray O'Hair, the most famous >lunatic, atheist in the US tries, almost every year, to get The FCC to *ban* >*all* religious programming from tv. She relies on the argument that, because >the airwaves are federally regulated, the presence of *any* religion on tv is >a violation of the seperation of church and state. Figure that one out. > It's not hard to figure out at all. In fact, it's an outright lie. I'm not blaming Vann Clark for saying this, as he undoubtedly heard it from someone else. At one time, this, or a permutation thereof, was a very popular rumor. Here are the facts: In the early 60s and 70s, two young men, Jeremy D. Lansman and Lorenzo W. Milam, were working to help minority groups set up non-commercial, educational FM stations. As they looked for places on the FM band, they became angry as they found that many large religious organizations were using up so much of that band. On Dec. 1, 1973, these two men sent a petition to the FCC asking for a freeze on applications on the FM band until the FCC could review its policies by a full Commission inquiry into this situation. The petition itself said "Religious broadcasters have shown a remarkable cancerlike growth into the 'educational' portions of the FM and TV bands". They asked that the inquiry be directed to sectarian religious organizations which they saw as gobbling up the reserved *educational* FM and TV channels. The FCC stamped this petition as received, with the file number RM-2493, and clocked it into the Rules and Standards Division of the FCC on Dec. 6, 1973. Within about a month, the association of National Religious Broadcasters began a rumor that Madelyn O'Hair had filed 27,000 signatures on behalf of this petition, which was described as an attempt by her to stop all religious broadcasting. Soon, the names of Lansman and Milam were simply dropped from the rumor. By the summer of 1975, the FCC had received 750,000 letters protesting her alleged activity. On Aug 1, 1975, the petition was denied, but the rumor continued. By May 1978, the FCC was receiving 13,000 letters a day on this, despite all attempts to stop it. At the beginning of 1982, the total count was up to 13,000,000 letters from this rumor. The truth is, neither Madelyn O'Hair, nor any group she is associated with, has ever, at any time, advocated censorship of any material, religious or otherwise, in the public media. Neither Madelyn O'Hair, nor any group of which she is a member, has at any time filed support for that petition. Although she may disagree strongly with the content of those shows, she is very much a champion of free speech. It is a very old trick to charge the person who works for an objective to be an enemy of that objective. In this regard, her name was used to bring pressure upon the FCC to permit the religious broadcasters to have practically unlimited access to the media. Even though the original petition was denied nearly 14 years ago, the rumor persists to this day in one form or another. > Vann Clark > University of Illinois at > Urbana-Champaign Wayne Aiken netoprwa@ncsuvm.bitnet "My underwear is legal PO Box 30904 netoprwa@ncsuvm.ncsu.edu tender in 28 countries!" Raleigh, NC 27622 StarFleet BBS ---"Bob" (919) 782-8171 (919) 782-3095

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