Answering Petition # 2493

Thank you for your communication concerning the broadcasting of religious programs. The information here presents basic facts on a subject that in recent years have aroused widespread interest and has resulted in a great number of letters and telephone calls to the Commission.

 

In December 1974 a petition from Jeremy D. Lansman and Lorenzo W. Milam asked the FCC to inquire, among other subjects, into the operating practices of noncommercial educational broadcasting stations, including those licensed to religious educational organizations. The petitioners also asked that no licenses be granted for any new noncommercial educational stations until the requested enquiry had been completed. The "Lansman-Milam petition," which was routinely assigned the number RM-2493, was denied by the Commission on August 1, 1975. The Commission explained then that it is required by the First Amendment "to observe a stance of neutrality toward religion, acting neither to promote nor to inhibit religion." It also explained that it must treat religious and secular organizations alike in determining their eligibility for broadcasting channels.

 

Early in 1975 the FCC began to receive mail which indicated that in many parts of the country there were rumors claiming the petitioners of RM-2493 had called for an end to religious broadcasting and that the Commission was going to prohibit religious programs on radio and television. Such rumors are false. Additional mail and telephone calls came in from people who thought that Mrs. Madalyn Murray O’Hara, a well-known atheist, was a sponsor of RM-2493 or had separately proposed that the FCC consider limiting or banning religious programming. Those rumors also are false.

 

No federal law or regulation gives the FCC the authority to prohibit radio and television stations from presenting religious programs. The Communications Act (the law that established the FCC and defines its authority) prohibits the Commission from censoring broadcast material and from interfering with freedom of speech in broadcasting. The Commission cannot direct any broadcaster to present or refrain from presenting announcements or programs on religion, and it cannot act as a judge of the wisdom or accuracy of such material. Broadcasters--not the FCC or any other governmental agency--are responsible for selecting the programming that is aired by their stations.

 

We hope the preceding paragraphs will help to correct misinformation about Commission policies on religious broadcasting. Over the past six years this agency has received more than twelve and a half million pieces of mail on this subject; in the fall of 1980 mail was still arriving in the Commission at the rate of over twelve thousand pieces per week. The Commission's action on petition RM-2493 and the laws and its policies on broadcast religious programming have been publicized in newspapers and magazines (including TV Guide and Time), in religious publications, and in meetings of religious groups. Any help you can provide by telling people what the facts are will be greatly appreciated.

 

The above letter was distributed by the FCC and was mailed to me (dr. Hoyt W. Allen, Jr.) in the early 80’s. It has been reproduced by the KYOWVA Evangelistic Association (1541 S. 7th Street * Ironton, OH 45638; E-Mail: kyowva@zoomnet.net) for the purpose of stopping the circulation of petitions pertaining to this "dead issue" ((Petition: RM-2493). This is not to say that satan will not attempt to control the air-ways from another position in the future.

 

Plainly, don’t get short changed.  Let’s be ready to meet our Maker. The Bible teaches that to avoid hell and gain heaven - one must:  

1) Believe In Jesus As Savior   (Acts 16:31)

2) Repent Of Sins (Acts 17:30)  

3) Confess Christ Audibly (Acts 8:37)  

4) Be Baptized In Water (Acts 2:38)  

5) Live A Christian Life (Acts 14:22)  

6) Be Active In the Church (Acts 2:47)

Posted in Articles By Brother Hoyt.