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This 25-year old myth is a cruel hoax

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on September 08, 2000:

Senator Dyson One day, a cantankerous American Citizen named Madeline Murray O’Hare woke up and decided she was going to do everything in her power to make sure that our country heard as little about God as possible. To her, our Creator was a myth. To me, he’s the real thing, but Ms. O’Hare didn’t care what me and millions of God-fearing people believe.

O’Hare, using the power of the courts and the words of our founding fathers, was successful in eliminating school prayer and the use of the Bible as an “educational tool” in our public schools.

She was vilified by God loving Americans, lauded by atheists and agnostics for her use of the Constitution to further her cause. Her actions drew praise from the American Civil Liberties Union. But Ms. O’Hare did not stop there. She fought to have God’s name wiped out of our culture entirely.

I have disagreed with Ms. O’Hare not because she chose to exercise her Constitutional right of free speech as an American, but that she did it in such a hateful manner. Believed to have been abducted and most likely murdered several years ago O’Hare has dropped out of the national consciousness. Ironically, however, O’Hare left behind a Born Again Christian son who perhaps unfairly has felt the need to undo the “sins” of his mother. In fact, Mr. Murray testified in favor of the Right to Pray Coalition organized by a group of clergy, concerned families and my colleagues in the General Assembly -- Delegates Anthony J. O’Donnell and George W. Owings III.

This group was formed in reaction to a student at Northern High School who caused a traditional graduation prayer to be scratched from the agenda two years ago. The Right to Pray Coalition wanted the decades-long tradition to continue and went in front of the General Assembly hoping to see it become law.

While probably no longer with us in body, Ms. O’Hare’s spirit of hate continues today. Recently, I was informed by a wonderful constituent that Ms. O’Hare’s group of fellow atheists was targeting the popular Sunday night inspirational drama, “Touched by an Angel.” For those that don’t know, the show centers around three angels who step into the lives of people in dire straits and show them God’s way. Actually, the many times I’ve watched the show, the angels refer to their “boss” as the father rather than God.

The question of God’s existence has been perhaps the most complex one mankind has faced since first pondering the moon, the sun and the stars. If nothing else, the belief in God has inspired people to do extraordinary things. It gives them comfort -- and courage.

From those who have written me, the 25-year myth has again reared its ugly head again. It is called Petition 2493. Purportedly 2493 is an effort to remove from radio and television typical programs such as Christmas shows, songs and stories of a religious nature. This petition was filed in December 1974 and was routinely assigned the number 2493.

But there is no federal law or regulation that gives the FCC the authority to prohibit radio and television stations from presenting religious programs. The FCC also cannot act as an arbitrator on the insights or accuracy of such material.

Upon reading a very well meaning counter petition that said one million signatures would be needed in order to urge the FCC from banning religious messages across our national airwaves. Rest assured, Petition 2493 is nothing but a hoax -- a mean one at that.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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